The Splendorous Occasion Is Almost Here

Tomorrow, it's down to the Port of Long Beach to get onboard the Carnival Splendor for a one night Splendorous Occasion.
While I didn't hear from anyone about bringing a guest, somewhat to my dismay, I do have plans to meet a fellow agent, Paul Cathcart from Virginia.  We first met on the pre-Inaugural of the Ruby Princess several years ago.  He is now starting up his own Host Agency.  That should be good.
Also, I hope to get a chance to talk with Gerry Cahill, Carnival's CEO.  His rousing talk during the 2 day West Coast Inaugural in March of 2009 had a lot to do with me staying in the business.  If you all recall, at the time, the economy was in free fall, and no one was really sure where it might end.  I wasn't at all sure I could make a go of the travel business, frankly.  His optimism, and stated commitment to getting his cruise line and all us agents thru it helped me, and I suspect, a few other jittery TA's.
While the economy is still dragging along, and by no means "good", it does appear stable and seems maybe the worst is behind us.  And he was right - we did survive (well some of us did, anyway).  In fact, I not only survived, I am making plans right now to expand, add agents, and finally go "bricks and mortar".  That is, quit being home-based and open an office.
Should be some exciting news on that front in the next few weeks.  The biggest obstacle right now is that commercial property owners apparently haven't got the memo that there is a vast oversupply of vacant commercial space, and rents are nowhere near rational.  But, like I said, hopefully some news on that front soon.
Anyway, as I said, I owe Mr. Cahill a "Thank You", and hope to get a chance to deliver it tomorrow.

Any of you that are ready to book a Mexican Riviera cruise on the Carnival Splendor, give me a call at 760.265.3687.  As a couple other ships are leaving the West Coast, the Splendor's pricing is only going to gu UP...so BOOK NOW!
Just made a reservation for the Norwegian Star on Feb 26th. The last minute deal, combined with the Dash Event OBC's were just too good to resist. Plus I really wanted to check out the new suites added to the Star when she was refurbished last year. Since she is leaving the West Coast soon, I just kind of had to jump on it.
I am taking my brother, who is in a wheelchair, and my 78 year old mom (for those of you who don't know, I specialize in Accessible Travel). I know that NCL has had some issues about accessibility, but my personal experience doesn't bear it out. In fact, one of my strongest memories of the Pride of Hawaii is when my brother's wheelchair had a tire blowout in Maui. The Engineering Dept lent me tools, and helped me take off the tire, while the front desk people located and got directions to a medical supply store so I could get a replacement. All in all, the service was way above and beyond.
I have also received excellent service on the Star in the past. On the other hand, the service and attention I received on my recent EPIC cruise has raised the bar, so, I guess we'll see if those Suite perks are really all they are cracked up to be.
I will, of course, be doing a daily "Live From the Norwegian Star" post at http://daveholmanstravelblog.blogspot.com and at http://www.facebook.com/HolmanTravel
If you are interested in trying out NCL's Suite Life, give us a call at Dave Holman Travel Services, 760.265.3687