About Me!

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Welcome! I am Jane-Ellen (JE) I'm a travel agent and I am happy to share with you my love of travel. I am not a journalist, I simply enjoy traveling. My favorite travel destinations are Walt Disney World, Cruises and anywhere on our Harley. My husband, Steve and I are out on our Harley when time, work and weather permit. We try to take weekend trips whenever possible.
Walt Disney World has been a favorite spot to vacation since our first trip in 1983. We have had over 30 weeklong vacations and now living in Florida we visit monthly, although recently I find myself there weekly. Hey I am doing research!
Cruising is another passion. We have been on many cruises, predominately in the Caribbean. A seven day cruise is the best way to really unwind and relax; but if a three or four day cruise crosses our path, we set sail. I am an Accredited Cruise Councilor, and a Certified Travel Councilor. I have the highest level of education from all major cruise lines.
Many clients have asked for insider tips for Disney World and cruising. That is my goal to offer insider information on Disney, Cruises and biking.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

New Blog Address

I have moved my travel blog to a new address please follow us there.

Start Planning Your Vacation Today!
Email: JEGTravels@gmail.com
Phone: 352.556.4437

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Disney's Golden Oaks Resort Residence

Disney’s Golden OaksFeel free to leave comments!

Disney is building a brand new upscale neighborhood resort on the Walt Disney World Property in Florida. It is called Golden Oaks. The name is a throwback to a tree in Missouri where, in his youth, Walt Disney day dreamed and let his imagination grow.  In later years it was the name of the ranch in California where Disney filmed television shows.

Construction has begun on the homes which will be priced from 1.4 million to 8 million dollars each.  Amenities homeowners will enjoy include the Summerhouse, a community clubhouse that offers fine and casual dining, private lounge, family room with game area, courtyards and lawns for relaxation and play, heated pool, state-of-the-art fitness facilities, demonstration kitchen for culinary adventures, such as guest chef appearances and tastings, and concierge-style resident services.

The homes offer extra Disney amenities such as door to door service to the parks, extra magic hours, golf membership, package delivery and special events for Golden Oaks residents only.

You will have plenty of room for guests but if they prefer some pampering they can stay at the Four Seasons Hotel that is due to open in the neighborhood.

If you are in the market for a new home and love Disney this is the place for you.

Start Planning Your Vacation Today!
Email: JEGTravels@gmail.com
Phone: 352.556.4437

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mickey's Town Square Theatre

Want a chance to meet Mickey up close and personal? Head on over to the Magic Kingdom to see Mickey’s new digs. The Imagineers have been busy creating a special place where you can meet Mickey in his own private rehearsal room.

The former Exposition Hall has been closed for several months to make way for Mickey’s Town Square Theatre; it’s just to the right as you enter the Magic Kingdom.

Guests will enter the grand Victorian theatre under the marquee announcing Mickey’s arrival, walk past the velvet ropes and polished chandeliers to Mickey’s backstage in his rehearsal room.

The best part is Fast Pass is available, giving you a window of time to return with no waiting in the standby queue.
Feel free to leave comments!

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Email: JEGTravels@gmail.com
Phone: 352.556.4437

Sounds Like Summer Concert Series

Sounds Like Summer Concert Series the summer music event in Epcot’s World Showcase American Gardens Theatre is currently rockin the park! Three times a night the theatre comes to life with great rock music. 

Bradley Ross, Talent Director, Walt Disney World Entertainment scours the country for the finest musicians who can mimic the musical qualities of our favorite rock bands. He has put together an awesome line up to entertain you this summer.

Here is this summer’s line up.
6/12-18 Hotel California~ A salute to the Eagles
6/19-25 Stayin’ Alive ~A tribute to the Bee Gees
6/26-7/2 Slippery When Wet~The Ultimate Bon Jovi Tribute
7/3-9Little Queen~The music of Heart
7/10-16 Frontiers~A tribute to Journey
7/17-23 Karin Lawson~A tribute to Janet Jackson
7/24-30 2U~ A tribute to U2

Shows are at 5:45, 7:00 and 8:15 pm. Get there early for the best seats.
Feel free to leave comments!

