The future of ocean cruising certainly remains buoyant, especially for TravelManagers’ Laurin Taggart.
The home-based travel agency network’s member for Forster on the NSW Mid North Coast has secured a dazzling round-the-world cruise itinerary for a client. The booking is Taggart’s largest individual booking as well as the largest ever booked at TravelManagers.
Her client has booked on a 143-night roundtrip cruise from Miami aboard Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Mariner, departing in 2023.
“Whilst I love all types of travel, cruising has to be one of my absolute favourite types of holidays to take and also to sell,” Taggart said.
“There is literally a cruise holiday to suit everyone, and I have sold all types of cruises: expedition, large-ship, family-friendly and high-end small ship inclusive voyages.
“I love using my expertise to match someone with their ideal voyage, creating happy and loyal clients for life.”
Taggart’s new booking is her client’s the third attempt at a circumnavigation.
The client postponed previous trips due to a medical emergency and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The personal travel manager (PTM) says her client is now looking forward to proving that third time really is the charm. They have plotted a voyage that will cross three oceans and visit six continents. It will call at 72 ports in 42 countries and sail more than 38 thousand nautical miles.
The client, who wishes to remain anonymous said they prefer long cruises to short voyages.
“I can settle in and make myself at home,” they said.
“I enjoy having the time to get to know the crew and the other passengers, exploring the ship and finding my favourite spots. The staff always provide a very personalised service, and you quickly come to feel known and welcome.”
“I love talking to people, finding out about their lives and their cultures, and hearing about their travels. It is a very safe environment, so most people are happy to share their stories.”
Taggart’s client cites the on-board dining experience as another highlight. She says she enjoys dining in a beautiful restaurant each night and being treated to immaculate food and wine service.
“As a solo traveller, I love the personalised touches such as being greeted by name as well as the many opportunities to meet new friends: personal invitations to breakfast, dinner get-togethers and drinks before dinner each day.”
The value of an agent
Her previous cruising experience also provides her the confidence with knowing she will be looked after by Regent Seven Seas.
Taggart’s client is quick to point out that having a good travel agent is key to a successful and enjoyable cruise holiday.
“Laurin always seems to know exactly what is right for me, and ensures that my travel plans are absolutely seamless, easy and enjoyable. She looks after every little detail, and her help when COVID-19 put an end to my cruise this year was amazing.”
Since March, Taggart has been busy sorting out repatriations, changes, and refunds for existing holiday bookings. She has kept in constant contact with clients whose plans have been affected by COVID.
This latest booking is an encouraging sign that her clients are still thinking about travel and making plans for the future.
“Travel plays such an integral part in our lives today, and the memories made whilst travelling last a lifetime and are literally priceless,” she said.
“Having bookings starting to come in for 2022 and beyond has given me hope in what quite frankly has been a time of despair.
“We now have an opportunity to redesign the industry with a greater emphasis on sustainability – not just in terms of how we travel but also how we work. Being a personal travel manager, I feel I’m already ahead of the game in that respect.”
Lead image: Pool Deck on the Seven Seas Mariner