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Christine Rakes

Raleigh, North Carolina Travel Agent
If you see the text box to the right do not fill it in
Christine Rakes

Christine Rakes

Raleigh, North Carolina Travel Agent
An independent agent with Cruises & Tours, Unlimited in Jacksonville, FL, a Travel Leaders Network affiliate agency
49 Reviews | 100% Recommended
If you see the text box to the right do not fill it in
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River Cruise & Custom All Inclusive Travel

I help travelers get the BEST EXPERIENCE and VALUE on vacation! I travel 4-6+ times per year to stay up to date on latest OPTIONS, in addition to participating in continuous formal training. River cruises, Yacht and Expedition Cruises, Land Tours, Luxe Suites & Over-the-Water Bungalows - I've done them ALL. I've seen the places, slept in the beds and sampled the fare! Looking for unbiased PROFESSIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS and/or HELP comparing choices? YOU are in the right place! Offices in NC & VA.

My Travel Specialties

River Cruise & Custom All Inclusive Travel

One of my favorites from a river cruise
Hi, I am Chris Rakes; owner and agent at Total Experience Travel! I grew up in New York, but currently live and operate out of Raleigh, NC and Charlottesville, VA. I have a professional history, that led me to successfully helping ... Read more from my River Cruise & Custom All Inclusive Travel bio.

Honeymoons & & Over-the-Water Bungalows Specialist

One of my favorite views
Dreaming about staying in one of those incredible over-the-water thatched roof huts? Watching fish swim by your glass bottom floor? Looking out at the vast horizon from you spacious king size bed? Swimming in your private infinity pool or napping on ... Read more from my Honeymoons & & Over-the-Water Bungalows Specialist bio.

Luxury Small-Med Ship Cruise Specialist

Chris in Bordeaux
River, Ocean and Expedition CRUISES are luxury vacation options using small-mid size ships. They are culturally immerse and travel to popular, far-away and exotic destinations on EVERY CONTINENT. Their capacity is usually in the hundreds compared to the thousands of passengers found mass market ... Read more from my Luxury Small-Med Ship Cruise Specialist bio.

Caribbean Specialist - Couples, Families & Groups

On of my many educational trips
There is SO MUCH OUT THERE and they are NOT ALL THE SAME. Some are huge, others are small.  Some have great beaches, others have great views.  Some have stellar service, others leave you to fend for yourself.  Some are adult-only, ... Read more from my Caribbean Specialist - Couples, Families & Groups bio.

My Reviews

Rating: 5 49 Reviews | 100% Recommended

Working with her is a pleasure.

Reviewed By Laura & David - Raleigh, NC | Traveled to
Chris is a true professional and I would recommend her to any of my friends. She was very helpful and made planning the cruise much easier for us.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
25 of 39 people found this review helpful
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Great travel agent

Reviewed By Tamara Friend - Raleigh, NC | Traveled to Cancun ~ Quintana Roo ~ Mexico
She's very easy to work with and provides all of the information you need in a timely manner.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
19 of 36 people found this review helpful
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Special trip to Costa Rica

Reviewed By jasper - durham NC | Traveled to Costa Rica ~ Central America
Chris has a wealth of experience and can put together that "special" trip. She is very efficient and easy to work with.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
16 of 30 people found this review helpful
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memories of a lifetime

Reviewed By JohnW - Raleigh, NC | Traveled to Scotland ~ Europe
Christine Rakes did an awesome job, this vacation was planned to celebrate our 30th. wedding anniversary as well as my wife's 50th. birthday. Everything went as planned and exceeded my expectations.
I would highly recommend Christine Rakes and also Globus tours.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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Anniversary Trip

Reviewed By Happy Client - Raleigh NC | Traveled to Bahamas ~ Caribbean
Christine was absolutely terrific with all aspects of helping select location, planning and booking. Fantastic service.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
4 of 7 people found this review helpful
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Awaiting departure

Reviewed By Griff - Wendell, NC | Traveled to Ireland ~ Europe
Christine was awesome in her assistance and patience with a first time overseas traveler.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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Looking forward to the honeymoon of our dreams!

