Monday, December 31, 2018

Sneak Peek: Jewel Paradise Cove Resort and Spa

Jewel Paradise Cove Resort and Spa is an adults only all inclusive resort about an hour and 10 minutes from the Montego Bay airport. It had two cove beaches. One very small cove for snorkeling and a larger beach area with water sports. The resort is an active vibe. The gym has a lot of included programs available. One of my favorite things they offer is a beachfront spin class. 

Let's take a peek: 




Any questions? Email me. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Resort Tour: Jewel Runaway Bay Resort



Jewel Runaway Bay is a family all inclusive resort about an hour and 10 minutes from the Montego Bay airport. It has fun weekly parties such as a Jamaica theme night and dining under the stars. A kids' club for ages 3 to 12. The plunge pool rooms are beach front and a great choice.  The jerk chicken pizza is a don't miss. The splash park, lazy river and water slide will be fun for everyone. 


Video Filmed: September 2018 

Overwhelmed planning a trip? I am here to help. You'll get the same prices you find online plus my expert help choosing the best resort for you. Email me or request a quote. 


Thursday, December 20, 2018

River Cruise Ship Tour: Viking Rolf



Overall, the common spaces were much larger than I expected. Almost all the passengers could fit in the lounge for the pre-dinner daily briefing. Everyone could fit in the dining room. It was easy to see that on warm weather sailings, everyone could spread out across the ship. 

We expected the cabin to be small compared to ocean cruise cabins. It was a bit larger than we expected. I would have liked a bit larger closet because we had a lot of sweaters and coats. The drawers and shelves offered plenty of storage space.  The bathroom shower was small, but I found the set up to be efficient. I liked that the shower had a door so water didn't get all over the bathroom.
The food was excellent - especially the fish. Dinner was more gourmet, but you could get a hot dog or hamburger for lunch instead of the more gourmet offerings. The bartenders were friendly and made great cocktails. We were sad to say goodbye. They didn't seem so upset: 





Overwhelmed planning a trip? I am here to help. You'll get the same prices you find online plus my expert help choosing the best resort for you. It's just a $99 deposit to get started. Email Angie@TripswithAngie.com


Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Resort Tour: Sandals Royal Caribbean



Sandals Royal Caribbean is an adults only all inclusive resort ten minutes from the Montego Bay airport. One of the key features of this resort is the private island with two restaurants, a pool with swim up bar, two beach areas, and the over water bungalows. This is the most accessible of the Sandals resorts.  The water is clear and beautiful. 


I loved the private island. We'd have breakfast, enjoy sitting by the ocean watching the snorkeling, scuba, and glass bottom boats come and go. Then, we'd head over the private island enjoy the swim up bar and jerk chicken shack. I was so relaxed. No loud music. No

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Resort Tour: Fiesta Americana Condesa



Fiesta Americana Condesa is a family all inclusive resort in the Cancun Hotel Zone. It's a compact high rise with several pools. This makes it easy to get around and find a chair by the pool. I was impressed with the a la carte restaurants. No reservations required, but you may wait a little bit if you go during the busiest time. In 2018, the resort underwent a major renovation of the rooms, restaurant and lobby. The staff is so friendly. This is one of my favorite family all inclusive resorts in Mexico. 

Thanks to Fiesta Americana Condesa for sponsoring my stay. 




If this sounds like a great resort for your family, click here to request a quote. 
 
Remember, you can have my weekly tours delivered to your inbox. Text ALLINC to 22828. 
You'll also get my Top Ten Tips for making the most of your all inclusive vacation.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Pineapple Beach Club Antigua





Pineapple Beach resort is an adults only all inclusive resort on a cove beach near a snorkeling reef. It has a laid back island vibe. The resort has a schedule of activities including spin class, beach volleyball, kayaking, name that tune, and tennis. One highlight is the Outhouse BBQ located up on the hill with great views. The shack is decorated with pieces of wood guests find around the resort and decorate. 

