The Eurodam!

The Eurodam!

Probably the biggest myth about using a cruise (travel) agency/agent to book is that you will pay more versus booking yourself or via the cruise lines directly. This could not be farther from the truth!

Did you know…

  • Travel agents have access to special group rates that are not offered directly to the masses. Often, these group rates are offered with extra on board credits not offered by the cruise lines.
  • Agent commissions are BUILT IN to the prices of the cruise whether you use an agent OR book directly! What this means is no surcharge when working with an agent.
  • If prices reduce before you make your final payment, your agent will advise you and your out of pocket cost will be reduced! A cruise line will not do this.

We are here if you need us…you decide the time and we can even set up a Skype meeting for that personal touch! Bon Voyage!!

Grenada_1

Our impressions at ports of call, particularly first impressions, can have a tremendous affect on our overall cruise experience.  So, when the locals go out of their way to make cruisers feel welcome, it deserves to be mentioned.

During our honeymoon cruise on the Norwegian Spirit in November of 2004, one of our scheduled visits was to the island of Grenada.  The Spirit did call upon Grenada, but the stop was in question leading all the way up to our cruise departure.  Earlier in 2004, Grenada was struck by Hurricane Ivan, while a Category 3 storm.  Needless to say, the island and its inhabitants were devastated, homes and lives destroyed and changed forever.  As it turned out, the Spirit, during our cruise, would be the first ship to call on St. Georges, Grenada after Hurricane Ivan.

After tendering, and as we walked closer the (small) terminal, the sound of local (live) music was growing louder and louder.  It was also apparent that there was some sort of activity, involving lots of movement, taking place towards the entrance into the modest terminal.  We were delighted to see a welcoming committee of students and teachers, singing, dancing, smiling…and hugging anyone who would let them.  They weren’t begging, they weren’t asking for money…they were delighted to see us and appreciative that we were coming to visit their home.

The locals did not take it for granted that cruisers would come back after the repairs, simply because the government had contractual obligations with various cruise lines. They organized several ceremonies such as this early on (after Ivan), in an effort to make everyone feel welcome, and that their people shall overcome the major inconveniences caused by the storm.  Cathy and I truly felt like we were being told that “it was okay to visit, even though the struggles were far from over,” and that we were not imposing.  We have flown to the island a few times since then, and felt welcomed during each visit.

Today, in Le Havre, France, the Le Havre Cruise Club has launched its new Cruise Welcome Program, an effort that is sure to enhance our experience during calls to its port.  Read more about this HERE.

DSC07652-200x150As a Senior Ops Exec in hospitality, one of the phrases which makes me cringe is “…this is the way we’ve always done it….”  A variation, “…if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it….”  Not exactly a great way to keep your organization, resort, property and cruise ship/cruise line recognized as a leader in your industry.  Keeping status quo may work for a little while, but you must always act as if you are playing CHESS, not CHECKERS.  You must think several moves ahead, and not one move at a time.  How will what you do today affect tomorrow?

Seems Crystal Cruises agrees, as they strive make their Cruise Customer Experience the best in the (luxury) industry.  Here is the article:

Spring 2013: Luxury: Crystal Mission: To Be Best