Start Planning Your Vacation Today!
Email: JEGTravels@gmail.com
Phone: 352.556.4437

$25 Onboard Credit From Royal Caribbean's Crown and Anchor Society

Here is an easy way to earn $25!

Hurry, there's still time to book a cruise with friends and enjoy $25 (or more!) in onboard credit.

Exclusively for Crown & Anchor® Society members, our Bring a Friend Promotion rewards you with $25 onboard credit for every stateroom your friends reserve when they sail with you on your next Royal Caribbean International® cruise.*

Here's how it works:
•Your friend or family member must be a first-time Royal Caribbean guest.
•They must cruise on the same ship and sail date as you, the member.
•You may refer up to five staterooms ($125 credit!) for 6-night or longer cruises, and up to two staterooms on cruises shorter than six nights.
•Booking must have been made after January 21, 2011.
Enter your friend referrals online to get your credit - it's that easy. Act fast, this offer ends July 31, 2011.
We look forward to welcoming you and your friends onboard soon!
Visit http://www.royalcaribbean.com/ for more details and to get your onboard credit!

Start Planning Your Vacation Today!
Email: JEGTravels@gmail.com
Phone: 352.556.4437

Monday, June 27, 2011

Vacation Lodge in Kissimmee Burns

A fire overnight at the Vacation Lodge on Irlo Bronson Hwy in Kissimmee has completely destroyed the motel. The fire and subsequent roof collapse has rendered the 40 year old building, located one mile from Walt Disney World, uninhabitable.

This is a good time to talk about fire safety and hotel stays. The first item of business when checking into a hotel/motel is, much like the safety demo on a plane, to locate your exits in the event of an emergency. Whether your hotel/motel has interior hallways or your door opens directly to the outside, you need to locate two ways to escape in an emergency. The closest emergency exits are listed on the back of your room door. 

The first rule of thumb when a fire breaks out is to get out quickly and safely. You cannot and should not try to bring all your belongings but if you keep your important documents such as passports.  If you plan ahead you will have peace of mind.

Keep safety in mind, even on vacation!

Feel free to leave comments!

Start Planning Your Vacation Today!
Email: JEGTravels@gmail.com
Phone: 352.556.4437

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Port of Tampa

Cruising from Port Tampa

The new buzz phrase in the travel industry is ‘home port cruising’. Simply put people are sailing from ports closer to their home, alleviating the need for a pre and post-cruise flight. After all that ‘cheap’ 3-day cruise isn’t so inexpensive when you add airfare for a family of four.

Florida obviously has the most to offer in the way of home port cruising. Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville and Port Canaveral are all located here.

Tampa has fewer cruise options in comparison to Miami or Ft. Lauderdale but that’s what makes it a great place to start your cruise. The port, located 15 miles from Tampa airport makes flying getting to the port a breeze by air. Its proximity to pristine beaches, world class shopping, sporting events, cultural fare and theme parks make it a favorite port of cruises from the world over.
These same attractions make it a top draw for local travelers as well. Vacationers driving a few hours to the port can take a 3, 5, 7 or 14 day cruise and then stay in the area for everything else the Tampa Bay has to offer.

Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and Holland America all sail western Caribbean cruises from Tampa. Cruises range from 4 days to 14 days; visiting Jamaica, Mexico, Grand Cayman, Belize and Isla Roatan, Honduras.

The port is easily accessible from I4, I75, I275 and SR 60, the parking facilities are designed to hold upwards of 4,000 vehicles. Parking fees run approximately $14.00 per day in the parking garage. Other parking options include an overnight hotel stay that offers free or discounted parking while on your cruise and off site reduced rate lots near the airport.

Don’t overlook Tampa when considering your cruise options.

Feel free to leave comments!