Thanks 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.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Great Stirrup Cay - Norwegian's Private Island



Norwegian Cruise Line has a private island in the Bahamas. You can snorkel, kayak, parasail or take a trip to swim with sting rays. 

Your ship will anchor off shore. Then, you board a smaller boat called a tender to reach to the dock. The water is too shallow for the cruise ship to dock. 

The drinks package applies on the island and your lunch is included. You have the option of a buffet barbecue lunch or tacos from a taco buffet.

Take a look around: 





Resort Sneak Peek: Hilton Rose Hall



Hilton Rose Hall is a family all inclusive resort about 20 minutes from the Montego Bay airport. It's a great fit for families who love the pool and being near the ocean but don't spend much time on beach. It has a lazy river, 3 water slides, basketball and tennis courts. The main pool overlooks the ocean. The resort is also right next to a golf course. 

Take a peek: 








Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Shore Excursion: Portland, Maine




Portland, ME- The most populous city in the state of Maine, it also is home to the largest tonnage seaport in New England. The most popular attractions in the area include Old Port, which has restaurants, boutiques and bars, shopping on Exchange Street and the Arts District are also popular attractions.



Tour: Best of Portland & Kennebunkport, ME- Enjoy a scenic drive of the quaint streets of the old port. View Casco Bay and Calendar Islands. Head to Kennebunkport and pass the Federal and Victorian-style mansions built in the 1700s and 1800s. Also pass by the Bush Estate and former summer White House. Enjoy free time exploring Kennebunkport’s Dock Square, with it’s unique shops and restaurants.

Duration: 5 hours



Tour: Portland by Land & Sea- Start off with a drive through the quaint streets of the Old Port, once home to the warehouse district the old brick buildings have been transformed into galleries, restaurants and pubs. Visit the site of America’s oldest lighthouse before boarding an authentic wooden schooner for a sail on Casco Bay. See Maine’s beautiful rugged coastline featuring lighthouse, seals, and seabirds.

Duration: 4 hours



Tour: Lobster Bake on Peaks Island-Board a ferry boat and cruise through Casco Bay to Peaks Island and enjoy exploring the town. Enjoy a lobster bake at a historic Inn on the island. The menu includes clam chowder, stamped clams or mussels, 1.25 lb. fresh lobster, baked potato, corn on the cob, dinner rolls, seasonal dessert and water (cash bar available).

Duration: 3.5 hours



Halifax, Nova Scotia- The provincial capital of Nova Scotia, the area is known for its maritime history. The area is also home to six universities, which may explain why it also has more pubs per capita than any other city in Canada. Major cultural attractions include Halifax Pop Explosion, Symphony Nova Scotia, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, and the Neptune Theater.



Tour: Halifax City & Harbour Duck Tour- Board an amphibious vehicle that was originally built for the military during the Vietnam War and go on a fascinating excursion of downtown Halifax and the harbor front. Dress accordingly as the amphibious vehicle is an open air vehicle.

Duration: 1 hour



Tour: Canadian Tall Ship Sailing Experience- Set sail on an elegant, tall sailing ship, Silva. Built in 1939 you will feel like you are traveling back in time as you learn about this historic seaport and points of interest. Sit back and relax or jump in and help haul the lines with crew. An optional 20 minute guided walk back the ship is available at the end of the excursion.

Duration: 2 hours



Tour: Peggy’s Cove and Titanic-Board a motor coach for a breathtaking drive along the cost to Peggy’s Cove. Learn how glaciers and the pounding of the ocean waves shaped this village’s granite shores. After exploring the area head to Fairview Lawn Cemetery, the final resting place for 121 passengers of the Titanic.

Duration: 3.5 hours




Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Jewel Dunn's River Resort

Jewel Dunn's River Beach Resort and Spa is an adults only resort about an hour and a half from the Montego Bay, Jamaica airport. This is a great choice for adults who want to be close to fun excursions and have a resort with nightlife. The resort has beach parties, a Saturday foam party, an air conditioned bar and disco, and a special Dining Under the Stars event each Thursday night.  It also has a fun swim up bar and water slide. 




