Meet Celebration Senior Travelers!
Interview by Shanon Weaver
For our special travel issue, we chatted with a few of our seasoned travelers— Sam & Sharon Ricks, Liane Lebednik and Dean & Shirley Day—about their experiences traveling with Celebration Senior Travel. One thing is for certain; everyone loves Celebration!
SAM & SHARON RICKS
Celebration Magazine: How many times have you traveled with Celebration?
Sam: Well, I’m not really sure…it’s 8 or 9.
Sharon: Well I vote 9, and we have 2 more trips coming up!
CM: Great! What’s been your experience so far?
Sam: Really great! We started with them about 5-6 years ago, and we’ve been really happy. They take care of you; if you need something, they take care of it. They go out of their way to make special exceptions. We went to Bar Harbor [ME], and there was a lobster bake that had mussels. I’m allergic to mussels. They took the extra time to make sure the place made me one without mussels! I was duly impressed. You’re not gonna get that anywhere else.
Sharon: I think one of the great things about Celebration is, we’ve done so much with them, and even from the start we knew it would be wonderful; that they would do everything they said they were gonna do, plus extra stuff. We view them as friends. They’re not travel agents or anything, they’re friends. Another thing I like, particularly is that they genuinely enjoy what they do, in the way they take care of us.
Sam: I agree. I don’t know why anyone would want to put up with a bunch of old people like they do…
Sharon: (laughs) And they encourage interaction so they can take care of issues. They’ve even taken care of issues we didn’t know we had!
Sam: And like everywhere, you have to take out travel insurance. They take care of that. It’s worth the price of admission to have Greg [Saxon] fight that battle for you.
CM: So of all the trips you’ve taken with us, which was your favorite?
Sharon: Bar Harbor was very good. I liked Alaska, particularly.
Sam: Alaska. We’ve been there 3 times…
Celebration Magazine: So, Liane, are you going on the upcoming trip [which will be over by print time!]?
Liane Lebednik: Oh yes, to New Orleans and around Florida and over to the Bahamas and back again!
CM: And this will be your third trip with us?
LL: Yes, we went to Maui last December (2017), and then we went on a Caribbean Cruise as well. Maui was definitely the highlight!
CM: What was the highlight of the Maui trip?
LL: For me the highlight was definitely going up on that mountain [Haleakalā] and seeing the sunset. That was really a cool experience. We also took bus rides around the town to familiarize ourselves. The only problem was the trip was too short! And I was amazed, the plane ride was fabulous. It’s the way to go.
CM: So what did you like most about the vacations?
LL: Well, first and foremost, they’ve got the best deal going for their services, in that it’s hassle-free, headache-free, worry-free. You let them know what you need and what you want, and it’s all taken care of for you. It’s so nice not to have to hassle with airlines or hotels... At this stage in the game, we just love the fact that they [Celebration] do it all! You just show up with your luggage, you drop it off, you get on a bus, and it’s all up from there! For my travel friend, that was the biggest draw. It’s so nice to make it a true vacation where you don’t have to worry about anything. That’s the number one thing they have going for them. They’re exceedingly pleasing at what they do. I think most people are highly satisfied with what they offer.
DEAN & SHIRLEY DAY
Celebration Magazine: How many vacations have you taken with Celebration?
SD: I think it’s about 9. One of them was a bus trip, and this last one was we flew to Bar Harbor, Maine. The rest have all been cruises.
DD: We do enjoy going with them. They take good care of us.
SD: Yes. I mean, if there’s a problem, they take it head on before it even gets to be a problem.
CM: Well as you know, our Motto is “We do the work, you have the fun”!
SD: Oh yes, and believe you me, they do the work.
CM: Which vacation was your favorite, if you had to choose?
SD: I liked our last one to Bar Harbor. We were all together, and you got to know people, as opposed to the cruises where you’re off doing separate excursions. I mean, we’ve enjoyed every one of them for different reasons. I think you need a mix.
CM: What are some of the excursions you enjoyed on the cruises?
DD: Well we went on a cruise on the Oasis of the Sea, which was the biggest ship that Royal Caribbean had at the time, and that was fun. We all did the zipline. That was really fun! The ship was huge; there was a Central Park, a zipline, a merry-go-round…it was just HUGE.
CM: What were some other memorable things about the vacations you’ve taken?
SD: Well, we’ve never had a bad one! They make it so fun and so relaxing. We went to Jamaica, that was different and fun.
DD: And we took an Alaskan Cruise.
SD: Yes, and the glaciers—oh, going through the glaciers was great. Yeah, I don’t think we’ve had a bad one!
DD: The thing that impresses me is they do such a good job of putting it together so you don’t get bored. Like when we went to Bar Harbor, they always had something that they were doing, and they got everybody involved. They just keep us busy, so there’s no time to get bored.
CM: Have we made it easier for you to travel as seniors?
SD: Yes. I mean, we just get our luggage to them and after that we don’t have to lift them again. We’re 79 and 80 years old and they just handle everything beautifully. They’re so caring and so loving, and just so thoughtful! Debra and Greg Saxon, once you meet them you never forget them.