Showing posts with label Vacation Values. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vacation Values. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

2021 Winter Travel Planner Magazine is Here!

 

Our newest digital issue of the Travel Planner magazine is here!

 
If YOU are comfortable and ready to travel, I'd love to help you plan your trip! This magazine is a great source of inspiration, with some great possibilities for land-based vacations that could be enjoyed now, and when the cruise lines are able to start sailing again...river cruises in the USA and in Europe and ocean cruises all over the world. Many of the offers are valid for booking before April 30th, others are through various dates in March. If you see something that intrigues you...ask me about it!
 
I know everyone has a different comfort level at this time, but please know that a wide range of travel opportunities can be booked for this year, next year, or even 2023. This 45-page e-zine will certainly give you some great ideas to ponder and dream about in the following categories dedicated to those regions or sub-regions.
 
• Let’s Go Caribbean & Mexico
• Let’s Go USA & Hawaii
• Let’s Go Alaska
• Let’s Go Exotics & Expeditions
• Let’s Go Europe
 
It also has several featurettes sprinkled throughout, with embedded YouTube videos to continue to spark your travel imagination! When you're ready to book, please reach out to me and I will be very happy to take care of all the details for you. Just click the image to explore and start dreaming! (Plus on page 3, you could register to win a 7-night AMA WATERWAYS river cruise for two! Must enter by April 30th)



  

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Monday, November 25, 2019

Princess Cruises' $1 Deposit Event - ONE DAY ONLY!

Tomorrow only Princess Cruises is featuring $1 deposits plus free wi-fi!! Please feel free to contact me at 317.776.1733 or clingren@cruiseplanners.com so we can pick out the perfect itinerary for your future Princess Cruise!



Saturday, January 28, 2017

A Weekend of Fun Selling Experiences & Adventures for People to Getaway and Have Some Fun!

And the fun begins.... NOW! The doors will be opening in just a few moments and we're right up front by the entry doors, ready to sell amazing experiences for people to get away from their stress and some rejuvenation. If you're in the NYC area today, come see me! We're at The New York Times Travel Show at Javits Center.



Thursday, May 5, 2016

You Use a Professional for your Health, Finances, Insurance, Legal Concerns, and Even Your Hair...You Should for Travel Too!

DIY can be great for many assorted projects - Pinterest has flourished for that reason alone - but when it comes to things like your hair, your health, your finances, insurance, legal advice - and YES - your travel plans - you really should seek a professional who does it day in and day out all year long for that one vacation per year you take. Why spend hours upon hours searching through too much information available online when you can easily turn to a professional to take care of you. Nolan lays out the reasons plainly and simply.

#travelagentawareness



Saturday, January 30, 2016

Getting the Best Cruise Value

 

