Tuesday, January 11, 2011

For value, variety and satisfaction...you haven't vacationed until you've cruised!

Every day, more and more people are discovering the all-inclusive pleasures and benefits of a cruise vacation. More singles, families, couples, honeymooners, second honeymooners and groups of friends and families are sailing away on the vacation of a lifetime. Last year alone, approximately seven million people enjoyed a cruise vacation. When you add it all up, it's easy to see why.

The price of your cruise ticket includes all of your meals and in-between snacks on-board, your stateroom, activities, parties and entertainment; plus, an exciting voyage to some of the most enchanting and culturally-enriching places in the world. The same cannot be said for a land based vacation.

You will find that a cruise ship is a floating resort, with all the things a fine resort has to offer and more! You'll meet new friends who share the same tastes and interests as you.

The hassles of an ordinary vacation are completely eliminated. A cruise is one convenient package. You don't have to worry about making dinner or nightclub reservations, running to make flight connections as you travel from one destination to another, or packing and unpacking. You get to your stateroom, unpack one time, and that is it! The cruise ship is your floating “hotel room” for all of your destinations on the trip.

You can lie back, relax and be completely pampered. Or, choose to go non-stop. Dine like never before. Enjoy one great show after another. Let your cares float away!

It's no wonder that more people are taking cruise vacations than ever before. And once they get a taste of cruising, they come back for more, again and again.

Let CruiseOne Freer & Associates help you plan the voyage of a lifetime! We have access to all major cruise lines and will compare rates, itineraries and specials to find the perfect cruise that fits your desires and budget. Call us anytime at 888-882-5793 or visit us on the web at www.kfreer.cruiseone.com

Monday, December 20, 2010

Safety on Cruise Ships

There has been a lot of negative press lately regarding cruise ships (fire at sea, broken rudder, bad weather). As unfortunate as these events have been, we don’t seem to hear anything about the safety at sea for some reason. Approximately 19 million passengers cruise each year, and there are over 350 cruise ships sailing the waters today. For arguments sake, let’s just say that each of the 350 ships departs once a week (some depart 2 – 3 times a week, and some once a month on a long sailing). That is over 18,200 departures a year. Now think of the past year … what negative press have we been faced with? Just a handful. Not a whole lot when you think of the numbers. And, accidents do happen. Instead of focusing on all of the negative things that happen, we should focus on the positive.

The cruise industry maintains an excellent safety record. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, cruising today is one of the safest modes of transportation, and the industry is constantly striving to improve its safety procedures. Over the past two decades, an estimated 90 million passengers safely enjoyed a cruise vacation. In 1996, the U.S. Coast Guard conducted a comprehensive safety study that concluded the cruise industry is the safest form of commercial transportation and that international safety initiatives being undertaken should further improve its safety record.

As a travel agent, we hear things that most people do not. Being in Florida, one of my number one questions is “is it safe to cruise during hurricane season?” I answer yes. Now, there is the potential that your cruise itinerary may be impacted by a storm, but there is not much of a chance you’ll be put in harm’s way. Today’s modern ships come equipped with state-of-the-art satellite equipment to follow the paths of storms and head away from the storm track. Captains are masters at avoiding the storms. And, you can usually get a good deal sailing the Caribbean during Hurricane Season!

I guess the point I am trying to make is that will all of the departures, all of the passengers sailing … there really hasn’t been many issues. Even when there is no power due to fire, the cruise lines do a wonderful job at trying to keep passengers safe and happy. And while situations do happen and are unfortunate, a full reimbursement of cruise fare, free future cruises, on board credit, discounts and more is quite a nice gesture.

The cruise industry is the most exciting growth category in the entire leisure market. Since 1990, the industry has had an average annual passenger growth rate of 7.2% per annum.

The cruise market potential is strong. Over the next three years, over 50 million North Americans indicate intent to cruise. To date, approximately 20% of the U.S. population has ever cruised. By maintaining historical occupancy levels, the cruise industry will welcome 14.43 million guests in 2010.

