Category Archives: Celebrity Cruises

Sail with Celebrity and Save!

Last week, Celebrity Cruises previewed its newest ship, coming in late 2018, Celebrity Edge.

This ship has some amazing features, including some new suites and infinite verandas, bringing you closer to the sea.

Don’t forget the Magic Carpet!

Bookings are open for the Celebrity Edge now for dates from mid-December 2018 through late-April 2019, but space is limited so it’s time to book now!

With every Celebrity Edge booking that you make with Travel On A Dream that is deposited by March 31, you will receive an extra $25 onboard credit on top of our usual amounts.  You don’t need to do anything special to receive this, just book and apply the deposit to with your Travel On A Dream counselor today!

IN ADDITION TO CELEBRITY EDGE, we want to get you onboard a Celebrity cruise in 2017, so we have some special offers for you.

Book a Celebrity 2017 Equinox 7 night Caribbean sailing and you will receive 1 specialty dining credit for two (value of $100).

Book a 2017 Celebrity Europe cruise and you will receive 2 specialty dining credits for two (value of $200).

Book an April, May or June 2017 Celebrity Cruise and you will receive $150 onboard credit.

Bonuses apply to new bookings only.  All three of these offers are in addition to our usual onboard credit as well as Celebrity’s current offers, so what are you waiting for?  Contact your Travel On A Dream counselor today for these great offers!

Traveling to the Land Down Under

Once upon a time I was a young girl. That should read “back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth…” but I digress.

While watching TV, I saw the “I hate Qantas” commercial with a Koala lamenting the airline bringing tourists to Australia. I instantly wanted to visit this faraway land but realistically I knew it was like so many other dreams and probably would never happen.

Fast forward a lot of decades and I get an email from Celebrity Cruise line inviting us to go on a “Reunion Cruise” from Sydney, Australia to Auckland, New Zealand. The “Reunion” part was for repeat cruisers and, since we reached the Elite level of their loyalty program, it was promoted as having special events just for us. I showed my hubby and we decided to go for it.

Naturally, I turned to Tracy at Travel On A Dream to help us plan our epic vacation. The cruise part was easy. Much as we travel frequently, the rest was like planning a trip to the moon. After researching airlines I never knew existed (Fiji, New Zealand, Emirates) I picked (take a guess) Qantas.

Since we live in New York, it would mean a whole lotta time on an airplane. The first flight was from JFK to Los Angeles. Let me tell you, flying to the other side of the planet isn’t cheap so we opted for coach. Qantas uses huge Air Bus planes and I was relieved to find the seats to be fairly roomy. On every flight each seat comes equipped with a headphone, blanket and pillow.

On the “short” four and a half hour flight to LA, we were served dinner. On the longer flights we were also served breakfast. On the return flights, the hot breakfast was scrambled eggs, sausage, roasted tomatoes and BAKED BEANS!! Oh Qantas, you have a cruel sense of humor serving people on a 14 hour flight beans. There were a few times where I was sniffing my scented hand sanitizer until the puffs of bean clouds disappeared.

And yes, that’s not a typo. It’s 14 hours from Los Angeles to Sydney. Fortunately there’s a big selection of movies, TV shows, games, radio and music. Between meals they serve a snack and there’s a shelf stocked with treats that you help yourself to. Periodically, the flight attendants clean the bathrooms so you don’t have to practice beating the world record for holding your breath.

The weird part is adjusting to the space/time continuum. We left New York at 6:30pm on October 30th and arrived in Sydney at 8:30am on November 1st. October 31st simply disappeared. Conversely, we left Auckland (an additional 3 hour flight to Sydney on the way home) at 8:10am on November 18th and got to New York at 5:30pm still on the 18th. I swear Marty McFly and Doc Emmet Brown were in the cockpit.

So after spending an eternity on planes we arrived in Sydney. It actually happened!! I made it to that distant land on the other side of the globe!! So did our luggage!! (We don’t have the best luck with that flying from JFK.)

Next installment, exploring Sydney.

Onboard Booking Incentives

Many of my clients ask how they can get a discount on a cruise when a promotion is not available.  One risky way is to wait until a discount comes available, however this is only recommended when you don’t really care when you will be cruising, just that you want to be cruising.

The two best ways to save are to book early, as soon as possible after dates open, and to book while you are onboard.  Many cruise lines have onboard booking incentives but the key is that you have to pay that deposit before you get off the ship or the incentives go away.

With some lines like Norwegian Cruise Line, you will purchase a certificate or coupon to use on a later date. You do not name your travel agent at the time of booking with Norwegian, but with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity you do. These may or may not have a use deadline (Norwegian has a 4 year limit).

With other lines you will select your cruise date. Some will have perks for booking onboard. Royal Caribbean and Celebrity give you a potential upgrade and onboard credit. Disney offers a discount and onboard credit.

