When one gets “hooked” on cruising it’s almost like getting hooked on drugs; you spend an inordinate amount of your free time finding ways to “feed” this addiction at the lowest possible cost. Experience has shown Barbara and me that $100 per person per day is a fairly reasonable amount to shoot for, providing the itinerary is ‘the fulfillment of a dream”. When we started cruising in 2005, it was with a little known Travel Agent working out of a small office in Lynwood, WA; Alan Schiller at a very unassuming web site of travelwithalan.com.
Prior to the popularity of email and the web, Alan would send out flyers by snail mail. One day at our weekly retired telephone employees “coffee and conversation” gatherings, a good friend handed out some of these flyers that had been sent to a member of her family. The prices were like “too good to be true”! The one that especially caught our eye was $199 per person for a three day cruise from Los Angeles to Vancouver, BC, AIR TRANSPORTATION INCLUDED!!! When our friend assured us that Alan was legit, we were onboard. Alan parlayed that three day cruise into a wonderful two week plus vacation from Seattle to LA to Vancouver to Stewart, Alaska and back to Seattle, for something around $1,000!
Today Alan has, as far as we can tell, eliminated all other forms of advertising in favor of a weekly group email to his “client” base which by now must number in the thousands. It has become a regular Tuesday evening “event”, waiting for Alan’s latest offering, and fodder for conversation at Wednesday’s gathering. Alan’s staff knows that they will be putting in extra hours each day until that trip is sold out, because of the loyalty of his client base.
What makes Alan so special, is the trust he has built up over the years with not only his clients, but all organizations involved in the adventures he offers, from the airlines who get you to the cruise ships, to the shore excursions he offers, to the “Alan Umbrella” you travel under, which includes reliable travel insurance. Now that’s value for your travel dollar!
In January of 2010, Alan offered another “fulfillment of a dream” with a 26 day “fly-cruise-post cruise” trip to the “Top of the World” onboard what has become our favorite Holland America ship, the ms Prinsendam. And just to make it that much sweeter, two nights in the wonderful “Village” of Amsterdam. It didn’t take us long to make the call.
Now you are invited to share with us the fulfillment of a dream, as we continue spending our children’s inheritance.
3 thoughts on “Travel (ing) With Alan”
What a wonderful photo. I’m jealous again!!! But then, I’m sure you knew that. I am looking forward to your “fly-cruise-etc” I can enjoy your trip along with you. When will you be back?
I enjoyed my driving trip to Calif with my niece. She did all the driving, so why was I so tired? It took me a couple of weeks to recuperate.
Hope to see you Sunday.
We will be back “recuperated back” around th 18th – Glad you madde the trip to California “safely” It was good to see you Sunday. I imagine you were tired beacuse of all the good times you had staying up late and visiting 🙂
We were on a cruise to Europe last year when a passenger suggested “Travel with Alan.” I signed on for his emails and we’re now booked for (with extensions) what will be a 49 day South Pacific, Australia, and New Zealand Cruiser adventure.