Monday, November 23, 2015

Cruise Fare Increases As Of 11/23/15!!

Norwegian Cruise Line & Others Raising Cruise Fares As Of 11/23/15

Even before the New Year has begun, all cruise lines will be raising their cruise fares as of November 23, 2015, which is much sooner than last year!
Rates usually increase as of January 1 of any new year but this year the cruise lines have decided to take advantage of people's spending during the Holiday season.
Don't be a casualty of this pricing increase!  Book your cruise today on any cruise line and receive an additional $50 on board credit through Maraloha Travel!
We want you to enjoy  your cruise and your investment in your vacation.
Book today before it is too late!
#maralohatvl, #dedicatedtravelagent, #cruises, #vacations, #family, #fun, #discountedcruises

Monday, November 16, 2015

CruiseWorld 2015 - Day 3 - 11/13/15

CruiseWorld 2015
Day 3 - 11/13/15

Day 3 of CruiseWorld and I can't believe it is coming to an end for me.  The CruiseWorld event, however, doesn't end there.  Saturday and Sunday are cruise line ship inspections where travel agents are invited to tour cruise ships that are docked at the Fort Lauderdale cruise port so that they can educate and "test it" for their clients to see if it is a good fit.  However, I did not participate this year in the inspections, but will try next year as we had to get home on Saturday for prior engagements.

For me, the time we spent since the first day we got to Fort Lauderdale seemed to rush by to fast and I have learned so much from this event.  CruiseWorld, since I have done it before, can be overwhelming.  This time around though, it really felt like an overload of information, so much that you could spew it all over the floor!  My brain still hurts at this point in just writing this. LOL.

This last day at CruiseWorld, we started extremely early and it was off to the Convention Center at 7 am to join everyone for breakfast sponsored by Xcelerator, then onward to our educational modules and supplier seminars to learn some more.

At this point, as I am sure that most people felt the same way I did, that we were all tired.  Remember that this event crammed in not only educational classes, but supplier seminars, an Exhibitor Showcase, and networking with other travel agents, suppliers, wholesalers, etc.!  Very fast paced, energetic, and down right intense at times.  You don't even have enough time to talk with others as your schedule is pretty tight.  That is actually a good thing because your goal, at least for me as a travel guru, is to get as much information as I can, learn and educate myself, and benefit my clients.  This is what these travel agent events are all about.  So as a client, you really have to appreciate what we do to provide excellent service to you.

After the day ended and saying goodbye to colleagues and friends, it was back to the hotel to get ready for a last minute concert and blow off some steam!  J.C. surprised me with complimentary tickets from one of the band members of Kamelot.  One of my favorite melodic metal bands!  What a great way to end Cruiseworld!!

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Please feel free to comment as I would love to hear from you.  Tune in for new posts when we cruise on Norwegian's newest ship the Escape in December!

#maralohatvl, #dedicatedtravelagent, #WeExist, #Cruiseworld2015, #cruises, #vacation, #fun  

Friday, November 13, 2015

CruiseWorld 2015 - Day 2 - 11/12/15

CruiseWorld 2015
Day 2 - 11/12/15

Here we go....Day 2 of CruiseWorld and I am already pumped for another day of fun-filled seminars and events! (However, getting up at 6am was not fun.)

Dondra, JC, Me, & Vicki
Breakfast started at 7:15am and was sponsored by Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises.  This was a great presentation as two of my favorite people, Vicki Freed and Dondra Ritzenthaler are really passionate and show lots of enthusiasm about their cruise lines and what they do.  What do you know?  Sounds like me! 

Keeping the time in mind and not getting much sleep the night before, we had more to go.  After breakfast there were more break out sessions and seminars on different supplier brands, educational classes, and then lunch.  

After lunch it was time for the BIG show!  The CruiseWorld Ribbon Cutting and Exhibitor Showcase. 

Exhibitor Showcase Walk
One thing I must say is that the Exhibitor Showcase at CruiseWorld is one of the best in the industry.  Even though it is only for travel agents and not for the general public, I have the opportunity to do many things that can only benefit YOU! This is why I do it with my customers in mind.

Dancing Away With Carnival Cruise Lines
The Exhibitor Showcase provides me with networking capabilities not available through the internet and "one-on-one" meetings with different brands and what they can offer to my customers as a benefit, education on each different brand which can either have a specific specialization that meets my customers needs and/or benefit my customers in other ways, or it might be a special group vacation I am working on that a supplier could add perks to, for instance, or enable me to plan each specification of my client's vacation to the very last detail with ease.  It's a win-win for both of us with endless possibilities!  In addition, there is a wealth of information that you can't get from the internet which makes me as your travel agent unique in every way that the competition can't match.

Here are some of the many suppliers I have close relations with that give my clients the "special attention" they deserve! (just to name a few....)

