Saturday, December 28, 2013

Intercontinental Miami

Before our December cruise on the Carnival Breeze, we spent the night at the Intercontinental Miami on the bay. I always recommend spending the night in your departure port before you cruise. I find it is much more relaxing and you don't risk missing your cruise because of travel delays.

The Intercontinental location is fantastic. The port is minutes away and you have a terrific view of the harbor.Bayside - a large entertainment complex with restaurants and bars is a 10 minute walk. The rooms were spacious with a nice bathroom.  I had the best cucumber Collins cocktail at the pool bar. We will definitely stay there again when we cruise out of Miami. 
King Bed Room

Friday, December 27, 2013

Sandals Royal Bahamaian Nassau, Bahamas

Recently, I had the opportunity to enjoy a day at the Sandals Royal Bahamaian in Nassau, Bahamas.  

Overall, I really enjoyed the property. The pools were fantastic. They are very large and clean with swim up bars and plenty of chairs on the pool deck. The chairs are set up as pairs with a little extra space on either side so you don't feel crowded. They have an active pool and a quiet pool. The active pool plays music and has the Sandals staff leading a wide range of activities. 

We had breakfast at the buffet and lunch at the poolside pizza oven. You can order by the slice or get a personal pizza.  I was really impressed by the vegetable pizza. 

The bartenders were very friendly. Their specialty is the fruity Caribbean cocktails - especially the Bahama mama. The swim up bar was stocked with some very good rums, but you may miss some of your other well-known American brands of vodka, tequila or whiskey. 

This property is geared toward couples. The people we met were a good mix of young newlyweds and people who have been coming here for years so it was a nice age range. I recommend this property for couples who want a romantic getaway. I was impressed by the list of activities - both active and educational. On the day I visited, I could have joined a beach volleyball game, attend a wine class, a cooking class, a mixology class, participated in poolside trivia, an afternoon tea, and a show that evening. Plus a wide range of water activities - including scuba diving for certified divers - are included. 

Here's some photos: 

The main interior bar. I loved the elegant interior design.  The wood was beautiful. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Busch Gardens Christmas Town

Living in Florida, it can sometime be hard to get in the holiday spirit. That's why I love visiting amusement parks this time of year. Busch Gardens hosts Christmas Town in the evenings during late November and December. This was my first year attending and I really enjoyed it. My husband really enjoyed the lack of lines for the roller coasters!



The Decorations at the entrance 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Traveler Review: 2 Night Cruise on the Norwegian Dawn

My husband and I took a 2 night cruise from Tampa on the Norwegian Dawn. Here's his review: 

Overall a great cruise. Very pretty ship - most beautiful dining room I have seen on any ship.



Venetian Dining Room, Norwegian Dawn 

Embarkation was fast. Arrived at the port at 11:45 and were on board within an hour. Rooms ready by 1:30.

Service was very SLOW in all dining rooms (ate in Venetian for breakfast, lunch and dinner and once in Aqua for dinner). Might have been due to the nature of the cruise. Didn't east in any specialty restaurants. Food we very good in all restaurants. Highlight were great lobster (broiled but not dry and dead), goat cheese stuffed portobello at lunch and olive tapenade (also for lunch).

We were very impressed with the Spa Area. It's an additional charge so we didn't purchase a pass for such a short cruise, but we likely would for a longer cruise. 

Lap Pool in the Spa, Norwegian Dawn 

Relaxation Area in the Spa, Norwegian Dawn 

Loved the grill at the Bimini bar one deck above the pool. Tasty burgers!!


View from Bimini Bar 

About two hours are departure,  we had a great view of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. 
Sunshine Skyway Bridge 

Room service wasn't provided - at least to our cabin - so no feedback on how that worked. A couple travelling with us ordered a pizza to their cabin ($5) and it was the worst pizza they ever had.

We saw "Band on the Run" on the main theater and it was fabulous show. Some very talented singers on board. We missed the opening night show so didn't see the comedian although he hosted "The Quest" on the last night. Karaoke was in the English pub but terrible setup where the person singing was sequestered in a small corner so hard for the crowd to get into it. 

The Spinnaker Lounge hosted several fun games and music including a small band and a male/female singing duo that we saw that were entertaining. 
Bar at Spinnaker Lounge 
First night in the disco the DJ cleared the dance floor with the music he was playing - definitely didn't know his audience. But he must have had a personality transplant by the second night as he played different music and the floor was at capacity until wee hours.

Disembarkation very smooth. We ate breakfast in Venetian and then were off the ship by 9AM. Could have walked off as early as 8AM.

