Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Oceania Cruises Price Creep - Watch Your Bottom Line as Government Taxes and Fees Are Now Additional

Oceania Cruises has, until now, presented itself as a "Here is your price" type of marketing cruise line.  I thought that was great.  There was no asterisk next to the price, or fine print below it, noting that government taxes and fees were extra.  That is changing.

Unfortunately, what it going to do as of September 1, 2011 (tomorrow) Oceania is going to maintain its advertised pricing, but increase the per day costs by adding the asterisk or fine print of those charges of up to $17.00 per person per day. On its face it is a price increase of about 5% to 8% for the average cruise. 

Normally I would cry "foul", but I am in a way hard-pressed to do so here.  Why?  Because Oceania Cruises has been running some pretty significant discounting and trying to be realistic, we need to balance pricing strategies against actually making money (which Oceania Cruises is most certainly entitled to do).

Oceania Cruises has some great itineraries and its new ships are very special in a number of ways.  So do not be discouraged or concerned by the change in pricing...Just be informed.  That way you can compare not only the amenities and styles of each cruise, but the true price differences.

If you are interested in an Oceania Cruise email me at eric@goldringtravel.com or call me at (877) 2GO-LUXURY.  (Unfortunately Oceania's current policy does not allow me to book clients from outside of North America if they are not currently a client of mine.) 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Seabourn Quest's Master Geir-Arne Thue-Nilsen & Crew to the Rescue - Bravo!

Captain Geir-Arne Thue-Nilsen and the crew of the Seabourn Quest were the right people, in the right place at the right time.  Captain Geir-Arne's professionalism and seamanship...and caring...is something that you see whenever you are on a Seabourn cruise with him. 

So before I tell you the story I want to share with you an email I received from one of my clients that has sailed with the Seabourn Quest's Master previously:  "Is that our captain?  I love that guy!"  You see, the story on the surface is about a rescue at sea, but underneath it is a story about people.


On August 17, 2011 the Seabourn Quest was notified that a couple in a small boat was missing off the coast of Mykonos.  It seems this couple had rented a small boat for the day and the engine failed, leaving them adrift for approximately eight hours.  As is always the case any ship near the area of concern must join the search and so the Seabourn Quest did.



I will let Captain Geir-Arne tell you some of the story:

"It was a great feeling for all onboard, Guests and Crew when we spotted them in our search light for the first time - with the red moon rising in the background - and hearing the sharing of all of those outside watching.  Also when we heard they were calling "HEEELP" from the boat - as I had to manoeuvre the ship around to give them shelter for the strong winds and "heavy" seas - they where cold and frozen, but very happy when I saw them later in the hospital.
"



To me, however, the story is more about the little things:

- The couple, desperately trying to gain attention, started burning their clothes as a sort of signal fire.  In a short instant of "caring" the Seabourn Quest crew made sure there were pool towels aboard the rescue boat to cover themselves.



- Captain Geir-Arne took the time to visit them at the hospital...because he "cares". 

- There are two kinds of ship's masters:  Those that are aloof and demand performance and those that lead by example, expect professionalism, but nurture the soul of the crew.  As Captain Geir-Arne wrote to me, "It was a great team effort - all that participated did excellent. I am very proud of being a member of the family onboard here "

- And there is the appreciation of the Seabourn Guests and the warmth that they come to know (as my client expressed above).  The Captain gave me one order...and I follow orders:  "Please remember to include a BIG thank you from myself to ALL onboard for their professional support and help."

Aye. Aye. Captain. 


And, of course, I must give a BIG Thank You to Captain Geir-Arne Thue-Nilsen and the crew of the Seabourn Quest.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Eric Goldring Named One of the Top 25 Travel Agents of 2011

"Today Travel Agent magazine, part of Questex Travel Group, announced its Top 25 Agents for 2011. The annual feature showcases 25 travel agents who have shown excellence at their craft and made important contributions to the industry. This year’s recipients were chosen out of a pool of over 100 submissions. The winning criteria was based on endorsements from suppliers and clients, their associations and affiliations, certifications, travel specialties and sales technique. The Top 25 Agents of 2011 will be featured in the August 22nd issue cover story as well as profiled on TravelAgentCentral.com.

