Meet the Team
Wes Rowland – PRESIDENT & CO-OWNER
Wes Rowland has carefully crafted an experienced team of travel experts since the inception of the Cruise Experts Agency in January of 1995. He specializes in group travel, and has assisted many seasoned, repeat customers with travels to the far reaches of the world. His vibrant, energetic personality makes working with Wes a pure joy, and he works relentless hours to make sure everyone's needs are met and the details are handled.
"I'll do the work and make all the plans, so my customers can truly enjoy the full experience of their vacation without any worries. Each person I work with is like a member of my family, and I want to make sure they are well taken care of.
It's all about the relationship with the customer; it's not just a transaction to us."
Andy Melilli – VICE PRESIDENT & CO-OWNER
Andy Melilli has been the Vice-President and Co-owner of CruiseExperts.com since 2004. For more than 25 years, he worked to develop organizations around the world, which gave him the opportunity to visit more than 50 countries on six continents. He took his first cruise in 1973, but rekindled his passion in 1999 when he cruised the Greek Isles on a sleek four-masted luxury sailing yacht. Cruising is his passion. He now works hard to create the best online cruise buying experience possible through CruiseExperts.com, focusing on a personal, customer service driven client experience.
"We work hard to develop long-term relationships with our customers; making sure they feel like the valued and important clients and friends they are."
When not in the office Andy is an active member of Rotary International and in his spare time loves to read, work on remodeling projects around the house, dabble in woodworking and enjoys the company of his married son and daughter and their spouses. Having already experienced the comfort and value of cruising in Europe, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Hawaii and Mexico, he's looking forward to adding to the list of countries he's visited and ultimately making it to that last continent, Antarctica.
Jeremy Hayes – SALES MANAGER & SENIOR TRAVEL ADVISOR
Jeremy Hayes began her career in the cruise travel industry 10+ years ago helping to launch the Cruise Experts Agency's 'CruiseExperts.com' division. With her upbeat and friendly personality, she has successfully assisted clients and friends with their dream vacations.
"I love hearing wonderful stories when my clients return home from their perfect cruise or land based vacation!"
Thanks to her knowledge of the industry and her willingness to be helpful, she has provided suggestions and guidance for many clients planning their next vacation. Her extensive training with all the major cruise lines and land based vacation companies combined with her personal traveling experience make for a perfect match for a top-selling travel expert. She has assisted many families with their reunions, multi-generational trips, girlfriends weekends, honeymoons, weddings onboard a cruise ship, or quick romantic getaways.
Jeremy is a star performer at CruiseExperts.com, but works just as hard away from the office. She sits as a board member of the Visalia Education Foundation, the Green Acres Little Theater Foundation, as well as other committees and supports projects for local events.
Martha Arnold – AIR SPECIALIST & SENIOR TRAVEL ADVISOR
Martha Arnold, "the world's biggest kid," has been in the travel industry for over 36 years, and the last 16 years have been with CruiseExperts.com. She has extensive experience with travel to Europe, Hawaii, Fiji, Tahiti, Alaska, Mexico, Caribbean, and Washington D.C. She also has helped many disabled travelers or those with special needs, and has extensive experience arranging custom trips.
"I love helping people have the vacation of their dreams."
Martha has a strong passion to support veterans and is actively involved with her local Veterans group. She's also an avid supporter of the SPCA because she loves animals. Her sparkly, fun personality combined with her expertise in travel is a great asset to CruiseExperts.com.
Geraldine Batshon – SENIOR TRAVEL ADVISOR
Geraldine Batshon has over 33 years' experience in the travel industry. In 2014, she rejoined the team at CruiseExperts.com and brings with her a wealth of expertise from living and working abroad, extensive travel experiences, as well as staying current with the travel trends and new product by education programs offered within the travel industry.
"I have had the privilege of working for someone who has given me many 'nuggets' of wonderful information, among which was to develop the skill of 'painting word pictures for my clients.'"She takes every opportunity to heart and believes that by carefully qualifying her clients, she can help them envision their vacation by transporting them to the destination through graphic descriptions. She enjoys piquing their interest, and getting them excited about the prospect of visiting the places as she describes them.
