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The How To Book of ....

Why Cruise ?
How to Cruise with Class
Freighter Travel
Selling a Cruise
Top Ten Cruising Questions & How to Answer Them
Facts to Tell Your Client
How to Sell a Cruise
Acquiring Product Knowledge
Advising Your Client About Shipboard Life

*** Go To Part 2 ***


Travel By Ship
A Revival

For many years, ships were the only means of travel between many parts of the world and therefore, were a major means of transportation. But now that aircraft have become the common means of transportation from one place to another, point-to-point travel by ship is not as popular as is sailing purely for pleasure, the cruise. .

The difference between point-to-point steamship travel and cruises is that point-to-point travel is between two or more ports, while cruise travel is usually round trip and is considered as a total unit.

Because of the change in demand for transportation by ship, some ships have been withdrawn from service, while others, such as the Queen Elizabeth II of the Cunard Line, are operated on a combined cruise and transocean schedule. On the transatlantic service, the QE2 offers point-to-point transportation (e.g., New York to Southampton) and can accommodate up to 1800 passengers: 550 in first-class and l260 in tourist class. Such class distinctions have been traditional in point-to-point travel and refer both to location on ship and to the luxuriousness of the service and accommodations.

The opportunity to sell point to-point ship transportation usually comes in the form of a direct request from a client. He tells you the service he wishes or he expresses a desire to travel by ship to a certain destination. Then, it is your responsibility to advise him about the service to, or between, those ports; help him select the ship and the accommodations he desires; make reservations; handle the financial arrangements; and provide him with the necessary ticket for passage and any required documents.

As the cruise industry has responded to travelers' motivations and expectations, cruising has become the glamour product of the travel industry. The cruise vacation of today is a new product with new concepts, new pricing, new terminology, new companies, new ships, and new destinations.

Many cruises are now of short duration, have reasonable costs, and are targeted to the younger client. Some lines cater to the singles groups, some to young married and honeymooners, and some to families with reduced rates and programs for children. Nearly 40% of all first-time passengers are under 34, and 62% are under 55.

The upscale, longer, more formal cruise still exists for that segment of the population interested in that style of cruise; in addition, newer more luxurious ships have been built to accommodate this client segment. Cruise companies have successfully broadened the appeal of cruises through aggressive marketing techniques. In 1986,1.2 million persons took advantage of a cruise vacation. By 1988, that number increased to 2.3 million, in 1989 it grew to 3.3 million, and in 1994 to 5.4 million. By the year 2000, they are expecting nearly 10 million persons to take a cruise.

Cruises are now in such demand that cruise lines are sometimes booked six to nine months in advance. Thanks to a commission rate structure of up to 18% plus bonuses and incentives, and a higher ticket item, cruise bookings can provide substantial revenues for the travel professional. As cruises continue to become more and more popular, larger agencies are expanding to devote entire departments to cruises. Some companies are being established to sell only cruises, and that is why we developed How to Book of .. Cruise Manual for you.

l. Decide on the markets you want to target.

A. Economy
B. Mass Market
C. Up-Scale
D. Luxury
E. Retired
F. Family
G. Honeymoon

2. Select the product lines that you want to use as preferred suppliers for the markets you have selected.

A. Economy = Commodore, Dolphin
B. Mass Market = Carnival, NCL, RCCL, Crown Majesty
C. Up-Scale = Princess, Celebrity, Holland America
D. Luxury = Crustal, Wind Star, Radisson
E. Retired = Holland America
F. Family = Carnival, Premier, American Hawa, Dolphin, RCCL, NCL
G. Honeymoon = Carnival, Dolphin, American Hawaii, NCL

This listing is not meant to be definitive. Cruise lines are constantly trying to change their images to appeal to a wider market base. For example, Carnival has always had the "Fun Ship" image appealing to the mass market, young "revelry" oriented group offering great activities and entertainment, but poor food. They are now upgrading their cuisine and claim their average client is 46 years old.




( l ) Best vacation value

(2) Do It All or Nothing At All

{3 ) Meet People Like Myself



18-34 37% ----- 35-54 25% ----- 55+ 38%


Under $15,000 20% ----- $15,000 to $25,000 28% ----- $25,000+ 52%


1-5 Days 34% ----- 6-8 Days 54% ----- 9-17 Days 11 % 18+ 1 %




Low $75 Per Day ----- High $7,506 Per Day ----- Avg $l75/225 Per Day


CLIA Study Shows Huge Untapped Market of Potential Cruisers

The untapped leisure market represents a gold mine for travel agents, a study commissioned by Cruise Lines International Association estimates:

The potential market of leisure clients who have not considered cruise vacations options is nearly $3.2 billion.

The findings were based on telephone interviews with 765 agents in CLIA affiliated travel agencies and on 400 questionnaires sent to consumers who had taken a cruise in the past five years. About 250, or 63%, of the 400 consumer questionnaires were returned.

The consumer portion of the survey indicated that almost 97% of all cruise customers are predisposed to taking a cruise prior to seeing their travel agent. What this suggests is there is a big opportunity for travel agents to convert their land oriented customers to cruisers. If this could be done think of the profitability that could be generated by these undecided travelers. It could be as much as $3.2 billion annually.

The survey studies not only volume, but agent attitudes as well, and found that the top producers know more about their products and found them less confusing than the light and moderate volume agents.

The study suggested that top cruise-selling agents' productivity was directly tied to training, product knowledge and incentives. The study suggested that by adopting characteristics of heavy producers and improving sales techniques and conversions, agent productivity and agencies profitability would increase. Top producers placed a high value on improving sales skills, were enthusiastic and confident in the sales scenario and appreciated the ease of cruise bookings.

Incentives also played a role, with 52% of the top cruise-selling agents more likely to work on some type of commission basis.

They found that agents believe selling cruises to consumers is not difficult and recognize that cruises can be more profitable to sell than other types of travel (see preferred supplier list and compare the very high commission structure, up to 18 % on a product that is easy to sell, tremendous customer satisfaction and high rate of repeat business).

Agents can immediately enhance their agency profitability by taking a few focused actions: better selling skills, training and consideration of incentive-based compensation. The study showed that agents can not only increase profitability by generating more sales, but they can boost repeat business by being better able to advise clients and by paying more attention to service and attentiveness.

It found that clients most satisfied with their cruise experience were likely to use the same travel agency in the future. That means more commissions to you!

The most satisfied with their vacations, were consumers who knew what type of cruise they wanted to take. The study reported that almost 53% of consumers needed help making their cruise decision, including the 20% who had no idea which cruise line to take and left the decision to their travel agent.

Those agents that allowed clients greater participation in the final cruise selection were most likely to have satisfied customers and increased repeat business.

From the above study you can understand why many agencies are converting to cruise only agencies and the benefits involved.


Cruise vs. Resort    Cruise   Resort  +For Cruise 

Pampered by staff      67%      16%        51% 
Well organized         75%      28%        47%
Relaxing               64%      27%        37%
Pleasurable Dining     64%      30%        34%
Romantic               58%      25%        33%
Fun                    65%      34%        3l%
Interesting people     48%      19%        29%
Hassle free            52%      23%        29%
Exotic                 41%      19%        22%
Active                 46%      31%        15%
Festive                65%      51%        14%
Extravagant            37%      24%        13%
Safe                   65%      53%        12%





Base             $880.00     $1475.00
Air              $400.00     Included
Transfers        Included    Included
Meals            $550.00     Included
Service charge    $93.00
Tips                           $60.00
Taxes             $76.00       $40.00
Sights           $235.00       $40.00
Entertainment    $455.00     Included
Beverages        $150.00     Included

TOTAL          $2,759.00    $1,715.00

COMMISSIONS      $128.00      $256.00

Only on air and base tour@10% 15% on all

1) Customer wins and understands what his costs are (no surprises).

2) 100% more commission for you!

Unlimited Cruise Destinations

The exotic South Pacific, breathtaking Alaska, tropical Hawaii -- when it comes to cruising, your ports of call are almost unlimited. If you have never cruised before, consider a Caribbean Cruise. Sailing in the Caribbean offers a varierty of activities for both the traveler who wants excitement and the one that wants to get away from it all.

