Plus Millennial travel, the week’s best deals, and our quiz question to win a 3 Nt Stay at Universal Orlando!
Kristin Karst, co-owner of the award winning AMA Waterways, romances us with castles and Christmas Markets, vineyards and exotic jungles, as she explains the explosive growth of River Cruising in Europe, Asia and Africa. What’s included. What’s onboard. What’s to see. And how this intimate and luxurious travel experience stacks up against ocean cruising and land tours. We tease out her predictions for travel in 2023 – and as a bonus, a serious traveler’s tips for your next trip.
Plus, Deal Guru (and Millennial traveler) Jessica Deverson lands the big savings on Caribbean all-inclusive resorts like Sandals & Beaches, Secrets, Dreams, cruises from Royal Caribbean and AMA, and more!
FREE 3 NIGHT STAY AT UNIVERSAL PARKS AND RESORTS HOTEL: https://notouristsallowed.com/raffle/
Produced by The Greenville Podcast Company.
Mike Putman, Custom Travel Solutions 0:26
Hello, I’m Mike Putman.
James Ferrara, InteleTravel 0:28
And I’m James Ferrara.
Mike Putman, Custom Travel Solutions 0:30
And welcome to our 14th episode of no tourists allowed. James is hard to believe we’ve been doing this for a few months now. And we’re at episode 14 already.
James Ferrara, InteleTravel 0:41
Mike, I’m so glad you keep count because I’m never really sure where we are. We have such an exciting episode this week. And, of course, we have a special guest who I’ll talk about in just a second. We have Jessica deverson back with us with some great values. She’s done the research found some amazing deals this week in the marketplace, but also, we’re going to talk to her a little bit about her own personal recent travels because you know, she’s our resident, millennial. She is out there. Traveling, traveling, authentically traveling with adventure. You know, I want to be Jessica when I grow up.
Mike Putman, Custom Travel Solutions 1:25
Oh, it’s been a busy summer, though. I’ll tell you, James, I know I’ve been on the road. You’ve been on the road. It’s for me. It’s been nice to be back home for I guess a week now. Yeah, it’s been just a week and you know, fall is in full session here in the southeast, the leaves are turning, took a nice drive up to Asheville, North Carolina, which is close to where I live. And the leaves were really popping. It’s spectacular already, which is a little bit early for the leaps to be changed in this time of year.
James Ferrara, InteleTravel 2:00
And you and I were in Belfast, which was spectacular. We talked about on our last episode. I spent a few days in London, which is like my second home and I know a favorite place of yours to make and I counted in the month of October. I am looking at I think nine days that I will be home in the month. So we’ve got I’ve got a trip coming up to Helsinki, Finland. No boy, we’ve got trips down to Miami. Mike, you and I are meeting up at some events in Miami. I’m going to Sonoma Valley next week in California for a big travel industry event. So this is this is why we’re here.
Mike Putman, Custom Travel Solutions 2:49
Yeah, it’s a busy time. Yeah, October November, especially for the travel industry tends to be a busy time when there are a lot of conferences and events that are held. So yeah, that’s my November is equally as busy as your October. So lots of opportunities to learn more and to get out there with some of our customers and certainly meet with our providers and bring back more to our podcast. The one thing I do want to make sure that we announced today we we’ve announced it through social media and at our website, no tourist allowed.com is we have a new contest that we put in place for our listeners. And we’re going to be given away some really spectacular prizes, travel packages over the next few months. And we’ve got our first contest in place. And just make sure that you go to no tourist allow.com and from the homepage, you’ll find a link to the contest. And there you can learn how you can register and how you can qualify for a free trip. And our first trip is a package to Universal Studios hotels in sunny Orlando, Florida. So please pop in to the website to get more details. There’s several ways to enter. And we’ll be announcing a winner coming up relatively soon.
James Ferrara, InteleTravel 4:19
And of course, that’s a perennial favorite destination, Florida, and then Orlando. And then within Orlando, universal parks and resorts when staying at an OnProperty hotel at universals. It’s kind of a big deal. And we’re giving away free so that’s a little appreciation for our listeners. But Mike, let’s turn to our special guest. Yes today. And it’s my pleasure to bring you a visionary woman in the travel industry who has created I’d say one of the most beloved products there is is in our industry. And that is a river cruise experience from a brand called AmaWaterways. And today we’re privileged to have with us, the executive vice president and owner of AmaWaterways. Kristin Karst. Welcome, Kristin.
Kristin Karst, Co-Owner, AmaWaterways and Executive Vice President 5:21
Thank you so, so much for your very, very kind introduction, James. And Mike, of course, it is such a pleasure and honor to be here together with you. And big welcome to all the listeners.