Reviewed By Honeymoon - Mebane, NC | Traveled to Mexico
She was always quick to respond to any questions I had, and she was always on top of things we needed to get done to make sure our trip was a success.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
3 of 6 people found this review helpful
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Couldn't have planned a more perfect honeymoon.

Reviewed By Alex - Brooklyn, N Y | Traveled to New Zealand ~ Australia & New Zealand
Christine helped us plan a very long, activity-packed honeymoon to New Zealand and Fiji. What could have been a very complicated and time consuming process of planning, turned out to be a very simple and straight forward task. With one phone call and a few back and forth emails, our two week adventure was planned and booked. We had so much time to get excited and look forward to it. Christine worked within our budget and planned a trip that was a great combo of sight seeing and relaxation. If ever a change or question was brought to her attention, she handled it right away. During our trip we only had one activity hiccup due to weather and Christine answered our email right away even from a different time zone. We had the most amazing time and would do it all over again in a heartbeat I would highly recommend using Christine for your next vacation, especially if planning a long trip.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
5 of 10 people found this review helpful
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We had a blast!

Reviewed By #paryoften - Unionville, Ind | Traveled to Jamaica ~ Caribbean
Chis has been in contact with me every step of of the way. She has taken care of EVERYTHING!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
15 of 30 people found this review helpful
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Adventure of a Lifetime

Reviewed By Dayton - Cary, NC | Traveled to Rhine River ~ On the River ~ At Sea
Chris was friendly and knowledgable, with all the details we needed to make smart choices about our destination and options. This was our first international trip, and Chris's follow-up was helpful to keep us on track with obtaining passports and making payments.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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Great Trip!

Reviewed By Kathy - Greensboro NC | Traveled to Europe
Excellent!! Very helpful and informative
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
1 of 3 people found this review helpful
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A very lucky accident!

Reviewed By Pearl - Raleigh, NC | Traveled to Bahamas ~ Caribbean
I went online to look for a travel agent with no idea where to go. I was blessed to find a listing for Chris Rakes and discovered she was based near me so I felt like it was meant to be. I asked her to help me with a Sandals trip I had booked but wasn’t comfortable with. She worked through my choices patiently, asking me what was most important to us and giving us several choices to consider. We thankfully took her suggestions and our Sandals choice was a perfect fit. In the meantime while chatting I told her we were considering a Viking cruise for our anniversary in 2020 and she was crucial in our planning for a two week dream for us coming next year. I can always call Chris with any question no matter how silly or small and she is happy to help. She always offers choices so you can really make your trip just what you want. Last week while at the Sandals vacation she helped us plan, we booked another Sandals trip for 2021. Finding Chris was a happy miracle for sure!


I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
2 of 5 people found this review helpful
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great service

Reviewed By smith - raleigh | Traveled to Anguilla ~ Caribbean
excellent communication and very motivated to help us find the best trip
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
3 of 7 people found this review helpful
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Best Anniversary Trip

Reviewed By Christina - Raleigh, NC | Traveled to Nassau ~ Bahamas ~ Caribbean
Great! Christine helped us pick the perfect place for our 10 year anniversary. The booking process was very smooth and easy!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
2 of 5 people found this review helpful
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Honeymoon planning

Reviewed By Adam and Megan - raleigh, nc | Traveled to Fiji ~ South Pacific
Chris was great to work with getting our honeymoon planned. She was able to take our interests and plan out a trip that highlighted everything we were interested in. She is very timely and had our best interest in mind. In the end, she made planning much less stressful for us.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
3 of 7 people found this review helpful
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Total Experience Travel =Total Customer Service!!!

Reviewed By David Ross - Raleigh, NC | Traveled to Europe
Chris is GREAT! Very quick to respond to calls and emails. My wife and I had never planned such a big, involved trip. Chris explained everything, provided a number of options and completely walked us through the entire process. I honestly don't think we could have done this without her. We felt very comfortable with the entire process and take great satisfaction in knowing we'll have a great, worry-free trip!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
4 of 9 people found this review helpful
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By far the best vacation ever.

Reviewed By Gene & Traudi - Bemus Point, NY | Traveled to Jamaica ~ Caribbean
OMG! I don't know where to begin!! It started right with the airport transfers, they were easy to find and they did a great job getting us on the bus and to the Resort. The Resort, was so over the top beautiful, immaculate, convenient and luxurious. Three infinity pools, tons of palapas (we called them cabanas) and plenty of chaises everywhere! We had a Butler (!!) who took care of everything. The food!!! Had drinks all day long, and they poured top shelve alcohol. The weather was perfect! I can not say enough good things, it was by far the best vacation ever. Never felt so pampered and enjoyed such a good time! Everything was above and beyond. Thank you for arranging it all, we look forward to your help with future vacation plans!!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
3 of 7 people found this review helpful
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Awesome Family Cruise

Reviewed By Liz A - Raleigh NC | Traveled to Havana ~ Cuba ~ Caribbean
Easy to work with!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
5 of 11 people found this review helpful
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Punta Cana

Reviewed By SAL - yonkers,ny | Traveled to
Great job Chris thank you for all your help.Will book all my vacations with you from here on in.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Christine Rakes responded:
Thanks Sal! I enjoyed working with you and your group!
15 of 31 people found this review helpful
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Christine is very knowledgeable

Reviewed By Lisa - Wake Forest NC | Traveled to
Chris knew all about the trip and what the excursions were about. I would definitely book again through Christine.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
15 of 31 people found this review helpful
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Bucket List trip

Reviewed By lenamcb - Raleigh, NC | Traveled to Europe
Chris was very helpful and her expertise was comforting. She is very quick to respond and listens to what you are looking for.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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Turks and Caicos

Reviewed By Early retirement traveler - Garner, NC | Traveled to Turks and Caicos Islands ~ Caribbean
christine helped us book our first trip to Turks and Caicos for June. She seems to be very knowledgeable and very quick to respond. Will let you know how it goes !!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
2 of 6 people found this review helpful
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The Girl in the Know!!!

Reviewed By Bri - Raleigh NC | Traveled to Jamaica ~ Caribbean
Chris has been awesome trying to get my 60th birthday to be special. Highly recommend her for travel plans and any questions about resorts!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
4 of 10 people found this review helpful
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Beach Galore!

Reviewed By Lynn - Raleigh | Traveled to Cayman Islands ~ Caribbean
She was extremely helpful, responded quickly to all concerns and questions even when she wasn't in the States
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
4 of 10 people found this review helpful
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Wonderful experience!

Reviewed By Lynn - Raleigh, NC | Traveled to Jamaica ~ Caribbean
Chris was outstanding to work with! She took the time and asked relevant questions, and really wanted to understand what we were looking for. She offered lots of options, and when we asked, gave us her opinion based upon her personal experience or knowledge of an area or resort. Her responsiveness and desire to match us to the perfect trip was fantastic. I loved working with her, and will continue to use her for my future vacation travel!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
4 of 10 people found this review helpful
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My Bucket List Trip is Booked!

Reviewed By Deb - Raleigh | Traveled to Ireland ~ Europe
Christine was great to work with from the very start. She provided many options for tour itineraries. She even explored some options that I had mentioned finding online. She was timely in email responses (even after hours when deadlines loomed near). I have no reservations in recommending Chris to anyone planning a trip.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
15 of 32 people found this review helpful
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Excellent Vacation Planner

Reviewed By Mark H - Raleigh, NC | Traveled to
She made the trip hassle free to plan. Just had to tell her the dates and what area of the world we wanted to see and she handled the rest. Look forward to a great getaway!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
15 of 32 people found this review helpful
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Took the stress out of the planning!

