From January 17-19, 2020, we hosted our 30th Annual Cruise Expo! What is Cruise Expo? It is an annual 3-day travel show hosted by Brentwood Travel at West County Center in St. Louis, Missouri. Representatives from cruise lines and land tour operators come to showcase their products and our team of travel consultants are available for people to book their dream vacations right at the show!
Representatives from the following 21 cruise lines and tour operators joined us to celebrate Cruise Expo:
American Queen Steamboat Company
Carnival Cruise Line
Holland America Line
Norwegian Cruise Line
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Uniworld Boutique River Cruises
Victory Cruise Lines
The weekend was full of fun and excitement for travel! There were so many familiar faces as well as new connections made over the three-day show. The show was such a success and we cannot wait for next year! If you came out to Cruise Expo, THANK YOU for joining us and we hope you have an amazing upcoming travel plans. If you didn't make it to Cruise Expo this year, we would love to see you next year.
Check out some photos from Cruise Expo!
This will be my second year.
How long have you been with Azamara Club Cruises?
One and a half years, since we hired our dedicated sales team.
What made you want to work for Azamara Club Cruises?
Besides having an Azamazing team? LAND! Azamara's focus on LAND and more time in port is what I love most about our unique cruise brand. If I am going to Santorini, I want to stay until 10, 11PM at night, and that is what Azamara offers - longer, stays, more overnights, and night touring. And of course, the great culinary experiences onboard our boutique vessels.
What do you feel is the main thing that sets Azamara Club Cruises apart from your competition?
Absolutely, positively how we stay longer in port and overnight more than any of our competitors. We focus on not only providing a world class experience onboard, but giving you MORE time in destination to experience MORE! This is our primary focus - "Destination Immersion".
Share a memory from one of your favorite trips with Azamara Club Cruises:
So difficult to choose just one, but I have great memories of our "Azamazing Evening" in St. Petersburg Russia. We took all of our guests onboard (about 600 guests) to the historic St. Petersburg Philharmonic for a PRIVATE performance by the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra. Champagne was flowing, our Captain Carl was present, and Chief Composer Yuri Temirkanov provided the show of a lifetime. Glancing around the audience of Azamara guests and seeing their smiling faces brought home for me what Azamara Club Cruises is about. Experiences. Bespoke, authentic, and localized experiences. And to think that our Azamazing Evenings are complimentary!!!
Describe a client who would be the perfect fit for Azamara Club Cruises:
It's quite easy. ANYONE who enjoys spending longer in port, and those who want to EXPERIENCE the destinations visited. People who like small boutique ships (roughly 680 passengers only), and those who demand the finest in dining and accommodations. If you enjoy casual luxury (no ties or tuxedos!), a remarkable crew experience, and more time for experiences in destination, Azamara is a perfect choice.
Bob's tip for traveling parents:
I always bring a stuffed animal of my daughter's so I can take a photo "In Destination" and send it to her showing where we've been. This was taken at the Lycian ruins at Xanthos, Turkey in 2016 while on an Azamara voyage…taken with an unsuspecting local. ; )
About two and a half years.
What made you want to work for Royal Caribbean?
I had some college friends who started working for Royal Caribbean immediately after graduation and had nothing but the greatest things to say about their culture, work environment, and opportunities for upward mobility. Plus, let’s be honest, cruise benefits are a solid perk in ANY company!
What do you feel is the main thing that sets Royal Caribbean apart from your competition?
I see other cruise lines do a specific thing really well & that’s what they’re “known for” in the industry. However, we do EVERYTHING well – regardless if you’re a retired couple on an Alaskan CruiseTour going places no other competitor visits, or a family of four enjoying the zipline, waterslides, and surf simulators onboard our Oasis-class ships in the Caribbean. There’s something for everybody onboard a Royal Caribbean ship & we constantly strive to deliver that “WOW” factor to each and every one of our guests.
Share a memory from one of your favorite trips with Royal Caribbean:
I recently got to sail onboard our newest ship – the Harmony of the Seas. Trying to sum up my memories from not only the biggest, but most technologically-advanced cruise ship in the world in a few sentences won’t do the experience any justice. However, I learned how to surf onboard this ship (or at least “learned”, it’s not as easy as it looks!) – which is definitely a first-at-sea & sets Royal Caribbean’s innovation apart from the rest!
