Wonders of the World
July 12th, 2019 6:47 pm
The NEW Seven Wonders of the Modern World are the Taj Mahal in India, Petra in Jordan, The Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu in Peru, Chichen Itza in Mexico, Christ the Redeemer in Rio, Brazil and the Colosseum in Rome, Italy.  So far I've seen SIX of the Seven.  The only one left is the Taj Majal in India. I honestly have no desire to go to India.  People who've been have all loved it, but, everyone I ever knew that went got some kind of stomach problems.  Take imodium!  I still have no desire to go, but, who knows. Maybe one day.  
The ones that I have seen are AMAZING.  Petra is awesome (especially for us Indiana Jones fans).  The Great Wall is great :-) I actually had no desire to go to China, either, but, it was surprising and fantastic on an immense scale. I took a tour with Viking Cruises and they were great. Every hotel, every restaurant, the cruise down the Yangtze river was awesome. Altogether a great trip. China is a must.  Machu Picchu is mystical and beautiful. I took a six hour hike up to it rather than the bus ride and when you come up over the mountain and get that view looking down on the site it takes your breath away (not to mention the altitude).  Llamas along the route are so beautiful.  Another must see in the world.  Chichen Itza outside of Cancun is a great day tour. Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio is awe inspiring, looking over the beautiful beach area.  And, of course, the Colosseum in Rome is amazing. Italy is amazing. One of my favorite countries.  I never get tired of visiting (though last year when I went it was over 100' and it hurt).
It's not a small world, after all.  It's an amazing, diverse, spectacular world, and having the opportunity to see so much of it has been a lifelong pleasure.  If you're interested in visiting these wonders give me a jingle. Once there, any of these wonders will make you tingle :-)
Save time and money and book with Tom@CruisingWithPride.com
March 28th, 2019 5:09 pm
You are smart to book with a travel agent because of the money and time you will save and the added benefits an agent can bring to your experience booking a cruise or tour.
You are extra smart to book with me,  Tom@CruisingWithPride.com because I'm the best agent, in my opinion. HONEST, TRUSTWORTHY, EXPERIENCED.
So, in summary:
When you book with me you get my great service.
When you book with me you get access to hotels, insurance, etc. One stop shop!
When you book with me you get 25 years of experience with me personally
PLUS, literally thousands of years experience with TravelEdge our parent agency.

I hope you will think of me when you're ready to take another vacation
Thanks, again, for 25 years of allowing me the joy of helping you with your travels.
Tom Stephens
March 25th, 2019 10:13 pm
I went to Bali about ten years ago.  It was wonderful. Monkeys, cute boys, amazing sunsets.  Honestly, the people, the culture, the beauty.  Sometimes pictures help describe better than I can.  Check out my pics on Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/cruisingwithpride/media_set?set=a.55855026468&type=3

Enjoy!  And, let me know if you want to go experience it for yourself.
To Share or not to Share, that is the question...
January 31st, 2019 11:21 pm
Atlantis, RSVP and other all gay and gay group cruise companies offer "Shares" for their single guests.  It's a great convenience to save people from having to pay the single supplement, which is generally 2x the cost (cabins are priced based on double occupancy.) 
But, like Forrest Gump says, "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get." I've heard horror stories and love stories, but, mostly, people just go, save money, meet a person who they either become friends with or not, and they go on to enjoy the cruise experience.  

The main thing is that you know what you're walking into.  As far as it depends on you, live at peace with whoever you're assigned to.  Be your friendly self, make arrangements for schedules and agreements on visitors and such. You CANNOT assume you can just bring someone back to your room at any time. It is rude and should not be done without express permission from your roommate.  Maybe they like to watch, but, more often, not. Communication right upfront is the key. Perhaps if they are a late night person and you're not, the person who is up latest take the bed closest to the door.

Here are a few more suggestions if you do a share:
1. Bring GOOD earplugs.  Being awake all night because your roommate shares is horrible. It's bad enough if you know the person, it's worse if it's someone you don't even know robbing you of precious sleep.  
2. Be ultra-considerate.  You don't have to become best friends, but, be friendly, be kind, try to make conversation, and above all, share your space. 
3. Don't be a slob.  Clean up after yourself and don't just throw everything around. It's not YOUR cabin. It's the both of yours, so, don't sprawl. 
4. Don't be noisy. If you want to play music or tv or whatever, ask your roommate if it's ok and respect their wishes. Maybe they're trying to have a quiet time and don't want music or tv on. Perhaps the most important time to be quiet is if you come in late, after your roommate is already in bed with the lights off.  Try not to turn the light on if you can help it, but, rather, turn the bathroom light on and use the light from there best you can and try not to wake your roommie.
5. Don't expect them to be your friend.  You are sharing to save money, not to make friends. Have no expectations and you won't be disappointed. They may be traveling with friends and don't want to share a second with you. That's ok, it's their cruise. If they want to talk they will, but, don't force it. They may not be attracted or interested in you. Don't take it personally. EVERYONE is BORING to most others.  Finding commonality takes time and not everyone has stuff in common. Just be the best YOU that you can be.
6. Don't ask for your own cabin once on board. They won't do it and it's not what you paid for. There are plenty of guys who are paying 2x the rate to have their own cabin.  If you didn't then don't expect it and don't ask for it.  
7. Whenever you are irritated, bugged, ignored, or hurt in any other way by your roommate, look into your wallet and remember that you are saving a LOT of money to put up with a little inconvenience.  This should make you feel better.

