Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Holiday Markets River Cruise on Uniworld’s River Beatrice







My husband and I recently returned from a Holiday Markets Cruise on board Uniworld’s River Beatrice. Uniworld operates 17 ships, carrying an average of 130 guests. Uniworld visits 20 countries throughout Europe, Russia, Egypt, China, Vietnam and Cambodia, sailing 13 of the world’s most breathtaking rivers. Uniworld is an award winning river cruise line with impeccable service and world class dining.

We sailed the Danube, starting in Budapest, Hungary and ending in Passau, Germany. Along the way we visited Slovakia; Linz, Austria; Vienna, Austria and Salzburg, Austria. This was my first River Cruise, and after sailing many ocean cruises I was not certain that I would enjoy it. I knew I would love the itinerary, but was unsure about a small river ship. So, a bit about the River Beatrice. It has three passenger decks and a top deck. We were in a Category 1 stateroom with a French balcony. The room was smaller than an ocean cruise stateroom, but it was just perfect. Beautifully decorated, like a boutique hotel. Amenities were outstanding and storage was sufficient. There was a Captain’s Lounge with a library, a dining room, and larger lounge and bar. The ship was decorated for the Christmas holiday as well. One of my concerns was that I would be bored since there was no Broadway style entertainment. I have to say I was pleasantly proven wrong! I enjoyed the local entertainment and sitting in the lounge conversing with other passengers. The itinerary is so busy that the quieter times are much appreciated and necessary. The ship was just perfect.
For the dining, the food was very good. For breakfast, there was a buffet with your standard items, eggs, omelet’s, waffles, bacon, sausage, fruits, cereals, etc. There would also be an option for Eggs Benedict or another specialty item daily. Lunch was also buffet style and offered some food that was local to our destination. Dinner was a sit down venue. The dinner choices are not as plentiful as an ocean cruise, and they are geared towards the destination that you are visiting. There were two nights of seven where I did not care for any of the main selections. The alternative choices each evening were chicken breast or a sirloin steak, so it was nice to have a “regular” choice. Beer, wine and soft drinks were complementary during lunch and dinner as well and the wines were local to our destination. On some evenings there was also a specialty dining venue in the Captain’s Lounge, which is complementary but you need to reserve your spot. We did eat here one evening, and were served Filet Mignon, which was wonderful.

One of my favorite things on board the ship was the coffee/espresso machines. There were two on board and I did visit them a couple of times a day! You could have regular coffee, cappuccino, espresso and hot chocolate. I know, that might be silly, but it was wonderful!

The itinerary was incredible. Cruising on the Danube, we were so close to our destinations. Each stop had an included shore excursion as well and the guides were local and very knowledgeable. I completely fell in love with Europe. Vienna, Austria had to be my favorite with Budapest, Hungary a close second. It is so incredibly beautiful, and to hear and see the history was so amazing.

If you have not considered river cruising, now is the time. I love ocean cruises, but I am not sure how I am going to feel on my next one after being on board Uniworld’s River Beatrice. I would recommend river cruising to just about anyone, no matter what age.

Want to know more?  Just give me a call at 888-882-5793, or send me an email!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

National Cruise Vacation Week is around the corner!

October 21 – 27, 2012, is National Cruise Vacation Week, so if you are looking to save big on your next cruise, that is the week to book it!

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) member lines and travel agencies will be offering fantastic deals on cruises that sail to practically every destination. Promotions include up to $13,000 in bonus savings on a luxury cruise, $1,500 per couple savings on river cruises in Europe, up to $500 in on board credits, upgrades and more. Promotions vary by cruise line and cruise booked.

Participating CLIA member cruise lines include: AmaWaterways, American Cruise Lines, Avalon Waterways, Azamara Club Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard Line, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line , Hurtigruten, Louis Cruises, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Paul Gauguin Cruises, Princess Cruises , Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, SeaDream Yacht Club, Silversea Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection and Windstar Cruises.

Here are some samples of promotions offered:


AMA Waterways: $1000 savings per stateroom & comp Upg + up to $250 OBCper stateroom

Avalon Waterways: Save $1500 per couple on select 2013 Europe River Cruises

Azamara Club Cruises: Up to $500 OBC per stateroom Europe 2013 sailings

Carnival Cruises: Cashback promo: Fun Select rates + up to $200 cash back+ reduced deposit

Celebrity Cruises: Up to $200 OBC

Cunard: Complimentary Balcony upgrades, up to $300 OBC & reduced deposit

Disney Cruise Lines: $75 OBC for Oceanview and verandah staterooms (no suites, concierge and guarantees)

Holland America: Free $350 onboard savings booklet

MSC Cruises: Up to $200 OBC

Norwegian Cruise Lines: Up to $250 OBC on summer sailings, ecoupon booklet on all 2013, reduced deposit

Paul Gauguin: Up to $200 OBC

Princess Cruises: Special Fares, Free Balcony Upgrades and reduced deposit

Regent Cruises: $300 OBC for categories below concierge level or $400 OBC per suite Concierge level + above

Royal Caribbean: Up to $100 OBC per stateroom

Silversea Cruises: Capacity Controlled Up to $200 savings per suite

Uniworld: Up to $200 savings per stateroom

Participating agencies also have an option to have a personalized “micro-site” which will show some deals and some select videos.  You can visit my micro-site here.  Interested in getting rates for your next cruise vacation?  Give me a call at 888-882-5793 or send me an email with your interests and I will get it right to you.  If you already have a travel agent, contact them to take advantage of these great offers.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cruise Sales and Promotions

There are so many promotions currently from different cruise lines … if you have been thinking of booking your next cruise vacation, now is the time to do it!


From my perspective as a travel agent, it does appear the cruise lines are not quite filling the ships to capacity. Some have lowered rates a bit, and others are offering enticing promotions. Some are even doing both.

Here are some examples of what is going on now:

Carnival Cruise Lines is offering reduced deposits and up to $100 cash back on select 6 night or longer sailings booked August 16 – 18, 2012. Holiday sailings 6 nights or longer have up to $200 cash back.

Celebrity Cruises has an exclusive sale with CruiseOne. Book a balcony and above stateroom from August 15 – 19, 2012, for any sailing September 15 – December 31, 2012 and receive $100 on board credit.

Costa Cruises has some 7 night Mediterranean sailings from $37 per day and up to $300 cash back. Plus, kids sail free. Bookings must be made by August 31, 2012. (Kids sail free through November 24, 2012).

Norwegian Cruise Lines is running the “Boss is Back” promotion from August 15 – 19, 2012. This promo has up to $200 on board credit for Norwegian Epic and Pride of America sailings. (A side note … I LOVE the Epic! She is an amazing ship, going on her again in November with the family).