The Caribbean is also a popular destination with honeymooners and singles. The wide variety of cruise packages available in the Caribbean accommodate almost any income. There are 3 and 4 day weekend getaways. Or experience a seven-day cruise where you'll visit up to five exotic ports of call! And if you really want to get away from it all, try a 10 or 14 day cruises where you'l1 see all the excitement the Caribbean has to offer !

Another popular honeymoon destination is Hawaii. Although you may not have considered cruising the islands, it's a very economical way to see all of Hawaii and only unpack once. You can avoid inter-island flights and hopping from hotel to hotel while still experiencing all the romantic beauty that the Hawaiian Islands have to offer.

And Hawaii is not just for honeymooners. Anyone who longs for sparkling blue green waters and palm trees will enjoy the atmosphere that a Hawaiian cruise has to offer.

Natural beauty can also be found in another popular cruising destination -- Alaska. Too cold ? Not really. When cruising to Alaska during the summer months, you'11 experience mild temperatures that range from 68-75 degrees. And the beauty and wildlife are breathtaking. You may catch a glimpse of a humpback whale performing a tail-slapping performance, or see a bald eagle soaring through the sky. You may cruise through Glacier Bay and see some of the 30,000 square miles of ice that covers Alaska break free and crash into the ocean for a magnificent show.

Other popular cruising destinations include the South Pacific (Tahiti, Fiji, New Zealand and Australia), the Orient, Europe, the Mediterranean and the Mexican Baja.

As you can tell from the above information your cruise destinations are unlimited.

How to Cruise with Class

A cruise is the ultimate vacation, but it doesn't have to require an ultimate income. In fact, making the switch from a land to a sea holiday could save you a bundle of money. When it comes to cruising, the law of supply and demand is working for you right now. An abundance of new ships and fierce competition mean good travel bargains are waiting to be snatched up. What's more, shorter, less expensive cruises are luring even more first time cruisers.

Compare the Costs
For a real eye-opener, compare the cost of a cruise with a resort vacation on a per diem basis--the cost per person, per day. Since a cruisers cost is almost all-inclusive, simply take the rate in the cruise catalog and divide by the number of days in your vacation.

When you figure the per diem at a resort, remember to include airfare, hotel, meals and snacks, taxi, bus or car rental, as well as all activities and entertainment. The final figures will probably surprise you (see comparison above). You'll find, dollar for dollar, it's hard to beat the value of a cruise.

More for Your Money
You will hear the term all-inclusive used a lot with cruises. That's because the cost of a cruise includes your accommodations, meals, recreations, entertainment, sports, baggage handling, transportation from port to port, and often airfare. There are no hidden costs. You'll know, almost to the penny, how much you'll spend.

The largest single cost of a cruise is the cabin. One ship can offer numerous price possibilities. How much you pay is largely determined by the cabin category--the size and location of the cabin--you choose. Generally, cabins on the top deck are the largest and most expensive. Prices drop and cabin size decreases for each deck below from the top. Outside cabins are also more costly than inside cabins.

With the new ships that are replacing the older, ocean going designs of cabin configurations, the cabin differences from deck to deck are much less obvious. In many cases, the cabin size on the new ship are almost identical from deck to deck, other than the specialty cabins, like suites. The deck level becomes more of a status appeal rather than a comfort issue.

However, choosing a moderately priced cabin isn't the only way to save money. Taking advantage of "early-bird" and last minute specials, and off season rates can save bargain hunters a lot of money.

The Only "Extras"
Tips, beverages, shore excursions {except on several very high priced cruises) and some personal services, such as the beauty salon, are not included in the cost of a cruise. When tipping, consider about $3.00 per person, per day for your dining room waiter as well as your cabin steward. The cruise director will host a tipping guideline session prior to disembarking the cruise ship. Rest assured, you will know the suggested tips to give. Bartenders and deck stewards are tipped as services are rendered, though the trend is to add 15% to all bar bills which is then placed on your onboard account. Optional shore excursions average about $20.00 per port.

Food for Thought
On any cruise you take, you'll discover everything you've heard about the lavish meals to be true. If you are not willing to go "wild" on vacation, you can select from the new "heart healthy" dishes most cruise lines have added to their menus.

Dining is more than just eating when you cruise; it's where you socialize. You will have two dining decisions to make before you take your cruise. You will be asked when (early or late seatings) and with whom you wish to dine.

Once on board, if you realize you are too busy to stop for a meal, you certainly won't starve. Continental breakfast, pool side hamburgers, 24 hour pizzerias, room service, midnight buffet and dockside hors d'oeuvres all ensure a limitless supply of delights, and pounds.

The abundance of choices cruise lines present means you will have a lot of decisions to make. That's why you need to help your client narrow decisions down to manageable limits. You will help your client compare ships, make recommendations based on his/her interests and finances, and secure reservations for them.

So, if you haven't already done so, try a holiday at sea so that you can speak to your clients from experience. Fam prices are as low as $20.00 per day. Can you afford to not go?

Sitting somewhere in the water is a cruise just for you. And right now, that cruise is more affordable than ever.

Freighter Travel

Freighter travel has always had a romantic tone about it, conjuring up visions of South Sea islands and carefree days, and it can be a delightful form of travel for the right clients. You should be aware, however, of the limitation of this type of travel as well as the advantages and be able to discuss them with your client.


1 ) Cost:
Although freighter travel is somewhat less expensive, in many cases, than comparable accommodations on passenger liners or cruise ships, it is not as inexpensive as most clients think. The day of the tramp steamer is over.

2) Space:
It is now necessary to make reservations from one to two years ahead of sailing date. With the advent of container-type freight transport, fewer freighters are taking passengers, although the demand is heavy.

3 ) Sailing schedules:
Schedules are not rigid, The departure date, as well as the itinerary, may be changed because of the cargo carried.

4) Number of passengers:
On a true freighter, the number of passengers is limited to 12. They may be interesting people, but it is important that your client be aware that his selection of companions is limited.

5) Medical care:
A freighter carrying 12 passengers or less carries no doctor on board, so only first aid or emergency treatment is available. For this reason, there is usually an age limit for passengers. NOTE: Passenger/freighters are a special type of freighter (also called passenger-cargo ships or junior cargo liners) which carry between 80 and 300 passengers and which have a doctor and
nurses aboard; they usually have no age limit. The ships of the Orient Overseas Line are examples of those accommodating up to 300 passengers.


1 ) Informality:
Freighter travel offers the opportunity for complete relaxation and informal leisure.

2) Adventure:
Of-the-beaten-path ports offer the possibility of adventures in sightseeing not available in other forms of travel.

3 ) Savings:
First-class accommodations, food and service are provided at lower rates than equivalent service on other ships, in most instances.

4) Flexibility:
Freighter travel can be used as point-to point transportation or for longer or around-the-world trips.

5) Return to the past:
Watching the crews at work and spending leisurely days in port can provide an unusual experience of life at sea.


Procedures are similar to those for booking a cruise. In the back of the Official Steamship Guide, you will find the port-to-port index for freighters and the company listings. Pay particular attention to health and document requirements because the itinerary may include unusual ports.

Selling a Cruise


A cruise has certain advantages over other forms of vacation travel.

1. It is relaxing - There are no constant packing and unpacking, taxi rides from airport to hotel or hectic schedules to maintain.

2. It gives you the opportunity to meet many different people in a limited, common setting.

3. It gives you the choice of engaging in many activities or relaxing and resting.

4. It gives you the facilities and the gracious dining equivalent to those of the finest hatels and


The scope of the cruise market is broad and inclusive. Every client who comes to you is potential cruise passenger.

1 )The length of cruises varies from three day weekends to 100-day round-the world trips, although most take one week.

2) There is a wide variety of itineraries, and the ports visited are worldwide.

3) The types of ships range from private yacht types to 2000 passenger floating resorts.

4) Air/sea programs have become common in the cruise market thus making cruises available to all clients, more conveniently, wherever they may live.

Top Ten Cruising Questions & How to Answer Them

l. Isn't cruising expensive?

No! A cruise is one of the best travel values. Your fare includes all your meals, your stateroom, daytime activities, nighttime parties and entertainment, plus transportation to some of the popular ports in the world. For once, you'll know what your vacation will end up costing you before you go. You'll be amazed at the value.