Our company tagline is “Come Seek.” We chose it because we understand everybody seeks something different. Our guests’ ideas of fun, adventure, and relaxation are all brought together onboard one of our ships to where every single one of our clients can “come seek” their ideal vacation in their own particular way.
How long have you been with Viking Cruises?
I started with Viking in 2000 as a chef, then later became a Hotel Manager. Now, I am a Director of Business Development.
What made you want to work for Viking Cruises?
Viking offers great work conditions in a professional team who is determined to become the best in the world! I love feeling valued and appreciated as an employee, while being given the ability to add my own creativity and expertise. Also, it's great to work for a company that embraces modern technology and the latest trends.
What do you feel is the main thing that sets Viking Cruises apart from your competition?
Viking sets itself apart by not trying to be ‘everything to everyone’.
We have innovative and industry-changing ship designs that offer a wide selection of different cabin categories. Every crewmember on board is a Viking employee and trained by our management, and Viking owns and operates all ships (except Mekong and Egypt).
We offer ‘Behind the Scenes’ shore excursions and have limited access to UNESCO world heritage sites. On board, we have award-winning cuisine made fresh with locally sourced ingredients.
My most unforgettable journey was Amsterdam to Vienna in 2001 when I met my wife for the first time on board. Still my very favorite destination - Rhine and Danube
Describe a client who would be the perfect fit for Viking Cruises:
Viking is perfect for the client who is open-minded and curious. Someone who is interested in Europe’s art, music, culture, literature, and culinary world, but also wants to meet the people of the destination.
(Click to see full album)
AC: Disney Wonder, December 2011
MW: Disney Dream, February 2015
AC: 7-Night sailing to the Mexican Riviera out of Los Angeles. We stopped in Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. It also included multiple “At Sea” days that allowed for ship exploration.
MW: 3-Night sailing to the Bahamas out of Port Canaveral, where we visited Nassau and Disney’s private island Castaway Cay.
Describe what the ship was like:
AC: It was smaller and more intimate than I would’ve imagined. There were clearly designated sections for all sorts of experiences. For example, the children’s clubs were together in their own section. The adult’s only quiet pool and part of the ship was separate from the children’s clubs. The Family pool and outdoor decks were centrally located so it made it very simple for people to gather and then split into their own worlds whenever the wanted. The dining rooms were fairytale detailed. When you walked into Animator’s Palate, you felt like you were transported into the mind and imagination of an animator. When you walked into Parrot Cay, you were transported to the Caribbean rainforest village that was very colorful and full of life…
AC: Disney is famous for its ability to tell a story with the unsurpassed attention to details that pertain to that story. This was evident in places one would not expect, from the Nautical touches (though not obvious or overwhelming) in the Navigator’s Balcony Stateroom I had, to the seemingly insignificant pictures and paintings sporadically placed throughout the hallways that would magically come to life. Service is never a question when you’re in Disney’s hands. They remembered your name, your preferred beverage, and that you disliked mushrooms after the first meal. They never said “no” with unusual requests in the dining room or by the pool. Something small that I feel everyone (especially parents with children who tend to go to bed early), is that the evening’s Broadway-style shows were played on the TV in your stateroom. If you did not feel like getting dressed and going to diner in the main room or going to the show, you were not missing anything as it would play in your room. This is the attention to detail and level of service one expects and will surprise you with Disney.
AC: I went during Christmas time and I was fortunate enough to see the MASSIVE gingerbread house (a real gingerbread house, similar to the ones they bake and put up in the parks) as it was created right on the ship by the master bakers and pastry chefs. It made ALL of the public areas smell so amazing. One of the magical things they did was autographs and presentations with the head chef and concept artist for the gingerbread house. I’ll never forget how much work and imagination goes into something that’s not even a permanent fixture on board. So fun.
Not sure – 8, I think?
How long have you been with Holland America Line?
What made you want to work for Holland America Line?
Love of travel.
What do you feel is the main thing that sets Holland American Line apart from other cruise lines?
Smaller ships, genuine, gracious service, culinary excellence, a broader depth of itineraries, immersive and enriching experiences to all destinations.
