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Top 5 River Cruise Questions

Viking Prestige

I’ve been assisting travelers with river cruises for nearly 10 years now. Here are the most popular questions I get asked:

First up – “How do I get the best deal on a river cruise?”

Early booking usually offers the best discounts and promotions. By early, I mean at least 9 months to nearly 1.5 years out. Some cruise lines run what I call a ‘deceptive marketing strategy’, so beware. If you see, “2 for 1” pricing and such…just know that’s really not true. You really have to compare the ending price for everything you need with each cruise offer. Mark my words, if they offer “FREE AIR” or “FREE” anything…it’s not really free, it’s just worked into the pricing. This is where our shopping skills come into play and many times we can offer things not available to the public. Did you figure that into your value?

2. Why should I go through you instead of booking online myself?

Chances are, you have researched a little about river cruising already. Does that mean you are an expert? No, just better informed. We are CERTIFIED by the cruise lines themselves in their brands. We know the cruise lines, the ships, the differences, the itineraries, the rivers, the inclusions, the ports, the tours and much more. We’ve been on the different rivers and cruise lines ourselves. We are not ‘middlemen.’ We do not charge you for our services, the cruise lines pay us. You win! You get our experience, training, and assistance at no extra cost. In fact, we will very likely SAVE YOU MONEY! (and a lot of headaches) A river cruise is a big investment, don’t throw your money up for chance and hope things work out in your favor.

3. What is the best time of year to river cruise?

That depends on your interests and a few other things. Do you like cooler weather or do you like it hot? Popular options for warm weather will surely be summer months in both Europe and the USA. Do you like better value? Do you like cooler weather? Maybe a Spring or Autumn cruise is best for you. Pricing is down in the ‘shoulder’ seasons and the weather is a bit cooler as well. Crowds start to thin out as well. And, of course you can visit the world-famous Christmas Markets in the winter. (think Germany/Austria and the like) So, depending on your likes…seasonal changes can make a big difference on what you see and how warm the weather will be.

4. Do I need a passport or visa to river cruise?

It depends on where you were born and what country you are visiting. For most US citizens, you will simply need a valid passport in countries like Germany, France, Hungary, Austria, The Netherlands. If you cruise in Vietnam, China or Russia you will likely need visas as well. No worries, we assist you with these things to assure things go smoothly and you have the proper documentation to travel. Remember, you can river cruise in the USA without a passport or visa if you are a citizen of the USA!

5. What are the most popular places to river cruise?

The Danube River through Germany, Austria and Hungary is about the most popular. Usually between Nuremberg, Germany and Budapest, Hungary for equal parts beautiful vineyards, ancient cities and multiple countries. You can also do the Eastern Europe run from Budapest to Bucharest on the same river.

The Rhine River is also very popular, between Amsterdam and down into Basel, Switzerland. These cruises will start in either of those cities and cruise through The Netherlands, Germany, France and Switzerland. Many castles in the Rhine Gorge to see and the river cruises into the Black Forest.

France has a few popular options, with Paris/Normandy itineraries on The Seine River, as well as both South of France rivers and even in the Western Bordeaux region. Military buffs will love the northern route to Normandy to see the beaches and cemeteries while wine aficionados will love the other regions. Foodies, head to the South of France for the best in cuisine.

U.S.A has some great options on The Mississippi River with many options on rivers to the East. In the Western USA, you can cruise the beautiful Columbia River on the Washington/Oregon border through the fantastic Columbia River Gorge. You can cruise on new-build, modern ships or cruise replicas of the days gone by on a paddlewheeler or steamboat! I’ve done them both and they are very unique. Some theme cruises are wine-focused, where they visit the many vineyards in the area or history-focused showcasing the days gone by.

River Cruise Guru
Contact me today! pete@rivercruiseguru.com

Pete Larson, CTC, DS, LS

Certified River Cruise Specialist

RiverCruiseGuru.com

Contact: pete@rivercruiseguru.com

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Caribbean Group Cruise 2019 a Success!

Thanks to all those that went on our fabulous group cruise this winter. It was great to have so many new cruises along! You can now see why we all get addicted to traveling and having others along makes for even more fun.

We started out in Galveston, Texas. Most of the group shared a rented beach house for two nights prior to the cruise.

We boarded Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas and cruised for 7 nights with port stops at Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Jamaica. The ship was enormous, the staff was stellar and the food was great. We had two large tables in the dining room for our group and had an outstanding waitstaff to take care of us.

Liberty of the Seas in port next to Brilliance of the Seas

The beaches of Cozumel, Mexico

I’m in the beginning stages of putting together a group cruise for winter 2020 right now. Please contact me if you are interested in joining us next year. Stay tuned for the announcement!

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Allegiant Honors Military Discount

Allegiant Military & Veteran Discount

Allegiant Air proudly supports our U.S. active duty military, military veterans, members of the National Guard, military reserve and their dependents by offering select free services.

Qualifying military personnel and their spouses or dependents, with valid identification, are eligible for the following discounts on Allegiant:

Free services offered for U.S. active duty or reserve duty and National Guard:

  • Up to three (3) pieces of checked baggage free. Each bag must weigh under 100 lbs.
  • No charge for oversized checked baggage.
  • One (1) carry-on bag within Allegiant size limits, free.
  • Free boarding pass printing at the airport.
  • Free seat assignments, pending availability.
  • Up to one (1) pet in cabin free.
  • Active military may board with priority boarding at no charge.
  • Active military will not be charged a change or cancelation fee due to a change in orders.
    (To change or cancel an existing reservation active military personnel must contact Customer Care.)