2. Are all ships and cruises fairly similar?

Far from it. Ships range from under 200 feet to over 1,000 feet. You can sail with anywhere from fewer than 100 fellow passengers to nearly 2,500. Experience atmospheres ranging from casual to formal; classically simple to ultra-deluxe.

3. Will I got bored or feel confined?

Hardly. Being at sea gives you a feeling of freedom few places can offer. There's plenty of room, and it will probably take you two or three days just to discover what's on board. Plus, you get the added adventure of exploring new and exciting ports of call on an almost daily basis.

4. What's there to do in port?

So much, you'll have a hard time choosing! You can go off on your own or take a guided tour. You can search ancient ruins or go shopping for bargains. Ride a raft over rapids, bicycle down the side of a 10,000-foot volcano, or ride a horse across miles of hills and beaches. A cruise is the easiest way to see new places and do all the things you dream of.

5. Is there a charge for entertainment?

Never. On a cruise vacation, the entertainment is always on the house.

6. Is it easy to meet people?

A cruise ship is a great place to make new friends. The atmosphere is cordial and you'll have all kinds of things in common to talk about. Remember, everyone on board is seeking the same thing you are: to meet new people and enjoy the cruise experience.

7. Can I travel alone?

Cruising is ideal for single travelers, because it's so easy to meet other people. In fact, most ships have parties just for singles--early on, so you can start to be invoived right away.

8. What should I pack?

Pack like you would for any resort. Cruise vacations are casual by day, whether you're on the ship or ashore. In the evening, ships vary as to dress. Your travel agent (you) can tell you the types of attire that are appropriate for the cruise you'll be traveling on.

9. What about tipping?

Tipping is, of course, a matter of individual preference. But there are guidelines. A general rule of thumb is to plan for about $2.50 to $3.00 per person per day for your stateroom steward and dining room waiter, and about half that amount for your bus boy, if their is one. Other shipboard personnel can be tipped for special services at your discretion.

10. Isn't seasickness a problem?

Not really. The most popular cruise areas boast some of the calmest waters in the world. In addition, stabilizers on modern ships, advance availability of accurate weather information, and development of effective preventative medications have, for the most part, eliminated the incidence of motion discomfort.

Give This to Your Client When First Booked

Your Travel Agency

Your Address
City, State, Zip


Thank you for booking your vacation through "Your Travel Agency". We truly appreciate and value your business. Please take a few moments to read this important fact sheet. If you have not received the cruise line brochure for your cruise, or if you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.


Cruise and airline documents are sent to us directly from the cruise line about 7 to 10 days prior to your sailing date. However, if you are traveling during Peak Season (December through March) documents may arrive only a few days prior to your sailing date. We check the documents for accuracy, arrange your seat assignment with the airline, and forward the documents to you immediately.


The air/sea package is the most fool-proof and least expensive way to purchase your cruise. The air/sea package works very well for thousands of passengers every week, but we sometimes receive complaints from passengers who were unhappy with the times of their flights or the choice of airline,

Please read the following information about air/sea packages carefully!

* The choice of airline, routing and flight times are at the discretion of the cruise line.

* No changes or deviations are permitted once the tickets have been issued.

* If your cruise departs from Miami or Fort Lauderdale, the cruise line reserves the right to fly you into either city and bus you to the port.

* If you purchase the air/sea package, the cruise line is kept informed of your whereabouts and will usually hold the ship if they know several people are arriving late.

* With an air/sea package, you also receive ground transfers to and from the ship and overnight accommodations if, because of air schedules, you are flown in the day prior to departure. Someone from the cruise line will be available as you leave the plane or at the baggage claim area to provide direction to the motor coaches. These people generally carry a sign with the name of your cruise line so they are easy for you to spot. If for some reason you do not wish to use the transportation provided, there are taxis right outside the airport terminal. If for some reason (other than negligence on your part) you miss the ship, the airline, will usually fly you to the first port of call and provide hotel accommodations.

If for any reason you are not willing to accept these conditions, you must contact us as soon as possible before paying the final payment. Remember, once the tickets are issued, nothing can be done to change them. The following alternate air anangements are available to you:

* Some cruise lines offer special air deviation programs which allow you to request specific airlines and routing for a fee. If you are interested in this program, please contact your cruise consultant. The deadline for these requests is usually 60 days prior to the sailing date or the day your cruise reservation was made if you booked less than 60 days prior to the sailing date.

* We can eliminate the air portion of your cruise vacation and give you a credit. For a one week cruise, the air credit is generally $250 per person, which will probably not be enough to buy your own air tickets and transfers. If you make your own air arrangements, the cruise line assumes no responsibility. If you encounter problems or miss the ship, it is your loss.


Whenever possible, we will make your airline seat assignments in advance. If for any reason you do not like these
assignments, please call the airline directly and they will change them if possible. If your itinerary does not show seat assignments, you can secure them at the airport.


If you are a frequent flyer member of the airline chosen for your cruise, mileage points may be credited to you by advising us in advance or the ticket agent at the check-in counter. We or the agent will need your frequent flyer number in order to do this. This is subject to the rules and regulations of the air carrier.


If you have a late return flight (i.e. 4:00 p.m.), don't waste your time sitting in the airport for five hours. Many airlines provide a baggage truck at the terminal the morning of disembarkation. Check your bags and take advantage of this extra time to extend your vacation by exploring local tourist attractions. Many cruise lines offer tours of your disembarkation city which may be
purchased onboard.


If you have not already purchased trip cancellation insurance, we are enclosing an Insurance Brochure/Application. It is self explanatory and we strongly recommend that you protect your investment by purchasing at least the trip cancellation portion by completing the application and sending it directly to the insurance company in the self mailer along with your check.


All cruise lines require you to have proof of U. S. Citizenship. For the Caribbean or Mexico, a birth certificate, a copy of your birth certificate with a raised seal or a valid passport is required. If you are not an American citizen, be sure that you are carrying proper documents for the countries that you'll be visiting. Most cruise lines also request a photo I.D. (a passport is, of course acceptable).


When you receive your cruise tickets from us be sure to read everything thoroughly and call us if there is anythmg you don't understand. In this packet there will be paper cruise line baggage tags that must be filled in and placed on your luggage. For your convenience, you should also use plastic luggage tags which are required by the airlines. If your ticket package does not include your cabin number, when you arrive at the pier, ask the porter to look up your name on the ship's manifest and give you your cabin number. Then put the number on your luggage tags to ensure proper delivery to your cabin.


At the airport and the pier, porters are available for your convenience, however tips for them are not included in the-price of your cruise package. The recommended tipping is $.75 - $ l.00 per bag.


Your cabin, at first glance, will appear very small when compared to an average hotel room. However, they are designed to be "ship-shape" and effcient. If you have selected an "inside" cabin, you will have no window or port hole. An "outside" cabin does. Be sure to make use of the "DO NOT DISTURB" and "MAKE UP ROOM" signs that are in your cabin to enable your cabin steward to best serve your needs. Your cabin steward can also provide you with extra towels, pillows or blankets upon request.


We have notified the Cruise Line of your dining request and normally they are able to comply. HOWEVER., IT IS NOT GUARANTEED. If for any reason you are not pleased with either the time or the table assignment, please see the Maitre'D once you're onboard, and request a change. He will do everything possible to accommodate your wishes. Sometimes you are required to verify these arrangements on the day you board the ship. You'll be assigned a table which you will use for the entire cruise. If you are not happy with your table mates, tell the Maitre'D after your first meal and he will discreetly move you to another table if possible.


All meals are included in the price of your cruise package. The ship will offer you several choices for breakfast: early-risers coffee and Danish, a buffet, and a full breakfast served in the dining room. You also have the option of having continental breakfast served in your cabin. There are also several choices for lunch: buffet, hot dogs and hamburgers on deck, or a full luncheon selection served to you in the dining room. There is an afternoon tea with snacks available about 4:00 PM. Dinner is served in the dining room. And last, but not least, there's a midnight buffet. Most ships also offer a light or "Spa" menu for people desiring food prepared with less calories. If you have any special dietary needs, please see the Maitre'D and he will do his utmost to help you. Soda and alcoholic beverages are usually not included in the price of your cruise package.

If you are celebrating a special event {i.e., anniversary, birthday, etc.) please be sure to let us know. We will notify the cruise line and they will happily provide you with a cake, free of charge. Be sure to reconfirm this request directly with the Maitre'D. If you forgot to tell us, don't worry - just give the Maitre'D one day's notice to comply with your wishes.