Royal Caribbean is offering $100 on board credit for Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas for bookings made August 15 – September 15, 2012. Also running an on board credit promo for Mariner of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas (amount depends on stateroom type booked).

So, as you can see, there are some great promotions out there, and on some great ships and itineraries. Not sure which cruise is right for you? Give me a call and we will figure it out based on your vacation desires and needs, 888-882-5793. You can also vist me on the web or send me an email as well. I pride myself on matching the perfect cruise with my clients. As your travel agent, you will not pay any more than the cruise line charges direct. Our prices will be the same, and in some cases better with better promotions. Give me a call and let’s plan your dream vacation!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sail through the Med and Greek Isles with me!

I have a bucket list cruise that I have been dreaming about for years. We actually had it booked for this year, but canceled it because it was not on the cruise line we wanted. We decided to wait, hoping that Celebrity Cruises would offer my itinerary on a Solstice® Class Ship. Well, it certainly was worth the wait as the Celebrity Silhouette SM is doing this itinerary! The three must see ports for me were Rome, Venice and Santorini. And to be able to do this on my favorite cruise line and favorite class of ship is just extra icing on the cake!  Celebrity does a fantastic job with everything:  The service is impeccable, the food is delicious, the ship is gorgeous, the staterooms are spacious and well appointed ... (you get the point, right?).

When I saw the itinerary, I decided to hold some group space on the sailing. Thinking that if I was so excited about it, there must be others that would love to sail this ship and itinerary too. It was a good decision to hold the space, as the current offered rates by Celebrity are higher than the rates I have in my group allotment. So I invite you to sail with me to Europe next year! Here is the fantastic itinerary:

Thursday, September 26, 2013: Rome (Civitavecchia), Departs at 5:00pm
Friday, September 27, 2013: Naples, Italy – Docked: 7:00am – 6:30pm
Saturday, September 28, 2013: Valletta, Malta – Docked: 1:00pm – 10:00pm
Sunday, September 29, 2013: At Sea
Monday, September 30, 2013: Athens (Piraeus), Greece – Docked: 6:00am – 6:00pm
Tuesday, October 1, 2013: Mykonos, Greece – Tendered: 7:00am – 6:00pm
Wednesday, October 2, 2013: Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey – Docked: 7:00am – 6:00pm
Thursday, October 3, 2013: Rhodes, Greece – Docked: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Friday, October 4, 2013: Santorini, Greece – Tendered: 7:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday, October 5, 2013: Chania, Crete, Greece – Docked: 7:00am – 3:00pm
Sunday, October 6, 2013: At Sea
Monday, October 7, 2013: Venice, Italy – Docked: 9:00am (overnight)
Tuesday, October 8, 2013: Venice, Italy – Disembark, time subject to change

Itinerary is subject to change.

The Celebrity Silhouette SM sailed her maiden voyage on July 23, 2011. She weighs 122,000 tons, has 16 decks and carries approximately 2,850 passengers. She's impressive, with all the best-loved Solstice® Class features - and some new ones. Chic changes to Celebrity's iconic Lawn Club provide more opportunities to relax, eat, drink and socialize in the fresh air. Take a painting class with a Master Artist from the ArtCenter South Florida in The Art Studio. Celebrate the flavorful joys of outdoor grilling in the new, interactive Lawn Club Grill. Unwind in your own cabana-styled haven, The Alcoves. Inside, go on a culinary adventure in Qsine® where you order food and wine from an iPad® menu. Excitement brews with up to 50 international craft beers in the enhanced Michael's Club. And sweeping veranda views enhance 85% of her staterooms. Celebrity Cruises has created an extraordinary vacation experience.


I have a few staterooms left in my group allotment, here are the categories and per person rates based on double occupancy. The rates include cruise fare, port charges and taxes.


Category 2C, Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony, located on Deck 6: $2,057.11 per person.
Category 2A, Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony, located on Deck 7: $2,137.11 per person.
Category SV, Sunset Verandah, located on Decks 6, 7 and 8: $2,267.11 per person.
Category C3, Celebrity Concierge Class with Balcony, located on Decks 9 and 10: $2,297.11 per person.

My group rates are $160 - $210 below the current offered rates, so it is a great time to reserve your stateroom. The deposit required is $450.00 per person with a final payment due date of July 3, 2013.

Have you have dreamed of visiting the Colosseum and walking through the Roman Forum? Maybe eating pizza in Naples? Walking into the Hypogeum, an underground prehistoric temple in Malta? Visiting The Ionian Coast and the Ruins of Ephesus? How about a mule ride up the Caldera in Santorini? A Grand Canal Tour in Venice? Well, you can do all of that and more on this itinerary!

Staterooms at these rates are limited, so give me a call to reserve your room today! You can reach me by email or give me a call toll free at 888-882-5793.

I am looking forward to hearing from you and having you travel with me to Europe!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Free Shore Excursion Promo is Back!!

CruiseOne Freer & Associates is offering a free shore excursion on any 7 night sailing or longer booked June 21, 2012 through July 2, 2012. The free excursion has a value up to $100.00, and is good on any 7 night or longer sailing that departs between now and July 20, 2013.

You can also apply the $100.00 value to a higher priced excursion.  And, this promotion is combinable with any cruise line promotion that may be offered.

Go on a snorkeling adventure in Roatan, take a scenic tour around Santorini or swim with dolphins in Puerto Vallarta... build memories of a lifetime!

When you book your cruise with us, either online at http://www.memorablevoyages.com/ or by telephone, 888-882-5793, you will receive an email with a unique promotion code for you to use when booking your shore excursion. Shore excursions must be booked online through Shore Excursion Group (which is our preferred vendor).

Need more info? Give us a call and we will help you with the details!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Top 5 Packing Tips for the Perfect Summer 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.


Kathy Freer, a local CruiseOne independent vacation specialist, frequently consults with her clients on the best way to pack for their travels. According to Freer, 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 overpack 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 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, clean the house, remember your important documents, find 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 Kathy Freer at 888-882-5793, send her an email, or visit her website.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Celebrity Cruises Sale

If any of you have read my posts, you can probably tell that Celebrity Cruises is one of my absolute favorite cruise lines.  Their ships are stunningly beautiful, the service is excellent, the food is outstanding, I could go on and on but I think you can get the picture.

