Home > Arizona > Kathy Tolchinsky > The Ins and Outs of Luxury Cruising

Kathy Tolchinsky

Scottsdale, Arizona Travel Agent

The Ins and Outs of Luxury Cruising

Have you ever wondered whether a cruise price is too good to be true, or which cruise line would be the best fit for you? I can show you the real cost and find the right cruise based on your travel style and interests. Cruising is often promoted as an all-inclusive vacation, but that means very different things on different lines. Gratuities might add $15 per person per day. Oh, and do you like to drink soda, wine, beer, or specialty coffees? Except on the higher priced lines, all of those are probably add-ons.   

If you are an experienced cruiser who already knows the lines you prefer, I can help you get the most advantageous pricing. I also have access to Virtuoso amenities that you could not get on your own and special offers not available to the general public.  

I make it my business to know which ships have just come out of drydock and which might be a bit shabby and in need of refurbishment, and can guide you to the best cabin size and location for you.  

Knowing your dream destinations, I also can help you select the best itinerary. For example, St. Petersburg in Russia is an amazing city to visit but obtaining a visa is time-consuming and involves a lot of paperwork and red tape. Happily, cruise passengers are not required to obtain a visa, so cruising is a great way to get there. You also may want to consider whether you ship will dock right in town versus the cruise port and how many days you will be there. 

A growing number of unusual itineraries combine an amazing number of ports in a single journey. It is important to look closely at their day-by-day schedules to be sure it is right for you. One couple considered a 27-day cruise from Rome to Singapore, passing through the Suez Canal and rounding Cape Horn. However, when they realized there were seven days at sea in a row, they decided that was not for them.  

For those with limited mobility, cruising on a line that caters to special needs can be life-changing because they can get out and see things that otherwise would be quite difficult to navigate. Another plus is that members of a family or friend group with differing abilities or interests can go off in different directions and then regroup for meals or other activities. This is a big plus for families with older children or teens, who can enjoy age-appropriate activities with peers while parents pursue their own interests.  

River cruising is a very different kind of journey; the ships are small, so they do not have the variety of on-ship activities. Instead, the focus is on the ports, which range from cities to small villages. Viking Cruises, which offers both ocean and river cruises, is introducing some interesting river/ocean combinations. 

I pride myself on staying abreast of the latest in ships and itineraries and hope you will think of me when you are ready to plan your next river or ocean cruise.

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Reviews

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

The Most Relaxing Family Vacation!

Reviewed By Denise - Phoenix, AZ | Traveled to California ~ USA
Kathy is such a delight to work with, and she really does more than just help you book a trip. She provided us with magazines with plenty of activities and information of places to visit while on vacation. She made sure that the hotel gave us 2 rooms next to each. Kathy really goes out of her way to ensure even a little family beach vacation is wonderful!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Kathy Tolchinsky responded:
Thank you, Denise! It's my goal to help you have the most hassle-free vacation possible. I'm happy that you and your family were able to take advantage of your time away. Looking forto helping you again soon. I truly appreciate your business. KDT
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3 of 5 people found this review helpful

The exciting trip that will have to wait

Reviewed By Mark - Sister Bay, Wisconsin | Traveled to Nazareth ~ Israel ~ Middle East
Kathy is very friendly, and professional. She's always working to get the most advantageous pricing, while not sacrificing quality. She takes the time to get to know her client, so that she can better accommodate their travel needs and wants. Her contact and follow-up is spot on. We definitely enjoy working with Kathy, and appreciate her insight, and knowledge.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Kathy Tolchinsky responded:
Thanks so much for entrusting me with your travel. It is a pleasure working with you both. Looking forward to working with you to find more fabulous vacations.
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6 of 11 people found this review helpful

in the future

Reviewed By Yalewine - Glenview, IL | Traveled to Portugal ~ Europe
first class service and advice. Knows all the hidden treasures
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Kathy Tolchinsky responded:
Thank you so much. It’s a pleasure working with you and your friends on your trip. So sorry you were preempted this time. Hopefully we will get you somewhere wonderful in the very near future!
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5 of 10 people found this review helpful

Beautiful trip to a luxury hotel in Puerto Rico

Reviewed By Jason - Cleveland, OH | Traveled to Puerto Rico ~ USA
Everything was great
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Kathy Tolchinsky responded:
Hi Jason, Happy to hear that you and your family enjoyed your winter getaway. Glad that I could be of help and look forward to helping you plan other adventures in the future.
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7 of 14 people found this review helpful

The most memorable trip I will ever take!!

Reviewed By Bert - Solon | Traveled to Belarus ~ Europe
It was a pleasure working with Kathy. She handled all the arrangements and put us in a great hotel.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Kathy Tolchinsky responded:
Thank you so much! I know how much this trip meant to you and my apologies again for the rocky start. I’m glad to know it all worked out and you enjoyed the trip.
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2 of 5 people found this review helpful

We have yet to book a tour due to the pandemic

Reviewed By Granite - Scottsdale | Traveled to France ~ Europe
Kathy is patient and a good listener with an understanding of the basic needs of her clients and their wishes.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Kathy Tolchinsky responded:
Thank you, Mark. So sorry that your river cruise didn't work out for this summer. I'm looking forward to helping you and your wife plan that incredible vacation in the (hopefully) very near future. I appreciate your business! Thank you for entrusting me with your travel plans.
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3 of 7 people found this review helpful

