Sage advice from one of our favorite caterers

I had to share this recent blog post from our friends at Coastal Gourmet Catering   In working together on an educational seminar for brides and grooms, we each learned a lot about the other’s business. They then took the next step to share that newfound information — about why and how to use a travel agent — with their catering clients. Love it!  And you’ll love the creative, beautiful, delicious touches that they can bring to your next event 🙂

Excuse me, can I return this vacation?

Have you ever purchased something online and been disappointed when it arrived? Maybe it turned out to be the wrong color, or it didn’t fit, or it just wasn’t exactly what you had pictured when you saw it on that web site.  With a sweater, you can just return it … but what do you do if it’s a vacation that you had purchased?? Most people are pretty disappointed when they find out that they’ve wasted vacation time and money on something that’s not quite what they expected.

I just came across a great column that describes some of these travel mishaps and mistakes that can happen (recognize any?) and reinforces the fact that using a travel agent could have helped to avoid all of them. It’s true what they say … “Without a travel agent, you’re on your own”.

A cautionary tale about online booking

Travel columnist Chris Elliott has a great article today that illustrates exactly what can happen when you trust your all-important vacation to a discount online booking service.

I feel bad for the person involved (especially since they made her cry!) but I hear SO many stories like this, and I just wonder what the people were thinking?

“Cheapo Air”?  Seriously?!

Without a travel agent, you’re on your own.

Onboard dining

For those who have never cruised, and who resist trying it, one of the main reasons given is the fear of gaining weight while on board.

Now, I don’t want to validate that fear, since it’s certainly possible to counteract a little overindulgence by using the fitness facilities and taking the stairs instead of the elevators, but I will say that the dining experience is one of the big draws for many cruisers — myself included!  So it’s interesting to see how shipboard dining is evolving these days.

A recent article in the Miami Herald does a good job of summarizing some of the changes and explaining the new options available — including standard dining, “My Time dining”, in-cabin dining, specialty restaurants, and more. Suffice it to say that today’s cruise ships offer something for everyone, from the traditionalist who likes a set time and table with white glove service… a free spirit who wants to eat pizza at 3 a.m.

My advice? Talk to a travel professional who can match you with the right cruise line, with the right dining options to meet your “tastes”.  And skip those elevators rather than skipping dessert!

You provided excellent guidance for us. I appreciated that you really had us think about what was most important to us when we were selecting the right cruise – and not to totally focus on what other people had to say. THANK YOU for helping to make this a memorable trip for our family! It really was a trip of a lifetime!

Clare and Mark (family cruise to Alaska)

The level of service we experienced was out of this world (and we did NOT make it easy on Ann). We weren’t quite sure where we wanted to go, when we would be able to go, or what “vibe” we were going for. After asking us some key questions (what we liked, didn’t like, why, etc.) Ann helped us narrow down our trip details and planned the honeymoon of our dreams. She helped book some of our excursions, answered some emergency questions while abroad and was always available/willing to help. I think it’s safe to say we won’t be using anyone else for future travel planning – Ann is a rockstar!

Carli (Italy and Spain)