Friday, January 20, 2017

Travel Buying Myths. Which are ? Which aren’t ? Statistics

Will be taking a break from blogging.  Please see below ... FB contact, Signup for cruise deals, Next Vacation Giveaway.




What consumers don't know, can work to a travelers disadvantage/pocketbook !

Take advantage of reading a few Myths and Not myths below.



Myth or not ?
Wave Season is when most vacationers buy their vacation for the upcoming year ?

Myth.
How so ?
Each year, the cruise line industry experiences Wave Season, from January through mid-March.  Actually …  It’s Wave Season for other type vacation buying too.

An estimate of 70% of vacationers, buy from April thru December, the year prior. 
Actually about 20% buy during Wave Season.  It’s called Wave Season because this amount of vacation buyers over 2 ½ months is a whole lot more buying, versus 70% over 9 months !

Myth or Not ?
Wave Season is the lowest price time to buy your vacation ?

Myth. 
How so ?
Reminder … 70% of vacationers have already made their upcoming year’s purchase.  The consumer has no idea what the ‘early birds’ paid !  Unless, been watching rates for last 9 months or longer (as soon as rates came out).

Myth or Not ?
More consumers buy direct with the Land Tour Vendor than thru an agent.

Myth.
How so ?
Travel statistics reports by Redzy.  51,9% of tour operators are working with travel agents to resell their tours versus direct with consumers.

Myth or Not ?
Most bookings are made online/via email versus by phone.

Myth
How so ?
Travel statistics reports by Redzy.  Almost 90% are still taking bookings manually.

Myth or Not ?
Few people do their homework or read reviews before purchasing their vacation.

Myth.
How so ?
Travel statistics reports by Redzy.  93% of global travelers say their booking decisions are impacted by online reviews.

Myth or Not ?
Few people research or know needed insight, prior to calling an agent.

Myth.
How so ?
85% vacationers, have done their homework, know the vacation they want, and only left with a few questions, by the time they call their agent the 1st time..

Myth or Not ?
Majority of vacationers are ready to buy their vacation upon their 1st call to their agent ?

Not Myth.
How so ?
Unfortunately, 15% consumers, have yet to discover one of the most important information to know.  They've yet to even ask, (1) Those who will be traveling too if they want to go !  And (2) Asked their job (spouse) if they can have off work.  

FBO consumers and loss of vacation dreams … Vacationers should consider having these answers before they even begin their research.  Especially before calling their agent. Why waste your time getting all the exact info/questions answered, if it’s possible, you’re not going.

Myth or Not ?
Most consumers believe, buying their vacation, on their own, online, is how they’ll save money.

Not Myth.
How so ?
Due to ‘hoop-la’ advertising, many consumers unfortunately believe, online buying is the best way to save.  Think about it ... Advertisers are there to make consumers believe, their product is the best (or best savings). Is that always true ??

Same with cruise buying.  Best pricing for cruises are through a Cruise-Only Distribution House.  Cruises Inc – WTH is the Nation’s Largest.

Myth or Not ?
Consumers save themselves time, by choosing to purchase their vacation on their own.

Myth.
How so ?
Booking a trip often proves to be an extremely stressful, grueling undertaking. You can spend hours online searching for deals on flights and hotels, bouncing from one website to another in pursuit of the perfect price. This kind of process is often headache-inducing: Approximately 20 percent of more than 2,000 travelers worldwide said it took them more than five hours to search and book travel online, according to a recent survey by the I.B.M Institute for Business Value.

Biggest question ... Do you know all the questions to ask ?  Do you know that all the pieces of the puzzle will work ?  What if one piece of the puzzle breaks, what will you do then ?

Myth or Not ?
Interline buying is safe.

Myth/Not Myth.
Maybe yes, maybe not (?).
Can depends on what product you’re buying and who’s site you’re it buying from.  Do you know WHEN you’re on an official site, or possibly on a site that is portraying that site ?

Myth or Not ?
You’ll get what you think you’re buying, when buying direct from the net.

Myth/Not Myth.
Maybe yes, maybe not (?).
Computer can’t read your mind.  You meant this and the computer thought you meant that.

I know if you buy cruises on my website, our system doesn’t know, we’ve advertised amenities for you.  CALL2BOOK2SAVE !

