Airline Employee Interline Cruise Discounts
24 AUGUST 2015 - Viking River Cruises, Viking Vidar, 14-night Budapest-to-Amsterdam
Hi Mike, I wanted to write to give you some feedback on the Grand European River cruise, but first wanted to say thanks for the bottle of wine you set for us; it was very good and much appreciated.
Viking is a first class company and did a great job running this cruise. Every aspect of the trip went well and the staff (as expected) was very good. We had to fill out end-of-cruise evaluation forms, where they asked many questions about whether all parts of the trip far exceeded, met or did not meet our expectations. I noted that I had high expectations to begin with, as Viking has a great reputation and also that it was a very expensive cruise. Therefore, it might be hard to far exceed my expectations!
There were, however, many places where it did so. One that I wanted specifically to mention was the issue of low water in the Main Canal, connecting the Danube to the Rhine. The trip goes uphill from Budapest to Nuremberg and then downhill from there to Amsterdam. Leading up to Nuremberg, there was a low water issue and many ships, including ours were not able to sail to/thru that city. As Viking has many longboats, with daily trips from Amsterdam to Budapest and vice versa; they had ships, which could not pass Nuremberg en route to Budapest. The day we were supposed to sail to this city, we had to pack our luggage and leave it out in front of our rooms and about 9 AM, we boarded buses to do our scheduled tour of Nuremberg and when that was complete, we took the buses to our new ship, just past Nuremberg. We then boarded that new ship and our luggage was already in our new room (same number as the old one). This new ship was identical to the old one (both new this year) and our cruise director and concierge went with us, while the rest of the crew stayed with the first ship. The transition was seamless and to lessen any aggravation we encountered with this transition (really none!), they offered the optional excursion to Rothenburg (which had already signed up for) for free, thus saving us about $150. We heard horror stories (true??) about other river cruise companies that did not have as many ships or cruises as Viking and they bussed the passengers from city to city until they made it to Amsterdam. This required the passengers to pack/unpack every day, thus negating the benefits of a cruise.
So if you have customers looking to make a similar European river cruise, I think it would be prudent to steer them towards Viking, all else being equal.
Hope this info is useful and thanks again for the wine. If you would like any more feedback, please feel free to call or write.
The Lucci's and us are still interested in a Panama Canal cruise in 2016, so please keep an eye out for real special deals that may arise.
29 JUNE 2015 - Carnival Cruise Line, Carnival Conquest, 5-night Bahamas, FLL round-trip
Thanks, Mike, for all you work you did for us and the cruise taken earlier in June.
First of, thanks for the strawberries and sweets. We all appreciated them..yum!
Maybe you are used to booking three rooms and handling 10 clients all going the same place,
you did a great job!
We have cruised on Royal C., Celebrity, Princess, and Omni World but never Carnival.
I guess I had heard stories from many years ago about it was a young and kind of upbeat
(party, party) crowd on board. Not at all-but what do I know about what happened after 10:30?
We thought it was great. From room service to dining room service it was perfect. We had the Royal Suites…really nice for the two of us. Everyone came in there to gather!
Our server was particularly aware of Kiera and her peanut and shellfish allergies and took special care in her menu selection -- even having the chef make something special. Every night he would show her the selection for the next night. They all worked so hard in serving a group of ten plus many other tables,too!
Probably the only thing that I was let down about was the entertainment. Some of it was at 9:00 PM - right in the middle of our dinner. That all was minor..believe me we were tired out after dinner! (I think the 40 year olds went to the R rated comedian about 11:30 or so)
I'll send a couple pictures later.
17 JUNE 2015 - Princess Cruises, Star Princess, 7-night, Vancouver/BC—Alaska Round-trip
Good morning, Mike . It has been a few weeks since we got back from Alaska. What a great trip it was! Everyone talked about the wonderful weather we had from Vancouver to Whittier and back.
Thanks for always remembering us in your special way.
Thanks again and looking forward to next time.
03 MAY 2015 - Cunard, QM2, 7-night, Southampton-to-New York
had a great time on the QM2! Attaching a few pics (more will follow) and a copy of the comments I included with Cunard's emailed survey - for your edification! :-) Thanks again for booking cruises for me the past 20 years!!!!! Brad
18 MAY 2015 - How To Use Cruise Line 'paper' luggage tags
Good Morning, Mike,
First, Mike, thank you so very much for all your help and wonderful phone conversations.
You're the best.
Subject at hand is: We needed 2 luggage tag holders from Holland America and they were going to charge us quite a bit of money to not only order the holders, but also shipping and handling.
That means from Seattle, near Pike Market to Newcaste, Wa, (across Lake Washington).
We said, "Bag that".
This might be helpful for any would be cruisers, as we found it: Staples store, has Scotch Luggage Tag holders, 5 pack for $6.99
This is a "ship to the store price", but they arrive at any particular store one day later.
Hope this is useful.
11/22/2014 - Sadie Gresh, Homeport Cruises mascot, 5 1/2 Year Old OES, Naperville/IL, Out for a Walk
11/12/2014 - Holland America Line, Statendam, 10/3/2014, 30-nights, San Diego/CA, South Pacific
Thank You so much for all your help in arranging our 30 Day Holland America Hawaii South Pacific Cruise. You made it so special with the Chocolate Dipped Strawberries and Champagne. You are the best!!
This cruise was so well done we give Holland a 10. They did a great job of a Theme Cruise. Lot S of Theme Decorations even did a fun Halloween Night.. And SO glad to have that balcony with 30 days a welcome place to relax.
Thanks again. Have a great week.
Nancy and Malcolm
10/27/2014 - Celebrity Cruises, Celebrity Reflection, 10/6//2014, 11-nights, CIV/Rome, Europe
Just a short note to let you know that we had a wonderful time on our cruise. Thank you so much for the strawberries. What a delightful and thoughtful treat. Everything went perfectly. All connections with transfers, tours, hotel and of course, the cruise itself could not have been better.
Loved the Crown Plaza hotel. Great location and excellent service. Booked a tour with Avventure Bellissime of the Coliseum and Forum. The guide was excellent and the tour could not have been better. Also, did our own walking tour in Rome following the recommendation of Rick Steve's guidebook. Had a great time getting lost in the Piazza Navonna.
The ship was spectacular. Our room was great - loved the balcony. Booked two tours on the boat - one for Ancient Ephesus and one for Pompeii. Both were great! We had pre-booked a tour of Istanbul and didn't realize it was a private tour. It was amazing! Just the driver, the guide and us in a luxury Mercedes mini-van.
The only criticism we had was that the people on this cruise were really old. I was amazed at the number of wheelchairs, canes and crutches that were on board. Much of the entertainment was also geared to an older crowd as well. (By older, I mean 80's). The only time that we really had to deal with this was on the days at sea. For the most part, we just did our own thing.
All in all, it was a trip of a lifetime. Thanks for everything. Also, thinking about an Alaska cruise for next summer. When you get a chance, let me know what you have available.
Nora and Neil
9/25/2014 - Princess Cruises, Star Princes, 9/10//2014, 11-nights, SFO, Alaska
Thank you ...
We are back from our Alaska Cruise out of SFO. We had a wonderful time. In Ketchikan and Juneau we had sunny skies all day, Skagway had some sun but mostly fog and Victoria was cloudy. So the weather cooperated with us. Our cruise took an alternate route instead of Tracy Arm Fjord we went to Endicott Arm. Just before time for us to enter Tracy Arm the captain came on and told us there was two ships in Tracy Arm and a lot of ice and we would probably not get close enough to see the glacier and under these conditions we would be able to go to Endicott Arm. Endicott Arm is a restricted area and you can only enter under certain conditions. The captain had been there two years before and I think he had slowed down to allow the other ships to get there ahead of us. We had not been there before and it was beautiful. We were able to get within 3/4 of a mile from the face of the glacier. There were a lot of seals on the ice there. On the cruise we saw eagles, seals and a lot of whales. We enjoyed being with Sharon and Ron. No matter how many times we go to Alaska it is always new and exciting.
Thanks for all your help,
Howard and Heelan
9/4/2014 - Princess Cruises, Royal Princes, 8/22/2014, 11-nights, Berlin, Scandinavia & Russia
Just wanted to let you know that Saba and I thoroughly enjoyed our Russia & Scandinavia cruise. Everything went smoothly without any incident or glitches. Loved each port call and the excursions they offered. Wanted to thank you for setting it all up for us.
Next cruise, we are targeting "Cape horn route to Rio". This will be in January 2016. So if you hear about any deals regarding this cruise, let me know.
Thanks once again for all your help.
8/22/2014 - Princess Cruises, Crown Princes, 8/2/2014, 13-nights, Alaska CruiseTour, Northbound
Just wanted to let you know that we had a great trip in Alaska and wanted to say thanks for the chocolate covered strawberries that you sent to us; they were very good and was a good start to our overeating while on the trip! The cruise part was nice and we had some great weather, which helped. I think we will get balcony rooms next time, as we felt the windowed room was too stuffy.
Our inland portion was also very good as we really got to see a lot of Alaska, which we would not have otherwise. The Denali trip was good and we are glad you had us take the 8-9 hour trip into the park (60 mile mark), as the people who went on the standard trip (~22 mile mark) did not get to see as many animals or vistas. The bus rides were a bit arduous (2-8 hour rides), but we managed just fine.
Princess did an exceptional job in having this so well organized; at each bus stop we were handed an envelope with the room keys, a summary of our excursions for that locale, instructions on when to meet for the next leg of the journey along with tags for the luggage. Each new place we stayed at had the luggage in our rooms and we didn't have to carry them from the time we boarded the ship until we left the hotel on the last day. Overall, a great trip.
7/16/2014 - Princess Cruises, Crown Princes, 6/25/2014, 10-nights, Alaska CruiseTour, Southbound
Thank you for all the gifts, the wine, frames and pictures. The cruise and land tour to Alaska was incredible and so cool. We arrived in Anchorage two days before our start and I remembered you talked about how you liked Alyeska, so we rented a car, drove there, and thank you again, it is beautiful! I know how you like pictures and we have lots including a clear picture of Mt McKinley. Please let me know to what link you want them sent. I will have my son do it because I don't know how. This was a great 25th wedding anniversary cruise. Thanks again, Leski United Flight Attendant
6/18/2014 - Holland America Line, Westerdam, 6/28/2014, 7-nights, Alaska round-trip Seattle
Good Morning, again, Mike Gresh ECC Sales Manager,
We think all our papers are in order.
Our boarding passes are printed, the relevant "before you go" pages are in our, also, relevant folders.
Watches are set for the right time, gas in the car, date set on the calendar and we're ready to go.
Thank you, again, Mike,
You, as always, were the conduit we needed for this ever so necessary trip.
Right now, we are ready to have someone on board, feed Seymour and me with grapes on demand.
We couldn't have done this without your very capable, there to help with directions, to complete papers etc.
Wish you could go with us with your family.
You're the best.
Thanks again, dear Mike,
Kirby and Carol S., UA parents
6/9/2014 - Princess Cruises, Sun Princess, 5/23/2014, 8-nights, Kobe/Japan Roundtrip
The cruise to Okinawa on board Sun Princess was great!! I became a big fan of Princess Cruise Line. Their food and services were much, much better than those of Norwegian; I told my sister, who did the Hawaiian cruise with me last year, that she should have come with me this year. The best thing is that the fact all Princess ships have a laundromat each floor. That means I do not have to pack a lot.
6/3/2014 - Celebrity Cruises, Celebrity Reflection, 4/26/2014, 16-nights, MIA-BCN & 5/12/14, 11-nights Rome round-trip
We have finally returned home after a glorious 27 days on the Celebrity Reflection. The captain told us that this crossing was his smoothest ever (27)! The Atlantic and the Mediterranean were like glass - hardly knew we were moving. The cabin was in a perfect location - up to buffet, down to dining room with the casino in the middle. Phil, who can be quite picky, never had a complaint. Thanks also for arranging the tour in Athens - it was perfect. Until our next cruise, we thank you once again.
Phil and Donna G.
3/2/2014 - Princess Cruises, Ruby Princess, 2/24/2014, 5-nights, Port Everglades/ Ft. Lauderdale
Just returned from Our 5 night cruise on Ruby Princess and wanted to let you know that we had a wonderful cruise.
As you know, this was our first time on Princess, so I really didn’t know what to expect. It was great!!! The ship is beautiful, the cabin was very nice, the food was excellent, great entertainment, and the ship staff are very friendly. The 5:30 dining time was great. They do this seating in one of the smaller dining rooms, so it is much more intimate. Also, they did not have a problem with 5:30 people showing up as late as 6:00 (or maybe later) because after the 5:30 seating, that dining room is used for Anytime Dining, so they are more flexible than the dining room with the two fixed seating times. , Additionally, I did figure out why our cabin on Caribe deck was listed as larger than the balcony cabins on Riviera, Aloha or Baja Deck. It is because the size they list includes the balcony, and the balconies on Caribe are twice the size of the others. Nice surprise. We love a balcony with extra space, and it was partially covered and partially open. As for the cabin, it was standard cruise ship size. No couch or sitting area other than the little desk area, but the only way to get a larger one (without getting a suite) is to get their mini suite (all located on Dolphin Deck) But interestingly, the balcony for the mini suite is small, and fully exposed to the elements, and the view from the deck above them. Just thought I would share this with you in case others are trying to determine a cabin choice on the Ruby. Ports of call were also nice, and Princess Cay is the nicest cruise private island I have been at. Thanks again for your help with the booking. Looking forward to our next sailing! Sherryl and Bob
2/26/2014 - Celebrity Cruises, Celebrity Equinox, 2/10/2014, 11-nights, Port Everglades/ Ft. Lauderdale
I just wanted to thank you for booking our amazing trip we just returned from. It was truly spectacular and honestly one of the best vacations we have taken. We also appreciated the addition to the nut mix you sent and they were enjoyed while we relaxed on our (Suite) balcony. Jackie T
2/20/2014 - Celebrity Cruises, Celebrity Reflection, 2/8/2014, 7-nights, Port Everglades/ Ft. Lauderdale
thx Mike, it was a long wait, but we made it.
Was everything you said it was……and more….
2/10/2014 - Celebrity Cruises, Celebrity Century, 1/20/2014, 15-nights, San Diego to Ft. Lauderdale
JUST RETURNED FROM A PERFECTLY DELIGHTFUL CRUISE!! THANKS FOR YOUR PART IN MAKING IT SO.
THE SHORE EXCURSION YOU GAVE US WAS MOST INTERESTING - BEAUTIFUL BIRDS AND MONKEYS JUMPING ALL OVER THE PLACE === THANKS!
LOOKING FOR ANOTHER GOOD BARGAIN - LET ME KNOW WHEN YOU HAVE ONE THAT SOUNDS INTERESTING.
1/3/2014 - Princess Cruises, Sapphire Princess, 11/30/13, 15-nights, Hawaii,round-trip Los Angeles
Happy New Year, Mike. Hope you had an enjoyable holiday. Steve and I want to thank you for making our cruise on the Sapphire Princess something of a dream come true for us. We enjoyed the vegetable platter and cheese dip. You are so thoughtful and made us feel special. This was our 48th wedding anniversary. What a way to spend it! With our good friends Howard and Heelan. We are looking forward to our next cruise. Thanks to you and the wonderful staff on the Princess!
Until next time - Steve and Brenda Moore
12/13/2013 - Aboard the Emerald Princess, 11/29/2013 - 10 Nights
Thank you so much for the wonderful strawberries! We ate every one of them. We
had a great cruise and the weather was perfect. However, it was a little difficult to come
back to 20 degree weather in Brentwood.
We want you to know how much we appreciate all you do for us in our travels.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Ralph and Miriam
12/6/2013 - Aboard the Carnival Freedom, 11/30/2013 - 5 Nights
Carnival has excellent entertainment & a friendly staff. Friendships were easily made in the formal dining rooms.
"As We Journey Through Life Let Us Live Along The Way"
We enjoyed our too short Carnival Fun Ship Cruise aboard the Freedom.
- Mike Gresh/Homeport Cruises Co.
10/31/2013 - Tauck Tours "Best of the Canadian Rockies" 8/13/2013 - 8 Days
Here are some pictures from our Tauck Tour that you booked for us. They did everything perfectly.
It was a great trip with a wonderful tour director and driver. Couldn't have been happier.
Great tour company! Pat Mayo
9/2/2013 - Holland America Line "Rotterdam" 8/17/2013 - 14 Nights - Scandinavia/Norway - Rotterdam RT
Hi Mike, I just saw your comment on FB which reminded me to write and let you know how much we enjoyed the HAL cruise out of Rotterdam - and especially the location of our cabin. You always make good recommendations and we appreciate it!
We will probably be staying at home in PHX for awhile – despite the scorpions & rattlesnakes! We met a lot of people from AZ on the cruise escaping the summer heat like us!
Thanks again! Sandy L.
8/30/2013 - Princess Cruises "Emerald Princess" 8/8/2013 - 11 Nights - Scandinavia/Russia - CPH RT
Hi Mike,Hope all is well. Mollie and I had a wonderful time on the PCL Baltic cruise. Great itinerary (even tho we’d visited several ports previously) and the St. Petersburg two-day tour with dinner at Catherine’s Palace was great! Although it wasn’t noted in the tour description, we were admitted to the Hermitage and Peterhof before they opened to the general public, and the dinner took place after the palace closed for the day. No crowds…whoopee! -Bruce/Mollie
7/13/2013 - Princess Cruises "Caribbean Princess" 6/17/2013 - 12 Nights - Norway - Southampton/UK RT
Mike, so you will know who you are talking with in the future this is Howard & Heelan Barlow in Stavanger, Norway.
Thank you for all your help, Howard Barlow - and - Sharon Johnston and Heelan Barlow with our ship in the fjord at Geiranger, Norway.
7/5/2013 - Princess Cruises "Caribbean Princess" 6/17/2013 - 12 Nights - Norway - Southampton/UK RT
Hope you enjoyed the 4th of July. We are back from our Norway cruise and had a wonderful time. The fjords were breathtaking. We were surprised that the mountains were not taller and there was not as much snow as we expected. Thank you... We appreciate all that you do for us.
Thank you, Howard & Heelan Barlow
5/28/2013 - Celebrity Cruises "Infinity" 5/13/2013 - 11 Nights - British Isles - Harwich/UK RT
Diane and I just got back yesterday from our British Isles cruise, and we want to thank you for your usual outstanding service, and the thoughtful sail-away gift. We had a great cruise, and are ready to start planning our next one!
Carl & Diane
5/6/2013 - Celebrity Cruises "Solstice" 4/25/2013 - 11 Nights - HNL-ENS
We wanted to touch base with you, even though it is our last night of the cruise. We LOVED Hawaii!!!!! The people are so friendly, the culture and language is fascinating!!! I am starting to learn the language. I took some hula lessons and even participated in the final hula dance in the main foyer. Kathy even has video footage to prove it, ( or blackmail :) ). The time change is an issue though,,,,,especially to Hawaii, We are still trying to recover. It was "interesting" during embarkation and the first several days due to the Noravirus issue. Tell you more later
Can't wait to return to the islands and spend at least a week on each island.