Celebrity is once again having a Summer Solstice sale, which runs June 20 - June 21, 2012.  This sale is offering 50% reduced deposits and up to $300.00 on board credit per stateroom, depending on stateroom category booked.  This sale is offered on just about any Celebrity cruise that departs from August 2012 through May 2014 (Celebrity Expedition cruises are excluded).  So that means you can cruise to Alaska, Asia, Australia, Bermuda, Canada/New England, Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, Panama Canal, or South America and get reduced deposit and on board spending!  Plus with a cruise departure window until May 2014, you have plenty of time to book that bucket list cruise and pay it off!

And ... if you cannot wait until 2014 and you want to sail this year, the deal is even sweeter!  CruiseOne is offering pre-paid gratuities from June 19 - June 21, 2012, on any five night or longer cruise that is booked in an ocean view stateroom category or higher that departs from July 15, 2012 through December 31, 2012.  And this pre-paid gratuity sale is combinable with the Summer Solstice sale!

So, what are you waiting for?  Give me a call today and let me know where you would like to cruise to!  You can visit me on my website and browse itineraries, send me an email, or give me a call at 888-882-5793.  I look forward to hearing from you and helping you plan your dream vacation cruise on board one of Celebrity Cruises award winning ships!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Royal Caribbean Sale - June 5 - 7, 2012

The next three days are a fantastic time to book your Royal Caribbean cruise!

CruiseOne Freer & Associates has a 50% reduced deposit on ANY Royal Caribbean cruise that is currently open for sale.  There is also on board credit for sailings that depart from July 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012.

Book your cruise today to take advantage of these offers.  You can do so by visiting my website or by giving me a call anytime at 888-882-5793.  Feel free to send me an email if you have any questions at all.

I look forward to hearing from you and helping you plan your next cruise on board one of Royal Caribbean's innovative ships!

Looking for something different in Cozumel, Mexico?

We recently returned from a 7 night Western Caribbean cruise on board Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas. While on this sailing, we visited Royal Caribbean’s private island, Labadee in Haiti; Falmouth, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands and Cozumel, Mexico. Having done these ports a few times before, we were looking for something different to do, and we certainly did find that while in Cozumel, Mexico!

Royal Caribbean offered a shore excursion called Salsa and Salsa. The excursion description was learn to make two different fresh margaritas (lime and strawberry) and seven different salsas. Sounded like fun, so we signed up. After arriving in port, we met our tour guide and were taken to a hotel in Cozumel, where we went into an open air room with about 10 round tables. Each table was set with tomatoes, avocados, onions, garlic, tequila, salt, sugar, cutlery, cutting board, and everything else needed to be a salsa and margarita chef for the day. We were even outfitted with aprons and chef hats!

We started off with a frozen lime margarita, which was great because it was really hot! Once seated, we began to make our own lime margaritas. I have to say, I normally do not like margaritas because I do not like to taste tequila. But the fresh margaritas we made were fantastic! We then made a strawberry margarita, which was fantastic as well. By the way, the margaritas were unlimited, which probably contributed to the fun we were having!

We then began making our salsa. We made a red salsa, salsa verde, guacamole, pico de gallo, melon salsa, tropical salsa and a dessert salsa with Rompope (a Mexican vanilla liqueur). The guacamole and dessert salsa were my favorite! This was such a fun (and tasty) experience!

After we were finished, we got a salsa dancing lesson which lasted about 45 minutes or so. By this time, the buzz from the margaritas was worn off, and we were ready to return to our ship.

I would recommend this experience to anyone! It was a fantastic time and our dancing chefs were wonderful!  If you would like more details, please feel free to contact me at kfreer@cruiseone.com or toll free, 888-882-5793.  You can visit my website for travel information and specials as well.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

On Board Credit Promo

One of my favorite promotions is back ... on board credit for cruises!  Here are the details:

Booking window is April 30, 2012 through May 6, 2012.  Travel dates are from May 30, 2012 through December 31, 2012.

This promo is good for all cruise lines, all itineraries.  This is a CruiseOne promo, so it is also combinable with any cruise line promotions (if any).  The only restrictions are Military, Interline and Early Saver Rates with Carnival Cruise Lines.

In order to qualify, you must have a valid email address and be subscribed to eSavers, which is our weekly email of travel specials.  Simple enough!

The on board credit amount varies by the total cost of the cruise.  Europe sailings have a higher on board credit amount.   Here are the amounts by vacation cost:

European Sailings (For sailings that begin and end in Europe)


Total Vacation Cost / On Board Credit
$1-$1,999: $50
$2,000-$2,999: $75
$3,000-$3,999: $100
$4,000-$4,999: $150
$5,000-$5,999: $175
$6,000+: $225

Non-European Sailings (For all sailings that do not begin and end in Europe)

Total Vacation Cost / On Board Credit
$1-$1,999: $25
$2,000-$2,999: $50
$3,000-$3,999: $75
$4,000-$4,999: $100
$5,000-$5,999: $125
$6,000+: $150

So, what are you waiting for??  Give me a call today at 888-882-5793 or send me an email and let me start searching cruise itineraries for you!  You can visit my website and subscribe to eSavers to get started!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Multigenerational Cruising

Multigenerational travel has become an increasingly popular vacation trend. In fact, according to the U.S. Travel Industry Association, at least five million family vacations each year span three generations, with grandparents often paying the bill. And, according to a recent study by Preferred Hotels, many multigenerational travelers are planning Milestone Vacations; more than three-quarters had planned a vacation around a life event such as a birthday (50%), anniversary (40%), family reunion (39%) and wedding (37%).

Multigenerational travelers typically plan their vacations with several ideas in mind: they usually seek adventure, personal enrichment, relaxation and the opportunity to experience new destinations while spending time with family. One of the best spots for the multigenerational traveler is Europe; specifically, the Mediterranean. Travel to places like Venice, Croatia, Santorini, Sicily, Rome and Barcelona boast enriching cultural experiences families can share together, enjoying new experiences and creating lifelong memories.

With the cruise industry’s continued expansion, innovation and identification of new ports-of-call, cruising is a terrific option for multigenerational travelers. This is an excellent way to teach children about different cultures and gives the entire family the opportunity to experience several locations in one trip, many of which are also all-inclusive, which is important for those on a budget.

When booking a multigenerational vacation, it’s important to keep in mind the cruise line and the ship's itinerary. Hawaii, Alaska and the Caribbean tend to be a favorite among children and so are Disney Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International. Larger ships tend to work better for multigenerational travel, as there are activities available for each member of the family. Working with a travel agent who specializes in family travel is important, as they will help develop a personalized itinerary for each group, making the complicated planning process easier for travelers, saving time and money.

