Carnival UK reveals major restructure

Princess Cruises’ UK boss Paul Ludlow is to switch brands and take the helm at P&O Cruises.

The announcement comes as part of a major restructure of the commercial teams for P&O Cruises and Cunard less than a week after the shock announcement that Carnival UK’s chief commercial officer Gerard Tempest was to exit the business after two years.

Ludlow’s new role as senior vice-president of sales and marketing for P&O Cruises will also see him take responsibility for sales support, guest insight and the digital teams of both P&O Cruises and Cunard.

Cunard is now recruiting for the role of senior vice-president of sales and marketing.

As part of the restructure, sales and distribution director Chris Truscott will be leaving the business.

Head of partner sales, Jeremy McKenna, will lead the agency sales team for both brands, reporting directly to Ludlow in the interim period until the new Cunard role is appointed.

P&O Cruises marketing director, Christopher Edgington, will report into Paul Ludlow and Cunard’s Angus Struthers will report into the equivalent for Cunard when appointed.

Carnival UK chief executive, David Noyes, said that bringing sales and marketing together in one role would help Cunard and P&O Cruises create more momentum for the brands.

“I am delighted to appoint Paul to this critical role. Paul’s 15 years of experience within our company makes him an ideal fit to lead the sales and marketing teams for P&O Cruises to ensure sustained growth of the brand.

“Chris Truscott leaves this business in a significantly better position than the one he joined. He should be proud of what he has achieved and the relationships he has built.”

Ludlow said: “Following the launch of Britannia in March, which positioned P&O Cruises at the forefront of the nation’s mind, there has never been a more exciting time for the company.

“The potential for the industry as a whole is vast and I am determined, through giving a seamless, exemplary guest experience, working closely with our travel agent partners, to develop this growth to the maximum for P&O Cruises.”

During his time at Princess Cruises, Ludlow oversaw the creation of an individual sales team and commercial operation for the brand. He led the team which launched Royal Princess, named by the Duchess of Cambridge, and also oversaw the launch of new travel agent tools such as the recently-launched booking portal OneSource.

Princess Cruises is now recruiting for Ludlow’s replacement.

Princess Cruises documentary puts off travellers

Princess Cruises has defended its decision to allow cameras on board one of its liners after travel agents claimed tourists have been put off by its documentary The Cruise Ship.

 

Paul Ludlow, Princess Cruises’ managing director in the UK and Europe, stated that the company is currently 50 per cent ahead of its sales target and he claimed the series “really picked up momentum” over the course of its run, reports Travel Mole.

 

He said: “Our weekend web traffic has doubled and enquiries have spiked, particularly from those new to brand. We hope this effect is being felt across the industry and we’ve received a number of comments from agents that the series led to a sharp increase in new-to-cruise customers.

“Of course we welcome comments from both travel agents and guests, and are in the process of reviewing all the feedback we have received. This will help us determine the success of the show and potential for a second series.”

 

But travel counsellor Helen Wheatley claims tourists have been put off booking a cruise as a result of the four-part documentary, with one would-be cruiser describing it as their “worst nightmare” after seeing the show.

 

She said: “Why do cruise lines such as Princess allow cameras on board, when they should know that editing will paint them in a light to entertain viewers, not always to their advantage?”

 

Personal travel advisor Jane Haughey added that she believes it was a “daft move” on the part of Princess Cruises, due to the fact the liner depicted in the programme came across as a “party ship”, which may be off-putting for some people considering booking a cruise trip.

 

She noted: “I did have to persuade a client that it very much depends on where the ship is located and a cruise that is going to the Caribbean will have a large amount of US passengers on it.”

 

In order to make the ITV series, cameras were on board Royal Princess for a five-week period last year, with the voiceover provided by comedian, actor huge cruise fan John Thomson.

Princess Cruises to appear in fly-on-the-wall documentary

Princess Cruises to appear in fly-on-the-wall documentaryPrincess Cruises is to appear in a primetime four-part fly-on-the-wall documentary on ITV.

The cruise line has revealed that camera crews were given behind-the-scenes access to Royal Princess after it was launched last year by the Duchess of Cambridge.

The results will appear in four episodes of The Cruise Ship, though broadcast dates have yet to be announced.

Paul Ludlow, Princess Cruises managing director for the UK & Europe, said the line was given no editorial control over the series.

But he believes the results will provide a boost for the cruise industry in general, and Princess sales in particular.

“This is the single biggest thing happening for cruise this year as far as I’m concerned,” he said.

“This idea has been in the pipeline for a while now and it quickly became something very exciting.”

He added: “It will show the cruise industry in a really positive light and demonstrate the incredible experiences our guests have on board. Our crew are the stars of the show and it reflects how hard they work.”

The programme allows Princess to once again capitalise on the excitement generated when the duchess helped christen the ship, according to Ludlow.

“There was a great feeling in the industry when the Duchess of Cambridge launched Royal Princess and this will bring back a lot of that feeling,” he said.

“This will only have a positive effect for us as a brand and for bookings.”

Last year, BBC2 broadcast The Cruise: A Life at Sea, a series focusing on the chaplain on Fred Olsen Cruise Lines’ Balmoral. It drew criticism that it reinforced perceptions that cruises were for older people, but the line’s Nathan Philpot reported “over £1 million in sales” in the three days after the first show.