Homeworker makes his biggest-ever group booking after meeting cruise bloggers

Cruise Monkeys group, MSC Virtuosa
By Harry Kemble
Home » Homeworker makes his biggest-ever group booking after meeting cruise bloggers

A homeworker landed his biggest-ever group booking after being introduced to blogging duo Cruise Monkeys.

Martin Sandland-Owens, of The Holiday Village, booked 120 people on to MSC Virtuosa’s three-day sailing from Southampton on 27 April and in doing so bagged a free cabin on the cruise for him and his husband Stan.

Travel Village Group’s Commercial Manager Richard Cross introduced bloggers Gavin Phillips and Luke Kenniford to Martin two years ago because of his experience of booking groups.

Martin booked a series of cruise holidays for the pair, prompting Gavin and Luke to suggest he organise a cruise for their followers.

Cruise Monkeys followers voted for their preferred sailing – a taster cruise, calling into Portland, Dorset, and Cherbourg, France – and Martin confirmed the booking with MSC.

The entire booking was worth around £60,000, said Martin, who has since booked 10 of the passengers on other cruises with MSC Cruises, Celebrity Cruises and Princess Cruises.   

Martin Sandland-Owens joined the group on the MSC Virtuosa sailing with husband Stan

Martin said it helped that he had the chance to meet the group on the MSC Virtuosa sailing because they became more confident about booking with him again.

Luke and Gavin did not receive commission for any of the bookings.

Martin said: “120 passengers is the biggest number I’ve ever booked. It was one of those things that you just did not expect.

“Cruise Monkeys suggested the idea of a group cruise, I looked at a few different options and their followers voted for the MSC sailing.

“We put everything together and told them where they were meeting up every day. It was dead easy, and I got a free cabin out of it. I was only needed in case something went wrong, which it didn’t.”

He added: “After Peaks, it was nice to get away for a bit.”  

Martin hailed the efforts of MSC Cruises, saying: “MSC were really good. Everything that I asked for I got – nothing was too much trouble.

“They even dropped Cruise Monkeys cuddly toys into every cabin.”

The Cruise Monkeys cuddly toy left in the group’s cabins

Richard said the relationship between Martin and Cruise Monkeys has gone from strength to strength since his introduction.

“They came to me a couple of years ago with an enquiry for their own personal holiday and Martin helped them out, so it just went from there.

“I think they just hit it off and liked Martin’s service.”

Main picture shows the Cruise Monkeys group on MSC Virtuosa with Martin (bottom left)

See also: Agent makes £5k of bookings while 38000ft in the air

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