“What started in 2009 with the goal of spotlighting those agents who go above and beyond their normal job duties has evolved into a key driver for identifying future industry leadership,” said Ruthanne Terrero, vice president/editorial director of content for Questex Travel Group. “I think you’ll find that all of the top 25's success stories demonstrate that innovation is flourishing within the travel agent community."

Travel Agent is proud to congratulate the Top 25 Agents of 2011. Visit
TravelAgentCentral.com to view the complete profiles.:

Eric Goldring, Goldring Travel, Red Bank, NJ"

I would like to thank everyone in the travel industry and Travel Agent Magazine for this accolade. 

More importantly, I cannot express enough my appreciation of the support that my clients have given me.  As I sincerely say to all of my new clients, "Thank you for the opportunity to earn your business.  It is greatly appreciated."

Those that know me understand that while this is an acheivement, it is not the pinnacle.  It is motivation for me to do what I do even better.

Thank You!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

River Cruises - Let's Start the New Adventure of River Cruising Together!

I have been putting together a river cruise on AmaWaterways for April 8, 2012.  It will be a cruise of the Rhine and Mosel Rivers which is famous for both wines and scenery.  It is early in the Spring so a chill in the air, but those vibrant new growth colors will be everywhere.  While I will be posting more on this cruise, with an optional pre-cruise stay in Paris and a post-cruise in Amsterdam, my article is not about that cruise, but how the entire river cruise concept is changing...if you take your advice from someone who is in the business of making sure you have the best experience; not just obtaining advertising or commissions.

AmaWaterways AmaDolce is a new river cruiseship (2009) with large French balconies, open dining, free flowing complimentary wines with meals (champagne at breakfast), complimentary internet, complimentary bicycles, and beautiful public areas...Oh, and cabins that are signficantly larger than the shoeboxes river cruiseships are infamous for.

And then there is the old style river cruising with tiny cabins, pre-ordering dinner at breakfast, walkers rather than bicycles and a lack of style in the public areas.

What really shocked me was a newletter I received today written as if it was a glowing review of a Viking River Cruise.  This "expert" wrote: 

River Cruising in Europe
I am writing to you this week from the brand new Viking River Prestige...I first took this same voyage almost 15 years ago on one of the first Viking River boats, the Viking Danube. We happened to meet her in Budapest a few days ago, and while she appears somewhat older by comparison, in fact I can tell the experience for the passengers has changed very little - and what was changed is for the better.

This new riverboat has French balconies for all of the staterooms safely above the waterline. "French Balconies" in the cruise trade; floor to ceiling sliding glass doors that open with a railing to keep you from falling off the boat. It is not exactly the same as a balcony, but in a way it turns your entire stateroom into a balcony. 

I pause:  This new ship is doing the same cruise, the same way, as it was done 15 years ago?  Yikes!  The big news is that the new ship as a French balcony, but the other Viking ship doesn't...and is still sailing.  This sounds like an incredible turnoff for anyone seeking a foreray into the river cruise market.  (To be fair, the Viking River Prestige does have larger cabins then the older ships - a point I am not sure why he missed - though "style" is not really a strong point of this new ship.)

At this point in time there are about 275,000 North American river cruise passengers each year.  That is a mere drop in the travel bucket.  But the river cruise lines are growing and it is important to note that just as there are different types of ocean cruise lines (mass market, premium and luxury), there are, similarly, differences between these lines.

As I work through the differences between the cruise lines I have seen that there are less and less people that are interested in strictly organized, pay as you go, visit every church possible, type 15 year old river cruise experiences.  Why?  I think it is because while the overall demographic for river cruises remains in the upper middle aged to elderly demographic, today's 60 is the old 40 and they have already experienced travel and independence in a way that 15 years ago few did...including those who are looking to river cruises as an alternative to an ocean cruise experience.

