There is sort of a running tease between myself and one of my clients about whether cruising is travel. This generated quite a good discussion going back to 2009 on The Gold Standard Forum. We even joked about it just yesterday.
Honestly, while I firmly believe cruising can be travel, it is not always. And, of course, there are times when traveling by cruise is not the best way to travel through an area of interest. Because of my diversity, it is fairly easy for me to discern whether a client's initial desire for a cruise is actually his or her best choice.
Today I received an email from a client that came to me as cruise clients some years ago. They had no specific desire for this year's holiday, but wanted something that really made them go WOW. Last year the family cruised on Seabourn and had a great time...but I sensed that something different (not necessarily the easiest to plan) would be better for them: A Custom Private Safari.
So when I saw their name pop up in my email mid-trip, I was worried. (I mean you usually hear from clients midtrip if something is wrong.) But what they wrote made me know that all the work and really understanding their desires better than they did paid off:
Hello from the [Smith] Family from Leopard Hills in South Africa.
You outdid yourself! This is the best, most spectacular trip ever.
We loved Capetown. We loved shark diving and now we are at Leopard Hills which is incredible.
Everything has been perfect.
We'll let you more when we return. Thx!
What I really enjoyed was adding in the shark diving and insisting Mom was going to get into the shark cage. I don't yet know if she did, however the initial "No!" turned into "fear" turned into "Hey, that might be cool." even before they left.
Another client recently contacted me about taking a Seabourn cruise in Australia. Having lived in Australia and traveled the country I could tell that what they were looking for was not just a visit to a few of the cities on the coast, but really seeing the country in a luxury group. Again, booking the cruise would have been easy, but the extra work in finding the right holiday for this couple was worth it. Knowing the high demand I had them book a Tauck tour even before the prices were published; which was fortunate because that tour sold out almost immediately.
Once things got finalized I wrote, "This is so much better for what you wanted to do than the cruise, isn’t it?!" to which they responded:
You’re right – WAY better than the cruise!!!
So if you are looking for a cruise or land vacation, even one for this summer (and there are still some fantastic last minute deals out there!), remember that Goldring Travel is not just about luxury cruises: