The 75-day Grand Asia and Far East Voyage on Holland America Line is an annual cruise that is eagerly anticipated at Cruise Specialists. Some of the cruise agency’s 155 guests were venturing on the exotic adventure on the ms Amsterdam for the first time, and for others, the trip is a special voyage they look forward to each year.
The travelers will get to see a side of the Pacific rarely seen – from ports of call in the U.S. Territories of Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands to glimpses of life in Micronesia, the sultanate of Brunei and exotic Papua New Guinea – just to name a few.
“Every year we all look forward to gathering our valued guests, some who have been with us 20+ years and others embarking on their inaugural voyage as a member of the Cruise Specialists family,” said Greg Nacco, vice president of Cruise Specialists. “These pre-cruise Galas provide a wonderful kick-off where the CS Staff and the old friends and newcomers are joined together at the moment where anticipation ends and the journey begins…it is a magical moment to be Cruise Specialists!”
Bon Voyage Dinner and Hotel Stay in Vancouver
The majority of the guests arrived in Vancouver for a festive bon voyage dinner and hotel stay the night before the ship set sail. Upon arriving at the airport, many of them were happily greeted by staff from the Seattle and Novato Cruise Specialists offices and accompanied to their local shuttle to the hotel.
The cruise hosts Tom Mullen and Bill Krupa, along with the Cruise Specialists staff and key representatives from Holland America Line were present to welcome the excited travelers to the evening cocktail reception and three-course dinner.
The next day, the guests were transferred by motorcoach from the hotel to the ship to start their long-awaited adventure. Four Cruise Specialists cruise consultants joined the fun 3-day journey from Vancouver to Los Angeles to pick up 40 more guests who would be joining the group.
Vancouver to Los Angeles
The short trek down to Los Angeles provided an opportunity for the Cruise Specialists cruise consultants to spend time with their clients and participate in the group activities. The travelers enjoyed daily chat time with each other and the hosts, along with some trivia, cocktails and pool time. The guests were excited to interact with the Cruise Specialists team members at their convenience and many expressed how much they appreciated the team’s efforts to make their trip so comfortable.
Feedback from Cruise Specialists team:
“What stood out for me was how happy the clients were and how much they appreciated all that Cruise Specialists does for them. I had many clients come up to say how nice it was for us to meet them at the airport and then the wonderful Bon Voyage party and dinner.”
“It was such a unique experience to be on a Grand Voyage as it sets sail. It’s definitely more festive. They had the pool deck decorated with lots of flags and also had a wonderful bon voyage party with an incredible outdoor bbq. Service and food quality were really the best I’ve ever experienced on HAL. Lots of little touches like warm, tray passed hors d’oevers in the lounges.” Mary
“I truly love working with our Bon Voyage events. It is a special time when our staff and clients come face to face. Our Grand Pacific and Far East event went so smoothly and the Sheraton Vancouver Airport hotel was very accommodating with our guest needs. It is a great feeling to see everyone arrive after their long day of travel and offer a comfortable & exciting experience to start their grand voyage vacation!” Holly
“To be onboard with clients opened my eyes to the excitement they have been looking forward to all these months! The planning, the packing, and finally, the arriving onboard to see their friends was something they had looked forward to for a long time. For those new to Cruise Specialists and some who were new to cruising, were so happy to be with us. The Cruise Specialists group is warm and friendly with that extra special touch of service.” LynnDee
Cruise Specialists looks forward to following their clients along on this grand adventure!