Back in 2006, during his first visit to the Amalfi Coast off Southern Italy, Bill King stopped into an art gallery while the rest of his companions shopped. There he met a local man with a big, wide grin named Biagio Santoro. Biagio was a tour operator, and he was waiting for his tour group, who were busy browsing the local shops. They struck up a conversation and had a delightful time. Later,when Bill returned to the Gulf of Salerno, he contacted Biagio and was treated to a tour so memorable that it could only have come from a true local. He saw places you can’t read about in a guide book.
And the best part?
Bill was able to tell his clients, many of whom found themselves enjoying their own thrilling off-the-beaten-path vacation experience, the type that isn’t offered on discount travel websites. And here’s the real kicker: Bill’s clients didn’t even have to pay him for the tip. Or for booking their trips. There are no charges for his services.
Twenty-four years ago Bill King followed his passion, leaving a 17-year career in accounting to start his own travel business: Cruise Holidays of Lakeville. Ten years ago he moved to Middleboro, and this past December he relocated to New Bedford and renamed the business Cruise Holidays at the Port.
He knows your doubts. Is it safe to travel? Isn’t it cheaper to just book online? What’s really going to be different?
He also knows the answers: Yes, No and Everything. As with almost any business, the difference comes in experience and personal care. Bill has enjoyed close to 100 cruises. He has experienced first-hand what he sells. He knows the ships, the ports of call, the cabins, the itineraries, the food, the excursions. He even has a Master Cruise Counselor accreditation from the CLIA and advanced training
from several cruise lines.
“I will not sell a cruise that I am not comfortable with,” he says, “and I would never recommend a cabin that I would not stay in.”
With the connections he’s cultivated in nearly a quarter-century in the business, Bill saves his clients time and money while helping take the stress out of the decision-making process. “I truly believe I treat every client as I would like to be treated,” he says. “At the end of the day, when I put my head on the pillow, I have done all I could for my clients.” Bill is also constantly up to date on the latest travel restrictions and the safest places to visit. Every week, he helps sift through the latest news on cruises on Fall River’s WSAR during his Tuesday afternoon show, Cruisin with Bill, co-hosted by Missy Panchley.
“During post-9/11 and more recently during the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been here to help my clients sort through the vast amount of information that we were all bombarded with,” he says. “I am here, I am local and I represent you.” While many travel agencies have shut down over the past decade, Bill is still, ahem, cruising along, which is a testament to his happy, faithful clients. He intends to be booking unforgettable vacations for the foreseeable future.
“I am truly amazed and blessed with my clients,” Bill says. “Some may have cruised only once, some maybe a dozen times, but I always enjoy getting to know them, and sharing this time together. So many clients have become good friends.” Since Bill doesn’t charge his clients a dime, his ultimate satisfaction is simple.
“It is especially rewarding,” he says, “when someone returns from a trip and stops by or lets me know what a great time they had, or how years after their trip they still remember the great experiences.”
With new cruise options being added weekly, now is your chance to meet your own Biagio while on your own mesmerizing, stress-free vacation, visit Bill’s Facebook page, Cruisin with Bill or call him at 508-947-5558.You can Visit his website: https://www.cruiseholidayslkv.com/ Book a 7 to 9 night cruise and receive a $50 on board credit. Book 10 nights or longer and get a $100 on board credit, valid on new bookings only. Stop by the office and say hello, Bill would love to talk with you about your dream vacation!