Adam Torres and Carlton Millinder discuss the cruise business.
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The cruise business has been exploding since more people are looking to travel. In this episode, Adam Torres and Carlton Millinder, Independent Travel Consultant at InteleTravel, explore the cruise industry and upcoming book Carlton will be launching with Mission Matters.
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About Carlton Millinder
Experienced Project Engineer with a demonstrated history of working in the automotive industry. Skilled in Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP), Root Cause Analysis, Management, Continuous Improvement, and Manufacturing Engineering. Strong engineering professional with a Graduate Certificate focused in Project Management from Lawrence Technological University.
Full Unedited Transcript
Hey, I’d like to welcome you to another episode of Mission Matters. My name is Adam Torres, and if you’d like to apply to be a guest in the show, Just head on over to mission matters.com and click on Be Our Guest to Apply. All right, so today is a special episode. We have Carlton Miler on the line, and he is an independent travel consultant over at Intelli Travel.
Carlton, welcome to show. Hey, great to be here, Adam. Thank you. All right, Carlton. So I love having a fellow Michigander on the line, Detroit, I mean, in the house. Hey, first off, I’m welcoming you to the Mission Matters community. I’m ecstatic to have you part of our upcoming bestselling business leaders book where you’ll be a featured author in that and you know, representing Michigan, representing entrepreneurs from all over the place.
Hey, just wanna say congrats and welcome to the Mission Matters community. Thank you so much, Adam. I appreciate it. I’m happy to be a part of the Mission Matters movement. I’m ready to get it. Let’s go. All right, so we’re going to Carlton, we’re going to start this interview the way that we start them all with our Mission Matters Minute.
We at Mission Matters, we amplify stories for entrepreneurs, executives, and experts. That’s our mission. Carlton, what mission matters to you? The mission that matters to me is, Being a leader and helping people as much as I can. Whether it be just someone I don’t even know, or someone in my community someone in my church community that’s just what I aspire to do.
Whatever called to do spiritually is what I like to do. I know my purpose here is to serve in many capacities travel, which I know we’ll get into in a little bit, is one of the ways that I can help do that. Yeah. Also personally Since I am a diabetic, one of the things that matters to me is not only helping me get myself right and get myself better but helping other people reach their better health potentials as well through sharing my story, which I have done at various church groups and public outings and things like that.
Yeah. Well, it’s awesome to have you on the show and love bringing mission-based individuals and entrepreneurs on the line to share, you know, why they do what they do, how they’re doing it, and really what motivates them, what gets them fired up so they can go out there and really do something in the world and make a difference.
So, great. Having Yan and I guess just to get us started here like how did you get started and kind of wanna go on this, on this entrepreneur route, in this entrepreneur journey? Like, like where did all this begin for you? So for me, where it began and probably before I was even approached about an opportunity to get into travel.
Yeah. 2020 during the covid situation. And a lot of people were either furloughed or laid off. I was furloughed and then laid off around March of 2020. So sitting at home outta work doing like Uber and Lyft and just other things to try to just get by and make ends meet like a. A lot of other people leads around there and probably across the country.
So around 2021, around like April or May. Mm-hmm. A high school classmate of mine reached out to me about an opportunity and she reached into me based on Facebook Messenger. We had some words, had some dialogue back and forth. Was doing some catching up. And she presented me with this opportunity about travel.
So I said, well, yeah, I, I love to travel. I was like, I don’t do enough of it. I was like, and you’re talking about I can make money doing it too, earn while I learn. I said, okay. It sounds like a pretty cool concept to me, so let’s go ahead and check it out. I checked out the presentation via Zoom cuz that obviously during Covid there were no in-person meetings, obviously due to Yeah.
Being in the middle of a pandemic. And so when I saw the Zoom presentation mm-hmm. I was actually pretty blown away. But I didn’t have the startup cost to start. So I told, I told her, I said, well, gimme about a couple weeks. I said, I need to drive and get the money so I can make my investment. I knew that it wasn’t gonna take me two weeks, it was more so gonna take me like two days.
Yeah. But I wanted to just give myself this cushion even though I knew I was enthusiastic to start, I, I got that money within 24 hours. Wow. Yeah. And I, I drove pretty much. All day, all night, pay some bills and what I had left over. Yeah. I said, you know what? Here’s my down payment to investing in a new.
