Tailor Made Cruises

What do you do when you like the look of a cruise but would like to spend more time in the destinations?

The cruise companies themselves are extremely limited with choices and will only extend the destinations at the beginning and end by a set number of days in association with their flights. This is generally one night at the beginning and only because the flights from the UK do not arrive early enough to catch the ship.

Some cruise companies work with tour operators such as Virgin to offer more flexible arrangements but again the choices are limited to a few cruise companies

I myself wanted to experience the Canadian Rockies and cruise Alaska on a once in a lifetime trip. In this case there are a number of Canadian specialists and touring companies that will do this but none of them were quite right

The essential thing with a tailor made cruise is that you must allow at least one night before the cruise embarkation. Even though cruises never leave until the afternoon, you should allow for delays, strikes or natural disasters. If the cruise company themselves do not organise the flight they will not be responsible for any mishaps

For my own trip I organised an NCL cruise and also put together the following flights into Calgary and out of Vancouver, a night in Calgary and then a tailor made tour staying in banff, lake Louise, jasper, rocky mountaineer to whistler. Whistler mountaineer to Vancouver, train to Seattle, cruising alaska for 7 nights, ferry to Victoria, seaplane to Vancouver and then spending our last 3 nights in Vancouver

Three separate clients have decided to extend and enhance their respective cruise experiences by adding on other things at the beginning and end

The first client was relatively simple as all they wanted to do was add a couple of extra nights in Miami for shopping

The. Second client wanted a cruise that goes from fort lauderdale and finishes in Puerto Rico but they wanted an extra week on a Caribbean island. They wanted as few flights as possible so I checked to see which flights went directly from Puerto Rico and then direct back to London. There were only a handful of options that worked and they chose St Lucia which wasn’t direct but conveniently connected in st Vincent. A couple of days later and just before finalizing the arrangements the flight was cancelled and replaced with a flight that no longer connected so in the end she opted for Antigua, so in the end I organised one night per cruise in fort lauderdale, a Caribbean Cruise, the flight from Puerto Rico to Antigua, return transfer from the airport and then 6 nights in Antigua

The third one proved to be much more complicated as he wanted to visit as many islands as possible on a low budget. In the end after checking many possible permutations we ended up with 3 nights in Grenada, flights to Barbados, transfer to ship, 2 week cruise, transfer from ship to hotel, 6 nights Barbados, transfer to airport, flight to st Lucia, transfer to hotel, 6 nights in st Lucia, transfer to airport and then fly home

So as you can see, so many combinations are possible. I can turn your ideas into reality and everything is covered by our financial guarantee

If you are interested in doing a fully tailor made cruise and stay holiday please contact me on 0845 0587458 or email Cathie.odea@travelcounsellors.com

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