Celebrations International Travel Blog

Posts Tagged ‘travel agency

Happy New Year, everyone!  In 2012 and beyond, our blog entries will appear directly on the Celebrations International Travel Web site, at www.celebrationsinternationaltravel.com/blog

Thank you for reading, and please do visit us on our new page!  Happy New Year, and here’s to your travels in 2012!

This article in The Washington Post was brought to my attention this morning:

Travelers Turn Back to Travel Agents

Taj Mahal    Normally I don’t read articles like this in detail, but what got my attention was that it recounts the experience of a traveler who asked his travel agent to book a 10-day trip to India on short notice.  When we first opened Celebrations International Travel in 2005, we booked itineraries like this every day.  The reason was that we worked with adoption travel at that time, and most of our clients departed within 7-10 days of purchasing their arrangements.  With that being said, we had several clients who left within 48 – 72 hours of completing their arrangements.  No, that is not a misprint!

We know and understand that as travelers, you always have a choice as to how, where, and with whom you book your travel arrangements.  I’ll be the first to admit there are great travel deals to be found online, and travelers can indeed book on their own.  However, there really is no substitute for the expertise that a good travel agent brings to the table.

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Here’s another interesting and fun episode in Princess Cruises‘ video diary.  We get a glimpse of how the crew working on the Grand Princess’s renovations get to spend their free time while in the Bahamas.

For cruisers, it’s a nice, brief overview of the destination, except for the white sand beaches the Bahamas are famous for.  Let Celebrations International Travel’s Princess Cruises Certified Experts help you plan your next cruise vacation!

Celebrations International Travel - Royal Caribbean Cruise Line

If you have cruised with Royal Caribbean or thinking about taking a Royal Caribbean cruise vacation, here is an informative video about the enhancements to their passenger loyalty program.

If you have questions or are ready to book your next Royal Caribbean cruise, contact us today.

Celebrations International Travel : Celebrating Life Through Travel (sm)

Celebrations International Travel is pleased to announce that Adrienne and Agni Mitra were recently sworn in to the Professional Profit Producers chapter of BNI (Business Network International) in Chandler, Arizona. 

We invite you to explore our blog to learn more about Adrienne and Agni and their travels, or click here

We are excited about this new opportunity, and we look forward to getting to know as many of our fellow BNI members as possible.  Please contact us at your convenience.

“They don’t care what you do!” my BNI (Business Network International) trainer emphasized repeatedly.  He was referring to the fact that in most cases, your profession emphatically implies what you do.  He wanted to impress upon us the fact that it’s not what you do, but the benefits you can offer people that captures their interest.

With that in mind,  you all know that travel agents help arrange travel. 

Here are some things that you may not know that some travel agents do, including myself and my agency, Celebrations International Travel:

– Meetings/Events at Sea or On Location:  My agency can help you organize a meeting or event on a cruise, or at an all-inclusive resort or a hotel in the city of your choice and take care of the details!

– Group Pricing Without A Group:  Who says you always have to travel with ten of your best friends to qualify for group rates?  At Celebrations International Travel, we’ve reserved space on many popular cruise sailings that allow us to offer the savings of group rates to our clients, whether you’re traveling as a couple or bringing all your friends and family along.  With some notice, similar arrangements can be made at all-inclusive resorts or for escorted tours.

– Fundraising:  That’s right….You can help raise funds for your favorite charity or cause through your travels.  Contact us to find out more.

– Itinerary Planning:  Even if you have a good idea about where and when you want to travel, a good travel agent can provide you with good tips and advice on things to see and do (and the best days/times to do them), the best ways to get around, and good places to eat and shop.  Especially for international destinations with which you aren’t familiar, your agent may be able to give you practical advice on currency exchanges, taxi services, money-saving ideas, and general travelers’ safety.

– Special Occasions & Celebrations:  We believe in Celebrating Life Through Travel!  If you’re celebrating a special occasion on your trip, let your travel agent know so that he/she can do their best to help you celebrate!