James Ferrara, InteleTravel 5:35
Thank you. And it’s lovely to have you here if we can’t meet in persons, again, second best thing is to have us together, chatting on this podcast. And there’s so much to talk about. The river cruise is one of the fastest growing products in the travel experience marketplace. People just love it, it has an incredibly high return rate. For customer satisfaction rate for customers, everyone who goes on a river cruise basically says they want to go on another one. So we’re gonna talk a little bit of our lot a bit about that over the next few minutes. But we usually start with some rapid fire questions for our guests, just to sort of warm us up, and to give our listeners a sense of who you are, and maybe to deliver a few like really some some tips from a really experienced traveler like you. So, Mike, you want to jump in this is usually your thing.
Mike Putman, Custom Travel Solutions 6:40
Yeah, sure. So Kristin will ask you a series, a few questions about things. And if you could just give us a brief answer on each of these would love to learn more about your your travel likes and habits. So the first question is, what is your favorite hotel brand or your favorite hotel property?
Kristin Karst, Co-Owner, AmaWaterways and Executive Vice President 7:03
Well, four seasons used to be my favorite, as it reminded me of the quality and attention to detail that we have on board our AmaWaterways chips. But now I think that my new favorite is the small Luxury Hotels of the World, as they are truly unique in the decor reflecting all the countries. And that is basically what we have is our ships, right? You know, you on AmaWaterways. It is very consistent. But every ship has their own personality and signature. And it’s fun, really, really wonderful to be on board. And again, it is consistent quality and genuine personalized experience.
James Ferrara, InteleTravel 7:52
So we talk a lot on this podcast, about more authentic travel no tourists, right. And one of the things that we try to remind listeners about is to seek a real sense of place when you’re going to a destination not to stay in a box. But to stay in someplace that feels like Paris or feels like Rome, right. And I think that’s the point you’re making about your chips, and also about these small Hotels of the World is that they feel like where you’re going. And that should be something I think all travelers seek out.
Mike Putman, Custom Travel Solutions 8:35
Yeah, very true. Very true. So moving along, Christian, what is your favorite destination?
Kristin Karst, Co-Owner, AmaWaterways and Executive Vice President 8:43
Well, from all the places in the world, and I really really love all the countries and a variety of cultures. But I would pick Africa. And the reason is that Rudy, of course, my partner in the business and in life, and he’s also called the godfather of river cruising, that we went to Africa for our own honeymoon. And I have to say, being there, for instance, on board to some basically in on the tube of river, a side of the Zambezi River. We are the full countries of sambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia meet not far away from Victoria Falls. That is truly the ultimate place in the world. From the wildlife from the way you see the stars from the sunlight, the sunsets, the polite smiling people, wonderful food, culinary items, the great wines. So this is what I would pick.
James Ferrara, InteleTravel 9:46
Wow. Thank you. You made us all jealous. And I think that that those of our listeners who are familiar with river cruise, they probably think Danube and Rhine right Maybe Nile but the the destinations in Africa that you just mentioned, I think people don’t realize that you can actually river cruise there. I mean that’s not our question but
Kristin Karst, Co-Owner, AmaWaterways and Executive Vice President 10:14
yeah but we have via pretty much also the only river cruise line to have disappeared. There’s some basic when it is really a real finding and very small was 28 guests 14 suites, you’re pretty much on your private yacht. So perfect for families to charter for groups. Really, really the ultimate rubber cause if you have done everything else I would say, because then I don’t know where to go next.
James Ferrara, InteleTravel 10:43
Christina that didn’t make me any less jealous.
Mike Putman, Custom Travel Solutions 10:46
All right, Kristin said this next question you’re gonna have to leave out on ama waterways for as an as a potential answer. So what is your other than ama waterways? What is your favorite cruise line?
Kristin Karst, Co-Owner, AmaWaterways and Executive Vice President 11:06
Of course, I would have said on ama waterways, I love small ship cruising. I love everything about when stars seadream seaborne. This is my type of cruising. And I need to say, I’m coming from the city of grace, then on the elder river, in Germany. And on the upper river, you will find the oldest and largest fleet of steamboat paddle wheelers. So it’s not really a favorite cruise line, but it is the largest fleet. And I’m very nostalgic when I think about this. Because when I was a kid as a child growing up on this river that truly instilled the love of river cruising in me, and that’s why it flows through my veins.
Mike Putman, Custom Travel Solutions 11:58
Very nice. So one other question for you, do you have a particular tip or a hack or a piece of advice that you might be able to give our travelers out there just to help them travel better. There’s something you something you do or something you pack or, or something to make your experience better.
Kristin Karst, Co-Owner, AmaWaterways and Executive Vice President 12:19
Yeah, I usually have to check in a suitcase as I’m traveling for a couple of weeks at a time, to many different destinations and climate zones. But I always have a carry on with a change of clothes, my laptop, and a nice large scarf. It is always chilly on airplanes, regardless how warm the country you’re coming from or going to is. And that’s sometimes also with hotels or you know, different rooms. And I think a scarf is such a key travel item that we decided to gift each guest with a special scarf from AmaWaterways that we hope keeps them on their trip home and brings back special memories every time they wear it. And we changed the design and the color every year. And many of our loyal guests, mostly the ladies are very proud of their colorful collection, mix them coming back and seeing what’s the next one?
