Ready to set sail? Sunday’s cruise expo can help

Published 2:51 pm Friday, September 22, 2023

By Angela Cutrer
Star Correspondent
A multi-vendor cruise expo will be held this weekend inside building No. 520, located at 520 East Elk Ave. in downtown Elizabethton.

Viking, Norwegian Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Voyages, Carnival, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Ama Waterways, Royal Caribbean International and Princess Cruises will be represented. These cruise lines can take you to Disneyland or Disney World, Caribbean all-inclusive locations, Universal Studios and Sandals and Beaches Resorts.

In addition to vendor representatives available, there will be refreshments, booking incentives giveaways and onsite booking opportunities.

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Though East Tennessee – and the Elizabethton area especially, we like to think – offers beautiful opportunities that stretch from stunning mountain views to mysterious valley shadows down to exciting water sports on the many lakes and rivers, it’s safe to say cruises aren’t the thing in Elizabethton. For that kind of magic, you have to do some research on price, route and availability options before you’ll get to experience any sea gulls or salty waters.

Good thing you can do that right on East Elk Avenue in Elizabethton on Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. Instead of worrying yourself about which cruise to book and deciding which location you desire, a helping hand can help you get through the tough navigation between the beacons.

The multi-vendor cruise expo on Sunday will have Rebecca Marr Travel and affiliate agents onsite to book your cruise at the event if you are ready.

Misty Mead is one of those. “I’m an independent travel agent from Travel with Meade, part of Rebecca Marr Travel in Elizabethton,” she said. “We’re hosting this event with major cruise line representatives to showcase cruise vacations through brief presentations that will focus on what makes their individual cruise brand unique.

“We’re inviting our local community to join us for wine, a charcuterie board, Cookie Crate Cookies and giveaways at this no-pressure event. Drop in, have a glass of wine, and choose your next adventure!”

Vendor representatives will present as follows:
1:20 p.m. – Disney Cruise Line
1:40 p.m. – MSC Cruise Line
2 p.m. – Virgin Voyages
2:20 p.m. – Royal Caribbean Cruise Line
2:40 p.m. – AmaWaterways
3 p.m. – Carnival Cruise Line
3:20 p.m. – Viking

Mead said most of the cruise lines are offering exclusive discounts and perks for bookings made in the next week. Information on Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line & Princess Cruises will also be available.

Mead, who has 24 years of cruising experience across various cruise brands, is also a specialist on special needs travel planning. “I am a certified autism travel planner, master’s level social worker, and a mom to two special needs kids who love to travel,” she said.

“My goal is to help caregivers connect face to face with cruise line experts to address unique questions. I provide complimentary comprehensive travel planning by addressing individual needs and matching them with cruise supports. A recent survey showed that 87 percent of special needs parents don’t take family vacations, but 93 percent are willing to if autism certified options and supports are available. My mission is to make family travel possible, no matter the barriers.

“This cruise expo also allows special needs families the opportunity to interact and connect with brands that may be the best fit for the vacation. I’m really excited to connect with vendors and help guide people who might find choosing a cruise a bit daunting.”

Contact Marr’s agency at 423-302-0380 for more information.