U.S. active duty or reserve duty and National Guard requirements:

  • Must serve in any United States branch of military service and have qualifying identification.
  • Must be active personnel; this includes ‘leaves’ while on active duty such as weekend passes, transitioning from one base to another, or temporary duty.
  • Must show valid active military identification (Uniformed Services ID Card).

Free services offered for U.S. military veterans and spouses or dependents of U.S. active duty or reserve military, and National Guard:

  • Up to three (3) pieces of checked baggage free. Each bag must weigh under 40 lbs.
  • No charge for oversized checked baggage.
  • One (1) carry-on bag within Allegiant size limits free.
  • Free boarding pass printing at the airport.
  • Free seat assignments, pending availability.
  • Up to one (1) pet in cabin free.

U.S. military veterans and spouses or dependents of U.S. active duty or reserve military, and National Guard requirements:

  • Must show valid credentials.
  • Veterans must show one (1) form of valid military identification, including:
    • A State Driver’s License which displays a logo or code that denotes military service
    • A Veteran ID Card
    • DD Form 214
  • Dependents must show a Military Dependent ID Card
  • Please note: Dependents do not have to travel with the active military personnel.

* All optional items and services will be added to your itinerary at the airport

Jolly Mon Vacations can book your Allegiant Air/Hotel packages. (however, we do not book air-only. Must include hotel)

Contact Me at: pete@jollymonvacations.com for further information.

Jolly Mon Vacations is a proud Veteran Owned business

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Emerald Waterways New River Ships

The fifth in the Emerald Waterways’ Star Ship fleet, the 186-guest Emerald Destiny includes the line’s indoor balcony in most cabins, complete with decked area and an open-air system as well as a swimming pool and cinema on the ship’s aft. It is one of three Emerald Star Ships to be launched this year, bringing the total fleet to seven. Emerald Liberté, which will sail the Saône and Rhône rivers in France, will launch in April. The Liberté can host 138 guests and offers all the same amenities as the Destiny, including the swimming pool and cinema. Emerald Radiance, which carries only 112 passengers, will traverse Portugal’s Douro River and will launch in May.

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Here is Pete “River Cruise Guru” onboard Emerald Star on the Danube River

Contact Pete today for free assistance with your river cruise!

  • Pete Larson, CTC, LS, DS
  • Certified River Cruise Specialist
  • www.RiverCruiseGuru.com
  • Email:  pete@rivercruiseguru.com
  • Call:  1-218-779-3050

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Brought to you by RIVER CRUISE GURU www.RiverCruiseGuru.com

 

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Ireland & Scotland await you!

So, you’ve always dreamed about seeing Ireland and Scotland, but thought it was too much of a hassle planning it all? I’ve got the perfect solution for you!

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This is me at the Cliff’s of Moher, 2015.

Join our fully escorted tour and leave the planning and driving to a professional. We have group space reserved on a luxury motorcoach that will take you across both of these awesome countries. Transportation, hotels, most meals, admission to attractions, cruises, ferries and much more included. We have 22 seats of our 30 reserved, so act fast!

Contact Pete:  pete@jollymonvacations.com for more details.

ESCORTED SCOTLAND & IRELAND TOUR with CIE Tours

    -Our price is nearly $500 cheaper than direct online pricing!

CIE Tours, Scottish & Irish Dream
May 13, 2016, to May 26, 2016

2016ScottishAndIrishDream14Day

-Begins in Glasgow, Scotland, ending in Dublin, Ireland.

-Jolly Mon Vacations has 30 seats reserved and 20 are now sold! (10 seats left!)

Price:  $2,965 per person, double occupancy. (land only)

-Going alone? No problem, just pay an additional $605 single supplement.

-Airfare additional.

Tour Includes:
-Sightseeing by luxury coach
-Professional tour director
-13 nights in hotels listed
-Full breakfast daily (B) except on day 1
-9 dinners (D) including
– Scottish Evening in Edinburgh
– Merry Ploughboy Pub dinner and traditional show
– Bunratty Castle Medieval Banquet
– 6 table d’hote dinners
-2 lunches (L)
-Welcome get-together drink
-Tours of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dublin
-Loch Lomond scenic cruise
-Ferries to Isle of Skye, from Scotland to Ireland and across the River Shannon
-Blair Athol Distillery whisky tasting and tour
-Sheepdog trials in Scotland and Ireland
-Galway tour and Connemara Marble Factory tea with scones
-Dublin open-top bus tour with a visit to Guinness Storehouse or General Post Office
-Visits and admissions to Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Inveraray Castle, Clan Donald Centre at Armadale Castle,   Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre,Blair Castle, Glamis Castle, St Andrews, Edinburgh Castle, Titanic Belfast, Dublin Castle, Blarney Castle, Blarney Woollen Mills, Skellig Experience and Cliffs of Moher
-Headsets for walking tours
-Deluxe carry-on backpack, ticket wallet, luggage tags & strap
-All local taxes, hotel service charges & porterage for one suitcase per person
-Free Wi-Fi on coaches and in hotel lobbies

All it takes is a $250 per person deposit to reserve your seat!

Contact us today to grab this fantastic deal or get more information! Can’t make this date? No problem, we can find the perfect itinerary for your dates.

-Ask for our tour flyer with the day-to-day itinerary.

Email – pete@jollymonvacations.com

Call -​218-779-3050

www.JollyMonVacations.com

Check out CIE TOURS award winning tours, but let us do the booking for you. We’ll save you money and offer valuable advice you won’t get elsewhere.

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Unique Wine Cruises from AMA Waterways

Unique Wine Cruises
An AmaWaterways wine cruise is designed to provide travelers with immersive experiences related to the destinations they are visiting. Like all of our cruises, guests have the opportunity to join tours and activities that highlight the sights in each port of call. In addition to these city tours, your trip is amplified with exclusive excursions that reveal more about Europe’s famed wine regions, local epicurean traditions, winemaking, and of course, tastings.

