Where Hustle Meets Heaven

by: Shayna Sirstins

The scientific name for a group of super-star salespeople is a hustle (or at least it should be).  A pride of lions. A quiver of cobras. A hustle of sales stars. And this group of top-notch, Japan-based sales stars and their guests, through hustle and hard work, earned every minute of a sun-filled cruise weekend.  But while their challenge was complete. Ours was just beginning: Create a fun, easy, and accessible cruise vacation for our Japanese-speaking guests.

DESTINATION: California, Here We Come!

Los Angeles.  Doesn’t matter where you’re from, everyone has heard of L.A.  Home to Hollywood, palm trees, gorgeous beaches, and movie stars, it’s a bucket-list destination for those born abroad—a sparkling incentive gem.  And logistically, it just makes sense since there are plenty of non-stop flights from Japan to LAX. The same is true from any airport in the U.S. Iconic and convenient, L.A. was the perfect adventure launch point.

ALL ABOARD: Do you want to do this the easy way or the hard way?

With so many Japanese-speaking guests, we knew the check-in process could make or break the experience.  So we arranged for a private check-in at the port for our group and had everyone boarded in under and hour!  Konichiwa and Sayonara.

WEST COAST GETAWAY: Ruby Princess to Catalina Island, California and Ensenada, Mexico.

The Ship: With 80% of its outside cabins having balconies, the Ruby Princess was a great fit for this adventure, allowing our guests to soak up as much of that famous West Coast sunshine as possible.  And those non-stop views of the open sea and ports of call can’t be beat!

Catalina:  Avalon.  The name is imbued with magic—the search for the Holy Grail.  And as the ship docks off the coast of this California jewel and you travel by tender to this island city—wind in your hair—you feel like you’ve taken a sip of living waters.  Homes of every color line the quaint streets. Visit the botanical garden, take a hike, bike ride around the island, go snorkeling or fishing. There is so much to do on this little island.

Ensenada: Two bucket-list countries for the price of one!  Located on the beautiful Baja California coast in Mexico, Ensenada is loaded with activities for every taste.  Horseback riding on the beach, surfing, sea kayaking, mountain biking, beaches, shops, and cantinas.  Don’t leave without trying some incredibly delicious and authentic tacos! Be sure to ask the locals—they’ll point you in the right direction.  ¡Que ricos! But a must-see is La Bufadora. This blowhole is one of the largest marine geysers in the world. Stand right near the edge and watch the stream of water reach almost 90 ft. high!  

Our Japanese guests seemed to really enjoy this slice of heaven in port and relaxing poolside onboard this beautiful vessel—A fitting reward for goals met.


Planning a successful trip for this group from Japan was a great learning experience.  Here are some takeaways that helped this trip run smoothly:

  1. Learn about the group’s culture beforehand so you’re more likely to understand and respect the differences.  
  2.  Have correct translations; this is super important!   Avoid Google Translator at all costs. Finding someone fluent in both languages to assist is critical.  
  3. Smile!  Language barriers can be difficult onsite, but a smile always helps to break down barriers.  


This incredible hustle of salespeople is now back home in the Land of the Rising Sun where winter is coming on, but I’m betting California dreaming will tide them over until their next incentive adventure.  And for us? Mission accomplished!