Saturday June 15, 2019
Facebook Twitter Linkedin Linkedin Linkedin Linkedin
Travelweek News top story
Putting “Partners First”: NCL’s CEO lauds agents and the new Norwegian Joy

Putting “Partners First”: NCL’s CEO lauds agents and the new Norwegian Joy

Monday, April 29, 2019

LOS ANGELES — How much does Norwegian Cruise Line value travel agents? It created an entire philosophy around them, one that helps determine every company policy and initiative.

Andy Stuart, President & CEO, Norwegian Cruise Line.

Called ‘Partners First’, the philosophy is meant to be used as a lens, says President and CEO Andy Stuart, to study what will – and what won’t – enhance Norwegian’s partnership with agents.

Putting “Partners First”: NCL’s CEO lauds agents and the new Norwegian Joy

678 Oceanplace onboard Norwegian Joy

Putting “Partners First”: NCL’s CEO lauds agents and the new Norwegian Joy

The Haven Courtyard

Speaking exclusively with Travelweek while on the first of two preview cruises of the newly renovated Norwegian Joy, Stuart referred to agents as “critical” to the company’s success.

“They’re our primary distribution channel and educating them on the experience onboard is essential. We cancelled a revenue cruise in order to show this ship to them, so that tells you how important they are to us,” he says.

Putting “Partners First”: NCL’s CEO lauds agents and the new Norwegian Joy

Approximately 5,000 travel agents will have taken part in the Joy’s back-to-back preview cruises, which set sail from Vancouver to Los Angeles on April 26 and marked the ship’s U.S. debut. Having been built two years ago for the Chinese market, the Norwegian Joy is now suited for North Americans following a US$50 million renovation that made it look nearly identical to its sister ship, the hugely successful Norwegian Bliss.

More news:  Lufthansa’s Canadian ties strengthened through collaboration with the trade

Putting “Partners First”: NCL’s CEO lauds agents and the new Norwegian Joy

The Joy now boasts updated contemporary decor and artwork, an enhanced go kart track, several new bar and dining venues and the brand new Galaxy Pavilion, a virtual reality and gaming venue. It’s also the only ship in Norwegian’s fleet to offer a Concierge-level stateroom category featuring spacious suites with 24/7 concierge service and private dining.

“This has been a huge investment, an investment that we are 100% sure will be worthwhile,” adds Stuart.

Putting “Partners First”: NCL’s CEO lauds agents and the new Norwegian Joy

The Haven’s Two-Bedroom Family Villa

Putting “Partners First”: NCL’s CEO lauds agents and the new Norwegian Joy

The Haven’s Two-Bedroom Family Villa’s bathroom

Following its preview cruises, the Norwegian Joy will sail on its first official voyage from Seattle to Alaska on May 4. It will offer seven-day Alaska cruises with calls in Ketchikan, Juneau, Icy Strait Point, Skagway and Victoria, B.C. Starting in the fall, it will sail to the Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles, and to the Panama Canal from Los Angeles and Miami. Caribbean voyages from Miami will begin in 2020.

More news:  First sailing for Norwegian Getaway after bow-to-stern reno

For more of our interview with Stuart, be on the lookout for Travelweek’s May 9 issue.

Putting “Partners First”: NCL’s CEO lauds agents and the new Norwegian Joy

La Cucina

Cindy Sosroutomo

Cindy Sosroutomo

Deputy Editor at Travelweek
Cindy is Deputy Editor at Travelweek and has worked for the company since 2007. She has travelled to more than 50 countries and counts Kenya, Morocco, Thailand and Turkey among her favourite destinations.
Cindy Sosroutomo
FEATURES
LEARNING CENTRE
Go to Learning Centre






Get travel news right to your inbox!