Texas cruise specialist Alana Owen produced a new booklet for prospective cruisers.
Sailings, snacks: CLIA agencies host World’s Largest Cruise Night
allure of free food.
Lisa Givas of Academy Travel in Ma-nahawkin, N.J., was
participating for the
first time and using
Disney as her hook.
A four-foot Disney
cruise ship was to be
on display, while a Pirates and Princess Tea
Party was to be held
for children. Grown
ups could listen to
a steel-drum band
and enjoy snacks and
drinks at the Mana-hawkin Holiday Inn.
Reps from all the
cruise lines they work
with were scheduled to be there, but
the focus was geared toward
families so Disney was to be the
cer Awareness Month, Maureen
Peacock, an America’s Vacation
Center home-based agent in Las
Vegas, planned to focus on Holland America Line’s “On Deck for
the Cure” program, which raises
money for breast cancer research.
ment. I’m even thinking about
Alana Owen of Alana’s Adventures in Travel in Haslet, Texas,
produced a booklet for new cruisers and planned to use it as part of
her event, in addition to showing
DVDs, giving away prizes provided by the cruise lines, and serving
wine, cheese and beverages.
Contrino rented a local restaurant for the event to serve free
dinner and drinks with reps from
MSC, Royal Caribbean, NCL and
Carnival. When some cruise lines
didn’t immediately offer to send
reps, she did not back down.
“I don’t take no very easily,”
Bob Sharak, chief marketing officer of CLIA at a 2005 World’s Largest Cruise Night event organized by Arizona
ASTA. Pictured with Sharak, from left, are Pat Fulton, owner of Departures and chairperson of Arizona ASTA; Terri
Maldonado, president, Cruise Gal; Hope Wallace, ADA Travel and president of Arizona ASTA; Helen Wirschen, Sisters
Three Travel Co.; and Lana Vermilya, owner, TN T Travel.
agencies and cruise lines
partnered to host promotional cruise events, with
many of the cruise lines
offered special deals and
value-added incentives to people
who booked cruises by the end of
Valerie Contrino of Contrino Travel in Staten Island, N.Y.,
was doing her first-ever WLCN
event. She started her own home-based business in February 2005
and said that it is very important for home-based agents “to
get yourself out and be involved
in the community.”
“I tout myself on commitment
By Johanna Jainchill
Cruise Lines International Association member travel agencies
last week participated in the annual World’s Largest Cruise Night
program, the 24-hour centerpiece
of the organization’s National
Cruise Vacation Month, otherwise
known as October.
Givas wanted to
to her clients and
guests and cross-promote her agency’s other services.
For 24 hours, agencies and cruise lines
hosted promotional events, with special
deals available for bookings by Oct. 19.
“We are an Internet-based company, so events like this are a great
way to meet and attract new clients,” she said.
Peggy Hoffman of Vacations
ByPeggy.com in Arlington, Texas,
was holding her event at Out-
back Steakhouse, where up to 50
people would be able to mingle
among tables decorated for each
participating cruise line. She
was hoping that free appetizers,
beverages and one glass of wine
would lure potential cruise buy-
ers and was spreading the word
with flyers and by visiting a local
Others were get-
ting creative by offering
to help passengers file
holding events on a ship
and offering food in the
theme of particular sail-
ings, such as salmon for Alaska.
For 24 hours on Oct. 19, travel
Here’s how some agencies last
week said they planned to get
creative in their participation,
why some didn’t participate at
all and why WLCN is especially
important for both home- and
Internet-based agencies. And also
a little about the never-ending
Since October is also Breast Can-
to service,” she said. “You definitely have to get out there. You
can’t just sit behind your desk and
think everybody’s going to call.
I’m out there pounding the pave-
Other agents declined to participate, citing difficulty getting
cruise lines and CLIA to send reps
or any promotional materials.
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