Reviewed By Dnor124 - Raleigh/Durham | Traveled to
We are first time cruisers with no idea where to start. Chris took the reins and all we had to do was say yes or no. She answered all of our questions and was very prompt at returning any correspondence. Going through a travel agent was the best decision we made!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
15 of 33 people found this review helpful
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Bahamas 2019

Reviewed By Lucky Traveler - Raleigh NC | Traveled to Great Exuma ~ Bahamas ~ Caribbean
Christine was very helpful in explaining options and providing information related to this trip. She was always accessible and responded in a timely manner. Christine was excellent helping us get all the details finalized for the entire trip. I would recommend her to anyone I know.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
3 of 10 people found this review helpful
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Merry Christmas Trip to Jamaica

Reviewed By Mitchell Family Christmas Present - Raleigh, NC | Traveled to Jamaica ~ Caribbean
We couldn't make a decision on where to go between Christmas and New Year's. By the time we agreed on what to do, most resorts were full. Chris was able to find 2 rooms for our party of 6. We wanted to go somewhere that could be personally recommended. Chris was able to do that for us on top of all the time and effort she saved us.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Christine Rakes responded:
Glad I could help and I'm very excited for you!
14 of 32 people found this review helpful
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Why to use a travel agent.

Reviewed By Joe - Raleigh NC | Traveled to Punta Cana ~ Dominican Republic ~ Caribbean
very professional, was able to book us everything we requested and more. Very pleased with booking experience..
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
14 of 32 people found this review helpful
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Thank you Chris for helping to ensure our family had a fabulous vacation!

Reviewed By Mandy - Raleigh, NC | Traveled to
Chris provided several vacation options for our consideration and was great at helping us select the perfect vacation for our family. She took care of all the reservations so we did not have to worry about anything leading up to the trip. She was very organized and promptly answered all of our questions. We had such a great time in Punta Cana. We did not want to leave!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
16 of 36 people found this review helpful
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Once in a lifetime trip.

Reviewed By Trigger - Raleigh | Traveled to Italy ~ Europe
Very knowledgeable with great insights into our travel destination.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
3 of 11 people found this review helpful
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Looking Forward to a fun-filled trip to Exuma!

Reviewed By Lynn - Raleigh NC | Traveled to Bahamas ~ Caribbean
Working with Chris makes choosing and planning a trip seamless. Can't wait to head to Exuma!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
14 of 33 people found this review helpful
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Second honeymoon

Reviewed By The Burkes - NY, NY | Traveled to Bahamas ~ Caribbean
Chris has been a pleasure to work with as always. She has gotten us the best deals for our trips and is so easy to work with. She is highly organized and we have yet to have any trouble with our reservations and always feel confident before departure.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
12 of 29 people found this review helpful
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So hospitable!

Reviewed By The Burkes - New York, NY | Traveled to
Chris was so kind and hospitable and was able to talk us through everything step by step! She made everything extremely easy!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
10 of 25 people found this review helpful
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She made planning a trip super easy

Reviewed By Kim - Raleigh,nc | Traveled to
We had a great trip. Everything was perfect. Thanks Chris
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
12 of 29 people found this review helpful
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Group vacation

Reviewed By Lori - Raleigh, NC | Traveled to
Chris did a great job planning our group vacation too Jamaica! very pleased
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
12 of 29 people found this review helpful
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Romantic Getaway

Reviewed By Lynn - Raleigh, NC | Traveled to Jamaica ~ Caribbean
Chris was fantastic! After looking at several different resorts, I booked the over water bungalow at Sandals Royal Caribbean in Jamaica based upon the recommendation of Chris. She provided great info on all my options, was so responsive to all my questions, and was so great to work with. Thanks Chris!!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
4 of 14 people found this review helpful
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Travelling for a Destination wedding