Several cruise lines have created unique programs geared directly toward multigenerational family reunions. Royal Caribbean’s Royal Reunions and Holland America Line’s Family Reunion Program offer special benefits such as complimentary family photos and daily family activities to groups planning family reunions. With perks like all-inclusive offerings, reduced deposits, onboard credits and free shore excursions, cruising is as affordable as it is efficient and is perfect for multigenerational travelers. For more information, contact Kathy Freer at 888-882-5793, email at kfreer@cruiseone.com or on my website.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Touring Silversea's Silver Spirit




We were fortunate to be invited to tour and have lunch onboard Silversea’s Silver Spirit over the weekend.

Silversea is a luxury line that operates six ships with guest capacity ranging from 132 guests per sailing, to 540 guests per sailing. In a world where things just keep getting bigger, Silversea is keeping their ships more intimate. With smaller ships, Silversea can take you into areas of the world and ports that most ships simply cannot navigate. Couple that with the all-inclusive luxury experience, and you have got yourself an incredible journey! You can visit seven continents with infinite possibilities (including Antartica and the Arctic). On board you will find tastefully designed suites, incredible bathrooms, beautifully appointed public areas. (I wanted to stay on board, but sadly couldn't!)



Give me a call and let me help design a fantastic voyage on one of Silversea’s incredible ships.


So, here is what you can expect onboard a Silversea cruise (this is directly from their website):

Transcending the Trends
Renowned for extraordinary worldwide voyages aboard intimate, all-inclusive ships, Silversea is a luxury cruise line that offers unparalleled service and superlative comfort. Discover the art of luxury travel as perfected by Silversea Cruises.

Distinctions
• Intimate, elegant ships – extraordinary space per guest ratio
• Superlative service – nearly one crew member for every guest
• All ocean-view suites, over 85% with private verandas*
• Butler service for all ships, all guests
• Open-seating in The Restaurant – no assigned time, no assigned table
• Alternative dining options – multiple venues
• Gourmet cuisine inspired by Relais & Châteaux
• Sophisticated entertainment from live music to production shows*
• Enrichment lecturers, acclaimed chefs and destination consultants

All-Inclusive Value
• Fares include onboard gratuities
• Complimentary beverages served throughout the ship – including fine wines, champagnes, spirits, beer, bottled water, specialty coffees and soft drinks
• In-room bar and refrigerator stocked with your preferred beverage selections
• Complimentary 24-hour room service and in-suite dining* served course-by-course from The Restaurant
• Complimentary shoreside events on select voyages
• Complimentary guided excursions ashore on Silversea Expeditions aboard Silver Explorer
• Complimentary transportation into town in most ports of call

*Aboard the Silver Explorer expedition ship: select suites have verandas or French balconies; production shows and in-suite dining are not offered.



You can reach me anytime, via email at kfreer@cruiseone.com or toll free 888-882-5793. Visit my luxury website for vacation details! I look forward to hearing from you!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Spring is in the air ... so is European travel

With airfare to Europe decreasing slightly, this Spring and Summer could be the perfect opportunity for travelers to take advantage of incredible cruise line offers currently on the market, escaping to some of the world’s most unforgettable destinations. Numerous ships are redeployed across the pond each April, so there is no time like the present to begin planning that once-in-a-lifetime European vacation.

Cruising in Europe can be efficient, comfortable and economical. Travelers can explore the history, art, and natural beauty of their “must-see” spots without having to navigate tricky roads, unfamiliar driving customs or train-hopping between sometimes crowded stations. Another benefit to cruising in Europe is the fact that by experiencing the continent this way, your time is freed up to actually enjoy the highlights of each destination, rather than trying to determine the best spots to sleep and dine.

European cruises through the Baltic Sea to Southampton will give travelers the unique chance to explore London at its finest hour, as the city plays host to the 2012 Summer Olympics. Seeing Piccadilly Circus, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and other landmarks will create lifelong memories on their own.

Another popular port of call is Dover, which is considered England's gateway to the rest of Europe. Best known for its breathtaking white cliffs overlooking the English Channel, this timeless treasure boasts a variety of things to do that many travelers don’t typically consider. Even though Dover is just over an hour from London, its proximity to renowned southeast England towns and villages means there are alternatives to big city touring, as well. Rye, a 1 1/4-hour drive south, is a charming medieval village and the city of Canterbury is noted for its breathtaking cathedral. For day trips, Sissinghurst, Vita Sackville-West's famous gardens, are near enough to squeeze into an "on-the-way-to-the-port" sightseeing jaunt, as is Leeds Castle (be sure to allow extra time there for touring).

Other hotspots on European and Mediterranean cruise itineraries this year are Barcelona, Athens and Venice. As prices are more affordable than ever; and with perks like reduced deposits, onboard credits, and free shore excursions, Europe cruising is truly the way to go for a dream vacation this Spring or Summer. For more information, contact me at 888-882-5793 or email kfreer@cruiseone.com or visit me on the web.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Royal Caribbean Specials

There are lots of specials with Royal Caribbean right now! It is a great time to book your cruise and take advantage of them.

Pre-paid gratuities for the first and second passenger on any cruise departing April 15, 2012 through December 31, 2012 booked in an ocean view stateroom or higher. To take advantage of this, your reservation must be booked by March 22, 2012.

On board credit for 6 night or longer Caribbean sailings departing May 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012 booked in an ocean view stateroom or higher. To take advantage of this promotion, your reservation must be booked by March 31, 2012.

On board credit for any Europe sailing departing April 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012 booked in an ocean view stateroom or higher. To take advantage of this promotion, your reservation must be booked at least 2 weeks in advance of sailing and booked by March 31, 2012.

On board credit for 6 night or longer Bermuda sailings departing April 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012 booked in an ocean view stateroom or higher. To take advantage of this promotion, your reservation must be booked by March 31, 2012.

And yes, the pre-paid gratuities and on board credit is combinable if the reservation is made on time!

So, now is the time to reserve your Royal Caribbean cruise! Have you been thinking of sailing on the Oasis or Allure of the Seas? Give me a call! A summer Europe cruise is the perfect get-a-way! Time is running out to take advantage of these promotions.

You can reach me anytime, 888-882-5793, or via email at kfreer@cruiseone.com or visit me on my website. I look forward to hearing from you and helping you plan your vacation!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Norwegian Epic On Board Credit!


Now, if you have read anything I have written regarding the Norwegian Epic, you know that it is one of my favorite cruise experiences. I absolutley LOVE this ship and all of the entertainment offered (bowling, Blue Man Group, bars, nightclubs, Ice Bar, Mystery Murder Lunch and so on). It is truly a different cruising experience.