When planning your family's next big cruise vacation, finding the best values will make you a hero, especially if you have funds leftover for some cool "extras" that you might not have thought possible when first putting your budget together.  The key is to find the right money-saving tricks.  Here are just a few to consider that can, when added together, provide some serious monetary value for your vacation: 
  • Book early.  When I say early, I mean up to a year or more in advance. Yes, those few last-minute "deals" you find might seem tempting and the way to go, but do realize that last-minute also equals slim pickings in choice of category or room location, if there is any availability at all in your desired room type.  When planning your vacation, know that the best deals and the best selection go to those who plan ahead... 8, 12, or even 15 months or more in advance.  For the cruise lines, the months of January - March are considered "Wave Season", providing the most significant discounts, upgrades, and freebies for those guests who plan ahead.  October is another key month when additional discounts and offers are available for those who plan ahead.  
  • Book a package.  More and more many cruise lines are offering package deals on specialty dining, wine, and excursions with discounts of up to 25% over a la carte pricing, effectively creating more of an all-inclusive atmosphere onboard.  As an example, Norwegian Cruise Line offers packages of 3 specialty restaurant dinners for just $47 per person, which is a great saving vs. buying them individually onboard. 
  • Go all-inclusive.  The larger mass-appeal cruise lines, such as Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Carnival, etc, will charge for beverages, shore excursions, specialty dining, gratuities and more all as add-on fees once onboard - though during wave season several of them are offering great value promotions with free inclusions for any or all of these items. Luxury lines such as Seabourn, Crystal, Silversea, etc, have become much more value-conscious in the past few years by offering an all-inclusive experience... one price gets it all included.  Regent Seven Seas goes even further, by bundling in guests' airfare and all shore excursions.  So even though the total price might be slightly higher when comparing the luxury lines to the mass lines, the overall experience and satisfaction are likely to be better thanks to a more rewarding experience with a higher staff-to-guest ratio, and more intimate ships.
  • Sail the off-season.  Many lines offer reduced fares for repositioning cruises (i.e. moving ships from destination to destination, such as prior to or after the conclusion of the Alaska season, or moving through the Panama Canal from the Atlantic itineraries to Pacific itineraries, etc).  Another off-season time in early December, before the Christmas holidays and peak pricing.  
  • Use the services of an experienced cruise agent.  Choosing a cruise might seem simple - just look at the options and pick one, right?  Not necessarily, as even similar-looking itineraries can yield vastly different experiences. Cruise agents are experienced travelers and experts in their profession, helping to navigate the sometimes choppy waters of the vast array of options, lines, stateroom categories and so much more.  Experienced cruise agents work with each individual client to craft the best possible vacation experience for that client's needs and desires.  No one-size-fits-all website provider will do that!  Plus experienced cruise agents will be able to find the best value for their clients, even though the best value isn't always the lowest price.  Though they do often go hand in hand, remember that "value" and "price" are not one and the same.     What is a "great" value to you, might not be held in the same esteem to your friend or neighbor, even if you each paid the exact same amount of money.  While you might view the price paid as the most important aspect, your friend might view the intrinsic value of the overall experience(s) enjoyed as more important than the monetary value of the price paid.  Value and price are not one and the same, and experienced cruise agents work to match the client to the experience, whereas most websites simply offer cruises as products to be purchased for a set price, regardless of whether or not it is the best value for you, the individual.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sail Away With Us 2014


Join me next January in escaping the winter cold & snowy doldrums by exploring the wonders of the Western Caribbean!  Enjoy a nearly all-inclusive vacation onboard Royal Caribbean's enchanting ship, the Oasis of the Seas!  Book with us and receive an amazing onboard savings coupon booklet, plus $75 Onboard Credit plus a complimentary bottle of wine in your stateroom.  Starting at just $879 per person, you too could enjoy an amazing week in the sunny, warm waters of the Caribbean visiting Cozumel, Falmouth & Labadee.  Sailing from Ft. Lauderdale, FL, this is one winter vacation you won't forget!  For more information or to register, visit the link below.  Space is limited.

http://www.neverlandadventurescruises.com/rw/view/2286


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Tips on Thursday - Stateroom Selection



Cruise Ship Stateroom Selection OR How to Find the Smoothest Ride and Figuring Out Pricing

When trying to make a determination as to where to stay onboard a cruise ship, there are two main considerations to make – what kind of stateroom (the category) that you would like, and where the stateroom is located on the ship.  Both of these factors come in to play when looking to find the best price and the overall smoothness of the ride throughout your voyage.  In order to fully examine finding the best price and the smoothness factor, first we must look at the four basic types of staterooms found on nearly all cruise ships. 
Disney Cruise Line, Disney Dream: Inside Stateroom
  • Inside – Inside staterooms are typically found on the inner side of the hallways, across from the outside of the ship. Inside staterooms tend to be the least expensive category onboard as they will be pitch black when you shut the door and turn out the lights as they do not have any windows, or any way to see the outside world at all.  Most modern ships offer them, but there aren’t as many onboard as there once were, as many ships utilize the majority of that space for crew space or other needs such as Kids Clubs, Business Facilities such as Conference Rooms, guest laundry spaces or other functions.  There is one line, however, who offers Inside Staterooms WITH a view to the outside world.  With the introduction of the Disney Dream in 2011 and the Disney Fantasy in 2012, Disney Cruise Line introduced the innovative “virtual portholes” to its inside staterooms.  These “windows” are actually round video screens that look like porthole windows, and feature a live feed from cameras facing out from the sides of the ship.  These staterooms, while still the most inexpensive onboard, have quickly become the most popular too on Disney Cruise Line. 
Disney Cruise Line, Disney Dream:  Oceanview Stateroom
  • Outside or Oceanview – Outside staterooms are called "Outside” or “Oceanview" because they have windows where you can see outside to the ocean, but the windows do not open. The windows are typically very heavy glass portholes closer to the surface of the water, often on decks 2 and 3.  The windows themselves are designed to be almost as strong as the hull itself, and usually have heavy steel covers that can be closed and tightly screwed down in case of very strong weather conditions. Some Outside or Oceanview rooms will offer just one porthole, others offer two, and still others might offer one large porthole that might be the equivalent size of three in one.  Each line designs their ships differently, so we cannot make blanket statements that cover them all, since that’s just not possible. 
Disney Cruise Line, Disney Dream:   Oceanview with Verandah Stateroom
  • Balcony – Balcony staterooms have a verandah, or balcony, with a door that opens.  On the balcony, guests will find deck chairs, often a small table and a strong railing that must be at least 42 inches high.  Balconies vary in size, as well as the separation device between them.  Some offer a full wall for a higher degree of privacy in between neighboring rooms, while others offer less than a full wall.  
Disney Cruise Line, Disney Dream: One-Bedroom Suite
  • Suites – Suites are extra-large staterooms, but it is a mistake to assume that all suites offer a separate bedroom space, because many do not.  Keep in mind that cruise staterooms are not hotel rooms in the same manner as on land, and are never as large as a traditional hotel room.  Suites are the closest approximation, however. There are "Junior” or “Mini-Suites," "Family Suites," as well as "Owner's Suites" and “Penthouse Suites” and so many other name variations specific to each cruise line.  The overall look and feel varies by cruise line, but most of them have bathtubs, mini refrigerators, extra closet space and larger seating areas. Some include whirlpool tubs, or dining areas, or are even multi-level with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms. 

When looking at the various ships in each cruise line’s fleet, it can be said that the newest ships tend to have far more balcony cabins than the older ships do.  Simply stated, this is because balcony cabins are the most popular category across all lines.  Nearly 80% of the staterooms on the newest ships (within the past five years) offer a balcony; some luxury ships are 100% balcony staterooms.

When looking to see what location to secure a stateroom in onboard the ship, the location and category not only affect the price that you’ll pay, but also how smooth your voyage might be.  When it comes to location, the smoothest ride is going to be experienced in the mid-section of the ship, or "mid-ship,” located about half-way between the front (forward) and the back (aft).  To understand why the smoothest ride is at mid-ship, think of your childhood and playing on the equipment at the playground, specifically the teeter-totters, and the up and down motion that they make.  A ship acts very much like a teeter-totter as it glides through the ocean’s waters.  The middle of the ship is essentially the axis for the entire ship, as it goes up and down, called “pitching”, which refers to the front of the ship moving up while the back moves down. Good captains will face their ship into the waves because it is less dangerous than taking a large wave from the side, so pitch is more common than “rolling”, which refers to the motion moving from side to side, which happens when a ship takes waves from the side versus the front.  Still imagining that teeter-totter, the ship’s fulcrum is the water line.  The closer to the water line, in the mid-ship section, the less motion is felt, while more motion is felt in the forward and the aft.  So, the “best” stateroom location for movement purposes is on a lower deck in the mid-ship. Of course the size of the individual ship comes into play as well, with the larger ships pitching and rolling a lot less than smaller ships do, as the smaller ships are more prone to respond to every wave than the larger ships.