River cruises could be utilitarian back then, but now the focus is on new ships. Viking River Cruises has 11 new ships in the next three years. AmaWaterways has virtually all new ships and some with two balconies (full and French...in the same cabin) and a more inclusive, upscale, experience.

Yes, you can take the same river cruise your parents did 15 years ago...or you can have a significantly improved experience.  You just need to ask...now that you know.

If you are interested in a river cruise, or the AmaWaterway's cruise I will be hosting on April 8, 2012, email me at eric@goldringtravel.com or call me at (877) 2GO-LUXURY, +1 732-383-7398 or our UK or Australia numbers.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Smoking on Cruise Ships - Let's Be Realistic

Preface:  I am essentially a non-smoker. I hate to smell smoke when I eat or enjoy a nice glass of wine. I find it offensive when I walk out of my office or a restaurant and need to negotiate around, and smell, smokers. I also hate it when someone else's smoke permiates my clothes. But I do, on limited occassions, enjoy a cigar...so I understand both sides of the following argument. 

Now, the article!

As cruise lines tighten their smoking policies, those on "no smoking" side of the issue seem to be getting more aggressive.  And this aggressive approach is akin to a "zero tolerance" policy...a policy that is generally used in "public" areas where people really do not have a choice whether to be there or not.

There are times that "zero tolerance" is acceptable, but when the argument is based purely on theory it sounds just silly.  What do I mean by this?  It is simple:  The ones that are the most militant about a cruise line's smoking policy are almost always the ones that have never been on the cruise line or ship in question.  It is as if they demand that the cruise line change what works for their overall clientele because that individual may want to cruise on one of its ships...one time at the right price and on a particular itinerary if a particular category of cabin or suite (possible only in a specific location is available).

Unfortunately, these militants overstate, find one person willing to validate (whether true or not) their position and, as a result, a very false sense of what actually happens on a particular cruise ship in relation to smoking is exaggerated beyond any sense of reality.  A valuable discussion so that people can make informed decisions becomes, almost every time, a manifesto on smoking.  I say, "ENOUGH!"  (And, by the way, a good travel agent will be able to tell you the actual state of affairs on a particular ship...because if your travel agent gives you the wrong information...)

I do not want to discuss the detriments of smoking as we all know them, whether we are smokers or non-smokers.  I do not want to discuss the demographics of smokers (young/less educated and older folks are the two most significant groups).  I do not want to discuss the fact that the mass market lines seem to have guests (regardless of smoking policies) arrested for marijuana possession in Bermuda or returning to the United States pretty much every week.  Nor do I want to discuss that some people smoke in undesignated areas of mass market, premium, "ultra premium" and luxury ships (even on allegedly smoke-free lines).

No, what I want to discuss is why the discussion almost invariable focuses on the "theory" of smokers ruining the enjoyment of non-smokers in an outside area about the size of a very large American backyard with a constant breeze when, in actual fact, the effect (smell, smoke, etc.) is actually fairly limited and thus avoidable. 

I observe that if you will not go to a friend's or relative's house because they smoke in their backyard (but not in the house), then you have - justified by physics or not - made your decision.  You will not visit your friend's house, so why would you even consider going on a cruise that permits smoking anywhere?    

It is axiomatic that a cruise line that allows smoking anywhere is not going to be acceptable to you.  Period.  Full Stop.  End of Discussion.  So why go on about it?  It is your right and your decision.  It might even be the correct one (as the effects of second-hand smoke have become more clear).  So just cross Cruise Line X off your list and move on.  Cruise Line X is not going to change its smoking policy for you...You know, the person that has never been on one of its ships.  It is going to cater to its past guests...and when those past guests become less smoke tolerant (and that is the case on all cruise lines) the rules will change. 

