Saturday, June 16, 2018

Do You Need A Travel Agent?

Travel Agents…

1) Help You Before, During And After The Journey

2) Are Travel Experts

3) Provide Peace Of Mind Wherever You Travel

4) Have Access To Exclusive Benefits

5) Design Personalized Experiences For Each Traveler

6) Cut Through The Clutter Of The Internet

7) Read The Fine Print

8) Study Hard To Become Specialists

9) Make Your Dollars Travel Further

10) Are Real People, Accessible In Real Life

11) Globally Connected

12) Passionate Travelers, First And Foremost

Concierge Cruises - Travel Agency 
239 772 1840

Sunday, June 10, 2018

10 Reasons To Use A Travel Agent!

10 Reasons To Use A Travel Agent

10 Reasons To Use A Travel Agent In 2017

We bring you 10 reasons why you should always use a professional travel agent—and this year more than ever.
1. Buying travel is a unique purchase, because you are buying both a product and a service. 
A travel agent know how to sell both parts—the airline and resort and cruise line that best match your needs, and the service that will guarantee your vacation is seamless and stress-free.
2. Travel agents are trained to take a critical look at each piece in your trip puzzle.
They make sure each piece meets your specific needs, so you’re happy with every penny you spent.
3. They can make sense of the multitude of offers from cruise lines and airlines and hotels.  
This year travel companies are offering more brands than ever before in history—on land, in the air and on the seas. Is Royal Caribbean the right cruise for you? Is Delta Light good enough? A travel professional can decipher the subtle differences and choose the one that fits your requirements for this unique trip.
4. Travel professionals save you time and money.  
The time and money you spend with them will be returned to you many times over in the form of perks, upgrades, convenience and great service. 
5. They are your advocate.  
Whether you need an upgrade to an ocean view or a ticket out of harm’s way after an earthquake, your travel agent will be there for you, intervening with suppliers on your behalf.
6. They are the experts.  
Like a doctor or an accountant, a travel counselor will ask the right questions, listen to your answers, understand your pain, and offer expert advice to guide you in making one of your most important decisions—how to spend your invaluable time off. Because there are no do-overs for a vacation gone wrong.
7. Knowledge is power.  
From the visa and passport requirements to the name of the maĆ®tre d’ at the best restaurant in town, a good travel agent has the inside information that makes your trip perfect. 
8. They have your back.  When things go wrong, a travel professional knows whom to call to get it fixed on the spot. If your flight is canceled, just have a seat and pick up the phone while the rest of the passengers are lined up trying to rebook. Didn't get the room category you booked? No need to argue with the front desk. One call will get it corrected.
9. They are your personal shopper. 
Over time your travel professional gets to know you and your family, your likes and dislikes. You are so much more than a sale to them—and they provide the human connection that makes every transaction more pleasant and meaningful. Plus by supporting local businesses, you support your community.
10. They can offer customized experiences that no one else can.  
After many years in the business, a travel professional has the connections to arrange for the side trips, the special passes, the upgrades and little touches that are not available to the general public. Because in this wide and amazing and wonderful world, you just don't know what you don't know. So ask someone who does—ask your local travel agent!  
This Blog Was Written By Cheryl Rosen

10 Reasons Why You Should Travel NOW!

Take your luggage and dare to get out of your comfort zone

Because It Is Always The Perfect Time To Travel

Many times the daily life, your work or even your family brings you into a routine from where it is very hard to get out. You are always looking for the perfect time to go to the beach, to go for a massage, to have some time for you, to travel, nevertheless, always is the perfect time to do what you want to do.
If you are the kind of people that are always looking for the perfect time to travel, we want you to keep reading this blog post, because here we share with you 10 reason you should travel now!
Picture Credit: Pexels

1.- Because you work hard and you deserve it

Is there a better way to celebrate work and success than traveling? No matter if it is somewhere nearby or abroad, alone or accompanied, you deserve to enjoy that well-deserved rest!

 2.- Because it’s time for another adventure

If you have a stressful life, whether studying or working too much, traveling may be the time to take a break. Get out of the monotony, enjoy all the beautiful things that a new place can give you. Because if you do not enjoy now, when then?
Picture Credit: Pexels

3.- Because it helps for your personal growth

Going on a trip helps you grow in more than one aspect of your life, it makes you a more tolerant, understanding, and patient person. It opens a world of possibilities where you realize that everything has nuances.