Myth or Not ?
Consumers should buy their travel on their own, if they’ve done all the research.

Myth.
How so ?
As mentioned above, 95% consumers do their homework and read reviews before buying.  85% know what they want, before calling their agent. 51.9 % vendors receive their sales from travel agents.  Doing research on your own, doesn’t mean buying on your own. 

Consumers are not paid by vendors to be their own travel agent.  Why be responsible and manage your vacation, when an agent gets paid to do this for you.  If you’ve done all the research, there should be any ‘research fees’ from an agent.

Myth or Not ?
When consumers buy their vacation on their own (direct at vendor), it’s easy to get the vendor to correct that which they promised, yet you didn’t receive.

Myth/Not Myth.
Maybe yes, maybe no. 

Unfortunately, if issues arise and you bought on your own … You’re on your own to find out !

Could go on and on ... Such as insight on Trip Cancellation Insurance topic, will buying last minute vacations save you money ... However for now, these are enough Food for thought !

Summary …
Buy as early as you think about this vacation.  Consider for 2018, doing as 70% do … Make your purchase prior to December 2017.
Buy your vacation from an agent.
Call2Book2Save
(434/800) 237-3832

Will be taking a break from blogging.  Please join me elsewhere.
www.NextCruiseGiveaway.com
www.Signup4CruiseDeals.com
Go here, Business FB page
Go here & request friends & I will add you to a 'future customer' FB group, for insight/offers.
 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Gift of Travel. Who’s receiving what ? You ? Be the giver ! Only 4 days left. Funny stories.




Now … Only 4 days left !  And folks are still shopping for those last minute Christmas gifts.  For many, they’re receiving future memories … The Gift of Travel !

As an agent, when customers call to buy their loved one or family, travel as a secret Christmas present, it’s amazing, the extra hoops WE jump through.  We’re like a banker … We try & do our part in trying to keep the secret.

STOP THE EMAILS AT THE CRUISE LINE & IN OUR SYSTEM * TELL ALL THE STAFF THIS BOOKING IS A SECRET * NO ONE CALL THEIR HOME * STEER THE RECEIVER INTO WAITING TILL AFTER THE HOLIDAYS TO BUY ANY TRAVEL * JUGLE TWO SPOUSES.  (smile)

Oh, the funny stories !

Husband called to buy wife a cruise getaway.  While confirming and deposited the cruise line, the agent said … OH NO … And email went out to the wrong party.  Fortunate, she was wrong and all ok.  She then removed the wife’s email from their database, for now.  Whewww !

Another husband bought his wife a cruise.  Next day, a sale came up for that cruise, and for only $50 more dollars, I could move them into a suite.  But I couldn’t call their only phone – Home.  Oh well, I decided take my chances & take the upgrade.  Guess he’ll call me soon when he sees another $50 on his CC.  Heheheh.
 
Another husband called & bought wife a cruise.  Next day, wife calls, and talks about buying THE SAME CRUISE (not a secret).  I suggested, better deal (maybe not ?) after Christmas, to put her off trying to buy.  Hehehe.

Two partners called on the same day, and wanted to purchase a vacation for the other.  They actually picked the same travel month.  Yet, not the same travel type. 
What do you do ? 
Suggest to each, buy a gift card, and the both decided together after Christmas.  Whewww !

Wonder who these receivers are ???
Only 4 more days and these lucky ladies (& one gentleman) will find out (and the secrets will finally be out – Wheww) !
Is it you ?

It can be … Be the giver … You both still win … Memories
And you have 4 more days !

(434) 237-3832 … NOW !   (smile)

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Individual cabins receiving Group Rates. Now into year 31.


October 26, 2016

31 years ago, when Cruises Inc, our main goal was … Providing Group Rates for individual cabins.
How ?

 
Cruises Inc buys a lot of space from the cruise lines.  Our #1 space is with Norwegian; almost every sailing !  We buy lots of Royal Caribbean too.  Fairly easy for us to buy Princess and Holland America.  And we’re delving into space for Celebrity too.  Carnival is what we have, few and far apart, however, when we do, there seems to be a HUGH price advantage for our clients.

Most folks do know, cruise line come out with their rates, about 15 months in advance.  There’s already space, with select cruise lines, for 2018.

