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More Countries Requiring Travel Insurance

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.

Written by R. D’Ambrosio

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NEWS: Pete Larson Earns Adventurist Certification from UnCruise Adventures

For Immediate Release

Peter Larson at River Cruise Guru Earns Adventurist Certification From

UnCruise Adventures

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

www.JollyMonVacations.com                   www.RiverCruiseGuru.com 

Email:  pete@jollymonvacations.com or pete@rivercruiseguru.com

Phone:  218.779.3050

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UnCruise Adventures in Alaska

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About UnCruise Adventures

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.

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AmaWaterways building Europe's largest river cruise ship

The AmaMagna, will be the same length, height and draft as the line’s other vessels, but at 22 meters it will be twice as wide, allowing for larger cabins — most about 300 square feet — with a capacity for 194 passengers (40 more than Crystal Mozart).

Its width also means it will be the only ship docked in ports that allow two-deep berthing.

The new ship will feature ocean-style cabins, multiple dining venues (including outdoor dining), an elevator that goes all the way to the top of the ship, a heated top-deck pool and hot tub with bar, expanded entertainment and spa offerings and a water sports platform with zodiacs, canoes and other recreational equipment.

A model of the AmaMagna, a ship that will be twice as wide a current ships. Photo Credit: Jeri Clausing

The ship will be green, using propulsion that’s a hybrid of diesel and electric engines. In total, there will be 10 small engines, with just four used for propulsion. If more power is needed, electric ones will be used.

Construction began on March 6 at Vahali’s headquarters in Belgrade, Serbia. When the hull is completed, the vessel will be finished at the company’s facility in Holland. Because its size will prohibit it from being towed directly to Holland by tugboat, it will instead be taken by freighter via the Black Sea.

Pete Larson, CTC, LS, DS

Certified River Cruise Specialist

www.RiverCruiseGuru.com

pete@rivercruiseguru.com

218.779.3050

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Emerald Waterways new "Deposit Protection Plan"

Emerald Waterways currently has non-refundable and non-transferrable deposits. (same as most other river cruise lines)

To allow some flexibility for our guests, they are now offering a Deposit Protection Plan.

What is this NEW Deposit Protection Plan?

The Deposit Protection Plan (DPP) is a form of coverage offered by Emerald Waterways that protects the deposit amount paid on an Emerald Waterways cruise.

To participate in this program, the cost is $125/pp USD and must be paid with the deposit on the Deposit Due Date.

The Deposit Protection Plan is non-refundable and non-transferrable and cannot be added past the Deposit Due Date. The DPP also only covers Cruise or Tour deposit, it DOES NOT cover Air deposits.

How it works:

When guests choose to cancel or change their cruise departure date for any reason prior to the final payment due date as per the terms and  conditions, the value of the Deposit Protection Plan paid will be charged as a fee.

Additionally, any third-party supplier fees incurred by us (i.e components provided by third parties such as, but not limited to, hotels) will be subtracted from the deposit amount and we will credit the remainder towards an alternative cruise. This must be booked within 24 months of the cancellation.

If guests do not book within the 24-month period advised, the deposit amount held on file will be forfeited.

The DPP does not, nor does it intend to, replace travel insurance. Emerald Waterways highly recommends all guests purchase travel insurance prior to leaving for their vacation.

If a guest declines the DPP at the time of booking, this will be noted on their reservation and will not be allowed to be added after the Deposit Due Date.

Cancellations:

If guests who have purchased the DPP cancel after final payment due date, the Deposit Protection Plan is no longer valid. Their standard cancellation policy will apply to cancellations made after final payment due date. The cancellation fees will be advised by the Cancellations Team after cancellation in writing is received.

Guests who cancel prior to the final payment due date but have NOT taken out the Deposit Protection Plan than the deposit remains non-refundable and non-transferrable.

For more information, contact your Emerald Waterways Specialist, Pete Larson.