Thanks again! Lynne and Kathy
4/17/2013 - Princess Cruises "Coral Princess" 2/21/2013 - 14 Nights - LAX-FLL
Steve and I have been back from our cruise a little over a month now. We haven't stopped talking about our wonderful trip through the Panama Canal.
Thanks for all your help in making this trip so memorable in every way.
What a great surprise to receive the chocolate covered strawberries you sent to us. They were so delicious!
Howard and Heelan Barlow are such dear friends. They have sung your praises many times before, so we knew we were in very good hands from the very beginning and needless to say we were not disappointed.
Hopefully in the near future we can cruise on Princess again.
Until next time,
Steve and Brenda Moore
4/10/2013 - Holland America Line "Maasdam" 4/12/2013 - 10 Nights - FLL
Mike. Thank you for all services rendered. You provide 5 Star service!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Edward and Lillian
3/17/2013 - Princess Cruises "Emerald Princess" 2/25/2013 - 10 Nights - FLL
Hi Mike, Just got my computer up and running again.
Home again after another great ten day cruise with Princess aboard their ship the Emerald. All was positive and not a negative to mention. In contrast to previous years we elected not to do the formal dining this cruise but instead did the buffet in the evening, which we were well pleased with. We did, however, do two evenings of special dining at the Crown Grill. Outstanding !!!!!!!! Also greatly enjoyed making use of the Sanctuary.
Finishing this cruise Bruce & Barbara, Betty and Robert Parker graduated from Gold Membership to Platinum members.
Now we are trying to figure out next years sailing. The Ruel's want to do two tens but the rest of us don't go along.
Thanks Mike, BOB
3/11/2013 - Princess Cruises "Coral Princess" 2/21/2013 - 14 Nights - LAX-FLL
We are back from our Panama Canal Cruise and had a wonderful time. The weather was good, the seas were calm most of the time and the food very enjoyable. Thank you ... We appreciate all you do for us.
Howard & Heelan Barlow
3/11/2013 - Carnival Cruise Line "Carnival Dream" 2/2/2013 - 7 Nights - Port Canaveral/FL USA
Tammie & Gene - WN
2/5/2013 - Norwegian Cruise Line "Norwegian Star" 1/20/2013 - 7 Nights - New Orleans/LA USA
Thank you for this update on the wonderful treats in our room. Wow, we had a great trip. I will send pictures. I went straight from sea to air for last 6 days. So, now playing catchup….
The NCL experience was nice, staff incredibly gracious, happy, thoughtful and very accommodating, especially with Moms needs. The Sapphire Suite, well, AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL and better than I ever dreamed. REALLY, REALLY NICE. Wow, we Ladies are spoiled rotten now. I don't think we could ever go back to a normal room.
Rainy season, should of taken more umbrellas and raincoats. 1.5 days of full sun. But we enjoyed every moment together.
The BEST experience we shared as a family was snorkeling in Honduras! Mom was the security guard on our belonging, while her kids totally frolicked in the ocean. Wonderful memories. We will do another family vacation in 2 years, centered around snorkeling and diving.
The NCL food was marginal. Thank goodness for the lovely Cagney's restaurant that we had as a stateroom priviledge for breakfast: which was fantastic, and lunch: that we all became addicted to the shrimp cocktail and a lovely salad they would make for we Hassler with spinach.
Dave and Lisa's rooms was very nice too. Great for two people.
Again, the NCL staff was terrific!
1/28/2013 - Celebrity Cruises "Equinox" 1/11/2013 - 11-Nights Ft. Lauderdale, FL USA
First of all, some good news. The Port of Portland has approved my plan for a Military Hospitality room at PDX. It has been a four year battle.
The cruise was fine, accommodation's weather etc. Somewhat on the downside, however, was Celebrity. The food, entertainment, club room for elite members, left something to be desired. Please, Mike, understand this has nothing to do with you. We could not be more appreciative of what good care you have taken of Cheri and I and yes we will be going again sometime this year. We were not the only ones who came away feeling as we did. Perhaps the fact that we were told by many people that we would see the difference added to our expectations. Well, we did not see it and we will be staying with RCCL.
I hope you do not think we are "cruise snobs" we are not. As I said many others felt the same way.
I hope all is well with you and feel free to share my good news with your brother. All it took was a Lt. Col. ERet. with a bigger foot than mine to open the right door.
11/20/2012 - Holland America Line "Zuiderdam", 11/9/2012, 10N, FLL Canal
Hello Mike....got home yesterday from our Panama canal cruise and would like to thank you ... Wish I could tell you we had a great time, but for the first time in our cruising history I turned in a very long complaint letter to Holland America. The service was so bad in the dining room we totally missed the first show. the next night....the ship cancelled the show because of audio problems. Everything on the ship was broke!!!!! coffee machines...toilets....etc. etc., then we found out the ship is going into dry-dock next week! All 6 of us in our group....said we would never go with Holland America again! We're not giving up cruising.....just Holland america. Love and Happy Thanksgiving!!!!! Betsy
11/20/2012 - Princess Cruises "Sapphire Princess", 10/20/2012, 28N, Hawaii & Tahiti
We just returned from our 28 day Hawaii and South Pacific cruise and had a wonderful time. Thank you for your work ... We appreciate the work you do. Hope you and your family have a great Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas.
Howard & Heelan Barlow
11/8/2012 - Holland America Line, "Noordam", 10/22/2012, 14N, FCO-FLL
Just a quick "thank you" for all that you do and all that you've done over the years. Another great trip! I decided to leave 3 days early and we were lucky to fly F class to FRA and connected with LH to FCO. One lost bag (all our evening clothes) but was found and delivered to our B & B the next morning. We had a wonderful time roaming the villages around Civitavecchia until we boarded the Noordam on October 22. Met up with two other couples onboard who are friends of our friends back in Des Plaines. Couple of rainy days, one in Malaga and one in Madeira. Hey, open the umbrella and start Singing in the Rain!
The superior veranda suite was spectacular! How the heck do I go back to a regular balcony again, let alone an inside cabin. Our friends were in cabin 4045 and we were in 8083. Their cabin seemed like a closet compared to ours. Rumor has it, money can't buy you happiness. True! However, it can sure make you a hell of lot more comfortable. I've attached a couple of photos. Thanks again. Ciao for now...Phil & Mary Lou
10/23/2012 - Celebrity Cruises, "Millennium", 10/7/2012, 15N, MIA-SAN
Diane and I got back from our 15 day Panama Canal cruise late Monday. Great trip, and we want to thank you...As far as the Celebrity Millennium, "Solsticizing" was disappointing. Just more specialty restaurants as far as we could see. Internet service has become a nightmare - everybody has an I-pad connected to the onboard wi-fi, and the ship satellite link cannot handle the volume. The connect times ranged up to ten minutes waiting for access to a web site. Many unhappy campers! In spite of a this, we still had a great cruise. Diane won $1350 at Bingo on the last day!
Thanks again for all of the great service. Carl & Diane K.
10/14/2012 - Cunard Line, "Queen Elizabeth", 9/30/2012, 15N, VCE-ATH
Hi, Mike. Thanks for the goodies. Good cruise, generally nice weather and filled some bucket-list squares :o). Interesting that the economy is getting to Cunard also. Saw some signs of nickel-diming, but still nice...P-poor Wi-Fi though. $47 for 120 minutes, and I think we got maybe 10 emails sent, a few more received. It kept losing the signal, and it would take minutes to sign back on. Expected better from the Queen. Enjoyed it. Thanks again, Mike
10/7/2012 - Celebrity Cruises, "Century", 9/25/2012, Vancouver/BC to San Diego/CA
Hi Mike. Thank you so much for a very nice surprise! We just got back Friday night, and doing the usual after cruise stuff — laundry, bills, etc., — getting back to reality. The Pacific Coastal cruise was a great itinerary — if you haven't done it yet, I highly recommend it. We learned where not to book a cabin, but that's part of the live & learn stuff. While being near the elevators wasn't a problem, the fact that the housekeeping staff's room & cart were right outside our room was not a good thing. We're not morning people, and the attendants talk to almost everyone that passes them. Century isn't as well soundproofed as some of the other ships we've been on, so it was our alarm clock most mornings. This isn't meant as a complaint to you, more of an FYI if you have other people booking on the Century. When we book Hawaii, we'll most likely do it on the Solstice. While the Century was very pretty, we definitely liked the Solstice class better — more to do & a younger crowd. Several older Celebrity passengers said they mostly book the Century because it's not as large a ship & easier to get around. Anyway, thanks again for a smooth booking & the snacks — we keep giving your name out to other cruisers!
Nancy & Dave
10/6/2012 - Oasis of the Seas, Royal Caribbean, 9/15/2012, Western Caribbean, "Out of this World!"
"Hey mike it's Felicia from FedEx. I hope you and your wonderful family doing great. We've been back from the Oasis of the Seas ... Western Caribbean for a couple of weeks and I just wanted tell you it was OUT OF THIS WORLD and whatever you need me to do both that it was out of the this world ... you can use me as the Oasis of the Seas rep. I mean no complaints everything was wonderful Mike. Just above everything that we expected. I did Zip-lined we did everything so we're looking forward to our next one and we told all of our friends and they will be calling you. Thank you so much Mike, it's Felicia, bye."
Click below to listen!
10/4/2012 - How To Create Your Own Cruise Line Luggage Tags!
9/17/2012 - Azamara Quest, 10-Nights, round-trip Civitavecchia (Rome)
Hi Michael ,
Well, all I can say is Amazing! We had such a Wonderful cruise , can't wait to do another with Azamara! Thank you again for everything you did. I will recommend you highly ! Ps - our rooms were great ! Sincerely, - Alisa
9/6/2012 - Carnival Paradise, 5-Nights, round-trip Tampa
We all had a wonderful time on the Paradise, and beat out the storm that was headed to Tampa. Thanks again, and we will be looking for Alaska next. Out of San Francisco and in 2 years. Laura Larski/UA
9/6/2012 - The Sandwich Fair, Sandwich IL - Mike & Jo - Did someone say funnel cake?
8/11/2012 - Carnival, Carnival Spirit, 7//31/2012, 7-Night Alaska, round-trip Seattle
8/9/2012 - Princess Cruises, Ocean Princess, 7/1712, 16-Night round-trip London/Dove to Norway
Hi Mike: Mimi and I want to thank you for all you did in helping us with our great vacation. Everything worked out perfectly, and we had a wonderful time. Norway fjords are beautiful! Thank you for the chocolate dipped strawberries. They were delicious!--Ralph
7/13/2012 - Celebrity Cruises, Eclipse, 6/23/12, 14-Night round-trip Southampton to Scandinavia/Russia
Hi Mike – We are back from the wonderful trip to the Baltic, and we added a few days in London. A really good time with so much to see and do. Many thanks .....
Ruth, Maureen and Marilyn.
Cocktails with friends from England and Wales that we met on a prior cruise.
7/5/2012 - Holland America Line, Prinsendam, 7/10/12, 14-Night round-trip AMS to Norway
Yahoo....Thanks, Mike! Thanks for all you assistance! We're already packed and ready to go!
Dee & Jim
7/1/2012 - Princess Cruises, Dawn Princes, 6/14/12, 12-Night Fremantle-Singapore
Saba and I returned from Singapore today after completing our first cruise. It was a wonderful experience. We both thoroughly enjoyed it. I would like to thank you for all the guidance and assistance you provided to make this happen. Also much thanks .... It was much appreciated.
5/18/2012 - Princess Cruises, Sapphire Princess 4/28/2012 7N LAX/Coastal Cruise
We enjoyed our California Coastal Cruise. The weather was cool but we expected that and the only cloudy day we had was a sea day. Thank you............. Thank you for all the extra work you do to make vacation time special.
Thanks again, Howard & Heelan Barlow
4/30/2012 - Princess Cruises, Caribbean Princess 4/22/2012 7N San Juan/PR
Just wanted to say thanks for setting up a great trip! We had a blast. Thanks again. Michael & Kelly, IL
Mike: Had a great time on the Equinox. Referred a retired UAL executive now working for ANA. They will contact you. They are in ATL and do a lot of cruising. The Equinox is awesome. Celebrity does a great job in all areas. Will go again in November. Happy Easter. Chris and Herb Brousseau
THANK FROM BONNIE AND GEORGE FOR ALL THE WORK U DID FOR US. WE HAD A WONDERFUL TIME ON THE ALLURE OF THE SEA SHIP. THE FLIGHT WAS VERY GOOD TOO.THAT WAS MY FIRST CRUISE, I COULDN'T BELIEVE HOW BIG THIS SHIP WAS. THE SHOWS THAT SAW WERE VERY VERY GOOD. ARE ROOM WAS VERY NICE TOO. THE FOOD WAS VERY VERY GOOD. THANK YOU
GEORGE & BONNIE
Thank you Mike!!! My goal was to make sure we will
not be bumped. You and HAL have surpassed our
expectations. Thanks again for the excellent
service. We are honored to be you clients.
Edward and Lillian
3/14/2012 - Princess Cruises, Coral Princess, 3/13/2012, 14N, LAX-FLL
Sitting on the back deck of the Princess Coral relaxing. Check in was effortless and the ship is lovely!
Thank you for the strawberries!
Mark and Mireille
3/8/2012 - HAL Rotterdam 60 days, San Diego round-trip
We are in Tucson, AZ now and have finally managed to shake the cough that
lasted until the middle half of the 60 days we were on the ship.
Tom spent several nights sleeping (as best he could) on the aft deck.
He wanted to breathe humidity into his lungs and another reason
was to enable me to rest (not much sleep in the upright position)
in the cabin.
We visited the doctor on the first segment, got the codeine syrup, inhaler and
cough drops. This did nothing to help. On the second segment, another doctor
came to our table on formal night and told us 620 people came to the med center
on the first segment. GIS was also an issue (close to half of the 60 day cruise on red alert
and officers were even serving food in the lido)
but we think the viral respiratory “whooping” cough was the primary ailment since
the GIS people are asked to stay in the room and not go to the med center.
FYI...We understand from other customers that the Rotterdam had a major refit in late 09
that compromised the ventilation as well as the plumbing systems on this ship.
We have never written a letter to Seattle before, but plan to send one to Mr. Kruse
expressing our disappointment and anger.
Thank you for responding to our email. As well, thank you for the champagne which
we were able to enjoy during a birthday dinner(before the whooping began) in the Pinnacle Grill.
The beverage cards came in handy. Thank you for everything.
Just an FYI for future bookings on HAL...
As you know, HAL now has lower promenade staterooms that have been revamped
and are sold as “lanai” rooms with a sliding door opening onto the deck.
These cabins have 2 reserved deck chairs. Daily calls to the front office are made
regarding these chairs because other customers use them. We saw two elderly men
fighting over the chairs and a walking cane was the weapon! During the 60 days on ship,
some of the deck chairs were unusable due to the crew closing the area for repairs/tendering...
then the sun was too intense and then the crashing waves drenched the chairs.
I would advise your customers not to book this new offer from HAL.
Sending you a few pictures of the various territorial boundaries “lanai” customers
placed on their deck chairs. Some even took the cushions into their staterooms.
We are “watching” the 2 segment Fll-Rio-Fll next january.
Ronda and Tom Kenna
February 10th, 2012 @ 7:55PM
Warren H. Gresh, Mike's Dad, died in the loving arms of his family on Friday, February 10th, 2012 @ 7:55PM
12/28/2011 - Where to park at Port Everglades/Ft. Lauderdale if you're driving to the pier...
Mike We started using Park N Go at 1101 Eller Drive (just 2 blocks from the Terminal) It is now $7.99 p day if you book online......$12.00 if you just go over there. I read a lot of reviews and they were all good. They have your car ready when you arrive back and it was a completely hassle-free experience. They were at the terminal when we got off the ship at 7:30 am and even gave us 2 bottles of water for the ride home. Would highly recommend this company. Thanks for all your help. We will go again in October or November. Chris Brousseau. Here is their link: http://offairportparking.com/portevg/
12/3/2011 - Royal Caribbean, Oasis of the Seas, 12/3/11, 7-Night, Caribbean
Thanks for everything!! The hotel, transfer, and check-in have gone seamlessly. We so appreciate your expert planning of this wonderful trip(and the added treat of chocolate covered strawberries that were awaiting us in our stateroom are a great treat).
Time figure out how to get to muster drill!
Sincerely, Steve and Mary Rauter
11/3/2011 - Princess Cruises, Golden Princess, 11/9/11, 14-Night, Hawaii
We just wanted to thank you sooo much for sending us on another great trip!!. It was all that we would have expected, the sun, the fun and the beautiful Islands. We appreciate your gracious help on every trip we book. And, my father in law also had a wonderful time. He was not bored at all like he thought he would be. We especially want to thank you for the surprise of the chocolate covered strawberries, they were so good.
Here are a couple of pix of us having a great time!
Until the next trip, thanks :)
Mark & Luella Arrigo
11/3/2011 - Celebrity Cruises, Solstice, 9/29/11, 12-Night, Barcelona/Spain
Hi Mike, Just a follow-up THANK YOU for the recent booking with Celebrity Cruises aboard SOLSTICE. What a great trip if not the best-ever. I've attached a REVIEW I did for TRIP ADVISORS that you may want to take a look at. It reviews the new rail service from the port to Rome vs. the bus.
We were the first sailing for SOLSTICE to call at Salerno, Italy instead of Naples. What a major improvement. Naples is not a user-friendly city and often dangerous whereas Salerno is very safe, clean and so easy to get around. The ship docks in an industrial side of the port but construction is underway for a new cruise terminal almost right in town. This port has major potential and a future.
Thanks again for a wonderful experience.
[ This is a recommendation for passengers on ships stopping at the port of Civitavecchia (Rome) who want to get to/from the city of Rome with the least amount hassle and lost time .]
ROMA EXPRESS REVIEW October 2011
Private Train Service For Cruise Ship Passengers
Port Of Civitavecchia To St. Peter’s Train Station/Rome
There are now two (2) choices for getting to/from Rome when cruising The Mediterranean aboard a cruise ship. You’ll sail into a port town called Civitavecchia where either a cruise ship sponsored bus will carry you from the ship into Rome or you can take a newly offered service called ROMA EXPRESS, which is direct train service to Rome from your cruise ship.
You’d think the train would be faster and certainly more comfortable... Yet it isn’t. You’ll be wiser to avoid it and take a faster and more direct tour bus/coach right from the ship to Rome.
The ROMA EXPRESS requires you to first board a bus (from the ship) to get to the area the private train is parked at. It’s only a few miles from your ship but it will take a greater amount of valued time away from the benefits of a direct bus and provide you with far less time in Rome.
Here is what to expect:
- Disembark from your ship to a motor-coach. The entire bus will have to fill before you can depart.
- Bus over some 1-2 miles to your train awaiting your arrival.