Most ships offer free room service with a limited menu 24 hours a day.


Tipping is a personal matter. The "suggested" tipping guideline is $3.00 for your waiter, $1.50 for your busboy, if any, and $3.00 for your cabin steward per person per day, to be paid to each individual on the last night of your cruise. (Approximately $53.00 for each one of you for the week). The Cruise Director will explain this again to you during the Disembarkation talk and there will be envelopes provided to you. You may wish to tip the Head Waiter or Maitre’D, only if they gave you extra service. Holland America Ciuise Line has a No Tipping Required Policy, however, a small tip is usually expected.


On most ships, you may charge all your drinks and other services to your cabin and pay it all at one time at the end of the cruise with either cash, Traveler's Check or credit card. Most ships do not accept personal checks. Some ships have a no-cash policy during the cruise, however, you may pay your account at the end of the cruise with cash if you desire.


There is usually a Talent Show during the week where the passengers are the entertainment for the ship. If you have a particular talent, this is your chance to be a star!


During the day, dress on board is casual. There are two "dress-up" nights for seven-day cruises; one dress-up night for the shorter cruises, and three dress-up nights for ten day cruises. Some ships offer special theme nights such as Western Night or Caribbean Night. Refer to your cruise line brochure for specifics or the Daily Information Sheet while onboard.

FORMAL - on these nights you can get as dressed up as you like. Gentlemen, if you have a tuxedo now is the time to wear it. However, if you don't have one don't worry - a suit is fine. Ladies, a long or short cocktail dress is appropriate.

INFORMAL - Gentlemen will be asked to wear a jacket and for the ladies, a dress or pant suit is

CASUAL - Gentlemen, an open shirt and slacks are fine and for the ladies, anything you'd like to wear is appropriate. No shorts are allowed in the dining room for dinner.


When you are in port the ship is always available for meals and limited activities. However, the casino and shops will not be open. Think of the ship as your floating hotel.


Most of the "family-oriented'" cruise lines offer children and teen's programs. Babysitting services may be arranged on board the ship at the Purser's Office, if available.


The cruise line will provide you with a daily information sheet which will be placed in your cabin each evening. This lists all the activities that will take place the following day. It's a good idea to carry this with you so that you'll know exactly what's going on at all times.


* Remember to bring a good pair of sunglasses; the glare of the sun on the water is tiring to your eyes.

* Suntan lotion with a sun screen is a must! The sun is very hot in the Bahamas, Mexico &
Caribbean, even in the winter.

* There will be many activities on board that will occupy as much of your time as you like. If you’d prefer to relax, you might want to bring along some magazines, books and/or small craft work.

* There will be a small library onboard for your convenience. This is the time to pamper yourself!

* Don't forget to bring very comfortable walking shoes to walk around the ship and ports.

* There will be a small store onboard with a limited amount of toiletries and personal items.

* The lounges tend to be a bit chilly, so ladies it's a good idea to bring a shawl or a light jacket.

* * *And don't forget film and a camera* * * *


In most cases, motion sickness is preventable. We have found from personal experience that Bonine (which can be purchased at any pharmacy), if taken daily starting with the morning of your cruise or before you board the ship, works very well. Another, easy to use preventative, and totally without side effects, are the sea wrist bands sold at many pharmacies and stores that sell travel goods, as well as on board. These use accupressure to prevent motion sickness and has a very high satisfaction rate. If you have not taken a preventative medication and feel unsettled onboard, we suggest you immediately go to the doctor's office and ask for a shot which should put you "in the pink" within 30 minutes. Don't risk the unpleasantness of motion sickness - an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Be sure to check with your doctor before taking any medication.


You can be contacted onboard the ship through the High Seas Operator on their toll free number 1-800-732-2255. The caller must know the name of the ship, the passenger's name and, if possible the cabin number and the approximate location of the ship. The High Seas Operator will call them back as soon as they connect with the ship. The cost is approximately $25 for three to five minutes.


The cruise line allows you to bring as much luggage as you like. But just keep in mind that it will have to be stored in your cabin during your cruise. Once you board the ship your luggage will be brought to your cabin or left just outside your cabin; this normally takes a few hours.


Some ships do not dock at port, but instead anchor in the harbor. Life boats (tenders) are used to transfer passengers back and forth between the island and the ship. If you have a handicap this may be an inconvenience to you. Please keep this in mind when selecting your cruise.


Once you have set sail the Shore Excursion Office will open enabling you to pick up data on the different shore excursions that will be offered for each port. These shore excursions can cost anywhere from $15 to $50 (or more) per person. Obviously, you are not obligated to purchase any of these. Before you arrive at each of the ports, there will be a lecture describing each port and detailing the different attractions. Be sure to attend so that you can decide what you'd like to do at each port. It will be most informative especially for those people who do not wish to take an excursion and just want to leave the ship and wander around on their own.


The ship will require you to pack and leave your bags in the hallway outside your cabin on the last night of the cruise before you retire. You will want to keep your bathroom toiletries and, of course, something to wear the next day, along with your valuables, tickets and medications. You can pack these articles in your ove rnight bag.


When the ship arrives back in port on the last day of your cruise, breakfast will be served earlier than usual. It normally requires one to two hours for the Customs Officials to clear the ship after it has docked. Keep in mind that there are 700-2500 people (depending upon the size of your ship) all leaving the ship at the same time: RELAX! DON'T RUSH! EVERYTHING WILL GO SMOOTHLY! You may be required to go through Customs prior to disembarking the ship. There will be plenty of time for you to do this; no need to disrupt your scheduled breakfast seating. Don't stand in the hallways waiting to disembark. Relax on deck or in one of the lounges. Let the majority of guests disembark first (unless, of course, you have a very early return flight).

The crew and staff aboard your ship are anxious to please you, but a friendly word and a pleasant smile are more likely to get you better service than a demanding attitude.

How to Sell a Cruise

A. Steps In the Initial Contact Of Prospective Client

. Upon contact, agent fills out the Client Record. This form is then entered into the Agent's Sale Book.

2. With the use of the FOLLOW UP section at the bottom of the Client Record Form an agent should work through their SALES BOOK of Initial Contacts on a daily basis. This book can also hold a number of other important sheets of information that may be helpful during the reservation process.

3. If the client is a telephone contact, the following procedure is recommended.

Attempt to have client come into your office, or make an appointment to visit your client in their home (a much higher percentage of sales are made when personal contact is involved).

...a) List the number of brochures and rates that are mailed.
...b) You may want to include a $25 or $50 gift certificate, often available, (if the client is shopping, yours will probably be the only package with a gift certificate included and could be the difference in making a sale).
...c) Make sure you have a personal thank you note in your package (do not mail brochures without identifying yourself and your agency).
...d) Make a follow up call within seven days of a mailing - THIS IS IMPERATIVE. If you wait for a client to call you back, you could be waiting for a long time.
...e) Make sure in your follow up call that you have checked availability and alternative products.
...f) If you cannot help the client due to unavailability, or other reasons, and cannot direct them to another product, send a postcard thanking them for the inquiry and requesting that they call you for their future cruise bookings.

Also, make sure that you have enough information on the reasons why they did not book with you (price, unavailability, etc.) for future reference. This will enable you to identify future clients more easily.

Since we work with every cruise and cruise-tour product in the world, offering very substantial commissions on all and the buying power influence to at least match any price and in most cases to offer a lower client cost or to give added value, the sale will normally not have been lost due to competition! If that client goes to another agent, question how you approached the sale, not the lack of your competitive ability. Working with Atlas Tour and Travel's credentials, competitive ability most often is a non issue.

...g) ALWAYS include the prospect on your mailing list whether they book a cruise or not, by entering them into your computer. The Client Record Sheet should then be put into a separate 2" 3-ring binder and kept as a backup hard copy.

B. Booking the Reservation

Once the selection of a particular cruise has been made, you should book the cruise as early as possible by calling the cruise line's "800" number. Early booking is always preferable.

