Hi There Cruise Lover! 🙂
As a subscriber to my “Cruise News & Updates” email list, I wanted to reach out to give you some updates on me professionally & personally & to share reviews of the 8 Cruises I’ve taken over the past year.
First off, I TRULY hope you got through Covid as well as possible!!
I know for some people it didn’t affect their lives too much, for others (like me) it was pretty devastating…of course, not as devastating as those who lost loved ones to this virus! 🙁 … and for others, it fell somewhere in between.
So I hope for you it was more on the “didn’t affect me too much” side!
Before I tell you about some of the recent Cruises I’ve been on… some updates.
As I work in an industry where I 100% get paid by commission (No worries, that NEVER gets tacked onto your trip’s price… as mentioned here in # 1, you’ll NEVER pay a dime more when booking through me than you will booking with a Cruiseline or with Tauck Tours direct and you’ll always get some “perk” when booking through me!) and I only get paid when people travel, it’s not hard to figure out Covid was pretty devastating professionally & financially for those who do what I do for a living!!
Not only did most of us not make any money for the hours & hours & hours of hard work we already did… personally, between lost bookings from late 2018, most of 2019 & much of 2020 & 2021 & some of 2022, I’ve worked over 4,000 hours for Free! 🙁 … but many of us also had to pay back commissions already sent to us, and for many people, that money had been spent!
Personally, I had to pay back tens of thousands of dollars in commissions to Cruiselines, Tour Companies & Insurance Companies, all while receiving virtually no new income! 🙁
The point being, due to these unprecedented financial & mental & emotional strains, many of my colleagues didn’t make it through Covid when it came to their travel business but luckily many years ago I took “save for a rainy day” seriously from my mentors who drilled that into my head… in our industry though, you more have had to have saved for a “rainy” year or 2 to get through it all… luckily, I was in that position thanks VERY much to my Loyal clients over the years like you but not everyone in my industry fared so well. 🙁
Anyways, I’ve had lots & lots of my Loyal clients do Cruises & Tauck Land Tours since Covid started so, fingers crossed, all will go much more smoothly from here on and, if you were one of those people who traveled since Covid and had me arrange your trip or trips, Thank You VERY much for sticking it out with me… your Business has never been more appreciated!!
And if you haven’t booked with me since Covid started but are considering booking something soon, I sincerely hope you consider giving me your Business as not only will it be more appreciated than ever but after having personally canceled over 7 Million Dollars worth of travel, I have lots of “Insider” info on which lines you should book with going forward as they treated their clients awesome during Covid & which you should avoid as they didn’t treat their clients so well or are looking like they still may not “survive” financially.
For example, as people kept booking with them directly or through agents who weren’t as informed, I flat out REFUSED to book my clients on Crystal for almost 2 years as I felt they weren’t going to “make it” & sure enough they went out of business earlier this year… my clients lost ZERO with them (Since I wouldn’t book them/I booked them on more stable products instead, none of my clients had money with Crystal to lose!) whereas MANY other people lost tens of thousands of dollars who had booked with Crystal! 🙁
Anyways, I won’t harp on that point anymore but between me being VERY appreciative of your business and having A LOT of experience on who you should book with/who not to book with & being well known for my Customer Service, (Click Here to see testimonies from my clients & Click Here to see testimonies from Cruiseline Owners & Executives) I’m Very confident you’ll find no one better than me to book your valued future vacations with!
So, after all that said, Professionally I made it through the toughest time in my industry’s history and I’m glad to be able to report that!! 🙂
BUT, personally, things didn’t turn out as well! 🙁
For any of you on this list who were on here pre-Covid, you all know these updates always came from my wife Nancy & myself… well, as you can see, this update is only coming from me and my site now says ShawnPower.com, not NancyandShawnPower.com as it did for years.
That’s due to Nancy & I not doing as well personally after Covid hit… unfortunately, around 6 months into Covid, we split up after 17 years together! 🙁
Obviously, there are 2 sides to every story so I’m not even going to attempt to tell mine here as it wouldn’t be fair for Nancy not to have any say, but the bottom line is we didn’t make it & for sure it was pretty much the most painful thing I’ve ever gone through in my life… and no, it had nothing to do with my new friend Renee who you’ll see in some of my recent Cruise pictures/I didn’t meet her till months after Nancy & I split up! 😉
Between that & what I had to go through professionally with Covid, somedays I have no idea how I was able to stick it out to keep running my business, to get back to traveling, to write this update, etc. but somehow I did so I’ll take that as a win & will keep moving forward! 🙂
Before I move on from that unfortunate topic, as I said above, this experience with Nancy was one of the most painful I’ve ever been through… if you haven’t personally been through a Divorce yourself, no doubt you know someone who has been through this & you know the pain and that it’s NOT something you can get through on your own!