Each cruise is hosted by a qualified wine expert, who usually brings hand-selected wines on board. Some wines come from the expert’s own winery and other varieties are sourced from local vineyards located along the cruise itinerary. This expert will recommend food and wine pairings, lead discussions and even hold special tastings during your cruise.

Guests enjoy a number of tours at local vineyards and wineries, where vintners and growers will not only walk you through the winemaking process – they will give you a taste of their special varieties, too. These authentic encounters add to the rich tapestry of local culture, making for memorable experiences for wine enthusiasts and dabblers alike. Your taste buds are in for even more excitement in our sophisticated dining venues on board, where our expert chefs pair fine wines with award-winning cuisine for the ultimate epicurean experience. It really is a flavor adventure unlike any other.

On our brand-new for 2016 Taste of Bordeaux wine cruise itinerary, you’ll enjoy many wine experiences – one of them being an authentic Sauternes tasting. Sauternes blends account for a very small amount of the wine production in Bordeaux, but they contain a great amount of flavor. These highly sought-after wines are made from various grape varieties, are available in many styles, and achieve a mouthwatering balance of sweet and tart. Their notes of rich honey, peach, apricot and nuts pair wonderfully with savory French cuisine.

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Contact your River Cruise Specialist today!

Pete Larson, CTA, DS, LS

Certified River Cruise Specialist & Owner, River Cruise Guru

We know river cruises! Our services are complimentary!

pete@rivercruiseguru.com

218-779-3050

www.facebook.com/rivercruiseguru

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2013 River Cruise News

viking-river-cruise
Scenic Tours
Scenic Tours has recently launched their USA program for 2014; unrivalled, five-star and all-inclusive with a fantastic new itinerary that has introduced Mississippi River Cruising.

Luxury cruise operator Scenic Cruises introduced its 2014 itineraries, focusing on the debut of two new ships and launch of five new itineraries focusing on historic European cities

European Waterways
is offering a $1,000 discount on six-night cruises on the eight-passenger Enchanté hotel barge on the Canal du Midi in France

Avalon Waterways
Avalon Waterways has announced that respected Jewish author and lecturer Inge Auerbacher will join their annual Jewish Heritage Cruise this October .

Avalon Waterways has cancelled its river cruises in Egypt through September, “given the current unstable situation in Cairo.

Viking
Viking Cruises has signed on as the official cruise line sponsor of The Hollywood Bowl for the 2013 concert season.

KfW IPEX-Bank has announced it is financing the construction of 10 river cruise vessels of the type Viking Longship Class for the Swiss shipping company Viking River Cruises

Viking River Cruises, the industry’s largest river cruise line, will tack in a new direction with ambitious plans to introduce a new ocean-going cruise line.

Tauck Tours
For the second time in three years, Tauck has been named the “World’s Best River Cruise Line” by the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine

Tauck said its two riverboats launching next year in Europe would have 57 percent more suites than its existing Jewel-class vessels. The new Savor and Inspire – the Inspiration class – will each have 22 suites measuring 300 square feet.

Tauck has announced a new 16-day land and sea exploration of Hong Kong, Vietnam and Singapore centered around an 11-day cruise aboard the new luxury small ship, Le Soléal.

Tauck is further extending its partnership with filmmaker Ken Burns with a new 11-day cultural exploration of the Mississippi River that is part of Tauck’s Ken Burns American Journeys collection

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises Uniworld Boutique River Cruises newest ship on Portugal’s Douro River, Queen Isabel, was named by Hollywood actress, L’Oreal spokes model, and philanthropist, Andie MacDowell, in Porto, Portugal.

In 2014, Uniworld will expand their services and amenities to include unlimited fine wine, beer, and spirits, and all gratuities for all onboard and onshore services, including pre- and post-cruise extensions.

AmaWaterwaysAmaWaterays and its Portuguese partner DouroAzul christened its newest ship, the AmaVida, with actress Sharon Stone.

AmaWaterways has released its full 2014 Europe, Russia, Africa and Southeast Asia brochure that includes details on two new vessels-the 164-passenger AmaSonata and AmaReina.

Contact us for our free e-newsletter or comments!
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Contact us today for FREE river cruise assistance at:

218-779-3050

pete@rivercruiseguru.com

http://www.RiverCruiseGuru.com

http://www.facebook.com/rivercruiseguru

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AMAWATERWAYS UNVEILS “WHAT’S NEW” FOR 2013-2014

Amabella
Amabella

River cruise line announces new ships, programs, pricing, amenities, marketing materials and more
Contact us today, we are certified River Cruise Specialists available to you at NO FEE! www.RiverCruiseGuru.com

CHATSWORTH, CA – (Jan. 22, 2013) – Family-owned and operated river cruise line AmaWaterways today announced a robust list of new developments for its 2013 and 2014 seasons, including new pricing, itineraries, discounts, ships, amenities, land programs, theme cruises and marketing tools.

New 2014 Pricing, Itineraries & Discounts: Prices and itineraries for 2014 cruises are now available online.

New Ships: AmaWaterways will debut two new ships in Amsterdam and Portugal in 2013. The 164-passenger AmaPrima (sister ship to the AmaCerto) will make its maiden voyage on April 3, 2013 in Amsterdam, with a special christening celebration Aug. 6, 2013. The 106-passenger AmaVida will make its debut on March 26, 2013 in Porto, Portugal. The AmaPrima will service 10 itineraries: Tulip Time Cruise, Melodies of the Danube, The Romantic Danube, Blue Danube Discovery, The Legendary Danube, Magnificent Europe, Grand Danube Cruise, Black Sea Voyage, Great Capitals & Vintages of the Danube, and Christmas Time Cruise. The AmaVida will service four itineraries on the Douro River: Port Wine & Flamenco, Enticing Douro, Impressions of France & Portugal and Classic Port Wines & Charming Quintas.