What folks may not realize, there are a lot of consumers, who like to buy their vacations early.  And the more these folks book, on a specific sailing, it is THEY, who drive the rates UP for everyone else, who doesn’t buy till 6 months to a year from sailing !

That’s where WE come in, for the benefit of individual cabins.  WE too, buy early !  Lots of space.  As the rates are driven UP, then we have, what we call PRICE ADVANTAGE.

PRICE ADVANTAGE is when our rates are lower than the cruise lines.  So as rates continue to climb at the cruise lines and we’ve bought space on those specific dates, then we have PRICE ADVANTAGE for individual cabins.  Our goal upon starting Cruises Inc, for the benefit of these folks !

Many of our PRICE ADVANTAGE dates will NOT be seen on our website.  Most of what is on our website is basically cruise line pricing.  Much of our PRICE ADVANTAGE is hidden.

We are a by-phone business. You must call to receive our lower rates and/or amenities.

Very important to also know… WE buy limited inventory.  Could be 2 cabins in each category or only 16 cabins on any given sailing.  So the longer you wait, the better chance you have at missing our PRICE ADVANTAGE sailings.

So if you’re not flexible in your sail dates, you’re doing yourself an injustice, every day that you let go by and you have not booked your next cruise.  You’re going, right ?  Why are you waiting ? What do you have to lose, other than the lower rates !

Naturally, we haven’t bought every date.  And even if we have, not all dates go up in price. 

Those dates that haven’t gone up in price, then we don’t have Price Advantage.  But instead, hopefully we have amenities, such onboard credit.  Again, you can’t get these amenities at the cruise lines … They gave these, only to us, and in turn, we give to YOU !

You want group rates and you’re only 1-4 cabins ?  CALL & JUMP ONBOARD one of our sailings today !  Why pay more ?
(434) 237-3832
Please listen to options. It’s a voip machine (smile).
We’re on the phone providing your fellow cruisers with their next Dream Getaway (you know ... Those guys who are driving YOUR rate UP !  smile).
See you next article ... Week of Thanksgiving ... Wow, time flies !




Thursday, October 20, 2016

Carnival Vista - Fun must see video. My buddy Drew Daly (staff) on the Vista. Enjoy !




Must  See.  Enjoy.  Great for parents/family.
See my buddy Drew (staff) onboard the new Carnival Vista.
Where Cruises Inc will hold their next annual conference … December 2016 !
WHOO HOO !

http://vwebb.cruisesinc.com/travel/cruises/Editorial.html?edType=Custom%20Page&pagename=carnival-vista
While seeing video, also see button & share video with a friend. 


 
Carnival Vista

Built to bring you closer to sea, Carnival Vista might be their most fun ship to date! Join us on this journey and find out what makes this ship unlike any other.
The Serenity Adult Only Retreat is a world of complete peace, sea breezes and swaying hammocks. Serenity's the place to do the stuff that's hard in everyday life- reconnect with your partner, finish that book or do blissfully, nothing at all.

If you're in the mood for some cocktails, grab a seat at the Havana Bar and order up some handcrafted Cuban drinks like the classic Mojito or traditional Daiquiri. This bar is just steps from the pool, where the ocean view and atmosphere give you a bit of that old-time Cuban resort flavor.
Ready for more? There's something new and exciting around every corner. For those who flock to waterparks, we suggest sliding on over to WaterWorks. Classic spiraling waterslides, a giant bucket, expanded SplashZone and more are simply overflowing for your hydro-delight. Make sure to check out the Kaleid-O-Slide. This raft slide- for one or two- takes speedy-good times to the next level with lights, colors and all-around fun.

After you've relaxed all day- the dinner options are endless. Who's gathered around the table is just as important as what's being served. High cuisine meets great atmosphere at Fahrenheit 555, a dining experience that stands toe-to-toe with some of the best steakhouses on land. If you're in the mood for seafood- a good dish is quite the catch, and that's exactly what Seafood Shack is serving.
Regardless of what you're in the mood for, Carnival Vista has you covered.

Go here:  Carnival Vista Sailings !

Call & Getaway today ... On the new Carnival Vista !
(434) 237-3832

Current Carnival Offers !  Call for clarity Today !
And see next blog, Wed, Nov 16, 2016
 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Carnival Corp. launches several new Saturday morning Family TV series beginning October 1. Sharing family adventures by ship !

