The Queen Mary 2 Rocks…….Literally

The Queen Mary 2 had her chance to shine as we sailed out of New York City on October 28, 2012… right as super storm Sandy was making her way into the harbor.  Despite the fact that we had 90 mph winds and 30-40 foot swells, the Queen Mary 2 took it all in stride, taking us across the North Atlantic to England right on time 7 days later.  There were moments where we thought to ourselves, “this is the roughest sailing we have EVER been on” and at the same time we were so thankful for the people that designed the QM2 to be able to handle such rough seas.

Moving on to the positives, the QM2 had so many great things to offer:

The only Planetarium at Sea.  The problem was that it was hard to stay awake when watching the presentation while reclined on a rocking ship.

Lecture Series – Cunard Insights.  This is something we have never really experienced before.  The majority of the cruises that we choose to go on have ports of call and family friendly activities going, so this was something new.  And surprisingly AWESOME.  We particularly liked Professor Thurber who talked about the American political system and how it works, specifically related to the 2012 Presidential Election.  Might sound boring, but it was surprisingly interesting and engaging.  There were 3 or 4 other speakers offering lectures on topics such as film history, the Concorde (pilot Tim Orchard) and Mark Butterworth from the Royal Astronomical Society.

 Largest Ballroom and Library at Sea.  I had afternoon tea in the ballroom a.k.a. the Queen’s Room.  It was elegant and obviously very English traditional.  I even got asked to dance!  Should have taken some of the available ballroom dance lessons prior.  :)  The library was always busy and people were checking books out right and left.  There was a bookstore right next to it that had all kinds of items for purchase.

Other than the crazy weather causing really rough seas, we had a great time.  We particularly like the relaxation of no ports of call, we were completely on our own schedule.  There were so many activities that we were never left wanting for something to do.  We especially liked the movies at sea including Arbitrage, Men in Black 3 and Step Up Revolution 3D!

Many other bar/lounge venues to check out on board.  The Golden Lion Pub for fish and chips and live music, the Chart Room for nightly jazz, the Commodore Club for a beautiful view and a pre-dinner drink, a Champagne bar, Sir Samuel’s for coffee, latte or hot cocoa made any way you like it and of course, the Casino.

The Queen Mary 2 offered us a lifetime experience and stories to tell.  Would I do it again, knowing what I know now?  Yes.  Would I sail through another hurricane if I had the choice?  Probably not.  🙂

Happy Sailing!





The Best Laid Plans……

No matter how hard and long you plan for something,  there is still no guarantee that all will go as you hope.  It could be the weather, work-related issues or sickness/injury that puts a kink in your plans, you just never know what can come up at the last minute.  I had been in the process of planning for a group cruise for over a year and wouldn’t you know it, three days before we were to set sail last month, one member of our party fell and broke her pelvis.  With this injury, there was no way she could have gone on this cruise and enjoyed herself.   I didn’t see this one coming!  Rats.

I always recommend to my clients that protecting your cruise vacation with insurance is the smart way to go and my group learned first hand how important this truly is.   Thankfully, they had chosen to protect their investment by purchasing vacation insurance and can expect a full refund.   While it was terribly upsetting that she and her husband had to miss the cruise, at least it wasn’t made worse by being out the money they had invested in the vacation.  Life can throw us surprises and while we don’t always know what’s coming, it is best to be prepared.

On to planning their next cruise vacation…..

Happy Sailing 🙂



Thank You for Helping Me Grow My Business!

The month of June has been the busiest month I have ever had in the cruise business and I love it!!!  Cruise vacations must be on the minds of many now as summer sets in.  Lots of great bookings this month, mostly from new clients which means my business is growing, woohoo!! I love the fact that one of my new clients searched for a cruise professional using CLIA credentials and found me on LinkedIn.   (It’s fun to tell that story Natalie :) )  My husband, Jason, of Blue Gurus, thought that was great since he is a big promoter for the business side of social media.   Another new client babysat me when I was a kid 30-some years ago and is from my hometown of Clay Center, KS, how fun is that?!

What has been exciting is the variety of itineraries that I have been researching.   The Mediterranean, Canada/New England and  Caribbean have been top of mind for my clients.  Some sailing this fall and others the fall of 2013 to see the color changes in the Northeast, another planning to be on the inaugural sailing of the Royal Princess in the Mediterranean next summer, wow!  Some are even planning their first Disney cruise for late next year, their daughter cannot wait!

I just wanted to share my excitement for my growing business and my passion for cruising.  Thank you to all my past, current and new clients for trusting me with your cruise vacation plans.  I look forward to your repeat business and any referrals you pass along, thank you!!

Happy Sailing 🙂




Cruise3sixty – Amazing Cruise Training Event

Wow, what a fabulous time I had in Ft. Lauderdale at the Cruise3sixty conference this year!!  Cruise3sixty, the official travel agency conference of the cruise line industry, is also the leader in educational training and networking opportunities for cruise industry travel  professionals.

I was surrounded by people that love cruising as much as I do and every morning I woke up to a different ship in port!  This year I was also able to attend the graduation event to celebrate my accomplishment of obtaining my ACC (Accredited Cruise Counsellor) certification.  My days were filled with CLIA seminars, cruise line product updates, general sessions with top cruise industry executives and of course, ship inspections.  I was able to tour and have lunch on board 3 ships:  the Emerald Princess, Holland America’s ms Maasdam and the Carnival Valor.  This is a great way for me to see the different products offered by the different cruise lines.  I think the one of the best parts of the ship tours this year was having Carnival’s signature Warm Chocolate Melting Cake on the Valor, the best dessert I’ve ever had on a cruise ship.  Super yum!!  We had it almost every night when we sailed on the Carnival Valor for my parent’s 40th wedding anniversary in 2009.

Having been on board over 15 different ships helps me narrow down the style/type of cruise my clients are looking for.  Each cruise line offers something special and it is my job to match up the client with the right cruise line and ship.  The information that I take away from events like Cruise3sixty is priceless.  It helps me grow my business and makes me an even better cruise specialist so I can help you plan the cruise vacation of your dreams!

Happy Sailing!  🙂