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: https://www.tripswithangie.com/quote-request.html

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. 





Overwhelmed planning a trip? I am here to help. You'll get the same prices you find online plus my expert help choosing the best resort for you. It's just a $99 deposit to get started. Email Angie@TripswithAngie.com

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

Skywalk.

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.
HEALTH ADVISORY:
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.

To get this list in your inbox, text ALLINC to 22828. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Blue Waters Resort Antigua



Blue Waters is a family resort with a breakfast plan or all inclusive plan.  It has several multi-bedroom villa options. It's perfect for people who want a stunning view, but don't necessarily need a long beach.  This is a great resort for a girls' trip or retreat.  A kids' club is available or 4 - 10 year old. One unique feature is the Cove section. It's limited to guests 16 years old and older. Each buildings has its own pool with waiter service. Live band entertainment every night. 

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 17, 2018

Beyond Disney World: A Guide to Central Florida Attractions




Things to Do in Orlando and Tampa

Arguably the two most popular attractions in the Orlando area are Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. There are however plenty of other things to see and do to add to your theme park vacation or come to Florida to do these on their own.



Kennedy Space Center

Located about 42 miles from the Orlando airport on Merritt Island, the center of which is known as Cape Canaveral. Since 1968 it has been NASA’s primary launch center for human flight into Space. The visitor center features exhibits, displays, historic spacecraft, memorabilia, shows, two IMAX theaters and bus tours. Admission tickets can be purchased in advance online as well as add-on tours. Recommended add-on tours include Lunch with an Astronaut and KSC Explore Tour, which gets visitors up close to restricted areas such as launch pads, and the Vehicle Assembly building. Some tours can be booked online as a package with admission tickets. The visitor center is open 365 days a year at 9 am each day, closing time varies depending on the time of year.



Legoland

Located in Winter Haven, almost right between Tampa and Orlando this theme park opened in 2011 at the site of the old Cypress Gardens. Legoland preserved the botanical gardens and re-themed the park with the various Lego brands. The park is designed for children ages 2 to 12, and has over 50 rides, shows, attractions, restaurants, shops and a water park. There is also an adjacent Legoland Hotel and Legoland Beach Retreat. The park is open most days of the year at 10 AM, it is often closed on Wednesdays and sometimes on Tuesdays in the fall and winter when school is session. Tickets and accommodations in the hotels can be booked online.



Sea World*

A marine zoological park and theme park located just 12 miles northwest of Walt Disney World.

The park has seventeen rides and attractions, seven main animal exhibits and five live shows. The park is open daily at 9 am when schools are out of session and 10 am when school is in session. Closing time varies throughout the year.



Discovery Cove*

Located in Orlando adjacent to Sea World, this all inclusive park has dolphin encounters, snorkeling with rays, bird feeding & a lazy river. Advance reservations for the park are required and the admission also includes unlimited food and drink and a ticket to Sea World or Aquatica Orlando. Package enhancements to your admission include swimming with dolphins and trainer for a day.



Aquatica Orlando*

Located next to Sea World and Discovery Cove, this waterpark has a wide variety of attractions some of which pass by or through animal habitats. There are two wave pools that share a white sand beach with chairs, sun beds, and umbrellas. There are also eight slides, two lazy rivers and two children’s areas. The park is open daily through January 1st then it closes for a couple months until the Spring.



*Ticket packages combining two or three parks are available at a savings. Dining packages are also available for Aquatica and Sea World.



Titanic Exhibition

Located near Universal Studios, the Titanic Exhibition features 17 galleries of artifacts with guided tours led by trained actors in period dress. Recently over 100 new artifacts have been added including a 3-ton section of the ship’s hull. The museum also has full scale recreations of the Grand Staircase, First Class Cabin, Verandah cafe and more. The museum hosts dinner events recreating the tragic night the ship sank. Guests interact with some of the most notable passengers while enjoying first class food and a first class show. The museum is open daily from 11 am to 10 pm.



