Q – This is really a question of ethics in your industry so I don’t know if you will respond. We went to visit a travel agent in St. Louis who we know sells a lot of cruises. We went in to ask about a Regent cruise, which we had been on before, but the agent, one that we hadn’t worked with before, kept pushing us toward Silverseas. I don’t know if she got some sort of kickback from that line but we had not really heard much about them.
We’re retired and we have saved all of our lives so we can travel in style. We like getting dressed up from time to time, appreciate great food and wine, and, as a former CFO at a Fortune 500, we appreciate socializing with a generally well-educated crowd. Regent had served our needs on our two cruises very nicely. Despite this, we got the impression that our agent was really pushing Silversea and we couldn’t figure out the motivation. We read her proposal, but we still felt something was wrong. Silversea was slightly more expensive and we wonder if that was it. Needless to say, we’ll be dealing with someone else for our booking. May we contact you?
A – We’ll take a pass on that. While we don’t know all of the details, we suspect you may have actually encountered an agent who had your best interests in mind. Silverseas is a top-brand with exactly the kind of demographics you are describing. Instead of just taking your order, your agent tried to point you in a different direction most likely because she felt it would be a better fit for you. It is highly doubtful you received a recommendation based on commission. They really don’t vary all that much. The easier path would have been to just take your deposit for Regent.
So, instead of calling us, call back your agent and apologize for making false assumptions. Learn as much as you can about Silversea and try to, mutually, determine if it might be a better fit than Regent. You haven’t convinced us that you are the world’s best listener, but here’s a little factoid for you. The highly-respected former President of Regent Seven Seas, Mark Conroy, has accepted a new position with Silversea. He will now be managing all of their on-board service, sales, and marketing from their offices in Florida. Look for some innovations to be coming to Silverseas soon, along with their new ship the Muse, to be delivered next year.