Pete Larson, CTC, DS, LS

River Cruise Specialist

www.RiverCruiseGuru.com

pete@rivercruiseguru.com

1-218-779-3050

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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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New Margaritaville All-Inclusive Resorts

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

Jolly Mon Vacations  …destination anywhere.

www.JollyMonVacations.com

www.RiverCruiseGuru.com

Phone or text:  218-779-3050

“LIKE” us on Facebook!

 

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American Airlines Basic Economy Fares

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)aa

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.

pete@jollymonvacations.com

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Travel Leaders Network

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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.

The merger will be effective Jan. 1, 2017.

Cheers to a great 2017…and beyond!

Pete Larson, CTC, LS, DS

Certified Travel Consultant, Lifestyle Specialist, Destination Specialist

218-779-3050

pete@jollymonvacations.com

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Meet Crystal River Cruises

Highlights of the newest river cruising brand, Crystal River Cruises

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Overview

From the regal cities of Amsterdam, Vienna, Budapest, Frankfurt, Paris, Bordeaux and Basel, explore the Danube, Rhine, Main, Moselle, Seine, Garonne and Dordogne rivers on Crystal River Cruises with gorgeous, ever-changing panoramas of enchanting villages and lush landscapes. In-depth explorations and overnight stays in the heart of Europe’s cities and towns provide a vibrant and memorable experience.

The hallmarks of the Crystal brand – service, space, quality and choices – usher in a new era in European river exploration with Crystal River Yachts. With its signature All-Inclusive philosophy, Crystal offers an encompassing luxury experience: butler service for every suite; six-star service and truly exceptional food; unique Crystal Adventures that deliver memorable destination experiences – all working in synch to transpose the World’s Best Ocean Cruising to the World’s Best River Cruising. Crystal will redefine luxury river cruising.

All-Inclusive Crystal River Cruises

Complimentary All-Inclusive Luxuries aboard Crystal River Cruises

  • Gratuities included for all shipboard staff throughout the River Yacht including housekeeping, bar, dining staff and butlers.
  • All meals included, featuring Crystal’s innovative and acclaimed six-star cuisine, highlighted by regional specialties
  • Unlimited soft drinks and premium beverages including champagne, fine wine and spirits throughout the River Yacht
  • All soft drinks, beer and bottled water in-suite
  • 24-hour self-service pantry featuring specialty coffees, teas, wines and nonalcoholic beverages
  • 24-hour room service
  • 24-hour Wi-Fi access (via satellite) including free Wi-Fi/Internet usage of 60 minutes per person, per day.
  • State-of-the-art interactive TV system including in-suite movies on demand, extensive music library
  • Complimentary airport transfers to/from river yacht to airport. All transfers will be group transfers by motor coach on embarkation and debark days only:

– Airport/River Yacht – Transfers will operate between 8am and 6pm on embarkation day. Actual service times may  vary depending on local traffic conditions and guests’ arrival schedules.
– River Yacht /Airport – Transfers will operate until at least 12 noon on the day of disembarkation. Actual service times may vary depending on local traffic conditions and guests’ departure schedules.

Onboard entertainment and enrichment programs

  • Destination-focused entertainment and enrichment program, including onboard lecture series
  • Destination expert on each voyage
  • Regional affairs experts on many voyages
  • Daily yoga and fitness classes
  • Daily choice of electronic international newspapers
  • Self-service guest laundry
  • Choice of complimentary curated Crystal Adventures shore excursions in every port
  • Complimentary culinary experience at highly renowned local establishments on many sailings
  • Complimentary Nordic walking poles
  • Complimentary audio headphones on all organized Crystal Adventures

Dining

  • A la carte, buffet and early risers breakfast offerings
  • Multiple dining venues
  • Open seating dining
  • Crystal Casual dress code
  • European sourced and trained chefs and hotel staff