Will definitely sail on NCL again. I like the experience.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday Cruise Sales on Princess, Norwegian and Disney Cruise Lines

Check out these great Black Friday Sales on Cruises. Email me at tripswithangie@gmail.com to book your vacation! 





Princess Thanksgiving Day Sale  - Big Savings! Free upgrades, Free bottle of wine, and  $25 on board credit for select sailings. 
4 Day West Coast Sailings from Los Angeles from $219 per person for an interior cabin
5 Day Caribbean Getaways from Fort Lauderdale from $299 per person for an interior cabin 
VALID TODAY ONLY! Receive up to $1,000 off escorted tours from Gate 1 Travel. 



Norwegians Wrap It Up Early. Reduced deposit plus up to $250* Onboard credit per stateroom.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Tips for finding a last minute deal!

For those of you chasing a last minute deal to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico, Jamaica, or the Dominican Republic - here's a tip: 

The best deals are available when one of the major vacation companies is trying to fill their charter flights. Charter flight fly from: Austin, Boston, Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Hartford, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Lansing, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New York JFK, Newport News, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Rockford, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, and St Louis. 

Flight availability is limited and based on the season, but if you can get to one of these cities, you have a great shot at getting a last minute deal. Email  me at tripswithangie@gmail.com for more details or to book a trip this winter.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Book your own vacation!

Some of the perks of using a travel agent are that I do the research for you, make recommendations, and then answer your questions as you prepare to travel. However, some of you like to see all your options and do some research on your own. 

I have found the perfect compromise for all-inclusive vacations! My own Funjet Vacation page! If you book through this page, I will be there to support you as you prepare to travel, but you can research and make decisions on your own time. Click the link below and starting planning your vacation! 

Click here to start planning your vacation!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Hot Deals from Chicago O'Hare

 7 nights at RIU Bambu in Punta Cana including round trip airfare departing in January from $1,298.49 per person.


RIU Bambu


  7 nights at the all inclusive resort RIU Guanacaste in January 2014 for $1,598.19 per person. Save up to $2,352 per couple. 
RIU Guanacaste


Email me at tripswithangie@gmail.com to reserve your spot! 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Thinking about Europe? You have options!

One advantage working with a travel agent brings is that you can get a full picture of all your options. Recently, a client approached me about planning a trip to Europe to celebrate her daughter's graduation from college. Here was my response: 

How exciting! You have so many options when it comes to visiting Europe. 

If you want to visit several countries and really make every second count, I recommend an escorted tour. You won't have to worry about any of the details. You'll get to see all the headline attractions in each country with your own personal tour guide. An itinerary could look something like this: 


Another option to see several cities is cruising. The benefit here is that you only unpack once and you have a home base to come back to every night. Plus since meals are all included, it can be a great value. 

Luxury cruise lines like Azamara cruises stay late in port or even overnight so you can really make the most of your time in Europe. 

Mass market cruise lines like Celebrity, Princess, Holland America, or Norwegian offer great itineraries around the Mediterranean. 

River Cruise Lines are smaller and allow you to visit the smaller towns along the major rivers in Europe to get a great sense of local culture. 

If you want to go it alone, many of the major airlines have packages available that combine flights and hotel. 

If you plan to stay in one place for the whole time, renting an apartment through a website like airbnb.com may be a great option. 

With so many options, it just makes sense to have a travel professional guide you through the process of choosing the best option for you and your family. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

International Deals


Explore the world on one of these great tours: 

Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey

$1499* 13 Day Escorted Tour of Turkey Including Flights
Explore Istanbul, the famed city of Troy, breathtaking Cappadocia & more

$1699* 13 Day Kaleidoscope of Morocco Including Flights
Rabat, Fez, Erfoud, Ouarzazate, Marrakesh & Casablanca

$2499* 15 Day Tour of China with Chengdu, 3 Day Yangtze River Cruise & Air
The Great Wall, Xian's Terracotta Army, Chengdu Panda Research Center, Shanghai and more

$699 6 Day South Florida Escorted Tour with Key West
Highlighting Miami, Everglades National Park & Islamorada

$2399* 10 Day 3 Country Tour (Germany, Switzerland & Austria) with Air
Mainz, Heidelberg, Lucerne, Innsbruck, Salzburg & Munich all in one amazing tour

$2799* 7 Day Galapagos Islands & Ecuador Tour with Airfare
Guayaquil & Quito plus Galapagos Islands of Santa Cruz, Seymour & Plaza

$2399* 9 Day Iceland Adventure Including Airfare
Escorted tour offering breathtaking landscapes & unique culture. May - Sep departures

$1149* 8 Day Venice, Florence & Rome Including Airfare & Rail Tickets
Two nights each in three of Italy's most captivating cities