Holyland Experience

A Christian based theme park located in Orlando just northeast of Universal Studios. The park recreates the ancient city of Jerusalem and has 43 different exhibits including restaurants and retail shops. The park also has a full schedule of live productions shows. The park is open from 10 am to 6 pm Tuesday through Saturday. It is closed on New Years Day, Christmas Day, and Thanksgiving Day.



Crayola Experience- This attraction offers 26 hands-on exhibits at Orlando’s newest family destination The Florida Mall, located less than 12 miles from Disney World and about 5 miles from the Orlando International Airport. Over 70,000 square feet of fun awaits visitors from naming and wrapping their own crayon to seeing their digital art come to life on a huge interactive wall. Discounts are available for purchasing tickets in advance and teachers get in free with a valid ID. The attraction is open daily at 10 AM, closing time varies during the year.



Busch Gardens

An African Animal themed park in Tampa Bay with an adjacent Adventure Island Water Park. Busch Gardens has 8 roller coasters and two water rides plus animal attractions, a Sesame Street area and several other rides. Busch Gardens is daily at 10 AM until 5 or 6 PM with extended hours in the summer and school breaks. Adventure Island has 10 water slides, 2 pools, a lazy river, and two areas just for little kids. The park is only open in the late spring, summer, and early fall. Its open typically when school is not in session, with special hours on certain days of the week and weekends when school is in session.



The Florida Aquarium

There are thousands of plants and animals to see here including sharks, alligators, seahorses, stingrays, sea turtles, river otters, birds, and other native fish. Located next to the cruise port in Tampa, the aquarium will store guests luggage for free for those visiting pre or post cruise. The aquarium is open daily from 9:30 am - 5 pm daily, except for Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.



Spring Training

15 MLB teams hold their Spring Training in Florida, of those 7 are within about an hours drive of Tampa. Games start towards the end of February and run through almost the end of March, coinciding with Spring Break for many across the country. The players tend to be a little more accessible for autographs and pictures before and after games then they are during the regular season, and the game tickets tend to also be a little cheaper than they are for regular season games.



Atlanta Braves- ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Kissimmee, FL

Baltimore Orioles- Ed Smith Stadium, Sarasota, FL

Detroit Tigers- Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium, Lakeland, FL (between Orlando and Tampa)

New York Yankees- George M. Steinbrenner Field, Tampa, FL

Philadelphia Phillies- Spectrum Field, Clearwater, FL

Pittsburgh Pirates- LECOM Park, Bradenton, FL

Toronto Blue Jays- Dunedin Stadium, Dunedin, FL





Tampa Area Beaches



Spend a day or two at the beach, below is a listing of the best beaches in the Tampa area.



Caladesi Island State Park-This top beach is only accessible by boat. Beach goers can take the Ferry over from Honeymoon Island or rent a kayak and paddle over. The island also has 3 miles of nature trails and kayak trails. The park has a marina with electric and water hookups, as well as a snack bar and gift shop.



Honeymoon Island- This island neighbors Caladesi and until a hurricane in 1921 the two used to be connected. Visitors love the 4 mile stretch of this beach perfect for swimming, fishing and collecting shells. There is also a section of beach for pets. Nature lovers enjoy the 3 miles Osprey trail where horned owls, osprey and eagles can be seen nesting. There are two snack bars in the park, a pavilion, cafe, and umbrellas, chairs, kayaks and bicycles available for rental.



Fort De Soto County Park- The largest park within the county park system it is made up of 5 interconnected islands. The area is home to native plants, mangroves, wetlands, and over 328 species of birds. Loggerhead sea turtles nest here between April and November. This area is perfect for kayaking or just relaxing on the beach. The park has restrooms, playgrounds, camping, and an area for dogs on the beach. Lifeguards are stationed from March through Labor Day.



