I mentioned in my previous posting we were on our way to Disney and Universal Florida. As a recent graduate of the training programs and a loyal sales person and supporter of each venue I like to visit every couple of years. This year the parks exceeded my expectations in so many ways. I hope you will consider a visit, single, retired, newly weds, families, family reunions, coworkers getaway or a group of like minded friends. I always travel with either friends or my client groups, the immersion into the trip is real when you're with the general public. Feed back is instant without shading or after thought. It's as real as it gets when you want to experience a region, ship, venue or country & city. Here are some highlights below on why this works so well for all.
Disney has it all, allowing for all ages to enjoy. We took in all the rides, gourmet dining (excellent) and of course some yummy snacks along the way. What tops off a Disney Park experience is the newly updated animation & fireworks show at night. On of the ladies with us made a statement the says it all "the castle and fireworks show tonight was worth the price of admission alone"! I know we were all speechless by the end of the show, the imagination of the Disney creators have gone over the top with this. I feel if you went to the Magic Kingdom or Disney California and missed this event you've actually missed the parks all together. This was the encore of encores!
Universal is a unique and equally exciting park, especially in Orlando with the Harry Potter experience being the highlight of our visit once again and the expansion of the Harry Potter experience is amazing. You need a multi park ticket to take advantage of the Hogwarts Train ride from each park the train seemingly brings you into the world of Harry Potter with little fan fare and major excitement. See we are in a cabin on the train in the photo. What makes Universal a little more unique are the options for the rides. You can even in a group take the "single rider" line and be split up to quicken the wait, or purchase the advance passes. The other important fact is when you're at Disney a wait time of 45 minutes seems reasonable, albeit we saw up to 2 hours at Disney; however at Universal the longer wait times are 45 minutes not 2 hours. With the single rider option there isn't a real need to pay for express entry to the rides. On one of the Harry Potter experiences the wait time posted was 35 minutes, it took us exactly 4.5 minutes go get on the ride. With the difference in adventures at Universal you'll find wait times less which is another great reason to consider this park if you're into multi rides for all ages as a focus. They offer parades as well as all types of dining experiences. We went for a full on "home style" restaurant, for us it wasn't the best choice as it turns out although the food was tasty it wasn't our cup of tea. The evening we snacked on goodies from the Dr. Seuss area, with some smaller cafeteria items.
OH! and seeing Voodoo doughnuts at Universal was amazing, a little piece of Portland, Oregon all the way in Orlando.
One last note that is important to know, both Disney Springs and Universal City Walk offer amazing restaurants and activities to extend or enhance your visit. No entry fee at either area, some amazing shops and themed restaurants are everywhere. We had one of the best Pizza's at "Blaze Pizza" I've had in a long time, make your own basically. On another night we had dinner on the deck of the Boat House it was romantic, tasty, fun and a nice breeze off the lake as we watched in the distance the fireworks from both Disney and Epcot.
Please be sure to contact us or your personal travel professional for our inside deals and knowledge when exploring options for any Disney Park or Universal Park.
Have a magical experience! Happy trails,
#disneyagent #travelagent #disneyvacation # disneycruise #travelagency #Portland #Oregon
It's been 2.5 years since my last visit to Disney World and it's parks as well as Universal Studios in Orlando. Next week June 4 - June 8, I'll be on site learning and updating my knowledge of these two magnificent attraction parks and all they inclusions. The parks themselves, as well as the hotels, bars, restaurants, activities and surrounding areas are ever changing. It's important for a travel agency and it's team to be familiar with what's now! What was Disney World in 2015 isn't Disney World 2018! Same for Universal Studios in Orlando, new hotels, restaurants and the expansion of the water park.
While visiting Orlando, it's important I also take the updated training at Universal Studios another adventure and fantasy park option in Orlando with it's three amazing parks. More on them when I return! What's new at Universal Studios will leave you speechless, special attention will be paid to the Harry Potter experience you can experience in two parks === I'll keep you in the dark for now. More to come on my return, with tons of candid photos and fun.
