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[November 17, 2011] - Galveston-based travel agency today announced it has been selected by Carnival Cruise Lines as the national travel partner of the month.

“This is a great honor to be selected by Carnival,” says Lee Roane, President of and & Company. “Our relationship with Carnival is stronger than ever.” says Roane. “We attribute our success to the great value that cruising offers, to an unparalleled staff, and to a wonderful partnership with the Carnival team.

For, it all started with a local Rotary Club meeting and a little bit of inspiration.

The year was 1999, and Carnival had just announced plans to home port a ship from Galveston. Business Development Manager Shannon McElroy gave an enthusiastic overview of Carnival's plans to make Texas home, and co-owner Jim Cordell had a flash of inspiration. He had never sold cruises - or even been on a cruise for that matter - but he came up with the idea to evolve his local tourism website into a partnership that incorporated cruising.

Along with Roane, Cordell and two additional partners - Claire and Randall Johnson - took a leap of faith and set sail into cruise sales with, Inc.

"We started out by blocking group space, and since we didn't know a thing about the business, we had to learn from the ground up about group deposits, amenities and everything you can think of," said Roane. "Shannon was so helpful and always answered her cell phone at any time of the day and still does 11 years later."

What began as just a few hundred passengers has now grown into a few thousand.

The team created a niche by making themselves the "expert" on Galveston, and blazing a technology trail that kept them going even when Hurricane Ike devastated their offices in 2008.

Roane and the group didn't let the storm slow them down - they were up and running a week later, having set up shop in Dallas and then back home at a hotel in Galveston.

"Being so technology driven, we could really work from anywhere, which was beneficial for us," said Roane. "Plus, Carnival's faith in coming back to Galveston helped us keep the faith in building back our business."

Today, is more successful than ever, and does it all with just four agents. The company has been named "Best Travel Agency" 3 times in recent years by readers of The Galveston County Daily News, and twice by Houston-based OutSmart Magazine. was named one of the Top 15 Tourism Bureau Websites in the Country two years ago by ConventionSouth Magazine.

With the Carnival Magic now sailing from Galveston, they're looking forward to making even more magic as the "Galveston experts" for the thousands of guests they bring to town.

About & Company... & Company, a destination marketing corporation based in Galveston, Texas. The company specializes in destination portals, as well as online lodging, cruise, parking, and transportation reservations; and event ticketing via its proprietary DestinationNext module. For more information, contact & Company at via phone (409)763-8676 or email at

For more information, contact & Company at via phone (409)763-8676 or email at

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