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Gayle Takashima / African Safaris
Gayle Takashima

Gayle Takashima

Seattle, WA Cruise Specialist
Years of Experience: 25+
54 Reviews | 100% Recommended

African Safaris

In late 2019, I had the honor of being selected as a Cruise Specialists representative to travel to Kenya on a Micato Safari to further educate myself and our clients about safaris. Micato is one of the best in the business and has been operating safaris for 50 years. It was founded by Felix and Jane Pinto — second-generation Kenyans. The Pintos treat their guests as part of their extended family. In fact, all Micato guests who arrive in Nairobi are invited to the Pinto home as a part of their visit.  

THE MANY MICATO DIFFERENCES

Here are some of the ways Micato stands out:

Luxurious Camps and Lodges

The properties we stayed at were simply jaw-dropping. One example of this is when we stayed in the Laikipia Reserve at the Elewana Collection’s Loisaba Lodo Springs. It features eight individual spacious tented rooms with views that reach across the magical landscape of northern Kenya. Because this was a professional development trip for me, I also toured Elewana Loisaba Tented Camp. The Elewana Loisaba properties are within a 57,000-acre nature conservancy and are home to an abundance of animal species, including one of Kenya’s largest populations of lions, plus leopards, cheetahs and more. When we reached the Maasai Mara, we stayed at the Fairmont Mara Safari Club — our tents overlooked the river where hippos lounged and slept during the day.  

Micato Safari Vehicles, Bush Planes, Guides & Drivers

On this journey, I participated in more than a dozen game drives (about two each day I was in the bush). We were constantly on the lookout for, and seeing, wildlife as we drove across the plains or flew between camps and lodges. The Safari Directors are native to Africa, are certified and bring Africa’s story to life through a blend of guiding, lecturing and conversations over meals. The highly credentialed Driver Guides communicate with the other vehicles to ensure that if there is wildlife to see, everyone gets a chance. Because we were able to focus so much on our surroundings, we saw countless animals: lions, giraffes, hippos, rhinos, zebras, elephants, wildebeests, a variety of birds and more, all in their natural habitats. We were able to live in the moment, a luxury we don’t always have in our everyday lives. 

Dining

Dining is another part of the experience where Micato raises the bar. Most dinners we savored in the comfort of our lodge or hotel’s gourmet restaurant. Breakfasts were almost more wonderful. Could you imagine my surprise, when, on our first morning game drive, we came to a stop at a peaceful vista and there were several tables set up with white tablecloths under the shade of trees? We were served mimosas and enjoyed an elegant buffet-style breakfast. It’s a special treat that in the middle of your game drive you get to do this, without needing to interrupt a day of sightseeing to go back to a hotel or restaurant to eat.  

Unique Micato Moments

Micato is famous for the delightful surprises they lavish upon their guests. Those are a fun part of the safari I don’t want to reveal. The staff also crafts unforgettable moments such as sundowner cocktails at twilight on the plains or heart-stirring encounters where we met with tribal villagers. Micato really aims to amaze. 

All-Inclusive

Micato includes all gratuities, including to the Safari Directors and Driver Guides. At mealtimes, regional wines, beer and bottled water are included. Valet laundry service is included everywhere, every day. Most camps feature Wi-Fi, as do Micato’s safari vehicles, and that’s also free. They even have a Concierge Team available to obtain a forgotten prescription, find you an extra camera battery or pack the purchases you made on the trip and ship them home. 

THE WILDLIFE

It’s because of these Micato distinctions, that for more than a week, I was able to focus with intent and without distraction on the magnificent wildlife we encountered. We had countless quiet moments of watching lions, elephants, zebras, wildebeests and rhinos. My first game drive turned out to be one of my most memorable events of the trip, because we saw so much in just a short time, and it was there that the circle of life we hear so much about became abundantly — and beautifully — clear. I’ll also never forget sitting on my balcony in the Maasai Mara watching the hippos so up close.  

WHAT’S NEXT?

I truly hope that you contact me, ask more about this trip and consider doing a Micato Safari. My consulting services are entirely complimentary. There is a lot to learn and I’ll take time to really listen to what you’d like to do. We will put together a safari that matches what you are looking for. With the stunning landscapes, lavish accommodations and the special people you meet, a Micato Safari feels luxurious and awe-inspiring at the same time.