As a follow-up to my post on the use of professional travel agents, I’d like to talk about an innovation that my agency, Celebrations International Travel,  introduced last year.  I should stress that I think this, or any other online travel site, is best used when travelers have a good idea of what they want and are familiar with the destination and type of travel involved.  For all other trips, I highly recommend contacting a full-service, professional travel agency directly.

The Internet has become an indispensable tool for the majority of us, and I think it’s fair to say there’s no turning back now!  But a pet peeve I’ve always had about booking travel on the Internet is the lack of human interaction and contact.

Buying travel isn’t like buying a book or CD.  You can always return or have an item replaced, but if something happens to cause your hard-earned vacation plans to go sour, what then?  If it was booked through an online mega-agency, chances are you’ll have to call the customer service number on the Web site and speak to a rep who doesn’t know you or your travel plans, and could very well be reciting to you from a manual.

In an effort to improve the travel booking experience, Celebrations International Travel introduced Celebrations Travel Online, an automated booking site that allows travelers the flexibility and convenience of booking travel via the Internet, but with the added convenience and peace-of-mind that comes with the personalized service of a professional travel agent.

Agents are on hand to answer any questions prior to booking, and all bookings made via Celebrations Travel Online are serviced by an agent of Celebrations International Travel, our full-service agency.  We always contact the traveler to answer any questions, and to make sure they’ve received and understand their travel documents, procedures, and who to call if they need anything.  We think this combined automated booking and personal service gives travelers the best of both worlds:  modern technology and dedicated, personal service.

Celebrations International Travel...Celebrating Life Through Travel

With the advent of the Internet, travelers have greater access and more options than ever when it comes to booking trips.  I’ll be the first to admit that using the Internet is indeed a convenient way to book travel.  But I don’t think it’s always the best option, especially if you’re considering an extensive or detailed trip, or if the trip involves a destination or type of travel that you’re not familiar with.

In these cases, why not consider using a professional travel agent?  A good, knowledgeable travel agent is trained to ask the right questions, make suitable recommendations based on your needs, wants, and travel budget, and make your arrangements in a way that best ensures a smooth and hassle-free trip.

At many agencies, including Celebrations International Travel, it does not cost you extra to use our services.  Then how do we get paid, you ask?  The travel suppliers we work with pay us.  So there is no extra cost to you, our clients; and it is in our best interest to find you the best deal possible on travel experiences you’ll thoroughly enjoy.

The next time you have the urge to get away, to enjoy some much-needed time off, why not leave the planning to the pro’s?  Celebrations International Travel’s agents would be more than happy to help you plan the perfect vacation.  Contact us to learn more about how we can help you.

Celebrations International Travel...Celebrating Life Through Travel

I hear Alaska referred to in many ways as a destination:  Alaska is a great place for families.  Alaska is great for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.   People travel to Alaska to see the “Last Frontier,” the unspoiled natural beauty that isn’t found in most places anymore.

These might all sound like cliches, but the fact of the matter is that while no destination can be all things to all people, Alaska truly does offer something for just about everyone.

Here are a few of my personal favorites, listed by the type(s) of travelers to whom they are mostly geared:

For Those Who Prefer Sightseeing and/or Less Physically Demanding Activities:

Ketchikan by Horse-Drawn Trolley  Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau, Alaska

Motorcoach Tour of Ketchikan + Visit to Totem Bight State Park

Mendenhall Glacier Tour + Salmon Bake (Juneau)

Mount Roberts Tramway (Juneau)

Klondike Summit & Suspension Bridge (Skagway)

Klondike Highway Drive & Caribou Crossing Lunch (Skagway)

Skagway’s Original Streetcar

White Pass Summit Train Ride (Skagway)

Double-Decker Bus Tour in Victoria, B.C.

