Monday, September 26, 2016

Unexpected Sights While Traveling

As we drove around the Big Island, Hawaii, Jim stopped to take some photos of the surroundings. Hawaii is amazingly picturesque. Everywhere you look, you find something beautiful and awe inspiring. 
A local passed by and stopped to chat with Jim. This is Hawaii, people are very warm and friendly. This man was riding his bike, which as you can imagine is not a big deal, except he had a chicken sitting on the hand rails. The chicken wasn't tied and seemed to be enjoying traveling with his friend. I had to get a closer look. There couldn't possibly be a real chicken riding on a bicycle. Sure enough! The local's cell phone rang in his pocket. He excused himself and stepped off to the answer the phone. I watched the chicken closely. I was sure it would hop or fly off. Nope! It stayed put. Amazing the the things you see when traveling!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Cuba: The Newest Travel Destination

Cuba is this untouched gem in the Caribbean. The embargo that was in place for several decades with the U.S. did not allow tourism or commerce with the island. Luckily, that ended this year in 2016. It's an opportunity to spend time a beautiful tropical island that has not been influenced by technology and 21st century living.

If you're an experienced cruise taker than there are probably few destinations you haven't been to. Cuba adds a new level of excitement and newness.

Maybe your a parent wanting your child to see the world and expand their culture and horizon.

Things to see and do:

  • The beach- located in a prime location in the Caribbean, Cuba counts with beautiful beaches. These beaches have warm water and powder-like sand. 
  • See cigar rolling and buy some of them. These cigars use to be illegal to bring back to the U.S. They're known world-wide for their quality. If you are a smoker or have someone at home that is, this is the ideal souvenir to bring back. 
  • Car lover? You'll enjoy seeing all the antique cars that are still in use on the island. 
  • Food lover? Try a sandwich Cubano. It's a hearty sandwich with roasted pork, ham, and cheese. How about some Ropa Vieja? Translates to old clothes, but doesn't taste like it. This dish has shredded beef in a tomato sauce with rice and black beans.

Contact us for your travel needs. We are here to help.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Haven Experience on the Norwegian Epic

Norwegian Cruise Line has something called the Haven Experience. My husband and I recently traveled on the Norwegian Epic to the Mediterranean in July 2016. We were given a good offer to upgrade my stateroom from a balcony room to a Junior Suite for an additional fee. We read the offer and for the last minute fee it seemed worth it. Well, we loved every minute of it! Booking a Haven stateroom gives you so much more:

  • First, we were escorted on board the ship because we were Haven guests. From that moment I realized that this would be a V.I.P. experience all the way. 
  • We were given a short tour of our amenities. Turns out that Haven guests have access to a private pool, sun deck, and private elevator that exits to the common pool. 
  • Haven guests can dine at any of the restaurants, but also have access to a Haven only restaurant. The head waiter personally greeted us on the first day. He told us that if there wasn't anything we wanted to eat, even if it wasn't on the menu, to let him know. He would personally do everything possible to make it happen. After a few days at sea, we spoke to the head manager. My husband wanted a steak that wasn't on the menu. He made it happen! He made us feel like anything we needed, he was there to serve us. 
  • You get a personal butler that's available to you 24/7. At first I thought, "what do I need a butler for?", but he came in handy. I never bothered him after hours, but he brought us breakfast to our room a couple of times on days that we needed to be on shore pretty early to catch our excursions. It saves us a ton of time from having to go to the buffet, find a table, and have our meal. We could eat in the comfort of our room while we were finishing getting ready. 
  • Every afternoon our butler would bring us a gourmet snack. Many times I was too full and could bare eating it, but I appreciated his daily efforts. He told me that he wanted to make sure I had a snack to eat before dinner and that anything I need, he was there. He even gave us his personal stateroom extension in case we needed him after his shift was over. 
  • When it comes to pillows, I'm pretty picky. Our Haven suite had a pillow menu! There were several options of pillows you could order. Why doesn't every cruise do this??
  • The Haven experience was amazing! I had visited the spa and unfortunately I wasn't happy with my experience. I told the Haven Concierge and they immediately called the spa on my behalf. They immediately were able to resolve the situation for me. I was very pleased. 

I love seeing towel animals in my room! This isn't specific to the Haven. Every cruise I've ever taken does this at least once during your trip. It's one of those small details that gives me a lot of joy. Something simple, unexpected, and yet makes me feel valued. 

View from my balcony stateroom.

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