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.
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!
IATAN (International Airlines Travel Agent Network) promotes professionalism and administers meaningful and impartial business standards to travel industry professionals. IATAN accreditation is voluntary, and means that a travel business consciously works to assure you, its customer, of its legitimacy and commitment to the travel profession.
IATAN accreditation tells you that Jolly Mon Vacations is a serious, reputable, business professional and seller of travel. Jolly Mon Vacations is an IATAN Travel Sales Intermediary (TSI) agency. Our IATAN number can be found in the IATAN database by cruise lines, airlines and hotels worldwide.
IATAN accredited agencies must demonstrate that:
it has staff devoted to the affairs of the business, who have managerial skills and discretion
the business is a valid legal entity and has appropriate business bank accounts
it can produce letters of reference from national or international travel industry suppliers or from national travel associations
its Website and advertisements show how customers can contact the business
it complies with relevant Federal, state, county and local laws
it has no pending or unresolved complaints at state or local consumer affairs office
as part of the accreditation process, agencies must demonstrate revenue consistent with being a significant travel business.
As tourism grows, so have the medical costs in many countries that have had to cover vacationers using healthcare services while visiting.
As a result, an increasing number of countries are making travel insurance compulsory, a requirement for a tourist to even enter their borders.
A recent report noted how 15 of the 26 Schengen nations (a combination of European Union countries and independent nations like Iceland, Norway and Switzerland) currently require some type of insurance for visitors, students and expats.
Additionally, Cuba, Ecuador, Qatar, Russia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the U.S. are requiring the same. On Aug. 28, 2018, Egypt announced its plans to introduce mandatory compulsory insurance; and Thailand is currently undergoing a debate on mandatory travel insurance for visiting tourists.
According to the report, in many countries, “travelers are asked to show proof of medical or hospitalization coverage before they can enter.” Visitors who can’t provide proof of travel insurance may be required to either purchase a policy on-site or be denied entry into the country.
Peter Larson at River Cruise Guru Earns Adventurist Certification From
Grand Forks, ND, May 2017 – Pete Larson, owner of River Cruise Guru and Jolly Mon Vacations completed a specialized training program and is now certified as an Adventurist with UnCruise Adventures. The line offers adventure cruises aboard boutique yachts and small ships in Southeast Alaska, Hawaiian Islands, Mexico’s Sea of Cortés, Columbia & Snake Rivers, coastal Washington, British Columbia, Costa Rica, Panamá, and Galápagos Islands.
To join the Adventurist Club, travel agents participate in a series of online tutorials and pass an online exam. The Adventurist program details the nuances of UnCruise Adventures’ inclusive small ship adventure and river cruises along with destination information.
“We commend travel agents who take the time to complete the certification program,” said Tim Jacox, president and COO at UnCruise Adventures. “By becoming a specialist, agents have the expertise to paint a clear picture of our small-group adventures for their clients.”
UnCruise Adventures offers an alternative to traditional cruising by taking travelers into areas that are not accessible to larger ships and on activities that focus on the wilderness, wildlife and culture in each destination. Seven adventure vessels offer opportunities for outdoor activities including kayaking, hiking, snorkeling, skiff explorations, stand-up paddle-boarding and whale watching. One replica coastal steamer offers river cruising with an eye on history and included shoreside tours to points of historical interest.
Pete Larson is a Certified Travel Counselor & River Cruise Specialist
UnCruise Adventures’ yachts and small ships carry 22-88 guests on voyages in Alaska, Hawaiian Islands, Mexico’s Sea of Cortés, Columbia & Snake Rivers, coastal Washington, British Columbia, Costa Rica, Panamá and the Galápagos Islands. Un-Cruise Adventures, under the parent company of InnerSea Discoveries Alaska Inc., is a member of Trusted Adventures, dedicated to the highest standards of small-group travel and to giving back to the places visited.
Karisma Hotels & Resorts and Margaritaville have announced a partnership to develop a collection of all-inclusive Margaritaville resorts.