Start Planning Your Vacation Today!
Email: JEGTravels@gmail.com
Phone: 352.556.4437

Friday, June 24, 2011


Feeling like you just don’t have the cash to take the kids to Disney World or on a 7 night cruise this year? Try day trips!

Gas is $3.50 and dropping. We have been conditioned to see that as cheap! Take the kids on pre-planned daily excursions. You can take one day trip a week or take one whole week and go to a new place each day.

If you are within driving distance to a beach, kids love the beach. You can also try a computer search and see what pops up in your area. You may have to drive an hour or two but try to find something you have not done before.

If you live near a major city, visit the Little Italy area or Chinatown. Immerse your family in another culture for a day. Visit local museums in your area. Many have kids’ science centers where they will have hands on fun and possibly learn something.

Even going to the movies on a hot afternoon can be a fun time for the kids.

It will be memorable for your family and it won’t break the bank! Go plan it now, just Google your hometown and see what fun places pop up in the search!

Feel free to leave comments!

Start Planning Your Vacation Today!
Email: JEGTravels@gmail.com
Phone: 352.556.4437

Friday, June 17, 2011

Disney's Fall Food and Wine Festival 2011

This just in from the Walt Disney World Food Blog....

New Menu Items for the Fall Food and Wine Festival

Hawaii Booth

Kalua Pork Slider with Sweet and Sour Dole Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayonnaise
Tuna Poke with Seaweed Salad and Lotus Root Chips
Seven Tiki Mai Tai
Kona Longboard
Pipeline beer

Caribbean Islands Booth

Ropa Vieja (Braised Beef) with White Rice
Jerk spiced Chicken Drumstick with Mango Salsa
Frozen Dragon Berry Colada
Frozen Rock Coconut Mojito

Portugal Booth

Calamari Salad with Olives and Smoked Paprika
Portugal Wine Bar

Scandinavia Booth (returning this year)

Swedish Meatballs with Lingon Berries
Xante Sunshine Cocktail made from Xante pear and Cognac Liqueur

Canada Booth (an old favorite)

Introducing: Apple Ice Wine as a new menu item this year

Looks like it will be another fantastic event! I will be there as many times as possible! I always enjoy the food and the concerts in the American Pavilion.

Feel free to leave comments!

Start Planning Your Vacation Today!
Email: JEGTravels@gmail.com
Phone: 352.556.4437

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Epcot's American Adventure Pavilion

While walking around the World Showcase recently I realized that so many times we skip over the American Pavilion. We were hot so we decided to visit the indoor show. We realized how under-rated this pavilion is, I decided to discuss it here to give you an idea of what you are missing.

I have a new slogan for Disney to use to promote the American Pavilion. "American Adventure Pavilion, at the very least stop by for the air conditioning."

This area has a lot to offer, celebrating American history and tradition.

The Liberty Inn is a great place to stop for lunch. They serve American Fare (no surprise there!)hamburgers, hot dogs and salads. While sitting in the open air seating you may hear the Fife and Drum Corp as they parade around the pavilion.

Stepping into the rotunda you will find quotes and paintings by famous Americans. Make sure to arrive a few minutes early for the show, you will enjoy spending time in the pavilion. There is much to see and do.

The Voices of Liberty is a group of singers dressed in colonial costumes that sing patriotic and folk songs in harmonized a capella. The acoustics are wonderful in the center of the rotunda! This is a do not miss performance.

Once the Voices of Liberty has completed their 10 minute show, you will enter the theatrical show. This inspiring show includes speeches by famous Americans such as Mark Twain and our founding fathers. The changing scenery and animatronic characters will amaze even the youngest visitors.
The open air American Gardens Theatre is home to many events during the year including The Candle Light Processional and concerts for the Flower and Garden Festival.

There is a gift shop (this is Disney after all) with American gifts. Here you will find copies of the Declaration of Independence, CDs and Disney toys.

The American Adventure is a great place to stop and cool off or catch your breath. Slow down your pace and enjoy!

Feel free to leave comments!

