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From Robert's Desk...
We just got off Royal Caribbean’s, Freedom of the Seas, on an 8-day Caribbean cruise over Spring Break. We took our kids (8 & 10), and we went with another family with their young daughter. As always, I am interested in how other families feel about cruising as a family trip - is there a better family vacation than a cruise? My answer came 4 nights into our trip. It was 10pm and warm. The pool was still open (with a lifeguard too). There was a movie playing on the big screen outside on the pool deck. There were couples, grandparents, parents and kids sitting in their chairs watching the movie. Some had pizza from the café. Everyone was having a fantastic night together - the perfect family memory. Sure, the food and entertainment were great. The ship spotless, and the Caribbean ports were beautiful, but, for a family, it all comes down to this - the independence to do what you want, when you want and have the kids safe and happy. A cruise gives you the best bang for your familytravel buck. They will remember the cruise ship longer than any hotel that they visit. A cruise is special for a kid. I think it comes down to their new-found freedom. They are safe and free to wander on the ship. I don’t care how secure a hotel is, our kids would not be free to go to the room on their own at any time - we’d have to go with them. They wouldn’t be free to get a snack - we’d have to go with them. The show on their own? Forget it. Rockclimbing, surfing, ice skating, mini golf - no way. Now, I know that you can never be too sure and trouble can occur anywhere, but the ship feels comparatively safer than any hotel as no outsiders can gain access to the ship. Our kids quickly got to know the ship very well and loved their independence. They could go anywhere and we knew that they were safe. This was Spring Break, and there were 700 kids aboard, yet the kids were well behaved and the nightly 1am curfew was strictly enforced. We plan all sorts of family trips in our office. Many go to all-inclusives and many go on cruises. Most families consist of at least one set of grandparents, their adult kids, and some grandkids. If we pick the right ship, the kids have the time of their lives on the cruise - and that makes the parents and grandparents love the trip too. We live in a society where kids can’t do anything on their own anymore. No wonder they love to cruise. No other trip offers as much to do for a kid and the chance to experience more on their own. That’s a big moment for a kid. Many of our clients finally say, “We’d rather travel with them and build some memories, rather than just leave them money.” We agree. Plan a cruise with your kids & grandkids. It’s fun. It’s easy. They’ll remember it forever and families that do things together stay closer together through life.
If you’ve already booked directly...
If you have booked directly with the cruise line, you can likely still transfer your booking to your travel agent. Simply call the cruise line and ask them to transfer your booking to your travel agent. As long as you haven't made your FINAL payment (deposit is ok), they'll likely transfer it. Some lines restrict transfer based on how long ago you booked, so look into this as early as possible. Honestly, we have many, many clients who get cruise line offers in the mail and book them. When they book, they simply tell the cruise line agent that they want to transfer their booking to their travel agent - that's all it takes. You'll secure the cruise line offer sent to you + get the benefits discussed above of booking with a bonded agent!
Low-cost cancellation insurance!
Our new Travel Guard cancellation coverage charges a flat rate of 7% of your trip cost. There are no age restrictions and most pre-existing conditions are covered. This new policy is less expensive than any other policy out there - even BCAA. At this rate, everyone should carry cancellation insurance. Remember, your trip can be changed beyond your control! Call us today!
"When you're curious, you find lots of interesting things to do."
— Walt Disney