The new Margaritaville, an All-Inclusive Experience, by Karisma will be Margaritaville’s entry into the all-inclusive resort market.
The collection will comprise new-build beachfront resorts in tropical destinations, including the Caribbean and Mexico, that will combine Karisma’s award-winning all-inclusive service and experiences with some of the signature elements of the global brand inspired by iconic singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett. (my Hero!)
While it’s unclear where the first resort is slated to break ground, it will happen later this year with a opening planned for 2018.
“Our partnership with Margaritaville allows us to introduce a collection of new casual luxury resorts set in stunning tropical destinations,” said the Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Karisma’s exclusive representative, Premier Worldwide Marketing, Mandy Chomat in a statement. “Karisma’s expertise in delivering elevated all-inclusive concepts around the world makes this partnership a perfect fit.”
In her own statement, Margaritaville’s chief marketing officer Tamara Baldanza-Dekker called the partnership “a match made in paradise.”
Karisma currently owns and operates more than two dozen properties throughout Mexico, Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe and aims to have 30 up and running around the world by 2020.
Source: Travel Pulse
Pete Larson, CTC, DS, LS
Certified Travel Counselor & River Cruise Specialist
American announced it will begin selling Basic Economy fares beginning Feb. 10 in select markets, with expansion to additional markets later this year.(same as United Airlines did last year)
Here’s what you will get with American’s new Basic Economy fare:
* The same in-flight experience that all Main Cabin customers receive, including free entertainment options, soft drinks, and snacks, and the same seats.
* Frequent flyer miles. With a catch. Full AAdvantage miles and Elite Qualifying Dollars may be earned when purchasing these fares, but only one-half Elite Qualifying Mile will be earned per mile flown, and one-half Elite Qualifying Segment per segment flown.
Here’s what you won’t get:
* Seat assignments are made automatically and only when customers check in. Paid seat assignments can be purchased 48 hours before the flight.
* Upgrades are not permitted no matter what level your frequent flyer status us.
* Early boarding? Nope. Basic Economy customers will comprise the last boarding group and will be seated in the Main Cabin. Elite customers and eligible AAdvantage credit card members will continue to receive Priority or preferred boarding even when purchasing this fare.
* Tickets are non-refundable, non-changeable. Use it or lose it. No same-day flight change or same-day standby.
* Of course, the carry-on. One personal carry-on item that fits under the seat (such as a purse or small backpack) is allowed. No overhead bin luggage may be brought on board. Everything else must be checked, for a fee.
Elite customers and eligible AAdvantage credit card members will be allowed to bring one personal item, one rollerboard, and they maintain their current free checked bag allowance.
Contact us today for free assistance with your vacation plans.
Jolly Mon Vacations and River Cruise Guru are proud to be affiliated with the brand new Travel Leaders Network!
Travel Leaders Network — one powerful force to help us compete even more effectively for the hearts and minds of the traveling public.
As the largest seller of luxury travel, cruises, river cruises and tours in the travel agency industry, we will have unparalleled and cohesive strength within the greater travel industry.
Vacation.com, the largest travel agency consortium; Travel Leaders Associates (also known as Travel Leaders Franchise Group), a leading agency franchise group; and Results! Travel, a smaller franchise group, will be merged to form a mega-travel agency group with nearly 7,000 locations, 35,000 individual agencies and $17 billion in annual sales, including $6.5 billion in cruise and tour sales alone.
Jolly Mon Vacations and River Cruise Guru has just undergone a website makeover!
We are about to launch the new site within days. Putting the finishing touches on the new photo gallery and then we’ll go LIVE.
We’ve updated both the look, functionality and content. We’ve also added in a tab to get to our BLOG here. We are excited and look forward to hearing your comments.
Stay tuned for more info. You can find the site at: www.JollyMonVacations.com
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Pete Larson, CTA, DS, LS
Certified Travel Associate
Owner, Jolly Mon Vacations / River Cruise Guru