The pitching and rolling effect experienced during your voyage is what may cause trouble for you, if you are prone to sea sickness.  The rougher the seas, the more difference it can make.  If you ARE prone to sea sickness, do anything you can to stay away from the forward staterooms, as this section will experience the most nauseating motion, thanks to that teeter-totter affect.  Aft staterooms also can experience some of it as well, though nowhere as much as the forward. 

Now that you’ve considered the various stateroom categories, and the locations of the ship, why are some stateroom sub-categories higher than others, price wise?  Each basic category is often broken down even further into sub-categories, which can have very different price points just within the main category.  And pricing all comes down a couple of primary factors:  location on the ship, and supply and demand. 

·         Many categories might be available on multiple decks, while some might only be available on specific decks.  Within those category sub-sets, location onboard comes into play as well.  Oftentimes the lower priced staterooms within a category sub-set might be in the highest “traffic” areas, or be balcony rooms with an “obstructed” view (either obstructed by lifeboats, of structural aspects of the ship itself or something else).

·         As individual categories sell out, the price for remaining stateroom inventory within a specific category or sub-category goes up, and once inventory at specific price-points is gone, it’s gone.  So be warned if you are looking to cruise in the future and you want a specific stateroom category (or even a specific stateroom), book early as the closer you get to the sailing date, the less likely you are to be able to secure exactly what you want. The old adage “the early bird gets the worm” certainly applies in the cruise industry as well, of course, here it’s the “the early booking gets the prime locations and prices.”  

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Saturday Savers - Getting the Best Cruise Value


When planning your family's next big cruise vacation, finding the best values will make you a hero, especially if you have funds left over for some cool "extras" that you might not have thought possible when first putting your budget together.  The key is to finding the right money saving tricks.  Here are just a few to consider that can, when added together, provide some serious monetary value for your vacation:


  • Book early.  When I say early, I mean up to a year or more in advance.  Yes, those last-minute "deals" might seem tempting and the way to go, but do realize that last minute also equals slim pickings in choice of category or room location, if there is any availability at all in your desired room type.  When planning your vacation, know that the best deals and the best selection goes to those who plan ahead... 8, 12 or even 15 months or more in advance.  For the cruise lines, the months of January - March are considered "Wave Season", providing the most significant discounts, upgrades and freebies for those guests who plan ahead.  October is another key month when additional discounts and offers are available for those who plan ahead.  
  • Book a package.  More and more many cruise lines are offering package deals on specialty dining, wine and excursions with discounts of up to 25% over a la carte pricing, effectively creating more of an all-inclusive atmosphere onboard.  As an example, Norwegian Cruise Line offers packages of 3 specialty restaurant dinners for just $47 per person, which is a great savings vs. buying them individually onboard. 
  • Go all-inclusive.  The larger mass-appeal cruise lines, such as Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Carnival, etc, will charge for beverages, shore excursions, specialty dining, gratuities and more all as add-on fees once on board.  Luxury lines such as Seabourn, Crystal, Silversea, etc, have become much more value-conscious in the past couple of years by offering an all-inclusive experience... one price gets it all included.  Regent Seven Seas goes even further, by bundling in guests' airfare and all shore excursions.  So even though the total price might be slightly higher when comparing the luxury lines to the mass lines, the overall experience and satisfaction is likely to be better thanks to a more rewarding experience with a higher staff-to-guest ratio, and more intimate ships.
  • Sail the off-season.  Many lines offer reduced fares for re-positioning cruises (i.e. moving ships from destination to destination, such as prior to or after the conclusion of the Alaska season, or moving through the Panama Canal from the Atlantic itineraries to Pacific itineraries, etc).  Another off-season time is early December, before the Christmas holidays and peak pricing.  
  • Use the services of an experienced cruise agent.  Choosing a cruise might seem simple - just look at the options and pick one, right?  Not necessarily, as even similar-looking itineraries can yield vastly different experiences. Cruise agents are experienced travelers and experts in their profession, helping to navigate the sometimes choppy waters of the vast array of options, lines, stateroom categories and so much more.  Experienced cruise agents work with each individual client to craft the best possible vacation experience for that client's needs and desires.  No one-size-fits-all website provider will do that!  Plus experienced cruise agents will be able to find the best value for their clients, even though the best value isn't always the lowest price.  Though they do often go hand in hand, remember that "value" and "price" are not one and the same.     What is a "great" value to you, might not be held in the same esteem to your friend or neighbor, even if you each paid the exact same amount of money.  While you might view the price paid as the most important aspect, your friend might view the intrinsic value of the overall experience(s) enjoyed as more important than the monetary value of the price paid.  Value and price are not one and the same, and experienced cruise agents work to match the client to the experience, whereas most websites simply offer cruises as products to be purchased for a set price, regardless of whether or not it is the best value for you, the individual.