The all new and exciting coming to you in my blog in mid June!
Wishing you a never ending youth! Have a magical time at what ever you do every day;
I had the pleasure of traveling with my friends from our past groups. It was a reunion of sorts, I mixed the reunion with a Mother's Day gift for two special ladies in my life. I love cruising for many reasons, too many to list in one blog. The advantages of taking a cruise vacation allows for everyone in your family or a like minded group to enjoy individual activities. It's really the way to go to maximize your vacation dollars and see the world. Why not take a cruise to Europe? Explore the major or smaller ports depending on the cruise line; then draw up ideas and thoughts for extended land vacations once you're able to do this after retirement or during an off season at the job or business. Hey, packing and unpacking once is a perk few travel options offer.
Today's cruise ships offer it all, be wise ask your agent to match you to the perfect cruise experience. For almost all regions around the world there are a variety of ships to appease every palette. It's no secret we've researched and experienced many ships and different types of service levels. There is one for every cruiser, family or group. Yes even single cruisers will have a great time, ships have special events for meet & mingles to help you feel more at ease as a valued cruise passenger.
There are several types of cruisers, I'm more about the ship, sea and relaxation. The activities fill my need for interaction with people, like many cruisers it can only about the ship / cruise experience. Then there are the amazing cruise port or cruise collectors wanting to experience all the ports of call to the fullest extent possible. Taking excursions, or exploring on own, these more adventurous cruisers are amazing to me. If I cruise alone I will take in a port on foot or local public transit to get a feel for the port we're visiting. If I'm with a group or friends we often do a private excursion so we can stop, grab a bite at a local spot or event afternoon adult beverage at a local hot spot or pub? Why not we're on vacation, not working to have fun.
Deciding on the type of accommodations is as important as the selection of the itinerary, and ship! It should never be put to the test of guessing. Many potential first time cruisers will call and say they can get a cruise at a lower price than I quoted. I said absolutely that's possible, there are caveats to this type of deal like the new "basic airfare" you can't select you cabin location, they'll guarantee the cabin type but you're subject to accept the location. Even if you're more about the itinerary and not the cabin, want to go the lowest category cabin you might end up in the perfectly price inside cabin right above the anchor release. Let me tell you, I did that once the first time we pulled into port the noise and vibration scared me straight out of the cabin. What if you wanted a simple ocean view, be careful you're most likely to get an obstructed view, albeit still ocean view, there may be a beam, life boat or other obstruction. We will get you the perfect location, always considering agility, elevator locations as well as your personal goals helps us find your perfect cabin, locked in and guaranteed.
Lastly in my never ending cheering for the cruise vacation, it really works for most all travelers. Sadly the misconception about cruising won't change for some people. That's okay with me, not everyone is suited to cruise, like some folks are suited to climbing Mount Everest on vacation or cave diving. This is just one option that works for the adventurers and non adventurers alike. Grandparents, Parents, youngsters and youngsters at heart can enjoy a cruise with a multitude of activities of all ages.
Imagine the seclusion of you very own cabin, with a private hot tub or pool, indoor and outdoor living areas along with an outdoor shower for more engaging experience. Are you interested? I am, I've been to this resort as has many of my clients for many different reasons. Actually the most popular is an escape from the city for locals; for out of state folks it's a true paradise in an area that allows for hot air ballooning, wine tasting or just escaping in your cabin, private hot tub or pool or a combination of the cabin, the public pool and amazing restaurant at the resort. You want to escape without extensive travel with flexibility to create your own adventure there isn't anywhere else I'd recommend for a multitude of activities.
With our partnership with Calistoga Ranch a Auberge Resort property we have some amazing values as well as promotions to enhance your stay. This resort is often sold out at peak times, if you have flexibility in your travel there are some short off season periods that are beneficial.
Some of the amazing things about Calistoga Ranch are the cabins along the creek at the resort, seasonally of course in this region. Sitting on your private deck chase lounge listening the the sounds of the creek water crossing over the rock beds in itself sets the mood. Behind you is your private outdoor living area with a nice fire burning in the fireplace so you can retreat for a wonderful glass of wine or have dinner brought in from the restaurant.
