Back

View all destinations
  • Africa

  • Asia

  • Caribbean

  • Central America

  • Europe

  • Middle East

  • North America

  • Oceania

  • South America

Africa

Through its extraordinary wildlife safaris, environmental majesty and ancient traditions, Africa is an epic storybook adventure. Experience unparalleled luxury via rainforest, coastline, dessert and mountain.

Asia

Intoxicatingly beautiful and rooted in custom, Asia reveals a heightened mysticism and generosity of spirit throughout each celebrated region. Discover centuries of culture and engaging hospitality with every step.

Caribbean

Choose from an ever-increasing portfolio of luxury resorts and private islands along the azure waters of the Caribbean. Marine adventure, culinary perfection and complete seclusion all have a spot on the day’s agenda.

Central America

Soothing vistas and diverse eco-adventure await in Central America. See the sun rise over the rim of a volcano, roam the ruins of the Mayans, ride through nature conservatories and paddle through jungle mangroves.

Europe

A multitude of environs– coast, country and city – make for a feast of diversity in Europe. The unique histories, gastronomic extravagance and cultural riches bring a deluxe profusion of Old World elegance.

Middle East

Ancient cultures and modern pleasures coalesce in the fascinating nations of the eastern Mediterranean and those ringing the Persian Gulf. Encounter pockets of immense historical significance, refined opulence and breathtaking beauty.

North America

For enjoying a stateside sojourn, drinking in Canada’s natural wonders or exploring the magnitude of Mexico, this continent offers spectacular diversion. Find flavours to arouse every taste bud and an array of cultures to match.

Oceania

A world of exotic wonder awaits in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific islands. Drift through romantic nights and endless days of natural splendour, aquatic adventure, decadent resorts and epicurean delights.

South America

From the beaches of northern Brazil to the southern tracts of Patagonia, this continent is the sum of a thousand parts. Experience ancient cities and heritage haciendas, volcanic hot springs and vibrant café cultures.

Explore a world of luxury

View all destinations

Cruise Destinations

Whether you dream of island-hopping your way down Caribbean island chains, connecting the ocean waters with a Panama Canal cruise, or sailing into an exotic Mediterranean port at cocktail hour, our expert Travel Designers can curate the luxury cruise vacation of a lifetime.

Explore a world of luxury cruising

Search all cruise types

Safari Destinations

What can you expect from a Tully Luxury Travel safari? In a word: magic. You will witness extraordinary wildlife amid untamed beauty and unparalleled luxury. You will take a thousand pictures – and make a thousand more memories.

Podcasts

Luxury travel’s most inspiring stories told by its most celebrated icons. From wildlife experts, fashion designers and artists, to historians, chefs and more, this inspiring podcast series is designed to show you the world’s most exclusive travel experiences through the eyes of the people that know them best.

See all Podcasts

Explore our media

View all media

Our Partners

What is the Tully Difference? The most satisfying travel experiences are the ones that captivate and transform you as a person and that deepen your connection to the world around you. It is that belief that fuels our desire to create rewarding travel experiences for people who are passionate about discovering the essence and heart of a destination.

View all Preferred Partners

The Tully Difference

Learn more

Condé Nast Traveler: Cruise Etiquette: How and Why to Book with a Cruise Specialist

By Scott Laird | 12-12-2023 |

Cruise Press & Media

Unlike many other travel industry segments, cruises are still largely booked by travel specialists—a significant percentage of whom specialize in cruising. The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) estimates that over two thirds of cruise passengers have booked their voyages through a travel agent.

Planning a vacation at sea can be complex, and cruise specialists—like those on our Top Travel Specialists list—help cut through the marketing hype and get right to the cruise line that best suits you. Here are some benefits for booking with a cruise specialist, and some pointers from several of our Top Travel Specialists on getting the best value and experience.

How is works

Cruise specialists are bidirectional relationship experts—they’re familiar with both the cruise lines they sell and the clients to whom they’re selling. A travel advisor's primary responsibility is to their clients, meaning they’re better positioned to offer unbiased advice.

For travelers who are new to cruising, agents are especially helpful in matching you with a cruise line and ship that best fits your personality. With dozens of options ranging from entertainment-focused mega ships to intimate river cruises, specialists can provide valuable advice drawn on years of experience working with a variety of cruise lines. They’ll know exactly how to snag a good dining table, arrange VIP shore excursions, or help you select the best cruise insurance plan.

“Once clients realize they cannot ‘VIP themselves’—that’s only something a trusted travel advisor can do for them—they recognize the value of booking with an agent," says Frosch travel advisor Christina Turrini.

At this point, you're probably wondering how much this insider knowledge will cost you. While some advisors may charge a small fee, most cruise specialists receive the bulk of their pay from commissions paid by the cruise industry—meaning there’s typically no difference in fare for passengers who book with a specialist versus booking directly with the line.

Some specialists also have access to tracking programs that alert them to discounts they can then pass on to clients, according to Turrini, which can help passengers save on the cruise fare or add value in the form of upgrades and onboard credits.

What exactly can a cruise specialist assist with?

Cruise specialists are on hand to answer questions about shore excursions, spa and dining reservations, or other services passengers can book online prior to their cruise. Have questions about drink packages or WiFi? Specialists are there to help. If a flight gets delayed or canceled, specialists can also liaise with the cruise line and work to rebook you if there's a risk of missing your sailing.

Many cruise lines give incentives to top specialists like onboard dining or drink packages, onboard credits, or stateroom upgrades for their clients. The cherry on top? Cruise specialists will often send a nice welcome amenity—chocolates, snacks, or other gifts, to kick off their clients’ vacation on a pleasant note.

Some specialists, like Tom Baker of Cruise Center, have an encyclopedic knowledge of cruise cabins—he’ll tell clients exactly how “obstructed” that obstructed view is in their stateroom, or which ships have recently undergone refurbishments.

Top specialists will also follow up post-trip—even if the client isn’t booking another cruise right away. Baker explains this is a good way to gather intel, adding that specialists can help resolve post-travel loose ends like delayed luggage, cruise line complaints, and overall feedback. Specialists also appreciate the latest scoop to help keep their other clients up-to-date. As Mary Jean Tully of Tully Luxury Travel notes, “a restaurant might be good, but if they get a new chef that changes the game."

At the end of the day, Tully says, a trusted travel agent ultimately makes for the best cruise experience. “Why wouldn’t you want someone to be an advocate for you? It just makes sense.”

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Inspiring travel ideas and advice from our travel designers delivered straight to your inbox.

Submit

Subscribe to our Newsletter

And gain access to travel promotions exclusive to Tully Luxury Travel through our vast network of some of the largest service providers in the travel industry.

We hope to show you the Tully difference on your next journey.

Tully Luxury Travel | Newsletter Subscription

  • Send

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

false