– Avalon Myanmar – Myanmar River Cruise – April 2017
*Azamara Club Cruises – Azamara Journey – Singapore to Dubai (April 8, 2018)
* Azamara Quest – Southeast Asia and Japan (February 2015)
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? – Part I
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part II
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part III
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part IV
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? – Some Final Observations and Thoughts
– The Prologue to the Travelogue
– The Adventure Begins…With a Bump or Two
– Settling In Made Easy
– Luxury Touches Here, There and OK, Not, Everywhere…But There Are Lots of Them!
– Asian Flair Onboard and On Shore
– Private Tours, Israel and Conflicts in Perceptions and Perspective
Celebrity Equinox 2009 – Egypt…Impressive and Depressing
– Dining With the Captain and the Reidel Wine Seminar
– The Last Dinner (Tuscan Grille) and Disembarkation
– What Happens When A Class Act Meets Highly Discounted Cruise Fare
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part I
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part II
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part III
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part IV (Food & Wine!)
– Princess Cruises Doesn’t Treat You Like Royalty; Celebrity Cruises Does! Which is a Better Value for the Upscale Cruise Guest? Part I
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. -Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part II: The Standard Veranda Staterooms
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part III: Treating You Right From The Start
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part IV: The Wine Lists Speak Volumes (As Do The Beverage Packages)
Regent Seven Seas Voyager – August 2017
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part I
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part II (Getting There, The Stateroom and First Impressions)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part III (“You Can’t Teach Five Star Service” and Bonafacio, Corsica)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part IV (Calvi, Monaco, Portofino, Porto Azzurro…and Stale Bread)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part V (My Last Day…and How The Chef’s Team Makes It Happen)
Seabourn’s new Australian sales and support office may sound like news, but to me it doesn’t mean much for the Australian cruise consumer today and, possibly, it won’t mean much for a couple of years.
Why do I say this?
And who am I to say this?
Goldring Travel is a non-resident member of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) and I have a number of Australian clients. (And as the rest of the world, for some reason, lumps New Zealand in the same market…and it isn’t the same market…Goldring Travel has quite a few New Zealanders clients too.) In addition, I spent years in Brisbane (Bulimba, actually) working in the superyacht industry and I still have close friends there.
And because of my love of Australia and its cultures (Queenslanders are much different than there countrymates from Sydney!) I have made significant effort to be involved in the luxury cruise business Down Under for years. Goldring Travel even has a Brisbane telephone number: 07 3102 4685, so contacting us is only a local call. (And my clients know that I am available for extended hours, so the time difference isn’t much of an issue at all.)
When these local connections are combined with Eric Goldring being one of the world’s top single travel agents selling Seabourn cruises with clients from countries as diverse as China to Angora, Great Britain to Italy and, of course, Australia among others, Goldring Travel’s knowledge, experience, affiliation and savvy to provide the best cruise purchasing and customer support experience for the Australian consumer becomes obvious.
Looking at the present day Australian market, we all know that there are only a few travel agencies that are actually experienced with cruise holidays. This lack of competition and competence does not bode well for the present day Australian consumer in the area of Price, Information or Service. (By the way, Goldring Travel offers its cruises – with discounts and/or added amenities – in U.S. Dollars and, to be sure, that is a huge benefit to those who want to take advantage of the historically great exchange rate…as the Australian Dollar goes much further!)
To be sure, with the major cruise lines just now bringing support to the Australian travel agencies there remains a period where they must establish themselves, train the agents, have sales go from booking through sailing and, of course, getting qualified travel agents to experience the product. Trust me on this: Looking at a brochure or reading off a computer screen is no way to match a client’s desires with the information he/she needs to make an informed decision as to the cruise they want to take.
At some point in the future, there will be more qualified luxury cruise travel agencies physically located in Australia…but you are interested in your cruise holiday today.
There is one other aspect that you must also be concerned with: Is your travel agent sufficient comfortable to sell you a luxury cruise holiday? In the luxury travel business there is sort of a “golden rope” which many travel agents fear to cross. Luxury travel can be intimidating for a travel agent that hasn’t sold it before…or much of it. There are countless times I have heard: “Seabourn? Crystal? Silversea? They were never offered to be me as an option.” And if they were offered, they were not explained properly.