I'm excited about this resort for many reasons, it's consistently amazing service and guest satisfaction, as well as a very well informed concierge staff. There are so many activities that can be arranged from the resort, hot air ballooning, wine tasting, private wine tastings, chef tables at a winery, public or private wine tours or the best restaurants off the resort for an intimate dinner.
With the challenges of international travel, when a client requests the unique, good value option to a honeymoon in Bora Bora or Moorea or Paris this is my to go to place. They offer different types of cabins for different budgets, no matter the choice of cabins the resorts public offerings are amazing, or if you select a special cabin with added extras you'll be happy with being in your cabin if you're wanting all to be private and at hand.
I'm ready to plan your visit to Calistoga Ranch. Door to door, from you home to the resort, all activities returning you home all in one step. It's all about you! I'm at your service with our unique programs your enhanced experience will provide a lifetime of memories.
A resounding YES! There isn't a question in my mind there isn't a special place in Las Vegas for everyone! A way to revive your life, restore fun or just unwind in a fantasy world providing escape from the daily challenges of life, work and the world. It's my choice for many reasons.
Just to be clear, Las Vegas isn't what it use to be for good or bad you can't compare the past 30 years to today. I've been going to Las Vegas since I was 21 couldn't wait to go, loved the $1.29 - $149 buffets and 50c drinks. $1 tables and 5c machines, some casinos still had the old Chief slot machines. We use to put coins in the slot and hope to hell an windfall of nickles or quarters would fall in to the tray below as we watch for the 777 on the line. Comps were given to you by the floor staff walking around, drinks were never questioned and always free in the casino as long as you had a nickle in the machine. When you wanted a snack there were 50c shrimp cocktails, 25c hot dogs. The hotels were simple most similar to a motel style but nicer, a few fancy places on the strip like the original Ceasars, Dunes, Stardust and the smaller ones that I use to go to Castaway, Silver Slipper and the original Sam's Town. The casinos had stage shows, free or a two drink minimum some the floor staff would give you a booth right at the stage if you were playing a lot, then when you'd move up from $1 to $5 bet or take the big leap and place a $100 bet you were guaranteed a comp of some sorts, meals or rooms.
I don't really miss the old Las Vegas - I cherish the fact I was able to experience it allowing me to truly appreciate the new Las Vegas with new eyes, reasons and remarkable range of budgets.
2018 has began as a whirlwind of a year in so many ways, the escape to Las Vegas helps bring back my sanity and renewed vision on my goals and appreciate my achievement.
Today's Las Vegas isn't that cheap buffet, it's about celebrity chef's amazing foods, amazing restaurants, charming venues, exciting menus, amazing beverages and most of all amazing service staff offering world class service.
Before I go too far and scare you with all the amazing restaurants and pictures of over the top foyers I want to be clear; Las Vegas as it was 30 years ago offers something for everyone, only now there is an opportunity for multi generations to vacation together. Kids love Las Vegas that's the key to the big difference, when "Sin City" is was like a plague when you took your kids, many areas of the hotels they couldn't even walk thru. Is this Disney Land, no it's not by no stretch what is now cool are the pools, beaches, themed stores like the M & M store, amazing fun pastry shops, malls in every casino; mostly things the youngster, their parents and grandparents can do together. After dark it's a perfect escape for the parents to do grown up things.
The most frequent question I get is "how are the rooms:? or What about the party animals, are there sanctuaries from the never ending sensory overloads? Yes there are, budget properties to the ultra luxury properties all have qualities for every client and budget. Remarkable off strip properties are a short walking distance to all the action also. In the newer hotels, there are Spa tower along with the normal run of the day rooms, they're nothing to sneeze at! The normal rooms at the right property will amaze and dazzle you. Only a Las Vegas specialist will understand what you're going to want and need. You'll get pulled in by the internet on "Vegas Deals" all over the place, they're amazing so is the disappointment of the guests who buy into these deals. All things are not equal in Las Vegas, however with a good partner arranging your travel you'll never know about the unacceptable Las Vegas.