The cruise product is incredibly diversified with literally a cruise vacation for everyone. Over the past 10 years, the industry has responded to extensive market and consumer research that has guided the addition of new destinations, new ship design concepts, new on-board/on-shore activities, new themes and new cruise lengths to reflect the changing vacation patterns of today’s market.

The cruise industry’s product delivers unparalleled customer satisfaction. Whether a frequent or first-time cruiser, the cruise experience consistently exceeds expectations on a wide range of important vacation attributes. On a comparative basis versus other vacation categories, cruising consistently receives top marks. The on-going challenge for our industry is to convert cruise prospects into new cruisers.

Cruising is an important vehicle for sampling destination areas to which passengers may return. 80% of cruise passengers agree that a cruise vacation is good way to sample destinations that they may wish to visit again on a land-based vacation. Nearly 40% of cruise vacationers state that they returned to vacation at a destination first visited by cruise.. Cruisers are not exclusively cruisers; rather they are frequent vacationers who cruise as part of their vacation mix.

So, what are you waiting for? Let us help you find your perfect cruise! Where else can you visit multiple destinations, unpack only once and have all of your meals and entertainment included? Give us a call today!

We offer cruise and land vacations at the best price, guaranteed. We help provide you with a vacation & memories that will last a lifetime! We have volume purchasing power, industry expertise & commitment to providing the best possible experience.

CruiseOne Freer & Associates, www.kfreer.cruiseone.com or call us toll free 888-882-5793. We look forward to helping you plan your dream vacation! And if cruising is not for you, we handle land vacations as well!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

CruiseOne 4 Day Sale!

Book an outside or above stateroom category and receive Complimentary Pre-Paid Gratuities and a Spa Treatment!

Booking Window: December 7 – 10, 2010

Book an outside or above stateroom category and receive Complimentary Pre-Paid Gratuities and a Spa Treatment! Limit one treatment per stateroom. Choose one of the following three treatments once onboard: La Thérapie Hydrolift Facial; Swedish Massage; Reflexology including Massage

Applicable Sailings:
Any 5-Night or longer Royal Caribbean cruise departing in 2011
(NOTE: Applicable bookings on the Grandeur of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas are excluded from the spa offer, and will receive the gratuity offer only)

Some important notes:
•Pre-paid gratuities are applicable to Passengers 1&2 only. Any additional guests in the stateroom will be responsible for paying their own gratuities.
• Pre-paid gratuities will not show on the booking at RCI until 10 days prior to sailing
• Cash value of gratuities cannot be advertised
• A voucher confirming guests’ spa gift will be provided by CruiseOne HQ after the offer has been added to the booking. This voucher MUST be presented by guest to Day Spa staff prior to booking spa appointments to apply. Guest booking will be added to a manifest sent to the ship prior to departure for verification purposes.
• Spa offer is limited to one per stateroom. It will be at the guests’ discretion as to which guest in the stateroom redeems the offer.

Special offer includes pre-paid gratuities for the first and second guest in a stateroom and one spa treatment per stateroom. Gratuities for 3rd, 4th or more guests in the same stateroom will be at the guest's discretion. Limit one pre-paid gratuities offer, up to two guests, and one spa treatment per stateroom. Pre-paid gratuity and spa offer valid on any 5-Night or longer Royal Caribbean cruise departing in 2011. Applicable bookings on the Grandeur of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas are excluded from the spa offer, and will receive the gratuity offer only. Offers applicable to outside and above stateroom categories. Bookings must be created between December 7 – December 10, 2010 to receive this special offer. Offer is applicable to FIT/individual bookings only, not applicable to groups. The pre-paid gratuity offer is in US dollars, has no cash value, is not transferable, and cannot be redeemed for cash. Additional restrictions may apply. ©2010 Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Ships registered in the Bahamas.

Please call CruiseOne Freer & Associates to reserve your stateroom or for details on this exclusive offer, 888-882-5793 or visit us on the web at www.GetLostAtSea.com.

