This week we attended the cruise convention in Southampton to visit some ships and to listen to an update from industry experts in the discussions. The weather was beautiful and it was great to see so many new and diverse ships in port including Azura, Norwegian Epic and Queen Mary 2.
I visited Queen Mary 2 and hadn't realised just how big she is, although she still retains the Cunard timeless elegance. She feels much more like a hotel in a resort with a planetarium and huge deck area for deck games. The Grills staterooms and suites were particularly wonderful and we enjoyed a fabulous lunch.
A big focus in the conference was on the rise of "new" travel agencies in cruise, utilising new channels such as the web. Iglu were one of the agencies mentioned! We've always worked solely online selling ski holidays and we extended our knowledge and expertise when we started selling cruise holidays. Even though the holiday types are completely different, people want the same thing; the best prices, good value deals and a knowledgeable team of experts who know what they are talking about and can find them the ideal holiday. Also it's vital to have a website that's simple to use and where you can actually find what you're looking for. We've spent years perfecting ours and continue to improve it.
I stayed at the Holiday Inn in Southampton, which is perfect for a pre-cruise overnight stay. Opening the curtains and seeing the Queen Mary 2 one day and then Celebrity Eclipse the next was very exciting, and you could easily walk to the ship with your luggage. I filmed the Eclipse arriving and docking at 5 o'clock in the morning, fantastic navigation from the Captain as he did a 180 degree turn!
Written by Simone Clark
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