Send Your Travel Advisor on a Cruise – Contest Finalists

Thank you to everyone who nominated their Travel Advisor! Many of you showed your appreciation for their hard work and we’re sorry we can’t send them ALL on a free Windstar cruise. We know each one deserves it after so many months of vacation planning, cancelling and re-booking for clients.

We invited you to show your Travel Advisor how much you appreciate him/her by nominating the advisor for a complimentary cruise with Windstar Cruises. We want to show these hard-working travel partners a good time by gifting a weeklong cruise for two aboard one of our newly transformed Star Plus all-suite Class yachts in 2021.  

It was really hard to choose which nominations to move on to the finalists. Each nomination was heartwarming, sometimes hilarious and always demonstrated the meaningful work of Travel Advisors. Visit the Windstar blog from June 7 through June 11 to vote for your favorite. All five Travel Advisor finalists will be featured. The winner will be announced on or about June 14, 2021 and then start planning his/her own cruise vacation.

And now here are the five finalists recognized for their professionalism, recommendations, and 180 degrees from ordinary service.

Sandy G.

Sandy GSandy has been in the industry for 10 years and has sold Windstar for eight of those years. She’s been on board all the yachts and enjoys waking up to a new port every morning and having a day at sea to relax. Sandy says her clients return to her because she remembers their preferences, adds a personal gift and treats them well. She likes to treat her clients to either a shipboard credit or other amenity on board. She once surprised a group of six bookings (unrelated to each other) and arranged for dinner at the Captain’s table one night and a cocktail party on the first night for everyone to meet each other. Her next destination? Iceland or Greece.

Gene B.

Gene BNext month will mark 12 years for Gene in the travel industry. He’s sold several Windstar cruises and his clients loved the experience. Gene enjoys meeting and talking with people and listening to life stories. He learned to sell as a kid sitting at the kitchen table listening to his dad talk about his customers and deals. Gene says his customers return to him because of his attention to detail, helpful advice and the knowledge that he has their best interests at heart.  He has two women clients he sent to Europe on a winter Christmas markets river cruise who always bring up the fact that he sent them each a pair of merino wool socks before they left. He’s looking forward to visiting Malta soon for the fascinating history.

Patty K.

Patty KPatty has been a Travel Advisor for 20 years and specializes in cruising because she believes in the value and experience to unpack once and see the world.  Her clients are diverse with a range of budgets, interests and bucket lists. She says most clients booked the mainstream cruise lines at first, and then later came to appreciate the smaller, boutique cruise lines with the opportunity to see more places and more intimate experience. She has sold many Windstar cruises and has a few groups booked in 2021 and 2022. She sailed aboard Star Legend right before the COVID shutdown. Her clients return to her for her customer service. She gets to know her clients so she can be on the lookout for those special trips and destinations that will surprise and delight them. Her clients know she will do everything possible to ensure a smooth trip and they can contact her while traveling in the event of an emergency.

Kim B.

Kim BKim has been in the travel industry for 12 years and has owned her own agency for six years. She enjoys unpacking once and visiting multiple destinations on a cruise. Her clients benefit from her expertise which saves them valuable time. Kim pays attention to the details, offers excellent customer service and makes herself available to her clients before, during and after they travel.  She had a client who had never worked with an agent before who was skeptical about it since she’d always booked her trips herself online. She was able to save her money on her cruise by accessing a group rate with onboard credit included, get consolidated cruise airfare that was much less than the published flight price, and save her time in the process.  She was thrilled with the service and the savings, and has referred many of her friends and family. Kim is looking forward to visiting Mykonos someday which she missed on a Greek Isles cruise.

Ilona T.

Ilona TobackIlona has been in the travel industry for 53 years and learned from her father who was also a Travel Advisor. She’s traveled with Windstar twice and has clients booked this year. Ilona says she has always loved the water and lets her worries melt away when on board. She enjoys learning something new at most destinations and sharing her feelings and experiences to excite new clients. She says Windstar’s “180 degrees From Ordinary” is one of the best elevator pitches because it says so much in so few words.  It tells you that your experience, the food, the staff, the ports, the shore excursions and the special event are all going to be above expectations.  Her clients return to her for her level of service and love of the profession. She’s handled three generations of one family.  Her favorite success story is the one she was nominated for — finding her client’s son a job — because many good things stemmed from it including the family becoming good friends. Ilona says she met her nominator in Greece when she was afraid to take a cable car ride; he talked her through the whole experience which meant a great deal to her. Where does she want to go next? Somewhere she hasn’t been – every trip is a learning experience.


CAST YOUR VOTE HERE – by June 11, 2021

Where can they go? The grand prize winner can choose a Star Breeze sailing this summer cruising the clear blue Caribbean waters. In fall 2021, Star Legend begins cruising Northern Europe and the Mediterranean and Star Pride cruises around the Caribbean Islands. Each 312-guest all-suite yacht is fresh from a $250 million Star Plus Initiative with a larger pool and surrounding deck, new suites, new bathrooms in all suites, two new dining venues by James Beard Foundation chefs, a new fitness center and World Spa by Windstar.

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. See Official Rules for further details, including eligibility requirements. Void where prohibited. Ends at 11:59 PM PST on 6/11/21. This Contest is in no way promoted, endorsed, or administered by, or associated with Facebook.  Any questions, comments or complaints regarding the Contest must be directed to the Sponsor or Administrator, and not to Facebook.

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A Daniel Shea
1 year ago

Ilona Toback has been our travel agent for almost 10 years. My wife and I have booked travel through Ilona to Hawaii, the Italy, and Caribbean cruises and have never been disappointed. Ilona has also guided us during our travels on which excursions would be in our best interest. Ilona is the best and we will always book our travel through her.

Bill Scott
1 year ago

Ilona deserves this trip. This is a woman whose done a lot for me and my employer till this day. i have had the pleasure of speaking Ilona a month ago and was blown away by her professionalism and dedication to her job . She treated me with nothing but respect and handled my trip with complete satisfaction. Ilona is an incredible individual and deserves to be rewarded for all that she is and does. Thank you

Andrea Waller
1 year ago

Kim B for the win!!!

Luba Grossman
1 year ago

Ilona is a very thorough person and provides her clients with the very best care. She makes sure that they get what they want and that they have the most enjoyable trip! Her clients are never disappointed!

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