4.- Because you meet new people, flavors, and things

One of the most rewarding things you can get when you travel is meeting people, people who share with you their customs, their feelings and sometimes their home. Don’t miss this opportunity!
If you have decided to travel, we invite you  to read:  The 10 Best Apps For Travelers
Picture Credit: Pexels

5.- Because you reinvent yourself and reinvent the world

When you change, the world changes. You travel, and new thoughts come to you, only your way of being will never be the same because of the experiences. What are you waiting for to travel?

6.- Because it makes you free

When you travel you don’t have to give explanations to anyone, you can follow your rhythm and your desires. We are sure that this will awaken your adventurous side. So dare and travel!
Picture Credit: Pexels

7.- Because it helps your creativity

There is nothing more that will feed your imagination and creativity than traveling. All your senses come in contact with new colors, new flavors, new sounds, new textures that make a revolution in your mind and creativity.

8.- Because it helps you break the routine and leave everything behind

Traveling allows you to disconnect from the real world for a while, turn off your cell phone, forget about your responsibilities. When you travel there are no couriers, you don’t think about accounts, duties or problems. Sometimes our brain needs to rest to get rid of old thoughts and welcome new ones.
Picture Credit: Pexels

9.- Because it helps you to face your fears

When you travel many times, you face fears and insecurities that you did not even know you had, which makes you a stronger and more courageous person

10.- Because after traveling nothing will be the same

After traveling, nothing will be the same. You will return to your work, to your life, and to your routine, but your countenance will have changed. You will be happier, more cheerful, more creative and eager to do new and positive things. By that time you will have discovered that everything was worth it.
Picture Credit: Pexels

This Blog Was Written By Guadalupe Dzul 

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How Will You Travel The World?

Concierge Cruises Is A Full Service Travel Agency. 

This Means That We Sell All Types Of Travel! 

How Will You Travel The World? 

AMTRAK VACATIONS - Travel Through The United States & Canada By Train

AMERICAN CRUISE LINE - Small Ship Cruising Done Perfectly! Traveling To East Coast Waterways, Mississippi River & Pacific Northwest

AMA WATERWAYS - River Cruising Traveling To Europe, Asia & Africa 

CRYSTAL CRUISES - Experience Redefined Luxury Aboard Our All Inclusive Cruises. Traveling To Destinations Around The World

CIE TOURS - Specializing In Pre Planned Escorted Tour To Ireland & Britain 

G ACTIVE - Hike, Bike & Kayak Your World Adventure - For The Active Traveler 

GOGO WORLDWIDE - All Inclusive Resorts Including Air, Hotel & Transfers - United States, Canada & Caribbean

INSIGHT VACATIONS -  Pre-Planned Tours For Europe Destinations

MAYFLOWER TOURS - Pre Planned Escorted Tours To Destinations Around The World Including The United States

PAUL GAUGUIN - Luxury Small Ship Experience Sailing To Tahiti, French Polynesia, Fiji & South Pacific

RAIL VACATIONS - See Europe By Rail 

SANDALS - Five Star Luxury - All Inclusive Resort Packages For The Caribbean Including Air, Hotel & Transfers

WINDSTAR CRUISES - A Yacht Experience. With Destinations To Caribbean & Mediterranean

Call Our Office To Receive A Quote & Start Traveling Today! 

