A new one just begun... That line from John Lennon's "This is Christmas" plays over and over in my head this time of year. The last week of the year has always been a time of looking back and then looking forward. I'm the gal who skips New Year's Eve parties to sit back with a beverage, some quiet time and journal. With that context, you'll understand that I've been reflecting on 2022.
It's been a big year of change at Cruisin' with the Drennans:
I retired from my corporate job to be at Cruisin' with the Drennan's full-time with Jim.
We launched our website and started advertising on The Knot and Wedding Wire.
Our "social media" program was started, and we will refine it throughout 2023.
Jim and Judi both hit sales goals that were recognized by our host agency.
Jim was one of Virgin Voyages Top 100 First Mates and will be honored with the other 99 on a special sailing January 4-8 aboard the Valiant Lady.
Most importantly, you our clients, have not only trusted us with your vacations and memories - but you have also referred us to your friends! That is the highest compliment anyone could give us.
It's been a big year of change in the Travel Industry:
After being locked down for two years, travel exploded! Making memories has become a top priority for so many people since Covid began. We see more people wanting to share experiences rather than give things. We're excited to help our clients plan for those experiences and memories.
Like other businesses, the industry has had issues with both staffing and supply shortages. We've noticed it on cruise ships and at the resorts we've traveled to. Everyone is doing their best however, there are challenges. BE FLEXIBLE is still rule #1 when traveling. (And this is only one reason trip insurance is so important.)
The half-filled ships and bargains of 2021 gave way to ships filled to capacity and increased prices. Booking a cruise even nine months out, can have limited options. We are working with clients for events through 2025! Planning now can allow you to lock in current pricing and budget for that dream vacation. Whether it's that big celebration experience, the family reunion or the quiet vacation, NOW is the time to plan.
The industry is constantly evolving and that has not changed. Ships are being designed to feel like the all-inclusive resorts at sea. Just look at Norwegian's Prima or Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas. Resorts are evolving and popping up everywhere. There is HUGE growth happening in the Caribbean. Judi has a heart for Jamaica and the growth over the next 2 years is something to watch! Sandals is opening the redesigned Dunn's River resort in May and there is construction all over the island, because demand is so high.
What our Clients are telling us:
Bucket list trips are more important than ever. Europe, Alaska and Greece are popular every year, but we've seen more demand these last 6 months and moving forward.
Time with family and friends has become a priority. One of the things Covid and lockdowns reminded us of, is how important those people connections are. The ability to tune out the noise of the world, share experiences, laugh and make memories together seems to be more important than ever.
As always, budgets are important. However, so is quality of the experience. That's why we work hard to find the perfect adventure for you. We believe in "the bargain" and we believe "you get what you pay for". We will never recommend anything we are not fully confident in because we want you to have great memories.
We are already well into planning for 2023!
We have a couple of group cruises on the books right now. You also have us busy with your travel requests. Thank you! We appreciate the confidence you have in us. We are also so appreciative and humbled by all the referrals you send our way.
Jim and Judi are going to several conferences and trainings in 2023. We have a big event in February with hundreds of co-agents from our host agency. We also have a very important cruise industry event in April. Judi is working on a couple of certifications Jim already had.
We are working hard to stay up to date on trends, training and knowledge so we can be your best resource for vacations and special events!
Happy, Happy New Year! We hope 2023 brings you joy, laughter and many, many wonderful memories!!!