Archive for the ‘Celebrity Cruises’ Category

Cruise to Alaska with Travel On A Dream and Celebrity Cruises

When we did our first Alaska cruise in 2011, it was clear that this would become our favorite cruise destination.  This was very difficult for me to imagine since I really don’t like cold and snow.  The scenery was breathtaking!

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Join ToaD For An Alaska Adventure!

When we first decided to have a group cruise, we asked ourselves, why.  There are many reasons to have a group cruise.  Some are theme cruises where everyone has a common interest – I have clients that have been on Precious Moments cruises.  Some have real celebrities onboard which is supposed to be the draw – maybe sports figures, musicians or authors.  For both of these types of groups the destination is not as important as the activities offered onboard.  For us, we decided that the destination was the most important aspect of the group.  Many of our clients have on cruises to the Bahamas or Caribbean so they wanted something different.

Sometimes it’s hard to check out something new with so much uncertainty.  On my first cruise, I wasn’t sure if I would like cruising so we selected Disney Cruise line because I knew I would like Disney, even if I didn’t like cruising.  29 cruises later, we are preparing for another first on Oasis of the Seas next month.  We have taken time to get to know other cruisers on our sailings in advance so even new destinations were a little less intimidating.

One of the most popular cruise destinations is Alaska and it’s no surprise why.  I am not a fan of the cold and snow.  Never have been, even though I’ve lived in Wisconsin all of my life.  I went on the first Disney Cruise to Alaska for a couple reasons.  First, I really wanted to be on the first Alaska cruise with the repositioning up from LA.  Of course the second reason is that I had a lot of clients looking at Alaska or booked and I wanted to get to know the itinerary better for them.

When we left Juneau, I told my husband that I could move up to Alaska.  Yes, the girl who curses the first and every snowfall of the season was volunteering to move up North!  Wouldn’t you with this scenery?

I quickly selected Alaska as my favorite cruise itinerary and gave up the notion of moving there.

So many folks have told us they want to go to Alaska so we decided we needed to have a group trip up there.  We selected Celebrity Cruises because I find their service to be equal to Disney Cruise Line’s service and the food was great as well.  I found with Alaska we were so busy watching the world go by that the entertainment really did not matter.  Additionally, we wanted a cruise that would allow us a few extra days on one end to tour Alaska itself and Disney does not offer that.

On August 1, 2014, we will embark on the Celebrity Millennium for a 7 night sailing from Vancouver, British Columbia to Seward, Alaska.  We will be looking into optional post cruise activities as well for those that want to stay on and see Denali or maybe Mount McKinley.  Some may choose to go to Fairbanks as well then fly home from there while others will fly home from Anchorage.

This cruise will start in Vancouver and sail through the Inside Passage to Ketchikan, followed by stops at Icy Strait Point, Juneau and Skagway before cruising to the Hubbard Glacier and finally arrive in Seward.  From Seward, we will have options for the train or bus to Anchorage where some will choose to head home and others will continue on to explore Alaska.

Group space is available on this date, which is currently pricing lower than opening pricing.  Here is the pricing for the group space we have held:

Category 11 – Inside – $869 per person

Category 08 – Ocean View – $1149 per person

Category 2C – Balcony – $1674 per person

Not included are taxes of $157.45 per person.  Other categories are available for group pricing, subject to availability at the time we book it.  Deposits are $500 per cabin.  We can hold space for you without a deposit, but you won’t be guaranteed a room number until the deposit is received.  We only have a select number of rooms in the group so I recommend reserving yours as soon as possible to get the best choice of cabins.

Regardless of how you book, we are part of a group, however, being in the group rooms will get you some extra bonuses in addition to our onboard credit offer.  If you want to book a room that is not in the group space, we can bring you into the group once you have paid the full deposit of $500, subject to availability.  In addition to the room types held, there are concierge class, Aqua class and several suites available.  Your deposit amount, regardless of whether you are in the group space or not, is fully refundable up until May 18, 2014.

