Sunday, May 8, 2011

TRAVEL AGENT'S - BETTER THAN EVER

SEE THE SUNDAY WASHINGTON POST TRAVEL SECTION.  Today Nancy Trejos talks about the return of the Travel Agent.  When the airlines stopped paying commission, travel agents suddenly found themselves struggling to survive.  According to Nancy Trejos, of the Washington Post, they had to "change their modus operandi."   It was either that, or close their doors.  Nancy quotes ARC in stating there wre 37,981 travel agencies in 2001 and only16,564 ARC agencies as of this March. 

Of course, that is not the entire story.  Many of today's successful agencies are home based according to the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA).   These agencies do not issue individual airline tickets but provide airline services in connection with tour and cruise arrangements.  They would not belong to ARC.  The truth is, today's consumers are seeking more than just a ticketing agent.  They want a professional who can offer them advice about a complete range of topics from what to see and do, where to find great restaurants how to get a good deal on a hotel room, and where they can find a great guide who will show them the things the average tourist never sees.  To read the complete article go to:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/travelers-turn-back-to-travel-agents/2011/04/25/AFZcLM8F_story.html

Travel Agents are not for everyone.  Some people like to build their own houses and fix their own cars.  Others prefer to plan their own trips.  For those who appreciate service, a Travel Agent is always there for you.

For More information on using the services of a travel agent, refer to my March 16 Article "Why You Need A Travel Agent".

Monday, May 2, 2011

Taking the Grandkids on Vacation

Every summer Grandparents around the country decide to take their grandchildren on vacation.  Cruises are always a popular vacation.  Lots and lots of activities for children of all ages.  Beaches resorts in the Caribbean cater to familes with children.  These resorts offer supervised kids programs for five different age levels. Here dining becomes a celebration, with up to 10 specialty restaurants per resort.  Leave your wallet at home, but bring your appetite, because it's all included from the non-motorized activities to the food and drink. They even include the gratuities. 

For the little ones there are nannies and Sesame Street Characters.  For the older kids there's XBox and Pirates Island.  Your teenagers will find a teens-only Beach Shack. Or they can hang at Trench Town with everything from hoops to football. And, just like you'd expect in the Caribbean, there are non-stop reggae jams to keep them moving with the beat and a teen night club.  Visit http://travelharmony.com/caribbean.html 
Scroll down and click on Beaches.  Or give us a call.

Intercontinental Bora Bora Le Moana receives Earthcheck Silver Certification

http://www.facebook.com/AustraliaNewZealandTravel

LENS ON AUSTRALIA

See Why We Say "There is Nothing Like Australia":  http://lensonaustralia.viotv.com/

A New Queen of the Mississippi coming

American Cruise Lines will call its new Mississippi paddlewheeler the Queen of the Mississippi.

The 140-passenger riverboat is under construction at Chesapeake Shipbuilding Corp. in Salisbury, Md. 

Charles Robertson, American Cruise Lines president, says the company will take Mississippi steamboating "to the next level."

Queen of the Mississippi renderingAmerican Cruise Lines intends to "meticulously blend" the historic appeal of riverboats with modern standards and amenitied, said Timothy Beebe, vice president.

The dining salon will have the capacity to "generously seat" all passengers and will have "crystal chandeliers and fine works of art that will far surpass the ambience of past riverboats," said the line.

The Paddlewheel Lounge will feature rich wood and offer panoramic views of the passing scenery and the large red paddlewheel at the stern.

American Cruise Lines said "oversized staterooms" will be larger than those of all former Mississippi riverboats. Staterooms will have private balconies.

The Queen of the Mississippi will cruise the entire Mississippi River system, with the option of cruising at significantly higher speeds to make more itineraries possible with longer visits to river towns.

Seven-night cruises are planned that take passengers as far as St. Paul, Minn., on the Mississippi River and Pittsburgh on the Ohio River.