Mary Ann & Jerry Strasheim - Owners
The road to a successful business has many routes and for Mary Ann Strasheim the foundation was laid by raising five children to adulthood, spending 35 years as a "professional" volunteer, traveling throughout the world, and working for a cruise only agency. After working for three years as an outside agent, Mary Ann opened Custom Cruises LLC in September of 1998.
Early on she realized she wanted to be associated with a consortium that would provide the contacts and professional marketing materials that would give Custom Cruises LLC the professional image and the ability to provide "the best travel experience" for her clients. After researching her options she joined GIANTS in November of 1998. She quickly became an active member of the organization and in 2000 participated on a panel on the topic of "GIANTS SELECT Success Stories" at the National Conference. In 2002 she was invited to become a member of the National Marketing Committee. In 2004 GIANTS changed its name to Ensemble Travel and in 2005 Mary Ann was invited to participate at the organizations second International Conference as a panel member on "Marketing Success Stories". She continues as a member of the National Marketing Committee and also serves on the Regional Marketing Committee for the Mid West Region. Mary Ann has also taken advantage of the many educational seminars offered by CLIA and has attained her ACC accreditation.
Travel is knowledge for any travel consultant and the experience is vital to be able to recommend and plan travel for others. Mary Ann was fortunate to have traveled extensively before she became involved in the industry. She has visited almost every state and major city in the United States including Hawaii and Alaska. She has visited every continent except Antarctica (which she plans to visit soon). And has sailed on most of the oceans, seas, rivers, and lakes throughout the world.
In North America she has visited Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Panama. While sailing in the Caribbean, she has visited Aruba, Curacao, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Antigua, Barbados, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, San Blas Islands, Bahamas, the Turks and Cacios and Bermuda. In South America she has visited Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay. In Africa she has visited Egypt, Namibia, South Africa and the islands of Mauritius and Madagascar. In Asia she has visited India, Turkey, Oman, UAE, Muscat, Bali, and New Guinea. She has visited Australia and New Zealand. In Europe she has visited England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Croatia, Greece and many of the Greek Isles, Malta, the Netherlands, Russia, Estonia, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Monaco Hungary, and Slovakia.
In most countries she has visited the capitols or major cities including: Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa, London, Edinburgh, Dublin, Oxford, Paris, Berlin, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Rome, Gibraltar, Frankfurt, Munich, Budapest, Vienna, Marbella and the Costa del Sol area, Madrid, Seville, Lisbon, Monte Carlo, Istanbul, Athens, Dubai, New Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Luxor, Cairo, Cape Town, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Sydney, Cairns, Darwin, Auckland, Queenstown, Christchurch, and Singapore.
Extended visits to Europe have included skiing in Italy, weeks in Oxford and London and Paris, extended visits to Germany, its villages, and the German countryside, a motor tour of Spain and an excursion from London to Innsbruck on the Venice Simplon-Orient Express.
Mary Ann and Jerry took their first cruise in 1990 from New York City to Halifax round trip for her Mother"s 80th birthday celebration on the Queen Elizabeth 2 . (It was also the 150th Anniversary sailing for Cunard!). Since then they have both cruised throughout the world.
In 2006 Custom Cruises LLC added "Travel" to its name to better describe all it can offer it clients. The company is now doing business as "Custom Cruises & Travel" and continues to grow. We invite you to preview our associates featured below as they can offer you expert service too. Ensemble Travel continues to play a major role in the company"s success. With the Ensemble Lifestyles Magazine, On Location contacts, Hotel & Resort Collections, Ensemble Experiences & Hosted Cruises, Custom Cruises & Travel has the ability to offer its clients unparalleled opportunities and adventures.