The AmaSonata and AmaReina (sister ships to the AmaCerto) will debut in Europe in 2014. These deluxe 164-passenger ships will feature Twin Balcony Staterooms and Suites, Chaîne des Rôtisseurs culinary creations, complimentary fine wine and beer at lunch and dinner, multiple dining venues, a heated pool with swim-up bar, massage and beauty salon, fitness center, free in-room Internet and Infotainment, and a fleet of bicycles for guests to borrow and enjoy. The AmaSonata will travel the Danube and Rhine Rivers on seven itineraries: Tulip Time Cruise, Melodies of the Danube, The Romantic Danube, Blue Danube Discovery, The Legendary Danube, Magnificent Europe and Christmas Time Cruise. The AmaReina will serve The Enchanting Rhine seven-night itinerary.

New Amenities: Starting in 2013, AmaWaterways offers complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks with dinner and lunch on its European fleet (except for the AmaVida and AmaKatarina).

New Land Programs: Starting in 2014, AmaWaterways will offer a second optional land extension on its “Provence & Spain” itinerary – two nights in Marseille, France.

New Theme Cruises: AmaWaterways has expanded its theme cruise options for both 2013 & 2014.

• “In Celebration of Wine” Cruises: (21 departures in 2013)

• Harvest Wine Cruises on Portugal’s Douro River (two departures in October 2013)

• Jewish Heritage Cruises on the Danube River (four departures in 2013)

• Tulips & Jazz Cruise aboard the AmaCerto on April 22, 2013 is produced by Jazzdagen Tours and features two complimentary onboard jazz performances every evening.

• Gourmet Cruise with celebrity chef Bob Blumer, who will bring his passion for food and cooking demonstrations to guests aboard the AmaVida in Portugal on October 22, 2013.

• Chocolate Connoisseurs Cruise (2014) on April 28, 2014 is a chocolate-themed “Romantic Danube” itinerary onboard the AmaCerto, featuring expert host Norman Love of Norman Love Confections, maker of artisanal, handcrafted gourmet chocolates.

To book a cruise, please contact our certified River Cruise Specialist or visit www.rivercruiseguru.com.
All our expertise and experience will not cost you a cent. NO FEES!

About AmaWaterways

Founded in 2002 by river cruise pioneers Rudi Schreiner, Kristin Karst and Jimmy Murphy, AmaWaterways is the premier river cruise line on Europe’s Danube, Douro, Main, Mosel, Seine, Rhine and Rhône rivers. Known for its custom-designed ships, extensive complimentary amenities and impeccable service, family-owned and -operated AmaWaterways consistently leads the way in river cruising. With itineraries in Europe, Russia, Africa, and S.E. Asia, AmaWaterways offers an enticing variety of authentic, in-depth experiences for the most discriminating travelers.

AmaWaterways’ European fleet includes the AmaSonata (2014); AmaReina (2014); AmaPrima (2013); AmaCerto (2012); AmaVerde (2011); AmaBella (2010); AmaLyra (2009); AmaDolce (2009); AmaCello (2008), AmaDante (2008); AmaLegro (2007) and the AmaDagio (2006). The line’s newest ships feature Twin Balcony Staterooms, multiple dining venues, complimentary in-room Internet and Infotainment, a heated swimming pool or whirlpool, plus many more unique design elements.

AmaWaterways’ separate and distinct AmaVoyages division operates the AmaVida (2013) in Portugal, the AmaLotus (2011) and La Marguerite (2009) in Vietnam and Cambodia, the AmaKatarina (2011) in Russia, and the Zambezi Queen (2009) in Africa.

Pete Larson
River Cruise Specialist
pete@rivercruiseguru.com
218-779-3050

www.RiverCruiseGuru.com
www.RiverCruiseGuru.com

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Scenic Cruises is Upgrading European Riverboats

Onboard Scenic Crystal...the first River Café by River Cruise Guru Onboard Scenic Crystal…the first River Café by River Cruise Guru[/caption]Scenic Cruises is spending $10 million to rebuild five “Space Ships” with the same features and specifications of its newest ships, the Scenic Crystal and soon-to-launch Scenic Jewel. The five ships undergoing work — Scenic Sapphire, Emerald, Diamond, Ruby and Pearl — are only 18 months to four years old. The Scenic Crystal entered service in April 2012, while the Scenic Jewel is due out this April.

The five ships will get a new casual eatery, the River Café, which is open all day. Portobello’s, the 30-seat Italian restaurant, has been upgraded, while the main restaurant has enhanced omelet and carver stations. Also added to the ships is Table La Rive, which will serve a six-course degustation menu.

Cabins (except those on Scenic Emerald) have been redone with new wallpaper, marble-desk tops and side tables, furniture, carpets and 32-inch Samsung HD TVs linked to MiniMac computers for in-cabin email and Internet. What’s more, the cabins will get the “Sun-Lounges,” which allow guests to convert their private balcony into an indoor lounge with the push of a button.

All Royal and Panorama Suites were expanded and rebuilt to Crystal/Jewel specifications. The lounge has a new upgraded bar done with marble, additional coffee machines, and more wine dispensers. The lobby areas also are renovated with new floors, reception desks, wallpaper, artwork and light fixtures. The ships will also get new carpet, curtains and designer furniture throughout. The ships also offer a number of technical upgrades including an upgraded Wi-Fi system using both Satellite and UMTS Mobile technology for faster speeds, and new equipment in the galleys, such as pizza ovens.