- Board the train and choose tight and uncomfortable opposing facing seats (50% riding backwards and just the opposite for the other 50% riding forward). Here you will wait until the entire train fills up from a series of buses from your ship and other ships docked at the port. It took us 40 minutes of sit time until we departed (by now the direct buses into Rome were well into the trip almost halfway there).
- Once filled, the train departs with a diesel engine that pulls it onto the ‘main line’ where it will then connect to overhead powered lines for electrical motive power into Rome. Its fast once you get rolling.
- Like the buses operating the route, it serves no beverages. The cars are old and the P.A. address system is just as old and very difficult to hear. There are two reps that go along for the ride to count and keep track of you the entire day (although they only stay with you for the rail journey).
- You’ll be dropped off at the St. Peter’s train station, which now requires a 20-minute walk to Vatican City (the buses have already arrived right into Vatican City and require no walk). Your day is free from there on but you’ll need to be back at the train station no later than 4:30PM in our case. That means you’d better factor in the 20-minute walk back to the train station.
- Same scenario in that all passengers from all ships must be in place before the train departs back to Civitavecchia.
- In our case, once we got back to the port town of Civitavecchia, Roma Express failed at having a bus meet us upon arrival for the short shuttle back to the ship. We waited another 25 minutes for a bus to take us from the train and back to the ship again.
We’ve done Rome three (3) times before. The bus has always allowed us a full day in Rome for seeing the ever-important sights. The train allowed us just enough time for lunch and The Spanish Steps before heading back. It compromised our day in Rome greatly.
It’s another option. However, I highly recommend the bus over the train if seeing Rome is why you came in the first place.
WWW.Aloschibros.Com will get you tour operator information.
WWW.SeaTrain.Biz will take you to the actual Roma Express website.
10/27/2011 - Celebrity Cruises, Solstice, 10/11/11, 12-Night, Barcelona/Spain
Hi Mike, Just wanted to say thank you for helping us plan our wonderful cruise. Your little extras made it really special as this was my first time to cruise and to visit Europe. It was awesome!! (That's really awful since I've had United passes for 44 years) I can't wait to do it again. Probably the Caribbean next time in the spring. I'll let you know when I know for sure. I'll also spread the word to all my Flight Attendant friends to use you for their travel plans. Thanks again for everything! Karen Lockemer
10/27/2011 - Princess Cruises, Golden Princess, 10/12/11, 14-Night, Hawaii
Mike: Diana & I were so surprised on board Golden Princess, when a plate of fantastic chocolate covered strawberries were delivered to our cabin on 10/12. It could not have come at a better time as well. Upon boarding, our cabin keys wouldn’t open the door, and after the 4th attempt, a supervisor came along with a little computer did something to make it work. He gave us a bottle of champagne, and 5 minutes later the berries arrived. Your treat was much, much better then the bubbly! It made the day, and they went very quickly! Thanks again.
Great trip on a great line.
Jim & Diana
(got home an hour ago)
10/26/2011 - Celebrity Cruises, Solstice 10/11/11, 12-Night, Barcelona/Spain
Mike, Back from my cruise and it was great.
Thank you for the upgrade,we enjoyed the balcony,the snack box was also enjoyed and the tour to Ephesus was really special,we met With Ken and his wife,I was very impressed with the quality of the tour guide and I would not hesitate to recommend their tours and use it myself. Once again ,thanks for making my vacation very memorable.
Looking forward to cruising again,
10/19/2011 - Carnival Cruise Line, Conquest 10/9/11, Western Caribbean, Galveston/TX
Well, we are back from a successful and enjoyable cruise.
Had a wonderful time and look forward to the next one.
Shore Trips did a marvelous job and we will definitely use them again.
I do have a couple of criticisms for Carnival, most notably a very poor Maitre D in the restaurant. I will be e-mailing them and will copy you for your information.
One thing. The Verandah Deck is a poor choice for cabin. The reason is that it is directly below the Lido Deck public areas, and every time someone moves a table or chair it is audible in the cabin.
By the way, we were (and Bakers, too) assigned late dinner. That worked out fine, and they gave us a table for four together. Also excellent. I have decided that I prefer the late seating.
More later, Gordie Cohen
10/8/2011 - Royal Caribbean, Allure of the Seas 9/25/11, Western Caribbean FLL
Dear Michael, My mother, Mary, Dee and I would like to thank you ...
It took us a day to get use to the huge ship but by the end of the cruise we really did enjoy our time.
The rooms were small and both rooms were not set up for two twins they were set up as king beds. I was a little upset about that, but it was rectified by the time we got back from dinner...it just delayed the unpacking and getting the room organized.
Our room was on the side of the port for each stop which was nice. I am not sure if you set it up that way, but it was greatly appreciated and we enjoyed our balcony every morning and each evening as we left port.
We all decided when we book our next cruise we will look for a smaller ship, but I am sure it will be Royal Caribbean since I will be a Platinum on my next cruise with them.
Thank you again for everything!
Dee, Linda, Kay & Mary on Second Formal Night.
9/26/2011 - Celebrity Cruises, Millennium 9/2/11 Alaska CruiseTour, Denali National Park
9/20/2011 - Princess Cruises, Ocean Princess 8/25/11 Dover/UK round-trip British Isles
Hi Mike: We had a great time on the UK cruise. The owner’s suite was terrific! We couldn’t have asked for better weather. A touch of rain at the Military Tattoo in Edinburgh (:40min. or so) and some sprinkles in London during the second week we were there were the only downsides. We were surprised to be elevated to Platinum Status in their Captains’ Circle program. Guess it’s because we were in the suite; we certainly didn’t have enough cruises with Princess to qualify that way. Thanks for the great stateroom gifts! Unnecessary, but appreciated.
Sarah was a bit put off when checking with the Princess rep for her transfer. Seems there was an early bus that left at 7:30 for Dover. It would have given her time to walk the white cliffs with us. The rep said they always have one for folks arriving on the eye burner flights even though Princess doesn’t publicize it. Everything went smoothly, but she had to twiddle her thumbs at LHR for several hours waiting for her scheduled pickup. We’ll know better next time. Mollie and I took the tube (Piccadilly Line) direct to Kings Cross Station, then the fast train from St. Pancras International (adjoining Kings Cross) to Dover Priory Station. As I recall, the tube was £6 each, and I bought a British Rail Network card for £28 that gives a substantial discount on rail travel for up to 3 travelers for a year. Much less than the cruise line transfers, and a lot more interesting from my point of view. The total was about £85 roundtrip for both of us. We used the Network card several times during our stay and will probably use it again next trip; it’s renewable.
We stayed at the Loddington Hotel in Dover the night before departure. Okay in a classic British B&B style. Very nice owners, full English breakfast. A bit noisy during the day with all the trucks heading for the Calais ferry port, but that drops off at night. The room with senior discount was £69 including VAT and breakfast. Lots of good restaurants nearby in downtown Dover. Even a few non-Indian ones lol. We hired a car/driver in Greenock for the day. He was with us for 13 hours; toured Glasgow, several hours at Sterling Castle and a tour through Edinburgh. Then back to the ship after the Tattoo. His name is John McElwee, owner of Interdrive, Ltd. Office is 044 141 639 0202, Mobile 044 7718 900 056. Email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I heartily recommend him. Very personable and knows his stuff. He was also substantially less expensive than any other operator I could find. We also got a car in Dublin since the arrival time wasn’t right to visit the Hill of Tara and Newgrange on a regular tour. We started with Conor Keane of Dublin Chauffeurs. All my communications were through him, although he’s part of a group of drivers who share jobs depending upon who’s available. We ended up with Kevin (can’t remember his last name, but picture what you’d consider a typical Irishman in your mind – that’s Kevin)! In an S-Class Mercedes. Quite the car. Kevin knew the area like the back of his hand. Dropped us off at Oliver St. John Gogarty’s Irish Pub/Restaurant in the Temple Bar area of Dublin after a full afternoon/early evening of touring. The pub’s owner is dedicated to Irish music and features 2 floors of live music daily. Fun! Dublin Chauffeurs is at +353 86 6089344; email email@example.com. Again, highly recommended. £45 per hour. Certainly inexpensive, especially with the luxury limo. Remind anyone heading this direction to make reservations at Newgrange. We did see a lot and took the regular tour of the other mound that’s open to visitors, but Newgrange itself was fully booked when we arrived. Hope you’re having a great fall. It’s still in the 90’s in Reno, high 70’s here at the lake. Talk to you soon, Bruce Morgan
9/15/2011 - Holland America Line 9/7/11 Rotterdam round-trip Scandinavia/Russia
Hi Mike. ThanksMike for strawberries and wine and a great room just up the stairs to the Ledo and downstairs to computers in the Explorers lounge. You didn't warn us about this extended layover in St Petersburg because of the weather and the Russian regulations. Weather turned windy and colder so we have stayed overnight at the pier in St P and will continue on directly to Stockholm if we get out with the convoy today at 12:00 (before the ice sets in)!. Actually the entire cruise and all of our excursions have been wonderful. Thanks, Glenda & Jim
9/15/2011 - Azamara Club Cruises 8/29/11 Dublin-to-Liston
We enjoyed Azamara but have not been on Regent or Silver Seas to compare. The ship was older & the cabins need some updating. Service seems to be their main strength and when we complained about our bad mattress (we could not sleep), they brought us a new one! Food was excellent and their specialty seafood restaurant, Aqualina, was outstanding! Definitely worth an up-charge. We loved having tips included, the wine with lunch & dinner and the free shuttles in almost every port. They definitely take care of their guests & we will probably sail with them again sometime. Sandy/AA retired
9/13/2011 - GOOD SERVICE IS THE HALLMARK OF A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS
Hello Mike, I want to Thank You for the speed and efficiency you have displayed in accommodating our friends for this trip that we are all looking forward to in January 2012. Oh yes, another year ahead and there will be nothing better than starting it out enjoying good friends.
You have been helping us with our Cruise needs for many years now. It has always been a delight to work with you. I can't tell you how much I appreciate you showing that great service for my friends, as you have for Billie and I so many times.
Enough for those kudos, when are you going to send the Limo to get us to Galveston. Only kidding.
Have a great day, Herb
9/9/2011 - On Homeport Cruises 19th Birthday!
Fred & Charlotte Kappel
9/9/2011 - On Homeport Cruises 19th Birthday!
Doesn't seem possible, Mike! Just yesterday you and I spent time in the cafeteria at Chicago Reservations letting employees of your wonderful service to them! How quickly the years pass.
Hope all is well with you and your family.
Hugs, - Matalynne (UA reservations/ORD)
9/9/2011 - On Homeport Cruises 19th Birthday!
Happy Birthday Mike, and thank you for so many years of great service, and may you have many more. You're the best!!
Betty Tomaino UA/retired
7/26/2011 - Princess Cruises "Sapphire Princess", 6/27/2010, 7-Nights, Alaska, Seattle RT
Here are a couple of pictures of us on the Alaska cruise. We were able to go to see the deck and talk to the Captain. He was really really nice. It was a great great trip..... know I look like a drowned rat, it rained a lot!!!
Luella A - WN
6/28/2011 - Holland America Line, Maasdam, 6/25/2011, 7-Nights, BOS-YUL
We’ve never taken a multiple family vacation before, so it was a new adventure. It all worked out beautifully. We boarded early (we did not have to be all together) & I went immediately to request the 5:30 dining. He put us in a 5:15 slot!
Randy was amazed at how attentive the cabin stewards were. They cleaned the cabin while the family was at breakfast, then tidied it up after Aidan’s nap, then tidied again after both boys’ naps! Randy was quite impressed with the food & asked if the food on the 2 other HAL ships we’d been on was like ours.
I have a friend who wants to do the Baltic cruise & has looked at our literature from our cruise. I have given her your phone numbers.
Thank you, Mike, for making this special event even more special!
Sincerely, Betty R
6/28/2011 - Celebrity Cruises, Infinity, 6/17/2011, 7-Nights Alaska, RT Seattle
I wanted to thank you again for the outstanding service and the sail-away gift…both were greatly appreciated. It has been a real pleasure booking through you for nearly 15 years. Diane and I had a great time on the Celebrity Infinity Alaska cruise last week. This was our 27th cruise on Celebrity and 7th time on the Infinity. Even though ten years old, the ship was in great shape (it is scheduled for a dry-dock major overhaul in December). Obviously, we like Celebrity…great people, service, and food.
What can I say about Alaska? This was our 12th cruise to Alaska, and as usual the scenery was spectacular. I never tire of unspoiled beauty of southeast Alaska, and I tell all of my acquaintances that if they take only one cruise in their life, it should be to Alaska! I have included a few pictures from our trip:
Celebrity Infinity @ Seattle and Float plane trip out of Ketchikan
Rush hour in Ketchikan and Engine control room tour (first ever for us)
Looking forward to our next cruise and working with you. Regards, Carl and Diane Knable
4/28/2011 - RCCL, Voyager of the Seas, 1/16/2011, 7-Nights, Galveston/TX
Just want to say a big Thank you to you...for helping us on our first cruise, it was absolutely the best vacation my wife and I have had hands down.
Now I have another favor to ask of you...
James & Amy, Houston TX
4/4/2011 - Falmouth, Jamaica - RCCL's new port in the Caribbean
Our sailing was the first sailing of the Allure to call on Falmouth. This was also my first time to Falmouth. Although the port area is still not fully completed there was still lively entertainment including stilt walkers, steel drum bands, and a warm Jamaican welcome from all the people at the port area.
Interestingly enough, Falmouth was one of the original ports of Jamaica and 200 years ago was the busiest trading port in the Caribbean. Falmouth was found in 1769 and many of its Georgian-era buildings date from 1760s to 1840s. In the 1800s Falmouth was the wealthiest New World port south of Charleston. It even had piped in fresh water before New York City did.
The master plan for the Falmouth Port incorporates pedestrian streets lined with Georgian styled buildings inspired by the original architecture. Outside of the port, within a 10 minute walk, are the historic structures of Falmouth. We even offer a 2 1/2 hour walking tour of historic Falmouth as one of shore excursions.
Falmouth is conveniently located between Montego Bay and Ocho Rios on the North coast. It is less then a 30 minute ride to Montego Bay and under an hour to Ocho Rios. You can chose a broader array of shore excursions from any of these cities. Here are some of the photos I took of the port of Falmouth:
Mitch Platt, RCCL BDM
4/2/2011 - Share files on-line - Free. We use Dropbox @ Homeport Cruises Co.
You're invited to join Dropbox! Online file sharing, file sync, and backup made easy. www.dropbox.com
Safely and seamlessly sync your files with Dropbox. It's the innovative way to share your files and access them anywhere. We use this FREE service @ Homeport Cruises Co.
3/26/2011 - Disney Cruise Line "Disney Dream" 3/30/2011 4-Night Port Canaveral/Bahamas
Family pictures take by Chris Schmidt/DL during inaugural cruise season of the Disney Dream...
3/26/2011 - Royal Caribbean "Adventure of the Seas" 1/16/2011 7-Night San Juan/PR
Hope this email finds you doing well. Delayed on many things including my thank you note .... A proper one is coming I promise and we are looking forward to booking another cruise for the beginning of next year. Do you have any suggestions on where else we can find warm weather in February other then the Caribbean?
Also my Aunt and friend are wanting to book a 10 night cruise on Princess in August. Can you handle fares for them or suggest the best place to look for booking? I am sure that she doesn't qualify for my airline rate.
Hope business has been well. Adventure of the seas was a really big ship. Their food and entertainment were questionable...I never would have thought I would say that. However the weather was perfect and it was a great get away. Talk with you soon. Jackie T/United
3/8/2011 - Windstar Cruises "Wind Star" 2/26/2011 7-Night Costa Rica
Hope you're having a good week. Mollie and I returned Sunday from the (Windstar Cruises) Wind
Star cruise in Costa Rica. Had a great time! I was iffy about the destination, but Mollie had been talking about it for years, so I bit the bullet after our VRC cancellation. I'm glad I went. Lots of fun activities onboard and wonderful scenery. I'm writing to recommend Transportation Costa Rica for transfers to/from SJO. They were prompt, reasonable (no travel industry rate, but Stephanie offered us a net rate that made it more reasonable than some of the other companies I found online) and very accommodating to our schedule changes. Please caution anyone heading for CR to keep their eyes closed when riding on some of the old roads - double yellow lines and blind curves are simply challenges to the local drivers! Thanks for your usual wonderful services and the delicious strawberries!
Until next time. Bruce & Mollie
2/16/2011 - Royal Caribbean "Oasis of the Seas" 2/19/2011 7-Night Western Caribbean
We're back from the absolutely fabulous Oasis of the Seas cruise and had an awesome time. That is the most incredible ship we've ever been on. We left our motel in Hollywood, FL at 11:00 and were in our cabin before 12:30 and in getting off the ship we were out of our cabin by 7:30 and back at the motel by 9:00 (including waiting for the luggage to be brought off about 45 minutes due to a malfunction in one of the exit doors on the ship).
In addition, we stayed in Ft. Lauderdale 2 days before and after the cruise and found a great 3-star motel (Days Inn Airport Hollywood south) that had all the shuttle service we required and then some. Besides picking us up at the airport, getting us to the ship and back, and back to the airport, they also dropped us off and picked us up at a nearby mall with a KMart and BJ's Warehouse Club (like Sam's or Costco). They had a good breakfast that went along with it and were next door to a Denny's and across the street from a Holiday Inn so we could get a good lunch and/or dinner. Their rates were okay through Expedia and Travelocity. It was peak season and we paid about $119-$135 a night for the motel. We have more information for you about the Days Inn, who get the majority of their customers from Travelocity & Expedia. Our experience in getting 2 suitcases of full of food, dental supplies, and other goodies to Labadee (Haiti) was very meaningful for us, too. Thanks for your help in making this happen. Your loyal cruising customers, Chris and Nancy G
2/16/2011 - Celebrity Constellation 1/29/2011 14N Deep Caribbean
Hi Mike - The cruise on Celebrity Constellation was perfect! The renovated ship is lovely (may become my favorite), wonderful weather, excellent food, fun table-mates & delicious chocolate covered strawberries! Thank you for the taste-treat!
Looking forward to the next one! Ruth R
2/14/2011 - Carnival Dream 2/8/2011 7N Western Caribbean Port Canaveral, FL
Thank you Mike for the canape tray. We enjoyed the ports very much and the warm weather was great. The capacity of guests 4,200 was a little overwhelming for us. We found out that we prefer the smaller ships. Anyway thanks again and have a good day. Sincerely, Jo Ann B
2/14/2011 - Carnival Spirit 2/6/2011 5N Mexico from San Diego
We are back from our cruise. We all had a wonderful time on our virgin voyage. Everything worked out just fine. We had the two balcony cabins next to each other. The staff opened the partition on the balcony so that we could go back and forth to both rooms. The staff was friendly. We did well for rookies. Thank you for all of your help making the last minute plans. We look forward to doing business with you again. Sincerely, Marguerite C
2/13/2011 - Celebrity Millennium 11N Deep Caribbean San Juan/PR
Mike: We were floating around in the Caribbean at a good time while the home-front was having a good taste of real winter, lots of snow and cold. This year's cruise was just great in all aspects, and the Lymans were very pleased with their first adventure aboard ship.
