Celebrity is seeing a major uptick in bookings for 2023 and beyond, says Allan Brooks, National Director, Market Sales – Canada. And for clients determined to sail in 2022, Celebrity has some great options and promotions. In this edition of Take 5, Brooks offers sales tips for the luxury travel boom (“Two words – The Retreat”) and shares his excitement for the brand new Celebrity Ascent.
1. What can you tell us about bookings for Celebrity Cruises from the Canadian market?
“It is great to see and hear about the business coming back. Also amazing to see our travel partners starting to reap the rewards of their tough fought battles. Canadian travellers had several restrictions and protocols to follow, but they are now free to roam.
“We are certainly starting to see a major pick-up in bookings, mostly for 2023 and beyond. We do feel many cruisers were just waiting for the dust to settle before making any commitments and those that were waiting are now feeling much more confident in making vacation plans. Having said that, there are some great options and promotions to entice cruisers that are ready to sail in 2022. We are back, baby!”
2. Is there any message Celebrity would like to get out to Canadian travel advisors as we head into the high season of winter sun travel?
“We are and always will be committed to the health and safety of our guests and crew. We feel very confident that the policies, procedures and our well-trained crew will ensure a safe and enjoyable experience overall. We took a pause in service to upgrade and recalibrate our brand and our position in the market. We have now returned to full service and are receiving the best results and feedback in the history of our brand.”
3. Luxury travel in particular is booming right now. What are some of Celebrity’s upscale accommodation options that are booking particularly well, and what advice would you give to travel agents who think they don’t have clients at that level?
“Two words – The Retreat. The Retreat is our suite class experience that includes best-in-class accommodations, butler service, private dining, private lounge, private sunbathing deck, VIP theatre seating, VIP boarding and departure, among other outstanding amenities. Luxury travel has traditionally been associated with smaller vessels – that was then and this is now. Why not get the best of both worlds?
“Our guests can still have the intimate accommodations, upscale service and VIP treatment of a smaller ship, but also have access to a full theatre experience, luxury shops, spacious gym and spa, a state-of-the-art casino and a multitude of dining options. It’s a ship within a ship.”
4. Construction is underway on Celebrity Ascent. What excites you the most about this new ship, coming in 2023?
“We are all very excited to welcome Celebrity Ascent into our growing fleet. What excites me most? We seem to always outdo ourselves from one ship to the next. Just when I think we can’t deliver a better product, the designers, architects and operations team come up with new ideas that seem to break through all boundaries.
“Our Edge series ships were revolutionary in every aspect of the word. Why not rest and duplicate? Not us! We took feedback from our guests and travel partners and made the appropriate tweaks and upgrades to build the next in the series even better than the last.”
5. What else should Canadian travel agents look forward to from Celebrity for 2023 and beyond?
“Simple. We want to be the easiest and most rewarding brand to work within the industry.
“Our travel partners have stood by us throughout and we will not return to our past success without them. We are listening, improving our systems, policies and procedures and will continue to work closely with agents across Canada to ensure they are fully supported and keep Celebrity Cruises as a preferred partner.
“We truly appreciate and value the hard work and dedication these travel agents put in every day and want to ensure they are recognized for these incredible efforts.”