I pause! This distressed guest referred to "Portia"; not "our stewardess". A personal relationship had formed. Portia was not merely someone who tended to their suite. She was more than that and, to be sure, the clients felt comfortable in acknowledging her and her importance. You should think back on your cruises, or what you would like in a cruise, and reflect on how "making it personal" adds just that little bit extra to your experience.
OK, now back to the story.
As Lisbon is five hours ahead of New York, I received the request at 3:56 p.m. Lisbon time and the Seabourn Odyssey sails in an hour! I immediately emailed the Guest Services Manager on the ship with my client's hotel information and figure that while I am sure the hat can be located, it will be shipped back to their home. I was wrong.
Andrea, the GSM, found the hat, gave the it and the guest's hotel information to the port agent and when my client returned to their hotel room after dinner I received the following email:
We have just got back from dinner out in Lisbon and, as you say, mon chapeau-c'est ici maintenant!
So many thanks indeed
This is how teamwork between the extraordinary Seabourn staff and Goldring Travel - both of whom believe in treating their guests/clients as they wish to be treated - created not only an experience that will be talked about, but loyalty...and just an overall good feeling.
So when you are swayed by "fire sale" pricing or switch travel agents because of an additional discount, remember that you will never remember that "great deal" if the travel advisor you use or the cruise line you decide on because of the price let's moments like this slip by.
Speechless because you are so impressed.
Speechless because you are so frustrated you can't talk.
Res ipsa loquitor.
A Note to the Luxury Cruise Lines: Do you just want to fill a ship today or do you want earn passenger loyalty for years to come?