$2199* 12 Day Tour of Albania, Montenegro, Croatia & Slovenia with Flights
Discover the Adriatic gems of Tirana, Kolasin, Dubrovnik, Split, Plitvice Lakes & Bled

$1999* 10 Day Tour of Britain (England & Scotland) Including Airfare
Experience London, Stonehenge, Bath, Bristol, Liverpool, Edinburgh & York

$2499 14 Nights: 7 Day Tour of Italy w/ 7 Night Western Med Cruise
Venice, Florence & Rome plus Livorno, Cannes (France), Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona & Naples

$4299* Small Group Tour: 12 Day Illustrious France Including Air
Two nights each in Toulouse, Sarlat (Dordogne Valley), Loire Valley, Normandy & Paris


Also - Last Call:  The 2014 Early Booking Discount 2-FOR-1 cruise plus up to 2-FOR-1 air on Viking River Cruise Lines ends this Thursday October 31st.


Monday, October 28, 2013

Las Vegas Review: The Flamingo

Katie and her husband wanted a fun getaway to Las Vegas. We picked the Flamingo because its great location and great value. I made sure they got one of the newly renovated rooms.  

Go Deluxe Room at Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel


Here's her review: 

We had a great trip!  The Flamingo was perfect.  We had no problems with construction and our room was nice.  Nothing too fancy, but that's not what we were wanting anyways.  It was very clean and updated.  The construction is on the south side of the hotel so I can imagine people staying on that side of the hotel would have a problem with construction noise.  Since our room was on the inside facing the pool we had no problem with anything.  It was the perfect place to stay for where we are at this point in our lives.  We did mention to each other that as we get older, have more money, and come back more (which we are absolutely going to do) we would want to stay somewhere a little more modern and with more food/shopping options/nicer casinos, but we aren't to that point yet.  So it was perfect for anyone in our age range or people that don't want to spend an absolute fortune.  I had no idea how expensive Vegas could be!  The pool is a lot of fun at the Flamingo, too.  One problem was that people can be so rude and they go claim lounge chairs right at 9:00, but don't come to the pool until 2:00.  It made it tough to find a seat but it ended up fine for us since we got there early. 

The location was perfect as well.  Right in the middle and a 10 minute walk to anything.

As far as gambling goes we spent most of our time in the Quad.  Since I had never gambled before I didn't want to annoy people at tables by not knowing what to do or sit at $25 min. bet tables only to lose all my money in 5 minutes.  The Quad had perfect $5 tables and we were frequently served.  It was a nice atmosphere too.  We had the best breakfast ever at a place called Mon Ami Gabi.  It's a French restaurant outside of Paris that has a nice heated patio and great food/service.  I would recommend it to anyone!  It also serves lunch and dinner.  Very well priced.  We were mad we didn't try it until our last day because they had a great bloody mary bar too!  

We went to Table 10 in the Palazzo for dinner on Friday.  Great dinner as far as food goes, but we were treated horribly!  We attribute it to the young diners stereotype that people put on us.  But the food was fantastic!  I just wouldn't recommend it as a place for a couple our age to go.  If you are going to be spending $30+ on a entree you want the experience to go with it.


Very long review, I sometimes get carried away!  We had such a great time and are already talking about going back soon.  We will be sure to get in touch with you when we are ready.  I'm so happy my mom sent me your information, you make traveling so much easier and painless!  We were very pleased that the Flamingo was exactly what we were expecting based on what you had told us.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Trip Review: Secrets Aura Cozumel

Susan contacted me to plan a romantic getaway for her and her husband. We were able to find a great deal at luxury-included Secrets Aura Cozumel. 
Pier at Secrets Aura Cozumel 

About a month before departure, were notified that the hotel had planned construction during her visit. Because she had purchased the insurance, she had the option to switch hotels. In the end, she decided to stay at Secrets. Here's her review: 

We had a great time. The construction was kind of a bummer. But we knew about it obviously so I packed ear plugs (which I only busted out once to sleep in one morning. The other days it didn't bother us.) and when sitting on the beach, the waves and music made it so you couldn't hear it. The main reason it was a bummer is because the building that is the priority club usually (at least I'm pretty sure) was closed since it was closest to the construction. So, while we were totally happy with our room (comfy king bed, sitting area, balcony with ocean view), I do wonder what the other ones were like, you know? But in all, not a huge deal. We loved the priority club lounge and that bartender was our favorite. We talked with him a lot since sometimes we were the only people in there! And I do think our priority club got us better booze. A couple times we were asked to show our room keys (they were black- fancy haa haa) when ordering at other bars and I think that was so we could get better brands even at the non-priority bars. (I feel like I sound like an alcoholic... sorry) 

We did a snorkel excursion to 3 reefs one day and it was awesome so thanks for recommending Cozumel for that!. Another day we rented a jet ski from a place down the beach and the hotel called them, booked our time and had them drop off the jet ski so we didn't even have to walk down there. (Which we totally would have done with no problem but it was nice nonetheless.) 

