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Travel With Cruises International Blog

Wednesday, 07 February 2024 10:38

Curious about a Viking Cruise?

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We know you’ve seen the Viking Cruises’ ads, either mailers coming into your home or on Downton Abbey, and now other series on WTTW. You’ve been wondering if this is a good vacation investment for you. You’ve been seeing their Founder, Tor Hagen, tell you how “Time is our most precious commodity”, and offering you a way of “exploring the world in comfort on a Viking ship”. I will tell you from experience that it is exactly that.

When Cruises International opened their doors 46 Years ago, River cruises were essentially unknown. Viking cruises came into the river cruise picture in 1997 and took the travel world by storm. They were able to show us the world beyond the coastline, into the interior of European countries and “In comfort” as we meandered past small villages and marveled at castles while dining out on deck. Walking through Vineyards and visiting châteaux are among my fondest memories. Our founder, Ines Turus, blended her own Cognac in France on a Viking excursion!

Viking does not stop with River Cruises, their Ocean ships are smaller and able to get into ports the big ships can’t. Viking’s Exploration ships to Antarctica are amazing, truly exploring in comfort.

But is it for you?

There is so much to tell which is why we invite a Viking executive to one of our Explorer Evenings to tell you all about it in an informal setting. This is an evening of mingling with other travelers who would like to consider a Viking cruise on the rivers, the oceans, the Great Lakes, Antarctica, and captivating China.

At this event in late February, enjoy refreshments and great company! Receive a discount and extra shipboard credits once you reserve your cabin within 2 weeks of the event. For more details, please call me or your Cruises International Travel Advisor today or call 847 -303-2020.

Safe Travels!

Wednesday, 07 February 2024 08:33

It’s always about the “Fit”

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We live by our mission statement:
“To provide Advice, Guidance, Peace of Mind. We create amazing unique experiences for all our travelers, by listening with empathy and recommending what fits best with their expectations and lifestyle.”

With that in mind, now is the time to reserve your stateroom on that European adventure you’ve been longing for. Europe this spring, summer, or fall as seen from the comfort of your Celebrity ship is awesome, exciting, and relaxing. Awesome because the carefully planned itineraries deliver a truly “once in a lifetime” experience. Exciting because every evening’s entertainment is amazing and varied to each person’s tastes. Dance the night away, mix and mingle, or gamble and win! Relaxing because to me anyway, there is nothing more relaxing than watching the moon over the water from my infinite veranda, glass of wine in hand. Nothing is a one size fits all. But I will tell you that many of our clients choose Celebrity because these ships have it all.

The itineraries below are hand selected by me, not only because they are great ones, but also because the value is unbeatable. We pre-pay your gratuities on each of these sailings, and include the beverage package, Wi-Fi, plus extra savings.

Safe Travels!

Wednesday, 07 February 2024 10:28

New Relaxed Luxury™ Resorts at Sea

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Relaxed luxury is what Journey Wonderfullsm is all about. Wake up in a new port every morning. Dine at a new restaurant every evening.

Celebrity Cruises® offers revolutionary resorts at sea, no matter the size. If you are looking for lots of high energy thrills and entertainment, we recommend the Edge Series™.

Designed by the best in the industry, using an innovative outward-facing design. What that means is more usable cabin spaces with more ocean views. For example, the infinite veranda rooms with floor to ceiling views, that open to the sea air with a push of a button. (See photo below) Restaurants offer outside dining options and floor-to-ceiling windows, as well. Named appropriately, the Edge Series™ was designed for guests to be as close to the sea as possible. Plunge pools and lounge chairs are placed right to the edge of the ship. Take stroll (or jog) on a two story track along the perimeter of the ship with ocean to one side. Inward facing you will see one of the largest pools on board any ship at sea. What a wonderful way to experience each destination with a full 360 degree unobstructed view!

The Theatre offers state-of-the-art technology, including kinetic lighting and lasers and IMAG to display live performances onto a huge screen.

You will find live performances throughout the ship, including in their outdoor spaces! The Eden is a three story transforming space,with gardens throughout. It is a great place to have breakfast and lunch. It transforms in the evening to the most spectacular area. The lighting and decor will amaze you.

Evening live performances offer Vegas-style acrobats that will delight you. The music and choreography are unforgettable!

