Travel Blog

  • The Four Seasons , Papagayo Peninsula, Costa Rica .. Pura Vida & Beyond !

    (You can view photos on Facebook at Travel Vacations Travel Agency.)

     “Pura Vida” is Spanish for “pure life”, a Costa Rican philosophy that encourages the appreciation of life's simple treasures. Wow, the simplicity and beauty of the area is breathtaking. I am still in awe of this resort and area of Costa Rica I am super excited to share details about the resort, but let’s begin with a little about Costa Rica.  

    The seasons of Costa Rica. They basically have 2 seasons.. Green and Gold. Green being the lushest of seasons from May – Nov.. and Gold is the driest of seasons December to April. All I know is everyone says.. “DON”T come here in October! Rainiest of them all.” Traveling in June brought us heavy afternoon thunderstorms and a very sunny open sky. I can see myself preferring to travel in the Green season. Seems to embody more of what people envision of Costa Rica. In my room at night, I was amazed at the sensorial experience.. you hear so many varieties of birds.. bugs..monkeys.. and lightening bugs just like a Christmas light show in the trees.  Some of the best zip lining around is found in Costa Rica and wow, it was an epic experience! Costa Rica is considered to have one of the most stable governments as well, people are very friendly, and the unique beauty of the Papagayo coast is breath taking! Oh and everyone will tell you.. if you are a star gazer.. this is the place! If I were to pick a favorite week it would be the 1st few weeks in December.  Before the dry season kicks in and everything dies.. and less rain.. and I learned December is excellent for star gazing!...................

  • Oceania Exclusive Cruise Sale

    Exclusive Virtual Event – 2-for-1 Cruise Fares PLUS an additional up to 15% off, Free Gratuities AND Reduced Deposits!

    Runs 03/17/16 to 03/31/16

    Book  with Travel Vacations during our Exclusive Sale to receive 2-for-1 Cruise Fares PLUS an additional up to 15% off, Free Gratuities AND Reduced Deposits on ALL 2016-2017 Oceania Cruises sailings!

    • Offer applicable to new bookings only and is combinable with select offers. Please contact us to see what other offers may be combined with your desired sail date.
    • Savings offer applies to Balcony and higher cabins only.
    • Exclusive Savings are up to 15% per person and vary by sailing and cabin category. 
    • 2-for-1 Cruise Fares are based on published full brochure fares and are already reflected in the pricing above.
    • Free Gratuities amount varies by cabin category and length of sailing and applies to the 1st and 2nd guests only.
    • Reduced Deposits are $250 per person and apply to select sailings only. 
    • Prices listed are in U.S. dollars and are cruise only, per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability at time of booking.
    • Additional restrictions may apply.
    • Hurry, this is a limited time offer!
  • 9 Mistakes Not to Make When Booking a Cruise

    9 Mistakes Not to Make When Booking a Cruise ( article from www.cntraveler.com )

    If you’re new to cruising, don’t fall prey to these potential pitfalls. Here are the top nine mistakes cruise newbies make and how to avoid them for smooth sailing, from the minute you walk up the gangway for the first time to the moment you disembark.


    1. Not Prebooking Special Shore Excursions


     If you know you really want to do the ship’s flightseeing excursion over the Mendenhall Glacier, or tour the Cu Chi tunnels in Vietnam, sign up online before your cruise, or the tour may be sold out once you get on board. Just remember: Some cruise lines will issue a refund if you change your mind, but others won’t—so read the fine print.


    2. Packing Oversized Suitcases


     Standard suitcases and duffel bags can be stowed under the beds, but oversized suitcases are too thick to fit there, or in slim closets. You’ll have no place to stow them except out in the open.


    3. Not Bringing Body Lotion or Hair Conditioner


     Luxury lines stock all bathrooms with lots of decadent toiletries, but most major mainstream lines only provide a shampoo dispenser in the shower and a bar of soap in the bathroom. It’s up to you to pack any other products you’ll need.


    4. Going for the Deal Without Considering the Weather


     Cruises to the Caribbean are cheaper between September and early December for a reason. It’s hurricane season, and there’s a greater chance of rain. In Alaska, fares are lower at the beginning and end of the season—May and September—but it can be snowy and muddy in May, and rainy in September. Cruising Europe during the off-season might mean fewer tourists and lower prices, but be prepared for cool temps and rougher seas.


    5. Booking a Weekend Cruise for Peace and Quiet


     Short three- to four-night cruises to warm-weather destinations like the Bahamas, Mexico, and the Caribbean attract lots of 20-somethings looking for a party. That said, shorter cruises in Europe and Asia—or on the Disney ships—won’t have the same party vibe.

    6. Flying in the Same Day a European Cruise Starts


     If your flight is delayed or your luggage is lost, you’ll be in a real bind if you book a night flight to Europe intending to start your cruise a few hours later. Fly in the day before to be on the safe side, and enjoy a day and night of sightseeing in the port of embarkation.

    7. Expecting to Stay Dry in Alaska


     It rains a lot in Southeast Alaska, especially in Ketchikan, so bring an umbrella and raincoat and be prepared to do your excursions—whether hiking, kayaking, biking, or sightseeing—even in a downpour. The locals are used to the wet weather, and activities are rarely canceled. June is the driest month, but some rain is still likely.

    8. Booking a Cruise During School Holidays


     If you don’t have kids of your own—or aren’t traveling with them—avoid summer and holiday cruises, when one-third of a ship’s passengers can be children. On the biggest ships, that means more than 1,000 kids filling the pools and hot tubs, packing playrooms, running in the hallways, and making mealtime a loud and chaotic experience.


    9. Assuming Everything is Included OnBoard

     

     Even if you book your own tours and don’t plan to use the specialty restaurants, you can still expect to run a bill over the course of your cruise. For example: Except on the all-inclusive, high-end cruise lines, you’ll be charged for what you drink in your cabin, whether it’s in the mini-fridge or on your dresser. (Depending on the size, sodas and bottled water will run you about $2 to $4 each.) Some onboard activities also incur fees. Case in point: fitness classes. Years ago, they were free, but no more. Zumba® dance, spinning, boot camp, and yoga will cost you an extra $10 to $15 per session.

    This post originally ran on Cruiseline.com.

     

     

  • Pueblo Bonito Pacifica , Los Cabos, Mexico

    Julie,

    The trip was so much fun! The resort was perfect.  It was just the right size so that you didn't feel like you had to have a map to find everything. It was beautiful and so peaceful. The grounds were so well taken care of and the employees were very nice. I have never been a huge fan of all inclusives but this may have changed my mind .  A lot of them seem to water down their drinks...(I really felt that at the Sandals resort) but definitely weren't at the Pacifica. The food was always very fresh tasting and I don't think I had anything that wasn't delicious.  

     

    The guys went fishing one day and caught several mahi mahi.  The resort has a cooking class, so we asked if we could have one with just us and cook our fish.  To our surprise, the chef that came was the executive chef.  He taught us how to cook the fish three ways and then we had it for lunch. It was so nice of him to do that for us.  We rode camels down the beach one day and afterwards they cooked us an authentic Mexican lunch with a tequila tasting.  We also went whale watching and saw a mama and her baby frolicking in the ocean. It was a great trip and everyone had a great time!  Thank you so much for all of your hard work in making it such a memorable trip! I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone. 

     

  • Carnival Cruise Line- Faster to the Fun

    Our cruise on the Carnival Magic was good overall (good food, interesting/fun shore excursions, very nice dinner table mates), and the ship has a huge array of food options and entertainment venues.  Some couples even told us that they like the Magic so much that they take repeat cruises on it.There is one thing I strongly recommend: encourage your clients to take the "Faster to the Fun" package on Carnival, especially on large ships like the Magic.  That got past me this time and we paid the price:  we waited 2 1/2 hours in the embarkation line (sailing was delayed 2 hours due to an inbound medical emergency, and the nearly 4,000 passengers all seemed to be in line at the same time), and we were about 6 1/2 hours late disembarking yesterday (fog closed the port, plus our deck was the last one called to disembark.)  "Faster to the Fun" would definitely have saved us time on both ends.  Those booking cruises on Carnival really need to know that.

  • Sandals Regency La Toc St Lucia- "picture post card beautiful, with amazing views, great excursions and fun night life"

    I thought the island and the resort were so beautiful. The views, beaches and pools were amazing. I thought that overall the service was less than prompt. The service was sometimes slow and sometimes non existent. We had to request a different table one night at dinner, due to sitting for almost 15 minutes and no one waiting on us. We heard that people who were on their honeymoon or having a wedding had amazing service. The beach had several people who constantly pressured you to buy merchandise or excursions. These people would have made great waiters or bar tenders!!! I was at times nervous to leave Jennifer and Amy alone on the beach.  One thing that Jennifer pointed out was that the hotel staff was prompt. The room was cleaned and restocked every day. There was no complaints regarding the hotel side. Our only complaint regarding service was at the restaurants. Every meal was very good. I was looking forward to eating seafood every night. I had never been anywhere like this and didn't realize that they didn't have much to choose from.  Our choices for dinner were usually chicken, steak or some type of fish. There wasn't any where to eat shrimp, lobster or crab legs. This surprised me, but like I said every meal was very good.  I would describe this resort as picture post card beautiful, with amazing views, great excursions and fun night life. I would want better service and less pressure from people selling merchandise on the beach. The travel was long including the drive from the airport and back. However, knowing what to expect I would go back anytime for those amazing views and the beautiful beach.

     

  • St Regis Princeville Kauai & Grand Hyatt Kauai -"St Regis on North Side was our favorite"

    We had an amazing trip to Kauai!  Both resorts were amazing (St. Regis / North Side was our favorite).  We had a great time relaxing, snorkeling, surfing, hiking, and eating.  Everything went as smooth and seamless as I could have hoped.  Thanks again for all of your help with the planning! 

  • Sandals Royal Bahamian, Nassau Bahamas- “At this resort I would definitely push for butler service every time"

    The trip was fantastic very relaxing. Victor one of our main two butlers was fantastic, it was like he could read our minds...always calling to see if we wanted some lunch or a drink jsut as we had started talking about being hungry or needing mroe to drink.  We could tell he really enjoyed his job. The other two butlers were ok, but not near as good as Victor. 
    the resort was nice, food was excellent!  One thing I would say is that at the other resorts we were perfectly happy with conceirge service and did not really see the need for butler service. At this resort I would definitly push for butler service everytime. We took a side trip one day to Atlantis and were not very impressed. It was extremely commercialized and not well planned out, we were even surprised by the condition of some of the tanks, just not kept up like we would have expected.  thanks for checking in, it was a perfect babymoon for both of us!
     

  • SANDALS EMERALD BAY, GREAT EXUMA, BAHAMAS, EASIER THAN EVER

    NEW FLIGHTS MAKE TRAVEL TO SANDALS EMERALD BAY, GREAT EXUMA, BAHAMAS, EASIER THAN EVER

    ~ Delta Air Lines Adds Additional Flights to the Exumas ~

     

    Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas

     

    Travel to the sugar-white sands and turquoise blue waters of Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamasis now even more convenient and accessible with Delta Air Lines’ increased service from the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) in Atlanta, Georgia, to Exuma International Airport (GGT).

     

    Delta will begin Saturday service between Atlanta and the Exumas on December 28, 2013.The additional Saturday flight will depart from Atlanta at 10:15am and arrive in Great Exuma at 12:35pm.  The return flight will depart from Great Exuma at 1:15pm and arrive at 3:45pm in Atlanta. With this increased service, Delta will now operate flights to and from Great Exuma every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, making travel to this award-winning Luxury Included® resort easier than ever.

     

    Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas, is set along a one-mile stretch of white sand beach providing an unforgettable vacation experience with exquisite rooms and suites, a Greg Norman-designed championship golf course, seven diverse restaurants taking guests on a culinary expedition around the world with Sandals’ Discovery Dining program, a premiere Red Lane® Spa and much more. For more information, or to book a Luxury Included® Vacation at Sandals Emerald Bay, visit http://www.sandals.com/index.cfm?referral=102649 or call 1-800-861-5111. To take advantage of the most current deals and offerings and save on booking a vacation to Sandals Emerald Bay, visit http://www.sandals.com/specials?referral=102649.

     

  • SANDALS RESORTS OFFERS EXCLUSIVE PROMOTIONS TO NEWEST LUXURY INCLUDED®RESORT IN GRENADA

    July 16, 2013

     

    SANDALS RESORTS OFFERS EXCLUSIVE PROMOTIONS TO NEWEST LUXURY INCLUDED®RESORT IN GRENADA

    ~ Sandals Resorts Keeps Anticipation High for Newest Luxury Included® Resort With Two Great Offers ~

     

     

    Sandals LaSource Grenada Resort & Spa is set along the island’s beautiful Pink Gin Beach

     

    Sandals LaSource Grenada Resort & Spa, the much-anticipated addition to the Sandals Resorts International portfolio, is set to open its doors this coming December. For those looking to book a Luxury Included® Vacation to this new resort, Sandals Resorts is announcing two exclusive offers that will allow guests to save when visiting this exotic destination.

     

    Guests who book a minimum seven-night stay in select room categories by September 26, 2013 will receive the first night free for travel through December 27, 2014. In addition, travelers to Grenada who book a minimum seven-night stay in select room categories now through September 26, 2013, for travel through December 27, 2014, will also receive a complimentary 50-minute couples massage per room at the resort’s signature Red Lane®Spa. Blackout dates and restrictions apply for both offers.

