(11 Reviews)
100% Recommended

Cheryl McDonald

Lindsay, ON

Elite Cruise Counsellor, Agency Owner

I fell in love with cruising watching  “The Love Boat” TV show (the original) in my younger days. My first cruise was on my honeymoon, on Princess (of course) to Alaska.  I was thrilled to meet Gavin MacLeod (Captain Stubing) a few years ago on a Royal Princess inaugural cruise.  

I was born in Welland and my parents moved us to Etobicoke when I was 3 years old. My husband & I were high-school sweethearts and bought our first home in Bolton where we lived for four years before moving to Lindsay over thirty years ago.  I am a graduate of York University's Business Administration program.  Robert is retired from the Toronto Fire Services where he worked in Etobicoke as a Professional Firefighter for over 35 years.  

Raising our family, we always managed to set aside time for family travel and cruising. We’ve passed this love of cruising on to our two sons who have each been on multiple cruises as well. Our grand daughter was the youngest passenger on her first cruise when she was just  9 months old.  Now 4 years old, she's excited about our family cruise in February.  

In 2003 I combined my business background and customer service experience with my love of cruises for a career change working in the travel industry as a Cruise Specialist, eventually purchasing and opening our own cruise-specialty agency in 2006 in the Whitney Town Centre in Lindsay.  The years have gone by so fast and it's hard to believe that we are in our 16th year of operation! In 2016 we moved to downtown Lindsay and in November last year, moved to our current location behind the Lindsay Square mall.  The move was a good opportunity to re-brand the business and we changed our name to CRUISE HOLIDAYS PLUS to better reflect the fact that although we remain cruise experts, we are a full service travel agency. 

To date I’ve sailed on over thirty ocean & river cruises on eleven different cruise lines including Carnival, Celebrity, Cunard, Disney, Holland America, Norwegian, Princess, Regent Seven Seas, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn and Uniworld. These cruises have taken me to just about all the ports in the Caribbean, to Eastern Canada/New England, Bermuda, Bahamas, Greenland, Iceland, Hawaii, the Mexican Riviera, Norway, France, and Alaska. I'm often asked what's my favourite cruise line or destination - but it’s hard to pick a favourite.  Of course, it’s always the best cruise when sailing with family regardless of the ship or destination. We are looking forward to our next family cruise in February 2023 on Royal Caribbean's new "Wonder of the Seas". 

Other than cruising, I've stayed at Sandals St. Lucia, spent a week touring the sights in London, England and in March spent a week in Las Vegas celebrating my husband's 65th birthday.

In 2019, I was approved as a "Distinctive Voyage" host for this Travel Leaders program. My first hosting gig was on the Seabourn Quest to Eastern Canada. Although my next few hosted cruises were cancelled due to COVID-19, I was thrilled to host a group of 99 this past August on a Celebrity cruise sailing from New Jersey to Eastern Canada, Greenland & Iceland.  My next cruise is in December on the brand new Celebrity 'Beyond'.

When it comes to cruises, I’m proud to say that I am an expert – there’s nothing about cruises that I don’t understand thoroughly and deal with daily.  I have the answers to the questions you haven’t even thought about asking.  I strive to ensure that your vacation is perfectly planned, hassle-free and exceeds your expectations by efficiently managing all of the travel-planning details from the moment you start dreaming until the moment you return home.  I’ve achieved the designations of Elite Cruise Counselor and Luxury Cruise Specialist from the Cruise Lines International Association, and I am also a Princess Alaska Expert and a Hawaii Destination Specialist. 

In addition to the delights of being out on the ocean on a big beautiful cruise ship, a few years ago I achieved a life-long dream of living full time on the water, when we bought our family ‘cottage’ on Balsam Lake from my father, now our permanent home. I’m also considered a bit of a “speed demon.” I simply love being in motion: on our Seadoos, or on a sailboat, ATV, Segway or dune buggy in the ports of call. 

In my spare time, I am thoroughly enjoying being a Grandma to our two grand-daughters, who are both 4 years old and our 2 year old grandson. I’m putting my hobby of scrapbooking to good use, creating books of memories that I hope they will treasure for years to come. 

It’s important to me that we provide our clients with our personal experience and insights as they rely on our “been there, done that” insider knowledge to help create personalized dream-come-true vacations. With so many cruise options out there, it can be overwhelming - but that is what I'm here for. After all, your vacation is an investment of precious time and money - why not consult an expert and make sure you get it right?

My Reviews

1 of 3 people found this review helpful
All trips have been the best trips of our lives.
I have been with Cheryl for almost 7 years now and she has always looked out for our best interest when it come to cruising. She knows what we like without being told.
By  Dianne & Robert  from  Bobcaygeon ON
Traveled to  Caribbean
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends

Cheryl McDonald responded:
Thank you! Always a pleasure working with you!

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55 of 113 people found this review helpful
Experience is key when giving travel advice
My husband and I have 45 + yrs of enjoyable cruising years to look back on and hopefully many more years to continue . It was when we moved to the Lindsay area, seeking an experienced travel agent such as Cheryl MaDonald was so important to fill our future traveling needs without the hic- ups that offten get headlines in the media. We have no hesitation in referring our friends to Cheryl
By  Gerry  from  Fenelon Falls
Traveled to  
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
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47 of 99 people found this review helpful
Crusie Consultant Extraordinaire
Cheryl McDonald is the quintessential cruise consultant. Her knowledge of the industry is extensive and makes it possible for her to provide advice appropriate to meet the client's wishes. Since 2009 all the cruises she has proposed, planned, and organized for us have been exactly what we wanted. Her warm and friendly nature and her enthusiasm for what she does make it a joy for us to plan holidays with her help. We have no hesitation in recommending Cheryl to our family and friends and have often done so.
By  Pat and Max  from  Lindsay
Traveled to  
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
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44 of 100 people found this review helpful
Excellent in every way
We have booked several trips with Cheryl . She attends to every tiny detail to insure that our trip is highly successful. Now we cannot go to another travel agent since Cheryl is the perfect one.
By  Muriel and Norma  from  Toronto Ont.
Traveled to  
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
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43 of 98 people found this review helpful
SHE TOOK CARE OF EVERYTHING
Cheryl came recommended to us by a friend who had enjoyed many cruises in the past. Being new to cruising, we needed guidance on how to proceed and Cheryl was there to help. We essentially just let Cheryl know where we hoped to go and a general time line that we would like to have. Cheryl went to work for us and planned a perfect cruise vacation for us. All we had to do on our end was pack and show up at the airport. She couldn't have made the process any easier for us. That was 5 cruises ago and we continue to take advantage of Cheryl's excellent service, experience and advice. She has NEVER disappointed us. I would highly recommend Cheryl to anyone even considering a cruise. You won't be disappointed either!!
By  Bear  from  Brampton, On
Traveled to  
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
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Destination Expert:

  • Caribbean
  • Hawaii
  • Bermuda
  • New York City
  • Alaska

Travel Specialist:

  • Cruises
  • River Cruises
  • Luxury Cruises
  • Groups
  • Family Vacations

Top Travel Partners:

  • Celebrity Cruises
  • Princess Cruises®
  • Royal Caribbean
  • Holland America Line
  • Avalon Waterways

Certifications/Awards:

  • President's Club Member
  • Elite Cruise Counsellor, CLIA
  • Luxury Cruise Specialist, CLIA
  • Princess Alaska Expert
  • Hawaii Destination Specialist
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