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K Meet the team

James Aik

James Aik

I've been to...

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Slovakia, Spain, St Maarten, Switzerland, Thailand, The Bahamas, Turkey, Turks and Caicos Islands, UAE, Uruguay, US Virgin Islands, USA.

I've cruised on...

Captain Cook, Celebrity, Holland America, P&O, Princess, Viking

I got my start in travel...

I'd loved cruising for years and when a friend told me I could work for a travel company that specialised in cruising it was a dream come true. Coming to work every day is so easy when you're passionate about what you do!

My favourite cruise...

Is the Mediterranean cruise I took on the Celebrity Solstice. Modern ship with clean lines. Beautiful destinations. Great travel companions. What more could you want?

I always pack...

A camera to capture the moments, a laptop to back them up, and my smartphone with a few e-books loaded up.

My best insider cruising tip is...

1. Choose a cruise line and ship that caters to your wants and needs.

2. Opt for mid-ship cabins where possible if someone in your party gets queasy.

3. If you're only travelling as a couple try the set time dining. You'll meet some interesting people!

Elisea Downs

I've been to...

New Zealand (born & bred), Cook Islands (Rarotonga), Vanuatu, Fiji, New Caledonia (Noumea) + South Pacific Cruise, Bali, Singapore, USA (LA, New Jersey & New York) and within Australia: Gold Coast (lived here for 3 years), Brisbane, Tangalooma Island, Port Douglas (Great Barrier Reef), Sydney, Coffs Harbour (lived here for 1 year), Melbourne, Daylseford, Lorne, Adelaide & Kangaroo Island.

I've cruised on...

I have sailed on-board Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas as well as P&O's Pacific Sun, Pacific Pearl, Pacific Jewel & Pacific Eden. I have inspected many more including: MSC Orchestra, Celebrity Solstice, RCCL Radiance, RCCL Rhapsody, Costa NeoRomantica, Dawn Princess, Golden Princess, Diamond Princess and many more over the years. I can't pass up a new ship inspection!

I got my start in cruising...

My first position in the Travel Industry was Flight Centre in Toowoomba, QLD in 2007. I remember being so excited when I got back into the store after training but it didn't go so well. I was 'let go of' after just 10 weeks for not meeting my targets. BUT as every cloud has a silver lining my story as a consultant was only just beginning. Flight Centre was where I wanted to be, so I spent the next year working my way through sales roles to become more confident as a consultant. I then gained a position at Our Vacation Centre (aka International Cruise & Excursions) on the Gold Coast where my love of Cruise blossomed. Flight Centre was hiring when I moved to Coffs Harbour in 2010 and I went for it, got the job and have been with Flight Centre Travel Group in multiple roles ever since!

My favourite cruise...

I am a HUGE fan of the newer short "taster" cruises and they are starting to become a lot more frequent. This is a great way for 1st time cruisers to 'test the waters' as such and see if they like cruising without having to commit to a week or more on the high seas. They are also fabulous if you are celebrating something special (Birthday, Anniversary etc) and you want to invite guests to come along as the inexpensive prices make a short cruise experience the perfect group holiday!

I always pack...

Sunscreen! I was blessed with milky Scottish skin but it doesn't take long for me to turn into a lobster! Sometimes it might look like the sun isn't out but I've learnt my lesson - better safe than sorry!

My best insider tip for cruising is...

Always pack a Day Bag on your day of embarkation. Why? When you check-in on the first day you might not see your bags for another 4-7 hours. That's precious swimming or hot tub time you could have been experiencing. Pack your bathers in your Day Bag and you could possibly have free reign of the pools on the first day! Cruise Lines have pool towels and showers near the pool areas plus your cabin should be ready so you can get changed. On your last night you will be asked to pack your bags and leave them outside your cabin for collection - this is for easier disembarkation the next day... BONUS - your day pack now doubles as your Disembark Pack - you can pack everything else up, send your suitcases off ready for tomorrow and pack your pajamas & toiletries into your pack the next morning. Simple yet smart!

Laura Gee

Laura joined the Cruiseabout family in November 2015 and has worked with the Flight Centre group since 2006.

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