Opportunity. Mm-hmm. And what I, what I like about your story, Carlton, and one of the things that that I, I love hearing about with entrepreneurs is like, entrepreneurs, get it done. I don’t care if your funding is for, you know, an opportunity to join a company. I don’t care if it’s. You know, you’re just trying to start a business, what, whatever the business is like, entrepreneurs are resourceful.
They figure out ways to get it done. And really, I mean, at the end of the day, if something’s really important for you and to you, then you’re going to find a way to kind of overcome those obstacles. So I want you to take a moment maybe and just think about like some of those other entrepreneurs that are out there, or would be entrepreneurs who are being held back by, and they don’t have to be in the travel industry.
They might have other things they wanna do or otherwise. But what kind of things would you tell to that next group of entrepreneurs that are going out there to, you know, stake their claim? Oh, that’s easy. One thing I would say is to block out the naysayers. The biggest naysayers are going to be the people closest to you.
Hmm. You are gonna have family, you’re gonna have close friends. They’re gonna question, why are you doing this? Or, that doesn’t seem like it’s gonna make you any money. And you don’t want to take information from people like that because they’re not, more than likely, they’re not on the walk of path that you are on.
Yeah. And better yet, they don’t know what you know. Yeah. Even when you don’t know, you have to tell yourself that you know more than them because you are on that path currently. Mm-hmm. Even though that you’re learning, I would also say always be open to. Learning information. Mm-hmm. I never get tired of getting new information.
Yeah. I was just in a couple zoom calls, getting tr some additional trainings mm-hmm. Just for travel now. That’s gonna help me with groups and so many the other things beyond. So that’s one thing I tell people. You have to be a constant sponge for information and definitely ignore naysayers.
Feed yourself positive affirmations. I don’t watch the news, at least not for too long, because that can just, that can just go into my psyche. I have my. And you’re Detroiter. So I have my local four mm-hmm. That I listen to and watch for about 25 minutes. That’s my limit. And then I’m off to the races and we, and we’re about business at that point.
Mm-hmm. And so one of the things that and you, you talk about God and like being on these path. Right. And that’s, and I like the way you, you bring that up by the way. So it’s not that, you know, it’s there, there’ll be naysayers out there, right. But maybe they don’t see your vision. But what I’ve found as well is like, kind of as you get further and further, You know, in your career, in your entrepreneurial journey, it’s almost like you kind of give other people, you know, inspiration and, and you know, as they see you succeed, as they see you hit new levels, they think, you know, if that person can do it, maybe I can do it.
Or where like that idea of being able to like have the the ability to dream and to kind of get that back to me. I think that’s an important part of the journey. Absolutely. And I would definitely have to say the mentorship also to go further than even further. Aligning yourself with the right mentorship for what you’re trying to embark on and what you’re trying to accomplish is also very critical because that mentorship can guide you.
You might have thoughts and patterns going every which way and may not know what direction to take. And having established mentors guide you and to be able to listen to and Hear from them and, and some of the steps that they have taken mm-hmm. Can actually make you more efficient not only in business, but in your leadership as well.
Yeah it makes a lot of sense and it’s one of those things that maybe you’ve heard it before and you’re like, oh, get a mentor or do this, do that. But how many of us actually go out and do it? I can tell you I’m always, one of the things I’ve done throughout my life is look for mentors, but I’m always looking for more mentors.
Cause I feel like every different level you reach, and I don’t mean just. Monetarily, I mean, in whatever it is that you’re focusing on. It could be spirituality, it could be, it could be monetarily, it could be you know, time with your family. It could be relationship. Lots of different things when I talk about new levels.
But when you’re going after and when you’re achieving these new levels, like there’s always something else that you maybe wanna improve. And there’s somebody maybe that’s already kind of already walked in that path. So like, Take Not if you just think about, oh, I heard this. Yeah. Get a mentor. I know I need to do that.
Maybe bump that up on your to-do list if you don’t have one. Right. And think about mentorship in different areas of your life. Yes, absolutely. So Carlton, I do wanna spend some time today talking about, and I’m, I mean, I’m thrilled things are opening up. I just did an interview with one of our other authors Rob Braman, who he just got back from Ireland and he was talking about being, you know, in St.
Patrick’s Day in in Dublin, drinking a Pina Guinness. And I’m like, wow, that’s pretty cool. And I’m like, yeah, that’s, That’s interesting. And now that things are opening back up, you know, people are able to travel and start having, you know, these type of, these experiences in their lives. What have you been noticing in the travel industry?
Like what excites you from your vantage point? The travel industry, what I’ve noticed are people are not only traveling at alarming race like you hear on the news and Yeah. And with bookings. But they’re going everywhere. And really the international bookings and requests that I’m receiving personally are amazing.
I’ve received a lot of requests just in the past few weeks. Mm-hmm. People wanting to go on Norwegian cruises. People contacting me about Viking cruises the adult only cruises, which also includes Viking. And Virgin voyage, just, I hear more adults wanting to actually go and leave their kids behind.
So, so I’m actually booking and potentially looking to book more of those type of vacation packages. Yeah. But they, but it is just booming everywhere. They’re just requests coming in all the time and people are, people are traveling more now, I think before they did leading up to the pandemic.
Mm-hmm. Because people want to get those memories back and they want to. They, it is almost like they’re getting their lives back. Mm-hmm. And they’re returning to normalcy, which is why people are like booking at such an alarming rate, especially leading up to any major US holiday especially. Yeah.
And I as I see that, and I think about, you know, the, the, the idea of group. Cruises. I’m like, you know what? I was I’ve always, you know, people have family reunions, they do different things like that, and it’s like, man, that would be a great idea. Get the family together. Go on a cruise. Like that’s another way of doing it.
And then I was looking at, and I was thinking about the business application. I’m like, man, we need a mission Matters cruise. Like at least once a year I wanna do one of those. Get a group of our community, our authors, our, you know, other community and get them together. For maybe do some programming.
Have have some speakers come to, to, you know, give, give their knowledge, do some other programming around. I’ve seen people do this around like investing. I’ve seen people do this around branding. I mean, I’ve seen a bunch of different angles there. So I’m curious on your end, like what are, what are some of the, the hotspots right now?
What are some of the things that people are doing? Oh, so right now especially if we’re talking about family, so yeah, for me, I’m, when it comes to family cruises, I’m a Royal Caribbean guy. I’ve been on a couple cruises and that’s, that’s for me is one of the best ones for families, say Norwegian is also another one.
So a lot of the family cruises that I’ve seen are like going like The Bahamas, Caribbean couple Mexico cruises. A lot of those are pretty much in those areas for family cruises. Mm-hmm. So. I think with those Roy Caribbean Carnival in Norwegian would be like my top three go-to, to do, yeah.
Especially groups family group trips. Mm-hmm. Now, if they’re adult, I’m pretty much gonna stick with Viking or version, but I, I usually based on the group. Mm-hmm. If this is more of a celebratory kind of, Lively aspect, I’m going to more so book them towards Virgin. If there’s more explorative and more relaxed, I’m gonna more so push towards Viking cruises.
Hmm. And so do you work with I, I mentioned the mission matters cruise. I mean, our Mission Matters event, we gotta get us an annual event going, but do you work with companies? Do you work with groups? Like how does that Absolutely. Oh, absolutely. Yeah. We, we work with groups of. All sizes companies whatever type of events and purposes.
We, at Intelli Driver, we do everything we can to make sure that we serve the needs of all of our clients. Yeah. And you’re booking, so you’re booking nationwide. You have clients in, in all different states, right? Like just give us a little bit of a feel for like the business and maybe the capabilities of the company.
Yes. So most of my clients are pretty, are pretty much right now. All of my clients are actually here in the us. I booked. Everywhere from, I’ve booked from the Dr. I’ve booked going to Mexico. I’ve booked going to Bahamas, and then I’m actually working on a booking for Jamaica for a client. Man, you’re making me, you’re making me jealous here.
I’m sitting here recording. I’m like, where am I going next? Come on, man. Sometimes, to be honest with you, I make my client I make myself jealous booking for my clients. A lot of my trips that I’m looking to book is based on the clients when they’ve come back and I’ve asked, Hey, can you sh you know, just gimme some pictures, you know, that you don’t mind sharing with me.