Other than those things we just did nothing. Which was fantastically great. We sat on the beach and read books, floated in the pool, looked at fish in the water. One rainy day we watched some Orange is the New Black on Netflix streaming using the hotel wi-fi and the ipad. It came through just fine.

Had we been there a full week, we probably would have done another excursion. There was one that was a full day that included snorkeling, a city tour, trip to the eco park, and a tequila factory with lunch but since we only had 3 "real" days we didn't want to be gone for a whole day. But if anyone else is going, it sounded cool. 

The pool was great. There were 3 of them but we really spent the most time at the one that was on the beach. The beach chairs had pillow top thingies on them so super comfy. Service at the pool/beach was slow but no big deal, I mean the bar was all of 20 feet away so we just popped up and got our own drinks sometimes. Staff was very friendly. 

Food was lovely. Since it was low season not all of the restaurants were opened every day but that was OK with us as the daily activities sheet said which ones would be so you could certainly plan ahead and we still got to go to all of them. 

Since it was low season it was pretty empty. This was awesome sometimes -- always getting a towel/good beach chair, getting the best tables/views at the restaurants, etc but other times it was sort of weird-- not a lot going on at night. For example, we went up to the sky bar our last night (it hadn't been open until Saturday night but the other bar/lounge is where things had been going on) ANYWAY, we went up there to check it out and it was just us and the bartender. I felt bad for him. I mean, in the other areas there was music/tvs or something but this dude was in the middle of this huge bar area with nothing to do but stand there. It was a great space but when you're the only 2 people, it feels sort of bizarre. 

Transfers to/from the airport were no problem. Glad for the reminder of going through the doors to outside before looking for your Apple dude though. Those people are CRAZY. :) 

Oh, resort credits-- they were really coupons. For instance, you could use up to $60 or something at the spa or use up to a certain amount for dinner on the pier or get $10 off bottles of wine but we didn't even end up using any of them... Maybe this is normal and I just didn't know but whatevs. No big deal to me. 

Flights were good. A little stressful with that connection on the way out (The reason they were a little late was because they had to go back to the gate because THEY FORGOT TO PUT THE LUGGAGE ON THE PLANE! Ha. looks like I'm not the only one who cannot fully function at 5 a.m.) However, our connecting flight was literally at the gate next door once we landed. On the way home the connection time was perfect since getting through immigration/customs took a looooooong time. 

So in all it was great. I would for sure return but maybe with other friends or during a slightly busier time so there'd be more to enjoy nightlifewise. But for days of relaxing away from the kids (ours and everyone elses! ;)) it was just what the doctor ordered.

I love planning all-inclusive vacations. Click here to request my Top 10 Considerations when choosing an all-inclusive resort for free.  

If I can help you plan an all-inclusive vacation,  please let me know. 

Remember - my services are free to you! 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Dream Trip Alert: Explore Southern Africa

Dream Trip Alert - 

16 Days exploring Southern Africa - Cape Town, Kruger National Park, Swaziland, Victoria Falls, and Blyde River Canyon.




Escorted Package Includes

Flights NYC-Cape Town, Johannesburg-NYC
Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
Intra-flights Cape Town-Durban, Johannesburg-Victoria Falls & Victoria Falls-Johannesburg
14 nights Deluxe & First Class accommodations
4 nights Cape Town
1 night Hluhluwe
1 night Swaziland
2 nights Hazyview
2 nights Johannesburg
2 nights Victoria Falls
2 nights Botswana
Hotel porterage
All transfers
23 meals: 14 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 6 dinners
Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned motor coach
Services of English-speaking tour manager throughout
Entrance fees per itinerary

Special Features

Cape Town City & Table Mountain Tour
Cape Peninsula Tour
Game Viewing Cruise in Zululand
Game drive through Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve
Game drive through Kruger Park
Soweto Tour
Victoria Falls Tour
Sunset Cruise on the Zambezi River
Game drive through Chobe National Park

Sunset Cruise on the Chobe River

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Dream Trip Alert: Canary Islands

Dream Trip Alert - Doesn't this trip look amazing? 

2 Nights in Barcelona and then a 9 day cruise to the Canary Islands. It's $799 per person not including airfare.





The package includes: 
Round trip flights NYC-Barcelona
Other departure cities available. Click on date of departure for selection and prices
Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
11 nights First Class accommodations
2 nights Barcelona
9 nights Norwegian Spirit, Norwegian Cruise Line®
Cruise porterage
Hotel to port transfer
28 meals: 11 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 9 dinners

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

All Inclusive Resorts - Do you need a dinner reservation?

