Thursday, November 15, 2018

Norwegian Bliss Ship Tour

Norwegian's newest ship - the Norwegian Bliss - is my favorite ship yet. The observation lounge at the front of the ship is incredible. The race track is a super fun option and I love the Jersey Boys show.  Q Smokehouse is a great addition for country line dancing parties at night and good barbecue during the day. 

The Haven is a special VIP ship within a ship experience. You get access to special elevators that make getting on and off ship a breeze. The concierge handles all your reservations. She even got us tickets for the Laser Tag and Race Track when it was "sold out" . A private pool, restaurant, bar, and observation create a relaxed environment - no crowds and no lines.

Need help planning a cruise vacation? You can work with me directly and pay exactly the same as booking with Norwegian. 

Request a quote:

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Shore Excursions: Bar Harbor, Maine

Bar Harbor, ME- Discovered in 1604 by French Explorer, Samuel de Champlain, the area was first settled in 1763. Before a catastrophic fire in 1947 Bar Harbor was a popular tourist destination for the super affluent.  Today, the area is best known for Acadia National Park, including Cadillac Mountain and Mountain Desert Island. The area is also home to some amazing wildlife including puffins, whales, lobster, seals, and pelagic seabirds.

Tour: Biking in Acadia National Park- Experience the famous carriage roads of Acadia by bicycle and crisscross some of the most scenic areas of the park. Professional guides will stop often to offer interpretive information about the island’s history and lore. The roads recently underwent a multi-million dollar refurbishment so they’re in excellent condition for cycling.

Duration: 2.5 hours

Tour: Acadia National Park- After boarding a motor coach at the pier experience one of the most scenic drives on the East Coast. As you set off for Acadia National Park view some of the charming Victorian mansions in the quaint town of Bar Harbor. Travel along the ocean’s edge passing Sand Beach, Schooner Head Overlook, Otter Cliffs and the Gulf of Maine. Enjoy the beautiful view of Penobscot Mountains and Bubbles Hill. The park is home to 50 species of mammals. Look for moose, black bear, and white tailed deer. Weather permitting a photo stop is made at Cadillac Mountain.

Duration: 2.25 hours

Tour: Lighthouse and National Park Cruise- Enjoy cruising on a jet powered catamaran past five of Maine’s most beautiful and unique lighthouses. Other points of interest on the cruise include Porcupine Islands, Champlain Mountain, Great Head, Thunder Hole, Sand Beach and Otter Cliff.

Duration: 3 hours

Tour: Lobster Fishing & Feast- Spend a day in the life of a Lobster fisherman. Learn about the process of harvesting Maine Lobster while enjoying the coastal scenery of Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park aboard your lobster boat. After returning to shore take part in a lobster bake with all of the fixings.

Duration: 2.75 hours

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Resort Tour: Azul Beach Resort Negril, Jamaica

Azul Beach Negril is a family all inclusive resort about an hour and a half from the Montego Bay airport. This resort features Karisma's gourmet inclusive concept with great dining options. A kids' club offers lots of different programs from crazy kitchen to science corner to legos and outdoor activities. I love how you can swim to the swim up bar from certain swim up suites. The evenings have live music or shows. It's located on Negril's famous Seven Mile beach. 

Thank you to Karisma for sponsoring my stay at Azul Beach Resort Negril during a travel agent training. 

If this looks like a good fit for your family, click here to request a quote. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

USA Series: Day Trips from Las Vegas

Need a break from the 24/7 lights and activity of Las Vegas? How about a
day trip to one of these amazing places?

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Distance from Las Vegas: 21 miles, about 30 minutes
Hours of Operation: 6 am, closing time varies depending on the season
Located in Nevada’s Mojave Desert, this beautiful park is known for
towering red sandstone peaks, Keystone Thrust Fault, and Native
American petroglyphs. Visitors to the park enjoy hiking, climbing, biking,
camping, and a 13 mile scenic drive dotted with amazing panoramic views
of the area. The Visitor’s Center is open daily from 8 am to 4:30 pm. A one

day pass to the park is $15 per vehicle.

