ShipsAhoy sits down with Andrea Mendelsohn to hear about quirks, stories and selling tips!
By: Ilona Kauremszky
For Andrea Mendelsohn, a consummate foodie who laughs because “I always seem to be on a diet,” there was one steak dinner that seemed to meet her match.
Her entrée at a ship’s specialty restaurant was a 33oz bone-in steak. “I assumed the weight included the bone,” she laughs as she recounts eating every bite, much to the surprise of the waiter who remarked, “Clearly you were lacking in iron.”
“I was so embarrassed I didn’t order dessert,” quips the regional sales manager describing one of her travel experiences over her long career. She’s been with Windstar since last February and was previously with DeNure Tours.
ShipsAhoy spoke to Mendelsohn about some of Windstar Cruises latest developments including personal cruising highlights and sales tips.
1. What’s new?
The new Windstar Signature Expedition Program is an enriching immersive experience that kicks off in May. Each of our expedition cruises features six expert tour guides who travel on the entire cruise providing commentary and special presentations. It is the real authentic destination experience. We are going to Canada and New England for the first time in the fall on the Star Pride.
2. Are there any incentives for agents?
We have the Agent Hub (https://agenthub.windstarcruises.com/login?returnurl=%2f), our agent portal. Registered agents who pass (it’s easy to pass) our new specialist programs and book a cruise within 120 days earn an additional US$100 in commission. We offer incredible agent rates and travel appreciation fares, and of course, give preference to people who complete the program.
3. Is there anything unique about the brand?
We are not the mass market cruise line. We are all about that authentic experience. Sailing into unique destinations where big ships cannot go. It’s ideal for discerning clients who like that small ship ambiance and really great for people who have done river cruises. We don’t have butlers with white glove service. It’s a relaxed country club style of service for a sophisticated clientele to cruise to those unique destinations. We take our time so clients can go in and enjoy the destination as a guest rather than as a tourist.
4. Do you have any selling tips?
Try to make it an all-inclusive product which gives agents extra commission.
5. Upselling, do you encourage it?
Yes. The new beverage package has three pricing levels. We encourage agents to sell them in advance, giving a 10 percent commission as we are not going to discount the package on board. The other: our back-to-back Star Collector Voyages program. Clients get an amazing discount and free daily laundry service.
6. What’s been a favourite trip?
Thailand – the food was exceptional and the people were gracious.
7. Most interesting person(s) you met on a cruise?
Recently on my first Windstar Cruise there was a larger than life man on his 98th cruise doing a back-to-back. He was an enlightening, entertaining and very knowledgeable person who knew everything about our ports of call.
8. One quirk agents don’t know about you?
I can juggle a pair of chopsticks like nobody else can.
9. What would you like to see happen in the cruise industry?
There is a real interest in small ship cruising and I would like to see Windstar’s presence in Canada significantly increase.