Join my Gay Single Travelers group on Facebook and find someone ahead of time that you maybe are compatible with.  And, be sure to sign up for you All Gay, Gay Group or just any travel you need. https://www.facebook.com/groups/963885077009990/
Tom Stephens
Petra, One of the 7 Wonders of the World
January 25th, 2019 10:54 pm
I had the extreme joy of visiting Petra, in the land of Jordan, this past May 2018.  What a WONDER!  I have wanted to see it ever since Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.  It is special and the entire tour, from Tel Aviv, was a LONG day, but, so worth it.

View my entire photo album here:
No Fees on Cruises and Tours
April 17th, 2018 5:51 pm
Did you know that travel agents make a living on commission? When you book your Atlantis, RSVP, or ANY gay or straight cruise (or tour) they give us a small commission for bringing you to them .  It NEVER COSTS YOU MORE to book with us than it does to book directly.  All the specials that the cruise lines send you we can use for you as well. 
Not only does it cost you the same, but, by using me to help you are spreading around the wealth.  Without me, the cruise company gets richer and richer. With me, The cruise company still gets richer and richer, but, I get to eat and buy clothes.
PLUS, when you book with me you get my great service.
PLUS, when you book with me you get the access to hotels, insurance, etc. One stop shop!
PLUS, when you book with me you get 25 years of experience with me personally
PLUS, literally thousands of years experience with TravelEdge our parent agency.
PLUS, I can help you find the best deals available and get you booked as soon as possible.
PLUS, when you book with me I always try and send a little gift as a "thank you".  

You should have a choice in who you book your travels through. Unfortunately, when you book directly with Atlantis or RSVP you cannot use a travel agent anymore (must stop with them for three years to again be able to use an agent). I don't like the policy, but, can't do anything about it but advise you of their policy.  If you want control of your holidays, book with me! 

In this world it can be hard to make a living. I'm very thankful I've been able to enjoy my work and been able to live comfortably.  I always tell people that as a travel agent I'll never get rich, but, there are a lot more important things than money. Loving what I do is worth much more than wealth.

I hope you will think of me when you're ready to take another vacation and keep me from starving. Ha ha. Thanks, again, for 25 years of allowing me the joy of helping you with your travels.
Tom Stephens
Best Atlantis Cruise Ever
January 29th, 2018 5:55 am
Now, for the very very good news of the cruise...

Coming on board was wonderful. I walked about 5 miles from my hotel. I walk every day and it was easy with the rollers today.
The traffic was aweful, so, on foot was perfect.  Got my exercise out of the way and got there just as they were starting to let us on board. 
As soon as we got on, a few clients that I travel with a lot, went to the buffet lunch in the Windjammer. It's a great buffet.  Always a nice selection and always very clean. 
The restaurants on board are great. Great food in the main dining room. I tried Izumi, Central Park 150, and Wonderland.  Izumi has these lobster rolls that are amazing and we had some noodle soups and other sushis.  For three it was about $75. Well worth it for the experience. Central Park 150 is beautiful. Had some lovely food.  Most memorable though, was Wonderland. A magical dining experience. Well worth the $50 price tag. Here are some pictures to give you an idea, though, no picture can describe the tastes... 

Drug Users On Atlantis
January 29th, 2018 5:43 am
I just got off the Atlantis Harmony Caribbean Cruise.  It made the news, sadly, because a "celebrity" overdosed and died on board. http://www.tmz.com/2018/01/25/storm-chasers-joel-taylor-death-investigation-dropped-by-fbi/

It's the most horrible thing when someone loses their life for such a dumb reason. There was a lot of drug use going on. It's not the cruise lines or the tour operators fault. Drug users are just idiots. They overdose all the time. Their friends are idiots, too. I helped two others on the cruise who were overdosing. Their friends just left them alone and went off to party. They were overdosing and their friends left them. That is NOT a friend. That's what happened to this guy. Their friends took him to his room while he was overdosing and left him alone while he died. It's not their fault, but, friends gotta have each others backs. Where is the love today? 
I'm not proud that so many are lost in our community due to drub abuse.  There is help. We don't need to debase ourselves.  Get help. This is where I go www.gaychristian101.com but you might try www.aa.com or call your mom.  Remember this fact, the only drug that never killed anyone is pot. People need to legalize it everywhere and stay alive. The high is best. Drinking is ok, too, but, too much of that kills, too, don't forget. 

Next blog,  the very great part of taking all gay cruises...