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CRUISE L


MYSTERY SHOPPER WIN MY BOOKING


ONLINE CRUISE


WANTED: A couple fancy a week-long Mediterranean island cruise and want advice on the best ports of call. One has been on a cruise before but needs to persuade their other half. BUDGET: £2,000-£2,500


WINNING AGENT


SALES CONSULTANT WENDY ZHAO


‘ VERDICT


No agent performed badly. Cruise1st’s agent earned top spot by making the most of the budget, and took time to understand what the mystery shopper wanted. Kudos to The Cruise Specialists’ agent for their efforts to appease the reluctant partner.


SCORING SYSTEM


50% Advice and product knowledge


25% Customer service 15% Website appearance 10% Overall experience


TIME OUT


Any agency that keeps Mystery Shopper waiting on the phone for 10 minutes will fail to score!


90%


The top-scoring agent each month will win the use of a car for 10 days


The winning agent must be at least 25, for insurance reasons. Winners under 25 will win a week’s all-inclusive holiday at an Elite Islands Resorts property. The prize is non-transferable and the car must be driven only by the winning agent. The winner must not have any serious driving convictions. Elite Island Resorts will endeavour to supply the car to the agency but reserves the right to request the winning agent to collect and return the car from Essex or a central location.


The Cruise Specialists THE-CRUISE-SPECIALISTS.CO.UK


The service was fantastic and the agent helpful, building a great rapport with me on the phone. They suggested a two-


week cruise on P&O’s Britannia departing Southampton on June 3 and calling


at ports including Alicante, Barcelona, Rome and Gibraltar. With an inside cabin and parking at Southampton, it cost £1,249pp. The agent talked me through


other lines and took time to understand my partner’s reluctance to cruise.


85%


Cruise Direct CRUISEDIRECT.CO.UK


The website looked good and was easy to navigate. The agent was friendly and asked questions, and did more research after the call, rather than explaining over the phone. I was offered an eight-day itinerary on Marella Spirit, embarking


at Malaga on June 3, for £1,462 for two, or a Treasures of the Mediterranean


itinerary on Marella Dream, embarking at Palma on May 29 for £1,645. Both were all-inclusive with flights from Gatwick.


I went for Norwegian in this case because


even though it’s more expensive at the start, their drinks are all included and it still came


in at about their budget. I just try to be as helpful as possible to meet the customers’ needs.


Cruise1st CRUISE1ST.CO.UK


The website looked great and the agent was friendly, showing me


excellent information. They asked if there were any lines I’d like to avoid and which airports I’d prefer to fly


from. They suggested a Norwegian Cruise Line itinerary departing June 3 from Barcelona with BA flights from Heathrow. The cruise, on Norwegian


Epic, called at Naples/Pompeii, Rome Civitavecchia, Livorno for Florence and Pisa, Cannes, Palma and Mallorca before returning to Barcelona. It was £2,678 for the two of us, in an inside cabin, full-


board. They could have offered a second option, but this seemed to suit my needs and they had asked lots of questions to understand what I was looking for.


92% THIS WEEK’S WINNER


48 travelweekly.co.uk 11 January 2018


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