Thursday, January 24, 2008

Direct Line Cruises Wins Norwegian Cruise Line Freestyle Agency of the Year Award

From left to right: Andy Stuart, NCL executive vice president of marketing, sales and passenger services; Cindy Zalesky, NCL business development director, Northeast region; Sara Moran, NCL business development manager; Greg Coiro, CEO, Direct Line Cruises; Helen Coiro, president, Direct Line Cruises; Tom Coiro, vice president, Direct Line Cruises; Chris Coiro, vice president, legal affairs and acquisitions, Direct Line Cruises; Terri Burke, NCL vice president of business development; and Scott Rogers, NCL senior vice president of marketing and sales.

On December 19, 2007, while onboard the Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) named Direct Line Cruises its “Freestyle Agency of the Year”. This award was one of only three awards given out that evening and this year was the first year that this award was given out.

At the end of a wonderfully informative and entertaining evening, NCL announced that it had five awards to give out (two of them were previously given out). The fifth and final award was the “Freestyle Agency of the Year”. Before announcing the winner of the award, Vice-President Terri Burke provided the audience with a nice little history of Direct Line Cruises, which was filled with compliments. Additionally, she discussed the partnership between NCL and Direct Line Cruises and the efforts Direct Line Cruises has taken to become an excellent partner. It was just an absolutely wonderful introduction that put smiles on every last member of our staff as well as the founders, Tom and Helen Coiro.

Terri Burke then announced Direct Line Cruises was the winner and we were invited on stage to accept two extremely heavy awards and a future cruise in one of their luxury courtyard villas. We had our pictures taken on stage and Tom Coiro was permitted to give a speech, thanking NCL, the entire Direct Line Cruises staff and our NCL sales representatives, Sara Moran and Cindy Zalesky.
I would like to take this opportunity to briefly reiterate what Tom Coiro stated by sincerely thanking our entire staff at Direct Line Cruises. Without every single one of them picking up the telephone, sending out confirmations, addressing customer service issues, etc., there would quite possibly be no Direct Line Cruises because I personally would probably stink at selling the cruises.

Another thank you must go out again to Sara Moran and Cindy Zaleky. As with any business relationship, things are not always perfect, but you both always try to find a way to get it as close to perfect as you can. And if it was not for your persistence in making sure the things we needed were obtained for us, it is quite possible that we would still not be selling NCL cruises today.

We also must thank Tom and Helen Coiro who are the founders of Direct Line Cruises. They started this business from the basement of their home and despite many times over the first few years of wondering whether they should shut down the business, they stuck with it to make it what it is today. Their efforts are the real driving force behind what Direct Line Cruises has become.

Finally, I must thank everyone at NCL. I can not fully express how honored we at Direct Line Cruises feel especially considering we have only been selling NCL product for a little over two years. NCL has done many things in the past to let us know how much they appreciate our business but this one absolutely takes the cake. We will proudly display our awards and look forward to living up to our title as NCL’s Agency of the Year.

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