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Louise Wasserman

Encino, California Travel Agent

Luxury River and Ocean Cruises

The advantage of packing just once and seeing many places in a single trip is just the start of why luxury cruising is so wonderful. You get a level of personalized service that is impossible in a hotel. For example, a hotel may have great housekeeping, but you never interact personally and may have a different maid each day, while on a cruise, your cabin steward personally does everything he or she can to please you.

Similarly, you probably will not have the same waiter or bartender more than once during a land journey. In contrast, on one of the small luxury ships, the wait staff will probably know your name and your favorite drink by the end of your first day on board.

Cruises are also far more relaxing than land vacations. Even if you stay in the same city for a week, somehow you feel guilty spending hours in your room reading when you could be out sightseeing. On a cruise, especially one that has days at sea, there is plenty to do, but as at a resort, you have the sense that you are meant to relax. In fact, one of my favorite types of cruises is a transatlantic crossing with all that time at sea.

Of course, there is plenty to do when you are ready. Onboard entertainment varies greatly in scale and style by line. Seabourn has marvelous lectures, often given by college professors and you can learn a lot about various aspects of your ports by attending (or watching the lectures in your stateroom, if you prefer). On the other hand, some of the larger ships have full-scale Broadway-style productions, IMAX and 3-D theaters, and huge water parks.

As a certified cruise specialist, I can select the cruise that best meets your individual needs and consider many factors most people don’t think about. Many people pick a cruise because of the ports of call. But you should look at more than just the destinations. For example, how many hours does the ship spend in the ports you want to see? Will you be there on a day everything is closed? Where do they dock? Having two or three nights docked in downtown St. Petersburg, Russia is very different from docking 40 minutes or an hour from town and having less than 48 hours to explore it.

I also can help you choose the stateroom that will have the best view for your sailing. I actually look at maps and deck plans to see which side of the ship you should be on to see the shore. Plus, if you tend to get seasick, I can suggest which stateroom will feel the least motion. If you want to be near the elevator or the spa, or have special needs, I’ll help make sure you make the right choices.

Most travelers also want guidance on don’t miss experiences — both on board and in port. Often, if you are traveling with two or more people, I can arrange private experiences ashore that may be no more expensive than the ship tours and give you a more exclusive and customized experience.

As a certified cruise expert who has personally experienced most of the top river and ocean cruise lines, I can help match you with the best cruise experience for you. And as a Protravel agent, I have access to the great deals and value-added amenities that you do not get when you book on your own.

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