|EAST LONGMEADOW The Cruise Store celebrated 20 years in business on Nov. 1. |
The Cruise Store was founded by area attorney and avid cruiser, Don Anderson, in 1991 as a one room office next to his law office at 94 State St., Springfield.
In the beginning, The Cruise Store, was an “800” company that advertised in national publications such as “Cruise Travel Magazine,” “USA Today,” and even in Florida newspapers such as “Ft. Myers News Press,” “Venice Gondolier,” and “Florida Today.” The success led to the opening of the first storefront Cruise Store in May 1992 on Crane Avenue in East Longmeadow, which was across from where the Walgreens is now.
Five and one-half years later, in December 1997, The Cruise Store moved to its current location, next to the Dunkin’ Donuts, at 55 Maple St.
The Cruise Store is operated by Maureen Anderson, wife of Don Anderson. Don and Maureen met on the then biggest cruise ship in the world back in October 2000 in New York, yet both lived in East Longmeadow. Maureen became president in December 2005. She was previously a vice president at Carroll Travel in West Springfield.
Don and Maureen write a monthly travel column for The Reminder called “Travel Matters.”
Over the last few years The Cruise Store has hired some of the industry’s best local travel agents, who have either owned, managed, or were top agents where they previously worked. They include Cindy Strosic, Christine Bingham, and Lisa Herrick, who also speaks fluent Spanish.
The Cruise Store has blended old fashioned customer service and state of the art websites such as www.CruiseStore.com and a special site for troops and veterans called MilitaryCruises.com.
While starting as a cruise only agency, the Cruise Store now sells all types of non-cruise land vacations. They recently were awarded the prestigious “Golden Apple” Award from Apple Vacations for outstanding sales.
The Cruise Store can be reached at 525-9001 or email@example.com.
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