One issue that comes up with all-inclusive resorts is the need to secure reservations for some of the sit-down restaurants. The process varies from resort to resort. Some resorts allow you to make your reservations for the whole week. Others require that you call or make reservations in person at a certain time each morning. A big trend in the higher-end resorts is to move to reservation-free restaurants.

What's your preference? Would you pay more to be able to walk up to the resort's sit down restaurant? Or is the slight hassle of making reservations not a big deal?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Deals and Promotions 9.28.13

Hello!

Happy weekend. Below are some upcoming deals and promotions to keep your eye on:

Norwegian Cruise Lines: Huge Cruise Event starting October 1st - 13th. On board credits, air credits, discount for military and AARP plus reduced deposits.

Don't worry - If you already have a NCL cruise booked with me, I will double check your reservation to make sure you are getting the best value.

Celebrity Cruise Lines Holiday Sailings - Kids Sail Free in a suite! Plus if you book by October 6th you can take advantage of Celebrity's great Pick Your Perk promotion.

Princess Cruise Lines - 3FREE Offer! Free shore excursion credit, Free room upgrades and Free Specialty Dinner for Two!

Fairmont Mayakoba - An amazing luxury resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico is offering up to  40% off their all-inclusive package and their hotel packages. Two children 17 and under stay free in the same room.

Email me at tripwithangie@gmail.com to book one of these great vacations! 


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Review: Couples Tower Isle Jamaica

A good friend recently visited Couples Tower Isle in Jamaica and she was gracious enough to share her thoughts with us! 



We traveled to Couples Tower Isle in August 2013.  Here are some of the details of the trip:
At the airport, you'll have to go through immigration.  This took forever (an hour or more for us)!  Make sure you fill out one form per person.  This is different from the US requirements where you fill out one per family.  Afterwards, you'll head to the Couples Lounge where you can enjoy Red Stripe, water, or pop.  Try a Shandy (Red Stripe and Ting--grapefruit pop), it's delish!  Within about a half hour, you'll load into a van and start the nearly 2 hour journey to Tower Isle, with two quick stops at a rest area (you might need to use the rest room after a few Shandys) and Couples Sans Souci (to drop off some other guests).  You'll tip the guy that loads the bags in the van and the driver because these people are not Couples employees.  

After you've arrived in paradise...
You'll check in and a bellhop will take you to your room.  You'll quickly notice that basically the only place that has air conditioning is your room.  That was my ONLY criticism of the trip, since I really like air conditioning.  The room was simple, but very comfortable.  If you sign up for Couples Rewards ahead of time, you can preselect the beverages in the mini bar, so you're set to enjoy another beverage. 

During the week...
Sign up for excursions and dinners as soon as possible.  You'll need to make reservations to eat at 8 Rivers and Bayside, but you can eat at those multiple times during the week.  Friday night is lobster night (in season) in most restaurants, so my suggestion would be to go to 8 Rivers twice---once on Friday and once another time.

The Dunns Rivers Falls Excursion is a must.  

It's mandatory to wear water shoes, so people who visit should try to bring them.  Otherwise, they'll have to purchase shoes ($17) or rent them ($7).  You'll be totally submerged during the hike, so wearing only a bathing suit (and maybe a pair of shorts for the ladies, shirt for the guys at most) is perfect.  Most people just wear swim suits.  You'll have to tip the guide (we gave $10) and there is a market that you have to walk through on the way out.  Bring some cash if you want to shop.  The tricky part is keeping it dry.  You can leave it in the van if you want.  Your guide will follow you out there anyways.  Some people also bring waterproof cameras, but since you'll have to hold hands, you'll need to keep it in a pocket or around your neck.  Bring a towel to dry off afterwards, but other than that, you won't need anything!  It's about a 2-2 1/2 hour long excursion, including transportation.  

The nearby Couples Sans Souci is a great resort.  On Monday, Wednesday, or Friday you can visit that one.  A van will drive you and you'll be there from 9:45-4pm.  For us, this was another "must-do".  The pool bar there had a super fun atmosphere and the restaurant with the lunch buffet (Palazzina) was great!

The Catamaran excursion was also very enjoyable.  You'll just wear a swim suit and cover up.  Bring a towel.  After a ride around the waters, you'll stop for a 20 minute swim in this gorgeous cove and then head back.  They serve rum punch or fruit punch during the ride.
We also went on the glass bottom boat tour.  This is the same boat that will be used for snorkeling, so you don't necessarily have to do both.  It was fine, but we wished we would have snorkeled instead.

