“For those people that aren’t loyal guests, we have to make sure that our team is very educated on what our protocols are, then to educate our travel advisors, which is an extension of our sales force and our distribution channel, so that they then have the confidence to also tell the consumer at the same time that we’re telling the consumer through our marketing messages,” she says. “And that’s with tools like videos, and one pagers, and training decks and those types of things.”
Along with the health and safety protocols, she says delivering on their brand promise will also be key.
“For Celebrity Cruises that’s our new, modern luxury experiences,” Ritzenthaler says. “The research tells us they very much want to know what are the health and safety protocols, but they also want to know what kind of vacation experience they’re going to get and we’re committed to not only delivering on the health and safety protocols, but on our promise to deliver an amazing cruise vacation as well so that’s what we will be focusing on.”
Times are changing
Across the board, Freed says travel is going to be different post COVID-19 and there will be an even higher level of strictness on cleanliness and health and safety. One way the cruise industry will be different is by taking advantage of technology like Royal Caribbean’s newly announced electronic muster drill on its cruise ships.
“E-mustering is basically what was the traditional lifeboat drill where everybody before sailing time would congregate by the lifeboat or in the theatre depending on the ship and the class, you’d have to go through the lifeboat drill, now instead of bringing everyone together in a congested area, we’re going to have people be able to take advantage of technology, their phone, and do the lifeboat drill ahead of time, and then if they don’t have a phone, or don’t want to do it that way, they can do it through the comfort of their own stateroom through their TV,” she says. “So there’s a benefit there — people can start their vacation a lot sooner as a result of this new technology.”