Maritime laws had to be changed after the Costa Concordia disaster, 32 people died and the captain is facing manslaughter charges. With any disaster, new things are always learned and the Concordia is no exception. The refloating of a ship this size has never been done before. I found the videos very interesting and you may also.

Video of the refloating

Norwegian Breakaway: Through a Child’s Eye

Click the link above to see the video. Norwegian has impressed me with the Epic and Breakaway. Looking forward to promoting the Getaway.

I faxed the new CEO Michael Bayley this blog as a letter today. I get very cranky when I can’t sleep because I feel my travelers aren’t being treated right and I feel powerless. Today with social media and blogging, I hope my complaints can go further. We shall see.


      As a career travel agent, I am having similar problems with ALL the cruise lines, but this FRUSTRATION is directed to Celebrity Cruises.

     Gabriel, my sales rep, is terrific and keeps me up-to-date with all their promotions. I carefully go over them to check and see if I have any clients traveling on those promotional dates.  And this is where a MAJOR problem has occurred with my clients.

     A promotion has come out for the holiday sailings.  I have a couple that reserved their balcony stateroom for their Christmas sailing at the end of June.  They are past passengers reserved with a $50.00 on-board credit per cabin which will be changing to $100 per cabin stock-holder benefit (with fresh statement closer to sailing, but not combinable with past passenger $50).  Celebrity introduces another promotion one week later stating “reserve your stateroom between July 25 and August 25th and get $200 on-board credit, “new reservations only”. 

     I call reservations and they say I can’t change what I just booked with my clients the previous week. The following week, my clients receive the flyer in the mail with that promotion.  I explain to them that I already tried to get them that deal and cannot get that promotion for them and they don’t understand.  My client calls Celebrity themselves and speaks to the Past Passenger desk.  That desk tells him the same thing I did.  Now the client is extremely mad at both me and the cruise line that they will not honor this promotion and he threatens to not go on the cruise at all or never again sail with Celebrity if they are going to treat loyalty passengers like that.  They ask me what has happened to good customer service today and I cannot answer them.

     As a travel agent, I am frustrated with the cruise line that if they are not going to honor promotions they send to travelers (email or snail mail), then why are they sending these travelers the promotions?  The cruise lines have employees that only work on getting promotions to consumers.  I work hard to maintain a data base for sending all cruise promotions to my clients.  I can query my data base for specific things I am looking for such as past travelers that are not traveling with me in November and December and leave out those traveling on Celebrity Cruises to give me a list of travelers to promote to.  And I deal with ALL the cruise lines.  Celebrity is ONLY promoting to Celebrity travelers.

     What is the matter with this picture??  I don’t think this is fare for the travelers or to the travel agents.  The cruise lines want travelers to reserve in advance and we work hard to get people onto your ships.  But, if you keep treating them like they mean nothing, especially your past passengers who try and remain loyal to a specific line, many will be jumping ship to other cruise lines that will honor better deals for them and consider them important at ALL costs.


Catherine Inness, President

Tours and Cruises Unlimited

It has been a successful Christmas in July and we gave away a lot of presents. If you missed out, look for another big promotion in October when the “Cruise Vacation Week” is nationwide sponsored with all the cruise lines and CLIA. Cruise  Lines International Association will be helping agencies get the word out about cruising. As soon as the dates come out, we will post here, Facebook and Pinterest. Thank you for your support.

Christmas in July started Monday 7/23/12 and ends Monday 7/30/12. If you want to get in on the gifts; reduced deposits, shipboard credits, special rates or a combination of presents, contact us. After Monday you will have to wait till October for the largest “Cruise Vacation 1 Week Sale”.

    If something happens and you need to get home, can you?
If you purchased your travel online, will they be able to get you
home?  Isn’t it more reassuring to know someone who can get
you home as fast as possible if something does go wrong?
    It’s one of the most important reasons why you use a travel
consultant….don’t leave home without one.  Your travel consultant
not only helps you plan your trip, they protect you and your trip.
Our job is to protect our travelers from flights with too short a connection,
using cruises or tour companies that are reliable, offering travel
insurance that covers you if disaster strikes.  We are here when you call.
     Lost your passport?  We have your information on file to help you
get it replaced immediately.  We recommend tour companies that know
the country you are visiting and can get you out if the political or
economic climate changes.  We work with reputable companies that won’t
leave you at the pier after reserving a shore excursion or a transfer from the
airport to your hotel.
     We are there for YOU.  Besides, you don’t want to have to sift through all
the information you found on the internet.  Just because you see it online
doesn’t mean it’s true.
     You don’t have to use us, TOURS and CRUISES UNLIMITED–(561) 202-9020,
but please use someone every time you travel.

Part Easter Egg Hunt, part snorkeling fun and maybe dinner. Time for the family vacation and what a great memory maker this could be. The recreational bay scallop harvest season begins July 1 and ends Sept. 10.

At one time scallops ranged abundantly across the state, from Palm Beach on the east coast to Pensacola on the west coast. Today, however, healthy populations can only be found in selected locations along the Gulf coast.

The most popular destinations for recreational scallopers are Steinhatchee, Crystal River and Homosassa. This is because the Florida bay scallop, a bivalve mollusk, grows and lives in the shallow (4 to 10 feet deep) seagrass beds that are common to these areas.

Recreational harvesters are limited to two gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell, or one pint of bay scallop meat, per day during the open season. In addition, recreational scallopers may possess no more than 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell, or ½ gallon of bay scallop meat, aboard any vessel at any time.  Bay scallops may be harvested only by hand or with a landing or dip net.  They may not be harvested for commercial purposes.

FWC regulates harvesting of scallops, like it does other fish, in order to maintain healthy populations.

In general, recreational scallopers between the ages of 16 and 65 must have a current Florida saltwater fishing license to collect scallops. There are some exceptions, listed in the FWC “Florida Saltwater Recreational Fishing Regulations,” which is available in bait shops, FWC offices, or at the FWC website ( All non-residents over the age of 16 are required to buy a license unless they are fishing (scalloping) from a for-hire vessel (guide, charter, party boat) that has a valid vessel license. Most scallopers need a regular saltwater fishing license, but requirements vary with age and residency. Florida residents need a regular saltwater fishing license, unless exempt (scallopers under 16 years of age, residents 65 years of age or older with proof of residency and age, or scallopers on a boat with a valid recreational saltwater fishing license).

For more information click here.


May 5th, 2012

Comments ( 0 )

Turkey is on my bucket list and one of these days I will get there. But till then, I like this quick video. Mark Murphy talks about Turkey

Alaska Story I am making more reservations this year for Alaska than ever. One of these days I will find my pictures of my trip to Alaska and post them.  I did the land only portion; Anchorage, Fairbanks and Denali. I had the best Chinese food in Anchorage and was amazed. Next time I will do the cruise and see Victoria Island.  So many places in the world to see and so little vacation time.

It might be small, but there is no single supplement. I wish more cruise lines had single cabins.

Cruise Maven video of singles cabin on NCL Epic

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