The Magic Carpet®, the world's first cantilevered, floating platform also is a transformational space, as it moves from pool decks at the top of the ship to sea-level. It acts as an elevator during the day, and a restaurant and a music venue at night.

On the Edge Series ships you can partake in nightlife experiences as the 80s Flashback at The Club, Silent Disco, Live Band Karaoke, Ritmo Latin party, or an ABBA sing-along. Other favorite activities include: Pickle-ball at Sea, Pub Games Night, Camp at Sea (offering 500 activities for the kids), Spectacular Chandelier Light Shows in the Grand Plaza, and Movies and sports broadcasts under the stars!

Gather your friends and family, call us today to reserve early. We want to accommodate your guests whether you want adjoining rooms, a suite or just being in close proximity.

Safe Travels!

Tuesday, 15 August 2023 09:32

Experience the Hidden Caribbean

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You’ve already paid for airfare. Why not escape from the winter blues and take advantage of a longer cruise?

Celebrity Cruises is an ideal choice if you love the thought of sailing to islands off the beaten path. With 10, 11 and 12 days in the warm, turquoise waters we can almost hear the kettledrums now—with the beat of calypso music. I can almost feel my hair blowing in the warm ocean breeze. Let’s stop daydreaming and start planning.

08 2023 blog celebrity roomPictured: Deluxe porthole with veranda cabin.What makes the Caribbean such a popular destination are all the amazing and memorable activities that are available in every port!

While on shore, you can dive and snorkel coral reefs teeming with tropical fish, or go climbing up waterfalls and descending into caves. Play golf on a lush green course, ride horseback through turquoise waters, and swim with friendly dolphins. History buffs are sure to visit ancient Mayan temples and Spanish colonial churches. Shoppers can enjoy searching for unique island fashions and designer jewelry, silver coins, Cuban cigars and more.

Foodies love Celebrity Cruises, where chefs fuse traditional dishes with local fruits for enchanting flavors. Enjoy mahi-mahi, grouper, kingfish, red and yellowtail snapper, and conch from the iconic shell. Get chicken, pork, and duck served fried, grilled, roasted, or blackened. We often get asked what the days will be like when we are at sea. There is much to do onboard!

Escape to The Spa, including Destination Inspired Treatments. Take in a wine tasting and culinary workshop. Captivating main stage productions, including On Broadway. Spend the day swimming in the pool with the kids, then watch the sunset while relaxing in an elevated hot tub. Gather on board for movie night under the stars, silent disco parties, hot glass classes, and archery tournaments -- so many activities to share.

Please note,activities will vary by ship, and you can do as much or as little as your please!

Call or stop in to our new spacious lobby office in Hoffman Estates! One of our advisors will help you choose just the right ship for you and your family!

Safe Travels!

RCI BLOG

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it a million times… A Royal Caribbean cruise is a perfect choice for everyone, especially for families and groups. There is so much to explore on their ships that our clients go back year after year. With such a wide selection of activities for any age or physical ability, this vacation is the one you, your children, and grandchildren will talk about for years to come.

Last year our President, Ines Turus, took her family on a Royal Caribbean cruise for those exact reasons. It was the perfect cruise for all ages.

You and your family will love the variety of pools and water slides, virtual reality games, rock walls, Flowrider simulated surfing, and so much more. With a daycare center offering fun children’s activities mom and dad can have a spa day, or perhaps a special intimate dinner.

If you are planning a reunion, a wedding, a work celebration, a special anniversary or any other occasion, our Cruises International travel advisors can plan private events or excursions to make everlasting memories exclusive for your party. Enjoy a 3-, 4-, or 7-day (or longer) journey. You will be amazed!

Celebrate Thanksgiving or winter break at sea and enjoy my favorite part…leave the cooking up to the chefs! There is still time to get away in 2023! Or book now for 2024 and give this gift for the Holidays! After gifts are opened and soon forgotten, the gift of travel makes memories that last a lifetime.

Booking your adventure early is a huge factor in having more choice of cabins that are close in proximity. Consider adjoining rooms or larger cabin suites. Choosing carefully is so important, and we will help you in picking just the right ones for you.

Safe Travels!

