What do you think of the new Oceana Cruises?

Susan Pisani, Cruisin Easy, Santa Maria, Calif. Reports are that Oceana will be booked 100% by travel agents and although commission information is not yet available, they are indicating they will be very travel-agent friendly. With that being said, if the company has strong financials and I have


Susan Pisani, Cruisin Easy, Santa Maria, Calif.

Reports are that Oceana will be booked 100% by travel agents and although commission information is not yet available, they are indicating they will be very travel-agent friendly.

With that being said, if the company has strong financials and I have clients who want to sail with them, I probably will give them a try. As far as pushing volume their way, that will only happen if they become a preferred supplier through Vacation.com and their product is unique enough that one of my other preferred cruise suppliers can’t fit the clients’ wants and needs.

Bill Stephan, Luxury Vacation Mall, Lake Forest, Calif.

We knew somebody would eventually relaunch the Renaissance ships they represent too great a potential to be ignored. And who better than Frank Del Rio to undertake this mission? He’s not the bad guy. Remember, he took the fall for the antiagent management that preceded him at Renaissance. He had the guts to clean up their mess by traveling the country apologizing to travel agents.

Joe Watters’ industry savvy, likeability and superb reputation make this a dynamic team. I wish the new Oceana Cruises good sailing and good selling.

As far as the timing of this launch and the poor economy, what about all the new builds coming out? I believe there’s enough business for Oceana and everyone else. We passed last year’s gross sales in August this year, and we are expecting a big first quarter 2003.

Judith Kitzes, Corniche Travel, West Hollywood, Calif.

What an odd mix of talent, Joe Watters with his good track record at Crystal, and then Frank Del Rio with such a terrible track record with Renaissance merging to form who-knows-what? Will Watters raise Del Rio to his level?

Regarding the current economic climate, these guys are holding out hope in gravely uncertain times that they are going to offer something worth looking at, yet I need to take a wait-and-see approach given the Renaissance connection. I am not going to rush out and put valued clients on a ship when one of the two execs has a track record of stranding people. I have Crystal, after all, or Silversea, or Seabourn, or the World by ResidenSea for my clients.

Their intentions may be good; they may indeed create a top quality product, but I will exercise caution and watch them carefully.

Brad Anderson, Anderson Travel & Cruises, San Diego

Wow, this goes to show you that some folks are still very positive about the travel industry in spite of the current problems. Every business has its ups and downs, and, as we are now learning, so does ours.

The travel agents, airlines, hotels and cruise lines that develop trust and respect among their employees, sales teams and customers will be very successful.

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