Saturday, January 12, 2013

Saturday Savers - More VALUE Found in the Travel Advisor Community

Again in researching information to provide for Saturday Savers, I found another great article to demonstrate the VALUE that a good Travel Agent can bring to the table for their clients.  Click the link and check out this article below and let me know what you think.  

Hurricane Sandy's Lessons to Travelers: Use a Travel Agent

Many of us plan out vacations to the nth degree, but ultimately life doesn't always happen the way that you plan. Things happen, especially when mother nature is concerned.  As this article from this past fall demonstrates, sometimes mother nature gets in the way and disrupts even the best laid plans.  Having a Travel Agent in your corner can truly be beneficial when things don't turn out the way that you imagined they would.  In the end, that can truly be translated... VALUE.  But only when you use the Travel Agent from the beginning to help you put together your fantastic plans.  When you trust them to help you plan things, and use their services to book your vacation, Travel Agents will be right there for you when things go a bit awry, and they just might end up saving you time and money and help you get home again instead of sitting in an overcrowded terminal for days as many people had to during the still recent events of Hurricane Sandy.  

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Best Cruise


"What is the best cruise?”  It’s a question that every cruise expert gets at some point in time, often repeatedly.  Variations might include “which is the best cruise line?" or “which is the best cruise for visiting ….. (choose your destination)” .  While the questioner might truly be looking for a solid answer to their question, there truly is no one size fits all response. 

As often as I receive these questions, I never have an easy answer.  Why?  Because the “best” cruise for you might not be the same for your neighbor, or your sister or Uncle Henry.  The best cruise is a truly a matter of personal taste, timing and always a bit of luck - in that order.  What might be the best cruise choice for me might be bust for you, or the other way around.  Therefore whenever I get the inevitable question, I always turn it around and start asking questions back to the inquisitor.

This "best cruise" conundrum causes many of us in the industry a healthy dose of concern.  It is not my place to tell anyone what I think is the best cruise line or best cruise ship, rather it is my job to provide factual information about any given cruise line or ship, not my opinion.  The "best cruise" question will always be a personal opinion, whether mine, yours, or someone else’s.  My own best cruise experiences must be seen in the context of my personal tastes.  In the same vein, I can only tell you what I think is the best cruise for you when I know your personal preferences.  Certainly, as I work through the answers that my clients provide to a list of standard questions that I ask to help determine their tastes, interests, desires, and budget I will make recommendations, but I never tell clients which ship will be the “best” for them.  Providing information about ships, itineraries and various stateroom categories then allow my clients to determine for themselves what the “best cruise” will be for them. 

So the next time that you are ready to start planning a vacation, whether you come to me or another expert in the industry, be prepared to start answering questions yourself so that I can start putting together the pieces of the puzzle to help you determine which is the “best cruise” for you and your loved ones.   In the meantime, feel free to take a look at some itineraries for yourself via my website.  When you’re ready to explore options, I’ll be ready to assist you!



