Enlist these East Brunswick experts to plan your cruise vacation

Written for MyCentralJersey.com on 5/9/17

EAST BRUNSWICK – With summer almost here, those who love to hop on to their “instant vacation” — a cruise — are already scouring the internet for the best deals, newest ships and coolest amenities.

However, with the new Expedia CruiseShipCenter that is set to open at 285-291 Route 18 South, East Brunswick, in about two to three months, vacationers who love to set sail will be able to enlist a local expert to help them plan their trip.

“You don’t get individualized service when you try booking a cruise on your own, and booking one isn’t like booking a hotel room,” said Brook Smith, founder of the new location, East Brunswick resident and travel agent for the past 17 years. “There are a lot of questions you need to answer pertaining to dining times, types of rooms, dietary needs and more, so having an expert to speak with beforehand is very beneficial.”

~File photo

At the East Brunswick CruiseShipCenter, the 10 travel agents, some of which are still being recruited, will specialize in booking cruise vacations because they will have gone through extensive training and have certificates from each cruiseline.

Plus, customers will get a bonus in that the CruiseShipCenter can get lower prices and special amenities for their customers, such as free credits, upgrades, beverage packages and discounts up to 5 percent.

Since the East Brunswick CruiseShipCenter is still hiring employees, if you want to work full time or part time as a home-based travel agent or from the retail center, you can contact Smith at 732-226-0707 or bsmith@cruiseshipcenters.com to inquire about employment.You can also learn more about the position by visiting joinecsc.com/EastBrunswick.

The new East Brunswick Expedia CruiseShipCenter. ~Courtesy of Brook Smith

Although the East Brunswick center, and other Expedia CruiseShipCenters, specialize in cruising, it and the other 225 locations also offer all other types of vacation packages through land, sea and air, including customized trips, coach and rail tours and insurance.

Smith, who has been on more than 60 cruises, decided after her years of working with various agencies that it was time for her to open her own agency franchise. Her location will offer personal vacation consultations in person, through email or over the phone, so customers always have the freedom to book when, where and how they choose. Plus, tons of research and booking features will be available on her website at cruiseshipcenters.com/EastBrunswick.

Smith said that although many people have the misconception that all there is to do on a cruise is eat, in reality, cruises have stepped up their game in recent years. For example, Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas, which sets sail from Bayonne, has skydiving, bumper cars, Broadway-quality shows and more. There are also tons of personalized packages available, such as those looking for the ultra-luxurious like 24/7 butlers or childcare for families looking to get away.

Brook Smith, founder of the new Expedia CruiseShipCenter in East Brunswick. ~Courtesy of Brook Smith

“On a cruise, you get to experience a lot more destinations in a little amount of time, like a floating hotel,” said Smith. “You can go to Aruba for a week or Aruba, Puerto Rico, Montserrat and St. Lucia in a week — all without ever having to repack your suitcase.”

Expedia CruiseShipCenter

Where: 285-291 Route 18 South, East Brunswick

When: Set to open between July and August 2017

Contact: cruiseshipcenters.com/en-US/EastBrunswick or Brook Smith at bsmith@cruiseshipcenters.com or 732-226-0707

Employment: joinecsc.com/EastBrunswick or Brook Smith at bsmith@cruiseshipcenters.com or 732-226-0707

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