And, and my very first client who was actually, who was actually a coworker when she went to Punte County, Dominican Republic. Yeah. She came back and she said, Carlton, I had the best time ever. She said, I will be booking with you again soon. Real soon. Yeah. Now she’s looking for a Dubai trip. Well, I said, what?
I appreciate that. I said, well, can you, you know, send me some pictures. I said, just something I want to use just to kind of advertise and mm-hmm. You know, show you off and show where you went. Yeah. The response that I got, I created a bunch of reels and some advertising, things like that. I got more positive feedback from her and more referrals just from that one trip.
Wow, that’s amazing. And the excursions that I put her on. Mm-hmm. They got to go dirt bike riding. They got to go like on all these exclusive trips, they had Butler service in their hotel, all these different things. And she was like, thank you so much for actually going the extra mile. She said, you looked at excursions, you looked at things that.
I wouldn’t even have considered. Yeah. Outside of the initial booking, and that’s something that I hold very near and dear is that clients know that I will go that extra mile for them. Yeah. To make sure that they have the trip that they deserve to have, that they desire to have. Oh man, it’s a great story and and I see it too, and I know where your heart’s at, like we’ve spoken before and it’s one of the reasons why I’m just thrilled to have you in the book and to and to publish your story as an entrepreneur as well, and, and your journey.
And for everybody watching and listening to this, just something. No Carlton and I, we’re not gonna do a deep dive into the book yet. We will be bringing Carlton back onto the show. To do a deep dive once the book is out and launched and live. But the purpose today was really to bring Carlton out, introduce him to our community, talk a little bit more about the cruise business and, and, you know, I’m in his ear about us launching our Mission matters cruise and doing a yearly event, something I’ve been wanting to do it for a long time, and it’s.
Been on the agenda, so maybe this is the finally that little kick we need to get out there and do it, cuz I think our, our community will benefit from it and I think we’ll just have a lot of fun. But Carlton really, man, it has been great having you on the show, learning more about your background, you know, how you got into the business and you know, the great work you’re doing for your clients.
But I just have to ask, I mean, what’s next? What’s next for you? What’s next for your agency? What’s next for me? Booking more trips. Doing more learning. So I’m a part of what they call the Clear Cruise Line International Association, so I have my membership mm-hmm. And I’m looking to get certified on all things cruises because I see the demand for cruises.
Mm-hmm. Just skyrocketing. It’s been skyrocketing for the past year and a half, but it’s really gonna skyrocket even more. There are people left booking out to 2024 right now as we speak. So I want to get more proficient in the marketing of that and to be able to sell that to my clients because a lot of my clientele is gonna come from booking cruises.
I can see that right now. And your company will be one of those clients because we gonna be working diligently on you really in the next half an hour. That’s what I’m talking about. Well, Carlton, if somebody is watching this or listening to this and they wanna learn more and they wanna connect with you and they wanna talk about cruises and see and plan their next vacation, I mean, what’s the best way for them to follow up and connect with you and your team?
They can follow me on LinkedIn under my name Carlton Miller. They can also follow me on Facebook. Under the same name Carlton Miler as well. I also have a business page, which is CS Lux Travel, which is C space, M I L L U X, travel. They can reach out to me and DM me on either one of those.
Fantastic, and we’ll put that information in the show notes so that our team can our, our audience can just click on the links and head right on over. And speaking of the audience, if this is your first time with Mission Matters or engaging in a Mission Matters episode, we’re all about bringing on business owners, entrepreneurs, executives, and experts, and hearing their story, their mission, you know, what’s behind that, their journey, like what gets.
Them motivated to go out into the marketplace and to do something and to make a difference. If that’s the type of content that sounds interesting or fun or exciting to you, we welcome you hit that subscribe button because we have many more mission-based individuals coming up on the line and we don’t want you to miss a thing.
And Carlton, really, it has been a pleasure. Appreciate you coming on the show and can’t wait till our book is out and live and we bring you back on the show so we can do a deep dive in into what you write. So again, thanks for coming back on the show. Thank you so much, Adam, for having me. I appreciate you, appreciate the Mission Matters movement.