Why Book Through Cruise Time?
Cruise Time thrives on providing professional, detailed service for travelers ranging from the discriminating individual to the discerning corporation. Our agents' travel experiences enable them to provide detailed, intimate advice on a variety of destinations. No detail is overlooked to make the travel dreams of each individual a reality. Honest assistance will integrate clients into various cultures. We are characterized by our prompt, courteous response to your every need and our dedicated working relationships with the personel of certified resorts and exemplary cruise lines enables us to provide services with an accommodating approach which is within the guidelines of the professionalism that is expected of an experienced company.
Travel specialist and owner Brenda Punchak is a licensed travel agent who is CLIA certified with ECC credentials; but what distinguishes Cruise Time from any other agency is the true love of travel which is projected by all our employees and our sincere desire to focus on the details that provide our clients , whether they are individuals or corporations, to keep coming back to our agency.
If you are looking for that personal touch in travel, done with a smile and performed with a passion to turn dreams into realities, consider...
We have over 25 years cruising experience
Elite Cruise Counsellors are on staff
Members of CLIA (Cruise Line International Association)
Memebers of IATAN
Members of Vacation.com
Personalized Service done with a smile
Disney Specialist to answer your every question
Princess Cruiseline Expert to answer any question
Sandal's Destination & Spa Specialist
Wedding & Honeymoon Specialist
Caribbean & Alaska Specialist
Our connections of preferred suppliers and large volume of business will save you time and money
We have access to special pricing of cruise specials that change daily and can't be put on the internet (Call!)
ASK Us how you can cruise for free
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We want to be your partner in making your dreams realities!
Toll Free Number (888)547-9876
The Patriot - News
Let certified cruise experts make sailing smooth
Sunday, February 04, 2007
The travel industry is awash in meaningless certifications. The main culprits are destinations that confer specialist designations on travel agents who complete open-book, multiple choice tests based on reading material prepared by the destinations' marketing departments.
That's not to say that all industry certifications are bogus. Case in point -- there are four certifications offered by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA):
1. Accredited Cruise Counselor (ACC).
2. Master Cruise Counselor (MCC).
3. Elite Cruise Counselor (ECC).
4. ECC Scholar (ECCS).
What makes these certifications worthwhile to travel agents and the traveling public is that CLIA requires a combination of cruise-related coursework, cruise industry seminar and conference participation, shipboard inspections and actual cruising aboard the ships of CLIA members. In addition, successful candidates must sell a certain number of cabins within specified time periods to attain each level.
Brenda Punchak, co-owner of Cruise Time in Allentown, is an ECC, one of only seven in Pennsylvania. With more than 45 cruises under her belt, she has taken more than the required number of cruises for ACCs, MCCs and ECCs combined. She typically takes seven cruises a year and has sailed on all of the major cruise lines, among them, Carnival Cruise Lines, NCL, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Crystal Cruises.
Punchak opened Cruise Time in 2000 and immediately began taking CLIA courses because of her desire to become an expert in her field. Because she had already taken 18 cruises before starting the CLIA training, she was able to became an MCC her first year in business. She went on to earn her ECC designation in a continuing quest to stay current in a constantly changing industry.
Not surprisingly, Punchak argues against consumers making their cruise reservations over the Internet. A lot of people plan their cruise vacations on the basis of hearsay from others who have cruised, she says, without realizing the variety and differences among ships and cruise lines.
Based on her personal experience, Punchak can guide clients to the cruise vacations that best fit their needs, wants and budgets.
Punchak says one of the biggest misconceptions people have is that they'll get the lowest price if they book through the Internet. "It's not the case at all," Punchak says. In fact, she says, travel agents get the best deals from the cruise lines and good agents know how to get upgrades and onboard amenities for their clients.
For a list of local ACCs and MCCs, go to CLIA's Web site at www .cruising.org and click on Plan Your Cruise, then click on Cruise Expert Locator, then input an agency name or your ZIP code or area code.
Annette Reiff's column appears Sundays in the Travel section. Reiff, a certified travel counselor, is a former travel agent who has taught in the travel programs at Harrisburg Area Community College and York Technical Institute. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.