With all of that said, I have got a great deal for anyone wanting to sail the Epic between now and the end of April (this year, 2012). I have got $150.00 on board credit per stateroom, and on some sailings, an additional $100.00 on board credit. That's a lot of credit!

The booking window for this promo is March 1 - 10, 2012. Give me a call for the details and to check rates, 888-882-5793 or send me an email at kfreer@cruiseone.com.

Don't miss out on this great deal!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Summer is coming … let’s plan your vacation!

Every year, it seems as though summer just comes faster and faster. When I was a kid, it sure did seem like it took forever for summer to arrive. Now, as a busy mom with two kids, it seems as if summer is here every few weeks! I guess my mom was right when she used to tell me as a kid not to rush time because when you get older it goes by so much faster.

The one thing I tell my husband is that we need to plan a vacation with the kids each year. I think it’s important to have that time away from the regular chores of life. A time where you can just relax and not have to worry about cleaning, laundry, cooking dinner … all of that fun stuff that we just love to do at home! It creates a stronger family bond, and most importantly, fantastic memories that last a lifetime.

There are so many fantastic options for family vacations (almost too many!). And, you can certainly find one that fits your budget.

Thinking of a cruise? Cruising is fantastic for family vacations. You board your ship, which acts as your floating hotel. You can visit multiple destinations and only unpack once, which is wonderful with family in tow. All of your meals are included. There are endless entertainment options on ships today as well. And on top of that, cruises have amazing programs for the kids. I guess the only down side is that your children might not be around you as much because of all the stuff for them to do!

How about an all inclusive resort? Just imagine sitting on a white sandy beach, pretty tropical drink in hand as your family plays in the water. Relaxing! All inclusive resorts offer a similar experience to a cruise, except you are stationary, visiting one place. Everything is included, sometimes including water sports and activities.

Maybe a trip to Disney World? Kids sure do love that magical mouse! Disney is a fantastic family vacation, one that we did often when I was a kid. There are many options for Disney that include tickets only, dining packages, hotel and dining packages. Often the packages do save you money in the long run, and I would be happy to do the comparison for you if you are thinking Disney. Speaking of Disney, they have the new Aulani Resort in Hawaii open now. Talk about an unbelievable experience for the family. There are also Disney cruises if you care to combine cruising and the magic of Disney. The Disney Dream is a favorite of my almost 3 year old. We are taking her again for her third birthday in April. She knows it, and is very excited!

Ready to start planning?? Well then, give me a call and let me help you plan a memorable family vacation for summer! Keep in mind that during summer, rates are usually higher than other times. I will search to find the best options for you. And … there is no fee for my service. My rates will be the same and sometimes better than going direct. That is a great deal! You get someone who has YOUR best interest and represents YOU. Give me a call at 888-882-5793, send me an email at kfreer@cruiseone.com or visit me online. I look forward to hearing from you!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Romance of Cruising: Rediscover Love on the High Seas

“The glisten in his eyes said it all. My heart skipped a beat the moment we first kissed, the long walks we used to take along the beach and the way he whispered sweet nothings in my ear reflected back at me. We could have celebrated our love anywhere in the world… and on a romantic cruise, we did exactly that. “

Cruising has become the number one option for lovers, from honeymooners starting their lives together to long-time partners looking to rekindle their spark. With cruises traveling to more and more exotic destinations such as St. Maarten, Honolulu, Panama, Costa Rica, and Italy, it’s no surprise couples are taking to the sea.

Long since The Love Boat, cruises have been a top-rated escape for couples, but today’s ships truly redefine romance. You can enjoy delectable 5-Star cuisine without ever lifting a finger; take in an electric Broadway performance over a bottle of sparkling wine; or stargaze on an evening stroll to your enchanting ocean view suite.

For many, the thought of a romantic cruise may be just what the doctor ordered. It’s more than the exceptional service and beautiful accommodations that will blow you away. Cruise lines are in tune with the ambiance and lifestyle of couples seeking a romantic adventure. Most ships have been renovated to provide a more intimate and sensuous feel. The décor found everywhere from your cabin to common areas exudes passion and sophistication.

Whether you choose a more intimate ship that sails through the illuminating waters of Rome or a larger vessel with lavish entertainment, gaming, clubs and lounges, there is a perfect match for everyone. Just like in love.

Romantic options abound in traditional cruising, luxury sailing and river cruising. And, with a bevy of special perks and discounts available today, there is no better time to start seeing the world together. Imagine an intimate dinner in your suite overlooking the moonlight as it reflects off starlit waves. Sharing a rejuvenating couple’s massage on your balcony while a warm sea breeze awakens you from within. A cruise vacation is not just romantic…it is magical.

Let your Independent Vacation Specialist play Cupid pairing you – and your sweetheart – with the ultimate dream getaway. Call CruiseOne Freer & Associates at 888-882-5793 or send us an email at kfreer@cruiseone.com today and let us help you plan your perfect trip!

Santorini Greece



Ever since I saw the movie The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, I have dreamed of visiting Santorini Greece. I have not made it there yet, but plan to do so in 2013. I am simply waiting for Celebrity Cruises (my favorite ships are the Solstice Class ships) to release their 2013 Europe cruise schedule which will happen next month (March 2012). Naturally, I have been researching the island in anticipation of visiting. Most of what is below has come from the website www.santorni-greece.biz.

So, let’s start with a little history of Santorini: The island name comes from ‘Santa Irini’ and it is officially called Thera. Santorini is located in the south of the Cycladic islands, just between Ios and Anafi, 130 nautical miles from Piraeus and 70 nautical miles from Crete. The island covers an area of 96 km2, has a coastline of 69 kilometres and its length reaches 18 km. Santorini has a population of about 6500-7000 inhabitants during winter, a number that rises up to 11.000 during the summer.

During the ancient times, the shape of Santorini was circular and that was the reason it was also called Strongili, which means circular in Greek. The volcano’s eruption destroyed the centre of the island, causing it to sink and to create today’s caldera. The first eruption of the Volcano took place around 1500 BC, and is said to be responsible for the destruction of the great Minoan civilisation of Crete. The last eruption took place in 1956 but the volcano remains active until today. Some believe that the destruction of Santorini could be related to that of the mythical Atlantis.

The most famous beaches of the island of Santorini Greece are Perissa, Kamari, Monolithos and the Red Beach. The beaches of Kamari, Perissa and Monolithos have black sand and deep blue waters. They are situated on the east side of the island and in the tourist areas of the island. These areas offer many hotels, taverns, cafes, bars and beach-bars. The Red Beach near Akrotiri is located in a quieter area. It is however the most famous beach of the island, and attracts many people.

