Tom Baker and Ian on his team were instrumental in selecting and executing a family cruise for 9 family members to celebrate their mother’s 90th birthday. Because the need for 5 staterooms and early summer date, they came up with the 3 Rivers itinerary on the Amadeus Queen, a great choice. In addition, they helped set up a pre-cruise stay in Bruges and ending overnight in Frankfurt along with van transport between airport, hotels, and ship. The trip was a phenomenal success for all providing lasting memories.
At the last minute, our flight changed because of a strike and our travel agent was right on top of it. He planned an alternate route that turned out to be just as good, if not better than the first trip. Thank you, Ian!
Tom Baker was extremely responsive to my needs and gets back to me quickly whenever I need something. He ascertained my needs and the kind of cruise I wanted and found a cruise that met my needs. I would go to him first for my next travel needs.
Tom Baker did an excellent job in planning our recent cruise on the Danube. Although I contacted Tom very late, given the date I wanted to cruise, Tom managed to find us an excellent cruise that met my timing and cost expectations. He was very accommodating, polite and knowledgeable. His recommendation for having breakfast at the New York Café in Budapest was one of the highlights of the trip. His recommendation for the Boscolo Residence was also top-notch.
The cruise itself was fantastic! The boat (the Thomas Hardy) was a beautiful and well run ship. Service onboard was flawless with a very accommodating and polite staff. Every meal was superb. All tours were precisely on-time and very informative.
Thank you for a fantastic cruise experience! I KNOW next time we plan a cruise we will be calling Tom.
We were a family of 10 traveling for my parents 60th wedding anniversary. We had first-time cruisers and seasoned cruisers, and we wanted to find an itinerary that would allow us to spend time together as well as enjoy personal time. Tom suggested Celebrity and we selected an itinerary in the “ABC” islands with several sea days. Everyone was very happy with the ship – my sister said Celebrity is now her favorite for large ship cruises. Both the sea days and the days in port offered everyone enough sightseeing, shopping and relaxation options to keep as busy (or not) as we wanted. Some of us went to the beach, while others went to town and sightseeing. We all met for cocktails in the wonderful Martini Bar before our family dinner each night. It was a fun and successful cruise for everyone, and my parents especially appreciated the special touches that Tom provided – including champagne, flowers and a delicious chocolate cake in their cabin.
Tom is always available and very quick to answer any and all questions I have. I feel comfortable that he knows all of the cruise lines, and the ins and outs of getting the most out of the experiences. He is always enthusiastic and goes the extra mile to ensure the trip goes off without a hitch. We traveled on the Seabourn Odyssey from Barbados to Miami in January 2018. The Odyssey is a beautiful ship with wonderful cabins with ample storage and enough room for 2 people to not feel like they are always in each others way. The spa was wonderful and every treatment was excellent. The itinerary was fairly laid-back. Small islands with a little commerce and great beaches. Note, Martinique and Guadalupe did not have taxis available when we walked off at 10:30 – so it is important to pre-book these if you want to do anything other than a quick stroll on your own. I had assumed we would be fine making our own arrangements in all ports and did not specifically discuss this with Tom – so next time I will confirm options in advance. Also, while I agree with Tom that the Odyssey was a wonderful ship – it is also smaller than many ships we have been on and we did experience more “motion” on the ship in our forward cabin than I expected. The trip was a great success, but I will take more time in the future to discuss ports and better understand the range of likely weather conditions!
Ian on Tom Baker’s team is a pleasure to work with and we have a LARGE family. Many details and many addresses. He did a great job.
My daughter and I just returned from the Christmas Markets River Cruise on the Danube with Amawaterways. It was a special Mother-Daughter trip for us as we do something together every November and this was our 15th year. As a very big Wendy Perrin fan, I reached out to TTE Tom Baker for his expertise as this was our first river cruise – right from the start it was apparent that we had made the right choice. Tom and his assistant Ian were professional and committed to what they do. I had lots of questions and they were answered fully and in an amazingly timely fashion.Communication and details are very important to me so this was much appreciated. We had a fantastic time and would not hesitate to use and recommend Tom Baker and his team again!
This was our first river cruise. We needed Tom to help us choose the river, the boat and the daily excursions. When we decided to extend the trip, he came through with great accommodations at every stop. All of our expectations were exceeded.
Tom and his assistant (Ian) were both very responsive to all my inquiries.
This was the first time ever that my wife and I went on a cruise and Tom provided excellent guidance and helped us choose the perfect Rhine cruise. We were very happy with his recommendation and if we ever go on a cruise again we will definitely use Tom again.
At the end of the cruise, we wanted to stay 4 nights in Amsterdam. Tom helped us choose a great hotel and we were again extremely pleased with his recommendation and the suite he was able to secure for us. The hotel we stayed at was a wonderful way to end the cruise.
Tom Bakers service was excellent, and more importantly, his recommendations were perfect for us. He is definitely a world-class travel specialist.
