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Riding the waves
I got my start in the travel industry in 1980, representing Alaskan Airlines, Horizon Airlines, the Phoenix Tourist Office and the Arizona Tourism Bureau amongst others in British Columbia.
In 1985, I was approached by Royal Cruise Line, a five star cruise line which was expanding its sales force in the West. "I pitched the idea of having a Canadian Sales Manager, something the company had never thought of before".
Flying to San Francisco the next day, I was hired on the spot to introduce Royal Cruise Line into Canada as their Manager. Royal Cruise Line was a success story. It already had an incredible following both in Europe and the U.S, and it was not long before Canada became a huge success story, with thousands of Canadians cruising with us. Our unique global itinerary mix, mid sized ships, and aggressive sales policy all contributed to the success enjoyed by Royal Cruise Line. I ran the Western Canadian operations from 1985 to 1996, when the cruise line was sold. "It was the best 10 years of my life!"
Next, I took a position as sales manager, Canada, for the Greek company Royal Olympic Cruises, and successfully introduced and managed the line to the Canadian market from 1996 to 2006. Royal Olympic Cruises went out of business in 2006, and after smaller representation contracts with Star Clippers and others, I took a bit of a break from the industry.
Based in Vancouver, I am single with an active 19-year-old son at Queens University. I have lived on 5 continents, visited over 40 Countries, and cruised every Ocean on the planet. A frequent globetrotter, I consider Venice one of my favourite cities to visit and cruise from. I love the history, atmosphere and culture of that region of Italy.” Also love Hong Kong, London, Palm Springs, Thai Islands, Greek Islands and Malta.
An avid collector of old movies, especially Westerns, my favourite is ‘The Searchers’, a classic starring John Wayne, Ward Bond and Natalie Wood, followed by all the John Ford trilogy, She wore a Yellow Ribbon, Rio Grande and Fort Apache.
2 of my greatest mentors are Phil Zeck, who hired me at Royal Cruise Line, and Michael Geske, both of whom continue to also work in the cruise industry. These cruise and travel professionals became great friends and reliable contacts, and I still connect with them both frequently.
I believe the cruise industry is a different niche within the travel industry, offering the best value in travel. Where else can you travel, unpack and pack once, visit many ports and cities, have all meals and entertainment included, for one often low price. Knowing the right ship, the right time of year, the right itinerary, the right price and most important, delivering the right overall quality experience expected by the client is paramount for a successful cruise. A knowledgeable, experienced agent is still required for this business.
“I am also optimistic about the growth of the cruise industry, both Ocean cruises and the fast emerging River cruise segment, and the importance of a professional travel agent in the sales process. Whilst online bookings are very popular, they are usually just price based. "Experienced cruisers need to deal with a professional who knows the answers to the many questions they may have".
Virtuoso affiliation makes this all possible, and I am very glad to back at what I enjoy and do best. Come cruise with us! I am looking forward to helping you with the right choices.
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