Real adventures in travel
By Davida Siwisa James
APPLE VALLEY REVIEW
Three years ago, Nancy Real decided to turn her love of travel and family’s adventurous travel spirit into a business.
Since starting her travel agency, Cruise One, from her Apple Valley home, Real has hired three associates. And if her current growth continues and plans move forward, she’ll be adding a brick and mortar office and kiosks in malls.
“My husband and I sailed our sail boat for four or five years, traveling through the Panama Canal and the Caribbean” said Real. “We then we ran a couple of resorts on the island of Roatan in the Bay Islands near Belize.”
The Reals returned to California and then moved to Apple Valley.
“We were talked into our first weekend cruise in Ensenada,” said Real. “We wound up having a fantastic time, and I started inviting my friends and groups
That’s when Real knew that she had the beginnings of a business. In 2007, she found the training and support she sought by working with Cruises Inc., the home-based division of its parent World Travel Holdings Inc.
“Being with Cruises Inc. allowed me to learn everything, gain confidence and get some clients,” she said.
She then bought her own franchise at the end of 2009 with Cruise One, another WTH subsidiary. That allowed her to hire her own associates.
“I took on my first associate two years ago, a year after I had my franchise,” Real said. “I decided this year that I would try to grow some more in volume, staff and the type of business.”
Real said she’s currently processing the paperwork for her two new associates, both Apple Valley residents.
“We had a 73-percent growth last year,” said Real. “Basically, we just can’t keep up with the demand of people calling. We’ve gotten to the point where we have a lot of returning clients and referrals, and now we have new clients.”
Real’s Cruise One Travel Agency is a full-service company, able to book all types of travel, not just cruises. Real emphasized that while many storefront travel agency offices are all but gone, many of the agents are still working.
“We are all still here,” said Real. “We are just not in buildings as much with everything being electronically accessed.”
Real expounded on the benefits of having a travel agent work for the customer versus booking travel directly.
“We can help with upgrades and work on your behalf directly with management to solve any problems during your trip,” said Real.
Cruise One has clients throughout the country and locally, but Real has plans to market more aggressively to the local Victor Valley market. That includes plans to open up kiosks in the at the Mall of Victor Valley and Victoria Gardens in Rancho Cucamonga. If her current increase in bookings continues, she said it will allow her to lease office space so her associates have a working office.
“I will need to bring on more associates to help staff the kiosks and the office,” said Real. Interested applicants can inquire at her website at www.realworldtravels.com.