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This week, Ticket To Travel named Francisco Montoya, Business Development Manager with Blue Sky Tours, Funjet Vacations, Southwest Vacations and United Vacations (The Mark Travel Corporation) as our 2013 Business Development Manager of the Year!

Francisco was acknowledged for his continued support, outstanding partnership and commitment to our agency’s growth and falling under the Ticket To Travel credo “Relationships Matter”.

Francisco with the plaque

GREAT NEWS!!!

BIG BIRD & THE REST OF THE SESAME STREET GANG HAVE FOUND EMPLOYMENT…in Jamaica and the Turks & Caicos Islands.

Poor Big Bird got notice on the evening of October 3rd that he and all of his friends “might” be out of a job in a month.  However, they do have a back-up plan and they want to celebrate it with all of those great families out there!

You can find them over on the islands of Jamaica and even the Turks & Caicos!

Your kids can go bird watching with Big Bird, bake cookies with Cookie Monster, go on treasure hunts with Abby Cadabby, check out Oscar the Grouches “Trashland” and learn how to make creative items with scraps, and even do science experiments with Super Grover.

If that’s not enough…there are parades and stage shows!

To make this all happen for your family, I have a special for up to 65% off, PLUS 1 night FREE!  So come on and take the time to get to know your favorite friends.

Contact me today and I will match you up with the right property for your families budget and needs.

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So you want to go to the Caribbean, but who wants to depart from boring ole Fort Lauderdale or the over populate Miami?  Consider adding a little party before or after your cruise with a departure from New Orleans!

These prices are just AMAZING!!!  Starting at $449 per person?  How can you beat that?  (See the details below)

Contact me today to book your year end travel! – lauren@aticket2travel.com or (650) 906-6000

 

Do you like to run?  Do you know someone who pretends to like to run?  Even better – do you know a fitness trainer or facility?  This is a fantastic opportunity to combine your love of fitness with a much deserved vacation!  Royal Caribbean cruise line is holding a Royal 5K run in St. Maarten on December 1, 2012. 

In additional to the 5K race, the entire week will be full of activities such as:

  • Private meet-and-greet sessions with high-profile racing athletes
  • Seminars & lectures with high profile athletes
  • Personal training tips from experts
  • Speed tests onboard the track on the ship

So pack before you pack your running shoes, give me a call or send me an e-mail to get your $250 deposit applied – Deadline is August 3, 2012!!!

Stateroom Pricing is as follows: 

  • Inside Stateroom – $744.00 per person
  • Central Park View Stateroom with Balcony – $774.00 per person
  • Boardwalk View Stateroom with Balcony – $814.00 per person
  • Superior Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony – $1014.00 per person
  • Crown Loft Suite (Beautiful 2-story Suite.  Choose from suite 1726 or 1730) – $2874.00 per person
  • Port Charges & taxes are additional

Disney Cruise Line recently released details regarding its new 4,000-passenger Disney Fantasy ship, which is scheduled to debut in March 2012. Among the unique features is the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.

At the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique on the Disney Fantasy, passengers ages 3 on up, can get makeovers to resemble their favorite Disney princesses and pirates.  Captain Mickey Mouse, Princess Minnie Mouse and First Mate Minnie Mouse and Under the Sea packages will also be offered.   After making their royal entrance, young princesses-to-be are greeted by their very own Fairy Godmother-in-training, who will transform them with the most magical makeovers you can imagine.

On pirate party nights aboard the Disney Fantasy, the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique will transform into the Pirate’s League, where boys, girls and grownups can get ready for the pirate life.   You will be prepared for a swashbuckling evening with beards and bandanas, swords and scars, earrings and eye patches and more.

The Fantasy will sail weeklong Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral, Florida, with its maiden voyage scheduled for March 31, 2012.  The itineraries feature a mixture of stops at St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel, San Juan, Puerto Rico and Disney’s private Bahamas island, Castaway Cay.

Your child’s “Fantasy” awaits!  Contact me today at (650) 906-6000 or lauren@aticket2travel.com

Well, Disney Cruiseline just announced their itinerary line-up for 2012 and (drum roll, please) it includes three new homeports – New York, Seattle and Galveston!  Now, a Disney cruise is even more convenient for you, as you can depart for your dream vacation from your backyard.

From New York…
Beginning May 25, 2012, the Disney Magic will sail 20 cruises from New York – with three unique and varied itineraries.

  • Eight-night Bahamas cruises that include a day at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay; Nassau, Bahamas; and a stop at Port Canaveral, Florida, giving guests an opportunity to visit the nearby Walt Disney World Resort.  As part of this itinerary, you’ll receive a one-day Walt Disney World Park Hopper ticket and roundtrip transportation between the port and resort.
  • Five-night cruises up the New England coast that will call at Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Saint John, New Brunswick. In these popular Canadian ports, you can soak in splendid natural vistas, explore historic sites, visit quaint cafés and charming shops and browse Canada’s oldest farmer’s market.
  • Three two-night cruises (June 15, July 13 and August 10) that are perfect for families looking for a quick getaway and a sampling of the Disney Cruise Line experience with a day at sea over a weekend.

From Seattle…
Beginning May 28, 2012, the Disney Wonder will sail another season of Alaskan cruises including seven-night voyages from the Port of Seattle to Tracy Arm, Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska, as well as Victoria, British Columbia.

These cruises will combine the natural wonder and adventurous spirit of Alaska with the unparalleled, family-friendly experience found on a Disney Cruise Line ship. Disney works closely with Alaskan tour operators to create exclusive Port Adventures that allow you to enjoy Alaska’s natural beauty, rich history and abundant wildlife.

From Galveston…
Beginning September 22, 2012, the Disney Magic will sail seven-night cruises from Galveston to the Western Caribbean. Ports of call include Grand Cayman and Mexico’s Costa Maya and Cozumel.

On this cruise, your family can enjoy a tropical getaway with world-class entertainment and impeccable guest service found only on a Disney Cruise Line vacation. You’ll have three magical days at sea to explore all of the fun aboard the Disney Magic and three days in port to lounge on warm, golden beaches, to swim and snorkel in azure waters or to shop to your heart’s content in exotic marketplaces.

If you want to secure your spot on one of these exciting new itineraries, bookings for 2012 open April 8, 2011, by contacting me at (650) 906-6000 or lauren@aticket2travel.com

Which itinerary are you most excited for?

ARRIVAL IN JAMAICA

Upon arrival, you’ll proceed to the Sandals lounge, which is conveniently located at Sangster International Airport (MBJ), in Montego Bay. Your complimentary transfer to and from the resort will be arranged by Sandals.  Climb aboard your bus and enjoy your included roundtrip airport transfer from Montego Bay International Airport to Sandals Whitehouse. The journey takes a little over one hour, so sit back and enjoy the magnificent scenery along the way.

ISLAND INFORMATION

From the moment you arrive, you’ll find yourself immersed in the untouched beauty and warm hospitality of Jamaica’s stunning south coast.  Nestled within an uninhabited 500-acre nature reserve, Sandals Whitehouse is a tranquil haven located within reach of some of the island’s most spectacular sights. This is the real Jamaica — with endless sugar cane fields and cascading waterfalls.

HOTEL INFORMATION

Discover the undiscovered. Journey to a forgotten Jamaica where the natural beauty is simply unforgettable. Within a 500-acre wilderness preserve, blue mountains, lush palm groves, pristine coastlines and shimmering turquoise waters create an unbelievable backdrop for a monumental resort. Sandals Whitehouse Europe Village & Spa perfectly blends the exotic allure of the Caribbean with the refined elegance of Europe.

Charming Italian piazzas and fountains are surrounded by gardens resplendent with fragrant foliage, while three European-inspired villages – Italian, French and Dutch – are home to luxuriously-appointed, all oceanfront rooms and suites. Each one offers magnificent views overlooking the two-mile long beach, and top tier suites come with Sandals’ legendary Butler Service. Seven restaurants serve mouthwatering gourmet cuisine from around the world, and entertainment ranges from a sophisticated piano bar to bonfire beach parties and a chic nightclub. This resort is truly a world unto itself, where time is all but forgotten and the only moment is now.

  • The resort is spread over 50 acres. A tranquil tropical paradise, which sits along side a two mile beach.
  • All of the rooms and suites are oceanfront
  • Three distinctive architectural features. Including authentic Italian, Dutch and French villages
  • 360 Oceanview rooms and suites in 15 categories.
  • 7 Restaurants and 6 Bars ore on this property.
  • Full Room Service to 32 One Bedroom Butler-Serviced Suites
  • A beautiful Red Lane ® Signature Spa is located at this resort (spa services are at an additional cost)
  •  Over 14,000 square feet of meeting and convention space, including a 3- level Theatre.

MORE QUALITY INCLUSIONS THAN ANY OTHER RESORT ON THE PLANET 

Restaurants and Bars

 Luxurious Accommodations

Private Offshore Islands

Free Martha Stewart Wedding

Unlimited Scuba

Motorized Watersports

Top Golf Courses

Fitness Centers

Land Sports

Stay at 1, Play at All Sandals

Top-Shelf Drinks

Entertainment

Beringer Wines

Airport Transfers

Tips, Gratuities, Hotels Taxes

Caribbean’s Best Beaches

Just when you did not think Royal Caribbean could do any better! 

Contact me today to book your next AMAZING family vacation onboard the Allure of the Seas!