Trip to Greece

Reviewed By MB629 - Cleveland, OH | Traveled to Greece ~ Europe
We had our honeymoon to Greece planned for this June 2020. Unfortunately due to pandemic we are not able to go. Leading up to and during our cancellation Kathy was extremely helpful and accommodating. She helped us to find many great hotels, tours, cooking classes, boat trips and transportation. We are sad to be putting this dream trip on hold, but cannot wait to rebook in the future. Thank you Kathy for all of your help!!!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Kathy Tolchinsky responded:
Thank you, Monica! I know how much you and your husband were looking forward to this fabulous honeymoon. And it was fun planning this trip for you. When the time is right, I'll be here to help you plan a different dream getaway. KDT
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6 of 15 people found this review helpful

Great 60th birthday present

Reviewed By Gab - Scottsdale | Traveled to Isla Mujeres ~ Quintana Roo ~ Mexico
Very easy and was informed of travel plans/changes when necessary
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Kathy Tolchinsky responded:
Thank you for choosing to plan this milestone birthday with Protravel. I appreciate your flexibility when the airlines changed your schedule. I look forward to helping you both plan future memory making adventures in the future. Happy to know that you enjoyed your trip.
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8 of 19 people found this review helpful

Looking Forward to An Exceptional Trip

Reviewed By StevieB - Beachwood, OH | Traveled to Europe
Very easy to work with. She's a seasoned traveler, who's experienced most of what we are inquiring about. Kathy is very detailed and doesn't let anything sit unattended. So far, everything we've requested has happened. Her follow-up has been tremendous.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Kathy Tolchinsky responded:
Thank you, Steve! You and your wife are a pleasure to work with.
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4 of 12 people found this review helpful

No complaints!!

Reviewed By Amy S. - San Mateo | Traveled to New York City ~ New York ~ USA
Easy to work with Kathy. Always was available! Attention to details!!!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Kathy Tolchinsky responded:
Thank you, Amy! It was a pleasure to help you and your family plan your winter break getaway....
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9 of 22 people found this review helpful

The best trip we have ever taken!!!

Reviewed By Melissa - Palm Beach Gardens, Fl | Traveled to Alaska ~ USA
Kathy was simply amazing!! We have been on cruises before and had done the planning ourselves which was always a disaster. Kathy made it easy and fun!! She helped with every aspect of our cruise from beginning to end!! We just had to show up!!!

Would never plan another trip without her help!!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Kathy Tolchinsky responded:
Thanks so much, Melissa. It was fun to help you plan this special cruise for your husband’s milestone birthday. You’re a pleasure to work with and I’m looking forward to helping you and your family plan many more memorable vacations.
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10 of 24 people found this review helpful

Upcoming Canadian Rockies vacation

Reviewed By Bob and Tammy - Solon, Ohio | Traveled to British Columbia ~ Canada
Our experience with Kathy Tolchinsky has been excellent. We are so excited for everything she has booked for us!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
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5 of 15 people found this review helpful

Effortless

Reviewed By MAB - Dallas, TX | Traveled to Europe
Kathy was able to arrange our most detailed requests. She was always available and wonderfully proactive.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Kathy Tolchinsky responded:
Thank you! You're both a pleasure to work with. I appreciate your business. Happy, healthy 2020!
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9 of 24 people found this review helpful

Can't Wait to Explore the Canadian Rockies!

Reviewed By Bob and Tammu - Solon, OH | Traveled to British Columbia ~ Canada
Our experience with Kathy has been fantastic. She provided great suggestions, was very responsive, found some great hotel perks and saved us money. We have never used a travel agent before but from now on we will use Kathy to help us plan our vacations!
Kathy Tolchinsky responded:
Thanks so much for allowing me to help you plan your anniversary trip. Working with customers such as yourselves makes work fun! Enjoy your trip and send photos!
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8 of 23 people found this review helpful

HONEYMOON = AMAZING

Reviewed By Sarah - Detroit,Mi | Traveled to Hawaii ~ USA
She went above and beyond for me to plan myself and my husband the best honeymoon!!!! Thank you again kathy!!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Kathy Tolchinsky responded:
My pleasure, Sarah. The beginning of your happily ever after will be spent in an idyllic place. Wishing you the best as you begin this new chapter in your lives.
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8 of 23 people found this review helpful

A dream trip come true!

Reviewed By Lauren - Syracuse, NY | Traveled to Vienna ~ Austria ~ Europe
Kathy was a significant help to me when planning our trip to Vienna. She is knowledgeable, extremely professional and thoroughly articulated information, suggesting the best of the best sights for us. Her personal advice was key to our having an active and exciting trip. She answered all questions and provided excellent advice. She will be my go-to advisor for all trips moving forward!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Kathy Tolchinsky responded:
Dear Lauren, thank you for the kind words. I'm happy to hear that you and your husband had a wonderful trip. It was my pleasure to help you plan your time in Vienna. Happy to help anytime!
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5 of 19 people found this review helpful

Family Summer Sabbatical

Reviewed By Keri - Scottsdale, AZ | Traveled to Europe
Kathy is a dream. She's made planning our family sabbatical such a joy.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Kathy Tolchinsky responded:
Thank you, Keri. It's been fun helping you and your family plan this once in a lifetime experience!
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