Speaking of the change in rules, it was not long ago that smoking was pretty much permitted everywhere.  Then it was in only certain sections of every room, including the dining room.  Then it was restricted further (virtually all lines do not permit smoking in their restaurants).

I do agree, however, that the present rule of allowing smoking on the starboard side of any particular room is a nice theory, but not terribly effective for most people who are smoke intolerant.  But...listen to this...there are actually people that are willing to tolerate some smoke so that they can socialize with their smoking friends; friends that might even walk over to the starboard side to smoke and then go portside to sit and chat with their non-smoking/smoke tolerant friends.  Yes, those folks have desires for their cruise too.

Now, does every cruise line offer this amenity?  You know:  A lounge that allows for smokers and smoke tolerant smokers to gather and enjoy themselves in nice, comfortable, air conditioned areas rather than Option A (nowhere on the ship) or Option B (somewhere on an outside deck...possibly overlooking the stern.  No. For those who would enjoy that amenity, cruise lines that are "smoke free" are not for them.  They cross them off their list; they don't go militant.

Another perspective:  Cruise ships are filled with public and private spaces.  There are spaces I like, some not so much and others I simply have no use for.  I could care less about a space that I would never use.  So it gets me wondering why it is that say Seabourn's Observation Lounge being used for smoking the starboard side is so troublesome, or Churchill's on the Queen Mary 2 or the Connoisseur Club or Starlight Lounge on Regent Seven Seas or various lounges on the Silversea cruise ships or...are so offensive to some.  Just don't use those spaces.  (Heck, if you don't use the spa are you upset by the guy that sweats excessively and smells bad when he works out?  Didn't think so.)

Oh, but then the tricky one:  Balconies.  Oh, what to do?  Here are the facts: 

- The vast majority of cruisers do not smoke. 
- The vast majority of smokers are not chain smokers.
- The vast majority of smokers do not smoke where they are not supposed to.
- The vast majority of smokers are respectful of non-smokers. 
- The vast majority of smokers do not spend time on their balconies chain smoking (whether permitted or not). 

Now, let's take these facts and place them into reality:  The chance of you sitting on your balcony and having an issue with a neighbor smoking is between slim and none...even if smoking is permitted on the cruise line.  And here is a thought:  Can you guess where most people cheat on non-smoking lines?  Balconies!  Might logic be that you have pretty much an equal or greater chance of a smoke wafting onto your balcony on a non-smoking cruise line?

So, having gone through all of this, what is the point?  Seriously, what is the point?

The point is that you can obsess over a cruise line's smoking policy or you can be pragmatic about it.  There are less people smoking and more smokers being understanding of the effects of their habit/vice.  As demographics and social consciousness change, so do cruise lines' rules towards smoking and other issues.  But each line has its own "flavor".  If you believe you will never like vanilla than don't try it...but stop complaining that vanilla is not chocolate.  And remember that some people want to know if it is French Vanilla, Vanilla Bean or whatever.  Your demands that vanilla be chocolate does nothing to assist them or change the physics of the situation.

If you are absolute in your approach to a cruise, or any aspect of a cruise, it is your right.  But as much as "that" smoker may bother you so too might not having your water glass filled or a lounge table not being cleared or...and then you start, as I wrote back in 2009, The List

Cruising is supposed to be an enjoyable experience.  I try to be sure you know what the truth is so that you can spend your time enjoying the process from selecting your cruise through taking it.  Hopefully this will give you a bit of perspective when it comes to the issue of smoking.

What do you think?  Voice your opinion on The Gold Standard Forum.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

An Australian Cruise Travel Agent Fires Back. A Luxury Travel Agent Responds.

Last week I wrote an article about why Seabourn's new Australian sales and support office may sound like news, but to me it doesn't mean much for the Australian cruise consumer today and, possibly, it won't mean much for a couple of years.