Shipboard Public Spaces

  • Hydraulic Sun-Deck Bar
  • Fitness Center with state-of-the-art TechnoGym equipment and dedicated yoga area
  • Massage services
  • Library
  • Non-smoking environment in all indoor spaces (Except Connoisseur Club on Crystal Mozart)
  • Onboard currency exchange – shipboard currency Euros

Suites

  • Twice daily housekeeping services including evening turndown service
  • In-suite hors d’oeuvres
  • Individual climate control
  • Flat-screen TV in each suite
  • English-speaking and international TV stations
  • Butler service for each suite

Contact River Cruise Guru today for more information and COMPLIMENTARY ASSISTANCE! No booking fees, lowest price possible. We are with you every step of the way.

River Cruises are my Specialty!

CERTIFIED RIVER CRUISE SPECIALIST!

www.RiverCruiseGuru.com

Pete Larson, CTC, DS, LS

218-779-3050

pete@rivercruiseguru.com

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Are You Using All Your Vacation Days?

Americans are taking less and less time off from work these days. They actually earn time off and aren’t using it all.

Vacation not only gets you away from the job, it purges the mind and refreshes the soul. Vacations can reduce your stress and anxiety. They promote your well being and can improve your health.

Family vacations can be fun, educational promote bonding and create life-long memories. Couples can revive their love for each other without distractions. Celebrate a birthday, a milestone, an anniversary, a honeymoon or an event. Getaway just to relax and Remove yourself from your everyday life.

Are you using all your vacation days? I can help you with that.

Pete Larson, CTC,DS, LS

www.jollymonvacations.com 

Email: pete@jollymonvacations.com

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Why I love CIE Tours

For tours of Ireland and the United Kingdom, I love to recommend CIE Tours. I’ve personally toured with CIE on itineraries covering Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland.

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An escorted coach tour with CIE Tours can be a great way to cover a lot of ground and see the main sites people crave. Great drivers, guides, food, coaches, hotels make it all seamless.

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For people that like to see a lot on a vacation, this is the way to do it. You will see and do a lot. If you are looking for a relaxing vacation with no schedule…this may not be for you. But, CIE does offer SELF DRIVE tours where you can do the driving and set your own schedule.

Many options and choices to be had. The beauty of these countries is amazing. The history of these countries is incredible. An unforgetable experience awaits you. All you need is someone to set you up with the itinerary that fits your travel style. That’s where we come in. We are trained and experienced in these tours and our assistance comes to you for FREE!

Contact us today to get started on your long awaited trip to Ireland and the U.K. We help you every step of the way. We are certified Ireland and Scotland Experts!

Pete Larson, CTC, DS, LS

Owner, Jolly Mon Vacations & River Cruise Guru

pete@jollymonvacations.com

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Passport Card

WHAT IS A PASSPORT CARD, EXACTLY?
It’s a wallet-sized plastic card (think the size of a driver’s license) that was “designed for the specific needs of northern and southern U.S. border communities with residents that cross the border frequently by land.” It’s been in production since July 14, 2008. Each passport card is valid for the same amount of time as a passport: ten years for adults, and five years for minors under age 16.

WHERE CAN I USE IT?
A passport card only applies to land or sea travel to certain locations internationally, which is noted on the back of the card. More specifically, it can be used when entering the U.S. from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. Despite some confusion on the part of airport employees, passport cards cannot be used for international travel by air, which means that while you may get through security in one airport, it’s unlikely you’ll slide through without issue everywhere you go.

Also of note: Some Caribbean nations—including Guadeloupe, Martinique, Barbados, St. Barts, and St. Martin—do not accept the passport card for entry into their country, so should you be traveling there by ship, confirm with your cruise line ahead of time what documents you need.

Jolly Mon Vacations will assist you with your passport and visa questions when we do your planning.

Contact:

Pete Larson, CTC

Certified Travel Consultant

pete@jollymonvacations.com

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Why Use a Travel Agent?

