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What a Good Travel Agent Does for You

November 11th, 2012 by TomKoebel in Uncategorized


by Tom Koebel, Luxury Voyages, IMG_0278


A good travel agent does a lot to make YOUR life easier. What I, Tom Koebel, do to make your life easier when you travel or cruise is the following:

.    Bargain shop for the best price, based on your requirements.

.    Buy best priced cruise and tour deals for you, based on your instructions as to what you want.

.    Broaden your horizons by helping you see the world, one travel experience at a time.

.    Budget within your abilities to buy the cruise and tour experiences that are best served by by more than 48 cruise lines and 500 tour and travel companies.

.    Calculate the final cost, including insurance, transfers, airfares, etc. so that you know the entire price of your vacation up front, before you go.

.    Care for your needs for disability or other accommodations.

.    Carry out your instructions as per your guidelines.

.    Caution you about document, passport and visa requirements for your cruise and tour purchases, if any.

.    Confirm your cruise and tour booking in writing.

.    Connect you to the best cruise and travel providers in the market, based on your needs and your budget.

.    Conserve your money and your energy in the cruise and travel buying process.

.    Consider your needs first, above all others, in making cruise and tour purchases.

.    Consult with you to determine what you require and need and communicate that to the travel providers for a seamless travel experience for you.

.    Control the expense of the trip by offering you alternatives and options for your consideration to offer savings to you.
Coordinate your cruise, transfer, hotel and air travel purchases so that there is a seamless integration amongst them.

.    Copy you on the details of your trip.

.    Correct any mistakes, as they may arise.

.    Counsel and advise you on your many choices or options when you travel.

.    Create a life of luxury without breaking the bank by using the best, often discounted, luxury cruise and tour experiences.

Create quality in your life by finding you cruise and tour opportunities which elevate your experiences.

All of my services are free of charge. You benefit by getting the SAME prices whether you use my services or you buy a cruise or tour on your own. You can save a great deal of time, and money, by using a professional travel agent to buy your next cruise or tour. Just call me, Tom Koebel, at Luxury Voyages, at 800-598-0595.

What I Do as Your Travel Agent – Do You Really Want to Do All This by Yourself?

November 7th, 2012 by TomKoebel in Uncategorized

By Tom Koebel

IMG_0694 Tom Filtered Black and WhiteThe next time you think you will save time and/or money by booking a cruise or travel experience by yourself, WITHOUT a travel agent, consider what I actually DO as your travel agent. You have a lot to gain by getting somebody else – me – to do all this work below, so YOU don’t have to do it yourself.

Here’s what I can do for you to save you time and money on your next cruise or travel buy:

?    Abbreviate your bargain and deal searches by asking you the right questions to get you the bargains and deals you want. I shorten the time you spend looking because I work in the market for the past 18 years.

?    Absorb all the Internet and other info that you get bombarded with so that YOU don’t get overwhelmed with information which you can’t easily sift through to make a good travel decision.

?    Accelerate the entire process for you.

?    Accommodate your or your travel companions’ disability challenges or medical needs, if necessary.

?    Accomplish what you need done, depending on your specific instructions.

?    Account for your money.

?    Achieve your cruise and tour goals.

?    Acquire information and details so you don’t have to.

?    Act on your behalf with various cruise lines and travel companies.

?    Add insurance, transfers, airfares, etc. to your bookings, if you so require.

?    Adjust prices downwards if they drop before the final payment is due.

?    Administer your past passenger status with cruise lines.

?    Advance your concerns to various companies.

?    Advise you on the best times to go for price, for weather, for a multitude of reasons.

?    Aid you in selecting the best cruise or travel experience for your personal needs, based on your budget.

?    Alert you to opportunities to travel with certain companies to certain destinations to have certain experiences which may or may not have occurred to you.

?    Align myself with your needs and concerns, not those of the travel companies we book with.

?    Alter your bookings, as you require.

?    Analyze the deals to find those best suited to you.

?    Anticipate your next vacation needs, based on your requests.

?    Articulate your needs and concerns to cruise lines and tour companies to best meet your requirements for service by them.

