Tuesday, September 22, 2020

A Healthy Return to Cruising


Who's ready to start cruising?!?!  I know that I am!!

Royal Caribbean's Healthy Sail Panel has just published their list of recommendations to safely resume operations. You can find the full report via the link below. Hopefully these suggestions will help us get back on the oceans very soon.

There is nothing out of the ordinary - many of the same types of suggestions are you seeing being implemented in your home towns. And many of the recommendations can be scaled down, modified, or discontinued over time (such as temperature checks and face masks).

I have always felt that cruise ships did an excellent job of keeping the ships clean and encouraging good hygiene for the crew and guests. Much of what the Panel recommended seemed in line with what the ships have been doing for years. The Panel encouraged additional screenings before and during the cruise - particularly for their crew members.

I'm hopeful that by the time the ships are sailing, these pandemic related recommendations (particularly face coverings) will be discontinued pretty quickly. I think we are all in agreement that wearing a mask onboard is not the vacation environment that we dream about.

The report did not touch specifically on food service or entertainment venues. But it seems logical that if everyone onboard is healthy, there is not much change necessary. Time will tell if changes will be made in regards to distancing.

Suggestion 59 talks about onshore experiences. "During the initial return to sailing, cruise operators should only allow guests debarking from a ship at a destination port to participate in cruise line-sponsored or verified excursions as a way of limiting potential exposures in the destinations they visit." As they become available, we'll be sure to point our clients to these "verified excursions" to aid in offering a wonderful vacation experience.

View the full report here...

Comment below the date of your next cruise and tell us what you are most excited about experiencing onboard. I'm booked in March 2021 on the Harmony of the Seas and I can't wait to sail with my extended family and plunge down the Ultimate Abyss.

Not yet booked? Take advantage of Royal Caribbean's Cruise with Confidence Policy and book your next trip by September 30, 2020. Give us a call to book your next dream vacation. 1-800-645-1481


Monday, April 13, 2020

Why Using a Travel Agent is More Important Than Ever Before

COVID-19 has turned our world upside down as we know it, and soon we will be facing a new normal. After self-isolation is complete, people are going to want to escape their homes – whether it is to the mall, a restaurant or on vacation. As you make your plans and start re-exploring your community and the world, I implore you to support small businesses such as boutiques, locally-owned restaurants and travel agents. Our livelihoods have been devastated and we need your support.

Yes, travel agents still exist and during this pandemic we have proven to be more valuable to travelers than ever before. There are countless stories of travel agents who have helped their clients return home after being stranded. Travel agents who have lent an ear and empathy, calming those who are scared.

Travel agents are your advocate. As a travel agent with Dream Vacations, we have close relationships with nearly every major travel supplier and can advocate on your behalf. We are committed to working diligently with your best interests in mind.

Travel agents save you time, energy and aggravation. Your time is valuable and should be spent with family. We call your vacation provider (cruise line, hotel, airline, tour operator, etc.), so you don’t have to wait on hold for hours on end. We can explain to you complex cancellation and re-booking policies and are here to address your concerns.

Travel agents are always here for you. We are available day and night to answer your questions, and when you work with a locally-owned agency, you are guaranteed to always speak with the same person. And because we are not in a call center, the travel agent you called will always call you back in a timely manner. In a normal environment, we are here to make your vacation as seamless as possible – from the research and booking stages to planning excursions when you are away and taking care of the logistics of your return trip home. Nothing has changed since COVID-19. We have been and always will be there for you. 

Also, booking your vacation with a travel agency is supporting a small business. There is a light at the end of this tunnel, and you are going to want to go on vacation and live life to the fullest by checking items off your bucket list. When you do book with a travel agent, we are dedicated to making your vacation dreams become a reality and in turn, you are helping us make our business dreams come true.

So please remember to use a travel agent the next time you book a vacation — we promise, you won’t regret it.

Cheri Thomas
Dream Vacations / Cruise & Crop
Inverness, FL

Cruise & Land Vacations:  gpastor.dreamvacations.com

Crafting Cruises:  www.CruiseAndCrop.com