Start Planning Your Vacation Today!
Email: JEGTravels@gmail.com
Phone: 352.556.4437

Friday, June 10, 2011

Visiting the Jersey Shore

Jersey Shore Vacation

I returned to my roots, the Jersey Shore. No not the one with Snooki and The Situation. The peaceful, serene sand covered shoreline in Monmouth County. The weather has been unseasonably hot so I have been frequenting Asbury Park’s Fifth Avenue beach. The beach has been crowded on the weekends and almost empty on weekdays. The cost for a daily beach badge is $6 weekends and free on weekdays (for now) in late June they will also require a beach badge during the week.
The water has been very chilly, in the 60s, so I have done no more than put my toes in the water. There has generally been a nice breeze that keeps the heat at bay.
The boardwalk is open for the season with hot dogs, French fries and sugary snacks. Restauranst offer great fare in open air seating. The boardwalk and Asbury Park in general have popped back to life. There are several choices for dinner, lunch or snacks.
Stella Marina, Langosta Lounge and McCloone’s Supper Club offer a variety of upscale dining choices. We generally opt for the quick lunch at Mayfair Grill and Pucker. Pucker has great homemade lemonade and fresh “beach” fries.
There is no shortage of entertainment in Asbury. The Stone Pony still rocks the night away with contemporary bands and oldies like Peter Frampton and Southside Johnny. The pinball hall of fame offers all-you-can-play pinball for $10 a person. The best entertainment maybe just sitting on a bench and people watching, or if you are up to it, take a walk into Ocean Grove making sure to travel down the side streets to see the beautiful painted ladies, the restored Victorian homes.
I did venture away from the water a few times, visiting Red Bank and the famous Red Restaurant located on Broad Street. I enjoyed appetizers, cocktails and a great hangar steak dinner with old friends!
Don’t let those awful reality shows scare you away from vacationing in NJ. There’s plenty to do and you will never see Paulie D or Vinnie…hopefully!

Feel free to leave comments!

Start Planning Your Vacation Today!
Email: JEGTravels@gmail.com
Phone: 352.556.4437

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

NCL SUN 0001

Feel free to leave comments!

Start Planning Your Vacation Today!
Email: JEGTravels@gmail.com
Phone: 352.556.4437

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Norwegian Cruise Lines Sun

Norwegian Cruise Line’s

Ship Tour
February 26, 2011

Links (Click to view)

NCL has a new program called ‘Let’s Have Lunch”.  It’s a great program that allows travel agents to tour the ship and have lunch while it’s in port for the day.

 I picked up my friend Beth and we headed over to Port Canaveral, which is a 2.5 hour ride directly across Florida from my location.  We had no traffic so we arrived at the pier, parked and headed to the terminal a few minutes after 10am.  Security directed us to the ‘crew entrance’; it was nice they actually expected us! So many times I sign up for ship tours and when you arrive at the pier they are surprised to see you and have no idea where to send you.

With little delay we boarded the ship which had re-entered service one month ago after undergoing a multi-million dollar 12-day dry dock. The Freestyle Cruising ship received enhancements to its public areas, suites and restaurants. Following on the popularity of the Brazilian steakhouse that debuted on Norwegian Epic, the Moderno Churrascaria has been added as a new on-board restaurant. Guests can sample a variety of skewered meats presented by tableside passadors, as well as a salad bar. Additional updates and enhancements were made to some of the back-of-house areas of the ship to increase efficiencies.
We were greeted by Bruno Dentone part of the hospitality staff, who gave us permission to enter any cabins and take pictures as the ship was empty of passengers. We were to meet in 2 hours at the Seven Seas Dining room.
Beth and I decided to check out the Owners Suites on Deck 11. They were spacious as you would expect. The theme was upscale and comfortable.  The room was complete with
a cappuccino machine in the living room and champagne chilling in the bedroom.  The bathroom was huge by any cruise ship standards, it even had a full size Jacuzzi bathtub.