1. Request the space from the cruise line. Before you call, you should;

...a) Know all of the client's needs.
...b) Have brochures, deck plans, and client's file handy.
...c) Have complete names and approximate ages ready.
...d) Have discussed with the client an alternative sailing date, ship or type of accommodations.
...e) Have client's preference of dining room seating (early or late)..
...f) Have discussed any pre or post cruise options.
...g) Have discussed any special airline schedule needs (see air/sea program).

NOTE: Some cruise passengers are elderly and may be in poor health or physically handicapped. The cruise lines will normally want to know the precise condition of any such passengers at the time of reservation and may require a doctor's written opinion. Clearly, the medical facilities onboard are not designed to treat chronic or serious conditions and cruise lines may refuse to accept reservations from such passengers. Special dietary requests should also be made well in advance.

2. Introduce yourself to the reservation agent (i.e., Hello this is (Agent 223 - never give your name) with Atlas Tour and Travel.

Get reservation agent's name (and use it).

4. Give the ship's name and departure port.

5. Give departure/sailing date.

6. Give home city (to block air space to port of departure).

7. Advise number of passengers, names, etc.

* At this point in the booking procedure it is very important to negotiate with the cruise line reservationist. Always ask the cruise line reservationist if there are any special savings they have that you may not be aware of. Always make sure that they know you are an Atlas Tour and Travel agent. If a consortium is involved in getting the overide (see preferred supplier list), this is the time to make sure that it is so noted in the record. You should also verify the correct commission amount is reflected by asking specifically for the commission amount on this reservation.

8. Verify cruise rate.

9. Determine option date (date by which a deposit must be paid to hold the reservation) and amount of deposit.

10. Check final payment date.

1l. Obtain confirmation date and/or confirmation number.

12. Determine ticketing for air travel if required.

The cruise line will normally mail out a confirmation with all pertinent information pertaining to the reservation including option and final payment dates to Atlas Tour and Travel and then Atlas Tour and Travel will forward it to you. Never give your fax number or address. In no case should you ever send your own check in payment. All payments are to be made by Atlas Tour and Travel, unless the supplier will take your clients credit card over the phone, and then always for the full amount. Never deduct the commission in advance!

If a mistake has been made during the reservation process, it is important to catch it here, not
when you receive the documents.

C. Booking and Office Procedures

Cancellation policies, procedures, and insurance.

...a) It is important that you discuss with your client what would happen in the event they would have to cancel for some unforeseen reason before any money has been collected (see Cancellations and Refunds).
...b) It is important that you also discuss the different insurance programs with your client at this time. (The way in which you present this product to your client can be very important in determining whether or not they take out the insurance-some agents have had great success in including the insurance cost in the client quote.)

2. Accepting customer deposits and full and final payments.

...a) If the client comes into the office with a payment, they should receive a receipt describing the cruise and the form of payment and an itemized invoice should be mailed to them at a later date.
...b) If the payment is made by mail, the client should be sent a receipt/invoice in the mail.

3. Once the customer's payment has been received, you need to send it to Atlas Tour and Travel so we can forward it to the cruise line. Always keep a copy for yourself.

...a) Payment:
.....* Check - have the client make the check payable to your agency, and deposit it into your agency checking account. In turn, make a check payable to Atlas Tour and Travel
.....* Cash
- give a receipt to your client, then deposit the money into your agency checking account. Send a check payable to Atlas Tour and Travel
.....* Credit Card
- ask the individual line what their credit card policy is, and follow the instructions. Fill out enclosed credit card form, keep it for yourself. It is not necessary to forward a copy to Atlas Tour and Travel
Keep a duplicate copy of the receipt.

4. You, as agency owner, should then:

...a) Enter all the information into the computer (if applicable);
...b) Sign check, keeping a duplicate copy;
...c) Keep the following for your records:
.....* Signed check with a second duplicate copy
.....* Duplicate copy of receipt
.....* Computer generated invoice (if applicable)
.....* Computer generated FOLLOW-UP LETTER (if applicable).

5. You should then:

...a) Mail check to Atlas Tour and Travel immediately unless a credit card was used, in which case, it is reported to Atlas Tour and Travel on the Miscellaneous Res form along with the pertinent booking information.
...b) Mail invoice and follow-up letter to client.
...c) Keep all hard copies in client record file and put client record form in 3-ring binder to maintain a hard copy of your mailing list.

D. Maintaining the Reservation

Deposits and Option Dates:
The "option date" is the date the deposit must be received by the cruise line or the reservation is automatically canceled by the Cruise Line's computer. Deposits usually are due seven days after the reservation is made. However, it is best to collect the deposit immediately. If the client(s) elect to return with the deposit or send it through the mail and it is received late, call the cruise line immediately and advise them that payment is on its way. In some cases, if the deposit is not received by the client in time, the option date may be extended.


It may be necessary to "overnight" the payment to the cruise line, in which case, depending on the circumstances, it is advised that you not pass along the cost to the client. You must let Atlas Tour and Travel know the form of payment and delively instructions. In most cases, the cruise line will send Atlas Tour and Travel a deposit receipt, and we will forward a copy to you.

2. It is important to maintain a client's reservation on a timely basis to insure that:

...a) Nothing is canceled.
...b) Everything has been done.
...c) If a mistake has been made, there is enough time to correct it.
...d) Their documents are received on time.

NOTE: A lot of time and money has been spent at this point, and it would be a shame to lose a valued client because of simple mechanics.

3. It is a good idea to make contact with your client sometime during this time period.

Many people experience a let-down after purchasing such an expensive, intangible product. A FOLLOW-UP LETTER, many times, will do the trick, but you might want to send them something else, such as port information or travel tips. In addition, you should provide assistance in obtaining necessary documents like passports, visa, etc., and any other needs your client may have to insure a smooth trip.

4. Final payment to the cruise line is normally due sixty days before sailing date. A computer generated invoice will have the final payment date on it, therefore, your client`s payment should arrive to you in time. If reservations are confirmed after the deadline for final payment has passed, deposit and final payments are combined. Once again, it is the agent's responsibility to insure that payments are made when required. Documents are not sent until final payment is received; therefore, if your payment is sent in late, the chances are your client's documents will be received late.

E. Cruise Documents

Cruise lines issue their own tickets and send them out approximately 3 weeks before the sailing date. It is important to tell your clients when they can expect to receive their documents. Cruise lines also provide passengers with baggage tags, customs and immigration forms, a guide to life onboard ship, and a listing of shore excursions. The agent should check each document carefully and explain its significance to the passengers. On longer cruises shore excursions must often be prebooked and prepaid. These excursions can be booked at any time following confirmation of accommodations, preferably as soon as possible. All tickets and other documents for last-minute reservations are usually held at the pier for claiming on the day of sailing. Passengers must present their cruise tickets to get onboard the ship and are issued a boarding pass which they must present to reboard the ship at each subsequent port of call.

l. Document package will include:
...a) Cruise tickets
...b) Airline tickets (if issued by cruise line)
...c) Transfer coupons
...d) Coupons for pre-paid items such as shore excursions, hotels, cars, etc.
...e) Baggage tags
...f) Welcome aboard booklet
...g) Shore excursion booklet
...h) Embarkation and immigration forms

2. When tickets are received:

...a) Read and check EVERYTHING!
Any mistakes should be taken care of IMMEDIATELY!
If a client has an air/sea package, reconfirm the flights with the airline. Any deviations involving air routing changes, or hotel or car reservations should be taken care of right away. Boarding passes should also be obtained for all flight segments.
...d) Contact the client as soon as possible and inform them that their documents have arrived.

3. When clients pick up documents, explain them thoroughly and give them any information they can use to insure a smooth hassle free trip. If you are using a cruise album as a gift, present it to your client at this time.

F. Follow-Up

When the client returns from his/her cruise be sure to call and see how everything went. Send a "Welcome Home" letter and include a $25 or $50 gift certificate for their next cruise.

G. Air/Sea Programs

If a cruise involves air travel, in most cases the cruise line will handle the air arrangements and the cost of the airline tickets are already included in the price of the cruise. These fly/cruise arrangements are made during the initial booking. There is a list of air/sea "Gateway" cities in the back of the cruise line brochure in which the cruise line will offer this program.

Air/sea programs are available from most major cities to all major U.S. ports, including San Juan, Miami, Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades), New York, New Orleans, Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Among the foreign ports served from the United States are Vancouver, Acapulco, Cairo, Genoa, Athens (Piraeus), Southampton, Sydney, and Singapore.