RCI BLOG

Utopia of the Seas® offers 20 dining options, bars, pools (including sloping beach entry pools), water slides, 10-story-high zip line, the Flow Rider surf simulator, and mini golf at AquaDunes.

Royal Caribbean International® has introduced their newest ship, doing her inaugural voyage in the Summer of 2024. She will sail on 3 and 4 day jam packed fun journeys to the Bahamas. Call your family, call your friends, let’s plan a group trip today!

“Celebrating a special birthday, anniversary, reunion, wedding, or bachelorette weekend?

How about 3 or 4 days on the newest mega ship in the world”?

As an Oasis Class® ship, Utopia of the Seas® offers the design and amenities as do the other high-in-demand, same class ships, but will solely focus on shorter itineraries of three and four nights. This spectacular, new state of the art ship sails to Nassau and “Perfect Day at CocoCay”, the line’s private island in the Bahamas. If you have hesitated to take a longer cruise, here’s your opportunity to experience it all in just a few days!

Vacationers can choose from 20 types of room accommdations. We’ll assist you in the selection of just the right one for you and your group. Reserve a cabin overlooking the ocean or overlooking one of the amazing “neighborhoods” on board such as Central Park or the Boardwalk. Choose a cabin for three, four, five or book a suite such as the Royal Loft, Ultimate Family, or the new Solarium Suites.

These shorter trips are perfect for families that want to spend part of the week at an Orlando area theme park! Or perhaps you would like to take two shorter vacations this year, versus one long one? We’ll help you plan the perfect short getaway for any occasion.

We are now taking reservations for 2024. By planning early, you can take advantage of the exclusive savings on special departures.

Safe Travels!

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We know we want to travel to Europe; the question is how long do we want to stay and how much do we want to see? Did you know that Norwegian Cruise Line offers cruises longer than a week? Onboard a Norwegian Cruise Line ship, you can travel through Europe on at 10+ day cruise and experience more countries, more culture, and more fun!

We’ve asked our Cruises International Travel Advisors which destinations are most sought after right now, the answer may surprise you…A Mediterranean cruise with a visit to Istanbul. A land with historic landmarks, vibrant cities, beautiful beaches, and excellent food. It is very diverse, having both elements of European and Oriental flair. From traditional teas to the buzzing bazaars, the locals are well known for their hospitality. It will be an experience not soon forgotten!

Iceland, with a chilly name, is one of Europe’s hottest destinations! It is known as the “Land of Fire and Ice”. You will find glaciers, hot springs, geysers, active volcanoes and beautiful waterfalls. The most famous attraction is the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa with enriched mineral waters.

There are so many wonderful itineraries it’s hard to choose! Some of the magnificent Euopean sailings are on Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ships.

The Norwegian Prima, recently made it’s debut to outstanding reviews. It is currently the most requested ship in the Norwegian fleet, and we expect the Norwegian Viva (her sister ship) will share the same results.

Call us soon to help you plan which destinations you want to visit. We can also make your hotel and transportation accommodations. Stay longer pre/post cruise and make the most of your European vacation.

Safe Travels!

Regent Seven Seas sets the benchmark in all-inclusive cruise vacations!

april headerA Viking River cruise is a truly immersive experience. It is both destination focused and culturally enriching.

You will discover turreted fortresses, grand cathedrals, historic cities, medieval towns and spectacular scenery on one or more of Europe’s rivers. The newest is the Middle Rhine, a spectacular 15-day itinerary through Lyon, Provence & Rhineland. Half the fun is waiting to be surprised on what is waiting behind the next winding river bend.

A Viking Longship is an intimate vessel, with all the amenities of an elegant hotel, including all-outside staterooms with floor-to-ceiling windows for spectacular views.

You can dine on the Aquavit Terrace®, a revolutionary indoor/outdoor seating area at the bow of the ship, or in the main dining room featuring daily-changing menus including regional specialties. Visit the organic herb garden on board, which the chefs will utilize throughout your journey. They also use locally sourced ingredients--such as Norwegian salmon, Dutch Gouda, Spanish jamon and Hungarian paprika. This makes for a truly authentic experience, especially when pared with a handpicked selection of regional wines.

