Help support your small businesses by booking your travel needs with your local Travel Agents. There is a common misconception going around that travel agents have gone the way of the dinosaur and are not needed to book a cruise. After all, we have the internet and anyone can book that dream vacation themselves online.
Here are 5 reasons why you should consider using a travel agent to book your next cruise.
Customer Service – The most important reason for using a travel agent is the one on one personal customer service that you will not get when using a discount travel site or online booking engine. A good travel agent will be able to answer all of your questions and guide you through important steps such as choosing the right travel insurance that meets your specific needs.
Most travel agents today can be quickly reached through a phone call, email, or text message. If you are looking for great customer service, using an agent is the only way to go.
Knowledge– When using a travel agent, you get free access to years of knowledge and experience that can help you pick the right cruise and cabin. Travel agents also keep up on any rule changes that cruise lines make (smoking on balconies, gratuity costs, dinner and drink packages etc) so you won’t have any surprises when you embark on your cruise.
Travel agents also are able to take ship inspections on cruise ships giving them valuable insight to a variety of ships. You can use the knowledge they have to make sure you book the right cruise. I know a couple who booked a cruise themselves and had a miserable time saying they will never take another cruise.
If they had used a travel agent, they would have known that the cruise they chose had much more a party atmosphere than the quiet, relaxing trip they were expecting. Travel agents will steer you towards the cruise that fits your expectations.
Price– A common myth is that using a travel agent will cost you more than booking it yourself. In reality, the opposite is actually true. Travel agents from large agencies will have hundreds of groups on various cruises. They can book you into these groups giving you the group rate that is not available to the general public. Added amenities are also commonly given to groups like onboard credit, free photos, bottle of wine, and complimentary dinners at specialty restaurants.
Travel agents receive emails daily from the cruise lines informing them of special promotions that they are offering. By using an agent, you can take advantage of the best deal using these promotions that you may have otherwise never have known about.
There is no surcharge when using an agent. The agent will receive a portion of the cruise fare as their commission, but that comes out of the cruise line’s pocket and not yours.
Save Time– Using a travel agent can save you a lot of research and time that you may not have. Tell your agent exactly what you are looking for and let them get back to you with several different options. They will use your interests, hobbies, and expectations to find the best fit for you. A travel agent may also interest you in a cruise that you may not have even known about.
Travel agents are not going the way of the payphone, beeper, and CRT TVs. They are as important as ever and come at no additional cost to you.
Did you know that cruising supports small businesses? We owe the industry’s success to our 20,000+ travel agencies and 30,000+ travel agent professionals, many of whom are small business owners and operators.
Be it: Cruise, Air, Hotel, Rentals (Condos , Beachfronts) or Rental cars.
“Travel brings power and love back into your life.” I LOVE booking travel and making Memories.
Life is full of excuses....People always make excuses when it comes to traveling. Unless you want to live a life full of regret....You shouldn't live a life full of Excuses. Taking your dream trip isn't only possible it's an absolute necessity for your physiological, emotional and spiritual well-being.
Reasons why someone may not be able to travel. Most common excuses I hear at all times.
No matter what your income is, you CAN find ways to travel.
It may come as a shock, but not everyone has dreams of travel. In fact, some people are perfectly content living in the same town their whole lives and never leaving it. There’s nothing wrong with this. Unless, of course, your parents or spouse or friends fall into this category when you don’t. Then it can become frustrating. But, just remember that there’s no rule saying you have to travel with someone. Hit the road solo! Have an adventure on your own! Then you can go home and tell the non-travelers in your life all about what they missed out on. Who knows? Maybe you’ll convert a few of them and have travel partners in the future.
Yes, there’s a lot to be afraid of in the world, and travelers sometimes do come across dangerous situations away from home. But do you know what one of the most dangerous activities of all is? Simply driving to work every day. 90 percent of the places you wanna visit are fine. No matter where you go, don’t be a doofus – keep your valuables concealed, stay out of dark alleyways, and avoid eye contact with the dude who’s debating with air. If you can drive in Austin, TX traffic on IH35... Thailand will be a breeze. ***giggling***
So stop with the excuses.
Just travel already.
I promise you won’t regret it.
If Not Now........."When?"
Traveling is possible for Anyone. You have to have the Drive....Ambition and Determination to want to venture out to new surroundings.
