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Adventures With Robin

Your Go-To Travel Source

Welcome! This space serves as a platform for travel agent Robin Norell to share her trips, experiences and expertise with you. Exceeding your customer service expectations is Robin’s primary goal. Having worked for Disney for 2.5 years, she knows how to make your vacation magic. 

Robin has visited 25 countries (Caribbean, Europe, Asia) and 31 states, and has been on 26 river and ocean cruises (so far), visited Disney World, Disneyland and Disneyland Paris multiple times, and she is happy to share her travel experiences and knowledge with you to make your vacation the best it can be.

Robin has been awarded the distinguished certifications of CLIA’s (Cruise Lines International Association) ACC (Accredited Cruise Counselor) Certification, as well as earning her CTA (Certified Travel Associate) certification, has completed the College of Disney Knowledge, and continues to learn more about the travel industry every day.

Excelling in administration and customer service, she takes care of all the details, leaving you free to relax and enjoy!

Independent Vacation Planner

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March 14-15.

Thursday March 15 

 

Today’s agenda:

9am to 12pm – General Session, 1pm-2pm Lunch on ships, 2:30-5pm Education sessions on ships, 7pm dinner 

We had breakfast on our river cruise ship, and then walked to the Passenger Terminal and upstairs to the General Session.



There were panel discussions with cruise line executives, travel advisors, and some marketing ideas. They also gave away a bunch of river cruises (random wheel spin), but none of us won.  


I was scheduled for lunch on the Avalon Passion, and then Education Sessions on the Tauck Joy and Riverside Debussy. We only had info sessions in the lounge, the ships weren’t open for touring at that point.  Learned a lot, and glad I attended these sessions. 


Biggest learnings: 

Tauck

·        Tauck Bridges cruises have 22 cabins that fit up to 4 people 

·        Tauck excursions often include after hours entry to popular locations – for example, they enter the Sistine Chapel when it’s closed, so there is literally no one else there. ("Skip the line” tours are there with other “skip the line” tour companies.) Tauck often hears “I would have come here for this experience alone.” 

·        Tauck’s staff – average tenure 10 years. 

·        Tauck passengers are Four Seasons clients 


Riverside

·        This relatively new line (they purchased the river cruise ships from the now defunct Crystal cruise line) compares itself to Virgin Voyages – that unique out of the box kind of cruise. Their passengers are SilverSea and Regent Seven Seas clients. 

·        They have one of the largest river ships – the Mozart. It’s 2’ wider than the AmaMagna (which is a double wide river cruise ship). 

·        They have four price points:  Cruise only  Cruise with beverage package  Cruise with excursion package  and All included. Clients sign for all charges, and get a statement for all their charges, and then at the end the charges are credited back, based on the package they purchased. 


My dinner was supposed to be on the Tauck Joy, but since we had dinner there last night, we decided to have dinner on Riviera Geoffrey Chaucer. While this is a lower priced line, we were pleasantly surprised by the food.


We (Kyle and I) sat with another agent from central Florida, and were joined by Bruce, the representative for the cruise line in the US. The conversation was really good, and we were the last ones to leave the restaurant. I made it back to the cabin around 10:30pm.  

 

Friday March 15 


Today’s agenda: 10am to 1pm – Trade Show, 1pm-2pm, Lunch on ships 2pm-5pm, Ships Open House, 7pm dinner 


I slept a little later and missed breakfast, but grabbed a light breakfast in the lounge, then headed over to the trade show right after it opened. Great chance to meet with reps from suppliers with which I work, and learn about others. 





I spoke with AmaWaterways, Virgin Voyages, Avalon, Riverside, and Riviera.


I also spoke with a representative from the hotel in Budapest at which I’ll be staying April 3 and he sent an email to the hotel letting them know I’m coming (probably will get a tour).


And I found a new interesting supplier – Boat Bike Tours. They have barges and guests can ride their bikes along trails along the river, leaving the ship and coming back in the afternoon. They are bringing one of their ships to the nearby dock on Sunday 10am-1pm, so I made a note to go and see them. 








My lunch was on Riviera, and it was good. Then it was time for Ship Open Houses.





Some of the ships let us just wander, others had guided tours of their ships. I had already seen most of them, but there were two that hadn’t been at the CLIA expo – Tauck and Viking. I’ve already sailed on Viking, but Cindy hadn’t. We toured Riviera, Tauck, Uniworld, and Viking. 




I actually ate dinner on my scheduled ship – Riverside. When I stopped by the booth earlier, Kelly (our sales manager, who I had met last year when she hosted us at a dinner in Fort Collins) and her co-worker said we should eat with them. Trish and I went down to the dining room, and Kelly was there, so we joined the two reps and two other agents. 


Kyle was supposed to be eating on another ship, but at one point I heard his voice, and turned around and he was sitting at another table – LOL!  And once again, we were the last table out of the restaurant, but we all had a great evening! 

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Robin is an Independent Travel Planner who has been awarded CLIA's (Cruise Line Industry Association's) Accredited Cruise Counselor Certification and The Travel Institute's Certified Travel Associate designation. Her excellent service is yours at no cost - she's paid by the suppliers (hotel, cruise line, etc.), nor does she charge a fee for services. She may even save you money over booking it yourself, as she follows all the specials and will get you a better price after you book with her. When you are planning a family vacation or celebrating a special occasion through travel, you want the best experience possible, and Robin is ready to help you! She provides excellent customer service, and your happiness and satisfaction is her top priority. With the knowledge gained by her extensive travel experience (25 countries, 31 states, and 26 cruises so far) and customer service experience (2.5 years employed at Walt Disney World Resort), she's excited and ready to help you plan new adventures!

Location: Alexandria - VA
Email: Robin.Norell.Travel@gmail.com
Phone: (567) 307-3476
Toll-Free: (866) 779-4830

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