Love2shop Holidays’ Lica Catherall thought the opportunity to become a Travel Weekly Cover Star was almost too good to be true, and describes her experience as an unforgettable trip to destinations on her bucket list
Q: What were some of the highlights from the Cover Stars trip?
A: I loved the sailaway party on Norwegian Escape and the views of Miami as we left, and then sailing into the Bahamas, which was just gorgeous.
It felt like the Atlantis Hotel was almost in touching distance and seeing all the millionaires’ houses was fantastic. The trip was well beyond my expectations and it’s one I will never forget.
Q: How was the flight with Virgin Atlantic?
A: I have flown with Virgin before and it’s always good. I was in economy and there was loads of entertainment and the cabin crew were great.
Q: Were you wowed by the Eden Roc Hotel?
A: It was breathtaking. I had heard about it because of the celebrities who stay there. The rooms were really stylish and had a fabulous sea view. I would definitely recommend it to clients, even if it’s just for a night or two.
Q: What is your best memory of Miami?
A: I really enjoyed going down Ocean Drive and to the bars; the whole Latin vibe and the music is great. The art deco buildings and the colours are just like in the movies. We also visited Fontainebleau Miami Beach.
Q: How was the shopping experience at Simon Shopping malls?
A: I didn’t go wild, but I did get a few bits for my daughter as she was about to turn 18, including a Michael Kors handbag. The designer shops were so much
cheaper than in the UK and the sales were on too. If I ever go again I will take a half-empty suitcase. My photoshoot was at The Falls shopping centre. I loved my dress and my shoes, but I was quite nervous. I have very curly hair and it had been blow-dried straight.
Because of the humidity, I came out the salon and could feel my hair getting bigger straight away.
Q: How did Norwegian differ from other cruise lines you’ve been on?
A: I found Norwegian Escape more relaxed than other cruise lines because of the American clientele, the location and the weather. It felt different to European cruises straight away. Normally you queue for ages to board the ship too, but it was really efficient.
The whole ship had a fun atmosphere; we had drinks out on deck and it felt like it was more of a party. We also had a lovely day on the Blue Lagoon excursion.
Q: How has going on this trip helped you sell the destinations?
A: I am more confident about selling Miami on its own. I have sold Orlando and the theme parks by the bucketload.
I didn’t know Miami before, and now I know it can be sold as a beach and shopping holiday or as a multi-centre.
Q: What made you enter the Cover Stars competition?
A: I love cruising, and had not been on a Norwegian Cruise Line ship, and Miami and the Bahamas were on my bucket list.
It was too good to be true. I got family, friends and colleagues to vote for me and I was pleasantly surprised to get through. It was amazing to go on this trip, to feature on the front cover of Travel Weekly and to meet other people from the industry.
Lica’s sales tips
• Consider selling a cruise as part of a Miami booking for a great all-round holiday.
• Don’t just sell to couples. Miami and NCL suit all, from single travellers to families.
• Book drinks packages and shows clients want to see in advance as they are very popular.
Lica’s stunning Miami-chic look includes a beautiful silk Versace dress from Bloomingdales Outlet at Sawgrass Mills.
Her hair was styled at HSi Professional Hair Bar and make up was courtesy of Bloomingdales. Both stores are located at The Falls, an elegant outdoor mall surrounding its own water gardens.
The Mall, a Simon Shopping Destination, is located near the Miami suburbs regions of coral Gables, Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay.
Regular cruiser Lica Catherall was bowled over by the entertainment and kids’ clubs on board Norwegian Escape.
The senior travel consultant has travelled with a variety of lines but the cruise out of Miami to the Bahamas was her first with Norwegian.
Lica was particularly impressed by the 1980s-themed dinner show and a stage show retelling of the early lives of Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis. “The Brat Pack dinner show was fabulous; one of the best I’ve ever seen,” she recalls.
Lica also got the chance to see the kids’ club areas on board. She adds: “There were really good facilities for children, from babies up to teens. There was a special teens area, where they could practise being DJs and play on XBoxes.
“The ship is ideal for families and younger couples. A lot of families don’t realise cruises can be a family holiday.”
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