At CruiseWorld, Pitch Perfect session explores many takes on luxury

Luxury travel means different things to different clients, which means advisors must pay heed to what makes their high-spending clients tick.

In turn, suppliers must have what advisors need to get the sale, and that was the basis of the Pitch Perfect: Luxury session at Travel Weekly’s CruiseWorld on Wednesday. 

Travel agency executives Nick Pena (franchise owner, Cruise Planners) and Sanya Weston (CEO, Your Premier Travel Service Group) pitched the scenarios, and sales executives responded with how their product would satisfy clients.

Scenario 1: A woman is celebrating a milestone birthday with her close friends, and they want to do everything over the top, be waited on hand and foot and dress to the nines for dinner each night

Heidi Verschaeve, commercial director, Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique Hotel
• Presidential suite, which is in an oceanfront mansion, with butler service
• Private chef prepares six-course gourmet dinner in the jungle — a traditional Mayan dinner with a modern twist, pairing mezcal and tequila with each course
• Hotel’s resident shaman performs a ritual

Jamie Paiko, vice president of sales, Cunard North America
• Two Queens Grill Suites with an adjoining room on a transatlantic crossing
• Treatments in the Mareel spa
• Exquisite dining on private deck spaces, complete with tableside flambees.
• Gala events such as a masquerade ball or Roaring ’20s event

Erica Richey, Seabourn’s vice president, performance marketing and growth
• Mediterranean cruise with the travel advisor working with Seabourn to “craft a beautiful, personalized experience”
• A “marina day” spent in a cove, with access to the ships’ water toys. Guests can lounge on deck or “ride the banana boat and have one heck of a time”
• Restaurant variety, from sushi to outdoor concept Earth & Ocean to new Mediterranean concept Solis.

Scenario 2: Two couples prioritize once-in-a-lifetime experiences 

Shanel Knight, Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ director of national accounts and business development 
• Cruise on the new Seven Seas Grandeur
• An opportunity to see the first Faberge egg at sea and other artwork
• Stay in the 4,000-square-foot Regent Suite and adjoining Penthouse
• Enjoy private dining and spa treatments

Erica Richey, Seabourn
• Antarctica cruise on Seabourn Venture expedition ship
• Expedition team curates an adventure around the guest
• Spa treatments to recover from Drake Passage journey

Scenario 3: Traveler wants a luxury cruise experience and seamless land experience back-to-back 

Dianna Rom, Windstar’s vice president of sales
• A cruise in Tahiti on the Star Breeze
• A three-day over-the-water bungalow experience before the cruise
• Canoe breakfast every day at the resort and romantic dinners on the beach

Shanel Knight, Regent Seven Seas Cruises
• An Iconic Explorations package combining an Angkor Wat tour with a Singapore-Hong Kong cruise

Scenario 4: A couple in their 60s from New York own a restaurant and know food. What can impress them and elevate their culinary experience?

Dianna Rom, Windstar
• Windstar is small enough to secure all food locally and chefs cook to order
• Immersing menus with the place visited
• Guests go shopping with the chefs in local markets

Jamie Paiko, Cunard
• A winter Caribbean voyage sailing out of Brooklyn in a Queens Grill Suite
• High-level dining, white glove service that isn’t pretentious

Scenario 5: Honeymooners have $30,000 to spend and would like to start longevity with a brand

Tomas Baca-Cruz, Explora Journeys business relationships expert
• A cruise sailing the south of France on Explora I
• Explora is attracting a younger, more active demographic than some competitors. Average passenger age is 52, said Baca-Cruz
• Since Explora is a new line, it’ll give young travelers a chance to explore something new

Heidi Verschaeve, Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique Hotel
• Romantic breakfasts and dinners
• Instagrammable moments, snapping photos of wildlife, like monkeys stealing apples
• Swimming in the cenote on property
• Experiencing the temazcal, or sweat lodge

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