Let's talk about sanctuary, I like the offerings once in a while of the "hotel in a hotel" offering private check in area, private entrance, extended amenities including lounges open most hours to meet your snack and beverage needs. These are sanctuaries sometimes very welcome when you've had a full day of walking, exploring and a little celebrating. Private transfers to and from the airport, no lines at the airport or costs of Uber or a taxi only to be charged double if the cabbie knows it's your first visit. The strip suddenly becomes a 15 mile drive instead of the 5 mile surface streets.
Also the pools offer a unique opportunity for families or small groups of friends, renting a cabana at the pool with full food and beverage services comes to mind. A great way to enjoy the pool, sun and escape from the heat when needed.
Yes these amazing suites come with a price tag, the amenities are mind boggling it just might be the perfect escape for you.
I want to be sure you know some properties have some of the most amazing standard rooms & views like never in the past. It's about your definition of the much need escape. Let me personalize your visit at a property personally selected for you based on your budget, desires and activities.
In the end, I'm hoping you'll get the feeling there is more to Las Vegas than the perception of "Sin City" yes it's cool to be an adult and experience a 24 hour a day escape. It also has many more merits that a single person or a 3 or 4 generation family can enjoy on budget in style all the way!
I like when I travel to have a hotel room the gives me a true sense of the area or city!
It's so exciting to share travel experiences with our agents and clients. Being a travel professional as well as a traveler I experience the actual trails or travel. I fully understand the feeling of long check in lines, long waits for any services at a hotel or resort. This gives me the tools to guide you, knowing it isn't always going to go perfect. There's always a cocktail in a wonderful relaxing lounge somewhere close by if needed to bring back the vacation.
Hotels are much like airlines, it's all about timing in some cases in other cases it's about a relationship a travel professional will have with the hotel management or even a special concierge who we've made a great connection with. They can drive your experience to meet your expectations without the frustrations of asking for services from a front line clerk. I do often find myself experiencing each of the venues at a hotel or resort, I watch the servers, taste the foods and most of all feel the vibe. If the service & food are top notch but the vibe isn't there where is the experience? Will the visit be a lifetime memory or just another restaurant or bar? It's expensive to eat out at hotels, resorts so why not take advantage of the locals. Eat and drink local, you'll regret not doing this if you want a true moment or a lifetime memory explore. I can create my own memory at a lodge in the mountains, on a cruise ship, big city hotel or small town classic. It's all about the reason you are at the venue, business or pleasure we feel sometimes the more touristy the activity the less fulfilling your visit might be.
I constantly ask folks how they found a hotel, resort or cruise when I'm in a bar. Today's traveler spends an average of 30 hours planning or researching a vacation, and 3 hours researching a hotel or airline ticket. At times they arrive to great surprise other times it's total disappointment, imagine you saved up for a year to take a week vacation. You see an amazing deal off beach in Waikiki with air, car and hotel!!! The hotels boasts welcome drink, walking distance to beach or shopping. Tour desk on site, close by restaurants. Sounds good right? Read between the lines or wait till you arrive to find out the welcome drink is in a room with a preset drink in a plastic cup, a friendly person to take your token the front desk gave you and welcome you to your little piece of paradise. You go to your room only to find out the photo depicted a spacious angle picture, you have to close the door to get around the bed, you open the bathroom door on the other side of the room only for the door to also hit the bed. The views, well they're good from a small window. Not a floor to ceiling. Now you want to grab a bite before you go out to explore the local action, no restaurant on site, not even for breakfast? See they never said they had a restaurant on site, implied a lounge and no lounge.
Okay, I'll get off the soap box, and yes this did happen to me before I became a travel professional. I wanted a deal went to a travel agency down the street and he said the hotel was great for night life in the area. I asked for that type of area and I got it, the experience just a faded sad memory. Lessons learned, this happens more often now with the internet, be wise hire a travel professional let us work for your money.
Ring, ring, ring - Hello this is Michael with Cetc Travel Services!