This was our third time on a Millennium Class vessel and our favorite. Last year's Caribbean Princess was over crowded and you knew it on sea days. Now that leaves the Constellation to travel on and we find that possibility for next year, however, to make a change into the Caribbean we are looking at the Celebrity Equinox for eleven nights called the "Ultimate Caribbean Cruise" for 2012, leaving the end of Jan or sometime in Feb and makes stops in Central Am. This looks like our next one.
On the Millennium our cabins, meals, hospitality and service was just great. Evening dining on Celebrity is two or three notches above Princess. Celebrity is a class above. And Mike, thanks for our welcome toaste in our rooms upon arrival. You did us well for 2011 in the Caribbean. THANKS - Bob & the Hounds
Re: RUAEA - Retired United Airlines Employee Association
Recently you've sent e-mail's to all your recipients regarding information on how they can obtain a great deal on a cruise. Those company names you've sent to us are good interline websites. However, I'd like to make one thing clear for all our fellow retirees and employees. ALL INTERLINE DEALS ARE CREATED EQUAL! Equal in the sense that they all offer the same price. No more, no less than the other guy.The difference is in the proficiency, efficiency, and customer service you receive!
I've been cruising since 1988. My wife and I will be taking our twenty-third cruise on January 16 out of EWR to the Caribbean provided the weather gods cooperate. We've called, Mike Gresh, year after year. He is the Best of the Best! You can book your future cruise with Mike at
www.homeportcruises.com or call...
Please call us to discuss any of these fine cruise lines:
1-800-473-6170 - Interline & Military
1-888-225-6732 - Seniors & Groups
He will also be able to book a cruise for your non-interline friends and family.
Sincerely, Phil Maita (ORDCS retired)
Mike: Thank you for all the help with MSC as well. Your customer service skills plus attention to detail keep us coming back to you. BJ Brittenham
Ref: Celebrity SUMMIT 12/4/2010 San Juan/PR RT
Bob and I just returned from our cruise on the Summit and I just wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know that it was fantastic. The room (6143) was excellent. The location (tucked between 2 suites) was very quiet, and our balcony was 3 times the size of a regular balcony. The concierge class adds some nice perks, and of course my Captains Club Elite status does too. The Select dining worked out perfectly, we had a table for 2 every night by the window. All in all a wonderful anniversary cruise. We are looking forward to our next cruise already. We just can't go until we work off all the food we ate on this one. Thanks again. Sherryl
Hi Mike, Thanks so much for the wine. We enjoyed the cruise on Celebrity. Our thoughts on the cruise line are as follows:
Celebrity Infinity 11/21/10 14-Nights
1. The smoking policy was the best we have experienced on a cruise line.
2. The staff was superior.
3. Main dining room food was excellent.
4. The breakfast and lunch buffets were good. Dinner buffet not so good.
5. Entertainment was superior. Best we have seen on a cruise ship.
6. Ship a little shop worn.
We would book Celebrity again especially on a newer ship.
Happy Holidays from John and Teddi
Thank you for the adorable picture of your dog. Somehow I get the feeling that the doggie enjoyed the 4 inches of snow more than you may have!
I will be checking out the 2 for 1 cruises – some of them look real nice.
Thanks again for all the help we receive from you.
Have a wonderful and healthy Christmas Season.
Fred and Charlotte
Crown Princess from Southampton, England to NYC, 9/2010
Phil & Mary Lou -UA retired
Once again, Mike, thanks so much for your help.
You are the best of the best! I just checked out our room...
Good morning Mike - Our Panama Canal cruise of the "Statendam" was great. No glitches. Good class of mature, well-traveled clientele. There were about 800 repeat "Mariner" cruisers onboard so two recognition luncheons were held on two different days. The food and menus onboard have been upgraded and the makeover of public lounges, Explorers Cafe, etc., is spectacular. I like the little extras provided such as fresh-squeezed orange juice every day, canvas tote bags, robes in the cabins and fresh flowers in public areas. Their production shows and spa areas aren't as elaborate as those found on larger ships such as the "Caribbean Princess" but overall, I find Holland to be a superior product. I'll stick with them and Celebrity.
Grant W/DL retired
We enjoyed our cruise (Zuiderdam 10/14/10 Holland America Line) and thank you Mike for the treat in our cabin. Everyone on the ship treated us like we were special people. Thanks again.
Jo Ann & Bob Baade
Just to let you know-
The Eurodam transatlantic was great. Room [ Suite ] was perfect. The Captain and the crew were the best I have travelled with. We met up with Earl so missed Nova Scotia and Sydney Canada but they were very good in keeping us informed and after the threat was over and we were on our way to NY, they threw a great hurricane party. The other ports were amazing – not the normal cruise type ports but just great. The naturalist and port shopping guide were also top of the line. Just an all around very interesting cruise with great service. And again, thank you for the wine. We enjoyed it. Now for the next cruise. Are there any interline rates for... Thanks. Marilyn and Marty K
Good Morning Mike - Barbara and I are back home after a lovely time on Uniworld. Thanks so much for the gift of chocolate covered nuts. I would definitely go on them again - perhaps the Duoro River or Eastern Europe next time.
Thanks so much for the edocs! We've never had such great service from an interline last minute cruise. Thanks again! Frank and Margo
Peter and I took the Azamara cruise on Sept. 19 and wanted to let you know that we really enjoyed the trip. Smaller ship than what we are used to, however we did not feel it. We will take Azamara again!!!
For a well arranged trip/cruise from which we returned last Saturday. Also thank you for the 'Vegetable Basket & Dip' which was delivered to our room. We are very appreciative of this. We had not visited this beautiful part of our country and Canada before this trip.
PS: You're the man for our next cruise
Chris & Nancy G
Aboard the East Troy (WI) Electric Railroad Dinner Train
Paul & Brenda - and - Jo & Mike
East Troy Electric Railroad
Congratulations and Happy Birthday (Homeport Cruises) Mike!!! You do such a wonderful job of taking care of all of us, that you will have many more birthdays to come. Thanks for all you do.
Congratulations on 18 years in business, and thank you for 18 years of outstanding service.
Diane and Carl Knable
Hi Mike: You made an excellent decision not to book NCL cruises. I booked a last minute reservation for a two week cruise out of Miami [ not through Homeport Cruises ] ; leaving August 14th. After the first week's experience I canceled the second week and left the vessel. It was the worse cruise I've ever experienced...… a "cruise from hell" in so many ways! From now on I'll stay with HAL !
Mike - We're looking @ booking another family cruise to the Caribbean sailing January '11. Will call you soon. Marty K.
Michael, thank you for the lovely Bon Voyage gift of assorted nuts. We enjoyed munching on them while sitting on our balcony aboard the Celebrity Millennium last week due to the lovely weather we gad in Alaska.
Never having sailed with Celebrity I was impressed with how many staff they had and how well taken care we were. Our experience was positive, the ship was clean and the crew very helpful. The food was good and plentiful. The entertainment was very good too.
I was disappointed in the fact that my fellow passengers did not dress for a cruise but dressed as they would do at home. This may only be the trend in the US. I guess I must now plan to cruise in Europe to confirm my shipboard dress expectations.
Thanks for your help.
Biking In The Caribbean - or Waterfall Glen
Hey Mike, Mom and dad loved Alaska, Holland America was wonderful. ... Thanks john
Mike....…We just wanted to thank you for all you did to make this a GREAT vacation experience, this was Laura's first cruise and she is sold on this means of taking a vacation...…The 8th floor (top stateroom floor) worked out very well, and everything was very convenient...…Thanks also for the chocolate covered strawberries, nice treat. ..We liked the open table dining experience, especially the flexibility of when to eat dinner. Again I would really recommend the Royal Caribbean line, all of the staff we met were fantastic and of course the perfect weather you ordered for this Alaska cruise was appreciated, sunny most days and no rain during the days. Any questions on our experiences please call, Thanks...…Tom & Laura Starke
Hi, Mike....I'll be glad to recommend your services to my friends! Thanks for the chocolate covered strawberries onboard ship - we really enjoyed them. The 20 day cruise was wonderful! We had one change in our itinerary - Goteborg instead of Stockholm due to the royal wedding. We were probably the only happy pax onboard as my father was born outside of Goteborg! Phil and I ventured out on our own with the help of a cabbie (arranged a flat rate) and were able to revisit the actual house that my father was born in!! What an unexpected treat! I had visited this tiny village called Askhult when I travelled with my dad in 1983. The property was bought by the govt. to show how life was at the turn of the century. I didn't know if the village continued to be maintained and was delighted to find it intact. Pictures of my aunt, grandmother and other relatives either were hanging or published in the tiny book about the village! What a trip - the Baltic's were great and of course, the fjords are magnificent. Holland America does such a fine job!
We are aiming for a 30 day cruise next time....Will keep you posted. Thanks again, Donna Grassi
Re: Diamond Princess 17-Nights BEJ-BKK
I thought I had written you long ago....Found the partially finished note in my Drafts. Seems like ages ago already, but our Asian trip was special and I recommend it to anyone. I'd like to go again. We would probably go on Princess again, but we weren't all that impressed. Here's what happened:
The night before we were to dock in Shanghai I realized we hadn't received our tour tickets. Tour desk was closed so I called down to customer service desk. Upon checking the computer they said we had no tours scheduled, to come to tour desk in the morning. This was no fault of yours...I made all the tour reservations on Princess website and had printed confirmation. The gal at tour desk was very rude....Computer error, that's it, too bad. It was too late to get a tour for Shanghai, much to our disappointment, and another tour we had booked was also full. We weren't able to get into Shanghai until late due to fog. Thought we would be able to find a tour if/when we got into city, but wouldn't you know, the one and only place there were no locals vying for tourists. The delay cut our time in Hong Kong to only one day which was disappointing to all. Lesson learned....Always check tours as soon as possible. A gal from Princess called me to talk about it so at least they did read the letter I sent.
We had rainy, foggy weather for several days, but true to promise it got hot by Viet Nam. Every port had something interesting. Open dining was no problem even though the ship was full. We didn't encounter lines at any of the dining facilities. There were lots of activities on board so you could be as busy as you wanted. The nightly entertainment was quite a disappointment...the poorest of our 3 cruises. We weren't the only ones who thought that....It came up in every dining conversation. There were people from all over the world on the ship....Very interesting conversations. And one night we shared a table with 4 other Republicans (even 2 from CA).....We had fun hashing politics that night.
If you book anyone on cruise to Asia, recommend if they have allergies or sinus problems to bring medication! One Clariton pill on the ship cost $3.50. Fortunately we found a pharmacy in Kowloon and the pharmacist spoke English and helped Jim find medication. There is lots of pollution, dust and mold from damp weather.
All in all, a wonderful trip experiencing lots of new things. Sorry...I thought I had sent this e-mail long ago!
Dee & Jim/Nevada
HELLO MIKE, I JUST WANTED TO PASS ALONG TO YOU AND NCL, WHAT A GREAT TRIP I HAD ON THE NCL "JEWEL". THE SHIP IS A REAL BEAUTY. THE CREW WAS ALL FANTASTIC! I REALLY DIDN'T CARE ABOUT THE DESTINATIONS, PORT CANAVERAL AND THIER ISLAND AND NASSAU. THE HEAT WAS TOO MUCH TO RUN AROUND. THE SHIP WAS, MUCH TOO NICE TO LEAVE. THE ROOM STEWARD'S WERE JUST GREAT. THE CAGNEY STEAK HOUSE AND LA BISTRO WERE A 10! MY WIFE AND I RELAXED AND HAD A GREAT WEEK. WE LOST IN THE CASINO, BUT WE DIDN'T CARE, IT WAS FUN. I'AM DELIGHTED THAT NCL HAS EXPANDED THEIR NEW YORK OPERATION. I SPOKE TO A LOT OF PEOPLE FROM MY AREA THAT WERE ON BORAD. I SPOKE TO ONE WOMAN THAT HAD TAKEN THE TRIP, IN MAY AND CAME BACK IN JUNE WITH HER FRIEND'S. THE MINI SUITE WAS THE BEST WE EVER HAD SO COMFORTABLE. PLEASE TELL THEM, I'LL BE BACK AND WILL BRING FRIEND'S NEXT TIME. THANKS BILL AND MARY PADDOCK HICKSVILLE NEW YORK
Hope you are enjoying the summer so far.
here is a unique shot of the crew on holland america's
ronda and tom
Hello Mike !
We're back home now for a while and I thought to let you know, that we had a wonderful trip down to Mexico. We didn't venture too far, because we did see most of the sights on previous trips, food and service was excellent as always.
I know the following is still many months away, but I thought to touch base with you beforehand. We are celebrating our " Emerald Anniversary " next year and if we stay healthy and fit, we are looking at the Hawaii-Tahiti cruise of Holland-America on 3-4-2011...
Thanks for all your help !
I always have felt that you look out for us with the best offers and price and suggestions.
I thought I'd let you see a face to a name.....The four of us Steve, Suzie, Tom and me.
Hello Mike, from SCWest,
This is to thank you for the gifts you sent to us while we where aboard the Equinox. It is quite a ship. The Caribbean cruise was fine, however, with Margaret's reluctance to join organized excursions, our ability to go beyond the ports of call was limited. Anyway, the arrangement for dinner with our friends worked very well indeed. Thanks, Mike.
Anyway, we are back home and in one piece. Our plans to visit Scotland in June to deposit my personal papers in the archives of my University in Glasgow are now off. It is the Icelandic volcanoes' eruption and the uncertainty of flights that put a definite NO to it.
Hi Mike. Made it home (first class no less). Great trip, really enjoyed the Queen Vic, great service, good food, not too big, not crowded, good entertainment, all positives..except for the many tuxedo nights. One of the first cruises where we were sorry to leave. We could have stayed for more.
Thanks again for all your troubles with that damn Indian visa (Kochi was a total waste, by the way. Yuk!)
We owe you one.
Might be looking for that 7 day New England cruise (Montreal - Boston) come the fall, with the leaves , etc.
I am SO glad this is all working out! It's nice to be working with a real professional!
Mark is in Johannesburg tonight and I am off to Athens all day tomorrow...we will get together on Friday and confirm some details such as table size, etc.
Just wanted to drop you a line to let you know how much the four of us enjoyed the Oasis of the Seas (Group sailed 3/20/2010). All we can say is WOW!! And of course you could imagine how Pat was, being it was her first cruise ever.
Sooo... we went ahead and put our open cruise deposit again on board the ship. I hope the information was forwarded to you. We are looking into Alaska but the ship told us the Alaska itineraries have not been released yet.
So on behalf of myself and Carol we are asking you that as soon as they are released you can possibly send us some information on the sailings and pricing as well. This will be for 2011.
Again we had a great time and thanks for the Chocolate Strawberries. They were great.
Looking forward to hearing from you once the Alaska information becomes available.
Good Morning Mike,
Looks as though the jet lag is easing and we have arisen at the usual time this A.M.
Just want to thank you for the chocolate covered strawberries and the great champagne.
As well, the Pinnacle Grill was a real treat for a special birthday celebration. Thank you.
This 73 day cruise is probably the most enjoyable one we have ever sailed. We met so many great people and visited so many amazing places...South America, Antarctica, South Africa, Incredible!India, Singapore.
As you may already know, Holland America, again, exceeded our expectations with quality of product and service.
We hope the World Cruise will be available to interliners in the coming year. It was relaxing, educational, and a perfect way to spend the winter.
We appreciate you for assisting us in choosing this cruise.
Thank you, again, for your stellar customer service.
P.S. We were able to recommend Homeport Cruises to a few other retired airline employees. I hope they will become customers of yours.
Back to VT which has been snowless for sometime until today, nine inches. Looks good.
Had a very enjoyable two weeks in the Caribbean. We have been on the Grand and Sapphire Princes ships and all was satisfactory but the Caribbean Princes presents a problem. It has an additional deck which accounts for 500 more passengers and that causes a problem on sea days, it is toooooo crowded, had breakfast one morning standing up and the pool areas become "times square" all day long. Never again on a 3100 pass. Vessel. Otherwise we had a most memorable cruise. For the first time though we could not obtain an abbreviated copy of the NYTimes so missed any US news for a couple weeks. Oh yes, a full copy of the Times was available for $15.50 at one of our port calls.
We always leave VT a day earlier than necessary and therefore have two nights lodging before boarding for our cruise. At PR we stayed at the Embassy Suites and loved it. About eight levels with a big atrium, large pool area, good dining, and two blocks from the beach. We highly recommend it.
Looking ahead, we are eyeing a Celebrity Cruise on the Millennium out of PR on l-24-11 (probably for six).
That's it for now, Bob
The Scamman-Parker-Weier entourage returned Sunday night following our 14day back-to-back cruise on the Caribbean Princess.
It was an enjoyable trip...no glitches... We appreciated having 4 adjoining cabins midship on an upper deck. Great location.
This was my 30th cruise but my first experience on Princess. I prefer smaller (medium size) ships... more congenial, less walking.
Food was good but not great. Celebrity does a better job in that area. I missed some of the extra touches found on Holland America and Celebrity, such as complimentary tote bags and bathrobes in the cabins..the fresh-squeezed OJ on HAL... and the daily shipboard edition of the NY Times. The decor of Holland America with original artwork in their public areas/stairwells can't be beat. Probably most in our group didn't even notice that and could have cared less. I think all of us would agree, however, that the highlight of our vacation onboard the Caribbean Princess was the entertainment, specifically the production shows..... Best choreography and dance talent I've ever seen. That's probably one advantage the mega-ships have over smaller cruise vessels.
All in all, Princess is a good mass-market product. I know our group enjoys them but think I still prefer Celebrity and Holland America for those little extras I just mentioned.... Different strokes for different folks. It's a matter of personal choice.
Hope to meet you one of these days when I'm in the Chicago area.
Thanks again for all your help.
Thank you Mike!
Nancy, Marissa and I are looking forward to this one very much. We wish we could take all the girls.
I also continue to rave about your service to those I fly with.
Captain Scott Meade
Director of Flight/Chief Pilot-NY
Cape Horn yesterday......Palmer Station, Antarctica today, approx. 65 degrees South Latitude......wonderful clear wx with cerulean skies and cirrus clouds. White sperm whales charging the ship, but dissuaded with a "Dundee" index/pinkie finger hand wiggle.
Best to you, R&T - DL/retired
Hey mike....Just wanted to pass along my girls thx for the wonderful cruise you found them....Was just rite!
ricki ray NW/DL
Returned on Sunday from 13 day cruise. The Soltice is the most beautiful ship we,ve been on. It was all very nice. As always thanks for your help.
Bye the way, the train from Rome to the port was a snap. If we could do it anyone can. If you have a lot of luggage I would discourage going that way. Thanks again,
Mary Ellen & Bob Kogut
Mike Gresh, Sales Manager, Homeport Cruises, attains cruise industry's highest ranking - ECCS 2009 Scholar. Who did you trust to book your last cruise?
