We had a very interesting vacation cruise planning experience recently. We put our cruise consultant Ken (from Expedia/CruiseShipCenters ) through some serious hoops. He flew through those hoops with flying colors!
My wife was asked by her boss to take a new position. She was to take the new “seat” as soon as possible. But before that, Carol was told that she needed to take some holidays – quickly – next week!
We emailed our cruise consultant Ken with our desires – a Caribbean cruise leaving in the next week. We had searched out a few options without telling him. One option was a Celebrity cruise with their “1, 2, 3, Go” promotion. We didn’t tell Ken but left it to him to see what he could find out there and what was still available.
Ken contacted us the next day, Saturday, with some ideas. He must have read our minds because at the top of his list was a cruise on the new Celebrity Reflection cruise ship. He must have been reading our minds.
We told him to go ahead with the arrangements including flights transfers and hotel room for the night before our flight to Florida. At this point we weren’t sure if we could get everything to work out. We were getting down to the wire as we would be embarking the following Saturday.
Monday we received a message from Ken that all of the travel documents were available for pick-up or Courier. Incredible! Fantastic service. In a matter of hours we went from not even considering a vacation to having the whole cruise planning complete and ready to go. And we had a reduced rate for our balcony stateroom with our choice of the three 1, 2, 3, Go options – fantastic!
One week after initiating the cruise vacation planning process we were on our way to the Buffalo airport. We stayed overnight at the Sleep Inn right across the road from the airport parking. After unloading our luggage into the room, the hotel shuttle led the way to the designated parking area (which was included in the hotel room cost).
The hotel was great. The location was perfect. We did not even hear a plane flying over. There was a good continental breakfast before we went to airport. The shuttle was warm – fortunately, because it was cold and snowy outside. There shuttle on return arrived about 20 minutes after we called.
As it turned out we were fortunate to have made the trip to the airport the night before we flew out. In the morning we got to the airport by hotel shuttle. The plane that we were to fly out on had about 18 inches of snow on top of it. It took about an hour and twenty minutes while we were on-board for the airport staff to de-ice (and de-snow) our plane.
This of course led to a delayed landing in Florida as well as a delay in getting on-board the cruise ship. We had missed one or two bus shuttles in the hour or so that we were delayed in Buffalo. However, considering that we might not have even made the plane this was no big problem.
The cruise ship itself was absolutely beautiful. This was our first cruise with Celebrity and we couldn’t have been on a better ship. If you would like to read our thoughts on our cruise check out our Celebrity Reflection cruise review page.
Ken’s recommendation here was perfect. Thanks to him we had a very stress-free planning process. All of the arrangements were made quickly and with an absolute minimal amount of input from us. He seemed to know exactly what we were looking for and arranged for us to have it. That’s what a Cruise Consultant should be all about. If you live in Southwestern Ontario and would like to contact Ken at Expedia/CruiseShipCenters for your cruise consultation and planning contact him here or you can email him kbecker[at]cruiseshipcenters.com.