top of page

Helpful Booking Instructions and Links...

On Monday, June 10, 2019, 11:41:10 AM CDT, Debby DeWeese <greatratestravelservice@yahoo.com> wrote:

 

 

I could definitely get used to this life...and am!  River cruising has grown on me and We’re having a wonderful time!

 



Our Experience of an Avalon River cruise...

 

Day One...Thurs, June 6

After our long flight over, which included several meals and complimentary cocktails, it was good to be greeted by Avalon staff who provided transportation to our ship, docked in Remich, Germany. (We were slightly delayed by having to file a claim for reimbursement of one of our bags, which arrived dented and minus two of its wheels.)

 

But our ship and room were beautiful...the room was elegantly furnished with modern, dark wood furniture and trim, and had a 3’ live, blooming orchid on the dresser, a beautiful diffuser in the bathroom, two color (his and hers) towel sets, and a large marble bathroom with spacious walk-in shower...you don’t find this on an ocean cruise!  Our plush bed even had an adjustable memory foam mattress!  Very comfy!  But the most impressive feature of the room was the spectacular floor to ceiling, wall to wall windows—a series of 3 large sliding glass doors which opened the room up to the outside, turning the room’s window-side chair, table, and contemporary couch, into an indoor balcony!  The bed faced these wall to wall windows...which are unique to Avalon Waterways!  We so enjoyed leaving these expansive sliding windows/doors open most all the time we were in the room, for amazing views and sounds while sailing down the river!! (I recommend sailing Europe in the temperate months of July, Aug and September, when you can leave them open at night also—otherwise late nights can be nippy—tho you can also close them and still enjoy spectacular views through your window to the river!).  The rivers of Europe are beautiful, and lined with frequent castles, quaint villages, vineyards and wildlife! One day we woke to see a precious family of swans with six babies paddling along behind Momna, two actually piggybacking and hidden on her back with nothing but their heads and little butts sticking out of her feathers!

 

Dinner tonight and every night was tasty and attractive, and served with a flourish by highly-skilled waiters. All meals include choice of appetizers and soups, entrees and deserts, as well as choice of specialty coffees, soda, beer or wine...Followed by entertainment nightly by local entertainers brought in to the lounge, such as violinists or great bands who played oldies, and filled the small dance floor!

 

 

 

Day Two...Docked In beautiful Luxembourg

(We slept in, and passed on the morning yoga, as we did most days, as well as the optional excursion to strikers Imperial Roman Baths In Trier this morning.)

We boarded a coach for a guided tour of beautiful Luxembourg, one of the richest little countries in Europe (whole country is smaller than city of San Antonio), and most people have 4-5 cars in garage, and loads of Lamborginis, Bentley’s and BMWs. Founded 963 BC, the city has beautiful castles, and 150 banks, with many secret accounts (like Swiss bank accts). 

 

They have frequent “animal bridges” over their motorway (highway) to cut back on animal deaths from crossing hwys...bridges built over the hwy with trees n grass on them—an extension of the forest!

 

They also have one bridge crossing the motorway that is part of their airport’s runway!  LuxAir (CargoLux division) specializes in large animal transport too—like this month Balooga whales and famous stallions!  Luxembourg Produces fine wines, beer, and mustards.

 

At night before joining our shipmates for dinner in their elegant glass dining room, the ship’s hotel director gives a short presentation of what is planned for us in the next city or town tomorrow. After dinner we are free to relax in the lounge where a local group of very talented violinists were playing, or dance the night away in the club lounge or sit on our panoramic balcony or the ship’s “sky deck” to take in the spectacular views (we chose the latter). 

 

 

Day Three...Bernkastel, Germany

After another great breakfast, with made-to order eggs/omelets and a variety of other choices varying daily, we enjoyed a 1 1/2 -hour guided walking tour of the charming wine village named Bernkastel, with lovely 17th century Renaissance-style and Gothic homes built in the 1200’s to 1400s!  Followed by a walk across the bridge to Keus, where the Vinothek of Bernkastel wine cellar hosted us to a wine tasting in the cellar, with 130 regional Mosel wines, and unlimited samples of all our favorites.

 

We returned to the ship for a wonderful lunch spread, and the afternoon was free to explore this charming Medieval town more on our own, visit the marketplace, take a bike from the ship thru the village, or perhaps to relax and read a book from their library. Some in our group joined the activity host for a hike up the hillside to explore the beautiful Landshut castle, burned down three times by King Louis XIV, and finally restored and turned into a restaurant with beautiful views of the city and river. 