Previous Celebrity cruisers may be entitled to an additional discount based on the date of booking.  Be sure to let me know if you have cruised with Celebrity before (or if you are Platinum or above with Royal Caribbean).  Contact Tracy at Tracy@travelonadream.com for more information or your quote today.

Has It Really Been Two Years?

It was on my first Celebrity Cruise that my friend and I booked future sailings using Travel On A Dream as our travel agency.  And so Travel On A Dream had its first bookings.  That day was two years ago on Wednesday.  I can’t believe how time has flown by!

Two years ago, I had a vision of opening my agency to be able to help others plan their dream vacation.  While for many of my potential clients, that was a Disney vacation, but it wasn’t everyone’s dream.  When I opened Travel On A Dream, I intended to help with any type of vacation – any destination – and we have done that!  We have helped clients with a variety of cruise lines from Carnival, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Holland America, MSC Cruises, Norwegian and of course, Disney.  We have helped our clients travel all over the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe.  We will be sailing our first of hopefully many group sailings in October on the Disney Fantasy.  Our next group sailing will be in April 2013 on the Oasis of the Seas.  Watch for our announcement on an Alaskan Cruise sailing shortly!

We started with one agent, me, and have grown to eight agents today – Tracy, Deb, Rhonda, Debbie, Nicole, DJ, Therese and Erin.  Our goal is always to help you to plan the best vacation ever, each and every time with each and every client.  We take an interest in our clients’ plans and in their lives, which is why most of our agents are active on Facebook and other social media sites.  It’s not good enough that we are available only by email, though you can reach any of us that way (our email addresses are all first name @travelonadream.com).  You can find us by email, phone, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, just to name a few.  Whether you have a group of 100 or one, we are here to make planning your dream vacation as seamless as possible.

It makes us very happy to hear one of our clients say they plan to tell all their family and friends about us or to read about it on Facebook and Twitter.  When I get a call from a potential client who says “so and so referred me to you”, the first thing I do is smile!  That’s why we have a referral program.  Some agencies will give you a gift card for your referrals.  While I think that’s great, I like our referral program just a bit more.  For each referral you send our way who books and travels, we give you 1% of the total amount of the vacation (based on the components on which we receive commission).  That means if you refer your friend who is planning a group sailing and spends $20,000, you will receive $200!  We pay the referrals in either gift cards or onboard credits and are not paid until your next travel date after your referred friend travels so this amount can really grow!

As a bonus for our two year birthday, we are giving double referral credits!  Double credit will be available for all bookings held through June 30.  Tell all your friends and family about the great service you have received from Travel On A Dream, but also tell them to say you sent them.  It’s a win/win situation!  They get the benefit of our service to help plan their dream vacation and you get some extra spending money on your next one.

Next we wanted to announce that we will be starting a monthly newsletter.  We don’t intend for this newsletter to be full of advertisements about why you should book with us or what the latest travel special is (there are plenty of those around if you want them).  We intend to bring to information on some of our favorite travel destinations, travel tips, cruise comparisons.  You should know that if we are writing about something, we know about that subject and are qualified to help you with it should you have any questions or wish to explore further.  Just drop us an email or give us a call!  Initially we will send out the newsletter to all of our clients and anyone who has signed up for our mailing list.  You will always have an opt out option, we do not want to send you spam. Just email us at info@TravelOnADream.com if you are not a current or past client to get the newsletter. Or you can click on the Welcome tab on our Facebook page.

Each month we will also be looking for your favorite vacation photos.   Submit your favorite photos to info@TravelOnADream.com and if yours is chosen, you will be highlighted on our Pinterest board for the Photo of the Month.  Email us also if there is something you want us to feature in the newsletter.

Of course, we can’t have a birthday celebration without gifts right?  In addition to our double referral credit promotion for the rest of the month, we will also giving away some cool gifts, .  We have some Travel On A Dream tote bags plus a variety of cruise line merchandise for you.  We’ll even give away a $50 onboard credit/gift card to one lucky person.  How do you enter?  Sign up for our newsletter!  All of our current clients will be automatically entered into the drawings, plus anyone who signs up through our Facebook wall or by emailing us at info@TravelOnADream.com.  The drawing will be held on June 30 at 5:00 pm EDT.