While we didn’t need our Trusted Travel Expert to perform any tasks during the trip, the local tour guide that Tom Baker recommended was excellent. I believe this was the greatest benefit of using him. We were able to break free from the crowds by way of a small group tour, which we wouldn’t have known about otherwise, that proved to be much more economical than other more crowded and less personal options. The tour guide and driver were both great, and the tour guide was very aware and took care to tend to our personal safety in a place rife with petty crime/theft (much appreciated).
Tom and Ian were very helpful with recommending the right cruise line for our needs, as well as the before and after travel plans.
This is the second time we have worked with Tom Baker and it certainly will not be our last! Tom Baker and his staff, especially Ian Lazarus, have always gone above and beyond in helping us plan our cruises and each time has demonstrated true caring of our wants and needs.
Tom is always responsive to our calls and questions and is always timely with getting back to us. Tom knew exactly where we should book a room on the ship to avoid as much movement as possible, and we are happy to say he made a fine choice. The room was spectacular and we did not feel as if we were on a moving boat. In making plans for shore excursions, Tom was able to set up wonderful tours that were so very comfortable, with drivers who were personable and knowledgeable about their countries. The tours he set up made our cruise truly amazing and made our vacation that much more special. Tom also set up hotels for us before and after the cruise. Tom knows the best hotels that will suit his clients’ interests, mobility, and budget. The hotels were amazing and had excellent value.
Before our departure, Tom sent us our itinerary with all our hotels, cruise information and land tours and included suggestions for restaurants in Rome and Venice as well as other points of interest. He also included comprehensive transfer information, which was invaluable to us for our stay in Venice.
Tom is a true professional, with a wealth of knowledge, caring and expertise and we are so happy that we can rely on him to make our vacations truly extraordinary. It is clear to see why he is on Wendy’s WOW list!
Holland America cruise on the Oosterdam to Alaska – 8/20-27/2017
I was extremely pleased with everything Tom did! He was such a gracious and helpful person.
Every detail of our trip was perfectly planned, and we were so happy with the extra little things he provided us with…2 bottles of champagne awaiting us in our stateroom and extra shipboard credit, great advice on where to travel and what trips to take when ashore. We had to change our cruise date and he handled everything for us, no worries at all! My advice would be to trust his judgment and enjoy wherever you end up cruising!
Tom or Ian on his team were always reachable and responsive to whatever questions I had. They guided me through the process, ensuring we booked dining venues and excursions on time. They provided a wealth of information on the itinerary and I trusted their input on all excursions – Tom identified which were stops were easy to do on our own, and which ones really needed to be booked through the cruise line for the best experience. I appreciate Toms thorough knowledge of the industry and ability to compare cruise lines and ships to help us make the best decision for our vacation. We’ve already booked our next cruise with them!
We cruised from Venice to Greece with stops in Slovenia, Croatia, & Montenegro from July 24 – August 5, 2017.
Tom was very familiar with the different cruise lines traveling to Alaska and helped us find a great match. He and his team were incredibly helpful with all aspects of planning. We would definitely work with him again!
I am so glad we found Tom thru your WOW List. He is an outstanding travel professional. We booked an Oceania Alaskan Cruise for the first week of July 2017 through Tom, and we booked very last minute—only a month before the trip. Tom was able to recommend the right ship to meet our needs, provide sage advice on excursions, and assist us in obtaining fantastic perks and upgrades. This was our very first cruise ever and I am so glad we worked with Tom. Tom is VERY responsive—I wonder if the man ever sleeps! :-) He knows the ins and outs of every ship and port and is adept at tailoring a trip to meet your needs. As a first-time cruiser—Tom has set a high standard for us going forward—we look forward to working with him again to plan a family adventure. Tom made us feel special and provided a VIP experience even as first-time clients to his firm. Outstanding!
Tom and Ian on his team answered many detailed questions about the Scenic experience, assisted with picking out the best cabin for us and allowed us to set up a “payment” plan so that we could have the vacation paid off before we took it. They were most helpful.
Tom Baker did an excellent job. Initially, when I expressed interest to Wendy about taking a river cruise, Tom called me right away to discuss the details. There were 4 of us going and he worked with each of us to get the cabin reservations that we each wanted. He got right back to me with any email request I had. He responded while we were on the cruise with last minute restaurant suggestions and other requests. I sent him some feedback regarding the cruise after the fact and he got right back to me and asked if he minded following up with AMA. I have recommended Tom to other travelers and will continue to do so. The reason I gave the trip a 4 out of 5 is because Im not a fan of cruising – we went to celebrate my BILs retirement. It was fine for a cruise, but I would choose to see Europe on land.
My wife and I booked our first cruise, an Alaskan cruise, through Tom Baker for our 20th anniversary. After several attempts at contacting many different travel agents who failed to reply or return our calls, I searched the Web for “what to do when travel agents don’t return your call.” I stumbled onto Wendyperrin.com and filled out the Ask Wendy questionnaire. I was astonished when I received a response within mere hours of reaching out to Wendy and more amazed when Tom Baker responded the next day!!! After speaking with Tom, my skepticism dissipated being convinced that we had found an organization with a philosophy of professionalism and excellence. Tom was a tremendous help and never made us feel silly with our open-ended questions or extreme lack of cruising knowledge or the entire process.
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