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By Sheryl Silver

John Mansy was just looking for a fun, relaxing                                           
vacation when he booked himself aboard a two                                           
week cruise in 1981. He found that, and more .                                           
Five days before the end of the cruise, he met                                            
Gayle Gunther, the woman who was to become                                          
his wife and his business partner. Today, ten                                              
years later, the couple is happily married and in                                          
business together as the owners of Cruise Directors, Inc., one of the
area's largest travel agencies specializing in cruise travel.
Definite believers in romance on the high seas, Mansy and Gunther also
believe cruising is the best vacation you can find for your money today.
"Whether you're looking for new beaches to roam, shopping, great food,
or a carefree vacation filled with entertainment and new friends, you can
find it all on board a cruise ship at one all-inclusive price," says Mansy.
"Compared with land packages, where you've got to pay dearly every
time you order room service or a meal in a hotel restaurant, the food and
services are always included in the cruise price. There is just no beating
the value of a cruise."
In fact, for anyone who'd rather stay on board than disembark in a
particular port, that option is available. "The ship never closes down. You
can use it as your hotel whether you're out at sea or docked," says
Mansy. "Unlike a hotel, however, you don't have to pack and repack your
belongings every time you visit a new destination."
Tips from the Experts: Cruise Directors, Inc. recommends that first-time or
experienced cruise travelers book their trips through a cruise specialist to
avoid unpleasant surprises.
"Cruise specialists can often show you videos of various ships or cruise
lines so you really have an idea what you'll experience once you're on
board," says Mansy. "Every cruise line is different. You've got to know
which one has the facilities, activities, and ports of call most in line with
your tastes to insure that the trip meets your expectations. You also, of
course, want to know what you're getting for the money you'll be
Mansy also suggest having the agency show you some daily activity
sheets from different cruises. And once you decide on a destination, he
says, "Have the agency make recommendations of what to do when
you're on various islands or different ports. Ask them about the best
beaches to walk and sites to see. Ask them where to shop and where not
to shop.

Washington Post Friday, November 15, 1991.
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