No offense to the Howard Johnson’s Hotel Chain (well, maybe a little…)

I’ve held off on posting this blog entry in regards to my cruise on the Carnival Elation last March.  However, I just can’t hold back any longer!  I must spill the beans; get it off my chest, etc…

First off – I PROMISE TO NEVER BOOK ANY OF YOU, MY DEAR, DEAR CLIENTS, ON THIS SHIP!!!  The good news for us West Coasters, she has left us for her new homeport of Mobile, Alabama.  So sorry for all ya’ll Southerners.

It started out great, since the ship was leaving from San Diego for a 6 night cruise to Cabo San Lucas for a 2 day stay and a stop at Ensenada (okay, so that port is not so great).  What was truly splendid was the ease of flying into San Diego and taking a 5 minute cab ride to the port.  (And, folks I truly mean it.)  Why the Port of San Diego is not used more, completely baffles me?  Forget crummy San Pedro or Long Beach, let’s hear a big cheer for San Diego!!!

Okay, back to the “Ho Jo….”

I knew we were in for an interesting crowd, while waiting for our group number to be called to board the ship.  The 4 gentlemen (ahhhemm) sitting next to me were already drunk!  During this embarkation period, we got to watch Holland America’s Oosterdam also board their guests.  Who do I see while waiting????…Ronald Regan, Jr. and his family boarding the “dam” ship!  Now he’s not a huge celebrity, but geez, I would have much rather cruised with him than the “ahhhemm gentlemen” that I had the unfortunate circumstance of not only seeing, but smelling.

Once on board we headed to check out our lovely peach & orange oceanview cabin, aka our home away from home for the next 7 days.

Why, oh why???

Fine, it’s a very 80’s color palette, fine they seem to have the Titanic as a light fixture, but really Carnival that painting over the beds must scare small children.  Frankly, it’s even a lot creepy from an adult’s perspective.

 

 

 

 

Now what is one of the major attractions or in some cases fear for cruisers? – the food!  As I headed toward the dining room on the first evening, I was not expecting a 5-star or Michelin rated meal, but geez how about something edible?  I can only describe the food as a cross between school cafeteria and hospital food.  Each night when it came time for dinner, it was getting harder and harder to drag the feet into the dining room.

Now earlier you might have winced at the thought of Ensenada, but wow was it truly welcomed.  Thank you Habana Banana for your great margaritas and FOOD!!!

The entertainment onboard was either lacking or just plain bad.  However, the best entertainment found on the ship was art auctioneer, Ellis.  He was full of energy and a great comedian.  So even if you don’t plan on purchasing any art, still go and check it out.  Not to mention you will receive free champagne while you there.

As the tradition goes with Carnival’s “fun” factor, returning each evening to a towel animal in the cabin puts a smile on one’s face.  I am still wondering what the cabin stewards do if you don’t leave out your sunglasses for them to use?  Personally, my favorite was the Towel Monkey!

The Pool Area continued with the strange color scheme of the ship – Orange and yellow tile with a blue slide… I mean really, does this draw you to want to hang out if you are over the age of 12?

So Carnival heard the pleas from the over 21 crowd and created an adults only outdoor space.  No pool, but there are 2 Jacuzzis.  They refer to this as The Serenity – an adult retreat.  Great idea, no screaming children to be found anywhere in sight, but…Carnival you lost me on the serene part with all of the engine noise!

Overall, I found the ship décor to be dated, worn and tired (in some cases walls were cracked and falling apart), the crowds at the buffet areas were overwhelming due to poor space planning and the cabins, especially those located mid-ship on the port side to be very noisy!  There are much better, nicer and palatable ships out there sailing the Western Caribbean!

– Coming soon, Cabo resort reviews!!!

Now here’s a combo I never thought I would mention in the same blog!  Martha Stewart & Big Bird?

But it is true!!! 

Thanks once again, to the geniuses over at Beaches Resorts, they have partnered with Martha Stewart to exclusively offer five unique Martha Stewart Crafts Studio classes using Martha Stewarts Crafts tools to glitter, stencil, paint and more, in which Beaches Resorts guests will come away with a handcrafted, personal souvenir of their stay. 

Postcard, punch and stencil fashion and glitter classes are recommended for family members ages six and up with scrapbooking and stencil fashion classes recommended for ages nine and up, but younger kids are welcome if accompanied by an adult.  All classes cost $10 each with the exception of the Postcard Class, which is $8.

In regards to the arrival of Big Bird – well it’s about time!   He joins his friends down in the Caribbean – Elmo, Zoe, Grover, Cookie Monster, Abby Cadabby, The Count and Bert & Ernie for the Aventures with Sesame Street.

There is no better time than now to book that dream family summer vacation to the Turks & Caicos or Jamaica. 

Contact me TODAY!

(650) 906-6000