Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Booking a cruise? Why You Should Use a Travel Agent

"Why do I need your help to book a cruise? It's so easy. I can do it myself."
 
 

This is 100% true. If you have the time and the patience, you can recreate the research I do for you.

Yesterday, I got a request: We want a cruise of 7 to 10 nights between June 15th - July 15, 2020. We do not want to go to the Caribbean, Alaska or the Mediterranean.

On Your Own Research - Visit every cruise line's website and search for sailings during those dates. Write it all down. Try to figure out if you got them all. Hint: There's approximately 70 cruises on the main cruise lines that meet the criteria.

Working with me: Of the 70 cruises, I have special rates or perks on 24 of those sailings not available through the cruise line.

But the real magic comes in curating the list so you aren't overwhelmed.

To narrow down the list of 70 cruises, I ask a series of questions - How far do you want to fly? What amenities on the ship are important? What destination sounds most intriguing to you? What's the price range you have in mind?

Then, I prepare a list for you of sailings I recommend based my personal experience cruising and the trainings I've taken over the years. You get the list via email.

I can also review the current inventory to make sure connecting cabins or cabins close together are available. I can place options on hold so you have some type to decide without losing the booking.

Working with a travel agent is not for everyone. Many people love all the research and the satisfaction of figuring it all out themselves. If you are not of those people, maybe you'll consider working with me on your next vacation. Click here to email me. You can also request a time to chat.  

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Sandals Ochi Beach Resort Sneak Peek



In recognition of my partnership with Sandals, I earned 4 free nights. I chose to stay at Sandals Royal Plantation and took advantage of the exchange privileges to visit Sandals Ochi Beach. That's right. You can book your Sandals vacation with me for the exact same price as booking with Sandals and get my great service. No more calls to Jamaica or Miami to get your questions answered.

Sandals Ochi Beach resort is an all inclusive adults only resort near Ocho Rios, Jamaica. It's divided into three sections:

Monday, July 29, 2019

What You Need to Know: Traveling During Hurricane Season

 
Hurricane season runs June 1st to November 30th. This season impacts Hawaii, Mexico, most of the Caribbean, the gulf coast of the US, and Florida and the Carolinas. Many people want to vacation in the summer or fall in so I caution them about what the weather impact of hurricane season could be on their vacations.

So let's break it down:

Cruises
Cruises are a good bet during Hurricane Season as long as you don't get seasick. The reason why is cruises can adjust their itineraries to avoid the path of the storm as long as the storm isn't hitting their embarkation port. For instance, if a hurricane or tropical storm is headed towards the Eastern Caribbean, the ship can switch to a Western Caribbean itinerary to avoid the storm. Now this could be very disappointing to you if you would had your heart set on going to a particular island on that itinerary.
All inclusive resorts
For travelers heading to an all-inclusive resort,  I strongly recommend purchasing Cancel For Any Reason insurance. This insurance gives you a full refund as long as you cancel before your flight takes off. I've been able to use this insurance to move people from Mexico to Jamaica depending on the path of the storm.
Flights
If flying to/from areas in the hurricane zone, try to get the first flight of the day. The plane usually will have landed the night before so you have less chance of delay. Avoid the last flight of the day. This flight has an increased chance of delays or cancellations.  Pay close attention to your connection cities. Try to connect to city outside the hurricane zone.
Home Rentals
Home rental services have gotten very popular. If you are going to take the risk of renting a home in a hurricane area during hurricane season, be sure to do your homework. What the terms and conditions for cancellation if the home sustains damage before your arrival? Is the home in an evacuation area? What would you need do to shelter in place?
Vacationing during hurricane season can still be fantastic. Vacationing during hurricane season can still be fantastic. My job as a travel agent is to make sure you have the information you need to make a great vacation decision.
This season impacts Hawaii, Mexico, most of the Caribbean, the gulf coast of the US, and Florida and the Carolinas. Many people want to vacation in the summer or fall in so I caution them about what the weather impact of hurricane season could be on their vacations.


So let's break it down:


Cruises

Cruises are a good bet during Hurricane Season as long as you don't get seasick. The reason why is cruises can adjust their itineraries to avoid the path of the storm as long as the storm isn't hitting their embarkation port. For instance, if a hurricane or tropical storm is headed towards the Eastern Caribbean, the ship can switch to a Western Caribbean itinerary to avoid the storm. Now this could be very disappointing to you if you would had your heart set on going to a particular island on that itinerary.


All inclusive resorts

For travelers heading to an all-inclusive resort,  I strongly recommend purchasing Cancel For Any Reason insurance. This insurance gives you a full refund as long as you cancel before your flight takes off. I've been able to use this insurance to move people from Mexico to Jamaica depending on the path of the storm.


Flights

If flying to/from areas in the hurricane zone, try to get the first flight of the day. The plane usually will have landed the night before so you have less chance of delay. Avoid the last flight of the day. This flight has an increased chance of delays or cancellations.  Pay close attention to your connection cities. Try to connect to city outside the hurricane zone.


Home Rentals

Home rental services have gotten very popular. If you are going to take the risk of renting a home in a hurricane area during hurricane season, be sure to do your homework. What the terms and conditions for cancellation if the home sustains damage before your arrival? Is the home in an evacuation area? What would you need do to shelter in place?


Vacationing during hurricane season can still be fantastic. Vacationing during hurricane season can still be fantastic. My job as a travel agent is to make sure you have the information you need to make a great vacation decision.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Noelle Nashville Hotel Tour


Noelle Nashville is a luxury hotel just steps from Printers' Alley in Nashville, Tennessee. It's also two long blocks from Broadway and one block from the Ryman.  The hotel has a coffee shop, lobby bar, rooftop bar and lounge, a speakeasy and MakeReady - a full service restaurant.

This video includes a king bed studio. I found the hotel very comfortable. The happy hour at MakeReady is terrific. I love the included Morning Coffee. You just call room service and they send up a carafe of coffee to your room. the fitness center is well equipped.

Take a look:





Plus, if you book through travel agents like me you can access the Select rate which includes an upgrade based on availability, a daily credit for breakfast, and a $100 food and beverage credit.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Dreams Los Cabos Sneak Peek



Dreams Los Cabos is a family friendly all inclusive resort in The Corridor between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose on the Pacific coast of Mexico. All the rooms have sleeper sofas. No reservations are required at any of the a la carte restaurants so you don't have to worry about scheduling your vacation. The resort has lots of activities to keep younger kids busy: water slide, splash park, playground on the beach, and supervised kids' club. Older kids will like the beachfront basketball court, batting cage, rock climbing tower, and long, wide beach. You can't swim in the ocean here because of the currents.  The tour includes a Family Junior Suite Ocean View room.

Take a peek:




I post new videos every Tuesday. You can sign up to have them delivered to your inbox by clicking here.

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. Click here to email me to get this planning party started.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Azul Fives Sneak Peek

 

Azul Fives is a family all inclusive resort in Riviera Maya. It has one, two, or three bedroom suites that are great for girlfriend getaways or extended family trips. Animal lovers will love the natural mangroves and resident monkeys in the middle of the resort. The resort is very spread out so bring walking shoes or your patience to wait for the golf cart shuttles. 
 
Take a peek:
 
 



I post new videos every Tuesday. Click here to have them delivered to your inbox and I'll also send you my top 10 tips for all inclusive resorts and how to choose a family or adults only all inclusive resort.

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. Click here to email me.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Margaritaville Orlando Resort Tour and Review


Margaritaville Resort Orlando is a great headquarters for a central Florida vacation. You are 20 - 30 minutes from all the major theme parks and walking distance to shops and restaurants. The resort has four restaurants: