Archive for January, 2009

January 16, 2009

January 16, 2009

Welcome to the Travel Encounters’ Blog. Since this is the first time I’m doing this you will have to forgive me for any errors I make. I’m sure I will catch on to the culture of blogs soon enough.

My good friend Val is very good at it and I aspire to do as good a job as she does!. I admire her beautiful pictures and descriptions. She is a wedding planner (Kirkbrides Wedding Planning and Design) and not only does she plan gorgeous weddings, she’s also great on the net!

I will use this forum to talk about new developments in the travel industry, as well as any visits I make to the resorts. I usually try to keep up with all the new builds and to keep a good photo gallery on each property. This helps me to describe the resorts to my clients. It seems that visuals always provide support when trying to make a decision. So check back regularly to see what’s new on the menu.

I will also be posting reviews from clients who have recently returned. I always encourage everyone to call me about their experience. They are my ambassadors, as obviously I cannot see all the properties and cities.  They are always excited to tell about their trips  and continually provide valuable critiques and information. I value their opionions tremendously.

My most recent travellers were Kathleen and Rich who went to the Iberostar Grand Resort. Talking with Kathleen it was evident that the quality and service of the Iberostar Resorts is still intact. She raved about the food (lobster for lunch everyday), wait staff, facilities and amenities of the resort. Of course the weather was wonderful..80’s and sunny..today it is -5 here! I’m sure we all wish to be transported to the blue waters of the Caribbean–like right now!!  Butler service at the pool sounds like heaven..how about a massage in the world class spa? Iberostar Grand has it all..thanks to Kathleen and Rich for their business and great feedback on this gem of a resort.

Another wonderful Kathy and her hubby Marvin went on an escorted tour to the National Parks, They enjoyed the camaraderie of fellow passengers while enjoying the specatular scenery of the nation’s natural treasures. Thanks Kathy for your imput on this tour operator and for your support of Travel Encounters.

My littlest traveler enjoyed the company of Cinderella at the Disney resorts. She traveled with her parents and two brothers to Disney over Christmas. Charlotte sent me an adorable picture of her and Cinderella taken while having a meal at the castle..of course Charlotte wore HER princess outfit and was cute as a button. I always enjoy her when she visits the office.  Tammy aka MOM, told me that was a great family trip. Of course Disney usually lives up to the expectation of it’s visitors. It seems they do everything right. It’s the quinessential family vacation. I have many grown children ie. adults who can’t get enough of Mickey and pals!

In December I also took a quick flight down to Riviera Maya. Secrets opened two resorts in the late summer and because of the high volume of honeymoons that I help plan, I wanted to visit these properties to judge for myself. They are adult only venues which are new builds and very spectacularly designed. I toured the Maroma Beach and the Silversands. While the Maroma has almost a mix of Asian and Moraccan theme, the Silversand is designed more for those who enjoy sleek modern appointments. My sales rep describes it as for the “Sex in the City” crowd. Although the ‘bones’ of the two Secrets are the same the concept couldn’t be different. I think I also liked the beach better at the Maroma. I will post some photos of these properties here. They can also be viewed on my website.

The other resorts I visited were the Grand Sirenis and the Secrets Capri. The Capri resort is small and intimate and has a very Colonial Mexican feel. You will be very close to the beach, in fact the oceanfront rooms were about 30 feet from sand! Awesome..you can see the sunset from them..very beautiful. The Grand Sirenis is a great resort for families. I really liked the restaruant themes they had. Very modern and fun. They just added a huge spa facility. This property always has great pricing and great last minute deals..get up out and going..

My next venture will be on MSC cruises. My good friend Joanne plans the Supercruise every year. This is the 16th year and going! Many individuals have met on this cruise and gotten married. This year I believe there are 1500 persons attending! Wow..Joanne does a GREAT job with this. Being a travel agent I know what that takes..I will be sailing on the Orchestra the newest for MSC’s fleet. I’m excited to see this new product. One of the reasons is because it is owned and managed by and Italian company.  All my clients know THAT connection 🙂  I’m interested in observing how it compares to the other product lines we offer. It may be a good alternative to someone who has cruised several lines and wants something new..we all know the islands don’t change..so a fresh face may be a good idea.. I will post on how that goes..

Well, anyone that’s dealt with me knows I love to chat..but boredom can set in so I will be in touch. Thanks for listening– reading– or whatever  🙂 

I was going to end but just got an email from Kelly and Frank who just had their first baby on Jan 15 a girl.. cute pictures attached. Much luck to their family. I’m so happy for them..I now have 5 nieces and nephews. Since I don’t have brothers or sisters I’m adopting my client’s babies.. Congrats to Kelly and Frank .. ..can’t wait to visit with them.