It’s official: The best way to find a cruise is by looking in The Mirror

//It’s official: The best way to find a cruise is by looking in The Mirror

The mystery shopper who was searching for a Mediterranean cruise in this week’s issue of TTG chose the right place to start. Posing as a first-time cruiser with a budget of £2,000 the customer phoned Cruise Thomas Cook on the basis of “a bright and colourful advert in the Sunday Mirror.”
Two High Street travel agents and an online agency were also consulted for the exercise, but it was the Sunday Mirror ad that delivered the goods, with a score of 78 out of 100.
Sunpex Travel in Kent disappointed by ignoring the request for a cruise sailing from the UK and recommending a fly-cruise instead. The sales consultant also went for the wrong dates, did not pick the preferred style of casual cruise, and went £1,200 over budget. Score: 52
A Thomas Cook shop in Broadstairs also missed out by expecting the shopper to choose the cruise rather than making recommendations. Score: 58.
The Thomson website had come top in a Google search and was easy to navigate. Following up by phone, the suggested cruise was from the right place at the right time, but was £600 over budget. Score 66.
Of the top-scoring agent, the mystery shopper wrote: “My call was answered with a recorded message, then I was put through to an operator who made me feel at ease. I was asked my name and this was used throughout the enquiry, which made me feel valued.
“My budget was established, they explained tipping asnd baggage allowances, and asked whether I wanted coach travel.
“A Grand Princess cruise was close to my requirements at £1,996 and across the right dates. The agent said an inside cabin was best to hit budget, adding there was so much to do, I would only use it for sleeping.
“I was given a choice of two deals, which included onboard spending money, free coach travel to Southampton, or free parking.”
The winning agent is Louise McDevitt, a home-worker who has been with the company for 12 years and joined Cruise Thomas Cook five years ago. She has been on short cruises with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Norwegian. She said: “I’ve been selling holidays for so long and I love what I do. I even help friends search for holidays for free.”

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:53+00:00 24 February 2012|Cruise Deals|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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