Since the forty travel agents were allowed to roam freely, we didn’t have the bottle neck of bodies all trying to see the same stateroom.  We toured all classes of staterooms including balcony, ocean view and inside cabins. I was surprised at the size of the deluxe and superior inside staterooms, at 172 and 191 sq. feet each, they were larger than we had seen previously.

Within an hour we had seen the cabins and moved on to the public rooms just as the bells were sounding to announce the arrival of the guests. It was great fun to see the passengers giddy with excitement at the start of their week long cruise. 

We toured the public venues including the casino, lounges, eateries, spa, fitness center and theater.  The ship had the brand new feeling in all the public areas. It is nicely themed and relaxing. The restaurants were all very well themed and decorated to each category, whether it was an Italian, French or Brazilian restaurant.

We met for lunch in the main dining room, Seven Seas, which we enjoyed. We were served rib eye steak, salmon, lobster bisque, goat cheese and potato gratin, along with wine and a decadent chocolate cake.

After lunch we visited the Observation Lounge on deck 12, enjoyed meeting our Business Development Manager for a brief Q & A and then it was time to disembark. This was the hardest part of the day! We were tempted sail as stow-a-ways for the week!

Here is some background on the Sun
78,000 Tons
848 length
195 beam
1936 passengers (double occupancy)
950 crew

Home port is Port Canaveral October to April 2011 and 2012. Summers she sails in Europe.
Currently sailing Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises which can be combined for a 14 day back to back sailing experience.
State-of-the-art fitness center, a sports court, bars and lounges of all kinds, pools, hot tubs, kid’s centers, teen discos and more are all on board and included in your cruise fare.

There are several options for dining that do not require an up charge. These restaurants offer great food and as always are a great choice.  They are:
Four Seasons Main Dining Room
Garden Café Buffet
Great Outdoor Café
Las Ramblas Tapas Bar and Restaurant
Seven Seas Main Dining Room
Four Seas Dining Room
Room Service

If you are celebrating a special occasion during your cruise you may like trying one of the upscale dining options. These require an up charge (listed) and reservations.  They are:
East Meets West Steakhouse $25 pp    

East Meets West Steakhouse Photos and Highlights
East Meets West Steakhouse
Where the exotic meets the familiar in a fusion of Pan Asian Cuisine. A "Pick Your own Lobster" tank is a good example of just how fresh the ingredients are here. Rumor has it the Tempura Chocolate Cake is delish.

Ginza Sushi $15 pp
Il Adagio Italian Restaurant $10 pp
Le Bistro French Restaurant $20 pp
Moderno Churrascaria~Brazilian Steakhouse $20 pp
Teppanyaki $25 pp

Feel free to leave comments!

Start Planning Your Vacation Today!
Email: JEGTravels@gmail.com
Phone: 352.556.4437

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kilimanjaro Safari

Here is a short video of our safari in Animal Kingdom.

Feel free to leave comments!

Start Planning Your Vacation Today!
Email: JEGTravels@gmail.com
Phone: 352.556.4437

Feel free to leave comments!

Start Planning Your Vacation Today!
Email: JEGTravels@gmail.com
Phone: 352.556.4437

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Animal Kingdom Festival of the Lion King

Festival of the Lion King, a high energy tribal celebration with music, dance and audience participation, is located in Camp Minnie Mickey.

Show times vary by date and time of year; check your Time Guide for the showings on your visit.  The show runs for 30 minutes. It is suggested that you arrive 30 minutes prior to the start of the show.  Please don’t be those people who arrive as the show is starting and traipse through the theater to get to your seat.

This is the best show in Walt Disney World by far! Finding Nemo is great too.

Feel free to leave comments!

Start Planning Your Vacation Today!
Email: JEGTravels@gmail.com
Phone: 352.556.4437

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

ESPN The Weekend at Disney's Hollywood Studios March 3-6, 2011

ESPN The Weekend at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Catch some of your favorite ESPN shows and over 35 star athletes and ESPN on air personalities at Disney's Hollywood Studios for ESPN The Weekend. March 3-6, 2011. You also catch some spring training games while you are there.

