Travel Consultant, Affinion International Travel, Kettering
Tarina Ingham has worked in travel for only five years. So to get the chance to visit Miami, experience NCL’s new ship Norwegian Escape and have a fashion photoshoot was, in the travel consultant’s own words, ‘a dream come true’
Q: What was it that really attracted you to apply for the Cover Stars trip?
A: I was really pleased when I saw what the destination was because I won a similar trip through work but only had one night in Miami. I really wanted to see and experience more of what Miami had to offer. Now I’ve been again, I’m a Miami advocate. It’s a large city that has so much to offer. It’s one of those places that offer everything for every taste.
I love America anyway but if I had a choice now to go, Miami would be my first choice. I love shopping and I love sunbathing. I can’t pinpoint one highlight of the fam: the whole trip was one big highlight. To be able to experience all the different aspects was fabulous.
Q: The Eden Roc is known for its views. What did you think of the hotel?
A: I cannot describe how amazing the room was. It was by far the best hotel I have been in. When I woke up in the morning and opened the blinds, the view was amazing. I was on the 20th floor and you could lie in bed and see the sea; you could even see it from your bathroom.
The hotel is literally on the beach, so unless your clients are going just for the shopping I would recommend this hotel. At the welcome cocktails reception they gave us some background on the hotel and that gave me information to use to sell it in future. For value for money, you can’t beat this hotel.
Q: How did the photoshoot go?
A: Having a makeover and photoshoot was something I have always wanted to do. I was told the night before we got on the ship that I would be the first to have my photoshoot on board.
I was really nervous. I am not camera shy but the photos were taken in front of the chandelier and they had to stop people from passing by while I was having my shoot, so people were watching. It took until the final shoot for me to be relaxed!
Q: What were the Simon Shopping malls like?
A: I am a shopaholic and so being given an extra bag for all my shopping on the trip was perfect. It was an ideal opportunity to stock up for Christmas and you get the benefit of everything being cheaper.
This helped me while shopping for my kids: my daughter is into Victoria’s Secret make-up and my son is into designer clothes. I think the shopping is one of the reasons people choose America, and I love it!
Q: Tell us about your beach excursion in the Bahamas?
A: To look out from the balcony of the cruise ship in the morning to see the Atlantis Hotel and the coves of the Bahamas was quite amazing.
The Blue Lagoon was exactly how you’d imagine the Caribbean to be: a typical picture postcard scene. It was a really welcome, relaxing day after all the shopping we had done. I made it my priority to relax as it was my final day.
Knowledge is key
Cruise was one of the products Tarina Ingham found hardest to sell when she started at Affinion International Travel five years ago, so she jumped at the chance to experience Norwegian Escape.
“We sell a lot of cruise and I’d say it’s a hard product to get to know because a lot of clients sail all the time and you feel they know more than you,” she says. “I like to know what I am selling and I found cruise was the hardest to sell when I started.”
Her experiences on the Cover Stars trip also changed her perception of cruising.
“I’d always expected cruises to be claustrophobic, but I was blown away by it,” she recalls. “We were so spoilt as we all had balcony cabins but I would not have a problem selling the inside cabins. The ship has so much to offer that you don’t spend much time in your cabin. With the choice of food, restaurants, shows, bars and spa, there is just so much to experience. The highlight for me was the Spice H20 club.”
Tarina dazzles in her colourful A-line dress from Bebe and statement necklace. Tarina’s look was created at The Falls, Miami, a Simon Shopping Destinations property. Located 30 minutes from South Beach and downtown Miami, and featuring more than 100 boutique designer stores,
The Falls is a unique shopping experience, centred around a million-gallon waterscape and lush tropical gardens. Tarina’s photoshoot took place in front of the chandelier on board Norwegian Escape, and her look is completed with beautiful hair and make up styling by the ship’s Mandara Spa team.
2010 to date: travel consultant, Affinion International Travel, Kettering
2008-10: temped as an assistant to a health visitor attached to a doctor’s surgery in Corby
1989-2008: various roles including mortgage adviser, branch manager and counter clerk at Barclays branches in Kettering, Corby and Northampton
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