My New 9-5: Cruise Vacation Planning

Today, for the first time in many years, I’m going to work in an office doing a 9-5. Instead of sitting at home dreaming about and planning trips for Cathy and I, I’ll be planning cruises and other trips for other people The new Expedia CruiseShipCenters office in Whitehorse opened on Saturday, and today is our first regular day of business.

This was the team as of Saturday – franchise owners Erik and Kim Hougen, store manager Amanda McCarthy, me, and Allison Ramos who came up from the company headquarters in Vancouver to lend a hand with the inevitable opening-day bugs. There are openings for several more Cruise Consultants to join us, so the team may have even expanded by the time I get to the office this morning.

We had no idea what to expect on Saturday (or today), but the response was excellent, and we were busy for most of the day. Although our focus is cruises, the office is a full-service travel agency, and I’ve already booked 2 cruises including air to/from the departure port, several hotels and a car rental.

The job for me is primarily home-based, so I’ll probably just be in the office on Tuesdays – that flexibility was key to me joining the company, and I’m thrilled with what’s happened so far, and with the potential to have a lot of fun while making money.

I have lots of work to do at the office today. Among the projects is getting more details worked out for a special Alaska Photography Cruise/Tour that I’m putting together for May-June 2010. It consists of a 7-day cruise on the Island Princess on an itinerary that includes both Glacier Bay and College Fjord, followed by 5 days touring from Whittier to Denali Park and back to Anchorage by train and bus. I’ll be escorting the trip and providing information on how to improve my guests’ photography – the trip will include excursions designed specifically for their photo potential. The huge 1-Day Sale that Princess is holding on June 20 will allow me to put it together for a very low price – the trip is limited to 16 people and that’s the day I’ll be reserving the cabins.

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