Here is a full list of who will be on hand that weekend.

Get full details here.

Start Planning Your Vacation Today!
Email: JEGTravels@gmail.com
Phone: 352.556.4437

Disney’s Magical Express ~ How it works~

Disney’s Magical Express ~ How it works~

Disney’s Magical Express, is complimentary roundtrip airport transportation and luggage delivery for Guests of Walt Disney World Resort hotels. 

Arriving at Orlando Airport
Upon landing at Orlando International Airport, skip baggage claim and proceed to the Disney's Magical Express Welcome Center in the Main Terminal Building, B side, Level 1.

Disney's Magical Express service will collect your luggage and deliver it directly to your Walt Disney World hotel room within 3 hours after you check in at the resort. Luggage delivery service provided by Disney's Magical Express is available for flights arriving between 5:00 am and 10:00 pm daily. For airport arrivals after 10:00 pm, Guests may collect their luggage at Baggage Claim and transport it with them on the motor coach. 

Make sure to pack a ‘carry-on’ bag with anything you will need prior to the delivery of your bags, such as, medicine, sun block, etc.  If your flight is arriving in the evening and you are not sure you will have your bags in time for bed, pack some pjs and toiletries in the carry-on bag. If you prefer to collect your own bags, you can do that too! Grab your bags and head to the Magical Express Welcome Center.
International Guests flying into Orlando International Airport from another country must follow the U.S. Customs and Border Protection process and claim luggage after disembarking the plane. After completing the process, proceed to the Disney's Magical Express Welcome Center in the Main Terminal Building, B side, Level 1. Disney's Magical Express service will recollect your luggage and deliver it directly to your Walt Disney World hotel room within 4 hours after you check in at the resort.
Departing Disney World
As your vacation draws to a close; you'll receive a Transportation Notice advising you of the pick-up time and place for your motor coach ride back to Orlando International Airport. Please note that it is your responsibility to bring your luggage to the pick-up point.
Please note that you cannot reserve the luggage service exclusively. You must be present on the motor coach to have your luggage transported to a Walt Disney World hotel.

Resort Airline Check-In Service
If you're departing domestically on a designated airline, enjoy the convenience of our Resort Airline Check-in Service, which allows you to receive your return boarding pass and check luggage at your Walt Disney World hotel, bypassing airport check-in completely.

Simply visit the Resort Airline Check-In Desk located at your Walt Disney World hotel at least 3 hours prior to your flight departure time. A valid government issued photo I.D. and your hotel room key are required to participate.

Resort Airline Check-In Service is available with the following airline carriers:
Alaska Airlines
American Airlines
Continental Airlines
Delta Air Lines
JetBlue Airways
Southwest Airlines
United Airlines
US Airways

Feel free to leave comments!

Start Planning Your Vacation Today!
Email: JEGTravels@gmail.com
Phone: 352.556.4437

HGTV to sponsor Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

There is a new sponsor for the International Flower and Garden Festival! HGTV is going to be sponsoring the event for the first time ever. Hosts from various different shows are going to appear and hold presentations. The line up includes:

Genevieve Gorder, HGTV Design Star and Dear Genevieve (March 4-6)
The Art of Sculpting Space

Lisa LaPorta, Designed to Sell (March 11 – 13)
Design It Yourself: Easy-to-follow Tips for Designing Your Favorite Rooms

Kim Myles, Myles of Style (March 18 – 20)
The 5 DIY Secrets That Can Transform Any Space

Brian Patrick Flynn, Design Happens, HGTV.com (March 25-27)
Mobile Gardens

Taniya Nayak, Designed to Sell and Destination Design (April 1-3)
Adding Value to Your Home Without Breaking the Bank

Ahmed Hassan, Yard Crashers (April 8-10)
Life, Love and Landscaping

Patti Moreno, Garden Girl, HGTV.com (April 15-17)
Gardening with Kids: Fun Seed Starting Projects

Michele Beschen, B. Original (April 22-24)
When Nature Calls: Creative, Back-to-Basics Style for All Things Natural and Decorative

John Gidding, Curb Appeal: The Block (April 29-30, May 1)
The Design Process: Curb Appeal Projects from Concept to Construction

Frank Fontana, Design on a Dime (May 6-8)
Beautiful on a Budget: High Style, Low-Cost Secrets to Bringing Indoor Styling Outside

Vern Yip, HGTV Design Star (May 13-15)
Top Design Trends Made Affordable and Accessible

Follow this link (below) for more information.