We offer cruise and land vacations at the best price, guaranteed. We help provide you with a vacation & memories that will last a lifetime! We have volume purchasing power, industry expertise & commitment to providing the best possible experience.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Emerald Princess

We recently did a Western Caribbean cruise on the Emerald Princess. This was our first time on Princess so we were not sure what to expect. After checking in, we went to our stateroom and decided to tour the ship. We stayed in an inside stateroom mid-ship on Deck 11. This was also my first time cruising in an inside stateroom. The room had plenty of space and was laid out nicely. I will say, I do not think I will ever cruise again in an inside stateroom. Although the room was good, I did not like the fact that I couldn’t tell the time of day by looking outside. I also found that I slept a lot more and a lot later. Having no natural light, I suppose the darkness kept me sleepy! I like to at least be able to look outside and see the weather, see where we are.

So, on to the ship. I have to say, I was very impressed. The design of the ship and the layout of all the public spaces were very intelligent. We at no time felt like we were travelling with 3,000 passengers. As a matter of fact, there were some times where we seemed to be the only people, which of course was not the case! I do like large open ships, but this intimate experience was quite refreshing.

We decided that the purpose of this trip was to completely relax. Although there were plenty of activities going on, we did not participate in much. We played in the casino quite a bit, played Bingo, caught the comedy show, saw the magician and relaxed in a few of the bars and lounges, which also had some light entertainment. We also saw a cooking demonstration followed by a tour of one of the galleys which was absolutely immaculate and impressive.

Speaking of the galley, there was plenty of food to be found. There are three main dining rooms, one is reserved for traditional dining times, and the other two are reserved for the guests with any time dining. We opted for the any time dining, which we enjoyed. We wanted the flexibility to eat when we wanted to around our schedule. I do have to say that we found the food to be just average in these venues. The only meal that I found really good was the lobster on the second formal night. We did eat in both specialty restaurants. Sabatini's, which has a $20 per person service charge, is the fleet's Northern Italian-themed restaurant based on an eatery in Florence. The dining experience comes with gorgeous views. In terms of the menus, passengers are served small bites of a variety of different tastes, from antipasti to the main course. You only actually select your main course; most offerings are in the seafood category. We did thoroughly enjoy this experience and the food. Crown Grill is another popular venue; it's a seafood/chop house and is elegantly dark. It costs $25 per person to dine at Crown Grill. We loved the atmosphere; however, we found the food to be just slightly above average in this venue. There are also buffets with a wide selection of food, an area by the pool for pizza, and an ice cream bar. You can find a café with desserts and coffees, wine and sushi. We did not partake in the latter.

There was a lot that we didn’t do … Movies Under the Stars, where they show movies and concerts on a big screen TV by the pool; we didn’t swim; didn’t play mini golf or use the golf simulator; we didn’t go to the spa. We did relax, so we accomplished what we came for! The action on board the ship was more laid back than you might find on other cruise lines, but if you are looking for a beautiful ship, good service and a relaxing time while visiting beautiful destinations, this is it. We will have to go again to experience the things we missed.

Interested in a Princess Cruise or any other cruise? Give us a call! Tell us what your interests are and we would be happy to match you with the perfect cruise for your vacation. You can reach us at 321-735-0202, toll free at 888-882-5793, via email at kfreer@cruiseone.com or on the web at www.GetLostAtSea.com.

We look forward to hearing from you and helping you bring your dream vacation to life!

Friday, August 20, 2010

What’s the Difference Between Cruise Lines?

Which fleet is the best? What is the best ship? These are questions that cruisers ask, and they are almost impossible to answer since everyone’s tastes and priorities are so different. With that said, we can help you pick your ideal cruise vacation by explaining some of the main features of the major cruise lines. Here are nine of the top 20 fleets, alphabetically listed. Please keep in mind … cruise lines attempt to please a wide range of people and all provide some common amenities. However, with a little research, you should be able to narrow down your choices to a couple of cruise lines depending on your lifestyle, interests and budget.

Azamara Club Cruises
While they may only enlist two ships, their itineraries reach far across Europe, Asia and South America. You will find a country club atmosphere on these medium sized, ultra premium ships, in part due to the more casual dress policy and wood paneled lounges. You can expect exceptional cuisine and service, outstanding itineraries that include an overnight stay in a port on every cruise and upscale accommodations.

