Tuesday, July 16, 2013

New York City

It's Raegan and Brandi and we just returned from a quick weekend get-away to NYC! We took Amtrak from Charlottesville to New York's Penn Station and stayed at the beautiful Le Parker Meridien Hotel. Amtrak is a fun way to travel and it's very nice to arrive in Penn Station right in the middle of Manhattan instead of having an expensive taxi ride in from one of the airports. If you travel in the summer we recommend a sweater as Amtrak keeps the air conditioning on full blast! We saw Annie on Broadway! This was a favorite childhood story so to see the Broadway show was really fun! We took a 3 hour walking tour of the September 11 Memorial, Wall Street and lower Manhattan. Next we took the Stage Door Tour of Radio City Music Hall. This was really interesting since we saw the Radio City Christmas Spectacular on a previous trip to New York. We went to the Top of the Rock - the Observation deck on top of Rockefeller Center. The views are amazing! In the evening we did a sunset harbor cruise around lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. We have been to New York many times and find new exciting things to see every time!

Boston and Oregon

Hi, it's Jerry and I saw Paul Revere's House and Mt. Hood all in one trip! How is that possible? I just came back from a vacation where we started out in Boston and visited family and then we flew to Portland Oregon to visit the rest of my fanily. While we were in Boston we took the Freedon Trail tour where you will see the Old North Church and Paul Revere's house. The best way to see everything is to take a hop-on-hop-off bus tour. We flew on Jet Blue from Boston to Portland, I really like this airline and it was non-stop!! We went to Mt. Hood and it was snowing in June!!! We also went to the Air and Space museum and one of many vineyards in the area. We have been to Oregon several times. It is one of my favorite places and I'm sure we will go again.

Beaches Negril, Jamaica

It's Raegan and in June my daughter and I went to Beaches Negril for her high school graduation celebration. We had a WONDERFUL time!! We flew from Charlottesville into Montego Bay and took the 1 and 1/2 hour shuttle ride to our resort. The resort and beach are beautiful and the sunsets in Negril are breathtaking! Beaches is part of the Sandals family and the service and food are outstanding! Our room was lovely and in a great centralized location. On day one we took an extremely long (3 hours each way) trip to Nine Miles, Bob Marley's home and final resting place. This was a bit of a disappointment. We are big reggae music fans and wanted to see Marley's home but the tour was only about 40 minutes long and very commercialized. The next day we went zip-lining. This was a first for me but definitely will not be the last time!! We had a blast!! We had a cabana on the beach the next day and spent a couple of hours shopping in Negril. The last full day we spent riding ATV's. It was very muddy as it was rainy season there but we had so much fun we didn't even mind getting dirty. Jamaica is one of my favorite islands and I can't wait to go back! I would highly recommend Beaches Resorts! This was one of the best Caribbean experiences I have ever had!

Ft. Lauderdale, Pompano Beach FL

Hey there!  Brandi and Meredith both spent time in Florida this year.  Ft. Lauderdale is a great weekend getaway denstitation with reasonably priced flights from this area and an array of hotels and resorts to choose from.  Ft. Lauderdale is known as the "Venice of America".  We took a canal cruise and really enjoyed it!

Enchantment of the Seas, Again!!!!

Hi, it's Brandi and January 2013!  I escorted a fundraising group on board the Enchantment of the Seas.  We sailed to the Eastern Caribbean from Baltimore.  While I had been on this ship before this was a different itinerary than last time.  We visited San Juan, St. Croix, Samana Dominican Republic, and Labadee, the private island.  This is a great idea for a fundraiser for any local charity you would like to support.  Each passenger makes a donation and Royal Caribbean matches the proceeds.  It was a great break from the winter weather!

Celebrity Reflection

Hi, it's Brandi again! 
In December I sailed aboard the newest Celebrity ship, Celebrity Reflection.  This was the inaugural sailing of the ship.  She is beautiful with lots of trendy lounges, such as the martini ice bar and the wine bar (one of my favorites).  This is the first experience I had with anytime dining and we loved it because we could dine whenever we wanted.  We also tried one of the beverage packages which worked out well for us.  Unfortunately it rained a lot and the ship was unable to port in Nassau Bahamas, lucky we had been there before.  We did get to visit the private island, Coco Cay Bahamas.  Celebrity is a little more upscale than their sister company Royal Caribbean.  I truly enjoyed the new ship!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Disney Cruise 2012

Hello! This is Meredith and my first blog as an agent here at Travel Leaders Harrisonburg. I have had a great 9 months here and am learning more and more every day. I worked in the airlines as a customer service agent before coming to the "other side" of travel. I must admit it is very different! My post is a little late....but I wanted to tell you about my first trip as a travel consultant.

My husband and I took our kids (4 and 6) on a Disney cruise and fell in love! What an exciting experience to have with our children. It was everything we expected and more. From the moment we stepped on the ship we were treated like royalty. The kids club was awesome as Jackson and Taylor said, they never wanted to come out of there! The food was spectacular and so much to choose from.  Jackson tried escargot for the first time and ate 3 servings! We ate the buffets for breakfast and lunch...which was perfect for us. I will say that we were given the late dining time and were very happy with  it. It gave us a chance to come in and rest  before dinner....we were able to go to the shows before we ate, which was nice. One suggestion I do have is to look at the daily schedule early and make a plan. The kids wanted to do so much...and we didn't have a good plan! Once we figured out what was happening when, we were all set. The fact that Disney made the soda fountain and ice cream self serve was a very nice added bonus. We were able to let the kids get their own without worrying how much it cost. Bring a travel mug....you will be glad you have a cup to fill up while at the pool.
We did western Caribbean, so we didn't get to visit the private Disney Island Castaway Key. We still had wonderful ports of call. Cozumel was our favorite, the snorkeling was amazing! At each port we found a cab driver to take us where we wanted to go, it worked out just fine.

If you are looking for the perfect vacation with your family....I highly recommend a Disney cruise. You will  be surprised how affordable it can  be.....and the quality relaxing time you get to spend with your kids is priceless!