Feel free to leave comments!

Start Planning Your Vacation Today!
Email: JEGTravels@gmail.com
Phone: 352.556.4437

Thursday, February 10, 2011

NCL Freestyle Dash! Onboard Credit Up to $250, Reduced Deposits and Up to Four Category Upgrades Free!

Norwegians Freestyle Dash
February 15-18, 2011

Savings this good can’t last, so act fast!
By booking your NCL cruise during these dates you will receive 50% reduced deposit, plus up to $250 onboard credit, plus free upgrades!

Offer Details: Reduced Deposit plus Up to $250 Onboard Credit* per stateroom
*Onboard credit amount based on cruise length and category:
OBC Per Stateroom
Cruise Length
Deluxe Balcony/
Garden Villa
3-5 Day sailings
6+ Day sailings

Freestyle Dash offer combinable with existing Free Upgrades for All offers below:
  • Up to a 4-category Upgrade
  • Free Balcony Upgrade for Fall Caribbean (includes Norwegian Epic Free Mini Suite Upgrade) + Fall Bahamas & Florida + Fall 3 & 4 Day Bahamas
  • Free Mini Suite Upgrade for Europe selected Norwegian Jade & Norwegian Epic sailings
  • Electronic Coupon Book worth over $400 for ship(s)/sailing(s) embarking on or before 12/31/2012, delivered with e-documents
Contact us today to get in on these deals!

Feel free to leave comments!

Start Planning Your Vacation Today!
Email: JEGTravels@gmail.com
Phone: 352.556.4437

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Aaron Rodgers Super Bowl MVP at Magic Kingdom

Moments after leading his team to victory in Super Bowl XLV MVP Aaron Rodgers looked into the camera and answered the age old question “Hey Aaron Rodgers you and the Green Bay Packers just won the Super Bowl, what are you going to do next?” He uttered those famous words “I’m going to Disney World!”

Less than 15 hours later he was sitting in a red convertible Chevrolet Camaro with football star Mickey Mouse by his side with all the Disney fanfare.  Cheese heads were in abundance, on the warm February day, cheering loudly after waiting hours for the delayed parade to pass their way.

Aaron seemed a bit sheepish with all the attention. I am sure he was tired with the whirlwind that had spun up since the win the night before. Later Monday he was on David Letterman in NYC.

In speaking those five words Aaron joined the ranks of 25 years worth of other MVPs who also visited Magic Kingdom for their victory parades. That commercial plug is an iconic moment after the game that causes everyone to remember their childhood days of hearing that phrase and thinking or possibly uttering out loud “I wish I was going to Disney World too!”

Feel free to leave comments!

Start Planning Your Vacation Today!
Email: JEGTravels@gmail.com
Phone: 352.556.4437

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cruise Line Enhanced Private Islands

Cruise Line Enhanced Private Islands

Most large cruise lines, offering cruises in the Caribbean, have one or more private beach areas or whole islands to cater to their cruise passengers.  Is it an effort to keep passengers safely segregated from the perils of foreign travel or an effort to keep more of the profits from shore side visits for themselves? 

Carnival Corporation has invested millions of dollars into private guest areas in Grand Turk Cruise Center (Turks and Caicos) and Mahogany Bay Cruise Center (Roatan Honduras); spending $62 million in Mahogany Bay alone.  Cruisers may exit the Cruise Center areas and visit the island but some report being discouraged by high cost taxi’s at the Cruise Centers or by having to leave the Cruise Center grounds to hire a taxi.