     

    Situated on 17 acres of stunning land along the pristine Pink Gin Beach, Sandals LaSource Grenada will offer guests the highest level of luxury with an unprecedented look and feel for the resort company’s portfolio. With Sandals’ most elaborate accommodations to date, nine global gourmet dining options with the brand’s very first steakhouse, and an expansive Wellness Center, guests of Sandals LaSource Grenada will have a hard time deciding which they love discovering more, the new exotic destination of Grenada or Sandals’ latest lap of luxury. For more information, visit http://www.sandals.com/main/grenada/ls-home.cfm?referral=102649 or call 1-800-861-5111

     

     

     

  • Disney Dream - "Ship and staff were wonderful! Grand Disney Fashion"

    Julie, Thanks for checking back; we made it back safely and are back to our normal boring lives. lol The cruise was wonderful....the ship, the staff...it was in grand Disney fashion.  Our boys had a great time.  Our resort was fine, it was the All-Sports Resort, it wasn't fancy but we knew that going.  And I've stayed at another disney property, so I had a frame of reference.  But we were there for such a short time, it wasn't a problem.  It was a little small but again, we were only there 2 nights.  The staff was helpful, getting around the Disney property was easy.  All the transitions were seamless, airport to resort, resort to port, port to hotel; and I would recommend the Disney shuttle service, it's just easier. Would I return to Disney? Yes. Would I return to the All Sport Resort?  Probably not, simply because I would prefer a little more space and a few more options.  If on a budget, yes. But I like staying on property and using the shuttles.Would I cruise Disney again?  Yes!!!  The Dream was an awesome ship!  Loved all the "stuff" to do for the kiddos.  I would probably do 7 days versus 4.  And Castaway Cay was gorgeous!!! Coleta E. May 22, 2013

     

  • Sandals Grande St Lucia- "Really loved the island. So beautiful"

    Really loved the island. So beautiful. The boat excursion was the highlight.  The rooms were nice although a little dark and they did manage to get the rooms close together. One thing I didn't care for was after a 4 hour flight and 2 hour drive we had to sit in the concierge lounge and fill out paperwork and listen to their speech. We were tired and ready to get to the room. They wanted us to come back at 11 the next day for more orientation but we didn't. All the restaurant reservations were already made for us. We asked the concierge several times to give us a copy of it and on the second day we finally got one. The food was excellent. The employees were very professional and friendly and seemed to really like their job. Thought La Toc was beautiful. Would loved to have been there for sunset. If I think of anything else, I will let you know. Bonnie F. 22May 2013

     

  • Beaches Turks & Caicos- "Parrot Cat in the Caribbean Village was excellent"

    The resort was great. The room worked really well for a small family.  Kalli loved the fact that she was separated from us in "her room" as she called it.  The location was idea for walking to the beach, pirate island and the Italian pool (where we spent the majority of our time).  So the Parrot Cay Villa in the Caribbean village was excellent.
    Food was great.  Lots of choices.  We actually did the Japanese place twice it was so fun.  The only issue with food was is was a bit hard to find snacks during the afternoon hours.  Maybe we didn't look hard enough. Loved the beach.  Loved the fact that we could walk a couple minutes and snorkel right off shore.  I think I would recommend taking snorkel gear as opposed to using the resorts.  We packed our own.  The island people were great. We actually took Kalli off resort to Caicos Corral to ride a horse on the beach.  Franchesca was very helpful there.  Let Kalli ride for 45 minutes on the beach and in the water.  Was very very attentive. Good call to take a snack bag.  Popcorn, goldfish, fruit snack and the like.  Really good for bedtime, by the pool and on the plane. As of the concierge service, I'm not sure we would use it again.  If not for the fact that is actually came with the room style we wanted we wouldn't have used it.  I had to call multiple times to get actual confirmation of the times for reservation for both the Japanese restaurant and for the character breakfast.  I realize they are on island time, but confirmation more than a few hours before would have been better. All in all, we would go again.  I'm not sure when, but yes we loved it.   I'll be sure to sign up for the sandals discount thing.
    Thank you for all your help.

  • Four Seasons In Costa Rica- 'WOW, couldn't believe how many free events they had daily at the resort! '

    Thought this was really great info to share about the Four Season's in Costa Rica.. Really great property for a Costa Rican luxury experience. I personally find the beach and location amazing and the service is impeccable..

    "Thank you SO MUCH for your help planning my honeymoon.  Every aspect of the trip you put together for us was seamless.  There were no hidden fees and nothing unexpected.  EJ and I had a fabulous time in Costa Rica!  The Four Seasons resort was more than we had ever hoped for.  The service was second to none and we would recommend it to anyone!  Zip lining is an absolute MUST while you are there; we had so much fun!!!  I couldn't believe how many free events they had daily at the resort!  That was a very welcomed surprise! The food options were spectacular!  So many options daily and we didn't have one meal that we didn't absolutely LOVE!  I mean, really... a "prepare your own ceviche" bar?!  WOW!  So much fun!  And FOUR POOLS?!  All with servers for food and drinks.  So great.  If you ever make it down there, you MUST try the huevos rancheros... the people in America are doing it all wrong.  ;-) We will definitely contact you again when we are ready to plan our next trip.  Looking forward to working with you next year! "

  • Sandals and Beaches Resorts Groups Promo 1 room free for 6 rooms

    UPDATED :  Sandals & Beaches Resort  GROUPS COMP PROGRAM

    Please find below the rough details of the new promotions.

    1)            For travel in 2013- 1 comp room on 6 paid rooms (credit given on the 7th room)

    2)            For travel in 2014 and 2015 - 1 comp room on 7 paid rooms (credit given on the 8th room)

    Resorts:                      

    • Sandals Grande Riviera
    • Sandals Whitehouse     
    • Sandals Montego Bay
    • Sandals Emerald Bay
    • Sandals Royal Bahamian
    • Sandals Grande Antigua
    • Beaches Ocho Rios

     

    Booking Window:    Valid with new group bookings effective April 10th, 2013 until May 30, 2013

     

    Black Out Dates:  Sandals Grande Riviera; Sandals Whitehouse; Sandals Montego Bay, Sandals Emerald Bay, Sandals Royal Bahamian and Sandals Grande Antigua

    1.            12/27/13 – 1/1/14

    2.            12/27/14 – 1/1/15

    3.            12/27/15 – 1/1/16

    Beaches Ocho Rios.

    1.            3/24/13 – 4/5/13; 11/24/13 – 12/1/13; 12/23/13 – 12/31/13

    2.            4/13/14 – 4/24/14; 11/23/14 – 11/30/14; 12/22/14 – 12/31/14

    3.            3/23/15 – 4/9/15; 11/22/15 – 11/29/15; 12/21/15 – 12/31/15

     

    To take advantage of these promotions and additional amenities, contact

    Julie Chaump 1- 800-861-5111

  • Disney Art of Animation Review - "Art of Animation Resort was amazing"

    I just wanted to say THANK YOU again!!! For assisting me in booking this wonderful vacation!!! The Disney World surprise was a HIT!! My little girl enjoyed every minute of this trip, so us parents, and we are looking forward to going back and making this either a yearly or bi-annual trip!!! There was soooo much to do!! Boy...where do I begin...Art of Animation Resort was AMAZING! Check-in was easy, staff friendly, rooms cleaned daily exceptional!!! Everything was in place as planned. I have passed your name on to several of my friends who love to travel so you maybe hearing from them soon. Attached is a picture of Ariana having breakfast at 1900 Fare Park! She enjoyed meeting of her favorite characters!

  • Sandals Antigua Review- "Our most favorite Sandals location yet! "

    We had an absolutely wonderful vacation. We have now placed Sandals Grande Antigua at the top of our list as our most favorite Sandals location yet. We didn't think anything could beat St. Lucia but Antigua has!

    Everything went perfectly--from start to finish. Our flights went well and we arrived to 83 degree weather--just minutes from the airport. Our room was luxurious and we are glad that we stayed in the newer Mediterranean side, but I must say that the older Caribbean side seemed very lush and tropical. The next time we may try that side just to have a different experience. We were able to see the bay each and every day of our vacation.

    We had excellent service from everyone and were always greeted with a smile. The concierge service helped us make our dinner reservations and we were able to get in to each one on our list. We enjoyed our one excursion--Stingray City. We also got to see a sugar mill and Devil's Bridge, as well as a delicious lunch along the way.

    We were fortunate to meet many couples our age this time. Many were from the UK and Canada. We made friendships that will continue through email for years to come. We enjoyed many excellent shows and music. One of our favorite musical shows was a band that included a female singer that sounded exactly like "Adele." If you closed your eyes you couldn't even tell the difference!

    The only complaint that many of us had was the lack of chairs with umbrellas at the main pool. If you do not get to the pool by 6:15 a.m. to put a towel on your chair you will not get one. One morning I accidentally went down at 4:30 a.m. because we had daylight savings time while we were there and I didn't know it! How funny was that! We think they are going to remedy that situation though as 4 new umbrellas were brought down two days before we left. The butlers take most of the chairs, but we know how that goes since we were able to experience that service during our St. Lucia vacation.

    We ended each and every night down at the fire pits in very comfy couches. We would bring a bottle of wine down with us and just listen to the waves crashing against the shore. It was heavenly and very romantic. We are fortunate that even after 32 years of marriage we enjoy being with each other and cherish the special moments.

    Thank you for the beach candlelight dinner. It was a bit windy that night and luckily the rain held off until our dessert. The rain never lasts long there and feels good when it does.

    Oh, I almost forgot that I met a television personality. Lenny Venito ("The Neigbors") was vacationing there and I got my picture taken with him. We watch the comedy show every week so it was a special treat to speak with him. He was taking a much needed break from taping the show.

    Our only regret is that we didn't stay longer and that we had to come back home!


     

  • Sandals Montego Bay , Jamaica Review- "Had a blast and great updates"

    We all had a blast.  Sandals Montego Bay has really done some great updating in the years since we went in 2009.  I love their new business model of having the employees be more social.  By the end of the week we had several new friends and learns lots about the country, culture and their music.  By far one of the best vacations ever.  Our room was great!!  The bartenders were a ton of fun.  We loved the butlers, they are not as stuffy and in your face as one might fear and by the end of the week we had more fun playing around with them then asking them to do anything for us.  I love the fact that they just adopted my brother and sister in law and just made everything for 4 from dinner reservations, to reserved beach chairs to drinks.  They really felt as though they gotten a butler too not as a third wheel.   I have a handful of people I want to give great reviews too can you help me with an email or contact for that?  Also keep your eyes open Jeremie and I would love to take the kids to Beaches again but need to stay under about $9,000 with room and air for 5.  Let me know if you see any specials.  Remember I need to plan ahead since Jeremie only gets to choose vacation for a year in advance starting about Oct-Nov of the year before.  We would like a butler again but want to at least have concierge.  

  • Grand Cayman Beach Suites

    Was a great trip. Beach suites is super nice. They upgraded us to a two bed for free at check in. It has a kitchenette with fridge and microwave. Grocery store within walking distance. Only about 50 rooms or so. Pool or beach is never crowded. Marriott is fine but beach suites is a star and a half better. Kids food prices are reasonable for cayman.  On site diving snorkeling boating etc. nice beach chairs and tiki bar. If you are a drinker go to liquor store. Drinks around 9 us per beer 11 per cocktail. We bought a case of water and brought drink mix with us. Water 5 us. Restaurants will do tap water which is safe for free. Love it there. Dives Are awesome. Sandie put a lot pics on facebook. Looks like delta starts flying there soon?

  • Sandals Regency La Toc Resort, St Lucia

    Sorry it has taken me so long to respond.  Everything was great!  The island was so beautiful and definitely a place that we want to return to.  Everybody on the island was so friendly and the sandals crew was great too.  They were very helpful with any questions we had and made our experience really great.  We didn't have to lift a finger while we there.  The food was amazing and we really like the local Piton beer that was available at the resort.  While we were there, we did the Joe Knows excursion which was really awesome.  We got to see alot of really beautiful sites of the island, took a mud bath, drove through an active volcano and ate the local cuizine.  A great experience and they kept us very entertained the whole time!  Overall, the trip was awesome and we really appreciate everything that Julie did for us!  Definitely a trip we want to make again!

  • Grand Occidental Papgayo, Costa Rica

    The flight down wasn't bad at all.  Costa Rica customs was a breeze, however it would have been nice to direct flight there and back.  Coming back to the states through Miami was a nighmare.  I've never seen a airport so busy!  I know you didn't book our flights, but I thought you might want to know, I would avoid Miami at all cost!  We had a direct flight coming back to DFW which would have only taken 4 total hours, but since AA likes to cancel flights, we were force to go through Miami and spend a little over 13 hours traveling.  On to the good stuff; The weather was absolutely perfect! Zip Lining was sooo much fun, but the mother of the bride got injured.   Went fishing, caught a black fish tuna and a maui maui.  Very fun if you don't get sea sick. Two out of the 5 of us did... NOT me. Snorkeling wasn't as fun at this resort.  Not as clear of water than expected Saw NO MONKEYS, but some people did.  However, lots of raccoon type animals and iguanas.  The wedding went off without a hitch, so much fun!  Overall, I would go back in 20 years, but would go somewhere else since I marked this country off the bucket list.

  • Review Fiesta Americana Condesa Cancun Mexico

    The hotel was all we could ask for…. Wonderful !!  We went out for short time on Sat night and then never left the resort.   Food, service, employees, entertainment, spa were are great…. No complaints about anything.  The Italian and Asian restaurants were both really good as was the seafood bar by the pool.   I have never had fish tacos and  had seen on trip advisor about how people were bragging on them… well, they are really good and we had more than once J  Hotel is really quite and so pretty.   I saw were some people said it was in need of updating… guess I did not see that because everything was very clean and the bedding linens were excellent.  Oh well, I could go on and on and wish I was there right now, but over all , it was a great vacation and would certainly go back and recommend to anyone.  Of course it was off season and not so crowded which we really liked.  Blockbuster was having an International Conference there and the hotel was at 100%, but they were pretty much not in the mix of us… only couple of days at  breakfast time and even then, it was not an issue. Ps…  when we checked in, our ocean front room was ready, but we joked to the guy checking us in to give us his best room ( he gave a big smile and said ok)….. we had to wait for room a couple of hrs, but we got an ocean front suite at no extra charge !!!   Was on the end with nothing in front of us but the water…. Was great !!

  • Review of Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort

    We had a great time The weather contrary to the forecast was excellent. We had rain for five minutes one day. The kids enjoyed the water park and I took a ride on the lazy river. Food was better then expected. Service, however, was a tad slow at a couple of restaurants. The rooms were nice and situated close to the ocean which saved wear and tare on my knees. The beach was excellent as was the pool. Best banana daiquiris I ever had. 

  • Review of Marriott Grand Cayman

    it was by far the best diving and best island trip yet. resort was good with all amenities of a US resort with the island feel.
    beach is not huge but adequate. snorkeling is great 20 feet offshore. all beaches are public so even if you do not stay at a resort you can use their beach.
    we will try and return before years end if possible. i would recommend anyone that likes to go more than a mile or two rent a car. a 5 mile taxi is 30.00. we will rent next time to explore
    when we have more days there. happy fish divers is by far the best dive outfit we have used. if kids were out of school id move there and work through the internet..

  • Review of Sandals Negril Jamaica

    Sandals Negril was great!  The whole trip, flights, shuttle, to/from the resort, room quality, etc. was very good.  Negril’s beach is very nice, more like the Florida coast than Ocho Rios was.  We didn’t do anything all week except layout on the beach, eat, drink, & sleep.  J

  • Riu Palace Bavaro Review, Punta Cana

    I LOVED our resort...very nice! My favorite color is purple and that is definitely the color scheme of the Bavaro. We had a lot of fun. The service was nice and the food was satisfying. Thanks so much for arranging everything for us. Everything went very smooth. They even upgraded our rooms free of charge. 

  • Riu Bavaro Punta Cana Dominican Republic Review

    The hotel was FABOLOUS!  The people, food, enviroment was great! They gave us an upgraded room w/and 'ocean view/poolview'.   The hotel staff turned down our beds @ night and gave us extra towels and wash clothes.  All in all it was a wonderful experience all around!  No complaints...

