Celebrity invests in New York
Having finished the Solstice-class shipbuilding program, Celebrity Cruises has pivoted to focus on yields.
Typical is the campaign unfolding in the New York area, one of 10 urban centers where the demographics match up well with Celebrity’s pitch for "modern luxury."
To goose sales while moving rates upward, Celebrity is making its presence known in multiple ways. It has a list of 1,500 agents in the New York area it will be contacting to get better acquainted.
Representatives have been attending targeted events, such as the New York Wine Expo earlier this month.
Through May 31, Celebrity is offering area agents a bonus commission for sailings of six nights or more of $200 for a suite and $75 for balcony cabins, plus $100 onboard credit for clients. And starting next week, Celebrity will conduct a sales blitz with the goal of face-to-face contact with 750 New York area agents.
“We’re going to be out for a full week,” said Celebrity’s Northeast sales manager Sheri Pasternak. “We won’t see our families, but it's all good,” she said.
With three sales reps for New York, northern New Jersey and Long Island, Celebrity normally keeps in touch with 300 to 400 area agents. For the March Madness push, Pasternak is getting help from a sales team flown in from Miami for the week.
To capture agents’ attention, there will be extra commission incentives, giveaways, mystery caller contests, and consumer offers exclusive to the New York area.
“It’s kind of something new for us, that we’re trying,” Pasternak said. “We don’t have the kind of dollars that our sister company Royal [Caribbean] has for TV, so we’re really doing more local efforts and truly laser-focused.”
The push continues in April, Pasternak said, with “lunch n’ learn” sessions in three or four northeastern cities.
Sailing options from New York will increase this year with the year-round debut of Norwegian Breakaway in May. That month, Celebrity Summit starts a summer of sevem-day New York-Bermuda cruises, the same route offered by Breakaway.
“We’re up against some hefty competition, and we understand that,” Pasternak said.
But she thinks the time is right for Celebrity’s "modern luxury" branding to break through.
“Even though we’ve had it for a year and a half, its now just starting to resonate with the consumer,” she said. “So we’re going to continue that even more so, and really get the price that we deserve.”