Tuesday, 10 February 2015

The connecting-cabin conundrum

The connecting-cabin conundrum

MSC connecting Balcony Cabin.

One frustration for travel agents is when clients want to book a cruise on short notice with the expectation that they’ll be able to stay in connecting cabins. It can sometimes be hard to find rooms that adjoin or are on the same deck, much less those that connect.

But cruise lines could do more to help the situation, some travel agents say. The issue came to light at a recent travel agent forum on Royal Caribbean International’s Freedom of the Seas.

Agents said that Royal often allows connecting rooms to be booked online as singles, negating the advantage of having the connecting door between the two cabins.
“Royal Caribbean is great for families, but it is a real struggle on some of your popular sailings to find connecting rooms that do not have one already booked,” said Elise Aust, of Custom Cruise & Travel, Omaha, Neb.

Aust suggested that Royal hold the cabins back from full inventory to ensure that people who actually need them get to use them. “The last thing I’d want if I was booking a single cabin is a door to another room if I didn’t need it,” she said. “I think you would get a lot more families.”

Royal President Michael Bayley agreed that the idea made a lot of sense. “We’ll take a look at it and speak to our revenue team and see what we can do.”

Aust’s other suggestion, by the way, was to put magnifying mirrors in the bathrooms, an idea that seemed to confound Bayley.
“Really? That sounds horrifying,” he said. But he added that Royal would take a look at it for its new ships.