Concierge Cruises - Travel Agency
239 772 1840

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Top 10 Reasons to Travel

Top 10 Reasons to Travel

Just for fun I thought I’d put together a list of some of my favorite reasons to travel.  I’m also curious to hear more about why you travel.  So without further adieu, these are my top 10 reasons for traveling.
New cultures and customs
I love learning about cultures and customs from other parts of the world.  It’s always interesting and intriguing to see how differently people behave in various parts of the planet.  It helps shape your perspective on life.
Loving the unknown
I love not knowing my way around a foreign country.  I never know what to expect, who I’m going to meet, or where I might end up.  It’s a bit of an adrenaline rush.
Understanding the world
In the media we oftentimes hear or read about what’s going on in other parts of the world, but it’s quite a different story to visit those countries yourself.  I visited China which is supposedly the next super power and I definitely didn’t get the impression there (I spent a month traveling all over).  Israel is supposed to be a massive war zone according to the media, again not true.  I traveled all over Israel and even saw the Hezbollah bases.
Scenery and nature
Sure I love the United States but other parts of the world also have quite a lot to offer in terms of nature and scenery.  I love nature and the outdoors and there are some truly amazing places out there.
New food
I love food, I really do.  In fact I actually get quite excited by food.  When I travel to other countries I love to experience their local cuisine.  I’ve tried some interesting things, everything from yak burgers to kangaroo meat.  Oftentimes food overseas is amazing, but every now and then you eat something that you wouldn’t mind never eating again.  We have great food in the States but let’s be honest, most of the things you get are quite American-ized.
Risk and adventure really help make traveling worthwhile.  I try not to have a strict schedule that I stick to and usually try to plan things on the fly.  It keeps me on my toes.
Time to think and reflect
When I travel I get a lot of time to think about my life and reflect on how things are going and how I want them to go.  I also get plenty of ideas for things I want to write/talk about or incorporate into my business practices.  It’s a great way to get lost and let your mind wander…especially if you’re sitting on a mountain thousands of feet in the air watching the sunset.
Appreciate what you have
Whenever I get back from a trip overseas I’m always so thankful for what I have and where I live.  I have great friends and live in what I consider to be one of the greatest places on earth, San Francisco.  I always miss my bed, my wifi connection, my friends, and the great local restaurants nearby.
Life is short
The world is a very large place and I definitely want to experiences everything I can while I’m still alive and young.  It’s hard for me to imagine not visiting certain parts of the world and experiencing new cultures and customs.  Life is short.  Experience it while you can.
Personal growth
When I travel I learn.  I learn about people and about how things work in other parts of the world.  I learn about what other people believe and how they interact with one another.  I learn how to adapt, how to be independent, and how to get by in a place where I don’t know anybody or speak the local language.  I learn how to make friends with strangers and how to deal with accidents and challenges.  I learn how to stay mobile and how to live with just what I need.  I learn how to read people, how to avoid scams, and how to trust (or not trust) people.  All of these things help me grow as a person which helps me live a life worth living.
Why do you travel?

Saturday, December 9, 2017

My Personal Experience As I Traveled In Havana, CUBA

My Name Is Lynnette & I Am A Travel Agent With Concierge Cruises - Travel Agency. 

I Recently Had The Pleasure Of Traveling To Cuba Aboard Norwegian Cruise Line. The Ship Was Called Sky. This Country Is A New Experience. American Citizens Have Been Unable To Travel To Cuba For Over 50 Years. Therefore, It Was Important To Myself That I Experience Cuba First Hand. It Turns Out Much Of The Information Given To Us In The States Was Incorrect. So I Have Provided A First Hand Experience All About Cuba. 

This First Thing You Hear About Traveling To Cuba Is That You Are Required To Participate In "People To People Travel". This Means That You Must Keep A Record Of Your Travels In Cuba. What Did You See Or Do. If You Book A Shore Excursion Through The Cruise Ship Than You Have Met The Requirement Of People To People Travel. At No Time Did We Have To Report To The Ship What We Did While In Cuba. We Were Told To Keep Our Records For A Period Of Five Years. The Government May Require Proof Of What You Did While In Cuba. 

Havana Is The Largest City & Also The Capital Of Cuba. Cuba Is Home To More Than 11 Million People. The Government Offers Free Medical, Free College Education, Free Funeral Expenses And Free Food To All Of It's Residents. This Sounds Amazing However Everything Is Rationed & This Gives The Government More Control Over The People. 

Most Of Cuba Is In Ruins. Most Of The Buildings Destroyed. However The Government Has Recently Started To Repair Cuba. There Was Alot Of Construction Throughout The Country. Cuba Is Required To Keep The Original Building. They Are Not Allowed To Destroy The Old Building A Then Build A New Building. Throughout Cuba You See New Buildings Being Built Around Old Buildings. Now That The Renovations Have Begun You See Many Nice Buildings & Houses Around The Area. 

We Found That By Interacting With The Local People They Were Happy To Have Us In Their Country. We Heard Stories Of There Families. Stories Of The Nightlife. Stories Of Day To Day Living. Most Of The People Were Very Friendly. We Did Experience A Few People That Were Not Polite But That Is To Be Expected When Traveling. 