Just as I have clientèle around the world I also have readers around the world…including, ironically, some travel agents in Australia.  One of those travel agents wrote me a very polite, but very candid, email protesting that I implied that Australian travel agents cannot sell luxury cruises and that I must, somehow, be nervous about losing my Australian clientèle, siting her claimed success at selling another luxury cruise line Silversea, which is another fine product I sell. 

What I actually said was, “Looking at the present day Australian market, we all know that there are only a few travel agencies that are actually experienced with cruise holidays.  This lack of competition and competence does not bode well for the present day Australian consumer in the area of Price, Information or Service.”  That is, for now, the truth and does not even touch on whether those experienced in selling mainstream cruise holidays have the experience and expertise to properly sell luxury cruises....which is a markedly different product. 

This travel agent did go on to describe a number of issues that Australian travel agents present have in relation to problems with payments, delays with documentation, etc., that Goldring Travel does not have, but then commented, Surely you don’t begrudge we cruise specialists in Australia a slice of our own action?”

So am I to understand that you, the cruising public, are to use a travel agent that presently doesn’t have the experience or expertise or customer service (or, possibly, pricing) simply because they are of a particular nationality?    Honestly, if you find an Australian travel agent that provides you what I do, or near enough to what I do, you should consider booking with them.  As I said, there are a few out there…but as of yet there are not many.  Competition is what business is about and something that I encourage, because competing fairly and properly results in the consumer getting the best experience.

And to be absolutely transparent about this, Goldring Travel is not the travel agency you want to use if you are planning a Princess or P&O Cruise because my expertise simply does not lie in that area.  There are travel agents better qualified to assist you with that sort of cruise.  If a travel agency tells you they are experts in all aspects of travel I would be very cautious.  Again, there are a limited few that actually are...and then you need to have the right agent within the agency!

Now let me deal with the polite slap that I am allegedly concerned about losing my clients.  That is easy:  My clients use me because I provide them with excellent service and excellent pricing; not because I am American or used to live in Brisbane, Australia.  They use me because if there is a question or a problem I have the professional expertise and have earned (through hard work and cooperative efforts) direct contacts to the people at Seabourn that are needed to effectively and efficiently address them. 

But at the heart of the problem with that claim is that my relationship with my clients – Australian or otherwise - is personal.  If I actually did have a concern I would pick up the telephone and call them.  Or they can call me on my local Brisbane telephone number:  07 3102 4685.  No, I do not write my blog articles to keep my Australian business.  I keep and grow my business by being the best luxury travel agent I can be.

And as for leaving a slice of the business for Australian cruise specialists, I guess I could ask the same be done for me.  But then again, I thought it my obligation to satisfy your needs and my goal is to do it better than anyone else.  As the old E.F. Hutton advertisement used to say, “We make (travel business) the old fashioned way.  We earn it.”

All I can do is be appreciative of every opportunity I am given to earn your business and to say, “Thank You” for that…and to do it before you even have a reason to thank me...and then make your experience one that makes you feel like you are booked on the best cruise for you because you have been given all the information and service you desire.  Fair Dinkum!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Seabourn Opens Sales and Support Office in Australia - What Does That Mean To the Aussie Consumer?

Seabourn's new Australian sales and support office may sound like news, but to me it doesn't mean much for the Australian cruise consumer today and, possibly, it won't mean much for a couple of years.

Why do I say this? 

And who am I to say this? 

Goldring Travel is a non-resident member of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) and I have a number of Australian clients.  (And as the rest of the world, for some reason, lumps New Zealand in the same market...and it isn't the same market...Goldring Travel has quite a few New Zealanders clients too.)  In addition, I spent years in Brisbane (Bulimba, actually) working in the superyacht industry and I still have close friends there. 

And because of my love of Australia and its cultures (Queenslanders are much different than there countrymates from Sydney!) I have made significant effort to be involved in the luxury cruise business Down Under for years.  Goldring Travel even has a Brisbane telephone number: 07 3102 4685, so contacting us is only a local call.  (And my clients know that I am available for extended hours, so the time difference isn't much of an issue at all.)

