Cruising Made Simple
Going on a cruise is a great way to travel. You check into your floating hotel, unpack your suitcase, and let your hotel move you from place to place. You wake up most every morning in a new place to enjoy and explore. In between port visits you relax onboard ship, go to the dining room for meals, to a free show each evening, and enjoy all the other ammenities your floating hotel has to offer. And, maybe best of all, you do everything for one price!
With all these advantages, isn't it amazing that over 80% of the US population has never taken a cruise? Whether you fall into the 20% who are regular cruisers or the 80% who have yet to experience it, we are here to help.
Finding the "right" cruise
One of the most important services we offer is matching clients with the right cruise. We want your experience to be everything that you dream of, so we will work with you to match your wishes to the particular cruise line and itinerary that can best meet your expectations. We will help you avoid any disappointment that could come from making an unfortunate, wrong choice.
As agents, we work diligently to keep up-to-date with all the cruise lines and what they have to offer, so that we can communicate to our clients how their experiences can differ from one line to another. Here's how our expertise can benefit you:
- We go on as many cruises as we possibly can. But, since there are so many lines and ships and destinations, we could never rely just on direct experience to keep up with all of them.
- So, we do ship inspections whenever we can. It's the next best thing to actually cruising - we get to see the entire ship and talk with a representative about their onboard activities.
- We are constantly exposed to continuing training from CLIA (Cruise Line International Association) whose job it is to promote all cruiselines and help agents to better understand the product and the sales process in general. We are working on the MCC (Master Cruise Counselor) with CLIA. It is considered the masters degree of cruise education.
- Finally, we participate in training programs offered by individual cruise lines. We hold the rank of Commodore which is the highest level in the Princess education program, we are 5 Star agents with Holland, and are enrolled in Celebrity's Five Star Academy.
Cruise line overview
The major cruiselines can be placed in three different categories. The categories are:
Mass Market - popular with first time cruisers and a younger demographic. Prices are lower (generally a simple stateroom will cost about $100 per night per person), itineraries are shorter, and the food and activities are simpler. Shore excursions tend to be more active for younger folks and families. The ships themselves are destinations - larger and with rock climbing walls and ice rinks. Ship's decor and cabins tend to be brighter and modern. Suites and balcony cabins still offer a nicely upscale experience in terms of service and accommodations.
Examples of this group are: Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Costa, Mediterranean Shipping Cruises, and Disney.
Premium Lines - a step up in all areas - food, service, and activities. Ships are generally smaller and itineraries are longer and more varied. Prices will begin at about $200 per night per person. There is an emphasis on small touches such as upgraded bedding, art in the common areas, and decor in the dining room. There are upgraded service options (butler and concierge) that are standard with the suites. Some amenities that are priced separately on mass market lines might be included. While there are still active shore excursions, others will emphasize learning. Because of the longer itineries, young people and families just don't choose these ships and companies as often as they do the mass market ships.
In this group you will find: Holland, Princess, and Celebrity.
Luxury Lines - now we have reached the top. Gourmet meals, impeccable service, truly all inclusive (no charge for drinks, activities, or many shore excursions), and exceptional accommodations are standard with all members of this group. Prices seldom begin at less than $400 per night per person. A measure of service provided on a ship is the ratio of crew to guests. One crew member to five guests is common to the mass market, one to three with premium lines and one to two or better (in the case of Seabourn - one to one) with the luxury lines. Some luxury lines will justify their higher costs by comparing what is included in their price vs. what still must be paid for with a premium line. Many of the ships are smaller and more intimate and can visit ports that are off limits to their larger competitors.
Examples are - Seabourn, Silversea, Regent, Crystal, Oceania, Cunard, Windstar, and Sea Dream