From April to August, the weather in Santorini is bright and sunny. From September and on, it is not rare to see some cloudy days. The rainfalls are very rare.

The most famous villages of the island of Santorini Greece are Oia, Fira and Imerovigli. Those traditional villages are perched at the edge of impressive cliffs and offer incredible views over the volcano, the sea, the sunset and the island of Thirassia. The island of Crete can be seen from there when the visibilty permits it. There are also traditional villages situated in the mainland:
Fira, located 10 km from the main port, Athinaios. As the capital of the island, Fira has 1,600 residents and is located on the west part of the island. Fira is perched on the edge of a 260 meter cliff and offers fantastic views of the volcano.

Oia, located 11 km north of Fira. It is the most beautiful and picturesque village of Santorini (also where The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants was filmed). It camly hangs from the cliffs.

Imerovigli is 2km north of Fira. Is is on the lip of a higher cliff. Its name comes from the word “vigla” which means day.

Firostefani is located 2 km north of the capital, Fira. It is a continuation of Fira and is a traditional village perched on the cliffs.

Perissa is located 8km southeast of Fira. It is a beach resort and a big tourist attraction. It has an impressive black sandy beach, and the most noticeable feature is the Mesa Vouno, an enormous rock rising from the sea.

Megalochori is the west side of the island near the port. It is a beautiful and traditional settlement situated in the mainland.

Akrotiri is located 8 km south of Fira. It is next to the famous Red Beach, and is the most important archaeological site of Santorini. There are some amazing two and three story buildings and prehistoric findings dating back to 3600 BC.


Pyrgos is located 8 km southeast of Fira. It is a mountainous village offering 360 degree panoramic views of the island.

Messaria is located 4km southeast of Fira. It is a small traditional village and houses are built in the traditional style of the Cycladic islands.

Mesa & Exo Gonia are traditional farming villages located 8km southeast of Fira. Known for the production and storage of wine.

Finikia is a charming settlement next to Oia. This village is very small, but there are a few hotels to be found.

Emporio is the south part of the island. When approaching Emporio, you can find a string of old windmills on the hillside.


Karderados is south of Fira. The main street contains a number of eateries and shops. This village is geared up for the tourist industry and there are a number of hotels here.

There is so much to see and do. I know I won’t get to it all on my cruise, but I am looking forward to sampling the island. As I am not sure when I will get back to Europe, I think a cruise fits what I am looking for perfectly. There are a few places that I absolutely MUST visit while on my cruise: Rome, Venice, Santorini and Croatia. A cruise is the absolute perfect way to visit these places.

Is there a place on your bucket list? Let me know! I can do some research for you, we can talk about getting there and I can help you plan your perfect trip! You can reach me anytime via email at kfreer@cruiseone.com or toll free at 888-882-5793. Feel free to visit my website and browse some itineraries.

I look forward to hearing from you and helping you bring your dream vacation to life!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Norovirus on Cruise Ships ... The Facts

Listening to the media lately have you thinking of canceling your upcoming cruise? Before you do, let’s talk about the facts!

With cruise ship outbreaks appearing in the news more and more often, awareness of Norovirus -- an extremely common and highly contagious virus that causes gastroenteritis -- has been significantly raised. First, what exactly is Norovirus? Well, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) it is a group of viruses that can affect the stomach and intestines. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramps; children often vomit more than adults. A low-grade fever and headache are also possible.

The Norovirus is not a virus that only appears on cruise ships. It has however been associated with cruise travel because health officials are required to track illnesses on ships (and are not required to do so at hotels and resorts); therefore, outbreaks are found and reported more quickly at sea than on land (the CDC requires cruise lines to immediately file a report when more than 2 percent of passengers report symptoms). Nowhere else in the public health system of the United States is Norovirus a reportable illness. Norovirus is not a 'cruise ship' illness, but an illness commonly seen in many settings throughout the United States. Yes, you can find Norovirus in hotels, resorts, schools, nursing homes, airplanes, just about anywhere.

Norovirus can be passed along by contaminated food and water, however, when it comes to Norovirus on cruise ships, it is usually spread through physical contact with sick people or surfaces and objects they may have touched. This includes shaking hands, touching stair rails, sharing food or eating from the same utensils, and not washing hands after using the bathroom or changing diapers.

Once you have been exposed to Norovirus, it takes anywhere from one to three days for its symptoms to appear, and symptoms typically last only 24 to 48 hours. However, it is important but keep up the good hygiene as people may be contagious for as long as two weeks after recovery.

To prevent getting the virus, wash your hands often with hot water and anti-bacterial soap. You should wash your hands before and after every meal, after using the restroom, and after any personal contact or contact with items. Carry alcohol based sanitizer with you to use in between hand washings. Also, when drinking water, drink bottled water. Avoid undercooked food, and do not share your glasses and utensils with anyone.

When a cruise ship does have cases of Norovirus, crewmembers clean even more thoroughly than usual and use stronger cleaning agents. Beyond that, crewmembers distribute information to passengers onboard offering precautionary tips, as well as a notification at embarkation to travelers boarding a ship that had previously seen a high percentage of illness. You may also find other precautionary things such as buffet service switching from help yourself to manned stations. While you may have to wait a bit longer for your food, be patient. The crew is doing what they need to do to protect the passengers. Waiting an extra couple of minutes is certainly worth not contracting the virus.

If you are ill prior to your cruise, you really should not set sail. Sick passengers boarding a cruise ship is how most illnesses are spread. Although you don’t want to miss your vacation, traveling sick can result in spreading the illness to hundreds of passengers and crew, and can easily result in you being quarantined to your stateroom for the trip, which is not fun at all. For unexpected illnesses, this is where travel insurance comes in to play. It is always a good idea to protect your vacation investment with travel insurance. That’s another story in itself!

Questions about cruising? Give me a call anytime, 888-882-5793. You can also visit us on online.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Seeing Jamaica, not on a standard tour


I have been to Jamaica a handful of times, but my most memorable were my last two visits. I am not one that likes to travel in a group on a guided tour, where the tour operators offer the same tour multiple times a week, over and over and over. It is always the same thing. Jamaica is such a beautiful island, and I wanted to see more than what a standard tour offers.

