PTANA – Bahamas Cruise 1st Annual Conference December 6-13, 2009

It was the first Annual conference for PTANA (Professional Travel Agents of North America) and it was aboard the beautiful Carnival Pride departing from the Port of Baltimore my home Port, so you should think it would be easy right?  WRONG…. Anyways.  A day before our cruise it had snowed or should I say three months before the cruise I  was seriously ill and had seen one specialist doctor to another and almost cancelled the cruise before departure date. But eventually I felt a bit better and my physician of 10 years convinced me that a change of weather would actually be good for me. So I was game!

        

       

You see most of the people in PTANA are my friends and some like family to me so I felt I was in good hands and felt this was going to be a trip like Jamaica! Boy,  we had fun in Jamaica, I learnt a lot, experienced a lot because I was new in the business at the time , but I sure did have fun, the music, the people, the food, umm, umm, umm am drifting ain’t i? OK back to PTANA. This was the 1st Annual Conference aboard the Carnival Pride on a 7-Day Cruise to Bahamas and there was so much to be done, like updating the constitution, elections, property site inspections at Port Canaveral, Nassau and Freeport Bahamas (Hilton, Wyndham, Sandals, Marley Resort, Atlantis, Renaissance etc), CLIA Classes conducted by Ms. Heidi Olsen, Carnival Product Class, St. Lucia Island Presentation by St. Lucia Sales Marketing Rep. Ms. Hortensia Joseph etc. and one look at that schedule made my head spin some more which am sure yours is doing the same while reading this, right? Ok lets move on.

       

There were at least four chapters of PTANA that attended this conference, Maryland, Atlanta, Houston and Pennsylvania with a total of almost sixty people if I am not mistaken. Excuse me if I am, but I suffered two migraine attacks while on this cruise!  We attended classes on sea days and did site inspection tours at Port Canaveral, Nassau and Freeport, Bahamas. We were even treated to a delicious lunch by Sandals at their  Royal Bahamian and Offshore Island Resort. It was Fantastic and I love my Lobster any time of the day! Although it was business, we did have alot of fun too, like the Red, White & Blue party, the Captain’s Dinner when we all dressed up, took beautiful pictures, others had fun at the Casino (I will not mention names), our Boom-Boom nights at Beauties Club, I better stop here……… You get the fun part anyway!

Everything was well organized and coordinated almost flawlessly and most of that credit goes to Ms. Mary Burley, outgoing Chairperson Maryland Chapter, Ms. Paula Dozier Sr., Ms. Brenda Cole the new Chairperson (My Big Mama) and the power support team they put together. I admire and respect this group of leaders and amongst them I made new friends and mentors like Ms. Victoria Smith and Ms. Paulette; you see I am a person that likes to silently acquire knowledge and most importantly from the best source; so despite my not being too well at this time, I made the trip and I had a lot of questions answered and picked up some new information and tricks of the trade along the way. I had some fun of course with my naughty partners, Paula Dozier Jr., her brother Terry Dozier with whom we danced so well and Hortensia Joseph our St. Lucia Sales Marketing Rep. my boom boom dance partner.

       

Anyway, this is one cruise that I can frankly say that I enjoyed the group more than I enjoyed the ship, our dining experience though was superb, with the waiters dancing, singing and entertaining us each night after they had served us dinner, I must say it was awesome! This was my third trip to Bahamas this year but that did not stop me from shopping at Nassau, infact I found this excellent store in Lucaya that just opened and sells designer bags, got something great which I am not going to mention here!!  But you can not miss that shop when next you are there.

       

To me, the conference was a success and I am proud to be a member of PTANA and will recommend this organization of professionals to any travel agent reading this that is not already a member. This is what it is all about, networking, hands-on learning experience and building lasting relationships that will help and support the Travel Community in its quest for a better image.

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BSY