Share a memory from one of your favorite trips with Holland America Line:
My favorite memories are the family vacations I have taken on Holland America. I love the way the crew gets to know everyone in the group and makes them feel at home for our cruise. Their added touches and attention to detail make every voyage special.
Describe a client who would be the perfect fit for Holland America Line:
Anyone who likes to experience, learn and discover while they travel in premium style would be a good fit for Holland America Line. Also, those who love food and wine!
the "Land of the Midnight Sun." Click here to read more.
What made you want to work for AmaWaterways?
The quality of the product, their reputation in the industry and the fact that they are family owned.
What do you feel is the main thing that sets AmaWaterways apart from your competition?
Our people, our service level, our many tour choices, our culinary signature "Chaine des Rotisseurs”, our wine themed departures and our awards given by Berlitz the travel writers (we received 1-10) out of 310 river ships!
Share a memory from one of your favorite trips with AmaWaterways:
The Christmas Markets - Europe so beautifully decorates and celebrates the traditions of the holiday season with the Castles, Palaces and Abby’s all lit with the colors of the Christmas season.
Describe a client who would be the perfect fit for AmaWaterways:
An ocean cruiser looking for a smaller, more engaging experience. A traveler that has experienced escorted tours, special interest travel, a cultural experience, active traveler (we have biking and hiking tours), empty nester-wanting to share new experiences together…let's just say, any traveler that appreciates a 5 star level of service!
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This is my second year.
How long have you been with Norwegian Cruise Line?
Collectively 16 years.
What made you want to work for Norwegian Cruise Line?
Norwegian Cruise Line was always an innovator for industry firsts. Their motto was “not just selling vacations, but delivering dreams.” Years ago, the SS Norway would be docked in St. Thomas USVI and I could see the ship from my English class. Gazing out the window, I thought it would be interesting to work for Norwegian. That opportunity came when I graduated from High School, and I took it!
Freestyle Cruising – Our guests are "Free at Sea" to enjoy their vacation the way they like. Freestyle Cruising consists of dining options, entertainment and accommodations.
Share a memory from one of your favorite trips with Norwegian Cruise Line:
Sailing onboard Norwegian Dawn to Bermuda, a group of us rented scooters and went bar hopping in St. Georges and Hamilton. We were gone the entire day and even took a nap on the beach. A sudden storm came in and we rode back to Kings Wharf in a torrential down pour. We arrived to the ship and were greeted with towels and fresh t-shirts.
Describe a client who would be the perfect fit for Norwegian Cruise Line:
Affluent, Active, Couples or Romantics, and Solo Travelers.
This will be my third year working Cruise Expo.
How long have you been with Uniworld?
I have been with Uniworld for three years.
What made you want to work for Uniworld?
I wanted to work for Uniworld for many years after seeing one of their ships while sailing on a competitor. I then learned as much as I could about Uniworld in hopes that a position would someday become available. Finally after two years – one opened up in Denver and I jumped on the opportunity to apply and was finally hired. Good things are worth the wait!
What do you feel is the main thing that sets Uniworld apart from your competition?
Our service and ships are the best in the industry. Our main belief is "No Detail too small, no request too large." You will see once you board our ships that we take care of every detail and deliver on giving the best service to our guests. Our repeat business is the best in the industry because we meet and exceed expectations.
Share a memory from one of your favorite trips with your company:
This year I sailed with my family on Paris and Normandy aboard the SS Baroness and made many wonderful memories seeing the beautiful cities on the Seine River. My favorite memory from this sailing was the day that we visited the Beaches of Normandy and had an opportunity to walk the beaches and visit the American Memorial and place a wreath honoring our US Soldiers. It was a day I will never forget and that I am thankful to all of our military for their sacrifices during WWII. Our Tour Guide brought history to life and made for a memorable journey.
Describe a client who would be the perfect fit for your product:
The perfect guests for Uniworld would be anyone who wants to sail on the best river cruise line, that is all-inclusive, has an award winning culinary program and offers many tours per day that are included. Once you sail with Uniworld, you will make the decision to return year after year because we exceed your expectations and deliver the best to our guests every day.
estate winery and had it shipped back to the states.
A special memory thanks to Uniworld River Cruises. Ravenna, Italy." - Stacey A.
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