My Areas of Expertise

Destinations

  • Africa
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania
  • Kenya

Interests

  • Safari

Supplier

  • African Travel Inc.
  • Abercrombie & Kent
  • Kensington Tours

My Reviews

Rating: 5 54 Reviews | 100% Recommended
  • Great experience

    Reviewed By Linda - Bellevue | Traveled to Danube
    Very informative!
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    30 of 43 people found this review helpful
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  • September river cruise

    Reviewed By Elizabeth - Paramus | Traveled to Douro River
    She was easily available to answer any question and always returned my phone calls.
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    27 of 42 people found this review helpful
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  • Silver Muse March cruise

    Reviewed By Robert - Prescott, AZ | Traveled to Trans-Atlantic
    Handled all in an extremely efficient and friendly manner.
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    25 of 39 people found this review helpful
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  • Gayle

    Reviewed By Thomas B. - Nokomis | Traveled to World Cruise
    We have booked 12 cruises with Gayle. Her service is superb!
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    27 of 43 people found this review helpful
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  • Viking river cruise

    Reviewed By Elizabeth - Boynton Beach | Traveled to Rhine River
    She is very diligent about returning phone calls within a day
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    25 of 39 people found this review helpful
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  • Perfect Trip

    Reviewed By Janet S. - Radcliff | Traveled to Antartica
    High attention to detail and very knowledgeable. I will absolutely use Gayle again
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    29 of 47 people found this review helpful
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  • Lets go!

    Reviewed By Theodore - Wilmington | Traveled to Rhine River
    Fantastic to work with and always there for you
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    25 of 39 people found this review helpful
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  • Working with Gayle

    Reviewed By Robert - Mount Vernon | Traveled to Iceland
    Gayle is such a kind, professional, and patient person. I appreciate our relationship so much. Gayle lets my husband and I book several trips that we are interested in taking so we have choices. That helps us capture promotions and make good decisions based on our health. Thank you, Gayle, for all your wonderful help!
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    27 of 43 people found this review helpful
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  • Cruising Agent

    Reviewed By James - Miami Beach | Traveled to World Cruise
    When I was able to visit with Gayle, she was very helpful and answered all my questions. Enjoyed our conversations. She is very busy, so at times it was not as convenient to talk with her assistants. I guess the reason she is so busy is because she is good. I will definitely use her again. : )
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    27 of 44 people found this review helpful
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  • Alaskan Cruise

    Reviewed By David - Boston | Traveled to Alaska
    Gayle is exceptionally good.
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    25 of 40 people found this review helpful
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  • Trip to Scandinavia

    Reviewed By Gunther - El Segundo | Traveled to Scandinavia
    Gayle is a great trip consultant, she was very helpful in getting me all the information I needed. Thanks a lot!
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    24 of 38 people found this review helpful
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  • Caribbean cruise with Celebrity

    Reviewed By Alan - Pompano Beach | Traveled to Mediterranean
    As always she has the best advice and keeps things easy
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    23 of 36 people found this review helpful
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  • 10 stars

    Reviewed By Jean - Woodinville | Traveled to Japan
    It was a pleasure working with Gayle. She is very professional and well informed.
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    24 of 39 people found this review helpful
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  • Seabourn Cruise Review

    Reviewed By Larry S. - New York | Traveled to Europe
    As usual the best. She is responsive Tony requests for reservations and always provides excellent service
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    22 of 35 people found this review helpful
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  • Excellent Service!

    Reviewed By Jan - Radcliff | Traveled to Caribbean
    Very good Easy to work with.
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    23 of 37 people found this review helpful
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  • Review

    Reviewed By Loretta - Miami Beach | Traveled to World Cruise
    Very, very good.
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    23 of 37 people found this review helpful
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  • Great Travel Agent

    Reviewed By Judy - Lakewood | Traveled to World Cruise
    From the beginning of the planning stage to the last minute details before leaving, Gayle was responsive to all our needs. She either answered or found answers to all our questions and made sure that everything was confirmed.
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    26 of 43 people found this review helpful
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  • Perfect Travel Planner

    Reviewed By Patrick S. - Bella Vista | Traveled to Mediterranean
    So relaxing to have GAYLE TAKASHIMA handle our travel arrangements. She is always available to contact with all questions or clarification of anything. We can’t imagine that we would ever need another agent!!! Highly recommend her.
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    22 of 35 people found this review helpful
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  • Best and most efficient agent ever!

    Reviewed By Patrick - Florence | Traveled to Panama Canal
    Gayle is probably the most perfect Travel Agent I have ever had the opportunity to work with. She answers ever question promptly. Her ability to find and answer all inquires is fast and always complete. I can't imagine working with anyone else! She makes our cruise planning a pleasure.
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    23 of 37 people found this review helpful
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  • Tales of the South Pacific

    Reviewed By Josephine - Aurora, IL | Traveled to South Pacific
    Excellent. She took very good care of me and got us a great cabin. It was ideally located on a lower deck, near the elevators and one deck above the tenders and the exit. She worked hard behind the scenes to get us extra perks like beverage cards.
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    23 of 37 people found this review helpful
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  • CanadaNew England Cruise Silvllersea

    Reviewed By Joan - Scottsdale | Traveled to Canada
    Just wonderful. She is so very helpful and is on top of everything. And such a delight to work with. So pleasant and patient with some of my silly questions.
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    24 of 40 people found this review helpful
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  • The BEST !

