Avoya Travel Conference 2020 Day 4 Thursday Oct 22

Yesterday was the last day of Part 1 of Avoya’s 2020 Conference. This year the conference was supposed to be onboard Celebrity Cruise but die to Covid-19 and the pause on cruising this year’s conference was virtual.

The day started with a talk from Nancy Friedman “The Telephone Doctor” and a customer service expert, who shared with us a number of golden nuggets and sales. She got great reviews from the Network. Some of the nuggets included avoiding weak words, double checking, empathy vs sympathy and remembering to smile!

Next up we continued the Day @ Sea on Land. Between day 3 and day 4 I was able to do virtual days at sea with Oceania, AmaWaterways, Royal Caribbean, and Globus Family of Brands. As the programs were recorded, I was able to use today to catch up on some of the ones I had missed during the conference, including Windstar, Princess, Celebrity, NCL and Silversea.

Over 2 days, I was also able to have 1:1 meetings with representatives from many vendors including Oceania, Virgin Voyages, Globus Family of Brands, AmaWaterways, Royal Caribbean, NCL, Apple Leisure Group, Celebrity, Windstar and Seabourn.

Star Legend & Wind Star in the Caribbean February 2016

The day ended with a farewell virtual cocktail party. Earlier in the week I also attended the “Million Dollar Club” cocktail party for agencies with over 1 million in sales in 2019, During I was able to meet with other agents in the network and executives from the cruise lines.

Royal Caribbean spoke about Muster 2.0 which will do redo the typical Muster drill, This was previously everyone’s least favorite part of boarding day. Guests will now be able to watch the Muster video from their cabin or from their own device while exploring the ship, and will only need to check in briefly to their muster station. Royal expects to be heavily focused on their private islands particularly Perfect Day at Coco Cay, where the environment will be able to be controlled.

Perfect Day at Coco Cay taken from Navigator of the Seas during the 2019 Avoya Conference
The tallest waterslide in North America — the 135-foot
Daredevil’s Peak®

A big takeaway from this week was that all the cruise lines are eager to start welcoming guests onboard again and have been working diligently on protocols to do so safely. There is no clear date on when cruising will restart yet, but stay tuned. The other big takeaway from many of the vendors was the importance for guests to book with a travel advisor. Those guests who didn’t had a much more difficult time during the last few months with all the changes and cancellations.

Part 2 of the 2020 Avoya Conference will continue on Dec 1-4.

Next week I will be attending the Global Travel Marketplace which is an elite appointment-only event that connects the most influential travel advisors in North America with global travel suppliers. GTM’s travel advisors represent the top producers in the travel industry, vetted through a meticulous screening process in order to attend.

Philip Sherlock is a husband and father of 2 sons, a professional travel advisor and the owner of All Aboard International Co.
To book your next vacation easily, call Philip on 9544786392, or email him at allaboardintl@gmail.com