Friday, November 10, 2017

Cruise Lines Salute Veterans

 

Veterans Day 2017

First and foremost, today is the annual observance of Veteran's Day, a day set aside to honor the nation's veterans.   The image in this article was taken at the American Cemetery in Normandy, France, on one of our cruises several years ago.    The image of row after row of crosses will never leave me.

Every day we go about our business, and I suspect most of us take our freedom for granted.   It isn't because we aren't caring people, but instead perhaps because we just don't think about it.  So I ask you today to take a moment to reflect on the veterans, living and deceased, for without whose service we wouldn't be the free nation we are today.

We could never thank our military men and women enough for their courageous service and sacrifice to our country and its people. Yet today we lift up our voices to express gratefulness and honor to these military troops both from the past and present.


 THANK YOU FROM 

A GRATEFUL NATION 

Many cruise lines recognize our troops with special rates.  We've listed a couple offers which you might not be aware of.   Be sure to mention your military service when contacting us so that we can see if there are any rates that you qualify for.  We would be honored to help you plan some R & R.

 
Cruise Line Veterans Day Offer
Carnival Cruise Line
Saluting our soldiers with exclusive rates on select sailings through 2018! Plus, share your deal with two additional rooms.
Destinations include: Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico, Europe, Alaska
Royal Caribbean
Ongoing promotion allows Military, Police  & Fire personnel special discounts on select sailings

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Meetings At Sea


Achieve17 Conference 

Royal Caribbean 
Harmony of the Seas

We've just returned from our 2017 National Conference for Cruises Inc., CruiseOne, and Dream Vacations, which was held on board Royal Caribbean's latest ship in the Oasis-Class, Harmony of the Seas. We had a group of over 1000 people, including executives from our partner cruise line and land suppliers. The picture on the right was from our opening session which was held in the Royal Theater, which actually was one of our main venues throughout the week.  Royal Caribbean and our headquarters staff planned an amazing event once again.



Attention Corporate Meeting Planners  
Take the Stress Out of Your Next Meeting

Corporate Retreats are all about getting hard work done, encouraging team building, rewarding professional growth and highlighting company credibility. As a business, you make important decisions daily that spearhead your entire operation towards success. So, when planning your company’s retreat, why handle things any differently?

Think outside the box and take the humdrum corporate event setting from old to BOLD by holding your next corporate retreat aboard an incredible cruise ship. Bring productivity to the high seas with an exceptional alternative to the usual corporate scene. Let us custom-design your unique event to meet your requirements and expectations. We will make it easy, simple and above all…memorable for everyone!



THE BENEFITS OF CORPORATE RETREAT CRUISING: 

  • We will help you through the entire process of choosing the best fit for you and your team. 
  • All you need is just a reservation of EIGHT cabins or more and the appointed retreat leader cruises for FREE! 
  • With Cruises Inc. by your side, you will have a hassle-free booking process along with full assistance with the overall coordination. 
  • Earn the best corporate rates around and get access to exclusive perks like reduced rates, shipboard credits and additional on board amenities. 
  • You’ll have access to expert advice from an Independent Vacation Specialist with years of experience in corporate retreat planning. 
  • Meeting areas are available to accommodate any special request. 
  • The more attendees participating, the more you can save.




National Plan A Cruise Month Promotions 

Cruise lines are offering special promotions and pricing on popular cruises to encourage consumers to plan their next cruise vacation now. We'll be featuring promotions on our website and social media.

A Cruise Can Take You There (click for mini-series)

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Friday, October 27, 2017

Stress Free Cruise Tips


Greetings From Ft. Lauderdale
2017 Achieve
Cruises Inc, CruiseOne, Dream Vacations
National Conference

When going on a cruise vacation there are a few ways that you can take some of the stress of traveling away. One of the easiest ways is to arrive at the embarkation port a day early.

 Unless you live close to the port city, odds are that you plan to fly to your cruise destination. Flights can be delayed for many reasons: weather and mechanical problems probably being the most common. The last thing you want is to start your vacation worrying if the ship will be there when you arrive.

