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Why Robert loves selling cruises and sailing on the world’s hottest new ships in his spare time

Like many of our franchisees, Robert runs his travel home-based travel agency in his spare time, alongside his full-time job as a sales and marketing director. 

“It supplements my main income so that I can use what I get from the travel business to go on nice holidays multiple times a year.”

Robert says he also enjoys chatting to clients and planning their dream trip.

“In my day job I don’t really speak to customers directly so what I really like in my own travel business is speaking to different members of the public that are looking for a holiday. It’s a fun conversation and I’ve got all different types of customers. 

“I love helping them try and find something that works for the budget. I really like the variety of looking at different places and sometimes it gives me inspiration about my own  future travel plans.”

Robert has been interested in travel ever since he worked in a Lunn Poly call centre and retail store years ago when he was a student at university. In 2021 he had an urge to get back into travel and he hasn’t looked back.

Although he books all sorts of holidays from packages to multi-centre long-haul trips, he particularly enjoys selling cruises.

With over 19 ships being launched in 2023 and cruising offering high commissions, it’s a particularly lucrative market for our agents who can sell hundreds of cruises from our key trade partners which include over 15 cruise lines.

“Cruise is definitely a great place to be for a margin. I think the other thing is that once you’ve got a cruise customer, if they make another cruise booking onboard (when deals are amazing), the commission literally gets passed back to you. So you get repeat business pretty easily that way. And I’ve not come across anyone yet that’s not enjoyed the cruise they went on and not booked onboard.”

When we launched a Cruise Division last year to help consultants make the most of this booming market, he joined our 12-month Cruise Mastery course to learn how to become an expert.

Having predominantly sailed with Celebrity Cruise Lines (and being a great fan) he was keen to experience others – and he’s certainly dedicated to improving his knowledge!

He joined us on our first Seminar at Sea, a week-long company cruise onboard one of the first sailings of NCL’s new luxury ship, Prima, with workshops and tours from experts. 

 “The new Prima ships have completely transformed Norwegian’s offering from the food to the standard of the cabins and the decor.  From an agent perspective, being able to get onboard and just experience the ship means you can talk genuinely and kind of paint a real picture to customers when you’re speaking to them. And as members of the Norwegian crew gave some of the presentations you are really getting the full kind of insider knowledge. It was really valuable.” 

Robert also attended one of our agent ship visits in Liverpool – a tour of Virgin Voyages new ship Valiant Lady.

“That got me really interested in Virgin Voyages. When I saw the Virgin concept I was really blown away by the adult-only offering and the vibe on the ship. It got me really pumped up to go and start promoting Virgin Voyages and sail on Valiant Lady on holiday last year.”

Robert loves the cruise line so much he has planned his 40th birthday on a sister ship, Resilient Lady. And he’s particularly looking forward to the food – all of the restaurants are included in the price – and the onboard entertainment.

Virgin Voyages, Resilient Lady

“While all the cruise lines have arguably got West End musical-style entertainment which is something I enjoy, it’s usually pretty ‘safe’ in terms of the types of shows and comedians. What I liked about Virgin is that there’s a kind of risky element and because it is adult only, they can push that boundary slightly. It’s a bit more sexy, out there and edgy. I’m from the LGBT community and it felt really inclusive too.” 

But Virgin isn’t the only cruise line launching new ships this year. Robert is looking forward to sailing on MSC’s new ship Euribia and he’s also booked to sail on Virtuosa.

“MSC offers terrific value for money and the ships look incredibly exquisite in terms of interior decor. And for families there’s a lot of value added entertainment.”

If you’d like Robert to choose your dream cruise, contact him at rob.rc@notjusttravel.com. If you’d rather become a cruise expert and sell them, watch our Discovery tour online. 

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