Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Freedom of the Seas

I apologize for not blogging in awhile, I promise to be a little better in giving you new information as I've come across it. It's been a busy fall, I was fortunate enough in taking a 7 night cruise on Royal Caribbean's, Freedom of the Seas. It is a lovely big ship with every amenity out there. Check out the pictures on my website of the ship. It's nice to get away from it all and see ports of call that you might have never seen before. It was my first time to their private island in Haiti, which was lovely for a day at the beach! One of my favorite ports, Jamaica was next, which I stopped in at Sandals Dunns River for the day just to check out the property for an upcoming destination wedding group and a swim in their large waterfall swim up pool bar! Grand Cayman was the next day where you can always snorkle at Sting Ray City or enjoy the turtle farm. Our last stop was Cozumel where I headed right to the shopping district and later spent time at one of the famous watering holes, Carlos & Charlies. You can always count on a 7 night cruise to put you in a new frame of mind once you return refreshed and ready to take on the world again!

Monday, August 13, 2007

My Best Find of the Summer

I have to tell you about this property that I was fortunate enough to be able to visit this summer. This is one of the premier properties in Jamaica, featured as one of the Leading Small Hotels of the World! It's the ever charming Royal Plantation in Ocho Rios. I met Jaime Stewart at the Sandals convention in Orlando in May and she was gracious enough to invite my husband & I to stay at her property and get a feel of who the best clients to send there is. It's a intimate boutique hotel with only 72 suites featuring the most luxurious accommodations that is devoted to exceeding your every expectation. It was so refreshing to be able to sit back and enjoy the simple pleasures of a getaway weekend in the grandest of panoramic vistas. The service was supurb, you felt like everyone knew who you were and you were treated like you've been there before. The rooms are soothing. like the breeze that flows from the french balcony. Everyday at 4 o'clock there is afternoon tea served on the terrace. Oh and the food! It was an experience to behold! The Bayside was traditional but there was nothing traditional about it! The lobster was out of this world! And lobster I had, everyday, every way. There is nothing like a lobster BLT while overlooking the blue waters of the Caribbean Sea. I could have gone there everyday. The LaPapillion was the most elegant restaurant of the resort and the emphasis was on seafood. It was a different treat every night! We also enjoyed the Bayside Terrace in the evening overlooking the beach down below. You could hear the water from your table! We were lucky enought to enjoy not one but two destination weddings at the property. The second was a grande affair, a Preston Bailey inspired destination wedding reception on the terrace. If you get a chance, check out our picture album of Royal Plantation and also some pictures in our destination wedding album. It was a site that I shall never forget. If you want to be pampered in an intimate setting where service is their speciality, please don't forget to ask me about this Gem of the Caribbean.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Website Launch

The new website is up tonight, I feel like a new parent! So very proud of all the hard work of our webmaster Susan Barton www.bartonhosting.com and my husband Barry and our daughter Allison. We couldn't have done this without all of their input and hard work. So now we tweak the site a bit, making a few minor adjustments here & there (sorry Susan) and it's here to stay. I'm so excited as there are several pictures of clients travels, I'm hoping that more of you will send me your pictures so we can add them to the site. I finally feel like this is a website that shows more of my travel agency's personality which is a refelection of how I do business. Please check it out and let us know how you like it!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Sandals Grande Antigua

Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa unveiled it's 180 suite Mediterranean Village on July 15th. It's a $7o million expansion to the resorts existing 193-room Caribbean Village. The Mediterranean Village features six room categories; four new restaurants, bringing the resort total up to nine; a sixth freshwater pool complete with a Signature Sandals pool tower; a swim up pool bar and a whirlpool; poolside cabanas with WI-FI; and an expanded Red Lane Spa. A 32,000 square foot shopping area, an art gallery with works by local & international artists, 9000 more square feet of meeting and banquet space, and a private wedding gazebo with a reflective pool round out the new additions. I have several clients over the next few months going to the property and I'm looking forward to checking it out myself! Antigua is a beautiful island, land of 365 beaches (they say there is a beach for every day of the year) and a haven for the water sport fanatic or someone who just loves a beautiful walking beach. Can't wait to see the pictures!

Monday, June 25, 2007

New Website Coming Soon!

Getting very excited about the new website that we're almost ready to launch. A client of mine is the webmaster and also is going to host our site as well. Susan Barton Morrision ( got married at Sandals Grande Ocho Rios 6 years ago) www.bartonhosting.com gets me and understands my vision for the new website. I'm not the brains behind the site, I have to thank my husband Barry for that and also receiving lots of help from our daughter Allison who has put the picture albums together for the new website. I want to be able to share my travel experiences about properties or places that we travel. I'm very excited as I'm asking my clients to share their pictures to bring a different perspective to the site as well. We're looking to have the site up and running very soon. I think that this will bring out more of my own personality to the web and will attact new clients as well. I hope that people will comment and let me know what they think!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Exciting Information on Documents to Travel

One thing that I always know-things can always change. There was an announcement today by the Department of Homeland Security over the issuing (or lack of issuing passports), from now until September 30th, 2007 you can travel to the Caribbean when you have acceptable proof of application for a passport. Then all you need is your state issued picture ID.

Print a copy of your online status receipt from http://travel.state.gov.passport . It's takes approx. 3 weeks for this to show on the site if you didn't expedite your passport, 1 week if you did! This will to give the passport department time to process the passports and catch up. So there is still time to get your passport going and get traveling!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Documents to leave the Country

This is just a friendly reminder that anyone that is thinking about leaving the country needs to plan ahead. Passports are taking at least 12 weeks to process and you can't leave home without them!

You can request an expedited passport processing service for an additional $60 but even then passports are still taking 6 weeks or more to process. There is a new passport promotion out from the Sandals Resorts that will give you $125 in resort credit when you expedite your passport when traveling to any of their properties. This is for new bookings from 6/1 and onward. Call me for the details.

You can get information by contacting the National Passport Center at 1-877-487-2778 or go online at travel.state.gov for all the updates on what you need to get a passport. I do have applications at my office for your convenience.

Also remember to make a copy of the identification page in case your passport is lost or stolen. Carry two extra passport pictures with you. If you passport is lost or stolen report the loss immediately to local police and the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. It's always better to be safe than sorry!

So if you're thinking of traveling out the country, please take the time and get your passport early! I've had clients already stressed out when their passports came late or not at all. Let's not make extra work for any of us. You'll be glad that you took my advice and did this early.