As you might expect, I follow my own advice about arriving a day early.   I'm writing this post from our hotel room in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.   Our National Conference will be held on board Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas.   Tonight MSC Cruises hosted a cocktail party poolside at one of our two conference hotels:  Hilton Marina Fort Lauderdale.   They are celebrating their new ship MSC Seaside.   We love that new ship smell and can't wait for her to be put into service next year.

When things go wrong, such as missed connection, unexpected illness, and flight delays, a little pre-planning can help with the stress and protect your vacation investment.  Our second tip for eliminating stress is purchase travel insurance.



TRAVEL PROTECTION 

Choose A Plan Now; Rest Easy Later. 

Common travel problems like flight delays, injuries and illness, unpredictable weather and lost or stolen luggage are why we recommend you travel with the LeisureCare Travel Protection plan. The LeisureCare Travel Protection Plan provides protection designed just for travelers. It can provide coverage for many of the things that can go wrong before and during your trip.

We will be posting highlights from Harmony of the Seas, so be sure to come back to visit again.



National Plan A Cruise Month Promotions 

Cruise lines are offering special promotions and pricing on popular cruises to encourage consumers to plan their next cruise vacation now. We'll be featuring promotions on our website and social media.

A Cruise Can Take You There (click for mini-series)

Follow Us On

Sign-up for Exclusive Email Offers


Where have you explored? 

#FoodTravelChat

Join us every Wednesday evening at 8pm EST for lively conversation about food travel brought to you by It's a tasty world & we're dishing it up!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Will that be With or Without Air


Will that be With or Without Air? There is no right or wrong answer to this question. You do want to make an informed decision, however.

When clients call me to plan a cruise, one of the first questions I ask them is if this is cruise-only or cruise-with-air. More often than not, they aren't sure which way to go.

There are several factors that come into play when deciding whether to do cruise-only or purchase airfare in addition to the cruise. Let's take a closer look at this.

Where does the cruise depart from?
It is possible to sail from 23 U.S. ports. Depending on where you live, it might be easier and less expensive to drive to the homeport instead of flying there.

Is this a round-trip cruise?
If the cruise departs and retuns to the same port, and you can drive to that port easily, that still might be your first choice. Flying is also an option if the port isn't in driving distance. Since this is a round-trip cruise, you'll be able to make round-trip air accomodations either through the cruise line or on your own.

Is this a repositioning cruise?
If the cruise is a repositioning cruise (often also known as a Transatlantic depending on destination) that may complicate things a bit. If the embarkation port is your homeport, it still might make sense to drive to the port. You'll just have to make arrangements to pick up your car upon return from the port of disembarkation.

If the embarkation port is not your homeport, you'll have to fly to that destination. Depending on the final destination port of the cruise, you may or may not have to fly home from there. Either way, you are now no longer talking about round-trip airfare.

Is there a cruise line incentive?
Especially in this ecomony, the cruise line may offer an incentive for booking select cruises. European cruises are good examples of when you might see some incentive. The incentive could be reduced air, free air, or upgraded accomodations with air purchase. You'll want to compute the complete cost of your cruise with or without applying the incentive.

Which air is cheaper?
Let's face it, you want the best value for your money, but you may also want convenience. So the question about which air is cheaper (cruise line or independent arrangements) may not be so clear cut after all. One thing you need to keep in mind is that the cruise line is arranging flights as a convenience to you and bears no responsibility if the air carrier doesn't deliver on its implied promise to get you to your destination on time. You'll want to check the cruise contract carefully and understand your rights and coverages. Travel insurance is your best bet if you want peace of mind.

Another thing to keep in mind is that cruise lines typically purchase bulk seating as one-way tickets so that they can use them as needed. That will often impact the price of the ticket and make independent booking the cheaper price.

Do you want full control of your arrangements?
This may come as a shock to you, but you can still have control of airline and departure times even when booking your flights through the cruise line. Custom air is available from most cruise lines and may be subject to additional fees, but may be the best of both worlds for you.

