At the end of 2016, Intercruises delivered its first port agency services in the Middle East, managing calls in Abu Dhabi, Doha, Dubai, Khasab, Khor Fakkan and Muscat for Thomson Cruises. As part of this planning, Manu Esparcia, Port Agency Operations Coordinator Mediterranean, joined the ship during the itinerary…….
What was significant about these calls?
This is the first time that Intercruises and Thomson Cruises worked together on a Middle East itinerary in Middle East with Dubai as a homeport. This is the result of years of ongoing work between Thomson and the entire Intercruises Port Agency Mediterranean team; Serafin, Miki, Nohemi, Prio and I worked very hard to ensure success in this new adventure.
What was your role?
Given that this was the first time operating this itinerary, Thomson decided that someone from the Intercruises team should join the ship to ensure the smoothest possible operations and that the local agents delivered the same high standard of service that Thomson Cruises receives at ports across the Mediterranean. I received a very warming welcome from Thomson Celebration’s crew who made me feel part of their team.
The biggest challenges you faced during the operation?
There are very strict immigration procedures in the Middle East, with some destinations requiring several face to face checks and passport stamping, which could affect the guests experience ashore. To ensure this did not happen, weeks in advance we started working with the local agencies to establish a best practice procedure for clearing guests and crew as quickly as possible.
Any feedback from the client?
Jo Morgan from Thomson Cruises Head Offices supervised Dubai’s turnaround and congratulated Intercruises on a job very well done. The ship also really appreciated that one member of our team embarked the vessel how their first calls in a new region could get ‘easier’ with this exclusive service. After months of hard work it was great to feel that operations were going well and all the preparation work was worthwhile.
Anything else to add?
Dubai’s turnaround started on December 19th , the beginning of Thomson Celebration’s Christmas itinerary. The ship distributed Santa hats for all crew members, meaning there were literally hundreds of Santas on the ship!
Well done to Manu and our local partners in the Middle East. If you have a story worth sharing send it to firstname.lastname@example.org