There may be limits on how many you can book onboard. Celebrity and Royal Caribbean limit you to three bookings per line. Disney limits the discounted bookings to two rooms on the same sailing, but additional rooms may be booked but only receive the onboard credit.

Most lines do offer a reduced deposit as well.

Disney Cruise Line’s changes to their onboard booking procedure last fall make them among the most stringent policies. You have 18 months from the date the quote was first produced to use the booking or lose the onboard booking incentives. You will receive $100 onboard credit on sailings of 3-6 nights and $200 onboard credit for sailings of 7 nights or more. If you initially book a 7 night sailing, you will receive a discount on the deposit requirement (normally 20%, you will pay 10%). There are also several block out dates when a discount is not available.

I think the most important thing to remember is that you should book as soon as you know you want to cruise to lock in the best pricing. If you will be onboard before that sailing, you can always check pricing when you are onboard to see if you will save more money with the incentives. If so, book a new reservation. We can get you a full refund if outside of penalties or move monies already paid to the new reservation. As long as the same category is available with cabin assignments, we can generally get your original cabin reassigned to the new reservation.

Make sure you get your quote/booking before you get off the ship as many of the offers will no longer be available when you disembark. There is nothing wrong with putting a request in the bin for new quote requests, but I do recommend taking a photo of the form so you have it handy should something happen to the request. There is no need to stand in the lines to speak to someone. If you are using a travel agent, clearly write in their name and agency name on the form. If you do book onboard, it is recommended that you let your travel agent know as soon as you can that you did a booking so they can make sure they locate it.

Join ToaD For An Alaska Adventure!

When we first decided to have a group cruise, we asked ourselves, why.  There are many reasons to have a group cruise.  Some are theme cruises where everyone has a common interest – I have clients that have been on Precious Moments cruises.  Some have real celebrities onboard which is supposed to be the draw – maybe sports figures, musicians or authors.  For both of these types of groups the destination is not as important as the activities offered onboard.  For us, we decided that the destination was the most important aspect of the group.  Many of our clients have on cruises to the Bahamas or Caribbean so they wanted something different.

Sometimes it’s hard to check out something new with so much uncertainty.  On my first cruise, I wasn’t sure if I would like cruising so we selected Disney Cruise line because I knew I would like Disney, even if I didn’t like cruising.  29 cruises later, we are preparing for another first on Oasis of the Seas next month.  We have taken time to get to know other cruisers on our sailings in advance so even new destinations were a little less intimidating.

One of the most popular cruise destinations is Alaska and it’s no surprise why.  I am not a fan of the cold and snow.  Never have been, even though I’ve lived in Wisconsin all of my life.  I went on the first Disney Cruise to Alaska for a couple reasons.  First, I really wanted to be on the first Alaska cruise with the repositioning up from LA.  Of course the second reason is that I had a lot of clients looking at Alaska or booked and I wanted to get to know the itinerary better for them.

When we left Juneau, I told my husband that I could move up to Alaska.  Yes, the girl who curses the first and every snowfall of the season was volunteering to move up North!  Wouldn’t you with this scenery?

I quickly selected Alaska as my favorite cruise itinerary and gave up the notion of moving there.

So many folks have told us they want to go to Alaska so we decided we needed to have a group trip up there.  We selected Celebrity Cruises because I find their service to be equal to Disney Cruise Line’s service and the food was great as well.  I found with Alaska we were so busy watching the world go by that the entertainment really did not matter.  Additionally, we wanted a cruise that would allow us a few extra days on one end to tour Alaska itself and Disney does not offer that.

On August 1, 2014, we will embark on the Celebrity Millennium for a 7 night sailing from Vancouver, British Columbia to Seward, Alaska.  We will be looking into optional post cruise activities as well for those that want to stay on and see Denali or maybe Mount McKinley.  Some may choose to go to Fairbanks as well then fly home from there while others will fly home from Anchorage.

This cruise will start in Vancouver and sail through the Inside Passage to Ketchikan, followed by stops at Icy Strait Point, Juneau and Skagway before cruising to the Hubbard Glacier and finally arrive in Seward.  From Seward, we will have options for the train or bus to Anchorage where some will choose to head home and others will continue on to explore Alaska.

Group space is available on this date, which is currently pricing lower than opening pricing.  Here is the pricing for the group space we have held:

Category 11 – Inside – $869 per person

Category 08 – Ocean View – $1149 per person

Category 2C – Balcony – $1674 per person

Not included are taxes of $157.45 per person.  Other categories are available for group pricing, subject to availability at the time we book it.  Deposits are $500 per cabin.  We can hold space for you without a deposit, but you won’t be guaranteed a room number until the deposit is received.  We only have a select number of rooms in the group so I recommend reserving yours as soon as possible to get the best choice of cabins.

