As the world marches forward through these challenging times, and we begin to contemplate just when and where we will travel next, it’s time to ask yourself: why do you love to travel? Is it to experience different cultures and dive into their histories? To see epic natural wonders and exciting wildlife? Or to simply get away from it all and blissfully relax far from crowds? Whatever your reason, cruising fulfills these needs in an enriching way.
Once you share that moment with other adventurers, whether seeing a natural wonder, a basilica, an ancient ruin or a humpback whale off the California coast, then communities are formed. Cruise Specialists is attuned to that wonderful sense of adventure and offers several approaches for you to become an adventurer as well as the option to share that with a community. Read on to discover how we achieve this.
The Cruise Lines are Staying Flexible
As cruise lines’ plans for 2021 and beyond continue to take shape, it’s becoming more apparent that you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. Cruise lines are using their inherent flexibility to position ships where a safe return to cruising can be most effectively achieved. The small ships of Seabourn will travel the globe to lesser-known ports and hideaways, yet Seabourn is also reminding travelers of the opportunity to “Travel Well Without Traveling Far.” This includes taking advantage of Seabourn’s Spa & Wellness partnership with Dr. Andrew Weil, featuring an exclusive mindful living program. We’re also seeing strong demand for cruises to private islands in the convenient Caribbean. Royal Caribbean modified its plans for 2021-2022 to base more ships in Florida and offer more visits to its totally redesigned private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay. Crystal Cruises announced plans in March 2021 to base Crystal Serenity in the Bahamas for a series of 30 new, 7-night luxury Bahamas escapes. Crystal Serenity will be the first ship to homeport in The Bahamas and features the highest guest space ratios of any ship cruising the Americas in 2021.
To Europe and Beyond
It’s not just close-to-home destinations that are attracting interest. With pent-up demand for Europe, Holland America Line has four of its ships set to cruise Europe later in 2021, including the forthcoming Rotterdam. Oceania Cruises’ 2022 “Around The World in 180 Days World Cruise,” on which Cruise Specialists offers an exclusive Voyage Host, quickly sold out—as did its 2023 World Cruise. Speaking of World Cruises, here’s an interesting fact: because of the pent-up demand for travel and the desire of many to catch up on missed travel by planning further out, this is the first year in Cruise Specialists’ 30+ year history that we have two full years of World Cruise programs to sell (2022 and 2023). Demand is strong, so contact the World Cruise experts at Cruise Specialists now if you are interested in a voyage of this magnitude.
The Cruise Specialists Advantage
Simply put, we’re truly excited to be booking cruises again! It has been anything but a “slow year” at Cruise Specialists, though. Our Cruise Consultants processed thousands of Future Cruise Credits (FCCs) for clients whose cruises had been cancelled. The silver lining was having the opportunity to use our expertise to make it as easy and convenient as possible for each client. We continue to offer our services on a complimentary basis and are here for you should you be holding an FCC.
Regardless of whether it’s based on a Future Cruise Credit or a new booking, we can assist you in planning your next unforgettable vacation. We’ll help you navigate the current travel landscape and address any concerns you may have so that you can book with confidence. We can also help you protect your vacation with travel insurance and help you understand all cancellation and refund options available. We’ll even accent your trip with special amenities and VIP perks you won’t find booking on your own. One of those most notable perks is our Hosted Voyage program. We plan several departures each year on which we have a dedicated Cruise Specialists Voyage Host. These well-traveled individuals are friendly and approachable, and their goal is to help you feel at home and looked after on your cruise. They host onboard events and informal chat times to catch up with Cruise Specialists clients, escort special group excursions, host private dinners and more. A feeling of camaraderie develops among Cruise Specialists clients, and we often hear from them that they feel a special level of discreet attention from onboard staff when they are a part of one of our hosted voyages. We offer dozens more hosted departures with a variety of exclusive amenities thanks to our membership in Travel Leaders Network.
Longing for the Seas
If you’re taking a fresh look at your world map and dreaming of making your next trip a reality, you’re not alone. In a recent Travel Leaders Network survey of nearly 3,000 travelers, 70 percent of respondents replied they hope to travel in 2021. Twenty-two percent had replied they hoped to travel yet this year. Here’s a concrete example of travel’s impending resurgence: In late October 2020, Regent Seven Seas Cruises® announced the launch of its 2022-2023 Voyage Collection. They set a record for the greatest number of bookings in a single day in the company’s history!
Coupled with the phased-in approach that cruise lines are taking, meaning fewer ships and fewer passengers on board, that means some sailings are starting to sell out. We’re seeing this especially in higher cabin categories popular with our clients. If you are holding a Future Cruise Credit, it’s also important to keep an eye on the expiration date. When in doubt, contact us and we can help you maximize the value on your vacation investment.
We Love Hearing from You
While many travelers were sidelined in the past year, some took advantage of the extra downtime to drop us a note. We love receiving these messages, whether handwritten notes or an email message. Here’s one that left us all feeling quite inspired, sent by client Joan about our Cruise Consultant, Gillian Clark:
Gillian has magical powers to keep all the details straight! She takes care of all my travel arrangements, including times when reservations are complicated, such as when we needed to reassign travel insurance policies to fit a number of recent changes in our travel plans. We would not even try to run with this dream without Cruise Specialists and Gillian on the team. She is truly a travel goddess!
Thank you, Joan, for taking time to write. We have received similar comments about all our Cruise Consultants. Please contact us to learn more about how we can provide you with an effortless travel planning service on your next cruise.