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April 16, 2012 By: George Dooley Travel Agent reports it will host its sixth in a series of seven high-end ship inspections on April 18 when a group of concierge hosts in the Vacation Vignettes program will tour the Azamara Journey in New York, NY.

Member agents will have the opportunity to explore and familiarize themselves with the ship’s features, in preparation for future Vacation Vignettes departures, says. The coordination of these ship inspections by also provides member agents the opportunity to earn CLIA credits. scheduled exclusive ship inspections for its concierge hosts on five ships over a four day period at ports in South Florida from March 16 – March 19. The ships included: Celebrity Cruises' Equinox, Norwegian Cruise Lines' Epic, Oceania Cruises' Marina, Regent Seven Seas' Mariner and Royal Caribbean International's Liberty of the Seas.
On May 8, hosts will tour the newly refurbished Crystal Serenity. In total, more than 150 members will have taken part in these events.
“We coordinated these inspections to enable them to experience several ships at once. This helps them sell our trusted supplier partners’ products plus it educates them as hosts serving on future cruises,” said President John Lovell. “While touring the ships with our Vacation Vignettes team, it’s the perfect opportunity to learn about the latest developments to the program.”
As part of’s Cruise Space program, Vacation Vignettes are exclusive packages that feature the services of a concierge host, access to an exclusive shore event, and an invitation to a private cocktail reception on each departure. recruits among its member agents, many of whom have years of group hosting experience, to lead each one of its Vacation Vignettes departures.
“The Vignettes ship inspections are a great way to see different ships and what they offer. I learned many things that brochures do not tell you,” said Anita Weiss, owner of Travel Source in Boynton Beach, Florida.
As hosts, members receive first hand product knowledge, valuable marketing support, and ongoing training which allows them to run an even more successful business, says. While members enjoy these many benefits as hosts, it is ultimately the clients who are rewarded with an exceptional experience and peace of mind, knowing the host is available to answer any questions or help them with any issues that may arise during the cruise. said it carefully selects and interviews candidates based on several variables – supplier knowledge, supplier sales volume, and experience with group hosting. The ideal Vacation Vignettes host is a leader who has patience and can think on his/her feet.
Once selected, hosts receive comprehensive training. Prior to embarkation, the member agents learn the specifics of their ship, including locations for onboard events and operational processes. In addition, the hosts receive marketing materials to promote to their own base of clients, including a flier that describes the exclusive shore event, says.
“The personal shore events offered with the Vacation Vignettes are so exceptional; many far exceed one’s expectations, creating memories that last forever,” said long-time host Betty Crovo, president of Triumph Travel in Timonium, Maryland.
During’s upcoming International Conference and Trade Show, current Vacation Vignettes hosts will share their experiences with potential future hosts. There are currently over 300 trained concierge hosts and 200 scheduled departures in 2012.


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George Dooley
George Dooley, Travel Agent’s senior contributing editor covering retail and technology, has a long-standing reputation as one of the top travel industry journalists. He notes...

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By George Dooley | April 16, 2012
The April 18 event includes a tour of the Azamara Journey in New York, NY.
Filed under : Cruises, Consortia