So who thinks $50 is not enough?  Me too!  We are just shy of 600 fans on Facebook.  Let’s get the numbers up!  For every 50 new fans, I’ll increase the prize by $25.  That means if we get to 700 fans by June 30, the total prize will be $100, 800 fans – $150.  Share our wall with your friends and watch the total go up!

Thank you all for helping us celebrate our second birthday!  We look forward to many more years of helping you make your vacation dreams a reality.

The Ninth Day of ToaDmas

Explore a Modern World Wonder!

Named as one of the Wonders of the modern world, the Panama Canal was one of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken.  It had an enormous impact of shipping between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, saving sailors from having to take the long and sometimes treacherous route around the tip of South America.

Now, 97 years since its opening, the canal continues to enjoy great success!  You, too, can experience for yourself this amazing wonder!

Celebrity Cruise Lines offers a fantastic voyage through the Panama Canal, onboard the beautiful Celebrity Century!

This is the only cruise that gives you a full vacation, while crossing the Continental Divide.  As you journey through the Canal, you’ll enjoy a new world of wonder and amazement on the other side.  This is definitely an enlightening and rewarding journey!

Celebrity Century

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2011 Best Cruise Lines

Each year we see picks for the best ships, best dining, best kids clubs, etc. with many industry guides and reviewers.  We have seen two of these picks so far this year – Cruise Critic and Conde Nast Traveler.  So how did your favorites do?

Cruise Critic Editors’ Picks 2011

  • Best New Ship – Disney Dream
  • Best New River Ship – Uniworld’s S.S. Antoinette
  • Best for Luxury –  Seabourn’s Odyssey
  • Best for First-Timers –  Princess Cruises
  • Best for Families – Royal Caribbean
  • Best Itineraries – Azamara Club Cruises
  • Best for Adventure – Lindblad Expeditions
  • Best River Cruise Line – Viking River Cruises
  • Best Value for Money – Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Best for Dining – Celebrity Cruises
  • Best Alternative Restaurant – Celebrity’s Qsine
  • Best Buffet – Norwegian Cruise Lines
  • Best for Entertainment – Royal Caribbean’s Oasis and Allure
  • Best for Healthy Cruising – Celebrity Cruises
  • Best for Spa Lovers – Seabourn’s Sojourn & Quest
  • Best for Solo Cruisers – Norwegian Epic
  • Best Suites – Oceania’s Marina
  • Best Standard Cabins – Disney Cruise Line
  • Best Inside Cabins – Disney Dream
  • Best Shore Excursions – Holland America
  • Best for Enrichment – Crystal Cruises
  • Best for Honeymoons – Princess Cruises
  • Best for Wine Lovers – Celebrity Solstice-Class
  • Best Cruise Ship Bar – Carnival’s RedFrog Pub
  • Best U.S. Cruise Port – New Orleans

Conde Nast Traveler – Gold List 2011

Rather than selecting one best in each of a number of categories, Conde Nast Traveler gives an overall score for each of their picks based on itineraries, cabins, service, food, design, activities and excursions.  The scores were averages to get the overall score.  Our list shows the cruise line name, overall score and top category.

  • Abercrombie & Kent – Overall Score 83.7 (Itineraries 96.0)
  • Crystal Cruises – Overall Score 92.3 (Service 95.5)
  • Cunard Line – Overall Score 86.4 (Itineraries 89.9)
  • Disney Cruise Line – Overall Score 90.3 (Service 96.1)
  • Grand Circle Small Ship Cruises – Overall Score 87.1 (Itineraries 94.7)
  • Oberoi – Overall Score 84.7 (Tie for Itineraries and Service 94.1)
  • Oceania Cruises – Overall Score 86.6 (Itineraries 94.9)
  • Regent Seven Seas Cruises – Overall Score 91.0 (Service 95.1)
  • Seadream Yacht Club – Overall Score 86.6 (Service 94.4)
  • Silversea Cruises – Overall Score 85.2 (Service 92.1)
  • Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection – Overall Score 83.8 (Itineraries 92.0)
  • Windstar Cruises – Overall Score 84.3 (Service 93.2)
  • Yachts of Seabourn – Overall Score 93.4 (Service 97.9)

Conde Nast Traveler: 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards

We think that this review is the best representation however as it is your choices for the best of the best.  Travel editors don’t always have the same opinions as those of us who travel for a vacation.  Those who voted assigned a rating of excellent, very good, good, fair and poor for a variety of criteria.  Each reviewer’s total score is calculated and then the average of all responses is calculated.

Small-Ship Lines

  • Seabourn – 91.8
  • Silversea – 88.5
  • Windstar 85.8
  • Seadream Yacht Club – 84.5
  • Lindblad Expeditions – 78.0

Medium-Ship Lines

  • Crystal Cruises – 93.0
  • Regent Seven Seas Cruises – 91.6
  • Disney – 89.8
  • Oceania Cruises – 86.0
  • Azamara Club Cruises – 84.7
  • Cunard – 84.2
  • Holland America – 81.5
  • Celebrity – 79.9
  • Princess – 79.8
  • Royal Caribbean – 76.3

Large-Ship Lines

  • Celebrity – 87.7
  • Princess – 80.9
  • Royal Caribbean – 78.9
  • Carnival – 70.9
  • Norwegian Cruise Line – 64.3

River Lines

  • Uniworld Boutique River Cruises – 90.3
  • Grand Circle Travel – 86.1
  • Viking River Cruises – 84.8
  • Avalon Waterways – 78.9
  • AmaWaterways – 68.5

Porthole Cruise Magazine 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards

  • Best Small Ship (under 500 passengers) – Seabourn Quest
  • Best Medium-Sized Ship (between 500-2000 passengers) – Nieuw Aterdam
  • Best Megaship (at least 2000 passengers) – Allure of the Seas
  • Best Tall Ship – Wind Surf
  • Best River Cruise – Viking River Cruises
  • Best Value-for-the-Money Line – Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Best Luxury Line – Seabourn Cruise Line
  • Most Family-Oriented Line – Disney Cruise Line
  • Best Expedition Cruise Line – Lindblad Expeditions
  • Most Romantic Cruise Line – Windstar Cruises
  • Best Eco-Friendly Cruise Line – Royal Caribbean International
  • Best Short-Duration Cruise – Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Best Shore Excursions – Holland America Line
  • Best One-Day Cruise – Discovery Cruise Line (no longer in operation)
  • Best Private Island – Half Moon Cay
  • Best Adventure Cruise Line – Royal Caribbean International
  • Best Onboard Activities – Royal Caribbean International
  • Best Onboard Educational Programs – Cunard Line
  • Best Main Dining Room Cuisine – Celebrity Cruises
  • Best Alternative Restaurants – Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Best Casinos – Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Best Computer Facilities – Holland America Line
  • Best Spa Facilities – Celebrity Cruises
  • Best Onboard Shopping – Princess Cruises
  • Best Medical Facilities – Holland America Line
  • Best Children’s Programs – Disney Cruise Line
  • Best Service – Silversea Cruises
  • Best Entertainment – Disney Cruise Line
  • Best Onboard International Experience – MSC Cruises
  • Best Theme Cruises – Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Best Adults-Only Onboard Options – Crystal Cruises
  • Best Website – Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Best Accommodations – Seabourn Cruise Line
  • Best Facilities for Physically Challenged Passengers – Holland America Line
  • Best Caribbean Itineraries – Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Best Canada/New England Itineraries – Holland America Line
  • Best Mexican Riviera Itineraries – Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Best Alaska Itineraries – Holland America Line
  • Best Central America Itineraries – Holland America Line
  • Best Hawaii Itineraries – Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Best South America Itineraries -Oceania Cruises
  • Best Mediterranean Itineraries -Costa Cruises
  • Best South Pacific Itineraries -Paul Gauguin Cruises
  • Best North Europe Itineraries – Princess Cruises
  • Best Trans-Atlantic Itineraries -Cunard Line
  • Best Asia/Pacific Itineraries – Regent Seven Seas Cruises
  • Best Africa/Middle East Itineraries -Costa Cruises
  • Best World Cruise Itineraries -Cunard Line
  • Best Bermuda Itineraries -Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Best Australia/New Zealand Itineraries -P&O Cruises

