Connie Moody, CTA, DS
Senior Cruise Specialist
Specialties: Luxury Cruises, FITs in Asia and Europe, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and New Mexico plus Route 66.
Personal Travel highlight of a recent trip: I have now traveled to 114 countries, but I can truly say my trip to Kenya and Tanzania for my 65th birthday was the highlight trip of my life. I went on a Tauck Tour, and was among 20 experienced travelers, many of whom had been on Tauck several times. We spent 12 days doing a minimum of 2 game drives a day, including one night drive in the Masai Mara. We saw a pride of lionesses stalking prey during the drive, and the successful take down of that night’s dinner. Seeing leopards, cheetahs, and lions in the wild and experiencing the outstanding lodges and tented camps in East Africa was truly the best travel experience I have ever had. Plus I went hot air ballooning, something I never thought I would do, and found it an exhilarating experience. The champagne breakfast on the plains completed a perfect morning.
Favorite thing I try to do when I travel: Add a small cat to my International Cat Collection from the 106 countries I have visited. They can be made of any material and must be made where I purchase it. My collection is everything from Royal Copenhagen, Kosta Boda, and Lladro to a hand-made decoupage favorite from the Andaman Islands.
Best Travel Advice: Allow plenty of connecting time at airports. Just because 37 minutes is a legal connect in Atlanta according to the airlines, that doesn't mean you need to stress yourself and possibly lose your luggage by taking it. Cruise line air departments are notorious for giving short connecting times. Pay the air deviation fee to get the carrier and schedule you want so that your luxury vacation is seamless from the beginning.
Best Client Rescue: In June, 2015 I had a family of 4 including a 10-year old and 12 - year old scheduled to spend June 12 in Moscow. I was advised by the ultra-deluxe, all-inclusive cruise line on which they were cruising, that due to an event sponsored by the government, Red Square would be closed to visitors. I got a bit suspicious and did some research of my own. June 12 was Russia Day, the biggest celebratory day of the year, complete with thousands of political protesters. Of course, the parents were fearful that their children might be placed in a dangerous situation. When I asked the cruise line to cancel this $3,996.00 excursion, I was advised that the tour was non-refundable. Not one to take NO for an answer, after about two weeks, the tour operator refunded all but $1,400.00 paid for the train tickets, and the cruise line was kind enough to give them a shipboard credit for that amount. It took tenacity on my part, but my clients ended up not losing any money on the cancellation and safely in St. Petersburg.
Most memorable Client trip: In July of 2013 one of my favorite couples called wanting to do a two week private safari to Kenya and Tanzania in August. With the assistance of the great Micato staff, we put the safari together, and they stayed in small, deluxe lodges and camps of their choosing. They had the same guide throughout the entire safari, and even made changes in the itinerary during the trip. They flew British Airways first class with a stopover at the Milestone in London on the outbound flights. A challenge to put together at the last minute, but the clients were thrilled.
Favorite Destination: If I must pick one, it is Southeast Asia including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Borneo, Brunei, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Hong Kong for the diversity of culture and religion. My other three favorites are Norway, Greece, and the Danube river.
Dream Trip: Australia/New Zealand - but only when I retire. I cannot take enough time off during the winter to do the trip properly. I expect it will be a very long time until I see these countries.
Bucket List to do's: Spend the month of May in Vienna attending every opera that is part of the annual festival.
Spend part of the fall in New Mexico and stay through the Balloon Festival in Albuquerque.
Explore more of Spain and Portugal.
I am a member of: Volunteer for Artis of Naples
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