When I joined cruise at the beginning of February I knew that I was going into an exciting area of the business but I underestimated juts how exciting my experience within this part of the business would truly be. So as some of you will be aware this month saw the delivery of the TUI Discovery which can only be described as a game changer for Thomson Cruises. The TUI Discovery is the newest and largest ship within the Thomson fleet, being able to sleep up to 1,830 passengers with a range of different facilities such as; seven different restaurants, eight different bars all with a different look and feel, two different pools one of which with an outdoor cinema screen, rock climbing wall, mini golf, breakout and escape room along with so much more!
As part of my project I was given the exciting challenge of leading the implementation of the concessionaires on board the Discovery, these included; spa, casino, retail, photography and the Breakout room. This involved everything from creating project plans, assessing risk, supporting and developing new innovative ideas and making sure that the tools were in place to enhance the customers experience whilst on board the Discovery.
Some of the tools introduced on the TUI Discovery to enhance the customers experience were; the touch screen kiosks were customers are able to browse photos taken throughout their cruise, book into the a la carte restaurants and spa treatments as well as reserve your space in one of the Breakout and Escape rooms. As part of my project I was involved in scoping out the customer flow for spa, photography and the Break out room. This involved engaging with both internal and external stakeholders to ensure the kiosk flows were both engaging and effortless for customers. Another cool feature is the Veranda, this is an adult’s only area of the ship where customers are able to order drinks with just the press of a small button located next to the luxury sun beds.
The TUI Discovery (previously known as the Splendour of the seas by Royal Caribbean) was taken into dry dock at the end of May in Cadiz and after a six week refit with 750 workers on board she was ready to be showcased to the media and VIP’s before she welcomed her first customers on board on the 11th June.
The shakedown that took place on the 8th June where 700 retail assistant managers went on for three days with the main aim to not only test out the facilities on board but also to be up skilled on Thomson Cruise product proposition.
Of course with this being Thomson the launch event involved nothing but the best, not only did it involve what can only be described as an Olympic opening ceremony style performance which represented some of our most popular ports of call through some incredible music and professional dancers but also involved a performance from the Grammy winning artist Jess Glynn who played a medley of her songs such as Cry When I Laugh.
All in all this placement was a chance in a lifetime, not only did I get my teeth into a project that was part of delivering something so game changing for Thomson Cruises but I also had the opportunity to work with some of the most hardworking, dedicated and inspiring people within the business.