Due to that, I wanted to say a quick public thanks to those who have supported me more than I could have ever imagined over the past couple of years… my Sister Tanya & Sister-in-Law Sherry, my Parents, my Aunts & Uncles & Cousins and friends… it’s all been appreciated more than you’ll ever know!! 🙂
Alright, I’m sure I’ve already said too much for one post but remember, I haven’t written anything on this site for 2 years but as “time heals all wounds” I finally felt comfortable to share my story, my updated galleries, etc. so I had to “get a few things out” after 2 years keeping it all in so don’t judge me for being long-winded! 😉
Let’s Talk Cruising!
Okay, let’s move on to a more pleasant topic… Cruising!! 🙂
Like many of you, I was stuck in my home for what felt like FOREVER!!
And I have to say, for someone who Cruises 7-10 times per year, not having been on a ship for 21 months was truly, truly hard for me… and depressing!!
So, as soon as I had the opportunity to get back on a ship (as a Canadian, it took me even longer than my US clients & colleagues as our restrictions stuck around for a little longer than in the US) I did so as I wanted to see what “Post-Covid” Cruising was all about… not that Covid is over but I think you know what I mean, Cruising for the first time after the MUCH longer than anticipated shut down of the entire Cruse industry!
Anyways, I did my first Cruise in September, 2021 and since then have taken 7 more sailings, my last one being a little less than 2 months ago. (Coming up, I have a Cruise in September to Alaska with Seabourn, a Land Tour in Morocco with Tauck in Oct/Nov, an Athens to Dubai Cruise in Nov/Dec with Norwegian and an Antarctica Cruise in December with Aurora)
And I’m happy to report, it’s never felt better to be back “At Sea”!! 🙂
If you’ve sailed since Covid no doubt you’ll know what I mean and if you haven’t, stop hesitating, as the staff is Super happy to have you back, the food is as tasty as ever, the entertainers are Thrilled to be performing again and the ports are so grateful to see Crusiers again as well as SO many people around the World depend on our multi-Billion dollar industry for their livelihood… they all want to see you back & no doubt you’ll be happy you did once you take that “plunge” and get on a sailing soon! 🙂
Also, BY FAR, our industry is more health conscious than any other sector of the travel industry… even as of today (When most restrictions around the World have been dropped) most Cruiselines still require vaccinations & tests to board… and (As they always have!) they clean & clean & clean 24/7 to keep the ships sparkling & safe!!
If you look at what hotels, airlines, theme parks like Disney & Universal, All-Inclusives and mega-destinations like Vegas, etc. have done when it comes to protecting your health compared to the Cruiselines, it literally pales in comparison!!
So if you decide to take a Cruise & someone says to you “Really, you’re going to go on a Cruise after all this??” (Since if their only knowledge of Cruising is the media they won’t think too kindly of our industry) you can VERY confidently say “You bet I am!” knowing that it’s probably safer to be on a ship then at a Costco, Walmart, a Mall, a Theme Park, an All-Inclusive Resort, a Casino in Vegas, a Hotel, etc.!!
My Recent Cruises
Alright, that’s for sure enough from me today but before I go I wanted to share all my Picture & Video Galleries from my 8 Cruises I’ve been on the past year so you can see what the ships, rooms, food, entertainment, etc. are looking like these days as, since we all couldn’t Cruise for almost 2 years, you may have forgotten just how great taking a Cruise can be!! 🙂
FYI, here’s who I’ve sailed with the past year:
If you’d like to “check out” some of those sailings, simply Click Here and you’ll be taken to my Picture & Video Gallery… FYI, they’re Cruise #s 67-74… and don’t forget that the “meat & potatoes” of those galleries isn’t necessarily the Pictures & Videos you’ll see but it’s the captions I write underneath them to give you “insider” info, tips, recommendations, etc.
Well, I have to say… I’m VERY happy to have sent this update out as over 2 years felt way too long to be silent but sometimes that’s easier than having to tell the hard truth.
BUT, now that you know what’s what, I’ll do updates once a month on average as normal (the next few months will be reviews from Virgin, Cunard & Seabourn) and for all of our sakes, let’s hope these updates NEVER get interrupted again by a Worldwide shutdown as I truly believe experiencing that once in our lives is enough for us all!! 🙂
Till next time…
I Appreciate You!
Your Trusted Cruise & Tauck Tour Expert!