Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Virtual Vacation: Hawaii

My favorite itineraries to put together for clients are ones for Hawaii. I have never been personally, but its a place I hope to travel to someday. So this week let’s go to Hawaii! 

There are eight major islands of Hawaii, Oahu, Hawaii (the Big Island), Maui, Lanai, Molokai, Kauai, Kahoolawe and Niihau, with six being open to tourists. For this vacation we are going to virtually island hop around. 

Let’s start our day with a virtual sunrise from Malaekahana Beach on Oahu.

Almost everyone of our client’s who goes to Hawaii wants to visit Pearl Harbor located on Oahu. We often recommend going on your first your day there. Most people who travel to Hawaii will be up early on their first morning as your body is adjusting to the time change and it is a very popular tourist destination, so a good one to visit early in the day. The museum is temporarily closed due to COVID-19 so they have launched  “Pearl Harbor at Home”, an online on-demand digital resource offering historical and educational experiences that can be enjoyed from home. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Cancun All Inclusive Resort: Live Aqua Resort Cancun

Live Aqua is an adults only, all inclusive resort located in the Hotel Zone of Cancun. The resort has a relaxing vibe with great dining, a great spa, and friendly service. This is a fun choice for a girlfriend getaway or a couple's trip. The Asian and Italian restaurants were my favorite. I loved that you could order lunch right to your pool chair. The rooms are spacious.

A big thank you to Posadas resorts. Through our travel partnership, I earned a free 7 night stay at the end of February 2020.

Take a sneak peek:

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Friday, May 22, 2020

5.22.20 Travel Update

Today's Travel Update

The  State Department still has a Level 4 Global Health Advisory travel warning.

Cruise - All cruise lines cancelled sailings through the end of July. Princess, Holland America, and Virgin Voyages cancelled cruises into the fall.

On a recent call to report earnings, Royal Caribbean International CEO Michael Bayley discussed the return to cruising. He predicted they will start with a few ships sailing from ports where most guests drive to the port. Since the large Oasis-class ships only need to be 30% full to break even and have more space, I think Royal Caribbean will follow Carnival’s lead and launch with their largest ships. It’s still question as to when.

All inclusive resorts -  All countries with all inclusive resorts are still closed . Mexican resorts are hoping to reopen in June. Dominican Republic resorts are hoping to reopen in July.   St Lucia has announced a June 4th reopening if the guest has certified proof of a COVID negative test. For more island updates, click here for a PDF report from the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association.

Europe – The European Union extended the ban on non-essential travel through June 15th. The Union is working on a plan to phase in travel. First, European Union countries would ease restrictions so EU citizens could travel between countries within the EU. However, Greece announced they will reopen to tourists June 15th. Iceland will reopen its borders June 15th.
Universal Studios/ Disney World - Universal Studios submitted plans yesterday requesting permission to reopen on June 5th. Disney World has not submitted their plans yet.

So that’s the latest. I still think Wait and See is the best course of action for 2020 travel.

  • I am making reservations for Hyatt Ziva and Hyat Zilara all inclusive resorts this fall because they only require a credit card guarantee. Full payment isn't due until 14 days before arrival and you can cancel up to 24 hours before arrival. Plus it's a great deal and these are great resorts.
  • For cruises and Europe - I think it's important to wait until the borders open and the ships sail before making reservations for 2020. I have made cruise reservations for large ships in the Caribbean for December 2020 because the final payment date is in September.
For 2021, I recommend booking cruises now with a refundable deposit. I can always apply better promotions or rates before final payment.

I think it’s important that you have the most information possible about what your vacation will look like before you leave your home. Will you have to wear a mask? Will you be quarantined upon your entry into the country or back into the USA? What amenities will be restricted? What ports will be open?

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Virtual Vacation: Rome, Italy

This week’s virtual vacation is a day in Rome! One of the many highlights of my Transatlantic/ European cruise vacation last summer was a day spent in Rome. I am going to take you through our day virtually with a few additional stops. We toured the Vatican, the Roman Colosseum, and the Roman Forum on that day. There were three other places we didn’t have time to visit that we really wanted to see, the Pantheon, Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain. 

(Outside the Vatican)

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

TRS Cap Cana Resort Tour

TRS Cap Cana is an adults only all inclusive resort about 15 minutes from the Punta Cana airport. This is a great resort if you love excellent service, dining, and relaxing pool time. It's located right on the marina with a small beach area. The resort will also transfer you to a beach club on a larger beach. The Ambassador Suite is incredible.

A big thank you to TRS Cap Cana for the resort tour.

Take a peek: 

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Virtual Vaction: Washington DC

This week, Katy is our tour guide through Washington DC. A reminder that links to the products are affiliate links. This means Trips with Angie earns a small commission if you purchase using that link.

One summer, when I was a kid, my parents took us to Washington, D.C. to visit the White House, U.S. Mint, and some of the many monuments and museums. It’s a trip I would like to do with my kids someday so I thought this week we could take a trip there, virtually. 
Have you ever flown into Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport? It’s one of the coolest airport landings I have done, flying in between the monuments, the White House, the Capitol building and the Pentagon as you make your descent into the airport. What you see can depend on the side of the plane you are sitting on. Check out this video from a plane of approach and landing. 

Now that we have arrived, let’s start with the official residence and workplace of the President of the United States, the White House.  