There are other awards out there and we chose to focus on just a few.  Keep in mind that these awards are all based on opinions of other cruisers or travel editors.  “Mileage may vary”.  There are so many cruise ships and cruise lines available though there is bound to be one that is just right for you.

What is your favorite cruise line? 

National Cruise Vacation Week Kicks Off!

We are seeing many offers this week from October 17 to 23 in honor of CLIA’s promotion for National Cruise Vacation Week.  Here are just a few of the deals available.

AmaWaterways

Exclusive 2 for 1 pricing on select sailings.

Avalon Waterways

Save up to $2000 per couple on select 2012 Avon Waterways European River cruises!

Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival is featuring Fun Select Rates and up to $150 in onboard credits per stateroom for all cruisers.  You will receive $25 per person (up to $50 per stateroom) for 3 & 4 day cruises, $50 per person (up to $100 per stateroom) for 5 day cruises, and $75 per person (up to $150 per stateroom) on cruises of 6 days or longer.

There is also a bonus onboard credit for Europe departures starting June 2012.  When you book a 12 day Europe cruise you will get up to $200 per stateroom for past guests (plus free upgrades) and up to $300 per stateroom for new Carnival cruisers.

Celebrity Cruises

Up to $400 per stateroom on all sailings 4 nights or longer between January 1, 2012 and April 30, 2013.

Crystal Cruises

Book by October 31 and receive 2-for-1 fares, up to $700 additional savings and much more!

Disney Cruise Line

Between October 17 and November 17, 2011, book a 4 or 5 night Bahamian cruise aboard the Disney Magic and receive  a $50 onboard credit per stateroom.

Holland America Line

Great pricing on select  sailings.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Cruise Like a Norwegian!  Reduced deposits, onboard credits on all three day or longer sailings in 2011 and 2012.

Oceania Cruises

2 for 1 cruise fares with free airfare plus up to $4000 bonus savings per stateroom on select sailings.

Paul Gauguin

Get up to a $100 onboard credit per person for every booking made by November 18, 2011.

Princess Cruises

PreSeason Sale from October 17 through October 23.  On Europe itineraries you can receive free balcony upgrades and up to $100 onboard credit per stateroom.  12 night sailings from as low as $2490 per person in a balcony!  On all cruises 7 days or longer, there are reduced deposits plus an onboard value booklet worth up to $325.

Royal Caribbean

For bookings departing  November 15, 2011 through January 31, 2012, you can get up to a $50 onboard credit.  There is also a offer for up to $200 onboard credit for new bookings made to Dubai, Australia and Europe with departures after November 15, 2011.

Seabourn

Save up to 50% or more to Europe, South and Central America, and Bali and the Indonesian Isles with this One Week Sale!  All-suite accommodations with ocean views, many with verandahs.  Open bars throughout the ship with fine wines at lunch and dinner.  All complementary dining venues!  Complimentary welcome champagne and in-suite bar stocked with your preferences.  Tipping is not required nor expected.  Fares start from $1,999 per person.  This is an all-inclusive opportunity not to pass up.

This is a sampling of some of the offers available during the National Cruise Vacation Week celebration.

Terms and conditional apply to all offers so contact us today for all details at Travel on a Dream.  Starting pricing examples are base cruise only.  Taxes and fees additional.

Why Don’t You Cruise?

Last week I attended a series of classes through Cruise Lines International Association and some of the things we learned made we wonder why people don’t cruise more often.  80% of the North American population has never been on a cruise.  Hard to believe?  For those of us who have cruised, it is very hard to believe.  Especially when you find out that 95% of cruise guests rate their cruise experience positively!

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