Open Jaw

The People Who Help You Earn More Cruise Dollars

And the Travel Agents who want to keep them a secret

It’s not easy to get agents to talk about Encore Cruises staff. “Why would I talk to you about (Encore cruise exec) Martin Svoboda?” said Karen Garney of Cruise Holidays Etobicoke. “If I tell you how great he is, it’ll be like that restaurant you love that gets a good review and you can’t get a table anymore.”

Penny Smith-Akerman of Oshawa’s Breakaway Travel has similar feelings about Encore’s Marie (Rose) Drysdale. “If she quits, I quit,” said Smith-Akerman. “She knows her job inside out. She keeps track of all my clients and I don’t know how she does it because I have a lot of them.”

"If she quits, I quit."

“We’ve dealt with Encore for many years and having a relationship with a company makes a huge difference,” says Scott Stone, owner of St. John’s, NF’s Universal Travel.

“The staff are fantastic and Encore’s volume of business with the cruise lines enables them to offer promotions in addition to the line offers. It really is a one-stop shop with cruise, air and transfers, and they really take care of their clients. Plus, it’s a Canadian company and I think we should support our own companies as much as possible.”

Anne Lochead of Uniglobe Donaldson Travel in Cambridge, Ontario says she much prefers working with Encore than dealing directly with cruise lines.

“As long as Encore has the product, I’ll book with them. It saves me a lot of time and I work with Martin Svoboda, who is a phenomenal agent. Everything is done by email and the service is excellent, so responsive. I have 100% confidence that what I ask for will be done.”

Garney offers perhaps the finest praise of all, stating that working with Encore “is almost like having another agent in the office. I can send them what I need and they take care of it.”

"As long as Encore has the product, I’ll book with them. It saves me a lot of time..."

With all of the money Encore Cruises has invested in a comprehensive online booking tool, Open Jaw wondered if Vice-president, Cruises, Nathalie Tanious worries at all about the close bond between her staff and Canadian cruise sellers.

“Not at all,” replies Tanious. “That’s what they’re there for. Agents just want to make the sale and we want to help them do that. We’re proud of the combination of technology and people we’re put together. Agents can book without speaking to anyone, but people like to call for complex cruises or back-to-back cruises. They know they can count on our staff to help them make more money.”

For agents with luxury cruise clients, Encore offers Encore Prestige, staffed by cruise reservation agents with extensive knowledge of luxury lines and the high-end product offered by mainstream lines. They can also offer reduced business class airfares and a wide range of land product to accompany cruises.

“With so many years of experience, our staff has developed long-lasting relationships with many of the top cruise sellers. It is truly one of the great strengths of Encore’s business,” says Tanious.

“I’ve never even met Martin Svoboda,” says Uniglobe Donaldson’s Lochead. “But we all love him here. I’d love to meet him.”


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