If you have premier frequent flier status with an airline, you might want to factor that into your decision process. Depending on the length of your cruise, and whether there are formal nights, you might be bringing extra baggage which could have cost implications. You'll want to take advantage of any extra baggage allowances your status allows you.

Are transfers from airport to pier included?
A hidden cost that you may overlook is the price to get to/from the airport/pier. Often the cruise line air will include transfers. You also need to determine the cost of transfers if you make alternative arrangements. In some destinations, like Europe, transfers can be rather expensive if you need to arrange them on your own.

Are you confused - what to do?
As you can see, there are many factors that come into play when deciding the best transportation for your cruise. I've listed the majority of the considerations here but there may be others depending on the cruise and ports involved. It is best to seek advice when making this decision. Your cruise specialist will be familiar with the transportation options for your cruise vacation and offer advice. The decision will still be up to you.

One approach that you might consider is to book the cruise-with-air initially and then do your homework to see if alternate arrangements are better for you. Don't wait until the last minute to book your flights or your ship may sail without you.



National Plan A Cruise Month Promotions 

Cruise lines are offering special promotions and pricing on popular cruises to encourage consumers to plan their next cruise vacation now. We'll be featuring promotions on our website and social media.

A Cruise Can Take You There (click for mini-series)

Follow Us On

Sign-up for Exclusive Email Offers


Where have you explored? 

#FoodTravelChat

Join us every Wednesday evening at 8pm EST for lively conversation about food travel brought to you by It's a tasty world & we're dishing it up!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Top 5 Packing Tips for the Perfect Escape


As airline baggage fees continue to rise with no end in sight, creative packing strategies have become the budget-savvy traveler's best friend. With airlines charging upwards of $75 dollars for a second bag and some even charging for the first, packing lightly is now a must.

We are packing for our National Conference Cruise that leaves this week on Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas.  Therefore, we thought we'd share this post for Plan a Cruise Month.

October 30th is Checklists Day

As a local Cruises Inc. independent vacation specialist, we frequently consult with our clients on the best way to pack for their travels. The Top 5 tips to save space and money include:

1. Make a list. Before packing anything, create a list with each day of your vacation and what you will need. Having a list saves time, creates less hassle and even more excitement about your upcoming trip. Plus, having a list can save you from realizing you've included ten pairs of underwear for your 3-night cruise!

2. Always pack full outfits. It is easy to throw items randomly into a suitcase that you `might need, but it is more efficient to include outfits for your respective days on the road or at sea. Remember your accessories, shoes, hats and more.

3. Keep it simple! If your vacation includes sun and sand, don't over pack sweaters and pants. Most likely, you will end up in a bathing suit and flip flops with a suitcase of heavy (and costly - remember the airline fees!) clothes you never use.

4. Don't overdo toiletries. Sure, you may love your uber-concentrated overnight moisturizer, but if it's not a must, leave it at home. Packing only the essentials will save space. And remember, most resorts and cruise ships today offer blow dryers and complimentary amenities (even some created just for them by your favorite cosmetic companies). Don't forget airport security policies limit your carry-on liquids (this includes lotions, creams and sprays) to 3.4 oz. If you don't want it confiscated, don't bring it.

5. Finally, don't stress. Preparing for a trip can be overwhelming, needing to pack for your entire family, cleaning the house, remembering your important documents, finding a pet-sitter and more. The ultimate goal is to relax and unwind with your kids, significant other and friends. If you're organized about your packing, you can save time and money.

Travel agents are trained experts in every aspect of travel - from packing to specific airline or cruise line rules/regulations and more - so don't feel like you're alone in the vacation planning process. For help with your next trip, Contact Us.





National Plan A Cruise Month Promotions 

Cruise lines are offering special promotions and pricing on popular cruises to encourage consumers to plan their next cruise vacation now. We'll be featuring promotions on our website and social media.

A Cruise Can Take You There (click for mini-series)

Follow Us On

Sign-up for Exclusive Email Offers


Where have you explored? 

#FoodTravelChat

Join us every Wednesday evening at 8pm EST for lively conversation about food travel brought to you by It's a tasty world & we're dishing it up!