Saturday, June 25, 2011

This Cruise Night Gives Back

Connie introduces Chicklet, the mascot for Chicks at Sea, the girls getaway cruises
Connie George Travel Associates held a Cruise Night at the Hilton Garden Inn Kennett Square last week. So exactly what is a Cruise Night? And is there a benefit to you if you didn’t attend it? (Yes! Keep reading!)

Simply put, Cruise Nights are an informational event sponsored by a travel agency and at least one cruise line. They usually include light refreshments, announcements of special promotions and door prizes. We had a typical mix of experienced cruisers, those who had never cruised, mixed ages, people who are already clients of ours and others were new to us. Three people were group leaders excited about their groups being announced that night.

Nancy Gilmore, DSM for Royal Caribbean, introduces the convenience of home port cruising
We partnered with Royal Caribbean International. Our district sales manager, Nancy, gave an exciting presentation on cruising from the nearby ports of Baltimore on Enchantment of the Seas and Bayonne (Cape Liberty Port) on Explorer of the Seas, and also about the incredible Oasis-class ships which sail from Fort Lauderdale. Feedback and questions from the audience were great!

Afterward, I gave a short overview of Connie George Travel Associates and what makes us so special in the travel industry. We announced  promotions for Cruise Night attendees (hold onto your keyboard because I’m going to share them with you!), shared a couple of new group cruises in the area (and you are invited to join in!) and drew for the prizes. The event was about 90 minutes long, but many stayed afterward to talk about vacations.

Through the generosity of the attendees, we were able to donate many canned food items to the Kennett Area Food Cupboard

We had an exciting addition to our Cruise Night. We asked everyone attending to bring a canned food item to be donated to the Kennett Area Food Cupboard. With our thanks to those who came, we were able to collect dozens of cans and a monetary donation to be sent to them. I challenge my fellow travel agents to add a canned food drive for a local food bank if they produce a Cruise Night. It’s exciting to know you are giving back to the community you are asking to support you!

I think my only disappointment for the evening was that we were planning to present a check to the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Fellowship of Hope organizer for the fundraising cruise they had recently operated, but the person who runs it was unable to attend due to illness.

With group leaders on hand and flyers to distribute, we announced their “AG Cabin Fever 2012” group which is for families looking for a spring break cruise and also a new Chicks at Sea (girls getaway cruise) called “Oldies Gone Wild 2012” for next Memorial Day weekend. Both groups are open to people outside the area and you can get more information by clicking on the above links.

So what about the promotions? Some promotions are only available to the actual participants who were at the Cruise Night. But there are two which we can share with others who read this blog.  If you book any Royal Caribbean International cruise through Connie George Travel Associates between 6/24-7/1/11 and mention “Cruise Night," you will receive a shipboard discount coupon booklet and if you book an oceanview or higher, you will also receive a bottle of wine in your cabin.  Each item is one per cabin.

Email or call 610-532-0989 to book your cruise and get your bonus features!

~ Connie

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Get Your Free Chillin' Out in Alaska Souvenir Blanket

Our “Chillin’ Out in Alaska” blankets were a very popular souvenir for our Alaska-bound clients a few years ago. In fact, I was recently talking to someone who was an entertainer and workshop presenter on an Alaska cruise conference we arranged in 2006 and he commented about how they still have and use their blanket!

It had been a while so we decided to buy these for our clients again this year. Here’s a photo of our first batch of blankets that I hauled out for shipping last week.

Would you like a free blanket? We ordered a few extra. Book a Princess Cruises’ 2011 Alaska cruise or CruiseTour with Connie George Travel Associates and mention this blog to our consultant assigned to you for your free blanket! (one per cabin) Ask him or her to check with me to see if there’s another spare blanket and, if so, for me to set it aside for you. But hurry because we only have a few extras! Once we run out, we won’t be ordering more this year.

- Connie

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Tips & Surprises for That Keith Wann Show's Fans

 Being a guest on That Keith Wann Show… Cultural Bridges with Keith and his co-host, Windell "Wink" Smith, last Wednesday night was the most fun I’ve ever had on a radio show!

If you’re not familiar with it, this is a weekly internet radio show geared toward the Deaf community with the theme of bridging between the Deaf and Hearing cultures. The format is the typical audio, but there’s a chat room in which the show is being closed captioned and also a chat area for readers and listeners to interact with each other and the hosts. An audio podcast is uploaded shortly afterward. Later, an ASL interpreted video version is uploaded to Keith’s Vimeo website.

We had a lot of fun and it was an opportunity for people to learn more about the upcoming ASL Community Cruise, the CruisEUs interpreter conference cruise, our agency, how we first got involved with the Deaf community and a promised surprise for those going on either of those mentioned trips!

The hour flew by so quickly that we were in the middle of sharing some travel tips for Keith and Wink’s fans that I promised to post them. Here are 12 tips for Keith and Wink's fans:

  • Electrical power strip (there’s only 1 outlet in the cabin!)
  • Zip lock bags (use them for liquid, wet & dirty items)
  • Highlighter (mark what you want to do the next day on the ship’s newsletter)
  • Safety pins (a “quick fix” for broken buttons, snaps & zippers)
  • Extra batteries (better too many than not enough)
  • One dollar bills (tipping for room service & other times when a dollar or two is good to have for tipping on the cruise, hotel, in the airport or in the port)

 Luggage Protection:

  •  Be sure you have a luggage tag attached to the handle.
  •  Attach a bow, ribbon or some other unique item to your suitcase so it stands out.
  •  If flying, leave a paper inside your luggage that has your name, address, phone number, cruise line, ship & cruise itinerary on it.

 TSA Airport Security:

  •  Remember “3-1-1” which means all liquids and gels that you carry with you into the plane must be in containers no larger than 3 ounces and all bottles must fit into ONE 1-quart Ziploc bag.

 Workshop Survival:

  •  Grab a few cookies or a piece of fruit from the buffet at lunch for a mid-afternoon snack
  • A state-issued birth certificate is a valid form of citizenship. (The one from the hospital that has the cute footprints is NOT valid for travel!)
Did you hear about the surprise? Connie George Travel Associates is going to give an “ASL Rocks!” gift bag to everyone who books onto one of these two cruises by June 24. And we think it’s fairest to also include a bag for everyone who has already booked! One bag per cabin (but there are duplicates of some items in the bag.) CODA365 will distribute the bags on the ship for the ASL Community Cruise. Our office will mail the bags for CruisEUs.

Want to catch the 6/02/11 show?  You can listen to the podcast at (once on that page, look on the right side for the list of "recent shows" for the one listed as 6/02/2011)or see the ASL version when it's posted on Keith's Vimeo channel.

~ Connie