Ben T. Davis- If you are staying in Tampa Bay and just need a quick shot of Vitamin D, this beach fits the bill. Located along the causeway it is perfect for a quick visit for some sun and surf.



Indian Rocks Beach-3 miles of beautiful beach along the Gulf of Mexico. There are 27 beach access points.



Treasure Island-Located on a barrier island west of St. Petersburg, there are nearly 4 miles of beautiful beaches to enjoy. 3 beach access points have both public parking and restrooms including Sunset Beach Pavilion, Gulf Front Park, and Municipal Beach. All parking is $2 per hour.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Jewel Grande Montego Bay Jamaica

The Jewel Grande Montego Bay is a family all inclusive resort about 20 minutes from the Montego Bay airport. 

The highlights of this resort: 
  • Large one and three bedrooms suites 
  • Butler service 
  • Excellent Spa 
  • Cove beach with clear blue water 

Take a peek: 


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

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Norwegian Sun Updated with 2018 Dry Dock



Norwegian Sun underwent a dry dock in 2018 updating the restaurants and the ship overall. It looks great! The ship now has the benefits of a larger ship while sailing on a smaller ship. 

Take a peek: 


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

Mobile Passport versus Global Entry versus TSA Pre-check

TSA Pre-check is a membership program designed to expedite your way through security. 

Global Entry expedites your way through security and United States Customs and Immigration. 

Mobile Passport expedites your way through United States Customs and Immigration. 

Here's what you need to know: 



To apply for TSA PreCheck, visit: https://www.tsa.gov/precheck

To apply for Global Entry, visit: https://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/global-entry

To download Mobile Passport, check your App store or visit https://mobilepassport.us/

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Verandah Resort and Spa Antigua



Verandah Resort and Spa is a family all inclusive resort. The rooms are a one bedroom suite and a two bedroom suite. Some of the two bedroom suites have a plunge pool. Two a la carte restaurants, a beach grill, and a buffet are included. The resort is walking distance from Devil's Bridge National Park. A supervised kids' club for ages 3-12 can keep your kiddos busy from 9 am - 10 pm.

Big Thank You to the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority for sponsoring my visit to this resort.

Take a peek:


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

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Curtain Bluff Antigua



Curtain Bluff is a family all inclusive resort. It's known for having excellent service and the highest repeat guest percentage. All rooms are oceanfront with a view of the surf beach. So you'll fall asleep to the sound of waves crashing. Beach concierges make sure you have everything you need at the calmer family beach on the other side of the bluff. 

Thanks to the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority for sponsoring my trip. 

Take a peek:


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

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

USA Series: The Greenbrier Sulpher Springs, West Virginia


As part of our USA Series, Katy, the Trips with Angie concierge, reviewed her stay that The Greenbrier in Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. 



The Greenbrier is a beautiful resort located in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia, near White Sulphur Springs of which I had the privilege to stay at recently. This place is filled with some amazing history, it has hosted 26 presidents, and countless celebrities.



The property dates back to 1778, when a local woman visited the area to get relief from her chronic rheumatism from the spring of sulphur water that runs through the middle of the property. For the first 125 years the resort, then known as White Sulphur Springs, was a destination for people to escape the coastal heat and diseases in the summer.



The current hotel was built in 1913 by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway. In 1942 the hotel was commandeered by the U.S. Army for use as a hospital during the World War II. In 1946 the hospital closed and the railroad bought the property back. The railroad then hired internationally renowned interior designer Dorothy Draper to completely redecorate and restore the property. Draper was known for her use of bright, exuberant colors and large prints that would encompass whole walls. She incorporated black and white tiles, rocco scrollwork, and baroque plasterwork. She also combined different colors, fabrics, and patterns together, combining stripes with floral patterns. The hotel is still decorated in her design style today.



The hotel is also the site of a massive underground bunker meant to serve as an emergency shelter for Congress during the Cold War. The bunker is now available for tours.