  • Gran Bahia Principe Jamaica

    JULIE...JULIE...JULIE.....  You hooked us UP.  I so appreciate you.  The trip was AMAZING!! had an awesome time, the Resort was ridiculously incredible, food, shows, music, drinks, entertainment, transportation, the whole kitten kaboodle. I just wanted to thank you for planning our group trip.  I will def be back in touch soon to plan next year's travel. Thanks again!

  • Iberostar Grand Resort Montego Bay Jamaica

    Sorry we are just getting back to you but in short we loved the trip.  The long layover in ATL proved to be just the right amount of time needed to go through the hassle of customs, reclaim& recheck our bags and make our connecting flight.  The resort was awesome, we had some problems with our room when we were there so they upgraded us to the presidential suite which was out of this world.  Actually we loved the Iberostar grand resort that we are going in June to the Iberostar grand in Mexico in a few weeks.  Thank you for pulling this trip together for us Julie we really loved it.

  • Atlantis Resort Paradise Island Bahamas

    Dolphin encounter great.   Water park great.  Bahama divers great.  Hotel was average.  Food was average and over priced. Gatorade 5 a bottle. Beer was 8.  But it's what you expect on a resort Like Atlantis. All in all I feel its a fair value if you have kids. It's like Disney world.  Everyone should go at least once. For adults I'd recommend a less costly place.  But my daughter loved it. And at the end of the day it's just money. We can make more tomorrow. Thx for all your help. We are trying to pick a July 4 destination and we will call u to book it. 

  • Sandals Grande Antigua Review

    I thought the resort overall was beautiful. It was incredible how each side Mediterranean and Caribbean was like walking into a different resort. The main building we stayed in was beautiful and not too far from anything in the resort. The longest walk was to the spa and Kimono’s which was about 5-10 mins  but you never minded. If I went back there I would probably stay on the Caribbean side in order to have a different experience. Restaurants are spaced out evenly so no issue there. Nights we found ourselves mostly starting on the Caribbean side and working our way back to our side since the Pub was the place that stayed opene latest. The employees as were so friendly and hospitable just a tremendous experience. The weather was better than I could have though with no humidity at all. We tried all the restaurants in one way or another and even had the candlelight dinner one night. We really took advantage of all that was to offer and they do a nice job of having activities day and night if you want to join in or just do your own thing

  • Sandals Grande Rivera Review Ocho Rios Jamaica

    Hi Julie-we did return safely.  We loved the resort-it was beautiful-we met tons of people that we will stay in contact with and loved our room-we actually ended up getting an upgraded room facing the ocean-awesome.  Ocho Rios was beautiful and we had a wonderful time.  Can’t wait to go backJ  Thanks for all your help.

  • Sandals Whitehouse Jamaica Review

    Thanks for following up.  We really loved the resort.  The beach was everything that you said it would be and the water and weather were perfect.
    We definitely enjoyed the resort itself.  The restaurants were good and the Café Paris was fantastic. The room was great and the service was great. The only problem ended up being room location.  In spite of all your best efforts and my own phone call to Whitehouse the week before we left, the room they gave us was located looking onto a cement building.  Making matters worse, this building housed the pumps and filter for the pool so the sound stopped us from even hearing the surf.  We did ask to be moved but the only options they provided were a room on the pool (we wanted privacy) and the first room right beside the pool in the Italian village (again no privacy and not in the Dutch Village).  So, we kept the same room and just avoided time in the room.  In the end, it did not mar our vacation because the beach was so grand and we did get to see the sunsets when we would go out to the beach.All in all we would go back to this Sandals again.  I do not know how to deal with the room location situation.  The only thing that I can think of that would ensure a view would be to bite the bullet and get the highest room, since you cannot control the location of the room. The Welches joined us and they enjoyed the resort as well. Thanks for all you did.

  • Italy Reviews- Positano, Naples, Rome, Florence, Pompei

    I wanted to let you know that our trip was AMAZING and you did an INCREDIBLE job organizing it for us. Everything was perfect and easy and flowed so smoothly. Our hotels were all just wonderful. Edan Roc in Positano was incredibly charming and intimate and the service was unreal. That was our favorite by far.  Our private tours were well worth it....each one of our guides was nicer than the next and it was a perfect combination of educational information and fun.  Also, having car service everywhere was definitely the way to go....it took out any possible stress and allowed us to enjoy the entire experience....including the experience of driving along THE STEEPEST CLIFFS IN THE WORLD.....why didn't anyone warn me about those!?!?!? The cooking class was one of our favorite days....what a neat experience ....especially since i keep promising Matt that I will learn to be a cook once we are married :) Time is up i guess! 
    Thank you thank you thank you! I have already recommended you to other friends of ours who are planning trips and honeymoons and we plan to contact you again to help us plan our winter vacation! Thank you again and we will be in touch!
     

  • Fiesta Americana Condesa Cancun Mexico Review

    OUR TRIP WAS AMAZING!!! Hotel staff was over the top GREAT! Service EXCELLENT!! I would definitely travel and stay at the Americana Fiesta Condesa Resort.We did have problem with finding transportation from the airport. This was my fault because I did not read carefully. Nonetheless, it was all good...no problems.

  • Grand Cayman Beach Suites

    Was a great trip. Beach suites is super nice. They upgraded us to a two bed for free at check in. It has a kitchenette with fridge and microwave. Grocery store within walking distance. Only about 50 rooms or so. Pool or beach is never crowded. Marriott is fine but beach suites is a star and a half better. Kids food prices are reasonable for cayman.  On site diving snorkeling boating etc. nice beach chairs and tiki bar. If you are a drinker go to liquor store. Drinks around 9 us per beer 11 per cocktail. We bought a case of water and brought drink mix with us. Water 5 us. Restaurants will do tap water which is safe for free. Love it there. Dives Are awesome. Sandie put a lot pics on facebook. Looks like delta starts flying there soon?

  • Velentin Imperial Maya Mexico

    Ok so let me start at the beginning. We booked our first anniversary trip to Valentin Imperial Maya through Julie with Travel Vacations. Although I consider myself to pretty savvy with researching vacation deals online, I couldn’t come close to how well she worked everything out. Julie did an excellent job of finding us exactly what we wanted at a great price. She gave us several options for flights and prices and even accepted partial payments up until 45 days before departure. I would highly recommend her and the agency (800-861-5111; www.travelvacations.net)

    Arrival: At the airport we were stopped by a woman claiming she needed to see our transportation vouchers before allowing us to leave. She brought us over to a podium and as I began showing her our paperwork she waved it off and began trying to sell us on tours and time shares. We kindly informed her that we were all set on our plans and went on our way. As previously advised…just keep walking outside to meet your rep, do not stop for the scam artists! We were able to find our Best Day representative quickly and he was extremely friendly and efficient in getting us loaded up and off to our destination. On our arrival at the hotel we were greeted with fresh cool towels and a glass of champagne while we were checked in by the friendly staff.  Our names were placed in the daily bulletin for our anniversary which was a nice surprise. We were offered a free upgrade from our Golden Junior Suite to a Golden Swim Up; however we preferred a balcony to lounge on so stuck with our original choice. Our room wasn’t ready immediately but this was to be expected since we arrived around 11 am. However, the bellmen took our luggage and stored it while we walked around the resort and ate lunch. By the time we came back and used the wi-fi in the lobby our room was ready by 1:45. Cesar picked us up and took us on a mini-tour of the part of the resort close to our building. He was hilarious and went out of his way to give exceptional service. He showed us how close we were to the pool and beach, even stopping to allow us to pick up a drink at the beach bar before heading to drop off our luggage.

    Room: We stayed in building 7 near the quiet pool. Just as requested we had a king bed and there was some lovely towel art and rose petals on the bed to celebrate our anniversary. They also provided some cake and champagne for our special occasion. The room was gorgeous and better than expected. There were robes in the bathroom and slippers by the bed. There was plenty of space for both of us to wander about the room and watch either TV. The view from our room was of the quiet pool, lazy river and beautiful scenery. The Jacuzzi tub was located in a great spot and the ability to close off the bathroom allowed for as much or as little privacy as you wanted.

    Food: We ate at the French, Italian, Hibachi, Lobster Pot, and Steakhouse restaurants. We also enjoyed the buffets for breakfast and lunch that had a wide variety of choices. Our favorite place was the Hibachi restaurant and per the suggestion of others we got there at 6 to make our reservation. I was amazed at how pushy some people were to get a table. You are on vacation people, chill out! I thought folks were going to fight like it was a middle school lunch line and they got jumped. Anyway, the food was excellent and we got a great group of people in our room that made it even more fun.

    Excursions: The Best Day representative at our hotel, Alonso, was one of the nicest people we met. He was very thorough in explaining the tours we had already picked out. He had family photos from the places to show us exactly what we were getting ourselves into. The best advice he gave us was not to overdo it. He pulled out a calendar and showed us our proposed dates and advised to take certain days off to allow for maximum relaxation. He could have sold us more than the 2 tours we purchased and made more money but he wasn’t greedy and we were glad for his advice later. We went to Xcaret and took the Albatross Sailing Tour. Xcaret was a looong day since we left VIM at 8:50 and didn’t return until 10:30. We walked/swam the park, ate lunch, napped in the hammocks by the ocean, refreshed and watched the night show. By far the underground river and the night show were the best parts of the entire day. Albatross Sailing Tour was phenomenal!!! We sailed to Isles Mujures and stopped to snorkel along the way. Garcon and crew were patient and attentive with first time snorkelers and everyone in general. Our drinks were never empty and the service was impeccable. Little touches really made a difference, i.e., washing our feet off before we got back on the boat and having your hand held as you navigate to the bathroom (little shaky from the motion of the ocean and the sex on the boat drinks…lol). I loved every minute of it. I got a little too much sun but we found a nice shady spot behind the sail and life was perfect.

    There also wasn’t much of a need to go off the property for excursions as there is more than enough to do on site. We saw the Michael Jackson and the Circus show which were both outstanding. I thought MJ had faked his death and was hiding out at VIM for a second lol. Also there were plenty of activities to keep you as busy as you want. We did a bike tour, played pool, danced in the pool, rented a jet ski, and took pictures with a monkey.

    All in all we had a fabulous time and cannot wait to go back. Forget what Disney says, this was the happiest place on earth.
     

     

  • Sonoma Napa Wine Valley California

    Sonoma

     

    My sister, best friend and I decided to head to the beautiful wine country for a fun yet relaxing girls trip. We started our vacation off with an afternoon of pure relaxation and pampering at the famous mission inn spa. I would highly recommend to anyone that enjoys going to the spa for a little R&R to stay at this resort. Sonoma Mission Inn has it all, great customer service, walking distance to lots of local shops, dining and more. The resort is also minutes away from the town square where you will also find great shopping, dining and bars. The resort is also minutes from wineries where you will find some of the best views and wine tastings.

    As for the foodies out there (being one myself) you will be surrounded by some of the most amazing  rest. During our stay we had a lovely dinner at the famous The Girl and the Fig. Where we sat outside and enjoyed the beautiful weather and decadent meal. The girl and the fig has been on the food network and recognized as a staple in the sonoma valley. I would recommend you put this one your agenda while in the wine country and make reservations before your arrival.

     

    Sonoma/Napa

     

    The girls and I spent a full day in Napa where we tasted lots and lots of wine,shopped and  did what we tend to do best eat. We started off with Gloria Ferrier which is known for their sparkling wines. Viansa was our last stop on the Sonoma trail. Wow! It was breath taking!! The vineyard and wine was very impressive. The staff seemed very passionate and well educated on their product. It is a must stop when in the wine country and you are lucky if Mr.Zachary Gold poors your wine during your tastings.

    We then headed to Napa with not a worry in the world. We decided to stop at a wine maker that we hadn't heard of before and taste and learn more about their wine. We fell in love with Jessup wine. The wines were pretty tasty and we ended up really enjoying their recent crop.

    From here we headed to the famous Oakville Country Store where we proceeded to load up on meats, cheese, crackers, fresh bread and all your favorite goodies to make a picnic in the wine country extra special.

    St. Helena home of the famous olive oil store was the next stop on our day in wine country. We had a ball shopping till our feet and credit cards couldn't take anymore! This area is known for it's boutique stores and sweet rare finds.

    Before our dinner at Tra Vigne we decided to squeeze in one more tasting at MerryVale Cellars. Where we were treated like queens and were introduced to more amazing wine and mouthwatering mustard. Merry vale tasting room is very dark and romantic. This would be a wonderful places for a rehearsal dinner, Corp party etc.

     

    Sausalito

    We spent the afternoon walking the charming streets of Sausalito. This area has many waterfront dining options that will ensure wonderful memory makers. I loved our lunch at the Spinikker and you have to grab the white chocolate cookie at the Sausalito baking company. Words cannot describe how amazing that cookie is. :)

     

    San Fran

    we stayed at the Hotel Intercon Mark Hopkins. The hotel is charming and is known for it's 18th floor restaunt and bar called the top of the Mark.

    We had a lovely dinner at the Boulevard, great lunch at optimista, Great shopping off of Union/Fillmore

     

    A must do is have brunch,lunch or dinner at the famous Cliff House!!!!!

     

     

  • French Riviera, Paris

    First flight to London!

     

    We took the nine p.m. flight and it made me realize even more howbmuch I enjoyed thevlate and red eyed flights when traveling. The London hethrow airport is like nothing my eyes have ever seen before. It was clean,modern, lots of shopping ( a womans dream) and full of people from all around the world. Airports are known for being a great place for people watching, I just wished I had a little more time to enjoy it at this airport. So now we are off to Nice, which is about an hour and half flight from London hethrou. From there we will be on the home stretch to Monte Carlo.

     

    Monte Carlo

     

    Welcome to the lifestyles of the rich and famous! That was my first thought as I arrived into beautiful Monte carlo. We were surrounded by bentleys, Firarris, rolls roice and beautiful yaughts in the harbor. We stayed at the Monte Carlo bay resort. The staff was friendly and very hospitable. The rooms were modern with a French flair. Don't forget to pack your swimsuit for your day at leasure to lay by the pool.

    Casino time! Time to play with the big boys. Another thing that Monte Carlo is known for is their Casinos. Here you will need  your passport, jacket for the men and ladies are dressed to the nines in cocktail dresses. 

     

    Day in Veramila

     

    We decided to get out and explore Europe a little. So we hopped on a train from Monoco and headed to Italy. The train ride was about 20 minutes long and the views of the water and Italian villages are breathtaking. The narrow sidewalks were filled with people young and old. While strolling around this italian village I couldn't stop thinking about my two favorite things pasta and vino. So we stopped at a restaurant for lunch and enjoyed some homemade pasta and wine. Don't forget to save room for dessert as there are pasties on every corner.

     

    Train ride to Paris!

     

    We packed up and spent the second part of our European vacation in Paris, France. We took the bullet train from Monoco to Paris. The 6 hour countryside ride was breathtaking! 