Carnival Corp has created 3 new TV series.  To be aired on ABC, NBC, and The CW ….
Saturday morning Family programming !  Another to air mid-week, during Prime Time TV.  80 episodes planned … Family & Cruising Vacations.

“Taking cruising into the family living rooms ….”, states Peggy (one of our the WTH agents) … “Families venture around the globe … Immerse in the culture … And relax onboard after a day of new adventures”.
 
 
Join my Cruz Lady Blog again,  Oct 19 (Oct 12, regular scheduled time, I will be cruising onboard the Crystal Serenity.



Wednesday, September 14, 2016

HOT TOPIC, 230+ Cruise Ships to Transit Panama Canal 2016Fall & 2017Winter Season. You too can save, like other 460,000+ expected cruisers !





 
Each year, cruising the Panama Canal is another HoT ToPiC among many of my customers ‘bucket list’ !  Whether they’ve sailed through the Panama before or it’s their 1st time there.


Why is it such a popular cruise destination ?
Naturally, it gives cruisers – YOU – the opportunity to go through the locks and view how it’s actually done !  Be a part of history !

Panama Canal from Caribbean Sea to Pacific Ocean.  See uTube video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jnflk0oTFmE

Where at the locks found ?
Locks are found on the Pacific side and Caribbean side.

What is the distance between the Pacific & Caribbean locks ?
See below, Wikipedia

Are all Panama Cruises alike ?
No.  Each offer different ports to choose from.  To include with your cruise.
See our video, Falmouth-Jamaica.  http://vwebb.cruisesinc.com/travel/cruises/Editorial.html?edType=Custom%20Page&pagename=falmouth-jamaica
See our video, Ocho Rios-Jamaica.
http://vwebb.cruisesinc.com/travel/cruises/Editorial.html?edType=Custom%20Page&pagename=ocho-rios-jamaica
See our video, Cozumel-Mexico.
http://vwebb.cruisesinc.com/travel/cruises/Editorial.html?edType=Custom%20Page&pagename=cozumel-mexico

How short of a cruise, can you take to see the Canal ?
Carnival offers, at select times, as short as 8N cruises (this can change from year to year).  However, note, the ship does not usually ‘sail thru’ the locks on short cruises.

Other cruise lines offer as short as 9N and ‘sail thru’ the locks.  However, again, the shorter cruises do not sail over to the Pacific side of locks. These are usually 14N-15N & longer .

See options. Currently, as low as $699 (12N).  Opportunity for amenities too !
http://vwebb.cruisesinc.com/results.do?searchOrigin=refine&d=&d2=&places=T&days=ALL&Month=ALL&dd=ALL&fd=2&c=ALL&v=ALL&p=ALL&shoppingZipCode=&sort_by=7&Search=+&IncludeSeniorRates=false&IncludeAlumniRates=false&AlumniCruiseId=false

So how to you see the locks or the Pacific locks, if your cruise does not sail thru ?
There are a variety of tours available through the cruise lines.

Reported by AnywherePanama: 
Panama is much more than a canal. This colorful country is filled with vibrant cultures and impressive landscapes.

Article, USAToday, Amy Lively.  The Panama Canal is an international waterway that links the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. After France unsuccessfully attempted to build a canal through the Isthmus of Panama in the 1800s, the United States began building the canal in 1904. The canal was completed in 1914.  More on article:
http://traveltips.usatoday.com/purpose-panama-canal-63793.html

From Wikipedia.  The Panama Canal (Spanish: Canal de Panamá) is a man-made 48-mile (77 km) waterway in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean. The canal cuts across the Isthmus of Panama and is a key conduit for international maritime trade. There are locks at each end to lift ships up to Gatun Lake, an artificial lake created to reduce the amount of excavation work required for the canal, 26 metres (85 ft) above sea level. The original locks are 33.5 metres (110 ft) wide. A third, wider lane of locks was constructed between September 2007 and May 2016. The expanded canal began commercial operation on June 26, 2016. The new locks allow transit of larger, Post-Panamax ships, which have a greater cargo capacity than the previous locks were capable of handling.
For more info:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panama_Canal

Below Insight reported by Cruise Industry News, September 13, 2016:
More than 230 cruise ships will transit the Panama Canal during the 2016-2017 cruise season, which begins on October 4, 2016 with the transit of the Coral Princess.