In 2013, Scenic Cruises offers unlimited complimentary beverages (top-shelf brands are additional), private butler service for every guest, 24-hour room service, new themed dinners with entertainment, a personal GPS guided tour system providing commentary on passing sites, and complimentary Wi-Fi. The GPS system is not available on Scenic Emerald in France.

FREE RIVER CRUISE PLANNING, BOOKING AND ADVICE!
Contact The River Cruise Guru! We are certified by the river cruise lines as
RIVER CRUISE SPECIALISTS!
Don’t settle for anything less! We will get you the best value and price available and we offer unbiased river cruise advice on cruise lines, ships and itineraries.

CONTACT US TODAY!
Phone (or text): 218-779-3050
email: pete@rivercruiseguru.com
Website: www.RiverCruiseGuru.com
facebook: www.facebook.com/rivercruiseguru

The River Cruise Guru is a specialty branch of Jolly Mon Vacations!
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All-inclusive resort vs cruise vacation prices

All-inclusive Resort
Jolly Mon Vacations is your ticket to savings this winter for your getaway.

“What will a week-long vacation to an all-inclusive resort cost me?”
Here are some prices for some one week getaways figured for two persons. Airfare is figured from Minneapolis, but can be purchased from most any gateway. Prices may vary greatly to deviate. There are a host of different resort and flight options but these were picked for best value and scheduling. Contact us for any specific requests or different resort options: pete@jollymonvacations.com

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A week in Cancun, Mexico that won’t break the bank!
• Roundtrip NON-STOP flights for two on Sun Country Airlines from Minneapolis to Cancun, Mexico.
• Roundtrip transfers from Cancun airport to the resort. 7 nights stay arriving February 2 at the 4-star Krystal Cancun Resort in a Deluxe room.
• Price: $1,432 per person total.
• $100 deposit at booking

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A week in laid-back Negril, Jamaica…just what the doctor ordered!
• Roundtrip flights for two on US Airways from Minneapolis to Montego Bay, Jamaica.
• Roundtrip transfers from Sangster International airport to the resort in Negril.
• 7 nights stay arriving February 2 at the 4-star RIU Negril Resort in a standard room.
• Price: $1,670 per person total.
• $1,263 deposit at booking, full payment due: 19DEC12.

RIU Negril all-inclusive resort
RIU Negril all-inclusive resort

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Sunning in Montego Bay, Jamaica this winter can be a reality!
• Roundtrip flights for two on United Airlines from Minneapolis to Montego Bay, Jamaica.
• Roundtrip transfers from Sangster International airport to the resort.
• 7 nights stay arriving February 3rd at the 3.5-star Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort in a Superior room. (thru Cyber Monday)
• Price: $1,371 per person total.
• $1,063 deposit at booking, full payment due: 20DEC12.

Holiday Inn  Sunspree Resort, Montego Bay, Jamaica

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Looking for something completely different? How about Costa Rica?
• Roundtrip NON-STOP flights for two on Sun Country Airlines from Minneapolis to Liberia, Costa Rica.
• Roundtrip transfers from Liberia airport to the resort.
• 7 nights stay arriving February 22nd at the 4.5-star RIU Guanacaste Resort in a standard room.
• Bonus: Complimentary city tour of Liberia. (4 hours)
• Price: $1,980 per person total.
• $100 deposit at booking, full payment due: 08JAN13.

RIU Guanacaste, Costa Rica

RIU Gaunacaste Pool area

RIU Guanacaste:
Where families, spa-lovers, active travelers and couples come for sun and luxurious sand, this inviting resort provides the perfect blend of service and smiles fronting Costa Rica’s warm Pacific Coast. Nestled amidst tropical palms and fragrant gardens, guests are treated to spacious guestrooms and suites featuring a regularly restocked in-room mini-bar and liquor dispenser; a pampering spa; fun-filled children’s amenities including a playground, activity club and pool; lighted tennis courts; a disco and 24-hour, all-inclusive restaurants and bars serving delicious cuisines ranging from Asian fare to a robust Steakhouse. Creating the perfect setting for unforgettable vacation experiences, this polished resort has something for every member of the family.

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How do these all-inclusive resort prices compare to a one week cruise vacation?

-Here is a sample of what a cruise vacation actually costs:
• Ship: Ruby Princess sailing from Ft. Lauderdale to the Eastern Caribbean:
• Feb 3, 2013 for 7 nights. (FLL-Princess Cays-St. Maarten-St.Thomas-Grand Turk)
• Category BE Balcony: $1,210 per person cruise-only double occupancy. *
• Hotel night prior: $100 per person with free airport shuttle.
• Dinner & breakfast prior to cruise: $30 per person.
• Transfers from hotel to ship and ship to airport: $25 per person.
• Roundtrip flights from MSP-FLL: $377 per person.
• Shipboard gratuities: $80.50 per person/week.
• Water, soda, juice, specialty coffee, beer, wine, alcohol: $175 per person/week.
• Baggage gratuities/misc. gratuities: $15 per person.
• Actual total cruise vacation price: $2,013 per person.
*All soda, specialty coffee, wine, beer, liquor and some juices are extra on cruises.
Mandatory gratuities are 15% extra on beverages. If you were to drink a bottle of water, one soda and three mixed drinks each day it would add more than $25 per day, per person or $175 per person for the week. (which is added above. Adjust this according to your drinking preferences)

We advocate flying in to the port city at least one night prior to your cruise so a flight delay won’t cause you to miss your ship. We’ve added this into the overall cost above.

All-inclusive resorts generally include some other activities and tours that will cost extra aboard a ship. Each resort is different in it’s inclusions so study them closely when comparing a specific resort Vs. cruise vacation.