     

    The train station was another wonderful experience. The detail on the architecture was amazing and a wonderful introduction to all of Paris historic buildings.

     

    We stayed three nights four days  in the St. Germain area of Paris. The resort we called home while in Paris was the Pont Royal Luxury Boutique resort. We arrived and received such a warm welcome buy the staff and concierge. Christopher was the concierge that I had been now emailing for weeks as he was beyond helpful and made sure all our needs were taken care of before we arrived and during our stay. The resort is about 100 rooms of rich warm character. The room had wifi and and a small balcony that overlooked your traditional Paris road. The resort had it all with much charm and wonderful hospitality. The sales manger Laurance was delightful and very personal. I took a tour of the property and they had room categories that can accommodate anyone's travel needs. A  Bliss Tip....When traveling to Paris during there summer months it is a good idea to choose a hotel that does have air conditioning. Pont Royal has a/c,gym,breakfast,cocktail bar and a wonderful restaurant next door.

     

    The St.Germain district has it all, wonderful cafes,brasseus, bistros and shopping galore! St. Germain blvd is a place to be seen. Great place to see the many talented artist and designer shops and end the day at a local cafe or bistro watching people pass by.

     

    I am a foodie as I love to cook and eat. When traveling it can be a little overwhelming as I want to make sure I have had the true dining experiences at each destination. Paris has so much to offer and I wanted to try it all! Our first night we dined at bistro de Paris. This bistro was something like I had seen in the movies. We lucked out as our server Sabastion was so helpful and he spoke English. My husband had the duck and i had a veggie plate that waS delicious .A blisstip while dining in Paris....Most restaurants do have an English menu but you will have to ask for it.

     

    Second night we dined at Jules Verne in the Eiffel tower. A dining experience that was a true memory maker. Since I was a little girl I have always wanted to see the Eiffel tower up close and personal. When we pulled up my eyes stared to tear up as it is truly breathtaking. All I kept saying to myself was wow I am standing under the Eiffel Tower, was I dreaming? We took an elevator up to the 5th floor where we were seated at a table for two right next to the window. This dining experience was one I will never forget in my lifetime. The view, the service and the food was better than I could ever had asked for.

    Bliss tip:

    I highly recommend this dining experience but the reservation should be made at the same time you book your decision to travel to Paris.

     

    Bliss tips for your future Paris Journey.

    make a list of must sees and dos in Paris Make a daily schedule Let us help you with your daily plans and get reservations and tours confirmed Pack good walking shoes Pack nice cloths as people dress to the nines in most European countries Check with cell phone carrier as a lot of USA carriers don't have service Don't forget passport,converters, chargers for iPods,iPads,cell,computers etc Make sure your camera is charged and ready to be used. Lots of picture opportunity in Europe Recommend Rick Steves travel guide to Paris First Sunday of the month most museums in Paris are free Monday the orseay museum is closed A lot of Shops in Paris are closed on Sunday, with the expect ion of the district behind the Lourve and Notre Dame

     

    Want to thank our airport driver Benjerman for the wonderful customer service. He is very prompt and you can truly leave all your worries behind the mi ute he picks you up and drops you off at the airport. He drops you off and picks you up at your scheduled gate and terminal. No more worries about finding a spot at the airport. Let him save you time and money. He services all of the DFW metroplex. Thanks Ben and crew.

     

     

  • Sandals Regency La Toc, St Lucia Castries

    St.Lucia

     

    Oh where do I begin... The island is filled with pure beauty. My husband and I just spent 6 days touring this breathtaking island. The moment we stepped off of the plane all our honeymoon memories came back and we felt like a king and queen once again. Needless to say we were both glad to be back in St.Lucia.

     

    We spent most of our time at Sandals Regency La Toc. This all inclusive resorts sits up on a beautiful bluff where the sound of crashing waves is hard to escape. The property has it all. The grounds are very well kept up and you are sounded by the beautiful lush and tropical feel of the Caribbean. I would highly suggest to pack good walking shoes so you are able to take advantage of resorts trails through the hills. But not to worry if you happen to have one two many dirty bananas or Pitons (St. Lucia's local beer) there is a shuttle at your service.

     

    On this trip we were fortunate enough to experience the Butler service.Talk about feeling like Royalty!  Pero and Genny were true professionals and wanted to make sure we felt at home.  I could go on and on about the special treatment we received durning our stay. To name a few, upon check in our dinner reservations were already made for us, every morning our towels were at the location of our choice and after a day in the sun they would have our cocktail of choice along with snacks waiting in our room for us.

     

    Since my husband and I tend to be foodies I always like to give a review of our dining experiences while traveling.  We enjoyed the breakfast at Armondo's they always had a nice variety of yogurts, cereral, fresh pastries and fruits. If you wanted something a little heavier you could order pancakes or choose from a variety of egg dishes. We were spoiled daily for our lunches. One day our butler brought us pizzas by the pool, while the next day Javan brought us dishes off the Neptunes menu to our beach Cabana. Last but not least Dinners. Our first night we enjoyed salad, nachos and burgers at the Cricketers, kimonos (must have a reservation and make sure you go hungry) is your habachi kitchen, La Toc (must have reservation) is French food with white table cloth and while glove service. On our last night we decide to get off the resort and experience some of the locals favorite restaurants. We went into Rodney Bay and had some many options it was hard to choose from. We stopped in at the Fire Grill and ended our night at The Edge. Both were amazing dining experiences and I highly recommend going to Rodney Bay for a chance of pace.

     

     

    We did something new on this trip that I would highly recommend to anyone. We rented a Cabana for the day. Javan was our personal Cabana butler. He made sure all of our needs were met. We enjoyed the day in and out of the sun, a delicious lunch from Neptunes (back in the states I  will be craving the grilled vegetable wrap) and he made sure we never got thirsty. Thank you Javan for all the pampering!

     

    Durning our stay the resort was at 100% occupancy. I always love to see how resorts do under pressure. I would say they have it all mastered! We felt special through out our stay and the staff was super friendly.

     

    Thank you again St.Lucia for all the memories, beautiful island and friendly people. We cannot wait to go back.

  • The Harborside Resort, Nassau Bahamas

    We had a great time at the Atlantis! We enjoyed staying at Harborside, the room was spacious and had a beautiful view of the Harbor. We didn't like being right by the elevator since it got to be very loud at times but we made due.  It was relatively easy to get around via the shuttle once you figured out what bus you should take. The staff at the Atlantis was very nice and accommodating. We had the lowest meal plan which was just breakfast and dinner. The selection for breakfast was very minimal but we made due with the buffet and other days we went to Dunkin Doughnuts which was relatively close. The dinner options were ok - we liked Virgils BBQ but the portions were just huge and it cost us $40 for gratuity since the meal was expensive. That's the one thing about the resort, you pay 20% gratuity on everything which can add up. Some days we just went to eat off the meal plan so we could mix it up. The cost of bottled water on the resort was very high...but luckily we were close to the small shopping area and it was 50% cheaper. So we just stocked up on snacks and drinks there. The resort offers an offsite shopping excursion if you need to go grocery shopping so that's a nice option if you plan on cooking. The pools were great and the scenery was beautiful. We would definitely go again and may consider staying in a different tower if we are without the little one. Thanks to Julie at Travel Vacations for booking our great vacation. We will definitely book again!

     

  • Iberostar Cancun, Mexico

    We had a great time. The resort was very nice. The staff was great especially the "star friends" these are the activity people.  The food wasn't my favorite.  The room was nice and kept clean daily. The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders where there doing a camp for the kids. My niece loved it she meet lots of people and thought the place was amazing.  This was a special time her and I will always share.

  • Marriott Grand Cayman

    It was awesome! Resort HIGHLY recommended!!!! Nicest, safest island for us and our favorite island so far in all of our travels!! :) thanks!! We are fixing to book a dive trip to Bonaire through you with the Buddy Dive Resort. They have a Dive and Drive package we want. Sometime in September/ October is probably when we were wanting to go... Just a heads up to see what you may can do. Thanks again!!

  • Disney Cruise Line

    Sorry for the delay in replying back. Yes, we had a wonderful time.  The girls loved it, so this was a major success just on that count.  But we loved it, too.  We could have eaten less, but that’s only in hindsight ?  …when we were there, we enjoyed eating!

    I do want to thank you for your excellent advice.  First, getting the 10th floor stateroom on the Disney Dream was a great idea.  We were very close to the food, pool and ‘aquaduck’, and always a hop skip and jump away in case we needed to go back to our room for any reason.  The room was excellent and very clean – bunk beds were a hit with the kids, and having a balcony was nice, too.  Also, thanks for advising not to pre-book any island activities and just going with the flow each day based on what the girls wanted to do.  For instance, we did not leave the boat in Nassau, but decided to do the beach / activities (swimming, snorkeling, biking) on Disney’s Castaway Cay.  Castaway Cay was great!  Weather was good as well throughout the trip. 

     Again thanks for guiding us through another great vacation trip.

     

     

  • The Royal Playa Del Carmen, MX

    We returned (grudgingly) from The Royal Playa Del Carmen monday night and it was AWESOME!! I will be specific below, and my family (Kirks, Shaws) felt the same as my husband and I:
     
    Email Instructions:Our travel instructions were very clear and everything went off without a hitch!
     
    Transfer:Arrival transfer from airport to hotel was smooth, great in fact, the "tour guide" provided info and much appreciated beverages. The departure transfer yesterday was not as smooth, but certainly nothing to complain about, just comparatively the arrival transfer was better. The on board "tour guide" provided no beverages, seemed to not have things as orderly and through no fault of our tour guide another bus broke down so enroute to the airport we had to go to another hotel and pick up passengers which left us with very little time to get to the airport but we made it.
     
    Hotel:The Royal was amazing, primarily due to the attention given to each guest everyday by EVERY staff member at the Royal, from groundskeepers to concierge, they are dedicated to customer service. I love their company motto of greeting guest with their right hand over their hearts to signify they do their work from "love". The exterior  facade of the hotel did not live up to the photos on the website, BUT after a day or so I realized it was because they are currently scraping the building in preparation to paint it. But the grounds were beautiful and the interior of the hotel from the lobby to the actual suites were EXACTLY like the website. That's hugely important to customers that the proper expectations are set, the website sold us on booking the trip, the fact that the reality of the resort lived up to the website is why I will vacation there again and why I would HIGHLY recommend it. I saw a negative comment on their website and I don't know what that person was talking about.

     
    Spa:I think the hotel is doing themselves a disservice by not listing themselves as a SPA and resort. I've gone to the Four Seasons Spa here in Dallas, and the Royal spa is comparable (maybe the locker room of the Four Season was nicer but that's it). I had 4 different spa treatments including an in room couples massage that was 2 1/2 hours and anyone who goes to the Royal and doesn't experience the spa is really missing out!
     
    Gym/fitness center:I won't travel to a hotel/resort that doesn't offer a gym/fitness center because I work out a minimum of 6 times per week. This fitness center was really well equipped and they offered pilates and spinning classes (to help offset the guilt from all the eating no doubt). I was so very pleased with the amenties the gym had.

     

    Room Service:Some days we were just too exhausted (from the fun and the sun) to go down for dinner, unfortunately the room service menu was not very extensive. This would be my only needs improvement, not a negative, but this could be better.The room service we received (timely, hot food) was superb, no complaints.

     

    Nightly Entertainment: We loved the shows, it would have been nice if there was additionally an area to listen to music via (for lack of a more current term) jukebox of sorts. some nights the entertainment ended early and it would have been nice to have an onsite option for music (rather than going to another "sister" resort).

     

    Restaurants:The settings were nice, the food was good to great. There was some issues with air conditioning in several restaurants over several days, so I think investing in a backup generator (or updating their current one) is necessary, it made for very unplesant dining experiences (in the Marie/Maria restaurant and in the Spice restaurant). Also there were apparently resident "cats" (seriously I mean the house pets) that were walking through an open air restaurant called Pelicanos which made dining there very unappetizing and so we left. I realize the guests feeding the cats doesn't help to discourage them from coming but when I mentioned it to the staff nothing was done to remove the cats. It gives the impression they are their intentionally with hotel knowledge for pest control and who wants to think of rodents when you are dining?

     

    Beach:So well maintained. I saw staff daily (from my balcony!) raking the beach to remove seaweed and set up chaises. Water activities were easily accessible and we even parasailed which was so much fun!

     

    Overall, so much fun and you made this happen. My family is already asking me about next summer, unfortunately we are tied to all inclusives so we are limited I'm sure in finding them on par with the Royal but we will be challenging you to dig up something for us next year, maybe the Flordia Keys? Bye for now, I'll contact you at the new year.

     

  • Sandals Grande St Lucia

    All of the staff was helpful and courteous.  The views were amazing (even from the ice machine!).  We had the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other.  Sandals Grande is on a peninsula and is not surrounded by a lot of other hotels or businesses.  We were able to relax and thoroughly enjoy our vacation from what was offered at the resort.  They offered something for everyone:  water skiing, scuba diving, snorkeling, hiking, shopping, zip lining through the rain forest, beach, live music, DJ night club, party pool, and quiet pool.  We were never bored!  It was an adventure 24 hours a day.  The food was decent from buffet breakfast, speedy lunches, casual and formal dinners to room service.  We definitely recommended the concierge service.  The concierge staff, especially Johan, made scheduling our excursions, spa trips, and resort parties/offerings much easier, and it’s the only way to get bottled water without overpaying for it in the resort shop.  Our guide for the zip lining excursion, George, made the drive to and from the rain forest interesting with jokes, stories, points of interest, and island fruits.

  • Beaches Turks & Caicos

    We give this vacation a hearty two thumbs up!  My clan of 7 was most enthusiastic about the entire trip.  Our rooms in the French Village were lovely.

     We all enjoyed the food.  My son and I stopped at Café de Paris daily for iced latte (decaf for him) and delicious treats.  He was so thrilled to discover that they served chocolate fondue!  Also, wonderful cookies (what diet?).

    Our group included 1 9 year old, 3 13 year olds, 1 16 y/o, 1 24 y/o & me.  We were all thrilled with the resort.  Nobody wanted to leave and go home.  My kids are begging me to book this again for next year.  We all agreed that the staff was lovely without exception. 

    We spent time at every pool in the resort and loved each one of them.  The water park was great entertainment.  The lazy river was a favorite.  We had no difficulties finding  lounge chairs which was wonderful considering that the resort was well populated.

    We tried every single restaurant.  No complaints from anybody and I have children who are used to eating at wonderful restaurants.  We ate at the Japanese restaurant our last night.  It was a lot of fun.  The chefs had great banter and encouraged group singing.  My recommendation would be to book a reservation at that restaurant prior to departing for the resort.  We were very lucky to get a reservation.  I inquired as soon as we arrived and was placed on a waiting list.