Thursday, October 25, 2012

Join the Vacation Party



Check out these great deals!  These are the types of limited-time offers and exclusive deals that come each week in Cruise Planners' "Weekly Travel Deals".  All you need to do to receive them is to opt-in over on my website, and you'll start receiving them the week after you register.  For those of you read along but live outside the U.S., I cannot sell to you, based on cruise line restrictions, but I do appreciate you following along!  

Another entry into the continuing report regarding our recent sailing on the Disney Magic will be coming soon!! 


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Free Dining is Back at Walt Disney World! Fall 2012 Dates Now Available


FREE DINING is back at Walt Disney World!

Valid for stays select nights 9/30/12 - 12/13/12.

Book a vacation package that includes a 6-night, 7-day stay at a Walt Disney World resort and a 7-day park ticket, and receive the Dining Plan for free! 

Book a Disney Value Resort and get a Quick Service Dining free!
Book a Disney Moderate, Deluxe, or Deluxe Villas Resort and get the Regular Dining free!


Sample Pricing: The following pricing is for select dates 10/19/12 - 11/1/12, 11/24/12 - 11/29/12, and 12/10/12 - 12/13/12 in a Standard Room. Sample pricing does not include tax. Rates will vary depending on the resort, room type, and dates of travel.

Value Resort (4 nights, 5 days for a family of 4): $1,922
Moderate Resort (4 nights, 5 days for a family of 4): $2,421

Free dining available select nights 9/30-10/4, 10/19-11/1, 11/9-11/15, 11/23-11/29, and 12/10-12/13/12.All discounts are subject to availability, certain restrictions apply. Blackout dates may apply. Discount is not valid at campsites, 3-bedroom villas, or the Little Mermaid Standard View rooms at Disney's Art of Animation Resort. Dining plans can be upgraded at an additional cost. 

The number of rooms for this offer is limited, and it must be booked by 9/29/12. Don't delay, get yours booked today! Call 317.776.1733.  Or simply visit my website to enter your free vacation quote request now.  Don't delay!  Get your fall trip booked now! 

  

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tips on Thursday - Why a Travel Agent?



Are Travel Agents Dinosaurs?

Absolutely Not!  You ask, “why should I call a Travel Agent instead of going direct?”  Good Question! About 5 years ago, it was predicted that being a Travel Agent was a dying profession, and in the age of technology, Travel Agents would become extinct. Well, here it is 5+ years later and the agent community is alive, thriving, and growing once again. Yes, it is true that booking an airline ticket is a commodity, so they’re not quite the order takers they once were. Today’s Travel Agent will help you figure out not only where your next vacation will be; they will help you weed through the piles of information on the internet and let you know what’s real and what’s not.