"We expect the major cruise lines will use the Panama Canal route during the cruise season, which lasts until April 2017," said Albano Aguilar ,international trade specialist, Vice Presidency for Planning and Business Development.

Smaller cruise ships will also transit through the waterway, including the Voyager Safari and National Geographic Sea Lion, with shorter seven- and eight-day itineraries, respectively, along the west coast of Central America.

During this season, Regent Seven Seas, Holland America Line and Noble Calidonia will have ships transiting with new itineraries through the Canal. Regent Seven Seas Explorer will transit on January 2, 2017, Holland America Line's Eurodam on April 13, 2017, and Noble Calidonia's Hebridean Sky on April 17, 2017. 

After completing more than 160 successful transits through the new locks, the Panama Canal is now accepting booking requests for Neo-panamax passenger vessels for transit dates beginning April 1, 2017. To date, 11 reservations have been made for passenger vessels to transit the Expanded Canal starting October 2017, for the 2017-2018 season.

Call today !
(434/800) 237-3832
Listen for voip options (smile)


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

EXPEDIA (travel site). Truly read & enjoy – My associates expressing latest 'words of wisdom' (just last night)



Had said I would see you again September 14, 2016, for next Cruz Lady Blog article ... But then this topic came up this week !
----------------------- 

Personally, I too,  use Expedia or Travelocity, as a RESOURCE, in finding flights, for myself, and customers.  However, like Hotels.com & other ‘internet sites’, I do NOT buy here !  I buy direct from the airlines and hotels, unless, Cruises Inc has a ‘preferred land-hotel vendor’ (or from the cruise lines) ! 

As a company, Cruises Inc actually has access to make purchased through Expedia Taap (agent site).  However, Expedia is NOT one of Cruises Inc’s ‘listed’ preferred vendors.  Meaning, us agents, are ‘on our own’, if we use them.  That is NOT what I want for my clients.  I too, want Cruises Inc’s backing for me & clients (Truly hope, you know/understand, the value,  of the meanings for  … On your own AND Backing !)

As I expressed to one of my girlfriends last week (and mentioned in my article), Do you read the contract ?  Do you realize, when you agree to terms & conditions, you have made LOTS of acceptance in your purchase.

YOU, the consumer, are ‘one person’.  Whether it’s buying a package, a flight, or a hotel.  Cruises Inc is a National company, buying 1000’s and 1000’s of travel packages, or pieces to a vacation experience, PER DAY ! 

Our experiences in the travel world is 10 folds over, what the general consumer experiences, sees, or hears about.  The consumer’s ‘one-bought on your own’ piece of travel, may do just fine.  But NOT with the many WE deal with. Or the many consumers WE hear from !

Here’s what 12 of my associates expressed about Expedia, just LAST NIGHT !

(1)I HATE EXPEDIA...rant over thank you for listening.
(2)Take two sangrias and call me in the morning. (smile)
(3)Couldn't agree more.
(4)I agree
(5)i said the same thing when I hung up with them this morning.  Not worth my time & energy
(6)Me too !
(7)I'm done...I will not book them again for myself or clients. I'd rather lose a potential sale than have to deal with them again.
(8)I booked a hotel in Germany for myself last month, after hours. Went to the hotel, no one answered the door or their emergency number posted on the door but since it's non refundable they can't give me a refund.
(9)Only our vendors, NEAT, Funjet hotels only, or book direct !
(10)They are often more expensive than booking directly with the hotel or airlines !
(11)Funny you say this. I just quoted my client a price for a hotel with an "agent discount" and still it was less, directly with the hotel.
(12)I mostly use Fun Jets hotel only, buy direct, use travel impressions, and last I turn to our vendor Neat.

See #8 above ?  When you ‘buy on your own’ on travel sites, YOU are left on your own, with the hours of fixing the problem !   And did you know #10 ?

Many consumers will continue to play, what I call …‘Russian Roulette’ !  Basically because of internet ‘hoopla’ and friends/family suggesting ‘buy this way’.  Yet, Our personal & company experiences ARE ... YOUR heads-up... In ‘how to buy’, in the world of travel !
 
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See you next Cruz Lady Blog, September 14, 2016 (smile)