Virgin Voyages celebrates top 100 First Mates

From a music video style safety video and a tattoo parlour onboard to a PJ-themed party hosted by a drag queen and stateroom light controls with settings like “hangover” or “get it on”, Virgin Voyages is known to do things a little bit differently. And the same goes for travel agents, who are instead known as First Mates for the adults-only cruise line.

“In typical Virgin fashion, we have to have cheeky fun names for everything,” John Diorio, Virgin Voyages, vice president North American sales, tells PressToday during a one-on-one interview onboard Scarlet Lady. “First Mate is really the person we thought of when you think of the right-hand person to a captain and our belief is that on this journey for our brand to be successful, we need First Mates to help us.”

This week Virgin Voyages is hosting the top 100 travel advisors from North America and their plus ones for the second annual First Mate Spectacular Soiree to recognize their sales achievements and efforts throughout the past year.

“We came up with this concept last year to find a way to celebrate our First Mates and we honestly didn’t see anybody else doing this type of celebration for accomplishments,” he says. “We thought this would be the best way to create a unique experience to thank them. We could just send them awards but we thought let’s get every one together and have a voyage. It’s a great opportunity to thank them, hear from them, see the sales team and it’s purely so that we can thank them for the success they bring to us every year.”

While taking part in the four-night Fire & Sunset Soirées itinerary from Miami with stops in Key West and Virgin’s Beach Club at Bimini, in the Bahamas, there are also special events planned for the First Mates like an exclusive brunch with bubbles and a First Mates Ink Awards ceremony.

Sean Russo, sales manager, Canada, for Virgin Voyages is representing team Canada, with two travel advisors who have made the top 100: Sean Mills of Revolution Travel and Matt Houtby Vacations for Canadians.

Stay tuned for more coverage this week!