We Departed Miami On Monday & By Tuesday Morning We Had Arrived In Havana, Cuba For An Over Night Stay. We Wished To Stay Longer However The Cuba Government Does Not Allow The Cruise Ships To Stay Longer Than A Day & Half. 

Before Arrival In Cuba We Needed To Purchase A Travel Visa. You Must Have A Valid Passport Book Not The Passport Card. The Passport Must Be Valid For More Than Six Months. The Visa Was Provided To Us By The Cruise Line. 

We Began Our Tuesday By Leaving The Ship. We Needed To Have Our Ship Key Card With Us At All Times. We Proceeded To Immigration. They Stamped Our Passport And Took The Visa That We Had Purchased To Travel To Cuba. Then We Proceeded To Customs. This Was The Security Check For Ourselves & Bags As We Entered Into Cuba. We Were Immediately Greeted By The Cruise Line Staff Taking Pictures. 

We Then Proceeded To The Money Exchange. This Is Where We Exchanged Our US Dollars Into Pesos. We Found It Was Necessary To Travel With Two Different Types Of Currency. Some Of The Local People Wanted Only Cuban Pesos While Others Wanted US Dollars. The Local People Would Charge Extra Once They Realized You Had US Dollars. For Example We Were Quoted $ 10.00 For An Item. They Would Tell Us The Price Was $12.00 If We Were Paying With US Dollars. We Assumed This Was To Cover The Cost Of The Exchange Rate. Credit Cards Are Not Accepted Any Where On The Island. You Could Also Exchange Canadian Dollars Or Euros Into Cuba Pesos. 

Then We Headed Down The Stairs And Into The Bus Area Where We Met Our Tour Guide. We Boarded Our Bus And Began Our Tour Of Cuba. We Saw Old Havana, New Havana, East Havana And West Havana. This Bus Tour Was Very Informative. We Learned About The Culture & History Of Cuba. Our Tour Guide Spoke English With An Accent. We Could Understand Him. Most Of Our Tour Was On The Bus Driving By The Local Sites. However We Did Stop & Walk At The " El Castillo De Los Tres Reyes Del Mooro" An Historical Fort. We Were Able To Do Some Shopping. At This Store They Accepted Pesos, US Dollars & Canadian Dollars. However They Were Not Thrilled About Figuring Out The Exchange Rate On The Money. This Store Offered Rum, Coffee And Cigars. We Drove By The National Hotel, The American Embassy, The University Of Havana & The Christopher Columbus Cemetery. We Were Able To Visit A 65 Feet Tall Statue Called " El Cristo De La Habana" Which Represents The Entrance To The Havana Harbor. This Statue Is Referred To As The Jesus Statue. We Traveled Through A Tunnel To The Beautiful Palm Tree-Lined Fifth Avenue. We Were Educated On The Cuban Architecture Which Demonstrated The Transition From Colonial To Modern Times. The Tour Returned Us To Our Terminal. I Was Impressed That The Driver And Tour Guide Did Not Ask For A Tip. However When We Offered A Tip They Graciously Accepted It.  

We Proceeded Back To The Ship To Have Lunch. On The Return We Went Through Security And Immigration Again. This Time Was Much Faster Due To The Fact That They All Ready Had Our Visa On File & Our Passports Were All Ready Stamped. 

After Lunch We Left The Ship. Immigration & Customs Again. We Found A Cuban Gentleman With A Horse & Cart. For Ten Pesos Each He Took Us About 15 Minutes Away From The Ship To A Flea Market. He Agreed To Come Back In An Hour To Pick Us Up. The Flea Market Was For All The Locals To Sell There Products. We Saw Art Work, Souvenirs Items, Handmade Leather Bags, Wallets, Handmade Crochet Hats, Shirts And Bathing Suits. Wood Cars Which You Could Have Your Name Engraved On. Coffee Mugs, Shot Glasses, Wind Chimes & So Much More! The Locals Would Ask You In To The Booth. If You Refused They Stopped Asking. Most Of Them Were Bilingual Speaking Spanish & English. Many Of Them Negotiated On Prices. Very Nice Experience. In One Hour A Different Gentleman Stood Outside The Front Entrance. He Waited For Us To Come Out. He Said " Lady Your Horse Is Here". The Same Gentleman We Had Before Returned To Pick Us Up As He Promised. For 5 Pesos Each He Returned Us To Our Ship. 