    Reviewed By Gene - Boulder, CO | Traveled to South America
    Gayle provides excellent customer service which we have come to expect. We let her know our thoughts and potential plans and leave it up to her to finalize. She is the BEST!
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    23 of 38 people found this review helpful
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  • Opinion

    Reviewed By Leon - Fredericksburg | Traveled to Greece
    Very knowledgeable and helpful.
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    24 of 40 people found this review helpful
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  • Around the Mediterranean and across the pond

    Reviewed By Josephine - Nordelta-Buenos Aire | Traveled to Mediterranean
    She did a great job getting a good fare and sweetened it with the best perks. She was easy to reach when I had questions.
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    24 of 40 people found this review helpful
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  • 14 Day Alaska voyage

    Reviewed By Charlene - Frederic | Traveled to Alaska
    Gayle is always professional and pleasant to work with
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    22 of 36 people found this review helpful
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  • Advisor review

    Reviewed By Joan - Vught | Traveled to World Cruise
    Just wonderful as always. Gayle is very efficient and takes care of all the details. Would be difficult for me to plan a trip without her help.
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    26 of 45 people found this review helpful
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  • good travel agent

    Reviewed By Jerry - Long Beach | Traveled to Douro River
    nice, friendly, effective
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    23 of 39 people found this review helpful
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  • Gayle

    Reviewed By Mary Beth - Lake Wales | Traveled to Panama Canal
    Gayle is always helpful and gives good advice.
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    24 of 41 people found this review helpful
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  • Best Agent

    Reviewed By Roger K. - Tiburon, CA | Traveled to New Zealand
    Wonderful as usual
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    25 of 43 people found this review helpful
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  • PANAMÁ CANAL CRUISE

    Reviewed By James N. - Ormond Beach | Traveled to Panama Canal
    Five star a real pro.
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    23 of 39 people found this review helpful
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  • The Best Travel Advisor!

    Reviewed By John W. - Minneapolis | Traveled to Panama Canal
    Gayle, though physically far distant from us, has become a good friend and I can’t envision consulting with anyone else when a cruising bug calls. She’s thorough about covering all bases for each trip we’ve considered. Really enjoy working with her.
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    23 of 39 people found this review helpful
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  • Knowledgeable and Helpful

    Reviewed By Charles - Little Neck | Traveled to South Pacific
    Gayle is a joy to work with. She is patient and friendly. She has a lot of knowledge herself as well as colleagues to consult with. I met her (and her husband) when she was a host on a Paul Gauguin cruise. I started using her for trips after that cruise.
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    22 of 37 people found this review helpful
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  • Gayle Takashima is a Gem!

    Reviewed By Margaret - Park City | Traveled to World Cruise
    We enjoy working with Gayle to help plan our cruises. She is competent, knowledgeable, kind, patient, reasonable, and understanding. Her advise has been extremely helpful in assisting us when making various decisions. The title says it all -- Gayle Takashima is a Gem!
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    22 of 37 people found this review helpful
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  • Gayle

    Reviewed By Gina - Seattle | Traveled to World Cruise ~ Other
    I first met Gayle in 2007 : Gayle Takashima has been my Travel Advisor since 2007 and I cannot say enough good things about her. She is always happy, takes all the time necessary to answer questions and make any and all necessary arrangements, and at the same time being very professional. Since I first started cruising with Holland America and, albeit from a distance, I have come to think of Gayle as a friend who I can always rely on to help with all my travel needs and special requests. Many Thanks Gayle - Gina
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    26 of 45 people found this review helpful
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  • Mexico cruise

    Reviewed By Frankie - Spokane | Traveled to Mexico
    Gayle did a great job.
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    23 of 40 people found this review helpful
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  • Gayle

    Reviewed By Patricia - Aliso View | Traveled to Trans-Atlantic
    Gayle was terrific to work with!
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    23 of 40 people found this review helpful
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  • World Cruise

    Reviewed By Renee - Austin | Traveled to World Cruise
    Very easy to work with, has been my agent for years and knows my likes and dislikes. Highly recommend. Top notch.
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    22 of 38 people found this review helpful
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  • Our Superb Travel Advisor

    Reviewed By Loretta - Liberty | Traveled to Mediterranean
    Gayle has helped us with nine cruises with Oceania Cruises. She is outstanding! Her suggestions, travel knowledge, perfect and prompt execution of all the many details of trip planning and sense of humor are very special. We do not want to plan a cruises without her!
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    23 of 40 people found this review helpful
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  • Gayle