Regardless of how you book, we are part of a group, however, being in the group rooms will get you some extra bonuses in addition to our onboard credit offer.  If you want to book a room that is not in the group space, we can bring you into the group once you have paid the full deposit of $500, subject to availability.  In addition to the room types held, there are concierge class, Aqua class and several suites available.  Your deposit amount, regardless of whether you are in the group space or not, is fully refundable up until May 18, 2014.

Previous Celebrity cruisers may be entitled to an additional discount based on the date of booking.  Be sure to let me know if you have cruised with Celebrity before (or if you are Platinum or above with Royal Caribbean).  Contact Tracy at Tracy@travelonadream.com for more information or your quote today.

Has It Really Been Two Years?

It was on my first Celebrity Cruise that my friend and I booked future sailings using Travel On A Dream as our travel agency.  And so Travel On A Dream had its first bookings.  That day was two years ago on Wednesday.  I can’t believe how time has flown by!

Two years ago, I had a vision of opening my agency to be able to help others plan their dream vacation.  While for many of my potential clients, that was a Disney vacation, but it wasn’t everyone’s dream.  When I opened Travel On A Dream, I intended to help with any type of vacation – any destination – and we have done that!  We have helped clients with a variety of cruise lines from Carnival, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Holland America, MSC Cruises, Norwegian and of course, Disney.  We have helped our clients travel all over the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe.  We will be sailing our first of hopefully many group sailings in October on the Disney Fantasy.  Our next group sailing will be in April 2013 on the Oasis of the Seas.  Watch for our announcement on an Alaskan Cruise sailing shortly!

We started with one agent, me, and have grown to eight agents today – Tracy, Deb, Rhonda, Debbie, Nicole, DJ, Therese and Erin.  Our goal is always to help you to plan the best vacation ever, each and every time with each and every client.  We take an interest in our clients’ plans and in their lives, which is why most of our agents are active on Facebook and other social media sites.  It’s not good enough that we are available only by email, though you can reach any of us that way (our email addresses are all first name @travelonadream.com).  You can find us by email, phone, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, just to name a few.  Whether you have a group of 100 or one, we are here to make planning your dream vacation as seamless as possible.

It makes us very happy to hear one of our clients say they plan to tell all their family and friends about us or to read about it on Facebook and Twitter.  When I get a call from a potential client who says “so and so referred me to you”, the first thing I do is smile!  That’s why we have a referral program.  Some agencies will give you a gift card for your referrals.  While I think that’s great, I like our referral program just a bit more.  For each referral you send our way who books and travels, we give you 1% of the total amount of the vacation (based on the components on which we receive commission).  That means if you refer your friend who is planning a group sailing and spends $20,000, you will receive $200!  We pay the referrals in either gift cards or onboard credits and are not paid until your next travel date after your referred friend travels so this amount can really grow!

As a bonus for our two year birthday, we are giving double referral credits!  Double credit will be available for all bookings held through June 30.  Tell all your friends and family about the great service you have received from Travel On A Dream, but also tell them to say you sent them.  It’s a win/win situation!  They get the benefit of our service to help plan their dream vacation and you get some extra spending money on your next one.

Next we wanted to announce that we will be starting a monthly newsletter.  We don’t intend for this newsletter to be full of advertisements about why you should book with us or what the latest travel special is (there are plenty of those around if you want them).  We intend to bring to information on some of our favorite travel destinations, travel tips, cruise comparisons.  You should know that if we are writing about something, we know about that subject and are qualified to help you with it should you have any questions or wish to explore further.  Just drop us an email or give us a call!  Initially we will send out the newsletter to all of our clients and anyone who has signed up for our mailing list.  You will always have an opt out option, we do not want to send you spam. Just email us at info@TravelOnADream.com if you are not a current or past client to get the newsletter. Or you can click on the Welcome tab on our Facebook page.

Each month we will also be looking for your favorite vacation photos.   Submit your favorite photos to info@TravelOnADream.com and if yours is chosen, you will be highlighted on our Pinterest board for the Photo of the Month.  Email us also if there is something you want us to feature in the newsletter.

Of course, we can’t have a birthday celebration without gifts right?  In addition to our double referral credit promotion for the rest of the month, we will also giving away some cool gifts, .  We have some Travel On A Dream tote bags plus a variety of cruise line merchandise for you.  We’ll even give away a $50 onboard credit/gift card to one lucky person.  How do you enter?  Sign up for our newsletter!  All of our current clients will be automatically entered into the drawings, plus anyone who signs up through our Facebook wall or by emailing us at info@TravelOnADream.com.  The drawing will be held on June 30 at 5:00 pm EDT.

So who thinks $50 is not enough?  Me too!  We are just shy of 600 fans on Facebook.  Let’s get the numbers up!  For every 50 new fans, I’ll increase the prize by $25.  That means if we get to 700 fans by June 30, the total prize will be $100, 800 fans – $150.  Share our wall with your friends and watch the total go up!

Thank you all for helping us celebrate our second birthday!  We look forward to many more years of helping you make your vacation dreams a reality.