?    Ascertain the best travel opportunities for you, based on your needs and concerns.

?    Assemble options for your consideration.

?    Assess the opportunities with various cruise and tour companies.

?    Assign cabins based on your needs.

?    Assimilate all the information you have given me to give you a seamless travel experience.
?    Assist you with buying decisions, final payments, visa requirements, document requirements, so that you everything goes seamlessly for you, without hassles for you and without mistakes that could cost you money, or even your entire trip.

?    Augment your decisions with ideas to enhance your travel experience.

?    Avert potential problems by suggesting insurance options so that you don’t face financial losses when you travel, or when you cancel your plans.

?    Automate the final payment process, with your approval, so that you have your credit card charged on the date of the final payment requirement and not one day later or sooner.

?    Avoid disasters such as missed cruise arrival times, forgotten documents, passports or overlooked visa requirments, any of which could deny you boarding on a plane or a ship or entry into a country because you have not met the requirements on your own.

?    Award you with perks, such as ship credits or past passenger bonus programs, loyalty programs, spending money, and other financial benefits because, as a travel agent, I know where those programs are and how you can access, apply and benefit from them.

And these “things” that a professional travel agent does for you, like Tom Koebel, at Luxury Voyages, are all things you don’t have to do yourself or by yourself, because you have help and advice every step of the way. I have served more than 1,000 cruise and travel buying clients in the past 18 years, personally sailing on 60 cruises, so I have ALREADY paid the price of time, money and experience, so that YOU don’t have to.

Best of all, ALL of these above services, provided by me as your travel agent are FREE. The cost of your vacation is the same if you buy it on the Internet or if you buy it from a professional travel agent, like me. By the way, I do access the Internet each and every day in the course of my professional work serving clients such as yourself. The Internet never replaced travel agents who use it on a daily basis to better serve their clients.

And the price on the Internet is the SAME price you pay if you call Tom Koebel at Luxury Voyages at 800-598-0595.

To be continued in a future post…

Tom Koebel’s Promise of Value

November 6th, 2012 by TomKoebel in Uncategorized

IMG_0280I will provide you with value when you buy a cruise or a travel product from Luxury Voyages.

Whereas others are big, I am smaller and nimbler, able to move more quickly to resolve problems and get you on your way. I have the very same direct relationship, as a travel agency owner, with major cruise line executives and customer service departments to get things done for your benefit.

Where others are slow, I am faster and more responsive.

Where some are out of touch, I am the cutting edge developer of 30 different cruise selling websites.

The big guys are bureaucratic, but you’ll find me entrepreneurial.

Some travel agents are dull; you’ll find me creative and alive.

Where others are bored with their work, I enjoy helping you travel in luxury.

Impersonal telephone trees are NOT what we have here; we provide the personal touch and answer the phone directly. The buck not only STOPS here, when you call, it also STARTS HERE when you first call 800-598-0595- with ONE live person at a time, until your problems are solved and your needs are met.

Sometimes cruise lines and travel companies are inflexible, but I will always be flexible, where I can be, to help you through the travel buying maze.

One size may have fit all with others you’ve dealt with, but we provide custom experiences wherever we can.

If you think a cruise or tour is expensive, we can find something similar to it at a good value for your money instead.

Can’t get a response when you need it? We will always respond to your questions, your concerns, your needs and your pocketbook.

Where others might try to fleece you, we will always respect your wallet, your money and your credit card at all times. 100 per cent of our credit card transactions go to the cruise line or the tour companies directly. We do NOT process your money at our travel agency offices. Never. Your money is ALWAYS protected by the cruise line or tour company with which you book. We don’t touch it.

Whereas some cruise lines or tour companies choose to have draconian policies, we try to bend the rules where we can, if we can, to your benefit. We inform you of what the travel provider requires to protect you at all times.

Instead of staid, old, rigid thinking, we think outside of the box for ways in which to improve your cruise and tour experiences.

Anyone can book a simple cruise; If a “problem” develops, it’s how they handle your problem that will make or break your luxury travel experience. We deal with problems for you to help you experience the luxury travel experience you expected to receive.