1. In some cases, the airfare which a cruise line can arrange may not be included in the cost of the cruise fare, but instead, may be listed as a separate air add-on fare. Air/sea add-ons are not real air fares. They are arbitrary amounts which will not correspond to the amount on the air ticket itself.

2. Air Schedule Deviations - The cruise line usually holds blocked space on major carriers'
scheduled flights. Passengers cannot deviate from the air schedule given them by the cruise line, however, there are some cruise lines that now offer air deviations for a nominal fee. The reason for this is that cruise lines take advantage of lower group fares by combining passengers on certain flights.

NOTE: This is a "maybe" situation, and promises should not be made to clients.

Air Credits - If a client has an air travel request which you will be unable to fulfill by using the cruise lines air/sea program, it may be beneficial for both you and the client to do the air arrangements separate ly from the cruise arrangements. In this situation the cruise line will offer an airfare credit to the cost of the cruise, usually between $100 and $300 per person.


Air credits are arbitrary amounts - they may or may not correspond to what the cruise line actually pays for its air tickets.

NOTE: In most cases however, the air credit will not cover the cost of the airline tickets you can arrange independently and the client will be responsible for obtaining their own airport transfers and be responsible for arriving at the ship on time for its scheduled departure. In cases of West Coast departures for an East Coast cruise, should an overnight be necessary the night before the cruise due to air schedules that often do not allow for timely arrival for the ship departure, the hotel is usually included in the air/sea package, but not if it is obtained separately.

4. Transfers - Most air/sea programs include round-trip transportation between the airport and the cruise ship terminal. As a special courtesy, baggage is delivered directly from the baggage claim area at the airport to the client's cabin onboard the ship.

H. The Cruise Contract

As with all travel arrangements, the client's acceptance of an option brings into force a contract. Clients agree to make payments when due or the contract is subject to automatic cancellation, On the other hand, the cruise line guarantees to provide the accommodations and services described in their brochure. The conditions of the cruise contract are usually summarized in the back of the brochure and include some of the following:

l. Cancellations & Refunds - Most cruise lines cancellation penalties go into effect when final payment is made and escalate closer to departure. In some cases, if the accommodations are resold, or the client can present a doctor's statement, the cancellation penalty may be waived, or the cruise line may allow the passenger to apply the cancellation penalty as a credit towards a future cruise. There are also penalties imposed if cancellation is effected within a certain period
of time prior to sailing, usually at 90 days.

However, none of these situations are guaranteed, penalties can be severe, clients should always consider purchasing insurnnce.


2. Occasionally clients "miss" the sailing for various reasons. The responsibility for getting the passengers to the ship varies depending on the reason.

If a passenger misses the ship:

Because of airline and/or ground transfer delays where the tickets were issued as part of a cruise line's air/sea program, it is up to the airline and/or the cruise line to get the passengers to the next port of call, reimburse the clients, and/or supply them with a new cruise. The cruise line should also take care of any additional expenses they may incur.
...b) Because of airline and/or ground delays where the tickets were issued independently from the cruise line, it becomes the responsibility of the airline and/or the clients.
...c) At one of the scheduled ports of call while taking a shore excursion purchased from the cruise line, it becomes the cruise line's responsibility.
...d) At one of the scheduled ports of call while acting independently, it is the client's responsibility.

NOTE: Airlines and cruise lines are legally exempt from all financial responsibilities for delays due to acts of God and nature.

3. If the cruise line cancels a sailing, passengers are usually given the choice of a full refund or full credit toward future sailing.

4. Cruise lines reserve the right to change the itinerary if circumstances warrant. Such changes are dictated by weather, political developments, or tides that make docking difficult or impossible. These adjustments are at the captain's discretion and no refunds are made to passengers. Clients will be reimbursed appropriately for losses arising from changes in the itinerary or cancellation of part of the itinerary as a result of mechanical failure, a strike by the crew, or other problems
that are cruise ship related.

...a) Cruise lines also reserve the right to substitute a different ship if the designated vessel is, for any reason, not available. Unless the substitute is identical, some changes in cabin categories may be necessary. If these are not to the passengers' benefit, appropriate refunds or credits will be offered. Remembering that all generalizations are to some extent incorrect, it is generally true that cruise lines will refund or credit in full, passengers who wish to cancel their reservations before departure because the itinerary has been substantially changed or a different ship substituted. Again, well-known cruise lines which are members of CLIA are forced by agreement to protect clients money. The travel agent should carefully check the refund provisions of other lines. Changes in sailing times, either at the start of or during the cruise, are at the Captain's or cruise line's discretion. Normally no refund is made unless the cruise line is at fault and there is an excessive delay which reduces the length of the cruise.

5. At embarkation passengers are advised to carry onboard all hand baggage and fragile or
valuable items and necessary medications. They leave their suitcases on the dock, from where they are transferred to the ship and delivered to the cabin. Cruise lines do not accept responsibility for any damage or loss to baggage during their transfer because it is not wholly performed by their employees; nor do cruise lines accept responsibility for any loss or damage once passengers' belongings are stowed in the cabin. Most standard baggage insurance covers all these potential risks.

I. Dining Arrangements

Agents should always indicate their clients preference for first or second sitting in the dining room. They will select or be assigned their table after they board the ship. Some cruise lines assign tables by placing a card in each of the cabins indicating the passenger's table assignment. However, most cruise lines require that the passengers go directly to the dining room after boarding the ship for assignment of their dining table. Once there, passengers can reconfirm first or second seating, smoking or nonsmoking, and table size, which you have already requested for them. They can also make sure that they are seated with any other couples they may be traveling with.

1. First or Second Seating?

Choice of sitting applies to all meals offered in the main dining room. In most cases, however, both breakfast and lunch may be open sitting. In a few instances, all meals are open restaurant style or open sitting. Breakfast and lunch are also offered elsewhere on almost every ship, so the choice is most important for dinner.

Opinion is split on the merits of first or second dinner sitting. Early seating advocates, usually from 6:00pm to 8:00pm, point out that they can secure prime seats in the main lounge for the entertainment if there is only one show (Talent Night or Masquerade), and have the benefit of not being too full by the time the midnight buffet comes around. Second sitting supporters, 8:00pm to 10:00pm, regard 6:00pm as too early for dinner since it leaves no time for cocktails with friends and fellow passengers. Also, it allows them to not have to be concerned with returning to the ship early from a day in port. Generally speaking, the "early-to-bed" and "early-to-rise" passengers will probably prefer first sitting while the late night stalwarts prefer the second seating.

2. Smoking or Non-Smoking?

Simple enough. Either you do or your don't. But...the trend is now to have all non-smoking dining.

3. Table Size - Large or Small?

Most cruise ships offer a very limited number of tabes for two, and it is always best to suggest that couples traveling alone or single people sit at a larger table size 8 or 10 to insure social compatibility.
The more the merrier.


J. Groups

There are two types of groups, AFFINITY and PROMOTIONAL.

l. An AFFINITY group is a group of people who have something in common which brings them together to form the group. Some examples of Affnity groups are:

Lions Club / High Schools / Social / Garden Club / Church Groups / Business / Sports Club / Senior Citizen / Community

2. A PROMOTIONAL group is a group of people with basically nothing in common who are brought together solely for the purpose of the cruise.

K. Single Passengers

Some cruise lines offer cabins that are designed for single occupancy, although in most cases double occupancy cabins are normally sold. A single passenger will usually occupy a cabin normally sold to two or more people and therefore, single rates are usually 150% to 200% of the normal fare. Due to the recent high demands for single occupancy cabins, many cruise lines are now offering special single occupancy programs:

1. Standard Single occupancy Fare - Passengers requiring a stateroom within a specific category will be charged 150% to 200% of the fare for the selected accommodations.

2. Guaranteed Single Occupancy Fare - Single occupancy of a stateroom will be assigned at embarkation at the discretion of the company. The fare charged is usually about 100% to 125% of the minimum fare.

3. Special Single Share Program - Passengers who would like to share a cabin may do so at the normal rate of the minimum accommodations. The cruise line will match people up who elect this type of program and passengers take a gamble on their perspective roommate, and in some cases roommates. The only obligation that a cruise line has with a "share basis" is a gender match. Compatibility is not guaranteed so beware when offering a "share basis" for clients. Some lucky passengers however, end up in a stateroom all to themselves when the cruise line is unable to find a roommate.

