BY MARC MOSS
While summer vacation season 2014 is still in full blast, it might also be the perfect time to chart your next vacation thanks to special offers from Celebrity Cruises available through the end of August.
For a limited time the Celebrity Cruises “Pick your perk” program features a choice of four perks for almost any cruise booked to take place between October 2014 and April 2016. Those perks are: up to $600 off cruise fare if flying with Celebrity’s ChoiceAir, free beverage packages for two, free gratuities for two, or onboard credit up to $300.
In addition, one of their preferred Rockland County travel agencies, Anywhere Travel in New City, is offering a $100 on-board credit for “Pick your perk” customers.
While most travel agencies have been phased out in the past decade and a half, the strongest still remain. Anywhere Travel in New City is one such agency and the only survivor in New City.
Celebrity, which describes itself as a premium cruise line with mid-range prices, specializes in cruise packages catered to a client’s personal tastes. For example, if you’re looking for a uniquely Italian experience, you can book an Italy cruise with a different Italian car and driver waiting for you at each port. Most would agree riding a Ferrari into the Roman sunset does have a certain appeal.
That is why the partnership with Anywhere Travel makes sense for them.
“The great thing about Anywhere Travel,” explained Allison Farrell of Celebrity Cruises, “is they really get to know their clients and can help them plan an optimum cruise experience.”
Anne Carr of Anywhere Travel returned the praise for Celebrity. “They are a cut above and offer great value for mid-range customers,” Carr said. “Their cuisine is among the best,” noted Carr’s co-partner Paula Yassky.
These days cruising is a very popular vacation for all ages. There are Celebrity ships leaving from Bayonne, N.J.
And if you have to fly to get to your cruise port Celebrity offers a ChoiceAir program where they partner with the airlines to find the best prices available. With the Pick your Perk program Celebrity gives clients a discount of up to $600 off the cruise fare if you use the ChoiceAir option.
More About Anywhere Travel
Company founders Paula Yassky, Carole Bailey, Diana Presta and Anne Carr created Anywhere Travel in 2007 and had worked together for many years previous to that.
The Anywhere Travel team says a good travel agency is still the best way to book a trip. Before the Internet burgeoned in popularity, many more travelers relied on professional agents to negotiate with vendors around the world, not to mention help the travelers choose what the best vacation would be for them.
Though many people believe they save money on Internet deals, Yassky points out Anywhere Travel does not charge their customers a fee, except when purchasing air tickets only. Instead, the company is paid by their vendors.
And the value travel agents offer is better than what most people can get from the Internet according to Yassky. “With self-booking, you’re on your own if something happens, who are you going to call? As far as prices go, agents stay on top of prices for you and most of time can match prices you find on the Internet,” she said.
Bailey added, “People think they are going to get better deal on Internet, in reality you get same price, but nobody is there to help you if you need it.”
Carr said, “These are our clients-we know them and they know us. They return because we always do our best for them.”
One time Bailey recalled a customer had a hang up with a credit card while in a foreign country. Anywhere was able to front the cost of the hotel fee in question and the traveler went on their way, paying back Anywhere when he arrived home. You can’t exactly expect that service with Hotwire or Expedia.
So what is the secret these ladies know that so many other travel agencies seemed to have missed out on? According to Yassky, Anywhere Travel goes “above and beyond” for their clients. While most businesses aim to offer good customer service, Anywhere Travel’s agents have been able to help their clients and form relationships that have kept them loyally returning.
Yassky, Bailey, Presta and Carr each boast over 30 years in the travel industry. As you might imagine they know the ropes and they know their clients well. Matching their clientele to the optimum vacation is what they do.
Yassky says, “It’s nice we’ve been in the business so many years. If I’m not familiar with a destination, I can always ask one of my partners.”
Each of the leaders of the company have different roles they play. One of Bailey’s specialties is leading group tours for seniors. Bailey says, “I have a lot of seniors that I take on trips. They are very comfortable with me and I take good care of them.”
A perk of being a travel agent is getting an opportunity to do a lot of traveling oneself. As a result the team at Anywhere is well acquainted with the countries people typically vacation in and can give first hand advice.
Vacation planning starts with a look at a client’s available budget and whether they are looking to get some rest and relaxation or have an active vacation. “Cruises right now are the best buy for the dollar,” notes Yassky.
River cruises in Europe have seen an increase in popularity in recent years, she said.
Anywhere Travel’s office hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. They also are available by appointment on evenings and weekends.
They can be reached at 845-634-8770 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact them this month to qualify for the extra $100 onboard credit.
Celebrity Cruises website is: http://www.celebritycruises.com.