If you buy a cruise and the fare goes down after you book it, as long as it is before the time of the final payment, I will re-book it for you and get you the new, lower price. I lose money, but YOU gain money and THAT is the important thing we never lose sight of. I spent 8 years as a stockbroker, financial planner and insurance agent who was concerned with saving clients money and making clients money. Our goal is to save you money when you book with us. We care about the financial side of your travel buying experience and want to make sure that YOU are taken care of first..

Where some say “bon voyage” we want you to “retournerez,” or come back. Over and over and over again.      I have served several clients over a 12 year period who have purchased more than 30 cruises from me. They would not have done so had I not provided them with the very same value YOU will receive when you buy your FIRST cruise from us.

Give us a chance. Call 800-598-0595 and experience the luxury cruise or luxury cruise buying experience that you know is “out there.”

Here we are. Call to experience our “Promise of Value” to YOU.

Tom Koebel, Luxury Voyages, Founder and Owner, for 18 years


Why a Cruise Costs You LESS Than Staying at Home

November 4th, 2012 by TomKoebel in Uncategorized


by Tom Koebel, MBA Finance

(also Travel Agent),  

photographed with his mother, Celeste Koebel


A $399 cruise for 7 nights is really only $240 before taxes because the $399 price INCLUDES the $159 port tax. Subtract $159 from $399 and you get $240, before taxes. This is only $34 per day.

WHY do it this way?

Because it is important for you to understand that the cruise line is NOT getting $399 for this cruise. The cruise line is getting $240 for this cruise for 7 nights. The REST of the AMOUNT is TAXES and FEES.
Likewise, the travel agent is NOT getting a $39 commission on the $399 cruise price.
He is getting a $24 commission on the $240 price. Commissions are NOT paid on taxes.

When you go to the furniture store, based on a newspaper ad for a $1,000 sofa, you never think about the 8% tax on top of that, or an additional $80 you have to pay before you walk out of the store with the new sofa. So why is your thinking about cruises any different?

When a cruise price drops to $240 a week before taxes, if that cruise has $159 port tax and an additional $50 in government fees, the price, of course, is now $449 out the door. However, keep in mind that $209 of that $449 price is TAXES and FEES. These never discount. The government wants their money.
But consider the fact that you are getting yourself on a cruise ship for $240 BEFORE taxes. This price is a steal, even with the additional taxes.

Ask yourself, for a measly $34 per day, where else can you go to live, have 24 hour servants on call, white tablecloth service three times a day from European hotel trained waiters, dancing every night, free Broadway shows every night, five swimming pools, a gym, a sauna, and have free transportation thrown in as well?

You can’t do it. You can’t live any where else for these rates. Not even at home. No, it costs you a small fortune to live at home. Add it up. And it’s not just your principal, interest, taxes and insurance on your house mortgage. Oh no, don’t forget the telephone, the electric, the gas, the water, the sewer, the landscaping services, getting the grass cut, the plumber, the repairs, and on, and on, and on. If you add it all up you’ll soon find you could NEVER live at home for $240 a week plus taxes. I don’t care if the final price is $449 after the taxes because you are STILL not living at home for this price.

This $449 a week cruise price is under $2,000 a month to live in an environment where you have SERVANTS. You have a maid, a cook, a dishwasher, a waiter, actors, singers, chauffeurs (the captain) all waiting on your 24 hours a day. For $34 a day? Come on, there’s no way you can live at home this inexpensively.

So why aren’t many of you just moving onto these cruise ships for 3, 6, 9 months – or even longer?

We can do this. Just do the math.

But also, you need to give yourself permission to cruise more often. Don’t let that little naysayer perch on your shoulder and tell you that you can only take one cruise per year. This is nonsense. I have traveled on as many as ten cruises a year for a six year period. You can do the same. There’s nothing stopping you besides yourself.

Live a little. Live a lot. Go on four, five, six or more cruises per year. It’s do-able. It’s affordable at these rates. It even makes more economic sense than staying at home. So why stay there when you can travel in luxury, style and elegance with live-in servants, as you see the world on a one luxury cruise ship after another.

Do the math.