Some resorts, like RIU above include free Wi-Fi . Aboard ship, you will pay a premium for internet service. Since everyone does not require Wi-Fi service, this fee has been omitted above. Please add these costs onto your trip if its something you require.

Call, text or email us today if you are interested in booking your next vacation at the lowest prices available.

IMPORTANT! These prices /quotes /offers are time-sensitive and capacity controlled. They were priced on 11/25/12 and prices can rise and fall daily. All pricing and/or promotions are subject to availability at the time of booking. All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise stated. Jolly Mon Vacations does not control these offers and cannot be held responsible for changes in price or terms.

Jolly Mon Vacations ALWAYS recommends that you purchase travel insurance. Travel insurance is not included in these prices but a personalized quote will be provided at request.

Jolly Mon Vacations
Call: 218.779.3050
Click: www.JollyMonVacations.com
Email: pete@jollymonvacations.com
Jolly Mon Vacations and its branch River Cruise Guru are owned and operated by Peter Larson.
The business is registered in the state of North Dakota, USA.

JMV Official Logomini

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Las Vegas Shows

These days the music is more rock than Rat Pack, the comedy a bit edgier and the extravaganzas more extravagant than ever, but one thing hasn’t changed: Las Vegas still makes a pretty good claim to the title “Entertainment Capital of the World.” It seems like there’s always something new going on, which is especially good news for repeat visitors, who consistently represent more than 80 percent of the city’s tourists year after year, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s annual Visitor Profile Studies. Here’s a sampling of what’s on the calendar for the remainder of 2012.

The Lion Roars: MGM Resorts International is bringing two more Cirque du Soleil spectaculars to Las Vegas with Zarkana taking the stage at Aria in October and Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL set to debut in the spring at Mandalay Bay. Four other Cirque productions, KÀ, Zumanity, “O” and The Beatles LOVE, are still going strong at the MGM Grand, New York-New York, Bellagio and The Mirage, respectively.

Another iconic troupe, Blue Man Group, is coming to MGM’s Monte Carlo in October with a show combining brand-new material with signature pieces that have made them audience favorites.

The Cosmopolitan Rocks Out: Thursdays Live at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas’ Boulevard Pool hosts an eclectic mix of up-and-coming bands along with resident DJ M!keAttack. Upcoming shows include Jane’s Addiction, September 7 (a special Friday show) and The Hives, September 13. Indoors, The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan welcomes Morrissey on November 23.

More Music: If your clients prefer their rock a little less alternative, there are several alternatives, including Rod Stewart and Elton John, who are returning to The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. Stewart has nine shows on select dates between September 19 and October 7. John debuts his all-new show, The Million Dollar Piano, October 10 with 15 subsequent performances through mid-November.

Latin music superstar Luis Miguel will play at The Colosseum during Mexican Independence Day weekend, September 13-15. And for a touch of old-school-is-hip-again, crooner Tony Bennett holds sway at Caesars on September 1.

For country music fans, Shania Twain does 10 shows at Caesars, December 1-15, while Garth Brooks performs his new one-man show at the intimate Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas, with 10 dates remaining between August 17 and November 17.

Comedy: For a good laugh, there is never any shortage of comedians in Las Vegas. For example, Tim Allen, Joan Rivers, David Spade and comedienne-in-residence Rita Rudner will be appearing on various dates at The Venetian through November. Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club at MGM Grand presents a weekly lineup of familiar funny folk and talented newcomers, with the Everybody Loves Raymond alumnus himself dropping by to entertain on select Saturday nights and a full week November 26-December 2. Carrot Top presents his unique blend of prop comedy and observational humor six shows a week at MGM’s Luxor.

For family-friendly fun, there’s Terry Fator: Ventriloquism in Concert at The Mirage. Fator, an America’s Got Talent winner, brings to life a cast of characters highlighted by celebrity singing impressions.

A Bit of Broadway: The new downtown Smith Center presents its Broadway Las Vegas Series. Wicked runs August 29-October 7, followed by The Addams Family November 20-25. Next Year’s shows include Anything Goes, West Side Story, Shrek the Musical, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Billy Elliot and Catch Me If You Can.

Book your Vegas trip with us!

pete@jollymonvacations.com

www.JollyMonVacations.com

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River Cruising: After booking comes the docs

Once your River Cruise Specialist has helped you choose your itinerary, finds a cruise line and ship that fits your style, books your hotels, transfers, air, insurance and everything is paid and in order…the waiting game begins. Watching that clock tick until that sail date FINALLY comes.

About two to three weeks prior to your cruise, most river cruise lines will send out your documents. In the cruising world, you’ll hear them simply referred to as….DOCS. What they are is mostly boarding documentation, ship information, itinerary, medical forms and other general information about where to go once you arrive in the port city. Depending on the cruise line, your document package could contain many different things.

Our documents have arrived from Scenic Cruises, a branch of Scenic Tours, which bills itself as a 5-Star Luxury All-inclusive river cruise line. Here is a picture of what Scenic Cruises delivered to us with our documents:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Two Scenic Tours backpacks with multiple compartments which will be great for excursions and tours.

-Two drawstring laundry bags for keeping the dirty clothes separtated.

-Zippered portfolio containing the docs, luggage tags, itinerary and medical forms.

-A handy full-colored guide book containing information on all the river areas our cruise will cover.

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are the docs you can expect for any basic river cruise. Read over them very carefully and follow the instructions contained in them.

Next up….

Packing:  If you’ve never packed for a cruise before, your travel agent can be your best friend. They know what you will need, what is not allowed, how to pack everything and what type of luggage restrictions you may face with air and cruise lines.