My husband and I arrived in Ocho Rios during our cruise on the Norwegian Epic in October of 2010. We decided to do our own thing (contrary to what the cruise lines tell you). We walked out of the port and there were probably 50 taxi drivers or more waiting for business. We said no to many, but one gentleman really “clicked” with us. So, we decided to give him a try. I have to say this was the best tour we had ever been on. Our driver, who goes by the name of Jolly, showed us Jamaica as a true Jamaican. We learned about the culture, the vegetation, the lifestyle. It was just what we were looking for. We would drive around, and every once in a while he would stop, get out of the van to show us something. At one point, he climbed up a tree to pull a leaf down to tell us about the Allspice.


During our tour, I mentioned that I had to go home with Blue Mountain Coffee, and I really wanted Jerk Chicken for lunch. He took me to get my coffee, and also took us to a place for some excellent Jerk Chicken. This restaurant would never have been on the “tourist trail.” It was fantastic.


We stayed in touch with Jolly, and I reserved him again in October of 2011, while we were on the Allure of the Seas. This time he took our family (there were 6 of us) on a tour. He remembered everything we talked about, our kids, the business, my love for Blue Mountain Coffee, and of course, the Jerk Chicken! He is fantastic and I will recommend him to anyone traveling to Jamaica.

If you are looking for an authentic Jamaican experience, give me a call. I will get you in touch with Jolly. This is a personal reference, not business. I do not make money on these referrals, but I do want to share the experience. You can reach me toll free at 888-882-5793, through email at kfreer@cruiseone.com or visit me on my website.

CruiseOne to Front Deposits for Cruise Bookings


CruiseOne announced on February 6th that they plan to cover deposits for their clients that book a cruise by February 29, 2012. This promotion is part of the companies’ 20th anniversary this year. This promotion is the first of an anniversary-themed sales blitz and will be marketed to consumers with “Buy Now, Pay Later” messaging. Consumers will pay back the deposit at time of final payment.

The advanced deposit will be capped at $500 per cabin, and is valid for most cruise lines with a few exceptions. The offer is not applicable on group bookings, river cruises or land vacations. It is also combinable with most cruise line sales, including military rates, but may not be combined with restricted/non-refundable cruise line promotions. Travel must be booked at least 100 days before departure and by December 31, 2012.

There is a processing fee of $24.99 charged at time of booking. As a CruiseOne agent, I normally do not charge a fee; however, with this promotion the fee will be charged which also provides a level of commitment on behalf of the consumer.

We are also in “wave season” which is the period between January and March, the industries heaviest booking period. It is also a time when cruise lines offer some of their best deals. Running this advanced deposit promotion at this time allows consumers to take advantage of some excellent deals without having to lay out much money up front. Perfect timing for those of us still recovering from the holiday season!

If you are interested in more details of this promotion, give me a call at 888-882-5793, send me an email at kfreer@cruiseone.com or visit my website.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Touring Cunard's Queen Victoria



This week, we were invited to participate in a ship tour and luncheon on board Cunard’s Queen Victoria. The Queen Victoria entered service in December of 2007, and carries approximately 1,990 guests on each sailing. It is not often that tours of the Cunard Fleet are available, so of course, we took full advantage of this one. I must admit, although my agency has Commodore Status with Cunard which is achieved by completing extensive training programs, I have not personally seen a Cunard ship. So yes, this was a first for me. And let me start off by saying that I was not disappointed at all.

With Cunard, there are three levels of stateroom accommodations. Britannia, Princess Grill and Queens Grill. The Britannia rooms are the “standard” staterooms, and guests in these rooms dine in the Britannia Dining Room. The Princess Grill Suites are larger with more amenities, and guests in these accommodations dine in the Princess Grill Dining Room. The Queens Grill staterooms are by far the most elegant with even more amenities, and guests in these suites dine in the Queens Grill dining room. Also, guests that are in the Princess Grill and Queens Grill accommodations also have access to areas that are only for Princess Grill and Queens Grill guests. All of the rooms are spacious and beautifully appointed. None of the three levels is lacking in anything at all.


As for public spaces, there are plenty of lounges and clubs, the card room is spacious and the two story library is breathtaking. You will also find a beautiful ball room where you will find dancing nightly.




The Queen Victoria is absolutely gorgeous. She is classy, elegant and comfortable. She is not a ship for everyone or every experience; it really depends on what you are looking for with your vacation. However, with that said, I really think every cruiser should sail on Cunard at least once! With three ships to choose from, be it the Queen Mary 2, the Queen Elizabeth or the Queen Victoria, there is surely an itinerary that will delight you. This is a perfect cruise for a celebration … such as retirement, a special birthday, a special anniversary, or any special occasion.


If you would like more details, please, give me a call anytime and we can discuss them! I am available almost 24/7 via email at kfreer@cruiseone.com or toll free, 888-882-5793. You can also visit me on the web at www.MemorableVoyages.com and browse some of the itineraries.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

River Cruising


River cruise ships are smaller than ocean-going cruise ships, typically holding 90-240 passengers. Due to their smaller size and low draft, river cruise ships can go where ocean cruise ships cannot, and sometimes to where no other transport is practical: rivers are an excellent way to reach some attractions, for example in Russia, China, Egypt and Europe.

During river cruises the countryside is usually in view, which makes the sailing part very interesting and relaxing. River cruises typically last from 7 to 15 days.  Most river ships are equivalent to 5-star hotels, with sun decks, dining rooms, lounges, fitness facilities, swimming pools, casinos and other entertainment. Accommodation, meals onboard, entertainment and special events (holidays, festivals, contests, concerts, etc.) are usually included in the cruise price, as well as many guided shore excursions headed by a host that is very familiar with the area. Bar expenses, spa, laundry and cleaning, internet and phone calls are not.

A river cruise provides travelers a unique way to travel. There are many opportunites to explore river side towns and the towns close by. The pace is very calm, which is very refreshing in today’s world. You can see multiple destinations, great views, and only have to unpack once!

So, if you are thinking of traveling to Europe or the surrounding areas, perhaps you should consider a river cruise. There are many fantastic itineraries, ranging from Tulip Time, Danube, Treasures of the Rhine, Paris, Vineyards to name a few. Perhaps Asia is a place on your bucket list? A river cruise is perfect! Sail the Yangtze or the Mekong and be amazed. There are also amazing itineraries through Egypt as well.

If taking a land tour, checking in and out of different hotels and waking up at the crack of dawn is not quite what you call a vacation, consider that river cruise. You will find luxury, convenience and great guides with knowledge to enhance your journey.