M/M Client: "Michael do you have a deal for a cruise to Alaska"?
Me: We have some amazing values along with perks to enhance our clients cruise! Let's talk about your cruise experience along with what you're looking for.
M/M Client: We saw online we can get a ocean view cabin for $xxx.xx can you beat that price, we want the the best deal.
Me: Thank you for calling our agency, we'd love to be of service to you both, it might be best for you to grab that "deal" online. We're not in the bidding business, we're in the service business. We are dedicated to our clients in enhancing their vacation offering amazing values that online sites & deals can't provide. I wish you a wonderful cruise to Alaska, thank you for calling me. Good bye.
So why the turn down from me? You, our clients know what you want, leaving the plan in our hands to provide exceptional value and servicing of your vacation. You're investing hard earned money into your vacation, we believe your vacation dollars should work as hard for you as you did for them! If you call me to beat a price you're not interested in service or value, only the cheapest fares. That's fine for you; we're happy to be of service in the future.
A future blog posting will explain why you see these low price vacations on the web and what they actual offer and represent. Today let's answer some basic questions about travel professionals and our clients.
The cost of your vacation will not be higher than the websites or deals, we often offer from our suppliers, "should you find a lower price we'll refund the difference"! In my agency we always reprice your cruise vacation at final payment should an applicable promotion or the cabin fares dropped. I've surprised many clients on mass market lines with lower final payments. If the cruise won't reprice they'll pay what they had expected.
Agency fees, why and how can charging a fee result in lower or same pricing as online? Well in reality it's might result in what appears to be slightly higher fare, now calculate the time and energy you spent shopping the vacation. Did you accomplish all your goals, such as room locations at resorts, cabins on the ship or seating on your flights? How long does it take for you to put together your own vacation online? What happens when you arrive to the hotel in Paris only to find out the rooms are 10 x 10 with no room for luggage, no elevator to your floor and the continental breakfast is coffee, juice and muffins only. You've saved $100 dollars over your deal or maybe $500 dollars over a prepared trip. Now take into account the total cost of your trip. A $5,500.00 vacation to Europe for 10 days in Paris, we offered you a package with complimentary upgraded rooms, American Breakfast and when available early check in or late check out! Our price $5,900.00 plus our fee of $125.00 for same 10 days in Paris at a property in a great walk-able hotel in a neighborhood that fits your life style. The difference in this example is $525.00 higher price upfront. Now let's compare this to your research, you spent a couple of hours a day over 5 days to decide after viewing the thousands of web sites to book a cheap pre-paid non refundable room. You'll return from Paris with photos of sites of the city, but where are the Instagram postings of the hotel, lobby, room or views from your balcony? 5 hours or more of your own personal time vs $125.00 for us to do the work? Our hotels offer cancellations options, our package offers flexibility to change room types if you wish to upgrade at check in. All for a base increase of $400.00. What if the unthinkable happens, emergency, work issues or you missed your flight to Paris, the hotel is non refundable, no changes allowed how much did this cost you? A lot more than the extra $400.00 our package may have costs you. Being penny wise and dollar foolish can and will ruin a dream vacation. Then there's our service, texting within our app for questions or assistance while traveling, emergency 24 hour service in the event of flight issues or cancellations, as well as your advocate after the vacation should even our package not meet expectations? We will work on your behalf for any legitimate disruption or undervalued component during your trip. We won't be able to help fight traffic citations that might show up a year later, other than that we are your advocates.
"When you travel without a travel expert you're traveling alone"!
You're a professional and expert in your field as we are. A travel professional spends a good amount of time learning and updating his or her knowledge of the products and services they offer. We attend meetings, regional events, ship inspections and online excellence courses for almost all products. We travel in the mindset of our clients, we share the amazing results from our clients travel with other clients.
Your travel professional should be "all about you" not a heavy handed car salesperson type. It's not about closing the booking only, if so go online you get the same results. Our agency and IC agents don't work for suppliers nor are we influenced by perks from suppliers or brokers. We're not committed to any suppliers; we work the suppliers to be committed to our agency by exceeding our clients expectations! If suppliers want us to offer their properties or products along with others the only chance to be presented is loyalty to our clients.