The on board experience brings culture to life with guest lecturers focusing on the next destination's history, art, and architecture. Port talks will provide an overview of the next port via multimedia presentation. You can also chose to read up on the towns at the library with a curated book collection in the library. Enjoy destination performances, cooking and crafting demonstrations by locals, using centuries old methods.

The beauty of Viking River cruises is that the longships can take you closer to town, some offer activities a short few steps away from the port. The Viking Way® of exploration, offers behind-the-scenes insights and opportunities to experience places otherwise difficult to visit.

Viking Rivers/Oceans/Expeditions sail on all 7 continents. The newest offerings are trips along the Nile River, and the Mississippi River, as well as Expeditions on the Great Lakes. These do sell out quickly. Many of our advisors have taken these trips and would love to share our knowledge with you. Let us help you plan your next unforgettable trip.

Safe Travels!

Friday, 17 March 2023 08:56 Written by

Cruises International – Vacations Land & Sea Honored by ALG Vacations® as a 2023 Elite Emerald Travel Agency

elite emerald social facebook 39145 940x788March 17, 2023: ALG Vacations® (ALGV), the nation’s leading leisure tour operator and part of the Apple Leisure Group, a member of the Hyatt family of companies, has honored  Cruises International – Vacations Land & Sea as a 2023 ALGV Elite Emerald travel agency. ALGV Elite tiers include Sapphire/Sapphire Select, Emerald, and Diamond/Diamond Preferred. Less than 10% of travel agencies nationwide selling leisure travel have been honored with the ALGV Elite distinction, based on 2022 sales production.

“ALG Vacations is thrilled to recognize the nation’s top-producing travel agencies again this year with the ALGV Elite program,” said ALGV’s Jim Tedesco, Vice President, Sales. “Elite agencies are highly recommended by ALG Vacations because their advisors know our brands, product offerings, and policies well, and have reached a level of sales that can only be achieved through superior service and high customer satisfaction,” he added. ALG Vacations’ highly respected brands include Apple Vacations, Funjet Vacations, Travel Impressions, Southwest Vacations, Blue Sky Tours, and United Vacations.

ALGV Elite agencies are rewarded with a variety of benefits and perks from ALG Vacations, including in-resort training, exclusive promotional codes to pass on to their customers, and access to a VIP support desk, enabling them to deliver premium service to the end consumer.

Cruises International, Vacations Land & Sea is more than just “Travel Agents”, they are your personal concierge, your trusted Travel Advisors, your advocate. By taking the time to learn your preferences, your lifestyle and your goals, they make sure to recommend only the vacations that are right for you. They know your preferences are as unique as you are, because they believe every vacation should be your vacation of a lifetime.

ALG Vacations® (ALGV) is part of Hyatt and managed under Apple Leisure Group® (ALG), a leading North American resort brand-management, leisure travel and hospitality group with a unique business model serving travelers and destinations worldwide. ALGV is a collection of powerful and growing vacations brands widely recognized for providing the industry’s leading leisure travel experience across the world. ALGV was voted the ASTA Tour Operator Partner of the Year in 2020 and 2021 and has received numerous 2022 awards from the leading travel trade publications. With more than three million passengers annually, ALGV features well-established vacation brands including Apple Vacations®, Funjet Vacations®, Travel Impressions®, Southwest Vacations®, Blue Sky Tours®, and United Vacations®.

Wednesday, 15 March 2023 10:17

It’s our time...

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It’s time to book your Fall vacations! It’s time to enjoy Europe, once all the students have gone back to school and the weather is mild. September, October is my very favorite time in Europe, time when I can truly enjoy the local authenticity of where I am.

It’s time to book Alaska. Again, the spring and fall “Shoulder seasons” are my favorite time to see this great destination! In spring the animals are just coming out and are not yet shy to the crowds later in the summer, families are in school, so it’s our time to enjoy. The glacial waterfalls are abundant, and the air is fresh. It’s time!

How about Canada, New England for the fall colors and historical value? We often forget about these great itineraries, and yet this area is spectacular and close to home! In anticipation of what we know will be in high demand, we have locked in low prices just for you, our Cruises International clients! The sailings below are amazing values, just look at the savings! These are available at the time I write this, but cabins are in high demand, disappearing quickly, so please call your vacation planner today to lock in your departure before the rates increase. Reference the sailing of your choice. It’s time!

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