Oceania Cruises’ new simply MORE offering – which replaces the more than 10-year-old OLife Choice promotion – will be an easier sell for advisors, says the cruise line Vice President Sales & General Manager Asia Pacific, Jason Worth.
“It’s a really great value proposition, and far easier for a travel advisor to explain to a client,” Worth told LATTE days out from the offer switchover, taking effect on 1 July 2023.
The upper premium cruise operator has been building awareness of the repositioning from OLife Choice to simply MORE over the past several weeks, engaging with Australian travel advisors via webinars, conferences and one-on-one meetings, including at the recent Travel Associates’ Global Luxury Business Leader Conference and at ILTM Asia Pacific in Singapore.
Oceania Cruises is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2023. Worth explained that the cruise line started out by leading the way with more flexible dining times, better food, and sitting with friends, or alone, as a strategy to pull away from the old-school 90s-style cruise experience of assigned seating blocks. The objective had been to provide more of a “restaurant experience” for the guest.
“That was an important aspect the management and founders focused on when they created the brand. Offering something they would like to experience.”
When Frank A. Del Rio rejoined the business in 2022, and subsequently took over as President and CEO at the end of last year, he spoke with leading travel advisors to discuss what was working and what wasn’t.
“The feedback was that OLife Choice was good value add but a little complicated for new-to-brand guests. It was a good opportunity to have a fresh look and he drove that new process,” Worth said.
“Before, a client had to choose one of three things with OLife Choice, so simply MORE removes that step and provides the client with much more.”
simply MORE includes beverages such as champagne, beer and wine with lunch and dinner, shore excursion credit, pre-paid gratuities, onboard wifi and specialty dining.
The latter has always been an inclusion aboard Oceania Cruises, but Worth said the brand wanted to amplify the message there was no cover charge for dining at its premiere restaurants, including Toscana and Polo Grill, after industry feedback suggested consumers believed there was an associated cost.
“Drinks will be offered at lunch and dinner at all restaurants when most people will request it, including dessert wines, and also comprises a number of high-end drinks as well. And it’s not limited to one red or one white wine – not just House pours. There are more than 30 premium choices of wines and champagnes, so a lot to choose from,” Worth told LATTE.
Guests that wish to drink more during the day, drink top-shelf beverages, or have a glass of scotch or spirits, can upgrade to the Prestige beverage package at $US30 per person per day.
“Not only is it luxurious, but it’s also strong value,” Worth said.
“You’re not paying for all the inclusions, you’re not paying for all the shore excursions, but you get your choice to use this shorex credit with any shore excursion. Previously there was a dedicated list of excursions, and now they can select from a wider range and use a credit of up to $1,600 per stateroom. They can use it on a helicopter ride over a volcano, a private car transfer, a boutique small tour such as a Go Local culinary or Culinary Discovery tour, and more.”
From 1 July, new bookings that commence from 1 October 2023, will receive the simply MORE inclusions. Existing bookings will retain the OLife Choice offering.
Worth said the trade feedback has been nothing but positive. A range of marketing collateral for past guests to build consumer awareness will be sent out via direct mailouts, eDMs, and more.
“This will be the standard going forward. It’s not a short-term promotion. It’s our standard offer and when we have a promotion it will be layered on top of simply MORE,” he said.
“I think it’ll resonate well with guests and the trade.”
“Guests that are undecided will weigh up the pricing and how it compares to a similar sailing, and will see we are very competitive. And with these value adds, it’ll really make a difference, ” Worth concluded.