     This resort is definitely worth a visit.  I have previously been disappointed with other all-inclusive properties (poor quality food, disinterested staff, not enough lounge chairs etc).and was somewhat jaded going into this vacation.  I was happily surprised!

     Thank you Julie!! You were wonderful to deal with.  I especially appreciated your guidance and patience during my re-ticketing debacle.  I would have been a lunatic but you stayed calm and reassuring. I told one of girlfriends that I would pass your number on to her as she may be planning a large family trip for next year. 

  • Gran Caribe Real, Cancun Mexico

    It was a great trip!! The weather and beach were beautiful! The resort was very nice.  The resort website represents the property well.  Everyone was accomodating and pleasant.  We really enjoyed our stay in Cancun.  The transportation staff at the airport were also welcoming and efficient.  They had a rep at the hotel that gave us specific details about our airport transfers and provided us information about excursions.    We also asked him about a popular nearby restaurant and he explained how to use the bus system to get there.  He even trailed our bus and walked us inside the restaurant to make sure we arrived safely. 

  • Disney's Contemporary Resort, Orlando Florida

     Disney was great!  The Contemporary was wonderful; the girls especially enjoyed the pool.  The dining plan worked well as always. 

    This was the most crowded we had ever seen the Magic Kingdom, but the wait times were very manageable.  Disney is currently expanding Fantasyland and some rides (teacups, Small World) were closed, but the girls enjoyed everything!  Mickey’s Halloween party was definitely a highlight! 

    The Food & Wine festival was taking place in the country showcase of Epcot – it was extremely crowded – so we stayed in the other part of the park. 

    Overall, a great vacation!  Thanks again for your help in planning everything!

  • Couples Swept Away, Negril Jamaica

    Thanks Julie, we had a great time.  The resort has certainly grown since our last visit, so it's lost a bit of the intimate charm that we loved.  However, the new construction is very nice and it is still a great resort.  Couples Swept Away is still one of our favorites.

  • Best Western Hotel Carlos V Madrid, Spain

    The trip was great. We arrived with no problems. The hotel was in a great location and we were able to site see and eat in the area the entire time. The tours were great and and certainly kept us busy enough. The weather was never that cold and got warmer the longer we stayed. It was a great place for first time international travelers and once again you were right!  Start thinking now about where you would suggest for our next trip!  Thanks for everything!

  • THE ROYAL Playa del Carmen, Mexico

    Trip was AWESOME.  The resort was beautiful, food and drink was good, service was excellent.  I would say the best thing about the resort is the service.  We are not big fans of Delta or connecting thru GA-that was a nightmare-more so on the way back having to come thru customers-took 2 hours!  Next time we will do that differently.  But the transportation to and from the airport was also good.  The only thing about the resort we didn’t like was there wasn’t music playing anywhere and all the food places were on one side of the resort-the Orchid side and we were staying on the St James side-we didn’t mind the walk but it would have been nice to have stuff closer to us….But small complaints really…It was a ball and we can’t wait to go backJ  Thanks for all your help Julie!

  • Beaches Turks and Caicos

    It was a different trip than St. Lucia. Lots of food troughs. Little in the way of fresh prepared food. Service was fair. Water was undeniably terrible. Pretty much everything you said. I guess even my Son expected a bit more in the way of food.Overall, it was a family trip, clearly child oriented. I guess the one complaint would be food/ beverage. While food not rancid clearly not up to standard of the rest of the resort, not to mention the price they charge. Highlight, Silver Deep Yacht charters. That is a class act high speed very stable power catamaran great staff great reef to dive. Do not book through resort. Do not go by online price at there website. May be a very nice commission agreement for you (easily 3-4 hundred a booking)

  • Beaches Boscobel, Ocho Rios, Jamaica

    Our experience at Beaches Boscobel was just as wonderful.  The staff was great with Kai and their customer service was exceptional.  I have an intolerance to gluten and the chef and concierge were very accommodating, even going to the extent of having gluten-free desserts delivered to our room (completely unexpected).  Great family vacation!

     

  • Beaches Turks & Caicos

    Hi Julie,

     

    Thanks! We had a great time (food, beaches, pools, shows were all TERRIFIC)and will definitely go back! We did though, figure out on the last day we were there, that we had been bitten by bedbugs nightly (my husband thought it had been mosquitoes in  the room but then I started to get little bites on my back).  It was Room 220. Can you let them know to fumigate that room and look at the mattresses?

     

    Cindy

  • Beaches Turks & Caicos

    Hi Julie,
     
    We are back!!  Thanks for checking in on us.  Well, after all of that madness we finally made it to Turks.  It was so needed after all that craziness on Monday. 
     
    Well, Beaches is all it was hyped up to be and then some!!  I will start with the bad and end with the good. 
     
    When we were being checked into our room I immediately noticed a bunch of mosquitoes flying around in our room.  Within 5 minutes of being in the room I ended up with about 7 bites all over my legs...my son too.  Bugs love us!!  It started to become unbearable though.  Then we noticed that our toilet was clogged and they came to fix it...only for it to happen a second time.  We started to get a little frustrated with the room.  By the way, they did put us in the closest room to the beach so they did honor our request.  However, our room was right next to the walkway which was being used continuously.  We were told by someone that had been there about 7 times that rooms on the first floor usually have that issue with the bugs b/c its close to the ground and grass.  They had the same trouble on previous stays and have learned to never stay on the first level.  After dealing with all this frustation upon check-in the reception was able to move our room due to the continuous toilet issues.  We asked to be put in a room on a higher level floor.  They changed our room that evening to the 6th floor room 3638.  It was perfect and had an amazing ocean view and beautiful view of the pool.  We were so happy with the room and the views.  The only down fall to the room was that the balcony was very small.  Hard to sit out there and hang all of your swim suits at the same time.  But, other than that it was really beautiful.  The cleaning people were so great and always came to clean or turn down the bed at night.  Everything was always very clean, fridge stocked and plenty of towels.  Like my husband said...it says something when you see a resort using white comforters and pillow covers.  Everything always looked stark white and bright and clean.  On Mother's Day the resort left our bed covered in rose petals..heart shaped towels, bottle of champagne and a sweet note!
     
    Let me just say that I have never visited anywhere with such amazing beaches, weather, people and resort all at the same time.  The beach was absolutely amazing and was the most beautiful water I had ever seen.  I thought that the Beaches DVD you had sent us had exaggerated the color of the ocean water b/c it just look so blue....but, it was just like the DVD.  Turquoise blue and clear and day.  You could see straight through to the bottom and the kids had a blast seeing all the amazing fish swimming around in the waters.  Amazingly, on our first day there the kids went swimming in the ocean with my husband and they saw a 5 ft. nurse shark about 8 ft away from the shore.  The workers there did mention to my husband that this was not common for their waters at Beaches and they had never seen this before.  The kids were swimming alone in the water and my husband was watching them from the shore....my husband heard the workers yelling SHARK!!!   My husband was stunned and then told the kids to get out of the water.  They went up to the dock on the beach and could really see the shark from above.  My husband was really surprised that the kids had no fear and actually went back in the water the next day.  Thankfully, b/c that would have ruined their experience with fun in the ocean.  They love telling everyone that they were swimming with a shark!!  
     
    The kids loved the ice cream at Bobby Dee's every night!!  Loved the cookies in our lobby!!  My son was crazy over having the XBOX in the room and the XBOX Garage.  The camps were great!  They went 2 days and really had fun.  It was a little hard to get a grip on what was going on everyday though.  The reception staff was great but, for some reason we had issues everyday understanding what they were offering for the kids.  Some days they didn't have print outs of the activities.  The Sesame shows were short and sweet...my daughter loved it.  The water park was lots of fun and the kids loved going down the slides.  It was not to busy there so it really made it fun for the kids to keep going back for more rides down the slides with no lines to wait in.  The weather was so perfect!  It was never humid so we never we uncomfortable.  It was just right every single day.  Sun is strong though!!  We got nice tans.  The people were so sweet and nice to our kids and to us.  They always took the time to talk to us and play around with the kids.  They really pampered us everyday no matter who we dealt with.  Every single person we encountered there had a huge smile on their faces and made sure to always say hello! 
     
    We ended up taking a ride around the island with a taxi driver b/c my husband insisted on getting to see the island and not only the resort.  You were right though...there is not much to see on the island.  Its not much of the lush greenery but, mostly just that crushed white limestone.  So, I wouldn't recommend even leaving the resort.  You've got all you need there and there is no reason to miss out on a minute of enjoying Beaches alone.  We also took an underwater sea boat tour...like an underwater submarine!  Unfortunately, that was not a great tour to us.  We really didn't see much and it wasn't very informative.  Wouldn't recommend it for the price you pay.  
     
    The Italian Village pool was the best pool I had ever swam in!!  The kids loved to swim up to the bar and ask for their frozen daiquri's...while floating around on the beaches floats.  The baby also loved that pool.  It really had something for everyone!!  I've never experienced a pool that would make everyone so happy.  There was always chairs available and the beach had great sun tents.  Also, towels were always available at anytime you needed them.  
     
    Food was ok...not fabulous but, we really loved Mario's and the French Café.  We were so in love with the cheesecake at Schooners!!  Its such a great feeling to just show up at a resort ask for whatever you want...sample more than one entrée...get seconds and just walk out for no worries of paying a check.  There was never any issues with check-in to the restaurants.  Give them your name and room number and off you were.  So STRESS FREE!!  WE LOVED IT!!
     
    We missed the beach party night and think we really missed out on a great evening!  We just got there at the very end and were so disappointed to have missed it.  I think that is something that everyone shouldn't miss out on!!  Got a massage on Mother's Day...Simply BLISSFUL!!  That was the best Mother's Day I have had ever.  The Spa was beautiful and the staff was so pampering!! 
     
    Well...I think I've written enough...I can probably go on forever!  To sum it up we had an amazing time and to date this has been the best family vacation we have taken yet!!  I don't know how anything will compare to it.  The kids had such a blast and were so sad to have to leave Beaches!!  There really is something for everyone there.  Such a beautiful island!  Hope to return again someday!!  Hope this helps you out for the website.  If you have any questions about anything just let me know.  I'm sure I forgot some stuff but, I think you get the gist of it.
     
    Thanks again for organizing our family vacation for us and being there when I was going to have a melt down on Monday!  We hope to use you again in the future...it was a great experience!  Not only was our vacation amazing but, you were as well!! 
     
     

  • Sandals Grande St Lucia

    Julie:
    Well....where to begin. Needless to say my wife was stunned. She never caught on to the surprise. The helicopter transfer was seamless. From Arrival flight tarmac to Castries including customs 23 minutes! He did a quasi tour in-flight lots of history and spectacular views well worth the fee no shuttle bus which took 2 hours per other guests. In Butler suite Sandals pays for private Luxury shuttle (Land Rover SUV) back to the airport with extra time for some sight seeing and photos. Hotel was far better than I expected. I assumed that all inclusive food would be marginal at best. The general breakfast buffet was I would say the least impressive, but still above average. Breakfast at toscanini's is apparently little attended but extremely good. All other fare was amazing. The best Italian I have had outside of Italy (including Little Italy in N.Y.) Great Caribbean Flavors in Barefoot on the sea ( service at this location very slow, not non-intrusive....slow.) Gordon's as would be expected was great. Butler suite, very nice, however the pool was far to cold to use by all guests not just my wife. The Hot tub was either hot or cold no regulation despite multiple attempts. That really needs to be rectified and a complete turn off. Service was nothing short of exceptional. A problem with WIFI signal (no ethernet cabling in room) was resolved ASAP placing a new WIFI Router closer to the room. That was nice. I work in an industry heavily influenced by satisfaction and believe that real customer service does not begin until a problem arises, that is what separates the "men from the boys" so to say. They did everything humanly possible to make any situation right. 

    The pool and Hot Tub really bothered me... but I could let it define the trip, or accept what could not be changed and enjoy myself. However, it is also worth noting that I paid an enormous premium for those 2 very things, and doubt I would do it again. I don't know what you or they can do about that. Future consideration on their part would be nice.

     
    The Charter company (Free Spirit Charters) was great. Picked up from Gordon's Dock. Great day! Did snorkeling, Pitons, lunch at Ladera ( I was unsure how I would feel about that...LOL) If you ever have the need of a service I have an additional contact. Do not go by internet site price (1300 USD they did it for 1000 USD without even asking for a break) I know the number I have the guy would be happy to do a commission for you. He is a broker/ Captain. 

     
    And then there is Ladera. The place is gorgeous! The food is Par-exelant! The suites ( we did a fast tour with the manager) are amazing. The pool water was warm, the showers were hot. I will do it one day, for 2-3 days. I think I would lose my mind for a week. I am glad we did the Grande instead. It is just to peaceful, if there is suck a thing, Jalousie was very nice I expected it to be more run down based on internet research.

     
    The Island was a fantastic recommendation. The people were lovely we strayed fairly far off course into some rather poor areas, with guides and people knowing we were there. Dennery was a little touch and go but I knew the Guide was solid (and the Land Rover could move!) You are obviously a true professional who is able to capture the spirit of your clientele and get them to the right places. For that I am grateful.

     
    You had mentioned not signing up for anything at the resort (like select) so we waited to hear from you. I still want to do something this summer, I told my son I wanted his input as it would be his trip. I think he is looking at Beaches and Atlantis. Perhaps, Sandals may be amenable to some credit from the Pool thing?
     
    Overall, it was great.  A few little bumps but overall, I feel as though your input and subtle hints made this an amazing experience, my wife sends her regards!

     
    Thanks!

     
    George

     
  • Beaches Turks & Caicos

    We had a very good time, thank you for helping us arrange this.

    I have a mixed review about our overall experience.  In short, I am not sure the value was there for what we paid.  I expected to feel like a VIP and didn't so my review is a little picky and long.