We chose to nap, before another wonderful dinner and night of local entertainment, listening to oldies performed by Tom and Michael! 

 

We sailed away from this charming city after dinner, and thru the night, passing beautiful countryside, lighted homes and hotels, and under low bridges (where they lower the top sky/observation deck of the ship, which functions like a pop up camper), and passing through more locks along the river. We Kept our sliding doors open until the night grew too chilly. 

 

 

Day Four...Celebrating Our 28th Anniversary!

(We were thrilled the staff had delivered the most beautiful flower arrangement, with a personal note wishing us a great 28th anniversary!)

 

After sailing all night, where we enjoyed seeing the lights in the towns, the Avalon Imagery docked in Cochem at 7am. We had made eggs and salmon for breakfast, before joining our shipmates for an included excursion into Cochem’s Old Town, one of Germany’s prettiest villages, highlighted by a tour of the beautiful Reichsburg castle on the hilltop!

 

We returned to the ship for a buffet lunch including fresh carved veal, and spent the afternoon sailing the beautiful Moselle River again. We also took a tour of the ship’s galley, guided by Chef Shaaban Yousef, in a remarkably small kitchen where the staff skillfully prepared meals for 100 guests. They bought fresh ingredients locally at their ports of call and the dry foods were stored in the belly of the ship. 

 

We left the Mosel river at Koblenz, turning right at the “German Corner” into the Rhine about six at night, after going through several locks as well.  The weather has been very beautiful and we spent many hours up on the sky deck which is a great observation point for panoramic views of the countryside. The Rhine River has many beautiful castles and churches in quaint towns with half timbered houses, and the river scenery is amazing!

Part Two (second half of cruise review) to come!)

Xo

Debby

 

Me too.Thank you.Love it!

WHO TO CALL To Check Rates and Make Reservations...
(Ask Debby for account IDs and passwords...Nexion Agents can set up your own passwords with individual Vendors)

Book all Carnival Cruises directly through our GRTS account, Online Using Your Personal ID and password
assigned...Or by Phone (Registered under our phone number: 210-496-0004 for Carnival, under our CLIA #: 00376283, if
needed.)
Book all Princess Cruises by phone under our agency number: 210-410-2580...which automatically goes though Nexion.
Book all Other Cruises And All Vacation Packages (through VaxVacation) through Nexion online or use Their IATA
and phone numbers highlighted in box to left, once you have signed up with them and completed the online training!
Book all GALVESTON Hotels, Airport Shuttles & Pre-paid Parking at: www.cruisegalveston.com.
Airlines do NOT offer commission on domestic/US flights, so if you book those for clients, it will be as a courtesy (no
commission) or you can recommend they book that themselves.  www.expedia.com usually offers the best airfare rates.  
AIR & HOTEL COMBINED Packages DO pay commission, through our Expedia account or Nexion's VaxVacations.
Also see Booking links below.

CLICK HERE FOR A FULL PAGE OF TRAVEL LINKS THAT YOU OR YOUR CUSTOMERS CAN USE TO
BOOK DIRECTLY WITH TRAVEL VENDORS BY CLICKING ON THE LINK SHOWN... These links are Fully
Commissionable to us, WHEN WE FILE THE SALE ONLINE WITH OA!
Using these LINKS will link the sale to our account, so that we receive the commisison...as long as the customer (Or We Agents) click in to their
website using the links from our "Best-Travel-Links" page. The vendors track the sale/source even if customer buys online directly with vendor later,
if booked within 30-90 Days after they first use the link, depending on travel supplier. You'll find our Commission Rates somewhat hidden at the
end of each Link, in case you want to refer a customer to use this page directly (for example, "10P.hotel" means that vendor pays agency 10%
Commission on hotel bookings, and "$8.air@bookg" means they pay a flat $8 commission on Airfare at the time of booking).  
NOTE That most of these links are registered thru Outside Agents, and we must register all OA sales made through their
account/phone number online at their website in order to receive our commissions.

You can also book travel directly using the following links...
We have accounts or affiliate agreements with these vendors (ask Debby for our IDs and passwords):

www.EXPEDIA.com...We get 2-10% commission when logging in and booking through our account. You can book
Hotels (2-10% commission, depending on the hotel), rental cars (6%), air/vacation combo packages (3% for 1-2
nights or 5% for 3+ nights), and tours and attractions here (10% commission).  Expedia typically has the LOWEST
AVAILABLE RATES. (Expedia pays NO Commission on air-only and cruise bookings made through this site, so book air
through Funjet, when possible, and cruises directly with the cruise line or thru OA.)  ASK DEBBY TO SET UP AN EXPEDIA
ACCOUNT FOR YOU and then go to: http://access.expedia.com/Home/TravelAgentOverview.  Note that our
commisison is Higher when you book through this Expedia account, rather than using the Expedia Link on our "Best-
Travel-Links" page mentioned above.  (Prices are the same either way, as on expedia's own website.)

www.vaxvacationaccess.com (through OA)... We get 13% commisison. ..Ask Debby for new password.

www.cheapcaribbean.com (thru OA; we keep 4% commission on all hotel and vacation packages (air & hotel) booked with
them, not including tax and service fees, when logged in with our agency password.)  All activities and add-ons earn same
commission.  Problems?...Email: travelagents@cheapcaribbean.com.  You can also book with them by phone, but we only get
2% total commission on reservations made by phone (open 7 days a week from 4AM to 11pm CST: 1-800-869-2312.  Select
option 1 then 3).  A ten dollar ($10) commission processing fee will be deducted from the agent's commission on all bookings.  
Note that CheapCaribbean.com does not mail the commission until approx. 60 days after travel is completed.  These bookings
are made through Outside Agents...So please notify Debby or file the sale directly online with Outside Agents. CLICK HERE
FOR REVISION/CANCELLATION POLICY.

www.cruisegalveston.com ..This is the Galveston Chamber of Commerce's website exclusively for travel agents, which offers
GREAT discounted prices on Galveston hotels (lower than you'll typically find on other online sites), as well as airport
transfers and discount cruise parking.  We make about 5-10% commission on bookings made with them (depending on
the vendor).  Note that many Galveston hotels offer free parking during a cruise and a shuttle to/from the cruise
terminal, so guests can save the cruise parking charges!  Login with our greatratestravelservice@yahoo.com email and ask
Debby for our password.

Enterprise Rental Car National Reservation Center: Call 800-424-1282 or 800-325-8007.  Our Commission is 10% on all
Phoned Reservations…Use our own account/CLIA number: 000376283.

Or Book ANYTHING through the NEXION site...Cost is $15/mo for each agent if you would like to use
this great booking tool!  Also tracks all your commissions, offers loads of training, provides itinerary and invoices
you can mail clients, and lots more benefits!

SPECIAL NOTES...
HOW TO INTERPRET THE CODES ON OUR "CRUISE SPECIALS" WEBPAGES (For GROUP Space Held):
Note that our cruise specials are always changing, as we add new groups to our website, delete those with expired options; and
update payment deadlines and prices.  Agents starting new groups themselves should always book extra rooms for future
sales, when possible, and send Debby an email with the new group number so I can add it to our Cruise Specials web page.  
To Read the Coded Information at the bottom of each listing on our "Cruise Specials" page (including group
numbers & payment deadlines): A group listing ending in: "9QM494/50p0720/200p0924/d112013.s7.4pt"  means that
group #9QM494 has $50pp due 07/20, and then $200pp  due by 9/24, and the final payment deadline is 11/20.  Bookings
may also indicate the number of rooms sold already (in this example, s7 means seven rooms have been sold so far, and 4pt
means the group has 4 points to assign by final payment deadline, available for bookings with a minimum of 5 rooms booked).

WHEN RECEIVING OVERPAYMENTS ON A CRUISE GROUP ...IF we were able to get rates reduced or for any reason we are
collecting more than is actually due on a booking, be sure to Ask the cruise line first what the full balance due is, and then if the
final payment will overpay the booking, put the overage through Nexion's merchant account.

CLICK HERE FOR AGENT TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES!

Section Title

List Title

This is a Paragraph. Click on "Edit Text" or double click on the text box to start editing the content and make sure to add any relevant details or information that you want to share with your visitors.

List Title

This is a Paragraph. Click on "Edit Text" or double click on the text box to start editing the content and make sure to add any relevant details or information that you want to share with your visitors.

List Title

This is a Paragraph. Click on "Edit Text" or double click on the text box to start editing the content and make sure to add any relevant details or information that you want to share with your visitors.

List Title

This is a Paragraph. Click on "Edit Text" or double click on the text box to start editing the content and make sure to add any relevant details or information that you want to share with your visitors.

bottom of page