L. Groups

Group bookings on cruises are handled differently from individual bookings. When booking a group, a block of cabins is reserved and the cruise line will offer special rates and/or added booking incentives, i.e. per cabin dollar bonus for your or your client, one free cabin for a given number of cabins booked which can be used by you, your pied piper or sold for added earnings or used to reduce the price to all in the group, and promotional assistance to help the agency sell the group. The promotional assistance can be a cruise night, giveaways, selling assistance or co-op dollars to help your advertising budget. The reservations are coordinated by a special group department and deposits and payment schedules are handled through this department. Normally a minimum of 8 to10 cabins is necessary to qualify for group rates. In addition to the groups discounts, most cruise lines will offer free cruise berths to the agency when group commitments are met. This free ticket can be used at the agency's discretion: to reduce the per person cost for the entire group, to send a group escort, to give away, or to sell.


Unfamiliar Ships and New Programs

Review Brochure

...b) Identify Significant Selling Features
...c) Establish Space Ratio
...d) Calculate Per Diems, Including Air Fare

2. Take a Cruise

3. In Port Inspection


Length of Cruise
Sailing Dates
Deck Plan


Passport Data
Diet/Dining Room Reservation


Open brochure to deck plan (bow - pointy end, is to the right).

2. Locate diagram which shows relationship of decks one above the other.

3. Locate explanation of symbols and determine the codes which indicate bed types, cabins which can accommodate three or four and whether it is shower or tub bath.

4. Review each deck and note the relationship between cabins, public areas and crew service areas.

5. Use elevator shafts and stairwells to orient decks one above the other.

6. Study details of cabins: size and location.

7. Refer to rate sheet for cruise or program and calculate per diems.

8. Single, 3rd and 4th person, advanced booking fares can usually be found on rate page.

9. All other pertinent information can be found in General Information Section.


Documentation and customs are questions to be answered for any client traveling outside the United States. You can always get this information from the cruise line or contact the government agency nearest you for the country your client is visiting. They will have the latest rules.

Generally, passports are required for U. S. citizens traveling in the western hemisphere, however, some documentation is required as shown below. Work, education and residence permits are more involved than the documentation required for tourists.

First, read the definitions of the various documents and of customs then note the requirements per


Any of the following:

* Passport (valid or expired)
* Birth Certificate (certified true copy)
* Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship
* Voters Registration Card bearing the signature of the holder (valid only for specified countries)

A formal document Issued by a government to its citizens, subjects or nationals. It officially establishes the bearer's identity and nationality and authorizes the bearer to travel outside his own country. Passport applications may be obtained from:
- the Clerk or Deputy Clerk of a Federal or State Court of Record which exercises their authority to accept passport applications,
certain Post Offices which have been designated by the Postmaster General to accept passport applications in the same fashion as the Clerks of Court (inquire at your local post office in advance to ascertain whether they accept passport applications),
- Passport Ageneies

To apply for a passport you will need;

Passport application (at locations above)

A Visa is an endorsement placed in a passport or in a document issued In lieu of a passport by a counselor or other government official of a foreign country, to permit the traveler to enter and leave their Country. All Visas must be obtained before traveling to the countries involved.

A visa may be obtained through the tour operator, a Visa service, or directly from the consulate or embassy of the country. This process takes a minimum of three to six weeks.

Instead of a visa some countries require a tourist card.

A tourist card differs from a visa in that it is separate from the passport and must often be carried with proof of citizenship, instead of a passport, as when traveling between the U. S. and Mexico. A tourist card may be obtained through airline ticket offices, authorized travel agencies or the consulate's office. They can be processed immediately and there is generally no fee. The application often requires as many as four photos.

When returning to the United States, all articles acquired abroad and in your possession at the time of your return must be declared. The price actually paid for each article must be stated on your declaration in U.S.currency or its equivalent in country of acquisition. Custom declaration forms are distributed on vessels and planes and should be prepared in advance of arrival. The duty-free personal exemption is $400. (if coming from the U.S.Virgin Islands, American Samoa or Guam. $800.) Articles in excess of your personal exemption, up to $1,000 will be assessed at 10%.


To prepare yourself to become an informed salesperson for cruises, you should be competent in the usc of your tools and absorb as much information as you can. By thinking ahead about what will be required, you can talk with confidence about the subject.

Your basic selling tools for cruises are:

1. The rates, schedules and itineraries of the cruises provided in the cruise brochures and in the guides.

2. The deck plans of the ships and your skill reading them.

3. The supplemental literature provided by steamship lines.

4.The knowledge of ships and cruises which you have acquired by personal experience or study.


Determining destination, itinerary and length of cruise.

A cruise vacation, regardless of whatever you may have heard, is the most value for the money spent. In recent years, the image of "Old, rich folks" cruising has been dispelled by the young image created by television's "Love Boat" series. There is fact to the show that young people do go on cruises, and one doesn't have to be rich to enjoy the pleasures of a cruise vacation.

In fact, if one were to take the islands to be visited on a cruise, price out the point-to-point air fare and price out the food (which is of course included on a cruise), the airport transfers, the hotel rooms and the extras, the cost of that air/land vacation, for the same number of days, would probably cost twice as much as a cruise covering the same destinations.

Clients usually approach an agency with some preset idea as to what cruise they want to take.
Actually, less than 10% are accurate in their selection. A rule of thumb is: the shorter the cruise, the younger the passengers; the longer the cruise, the older the passengers.

The 7-day cruise, by far the most popular, will attract clients between the ages of 20 and 60; whereas, the 3-4 day cruise will have a middled-aged group but generally on the young side.

A young couple planning a honeymoon trip would possibly be in the minority in age on a 21-day cruise. By the same token, a couple celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary would prefer the longer cruise over the 3-4 or 7-day trip as they would probably be in the minority on the shorter cruise.

And, most important, try to match the client with the ship; i.e., nationality, food, location of the ship. Geography also plays an important role. For example, during the months of November to April, most Caribbean cruises are packed with Northerners; from May to October, the cruises attract Californians since this is their vacation time and they love the Caribbean.

2. Choosing a cruise

There are many ships cruising to such popular places as the Caribbean and Mexico, so you should be prepared to assist your client in comparing them. You can compare such things as cost, accommodations, service, itinerary and special attractions offered.

The cost of a holiday at sea can best be interpreted and compared by figuring it out on a per-diem basis. The per-diem cost is useful in making comparisons between different cruises or ships, especially when the cruises are of different lengths or the accommodations vary. It is also useful in comparing cruises with other types of pleasure travel (the cost compares favorably with land-based vacations of the same quality).

There is a wide range of prices, but most accommodations cost between $100 and $200 per day, per person.

By noting the ship's Gross Registered Tonnage (GRT) and dividing by the number of passengers, you can arrive at a ratio which gives an indication of spaciousness. Cruise ships usually have 20 to 30 GRTs per passenger.

The passenger-crew ratio will tell you something about the service. The ratio is usually 21-1.

From the information available to you, you should be able to provide the age and registry of the ship. Another important consideration to check in choosing a cruise is the amnunt of time spent in port. You may find in the cruise line's brochure, that a ship spends only a couple of hours in some ports. Look for a ship that gets into ports early in the morning and stays until late at night, if not longer. Many clients will want this longer experience to really get a feel of the destination.

3) Comparing accommodations and costs.

By studying the deck plan and the schedule of rates, you will be able to locate the luxurious
accommodations, the low-priced cabins and the wide middle range which you will sell most. To help your client make his/her choice, you should explain to him/her the various considerations that determine the price:

...a) The size of the cabin (with newer ships, the size difference is far less drastic than on the older ones).
...b) The location of the cabin (midship locations are preferred because rolling and pitching are minimal there, although this motion is minimized on modern, stabilized ships; the uppermost decks are more convenient to the public rooms).
...c) The height of the cabin above the water line (the greater the height above the water, the better the view).
...d) Outside or inside cabins (an outside cabin has one or more portholes or windows while an inside cabin opens only to a passageway).
...e) The type of facilities (twin beds, upper and a lower, a tub, shower, etc.).
...f) The proximity to service areas (shorter distance to the dining room and public areas can be an advantage to the elderly and/or infirm, but being near a kitchen or an elevator may make a room noisy).
...g) Privacy (staterooms occupied by one passenger are usually available but carry a 150% to 200% additional fare; if you request a "share" for your client, the line will try to match two compatible passengers so they can travel at one-half the double rate).