Reviewed By Dave - Raleigh, NC | Traveled to Mexico
Chris was very helpful in making this reservation. I appreciate her constantly communicating and addressing any concerns/questions I had in a prompt manner.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
15 of 36 people found this review helpful
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5 year anniversary

Reviewed By NC to Mexico - Raleigh, NC | Traveled to Riviera Maya ~ Quintana Roo ~ Mexico
I had a great experience. Chris provided me with great suggestions and helped us decide on the best resort for the type of vacation we were looking for.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
10 of 26 people found this review helpful
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Destination Wedding!!

Reviewed By LL - Raleigh, NC | Traveled to Mexico
Chris was great! We were planning my daughter's destination wedding so there was a significant amount of work to be done. She was so helpful to everyone. Many of our friends and our daughter's friends mentioned how great she was to work with. Chris, thank you for all your help! The wedding is about a month away and we are really looking forward to it! You made it easy to maneuver through the process.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Christine Rakes responded:
My pleasure Lisa! So glad it all turned out even better than expected and everyone had a wonderful time!
10 of 27 people found this review helpful
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Booking our trip was a breeze!

Reviewed By Lorraine - Wake Forest, NC | Traveled to
Chris knows her stuff! She was extremely helpful and patient while we tried to decide where we wanted to go. Having booked online a number of times, this was by far so much easier...and the cost was the same! Looking forward to Punta Cana in January!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
11 of 29 people found this review helpful
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Working with Christine Means the Vacation Starts EARLY

Reviewed By Elaine - Raleigh, NC | Traveled to
I am very pleased with the service Christine provided in planning my Disney vacation. I know she will be with me every step of the way. It was a real pleasure to get all the details taken care of without having to do any of the research myself! I am really looking forward to this trip and I feel like in some ways the vacation has already started because Christine is taking such good care of us and our diverse needs!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
11 of 29 people found this review helpful
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Honeymoon trip

Reviewed By Paul - Raleigh, NC | Traveled to
Christine was extremely knowledgeable about each of the resorts we were considering for our honeymoon. Her recommendations were key in figuring out which resort would offer everything we were looking for. Christine's responsiveness in answering all of our questions showed her dedication and willingness to really make sure we had everything covered before we made our decision. I would highly recommend using Christine!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
12 of 32 people found this review helpful
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Chris takes a lot of guesswork out out planning a vacation

Reviewed By Gwen - Raleigh, NC | Traveled to
I didn't realize how stressful trying to figure out where to go on a tropical vacation would be! Chris gave several suggestions, including the costs, so that we could narrow down the locations and make our choice.....not to say that I was easy on Chris! I probably worried her to death with all my emails/questions but she always friendly and responded promptly and professionally. Looking forward to this trip!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
12 of 32 people found this review helpful
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Saved me $$ on my trip!

Reviewed By April and John - Raleigh, NC | Traveled to
When I told Chris the type of vacation my husband and I wanted to take, she immediately made me aware of discounts and special offerings at the Sandals resorts. Luckily for us, she was already aware of these specials without her having to do a lot of additional research first, because the specials were ending the next day. We would have missed out if we had waited...which saved us a lot of money and gave us some free stuff too!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
10 of 29 people found this review helpful
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Chris ensured we had the perfect vacation!

Reviewed By Mandy - Raleigh, NC | Traveled to
Chris provided several options for our vacation and helped us select the best scenario for our family. She took care of all the planning! She was very responsive and promptly answered all our questions. We loved Punta Cana and didn't want to leave!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
11 of 32 people found this review helpful
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Offered lots of helpful information

Reviewed By Amy - Raleigh nc | Traveled to
Chris was very helpful in all aspects of planning our trip. From being patient while we made a decision to following up with every detail in order to make each decision easier.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
11 of 32 people found this review helpful
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