Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Seabourn's Staff & Crew Still Make You Know You Are A Guest

I have, to be sure, been quite harsh about what is going on with Seabourn's Seattle office approach.  But I have also been quick to remind you that the staff and crew on the ships remain the best at sea. 


Both the Seabourn Staff smiles and the Caviar are Plentiful!
This is an example of what I mean...from just the past 72 hours:

A client booked a Seabourn cruise long ago in an Guarantee Suite.  From more than a decade of history with Seabourn I "knew" my client would be well taken care of and, most certainly, would not be placed into a suite without a bathtub (and, let's face it the odds of that are extremely small anyway).  Well, it happened and the client was not happy...at all.

Old Seabourn would have found a way to fix the problem, but New Seabourn couldn't/wouldn't find a way to solve the problem. After many weeks of disappointment, eventually someone made a last minute cancellation and the client was moved to a very forward suite, but with a bathtub...And then there was silence.

Two days after my client boarded the ship I called Seattle to find out what the status was of my client (Yes, I do check up on you if I know there might be a concern or issue...it is what I do and most of you never knew I do it!).  This triggered what would have, under Old Seabourn, been done automatically:  Seattle contacted the Hotel Manager who then came up to my client, explained the situation and offered to move them, if possible, for the second week of her cruise.

Magically, this anonymous "cruise line passenger" was transformed into a "Seabourn guest"!

I then received a very nice email from my client letting me know how much the Hotel Manager cared, that her suite was acceptable and she was having a really nice cruise.

This morning I received a second email from my client asking for pricing for another Seabourn cruise.

There are two very important points to be made here:
  • A luxury cruise line must be "high touch" as luxury is not about providing fancy or expensive "stuff".  (See my article on what The Industry Definition of Luxury Is...Are) Luxury starts with truly acknowledging the person and making them feel important;
  • The sale of next year's cruise is not happening because of "fire sale" pricing or any other gimmick.  That sale is being made primarily because of one thing...and one thing only:  Seabourn's staff and crew delivering exceptional service.
New ships.  New itineraries.  New menus.  All of these are nice, but when you get down to what keeps a Seabourn guest coming back it comes down to three things (to steal an old real estate adage):  Service, Service and Service.

Regardless of the bumps in the road, know that Goldring Travel is there as your advisor and advocate, but also know that the Seabourn staff and crew are there as your warm, gracious and talented hosts.