Who are we?
Ours is a story that could have been a tragedy, but instead has a happy ending. As a corporation, we have only been around since 2011, but our travel industry experience goes decades deep. My name is Diane Blair Hickey and I am President of World Cruises & Travel a full-service travel agency.
In 2010, my husband David, the principle for 17 years of World Wide Cruises, got cancer. What was supposed to be one of the “easy, curable” cancers, turned into something much more serious and he was not able to work for the better part of a year.
We used this time of tumult as an opportunity to create sweeping changes. The first thing we decided was to create a new company, World Cruises and Travel, whose name reflected an emphasis on all travel, not just cruises. We stopped promoting well known tour and cruise companies that had wobbly or shifting, ethical boundaries. We got rid of our large consortium, with a highly recognizable name, but was also hard to work with and had an aloof attitude towards its members which caused the traveler’s experience to suffer. We partnered with a new consortium, Ensemble Travel Group, which designs unique consumer vacation products delivering extraordinary vacation experiences that travelers can rarely get on their own. We got rid of employees who were more interested in making a sales commission than in the client’s needs.
We recognized that people are naturally more comfortable with what they know, and it might be challenging to create habits that would align to our new way of doing business. So we created 11 core values that adhere to every decision we make. These values have become our road map to stay on the course we have set.
We have become an exclusive club, where the entrance fee for all members is integrity, honor and compassion. Relationships develop beyond a mere transaction so that everyone’s best interests are served, and everybody wins.
...is to bringing exceptional travel opportunities to our clients that are beyond their dreams, within their budget, and with an outstanding level of skill and personal service. Inspiring journeys are not only an outward exploration, but an inward one as well that cause us to change our perspective. By learning, experiencing and engaging in new cultures we give power to view the world with a deeper understanding of our similarities and differences.
Everyone in the company works together, so you get a better value, a better planning experience, and a vacation that is far from ordinary.
We re-fare cruises and tours if you qualify for a lower price; we assist with visas, airfare, and more – so you get a better travel and pre-travel experience.
The sheer number of travel choices available can be overwhelming. We have the expertise and longstanding relationships with cruise and tour vendors to know who is good, who is not, and how to solve a problem if one should arise.
Because of our longstanding relationships with the travel industry's leading cruise and tour vendors, our pricing is competitive with the online companies. Additionally, as a member of Ensemble Travel, an exclusive consortium, we can provide our clients with extra perks such as onboard credits, complimentary private shore tours, upgrades, early check-in and more so you can be confident with your choices. You deserve it!
Get to know us...
Shabanna Ali-Emamali - Disney Family Specialist
It would be accurate to say I have a passion for everything Disney. As a Certified Disney Specialist, I have been trained at the Disney College of Knowledge. While some agents complete the training without ever having been to Disney, I have extensive first-hand knowledge from visiting the parks more than 25 times. My in-depth knowledge of the Disney Theme Parks, hotels, Adventures by Disney (land vacations that meet the whole families' needs), and Disney Cruise Line is sure to create exceptional memories your family will cherish forever.
I will treat your vacation with the same attention and consideration that I would for my own family. As your Disney Travel Concierge, I will take care of every detail including flights, accommodations, park tickets, even dining reservations - while providing lots of tips to maximize your fun (My kids love to look for the hidden Mickeys!) I understand that your family needs, wants, and desires are unique - so I will customize your vacation according to your specific requirements, thus allowing the adults AND the kids to have fun while staying within your budget!
Disney is the place where I have created the most memorable moments with my family and I can do so for you, too! & Family Shabanna@WorldCruisesandTravel.com
Stephanie Reynolds - Costa Rica & Beyond I have been to Costa Rica 20 times and brought many groups of people Costa Rica, one of my favorite places in the world. About 15 years ago I was lucky enough to visit for my first time. The moment I landed I felt something instantly different, nothing like the other 15 countries I have been to. Instantly I am greeted by warm friendly people who speak English well and were happy to welcome me to their country. I instantly felt home there.
I could tell you a million things I love about Costa Rica. Some of my favorite moments were rappelling down a 418’ gushing waterfall buried in the rainforest, riding four wheelers around an active volcano, rafting down rivers with wild horses watch us go by, having Thanksgiving dinner at an Eco Lodge with the whole costa Rican neighborhood over to join us, swimming in a bioluminescence lit ocean a night, Zip lining high over the pristine rainforest. Visiting Costa Rica isn’t like visiting any other place. Its one small country where you have a ton of things to do and see. Its not only about the adventure, its great for relaxation with its amazing butterfly gardens, massages on the beach, soaking in the natural volcanic hot springs…all this while hummingbirds are flying around and monkeys swinging through trees.