Give us a call and let us help you plan your trip, 888-882-5793! Visit our River Cruising section of our website to see the variety of operators and itineraries.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Safety on Cruise Ships

This blog is a repost of mine. In light of what has happened with the Costa Concordia in Italy, I really thought it was important to put the word out there again about safety on board cruise ships. Unfortunately, accidents do happen in areas of transportation. I certainly am not making any judgements until all investigations are released. We are not sure how the ship hit a rock, but we are sure that the Captain did get the ship as close as possible to land, which I am sure is a major factor as to why there are not more injuries or fatalities. While any injury or fatality is too many, I do keep that in mind. This was an unfortunate situation, and my heart goes out to all of the passengers, the crew, and their families. I cannot imagine going through that. Let's not make any judgements until the investigations are complete.

Cruising is still a fantastic vacation, a great value for your money, and it is still extremely safe.

As an important reminder, most major cruise lines are members of CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association). The nonprofit Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is North America's largest cruise industry organization in terms of cruise line, industry suppliers, and travel agency membership. ClIA represents the interests of member cruise lines, 100 Executive Partners and more than 15,000 Travel agencies. CLIA participates in the regulatory and policy development process while supporting measures that foster a safe, secure and healthy cruise ship environment. CLIA's Executive Partner program includes strategic relationships between key cruise industry supplier organizations, cruise lines, ports and shipyards and provides interaction with governmental agencies such as Homeland Security, EOA CBP, US Coast Guard, and the FBI. When you do decide to cruise, make sure you are sailing on a line that is a member of CLIA.

REPOST
There has been a lot of negative press lately regarding cruise ships (fire at sea, broken rudder, bad weather). As unfortunate as these events have been, we don’t seem to hear anything about the safety at sea for some reason. Approximately 19 million passengers cruise each year, and there are over 350 cruise ships sailing the waters today. For arguments sake, let’s just say that each of the 350 ships departs once a week (some depart 2 – 3 times a week, and some once a month on a long sailing). That is over 18,200 departures a year. Now think of the past year … what negative press have we been faced with? Just a handful. Not a whole lot when you think of the numbers. And, accidents do happen. Instead of focusing on all of the negative things that happen, we should focus on the positive.

The cruise industry maintains an excellent safety record. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, cruising today is one of the safest modes of transportation, and the industry is constantly striving to improve its safety procedures. Over the past two decades, an estimated 90 million passengers safely enjoyed a cruise vacation. In 1996, the U.S. Coast Guard conducted a comprehensive safety study that concluded the cruise industry is the safest form of commercial transportation and that international safety initiatives being undertaken should further improve its safety record.

As a travel agent, we hear things that most people do not. Being in Florida, one of my number one questions is “is it safe to cruise during hurricane season?” I answer yes. Now, there is the potential that your cruise itinerary may be impacted by a storm, but there is not much of a chance you’ll be put in harm’s way. Today’s modern ships come equipped with state-of-the-art satellite equipment to follow the paths of storms and head away from the storm track. Captains are masters at avoiding the storms. And, you can usually get a good deal sailing the Caribbean during Hurricane Season!

I guess the point I am trying to make is that will all of the departures, all of the passengers sailing … there really hasn’t been many issues. Even when there is no power due to fire, the cruise lines do a wonderful job at trying to keep passengers safe and happy. And while situations do happen and are unfortunate, a full reimbursement of cruise fare, free future cruises, on board credit, discounts and more is quite a nice gesture.

The cruise industry is the most exciting growth category in the entire leisure market. Since 1990, the industry has had an average annual passenger growth rate of 7.2% per annum.

The cruise market potential is strong. Over the next three years, over 50 million North Americans indicate intent to cruise. To date, approximately 20% of the U.S. population has ever cruised. By maintaining historical occupancy levels, the cruise industry will welcome 14.43 million guests in 2010.

The cruise product is incredibly diversified with literally a cruise vacation for everyone. Over the past 10 years, the industry has responded to extensive market and consumer research that has guided the addition of new destinations, new ship design concepts, new on-board/on-shore activities, new themes and new cruise lengths to reflect the changing vacation patterns of today’s market.

The cruise industry’s product delivers unparalleled customer satisfaction. Whether a frequent or first-time cruiser, the cruise experience consistently exceeds expectations on a wide range of important vacation attributes. On a comparative basis versus other vacation categories, cruising consistently receives top marks. The on-going challenge for our industry is to convert cruise prospects into new cruisers.

Cruising is an important vehicle for sampling destination areas to which passengers may return. 80% of cruise passengers agree that a cruise vacation is good way to sample destinations that they may wish to visit again on a land-based vacation. Nearly 40% of cruise vacationers state that they returned to vacation at a destination first visited by cruise.. Cruisers are not exclusively cruisers; rather they are frequent vacationers who cruise as part of their vacation mix.

So, what are you waiting for? Let us help you find your perfect cruise! Where else can you visit multiple destinations, unpack only once and have all of your meals and entertainment included? Give us a call today!

We offer cruise and land vacations at the best price, guaranteed. We help provide you with a vacation & memories that will last a lifetime! We have volume purchasing power, industry expertise & commitment to providing the best possible experience.

CruiseOne Freer & Associates, www.kfreer.cruiseone.com or call us toll free 888-882-5793. We look forward to helping you plan your dream vacation! And if cruising is not for you, we handle land vacations as well!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Alaska - Golden Princes ... Great Rates!

Thinking of sailing to Alaska this summer? We have some great rates on the Golden Pricess, August 25, 2012, doing a 7 night sailing round trip from Seattle, Washington with the following itinerary:

Sat 08/25/12 Seattle, Washington - Embark- Time subject to change 04:00 PM
Sun 08/26/12 At Sea
Mon 08/27/12 Juneau, Alaska 12:00 PM 10:00 PM
Tue 08/28/12 Skagway, Alaska 06:00 AM 08:15 PM
Wed 08/29/12 Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska - Scenic Crusing 08:00 AM 01:00 PM
Thu 08/30/12 Ketchikan, Alaska 06:00 AM 12:30 PM
Fri 08/31/12 Victoria, British Columbia 07:00 PM 11:59 PM
Sat 09/01/12 Seattle, Washington - Disembark - Times subject to change 07:00 AM

This gives a great sample of Alaska with air to a US port (which saves some money!). The ports visited allow for some fantastic shore excursions such as a rail ride in Skagway, panning for gold, salmon fishing, great wildlife viewing, plus so much more.

Currently I also have a $50.00 on board credit for each stateroom, so a great little amenity to help with your on board spending.

Ready to book?? Give me a call! Interior rates are starting at $875.57 per person and ocean view and balcony rates are starting at $1,361.57 per person (these rates include cruise fare, port charges and taxes).

You can reach me anytime via email at kfreer@cruiseone.com, toll free at 888-882-5793 or visit me on the web at www.MemorableVoyages.com.

I look forward to helping you plan your vacation!