Bekkie Skipp, Holland America Line’s business development manager for North and Scotland, discusses martinis, musicals and her ultimate sales tip.
Why is your cruise line the best of all cruise lines?
Holland America Line offers couples and families alike the opportunity to cruise aboard five-star, mid-sized ‘hotels at sea’. The ships offer a classic style with state-of-the-art enhancements and some fantastic enrichment programmes. Our guests truly feel they are immersed in the destinations they are visiting.
If your cruise line was a famous person, who would it be and why?
I’d say James Bond – classic, elegant but always re-inventing to move with the times. And of course you can always get a mean Martini on HAL – shaken, not stirred.
What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you on the road?
My colleagues would say there are too many to mention. Literally falling out of my car when I upgraded from a Golf to a Tiguan. Breaking my wheelie brochure trolley halfway up the escalator on the way to a consumer show. The list is endless.
What’s the strangest question you have ever been asked about a cruise?
There are always questions like “Will I be able to get off the ship?”, and “Do the elevators go to all decks?” I always tell travel agent partners to keep things simple and sell a cruise just as they would do a hotel – and nobody ever asks those type of questions about a hotel.
How many of your cruise line’s ships have you sailed on? Do you have a favourite?
Nieuw Amsterdam used to be my favourite but now we have the beautiful Pinnacle-class Koningsdam, it’s hard to choose – I love the cinema screen out on the pool deck area. And we have a second Pinnacle-class ship, Nieuw Statendam, arriving this December.
Do you have a favourite on-board restaurant and why?
I’d have to say it’s our pan-Asian restaurant Tamarind, which serves (among other Asian delicacies), a beautiful red Thai curry. It’s so good. I also love the light jasmine tea at the start to set the ambience.
Which port would you definitely disembark in? What would you do there?
Once my daughters are a little older, I’d love to travel all over the world and discover many of those incredible cruise destinations. I love visiting new places and discovering new things to do in places I have already visited.
And which port would you opt to stay on board – and why?
Only on sea days will I tend to stay on board – I’ve got to have some time for the gym and the spa.
Which cruise is on your bucket list?
Australia and New Zealand on our lovely Noordam – I’ve been to Oz three times but still only visited a tiny part, and I’ve never been to New Zealand.
If you didn’t work in the cruise industry, what do you think you would do?
In a dream world, I’d be on stage at one of London’s West End theatres singing my little head off (badly) in anything. I love all musicals and have School of Rock and Matilda theatre visits coming up over the next year.