The people practice the Pura Vida life style. Translated it means pure life, the simple happy stress free life. Don’t be surprised if a local joins you for a beer in the bar or offers to kindly show you around, even ask you to dinner in their home. It’s a country rich in culture and kindness. I have yet to bring someone who hasn’t fallen in love with it. Costa Rica, home away from home. Contact me to start your next adventure!
Sue Guthrie - Carnival Specialist Fun! Fun! Fun! I have been on more than 35 Carnival cruises. I started cruising Carnival with my friends in my early 20's. My first Carnival cruise was onboard the Holiday in 1986. Since then, I have introduced many, many friends to the Carnival brand. We all are now sailing with our children, as well. My oldest daughter, who is now 18, has been on over 18 Carnival cruises, as well as Disney, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and even Premier (remember the Big Red Boat?) We continue to sail with Carnival because they are fun! I have groups that consist of cruisers from 5 years to 70 years old. There is something for everyone to enjoy.
I enjoy planning for large groups of friends and families….Many of my loyal clients have been with me for more than 20 years.
iBonnie Gelb - Cruise specialist I have been selling cruises for 15 years and I still believe cruising offers the best value for a vacation. I love unpacking once, seeing multiple destinations, and the variety of ships make cruising ideal for families with multiple age groups and interests. I know the big cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Princess, as well as the small intimate lines like Windstar. If it's a romantic getaway for two or a family reunion, I will attend to all of the details so you can relax and have a memorable and worry-free cruise experience.
Helene Iozzia - Wedding and Honeymoon Specialist
I have been selling travel since 2004. While I am versed in all types of cruises and tours my first love are destination weddings, honeymoons and anniversaries. I find it fulfilling to help people create those special moments that they will remember and share for the rest of their lives.
One of the best and most romatic places for a celebration is the Caribbean. Either by cruise or air the Caribbean is close enough to be convenient, has fabulous weather and beaches. English is the language spoken all over the Caribbean yet each island has it's own unique heritage and culture to explore. The cuisine is a unique fusion of African, European and East Indian creating dishes that are unique to the region.
Kathy Valladares - All Inclusive Vacations
I have been in the travel industry for 30+ years. I have sent hundreds of clients to Europe, the Caribbean and Mexico. I am an expert at all-inclusive resorts with an eye towards your preferences with insider recommendations. I can help you to avoid needless hassle and will create a journey so memorable that you will talk about it for years to come.
Lucille Harrington - Group travel
I have been a travel professional since 2004. I specialize in coordinating the plans for and creating unforgettable experiences for groups at resorts, hotels or on cruise ships. I arrange for transportation, lodging and entertainment activities so you can relax and enjoy yourself. Some of the groups I have coordinated are high school and college reunions, family reunions, clubs and women's groups. Handling everyone's concerns in a group can be challenging which is why it is important to have someone who is familiar with the pitfalls to handle your group.
David and Blair -
Not Waiting! 2 minute 17 second video
Diane Blair Hickey - Off-the-beaten-path. Exotic
I was born in Syracuse, New York and even as a child I had the urge to travel. When I moved to Florida, I had the opportunity to explore the world. I have been traveling and helping clients realize their travel dreams ever since.
I am the the travel professional that you come to when you think you have been everywhere but you want something different.
Do you yearn to travel to exotic places? Do you crave experiences which aren't the norm that the average tourist never encounters? Do you love to connect with people from different cultures? Me too! African safaris are my passion and expertise. I have 20 years experience helping travelers unleash their inner adventurer.
David Brams - Luxury Travel
Originally from New Jersey, I have been in the travel industry since 1994 when I moved to Florida. I have hosted both land and cruise groups in Europe, Africa and Asia. I have traveled to over 50 countries and sailed on more than 30 cruises including Crystal, Regent, Seabourn, Paul Gauguin, Cunard, and Azamara to some of the world's greatest destinations. I am very detail oriented, making me uniquely qualified to guide you through many other differences amongst the luxury travel products. I will find the best fit for you so you can realize your dream vacation.