My Norwegian Cruise Line Team
My MSC Cruise Team

Special Needs Group
After the Exhibitor Showcase, it was time to retire for the evening, write this blog and go to bed to do it all over again tomorrow.  This is exciting and fun!

So keep in mind the next time you search the internet for hours... contact your travel agent guru!

Stay tuned for the next adventure post tomorrow!

Don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter LIVE feed!

Please feel free to comment as I would love to hear from you.  Stay tuned for tomorrow's last day of CruiseWorld post adventure.....

#maralohatvl, #dedicatedtravelagent, #WeExist, #Cruiseworld2015, #cruises, #vacation, #fun  

Thursday, November 12, 2015

CruiseWorld 2015 - Day 1 - 11/11/15

CruiseWorld 2015
Day 1 - 11/11/15

To give you a little taste of what we, as travel agents do to become preferred and experienced, travel agents like myself, need to constantly keep up with the times.  One way of doing this are trade shows like CruiseWorld.  CruiseWorld provides not only training but a wealth of innovative ideas to become better at what we do so that we can service our clients the best way we know how, and of course, benefit our clients.  In addition, it also allows travel agents to network and learn from each other.

Here is a little insight into our first day:
We had to get up early to be at our first of two training classes for CLIA at 9:30am.  CLIA (Cruise Line International Association) is one of the leading travel agent training programs in the cruise line industry.  It not only educates travel agents to become experts in the cruise industry, but helps us advantageously assist our clients in attaining what they need and what they want in their vacations.

Carnival "Photo Fun" Booth
Starting at 9:30am for the first of two CLIA classes, J.C. and I first headed into the Star Program room (the preferred travel agent designated hub) and met with our colleague Sande, to get some fresh coffee and check in with our other fellow Travel Agents (aka "TA's") for the classes.  We headed to the registration desk to get J.C.'s pass to the conference.  As we were waiting for J.C.'s pass, next to the registration was Carnival Cruise Line's "Photo Fun" booth that you could dress silly and take some pictures.  Well, knowing J.C., Sande and myself (and to kill some time), we could not pass up the opportunity and I knew that this would be a fun experience for all of us.  

After finishing our photo opportunity, we got into the CLIA classes and then lunch at 12 PM.  With Holland America and Seabourn Cruise Line sponsoring the luncheon, we learned some more innovating ideas about these particular suppliers that provided more benefits to our customers.  

To not bore you with details, as you can imagine, after lunch there were more workshops and interactive sessions between suppliers and TA's.  Then it was time to head back to the hotel to freshen up for our next exciting event, meet and greet other TA's at the Quarterdeck.

The Quarterdeck is a restaurant in the Fort Lauderdale area known for great food and a family atmosphere, so it was a perfect opportunity for us to meet with other TA's to network, chat, and get ideas. Brainstorming is another great way for TA's to work with each other to become successful in a business that we love.  J.C. and I had a great time and we were able to take away some great suggestions and perks for our clients.

As the night grew late, we headed back to our hotel to get some sleep as for the next day we had to be at the Convention Center for breakfast at 7:15 am.

Even though it seems that it was not much of a "read" for today, I wanted you to get a better idea of what we, as travel agents, experience at these events.  It's not all fun and games, but we do try to make it eventful and enjoyable while getting a wealth of information and tips in servicing our clients better.  We are dedicated travel agents that really care about our clients and seperate us from the competition.

So remember: The next time you decide to use a travel agent, you should feel confident knowing you are in good hands.

Don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for live feed!

Please feel free to comment as I would love to hear from you.  Stay tuned for tomorrow's post adventure.....

#maralohatvl, #dedicatedtravelagent, #WeExist, #Cruiseworld2015, #cruises, #vacation, #fun  

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

CruiseWorld 2015 - Pre Event 11/10/15

CruiseWorld 2015
Pre Event Day 11/10/15

Here you have it, my new venture, writing a travel post!  I know that everyone does it but for some it is easy, for others it is not.  I just happen to be one of them.  However, you can't learn until you try right?  Well here it goes.  I was searching for a way to create a connection with not only people close to me but everyone I know so that the posts I create tell you my own life and adventures of being a travel agent and my own personal experiences I encounter on my trips.  Some would be able to relate, some not.  However, its still experiences, whether my own or something similar that we can all relate to.  This post is going to be one of many this week so get your coffee and be prepared!  It is exciting for me to share it with you and hope you enjoy it as well and learn from my experiences!

