Hi everyone! I’m Susan, but everyone calls me Smitty; and I am an independent contractor with Priceless Cruising. I specialize in ocean and river cruises and have been in business since 2006, having earned my ACC with CLIA in 2013. So…a little about me and how I fit into the travel industry!
I love to cruise and more importantly, to send people on cruises. On our first cruise in 1991, our agent never really ‘prepared’ us. She just said it would be wonderful and we would have a great time. We did, but on the last day when they told us to put our luggage out in the hall at night, I had no idea that was part of standard cruise routine. Lesson learned.
As we went on more and more cruises, I kept finding new things one could do on a cruise, such as filling out the door card the night before to have coffee delivered to the cabin in the morning – for free, or ordering something exotic for dinner, such as escargot, which has now become a cruise fave! Again, nobody told me.
After I closed my wedding coordinating business of nine years, I was looking for something fun to do. It occurred to me that the same people skills and attention to detail used in that business, would transfer well to the travel industry. So I contacted a friend with a travel agency and began my training.
When I first started out, I found myself trying to talk all clients into a cruise, and that was not the way to go. So I quickly decided to just cut to the chase and specialize in cruises, after all, that was, and continues to be, my true passion.
I must admit that specialization has both its good and bad sides – although I can focus my continued training in a focused area, the down side is that I then need to refer out the folks that do not want to cruise. I have booked a few non-cruise vacations, but did not feel I gave my clients the expertise they deserved. So for now, I’m going to stay where my passion lies and be the best cruise agent I can possibly be.
My goal for 2015 is to build my group business and that was kick-started with a Sales and Marketing Seminar at Sea on the Independence of the Seas last week. So now I have my 2015 business plan in motion and am excited about where 2015 will take Priceless Cruising!
Susan “Smitty” Price, ACC, is a cruise coordinator with Priceless Cruising, a home-based operation out of San Luis Obispo, Calif., that specializes in river and ocean cruises. She is an active member of the SLO Chamber of Commerce, SLO Women’s Network, two quilt guilds and the Alzheimer’s Association. Contact Smitty through PricelessCruising.com, Facebook, LinkedIn or firstname.lastname@example.org.