Shop online if you want, remember you may not see a service fee - it could be hidden, the terms and conditions of your booking can ruin all good intentions of saving money on your part. Mostly if you ask a travel professional not comparing the actual items, apples to apples so to speak you're not being fare to yourself or the travel professional.
No one should believe travel stops at a certain age! Yes we all age number wise but what's our mental age, our physical age? I've had the privileged or traveling with and escorting seniors with both disabilities as well as advanced years. Yes, two were over 100 years old in numbers only! Can it be challenging, yes of course. The rewards far out way the challenges! I was told the other day I should retire or start my retirement plans, well that's not happening. I inserted a photo taken today Feb. 11, 2018 do I even look at all like I'm about to retire. I have more energy then most younger folks who spend 80% of their time on a personal device. The absolute amazing thing about traveling when you've grown up is the fact you enjoy and are enriched by your travels. Not by Facebook - Instagram or any other social media. Sure some of my adult friends have Facebook mostly to watch how their children are doing. They're not driven by social media, nor the number of years on this earth, they're driven by life and all the world has to offer. Exploring different cultures, lifestyles, mother natures marvelous wonders around the world enhancing ones life not impeding. Why can't you step out with your friends at 60 - 70 - 80 - 90 or 100 + go on a cruise, go on a bus trip, who said you can't? It's about you, not your children, not your neighbors. It's about you mental and physical abilities never about the number of years on this earth. Now that's my opinion of course and folks will say I'm not realistic when it comes to folks wanting to travel but unable to travel. True in some respects, but have you considered instead of the negatives ways you can assist. Maybe family travel, group travel with like minded & similar generations? Solo travel isn't advisable when the years tick off the numbers, however with that being said I had a client (she's left us now) who took a river cruise in Europe from the U.S. at the age of 103. Viking called me when I booked to be sure the age was correct. She loved the cruise so much she returned the same year. She had a plan for her 105th to go with her nieces and nephews, she's now resting in peace. Her enthusiasm for life didn't stop, till the day she passed I believe she felt she'd be on this earth till end of time. I had the privileged of having a gentleman join my senior group cruise at the age of 99, his family came to meet me, wasn't happy at all! They said I should have contacted them for permission to ask him if he'd like to join us. I would have if I felt he wasn't mentally alert, he asked me because his friends from the community were going on a 16 day cruise crossing the Panama Canal. A perfect trip for him with only flying in one direction ending up after the cruise at his home port city. Why didn't they want him to go? Two factors, extreme difficulty in hearing and the number of years? I explained how aware he was of all the factors, his traveling companions (48 average age 82) where his inspiration. They had no choice really in the matter he was at the meeting and set them straight. Was the hearing issue a problem on the ship, no. He did fine we even called his family on my cell while at sea a couple of times. He went on every excursion we did and you know what was fun for him, talking about his life and how wonderful things have changed in his almost 100 years on this earth. He asked many questions, seemingly really enjoyed meals with his friends and me.
Maybe it's time for me to retire, the younger generations aren't really active, lacking in some interpersonal skills due to social media. Believing everyone is beautiful, young, rich and their friends from afar. They live for the "likes" on their posts. Well I'm here to tell you I've been on this earth many years and I'm not going anywhere. I'll keep on selling travel, escorting my favorite groups and traveling myself. Hey to all you young men and women who believe we mature folks are down and forgotten, here's news for you I got married last year. I have many more decades of personal travel , exploration and making dreams come true for my clients!
"The ultimate honeymoon that you'd see in a movie or fantasy book" a client told me after there exotic honeymoon. Another client wanted a mix of "me time" as well as being one with nature, we sent him and his partner to the islands. Upon returning, refreshed, revived and energized they set out to downsize there life and become avid travelers, seeking discoveries around the world. To this day they only are home 3 months a year.