When these local connections are combined with Eric Goldring being one of the world's top single travel agents selling Seabourn cruises with clients from countries as diverse as China to Angora, Great Britain to Italy and, of course, Australia among others, Goldring Travel's knowledge, experience, affiliation and savvy to provide the best cruise purchasing and customer support experience for the Australian consumer becomes obvious.

Looking at the present day Australian market, we all know that there are only a few travel agencies that are actually experienced with cruise holidays.  This lack of competition and competence does not bode well for the present day Australian consumer in the area of Price, Information or Service.  (By the way, Goldring Travel offers its cruises - with discounts and/or added amenities - in U.S. Dollars and, to be sure, that is a huge benefit to those who want to take advantage of the historically great exchange rate...as the Australian Dollar goes much further!)

To be sure, with the major cruise lines just now bringing support to the Australian travel agencies there remains a period where they must establish themselves, train the agents, have sales go from booking through sailing and, of course, getting qualified travel agents to experience the product. Trust me on this:  Looking at a brochure or reading off a computer screen is no way to match a client's desires with the information he/she needs to make an informed decision as to the cruise they want to take.

At some point in the future, there will be more qualified luxury cruise travel agencies physically located in Australia...but you are interested in your cruise holiday today.

There is one other aspect that you must also be concerned with:  Is your travel agent sufficient comfortable to sell you a luxury cruise holiday?  In the luxury travel business there is sort of a "golden rope" which many travel agents fear to cross.  Luxury travel can be intimidating for a travel agent that hasn't sold it before...or much of it.  There are countless times I have heard:  "Seabourn?  Crystal?  Silversea?  They were never offered to be me as an option."  And if they were offered, they were not explained properly.

So if you are interested in a luxury cruise, please visit Goldring Travel, contact me at eric@goldringtravel.com, or call on 07 3102 4685

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Want Up To The Minute Info? Goldring Travel's Facebook Page

As social media develops, so does Goldring Travel!

It was only a few years ago that this blog was pretty much the place for up to the minute information about most cruise items.  However, Facebook has really developed and my blog articles have become more in-depth.  And, to be honest, I hate to bury some of the articles - like the last two - with snippets of information.

As a result I am going to start using Facebook to post those smaller articles (and more of them!).  Every blog article already posts onto the Goldring Travel Facebook page and I will post any threads from The Gold Standard Forum that I think might appeal to a wide audience.

So if you want more of a one-stop place to get information "like" Goldring Travel today by going to the Goldring Travel Facebook page and clicking on the Like button.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Does Your Travel Agent Provide You With The Cruise or Vacation You Desire...Or The One It Gets The Most Profits From?

Yesterday I read an article in Travel Market Report discussing how many travel agencies that sell premium and contemporary cruises (Oceania, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Princess, etc.) have significantly reduced the number of cruises they sell and are pushing their clients toward land-based vacations.  The primary reason:  Commissions.

As the article expressly states, “It’s About The Money”.  I have to wonder, “Why it is not about your desires and the vacation you really want?” 

But more on that in a minute.

Some travel agents have given their names and direct quotes. Along the lines of Paul Motter, of CruiseMates.com, who called those that go on luxury lines like Seabourn as being primarly focused on “gluttony”, I think you should know what these travel agents are saying (and these are direct quotes from the article):

- Jocelyn Gardner, an agent at Gateway Travel and Cruises, a Vacation.com agency. “It’s because of the commissions.”

- Peter Ulbrich, co-owner and vice president of Holiday Cruise and Travel in Cincinnati, also points to shrinking cruise earnings to explain why his agency, a former Cruise Holidays franchise, now does only 20% of its business in cruises – down from 75% to 80%....“If you’ve got somebody on a 12-day Mediterranean cruise and they want to book eight or nine shore excursions, that takes hours. You could be booking several thousand dollars in shore excursions. You spend all that time, and you get nothing,” Ulbrich commented.

