News & Events 2018-04-12T19:49:39+00:00

Travelers Remain Resilient, Reliant on Travel Professionals, Says New Travel Survey – November 2017

Volatile world events have done little to deter consumers from carrying through with their travel plans, according to results of the just-released 2017 Ensemble Insights Survey. What’s more, the role of the travel professional and interest in lesser-known destinations and travel insurance have taken on an even greater importance by consumers in their travel planning activities.

The survey was conducted in September and based on input from nearly 2,000 Ensemble Travel Group members in the U.S. and Canada, including Cruise & Travel Experts of Spring Lake. Results were released last month in Dallas at Ensemble’s annual conference attended by more than 850 members and industry partners. A handful of our operations team and member affiliates from Cruise & Travel Experts attended the four-day convention.

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Cruise & Travel Experts Members Attend 2017 Ensemble National Convention in Dallas, Texas – October 2017

Cruise & Travel Experts had nearly 20 members and staff in attendance at the 2017 annual Ensemble Travel Group convention recently in Dallas, Texas.

There were approximately 900 members, suppliers and guests in attendance at this year’s convention with a theme of “Think Big. Think Best. Think Ensemble.” Ensemble covered four of their most recent initiatives: the Ensemble Extranet, Aviate (airline booking tool), Navigate (booking platform), and Marketing.

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Cruise & Travel Experts Announces More Details on Attending Fall Ensemble International Conference – June 2007

Cruise & Travel Experts is excited to announce plans to attend the Ensemble International Conference 2017 on October 16-20, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Dallas at Reunion.

This year we “THINK BIG” (We are in Texas, right?) with dynamic speakers, new tradeshows, and more opportunities to network and share BIG ideas – creating the energy that drives this event and your success in the business of travel.

The conference agenda is sure to please and ends with a show-stopping closing event at the larger-than-life AT & T Stadium for the kick off to Ensemble’s 50th anniversary celebration!  Please contact Cruise & Travel Experts to learn more about attending this event with us.

Cruise & Travel Experts Achieves Top 25 Ranking for Ensemble Travel Group – June 2017

Cruise & Travel Experts was recently named one of the Top 25 Producers for Ensemble Travel Group for 2016!

Cruise & Travel Experts Convenes in Jamaica for 2nd Member Retreat – May 2017

Cruise & Travel Experts recently gathered in Jamaica for their second annual member retreat focused on increasing their owners’ knowledge and improving their travel businesses. The five-day retreat was held at a GOGO Worldwide Vacations Resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

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Cruise & Travel Experts Announces Spring Member Retreat – February 2017

Cruise & Travel Experts is making plans for their 2nd Annual Member retreat held at the Secrets St. James Montego Bay Resort in Jamaica in April 2017.  Our partner for this member retreat is GOGO Vacations.  Members will network with one another, attend a number of site inspections in Montego Bay, and receive education and training on Cruise & Travel Experts programs and technology.  Watch for more details on the agenda to be announced soon!

Cruise & Travel Experts Announces Fall 2017 Ensemble Travel Group Conference Date – January 2016

Cruise & Travel Experts is excited to announce plans to attend the Ensemble International Conference 2017 on October 16-20, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Dallas at Reunion.

Cruise & Travel Experts Attends Ensemble National Convention in San Diego – Fall 2016

Last week some of our staff and members traveled to San Diego for the Ensemble National Convention. Everyone was impressed with the quality of the meeting, speakers, and venue.  We heard about some new Ensemble products/tools coming out next year and exciting updates from our travel supplier partners, and received some business advice from Shark Tank star Robert Herjavec.

Here is some valuable feedback on the conference from our team members and members:

“I thought this was a very organized convention.  They did an outstanding job of managing the flow of a few hundred agents–it never felt “crowded”.  The keynote speakers were terrific, meeting topics were relevant and the food was excellent.  Cheryl Cook, CTE Member

“I enjoyed catching up with colleagues and being able to connect 1-1 with the suppliers. I even met some suppliers that I was not aware of and plan to use them in the future. Robert Herjavec the keynote speaker at the conference and gave some great advice and first-hand experience of trying to have his employees book their travel online to save a buck which was a huge mistake (his words). I really enjoyed the final Midway dinner event!”

Scott Hunter, CTE Member

“I loved the conference size.  We were able to connect with all the Vendors many times.  It was a more intimate atmosphere.  I enjoyed meeting  the Ensemble staff and learning more about Ensemble.  The Speakers were amazing!”

Lynne Cox, CTE Team Member

“The Ensemble Conference was a great place to meet one-on-one with our reps and the guest speakers were outstanding.”

Bonnie Childs, CTE Team Member

Cruise & Travel Experts Holds First Companywide Member Retreat – Summer 2016

Cruise & Travel Experts recently returned from the company’s first-ever companywide event held in Cancun, Mexico at a GOGO Worldwide Vacations Resort.

The four day event offered its members training on Cruise & Travel Experts technology and member programs, one-on-one business coaching and advice from the company’s leaders, six local property visits, and several private dinners and networking events. The group concluded the event with a special farewell dinner and catamaran cruise.

“The power of this event, and really the whole organization, lays in its tight relationships with our members, as we really care about them and their businesses,” said Tom Baumann, Cruise & Travel Experts President. “We were able to spend more time getting to know our business owners, as well as share their struggles, success stories, and new ideas among the collective group.”

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Cruise & Travel Experts to Attend Ensemble Travel Group National Convention in San Diego – Spring 2016

We are planning some time to meet as a group at the 2016 Ensemble Travel Group International Conference held in
San Diego, California this fall.  The theme of the 2016 Ensemble Travel Group International Conference is Power Up, which so aptly reflects the high energy driving this annual event. For starters, our host city of San Diego was recently named by National Geographic Traveler as one of 20 “Best of the World” destinations. According to NGT, this power list of top spots represents “what’s superlative, timely, and richly authentic in the world of travel today.”

For speakers, Robert Herjavec will engage you from the get-go. Herjavec’s track record as a small business owner is noteworthy, coming from very humble beginnings and rising to the top in true entrepreneurial fashion. Expect valuable take-aways from his keynote.

The conference agenda is also sure to please with on-point educational sessions, high-energy social events, and lots of networking time with members and our powerful network of preferred partners.

Cruise & Travel Experts Gives Back – Spring 2016

Cruise & Travel Experts president, Tom Baumann and vice president, sales & operations, Jody Ryland, along with invited guests, Tim Rinkoski from Crystal Cruises and Tim Burtch from Oceania Cruises played in a charity golf outing to support the United Way.

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Call in the Experts! Q&A with Tom Baumann in Travel Professional News – Winter 2016

Q) Can you tell us about Cruise & Travel Experts?

A) Sure, Cruise & Travel Experts is a boutique travel company formed by my business partner Mark Schiffner and I to meet the needs of experienced travel agents and those serious about building their business. We have each been in the travel industry for over 30 years and have served individual travel agency owners for most of those years.

We know what type of home-based agent programs are out there, and we wanted to create a company that we would want to join ourselves. Based on our 30 years of knowledge of what works and what doesn’t, we created something amazing by using the best of the best tools and people. Our agency members are part of an elite travel team who are all truly “Experts” in the travel industry.

Read full article here (pages 6-7)

Cruise & Travel Experts Attracts New Members with Hands-On Service Model – Fall 2015

Designed to put the personal touch back into serving travel professionals, Cruise & Travel Experts program for independent travel consultants continues attracting talented travel experts across the country. Since the company’s launch this past summer, they have continued to add industry experts to their team who want to grow their travel business with a company focused on providing personalized, high-touch support.

“Two things define Cruise & Travel Experts support: positive attitude and responsiveness,” explained Bob Shaffer, Cruise and Travel Experts member. Shaffer, formerly a franchise owner of Cruise Holidays, said “the team members at Cruise & Travel Experts are personable and professional and genuinely interested in helping you solve your problems while you grow your business.”

Cruise & Travel Experts offers its members a dedicated support team comprised of experts who have all worked with independent contractors in previous roles and who have over 20 years of experience in travel technology, accounting, marketing, public relations, and vendor relations. The support team gets to know each member by name and responds to inquiries promptly. Cruise & Travel Experts holds a weekly training event for the members called “Experts Connect” which highlights the various programs, tools and expertise found within the company.

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