Booking a vacation can be stressful. With so much information available on the internet, hours can be spent in front of a computer researching vacation deals, only to end up frustrated with more unanswered questions. Vern and Christi Elliott, franchise owners of of Cruise Planners in Riverview, are excited to help customers create a stress-free, unforgettable, budget-friendly vacation. As Spring Break and summer season is upon us, now is the best time to start planning your next big adventure. And don’t be fooled by the name – Cruise Planners is not just for cruising. The Elliotts specialize in any and all kinds of vacations and emphasize the advantage as being a one-stop-shopping for vacationers.

Riverview residents Vern and Christi Elliot, owners of Cruise Planners, are excited to help their customers plan the perfect, stress-free vacation.

The Elliott’s have a passion and long history of travel experience. Christi grew up in a military family and Vern spent 25 years in military service with many years of associated travel.

“We both feel our military backgrounds had a lot to do with our passion for travel,” said Christi. “It is pretty much a way of life.”

The Elliotts have visited 46 States and 40 different countries. “We have always loved putting our travels together but also know the amount of time it can take researching and planning,” said Christi. “We used to think that using a travel agent cost money or charged more than what we could get doing it ourselves.”

In reality, people can get the best deals by using a travel agent. An agent can save time and money, and provide incentives not normally available for DIY travelers.

“We became travel agents because we wanted to use our expertise to give that time back to our clients while we plan and put together memories and create travel that is as unique as they are,” said Christi. “We believe there is true value in using a travel agent.”

Cruise Planners is a full service travel company. They offer competitive pricing for any type of travel from cruises to land tours to guided group tours and anything else you can imagine. They are also travel advocates should something go wrong before or during a trip such as canceled flights or revised itineraries.

“This isn’t a part time job for us. We are full-time committed,” said Christi. “We love what we do – and we are convinced that we can only be satisfied when our clients are satisfied. We also have great support and experience from the Cruise Planners home-office.”

As an American Express Travel Services Representative agency, Cruise Planners offers special programs for both American Express cardholders and non-card holders, offering even more added value to vacationers.

The Elliotts have been on multiple cruises, visited destinations around the world, stayed at various resorts, and trekked many off-the beaten path excursions. Some of their favorite excursions include Three Kings Day Parade in Barcelona, Spain, wine-tasting on the side of Mount Etna in Sicily, and visiting Bar Harbor, Cadillac Mountain and Acadia National Park in Maine. “One of our strongest beliefs is that travel makes the world a smaller place by opening people’s eyes and making them more tolerant of things that are different,” said Christi.

If you are looking to cross off a destination from your bucket list, a honeymoon destination, or a family-friendly vacation, consider using Cruise Planners and let Vern and Christi Elliott show you how stress-free a vacation can really be. For info, call 445-8300, visit or find them on Facebook at

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Kelly Wise Valdes
Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.