"I am lucky that I have been able to spend as much time as I have abroad, which makes it easier to bring these areas to life."
Geraldine's sweet personality mixed with her sarcastic and ornery side makes a perfect fit for the fun loving team at CruiseExperts.com.
Cecily Cassiman – TRAVEL ADVISOR
Cecily's love of travel began early. She is a Navy brat and has lived all over the world. Her parents made sure they explored the areas they lived as extensively as possible. The travel bug bit early and never let go! In 2013 Cecily made the decision to combine her love of travel, along with the experience and knowledge of the diverse places she has lived, into a vocation. She's never looked back. Since then she's sent clients, who have become like family, all over the world.
You will see Cecily out at many events in the Lemoore and Hanford areas, she volunteers for the City of Lemoore and at Main Street Hanford. If you see her, stop and say hello!
Julie Wright – MARKETING COORDINATOR
Julie Wright joined CruiseExperts.com in 2013 to help take the social media and marketing to the next level. She is the face behind CruiseExperts.com's Facebook page and enjoys finding pictures of places to inspire your next vacation. She also works hard finding really great deals to pass onto our customers.
"I love talking to customers and hearing about their vacations. It makes me happy to see that they had a wonderful time and I love it when they share their pictures with me."
Julie likes to share all the special moments of life with others to create a smaller world within our world. Using the internet, she connects with local people, a large base throughout the U.S., and even more around the world to generate conversations and share experiences and knowledge that can help others when they want to travel. Julie holds a B.S. in Marketing and Communications from the University of Illinois. When not at work, Julie is very involved in her daughter's lives and loves spending time with her husband.
Jennifer Brisco – GROUP TOUR SPECIALIST
Jennifer Brisco joined CruiseExperts.com in 2013 as our group tour specialist. Her fun and caring personality is the perfect fit to work with our growing family of guided group tour enthusiasts.
"As the host of the Italy Tour, I got to know people more personally, so it didn't feel like a business trip... I was one of them."
She loves helping people ensure their trip is an amazing experience, and works hard to make sure the details are taken care of, and makes sure any special needs are met. Her background in customer service in the hotel industry and in winery tourism helped make this transition easy and smooth. When Jen is not at work she loves to read, go for walks, enjoys the beach, and a good glass of wine.
Laura Perez – ADMIN SUPPORT SERVICES
Laura Perez began her long-term relationship with CruiseExperts.com over 17 years ago. Her friendly and bubbly personality is always a pleasure when she answers customer's questions on the phone. She is the one who makes sure client's invoices are correct and payments get made. In 2009 and 2013 she was awarded the "Presidents Award" and recognized for her hard work and exceptional effort.
When Laura is away from the office, she loves to spend time with her husband, daughter, and son. While she hasn't had the opportunity to travel much past the West Coast, she says she loves to live vicariously through the clients at CruiseExperts.com.
Sue Parma – TRAVEL DOCUMENTS SUPPORT SERVICES
Sue Parma joined CruiseExperts.com in 2004, and has established herself as the "Document Specialist." She assists our agents to make sure their clients have filled out their online registration, get their cruise documents on time, gathers and distributes information about the ports they'll be visiting, and makes sure they are ready to board the cruise ship. Sue is saving up for her dream vacation to visit Italy. She's working on a bucket list that includes many other places too. Her favorite people to travel with are her husband and son.
Kristi Castro – SUPPORT SERVICES COORDINATOR
Kristi Castro recently joined the CruiseExperts.com team in 2018 where she assists with helping customers on the phone and aids our Administrator in Support Services. She finds it a pleasure to speak with people on the phone about their upcoming vacations. Kristi loves to travel and one of her favorite vacations spots is Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
When away from work, Kristi enjoys spending time with family and friends and playing her clarinet in two community bands. She also enjoys attending concerts and Los Angeles Dodgers baseball games.