There are 10 restaurants on the property ranging from casual establishments to tie and jacket required. Casual establishments include the Coffee shop, Draper’s, Tree Tops Cafe (located poolside), and The Pizza Shoppe. Business Casual or Resort attire is required at The Forum, Prime 44 West, Sam Snead’s (overlooking the golf course), and Slammin’ Sammy’s (also overlooking the golf course). Tie and Jacket is required in the Main Dining Room, and at In-Fusion.




The resort has an indoor pool, an outdoor infinity pool, and two fitness centers. 



There are also indoor and outdoor tennis courts and a tennis pro shop. The resort will soon have 5 golf courses. The original four, including The Old White TPC where the Greenbrier Classic is played as part of the PGA Tour each year, and a new 3 par course opening late summer 2018. The Mineral Spa offers guests a wide variety of services to choose from including services utilizing the healing properties of the native sulphur waters. A Casino was added to the property in 2010 offering slots and traditional table games. Jackets are required for men in the Casino after 10 pm.



In addition to golf, tennis, swimming, and the spa guests can also enjoy horseback riding, falconry, bowling, bocce ball, fishing, fitness classes, glass blowing, jewelry making, kayaking, laser tag, shuffleboard, white water rafting, cooking classes, history tours, Segway tours, hiking, ice skating in the winter, shopping, and an escape room experience. There is also a kids club available for children ages 3-12. Complimentary coffee is available each morning in the Upper Lobby as is tea and cookies in the afternoon.




Tours of the resort are offered daily with outdoor tours and indoors tours offered on alternating days. Tours last just over an hour and I highly recommend them if you are interested in learning more about the history of the property and the area.

Kid Friendly Hawaii: Excursions in Oahu





All Ages

Tour: Authentic Ali’i Luau & Spectacular Show- After a 45 minute narrated coach ride arrive at the Luau with a lei greeting. Explore the grounds and see presentations depicting different Pacific cultures. Join in for the “imu” ceremony, the traditional roasting of the pig. After words enjoy the feast of pork, chicken, fish, and poi. Following dinner is the spectacular Polynesian show, HA: Breath of Life.

Duration: 11 hours



Tour: Pearl Harbor- Full and Half Day Tours available- Gain insight into the events surrounding Oahu/Pearl Harbor and WWII with a tour of the Road to War Museum at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. Also visit the USS Arizona and the USS Missouri.

Duration: Varies



Tour: Learn to Surf- Your surfing adventure begins with a 15-minute safety briefing in which you'll learn basic surfing fundamentals such as proper paddling, standing, turning, maneuvering over waves, and water safety. To ensure personalized attention, each instructor is limited to 3-4 students at a time. Then spend almost 2 hours in the water as the instructor assists you with catching and riding the waves. Children 14 and over can be part of a small group lesson. Children under 14 will need a private instructor for safety reasons.

Duration: 2 hours



Tour: Polynesian Cultural Center- From the ship take a scenic drive to Pali Lookup before getting an inside visit to the Dole Pineapple Plantation. Then head to the Polynesian Cultural Center for a guided tour and demonstrations of Tongan drumming, fire making, coconut tree climbing and traditional dances of Fiji, Hawaii, the Marquesas, New Zealand, Samoa, Tahiti and Tongo. Island-style BBQ lunch included.

Duration: 8.5 hours



Ages 8 and up

Tour: Hollywood Movie Sites, Ancient Fish Pond & Tropical Garden- Enjoy a full day tour of some of the best attractions in Oahu. Start out by visiting the sites of some of your favorite movie and TV shows including, Jurassic Park, LOST, Hawaii 5-0, Pearl Harbor, Windtalkers and much more. Next you will visit an 800 year old fishpond and learn about the sailing traditions of early Hawaiian settlers. Finish your tour in a beautiful tropical garden overflowing with tropical fruit, trees and exotic flowers. A buffet lunch is included.

Duration: 6 hours