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I just love this time of year!  It is when all of the cruiseships heading to Alaska for the summer season, stop here in San Francisco.  This allows me to tour the ships and report back the good, the bad and the….well you never know…

Today’s post is all about the Oceania Regatta.  She is all class!  You will not find a kids club on this ship, nor a single disco.  Not that these are bad things, it just not the clientele that this ship attracts.  If you are looking for a relaxed, intimate and beautiful ship to visit Alaska?  It has been found!

This ship holds approximately 600 guests, which is vastly lower than the other mass market cruiseships you will find in Alaska this season.  No need to pack your suit or fancy dress for a formal night, because it does not exist here on the Regatta!  Oceania tends to describe the relaxed atmosphere onboard as Country Club Casual.  There are only 9 passenger decks, so truly she is easy to navigate without having to take the elevators to get around.  She was refurbished back in 2011 and truly the beauty of this ship stands out.

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She sails with the Canyon Ranch Spa onboard which offers you the best treatments and spa cuisine.  Are you getting the idea here…this cruise is all about RELAXING!!

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The staterooms on the Regatta are spacious, comfortable and once again classic.  The dark wood and the décor exude comfort and elegance.

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Now let’s address the fantastic attraction of Oceania – its gourmet cuisine!  The menus are inspired by the Executive Culinary Director and renowned Master Chef, Jacques Pépin.   All I have to say here is MAJOR YUM!!!  All 5 dining areas, including but not limited to the specialty restaurants are included in the cruisefare. No nickel and diming you the travelers while onboard.  While we are discussing inclusions…sodas, bottled water, cappuccinos, espressos, teas and juices are also INCLUDED in the cruisefare.

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Oceania tends to offer incredible offers from time to time, such as 2 for cruisefares, free airfare, prepaid gratuities and of course my favorite…onboard credits.

Give me a call (650) 906-6000 or send me an e-mail at lauren@aticket2travel.com, to discuss your next vacation to Alaska or to the other wonderful European, Asian and South American itineraries that Oceania sails.

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Today I got the privilege to take a tour and inspect Princess Cruises renovated Grand Princess.  I sailed on her 11 years ago and I was looking forward to seeing her after Princess spent so much money to update her.   Overall, Princess Cruises…you have failed.

So what is the big deal about the removal of Skywalker’s lounge?  Passing off the extremely small One5 Nightclub as the solution…fails.  Perhaps a little sprucing up of the Princess Theater should have been placed into the budget?  It is small, dark and dingy!  Since we are talking about dingy…the kids club is sad.  Why would a kid want to spend 5 minutes in the small, dark and outdated play rooms?  Princess?!?!?  I think you forgot about the staterooms too!  With the exception of new sheets and a duvet, THEY LOOK TIRED AND WORN.  Don’t get me started on the old and dated tile in the bathrooms.  The only true upgrade to the rooms are the rather small and disappointing flat screen T.V.’s = fail!

I do have to admit that the new Atrium is quite lovely.  ****that’s all I got****

Alfredo's Pizzeria in the Atrium

Alfredo’s Pizzeria in the Atrium

I kept hearing today on how Princess Cruises is “Innovative.”  Huh?  10 years later, Princess is still hanging onto the “innovation” of having the “Movies Under the Stars.”  It’s a very large T.V.!  Whoopee Doo.  Then there’s the mention of “innovating” the concept of Anytime Dining.  Wrong – NCL did that first.  And, lastly the addition of specialty restaurants.  Yeah, every cruiseline has those.

Bottomline, there is reason Princess has not released a new ship in 5 years…They simply do not have the creative imagination to be truly “innovative” as their competitors in Celebrity Cruises, Holland America and even Royal Caribbean (The King of Innovation).   I saw a preview of the Royal Princess.  ****yawn****   The most exciting thing I learned today is that her God Mother will be HRH Dutchess of Cambridge – YAY Kate!

So Princess Cruises, continue to keep your die hard loyal to the end cruisers, I will be placing my client’s on cruiseships that really give them the full cruising experience for their money.

Well it has finally been revealed…Royal Caribbean’s long awaiting Sunshine Project – The new Quantum Class of Ships!

This is a follow-up to my earlier post Sunshine Project.  Royal Caribbean will be launching 2 new ships the Quantum of the Seas and the Anthem of the Seas.  They will debut in the fall of 2014 and the spring of 2015, respectively.

These ships will be smaller than the enormous Oasis Class and will only hold 4100 passengers vs. 5400 passengers.  Royal Caribbean is going to bring in all of their world class entertainment and amenities for this class of ship.  Going with the premise – smaller might be better!

Stay tuned for further updates!

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Have you ever wanted to go Italy with just your girlfriends? 

Can’t get your girlfriends to commit to the trip to Italy?

Looking for that “special” Mother’s Day Gift?

Wanted more from your trip to Italy than just touring churches?

Well, Ciao Bella’s Women’s Travel Getaway Club is for you!!!  This May we have a FANTASTIC CUSTOM trip to Italy full of great adventures, food, wine, culture, art and did I mention wine???  This is your chance to experience Italy unlike any other trip out there…

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So after you have had a chance to review the complete itinerary at http://ciaobellagetawayclub.com/Bellissima/itinerary.html, please give me a call at (650) 906-6000 or e-mail me at lauren@aticket2travel.com, to discuss booking this trip of a lifetime.

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

The first of 2 ships will debut in the Fall 2014 and will hold 4100 guests. However, Royal Caribbean is keeping all other details very sshhhh, sshhhh.

What are they going to do now?  Can they top Oasis & Allure of the Seas?  Do they want to?  No matter what they do, they will clearly continue to teach NCL a lesson on how to build ships!  ;-0

So here are the current rumors:

  • A split superstructure with neighborhoods that were big hits on Oasis and Allure of the Seas
  • Different cabin layout
  • Ship capable of being used worldwide, especially in the Mediterranean
  • Central Park area with retractable glass roof
  • Use of green tech onboard, such as solar panels
  • Perhaps similar to Celebrity Solstice class of ships in design?

Here’s a possible view of the up & coming ships:

Video of Possible New Look

So stay tuned!  As more information is released, I will alert my readers, ASAP!

My boss, Anita Pagliasso writes a monthly column for Agent@Home Magazine.  This month she chose to include an exchange I had with a client who was interested in taking a Thanksgiving cruise with her family, but had some…let’s say… “concerns.”

Without a doubt, I will go that extra mile to make sure you have the vacation of your dreams!

Here’s the link for the article, it is a great & entertaining read (TRUST ME!) http://www.agentathome.com/Article.aspx?n=2654

Contact me today for all of your vacations needs or concerns!!!  😉

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

Lauren Liebert

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