In Our Travels We Learned That If You Let The Local Person Takes Your Picture They Expect You To Pay Them For Taking The Picture. Be Aware Of This When Traveling Throughout Cuba. We Met Many People Wanting To Take A Picture.

We Returned To The Ship For Dinner. Immigration & Customs Again. 

After Dinner We Left The Ship. Immigration & Customs Again. We Met Our Tour Guide Where We Boarded A Bus To Enjoy The Legendary Tropicana Cabaret. The Night Club Was Located About 30 Minutes From The Ship. There Was Dress Code For The Evening.  Upon Arrival Our Tour Guide Paid For The Show. The Ladies Received Carnations. The Men Cigars. We Were Charged 5 Pesos To Take Pictures Of The Performance. However, No One Checked To Make Sure We Had A Ticket For The Pictures. Our Table Was In Front Of The Stage. Amazing Location. The Show Was Held In A Club Built In 1939, Surrounded By Trees And Located Outside. The Production Included Over 200 Dancers & Singers Performing Under The Stars. We Received Complimentary Bottled Water, Champagne, Rum, Coke And Peanuts To Enjoy During The Performance. Other Food And Drinks Were Available For An Additional Cost. The Performance Was Music, Spanish Singing, Costumes, Dancing And Lighting. By Far The Most Incredible Show Ever Seen And A Highlight Of My Cuba Trip. We Left The Ship At 9:00 PM And Returned To The Ship At 1:30 AM. Even At The Late Hour We Were Still Required To Go Through Immigration & Customs However It Went Quickly.  

The Next Morning Wednesday We Awoke At 8:00 AM. Had Breakfast On The Ship.  
Immigration & Customs Again. We Were Told It Was Not Safe To Walk Around Cuba. I Could Not Disagree More With This Statement. Walking Around The Town You See Roads Go On And On. Side Streets, Business & Houses. The Town Was Located Directly Across The Street From The Ship. We Walked Across The Street & Found The Local Shops Were Open. We Experienced Beautiful Parks, Local People Dressed In Authentic Cuba Costumes, A Lady Singing Opera In The Street Selling Flowers, Local Bands Playing Latin Music At A Restaurant. A Little Coffee Shop Serving Cuban Coffee Much Like Our Espresso For Only One Peso. We Found A Pharmacy, A Eye Doctor, A Photo Shop, A Bookstore & Museums Full Of Artwork. The Buildings Were A Site To See. The Architecture Is From Early 1950's. Cars From The Early 1950's Lined The Streets. Most Of The People Were Bilingual Speaking Spanish And English. We Had No Problem Communicating With Them. One Resident Gave Us Directions Back To The Ship. Very Enjoyable Day And A Great Way To Experience Cuba. 

The Roads Are Made Of Cobblestone. Some Are Cracked. Wear Comfortable Walking Shoes. 

After Speaking With Several Different Customers We Decided That Renting A Private Car With A Driver Was The Best Way To See Cuba. The Driver Is All Yours. A Total Of Four Hours. The Driver Will Speak English. They Take You To All The Sites You Wish To See. They Allow You Time To Get Out & Walk Around The Sites. You Can Request To Go To A Particular Place Or Ask The Driver For Recommendations Of Something To See. The Driver Will Not Ask For A Tip But Will Graciously Accept One. 

When We Returned To The Ship. We Were Greeted By The Norwegian Cruise Line Staff. Offering Us A Cool Wash Cloth, Drinks And Playing Latin Music. 

No Where In Havana, Cuba Was Internet Or WiFi Available. My Cell Phone Had No Service. We Were Told That The Water Was Not Safe To Drink. We Drank Only Bottled Water From The Ship. Toilet Paper Was Not Available In The Terminal Bathroom. The Bathroom Was Not Clean And Should Only Be Used In The Case Of A Severe Emergency. The Bathroom Was Clean With Toilet Paper In The Tropicana Club. This Was A More Upscale Facility. It Was Necessary To Carry Toilet Paper Or Tissues With You When Traveling In Cuba. 

Throughout Our Cruise The Ship Played Latin Music, Served Cuban Food, Offered Cuba Souvenirs Including Rum And Cigars. The Cuba Experience Followed Us Back Onto The Ship. 

We Departed At Noon On Wednesday. By Far An Incredible Experience. I Am Looking Forward To Returning To Havana, Cuba In The Future!