Company creates coin to commemorate canceled cruise
John Jordan of Sarasota-based Cruise Coins designs and creates brass coins for cruise ship guests.
Business Observer Staff
| 2:30 p.m. July 23, 2020
Travel plans have been scrapped left and right during the pandemic. The cruise ship industry has been particularly hard hit, and the CDC recently announced an extension of its No Sail Order for cruise ships through Sept. 30.
An area entrepreneur — whose business revolves around cruises — didn’t let a canceled cruise stop him from creating a product to commemorate one “Cruise That Almost Was.”
John Jordan, president of Sarasota-based Cruise Coins LLC, designs and creates brass coins for cruise ship guests. The coins are personalized to that voyage, with design elements including ports of call. Because of cruise line rules, nothing is sold on board, and everything is preordered. Cruise guests connect prior to sailing through a Facebook group. Then one guest takes reservations from others and places an order with Cruise Coins. The organizer buys the coins for $14.95 and sells them to guests for $20.
When the pandemic hit, Jordan lost order after order as cruises were canceled. But guests on one cruise decided not to cancel — they wanted a keepsake of the unique time in history. A guest set to travel on a Carnival trans-Atlantic cruise in June approached Jordan with a question he’d never received before: “Can you change the text on the coin to ‘The Cruise That Almost Was?’” Jordan agreed, and 40 guests placed orders.
Jordan doesn’t expect to produce more coins for canceled cruises, but he’s already fielding interest for 2021 cruises. “What’s encouraging is people who had to cancel cruises booked one for 2021,” he says.
Jordan, who has created more than 7,000 coins for 60 cruises, is used to persisting through obstacles. To start his business, he dealt with a wave of rejection from cruise lines, a cruise ship retailer and others. “My running joke was, ‘I haven’t been turned down this much since high school,’” he says. But Jordan didn’t give up. He knew if he could get the coins into the hands of guests, they would be a hit. So Jordan and his wife went on a cruise and gave out free coins. “From there, they loved it,” he says. “It worked.”