Mojave National Preserve
Distance from Las Vegas: 90 miles, about 1.5 hours
Hours of Operation: Open 24 hours
Known for its sand dunes, volcanic cinder cones, Joshua trees, carpets of
wildflowers in the canyons, mountains, and mesas that make up this 1.6
million acre park. The preserve is home to many different species of wildlife
including desert tortoises, bighorn sheep, mountain lions, bobcats,
roadrunners, golden eagles, Gila monsters, and jack rabbits. It also home
to several poisonous snakes, including rattlesnakes, and the high toxic
Mojave green. To avoid encounter watch where you put your hands and
feet, especially when climbing rocks, and stay on the trails. Cell phone
service is sporadic and unreliable. There are 3 visitors centers, The Kelso
Depot Center is open 10 AM to 5 PM Thursday through Monday. It is
closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The Headquarters Information
Center in Barstow is open Monday- Friday from 8 am to 4 pm. The 3rd
Information Center is closed until the end of 2018. *There is no fee to enter
Mojave National Preserve

On your way to Mojave check out Nipton, CA, a historic Mojave Desert
town having roots in the 19th century mining and ranching industries. Stop
by the Nipton Trading Post for information and supplies suited to your
desert visit to the Mojave National Preserve. The Trading Post is open from
7 am to 10 pm daily.

Death Valley National Park
Distance from Las Vegas: 126 miles, 2 hours
Hours of Operation: Open 24 hours
On the border of eastern California and Nevada, it’s known for Titus
Canyon, with a ghost town and colorful rocks, and Badwater Basin salt
flats, North America’s lowest point. The park is also known as the hottest
and dryest National Park. Furnace Creek Visitor Center & Museum is open
daily from 8 am to 5 pm and is the main source of visitor information about
the park. Visitors to the park enjoy hiking, backpacking, camping, night sky
viewing, bird watching, mountain biking, and the Star Wars Auto Tour,
where guests can learn about the different locations in the park and see
where various movie scenes were filmed. There is a vehicle entrance fee of
$30, which is good for 7 days to enter and exit as many times as you wish
from the date of purchase. The fee for individuals entering the park on foot
or bicycle is $15, good for 7 consecutive days to enter and exit as many
times as you wish from the date of purchase. It’s recommended to check

the park’s website for park conditions before you go.

Bryce Canyon National Park
Distance from Las Vegas: 260 miles, about 4 hours
Hours of Operation: Open 24 hours (Visitor’s Center is open 8 am to 6 pm)
Known for its crimson colored spire shaped rock formations. The parks
main road leads past the Bryce Amphitheater, which lies below the Rim
Trail hiking path. It overlooks Sunrise Point, Sunset Point, Inspiration Point
and Bryce Point. Best viewing times are at sunrise and sunset. Park entry
fees are $30 for a private vehicle for access for 7 consecutive days from
date of purchase. $15 for persons entering by foot or by bicycle for 7
consecutive days. Check the weather before you go and bring one layer
warmer than you think you will need. Best hikes in the park are Navajo

Loop, Fairyland Loop, Sunset Point, Bristlecone Loop, and Mossy Cave.

Zion National Park
Distance from Las Vegas: 160 miles, about 2.5 hours and on the way to
Bryce Canyon National Park
Hours of Operation: The park is open 24 hours a day (Zion Canyon Visitor’s
Center is open 8 am to 5 pm, Human History Museum is open 10 am to 5
pm, and the Kolob Canyon Visitor Center is open 8 am to 4:30 pm)
This nature preserve in southwest Utah is distinguished by Zion Canyon’s
steep red cliffs. The Canyon scenic drive cuts though the main section

leading to the Virgin River. The river flows to the Emerald Pools which have
waterfalls and a garden. Entry fees are $35 for a private vehicle which is
good for 7 consecutive days. This area is known for a wide range of
weather conditions. Temperatures vary with changes in elevation and
day/night temperatures may differ by over 30°F. Popular activities in the
park include bicycling, backpacking, camping, canyoneering, hiking,
horseback riding, bird watching, Ranger-led activities, river trips, and
stargazing. Park website .
**For $80 you can purchase an annual park pass which is good at all U.S.
National Parks and federal recreational lands. The pass admits the pass
owner and accompanying passengers. Persons age 62 and older can get
an annual pass for $20 or a lifetime pass for $80. Active duty military can

get in the US National Parks for free.

Valley of Fire National Park (State Park)
Distance from Las Vegas: 52 miles, about 1 hour
Hours of Operation: From dawn until dusk
Over 40,000 acres of bright red Aztec sandstone nestled in gray and tan
limestone. The park contains ancient, petrified trees and petroglyphs dating
back more than 2,000 years. There is a Visitor Center that has exhibits on
geology, ecology, and the history of the park and the region. You can also
get recommendations here for hiking trails. There is a $10 fee per vehicle
for entrance to the park.

Skywalk Grand Canyon
Distance from Las Vegas: 123 miles, about 3 hours
Hours of Operation: 7 AM to 7 PM , last tickets are sold at 4:30 pm.
The skywalk is a horseshoe-shaped cantilever bridge with a glass walkway
near the Colorado River edge side of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The
elevation of the Skywalk’s location is 4,770 feet. Commissioned and owned
by the Hualapai Indian tribe, it opened to the public in March of 2007.
Tickets can be purchased online and a variety of tours, packages, add-ons,
and specials are available. Unfortunately you cannot purchase tickets just
for the Skywalk itself, they only come in a package or tour. To view all of the
options available, please click on this link . Plan on allowing 2-3 hours at the


Hoover Dam
Distance from Las Vegas: 33 miles, about 45 minutes
Hours of Operation: 9 AM to 5 PM, PST
A concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River
between Nevada and Arizona. The base of the dam is as thick as two
football fields measured end to end. Construction began in 1931 and was
completed in 1936. The visitor center is currently undergoing renovations.
During this time a modified guided tour of the Nevada wing of the power
plant will be offered, with access to the Exhibit Area, Observation Deck,
and top of the dam. Dam Tour tickets cannot be purchased online. They are
available on a first come-first serve basis and must be purchased in person
at the Dam. They are $30 per person. The first tour is offered at 9:30 am,
and tours continue every half hour with the last tour departing at 3:30 pm.
The Dam Tour lasts approximately 1 hour. Tickets to the Powerplant and
the Visitor Center can be purchased online and are $15, the tour lasts
about 30 minutes. There is also a $10 fee to park in the garage.
The Power Plant tours are NOT RECOMMENDED for anyone who suffers
from claustrophobia, or has a pacemaker or defibrillator. Tours are
conducted in confined spaces and in a powerplant with generators emitting

electromagnetic frequencies

Laughlin, NV
Distance from Las Vegas: 97 miles, about 1.5 hours
Located along the Colorado River this little city is the perfect hub for all
kinds of outdoor activities including white water rafting, camping, hiking,
mountain biking, horseback riding, golfing and SCUBA diving. The weather
is here is warm year round, so adventure seekers will always have
something to do. The city also has an array of upscale resorts, casinos,

restaurants, and bars.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Distance from Las Vegas: 27 miles, about 35 minutes
Known for it’s amazing scenery, this recreational area is home to many
different species of desert plants and animals. Beautiful red rock cliffs
surround the lake and add to the beauty of the area. Visitors enjoy boating,
camping, kayaking, canoeing, hiking, and picnicking.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Sugar Ridge Resort Antigua

Sugar Ridge is open to all ages. It has room only, bed and breakfast rates, and all inclusive. It has a calm vibe with a focus on relaxation and wellness. It's not on a beach but will shuttle you to a nearby beach club. It's a great choice for travelers who want to experience different beaches during their stay in Antigua. 

A big thank you to the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority for sponsoring my visit. 

Take a peek: 

If this looks like the right resort for you, click here to request a quote.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Secrets Maroma Tour

Secrets Maroma is an adults only all inclusive resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico. This resort is on Maroma Beach - one of the best beaches in Mexico. The resort has a relaxing vibe with lots of activities. Activities range from beach volleyball to painting to body sculpt class to kitchen tours. It's a great mix for all interests. The dining was very good and nightlife had several options each night including live music, a show and karaoke or a disco. 

Join me on a resort tour: 

If this looks like a good fit for you, click here to request a quote. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Top 10 All Inclusive Resort Tips

  1. If they are giving you a credit or a coupon, it likely comes with a time share pitch disguised as a "resort tour" or "resort orientation".
  2. Make a plan for if your room is not ready. Pack your swimsuit so it's easy to access. Make a spa or hydrotherapy appointment for close to your arrival time.
  3. Bring a beach bag and your own insulated mug for the swim up bar.
  4. The resort may have premium alcohol, but you have to ask for it. Order "A Margarita with Don Julio" versus "A Margarita". Bars may have different options. We find lobby bars and club level lounges have different options than the swim up bars.
  5. Not all resorts have great beaches. Choose wisely.
  6. Pay attention to the rules for a la carte dining. Some resorts limit how many nights you can visit an a la carte restaurant. Others require reservations. You can order anything you want on the menu. Don't feel like you can only order an appetizer, entrée and dessert.
  7. Dehydration is real. Watch out at the swim up bar especially on your date of arrival when you are dehydrated from flying.
  8. If your resort includes room service, make the most of it. We order a pot of coffee to help us wake up or an afternoon snack or the midnight munchies.
  9. Prepare your credit card for travel. Do you have foreign transaction fees? Did you notify your bank that you will be out of the country?
  10. All resorts include activities and some include non-motorized sports - join the fun. Ask at check in where to find a schedule of events. Do they offer a shuttle anywhere? Go to the water sports hut and ask what's included and how you sign up for it.

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