Location: Online cruise specialists
Wanted: A family of four with children aged seven and nine would like a week’s fly-cruise in the Easter holidays. They’re flexible on destination, but want a family-friendly ship.
Budget: £5, 000
The agent was nice and fairly knowledgeable, if a little pushy, but I was contacted by phone within an hour of my first call and then by email soon after. I felt the agent got to the bottom of what I wanted the quickest of the three agents, and tailored one main quote with different budget options. I was recommended a seven-day cruise from Malta on P&O Cruises’ Oceana, flying with Thomas Cook to Malta, costing £3,272 in total for an outside cabin or £5,086 for a mini suite. The quotes included flights and transfers. The cruise included stops at Rome, Monte Carlo, La Spezia and Ajaccio. This was a family-friendly cruise within my budget, but I felt the agent could have provided other options.
This friendly agent provided three quotes: a seven-night cruise on NCL’s Norwegian Star from Venice to the Greek islands for £3,542; a seven-night sailing on P&O’s Oceana out of Malta for £3,796; and a five-night itinerary on Princess Cruises’ Majestic Princess to Italy, Montenegro and Greece. This agent provided the best customer service; however, two of the sailings finished after the school holidays, and I felt more could have been done with my budget.
At first I was asked by the agent to look at deals on the website. We then had a phone conversation and they were friendly and knowledgeable. I was recommended a seven-night sailing from Tampa to Roatan, Belize City and Mexico on Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas, flying from Gatwick to Florida, for £5,840 for an ocean view cabin with prepaid gratuities. We discussed the children’s clubs but the trip was overbudget and didn’t specify an airline.
Lottie Gregory, senior sales advisor:
“I love this job as I get to deal with so many different types of people. We book popular cruises as well as creating tailor-made itineraries – the variety keeps you on your toes.”
The winning agent found the most suitable holiday, but the Mystery Shopper would have liked another option and felt the agent could have been a little less pushy.
The winning agent must be at least 25, for insurance reasons. Winners under 25 will win a week’s all-inclusive holiday at an Elite Islands Resorts property. The prize is non-transferable and the car must be driven only by the winning agent. The winner must not have any serious driving convictions. Elite Island Resorts will endeavour to supply the car to the agency but reserves the right to request the winning agent to collect and return the car from Essex or a central location
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