Lawton Roberts, CEO of Country Place Travel, Inc., a storefront agency in Lawrenceville, Ga.…steers cruise-inclined clients toward land vacations that yield higher earnings.

Isn’t this exactly what you are concerned about as a customer?  You go to a travel agency to purchase the vacation of your desires and dreams; not the one with the highest profit margin for the travel agent.  It is like going to a store to buy one thing, coming out with another possibly more expensive thing and then later saying, “You know, that really isn’t what I wanted and a spent a bit too much, but I guess it’ll be fine.”

To me that is just, plain and simple:  Dishonest and Wrong.

I know that I have a reputation for being “Everything Seabourn”, but I actually am far more than that.  I have never sold a Seabourn cruise to anyone that did not specifically ask for a Seabourn cruise or whom I did not believe a Seabourn cruise was the best option for them. 

You may not know this (frequent readers do), but I am also very keen on Orion Expeditions and Crystal Cruises on the more luxury side of things.  I do like much about Silversea, but I just need it to be more consistent.  The Silver Explorer (ex. Prince Albert II) is, however, a unique product that cannot be overlooked.  Azamara Club Cruises and Oceania Cruises on the premium side of things are good options, but I continually hold Celebrity Cruises out as “the best bang for the buck in the business”.

River cruises are something that I am starting to get a good feel for and, to be sure, the demand for them is on the rise.  I am presently developing an AmaWaterways group cruise I intend on hosting on April 8, 2012 “Vineyards of the Rhine & Mosel”.

In the last two days, I have been working on an Abercrombie & Kent tour, a couple of river cruises, a multi-generational Celebrity cruise, another Celebrity group cruise, an Azamara Club cruise and, of course, a few Seabourn cruises.  Bet you never would have guessed that!

That multi-generational cruise family presents a typical scenario for me.  Initially they insisted that they wanted to go on Royal Caribbean…I mean really insisted…but by the time I worked through everything with them, they knew (with all the information I gave them) that I was absolutely correct.  I did this by spending as much time as necessary…and then some.  If I sell every cruise based upon what I earn per hour on that cruise, rather than looking “big picture” I believe I will be out of business in no time.  In fact, my clients are treated identically whether they are booking a Celebrity or Seabourn cruise.  My clients are entitled to that! 

(BTW, I figure a few readers want to know this:  Whether I sold them Royal Caribbean or Celebrity it made virtually no difference to my commission…it is just the right product for that family; but I could have done it the easy, shorter, way and sold them the wrong product…quickly.)

If my business model was to push you into a cruise or land vacation that really didn’t want or really didn’t fit your needs and desires properly, I probably would get you to book that one cruise or land vacation with me…and then I would never see you again.  I want to book your vacations for the rest of your life, so why the heck would that concept ever enter my mind?!

So as you hear so often now of Travel Agency ABC going out of business or Travel Agent John or Jane complaining about how they can’t make the same kind of money that they did years ago and blame the cruise lines (who are not innocent in their tactics), I suggest you run – not walk – away from them.  They are not looking out for your best interests.  They are simply using you to achieve theirs.  Sad and shortsighted, but true.

Goldring Travel’s motto and business plan is simple:  Be Treated By Your Travel Agent As You Will Be Onboard.  That is achieved by assuring the customer (you) have your desires and dreams exceeded; not pushed in a direction that in the short term lines my pockets.

In other words, I want your vacation planning to be an easy and enjoyable experience and I am focused on repeat business and referrals. 

If you are interested in a cruise or land vacation email me at eric@goldringtravel.com  or call me call me at (888) SEABOURN or (877) 2GO-LUXURY in the U.S.; 020 8133 3450 in the U.K.; 07 3102 4685 in Australia; and +1 732-383-7398 elsewhere.