But before I get into that I want to show why I even had the opportunity to venture into the Australian cruise travel market. It is very simple...and two bits of correspondence this week pretty much says it all.
On Monday I received an email from a client in Western Australia which said, in part:
On Tuesday a client from Queensland posted on Goldring Travel's The Gold Standard Luxury Travel Forum:
A few years ago, I used to tell Eric how I manage all my bookings for everything, myself, as Aussie TA's are so useless....I suppose I didn't realise at that time that you could use an overseas TA. My experience was just to go to the local Shopping Mall, go into a TA's shop and book whatever......there was always a drama somewhere along the line, so I gave up and did it all myself! Of course with the internet that became very easy to do.
However I finally relented and "hired" Eric.
Yesterday we just happened to be at the local Shopping Mall, and were heading to the Food Court for lunch, when I spotted a TA Shop......."I'll just pop in there and see if they have any Silver Sea brochures to look at while we have lunch"...... well in I went. The only TA in the shop was serving another customer, so I just gazed across at the "Cruise Brochures"...couldn't really see too much on the other side of the counter with my worn our eye sight, but I could see there weren't too many brochures on the rack.
The TA came over and asked to help me "Do you have any of the Silver Sea brochures?"....her answer "oh what cruiseline does THAT cruise??" my answer...."ummmm Silver Sea". "Oh is that the name of the cruiseline? I have never heard of it! We have everything else here though".....I didn't bother asking if they had Seabourn, Crystal, or Regent etc etc etc......
As I said years ago "Aussie TA's are hopeless........seems they haven't improved eh!!
These two stories are typical of what I hear on a regular basis. Heck, I just heard both of them in two days!
So what makes Goldring Travel the best choice for Australians looking for a travel agent to book their cruise (or other) holidays?
- Knowledge and Experience - Top cruise line executives, industry publications and hundreds of satisfied clients will attest to Eric Goldring's personal knowledge and expertise in the premium and luxury cruise market. Not only do I know the names of all of the cruise lines, I have sailed or inspected (or both) many ships on most all of the major cruise lines (and some not so major!). I study the reviews (both professional and client). I speak with the cruise lines. And, of course, I sell cruises...lots of them. (Trust me there are many great options beyond P&O and Princess. How about a great Australian company: Orion Expeditions, for example!)
- Customer Loyalty - Goldring Travel's clients keep coming back and they refer their friends and families to me. That is not only because I strive to assure my clients go on the cruise (or land holiday) they truly desire rather than merely book the one they first contacted me about. But more than that, Goldring Travel's business plan and motto is one and the same: Be Treated By Your Travel Agent As You Will Be Onboard! And in the luxury market that means with an extremely high level of service...and courtesy.
- Great Value - If you think that all cruises bookings are created equally you are seriously mistaken. Any cruise you book directly with a cruise line will - virtually without exception - cost you more than what it will cost if booked through Goldring Travel. Whether it be a discounted price on Seabourn, some very attractive added amenities/onboard credits on Silversea, Crystal or Oceania, etc. many bookings are also accompanied by complimentary high quality shore excursions or onboard credits courtesy of Goldring Travel.
- No Consultation or Booking Fees - Goldring Travel does not charge you for seeking our advice. We believe that by providing you with great service and complete and accurate information you will book your cruise (or land holiday) with us. Why would we charge you for the opportunity to earn your business? (Ask a travel agency that does charge a fee and you'll be back!)
- No Cancellation or Change Fees - Goldring Travel never...that is "never"...charges a change or cancellation fee. While there is nothing I can do about cruise or tour operator penalties and fees, as my goal is to assure you are taking the holiday you truly desire, charging you a fee because you changed your mind or a problem arose simply makes no sense to me.
- Understanding - Eric Goldring spent five years working and living in Brisbane, Australia. I have friends in Brisbane that I am still in regular contact with. In short, I understand "Aussie" and am proud of it! (And believe me I know how frustrating it is when someone doesn't!)
- Accountability and Advocacy - Goldring Travel is a non-resident member of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents, carries US$1,000,000 of insurance coverage and, of course, is immensely proud of its reputation in the industry. While I will do whatever it reasonably takes to assure your satisfaction not only with our services, but if there is a problem with your cruise (or land holiday) I stand ready, willing and able to assist. My commitment to you does not end with your final payment! (Fortunately, by doing my best to assure you are on the best cruise line and cruise for you, personally, this rarely is an issue!)
- Free Stuff - I love to get free stuff, so I love to give you free stuff. And even though you are a distance from New Jersey don't think for a second you will get less stuff than other clients of mine. Whether they are high quality jackets, backpacks, totebags or whatever I come up with, you get them along with your complete travel documents. (Believe it or not some travel agents actually don't even give their clients complete travel documents because they want to save on postage!)
- Local Telephone Number - While there is nothing I can do about the time difference (though I do start my day early and end it late), Goldring Travel does have a local Brisbane number: (07) 3102 4685.
- A Lifetime of Travel - I am focused on earning your business for the rest of your life. I don't consider booking one cruise (or land holiday) as a success, but rather a stepping stone.
You afford me the opportunity to earn your business and I appreciate that every single time I pick up the phone or answer an email.
Please give us a try. You have nothing to lose and, as the two examples above demonstrate, you probably have much to gain!