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Everyone who knows me knows how much I love to cruise.  So it’s no wonder that I specialize in cruise vacations.  The best part of this profession is that I get to relive moments I’ve experienced while booking destinations I’ve been fortunate to have personally traveled.   It’s also very exciting and rewarding to learn and discover destinations that I have not yet traveled, but trust me, I plan to!  Each time I book a cruise for couple or family, I’m right there with them, in my mind of course.  If time wasn’t an obstacle, I would just jump from ship to ship and sail all over the world. 


Studies have been done, and according to MarketWatch.com, 55% of us do not take our earned vacation time.   We work so hard all year long and if you are part of that 55% who don’t take your earned vacation, you are not rewarding yourself for the hard work you put in each and every day throughout the year. 


Here’s a good example.  My father-in-law (Hi Dad!) worked at General Motors for more than 35 years building cars.  My mother-in-law (Hi Mom!) was a real estate agent.  They both worked so hard throughout their careers.  They live frugally and rarely splurge on anything.  Dad always wanted to take an Alaskan cruise, but he always said it was “too much money”. 


One night at dinner, we were trying to convince my father and mother-in-law that they could go on an Alaskan cruise and that it wasn’t as much as they thought it would be.  His response was, “If we go on a cruise, it’s coming out of your inheritance.”  Then he laughed. 


My husband and I didn’t laugh because the truth was, and still is that we didn’t ‘want’ their money.  We wanted them to have the opportunity to enjoy their retirement years, to enjoy life and do all the things they dreamed about.  They worked so hard and at this stage in life, it was time to put themselves first!


After dinner and after really talking to him about how amazing a cruise vacation is, he gave me a half-hearted go ahead smile and I ran with it.  Since neither of them had traveled by air or by sea, my husband and I “agreed” to go with them.  They didn’t have to twist our arms…at all!


A few days later after researching the best itineraries to fulfill my in-laws dreams and expectations, I had all of us booked on their very first Alaskan adventure!


We had such a great time in Alaska!  We experienced Ketchikan, Skagway, Juneau, Anchorage, Denali, and Fairbanks!  Never would I have ever guessed we would encounter eagles, bears, caribou, glaciers, & icebergs. We had the breathtaking experience of riding on the White Pass and Yukon train and are so fortunate to have visited Mt. Denali. It was such a special experience to have with our parents.  These are memories that we will cherish.  No amount of inheritance can even come close in comparison. 

In the beginning stages, we really had to convince my parents that cruising was honestly the best value and experience around.  Beautiful accommodations, exciting theatrical shows, tons of choices for dining venues satisfying every palate, shopping, literally a floating city!  And do you know what happened? After the first day on board, our parents are now hooked on cruising!


Four months later they were sailing off to the Caribbean on the brand-new Harmony of the Seas.  Dad said he wished they had done more vacationing when they were younger. We’re just glad they are finally enjoying their retirement years in the best possible way!


Don’t be that 55% of Americans not using their very well deserved paid vacation days! Don’t wait until you are retired to realize that vacationing is truly food for the soul. Create memories now! Grow your life story through travel.   Be the half that takes that vacation.  Reward yourself.  After all, you can’t take it with you.



Have a great week! 


Lisa Collins

Fitzgerald Travel's Ocean Cruise & Alaska Expert








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