Century tour for Cayman travel agents

The hottest cruise news, awards for the islands top cruise sellers and a showcase of a cruise ship was all on the agenda for travel agents on board Celebrity cruise ship Century recently.

A&A Tours and Celebrity Cruises hosted travel agents from Grand Cayman onboard the ship on Tuesday, 28 January. Representatives from Travel Pros, International Travel, Cayman Travel and Aladdin Tours enjoyed a seminar, ship inspection and lunch on board.

Sandra Hurson of A&A Tours, the general sales agent for Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Azamara cruises, awarded the top seller in the Cayman Islands for both Royal Caribbean and Celebrity cruises to Cayman Travel, accepted by Mindy Scott-Hennings. Second place for selling Royal Caribbean cruises went to International Travel, accepted by Lindsay Whitney, while third went to Travel Pros, accepted by Peter Watler.

The A&A team also took the opportunity to update the travel agents on new developments with the cruise lines and their products.

‘We support the travel agents in the Caribbean through education on products in order to help encourage locals in the islands to book through their local travel agents,’ explained Ms Hurson. ‘So, a couple of times a year we bring them on board so they can see for themselves what it’s all about.’

Ms Scott Hennings of Cayman Travel said cruises are very popular amongst the local public and indeed getting more so.

‘With the ports of Miami and Fort Lauderdale in such easy reach a cruise is a great option, especially with meals included. I love it,’ she said.

Ms Hurson spoke about Azamara Cruises, which has two ships that visit exotic locations anywhere from French Polynesia to the Caribbean. It is geared toward the savvy cruiser and is an adults-only cruise.

Celebrity Cruises, the more upscale version of Royal Caribbean, offers five star service and concierge class staterooms

Its new Solstice class ships coming on stream from 2008 will feature a one-half-acre real grass lawn called the Lawn Club at the back of the ship that will include a putting green, bocce court and an area where guests can relax with a picnic.

Popular itineraries with Celebrity ships include the Caribbean, Alaska and now, increasingly, Europe, where passengers can travel over there by boat and fly back. New markets opening up for Celebrity include Australia and New Zealand, Hawaii, South America, The Galapagos and the Pacific Islands.

Travel agents were updated also on developments with Royal Caribbean, including the forthcoming Genesis class ships, which will break Royal Caribbean’s own record of the largest ship at sea (currently the Freedom class ships), when it introduces the new class at 220,000 tonnes.

Again, with Royal Caribbean Europe is becoming more popular, Alaska is still very popular, and exotic destinations coming on stream with Royal Caribbean are Asia, South America and Hawaii.

Packages are also available through travel agents where air, land and sea tours, including transfers, can be arranged.

Following the seminar the group took a tour of Celebrity’s Century ship, which is operating two, four and five nights cruises out of Miami to the Bahamas and Western Caribbean during the winter season of 2008. In the summer she will be doing five and 12 night cruises to Scandinavia and Russia, Scotland and Ireland, Norwegian Fjords, and Article Circle and North Cape.

The 70,606 tonne ship had a $55 million makeover revitalisation in 2006. The ship’s features include a casino, theatre, fitness centre, spa, beauty salon, outdoor pool, fun factory, bars/lounges, library, internet centre, business centres and shops.