For Culinary Enthusiasts:

View of Skagway

Creek Street in Ketchikan

Victoria Pub Tour

City Lights, Wine & Chocolate (Victoria)

Grand Victoria & High Tea at the Empress Hotel

Alaskan Chef’s Table (Ketchikan)

Wilderness Exploration & Crab Feast (Ketchikan)

Salmon Bake (most commonly experienced in Juneau, although available in other ports)

Alaska Cooking School + Beer Tastings (Juneau)

Alaska Garden Gourmet Culinary Tour (Skagway)

Delectable Jewell Gardens (Skagway)

Taste of Skagway

Nature Lovers & Photographers:

See and photograph bears and other wildlife in Alaska

See and photograph bears and other wildlife in Alaska

Rainforest Wildlife Sanctuary (Ketchikan)

Coastal Wildlife Cruise (Ketchikan)

Bear Watch (Ketchikan)

Dog Sled Summer Camp (Juneau)

Whale Watching & Wildlife Quest or Evening Whale Quest (Juneau)

Photo Safari by Land & Sea (Juneau)

Alaska Nature & Wildlife Expedition – Scenic Cruise + Wildlife Search (Skagway)

Long-Horned Sheep

Long-Horned Sheep

Eagle Preserve Wildlife River Adventure – Scenic Cruise to Haines + Jet Boat Cruise & Meal at the Preserve (Skagway)

For Families with Children:

Totems & Lumberjack Combo (Ketchikan)

Bering Sea Crab Fisherman’s Tour (Ketchikan)

Menhall Glacier & Salmon Hatchery Tour (Juneau)

Gold Panning (commonly in Juneau or Skagway)

Jewell Gardens – Take a walk through the gardens.  The kids will especially enjoy seeing the model railroad on display. (Skagway)

Enchanting Buchart Gardens (Victoria)

For Active Travelers:

Rainforest Canopy Ropes & Zipline Park (Ketchikan); similar excursions also available in Skagway

Back Country Jeep & Canoe Safari (Ketchikan)

Sled Dogs in  Yukon

Sled Dogs in Yukon

Alpine Zip & Glacier Adventure (Juneau)

Bike & Tram Elevation Sensation (Juneau)

Horseback Riding in Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park (Skagway)

Klondike Rock Climbing & Rappelling (Skagway)

There are also numerous opportunities to enjoy dog sledding, kayaking, canoeing, hiking, snorkeling, biking, fishing and other active pursuits in Alaska.  The sky’s the limit, literally!

For Culture Enthusiasts:

Saxman Native Village (Ketchikan)

Totem Poles

Authentic Totem Poles

Potlatch Park & Heritage Tour (Ketchikan)

Liarsville Experience (Skagway)

Glassblowing Experience at Jewell Gardens (Skagway)

Skagway’s Custom Classic Cars

Waterfront Walking Tour (Victoria)



These are just a few ideas for the many ways you might enjoy spending your time in port on your Alaskan cruise.  While many cruise lines offer similar shore excursions, some experiences may be unique to the individual cruise lines.  Contact us for more information or to book your own Alaskan cruise vacation!


Many thanks to Joy at Gourmeted.com for her blog post yesterday profiling Celebrations International Travel as a sponsor and highlighting our Culinary Tours.

Gourmeted.com

I had the pleasure of speaking with Joy recently after a couple of months of e-mailing.  Not surprisingly, we share a common love of great food and world travel.  Joy enlightened me with the notion that there are many other “people like us” out there who take their love of food and cooking seriously, and want to travel the world to delight in this passion.

It is my hope that in collaboration with Joy, I can impart my knowledge and love of both travel and culinary excellence, helping food and wine enthusiasts enjoy custom culinary experiences around the world.

Celebrations International Travel - Custom Culinary Tours


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This is blog based on the experiences and interests of travel agency owners Adrienne and Agni Mitra. Through our blog entries, we will share our travel experience and expertise. We will also have other entries of interest to inspire your travels.

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