We get asked all the time about being bored on a cruise and what there is to do on sea days. Well, we LOVE sea days. There is so much to do, you won’t have time to do it all. When that happens, you book another cruise!
Today we discuss if you truly need a passport, how long they are good for, and how to get a passport.
Ok, so I speak much better than I write, so I’m going to be doing some videos that I’ll be posting here along with the blogs that I write. For some of the videos, I’ll have a companion blog post with it as well.
I’ve been working this last couple of months to earn my Certified Cruise Counsellor (CCC) designation through Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). CLIA is the cruise industry’s largest trade organization that brings together cruise lines and travel agents. Here is their mission:
CLIA is the global organization that fosters our members’ success by advocating, educating and promoting the common interests of the cruise community.CLIA
Education is the main word for me with CLIA, they have helped me to become a more knowledgeable travel agent through the classes they have. One of the main areas where travel agents can gain information about the cruise industry is through CLIA’s certification programs. The first level of the certification program is the Certified Cruise Counsellor or CCC. This last week, I was awarded the CCC designation and I am proud to announce that now.
What does this mean for our clients? Well, the more we know about the cruise industry, the better we can serve our clients. As part of the training we have to tour ships, take our own cruises (yes, being a travel agent is tough! 😉 ), learn about how to best work with clients to get them what they want, and how to work with cruise lines to find the best deals for my clients. That is always our goal, to make sure our clients have the best possible vacation at the best possible price.
Now that I have earned my CCC, I am now working on the next level the ACC, Accredited Cruise Counsellor. This is a two-year program made up of ship inspections, required CLIA
We hear it all the time, “What, you book more than cruises?”, “I didn’t know you could book non-cruise travel!”, “You only book cruises, right?” This is something we wanted to talk about real quick, and give you an idea of what we do.
“To Err is Human; to Forgive, divine”, to forget something when you go on vacation is sometimes par for the course. One of my favorite sitcoms over the past few years has been ABC’s “The Middle“. This is a show about a family living in the middle of the US and the trials and tribulations they go through. One of the running jokes in the show is that whenever they go on vacation or on a car trip is that they will always forget the “Blue Snack Bag” and leave it on the kitchen table, in the driveway, or somewhere else. They even try changing the color of the bag, and they still forget it. Well, we all have a “blue snack bag” sometimes, that item we tend to forget when we go someplace. So we thought we would put together a list of the top 10 items that people quite often forget when they go on a cruise.Continue reading
I have wanted to write this blog post for a long time, but I’ve just haven’t sat down to write it yet, so here it goes. I wanted to price out the costs of a cruise and compare it to a land vacation.Continue reading
When you’re not on a cruise, you’re planning one (or multiple). Sometimes you’re planning the next one while on the current one! Fortunately, there are a lot of applications out there to help.
= iTunes Link
= Google Store Link
Whether you’re looking to find out where your favorite ship is today, set a countdown clock, ask questions of passengers who’ve already sailed the itinerary you’re considering, or get info about ports from around the world, this app will help you out. My favorite feature? The “User Gallery” section is basically Instagram for cruisers.
2. Google Translate
The app works offline if you download the language you’ll be translating, and you don’t need to be connected to data for it to work. You can also use your phone’s camera and Google Translate will instantly translate any signs to English. Very helpful when you are walking the streets and need to find the subway or maybe a bathroom.
3. Mobile Passport
Not every port accepts Mobile Passport yet, but give them time. Right now guests sailing just about any ship out of Port Everglades or catching a flight at 20 major airports can use this app. What does it do? Four words: help you disembark quicker. No more filling out those pesky customs forms, because now you can do it right on your phone. This only works in conjunction with a passport and will not work if you cruise with a birth certificate.
Julia and I have decided to join the #throwbackthursday trend. Don’t know what #throwbackthursday is? Well, that’s easy!
Throwback Thursday is a trend among social media sites such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook wherein users post or repost older photographs (often from their childhood) with the hashtag #ThrowbackThursday or #TBT. – Wikipedia
We have decided that since we are travel agents, our #throwbackthursday is going to be past vacations we have taken.
Now, we have taken a number of vacations over the 25 years we have been married and the previously with our respective families in the 23 years before we were married (hey, we’ve been married more than 50% of our lives!!!). A lot of our vacations since we have been married have been at one of the Disney parks (and a number for me before I got married were at Disney as well). We think you might get bored of all Disney pictures, so we will intersperse Disney with some non-Disney vacations. But at the same time, we want to share vacations of others as well.
If you would like to have a vacation memory shared, let us know. We would love to share your favorite memories.
Bil & Julia
Check out this video from National Geographic. This is just beautiful!
Julia and I have talked many times about what is on our bucket list. This is something that has always been somewhat difficult for us to do. It might be easier to make a list of where we don’t want to go: Dateland, AZ in August, Barrow, AK in January, ETC. (we have been to Dateland in August, and it is beautiful but just TOO HOT and I do want to get to Barrow someday, just not in January!)
Now that we are back in the travel business, we have started to put together our bucket list again. Here are some of our top choices.