4) Booking a cruise

When your client has chosen the ship and the cruise and has decided on which accommodations he would prefer, it is time to make booking arrangements with the ship line. The earlier you book, the better chance your client has of getting his choices. It is best to book at least six months in advance of the sailing date; most booking is done two to four months ahead. Sometimes it is possible to take advantage of a cancellation and book at the last minute, but then your client must take any cabin that is available. After you have called the company and received confirmation on the type of space desired or have accepted substitute space, there is a period of 7 to10 days in which to forward a deposit. The date on which the deposit is due is called the "option date." The amount of deposit will be indicated in the cruise brochure. Final payment will be due from 45 to 90 days before departure; this date is also shown in the brochure so you can advise your client accordingly. Headings may vary, but this information is always included under the conditions of passage.

In booking the desired space for your client, you may be offered a "rate guarantee." This means that cabins of the type you are requesting are not presently available, but the company will guarantee your client that type of space or better at his chosen rate. Never turn such a guarantee down, for your client may get superior accommodations at a lower rate.

NO'I'E: It is important that you discuss with your client the restrictions and conditions of passage as well as cancellation provisions. If your client has to cancel his reservation, he may be subject to charges, depending on when he cancels. This Information is found in the "general information" section of the brochure.

5) Getting necessary documents

Before final payment has been made, you will be sent immigration forms, directions to piers, dining-room seating requests, bon voyage party requests, shore excursion booklets, and a general information booklet which will answer many of your client's questions. You must be sure to check on passport, visa, proof of citizenship requirements, and make sure that your client has this documentation if it is required.

You may advise your client that it is best to carry his spending money in traveler's checks which he can cash at the Purser's Office.


1 ) Tipping

Many clients are unfamiliar with tipping customs at sea. It is not compulsory to tip if you are not satisfied with the service, but it is expected. A general guide to tipping includes:

...a) Cabin or room steward, $3.00 per person per day.
...b) Dining room waiter, $3.00 per person per day; bus boy $1.50 per person per day
...c) Maitre d',$5.00 for the cruise, if special attention was given.
...d) Wine and bar stewards, 10% of bar bill, as service is rendered (many ships have gone to the practice of adding 15% to each bar bill. Don't tip twice).

NOTE: Never tip the ship's officers.

2) Jewelry and money

All ships have safety deposit boxes or safes for passengers' valuable jewelry. Deliver it to the Purser's office for safekeeping. It is unnecessary to carry large sums of money. You can usually sign for special services, including purchases in the gift shop and bar, and settle your bill at the Purser's Office before the voyage ends. It is best to keep spending money in traveler's checks which can be cashed at the Purser's office when needed.

3) Dress

During the day, dress should be the type worn on a weekend trip to a resort. Nights for formal, informal and casual wear are specified in the ship's newspaper. On formal nights, a dark business suit or a tuxedo or dinnerjacket for men and formal dresses or pants suits for women are acceptable. Informal dress for men requires a coat and tie; casual dress does not.

4) Meals

All meals are included in the price of the cruise, including extras and such things as a midnight snack in your cabin. Special diets can be arranged prior to sailing.

Most ships have two seatings for lunch and dinner; the first is convenient if you want to get off the ship in port; the second allows you more time to dress. With his tickets, your client will receive a form requesting his preferences in first or second sittings, size of table and the age group he/she prefers. He/she can also specify if there is anyone special with whom he would like to be seated. The maitre d' tries put compatible people together.

5) Connecting rooms and children's fares.

With early booking, a number of rooms with connecting doors can be arranged for family or friends. For families who are traveling together, children's fares are less. Children from 3 to 11 are usually charged half fare; children under 3 are usually free-but there are often special offerings allowing 3rd and 4th passengers, in the same cabin, to sail free, regardless of age or at a very reduced price.

6) Car storage

At all major embarkation ports, car storage is available for the client who wants to drive his car to that point. The car can be parked in a safe, specially designated storage area.

7) Pets

Cruise ships rarely take pets.

8) Complaints

Complaints should be directed to the Purser while aboard ship. He is comparable to the manager of a resort; his chief concern is the care and welfare of passengers.


There is a wide range of prices, but most accommadations cost between $100 and $200 per day per person.

The price of the cruise covers:

The voyage itself

2) The stateroom

3) All meals

4) Services of the cruise staff

5) Entertainment

6) On air/sea packages only, the cost of transportation to the port of embarkation.

The cost of the cruise "DOES NOT " cover the following, unless they are specifically mentioned in the cruise literature:

Port taxes

2) Shore excursions

3) Tips

4) Alcoholic beverages

5) Personal services, such as barber and beauty shops and laundry


Who Are The Potential Groups?

Americans, more than most people, have a tendency to join together in various types of groups. We are "joiners," and we are, for the most part, very organized in maintaining information on the organizations we belong to. Officers, name lists,
demographics, etc.

All of this provides you with an excellent source of potential group travel prospects. It has been amply proven that Amencans who join together for common interests also like to travel together {"birds of a feather..," ). Therefore, all that stands between you and this business is going out after it.

Why Group Travel?

What are the benefits of traveling in a group?
- Reduced fares, added amenities, known as added value
- An all-inclusive price
- It's escorted
- Group get-togethers make it easy to meet new people
- Compatibility with other group participants

What are the benefits to the organization sponsoring the cruise?
- Prestige in running a successful activity
- Fund-raising
- High satisfaction level
- Free accommodations for the organizer or group leader

How Can You Develop Group Cruise Business?

In most communities there are organized groups which are ideal prospects for your services.

Contact the president or membership secretary of local organizations and offer them the services of your agency. Mention the name of past successful groups to show them you are knowledgeable and qualified. Write a letter presenting the benefits of group travel to the organization.
* Fund-raising opportunity
* Traveling with friends
* Reduced rates
* New experiences

Hold a cruise night for potential group organizers and their members.

Find a natural tour leader. There are many people with the natural ability to gather a following. In the industry they are known as "Pied Pipers." That person can be the focus of your group marketing program. Some likely prospects are:
- Local celebrities
- Radio and T.V. personalities
- Sports figures Professors
- Eminent people at the top of their special professions--doctors, lawyers" stock brokers,
composers, botanists, archaeologists, food and wine critics, historians, photographers, opera singers.

In most cases a 'Free Cruise' is enough payment to entice these people to be a tour teader. If additional compensation for "name" tour leaders is involved, it should be negotiated on the basis of their ability to draw paying customers.

Sources of Groups

Here is a list of groups of people that can be a source of group business for your agency.

* Business - especially insurance and manufacturing companies as they run incentive trips.
* Corporate Recreation Clubs - the company does not have to be large to have a recreation club. Contact small local businesses with 50 or more employees.
* Your present retail clients - find out what clubs or organizations they belong to.
* Credit Unions
* Patronage Organizations - Hospital Auxiliaries, Art Galleries, Museums, Symphony and Ballet Associations, Drama Guilds.
* Youth Organizations - Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, YMCA, YWCA, Religious Youth Groups, Church Groups,
* Fund-Raising Organizations - American Cancer Society, Heart Association, etc.
* Chambers of Commerce
* Associations - Real Estate, Restaurant, Bar, Medical, Teacher, National Management, Nurses, etc.
* Exchange Clubs
*Golf and Tennis Professionals - Check out your local country club
* Labor Unions
* Holding Companies
* Alumni Associations
* Professional Organizations and Societies - local, regional and nationwide.
* Clubs and Fraternal Organizations - Elks, Moose, Shriners, Lions, Rotary
* Country Clubs, Athletic Clubs, Yacht Clubs
* Occupational groups - local county, state and national associations of manufacturers,
wholesalers, retailers
* Special Interest Groups - bridge clubs, garden clubs, photo clubs, theater clubs, etc.

DECLARATION: The information contained on this or any other page of the web site, , is based on research of other sources, personal opinion and feedback from travelers. Although every effort has been made to be as error-free as possible, the information is not to be considered as being 100% accurate since facts can change and there must be an allowance for human error.

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