    We would probably return but when the resort was less full and there were discounted rates available.
    The property is gorgeous and clean. The issues we had were related to the property being full.  We arrived about 1:00 and the room was not ready.  I realize that the official check in is 3:00 but after an overnight flight and a three hour layover in Miami, all I wanted to do was get to the room and freshen up.  The room was not ready until 3:00.
    The jr. suite did not work out as well as I had planned.  I realized this as soon as we all arrived into the room.  I called the concierge to see if a two bedroom was available even at a greater price.  Nothing was available. 
    I had counted on my niece being in the top bunk bed and my mother in the bottom but my niece is 12 and larger and she could get up to the top bunk but had trouble getting down.  She ended up in the trundle bed.  When the trundle is pulled out the room is blocked.  No space to walk in the room at all.  My mother was in the bottom bunk and she had to be mindful to not step on my niece when getting out of bed to use the restroom at night.  I would say the jr. suite is really just for young children. 
    The larger room is large and very nice.  It worked well for my husband, my daughter and myself. We also loved having the mini bar with drinks stocked.  We are not big drinkers but loved having water and sodas and milk available.  The balcony is tiny with a small table and two chairs.  The balcony can only accommodate two adults at a time and even then you have to maneuver to get back in the room.
    Having concierge is hit or miss. We asked for a guard rail and it was brought and placed right away.  My husband ordered a cake for my birthday and a manager brought it with a nice fruit tray and two t-shirts.  When we tried to get reservations at Kimonos and gave several different nights, nothing was available except for one night at 9:00 PM which is not workable with a toddler.  And you know that we were not able to get reservations on the kat boat except for Jan. 1 which we didn’t want to do.
    One day minutes after returning to our room we got a call from staff telling us to keep it down, the people below were complaining that we were making too much noise.  We had just returned to our room after all of us being out of it for the last 4 hours.  The baby sitter was in the room with us and could confirm this.  I was a little taken aback that the resort staff would call before investigating where the noise may have actually been coming from.
    One night, my niece opened the mini bar too quickly and a full bottle of wine crashed to the ground.  It took two phone calls and 45 minutes before anyone came to sweep the little shards of glass from the floor.  Meanwhile we had to keep the 2 year old on the bed and everyone out of the room.
    The food was better than we expected, not gourmet but you could always find something to eat.  We ate lots and had no stomach issues which is a huge plus for us. 
    We had no problem arranging a sitter for several hours three different days.  She was very nice and we felt very comfortable leaving our daughter with her.
    We used the Italian pool the most as it was closest and heated and has a great kiddie area.  The pools are all fantastic and we loved each of them, but finding pool chairs was difficult, they were always full at the Italian area and finding a chair with an umbrella or shading was almost impossible.  The same went for the beach in front of the Italian Village area.
    My mother does not do well in the sun and needed some shade, she ended up not spending as much time with us at the pool or beach as she would have liked due to the lack of shade.
    The snorkeling was dismal.  The currents were strong and surgey and there were no fish to see.  We walked down the beach 15 minutes to where there was supposed to be good snorkel and were disappointed.  We can’t fault Beaches for the weather and the lack of fish but it would have been nice to go out on the kat boat even if the snorkeling wasn’t that good.
    Didn’t use the spa as the trip want by too quickly and we were really enjoying the pools. 
    Scheduled a sunset photo session and the photographer was apparently not feeling well.  He arrived late and we ended up with about 30 photos to chose from.  None were terrible flattering and all had a black background with a bit of white from the waves.  No beautiful sunset or blue water.  We were offered a reshoot but my mother and niece were leaving the next day so that wouldn’t work.  People get sick and things do happen but this was another disappointment as I had really wanted some nice family photos to bring back.
    The pick up from the airport and transfer to the resort was smooth and easy.
    On our day of departure our checked bags had to be out in the hallway by 8:00 am even though our flight wasn’t until 3:00. They came for the bags at 8:00 exactly and called our room 15 minutes before 11:00 to be sure we would be out of the room by 11:00.  We would have liked to have access to our suitcases until at least 11:00 since we were not going to be transported to the airport until 12:00.
     
    To sum it up, our favorite things about the trip were the variety and availability of food, the variety of pools, the ease of getting a baby sitter and the cleanliness and beauty of the property.  Other things were disappointing.  We did feel the staff were pleasant and hard working but we could have stayed at a Ritz Carlton on another Island, ate at an expensive buffet every meal, brought a nanny with us and still paid less than what we paid to go to Beaches.

     
    2nd part to email - AFTER EMAILING CLIENT BACK

    Thanks Julie,
    My husband said I was too critical in my review. He is probably right, I think my expectations were too high.

    I hope you don't think that I was unhappy with your help in booking the resort.  I really appreciate all that you did to make our trip enjoyable.  I did get the cheese tray and that was perfect as we didn't want to head to a restaurant that afternoon so we used it as a late lunch.  Thank you.

    We did have a good time, there were just a couple of things that bugged me. 

    And as it turns out, the things I thought would be perfect for us - snorkeling (we LOVE to snorkel) and Sesame Street weren't the highlights of our trip.  Our daughter apparently doesn't really care for the Sesame Street Gang.  We saw Bert walking around the property, went to the stage show and Storytime with Elmo.  None of it seemed to impress her, she just wanted to go to the play ground or pool.

    And the x'ray machines at the airport ruined the three rolls of film that I took.  I know not to put undeveloped film in checked bags so I kept them in my carry on luggage.  I have never had a problem with this in the past, but all three rolls were damaged this trip.  So it made me crankier that I didn't have any nice photos from the photo shoot that the Beaches photographer took.

    Anyway, my sister wants to go to Beaches in the summer and I will have her contact you.  We may end up going with them as well, either staying in the cheapest room category so I feel the value is there or trying to get the more expensive one with the cabana to eliminate any lack of shade or pool chair problems.

  • Sandals Royal Bahamian

    Julie,
    The Sandals Resort was incredible. We loved the facilities and the food!!!  The staff was so professional and helpful.
    The weather was a little chilly, but they still had a wonderful time.
    Thanks again for helping us book the trip.  We will definitely use your travel services again in the future.

  • Sandals Negril, Jamaica & Sandals Montego Bay, Jamaica

    Hi Julie,
     
    We had a great time!  MB seemed like a bigger resort, definitely more sand/beach and clearer water than Negril.  But Negril had very calm still water since it is in a bay and also didn't have airplanes flying overhead the whole time.  The staff was much much better at Negril!  We had a pretty tough time getting our honeymoon extras in MB and in Negril-they took care of us without me even having to ask.  Negril also does a lot more guest activity/involvement and they seem very well-organized.  Another thing that really bothered us in MB was the work they were doing to some of the rooms.  For two nights I couldn't breathe because they were spraying varnish in nearby rooms and it just lingered in the air-really bad.  We tried to move-but they claimed to be at full capacity so we were stuck. Over all, though, we had a great time.  The activities and tours were terrific.  The food was really good.  We were also really impressed with the wedding that we attended in MB-they had a very nice reception and cocktail hour right on the beach-private setting-great service that night! We may certainly go to a Sandals or Beaches again sometime and will keep you in mind for our future travel.
     Thank you very much!
     And, best of luck with the baby-on-the-way!
    April
     
     

  • Excellence Playa Mujeres Mexico

    We are back and the trip was very nice!

     

    American Express Travel did a fantastic job with getting us to the hotel and back.  They were on top of everything and very helpful. 

     

    The resort was very secluded.  You actually drive through what appears to be some poor areas of town and start to wonder where you are going, but you have peace of mind when you see that you have to go through 3 security points for entry into the resort.  The resort itself was amazing.  We really enjoyed having so many choices for pools to lay by or swim in and there were bars everywhere to grab a drink.  It was great to have premium liquors and the service was outstanding.  

     

    Our room was great, especially the location.  We probably had the best location in the whole resort as we had quick access to the ocean and two different pools/bars, not to mention two of the restaurants (Lobster House, The Grill).  The minibar was great, Jacuzzi outstanding and the shower was huge with a very nice rainfall showerhead.  The only complaints we had about our room was the fact that despite leaving the key in the door to note that we needed housekeeping I had to call each day and ask that they come and pick up/clean the room.  The AC also seem to only go down to 70, which was a little annoying b/c my wife and I both sleep so much better when the room is cold. 

     

    The beach was very pleasant and private.  The water was surprisingly very dirty so you didn't really have the urge to get in.  You could see the beautiful crystal clear turquoise water out on the strip where the hotels were at in Cancun, so it made you a little agitated seeing that and then seeing what you had.  In the end though you don't really do much in the water and they had comfortable beds and chairs all over the beach if you wanted to lay out there vs. a pool.  They also had service on the beach which was fantastic.  We ended up with the same guy a couple of the days and he was very enjoyable to be around. 

     

    The Spa was the best I have ever been to.  I would recommend a massage to anyone who goes down there.  They take you through a 12 step hydrotherapy prior to your massage and that alone relaxes you to the point of falling asleep while you wait for your massage.  It was awesome.

     

    The resort also did a good job of offering up nightly entertainment right in the middle of the resort.  There is a stage and theatre with 2 bars and plenty of seats and they had a band, jazz show, casino night and a magician the nights we were there.  They also had Karaoke one evening but we didn't stay around for it.  It is nice to have something to do after laying around all day.  They had daily activities but there seemed to be limited participation so you couldn't really have a very good time (beach volleyball, water volleyball). 

     

    While it was a great experience we did have some complaints. 

     

    1. Being so secluded has its drawbacks.  You really can't go do anything for just a couple of hours.  All the tours are a full day commitment.  We definitely wanted to get away for a few hours, but catching a bus at 8am and not getting back till 5 at night was just too much.  While you want to get out and do stuff, it just isn't worth being gone the entire day.   

     

    2.  The food was a HUGE disappointment.  The Lobster House (dried out mushy lobster), Tuscana (Italian), Spice (Asian) in particular had food that couldn't even compare to low end chains that serve the same foods.  We actually returned our food at Tuscana (ordered different food) and walked out of Spice (there was nothing else we would order).  The lunch food was just frozen food heated up so it wasn't terrible, but we expected more.  The breakfasts were actually very good.  That was the meal of the day we couldn't complain about.  Another complaint about the indoor restaurants was that they were very warm inside.  We really wanted to be excited about dinner each night but after the first night we were left scratching our heads and then when we got our food the second night we realized that dinner wasn't anything to look forward to.  The desserts were also below average.  Everything was very dried out (cheesecake, cobbler). 

     

    3.  Mosquitoes!  They were everywhere and bottles of OFF were 12 bucks and they lasted about a day and a half. 

     

    4.  ATM machine didn't work our final two days.  I felt bad b/c I couldn't withdraw money to tip anyone (bartenders, spa, American Travel on the way back)

     

    5.  As I mentioned above I had to call for Housekeeping daily.  They would come right away, but it was annoying to have to do it. 

     

    I think that pretty much sums up the trip.  Overall we had a good time, but the complaints I had stopped us from having a great time.  The food was the biggest disappointment with the other items being minor setbacks.  I personally would recommend that they close down some of those restaurants and really concentrate on quality over quantity.  Get chefs who are really good at making 3 or 4 different types of food vs. chefs being average at best making 8 types of food. 

     

    Please let me know if you have any specific questions that I may not have addressed above.

     

    Thanks Julie

  • Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Jamaica

    I'm writing in response to how our honeymoon went in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. It went very well I would say. There were no problems at the ticket counters. When we arrived in Jamaica they immediately directed us to the Sandals employees who took our bags to the bus that took us to our resort. There was no wandering around trying to figure things out. The hotel was nice and our room was kept clean every day. Small feedback - the beds could be a little softer. The food was good and people at the resort were very helpful and accommodating. The only hitch that we had during our trip was with some of the wild life in the ocean, so that's totally out of the resort's control. My husband and I had a wonderful experience and are definitely going to be returning soon. I will also be recommending Sandals Ocho Rios and Dunns River to friends and family that are thinking of vacationing in the Caribbean.
    Thank you for your help with planning our honeymoon. With so many other details that go into a wedding, having a professional help you arrange your honeymoon definitely helps with the stress level. If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact me

  • Sandals Montego Bay Jamaica

    Hey Julie... Sorry for the delay. The trip was extremely relaxing outside of the airport being so close to the resort. The food was really good and the service was exceptional! The only issue was some of the construction. We expected to see some of the workers painting and revamping minor things here and there, but the main pool was not accessible. It came to a point where they began to repave one of the walkways that led to the lobby, and had to redirect everyone through one of their restuarants. Other than that we had a great time. Tammy was a little under the weather for a part of it, but we made the best of it. We are planning to go back with some friends, but we probably won't go back to that particular resort. We have told everyone about you and how you help us. Thanks for everything 

  • Sandals Halcyon St Lucia

    Hey Julie! Thanks for checking on us!! We had a great time, St. Lucia was beautiful!! We are looking forward to returning someday! A few things....long curvy ride from airport to resort (about hour and half), anyone with motion sickness...beware! Our room was great and we couldn't have had a better view of the ocean/beach, maybe 50 feet to the shore!! Halcyon is by far the most laid back of the three sandals resorts, but it was only a short bus drive to either of the other two resorts. It was great to have full access to all three resorts, we definitely took advantage of all the amenities, including the golf, restaurants and pools. We went zip-lining in the rainforest, the guides were great and helped to take pictures and videos of you in action! By far our favorite excursion was the sunset cruise....it was great!! They had drinks waiting for you upon arrival, followed by a great sunset. But after the sun went down, the party and dancing began! Even departing the resort was an adventure. Since we decided against another long drive back to the airport, we opted to take the helicopter ride instead!! A first for the both of us! Overall, we had a great honeymoon and would highly recommend any of the St. Lucia Sandals resorts to anyone!Thank you so much for all your work in getting us ready for our trip!!!
     

  • Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Jamaica

    I'm writing in response to how our honeymoon went in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. It went very well I would say. There were no problems at the ticket counters. When we arrived in Jamaica they immediately directed us to the Sandals employees who took our bags to the bus that took us to our resort. There was no wandering around trying to figure things out. The hotel was nice and our room was kept clean every day. Small feedback - the beds could be a little softer. The food was good and people at the resort were very helpful and accommodating. The only hitch that we had during our trip was with some of the wild life in the ocean, so that's totally out of the resort's control. My husband and I had a wonderful experience and are definitely going to be returning soon. I will also be recommending Sandals Ocho Rios and Dunns River to friends and family that are thinking of vacationing in the Caribbean.
    Thank you for your help with planning our honeymoon. With so many other details that go into a wedding, having a professional help you arrange your honeymoon definitely helps with the stress level. Thank you again and have a wonderful day!

     

  • Sandals Grande St Lucia Resort

    Julie, We did not get upgraded.  The resort was great and the island was beautiful. 
    There was construction to some rooms around our room, but they only worked from 10am-5pm.  They had some arial photo shoots on Saturday and Sunday.  They wanted the pool and beach to be not so crowded.  They offered 2 excursions for free.  However, they were the 2 that we had already did and paid full price for.  I asked them if they would offer any others for free or at a discounted price, but they said no.  The excursion deal was the only thing that I did not like about the trip.  I feel that they should have offered something else for free or at a discount. 
    Thanks for booking everything for us. 

  • Sandals Regency La Toc St Lucia Resort

    Julie,It was fantastic!  The island is beautiful, much more so than Jamaica.  Sandals Regency ended up being a great pick (Grande was too crowded and full of late-night partying and honey-mooners).  The view was gorgeous.
    Overall, thank you for the arrangements - I couldn't have asked for anything more.  I'm tempted to go to either Ladera/Jade Mountain/Anse Chastanet next time, as we had lunch at Ladera, and the views from there were incredible.
    We did go with a private touring company for some of the tours - Fabian Tours (Fabian Philip) is the manager and he was excellent - we would strongly recommend him for anyone.  He customizes the tours to show/stop/see exactly what you want.  We went in a private vehicle (with just Cathy and I) and the prices worked out cheaper than Sandals, where we would have been with a larger group.  He took us to some local places to sample some food and took us around the entire island.
    Once again, thank you.
    And yes, we'll probably call on you for a honeymoon!