Carnival Cruise Lines
Not only are they the world’s largest cruise line, but they are also the most popular. Hallmarks of this fleet include the cruise industry’s most vibrant nightlife, above average food and large staterooms. If you love Las Vegas, these ships will certainly fit the bill. The entertainment is dazzling and the casino is lively throughout the day and night. Families also flock to the “Fun Ships” because of Camp Carnival’s supervised activities, the spiral waterslides and the other kids’ facilities. Best of all, the super low prices on Carnival make the fleet a big hit with families, singles, couples, groups … just about everyone!

Celebrity Cruises
Celebrity offers an upscale cruise experience with a focus on food and service. These award winning ships have a casual European atmosphere, with a great selection of modern art and contemporary design. You will find more newlyweds, couples celebrating anniversaries and families with older children on board. The fleet’s newest vessels offer plenty of balcony staterooms, gourmet restaurants, posh spas, glass blowing demonstrations and a real lawn for picnics, putting, croquet or bocce ball.

Holland America Line
Here you will find a sophisticated style of cruising aboard medium sized ships with larger than average staterooms and a rich history of premium service. These classically designed ships cater to cruisers who like a more tranquil cruise experience with refined entertainment, fine art auctions and immersive enrichment classes. Holland America is a natural choice for many multi-generational families, travelers over the age of 55 and couples marking special occasions.

Norwegian Cruise Line
NCL is best known for “Freestyle Cruising,” which is a big hit for those seeking an unstructured seagoing vacation. You can eat whenever you want, with whomever you want. No dress code to follow in the main dining rooms. Small surcharges expand your options to seemingly countless specialty restaurants. Highlights on the newest ships include an ultra chic lounge with plush beds and bowling lanes, a lounge made of ice, Blue Man Group performances, Second City comedy shows and a Cirque du Soleil dinner theater. With all of this for some of the most affordable fares at sea, the industry’s youngest fleet is popular with families, singles and couples.

Oceania Cruises
While they say they are not a luxury cruise line, the experience certainly is close to it. The food is overseen by Jacques Pepin, and it is among the best in the cruise industry. The 640 passenger ships fill up quickly with loyal guests (many of them retired) and who enjoy single seating dining in four restaurants, very polished service and staterooms boasting down comforters, high thread European sheets and, if you are in a suite, personal butlers.

Princess Cruises
Princess has a loyal following of travelers who love the ships; dining program where you may choose assigned seating or dining whenever and with whomever you please. The fleet has come a very long way since earning fame on the 1970’s “Love Boat” TV show. Today, Princess’ ships feature contemporary design and stylish amenities alongside very good food, nice staterooms, friendly service and superior shore excursions. While there are families aboard every cruise, these floating resorts primarily attract couples of all ages.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Regent provides a true luxury cruise experience with large staterooms, superb dining, exceptional service, onboard experts and worldwide itineraries. Both ships host less than 700 guests, showcase Scandinavian décor, and offer extraordinary spas operated by Carita of Paris. Fares include opulent accommodations, roundtrip airfare, gratuities, all beverages and unforgettable shore excursions.

Royal Caribbean International
They are among the most innovative fleets in the industry, boasting the world’s largest cruise ships and arguably the most with a real “wow” factor. Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas each offer an unprecedented set of onboard experiences: 2 surfing wave pools, high diving shows at an outdoor amphitheater, scuba lessons in a pool, zip line rides, a boardwalk carousel, street performers, loft suites, and outdoor grass park with sidewalk cafes and much more. Previous ships in the fleet introduced the first rock climbing walls, ice skating rinks, mall sized promenades and other onboard thrills. Endless options for dining, accommodations and activities, plus amazing values make Royal Caribbean a favorite for families with kids, couples, singes, groups and cruisers of every kind.

CruiseOne offers a variety of insurance plans to accommodate all of your needs plus we offer all the major cruise lines, the very best direct prices along with excellent personal service. Contact Kathy & Eric Freer, your Local Independent Cruise Specialists at 321-735-0202 or toll free at 888-882-5793, or via the web at www.cruiseone.com/kfreer for more information.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

All You Need to Know About Cruising During Hurricane Season

Well, it’s that time of year again when we all start talking about hurricane season. Will it be an easy season? Will it be bad? Who knows?