Mike Putman, Custom Travel Solutions 13:24
That is such a great idea. I mean, you know, as travel industry folks, we’re always looking for gifts that that can be memorable, but also useful as we do groups and and have lots of people coming together. And that’s I’ve never heard of that one. And that is a just a great idea.
James Ferrara, InteleTravel 13:46
Yeah, having to say I didn’t know about that, Kristin, and my address is as follows.
Kristin Karst, Co-Owner, AmaWaterways and Executive Vice President 13:55
You really have to come on board very, very soon to find right or your wife needs to come as well.
James Ferrara, InteleTravel 14:02
Yes, you’re twisting my arm? Well, let’s you’ve touched a little bit on your personal journey. And I know our listeners. You know, we don’t just do sort of business chats. It’s a bit inspirational and everyone’s interested to know more about you. So if you don’t mind sharing with us, how did you get to own a river cruise line? Tell us a little bit about your personal journey.
Kristin Karst, Co-Owner, AmaWaterways and Executive Vice President 14:31
Yeah, it’s probably a little bit unusual compared with many other executives. As I mentioned, I was born I grew up in Driessen on the elbow river many many years ago. So vich was 10. So part of the former Eastern Germany and you’re all know in 89 the wall came down and that was the year I graduated from school from college. I have a degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management and did my my masters and started right away with American Express. American Express was the first company coming in after the wall came down. Perfect right and American company and it was in my city of choice. And so I joined the local travel agency that was created there became the manager of leisure travel. And that was a huge pent up demand. Imagine all the people that were behind the Iron Curtain before could only travel to the east. And now they were able to travel to the other side of the world. So the business was booming. And we did very well grew fast. I got transferred to the headquarter of American Express in Zurich, in Switzerland, they are deployed platinum card had just started, created all the special offers for card members work with incentive companies,
Kristin Karst, Co-Owner, AmaWaterways and Executive Vice President 16:06
you know, put trips together for IBM, Pfizer, the UBS trips around the world. And from there, move to California, where Rudy had just started, as the first President are a NASA brand to be Brent, I can say, and I was the second European coming to join their be there, it was a very small office in the beginning. And so that was in 2002 years later, we actually together with the late Jimmy Murphy, then the owner of brand and worldwide vacation, the largest tour operator, in in the US then on the West Coast, we felt we want to create our own river cruise line. And we want to create a product quality over quantity that we would love to enjoy ourselves was a very genuine approach. You know, the product that was there was very, very good already. But there are many things missing. Like for instance, we wanted to get younger clientele to come on board. So not just that we started to have bicycles on board. But we also introduced free Volvo King, internet, Wi Fi on board, because many, many potential guests would be business owners themselves, or people who would work really, really hard all the time, and could not really afford not to have internet and we didn’t want them to spend time outside and an Internet cafe. Why not having it on board. So if we brought all these things on board, we started to have our very first own ship in 2006, the AMA, DOD CIO. And now the company has turned 20 years this year, it was an amazing journey. And in these years, we have built 25 ships that we now own and operate. And the future looks extremely bright. Because, as you said, so many guests come on the river cruise, maybe for the first time the second time, they will say why did we wait for so long, there are so many, many more rubbers. Everyone wants to cruise. And now we keep the group small. We include so many different shore excursions it’s all about personal choices. The food is spectacular. We serve the finest local minds with of course lunches and dinners have our special sip and Cl our with all the cocktails also included a sparkling in the morning. We have started with a huge wellness program five years ago, because everyone wants to expand their lifespan. And so it’s not just about active hiking and biking. We do wellness classes on board. So there is so much to do. And the beauty is of course you are on the river. On an ocean you you explore different countries, you go from country to country on a river, you are going through the countries, it’s an immersion and I believe this is especially now post COVID What people want to see unspoiled areas and the world on a smaller scale. And that’s what we are doing.
James Ferrara, InteleTravel 19:49
Yeah, it’s amazing. And I think I think we should take our first of all, it’s an inspiring story and it’s lovely to hear you tell But thank you. But I think our listeners, maybe not all of them are familiar with the river cruise experience. And this idea of that you can see something all the time from the ship that you are going many times from city to city or town to town, and where you come to dock. Many of these older towns, sometimes medieval towns, they were really built around the waterfront. And so the ship is coming in, right in the middle of things not not in a port an hour away. But but you walk off the ship and you’re kind of in the middle of everything and there are other characteristics of of river cruising to about the pace of it, and the the local flavor of it as you were describing about the wines and the food. So can we go deeper into that about the river cruise experience? versus maybe some of our listeners know more about ocean cruising or about land? Touring? Why take a river cruise?
Kristin Karst, Co-Owner, AmaWaterways and Executive Vice President 21:22
Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. So Amma Amara means love and we put love into everything we do. And and that’s exactly what what a river cruise is about. So be cruising from one beautiful town to the next one or a very colorful village, obviously surrounded by win yards, castles or castle ruins from the medieval times. So you’re really surrounded by spectacular scenery. And you mentioned in the beginning how far has started you know, East Coast and that’s where become also now this our river cruise ships. Imagine you’re cruising, you know through the river cruise valleys surrounded by the steepest vineyards, like the Moselle area, with the brightest fall colors coming, you know, the leafs really turning into their bright red, orange, yellow colors. And then we talk in the center, and that’s no tendering. So in half a minute physically, you either come on board you on your stateroom, because a ship is small ship size on the door or in Portugal is 100 guests. On the reverse, like the Rhine or the Danube, or in France, the Rhone descend in Bordeaux is between 120 130 150 guests. And you step on board and you become part of a family. And that also means the double you will physically be double your leisure time, because you do not have to think about logistics. Where do I go next, taking a train or an airplane going there, thinking about booking a guide. We have done everything for you every morning, when this ship pulls into port while you are having a wonderful breakfast, with of course the breakfast special of the day, the healthy breakfast bowl, but of course everything what your heart desires. After maybe you had your yoga class on the sun deck at sunset if you want to, or you slept in 10, we take you out and you have different choices of excursions. You can either go by bus on the city tours to Vienna, let’s say or you explore the town by bike with our bike guides, or we get you on a culinary tour or on a hiking tour. So many different choices. That means the groups are also very small, and regroup in active, medium paced or gentle because we have all age groups on board. And you know, the 80 year old grandchild wants to travel together with mom and the 80 year old grandma or grandpa or grandma. And they might all do different excursions they are all included. But at lunch or dinner, they will come together at a table and share the beautiful stories of the day. And then maybe grandma or their parents go to the sundeck and join a class of the fine local bine while having their feet in the hot tub on this swimming pool and the little ones or the younger ones go and explore the region in the afternoon again and spend some time I visit the locals. So everything is there for you, you can do everything, or you enjoy to do nothing and maybe just maybe reading a book on your balcony,
Kristin Karst, Co-Owner, AmaWaterways and Executive Vice President 25:12
on your stateroom or on the sundeck enjoying the panorama view while cruising from one to the next country. Usually in a seven night river cruise on the Rhine or the Danube, there are four to five countries included. Or maybe you decide you want just to be in France on the Rhone River and go from the Rhone to descend. And that’s just a three hour TGV ride from Leung, to Paris. But because many clients today decide they want to spend more time in Europe, they want to travel longer, after they missed the last two years. And of course, you’re flying. Yeah, a couple of hours from the US to Europe. So why not spending more time there, people have started to work from home all the time, they can work from the ship while enjoying internet is complimentary internet works all the time. Why not doing it from there and to inspire the rest of the family and friends and family to come along the next time. So this is really the luxury to discover destinations, while being pampered on board with remarkable cuisine, and with the genuine care of your remarkable crew that is cruising with you all the time. And our cruise managers will also travel this you from the pre lent program. Let’s say you’re on the cruise from noon back to Luxembourg, cruising the mind River, the Rhine and Moselle. And maybe you want to be in Prague prior to noon back because Prague is only four hours away. And we have an amazing pre land program they are in this in the golden city of Prague, then our course manager is already there. When it comes to you, does all the tours with you is with you on the transfer to noon back is with you all the way on your seven night river cruise through the heart of Europe. And then in Luxembourg, we will disembark and of course, miniature goes with you to Paris as our post land extension. So you have your personal concierge with you all the time. And if if, if I can say many of our guests come also with food allergies. And when you’re on board, in an environment where the chef and the maitre d and the crew gets to know you from day one, they always take care of your needs. So you never have to be concerned that you know you go from one restaurant to the next. And they don’t know about your allergies. So that is actually a big part of it of the experience. And our guests really, really appreciate it.
James Ferrara, InteleTravel 28:13
But the dog liked that part of it about the Sangria. Well, you know, I’m the guy on the balcony with the book. Maybe Mike is in the yoga class early in the morning. But
Mike Putman, Custom Travel Solutions 28:29
what What time does the bar open?
James Ferrara, InteleTravel 28:33
We’re both coming together later in the day for the local wine. I can assure you that it sounds you can start
Kristin Karst, Co-Owner, AmaWaterways and Executive Vice President 28:40
your break Festivus champagne and Mimosa read a blog closes when the last guest goes to bed. And this could be sometimes two three or 4am in the morning. Oh,
James Ferrara, InteleTravel 28:53
don’t encourage him Kristin. Look at sounds absolutely lovely. And we know that it it is that’s why it’s so popular. You’ve touched on a few place names, which really gets us going. What are some of your favorite itineraries that offers I know there’s it’s like asking you what your favorite children are. But you know, give us a few examples.
Kristin Karst, Co-Owner, AmaWaterways and Executive Vice President 29:20
Right? That’s right, like the children my favorite one. cruise itineraries always the one I’m on board. But um yeah. I would say, well, being European, I love to exotics. I mean, you saw this when I mentioned Africa in the beginning, I love our Mekong river cruises. So Vietnam and Cambodia that we start now again, because I’m an author of the gentle Cambodian people to culture, how they have adapted to all the events, the ancient sites, all the things however, I also mentioned that I was born in the former eastern part of Germany now saying that I love our gems of South East Europe. itinerary that is taking our guests along the lower Danube River, from Budapest, into Croatia, Serbia, Romania, and Bulgaria, into the countries that were once behind the Iran curtains with a culture like you know, you cannot go to Russia anymore today, right or so. But you can go to these countries with this orthodox culture. There is so many layers of history to discover. And of course, we put our guests in contact with the local people like we go to local homes, where the mom of the home is giving a banister cooking lesson, or again coming into fall now, thinking about our postcodes, Lent packages into Transylvania, the cop Hadean mountains in Romania. Imagine your idea to wing Halloween night, right?
James Ferrara, InteleTravel 31:15
Oh, no, no.
Kristin Karst, Co-Owner, AmaWaterways and Executive Vice President 31:18
This is just an amazing part of our world. So unexplored, so undiscovered and so lovely. And again, it’s about the people. And when you go on an AMA waterways, river cruise, we take care of everything, everything is included. And also on the river cruise. You do not get seasick. Right? It is like sometimes you don’t even feel that you start cruising on the river. For all the ones who never go on an ocean cruise because of the fear to get motion sick. You can come on a rubber cruise. So yeah, you don’t risk time lining up to get on and off the ship. You don’t get seasick you unpack ones. So truly, it’s combining all the beautiful things between mentoring and ocean, no matter what is the niche you go with us.
Mike Putman, Custom Travel Solutions 32:12
Very good at one thing, and I’m sure our listeners are curious about is what are the staterooms like if you could kind of describe those and maybe contrast those with what they might find on a typical ocean liner.
Kristin Karst, Co-Owner, AmaWaterways and Executive Vice President 32:27
Yeah, so we usually have three passenger decks and descend deck again very small. On the lowest deck, we have just a few cabins, entry level they are you have a picture window, which you cannot open because you’re physically on water level. But you’re close to the swans. You’re never below water close to the swans to see all you know the water life very, very close up. But I would always recommend you to be either on the middle deck or the top deck, because these staterooms have either French Balcony balconies, it’s like a sliding glass door that you fully open, or our twin Balcony Staterooms with a French Balcony and step out balcony that you can also sit outside reading a book sipping your beautiful glass of wine. The maturity of our staterooms are more than 200 square feet with the suites on board are being about 350 square feet. And when I look at our larger Amma Magna the luxury in space, then the owner suite there is 710 square feet. And our you know, larger suites. But smaller than the owner suite are more than 460 square feet large. So there is something for everyone. No matter if you come as a couple or as a solo traveler. We also have connecting staterooms on some of our ships, because some of our partnerships are based Adventures by Disney and back roads as well. And we can accommodate families of 345, even six in connecting staterooms or in those suites there. We can have a family of four in one suite. And then of course the bathrooms have beautiful large showers and in the suites also to things so everything is really there at the finest.
James Ferrara, InteleTravel 34:40
Amazing. You know, Kristin, we’ve come through some historic years the last couple of years, certainly challenging although there is a great story and great celebration in the fact that we’re all still here in the travel industry. tray and were thriving again. But we were faced with a pandemic, we were faced with low water levels. This past year in some parts of Europe, we have the the devaluation of the euro and the pound against the US dollar. And now, some people are concerned about inflation about a possible recession in 2023. So I’d like you to take out your crystal ball. And we want to ask you, what do you see for 2023 for travelers, and for ALMA?
Kristin Karst, Co-Owner, AmaWaterways and Executive Vice President 35:41
Well, let me start with 22. Because I want to say that the Christmas shopping experience in Europe this year, and you know, we have magical Christmas market courses coming up, it’s going to be exceptional this the American dollar being so strong against the euro. So if you now go there and do your Christmas shopping, you have all the gifts for your family when you come back, that is paradise. Now, looking, of course into the future, the future is very, very bright. There is so much pent up demand. With you know so many people ages to reunite and celebrate Miss milestone events, with friends and family members of all ages. And more travelers are looking for sustainable ways of enjoying nature, visiting more destinations that are off the beaten track. And river cruising delivers all that. And more. Now we do have some wonderful specials. I mentioned the beginning it’s our 20th anniversary, we have our 20/20 anniversary offer still out there 20% off, or we offer you free air going into next year, there is a choice of either free air or free land on many, many departures. You have them of course all because you are the ones that all the guests want to seek out your agency or your your travel advisors are extremely educated and professional. And of course, we always love to give you you know, everything what we can give you so that you send to clients on board our ships. So you are a partner for us. And I believe with all of these specials, promotions, the value is there. And the strong buying power once you are in Europe. It is it is actually a wonderful time to go. And people live today. After what’s happened the last two and a half years. We don’t know what is coming tomorrow. Everyone wants to really come and travel today. We see it airplanes or for hotels or for this Europe, we are coming now into the slower season. It’s much more authentic to go now in fall and winter. It is extremely charming. The water levels are perfect. It was in August when the water level on the Rhine was a little bit low. It is absolutely perfect right now. So I would say buy Don’t be bait longer. Just you know, look at everything. Make the booking now. Bring your friends and family along. Seek out your professional Travel Advisor. And let’s go and we look forward to welcoming you on board and all the guests for a most magical, memorable and unforgettable river cruise experience.
James Ferrara, InteleTravel 38:57
Let’s go I like that.
Mike Putman, Custom Travel Solutions 38:58
Yeah, I’m ready to go. Ready to go back my view.
James Ferrara, InteleTravel 39:02
Kristin, you are the world’s ambassador for river cruise. Absolutely. You have the love the passion your aptly named company award always reflects your your love, for travel and for travelers and for what you do. And I think we are you know, amazed. We’re humbled before you. So thank you so much for being with us. I know our listeners have enjoyed learning about river cruise and meeting you. So thank you for joining us.
Kristin Karst, Co-Owner, AmaWaterways and Executive Vice President 39:41
Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it. Thank you.
Mike Putman, Custom Travel Solutions 39:45
Thank you for being so gracious with your time. And I know our listeners are going to be intrigued by what you’ve shared with him today. And we’ll be looking forward to booking AmaWaterways cruise in the very near Future. So thanks again for your time.
James Ferrara, InteleTravel 40:04
Well, my call I’m inspired by Kristin karst and ama waterways,
Mike Putman, Custom Travel Solutions 40:11
how could you not be? I’m ready seriously ready to book a trip. I haven’t done a river cruise yet. Of all the cruise I counted the other day I’ve been like 61 or 62 cruises. But I’ve never done a river cruise. And now I’m going
James Ferrara, InteleTravel 40:28
well, I’m about to go on a shakedown cruise, which is the first sailing of the cruise ship, I have to go to the shipyard in Finland, and sailed the ship out of the shipyard to Southampton, England five days later, where she gets actually introduced to the media. And to the travel industry, I’m going to be on board the ship that carries 4000 passengers, the new Carnival celebration, but there will only be 40 of us on board. So it’s a really, really a unique experience. And even with that facing me, I have to say that I am you know, my sort of mouth is watering over this river cruise experience. So anyway, that’s a great guest really appreciate her. We have some exciting news.
Mike Putman, Custom Travel Solutions 41:23
I was gonna say on the celebration, there’s I think 2000 staff. So if I divide 40 into 2000, you’re gonna have 50 staff at your beck and call. Is that the ideal? It’s
James Ferrara, InteleTravel 41:35
the way I like it. So speaking of celebration, we have something to celebrate, don’t we?
Mike Putman, Custom Travel Solutions 41:43
Yes, we do. We have a new contest out to award our one lucky listener, a fantastic vacation to Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. And as part of that contest, which the details you can find at the bottom of the homepage on no tourist allowed, and that’s tourist with an s allowed.com. So we’re going to have one question each week that we will feature and if you go and enter the contest, there’s an opportunity to gain five more entries. That’s five more entries for answering this question correctly. And you have now until the end of the contest to answer it correctly. And the question of the week, James is, how many ships? Does ama waterways have in service today? How many ships
James Ferrara, InteleTravel 42:37
so you have to have been? You have to have been listening to the podcast and paying attention to Kristin. How many chips does AmaWaterways have in service today? Go to no tourists allowed.com? and answer the question there. And you get five you get it correctly. You get five entries into the drawing for this. Universal parks and resorts Universal Orlando hotel stay right on the property. Not some nearby hotel. No, no tell motel? No, this is a Universal Resort within the property. So really, really great prize.
Mike Putman, Custom Travel Solutions 43:21
And speaking of great things, we have our special deals diva, Jeff, Jessica deverson, standing by waiting to join us with great travel deals. And the words, Jessica Well, Jessica.
Unknown Speaker 43:37
Hi, guys. So is the great thing. My deals are me in general.
Mike Putman, Custom Travel Solutions 43:42
I would say you firstly and the deal. Secondly.
Unknown Speaker 43:46
Got it. I pray oh, that
James Ferrara, InteleTravel 43:48
was an answer from a married man. Very diplomatic. Listen, before we get into your offers, and I know you’ve done your usual research and you’ve got some great deals for us. But I do want to take a moment talk about since this is travel podcast, you came back from a trip recently. I know you touched on it last episode. But you know from your photographs, it looked amazing. I was making fun of you that you looked like Lawrence of Arabia, in Egypt in Jordan, and I’m not sure where else you went. But Spectacular photographs by the way, kudos to you. And you just look like you were having an amazing time. Tell us for a second about that.
Unknown Speaker 44:39
Yeah, absolutely. So it was it was definitely a trip. That was a lot of work. I need a vacation from my vacation. very hot, very dusty, but yeah, I did. I spent two week in Egypt and then a week in Jordan and visited all the major sites, the pyramid at sunset then You know, we did an ATV ride a four wheeler ride through the desert to see the pyramids at sunrise. You know, we got to climb the pyramids, we obviously saw the Sphinx. We went to Karnak and Luxor, Thor and Abu Simbel, and just tons of walking tons of travel time, you know, lots of planes, trains, boats and automobiles to get to get to each place but very much worth it. Very interesting experience. I learned so much in Egypt, we had an amazing Egyptologist join us on our trip, learned so much, it was so interesting. And then that was about a group of 30 of us 30 millennial aged women. And we went on to about six or eight of us went on to Jordan. And so in Jordan, we had a private guide, and you know, small, small little tour van and we just kind of, you know, went city to city and Jordan as well. Got to see Petra, that was super amazing. I actually tore my meniscus in between the two trips, so blew out my knee, basically, it was walking around with a knee brace on for the second half of the trip. But
James Ferrara, InteleTravel 46:15
I don’t see that in the photograph. Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 46:18
I still walked at least seven, my average seven miles a day of hiking and walking and climbing, I climbed the sheer face of a cliff, just to get that Petra shot that you saw. So you know, anything, anything for the gram? Right?
James Ferrara, InteleTravel 46:35
Well, I, you know, not only is a great travel report, but I think I’m making a point because Jessica is a young millennial, so a few years younger than Mike and myself, just a few. And so I think, you know, you bring a really nice, different viewpoint to travel. And let’s face it, each generation has, you know, sort of generally different interests and a different style of traveling and things that are priorities that are that are different. And so you know, you really bring a whole other perspective and value to what we do here. And to that point, you also recently did a gig in the travel industry where you spoke to you spoke on a travel for millennial and Gen Z travelers, right?
Unknown Speaker 47:37
I did, I did. It was a it was actually a really good time speaking to everybody about millennials and just kind of who they are, what that demographic is, and then talking about common qualities and how those qualities basically translate into their, their purchase choices. And then ultimately, um, you know, travel choices as well.
James Ferrara, InteleTravel 47:58
So, you were were for this event, geographically, where were you?
Unknown Speaker 48:04
Yeah, so I was actually in Cancun at a really beautiful resort. I actually mentioned it last week when I did my deals in at the breathless and secrets resorts in Cancun. And then, you know, the hurricane decided to come through got her flights canceled, and unfortunately, I was stranded at this lovely resort with a beach and pool and endless drinks and food and had to stay a couple extra days and, you know, never saw the rain once and nothing but lovely sunrises and sunsets from my balcony. So yeah, total torture.
James Ferrara, InteleTravel 48:38
This is like when my daughter got COVID and had to quarantine in a five star hotel in London. So am resorts and AMR collection of these incredible all inclusive resorts around the world? That’s an interesting brand. We ought to bring them on at some point. Mike, we do. They’re very, very popular. Anyway, well, just because it’s just adds to the value of being part of the no tourists allowed team. And we’d love to hear what you have for us in terms of values on travel deals.
Unknown Speaker 49:16
Yeah. So I have three deals for you today, one of which is actually ama waterways that I just heard you talking about. So yeah, that wasn’t planned. It’s just some really great offers that I wanted to wanted to talk to you guys about. But first I’ll tell you about American Airlines Vacations. So specifically sandals and beaches resorts brought to you by American Airlines Vacations. So for a limited time, you can save up to 65% on vacation packages. Plus you’ll get an additional $1,000 instant credit. Plus you’ll get an additional and a bonus 25,000 Advantage miles with your stay. And to receive this offer you just simply Book a vacation package with air for three nights or longer. And that offer is valid at a couple of the sandals. So I think sandals, Royal Barbados, sandals, Grenada, sandals, Emerald Bay eggs, eggs, eggs, Zuma and Sandals Royal Bahamian. And there are other resorts available at a discount as well. And then when you stay that seven nights in longer, you’ll receive the additional $1,000 credit. And you’ll like I said, to get those 25,000 bonus miles, you do have to have a valid advance a advantage number when you book but if you don’t, no big deal, your Travel Advisor can definitely help you register for one. But you will want to do that because that promotion is only valid for reservations booked through your Travel Advisor. So reach out to them to book that offer and to get set up for an eight advantage number if you don’t already have one.
James Ferrara, InteleTravel 50:49
And don’t miss sandals, psoriasis grateful.
Mike Putman, Custom Travel Solutions 50:59
25,000 Miles is enough to actually get a domestic roundtrip ticket. So yep, it’s like getting a free ticket when you take a trip.
Unknown Speaker 51:09
That’s definitely a worthwhile amount of miles. Next up, we have Royal Caribbean. So you know whether you want to check out colorful colorful marine myfile, your snorkeling, you know off some tropical island, or you prefer the cobblestone streets of Europe, maybe you just want to stay on board because their ships are huge and have a million things to do. Royal really does is a brand that has something for everyone. And with that they have an October offer, where every guest will save 30% And then for limited time kids sail free. And this offer both of these offer are available to until the end of the month until Halloween they expire. And what for the 30% off every guest that’s any sailings any sailing, departing November 4 or later. And then for kids so free, it’s any sailings between November of this year and April of next year. So to get those specific itineraries and ships and sale dates you can call your Travel Advisor, and then also
Unknown Speaker 52:12
their fare to Alaska in Europe that’s available right now you’ll get up to $500 off per person on airfare for Europe and Alaska sailings departing next year, January through July. So that’s a really great deal because we know you know how outrageous airfare can be sometimes and lately, so that’s really great airfare offer. Again, that offer expires on the 31st of October. And then last but not least, for Royal, there’s a military heroes offer. So this is one of the great offers that they actually offer all year round. And it’s for special police, firefighters military, you’ll get special rates on select sailings, because they really do value the brave service of men and women. But you do have to book with a Travel Advisor to access those special rates. They don’t just put them out there for anyone, you will have to work with a Travel Advisor, but very good, very good offer that they have all year round. And then lastly, like I said, ama waterways, so river cruises in general, you guys were just talking about it. But you know, river cruises in general, one of the nice things about cruising is you only need to pack once, you don’t have to worry about hotels or you know, multiple forms of transportation. But then when with river cruises, it’s a little different because then you’re traveling between grand capitals and you know, little villages. And it’s it’s a leisurely pace. And there’s always a view and there’s always something to see because you know, these river cruises are sailing into the heart of every destination. And they’re docking in close proximity to major city city centers. So, you know, river cruise, like you guys were talking about is just a different unique experience. And then ama waterways as you guys were mentioning, so family owned and operated, remain, you know, they’ve remained focused on providing guests with really unforgettable travel experiences and they have contemporary luxurious ships with you know, I think they accommodate an average of about 160 guests. So they’re really spacious, really uncrowded. You really feel that, you know, that vacations, then sort of, you know, just you’re going to being leisurely and hanging out and relaxing, but also seeing new places and new things and traveling at the same time. And then actually, in 2019, there amamagna was recognized as Time Magazine’s one of the world’s greatest places. So the ship itself was voted as one of the world’s greatest places. So yeah, the ships are really lovely, really unique experience. And they’re celebrating 20 years this year. You might have talked about that. But so with that they have some really great offers. First off is complimentary land packages through the end of the year. It’s basically like a book early save big type thing. So when you book select 23 and 24 sailings on the Europe, Mekong or Egypt, rivers, you receive either a two three or four night free inland package. And then also for the rest of 2022. They’re running deals on all their cruises. So you’ll get two for one cruise pricing. And that offer allows you to purchase one full river cruise fare and then your second guests fare can be booked for free, which is awesome. Or if you’re a solo traveler, they’ll waive this single supplement. So very good chance to experience the changing of the seasons in Europe and the festive holiday season. And that’s a super unique experience if you’ve never done that, like I said that’s available on 2022 sailings, but you do have to call your Travel Advisor to get that specific list of sale dates that they have on offer. And then also similar to Royal Caribbean, there is an offer for frontline medical heroes and military heroes as well. So on recognizes, you know, the bravery and the sacrifices of of military heroes and Frontline medical heroes. And so, um, there are special discounts available for for those people who have served and who are serving and, again, you must call contact your Travel Advisor because they will have to apply to special promo code. But these are really great offers to take advantage of and they’re available year round. So that’s it guys.
James Ferrara, InteleTravel 56:13
Well between your appreciation for Ama and Kirstin’s passion and we’re not allowed to have you two in the same place because we can have an explosion.
Mike Putman, Custom Travel Solutions 56:24
Okay. Well, thanks, Jessica. Those are great, great summaries on some hot deals that are out this week. So thank you once again for your work and your participation. And I’d like to thank all of our listeners for tuning in to Episode 14 of no tourists allowed.
James Ferrara, InteleTravel 56:42
Absolutely. Remember guys. No Same old, same old. No crowds, you know, no tourists allowed but what is allowed if you are allowed to enter our drawing for free universal theme park and resort giveaway in Orlando, Florida. And that’s so exciting. So remember to go to our website, no tourists loud.com And thank you
Mike Putman, Custom Travel Solutions 57:09
for being here. Until next time, thanks guys.
Join the discussion