You can be as active or sedative as you want.  We were only there 5 days, so we took the relaxing route.  There are many more fun activities to enjoy that we just didn't get around to.

In regards to what to bring, pack very lightly.  A few nice outfits to wear at night, a few swim suits and beach wear, and LOTS of sunscreen (like 4 bottles) is basically all you need.  They provide shampoo, body wash, and lotion.  The ladies might want to bring conditioner with them.  The resort also provides beach towels, so no need to bring your own.  At the end of the week, turn in the beach towels for a receipt so you don't get charged for them.
The week will go by way too quickly, and it'll be a great time.  There are many discussion boards on the Couples website and most of your questions can be answered there.

I love planning all-inclusive vacations. Click here to request my Top 10 Considerations when choosing an all-inclusive resort for free.  

If I can help you plan an all-inclusive vacation,  please let me know. 

Remember - my services are free to you! 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Spotlight on: Walt Disney World Fort Wilderness Campsites and Cabins


Welcome to Fort Wilderness! (Cowboy hat optional) 
The Fort Wilderness Cabins and Campsites offer a great wilderness experience for Disney World Guests. We checked in Friday afternoon September 13th to our tent camping site. The rate was $53/night. The tent and pop-up camping sites have a paved area for your car and a gravel area for your tent. It has a water hose/hook up and an electrical outlet. It also has a charcoal grill and picnic table. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

9.9.13 Cruise Promotions

Check out these current cruise promotions. One benefit of working with a travel agent is that I can notice of these before they are publicly announced so I can help advise you on the best time to book your cruise to make the most of these offers. 

Princess – 3 for Free Promotion 
Free Cabin Upgrades, Free Shore Excursion Credits, Free Specialty Dinner for Two 

Holland America – Onboard Credits and Reduced Fares if you book by September 15th 

Disney Cruise Lines – Special rates on fall sailings from Miami 
5-Night Western Caribbean Cruises (Miami, FL departure)
From $99†* per person, per day/$495 total
Based on double occupancy
Available most sail dates October 27 – November 15, 2013

Norwegian Cruise Lines  - Receive up to $100 on board credit for Caribbean Sailings 
Book selected Caribbean cruises from New York, Tampa, New Orleans, or Miami before September 16th and receive up to $100 on board credits 

Email me at tripswithangie@gmail.com for more information 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Client Review: Royal Solaris Los Cabos

Today's review is from Laura. She vacationed in Los Cabos this August with her husband and sons (ages 18 and 22). 


We had a great time.  Los Cabos is beautiful and we definitely want to go back.   We'd stay at a different resort though.   For a few reasons; mainly the ocean is not swimmable.  The undertow is so strong that the hotel discourages guests from swimming at the beach.  That didn't stop my husband or sons though, they definitely swam in the ocean every day, but didn't not venture out far.  Several guests did the same thing.  We did see 2 people (1 adult and 1 kid) need to be rescued though, so my family swam with extreme caution and stayed close to the shore line.   

The food at the resort was not that great.  But since this is my first time in Mexico and at any all inclusive resort I don't know if that is normal.   The hotel recycled food thru out the day and getting a reservation at the 2 restaurants were next to impossible.   You were supposed to call at 9am every day to make a reservation, if you called at 9:05 it was full.   We did eat at their Mexican rest 1 day and that food was great, but the Italian restaurant was always booked.   By Wednesday, we started to eat off of the resort.  There is a strip right across from the hotel where this is a Rock & Brew (KISS restaurant) that had great live band and Great food and there was a great small taco restaurant down the street that we at at a few times.  The staff at the hotel were friendly, but everything was expensive.   The hotel doesn't offer any shuttles, so the cost to get to Cabo San Lucas from the Hotel was a $35.00 cab ride 1 way or $76.00 shuttle round trip.   The shuttle would have been great, but their times were spread way to far apart so you would be stuck in Cabo San Lucas for 6 hours.   The hotel charged an arm and a leg for everything, if you lost your wrist band they would have charged $70.00 to replace it, lost the key to the safe $100.00 and lost a towel you took for the pool they would have charged $30.00 per towel.   So everyone guarded their stuff like crazy.  :0)    Manuel from Apple vacations at the hotel was not so nice.  He seemed to be upset with me when I told him I booked all our activites prior to arriving.  He wanted to know why we didn't use Amstars website.   I just told him, I liked to be prepared and pre-pay for everything before we got there so I know what we are doing every day.   

I totally forgot what you said about finding and talking with the Flower Printed shirt at the airport.  I knew to find the flower shirt, but after we cleared customs we were bombarded with these guys right before you leave the airport.  I thought it was another process we needed to go thru before I could get outside so we fell for the whole spiel that the guy gave us.  He freaked out my husband and son's because he told us that Royal Solaris resort is not great and no one goes there.  It took me about 10 min to figure out that this was a sales pitch for their resort.  Once I realized that I cut off the conversation and we left.  I told my husband I should have followed my gut and really listened to what Angie said in her email.  LOL  everyone at the airport fell for it though.  Those guys were good. 

I sound like I'm complaining, and I'm really not.   We had a fantastic time, my son's absolutely loved it.  And while my husband wasn't too thrilled with the area when we first got there (he was expecting more greenery and not desert) by the end of our trip he said he'd much rather go to this area than the Cancun area next time.  :)  We'd probably like to stay in Cabo San Lucas the next time we go because that area just had so much more to do.   The Cabo Adventures were great.  The boys did Zip lining and Swim with the dolphins, as a family we did the Snorkling and then my two son's did ATV's and a Land Sea tour by themselves while my husband and I went to Cabo San Lucas to shop and eat dinner. 

Thank you for everything you did for us for this trip.  We will definitely be booking another trip soon. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Beaches Turks and Caicos Girlfriend Weekend

Beaches is rolling out the red carpet for you and your girlfriends to go on a 4-night best friends vacation in paradise at very special rates, filled with special activities and special goodies.
Image courtesy of Beaches

So, grab your girlfriends, kick back, relax and enjoy Caribbean-style fun at the Beaches Friends Forever (B.F.F.) Girls Getaway. This would also be a great weekend for mothers and daughters to spend quality time together. 

Enjoy these special perks on one of these great weekends:

Monday, August 26, 2013

What is included at an all-inclusive resort?

All-inclusive resorts offer tremendous value when visiting the Caribbean, but what's included? 

A typical all-inclusive resort will include: 

All meals at the resort's buffet or sit down restaurants - It's important to find out how the sit down restaurants operate. Do you need a reservation? Is there a limit to how many reservations you can make? 

Local beer and hard liquor - If you have a particular brand of beer or liquor you prefer, it's important to ask if it will be available. Many resorts source only local brands. 

Your room, taxes and fees - Depending on the type of room you choose, you may receive additional benefits. For instance, concierge, club or premium rooms could give you access to special restaurants or pools. 

Additional inclusions at some resorts: 
Wine - Not all resorts include wine. If that's important to you, be sure to clarify if it is included in your package. 

Non-motorized water sports - Kayaks, paddle boards, sailboats and snorkeling equipment may be available for use. Some resorts offer unlimited use. Others offer a set usage per day such as one hour free per day.  

Meals and visits to neighboring resorts owned by the same company - Be sure to clarify if your transportation is included or if you'll be expected to pay for a taxi.  Most resorts require reservations and have a limited schedule of when you are welcome at the other property. 

WiFi - Be sure to clarify if it is only available in the lobby or across the property. 

Introduction to Scuba Diving class 

Scuba Diving - Many Couples and Sandals resorts include daily dives for certified divers. 

Catamaran or glass bottom boat trips - Couples resorts offer excursions as part of their all-inclusive rate.

Room Service - Room service may only be available in certain types of rooms or at certain times. 

If you have any questions or want to plan an all-inclusive resort vacation of your own, post below or email me at tripswithangie@gmail.com  


Thursday, August 22, 2013

8.22.13 Deals of the Week


Big Promotions Coming Next Week on Norwegian Cruise Lines and Celebrity Cruise Lines so be sure to contact me if you are thinking about cruising on one of those lines. 

For those promotions or to book one of the deals below, contact me at tripswithangie@gmail.com 


Princess Cruise Getaways from $299 per person. 7 night Western Caribbean sailings from $499 per person and 10 day Southern Caribbean sailings from $899 per person.  



Sandals Resorts Back to School Sale – Celebrate the kids return to school by booking a romantic vacation for just the two of you! 

Monday, August 19, 2013

8.19.13 Group Travel: Considerations when renting a house

Every so often I am contacted by a potential client about renting a house for a group vacation.  While I don't facilitate property rentals, I do have some recommendations on what to consider to determine if renting a house is right for your group.

Where will you sleep?
Bed sizes and number - Many house rentals indicate how many people the home will sleep. This number can include sleeper sofas and air mattresses so it is important to find out the bed sizes, the number of beds and if sofas or air mattresses are included in the count.  f you are traveling with a group of 5 couples, rooms with bunk beds may not be the best option.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Why should you book your Spring Break Vacation with me?