When traveling to foreign countries, there are things to think about like:

-What type of documentation, visas or passports will be required.

-Electrical differences: ensuring you have the right adapters and converters to power up and charge your devices.

-Currency differences: ensuring you know where to get local currency, how to get it and what to tell your bank before you leave.

-Where can I purchase additional tours or hotels for pre-cruise stays so you can explore.

-How to get the best airfare and insurance to cover all our expenses and medical.

-Are you traveling to a safe area and what you should do if trouble arises.

All this and much more can be found out from your travel agent and river cruise specialist! River Cruise Guru is a certified River Cruise Specialist. Our job is to assist you from start to finish, get you the best price and value possible and ensure your trip is a flawless as it can be…all for NO EXTRA FEES! That’s right…you won’t pay a dime extra for our expert services. Expert service for free…you can’t beat that deal!

Call or click today:

pete@rivercruiseguru.com

Call or text:  218-779-3050

www.RiverCruiseGuru.com

www.facebook.com/rivercruiseguru

Jolly Mon Vacations and River Cruise Guru

Pete Larson, President

www.RiverCruiseGuru.com

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SANDALS RESORTS OFFER COMPLIMENTARY RENEWAL OF VOWS CEREMONY

SANDALS RESORTS AND BEACHES RESORTS OFFER GUESTS

~ Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts Continue Helping Guests Celebrate Love ~

Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts are offering guests the chance to rekindle their love by providing an exclusive and intimate Renewal of Vows ceremony free of charge.  Couples who book a minimum six-night stay by January 27, 2012 for travel from September 4, 2012 through November 10, 2012, will have the opportunity to celebrate their marriage all over again at some of the most romantic places in the Caribbean.

Sandals Resorts’ and Beaches Resorts’ Renewal of Vows ceremonies are offered in a picturesque ceremony location dressed with a Beautiful Beginning wedding theme by Martha Stewart™ and include recorded musical accompaniment.  After receiving a renewal of vows certificate, the newly vowed husband and wife along with six guests can celebrate with a sparkling wine and chilled hors d’oeuvres reception.  The happy couple will then enjoy a second honeymoon dinner at a resort restaurant of their choice and a continental breakfast-in-bed the following morning.

The Renewal of Vows package also includes a personal consultant for the ceremony, a beautiful bouquet and boutonniere, a Renewal of Vows marriage officiate, two-tiered cake and one 5×7 second honeymoon photograph.  Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts make it easy for couples to say “I do” all over again in paradise.

As with all Luxury Included® Vacations, a stay at Sandals Resorts or Beaches Resorts offers more quality inclusions than any other resort company on the planet with superior accommodations, endless gourmet dining options, unlimited premium brand wine and spirits, nightly entertainment, watersports including snorkeling and scuba diving for certified divers and a myriad of other exclusive amenities.

Contact Pete your Certified Sandals Specialist today for your free vow ceremony and second honeymoon!

Phone:  218-779-3050

Email:  pete@jollymonvacations.com

Website:  www.JollyMonVacations.com

Website:  www.RiverCruiseGuru.com

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/jollymonvacations

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Cheapest Day of the Week to Fly?

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWJA3axnx0w&list=UUGsiWj-7vtFAx-Sj4OxN1tQ&index=3&feature=plcp]

Are you ready to find out the cheapest day of the week to take a flight?

Wednesday! It’s impossible to predict what the single cheapest day of the year to fly will be. Even if you could gauge data from previous years to determine which day offered the lowest prices for your particular route, there’s no telling that the same pattern would happen the following year. Travel experts generally agree on the cheapest travel day of the week. It’s Wednesday which draws, on average, the lowest fares. A site that tracks ticket prices from more than 500 airlines, reports that Wednesday offers the least expensive fares for U.S. and Canada flights.

What other days are usually cheaper to fly?
Tuesdays and Saturdays The next cheapest days of the week to fly are Tuesday and Saturday. Saturday might sound like a popular — hence expensive — day to fly. But in truth, most travelers prefer to come back from vacation on Sunday or even Monday. If you’re eyeing a Saturday flight, however, watch out for weekend surcharges, which some airlines tack onto ticket prices for Friday, Saturday and Sunday departures.
Ultimately, your best day to fly all depends on your airline. There are plenty of airfare sales that restrict discounted fly dates to Tuesdays and Wednesdays only (JetBlue, AirTran and Southwest) or Mondays through Thursdays. I’ve also seen those international fare sales that tack on weekend surcharges and require a Saturday night stay. Airline, seasonality, current demand and a barrage of other factors can completely overthrow the Wednesday-is-cheapest rule.

Another great cost saving measure is to bundle that flight with hotel or rental car. We have direct access to vendors that package and discount prices. Contact us today to get you on the road to savings!

Finding flights to domestic locations is pretty simple online yourself. If you are looking for International flights, I recommend that you contact us first to see if we can get flights cheaper through our consolidators. Often times we can save you money and get better flight options this way. Here at Jolly Mon Vacations we offer our service of tracking flight prices for you and buying when they drop to get you the savings. There is a small fee, but you will probably gain it back in our tracking-then-buying program. We strive to save you as much money as possible. We work for YOU.

Contact us today for more information:

pete@jollymonvacations.com

Phone:  218-779-3050 (feel free to text message this number anytime)

Visit our website to find out more information about our company:

www.JollyMonVacations.com

www.JollyMonVacations.mobi

www.RiverCruiseGuru.com

www.RiverCruiseGuru.mobi

            

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Comparing Airfares: What You Need to Know!

Comparing Airfares:  What You Need to Know!