So let’s take a moment to examine Why you SHOULD use a Travel Agent

  • The biggest myth surrounding Travel Agents is that they “charge” for their services. And for the most part, their service is complimentary. Perhaps not for an airline ticket (because airlines have cut out paying any commission), but for travel – such as cruises, tours, and land packages, their commission is paid by the vendor. This means – Travel Agent’s Services are FREE to you!
  • You get the BEST DEAL by calling on a Cruise Planners/American Express Travel Consultant. We don’t work for any one Cruise Line or Tour Operator – we search all cruise lines to find you the best deal for the best available cabin at the time of booking. And the best part is a travel agent will continue to work for you even after the deposit. So, if a cruise line has a rate change, we call and lower your price. If you book directly with the supplier, does the cruise line call you to let you know there has been a price reduction? I doubt it!
  • A good agent will also provide advice – once you pull into a port of call, now what? Try to Google the words “Mediterranean cruise” and you will see 1.5 million results. Yikes! Where do you start to look? Who is legitimate and who isn’t? A good Travel agent will guide you and let you know which is the most popular site to see, or even some hidden secrets they’ve uncovered while traveling. When calling a cruise line directly, do you think the hourly person who answers the phone can offer the same advice?
  • If you run into trouble on a weekend while traveling, will the cruise line agent help? Most agents check their e-mail or voice mail during the weekend just in case of any emergency. 
  • Your time is valuable. Give an agent a call and let them know what trip you are interested in and let them do all the work. Why spend hours and hours searching the internet or calling each cruise line? Call a Cruise Planners/American Express specialists and will save you time and money.
  • Who has the best deals? If I call direct, will I get the best possible deal? Yet another myth is that many online sites run exclusive promotions or hold space months in advance. This supposedly gives them an advantage on certain ships and sailing dates. Travel Agents have access to all the best promotions as well. You might receive extra shipboard credit to spend onboard or pre-paid gratuities so all tipping is included. And on some itineraries a unique shore excursion is available. They aren’t available on all sailings, but if you book in advance you are more likely to enjoy a special extra perk.
  • A Travel Agent can help you customize your vacation! So you want to have a family reunion, get married, or renew your vows on board? Call your Travel Agent today! Don’t try and book this through the cruise lines or on your own as it will likely become a nightmare. By booking through a reputable agent, they will take the burden off of you and become the “party planner”. They can set up cocktail parties, beach parties, special shore excursions, wedding receptions, meeting rooms, dining arrangements. Leave it to the pros!
  • With so many travel options out there, it can be overwhelming. We work as your "value interpreter."  Using our expertise, we find amazing experiences that exceed your every desire, but not your budget. With our services, you can be confident that your vacation will be perfectly planned, hassle-free, and filled with moments you'll never forget. 

So why wait?  Call me today at 317.776.1733 to get your next vacation plan started… or visit my website.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Tips on Thursday - Top 10 Reasons to Take a Cruise


Stopher's Top 10 Reasons Why You Ought to Take a Cruise for Your Next Vacation

  1. Choose to cruise for VALUE. One price buys your cabin, dining, entertainment and more.
  2. Choose to cruise for ROMANCE. Secluded beaches, en suite dining on a balcony overlooking the ocean and spa services for two are just some of the romantic pursuits available.
  3. Choose to cruise for CUISINE. Tantalize your taste buds with gourmet fare that showcases exotic ingredients, old standbys like pizza and ice cream or spa cuisine for a healthy alternative. Depending on your mood, dine in a traditional ballroom setting, a small bistro or a casual eatery.
  4. Choose to cruise for VARIETY. With over 200 distinctive ships, 3000 ports-of-call and an unbelievable array of places to see and things to do, there is a perfect cruise for you. For even more choice, consider a pre- or post-land tour.
  5. Choose to cruise for ACTIVITIES. Fill your days with sightseeing, sports activities, cultural lectures, educational tours led by naturalists and historians or simply lounge by the pool and relax. At night, enjoy dance extravaganzas, musical revues, gaming or a quiet evening gazing at the stars.
  6. Choose to cruise for SIMPLICITY. Don't come back from your vacation needing a vacation. Planning a cruise is simple; your CLIA-affiliated travel agency can handle all of the details. Once you're on board, nearly all expenses are pre-paid... talk about hassle-free.
  7. Choose to cruise for NEW HORIZONS. Fall asleep in one destination and awake to a new horizon... and you only have to pack and unpack once!
  8. Choose to cruise for FAMILY. Families love cruising. Children's programs, kid-friendly menus and tours of the ship will keep your children happy, while affording you some time alone.
  9. Choose to cruise for PAMPERING. Regardless of your budget, all cruise lines pamper their guests with first-class service around the clock.
  10. Choose to cruise for SATISFACTION. It's a fact that cruises have a higher percentage of satisfied customers than any other vacation experience.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tips on Thursday - How to Get the Best Cruise Vacation Deal


Should I wait to book my cruise? 
Well that depends on you. Do you have the luxury of traveling at the last minute? If not, contact your local cruise agent and book well in advance. This will assure you the best cabin at the best rate available. That doesn’t mean that the cruise rate won’t change; but if you are dealing with a good agent, they will guarantee to change your rate if the cruise line adjusts the prices prior to final payment.

