We took a cruise on the Regent Mariner in May of 2017 from Vancouver to Seward via the inland passage. This was our first cruise and Tom Baker and his team were very helpful in helping us plan this trip. They were very knowledgeable and responsive. We would certainly use them again for future cruises.
Both Tom and Ian on his team were extremely responsive. When we were in the planning stages, they gave me several options in various price ranges. Once we made our decision, they were with us every step of the way. They answered every question I had in a timely manner. The hotel they recommended for us in Budapest is my favorite hotel I’ve ever stayed in. I would work with them again in a heartbeat. Scenic River Cruise: Gems of the Danube, May 2017
I used Tom Baker to plan a Christmas markets cruise upriver on the Danube from Vienna in December 2016. I wanted to take my pregnant daughter on a last mother-daughter trip before the baby arrived. Because she is a physician, her time off was extremely limited and bound by her hospital schedule. When I gave Tom the brief window in early December he immediately suggested a cruise on the Crystal Mozart, which had been completely renovated, is the most luxurious and in his view, one of the best boats for river cruises. And the cruise he recommended was one that he would be on himself. It was also the best value for the money and at 10 days, longer than ones offered by other companies, and had some unusual excursions.
The trip was everything Tom had described — and enhanced by his presence. We seldom have an opportunity to meet in person the Wendy Perrin expert who plans many of our trips. So it was a double treat to spend 10 days with Tom. He is as delightful in person as his advice was sound. I do not consider myself a cruise person and have only done a couple of adventure trips by ship. I’d never had any interest in a river cruise but because my daughter did, that’s what we opted for. I was very pleasantly surprised by how well organized and run it was, how interesting the other people were (especially those who were Toms clients, whom we met and spent some time with), and what a wonderful experience this Christmas market cruise turned out to be.
I have to admit that this trip altered my view of cruises. In part that is because Tom did such a great job of steering us to a wonderful boat with superlative service and interesting excursions. He really knows his stuff and if I ever decide to do another cruise, it is Tom Baker I would turn to plan it. Kudos as well to Ian Lazarus in his office who was equally knowledgeable and great ensuring all the details were taken care of.
We worked with Ian on Tom’s team. I set this trip up for my in-laws, and it was a trip of a lifetime for them through the Panama Canal. The whole family thanks Ian for the time and dedication he put in with us, and their trip went off without any issues.
I can’t speak highly enough of Ian. I can’t think of any time I’ve ever had someone help with pre-trip questions and planning with such patience and continued helpfulness. I mean, Ian even helped my in-laws with finding a church to attend in Puerto Vallarta on a Sunday (she’s Catholic), and with how to use their cell phones and mobile travel plans, answering questions way outside the scope of his job. At one point, we were on the phone with them, and Ian called on the other line and we got hung up on: They were so excited to talk to Ian, he’s become like a family friend. Our experience with Ian was the definition of what someone on Wendy’s WOW list should be and the trip (pre, during and post) demonstrated that. I wouldn’t hesitate—not even for a second—to recommend him for any cruise in the future.
Tom Baker provided excellent service. Although I am a pretty independent traveler, Tom got me a better price than I was able to get on my own. His advice on the cruise line and cabin selection were spot on, and he or someone from his team always responded promptly. I never felt rushed or brushed off whenever we spoke. I intend to use him for all of my future needs.
I’m a seasoned cruise traveler who does a good amount of shopping and booking myself, but Tom and Ian on his team,made the pain points much easier – updates and schedule changes were sent out quickly, and when someone needed to wait on hold with the cruise line to get a complicated question answered, they were the ones who took care of it for me. A very hassle-free experience, and I would definitely book again.
Tom Baker booked a Cuba cruise for us, to celebrate a big birthday. My husband and daughter and I were psyched to circumnavigate the island, seeing different cities and sites while enjoying the comfort and intimacy of a small ship. We put a deposit on two cabins a full year before the cruise. Unfortunately, when it came time to pay the balance a few months before the sailing, the cruise line did not have the necessary permits from Cuba. We didn’t feel comfortable laying out that much money with no guarantee that the cruise would go, so with regret we cancelled our booking. Tom got us a full refund of our deposits. Another travel agent was only able to get a 50%-refund/50%-credit-on-a-future-sailing for a friend who also booked the Cuba cruise. I suspect that CruiseCenter’s reputation in the industry, as well as the tenacity of Tom’s associate, Peggy Huskey, made all the difference in securing our refund.
I use a top travel agent to insure that I’m getting the best travel experience. Now I know there’s another reason: when things go south, you want somebody who’s knowledgeable and well-known and well-respected in the industry in your corner.
Tom was outstanding in helping us plan our Alaska trip. He responded immediately to our requests and obtained numerous special benefits along the way. We were thrilled with the trip overall and credit Tom with making it so seamless and care free. In fact, we have just booked another cruise for our granddaughters spring break in March and are considering a May cruise to the Baltic sea area. Thank you, Wendy. And Tom!
I had a wonderful experience planning a 1 week Alaska cruise, Tom Baker and the team went beyond advise and information in order to get the best for the Budget.
I would recommend and use their services for sure.
Tom and LuAnn were great! They responded quickly to any questions we had and were extremely helpful as we planned our first cruise. I would certainly book another cruise through them and would also recommend them to friends and family.
This was my first cruise so I needed more hand holding than the typical cruise traveler. I took a total of five folks in three cabins. At the end of the day, Tom Baker went above and beyond to get us suite upgrades. We arranged two of our three excursions our selves.
Alaska – Vancouver to Anchorage
The Crystal Serenity is amazing and we were in a penthouse suite. The suite is large with a separate sleeping and family area. The in room amenities included high end food daily to the room – lobster, shrimp, etc. The butler was very helpful. There was plenty of free alcohol available but we dont drink.
The boat itself is well maintained and expertly operated. I suspect a larger boat would have a few more activities but the scenery was amazing. The naturalists were excellent and gave multiple interesting presentations. The government affairs speaker was a seasoned Washington reporter and told very interesting stories of inside Washington.
The dining room was first class in both service and quality. The food was on par with very high end large city restaurants. The specialty restaurants were a mixed bag and surprisingly the sushi restaurant, run by the same chef that runs Nobu in NYC, was below the level of a neighborhood sushi bar. The sushi was the only bad meal we had all week.
All in all truly a great trip.
Tom Baker was very accessible both before , during & after our trip. He provided guidance & insight in the planning stage which was appreciated. He made sure we knew he was accessible during the trip, & followed up post-trip.
We used Tom Baker of Cruise Center to book our trip in May, 2016 to Alaska. Tom did a great job in all aspects. He got us a good fare, advised when or not to upgrade as to accommodations, provided suggestions as to the various excursions, explained the pluses and minuses of the cruise lines serving Alaska, and always promptly returned calls if he was not available. We highly recommend him.
Tom Baker and his team are a dream to work with! Their attention to detail and customer service is out of this world. Tom has seen and done it all so he was able to answer all of our questions far beyond his title of cruise consultant. Not only did he get us on fabulous cruises, he also helped with visa applications and booked us private shore excursions saving us tons of money! We will definitely use Tom for our next sailing and have already referred friends and family. We would not have been able to plan such an amazing trip without the help of Tom and his team.
Australia and SE Asia cruises
November 2015-January 2016