The thing with hurricane season is, you cannot stop your life for it, and as discount seekers know, some of the best cruise fares to the Caribbean can be found during hurricane season, especially during the peak period, which runs from mid-July through early-October. But do you take a gamble and plan a Caribbean cruise vacation during that time? The answer is Yes! For starters, the chances of your particular voyage being affected by a hurricane are very slim, but it is a possibility, so you need to be prepared.

There is always the potential that your cruise itinerary may be impacted by a storm, but there is not much of a chance you’ll be put in harm’s way. Today’s modern ships come equipped with state-of-the-art satellite equipment to follow the paths of storms and head away from the storm track. Of course do keep in mind, hurricane season is not the time of year to plan a wedding on a particular island or any event, for that matter, that must take place in a particular scheduled port. Itineraries can be disrupted by even the mere threat of a storm.

The most important precaution you can take when considering a cruise during hurricane season is to buy insurance, but make sure the policy covers disruption in case of weather-related events. Insurance is your protection so you don’t loose the money you invested in your cruise, and it is worth the nominal amount it costs.

CruiseOne offers a variety of insurance plans to accommodate all of your needs plus we offer all the major cruise lines, the very best direct prices along with excellent personal service. Contact Kathy & Eric Freer, your Local Independent Cruise Specialists at 321-735-0202 or toll free at 888-882-5793, or via the web at www.cruiseone.com/kfreer for more information.

Friday, April 23, 2010

When Booking Your Vacation, Leave it to the Professionals……

In today’s high click society, searching the web for the best vacation deal has become a pass time, if not an obsession. With all of the resources available on the Internet, one might pose the question “why should you consider using a travel agent to plan a vacation?” There are more reasons than you may think.

You may book your vacations every once in a while, but travel agents are experts in their field. Booking travel is their job and their passion. They have strong relationships with those who cater to your travel needs, like cruise lines, tour operators and hotels. They attend seminars and travel events and network with other agents and agencies to get the latest information that is not available to non-travel agents. This saves you, the consumer, time and money.

Travel agents are experts in helping travelers get where they need to go and in helping to create possibilities most people never would have dreamed were possible. They can check multiple providers, multiple destinations and multiple time frames. Travel agents will listen to the customers’ needs, wants and desires and put together a perfect fitting trip. Here at CruiseOne, Merritt Island, we have our own saying “We bring your dream vacation to life.”

Planning a trip can be stressful. There are so many options and details to worry about. Your vacation is a time that should be stress free. Travel agents do the research and the work, resulting in less stress for you. In most cases, travel agents provide one-stop service for all arrangements: like transportation, lodging, event tickets, and special dining reservations. This saves you the time and headache of trying to coordinate with several providers yourself.

Travel agents offer that personal touch to your travel planning experience. They offer help and advice that a website cannot provide. You can spend hours on the Internet putting together your own trip. And once you are done, it would be hard to find help if you should encounter a problem. On the other hand, a travel agent is someone you have an ongoing relationship with, like a personal concierge. Travel agents take pride in fitting a customer with the right vacation.

At CruiseOne, each one of our cruise professionals takes pride in providing attention to detail and expert advice to every customer. We believe in combining the latest technology with old-fashioned customer service! Our computerized best fare search program enables our consultants to identify excellent values on all major cruise lines.

If you’re looking for a cruise for 2010, or 2011 we can help you. Just call one of our professionals! The personal service of our cruise professionals assures that customers receive the best values and excellent customer service on all cruise purchases from short getaways to an around the world voyage. We can help you find the perfect cruise ship, the perfect itinerary and even the perfect shore excursions while you are at your destinations.

What can be more fun and stress free than a cruise? Call us today! Kathy & Eric Freer, CruiseOne, Merritt Island. 321-735-0202 or toll free 888-882-5793. Visit us on the web at www.GetLostAtSea.com.