My favorite islands within the French Polynesian Islands are Moorea, Bora Bora, Raiatea, Huahine, Maupiti. I've heard many people say you need to win the lottery to take a vacation this region. Not true with our expert advise and guidance you'll be surprised at the values available. I will say Moorea and Bora Bora are a higher cost than the other islands, the experience that is important results are 100% achieved here. There are beach resorts, over water on all islands for the most part it's not the type of accommodations it's what you want from the visit. The islands have similar expeditions you won't be deprived of anything if you're more comfortable on less touristy islands. The cultures are all very different on each island. Think about this; when you go to New York city it's not unusual to pay $500+ a night and more people accept this as the norm for upper scale property. Luxury starts in the $750.00 to $1200.00 range. Well guess what, it's the same on Moorea or Bora Bora during high season, low season we definitely have opportunities under $500 per night in the most popular locations.
Over water are the most requested accommodations, I like beach bungalows with private pools as an option for more privacy. Of course sitting on your deck watching the sun set while the exotic fish colors of the rainbow dancing in soothing peaceful crystal clear waters erasing all the cares of the world. Stepping off your over the water bungalow into the warm waters is transcending.
There's another way to immerse yourself in the islands without changing hotels and unpacking only once for a multi island adventure hotel style. That's the amazing small ship Paul Gauguin Cruise Line. We are proud partners with this unique experience. Exotic 5 star experience on board as well as some of the most unique excursions available. The exceptional value of this offering is widely popular. If you want more diversity or wish to cover more territory this is the best option at a great value. How about a charter from Raiatea 10 to 14 days will cover many islands. Self catering or fully staffed options are available year round. Get your friends, family or several couples or any combination we'll help with the charter, staffing (if needed) as well as arrival and departure to the Marina. The rest is all about you and your self discoveries.
With all the options to consider visiting this area takes little time to say yes! Let us put a complete package together including inter island flights, ferries, airport transfers, international air and optional activities at one price for all. You won't need to worry how, where or who will be at your service with a fully packaged vacation to the islands you're in good hands.
Not all "All Inclusive" resorts are for everyone. It's important to match your life style to the resort.
Urban beach front all inclusive resort, typical style of the smaller resorts. Adults and Families.
I've stayed at two different types of all inclusive resorts in the past few years and I have a strong sense of what really is all inclusive to me vs the resorts' claim. It's not the inclusions for me, it's the experience! I speak about experience on a regular basis after all my travel must fulfill my expectations in value, luxury experience, atmosphere, excellent culinary options, activities and one factor many people don't think about! Location! Like casinos in Las Vegas many all inclusive resorts are designed to keep you on property, utilizing the resort while maximizing your experience within the walls of the resort. Remember the price doesn't make it luxury only your personal experience is luxury, a value priced all inclusive can be as luxurious to you as a ultra high priced exclusive access resort is to others.
Work with your travel professional, be sure he or she knows you, understands your lifestyle and mostly what interests you. What will you want to feel when the vacation is over? A nice relaxing time now time to go to work? (that's okay for some, maybe the vacation wasn't amazing?) Or maybe you return with a new outlook on life your vacation met or exceeded your expectations returning home happy, energized ready to take on the world! (That's our goal for our clients on every vacation! Awesome).
Here's my take on the two major types of All Inclusive!
I won't name any resorts, I enjoy all resorts and represent many to different clients without bias.
Destination resorts, often not near towns or activities outside of the resort. The resort I stayed at was amazing visually, access to a private island for water activities, 14 restaurants, 6 pools, beach, bars in the pools, on the beach and of course within the many buildings. They offered nice view rooms from an extra large room to a Presidential suite with a private transfer in a ultra luxury vehicle to and from the airport or trips to town. Not offered to all guests only high vip's but a nice touch for them. I'd bet the culinary offerings would meet 80% of all visitors expectations 100% of the time. I enjoyed the variety of the meals as well as many al fresco options. Typical fun entertainment in some of the bars, with a couple of younger themed dance bars, pool tables and themed events.
