Friday, October 25, 2013

Carnival Goes Back-to-Basics With Cruise Brochures

Back in the “good old days” (actually, not so long ago) frequent cruisers anticipated the arrival of updated print brochures in their travel agents’ offices almost as much as the arrival of their pre-cruise document package. It was a lot of fun to flip through the brightly colored brochures and they served a terrific purpose as well—they contained a wealth of information that answered questions we might not even know we had. Sadly, much like those highly prized document packages we used to get, the brochures faded away when so much of the information they contained became available online.

However, with a brochure in hand, many of us enjoyed dreaming about booking our next cruise and missed the ability to sit across the desk from our travel agent as he pointed out our stateroom selection on the deck plan. Let’s face it, a computer screen just doesn’t have the same appeal. Thankfully, for the first time in five years, Carnival Cruise Lines will offer travel agents a printed fleet brochure to use in their sales and marketing efforts and to share with clients. The new brochure, which will be available prior to the 2014 Wave Season, comes as a result of feedback from travel agents during various Carnival Conversations events, as well as more specific feedback received from the line’s recent Quarterly Travel Agent Survey.

“Travel agents have told us loud and clear that they want a printed brochure to use for sales and marketing purposes and we’re thrilled to introduce one that is customized with the information that matters most to them,” said Mike Julius, Carnival’s senior managing director of U.S. trade sales. “We greatly appreciate the valuable input we received from travel agents through our quarterly survey and we’re putting that feedback directly to work in the form of this new brochure.”

More than 1,700 travel agents responded to the on-line survey, which was comprised of 63 questions related to overall trade relations, pricing and specific needs in a brochure. Travel agents were asked to rank 31 items that they would be interested in seeing within a printed brochure. Items agents listed of top importance, in order of priority, included:
· Detailed itineraries by destination
· Message to consumers regarding the value of using a travel agent
· Deck plans
· Ship overviews and onboard highlights
· Stateroom descriptions and diagrams
· Information on family programming and activities
· Guest FAQ regarding dining, dress code, documentation and more
· Stateroom photos
· An At-a-Glance Ship Deployment Grid featuring information organized according to region, itinerary, and season
Along with the recent simplification of their fare structure, we see this back-to-basics move as a good one on Carnival’s part.

Image Courtesy of Carnival Cruise Lines

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