One wanted a gull-winged DeLorean on board. Another required a tractor. And another prospect wanted to use a Royal Caribbean ship as the platform for a personalized version of the hit TV show, “The Amazing Race,” requiring some creative thinking.
That’s a specialty of the line’s MICE people, whose focus is finding, wooing, landing and staging Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events for much sought-after business group bookings.
“We understand the importance of the business, and as a result of that we have dedicated teams that are experienced and, most importantly, we have the hardware to support it,” says Lori Cassidy, AVP of Global Corporate, Incentive and Charter Sales for Royal Caribbean International.
It’s impressive hardware – the mighty smartships of the Quantum-class, the even larger “floating cities” of the Oasis -class, and the broad spectrum of the other classes and ships in RCL’s fleet.
That variety enables the MICE teams to accommodate an equally wide spectrum of requests from prospective business groups, although that usually requires some innovative thought.
“We want them to think outside the ballroom,” Cassidy says of MICE sales teams.
When a client proposes to book space for a conventional style conference with 20 or more consecutive breakout sessions, “there are limitations on what we’re able to do,” Cassidy explains. “But if a client is flexible and wants to put a cruise in front of their participants because they know it’s going to increase attendance and drive the demand that they’re looking for, they’re usually willing to make adjustments.”
There are other unique enticements MICE teams can bring to bear, not the least of which is VOOM, RCL’s instant onboard internet service. Onboard rock-climbing walls, RipCord by iFLY, FlowRider and zip lining can be used for team-building exercises.
“If you think about these corporations, the world is at their fingertips,” Cassidy says. “So we have to always be on our game. We have to have everything buttoned up at all times.”