  • Paradisus Playa Conchal Costa Rica

    It was a lot of fun. The resort was great. The people were friendly. There was plenty to do outside the resort as well. We went ziplining, horseback riding, hiking along the base of volcanoes, sat in natural hotsprings and everything. We want to go back haha. It was a lot of fun and easy to go to from Liberia. Thanks a lot for everything.
     

  • Sandals Grande St Lucia Resort

    The location was really beautiful. We really liked it and would recommend it to anyone that is really just looking for a relaxing vacation. We zip lined, water skied, parasailed, rode the boring water bike, took a shoreline cruise from one of the natives, and hung on the beach for 3 days (exactly what we wanted to do). With the exception of the italian resataurant onsite at the grande, the food was good. The food at that italian restaurant has much to be desired.......Latoc and the habachi restaurants (not sure of the name) at the regency were the talk of the town........we went to latoc and really like it, could not get into habachi.Tell people they have to order doubles to even get a buzz...... :-)  thanks for everything, we will contact you for our next vacation........

  • Sandals Grande St Lucia Resort

    We got back on Saturday night (luckily we ended getting into DFW closed to the original arrival time on an earlier flight since Miami went through a major storm and our original flight got delayed until 1AM depature with a 3AM arrival time!).  That was the only thing that didn't go right on the whole trip to St. Lucia.  Our wedding went fabulously well and we all had a great time at the Ritz Carlton. 

    St. Lucia is GREAT!  We really see what you were saying tat it being like the Hawaii of the Carribean!  The island is so green, mountainous, and tropical and SO BEAUTIFUL!  We loved the fact that we could go to any of the 3 Sandals resorts there, esp with all the eateries btw them.  We saw lots of honeymooners doing that too and met alot of nice folks along the way.  Sandals folks were really caring and made sure we felt pampered!!! Everyone there was really nice and helpful - going out of their way to make sure we had a GREAT time for our honeymoon.  We would definitely do another Sandals resorts in the future and on other islands too.  And yes, as a matter of fact, I did sign us up for the Sandals Select program. 
     
    We are really happy that we chose St. Lucia and Sandals.  We both thought it was a winning combination!!!  And of course we also have to say a BIG Thanks to you Julie for helping us sorting it all out while we were deciding on which location and islands to go to.  Sandals Grande St. Lucia was the right one for us.  We though the Halcyon was a bit older, smaller, and geared towards older folks and folks wanting more quiet and slower pace. The Regency La Toc was georgous and sitting on top of a cliff - very dramatic and pretty but also a bit rougher to swim on its beaches.  The atmosphere was somehwre between lively and being really quiet on some nights.  The Grande on the other hand fit us perfectly - lots of people, lively in day and nighttime, calm beach waters, closed to Pigeon Island, and overall had lots of energy as opposed to the other two. 
     
    As mentioned, we planned to do another Sandals resort in the future. 
  • Beaches Turks & Caicos

    The Italian Village is the way to go! Yes, its a little bit more, but the rooms are really upscale, nice and fresh....very close to pool and the beach.. Good location overall. .The pool at the Italian Village is heated which is great in the fall/winter there as its alot cooler than usual, but the summer.. not sure why they do that.. They are working on having some temperature control. I really enjoyed the pool front walkout as it was really convenient with my 2 small children. Now if you want to be close to the water park, consider the French Village.. but its alot more quieter, laid back, further from the beach.. the pool there is very large, not many folks frequent there, but it has zero entry access for smaller kids. The Caribbean Village is the oldest and least expensive section. You can see the difference. Just depends on the level of luxury you are accustomed too. The food was average but then again I don’t like food at any all inclusive usually as you sacrifice quality for quantity.
    I thought the staff was really nice and accommodating and the spa was pretty good..
    My 17 month old and 3.5 yr old mostly wanted to do the pools and the water park area.. Both were constantly worn out. My nephews, 8 & 13, well we hardly saw them.. there are beyond too many things for kids of that age to do..

    Julie


     

  • Melia Caribe Tropical, Dominican Republic

    HI Julie--we had a fabulous trip!  Here are my comments:
    the grounds of the resort were GORGEOUS.  Everything was so green and trimmed and lush and the architecture of the main center/meeting place was absolutely beautiful.  The beaches were white and sandy and water was nice and blue--the service for drinks on the beach was fantastic, too.  The drinks themselves were not very good, however.  It took awhile to figure out what drink to have that was done well.  For example, their pina coladas were excellent but their dacquiris and margaritas were awful.  Getting reservations for dinner was difficult--although we were a group of 10 so that made it worse.  Going VIP/Royal service was definintely the way to go.  The food was anywhere from average to very good--depending very much on what you chose.  Overall there was such a huge selection of food, though, that you could find something you liked.
     It was a great vacation, though.  Thank you!

     

  • Melia Caribe Tropical, Dominican Republic

    It was a great trip! Weather was great and the resort was really nice and the VIP service was  great.  Now that I know about VIP I think it is the only way to go. The resort was big but I liked it.  Oddly the pina coladas were great but the margaritas and daiquiris were really NOT good.  Like bad.  So that was disappointing, but we figured out the mojitos were good.

    Your service was great and the VIP resort service was great too.

    Thanks Julie it was a wonderful vacation

  • Sandals Royal Bahamian, Nassau Bahamas

    the trip was great. We were a little disappointed with the service at the resort - they didnt give us the same attention as in Jamaica so we had to get used to that. We did have to wait until 6 pm to get our room and they upgraded us...but just for the night then moved us the next day - so a little frustrated with that since I had monika's wedding that day. I will say I was surprised with the way they handled the wedding - they didnt tell monika that requesting your first dance or serving the cake was a special request so we had to bring out our radio so they could do their first dance...I guess we figured it would play out similar to our resort. The resort itself was beautiful and we had lots of fun so we didnt dwell on the little things. I sent you some pictures. I did miss Luke - it took me about a day to get over it and have fun

  • Sandals Dunns River, Ocho Rios Jamaica

     



    We had a FABULOUS time. We couldn’t have asked for a better trip. The weather was perfect and the accommodations were better than expected. They did upgrade us to a butler room without the butler. We were definitely spoiled!  We had been to Dunn’s River before and loved it then but even loved it better now with some of the changes they have made over the last 5 years. We didn’t end up doing the candle light dinner but did have one of the couples massages instead. Thanks for everything you did to make our trip special. We are trying to figure out how we can go back next year so we will certainly give you a call if we can make it happen. 





  • Sandals Montego Bay, Jamaica

    Hey Julie. We made it back in one piece. Thanks for checking on us!
     
    The resort was really nice, but for the price it was very disappointing. I would never return to a Sandals resort or refer any of my friends. 95% of the staff was very unfriendly and they were always running out of alcohol. Everytime we'd go to a bar to ask for a drink they'd say they were out of that particular drink so we'd have to walk to another one and hope that they had it. The bartenders' at the Pub were horrible. We'd wait at least 10-15 minutes for a drink when there'd only be about 20-30 people in the whole place. On Monday we ate breakfast at the buffet place, we finished our entire meal and were walking out the door when the lady finally brought coffee over (which was requested as soon as we sat down).
     
    It was so windy the whole time that the 1st two days, they weren't allowing any water activities or boats to the other island. It was very cool at night and you had to wear jeans or a sweater the entire night after the sun went down.
     
    It was not what we expected. The look of the hotel was very pretty and we loved our room...but $1605 for 3 nights was NOT worth the money. All-inclusive resorts shouldn't run out of alcohol EVERY DAY, and the service should be much better. There were some hotel workers that we really liked and got to know...but we can count them on one hand.

  • Sandals Royal Bahamian Review- Destination Wedding

    Sorry it took me so long to get back with you. The resort is really beautiful. Unfortunately I have Jamaica to compare it to and the people were not as friendly and they took there time with everything. We had a couple of issues.... since they were so booked Celina and my mom were not happy they didn't have a room next to each other as well as Kasia and Aubri. But my mom and sister got an upgrade to the same room category as we did because they were so booked. So they got over that one quick. When Corinne arrived her room was not ready and when it finally was the door would not lock so they worked on it and when we got back to the room so she could change they couldn't get it to open. They finally decided to give her another room. But I really liked how we could go into town without being attacked by people trying to sell you things. We had a great time! It went by too quickly. Brandon's friend Kenneth didn't arrive until Saturday because of his passport, but he arrived just in time for the wedding. We got married on the beach and the only bad thing was that it was really windy. We spent most of our time with everyone so we are looking into going somewhere as a second honeymoon soon.
     
    Thanks for all your help in planning this wedding!
     
    Monika
     
     

  • Beaches Turks & Caicos

    Thank you, we had a wonderful time.  The island was so beautiful and so was the wedding.  Everything was great and I can't wait to go back, next time to Sandals.  Thank you so much for the couples massage and getting our room upgraded.  Everything was great there, except the food was so so, and some of us expected that it would be better.  Anyways, overall it was a very nice trip, wedding, honeymoon. Diana and I booked a trip at Sandals, Negril, Jamaica while we were there because they had a special they said you could only get while we were there (probably not the case but we didn't want to miss out).  They said we could transfer the booking to our travel agent when we got back.  I've got to get the paperwork so we can do that, assuming you would want to.  Let me know please .Thanks again for everything.

     

  • Sandals Grande Ocho Rios

    Wow, what a great time it was. First of all thank you again for all your help and services. I know I had many questions but you always there to help in anyway. This trip went so smoothly, all around it was a great time. Loved the direct flight option, we heard other couples had layovers in Miami and what a inconvenience that was. Also, loved the fact that we were able to get to the resort quicker this time, that was a plus for us this time compared to the other resort. One of the highlights that will stay with us forever was the candlelight dinner. We are so glad we did that, it was worth it, we had the most breathtaking sunset and the food overall was excellent, the service, just so private and intimate. I'll definitely be sending pictures. We also did the canopy tour (zipline) and again another highlight, breathtaking views, a thrill rush experience everyone should try!Compared to the last resort, it's a coin toss because there were things that we liked about this resort and that we liked about the other.What we liked about the Dunn's Falls Resort that it was Italian Renaissance themed, with a pizza bistro, loved the Venice Festival party, midnight chocolate buffet, away from the planes flying over, we eventually got used to it but still distracting. We also loved the food selections more at the Dunn's resort and the pol area.While we love this Resort as well, we were a little disappointed in some of the dining service, especially the Cricketer's Pub, the Regency buffet restuarant at night. We love the French restuarant experience, the service was great, and the food. We enjoyed the experience of the private island Thai restaurant and dining there, the food was ok though.The pool area was nice at this resort, but the Dunn's resort had a better pool, swim up bar (more seats), and of course the mini replica Dunn's Falls waterfall, that's what I liked about that resort that I felt this resort lacked. We snorkled twice and love the fact that they took us somewhere different each time and actual served a fruit platter on our way back opening up the glass bottom boat. That other resort only took us snorkling, so that really stood out for me.We especially enjoyed the entertainment staff (playmakers) at this resort much better, that was a huge plus for us. They were a lot of fun and would be one of the deciding factors for us to return to the Royal Caribbean resort. We just enjoyed all the activities they had, they made us want to participate.We loved the night time entertainment, nice diverse selection of musicians, dancers, etc. We like the demographic there, we met a lot of couples our age, but we liked that it was a little laid back than like Montego Bay. It was a nice mix.Also, I thought was nice, was the return guest dinner and mini boat cruise, we really enjoyed that special touch. All around, just a wonderful time, met a lot a nice people there!! Again these were just things I noticed but if I had to pick between the two, I would return to the Royal Caribbean again:)I'll be in touch in the future for our next trip! By the way, have you heard about their "Soon Come Back" program? Please, when you hear anything new on particular resorts, new rennovations, great deals, etc. definitely send our way!!

  • Sandals Whitehouse Jamaica

    We had the most amazing time of our lives.  Our renewal of vows was pure magic.  Thank you so much for taking care of everything.  We will remember it for the rest of our lives. 

    I will be contacting you for our future vacation plans.  We will definately be going back.

  • Sandals Halcyon St Lucia

    We had a blast at Sandals Halcyon Beach in St. Lucia! It was very laid back and quiet like you said, but there was still plenty to do. Our favorite things we did were the jeep tour (Chris, our tour guide was awesome), snorkeling (first time for both of us) and hiking up to Fort Rodney at the Grande. The island was beautiful and the Sandals resorts were great! It was the perfect honeymoon. Thanks for working with us. You made everything very easy. In fact, we have some friends who want to go to the Caribbean and I told them how nice it was to work with our travel agent. I'll give them your number. Thanks again.

  • Beaches Turks & Caicos

    First off, our room was right across from the island's sewage treatment plant. Secondly,
    the plane was very late.  Thirdly, they gave us the wrong room. Fouthly, there were too many kids there and thus too much noise.  Fithly, no nude beaches.  Ha, Ha, HA!!
    Actually, the wind never blew toward our room; there was a major thunderstorm in Miami, delaying the whole airport traffic; the girls room was moved to one with two queen size beds; I loved having all the kids and activities with Sesame Street characters; I can always go to a Sandals Adult resort the next time (I did enjoy all the bikiniis).

    I personally did a lot of snorkeling and ate way to much food.  Having 11 restaurants and a huge variety of food was fabulous (now to loose the added inches).  Donna complained about dry meat but having eaten all over the world, it was find by me.  Sapadilla's and La Petite were great!!  As were Fitzroy and Norma!!  The shows were good in the evenings.
    Club Med had more activities when we went there 4-5 times in the past but they were for more adventuresome people.
     

  • Hi Julie,

    Wow, what a great time it was. First of all thank you again for all your help and services. I know I had many questions but you always there to help in anyway.

    This trip went so smoothly, all around it was a great time. Loved the direct flight option, we heard other couples had layovers in Miami and what a inconvenience that was. Also, loved the fact that we were able to get to the resort quicker this time, that was a plus for us this time compared to the other resort. One of the highlights that will stay with us forever was the candlelight dinner. We are so glad we did that, it was worth it, we had the most breathtaking sunset and the food overall was excellent, the service, just so private and intimate. I'll definitely be sending pictures. We also did the canopy tour (zipline) and again another highlight, breathtaking views, a thrill rush experience everyone should try!

    Compared to the last resort, it's a coin toss because there were things that we liked about this resort and that we liked about the other.

    What we liked about the Dunn's Falls Resort that it was Italian Renaissance themed, with a pizza bistro, loved the Venice Festival party, midnight chocolate buffet, away from the planes flying over, we eventually got used to it but still distracting. We also loved the food selections more at the Dunn's resort and the pol area.