In the age of DIY and Google, here is why you still need a travel agent:

You’re Tired of Wasting Time:

Ever been down the overwhelming rabbit hole of researching a vacation?

Save time and go with an expert who has been trained in your destination.

You’ll cut through the junk and get what you want.

You’re Tired of the Fine Print:

I’ve seen those online deals. “$99 Flights to Europe! All inclusives At $5 A Day!”

Read closer and they aren’t what they seem. A skilled travel agent can help

you decipher the clues. Is that a direct flight, or will you have a three-leg 25

hour journey? Are transfers included? Is that resort under construction?

Is the beach filled with seaweed? Ask a travel agent and you’ll know.

You’re Tired of Buyers Remorse:

Have you ever clicked “buy now” and then immediately felt anxious? Don’t settle

for wondering if you’ve done the right thing. Travel agents have endless resources

at their fingertips to answer any question you might have. Trust me, we’ve heard it all.

Agents network and share resources. If we don’t know an answer, we will find someone who does.

I recently read a quote that I love: “What’s the difference between a travel agent

and the internet? A travel agent can talk back.” The best part of my job is asking

questions. A good travel agent won’t make blind recommendations.

A good travel agent will ask questions, dig in for detail and really understand

what works best for you and your family.

Your vacation days and travel dollars are precious, so why put your faith

in a faceless, nameless website? You deserve expert advice and value for your dollar.

Go retro and use a travel agent.

www.JollyMonVacations.com

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Larson of Jolly Mon Vacations Earns CTC

NEWSBRIEF:

Larson of Jolly Mon Vacations Earns CTC

Peter Larson, owner of Jolly Mon Vacations in Grand Forks, ND, has recently earned the Certified Travel Counselor (CTC) designation from The Travel Institute. This designation is awarded by The Travel Institute to travel professionals who complete a comprehensive, exam-based training program, demonstrate extensive industry knowledge and experience, and exemplify the highest standards of professionalism.

Pete Larson, CTC, has been a travel agent for 6 years and specializes in resort and river cruise vacations. Larson said, “I match clients to the right vacation experience without charging extra fees. Earning this elite CTC status demonstrates my commitment to clients who will now be better served by my increased knowledge and skills.”

Jolly Mon Vacations specializes in all-inclusive resort vacations and river cruises. We cater to both local and international customers.

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Pete Larson, CTC, DS, LS

Owner, Jolly Mon Vacations & River Cruise Guru

pete@jollymonvacations.com

218-779-3050

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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

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-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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Sandals LaSource Grenada Resort Review

I’ve just returned from a week-long vacation in Grenada, “The Spice Island.” What a beautiful country full of warm and caring people! They are so welcoming to Americans. They love Ronald Reagan! They say, ‘he gave them back their freedom.’ (remember the invasion back in 1983?) They love us for it.

This new Sandals LaSource Resort sits right next to the Maurice Bishop International Airport and is a very short shuttle ride. The steep entrance drive is quite a fun ride during arrival. Upon arrival, you are let off at an open-air (tiny and unimpressive) lobby for check-in. If you have booked a CLUB LEVEL or BUTLER category room, you are escorted into the nearby, air-conditioned Club Sandals area for a private, more comfortable check-in process. Butler guests will be taken to their rooms for check-in. (how ‘suite’ is that!)

We had a Club Level Room in the Pink Gin Village. It’s a beautiful, beachfront building nearest the ocean. From our room we had beautiful, sweeping views of the ocean, pool area and beach. We were in the Penthouse, which is fancy for….third floor. With a vaulted ceiling and the best oceanfront view…it was worth the walk up the stairs.

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Sandals LaSource Grenada, Our view from the room.

