2 vendors who made a difference restore a faith in 'travel partners'

In my opinion, not enough praise is given to vendors who are truly our "travel partners," companies with flexible and compassionate policies that demonstrate their desire to care for and protect our clients. Two recent situations encourage me to publicly thank two such travel companies.

Last year, I booked a small group on a 2011 Rivers of West Africa cruise, a new itinerary on the Gambia River offered by Variety Cruises. Susan Nissim, a vice president and my primary contact at Variety Cruises, was always accommodating as I booked, rearranged and adjusted my group. And later when Variety Cruises discovered that its prices were going to be lower than expected on this new venture, it reduced the fare for all the previously booked passengers. Finally, when one member of my group had a last-minute medical emergency, Ms. Nissim went out of her way to accommodate the guest.

The group returned with high praise for the entire trip, the cruise, ship and crew.

Then, this spring, I had a small group booked with AmPac Tours of Lynwood, Wash., for an FIT to Japan. Ten days before the group was to depart the U.S., the earthquake and tsunami struck and the group decided to cancel.

Though they had no obligation to do so, AmPac went into overtime to accommodate my clients, canceling all the arrangements and securing refunds of payments previously designated as nonrefundable. Not only did the company spend a considerable amount of time getting this done, they did this all with no compensation for their time and effort. They did, however, gain a considerable amount of goodwill and appreciation.

I'm particularly impressed with these companies, and I'm confident they have in mind the best interests of my clients and myself. I'm very pleased that they're my partners and am grateful to be able to do business with them.

Roxanna Galbreath
Master travel planner
Travel Store

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