Life Is Short – Go Cruising!

by Ming Tappin

Some of my bucket list items being checked off: the Great Pyramids

Seeing the Mona Lisa and other masterpieces in the Louvre

Conquering Mt. Kinabalu - Southeast Asia's highest peak at 4,095 metres 

Snorkeling with squishy friends in Jellyfish Lake, Palau


How many times have you heard your clients (or maybe even yourself) say: "I'll save that trip until I am older/retired/have more time? The common reaction is always to agree, but perhaps we should be rebutting with the question, "Why wait?"

Naturally, big trips involving multi-destinations and extended stays do require one to have sufficient time and budget which comes along with retirement. However, many people are still putting off the easily achievable trips until they are "older". Alaska and river cruising are 2 good examples. Perhaps it is because these trips are more laid back and therefore more suitable for elderly guests - people always associate these trips with older clientele. That might be another reason they choose to wait – and that can become a vicious circle! But for someone who wants go to Alaska (or wherever), we should tell them to go now.

From my own experience, I have seen ageing parents, relatives and friends who made the decision to put off travel until they were older, but could no longer do it due to health issues or other unforeseen circumstances. It's heartbreaking to know that their bucket list will not be fulfilled because they had put it off "until later". 

It's important as a travel advisor to have this conversation not just with your clients, but also family and friends. It's not about making a sale here, but passing on the message that life's too short to wait until an opportune time. The world is continuously changing, and we never know where we will be and what will happen next year, next month or even next week. And now more than ever, volatile political climate and world issues can make travel even more difficult and complicated.  When you hear someone expressing an interest in a destination but then follows with, "I'll wait until (insert reason here)", take the initiative to ask why and present the reasons they should be traveling now. Not a hard sell but planting the seed. The relationship you have built with your clients and friends will allow you to discuss this in a lighthearted manner and perhaps end with a sale which is always a bonus.

Cruising is one of the most effortless ways to see the world, with amazing quality and customer satisfaction, at a fraction of the cost and trouble of doing it FIT. Ships sail to all 7 continents, and as the world is mostly covered in water, there are few unreachable places – and those that are not ship accessible can most likely be done as a pre/post cruise stay!

For seniors or travellers with mobility issues or medical concerns, cruise lines can handle their needs more easily than a land resort or coach tour. Wheelchair accessible staterooms (and wheelchair rentals) are on all new ships, a medical team and infirmary is onboard, and dedicated crew looks after every need. Cruise lines offer escorted excursions, enabling guests to tick off the bucket list in comfort and safety. So let's all do our part in bringing enlightenment and wonder through travel - and hopefully cruising - to everyone we come in contact with.

Speaking of cruising, I’ll be setting sail on my 1st Oceania cruise as you read this article, it will be my 1st premium deluxe cruise and I absolutely cannot wait. I will be sure to report back on Open Jaw.

I wish you a safe and happy holiday season and wonderful travels in 2016!

Ming Tappin is a cruise veteran with over 20 years’ experience in the industry and has sailed on 36 cruises and counting. Based in Vancouver, Ming is Owner of

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