Leaving Tampa:
As most of you know, I moved from New York to Tampa with my boyfriend JC Viper.  So being able to drive to Fort Lauderdale and always being in sunny weather rather than the cold of New York is a definite treat!  One hiccup though.. we have two dogs and one of them we call "Star" has been whining every night for the past 3 months at all wee hours of the day and night, where we only get about 2 hours sleep, if we are lucky that is.  So, being have baked and extremely tired, JC and I pulled an all nighter thinking that we could get up in an hour or so to get some odds and ends done and head to Fort. Lauderdale for CruiseWorld. Well.. that didn't happen.

We definitely woke up late and made a bad judgement call.  Something I hate more than anything in this world is being late.  People who know me understand that I am a stickler for time.  With that said, we finally, after some odds and ends that had to get done, left Tampa at 12:10pm and of course, on Interstate 75, we hit traffic!  To make matters worse, we get the idiot drivers who love to cut off people and make life difficult to drive anywhere as they go SOOO slow, especially the ambulances where there is really no emergency.   Admit it, you all know the type and what I am talking about.  However, a plus on our side, we did make it just in the nick of time!  We arrived around 4:30pm, checked into CruiseWorld at the Convention Center, and went back to the hotel to check into our room.

Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina:
I have to extend a special thanks to everyone at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina as the room and service are superb! The room (as posted on my personal Facebook page and Maraloha Travel's page), is gorgeous, especially the balcony with the view!  (A much needed luxury for JC and I as we don't have that at home, yet any peace without Star crying every night is a blessing!) and got a little welcome gift from our Area Manager!  I personally had the pleasure of meeting him last year and CruiseWorld and he was kind enough to extend something to me this year at CruiseWorld.  I would definitely, even if I didn't have the pleasure of knowing him or the staff at Hilton, stay at this Hotel.  Not only for the convenience of being only steps away from the Convention Center but the overall service and beauty of the hotel.  It is beautiful and the service staff is very accommodating.  They have done an outstanding job to make sure that we are always well taken care of.  

Water Taxi:
After getting ourselves settled in, we decided to take the Water Taxi to Stop 1 for a little grub at Tilted Kilt.   The Water Taxi was a good idea to get around the local fare and see Fort Lauderdale's 'richer' side of things.  We saw some beautiful yachts, homes, and Riverfront properties that you would not be able to see by car or bus and really enjoyed the staff's narration of history behind home and yacht.  

Tilted Kilt:
After a 10 minute Water Taxi ride, we got to the Tilted Kilt only a few steps from the Riverfront waterway.  The servers were in their mid teens, early 20's and had some great outfits!  I know JC loved it and so did I, just wish I could fit into one of those outfits!  The food was good and the atmosphere was very lively.  We ordered the Margarita Flat-bread appetizer which was very fresh.  I also had a chichen salad and JC had some wings.  He is a 'wing' man expert and said that they could have been a little better but overall, he did enjoy it. ROFL!  My chicken salad was a little spicy and battered, which I didn't care for but overall, it was ok.  Pricing was reasonable too.

After dinner at Tilted Kilt, we headed back onto the Water Taxi (last one at 9:20pm) and returned to the hotel to enjoy an after dinner drink at the hotel's Waterway bar.  Most, if not all, hotel guests were there enjoying some laughter, good food and drink. As the night was coming to a close, we decided to retire for the evening and head back to the hotel room.

That is where I am right now, writing this post as poor JC is sleeping.  

Well, its that time and we must get up early for CruiseWorld.  Looking forward to seeing my travel partners, getting some education, and having some fun.  This is going to be an experience.

Until tomorrow.....

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Please feel free to comment as I would love to hear from you.  Stay tuned for tomorrow's post adventure.....

#maralohatvl, #dedicatedtravelagent, #WeExist, #Cruiseworld2015, #cruises, #vacation, #fun  


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Cruiseworld 2015 Recognizes Maraloha Travel!

CruiseWorld’s STAR (Select Travel Advisor Recognition) Program is designed to support the success of travel advisors who operate in a variety of business models and who possess a wide range of expertise.  The STAR Program immerses a select group of professionals in an enhanced CruiseWorld experience. CruiseWorld “STARs” are a diverse and select group of professionals ranging from the seasoned and established industry veteran, to the promising and developing advisor who may have limited tenure - but has continuously demonstrated professionalism, commitment and growth potential.
I will be at Cruiseworld next week to be recognized and get the best for my clients! Very exciting!  Show your support and comment... 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Travel Agent Awareness Week!

November 1 - 7, 2015 has been declared "Travel Agent Awareness" week.

During this week, they will be sharing information to inform the public about the fact that Travel Agents do exist, what a Travel Agent does and why you should use a Travel Agent.

Share your ideas and comments with us! Let us know what you think! 

Get Ready To Cruise With Norwegian Cruise Line's Exceptional Deals!!

Let's Get Ready To Cruise!

Norwegian Cruise Line has the best there is to offer especially Holiday cruises! Don't you deserve the best? 

Call today for details!