How do I know if I am dealing with a good agent?
Check out the company you are dealing with – try using one that has a good reputation or touts they are “Top Producers” with the cruise line of your choice. This typically means that they have buying power and will have special pricing or amenities available.

When is the best time to travel?
If you are traveling to any exotic port, there are usually softer booking periods in which pricing can be hundreds of dollars lower. For example, if you are sailing to Alaska – book in May or September and your savings will be substantial. Caribbean is dirt cheap in the fall – it’s so inexpensive, it’s almost free. Well, maybe not, but it can be less than $100 dollars per day which is cheaper than staying home. Again, choose a reputable, knowledgeable agent who can guide you to these savings.

How do I find the best cruise deals?
Ask your travel agent if they send out weekly specials. Most competent agents send out a weekly e-mail promotion. This will give you a heads up when they have special cruise deals. In other words, agents regularly have access to cruise line promotions that include: shipboard credit, cabin category upgrades, reduced payment deposits, coupon booklets for onboard savings, and even free gratuities. But you will miss the deal, if you don’t know about it.



Tuesday, March 27, 2012

It's the 2-Day WOW Sale! March 27 & 28 ONLY!

 

The 2-day WOW Sale is on now with up to $200 onboard credit, plus 50% reduced deposit. TODAY & TOMORROW ONLY you can take advantage of these amazing savings by booking any sailing that departs on or after June 1, 2012. The 2-Day WOW Sale includes cruisetours and sailings on our entire fleet!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Tips on Thursday - Myths & Misconceptions: One and the Same?


What do the “Abominable Snowman”, the “Loch Ness Monster” and “Booking Cruises Directly with the Cruise Line is Cheaper” all have in common?  Answer: They are all myths.  While we may not be experts on the first two subjects, at Cruise Planners we can certainly shed some light about direct booking myths.

First of all, let’s face it, a sales representative at a cruise line gets paid to sell only their company whether it’s the right product for you or not.  They will never recommend the competition. That should be enough right there to make you stop and think. But wait, there’s more!  Special prices?  At Cruise Planners we see the same rates on the computer as the cruise line sales representative. But more importantly, in addition, we have access to unique rates such as exclusive group fares, regional specials, and other special rate programs.

The most important part of planning a cruise is not simply getting the lowest price. The real goal should be to get the right cruise for your personal needs at the best price available.  At Cruise Planners there is no charge for our basic services as we are compensated by the cruise lines for providing personal service to you.  It’s the best deal in town. So, even though we can’t help with sightings of the Snowman or Lochie we can plan the cruise vacation of lifetime for you.  

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tips on Thursday - Riding the Wave

Welcome to wave season - the best time to book your next cruise vacation. It happens every year. Between January through the end of March, all the cruise lines offer their very best deals of the year on cruises to just about every corner of the globe. There are some outstanding early booking incentives and extras that can vary from cruise line to cruise line. Some of the most common of the incentives include:
  • Special Pricing
  • Extra Value Offers
  • On-Board Credits
  • Cabin Upgrades (usually within the same category)
  • Reduced Deposits
  • On-Board Coupon Booklets
Family summer vacation to the Caribbean on Royal Caribbean, sure why not? River cruise through Paris and Normandy, no problem. Cruise through the Mediterranean on the coolest ship ever, Norwegian Epic we’ve got it! Anniversary trip to a long dreamed about trek down under to Australia or New Zealand on Princess Cruises? OK! Taking a trek to the great northern wonderland of Alaska with Disney? No problem. 

If you haven't already received the January issue of the Cruise Planner Magazine, visit my website today to be sure and sign up for the next issue coming out in July. It's packed full of Wave Season specials that will get you thinking about your next vacation. And until then, why not sign-up for my weekly ePostcard, using the special "Travel Deals" green box here, which will provide 4-6 exclusive offers and discounts directly to your email's inbox each week. You never know when inspiration will strike and the sea calls you. Why not be ready to answer the call and this question:

Where would you like to go?