Carnival Cruise Line has expanded its Fun Ambassadors programme for 2020 after receiving a flurry of strong applications from agents.
The line launched its Fun Ambassadors programme in 2018 to help drive engagement with its trade programme Loyalty Rocks Club.
Agents chosen as Fun Ambassadors gave feedback on Loyalty Rocks Club in exchange for a range of benefits including an all-expenses paid trip to Ibiza.
For 2020 the line has chosen 12 ambassadors, up from eight in 2019.
They were treated to a day out at trampoline park Flip Out in east London.
Speaking to Travel Weekly, head of international sales Luke Smith said: “Based on the strength of the applications, we have been able to increase the number of ambassadors.
“We had some really strong feedback from this year’s group, we were really lucky, but over the year ahead we will come up with new topics.
“Originally, we were going to go with eight ambassadors, but once we had looked at all the applications, we decided to increase the amount of money we put behind the programme because we wanted to get more involved.”
The 12 Fun Ambassadors are: Chesney Miller, Barrhead Travel; Joseph Walker, Bolsover Cruise Club; Sally Walker, Cruise.co.uk; Kal Sindhu, Travelbag; Jessica Hartley, Vision Cruise; Mem Adem, Cruise 1st, Toni Hill, Cruise 365; Jed Wakefield-Coombes, Hays Travel; Gemma Buckley, Virgin Holidays; Greg Hill, Cruise118; Samantha Storey, Cruise Nation and Beth Hulett, Iglu.
In 2020, the Fun Ambassadors will receive a string of benefits, including a trip to Ibiza in June; double Loyalty Rocks points on all bookings made throughout the year; three board meetings with travel and expenses included in February, July and October and attend the 2020 Clia Conference.
The agents will also be welcomed on board incoming 5,200-passenger ship Mardi Gras after it enters service in August 2020 and sails into Southampton.
“We have got a great group of agents from retail, homeworking, OTAs; established agencies and new agencies,” Smith said.
“These guys are pivotal for us getting our message out there.”
Cruise.co.uk agent Walker said: “Carnival Cruise Line should get a lot of exposure because Mardi Gras is coming into Southampton.
“I will always push Carnival to customers and also within the company.”
Explaining why she applied to be a Fun Ambassador, Walker said she had been told by 2019 Fun Ambassador and Cruise.co.uk colleague Becky North, she would be “treated like royalty” by Carnival.
Samantha Storey, from online travel agency Cruise Nation, said: “I am relatively new to the travel industry. Cruise Nation encourages development and I want to get to know the [cruise] brands.
“I have an open mind and fresh eyes. I have sold quite a few Carnival cruises like Carnival Glory and Carnival Legend.
“There is a real variety of things on board so it is an easy sell.”
Hill, from Cruise365, said she loved Carnival Cruise Line because it does what it says “on the tin”.
“The UK market is missing a trick with Carnival,” she said. “Sales will be better with us independent agents pushing it.”
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