Oasis of the Seas - 3 minute movie of Outside Photos
Oasis of the Seas - a photo movie by Mike Gresh
Mike, just wanted to let you know our cruise with the Lavezoli's was perfect! Your pick of cabin locations was the best! Had a great time and you have 2 more new devoted customers now! We will be looking after Christmas for a cruise with Jerri and Larry Kieltyka, perhaps in February. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Betsy Votour
Hi Mike: We just returned from our cruise on the Monarch of the Seas and wanted to thank you for all of your help with making the wonderful arrangements. Everything was great....We loved the rooms you chose for us (and Betsy and Ted Votour) and enjoyed everything about the cruise. NO COMPLAINTS.....................Good Job!!!!. Kindest personal regards, Theresa and Rick Lavezoli
Have an excellent cruise you deserve it for all the great work you do for the rest of us.
Bon Voyage, Howard & Heelan Barlow
Mike: If you ever need nomination for Tour Coordinator of the Year, let me know! Call me when the Galapagos gets affordable.
BJ - Southwest Airlines
Just had to thank you for making all of our reservations on Wind Spirit, Athens-Istanbul, for our family of 8. It exceeded all of our expectations!!!! Will be in touch with you in the future and share your name and number with friends. You were great to work with! A few people came up to us and asked what we were celebrating to be all together and when I told them that all of the boys were just home from deployments and that my sister in law just had a successful kidney transplant, they sent bottles of chamgne/wine to our table...!!! The bar bill, however was huge...
Eris and Steve Hunter USAF
Mike, here are the four of us leaving on our flight from MSP to EWR on September 30th to begin our October 1st cruise from Bayonne NJ aboard RCCL's Explorer of the Seas. Left to right Ihla, Mary(Katie) Sue, Marilynn. The weather was a little cloudy and rainy, but that never stopped us from having a great time. We dressed in layers and had gloves and umbrellas. Not much different from Amsterdam. Our two dinner couples at the 5:30 seating meshed perfectly with us. Enjoyed their wisdom, as they were in their late 70s early 80s. Thank you for the bottle of wine, we enjoyed it on our balcony at sea. The room was a perfect size, with a walk in closet and plenty of drawer space, good size bathroom too. The steward had no problem with providing us with a rollaway bed. We are all spoiled now, I don't think I could cruise with anything other than a Jr. Suite!
Thanks again for you great service, Sunshine and Blue Skys
Sue Psyk, NW retired
(L to R) Ihla, Katie, Sue and Marilynn
Re: Celebrity Century 10/3/09 7N BCN RT
Mike, Back safe & sound, a long journey but we enjoyed the cruise....Was the perfect match with our afternoon cocktails, all went well, weather was really great and we enjoyed the ports we visited. Thanks again for all your help, will be in touch when Angela gets the 'bug' again! Cheers, Malcolm - BA/retired
We want to thank you for all the wonderful service — the Godiva chocolates were an amazing surprise! We always appreciate your excellent service, but sometimes we take for granted that your bookings are done so efficiently & we never have to worry about anything — not always true for other agencies as we found out from the other interliners on this cruise!
Even though we didn't mention our interliner status, as requested by Silversea, it didn't take long to determine that most of our floor was either interliners or travel agents. Since we were on the 5th floor, we started calling ourselves members of the '500 Club' - great group of people.
Silversea was amazing - the staff catered to your every whim, and genuinely seemed to enjoy their jobs. If you have clients who want to be pampered, and don't mind dressing up (tuxes were the norm on formal nights & sport coats on the informal ones), this is the cruise line for them!
If you have any clients that are put off by the tux part, Burlington Coat Factory carries them for $100-$200, and JCPenney is around the same. We accidentally ran across them when looking for a new sport coat for him & it was really nice to have. While no one acted any differently toward the guys without tuxes, it was kinda nice to fit in.
Thank you again for a wonderful vacation!
Dave & Nancy - America West aka USAirways
Brent can't remember if he sent a big thank you for all the work you did in planning our three - family get together on the Disney Wonder. We all had a wonderful time. All the little kids are hoping we can do it again! I'm wondering if you ever had the occasion to go? It was perfect for the 5, 6, and 7 year old. They LOVED going to the Oceaneer Club! The 3 1/2 year old wasn't too fond of the characters-except for Cinderella. He also backed out of the Oceanier’s Club. I know every child reacts differently but for that 3 1/2 year old it was a little overwhelming. The other three begged to go!! Our only disappointment was that the (space) shuttle didn't go up as scheduled-the night we left port. What a ringside seat we would have had! Disney, as usual, had everything planned to perfection and we loved it, too. High School Musical is big and they even sent some of the stars from the movie to perform at the afternoon "party" by the Goofy Pool. We got separated from the kids when we went to the private island so we ended up at the adult beach....Beautiful, quiet, and so relaxing. You had asked us to send pictures...and we will! Why is there never enough time to do everything you want to do? Do you want people photographs, scenery, or a combination? I should know how to do it but I will ask Brent to send some when he has a minute. I guess we can send you a bunch and you can select. Again, thanks so much. Cruising has become much more complicated over the years-there was a lot of computer work and things to fill out for you and us, too! Oh, yes, I almost forgot. Disney handled the peanut allergy child's choices just fine! Yea!
Sincerely, Pat Mayo
Just wanted you to know that our Disney Cruise on the Disney Magic was Great! The service, food, customer service, ship, cabin, tours, well, everything was about as close to perfect as it can get. Talk about seamless and hassle free, Disney knows what they are doing and do it to perfection. We could go on and on and have been to all of our friends and family. If anyone is squeamish about all the kids on board and how it affects all of the adults traveling without...no worries....That too is handled in the most professional way and there are plenty of quiet areas, adult only areas, kids only areas and programs that the the whole Disney experience is thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. Needless to say, we will be cruising on Disney again and hopefully will be able to bring many of our family members along with us! Loretta, Steven and J. R. Palumbo - WN
Hi, Mike! We really enjoyed the cruise - cabin 345 was ideally situated! Thank you for the delicious chocolate dipped strawberries - that was a nice surprise. We are in Anchorage today awaiting the train ride to Denali tomorrow....The tour has been spectacular so far. Donna
Thanks Mike....And thank you for the up-grade notification! We were very happy to see we will be in the middle of the ship and close to elevators. It has been great doing business with you!! Maureen Skow
Mike - Our family just finished the Disney cruise and are now back home. Alll connections were made, the weather was perfect, the food was excellent. Many thanks for your help. Regards, Pat and Brent Mayo - Disney cruise Line 7/12/2009, 4-night Bahamas
Re: Celebrity Century, 4/25/2009, 14 night, MIA-AMS
Pictures of Living room, dining room, bathroom, bedroom, closet, dressing
table, 1100 square feet Plus the balcony, and 3 plasma TV's, Another
couple that I worked with at Delta went with us and it was his birthday, so
We had our butler Serve all of us dinner in our penthouse.
4 of us shared the penthouse, my 2 sisters Helen & Dorothy and a good friend
Sandy. I think I told You that we paid $3,800 to upgrade but that amounted
to only $950 each for 14 day cruise, what a Bargain,
We figure it was a trip of a lifetime. - Maggie/DL Retired
Just returned from our cruise yesterday. Terry and I had a great time. Holland America did a fine job once again.
Just a quick line to let you know that my trip was WONDERFUL!! Thank you for helping me to make it such a memorable experience. You will be hearing from me, and I have passed your web address to other interline friends! Thanks again!! Would highly recommend the CARNIVAL VALOR
Tony Vasheo, UAL
Most agreeable, sincere, "I'm here for whatever you want" guy that we know. - Adele S.
Ref: NCL Dawn 5/3/2009 Bermuda Cruise
I must begin by apologizing for not e-mailing you sooner. But you know how it is when you come back from Vacation.
First let me thank you so very much for the Chocolate Strawberry’s. What a surprise and how delicious they were.
Everyone was quite surprised and they all enjoyed.
The Cruise was great. I don’t know if you have ever been on the Dawn but let me tell you how surprised I was at the size of the bathroom. You could move around in the shower that is how spacious it was and it even had a shower door and not a curtain. The whole set up was great. The Freestyle Dining was different from what we are used to but they took reservations for Diner so that made it nice. Over all the food and service was good but did not come up to the other Carriers standards. The ship itself was nice as well as the crew members.
Thank you so much for all you did to make our trip turn into a great vacation. My cousins enjoyed their first cruise and hope to do another. As for my cousin who had to cancel she was devastated and said you were very helpful for which I am grateful.
I saw the picture of your daughter on the Web Site. Congratulations to you and your wife on having an intelligent and beautiful young lady for your daughter.
Hope to be making plans again soon.
Had a “GREAT” time on Uniworld and would highly recommend them. The ship is in the best shape of any we have been on. The food is good and the crew was also great. Try to talk people into cat 3. Everyone in 1 & 2 said it was noisy with engine and waves. For all the shore excursions and wine that was included with dinner, we think the price was good also.
Thanks for your help. Vinnie Scharneck
Thanks for the (Cunard QM2) upgrade. It should be very nice.
However, (in my humble opinion) they may have a long way to go to compete with AMA!! I have come to the conclusion that AMA (AMA Waterways River cruises) does not need any new business. They will survive very well on repeat business! Many of the passengers on our cruise were 'repeats' and I can see why: Give good service and the business will follow. Just like Mike does at Homeport Cruises!!
HAL ROTT 1/19/09 45N LAX-HKG
Tom and Ronda, DL/retired
Thank you for everything you have done for us! We appreciate your help. I will remember you on my next trip. We are very excited! Thank you!! Carol Garrison, UA retired
Mike - An overdue note of thanks, but we got back last Sunday (Easter) from the week on the Crown Princess, and it was just a busy week. \ We had a terrific time. The ship was lovely, the itinerary was outstanding, and all your help made all the difference in the world. Thank you so much for the chocolate covered strawberries, which we enjoyed over a couple of nights. And I am sure you helped someone with their gift of champagne and appetizers, so thanks for that too. Everything from your prep and guidance was seamless and exceeded expectations. For our "first time cruiser", it was a great choice. Their Pelican Kids Club was terrific for a 5 year old. She spent a part of most days or an occasional evening there. Well, managed and lots of activities for the kids. Overall for our first Caribbean cruise in almost twenty years, a nice update to what cruising is today. We loved the anytime dining, and the head waiter who took a shine to Abigail (traveling with a cute, precocious little one who orders off the adult menu has its advantages) booked us a standing table in the corner of the dining room we liked that turned out to be next to the captain's family tables and he had his family and extended family on the ship that week. So by day 2, he ran into Abigail out at some social function and was calling her "my little friend". I was impressed that on "formal" nights when we chose to use the more informal cafe space, once with just me and Abigail and a second night just with Abigail (Tim and I chose that night for the Crown Grill), they still had that area with white linen and tuxedoed waiters and you did not feel second-class. Our room was essentially perfect. A lot of effectively used space and the balcony was a big hit for all. The location was great, but the only thing I would have change is being one deck lower, as being just below the pool, etc., deck, led to scraping noises at either odd times when people were moving tables/chairs up there or the staff was plopping out the lounges early in the morning. But not a major issue at all. So thanks again and while not maybe with the frequency of some of your "addicts"/belly flop champions (I am so proud of Dad), we will definitely come back to you again. Best, Diane
HEY MIKE: BILL PADDOCK HERE. I WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW HOW MUCH WE ENJOYED THE TRIP. THE EURODAM IS A GREAT SHIP. THE "HAL" PEOPLE WERE GREAT. WE HAD TO CANCEL OUR STOP AT GRAND TURK ISLAND DUE BAD WEATHER. WE HAD CLOUDY WINDY WEATHER THE FIRST COUPLE OF DAYS. MY WIFE HAD A GREAT TIME. SHE PAID FOR THE TRIP THE 3rd NIGHT WINNING BIG AT ELECTRONIC POKER. THE SERVICE WAS SUPER, THE STAFF GREAT, THANKS AGAIN BILL PADDOCK
Re: Holland America Line, Amsterdam, 3/1/2009, 16-nights, Valparasio-to-Rio
For many days I've tried to attach some pictures to send you, with no luck. Have to wait for my son to help me and he's on Spring Break. Our cruise to SA was perfect; even the weather around Cape Horn. Thank you for the chocolate covered strawberries and the work you did putting together the nice cruise. We connected with several terrific people, from Vancouver to England and Japan; language was no problem even bartering for the lowest van fare possible in Punta Arenas. It was a hoot!
Our fun was with the activities including "Olympic" contests. Ro crushed his opponents with a shattering belly flop in the pool. What a guy! He made me proud! We also were blown away, again, by having the same activity director from 3 cruises ago shout out our names as we were touring the ship before departure. We became close friends with her and her dancer fiancée.
We loved the casual dining option and used it most of the time — there was much to do and didn't want to spend it eating all the time. I've caught up on my sleep and Ro is looking at more cruising for next year!
Your cruising addicts, ADELE & ROMAINE
Hello Mike.....And how are you doing today? We just had our 12 day cruise to Panama with our friends and it was awesome! I think "Jewel of the Seas " is now my favorite ship! Betsy, USAir/retired
Thank you, Mike, for the nice bottle of champagne in our stateroom when we departed Los Angeles for Hong Kong.
FYI, our room was set up parallel to the hallway instead of perpendicular and seemed much bigger than usual. We were very pleased with the service which was the best of any Holland ship we have booked.
A world cruise, even if it was only 2 segments, is a little more special than the regular 2 weeker, or even the longer 4 week cruise we did last year. I bet that ship will be painted 4 times before they get back to FLL.
We definitely will look into next winter's world cruise on HAL because of the great experience we had this year.
I want to write a cruise review for your website and attach a couple pictures. Will send it in another email whenever I get my stacked up mail/tax preparation and dirty clothes out of the way.
Thanks again for your excellent service.
Ronda and Tom Kenna
Always nice to return home and to boast & brag about 14 days of 80's and sunshine! Very good cruise overall. Celebrity #4 but did not measure up to the previous three. I rated this cruise 8.5. Time for the Mercury to be retired, probably due to being spoiled by the Summit, Infinity and Princess ships. Our cabin on the aft was great (224 sq. Ft, actually two rooms) but could not use the deck. Always wet in the AM, black nasty soot on the floor much of the time (from the smoke stack I guess) and no lounge chairs (just chairs covered with soot). The wet came from three levels up, public outdoor eating deck that got cleaned each night. Good experience being in the Aft but a one-time thing. Public pools very limited on the Mercury. Evening shows were excellent. Mercury band was excellent. Food was very good but I missed the 11pm eating that you can get on Princess.
Happy New Year!! We have just returned from Florida. Thank you so much ...our sailing onboard the Veendam. We had a WONDERFUL cruise!!! Our cabins could not have been better....Excellent (419,421)!!!
We have taken many cruises over the years as an interliner and this is first time we have been upgraded....What a wonderful treat. Thanks so much for your assistance and your excellent service. We look forward to calling you again!!
Pat & Ed Riddell
Celebrity Cruises, Infinity, South America Cruise, photo by Costi and Margaret Audeh.
Finally I am able to select 3 photos of interest. As you may imagine I took many digital
Photos, deleted over a hundred and saved about 900l!!!
The photo I like best, (DSC10167) is of the white speckles of salt in the shape
Of an arc on the carpet which has a pattern of many colored arcs. This photo was
taken after the Celebrity Infinity made a real sharp turn which resulted in the
emptying of the hot tubs on deck ten, the pool/restaurant deck, and creating
Havoc in the restaurant. As a result of the sharp turn, most of the pepper and
Salt shakers fell off the restaurant tables. As I picked them up off the floor,
I noticed that ONLY one of the salt shakers created a "semi-circle of salt" on
The carpet, as shown in the photo. It seems that, as the Infinity
completed her turn, this specific salt shaker, now on the floor and on its side,
Turned on its horizontal axis "in sympathy" with the Infinity. This action
created the semicircle of salt as the salt came pouring out of a couple of holes
Of the salt shaker. Of the many hundreds of photos I have taken during the 2
Cruises, this ONE is the best!!!
The other 2 photos are of a waterfall and a glacier that "end" in the Pacific
Ocean. A detailed map of the Magellanes district of Chile shows that there is one
enormous glacier that contacts the ocean at many different locations, this is just
One location which I think is Glacier Italia. It is a strange scene when a waterfall starts
In a snow/ice-covered mountain and dumps into the ocean. I have never seen that
Congrats on your award,well deserved.
Wishing you and yours a very Happy Holidays and a most Prosperous 2009,
CONGRATULATIONS, MIKE!!!! You are #1 (always have been) and are glad to see this news. Merry Christmas to you and your wonderful family ... and a new year filled with lots of good health, love and joy in your life.
Can't wait to book another cruise with an Elite Cruise Counsellor!!!
That last cruise we took on Mariner of the Seas in October was fabulous! What a great ship! We got detoured from Eastern Caribbean to Western Caribbean because of Hurricane Omar but Captain Per Christopherson was great. He kept us informed every step of the way and had open questions to him in the theater several times during the changes.
This has made Royal Caribbean our absolute favorite cruise line!
Hope to book another one through you soon — depending on our wonderful economic crisis.
Congratulations, again, Mike!
Nancy and Chris
Morning Mike....How are you doing today? We got home Sunday after a fabulous 7 day cruise on Mariner of the Seas! That's an awesome ship and my personal favorite! We ran into Hurricane Paloma however, it had died down to just a tropical storm and we experienced one day of torrential rain and winds of 40 m.p.h. No problem...we played cards, Mexican train dominoes and soduko.
Mike - got back yesterday from the Statendam Panama cruise (10/25/2008 sailing) with Eloise. WE GOT UPGRADED ! Veranda Cabin 034 on Navigation Deck. That will probably never happen again — but we sure were grateful and suprised. Now, Hugh and I are thinking of a short cruise. Thanks again, Mike. Nancy King P.S. Eloise got her 100+ day medallion (I got mine this summer on the Prinsendam). Maybe that put us on a "upgrade" list.
Just noticed that Holland America is giving interliners fantastic deals on their long winter cruises. I want to show all of you a few pictures of the cruise offered this winter season (at a nice price reduction from last year). We took this trip last January on HAL Ryndam. Holland America, as usual, gave us a very memorable vacation to the South Pacific, Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands. The ports of call are incredibly beautiful and the water sports are so varied and exciting (try being in the water with sharks AND sting rays at the same time)!! Thank you again, MIKE, for your excellent customer service. Tom Kenna and Ronda - DL retirees
Hi Sweetie (Mike),
Thank you so much for the delicious chocolate covered strawberries!!! Yummy. I was so surprised when I opened the door and there they were! That was so thoughtful of you. We had a great trip. I would never go there again. It is beautiful, but so poor and dirty. I was actually mugged in Manaus - luckily, he didn't get my diamond necklace (it was partly my own fault for wearing it, but I forgot that morning, and went out with it on). It all worked out all right, except Dave broke his little finger trying to wrestle the guy — he got him, he didn't know that my chain held! Dave also got the "virus" for a day and that was a bummer, we had to cancel our excursion in Hualtaco (no big deal there). We had such a good time, and are looking forward to the next one!! Again, thank you for your thoughtfullness, we truly appreciate it!
