Mary Lou Yeager, CTC, MCC, President
My passion for travel was ingrained forever when I turned the first page of my fourth grade geography book. National Geographic was a door to the world and Rand McNally was the source for the plotting of idyllic cross country journeys in the future. As a Navy captain's wife, those long ago dreams of faraway places became realities. Living in Spain and the Philippines offered the opportunities of travel. An enlightening new world deliciously opened. History and story books came alive. Is this really me? On the same spot in Notre Dame Cathedral where in 1804 Napoleon crowned himself and Empress Josephine? Making a wish while throwing a coin over my left shoulder at Trevi Fountain? Seeing the iconic Hong Kong skyline from the Star Ferry? In awe of legendary hotels, Oriental in Bangkok, Raffles in Singapore, Peninsula in Hong Kong? Still more delights for discovery.
The world of gastronomy
Meet the "foodie in training". I had to experience every local dish and menu unknowns. Until moving to Europe, there had been little experience with wines, other than colors, red and white. My world was changed forever. I had to see it. Feel it. Taste it. Now, what if I could help people to discover and enjoy that world? What if I became a travel advisor and helped to make others' travel dreams a reality? I could work with maps and itineraries, find the right restaurants and hotels and must-sees. Arrange memorable family and friends reunions. I could do special interests, too. I could share my unquenchable passion for all the rewards of travel. And so it was. In 1977 I entered the industry as a travel advisor skilled with the important ability to handwrite airline tickets. The beginning. Learning and training are on-going. There is no substitute for personal destination knowledge. I continue to develop friendships and cultivate relationships that allow me to offer my clients unparalleled travel experiences.
In 1981, I established Royal Travel Center in Williamsburg, Virginia. In 2006, I made the fortuitous decision to affiliate with McCabe World Travel and The Virtuoso Network. What do I enjoy most? Custom travel planning. In particular the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, the rest of Europe, Australia, South Pacific and all types of cruising. All right. If you get right down to it, probably anywhere. Who doesn't love the surprise of a thrilling, hidden adventure? It is so rewarding to find the perfect cruise, tour, hotel or resort for that special occasion, whether it be for romance, reconnecting with families and friends, or any certain purpose. Do you belong to a group or an organization? That's your family and friends, social, business, sports, special interest, whatever. Thinking about attending an event? Cruising? Reunion? Sporting? Destination experience? Whatever. Tell me about it. Through the years I have designed, organized, and personally managed many group operations. Who do you call if your air conditioning or heating stops working. I bet you call a specialist. Your vacation is no different.
I have achieved the award of Certified Travel Associate and hold Cruise Lines International Association's (CLIA) rank of Master Cruise Counsellor. I have certified specialist designations from the tourist boards of Austria, Holland, Scotland, Ireland, England, Australia, Fiji, Switzerland, New Zealand. I am a VAST travel advisor. Virtuoso's Active and Specialty Travel program "offers you the chance to immerse yourself in authentic, life-changing moments and unique experiences provided by a select group of travel partners, taking you one step closer to our world's most captivating destinations and intriguing cultures." I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia with specialization in Radio-TV, Theatre, and French. My memberships include the Daughters of the American Revolution, Mayflower Society, and Society of Sponsors of the US Navy (sponsored and christened USS Wichita (AOR 1) and Delta Delta Delta Fraternity.