Agents assess pros and cons of Royal Caribbean restructure

Agents assess pros and cons of Royal Caribbean restructure

Agents are concerned that plans to move the Royal Caribbean International and Azamara Club Cruises trade and client call centre to Guatemala could impact service levels.

The move is part of a proposed restructure of RCL Cruises to create individual businesses for Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean and Azamara.

But agents welcomed the dedicated focus on each of the three brands and the proposed creation of a 50-strong Celebrity Cruises guest and trade services team to be set up in the UK.

Moving the Royal Caribbean and Azamara call centre to Guatemala could result in the loss of 100 jobs. A consultation period has begun.

The new structure is planned to take effect from January 1, 2014. Jo Rzymowska, associate vice-president and general manager, will become managing director for Celebrity Cruises. Separate managing directors will be appointed 
for Royal Caribbean and Azamara.

John Sullivan, head of commercial at Advantage, said: “I am concerned about the call centre being moved. When this has happened with other companies the service has suffered.

“But on the flip-side, splitting the three brands is good. Having separate teams should result in our members having enhanced service and support.”

Peter Ruck, of GoCruise with Peter Ruck, said: “This would appear to benefit those agents booking mainly Celebrity Cruises.

“I don’t know of any consumers who want to deal with foreign call centres.”

Speaking to Travel Weekly, Michael Bayley, Celebrity Cruise’s president and chief executive, said: “As the individual brands develop and grow, they have different strategies. At Celebrity Cruises our focus markets are the UK and Ireland, North America and Australia.

“Royal Caribbean has significant focus in the UK and Ireland, but it has significant global sourcing and therefore a greater need for a multilingual global contact centre operation.”


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