Pros and Cons for private islands
The islands are owned by the cruise lines and are for the exclusive use of their guests during their visit. The islands are not crowded so each guest can relax in their own private slice of paradise. Whether you are there for adventure or relaxation, these private islands offer everything you need for a day in paradise, shimmering turquoise waters, glistening white sandy beaches,  chair side delivery of the drink of the day, sports, snorkeling, jet skiing,  zip lines, shopping at ‘authentic’ markets and food galore. On the private island the food is generally supplied by the cruise line and free to the passengers. The newer Cruise Center require a trip to Margaritaville, seaside bar or restaurant for food and drinks, which are not free.
Due to private islands’ exclusive nature, most cruisers do not feel the true Caribbean culture except the limited interactions permitted by the cruise line. Passengers are sheltered from many aspects of the island’s culture such as local cooking, language, and social activities.  By not participating in such activities the passengers are not adding to the islands economy by  purchasing food, beverages, tours and souvenirs’ from the locals. I think this is an important part of visiting other countries. Give back to the people of that island by eating in their restaurants and purchasing their goods.
On the other hand, being on a private island, cruise lines have the upper hand at security and cleanliness.  Staff on the island is predominately from the ship, allowing only select locals to participate in the experience. The islands are swept clean of most litter and storm debris before passengers set foot off the ship.
All this being said; I love being pampered on the private islands but I also make a point to spend time with locals when visiting other ports of call. I have a meal at a local restaurant or stand; I try not to visit the gigantic chain restaurants or stores.
Safety is the most important factor when visiting any port of call, listen to that little voice in your head if it says danger, go elsewhere.  Your number one priority is to stay safe w hen you travel.  Check the US Governments website for travel safety updates                      Click here--->State Department Travel Warnings

The following cruise lines have private islands for their guests:
Castaway Cay, Bahamas - Disney Cruise Line
Half Moon Cay, Bahamas - Holland America Line
Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas - Norwegian Cruise Line
Princess Cays, Bahamas - Princess Cruises
CocoCay, Bahamas - Royal Caribbean
Labadee, Hispaniola - Royal Caribbean
Cayo Levantado, Dominican Republic-MSC
Catalina Island, Dominican Republic-Costa Cruises

The following cruise lines have private areas for their guests:

Mahogany Bay Cruise Center, Roatan Honduras- Carnival Corporation
Grand Turk Cruise Center, Turks and Caicos-Carnival Corporation

Do you like private cruise destinations? We would like to hear from you!

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Start Planning Your Vacation Today!
Email: JEGTravels@gmail.com
Phone: 352.556.4437

Mahogany Bay Cruise Center Roatan Honduras

Isla Roatan’s New Mahogany Bay Cruise Center

In the ongoing tug of war over amenities offered by the cruise lines, Carnival has unveiled, Mahogany Bay Cruise Center (MBCC) a $62 million dollar cruise center on the Honduran island of Roatan. The MBCC, which opened in December 2009, covers 10 private acres with 825 feet of pristine white sand beach with a beach volleyball court and many water sports opportunities. Cabanas are also available for rent.

Unique to MBCC is The “Magical Flying Beach Chair” which takes guests on a six-minute ride over the lush landscape, providing not only convenient beach access but breath taking views of the island and surrounding waters. All-day passes for the beach chair lift are $5 per person. Those preferring to walk can take an elevated pathway to the beach.

“The Mahogany Bay Cruise Center not only serves as a gateway to one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful islands but is also a destination unto itself, with a magnificent white-sand beach and a wide range of shops, restaurants and shore excursion opportunities,” said Giora Israel, senior vice president of port and destination development for Carnival Corporation.

MBCC has berths for two ships and has over 200 ship call days, bringing over 500,000 visitors to its sun-drenched sandy shore each year.

Feel free to leave comments!

Start Planning Your Vacation Today!
Email: JEGTravels@gmail.com
Phone: 352.556.4437