    Reviewed By Gina - San Diego | Traveled to World Cruise
    I first met Gayle in 2007 : Gayle Takashima has been my Travel Advisor since 2007 and I cannot say enough good things about her. She is always happy, takes all the time necessary to answer questions and make any and all necessary arrangements, and at the same time being very professional. Since I first started cruising with Holland America and, albeit from a distance, I have come to think of Gayle as a friend who I can always rely on to help with all my travel needs and special requests. Many Thanks Gayle - Gina
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    22 of 38 people found this review helpful
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  • Great vacation

    Reviewed By Thomas - Lake Stevens | Traveled to Mexico
    Working with Gail is always great. She will always look to get us the best rates. I will email her about specials I saw on our upcoming cruise and she will make sure we get those deals
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    22 of 39 people found this review helpful
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  • Best friend a trraveler could every have

    Reviewed By Gladis - Ocala | Traveled to South America
    Gayle went far beyond what one would expect of an agent, especially when it came to getting our Indian Visas! Remarkable person, we feel we've know her all out lives.
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    25 of 45 people found this review helpful
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  • Excellent Service, Extremely Knowlegeable

    Reviewed By Rodney - Atlanta | Traveled to Alaska
    Always helpful and ready to solve any challenge.
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    23 of 41 people found this review helpful
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  • Gayle

    Reviewed By Terry - Jupiter, FL | Traveled to Trans-Atlantic
    excellent, very helpful
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    23 of 41 people found this review helpful
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  • Working with Gayle

    Reviewed By Fred - Coventary | Traveled to Tahiti
    Always a pleasure
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    23 of 41 people found this review helpful
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  • Once again, a great trip!!

    Reviewed By Rod - Duluth | Traveled to Europe
    Gayle is always helpful and keeps up with my weird travel itineraries. This trip involved 4 cruises and 3 train trips and everything went smoothly and without a hitch. The documents for the last cruise were issued long after my departure from the US and Gayle made sure all the documents I needed got to me in plenty of time. We have been working with Gayle for years and every experience has always been first-rate.
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    23 of 42 people found this review helpful
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  • Booking

    Reviewed By Roger - Moyock | Traveled to Australia
    Gayle was good, efficient, helped us get decent air. Oceania wanted us to take flights with 50 minute connection after 15 hour international flight. If we missed connection it would be impossible to get to ship and we would have missed first 4 days of trip. Had to pay extra but Gayle made changes happen.
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    25 of 46 people found this review helpful
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  • Voyage of the Mid Night Sun

    Reviewed By Rick - San Diego | Traveled to Scandinavia
    Once again, Gayle was great to work with. This trip was made complicated by some last minute medical issues and Gayle went out of her way to adjust our travel schedule. We are truly appreciative of her efforts.
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    21 of 39 people found this review helpful
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  • Regent Cruise

    Reviewed By Stacey - Bloomington | Traveled to Europe
    She is knowledgeable and has good advise about trips and ships. She is highly organized and knows how to get the best deal. She is readily available - I have given her name to several cruise passengers on various trips we have taken.
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    22 of 42 people found this review helpful
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  • A Trustworthy Friend

    Reviewed By Thomas - Ocala | Traveled to World Cruise
    We’ve been working with Gayle for many years for our personal tours, group tours, college reunions/ anniversaries, family vacations and many more. We have recommended her to our classmates, relatives and friends. She is a dedicated, knowledgeable, honest, efficient , courteous, flexible, reliable, dependable, up to date with travel issues, quick to respond to our concerns and very pleasant to talk to. We are very pleased for all you have done and continue to do. Thank you.
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    21 of 40 people found this review helpful
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  • Regent Cruise

    Reviewed By Bill - Saint Petersburg | Traveled to Scandinavia
    Great service always available.....
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    20 of 38 people found this review helpful
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  • What’s this?

    Reviewed By Rick - Layfayette | Traveled to Caribbean
    Gayle is Best! We’ve recommended her to our friends, all of whom think Gayle I s great. Helpful, quick to respond and very knowledgeable.
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    20 of 38 people found this review helpful
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  • It starts with Gayle!

    Reviewed By Janet - Pomona | Traveled to Greenland
    The fun of each cruise begins with the first call to Gayle! She is always a joy to work with.
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    21 of 40 people found this review helpful
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  • Cruise on October 13, 2018

    Reviewed By Donald - Bremerton | Traveled to World Cruise
    She was very competent and we want to thank her for the various gifts we received while on the ship.
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    20 of 38 people found this review helpful
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  • Wonderful Cruise

    Reviewed By Fred - Miami | Traveled to Mediterranean
    Gayle is fantastic! She is so responsive, knowledgeable and personable; able to research and answer all questions when she isn’t sure about something.
    I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
    21 of 42 people found this review helpful
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My Travel Experience

Places I’ve personally traveled to or destinations I’ve booked for my clients.