Two cruise agency specialists have made the biggest bookings of their careers – worth a combined £380,000.
The Cruise Room director Jonathan Howitt and homeworker Jason Peters, part of The Travel Village Group, are the first UK agents to book upcoming round‑the-world cruises with Royal Caribbean International and Azamara.
Howitt booked a new‑to‑cruise family‑of‑four on Royal’s 274‑night 2023‑24 Ultimate World Cruise last week for about £220,000. It is the biggest single booking Howitt has made in his 40‑year travel career.
The Cruise Room, which opened in Wirral in June, was contacted by one of its Facebook followers who knew a family keen to take their first cruise.
The agency’s director, Robbie O’Grady, said the family had done “a bit of research” but he initially believed “it was never going to happen” because “it’s such a huge commitment and such a huge amount of money if you’ve not cruised before”.
He expects to put in “a lot of work” before the family departs on the Serenade of the Seas sailing from Miami on December 10, 2023, adding: “We’re not just going to send them the tickets.”
Reflecting on the decision to launch The Cruise Room during the pandemic, O’Grady said: “We’ve seen enough interest, bookings and support to justify [the decision]. A booking like this makes it all feel worthwhile.”
Peters, who has sailed on 167 cruises, made two £80,000 bookings for Azamara’s 2024 World Cruise last Friday.
He joined The Travel Village Group in January 2020 amid fears his own 15‑year‑old agency business would not survive the pandemic.
Of his Azamara booking, Peters said he and The Travel Village were set to earn a “very nice” amount of commission. His previous highest‑value booking was worth about £50,000.
“I’m obviously delighted,” said the Brighton‑based agent. “We’re all happy chappies.”
Owner Phil Nuttall said Peters was “engaged” with Azamara and knew how to promote “niche products” to customers.
Referring to the attraction of world cruises, Nuttall said: “Customers realise how precious time is and they want to see the world. Lockdowns have brought that forward.”