The Caribbean is such a beautiful place that sometimes the local cuisine gets overlooked.
Caribbean food is distinctive, in part because of the abundance of natural resources in the area: fresh fruit, seafood, and spices grow well in the climate and are easy to find. The Caribbean is also home to of many cultures - from Indigenous peoples to people of Spanish, Dutch, English, and African backgrounds. These cultures and the natural riches of the region have combined to make for some amazing food.
Here are the best 8 foods you have to try if you're visiting the Caribbean.
You’re on an island the middle of a sea at an all-inclusive resort. It's time to eat some seafood. Grouper, whitefish, and fresh shellfish are all in abundance in the Caribbean. You should be taking advantage of the local markets as well. Some of the best fish and seafood can be purchased there, often only hours after it was caught. As a bonus, at local seafood restaurants and markets, you can often meet the fishermen or fishmongers to learn more about their products, making your experience with fresh seafood in the Caribbean even more memorable.
Torta Cubanos, or Cuban Sandwiches
This may be the perfect sandwich. Soft bread with extra-crisp crust is piled high with roast pork, ham, tangy dill pickles, and good, vinegary mustard, as well as jack or mozzarella cheese. Then you put that sandwich in a hot press and melt the cheese together with everything else, wrap it in parchment paper, and serve. This is a great walking lunch too if you’re on a sightseeing tour and want some local food - its portable, but very filling. Cuban sandwiches are popular throughout the region, as are the ingredients. You’re likely to find roast pork, ham, mustard, and dill pickles in a lot of Caribbean food.
Pepperpot is similar to beef stew, or jambalaya.
This Caribbean food is a very thick stew usually made with beef, okra, squash, potatoes, eggplant, and cornmeal dumplings. Pepperpot can be spicy and filling, but it’s rarely made the same way twice. It's the perfect dish to use up vegetables or anything that’s in season, so every time you eat it you’ll probably get a new experience.
Conch is sort of like a very large sea snail - you’ve probably seen their beautiful shells before on a beach, but not near an oven. Conch is cooked in a variety of ways in the Caribbean, from fritters to salads, soups, and stews. Fried conch fritters are a staple in many areas, and are great very fresh, which is hard to replicate outside of the region.
Cooking Jerk is a spicy, sweet, and tangy rub - either dry or wet - that is put on grilled meat, commonly as Jamaican-style jerk chicken. Jerk sauce, with the distinctive flavors of ginger, allspice, Scotch Bonnet peppers, and lime, is also a popular addition to many foods. Jerk huts and jerk sauces are easy to find throughout the region, and everyone makes theirs a little differently, so you can eat jerk often and never get exactly the same experience.
Plantains are growing in popularity outside the Caribbean - in particular, plantain chips are quickly becoming a great alternative for those who choose a gluten-free lifestyle.
But in the Caribbean, this food is prepared in innumerable ways. As they’re both sweet and savory, they are sometimes served with chicken and rice, another Caribbean food staple, to balance out the rich flavors. They can also be cooked with rum, sugar, cinnamon, and syrup for a delicious dessert.
Roti is definitely a dish of many cultures. Roti is similar to naan, but is thinner and chewier, almost similar to a tortilla. It’s grilled and filled with curry, chicken, lamb, beef, potato, or pretty much anything that can be curried. Like the Cuban sandwich, roti is a great portable food, and is familiar while still conveying the unique flavors of the Caribbean.
Bonus: Roti is easy to recreate at home, so when you get back and can’t stop thinking about it, you can make your own without much trouble.
No, rice isn’t unique to Caribbean food. But it’s a vessel for all kinds of foods - rice and peas, chicken and rice, a side dish to roti, served under pepperpot. With the rich spices and unique flavors of the Caribbean, it’s never boring.
All those carbs are going to come in handy while you’re traveling around the region as well, as many areas are walkable or perfect for the thrill-seeking outdoor adventurer.
Try These and More
The Caribbean is not one large, indistinct area. Each region has its own unique culture and ever-evolving cuisine. But it is a place marked by an abundance of wonderful food, no matter what part you visit. The rich history of the region has created food that is unique and delicious. Just take your most comfortable shoes, your stretchiest pants, and your appetite with you when you go.