Cheryl McDonald

Lindsay, ON

Elite Cruise Counsellor, Agency Owner

I fell in love with cruising before I ever stepped foot on a ship, having watched “The Love Boat” TV show in my younger days. I took my first cruise 40 years ago for our honeymoon. on Princess (of course) to Alaska. 

Little did I know then how important cruising would become or that my husband, Robert, and I would one day own our own cruise specialty travel agency! I was thrilled to meet Gavin MacLeod (Captain Stubing), global ambassador for Princess Cruises, a few years ago on a Royal Princess inaugural cruise. We  planned to make a return trip to Alaska on Princess for our 40th anniversary this year, but like many of you, those plans have been dashed due to COVID-19.

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.  Robert is retired from the Toronto Fire Services where he worked in Etobicoke as a Professional Firefighter for over 35 years.  

Throughout the busy years when we were 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 grown sons who have each been on multiple cruises as well. Our (now 3-year old) grand daughter was the youngest passenger on her first cruise when she was 9 months old.  

In 2003 I decided to combine my business background and customer service experience with my fascination with cruises and I began to work in the travel industry as a Cruise Specialist, eventually opening our own cruise-specialty agency in 2006 in the Whitney Town Centre.  We moved to our current location in downtown Lindsay in 2016. It’s hard to believe that we will be celebrating the store’s 15th anniversary this year. 

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, and to Eastern Canada/New England, Bermuda, Bahamas, Hawaii, Mexican Riviera, Norway, France, and Alaska. It’s hard to pick a favourite destination or cruise line, but I’ve found that I prefer the larger ships for their greater selection of onboard activities and entertainment options. And, of course, it’s always the best cruise when sailing with family regardless of the ship or destination. We are looking forware to our next family cruise planned for February 2022 on Royal Caribbean's "Symphony of the Seas" which will also be a celebration of 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’m hoping to be able to host a river cruise on AMA Waterways from Basel to Amsterdam in November with a pre-cruise extension in Switzerland. 

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. I’m a graduate of York University, with a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) degree. 

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 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: whether at home on our boat or 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 adorable grand-daughters, who are 3 years and 2 ½ years old and our new 4-month 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

34 of 72 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
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I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
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37 of 78 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
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I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
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31 of 72 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.
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I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
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31 of 73 people found this review helpful
Professional & Detailed Arrangements
We have worked with Cheryl and Cruise Holidays of Lindsay for seven years. She has booked many cruises for us in that time, as well cruises for our family and friends. We have all been extremely pleased with the professional and detailed arrangements. Her personal attention to us makes us feel that our trip is the only one she is working on. She keeps us informed every step of the way. In addition, she follows up after the cruise to ensure that all went well and welcomes any feedback. We will continue to book future cruises with Cheryl and definitely will recommend her services to others.
By  Walter & Ruth  from  Toronto
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I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
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35 of 82 people found this review helpful
We rely on her expertise
My wife Donna & I have known Cheryl for many years & over that time have come to rely on her expertise when booking our Cruise Vacations, both in the way of saving on the cost but also finding upgrades that are available to us, on the odd occasion where there has been a problem, not her fault, Cheryl has made sure that it was corrected in a timely manner to our complete satisfaction. We have recommended her to many Friends & Relatives & they all spoke very highly of the service they received, I would have no hesitation in recommending both her & her excellent staff to anyone, we have completed 22 cruises now, soon to be 23 & hope to book many more in the future.
By  David & Donna  from  Lindsay
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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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