A small city in the middle of the sea
Sophie Jütte, a dual studies student in her second semester of tourism business, took part in two informational trips on cruise ships within the framework of her dual studies. Her industry partner, Reisebüro Timmermann travel agency in Unna, made it possible.
In mid-April, I took part in an informational trip on the new cruise ship “Norwegian Bliss” for my industry partner, Reisebüro Timmermann. Despite what it might originally sound like, the trip from Bremerhaven to Southampton was definitely not a free holiday. Informational trips are all about specifically getting to know travel destinations in order to better convey them to our customers at the travel agency later on.
Excitement and my first discoveries
Even before we left, my excitement increased when our coach slowly got closer to the ship. After we finally arrived, my colleague and I discovered that the security measures at check-in were similar to those at the airport. The difference: everything is more relaxed, and the personnel is much friendlier with the passengers.
On board, the first look at our cabin really made us gush: a small dream was fulfilled, because we had the chance to stay in a cabin with a balcony. This cabin was really big and decorated in a very modern way. In order to also be able to authentically report back to our customers about the ship, we also looked at the other types of cabins, of course.
Driving a go-kart or playing laser tag: the attractions on a cruise ship
Many attractions were offered on the ship, and of course, our task here was also to try them out. Among other things, we drove go-karts on a 300-metre-long track and played laser tag. In between, we treated ourselves to refreshments in the cafes and restaurants. You can’t describe it any other way: the Norwegian Bliss is a beautiful small city in the middle of the sea.
The majority of the guests on the ship were travel agents. Most of the rest of the travellers were regular customers who were allowed to participate in the maiden voyage. Thanks to the many different people, the atmosphere was simply indescribable. Travelling unites people of different nationalities, especially on a ship. I got to know numerous funny and cool people.
Experiencing the maiden voyage of this luxury liner was unbelievable. Not just because it was my first cruise, but because only employees from the shipyard or the carrier were on this ship before me. After two days at sea, we had an additional day’s stay in Southampton and then flew back to Germany in the evening.
After I had been at home for a week, my boss called me and asked if I would be interested in a second informational trip. My answer was, of course, yes. To my surprise, it was a cruise event again. This time, it was an excursion with the “Independence of the Seas”, or “Indy” for short, leaving from Southampton. The ship is now 10 years old and was just renovated and modernised. Highlights like an ice skating rink, an escape room and cooperation with a show act should make the ship attractive to customers again.
A perfect balance with everyday life in the office
This time, my colleague and I shared a cabin along the ship’s promenade. The promenade is the centre of the entire ship. It is actually reminiscent of a beach promenade, with lots of nice localities and fashion shops.
Like on the Norwegian Bliss, I was able to gain insights about how the ship is built, how the personnel work and which attractions are offered there. It is really important for our work in the travel agency, because with every personal experience, a product can be sold better. Next to everyday life in the office, informational trips like this are, of course, also a great balance. That is also one of the reasons why I decided to work in tourism. For me, it is one of the best things that you can do in your life: experience the world, learn languages and get to know new people.