Thomson responds to Caribbean cruise demand with Dream deployment

Thomson Cruises has announced it is to base a second ship in the Caribbean for winter 2014/15.

Thomson Dream will homeport in Montego Bay Jamaica, joining Thomson Celebration which sails out of Barbados.

Both ships offer Thomson’s Platinum Cruise service following multi-million refurbishments.

Customer operations director Fraser Ellacott said: “It’s not by chance that we have chosen these two ships for these programmes.

“It’s a lot of capacity to commit to the Caribbean, but that’s what our customers are demanding.”

Thomson Dream will offer itineraries from Jamaica featuring ports of call including Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico, Honduras and Cuba, with the Cuba call including an overnight stay in Havana.

Managing director of Tui UK David Burling said: “Jamaica as a destination is now our second-largest long-haul destination.

“We’ve doubled capacity to Jamaica in the last three years and have started Dreamliner flights to the island, and by next July all our flights to Jamaica will be on the Dreamliner.

Burling said Thomson’s Cruise & Stay offering with the new programme would be strong thanks to the introduction of two new hotel concepts on the island.

“We have just opened a Thomson Couples hotel in Ocho Rios, but the really big news is that on May 1 we will be opening a brand new Sensatory hotel, our luxury brand, in Negril.

“The property is situated on Seven Mile Beach, which was recently voted one of the top 10 beaches in the world.”

Ellacott said that about a third of Thomson Cruise customers took a seven-night cruise, another third took a 14-night cruise and the final third opted for cruise & stay holidays.

“We are unrivalled on the cruise & stay product that we provide. We offer just under 100 hotels to package up with our cruises around the world,” he said.

Ellacott added that further investment had been made in the Thomson Cruise programme with another 79 balconies being added across the fleet.

“A lot of customers were saying how important a balcony is, so all of our ships will now have balcony cabins on offer for this summer.”

The directors were speaking at the exclusive screening of a new promotional film for Thomson Dream out of Jamaica.

A two-minute film, featuring free-running team 3Run, will be released from today across Youtube, Twitter and Facebook and on all Thomson in-flight entertainment and in its retail shops.

It used the same team to promote its Platinum Cruises last year and got over 100,000 views of the video in the first month.

“Only the top 8% of films get that kind of traffic in their first month,” said new Thomson Cruises managing director Helen Caron.

The new film, Dream Runners, also features a cameo performance by Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake – the world’s second-faster runner.

3Run are filmed running and tumbling all over iconic Jamaican sites that Thomson Cruise customers would be able to visit on a cruise or cruise & stay holiday, such as the Dunn’s River Falls, Greenwood Great House and the Martha Brae River.

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