    While we love this Resort as well, we were a little disappointed in some of the dining service, especially the Cricketer's Pub, the Regency buffet restuarant at night. We love the French restuarant experience, the service was great, and the food. We enjoyed the experience of the private island Thai restaurant and dining there, the food was ok though.

    The pool area was nice at this resort, but the Dunn's resort had a better pool, swim up bar (more seats), and of course the mini replica Dunn's Falls waterfall, that's what I liked about that resort that I felt this resort lacked.

    We snorkled twice and love the fact that they took us somewhere different each time and actual served a fruit platter on our way back opening up the glass bottom boat. That other resort only took us snorkling, so that really stood out for me.

    We especially enjoyed the entertainment staff (playmakers) at this resort much better, that was a huge plus for us. They were a lot of fun and would be one of the deciding factors for us to return to the Royal Caribbean resort. We just enjoyed all the activities they had, they made us want to participate.

    We loved the night time entertainment, nice diverse selection of musicians, dancers, etc. We like the demographic there, we met a lot of couples our age, but we liked that it was a little laid back than like Montego Bay. It was a nice mix.

    Also, I thought was nice, was the return guest dinner and mini boat cruise, we really enjoyed that special touch.

    All around, just a wonderful time, met a lot a nice people there!! Again these were just things I noticed but if I had to pick between the two, I would return to the Royal Caribbean again:)

    I'll be in touch in the future for our next trip! By the way, have you heard about their "Soon Come Back" program?

    Please, when you hear anything new on particular resorts, new rennovations, great deals, etc. definitely send our way!!

     

     

  • Beaches Turks & Caicos

    Thank you, we had a wonderful time.  The island was so beautiful and so was the wedding.  Everything was great and I can't wait to go back, next time to Sandals.  Thank you so much for the couples massage and getting our room upgraded.  Everything was great there, except the food was so so, and some of us expected that it would be better.  Anyways, overall it was a very nice trip, wedding, honeymoon. Diana and I booked a trip at Sandals, Negril, Jamaica while we were there because they had a special they said you could only get while we were there (probably not the case but we didn't want to miss out).  They said we could transfer the booking to our travel agent when we got back.  I've got to get the paperwork so we can do that, assuming you would want to.  Let me know please. Thanks again for everything.
     

  • Sandals Whitehouse

    The trip was extremely relaxing!!!  I am glad you told me to go with the concierge service!  We had a great time and would do it again!  I will definetly be recommending you to my friends!  Thanks for everything!

  • Beaches Sandy Bay Negril, Jamaica

    Yes, we had a great time! The Beaches resorts were great... our kids really loved it!I'll be honest, when we first got to Beaches Sandy Bay we weren't real impressed. It's obviously the older of the two, and even having the nicer room it was pretty rough. But, what it lacked in quality it made up for in character. Sandy Bay is very laid back compared to it's counterpart at Beaches Negril, but has a much smaller crowd (with fewer people staying there) and a more personalized staff. During our stay we made friends with many of the staff, and it really gave us that extra experience that we came to love at Sandy Bay. Plus, having the ability to take a 5-minute shuttle up to Beaches Negril as we wanted was the ultimate - we could go to the other resort during the day, enjoy the day at the Waterpark and nicer amenities, but return to our Sandy Bay at the end of the day and enjoy dinner and service there. It was the best of both worlds.

  • MARRIOTT BEACH RESORT CURACO

    This island compares most closely to Aruba and is an excellent dive destination. Dry and arid. Not very touristy or developed.I would give the resort a 6 of 10. It is 17 years old but kept up real well. It is probably the nicest on the island right now. The beach is sort of poor - rocky and shallow. Their dive resort is rated a 5 star PADI resort, Second only to the Caymans as a dive resort. It is non smoking but that wasn't a problem, If I get charged $250 for that, I consider having paid about $30 per night extra for the privilege. That's ok. I would give the staff a 9.5 out of a 10 for friendliness. We got to be on a first name basis with 8-10 of them. In terms of value, it was slightly pricey but not that bad. Food quality was excellent. 24 Hour room service with a smile.There is a Hilton next door that was my second choice. Do not put anyone in it there. It is at least 30 years old and very poorly maintained. I am very surprised they have not had their franchise chain name jerked. I would give it a 2 of 10. Maybe a 1. There are no other American style chain resorts currently on the island.They are in the process of building two new resorts. A Hyatt and a Rennaisance. Both will nearly put the Marriott and the definitely the Hilton virtually out of business. It will be a whole new game there in a year or so. DO NOT let anyone (as I did) talk to you about going over to Venezuela. I didn't put two and two together until almost when I left, but Hugo Chavez their President has been on a warpath with the US threatening an oil embargo, threatening to "blow Israel of the map". There are multiple state department travel warnings out for Venezuela. They are on the verge of revoking all visas. The locals told us not to go there it would not be safe for Americans. We did not. There are no day trips available to the nearby islands of Bonaire and Aruba. It is great for summer travelers nervous about hurricanes since it is south of the known hurricane belt.
    The flight connections were horrible as usual. It took 15 hours door to door, which of the 10-12 Carib trips I have had is par for the course. Only direct flights to Caymans, Jamaica, and Mexico are better. Only thing worse was St Lucia which was 24 hours door to door. Since it is a Dutch colony, many of the vacationers were there from the Netherlands. Multiple couples we met got there in 11 hours or so and were amazed it took us 15 from Memphis.

  • Kapalua Villas, Maui-Trip

    Kapalua Villas, Maui-Trip was awesome! You picked the perfect spot for us to stay. The Kappalua Villas was all of that and a bag of chips. The condo was spacious and the area it's in is very nice and very protected, so we were more than happy with your recommendations. Everything went smoothly..... We didn't want to come back. We did a lot of things, snorkling, got on the Atlantis Submarine and explored the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, went to a luau, Maui's Aquarium and more! We will definately go back and we will stay exactly where we stayed this time. Thanks so much for your help and excellent service from beginning to finish- you are a great travel agent and I whole heartedly recommend your services to anyone!

  • Sandals Regency La Toc, St Lucia

    Butler check-in in our room was wonderful. Don and Sydney were our butlers and they were so nice and willing to help. I would suggest them to anyone. They would even walk us to the restaraunt each night so we didn't even have to know where anything was. Each night they would decorate our bed with flower petals, etc.The beach at the Regency wasn't the best. The sand was kinda rocky and there was a drop off a few feet into the water that caused crazy waves and a lot of people fell down. The beach at the Grand was much better and I would suggest that if someone wants to spend more time on the beach versus the pool then they should go to the Grand for the day. The buses that went between the resorts were very convenient and always on time We did snorkeling and kayaking at the resort and also rented jet-skis from an off-property vendor that was "authorized" by sandals. We also went on the Soufrierre Adventure Cruise which was amazing. The cruise went down the west coast of the island from Castries to Soufrierre and then on buses to the Diamond Waterfall and Botanical Garden and the sulfer volcano. The buses also took us to a local restaraunt but the food was kind of weird.The SnapShots photographers were everywhere which was a lot of fun and they took good pictures. They are very expensive but we did buy a few b/c we didn't always have our camera. Our room was nice but we did not really use the private plunge pool. The water was cold most of the time or we weren't in the room. That's really the only thing from the trip that we spent money on that I feel was wasted. We got our moneys worth out of every other service - We did a private dinner in our room served by the butler which was really nice. I would suggest it to anyone as well. They also offered them on the beach but were more expensive and it wasn't as private.Overall every was absolutley wonderful.

  • Sandals Grande St Lucia

    Sandals Grande St Lucia-Thanks for your message and interest in our Sandals experience. In spite of the major drama with my passport falling off my car (such a retard!!) the entire trip was wonderful. I have never been treated so well or so graciously anywhere in the world as the folks there in St Lucia treated us. They had upgraded us to one of those Rondevals (I owe you forever if you were in any way responsible) and we lived like royalty!!! Since it was her birthday, the first night there the butler came in with baloons, champagne, and did a bubble bath with rose petals....incredible.....the honeymooners couldn't have been treated any better than we were. Again, if the Sandals staff upgraded because one came available because of Tori's birthday, kudos to them!! And if you had anything to do with it, thank you from the bottom of my heart.I definitely want to spend a week there, in one of those Rondevals in the future...perhaps Tori's graduation next year. I will get with you and book really early. The food was superb wherever we ate.....breakfast in the room each am.....mid afternoon snack....We never had quite enough time to tour or do much anywhere but the Grande, but with staying in the unit we had(7009), we never had to. The dip pool, hot tub, outdoor shower, misting spray ....and our view of the beach and Ft Rodney were incredible right from out place.From when we checked in at the Concierge, baggage, transfer from airport to the Grande....and back on mon....all was first class or better. I made sure to meet the manager as we left and commended the entire staff.Yes....it is an expensive trip, but the island, the people, and the resort are well worth it.....best trip ever!!!.

  • Cancun Palace, Mexico

    Everything was great ! We did have a group that came in for their senior trip and got very out of control. The first night we just let it slide, but next night had to call front desk. Immediately, they had their security on the floor and took care of the problem. They continued to monitor the floor for remainder of the trip. Jim told them what a great job they had done ( this was going on during the time we were trying to get things worked out for Joe and he also had already mentioned this to the guys in the room, but had no luck in calming them down). The service, food and everything was great, as usual from a Palace Resort. We all agreed, that late fall ( I know this is hurricane season ) or in the early spring is best time for us to go. Alittle quieter - seemed to be so many families there this time , along with a lot of high school kids. I really hope the resort does not get a bad name for the loud , partying kids because I really think this resort is geared more for people in our age group. Anyway, the spa was great and Joe/Joan got there massages switched and were able to get on Wed., and they enjoyed them soooooooo much. With this being said, if you want or need to call me , feel free to. ps- we got the last 2 seats together when we checked in for leaving - I honestly think we may have gotten the seats reserved for Joe and Joan. Also talked to Joe last night and they were almost home for Jacksonville, Fl. A tiring trip, but Joe also got to see his kids ( that he does not get to see very often, they live all scattered over) and grandkids too, so he was pretty upbeat with almost having 2 vacations in one, in spite of what happened.

  • Best Travel Agent Ever!

    Just passing on a name who I highly recommend......
    I have THE best travel agent ever. She is an absolute doll and goes above and beyond the call of duty. Julie has made everything so easy it's insane. Bless this woman's heart, I can not even begin to describe how much help she has been to us. She is so patient!! We met her last year in October and she has been dealing with us ever since. You all know me and how anal retentive I can be and she has been amazing and took care of rescheduling, booking, re-booking and just....everything. If you ever need help booking anything...please call her. You will not regret going through Julie, I promise. She is wonderful. Her info is below. - Kelly
    Julie Chaump
    Travel Vacations
    Dallas, TX 214-342-9045
    Memphis, TN 901-377-5111
    Toll Free 800-861-5111
    Hours: Mon-Fri 9a-5p CST
    www.travelvacations.net

  • Beaches Turks & Caicos

    Vacation was great! I can’t think of any real hiccups that we had. The day we got there, it took a few hours for my grandparents and my sister and brother-in-law to get their bags b/c they got delivered to the wrong rooms, and the wind was up for several days which limited a few of the already included activities, but other than that things went pretty smoothly. I think we all had a good time. I do have some things that I/we noticed about the resort/trip that might help you and your other clients in the future. I have to say that we noticed a TON more families there with little kids (newborns-6) than we did at Negril. I’m not sure if there actually were more or if we just noticed them a lot more. The sesame street program there seems to be much bigger and more organized, so it seems to be all around you (literally b/c they have these character cutouts ALL over the place). The rooms we were in were nice, and it was great to be right near several of the restaurants and one of the bigger pools (with the swim-up bar). The down side to the rooms is that they have the main entertainment stage right near them and the microphones and music are so loud that you can hear them really clearly in the room. They have early morning programs for the kids (I think it started at 8 one morning…), and late night ones too that go until around 9 and then move into the music bar, which is also right next to the rooms. Honestly, I am hoping that they can find a new location for that stage or something when they open the new section, b/c the entertainment starts around breakfast time and when around when the restaurants open in the evening, so you get serenaded by sesame street characters while you are eating, too.
    There seem to be a lot more excursions available at this resort that are less “touristy”, which we really enjoyed. They have a brand new catamaran, named the “Kitty Katt”, and they do snorkeling (where you can catch a conch to take home) and sunset tours on it (for an additional fee) that we really enjoyed. Alexander and I also went on a kayak tour that was really interesting and peaceful, where we got to see quite a bit of wildlife and learn a lot about the islands. If you go at the right time of the month (I can’t remember if it was full or new moon), there is an tour where they take you out to see the glow worms. I think it might have been neat to do that, but we were there at the wrong time.
    They have a huge diving program available (the GM told us that there are 50 employees just for the program), which my aunt and cousins seemed to really enjoy. We really missed having the bigger water slides and lazy river available, especially when the wind was up and we couldn’t go snorkeling or sailing or anything b/c of the undertow. The two slides they have there are really only good for the smaller kids. I think the new water park will be a great addition to the resort.
    The room keys are electronic cards there, which aren’t supposed to get wet. They also give you a separate “charge card” to use to charge things to your room, which also isn’t supposed to get wet. (In contrast, at Negril, they give you little bungee cords with your key, so you can wear it around your wrist or ankle even if you are only in a bathing suit and it can go in the pools/ocean with you.) Next time I go, I’ll have to find something I can take with me that will be convenient to carry around that is waterproof b/c the normal little screw top floating cylinder cases won’t work b/c the key card won’t fit.
    To anyone who has been before, they have changed the pricing structure on the pictures taken by the employees for you, and it is much more expensive to get them now. Last time we went, it was something like $200 for a cd with an unlimited number of pics, which we just planned on doing again. When we got to the shop at the end of the trip, we discovered they didn’t have that option anymore. Mom and I ended up getting a package with only 25 pictures on a cd (and a standard beaches picture frame) for $290. The photographers are also a bit more pushy and there are a lot more of them. Probably b/c they are making a killing selling them…
    The direct flight and the short 10 minute drive to the hotel was a BIG plus. Leaving from the international terminal @ DFW is nice, and going through customs/immigration at DFW is a cake walk compared to Miami. I might pay more to take a direct flight to/from Dallas just to avoid that hassle. We didn’t get charged an “exit tax”. Beaches tells you to be ready for it, but no one asked for it at the airport, and we never did see where we were supposed to pay it. Not sure what the deal was with that. Looking at the list above, it sounds like there were a lot of things we didn’t like, but that really isn’t the case b/c none of them were really deal breakers or spoilers. Overall, it is a beautiful place, and it was a nice, relaxing vacation. Before we left, we were all talking about possibly going back after they open the new section, if that tells you anything! Thanks again for all of your help! We probably wouldn’t be able to do these family vacations like this if you didn’t make it so easy for us. I appreciate it more than you’ll ever know!



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