Tom Koebel has DONE THE MATH. He’s been on 60 cruises in a 6 year period. He has helped more than 1,000 people find lives of luxury aboard the world’s best cruise ships. Let him help you live in luxury by calling him at Luxury Voyages,             800-598-0595      .

How to Get the Rock Bottom, LOWEST Cruise Prices 800-598-0595

November 4th, 2012 by TomKoebel in Uncategorized

IMG_0694 Tom Filtered Black and White

by Tom Koebel, Luxury Voyages 800-598-0595


99% of cruise buyers use the wrong approach to buy a cruise. They call a travel agent with their date and their cruise ship in mind and expect the travel agent to manufacture a low price that the cruise line is not offering on that date. This is the wrong way to get the rock bottom, lowest price.

The ONLY way to get the truly lowest price is to have the travel agent research the cruise ship and itinerary you would like and then let him tell you what date of departure offers the lowest price. Most of you have it backwards; you don’t dictate the price to the cruise line; the cruise line dictates the low price to you. The price is low when the cruise line can’t sell the space; this has NOTHING to do with when you want to go somewhere. It is NOT all about you; it is all about THEM. If you are willing to bend to their date, then you can get a very, very, very low priced deal. Otherwise, no deal.

Cruise lines send e mails to their top producing travel agents when they have unsold space to practically give away for nickels. Cruise lines do NOT put these prices on the Internet. The only way for you to get them is to get tight and get loyal with ONE travel agent who gets these notifications.

So if you want the rock bottom, lowest price, you will have to call a travel agent to get it. I’ve had fourteen night Royal Caribbean cruises to Australia for as low as $19 a day before taxes. I’ve sold 7 night Costa Caribbean cruises for $27 per day before taxes. I’ve just gotten a client, this week, a 7 night Mexico from Princess Cruises for $34 per day before taxes. In EACH of these situations, I, as the travel agent, researched the date and told the client what date they had to go on to get these rates. The client did NOT pick the date first and then get a cheap deal. I found the date, through my research skills, and told them on what date they could have that deal. By the way, every one of these ships cost $500 million to build; each of the above ships was less than five years old; and every one of them was on major, quality cruise lines. All very nice, very luxurious ships, with great cabins and white table cloth dining 21 times a week, for less than you would pay for a flea bag hotel room. Do the math.

So, if you are really serious about getting the lowest prices, call me, Tom Koebel, at Luxury Voyages, at             800-598-0595      . That’s how you’ll get them and no other way. Get off the Internet and get on the phone to have yourself livilng in luxury for next to nothing prices. I’ve helped more than 2,000 cruise clients buy cruises and I have personally sailed on 60 cruises in a 6 year period, all of which I bought at great, low prices. I know what I am doing. I can help you. If you will stop wasting your time by shopping on the Internet and stop wasting other people’s valuable time by calling a dozen travel agents, you will find lots of deals. For once and for all, all you need to do is 1. to be willing to travel on the date when the price is the lowest and 2. to find that ONE person who actually knows when that date exists. That ONE person who has done it for others, for himself, and now, if you will listen to his advice, for YOU.

Tom Koebel, Lowest Price Expert, Luxury Voyages,             800-598-0595      .

Life on a Cruise Ship, as a Full Time Passenger

October 26th, 2012 by TomKoebel in Uncategorized

You’ve enjoyed cruising. You’ve sailed and sailed. Have you ever considered living full time on a cruise ship?

You don’t necessarily have to live 365 days aboard the ship. You can live shipboard for nine months, six months, even three months a year. While that isn’t technically “full time,” it is a way to be aboard for more than a few weeks a year.

It costs to live ahsore. Shipboard living is not as expensive as many think.

If you are willing to move from ship to ship periodically you can live aboard ships for a lesser cost than staying aboard the same ship every day for months on end.

As a travel agent with 18 years experience, who has sailed on 60 cruises personally, and has friends who have sailed on over 600 cruises, I know what it takes to cruise frequently and steadily.

Let’s talk about your opportunities and your options for spending, if not 365 days, then at least MORE time cruising that you ever thought possible.

Tom Koebel. Luxury Voyages. 800-598-0595