By Pete Larson,

Travel Consultant,

Jolly Mon Vacations

The major airlines
are evolving constantly, and the way we buy airline tickets has changed in a
short time. The airlines have basically forced us to search down our own
information via a website and book online. Most will charge an extra fee to
book by phoning their call centers. The internet makes it pretty easy to search
down flights, but comparing them to find the best fares is becoming much
harder. They want travelers to act as their own travel agent, but rarely does
the traveler know the airlines, the marketing tricks, or the search techniques
of the well seasoned travel agent. This can lead to hurried decisions,
misinformation, huge unexpected expenses and spoiled vacations.

Travel consumers are
confused and airlines like it that way. Confusion turns into profit for the
companies when travelers spend more money than they expected to. Airlines are
making 100% of their profit by these ancillary fees. Airlines have the right to
make money, but it shouldn’t be done by withholding information that consumers
need to make choices.

Airlines don’t
disclose these fees until after you’ve fallen for a low fare. Sometimes this
isn’t until after you’ve bought your ticket. Trying to figure out these fees
beforehand is both time consuming and frustrating. They entice you with an
unbelievable deal only to add fees onto the price so it only ‘appears’ to be a
deal, duping customers into buying without knowing the FULL price. Quoted
airfares exclude many items that now cost extra. Extra fees are being charged
for baggage, but some airlines are charging extra for other things as well.
Fuel surcharges are ever-changing and some airlines have a fee for a seat
assignment of for priority boarding. You almost have to be an accountant to
figure out the true price of flying!  It’
s much more difficult these days to figure out which carrier has the lowest
price. Even when you find a low fare, the add-ons change that in a hurry.

Entire airlines have
vanished from some of the major airfare search engines. This makes comparing
individual airlines much harder when you have to jump from site to site.

Buying airfare or any travel is best done by relying  on a
professional. Travel is not a commodity, and cannot be purchased that way.
There are just too many variables to make comparison shopping easy. More and
more travelers are realizing that vacations are best when they are planned and
booked by a travel agent. We study the rules, know the airlines, visit the
resorts, sail on the ships, read the fine print and know what things should
cost.

Searching for travel
can be overwhelming these days. Information overload keeps people confused and
companies intentionally mislead you for a sale. That’s what you are to them….’a
sale.’ To Jolly Mon Vacations, you are a very important client. We work in YOUR
best interest, advise you on reliable choices, make sure everything is in order
so your vacation is stress free and enjoyable. With Jolly Mon Vacations…there
are no SURPRISE fees! For most all our services, there are no fees.

Contact us and we will get you started in the right direction.
We believe an educated traveler is a happy and safe traveler.

Email:  pete@jollymonvacations.com

Phone or text:  218-779-3050

www.JollyMonVacations.com

www.facebook.com/jollymonvacations

Twitter:  TheJollyMon

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New Nonstop Flights from Minneapolis, Milwaukee to Caribbean & Mexico

In response to increasing demand for nonstop flight service for the peak winter travel months, Funjet Vacations has just announced new nonstop charter and value flights from Minneapolis and Milwaukee to popular vacation destinations in the Caribbean and Mexico.

Destinations include Jamaica, Punta Cana, Cancun/Riviera Maya, Cozumel, Ixtapa and Puerto Vallarta from both Milwaukee and Minneapolis plus Los Cabos from Minneapolis.

These flights will operate seasonally for departures as early as December 18 on various dates through May 19, 2012 nonstop from Minneapolis via Sun Country Airlines and Milwaukee on AirTran Airways with morning departures and afternoon returns available.  All flights also include one free checked bag per passenger plus free XM Radio for travelers on AirTran Airways.

Travel Agents who book these nonstop value flights will also receive special instant savings of up to $150 off per reservation. Jolly Mon Vacations can further help you with more information and booking. As always, NO FEES! Our assistance and booking services are COMPLIMENTARY!

Contact Pete:  pete@jollymonvacations.com

Phone:  218-779-3050

www.JollyMonVacations.com

www.RiverCruiseGuru.com

www.facebook.com/jollymonvacations

www.twitter.com/thejollymon

www.twitter.com/rivercruiseguru

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River cruising—a better way to explore

River Cruising Europe

 

River cruising is, quite simply, the best way to travel through many of the world’s most fascinating places. Comfortable and convenient, it offers a greater variety of destinations than you could encounter any other way—and lets you get in-depth exposure to each region.

Both experienced and first-time travelers are discovering the joys of river cruising—and you can too! Take advantage of Viking River Cruise Lines Early Booking Discount and enjoy a river cruise or cruisetour through Europe, Russia, Ukraine, China or Egypt in 2011.

2011 Early Booking Discount


2-FOR-1 Cruise plus up to 2-FOR-1 Air!
~plus complimentary wine with dinner.

Contact pete@jollymonvacations.com , your River Cruise Specialist today!

Hurry Expires July 31, 2010

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Jolly Mon Vacations Prize Giveaway

Jolly Mon Vacations Prize Giveaway is in full swing. Become a fan of JMV on facebook and win! You can learn about vacations, get a price quote on your next trip, make new friends, or win a prize!

This months free t-shirt giveaway is in full swing. Certain FANS were given t-shirts simply for interacting on the page. Will you be next? You could be! Become a fan, and interact on the site by posting vacation pics, stories, videos, or making posts.

JMV’s for all your travel needs. Contact Pete at 218-779-3050 or pete@jollymonvacations.com today! (or text me!)

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NCL Cruise Sale!

Want to get in on the Freestyle Dash? Act fast because from March 23-26 Norwegian Cruise Line is offering 50% reduced deposit on every ship and every sailing, plus you’ll receive up to $250 on-board credit on select sailings. But, you’ve got to act quickly because once it’s over, it’s over.

Contact pete@jollymonvacations.com for more details.