Clia Conference 2018: Norwegian Cruise Line attracts ‘happier’ guests after premium all-inclusive roll out

Clia Conference 2018: Norwegian Cruise Line attracts ‘happier’ guests after premium all-inclusive roll out

Norwegian Cruise Line has attracted “better”, happier guests since the brand introduced its premium all-inclusive fare in 2017.

Harry Sommer, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ executive vice‑president for international business development, said guest satisfaction scores were far higher now than before.

NCL’s premium all-inclusive fare includes in the price what was previously classed as ‘extras’ and was introduced just over a year ago.

When asked by Travel Weekly’s editor-in-chief Lucy Huxley if the all-inclusive fare had worked, he said: “We have much better guest clientele onboard. That is not just because they pay more.

“What we have found is that guests who come on our ship and do things have a much better than time than the ones who come on and lock themselves in their cabins.

“We found that guests who want to pay £399 for a seven-night cruise out of Barcelona don’t want to go to speciality restaurants, do shore excursions or drink at the bar.

“Those passengers may save money but they have a miserable experience. I would rather have guests all in.”

However, Sommer said the line still could not gauge premium all-inclusive after just 12 months because there was “no real benefit of hindsight”.

“What we have seen is an evolution in distribution,” he said. “There are travel agent partners out there that have focused on price, price, price, but they are not the ones who could sell a premium all-inclusive experience.

“We have evolved our distribution to focus on [travel] agency partners that focus on service, service, service.”

Sommer added that re-evaluating who the line wanted to work with when selling its holidays had been “a huge success”.

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