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Premier Travel Hosts First Cruise Expo - 3-, 2006 – 31: 0
The recently hosted cruise expo featured representatives from different cruise lines who flew in to promote the lines.

Premier Travel agency is propelling itself to the forefront of the Bahamian travel industry by encouraging natives to try something a little different from the usual two-day vacation in Miami.

Cruises are now on the vacation hotlist, and Premier Travel is doing all they can to help Bahamians pick the perfect one. Whether it is for pleasure or business, for a couple or a family, through beautiful shores of the Caribbean or the exotic Asian islands, this travel agency can help you plan the cruise of your dreams.

"[A cruise] is the best form of vacation," said Fairie Kraft, a cruise consultant at Premier Travel.

Established in l988 under the direction of Managing Director June Sands, Chairman T. B. Donaldson and Director G. Clifford, the company started out with only six employees.

Now, Premier Travel employs 23 employees and is one of the leading travel agencies in The Bahamas. It recently hosted its first cruise expo, which lasted two days.

The aim of the expo was to let the public know that Premier Travel sells cruises (as they have for three years now) and that they offer many specials.

At the expo there were representatives present to answer questions, book cruises and look up fares and representatives from different cruise lines who flew in to promote the lines. Premier Travel, which sells a host of cruise lines including Carnival, Disney, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess and a numerous others also promoted the simplicity of booking a cruise as a vacation.

"When you compare it to, say, a land package, a cruise offers so much more," said Ms Kraft. "Once you are onboard the ship with your suitcase and unpack, there's no need to drag anything with you except your wallet when you're going to shore."

Going on a cruise vacation eliminates the need for renting a car, booking a hotel or paying for entertainment or food on the ship.

"For most Bahamians who love to eat that would be an ideal place to go, because they would eat their money's worth," said Amanda Lowe, marketing and public relations officer.

Available onboard is world-class food, 24-hour room service and a midnight buffet. There is also entertainment for children and adults which includes Broadway shows, night-clubs, casinos, shops, rock climbing, skating rinks, swimming pools and more.

Premier Travel has a varied menu cruises. They range from three to 14 days and go to destinations such as Alaska, Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, Canada, New England, Hawaii.

When it comes to finances, Ms Kraft said cruises have become more affordable, thanks to the most popular cruise line, Carnival. "Carnival has made it possible for the regular income family to do a cruise."

At the cruise expo, Premier Travel made sure to encourage people to book through a travel agent instead of doing it online.

"You talk to someone at Premier Travel, whereas online there is no one to talk to. There's nothing like having a person to talk to," said Ms Kraft.

Ms Lowe said, "When you book online you basically fend for yourself."

Ms Lowe also said that Premier Travel provides better fares than online, and that their travel agents always go the extra mile to please customers.

At the expo, the agency also gave away Premier Travel bags, a seven-day cruise, two airline tickets on American Airlines and free items from all of the cruise lines. They plan to make it an annual event.

By: LARISSA SAWYER, The Nassau Guardian