On a flight home from a cruise last week I struck up conversation with a seatmate who asked what I did for a living. After telling him I was in the cruise business his comment was, “that sounds fun, but I’ll bet it’s tough selling vacations in such a difficult economy.” I thought about that a lot this week. He was right on both counts; it’s fun and it certainly has been a challenge, but I have a lot for which to be thankful!
First, I work with an extraordinary team here at CruiseDeals. I know it’s politically correct to say that in a public forum about employees, so let me explain why it’s sincere. Everyone at CruiseDeals takes our customers’ vacations and satisfaction as seriously as if it were our own trip. We’re a “dot-com” in name only–we don’t operate like a call center where our job is to get your credit card number and move on to the next caller. We do our best to provide up-front, honest pricing. Our goal is to make sure you have the best possible vacation–one that’s right for you, your family, or friends. If you’ve purchased from us I sincerely hope you felt that way as well. If not, you can let me know how we can do better by calling 800-668-6414, ext. 300 or writing to email@example.com.
Second, we are honored to have arranged cruise vacations for more than 220,000 guests since opening our doors in 2003. The reality is customers have more choices of where to buy than ever before, and we know that we don’t deserve anyone’s loyalty until we’ve earned it. Many of you have chosen us time and again, and we can’t express enough how much we appreciate your for doing so. 220,000 is a lot of people, and our goal is to make every single one feel like they’re our only customer. Being big is good since it translates into buying power, but not if it comes at the expense of doing a good job for our customers.
Third, despite the current economic challenges, it’s still a privilege (and a lot of fun) to be in a business that’s truly interesting and always improving. We’ve come a long way since my start in 1985 where most cruise ships were converted passenger liners from the 1940s and 1950s. Not only has the hardware become more spectacular and diverse, but pricing puts a cruise within reach of so many more people. I am convinced there is still no better value for a vacation than a cruise, even after adding in the “extras” such as taxes, gratuities, beverages, shore excursions, etc.
Thank you for letting me share my thoughts as we near Thanksgiving. All of us at CruiseDeals and the Travel Leaders family wish the very best to you and your families.
And now. . . I’ll turn it over to Martha to share some her hand-picked deals!
Avalon River Cruises: Save $1,000 per person
Thinking of planning a trip to Europe? A river cruise combines the best of what a blue-water cruise offers; unpack once, fine dining, transport between cities while you’re sleeping, with the hands-on experience of European land-based tours. And since most River cruises dock in the very heart of the historic cities they visit, you become instantly immersed in the history and culture of Europe’s famous cities. Interested? CruiseDeals is making this fantastic way to see Europe more affordable with $1,000 off per person on select 2012 Avalon River cruises to Europe! As always, I’ve done the research for you and picked out my favorite deals from the promotion.
My favorite pick: March 25th 11 Days Burgundy & Provence from Paris to Côte d’Azur: This spring voyage starts from just $2,089 per person after the $1,000 savings which is just $189 a day on a luxury river ship! This vacation begins with two nights in Paris, followed by visits to Beaune, Chalon-Sur-Saone, Tournus, Lyon, Tournon, Viviers, Avignon and Arles. Your vacation ends with an overnight in the stunning Côte d’Azur on the French Riviera. This deal can only be booked by calling 800-668-6414! What makes this offer even sweeter? Because these rates are all inclusive, the price includes meals, regional wines and beer at dinner, shore excursions with local guides and more.
Looking for different cities? We’ve arranged savings on 30 different voyages so give us a call and talk to one of CruiseDeals.com’s knowledgeable cruise consultants about booking this offer (which ends November 29th).
On Deck: What’s Coming Up Next Week: Tuesday Price Drops
For one day only on Tuesday, Celebrity will drop rates on a handful of sailings departing in the next couple of months. These weekly cruise deals provide a terrific savings, but rates really do go right back up on Wednesday so I always suggest planning to act on these limited time offers. Here is my favorite pick:
November 28th Celebrity Millennium 5-Night Western Caribbean from Miami: Inside rates will drop $60 per person from $229 down to $169 which is only $34 a day! Or, enjoy the fresh air and views from your Veranda cabin for just $279 and only $56 a day, a $50 per person price drop from $329. These are unheard of rates for a premium Celebrity cruise!