Here's why Rosa did:

All Rosa wanted for Spring Break was a beach that she and her two girls could enjoy. Her husband enjoys more active pursuits. She contacted me to help her find that balance. We worked to together to evaluate several options that fit her budget. I booked her at the all-inclusive Playacar Palace in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. They had a fantastic time! They received a $1,500 resort credit that the family used for spa services, a chef’s dinner and a romantic dinner on the beach.

Now is a great time to start planning Spring Break since many properties will start to fill up. Email me at tripswithangie@gmail.com to get the planning process started.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

8.14.13 Trips with Angie Deals of the Week

Three of the best ways to get great deals is book early, book late or take advantage of pre-opening sales. Here's some deals of the week: 

Last Minute Deals 
Last minute deal from CHICAGO: Depart August 31st for 7 nights at the all-inclusive Grand Palladium Vallarta for $718.39 per person. A $1,300 savings!

Last Minute Deal from INDIANAPOLIS: 5 nights at Sunscape Sabor Cozumel Resort and Spa including airfare $1,047 per person. Sunday departures. 

Last minute deal from BOSTON: 5 nights at the all inclusive Dreams La Romana Resort and Spa $1,347 per person. Wednesday departures

Monday, August 12, 2013

Traveler Review: New Orleans

Another fantastic review of New Orleans from a Trips with Angie client: 


New Orleans
Accommodations:
InterContinental Hotel New Orleans

444 St. Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130
(800) 496-7621
The hotel was well appointed with all of the usual amenities.  The rooms were mildly dated yet well-kept and most importantly clean (with the exception of a stray ant.)  The balconies for the rooms were spacious and nearly as large as the room itself.  There is minimal privacy on the balcony so do not expect seclusion.  This hotel is in a business area slightly removed from the French Quarter.  It is within walking distance of the quarter and all of New Orleans public transportation including the street cars.  The location allows for a more subdued stay as you are not in the craziness of the Quarter.  The service was excellent and there are several food options such as Luke steps from the hotel. 

Hyatt French Quarter
800 Iberville Street,
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA 70112
Were we to travel there again we would consider staying at this hotel.  Walking through the Quarter I was in need of a restroom and stumbled upon this Hyatt.  The staff was outside scrubbing the sidewalks, and was very polite as we entered the building.  The lobby was beautifully done, and the restrooms were modern and clean.  The location puts you nearly on Bourbon St. and were you to not want to venture far, this would be the place to stay. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

8.8.13 Deals of the Week

Cruises 
Celebrity Cruise Lines 
Escape to the Caribbean and receive up to $500* to spend on board almost anyway you like—on us. With 6 stunning ships offering more than 85 sailings ranging from 4- to 14- nights from November 2013 through April 2014.
Want an even richer vacation experience? Book a Caribbean vacation that sails over
Christmas or New Years and DOUBLE your onboard credit to as much as $1,000*.

Stateroom CategoryOnboard Credit Amount
Inside & Ocean View$100*
Veranda$200*
AquaClass® & Concierge Class$300*
Suites$400*
Plus, get an additional $50 onboard credit each for 3rd and 4th guests in your stateroom.*
If you’re a Captain’s Club member, you’ll also enjoy 50% reduced deposits.*
But hurry—time is limited to take advantage of this extraordinary offer.
Book your Caribbean escape by August 19, 2013.


Norwegian Cruise Line
The Brand New Norwegian Breakaway
December 1, 2013
7-Day Bahamas & Florida from New York
Trips with Angie Special Amenities: $50 SBC per stateroom & a bottle of wine

Princess Cruise Lines Fall Spectacular 
Save up to 55% plus get up to $100 on board credits 
Balcony Cabins on Caribbean sailings from Houston or Fort Lauderdale as low as $699 per person 

Holland America Explore 4 
- Free beverage package
- Free dinner at a specialty restuarant
- Free or reduced fares for 3rd and 4th guests 
- 50% reduced deposits 
If you are thinking about a cruise on Holland America - now is the time to book! 


International Tours 



$1899*  10 Day Greek Island Hopper with Air
3 nights each in Santorini & Mykonos plus 2 nights in ancient Athens

$1499*  8 Day Tour of Morocco Including Air
Featuring capital city of Rabat, Fez, Marrakesh & Casablanca

$1699*  8 Day Tour of Peru, Machu Picchu Including Air

Urubamba Sacred Valley, Cuzco city tour & capital city of Lima


All Inclusive Resorts


Up to $555 Air Credits at Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau Bahamas 


All prices are subject to changes and subject to the terms and conditions of the offers. For the international tours - the airfare is based on flights from a gateway city. 

Please contact me at tripswithangie@gmail.com for more information. 

To get the latest information, great tips, and read client reviews please LIKE my Facebook page.