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Panama Jack Resorts: Panama Jack Playa del Carmen

Looking for a Playa del Carmen all inclusive resort?

Panama Jack Playa del Carmen is a family friendly all inclusive resort in the heart of Playa del Carmen. It's right across the street from Hilton Playa del Carmen. This resort is a great choice if you want to explore the city.  Be sure to explore every nook and cranny. Upstairs you'll find a swim up bar and sushi counter and a rooftop jacuzzi.

Filmed: February 2020

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Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Virtual Vacation: Napa Valley

This week Katy is leading us to the Napa Valley.

For this week’s virtual vacation we are headed to Napa Valley for a virtual wine tour! About a year and a half ago, my husband and I did a wine tour in Temecula, CA which is about an hours drive north from San Diego where I have family. Temecula is still an emerging region into the wine-making arena with approximately 40 wineries. The area started growing with the first vineyards in the 1960’s. The tour was a lot of fun and we had a great day, but my dream wine trip aside from a wine tour in Italy, would be to go to Napa Valley where wine making dates back to the 1850’s. 

(Cougar Valley Winery, Temecula, CA)
Napa Valley plays host to over 400 wineries, and is now visited by over 5 million people every year. There are over 43,000 acres of vineyard plot throughout Napa Valley currently.

Our first stop on our Virtual Wine tour is Castello di Amorosa which was opened to the public in April 2007, by 4th generation vintner, Dario Sattui. The vineyards here are planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Primitivo, and Sangiovese grapes. For a walking tour of the vineyard, please click here. For 360 degree photos of several areas of the vineyard, click here

Virtual Vacations: Virtual Aquarium Tours

Katy, our travel concierge, pulled together this great list of Aquarium tours:
This week’s virtual trip is inspired by my daughter who has been enjoying the Facebook Live presentations by the recently opened St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station. This facility just opened on Christmas Day last year, but since their temporary closure they have been providing several virtual educational experiences each week. I thought I would share this as well as a few more from Aquariums around the country that are also providing some great online content that you can enjoy from home. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Zoetry Resorts: Zoetry Paraiso de la Bonita

Zoetry resorts are small, luxury resorts located in Mexico, Dominican Republic, and Jamaica.

For Zoetry Mexico - Zoetry Paraiso de la Bonita is a small all inclusive resort in Riviera Maya with only 100 junior suite and suites. 

Nine of the suites are in a special building called Impression. All ages are welcome, but Zoetry Paraiso does not offer kid amenities.

Friday, May 1, 2020

May 2020 Travel Update

The State Department still has a Level 4: Do Not Travel Warning.

All Inclusive Resort Vacations

Mexico has extended their border closure to tourists until May 31, 2020. Jamaica has a self-quarantine requirement.  One main issue is the flights. US airlines virtually shut down these routes when the Level 4 Travel Warning was issued. This caused the resorts to close.  I expect we’ll need to see some lifting of that warning before flights resume and the resorts reopen.

Cruises  - Basically, all cruise lines suspended their sailings through at least mid-June and Alaska sailing through June 30th.

  • Azamara, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean suspended cruises through June 11th. Alaska sailings are suspended through July 1st.
  • Carnival suspended cruises through June 26th and Alaska sailings are suspended through July 1st.
  • Cunard has suspended cruises through July 31st  for Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria and through September 8th  for Queen Elizabeth.
  • Disney Cruise Line suspended Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy sailings through June 18th, Disney Magic sailings through July 2nd, and all Alaska/Vancouver sailings through June 30th.
  • Holland America suspended all sailings through June 30th and cancelled all one way Alaska sailings and cruise tours for the season.
  • Norwegian suspended sailings through June 30th.
  • Princess suspended sailings through June 30th and cancelled all one way Alaska sailings and cruise tours for the season.
  • Regent Seven Seas suspended sailings through June 30th.
  • Seabourn suspended sailings through June 30th.
  • Uncruise suspended all sailings through the 3rd week of May.
  • Viking suspended all river and ocean cruises through June 30th.

It is important to mention that 2021 cruises are filling up and prices are rising quickly. As cruises get cancelled, people are rescheduling for next year. If you are considering cruising in 2021, I highly recommend placing a refundable deposit on a cabin now. I’d be happy to help you do that. Email me to get started.

When do I think the cruises will sail again? It’s hard to imagine that all cruise lines and all ships will be ready to sail in mid-June. Carnival and Princess this week began a massive operation to sail the majority of the crew remaining on board home. They somehow have to get them all back to be ready to sail in June.

If the travel ban is lessened AND the ports agree to accept cruise passengers, I think we may see some very limited sailings from Florida or Texas this summer because Florida and Texas are lifting their stay at home orders.  I am personally booked on cruises in July, October, November and December. Time will tell.

Disney World

Oh -  the clickbait articles on Disney World have been plentiful! Right now, Disney World is closed indefinitely.  Reservations are being cancelled three weeks in advance. This week, they cancelled reservations arriving May 17th – 23rd.  Florida has loosened the stay at home restrictions so re-opening is possible. I think the big questions are: What will the experience be?  Will people still want to pay the same price to visit without shows, parades, fireworks, and potentially character meet and greets?

Europe Travel

The European Union has floated ideas that some limited tourism may be allowed in the fall. However, they have also said that US residents may not be allowed to enter the European Union since the US is now has the most COVID infections.

We have been posting “virtual vacations” to help scratch that travel itch: