Seabourn has just won a prestigious award from one of the leading luxury travel agency groups—again. On August 20, at their annual Travel Mart convention in Las Vegas, the Virtuoso Travel Network announced that, for the second consecutive year, their membership had voted The Yachts of Seabourn the Best Small Ship Cruise Line in their Peer-to-Peer Awards poll. Virtuoso is made up of over 300 agencies and some 6,000 travel advisors worldwide. The Virtuoso award is a little different from the readers’ poll awards that Seabourn won from Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure this year. Both of those are voted on by people who have sailed on Seabourn. In the case of the Virtuoso award, the voters are travel agents who book their clients on Seabourn cruises. (OK, probably some of them have sailed on board too!) The point is that they not only rate Seabourn by how well their clients like their cruises, but also by how easy it is to do business with Seabourn. So that provides an extra measurement of how the company is performing for another set of customers. As Seabourn’s president and CEO Pamela Conover put it, they “…put their own reputations on the line along with ours.”
Seabourn also tallies guests’ “votes” by means of a questionnaire filled out at the end of each cruise. The questionnaires ask for numeric ratings and verbatim comments, and are read by onboard management and headquarters executives as well. Then, the results are discussed in meetings of department heads on board and by the department heads with their staffs. That way, any issues are quickly addressed so they don’t continue from cruise to cruise. Seabourn takes a lot of pride in the awards it has received. They mean a lot to everyone involved. It’s just one more way of knowing our guests are happy. And that is the key to everything.