There was something missing in my experience, wasn't the staff or service it was more about the isolation and surprising lack of diversity in the guests. We were only there for a 4 night week stay but the clients were 100% couples (no this wasn't an adults only or couples only resort) and oddly no diversity in the vacationers. It was a little bit vanilla for me in regards to cultural interactions, diversity, life styles and interesting people. Some resorts children aren't allowed due to the concepts. They're more about drinking and pool parties than anything else, this resort has a family area as well which was especially nice for the parents who were able to take advantage of both sides of the resort if desired. I sell this brand to clients looking for this type of resort in being all inclusive with a desire to stay within the resorts offerings. There's nothing wrong with that.
We weren't bored at the resort for sure with many swimming options, water activities I just felt for my experience to be luxurious I needed more. I wanted to experience different venues close in, go shopping in town or have lunch at a local restaurant with locals! I wanted more diversity, culture and interaction besides my traveling companion. I feel this would be a resort to recommend for couples or families wanting the private vacation experiencing with his or her loved ones or family, even multi-generational family visits. It's awesome when the grandparents can enjoy the youngsters while mom & dad take in some evening adult activities, not forgetting the grandparents need a night or two also to get their dance on or have an evening Manhattan at sunset. This type of resort is great for folks wanting to control costs, with all inclusive most everything is covered depending on the resort.
Smaller urban resorts, are unique in many ways you can select your type of visit. Many urban resorts offer options such as rooms only, fully inclusive or partial inclusions that vary from select meals or beverages programs. This is more for the flexible traveler wanting more options or the travel who likes all inclusive atmosphere but not planning on utilizing the resort fully. Some urban resorts offer adults only areas as well. For the penthouse guests or high end suites many of these resorts offer exclusive pools keeping it more private for those wanting privacy and seclusion.
The two resorts I visited for a week each brought to light why I enjoy all inclusive urban resorts! Most have all the same activities as destination resorts more often urban resorts use public beach, sometimes these resorts will be open to the public or day use guests at a significant charge. That adds some interesting elements in regards to diversity in people and life styles. I selected a completely all inclusive option for both stays, allowing me to leave my wallet in my room safe while at the resort (except a pocket full of small bills for tips! You should still offer a little extra to your servers and staff while they're making sure you're experience is exceptional), most of our meals we enjoyed at one of 5 restaurants plus the buffet. Urban resorts will have less variety in restaurants and bars due to location, you're in an area or close in where you can enjoy options outside the resort with ease. That's my thing, I'm truly an urban resort type of all inclusive guest. I like the budget control of an all inclusive resort. I like not signing a bill every time I turn around, or asking to do a room charge every time I want something or do something.
Pools, pool bars and pool parties are still happening in the smaller urban resorts. You aren't loosing the benefits or activities you're adding your personal experience which in fact is luxury at any price. Luxury isn't the price it's the experience. Taking in account all the different types of urban resorts your travel professional has more tools for fine tuning a very special vacation. Your travel agent will be able to combine your all inclusive with other local tours or activities such as zip lining or cave diving or even hikes along trails in the deep rain forests and thousands of other adventures. Exterior options are more plentiful, not part of your all inclusive resort but really it's all about the experience you're seeking and will achieve.
This type of resort is a perfect match for city dwellers, urban tourists, younger friends vacation, families, active travelers and most of all adventure seekers discovering all there is about the country or location privileged to have you as a guest. I recommend this type of resort to the young and mature traveler looking for less mechanics in their vacation and a little more interactions and decisions on how and when things happen. I'll be on my next urban all inclusive later this year, not returning to any of the past properties for the simple reason I have a desire to expand my experiences creating the luxury of an amazing vacation. Luxury isn't the price it's the experience.
Now you're ready to explore an All Inclusive Resort, bring your personality to your travel professional and let us show you some amazing options around the world. We'll bring our A game to the table, you'll return from your vacation refreshed, energized and ready to handle life with a new outlook. Be sure your travel professional, no matter who they are, understands what's luxury to you; be it top tier top dollar or focused on experiences. We're in the business of serving you not suppliers. Really isn't is all about you!