Q&A with Mick Dupont, head of sales, Crystal Cruises

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1) What does your role include and how long have you held it? 

Mick Dupont, Crystal Cruises

I have been in the role for three years and I manage a sales team of three on the road and one in-house. I also look after some of our larger producing partners.

2) What are the recent updates and plans for the next 12 months?

Exciting times continue at Crystal Cruises with the evolution of Crystal luxury. In September 2017 and October 2018, we will see Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, respectively, undergo their most extensive redesigns to date.

As part of the redesign, several smaller staterooms will be converted into brand new luxurious penthouses, imaginative new and extended dining options will be revealed including a new open seating concept in the main ‘Crystal Dining Room’.

As a result of the redesigns capacity will also be reduced. Crystal Symphony from 922 guests to 848 and Crystal Serenity from 1080 guests to 980.
From November 2017 guests will also receive unlimited, complimentary, wifi aboard all vessels.

This year also sees the introduction of two new builds for Crystal River Yachts from our own shipyards. Crystal Bach on 13 August and Crystal Mahler on 30 September with sisters, Crystal Ravel and Crystal Debussy, arriving in 2018.

3) What type of customer does Crystal suit, briefly explain the product?

The cornerstones of the company’s cruise experience are choice, space, quality and service, therefore Crystal is the perfect choice for the premium cruise guest who is looking to upgrade from their favourable experience on cruise lines such as Celebrity and Princess. In our latest survey 52% of our guests previously sailed on a non ultra-luxury cruise line.
The Crystal Cruise guest is looking for new travel experiences and cultures.
We offer experiences and value for couples, solo travellers and multi-generational families alike. Relaxed but attentive service is provided by a crew who are recruited primarily for their attitude and personalities.

4) How do you work with the travel trade, training, fam trips, incentives, ship visits etc?

The travel trade is our most important sales asset, I have a very professional and experienced sales team who assist the trade with all aspects of sales, marketing and training support.

Ship visits for trade partners and their customers are provided, without charge, on an annual basis in many ports around the UK. Fam trips are an important insight into all things Crystal and we have just completed a trip for agents in Northern Europe.
Our online training module is proving popular for those agents wanting to learn more about Crystal and is available on www.crystalcruisestraining.co.uk.

We provide financial incentives for the trade but our most popular incentive by far is ‘Sell 3/Sail free’ – sell three ocean staterooms, for travel in 2017 or 2018, before 30 September 2017 and the agent qualifies for their own stateroom on a Crystal Cruise of their choice.

5) Why should agents sell a Crystal cruise?

Because of the all inclusive nature of the product. Selling our experiences is not complicated and offers a potential for higher commission earnings as well as incredible value for money for your customers.
Apart from the diversity of options, including Crystal Ocean, Crystal River and Crystal Yachts, customer satisfaction means that Crystal Cruises has one of the highest retention of guests in the industry. Future bookings and incentives are available to guests onboard and attributed to their booking agent.
Our latest guest survey reveals that 96% of our guests are likely to take another Crystal cruise whilst 97% are likely to recommend the company to family and friends.

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