Love, Beth & Dave, USAirways, retired
George and I would like to take this opportunity to express our sincerest thanks ...
During our Alaskan cruise on the Infinity, departing on September 19th, 2008.
The chefs did an outstanding job seeing to it that George did not have ANY corn products served to him during
The cruise. They would provide him with a menu for the next day and, when his meal arrived at the table, sometimes
It would be a bit different from any of ours, but just as delicious. And, believe it or not, this included desserts as well.
We had beautiful weather all but one day out of fourteen. That was amazing.
However, all of this enjoyment came about because you do what you do so VERY WELL. When we listened to some of
The glitches our friends ran into in planning this cruise, we appreciated you even more.
Thank you for your kindness, your thoughtfulness and your professionalism.
George and Mary Fagan
(Two more of your “Many Fans”)
Regina and I just returned from our cruise (aboard Costa) and we want to thank you for all the help we got from you. Everything went perfectly smooth.We were very impressed by Costa Cruise operation,very friendly personnel onboard, we would recommend them to everyone. As for you, we have already given your name to quite a few friends. I am so happy Betty (UA/retired) sent me to you. We want to thank you .... Our tablemates were jealous.
Until we sail again, take care.
Mardele and Regina
Re: Celebrity Cruises Century, 10/31/2008 10N roundtrip Barcelona
I don't have any doubts about this trip - I know it will be amazing.
You will definitely hear from us again and I will definitely refer you to my friends.
Audrey and Ruth...enjoying the 'bubbly' in anticipation of their upcoming sailings aboard Holland America Line's "Eurodam".
Port Canaveral is a great port to sail from; the transfer down to the ship is about 35 minutes and really easy. Here's an idea…did you know that you can pick up an Enterprise Rental Car (off site) and drive down to the port instead of taking a transfer? You can do a 1 way rental and there is an Enterprise rental in Cocoa Beach that has a shuttle that runs to the ship terminal. The cost of the rental car is less than a transfer price if you have a couple of people in the party. If you have an early flight, this gives you a chance to see the beach, go to Ron John's , etc.
Laura/Carnival Cruise Line
“NCL is not an interline partner with Homeport Cruises Co.”
What in the heck is wrong with them??? Thank you for checking the other lines. I’ll see…the date wasn’t perfect, anyway. You’ve done so well by us over the years (even as infrequently as we book) that I hate to think of going with someone else. Thank you, again.. Lynne K
Rebecca, Marissa, Michael & Susan - Naperville, IL
Princess Cruises 7/19/2008 14N Med Cruise, RT Southampton/UK
Even if you live in paradise (Maui) you can still enjoy cruising.
Dick and Marleen, AA retired,
Celebrity Cruises is their favorite line.
These photos are from Romaine and Adele...from their recent Alaska Cruise Tour aboard Holland America Line. Photos are of the part entrance. If you've been to Denali National Park before you'll remember these scenes...
I read almost all your letters, well after all that , I think you are busier than I expected, which is a good thing. Not a bad word about you, but I knew that, you are very special. Thanks again for all your good service.. Looking forward to the Carnival ship splendor in the spring .Thanks again Barb and Mike. UA/retired
Princess Cruises, Sapphire Princess, 6/29/2008, CruiseTour 6B
Homeport Crusies Co - Group Name: The Hounds!
This is the group to Alaska.
Top Left to right: Bob Parker, Waiter, Asst. Waiter, Bruce Scamman
Bottom Left to right: Barbara Scamman, Betty Bouchard, Bob & Lynn Bouchard
Alaska, Denali National Park. Park Road Toklat Grizzly...
Grand Princess - 2/8/2008, Western Caribbean: The Hounds Group
This is from the Western Caribbean trip Top L to R Head waiter, Bruce Scamman Eddie Ruel,Bill McCarthy, Bob Parker, Asst.
Bottom L to R Betty Bouchard, Brenda Ruel, Barbara Scamman
--Mike, Thank you so much for everything you did to make our cruise a good trip. It was a wonderful start...Cathy Cowan
Just a quick note to tell you and your clients that Carnival Splendor was really splendid. A beautiful ship, great food, excellent service and the production shows (singers & dancers) were fabulous! Even better than some I've seen in Las Vegas.The ports we docked at in Northern Europe and Russia were full of history and fun places to visit. However, our dollar is in the dump! Only Russia would take the green back. All others wanted either their own currency or euros.
Ciao for now... Phil Maita
Hey Mike - Just got back TODAY from our Prinsendam cruise (stayed an extra 4 days in London and got to Amsterdam 3 days early before cruise). As you can imagine, with our shrinking dollar, it was an expensive trip and we're waiting for the credit card bills to start rolling in !! BUT - we are still VERY interested in the Ryndam cruise. I'm going to take a risk, that the price may drop further - and we will have more disposable income in a couple months. Please keep us posted. As to the Prinsendam - we loved it ! Although our room was small, we loved the location. Food was wonderful, cruise stops were phenomenal, crew just the best. But with only 3 sea days, it was a whirlwind of activity. And I got my 100 day medallion - photo ceremony and all ! And I'm not even in a walker yet ! lol Thanks, again, Mike - Nancy K/AA retired
The cruise, land & sea (Princess Cruises) was GREAT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not one negative comment, way beyond expection, especially the week of enterior Alaska. Got within 12 feet of a Grizzly, beautiful.
Mike, for all the wonderful amenities you afforded us. I was absolutely blown away, as I thought they were coming from Royal Caribbean. You were very generous, and I cannot thank you enough. Our Suite was great, and since my mother wasn't able to leave that much, it was wonderful to have family members accommodated comfortably, as we had plenty of seating available. Everyone had a great time, and are looking forward to doing it again. I cannot thank you enough for all of your fantastic care, and understanding, as we did have some bumps in the road. You are so totally professional and efficient, you are the BEST. Thanks again.
6/4/2008 - NWA Employee Group, Celebrity Cruises Greek Isles
We got back this morning from our AK cruise on Holland America's Amsterdam. Mike the whole experience was wonderful - and that is not a good enough word to describe it. The services was outstanding in every respect. The weather was incredible. I have traveled to SE Alaska for business many times and never seen it quite like that. The room accommodations were perfect. The outside cabins you arranged could not have been better as was their location. You did some magic. We will cruise again and we will work with you.
Thx again. Dave K - UA retired
Here is a picture in Glacier Bay last Monday.
PS it is a plus living in SEA for a cruise like this. We drove to the cruise terminal parked our car and got on the ship. We were home forty five minutes after we walked off the ship
Our cruise aboard the Celebrity Constellation: Eloise and I loved our cruise. Inside cabin wasn't bad but I did hate not knowing if the sun was shining when I woke up! Nancy K/AA retired
Thank you very much ..... Also we enjoyed the Holland America Ship. The crew was great and we experienced great Customer Service from everyone. Thanks again always for your help.
In case we haven't told you lately, we really appreciate the work you do for us. I have been reading horror stories on some forums and realize how lucky we are to have someone who knows how best to help us and takes the time to do so. Sharon J/USAirways
Sadie joins Homeport Cruises Co. staff as mascot...
We had a fabulous time on our recent Cruise on the Caribbean Princess on March 16th. It was so much better than our RCCL cruise on the Mariner in October of 2006. RCCL has changed too much...too many differences to go into....But, we loved everything about Princess and we want to cruise again on her. We know that the new ship the Ruby will be sailing starting in Nov. this year. We are interested in a mini suite...let us know if you see any "deals" come up.
Thanks again for all your help and your great customer service.
Thanks, The Azamara Quest cruise was great. The stateroom was very convenient. Thanks for picking it for us. Service was superb and so was the food & entertainment. Hope to do another one soon.
Aloha, Jennie Reynolds
Hi, Mike. Got back a few days ago from the Princess cruise from AKL to SYD.
Pleasant trip, BIG boat, LOTS of people. Probably a notch above Royal Carib. Thought you'd like to know. Seas can get pretty rough (force 9 gale winds, seas to 27' one day), enough to cancel 3 shows, but the boat stays pretty stable in spite of it, probably because it's so big (115,000+tons) and has decent stabilizers.
Might try a smaller boat next time, like Crystal,Alohas - Mike
I just wanted to send you a note and let you know the cruise you set up for Carl and I, Kathy and John Raymond, Peggy and John Papadia, and Candy and Frank Vainisi was wonderful. The ship was fabulous, the food was delicious, our rooms were in a great location and a balcony was the only way to go. Unfortunately, it is all now just a fond memory!
I just wanted to say thank you for setting all of this up for us. Warm Regards, Norine Riggio
Everyone sends a BIG ‘THANK YOU’... That ship (RCCL Liberty of the Seas) was the best ship I have ever been on. The décor was unbelievable! I’m trying to get another group together for a 3 day again and will be calling you sometime this month. Again thank you!
You are the best!!
I want to thank you for the great cruise we had over Christmas with Royal Caribbean that you and our daughter, Sharon M, arranged. Also, thank you very much ... Barbara and I would like to take another cruise, but at a different time of the year and to a different area. We think a smaller ship would be fun and with a destination other than Mexico. We would like to depart from San Francisco to avoid the airline thing. I guess that leaves Alaska or Canada? As you can tell I don't have a definite idea, but maybe you can help us with your thoughts. Something you think would be fun and is a good deal.
We are looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks again. Sincerely yours, Richard H
Mike-Happy New Year to you! Thank you for your assistance on our family group cruise over Christmas. We did get a little acknowledgement from Royal Caribbean-one day we all had fruit baskets, another day platters of cookies & milk. We also all got "white tags" so that our bags were 1st off the ship and we could depart at out leisure. It was very nice. Our weather was good too. Again, thanks for always thinking of us.
Happy New Year, Mike! We’re back from our first cruise. This was the greatest vacation we’ve ever been on. What a ship!!! Thank you so much for putting this all together for us; and for encouraging me not to cancel the trip due to Jennifer’s passport challenges. Also, thank you ... What a pleasant surprise. Short of US Air losing our luggage on our return trip and not calling us the next day when our luggage finally did arrive, everything went without a hitch---perfect. We learned a lot this trip. We’re looking forward to when we can do this again. Thanks again Mike!
Jeff & Ginny
Mike...Thanks for letting me know you got the fax and that our tickets have been mailed. I'll be watching
The mail for the tickets. Betsy Votour said you got her and Ted in the cabin next to ours. Thanks so much
For getting our group all together. Appreciate all your hard work.
Re: Carnival Pride 12/30/07 7N LA/LB
Thank you very much .... Everyone loved the cruise and we had nothing negative to say about it. Thank you again for all your help. I probably will be contacting you shortly about a 12 Night Greece & Eastern Med. Cruise for my husband and I for our 40th Wedding Anniversary. Thanks again.
Hi Mike - Our 23 day HAL (Ryndam) was fabulous. Our best cruise yet. Met lots of wonderful people and loved the open dining option. Actually, on the very first day of open dining we eight strangers liked each other so much, we dined together every night. I'm keeping my eye out for a February or March cruise. We really like the LONG cruises best. I'm sure we'll be talking soon. Hope you are having a great Holiday Season.
You are a doll!!! Thank you so much. I really appreciate all your efforts. You know you are what makes a difference of one company to another. Can I write a letter to your boss and let them know what a SUPER job you are doing? I know when I was in res. I would get letters, and I know how much they meant to me. Yes, please go ahead and charge my cc for the full amount. Again, Mike, thank you.
Sincerely, Beth Michitsch
Re: Princess Cruises 'Island Princess" 10/9/2007 LAX-FLL
We may be in the minority, but I must say we really enjoyed the "exotic" Panama Canal cruise on the Island Princess. I know there really wasn't much "to see" in Central America, but it was all interesting (Lake Antilan and the Mud Pots). We really enjoyed the ship -- it is very nicely decorated -- and especially enjoyed the Martini Bar where one of the attached pictures was taken (obviously). The other is of Dave on one of the three hanging bridges we had to cross on our rain forest walk in Costa Rica (no it did not rain). We had previously taken a gondola ride through various levels of the rain forest, but it poured buckets that time.
Maridee and David/NWA MSP
Cruise Agents need vacations too!
Mike & Jo....
We had a super cruise..fishing was superb!! We caught 2 barracuda and 4 king macrel……loved it. Ok, hubby was impressed with the cruise and would like to plan the next one. We are thinking about doing the land/sea crusie to Alaska either in 2008 or 2009, but we can’t find prices so that we can see if it is even feasible. We don’t know what month would be good either. Can you help???
Oh, and thanks ...! Carol
Hi Mike: Just wanted you to know that we had an AMAZING cruise! Our mouths dropped open when we opened the door to our Junior Suite – trust me, no more inside cabins for us!! I wanted to thank you ...
This was the biggest ship we’ve been on. For the most part, it was terrific – but we were a little disappointed in the entertainment onboard. The ice show was Olympic quality, but the nightly shows were better on the smaller ships we’ve cruised in the past. The Voyager (Voyager of the Seas, RCCL) had a juggler and illusionist that were perfect for a 10-year olds birthday party; everyone at our dinner table agreed that the entertainment was lacking a lot. And Portofino’s – WOW! Amazing food, service and presentation – definitely worth the extra dollars!
Mike: Once again thanks for your great service, you're the only interline agent I recommend to everyone at United due to your outstanding customer sevice.
Brian, UA MCO
Dear Mike, Thanks for your message!!! I can't believe we are almost on our way. I did receive my VISA and passport replacement. Please keep me informed of any terrific bargains like this trip - I am always ready to travel and can find friends ..... To join me.
I have enjoyed our telephone chats and your efficient execution of our reservation and arrangements -- I am very impressed with your service. That comment from a seasoned traveler is most complimentary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you!
Most sincerely, Donna
Thanks, Mike. By the way, we loved our cruise aboard the Azamara journey!!!! Beautiful stateroom, healthy food, great mineral pool, nice weather, etc., etc. AND non-revving was a breeze. NK P.S. We're keeping our eyes out for a LONG cruise in January or February. Maybe even a "back-to-back". Cheap, too, of course. I'll be looking - but if you see something wonderful, let me know. Oh - I gave your card to a couple people. We met lots of airline folks - forget last names but Jay and Diane, Jim and Gemme, and Marsha and... All from Florida. Hope they get in touch. One couple has "had it" with the interline agency up north.
This is just a note to thank you for the fabulous way you found and arranged for us our Celebrity cruise to Alaska and the land tour which accompanied it!
Lynn and I had a great time. The Summit is a good ship with fine food and activities. The weather was perfect more times than you should expect in Alaska, and we had what was reported as the Summit's closest ever approach to the Hubbard Glacier. The visit to Husky Homestead at Denali, with the chance to hold those puppies, was a real highlight for dog lovers such as we.
Your arrangements and communications were the best we have ever had for a trip. All we had to do was follow the paperwork you gave us, and we avoided any glitches in our arrival, boarding and cruising. Also, I probably would not have thought to be in the Captain's Club had you not noted our pervious Celebrity Cruises and put us there. We did enjoy the perks.
Thanks again! Henry Curtis
Diane and I got back home late Saturday from our Azamara cruise to Bermuda.
Before we departed for the cruise, you had asked me to give you some
Comments when we returned.
Diane and I were somewhat apprehensive about this Celebrity "spin-off" when
We left home. However, from the minute we stepped on board, we were just
Delighted with the ship, the cabin, and the crew. The ship was built in
2000 for Renaissance Cruise line, and was refurbished for Azamara. The
ship's decor reminded me of several remodeled old hotels that we have stayed
In - lots of dark wood paneling, beautiful carpeting and staircases. I have
Included a couple of pictures. The cabins are very similar in layout and
furnishings of balcony cabins on other Celebrity ships — very comfortable,
With flowers and fresh fruit as add on's. The room TV's are all flat-screen
And wall mounted.
The advertised "butler" service seems to be a bit of a stretch, as it
appears to be very similar to the "stateroom attendant" service on other
Celebrity ships, and it is definitely not the same as the butler service we
Had several years ago, in a suite on the Infinity. The service was
outstanding, and I have no complaints, but I just wanted to mention this
Because the term "butler" needs to be clarified.
As far as the other ship facilities, they are very similar to other
Celebrity ships — pool area, theater, main restaurant, two specialty
restaurants, library, casino, a couple of shops, aqua-spa and exercise
Rooms, and very nice "buffet-like" cafe. However, each of these facilities
is not as large as on other Celebrity ships, but with only 750 passengers,
This is not a problem. The food was excellent — up to Celebrity standards
And then some, particularly in the number of food selections available. The
"Open-seating" dinner in the main dinning room has pros and cons. The pros,
you can go to eat when you want; the cons, you do not get to "know" your
Waiter, since you may not have the same table each night. Though, I must
say that the staff tried to seat you with the same waiter's each night, and
We did get to know two or three of the wait staff very well. An added
Feature is the "casual" dress code. It was really nice, not to have to
Bring dress clothes. Interestingly, many people did dress "formally" for
Passengers and Staff: With only 750 passengers on board, there were no
Lines or crowding at any time during the cruise. The only "waiting" took
place a couple of times in the cafe at breakfast and lunch (waiting for
Omelets or special lunches). The ship never felt crowded, and as a whole
the passengers seemed a lot more polite and courteous than on the larger
Ships. This may have been due to the small number of passengers or because
Of the age group on board (primarily 40's plus). There were very few
Children or teens. The ship's staff was the most courteous and friendly
That we have ever encountered. This may be due to the low number of
Passengers, and the resulting lower stress levels on the crew. Everyone of
the staff we talked to, from the Captain (we had dinner with the captain one
night) on down remarked to us that this was the best "Celebrity" ship that
They had ever been on, and that attitude showed in their service.
To summarize, this was the most pleasant cruise ship that we have ever been
on — relaxed, comfortable, uncrowded, beautiful decor, outstanding food, and
A very friendly staff that went out of their way to serve the passengers.
Intrusive ship announcements were kept to an absolute minimum. Mike, if you
have customers that want a relaxed, low key, and elegant cruise, they will
Not be disappointed with cruising on this ship.
Regards, Carl Knable
Many thanks for....Our cabin. It was a great cruise on the HAL Prinsendam, being small, was wonderful, service, food excellent. Even had a walk-in closet in the cabin! We saw a lot with so many port calls — often taking tours — we've taken 5. Best Regards. The Debruyns'
Hi Mike: We are just back from our 2 week AK cruise and just wanted to thank you for all you did to make it an affordable and very nice vacation! We had a great time and all went well!
Mike and Diane
We just got back from our journey...We had an inside room, no up-grade, but the thought was wonderful, and we did appreciate it. We had a wonderful time. I don't think the Sapphire Princess is as good as the Diamond Princess but the trip was great. Thanks again. I'll probably be talking to you soon. Beth and Dave Michitsch - USAirways
Thanks, Mike... very nice. We had a great cruise although Kawai was cancelled "due to technical difficulties" and Maui was extended an extra day.
Nancy (and Hugh) King
Your Name: Marcella (Trudy) Borucki
Cruise Line: Celebrity
Ship Name: Constellation
Date You Sailed: March 23, 2007
Cruise Destination - Caribbean
Cabin Type - Outside Cabin
My Ship Review! Everything was spotless. They were very diligent about cleanliness. This gave us peace of mind. The news media always shows the negative side of cruising. The food and service were Great. The shows were very diversified and enjoyable. The shows could have been just a little longer. We had a wonderful trip...
Mike - I just got off of Radiance of the Seas 4/28/2007 14 day hawaii that you booked for us, WAS FABULOUS!!! Best cruise ever!! I wanted to make sure that you received notification on the cruise that Jim and I and my parents booked onboard for April next year on the Explorer of the seas. Lori M.
Once again we had a wonderfull cruise. Thank you for everything. Our cabins were very nice and it's always a pleasure doing business with you. We are already looking at any good offer mid to end October with a minimum of 12 nights and our friends Fang & Gutierrez are looking forward for another cruise. We need two more points to become Diamond members. Let me know if there is any cruise out of Aruba, I would like to take my Mom but this has to be from either Aruba or San Juan, August or September would be ideal. Thank you,
Thank you so much for all your help on our recent cruise. We have returned from the Panama Canal cruise and would like to thank you, as we had a great time! Thank you again for all your help & diligence!
Rae & Vernon
Dear Mike, Jack & I just arrived home yesterday from our transatlantic cruise on Royal Caribbean (we also stayed a week in England-sooo expensive right down with the dollar at a record low, don't go anywhere near the place)! Thank you so much ...Our room was LARGE. At 211 sq. ft. It was 24 feet larger than all the balcony rooms on our deck. We are busy planning our next cruise & will let you know when we have narrowed our choices! Thanks again.
Hi Mike, We are currently in Sidney BC getting some last minute wiring done. Expect to leave for Alaska on June 1st. Enclosed is a picture of the boat at the dock and being loaded on Dockwise Transport out of Auckland. Teddi and I are planning a cruise sometime in November or December. Best Regards, John H/NW retired
First, congratulations on your new award...it's about time everyone else
Recognized what we already knew!!!
Sharon B. Johnston
USAirways flight attendant
Mike...I can't thank you enough for getting the better rate for Dennis and Marcia's cruise. I truly appreciate your going the extra mile to check this out for me, and the outstanding results you got for me. I called Marcia and let her know, and of course, she was thrilled. You're the best Mike! Thank you again...
Great news, thanks a bunch. I appreciate all your help and I'll make sure to recommend you to all the military folks here.
Your Name: Nancy Beth Michitsch
Subject (Testimonial): Mike Gresh
Write Your Testimonial: I just booked a cruise with Mike, and I must say, he\'s one of the most helpful, and professional agents I\'ve ever worked with. I was a res. agent for 16 years, and I know what I\'m talking about. Don\'t hesitate to call and ask for Mike. He\'s super.
Thanks for your patience. I appreciate your getting
Marcia and Dennis a good cabin.They were very pleased when they saw where it was. They were a little
Worried not knowing where it would be. Thought they might be down in the boiler room, ha,ha! As always,
You've done an outstanding job accommodating us. Thank you so much...Jerri
CONGRATULATIONS, MIKE!!!!!! You are and always have been the BEST OF THE BEST! Our 40th wedding anniversary is coming up in May and we will be looking for something to book then. Again, congratulations, Mike. I remember way back when I met you at United (1992) and was so impressed with you at that time. You have built your business on integrity and excellent service and I would recommend anybody looking for a "Cruise Counselor" to call you!!
Hugs, Matalynn UAL retired
THANKS SO MUCH. YOU ARE THE BEST AND WILL HAVE OUR BUSINESS FROM NOW ON.
Just to let you know that we have received the brochures, booking info, cruise ticket, baggage tags for Jewel of the Seas- and also the booking info you sent on Norwegian Pearl. My parents were excited to get the brochure you mailed them. That was really nice of you. Thanks for your (as always) reliable, prompt info.
Dear Mike, Once again you are so thoughtful. Al and I certainly enjoyed
Our veranda champagne breakfast in Tallin. We arrived in the harbor to a
lovely, calm and sunny morning with ample time to relax and enjoy before our
walking tour. The server arrived at our suite door with white tablecloth
And serving cart filled with a delicious feast.
Our entire cruise was pefect thanks to your efficient preparation. The sun
Shined on us from blue skies every day. The Princess experience was perfect
in every way but we were particularly impressed with the organization of
Tours - prompt and well organized. We felt RCI could learn something from
Princess (re tour organization only), based on last years experience with
Thank you very much for EVERYTHING.
Charlene and Al Drake
Just a note to let you know that we have returned home from our 17-day, 3-cruise adventure aboard the Coral Princess. Thank you for the veggie platter you sent to us...it was great. We were able to meet up with Mom and Dad in Skagway...even got permission from our Captain for them to come on board for lunch! It pays to get to know the crew. I also want to tell you that we REALLY appreciate your work in getting us the same cabin for all 3 cruises. We met some other folks who did the same itinerary as us and had to move all 3 times. They were "elite" and were very jealous...E524 was a great home. I'll get back to you soon about our next cruise...hopefully, sooner than you think!
I wanted to thank you for all your help with the information you provided to me when deciding on a cruise. The Royal Caribbean cruise you suggested and reserved for us was a GREAT experience. We had the best time on and off the ship, Enchantment of the Seas.
Because of hurricane Ernesto the itinerary was changed so we did not make it to Key west. But Cozumel and CocoCay were both fun experiences. We enjoyed the shows aboard the cruise ship and all the extras.
You were right, we had a great time and my wife is already wanting to plan our next vacation. We will contact you when that time comes.
Again ,thank you very much for your help, information and professionalism.
You will be recommended to others.
David & Sherry Baley
Mike - What great news!!! Thanks for getting us the same cabin for all 3
Sailings...sure will make our vacation lots easier. We are nearly ready to
Go...one more week. We are already making tentative plans for several
Cruises next year...bidding vacation time so I'll be off at the right time.
Thanks for all of your help and hard work. It is very much appreciated.
I'll get back to you about next year.
Mike, Our packet arrived today. Thanks again for your efficiency and
Helpful attitude, making you a pleasure to do business with. Al and I are
Anxiously awaiting our departure!
Rgds - Charlene
GUESS WHO WE MET ON OUR CRUISE?
Barb and Dennis Miller with new found friends Marshall University retired coach Bobby Pruitt and spouse Elsie aboard Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas....
Thank you so much for putting together the Cruise for us. We had an absolute ball and for our first cruise, it was "exceptional". I have been told that we were "spoiled" by the fact that our first cruise was on the "Brilliance of the Seas," but we cannot wait to go on another one.
Thank you again for making our 35th Wedding Anniversary one we will NEVER forget. The White Wine was waiting for us as we entered our room. Thank you for your kindness.
Barbara and Dennis Miller
The Shamey Family Group onboard Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas 7/22/2006.
I wanted to let you know that our Royal Caribbean Mediterranean cruise was the best experience and a lifetime memory for us! We had such an awesome time! All your hard work and personal touches were so appreciated. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We definitely will be booking another family adventure with you again. Barbara Miller will be forwarding pictures to you soon. Thanks again, Mike. You are the greatest!
Pam Shamey and family
Royal Caribbean, Vision of the Seas, 6/30/2006 - 7 Night Alaska
Ray and I just wanted to say "thanks" to you for making our first cruise really special ...... The weather was perfect the whole week and the ship — it was gorgeous! The people working on the ship were from various countries and had many tales to tell.. They all seemed very nice and helpful.. We are debating our next cruise but not sure where to go yet.. When we decide we'll be in touch.. Thanks again,, Ray and Sherry Bryant
Your Name: Luella Arrigo
Subject (Testimonial) Service
Write Your Testimonial: The service that we received from Michael at Homeport cruises has been the best we have ever received. We have worked with other agency\'s and found they are not as detail oriented nor do they have that personal touch that is needed when going on a \"sometimes confusing\" vacation. Homeport cruises took excellent care of us and our much needed large elderly family for our cruise. We needed 5 cabins, and none of our elderly family had e-mail or even a computer! In this day and age you would think there is no way to effectively communicate, but not with Homeport, they made sure everyone was in the loop with all that was happening. So, Thank you from all us. We look forward to our cruise and spreading the word of the great service of Homeport cruises.
Just wanted to let you know our cruise was great! The Grand Princess was beautiful, the room was nice, food good and the weather was perfect. We enjoyed the ports even though they were a little hectic. The few days we stayed in Barcelona and Venice were wonderful.
Sharon & Shelly
The service that we received from Michael at Homeport cruises has been the best we have ever received. We have worked with other agency\'s and found they are not as detail oriented nor do they have that personal touch that is needed when going on a \"sometimes confusing\" vacation. Homeport cruises took excellent care of us and our much needed large elderly family for our cruise. We needed 5 cabins, and none of our elderly family had e-mail or even a computer! In this day and age you would think there is no way to effectively communicate, but not with Homeport, they made sure everyone was in the loop with all that was happening. So, Thank you from all us. We look forward to our cruise and spreading the word of the great service of Homeport cruises.
Luella/WN – Sailing 11/10/2006 aboard Celebrity’s “Millennium”
Dr. Lauren Miller and her husband Ryan during their cruise aboard Royal Caribbean's
Brilliance of the Seas 6/4/2006 sailing from Barcelona, Spain (booked through Homeport Cruises Co). Lauren just graduated Magna Cum Laude and top female in her class at Ohio State Medical School. She also received another award for research she did...all in all...about four special awards at her graduation. Ryan played football at OSU, won the Rose Bowl in 1997, and worked for 10TV as a Reporter/Sportscaster where he won 3 Emmys for his work. He now has his own marketing firm. Lauren will be doing one year of residency at OSU, but then they will move to NC where she will spend five years at Duke.
....We had a wonderful time... Ross' parents were surprised and delighted. We sincerely appreciate all of your efforts: your skill, efficiency and professionalism are the best. Suzette, Ross, May Jean & Delbert.
Pictures from our last cruise....Mary Ann, Barb & Julianne
Just wanted to thank you for all of your help on our Alaska cruise this past week on the Sea Princess. It was absolutely wonderful. Weather was sunny and the glaciers were as magnificent as you said in Juneau. The dogsled ride was something I could not even describe. The entire trip priceless. Thanks again. Judy Z.
Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the cruise, I have attached the photo for you to see our formal family portrait,
From left to right on the vertical are the O'Brien's, the Morris's, the Zinn's and the Coyne's. The four 'McLeod' daughters are those across the middle. Thanks again for all your help, hopefully we can do it again in the next four years — the little ones are already planning!! Cheers, Malcolm
May parents arrived home from their cruise on Royal Caribbean on Sunday, and
Had a wonderful time? They said is was a great cruise and enjoyed
themselves. My Dad is 70 years old and said he stayed up until 1:30 in the
morning the last night to hear the piano player and band play.
Thanks for your help and coordination. Anne
...Our recent cruise to Bermuda on the Zenith in June ...can't say enough about the cruise, it was great! Loved the ship, food, drink, staff on board, activities, casino was very good to me too! Weather perfect in Bermuda, just wished it all could have lasted longer! Again, thanks so much for all your help in making our vacation a dream come true! Hope to use your services in the future.
Just wanted to thank you for booking our cruise vacation. Everything went well ... from the airport transfers to and from the port, to the actual processing of paperwork before embarkation, to the great and attentive services on board, to all the organized activities, to our stop in Nassau, and especially to the the disembarkation process on the last day. The weather was good, 70's and very windy. We weren't able to stop at CoCo Cay due to high waves, but the cruise director was quick to come up with a revised entertainment and activities' schedule for the day. It was a fun day at sea.
All in all, we had a great time .... Will definitely cruise again. Thanks for your help.
Mansie & Joe
P.S. Your choice of our stateroom location was outstanding ...
Kevin and I wanted to say thank you so much for helping us with our
Honeymoon cruise March 17th! It was beyond my expectations! We have already
been planning our next trip. Celebrity is fabulous! Like a floating
Ritz-Carlton! You were right, the food was to die for. We have heard from
several other people on the ship that they only cruise with Celebrity now and
that we were spoiled off the bat. Anyway, keep the updates coming...
Our trip is PERFECT... room is WONDERFUL...and of course ship is BEAUTIFUL....
Thanks for you help in making it so GREAT....Jackie
Attention: Michael H. Gresh
We had a wonderful 21 day cruise through the Panama Canal and were sorry to see it end. Holland America is sure to see repeat business from us. Looking forward to working with you again. Carol
My mom, aunt, cousin and I all thank you sooooo much for helping us put together our cruise on the Celebrity "Millenium." (Departed FLL on April 29) It was as good as it gets; 12 days of laughs and the best weather ever - not to mention the picture postcard view from our balcony....
We'll be back for another cruise and have decided to save our pennies and get a couple of suites! I'll be on the lookout and wouldn't think of using any other interline source. Thank you once again Mike for a most memorable trip!
Our recent trip to Alaska was fabulous. The weather in Seattle,Vancouver and on the ship was great, sunny when it should be. Very few cloudy days. The food was outstanding. Our cabin on deck 7 was great. We got to know one another a little better. Our l3 yr. old son had the time of his life. We all want to go again next year...Thanks for all your hard work in helping me plan this. Everything was perfect.
Just a little quick note to let you know that we had a fantastic time on our cruise. It was more than what we could have imagined. I would highly recommend Royal Carribean. Very good service. We also want to thank you very much for all of the help in getting it together for us. It was a time to remember for many years to come. Keep up the good work. We will be in touch in the future for our next cruise. Thanks again, Ken and Nancy - retired AA
Thank you Homeport !!!!!!
Thanks again for all of your help. We will always recommend you and your
Company to our airline employee friends.
Thank you Mike, you are just too wonderful. Think we could erase Ronny's name and put YOU in instead!!
Carl and I got back from our Hawaiian cruise Friday morning and we wanted to
tell you that we really enjoyed ourselves and are already looking into where
we will go next. Carl and Diane
Just wanted to drop a note to let you know that Gary and I had a fabulous
cruise the week of December 1-8 on the Celebrity Horizon. We'd never been to
Key West before and the highlight of that port for us what Hemingway's home.
The other ports were ok for some shopping but mostly we enjoyed the peace and
quiet on the ship when everyone else was gone. As before, you made the
booking procedure easy and everything went smoothly. Thanks, once again, for
helping us have another very memorable vacation. We'll be in touch for
another cruise soon. Barb
P. S. No illness on our cruise, except my one day of seasickness!
I wanted to send you a quick thank you for all of your assistance in
planning a wonderful holiday vacation for me and my family. We really
appreciate all of your hard work. The kids and I, as well as the rest of my family had a great time
and hope to do it again soon!
Our cruise on the Amsterdam was absolutely great, we had a wonderful time with our friends. Thanks again,
Mario and Diane
Mike: We cannot thank you enough for the attention you've given us. This is the second cruise we've booked with you, and you are "OUR" agent from now on. You have gone out of your way to clear waitlists, move cabins, etc....you are great!
Charlene and Brian
I received the R/C brochure and confirmation you sent next day mail - thanks. With that, my travel docs and the E.Docs you sent I should be set to go! I will pass the good word around about you and your firm. Thanks again - Sincerely, John
Jerry and I had a wonderful cruise aboard the Golden Princess last week. It just couldn't have been nicer. The stateroom with a balcony was just superb. Thank you.
Thank you again, Mike, for arranging such a wonderful cruise for us. Oh, wanted to mention, we took the Shore Trips on St. Marteen which you recommended and it was far superior to the tour on St. Thomas offered through Princess. I will definitely use them in the future.
Marilyn and Jerry Fields
Hi Mike-I just wanted to thank you so much for all your efforts and assistance in arranging our Mexico Cruise with Princess. You secured a wonderful cabin for us. The balcony was delightful and once you've had one, I can't imagine otherwise. The food, entertainment, and service was excellent and everything very well organized. We absolutely loved swimming with the dolphins and found a great lighthouse to hike to in Mazatlan. Please keep us in mind if the relocation cruise to Alaska comes up on this ship. Thanks so much for making our 10 year anniversary trip special. Happy Spring. Regards, Suzette
I want to Thank You for booking our Cruise on Holland American. We had a great time, except we didn't get to see "Half Moon Cay." The Waves were too high to put the Tender in the water. (Not your fault)
Also, I wanted to pass on an FYI.
On our return, we stayed at the "Quality Inn - Airport" in Orlando. While there I found out that they have a Shuttle to Port Canaveral for $25.00 per person for their Guests.
I want to thank you for everything.
Your profession approach to the customer's needs, your prompt replies and your great deals you find for us.
What a great cruise we had! I love Royal Caribbean. They know how to do it just right. Good service and clean ships. We had a wonderful time. We love Coco Cay. I wish we could have spent all 3 days there.
Our voyage was a smooooooth sail.
Thank you for everything. Respectfully, Janice
P.S. Wow am I peeling
Thank you so much for your help in booking our Alaskan cruise. Yes, we finally got to go. My mom had a fabulous time and is ready to go again. I have gotten her hooked on champagne. Our dinner table was at the back of the ship and right on the water. On our last night, there were about 30 porpoise jumping out of the water and following us. It was beautiful.
Thanks again, and we will be contacting you again soon! Rui
We are back from our Boston-Rotterdam cruise, everything was great, especially the Prince Christian sound in Greenland. We saw at least one hundred huge icebergs, glaciers, many waterfalls whales etc. The cabin was very nice and the cruise was just wonderful. Thanks again for the fine arrangements you made.
I just wanted to let you know how much we LOVED Windstar cruises. The rooms were very spacious with lots of storage space, the food was very good, the service was very attentive, the ambiance was romantic with the sails flying and private yacht feel, and the passengers were very friendly. We must have met about 50-60 people out of the 300 people, and will stay in touch with a few of the couples we met! We can hardly wait to book another Windstar cruise!
Thank you for the meteoric response to my e-mail. we have never had this kind of service from a travel agent. thanks again.
Thanks for handeling that buddy! Now I know why you make the big bucks in the travel agency business because you get things done. :) Take care, Steve
Thanks Mike.......you're great to deal with!!!!
Just returned thursday from 51 days. Overall trip was good, a few
of the stops could have been better. If you have anyone requesting an inside
room on Prinsendam do all possible to discourage it. Smallest inside room we have
ever had. Ron
I appreciate all your help over the years. Each time I give your name to a friend I always tell them you are the kind of person I would have wanted working with me side by side behind the podium. Even though we've never met in person the following letter also applies to you....Phil
Received the boarding packet and your msg re the upgraded cabin
assignment. You're taking awfully good care of us and we appreciate it.
John and Audrey
Thank you so much for arranging this cruise for Karen and I. We are so excited we can't stand each other. We really appreciate the effort your put forth for us. We wish you continued success.
Well we are back whether we like it or not. While it is good to be back after a week of absence from our daughter, I must say that part of me wanted to stay back. While waiting for our flight at the dungy Miami airport yesterday, I kept thinking about those lucky folks who are boarding the Explorer of the Seas for their cruise. We had a great time! It was better than staying at the best of the best 5-star hotels. Our horseback riding tour in San Juan was cancelled due to the turtle eggs hatching on the beach. So we ended up going on our own in San Juan. We did meet my cousin in St Maarten with some time for shopping an the Orient Bay beach. We were amazed at the clarity of the water in the Caribbean (not San Juan though). We did go snorkeling in Nassau. Snorkeling was fantastic!!!
I really appreciate your help in answering our questions. I am glad we booked this cruise with you rather than going with some online service!
Once again, thank you very much!! Hemant & Shilpa
Sorry it has taken so long for me to get in touch - busy now that we are
back to work. I really wanted to tell you that the cruise was FANTASTIC! We
enjoyed every minute of it. The upgrade of room was great, much bigger than
I expected. We had an extra stop at Port Stanley, Falkland Islands. Everyone
was delighted. Crew were great and interacted alot with the passengers. I
suppose they need to having 21 days with them. We even crossed the Antarctic
Circle. Scenery was amazing and we were very lucky with the weather.
Info for future customers - Hot sunshine for the first 4/5 days only.
Once you leave B. Aires no more need for the beach gear you need to wrap up
it gets windy and much colder. The Antarctic weather we had was blue skies,
sunshine and approx 30 degrees but with very cold wind at times. Nothing
unbearable just need the ski jacket, hat, scarf and gloves (regular shoes).
It did not get much warmer along the coast of Chile. For packing purposes we
had only 4 formal nights, 6 or 8 informal (semi formal) and the remainder
were casual. Of course by day all casual. Essential to have with you are the sunglasses, camera ,binoculars and video equipment.
On board we had four experts that gave lectures during the days at sea, very
informative, no requirement to read up in advance.
Ship, food, entertainment, service all to the usual excellent HAL
standard. We would highly recommend this trip.
Fiachra will include a few of the scenery pictures. Many thanks for all the
assistance with the last minute booking, it really was a super holiday.
The cruise was wonderful ... it was the ship's maiden voyage! We had a
great trip, and to make it even better, we rode first class on United both
Doe was happy she took the insurance, as she had to see the ship's doctor!
Thanks again for your continued great advice!
I had to deal with a medical emergency back home while on board in Russia
and had the help of a wonderful employee. I'd like to write to the
President of Royal Caribbean to compliment her service. Marie
You are awesome! Thanks much, The Gambino Family ( The nice ones!)
We appreciate the excellent service you have provided us over the past years.
We really enjoy cruising and working through you.
Thanks again for all of your efforts. Carl and Diane
Thank you very much for your courtesies regarding our cruise. Your thoughtfulness was greatly appreciated. That goes likewise for my in laws. Everything went well. We enjoyed all the islands, weather was great, etc., we are already looking forward to our next one. Don't forget if you come out this please let us know.
Thanks again. Fred
Thanks Mike. It's was a pleasure dealing with you. Very efficient and helpful.
Just got home from the brillance of the seas... miami to barcelona
let me tell you about it.
a grand suite was vacant on this sailing and we played a bingo game for the complimentary upgrade.
ten nights in the grand suite which included the concierge club.
we are now so completely spoiled.
Just wanted to say hello and let you know about our adventure.
thanks for your superior service.
Mike Gresh, just wanted to let you know that we have received the email
booking summary, letter and attachments from your office, Homeport cruises,
and today, May 13, 2005 we received the Princess cruise tickets. We are on
Thank you so much for your assistance and the promptness of all
correspondence and notices. We appreciate all that you have done for us to
make our cruise memorable.
Johnney & Elizabeth
Thanks for the info.
I just wanted to mention that the cabins you booked for us on the Miracle 6184, 6186, 6188 were fantastic. Even though we were right next to the elevator (very, very convenient) we never heard hallway noise, etc. Because we had passenger decks above and below us, we also didn’t get any overhead or engine noise. We were also right off the midship elevators, so we were never “at the wrong end of the ship”. Furthermore, our cabin (6184) was the first balcony in the row, so we had a great view looking forward. We had the dividers opened up so we had a balcony that ran the length of three cabins. Can’t thank you enough for picking out the good ones for us!
Many Thanks for your help in getting this up-grade. As always we sincerely appreciate your fine service.
I continue to wear my T-Shirt with great pride.
Have a great day. Herb
Your Name: Kenneth Forte
Subject (Testimonial) R/C Legend of the Seas/Royal Caribbean Cruise Line...Service
Write Your Testimonial: R/C Legend of the seas Service is second to none.... extensive cruises says \"Legends\" has no equal for service. Our Waiter at dinner nightly, on a 7 night Dec 06 cruise was world class... his name was [believe it or not] Cappuccino. Have eaten in some of the best restaurants in the US and Europe, and he was the best waiter we have ever had....and we had him for 7 nights straight ! WOW.
It's Time To Get Onboard!
Aboard the QM2 Canada/New England Cruise - Oct 12, 2006
Ralph & Olga
Your Name: Patricia Austin
Cruise Line: Celebrity
Ship Name: Infinity
Date You Sailed: 9/03/06
Cruise Destination: - Alaska
Cabin Type: Balcony
The ship was wonderful/immaculately clean. The crew was absolutely accomodating in every way. The Infinity is such a nice ship - it was so easy to find our way around, we knew the whole outline of the ship by the end of the first day. The food was delicious and every meal was served with such professionalism and grace. We loved our cruise to Alaska on Infinity. We want to go again -- soon!!!!
We have been on cruises before, but never on a ship like the Infinity. She is beautiful and the sailing was so pleasant and smooth aboard the Infinity. We felt safe, secure and pampered while we were on our cruise to Alaska. We had a simply delightful time and can hardly wait to book another cruise with Celebrity. My husband is 79 and uses a walker to get around. He had no problem whatsoever manipulating on the ship and the crew was so helpful when he went aboard at the ports. Our adventure was wonderful from start to finish.
Your Name: Mike Fujimori
Testimonial: Cruise on WindStar
Write Your Testimonial: We were onboard the WindStar from Athens to Istanbul couple of years ago and it was a wonderful experience. We have never sailed on mega ships since. It is so relaxing, not having to wait in line for anything and doing to usual formal functions during the Cruise. Casual elegance is the theme of the cruise, no formal wear required. We cruised for a week on one carry-on bags each. The cabins are small, but well organized, comfortable and functional. The food was amazing and well-recognized chef put the menu together. Their bread pudding was to die for. You can dine anytime during the set period, alone or with other people and not scheduled sitting. Turkey was so interesting we would love to return. We arrived in Kussadasi one morning next to one of those mega ships. There must have been 30 buses to take them on the tour of ancient city of Ephasus. I don\'t know how long it took them to get the people off the ship, but we had one bus and 30 people out of 128 who decided to take this excursion. It took us 15 minutes to load and ahead of this mob and had a wonderful visit to this truly historical sight. The staff is wonderful and no tipping necessary, unless off course if you decide on your own to reward exceptional service. We are taking a cruise on SeaDream from Rio to Buenos Aires in November and we will see how they compare. We understand this cruise line is also amazing. But we can't wait to return to another WindStar experience. They were not offering Interline rate for a while, so if you get a chance don't miss it! Puerto Caldera would be my choice.
Subject: Tampa Transfers
Hello Fellow Interliners:
We just this year (April 2006) took a cruise out of TPA. We have departed there before but always went at least one day early and stayed with friends who also drove us to the Dock. If you are planning a Cruise out of Tampa (TPA) this is a great way to get to the boat on time and trouble free. Now to get to the alternate way as our friends had already returned to Chicago. First the cab ride to the dock from TPA airport is about $25-30 and takes 15 to 20 minutes, about the same from any airport Hotel. So I searched the web and ASU travel guide with no luck on really good deals. The low end is about $59 to $300. Well knowing the area a little I choose the Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore located in Tampa's popular Westshore business district, next to the renowned International Plaza. It is very nice and has free airport pickup. I was able to book direct to Hilton reservations for $115 (no special airline rates, they seem to have dried up?) for the Friday night before we left. I planned to take a cab to the dock for $25-$30 the next day so as to arrive a little early (12:30 PM) to see if we could get on early as many times they will let you if they are ready. Now for the better part, on the ride from the airport we meet a fellow who asked if we where taking a cruise? It seem he was the person that sets up the hotels van service to transport guests to the dock and at a nominal fee of $5 each. He said they used to do it for free until the lobby filled with non-guests and others that had heard of this service. We where very happy to get a ride for less money but more important he knew where to go and we got extra good quick service from the porters at the dock. To the front of the line and off loaded in record time with a comfortable feeling our bags would get on board OK!
With all this taken care of we only had to find a place to eat dinner. The same fellow and the van driver recommended a couple of very nice restaurants outside of the International Plaza (an upscale shopping center). They said it was a little difficult to walk to (no sidewalk) but they would run us over and pick up after dinner with just a call and at NO charge.
For what it is worth this is one sailing that was off to a very good start. We have been on many cruises that where delayed for late incoming aircraft and also have left a good number that did not make the departure time! We plan to do more sailing out of Tampa in the future. Hope this will make you
The trip of a lifetime, at least mine!
I have always been interested in the BIG ships crossing the Atlantic as a child. Now after 25 cruises I finally had a chance to take The Queen Mary 2 from New York to Southampton England. Many thanks to folks at HomeportCruises.com for making it possible for me as they have so many times in the past.
To start with the departure from New York from the pier next to the aircraft carrier Intrepid and the Concorde was very memorable to
me and my wife Brenda as we had flown on the Concorde a few years back from London the JFK. Now we where about to cross the Atlantic as many had before us years ago.
After a nice lunch and a quick look around the ship we set sail for England passing on the west side of lower Manhattan with a great view of the skyline of New York City as the Sun set behind us. Then passing by Ellis island and the Statue of Liberty as it began to get dark we passed under the lighted Verrazano Narrows Bridge and out into the Black Atlantic ocean for a GREAT 6 day crossing. I guess by now you can tell this was a great trip for me as I enjoy lots of Sea time on our previous cruises.
Well after that departure we finally had time (lots of time, 6 whole days without a stop or even sight of land, I love it!) to settle in to checking out the ship and what a ship it is! There is a feeling of space everywhere with the very high ceilings (10 to 12 feet) and the extra wide isles. The public areas all have ample space to move around even with many people out and about. The theater is very nice and BIG with good viewing from all locations.
They have a one of a kind Planetarium show in another dedicated
theater shown on a curved screen over your head that can be retracted to use the Theater as a show room. They have four different programs to play during the week and multiple showings during the day.
The computer area is all the way up front and the largest I have seen on any ship. They also have classes for beginners and experienced PC users. Peeking of Computers and the Web this ship has a very nice feature no one else has yet and that is you can send a receive e-mail in your room on the TV with a wireless keyboard. This allows you to compose your e-mail before you have to pay to send it, saving lots of time and money. The system also saves the mail so you can read it at a later time.
For dancers the dance floor in the Queens room is Huge and the band is Great. To the rear of the Queens room is the Disco very well placed with no noise beyond the area. The Lido (called Kings Court) area takes up almost an entire deck with many different type food stations spread forward and aft. The eating area is spacious along the sides with Bay window type spaces that project out into the Promenade deck where you can see the deck and the Seas while you eat. Up forward of the Lido is the Winter Garden where you can get a drink or specialty coffee or just relax and read a book among the Palm trees and plants while looking out over the ocean. The main dinning room (Britannia Restaurant) is quite nice with two stories, very formal looking and comfortable. Of course very good food as usual on most cruise ships. For special times there is the Todd English restaurant in the back of the ship with windows looking out over the sea.
The Spa features Canyon Ranch products as well as the rest of the ships cabins. There is a very large and well-equipped health club.
One of the high points not to be missed is the QM2 Library and Bookstore. Without a doubt the best I have seen.
Below the Library and all the way forward is the Commodore Club with a beautiful view of the sea and a full bar. Also there is the Cigar smoking room adjacent on the starboard side and another nice reading room on the port side.
The Pavilion pool has a retractable glass roof very welcome on the crossing.
The entertainment was first rate through out the cruise (crossing) along with extra shows during the day with the crew putting on an old time radio skit also England’s University of Oxford presented a unique Oxford Discovery program with historians, scientists, scholars and authors giving interactive talks. During the week the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art gave performances.
All in all this is not to be missed Cruise, and we intend to do it again at least one-way and maybe round trip. Better than First class on the B747! Oh yes, we will be using HomeportCruises.com many more times in the future, Thanks Mike for all the great service over the years!
I hope this helps anyone out there to decide on a cruise, it is the only way to travel!
Paul and Brenda/UAL
July 6, 2006
Cruise Line - Cunard
Ship Name - Queen Mary 2
Date You Sailed - May 23, 2006
Cruise Destination - NYC to Southampton
Cabin Type - Inside, Outside, Balcony, Suite hull balcony
My Ship Review! Oh, my gosh, this trip--@$699PP--was a joy. The ship is gorgeous, and having no ports made the cruise cheaper and way more relaxing. The lecturer from Oxford---in the field of forensic archeology--was fascinating, we took advantage of a little publicized vow renewal ceremony which was charming and meaningful, the food in the Britannia was pure gourmet, the service incredibly gracious there and in our cabin. Mike, from Homeport, was very helpful to us. We chose not to request being listed for an upgrade as we were very content with our amidships cabin on the lowest deck---As it turned out, the Atlantic was like a millpond and we didn’t need the security of that cabin, but it was so lovely that it didn’t matter. Would most highly recommend Homeport and Queen Mary 2.
Thanks - Ellie and Brent Revert
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship Name: Freedom of the Seas
Date You Sailed: 05/21/2006
Cruise Destination - Cruise to Nowhere
Cabin Type - Balcony
My Ship Review! Boarding what is now the Worlds Largest Cruise Ship can be exciting. Having a balcony was exciting too. If you have sailed on any of the smaller Voyager of the Seas or any of its sisters Explorer, Navigator, Adventure and Mariner you will have no problem getting around this very large ship. Promenade is still on deck 5. Casino deck 4, Windjammer deck 11, internet cafe deck 7 and so on. Staterooms were very nice with the new plasma TV\'s but the best part of the new ship are the beds. That's right those great new beds. They are so much of an improvement. Did not have trouble falling asleep, did not wake up in the middle of the night and did not have a sore back in the morning. No, I will not guarantee that everyone will enjoy the new beds but they are so much of an improvement.
Now for the other new things on the ship. In the fitness center they have removed the big whirlpool/hot tub. You can now get in the ring and go a few rounds with your husband/boyfriend and get away with it. There is a full-size boxing ring in the gym. Classes are done daily with a coach. Sorry, no free for all. There is no inline skating track but they do have the 1st FlowRider aft. Here you can learn how to surf a wave. The rock wall is a bit different as it is now in two sections and you can move from one to the other. There is the water park for the kids of all ages. Built for the young ones but I saw several adults playing with the water cannons.
The new family suite stateroom was open on the ship so I had to take a trip to deck 6 aft to see it. You have 2 door entrances. 4 bedrooms (2 quads and 2 doubles) Add to that a queen size sleeper sofa. Total 14 passengers. Worried about a bathroom when you need it, not to worry there are 4 full baths in the suite also. Balcony was a nice size but for 14 passengers it could be larger. Much larger. There is a bar and a hot tub out there along with 6 to 8 lounge chairs and a table for 10 to eat at. There is however one major flaw to this stateroom aside from the normal price tag that is on the room. Your balcony does not look out over the water. In fact the water and back of the ship is about 30 feet away from your balcony railing. Sorry, but that is wrong. When you pay for a balcony that in all my understanding, you get to enjoy a view of the ocean. Not so in this stateroom or any of the other balcony stateroom aft on deck 6. The ocean is very hard to see.
All in all the ship is beautiful. Great military type aircraft hanging from the ceiling in the forward stairwell. They have great murals on them. The shows were all great. Food was ok. Some great, some not so great. Everyone likes something different so that is par for the course on a ship.
Enjoy the ship when you go. I am sure the rates will not go down as quickly as most but I am sure there will be lots of interline rates available one day.
(June 1, 2006 – Naperville IL USA) Naperville Travel Agent Surfs Aboard the World's Largest Ship "Freedom of the Seas"
Naperville travel agent Mike Gresh, Sales Manager for Homeport Cruises Co., recently returned from 3 days aboard Royal Caribbean's newest and largest ship, Freedom of the Seas. The signature experience is the new Flowrider onboard surfing park. Located on deck 13 on the back of the ship, this new activity is a runaway hit according to Gresh, the 56-year-old sales manager for his company. Although he was concerned he would be one of the older participants, he was happily surprised to meet a 76 year old man from Ohio ahead of him in line for the stand-up surfing event. The water moves up a slight incline at 30 MPH. You jump onto your short board, hit the water moving, then lay on your stomach or get up on you knees - the rushing water pushes you up the incline, then your body weight forces you down and viola! You’re surfing. Although the attraction looks difficult, it is much easier than it looks. And, contrary to what you might expect, a wipeout involves a rush of water pushing you up the incline where it dumps you waves crashing down on your head. In hours of participation, Gresh says he never observed anyone severely shaken or hurt in any way - although everyone was required to sign a liability waiver before they could participate - in fact, the majority of would be surfers got up, shook them selves off, and got back into one of the two lines at the top of the Flowrider.
Although surfing onboard this giant ship is getting the most publicity, the second most well known sport is the Rock Climbing Wall - found on all RCCL ships. Again, the perception is a sport for athletics is a myth according to Gresh. Passengers twenty years his seniors were climbing faster and more often then anticipated. Well trained staff issued climbing shoes, adjusted your harness, and assisted you - no rushing or pressure, but encouraging you to climb – and not to look down - and before you knew it you were at the top and ready to make the rappel down the wall – the fun part of the experience. What a great family event or team building event this would be for companies.
The third most popular activity is the Ice Skating Rink onboard. Each evening world-class skaters from around the world perform a one-hour show in the intimate 450-passenger arena. You could never get this close at land based ice shows where thousands are herded into arenas the size of football stadiums. This is simply the best entertainment onboard any cruise ship today, period - according to Gresh – a guest can skate during non-performance times.
Although there are other activities and events that endear this vessel to its passengers, Gresh believes there should be untold surprises for passengers to discover once onboard. As one of the cruise industry's most highly certified cruise travel agents, Gresh earned his ECC designation last year from Cruise Lines International Association. Over the past 14 years he has made it a point to inspect every new ship launched to better serve his clients.
Homeport Cruises has a web site where pictures of Gresh's recent sailing aboard the Freedom of the Seas may be viewed: www.homeportcruises.com.
Homeport Cruises Co. was established in 1992 and sells cruises aboard major cruise lines worldwide. Gresh can be reached at 1-800-473-6170 for Interline & Military or 1-888-225-6732 for Retail, Seniors, Groups & Incentives.