The food and restaurants are great. We loved the French restaurant, Le Jardinier, the best. The service was stellar and the food delicious. No reservations were needed at this resort with the exception of Butch’s Chophouse and the Japanese Teppanyaki restaurant. Both of those were very good as well. Lobster was out of season, so shrimp was served in it’s place, at Butch’s, for the ‘Surf & Turf’ that’s very popular. “Doggies” is a new addition, it’s a hot dog cart with all the trimmings. Open for about 3 hours per day around lunch time and parked outside The Living Room. Delicious and a great addition. The buffet and Mediterranean restaurants were good as well. I don’t care for buffets and this one doesn’t have any seating that’s air conditioned. Indoor seating is quite warm and so is the outdoor seating. I preferred eating elsewhere because of it. Don’t forget the great ice cream in the Cafe! (try the Nutmeg ice cream!)

Swim-up Bar, night time
Swim-up Bar, night time

Drinks abound at this high-end all-inclusive resort. The Living Room was a popular evening hangout with nightly entertainment and fun. It’s a covered, yet open-sided area with a bar and fun ‘living room’ style furnishings. We could hear the nightly music right from our room nearby. The main pool has a swim-up bar that was popular day and night. The main beer served was Caribe, which is very good. The Tipsy Turtle Pub had many other selections as well.

Sky Pool Butler Suite
Sky Pool Butler Suite

Service was great for the most part…expected at Sandals. Love that no-tipping policy, which takes a lot of stress away. The only problem we had was with the room stewards. A few nights, they didn’t get to our rooms for service…either day or night-time turn-down. On the flip side…the concierge at Club Sandals were AWESOME! They will bend over backwards to make your stay perfect. Well done! I can’t say enough times how getting at a minumum….a CLUB SANDALS LEVEL ROOM! (entry level rooms don’t have concierge and a whole lot more!) If you take nothing else away from this blog today….take that tip! CLUB LEVEL or BUTLER ONLY! So worth it.

The beach is very nice. Not an overly long stretch, but more cove-like. White & black sand with clear water. Not overly wavy either. Nice trampolines anchored in the bay to relax on. If you walk down past the Watersports area…you can walk off-property down the beach for quite a ways. Some very cool rock formations down there…very photo-worthy! You can also see the capital city of St. George’s down the coast. (lit up nicely at night) Lots of lounge chairs and even with those ‘chair hogs that tend to get up early and throw their stuff on chairs to never return’…won’t spoil it. Lots to choose from. Lots of hammocks as well. Drink service is also available…although spotty sometimes.

Off-property beach
Off-property beach

Entertainment was good. Loved the crew’s talent performances and beach party. White Night was fun as well. I don’t go to these resorts for entertainment…so many nights we skipped it. My favorite night-time activity is to find a nice, dark beach lounger near the ocean and listen to the waves lapping the shore while watching the stars and lights of the city. Nothing more relaxing than that. Make sure you protect yourself, as sand fleas can be pesky and they bite leaving some marks! (bug repellent)

We did one excursion (Island Routes) tour. It was the half day city tour. Very informative and fun. When we got to the marketplace, some guides kind of force themselves upon you. The driver said to ignore them, but after awhile…let him guide us around. He taught us many things about his people and country. He also expedited us to the stores with items we were searching for. Of course, he wanted a bunch of money at the end of the tour…but we tipped him $40 and felt it was worth it. (although, I didn’t like his ‘non-consent’ way of getting us to follow him) Lots of fresh spices and local items in the city markets. Bargaining is the way here, but I often times gave them what they asked…and they were genuinely grateful. The view from Fort Frederick is amazing!

Grenada from Ft. Frederick
Grenada from Ft. Frederick

All in all…it was an another AWESOME SANDALS VACATION. Most flights arrive quite late into Grenada. We arrived at 8:30 PM and were at the resort eating dinner by 10:00 PM. Some opt to stay in a local hotel the first night since they arrive so late, as it’s more cost effective than wasting most of your first day while traveling.

We are certified SANDALS SPECIALISTS! We know these properties very well, and have been to most of them. Sandals prices are the same, no matter where you purchase them from…SO WHY NOT LET US BOOK YOU? YOU’LL GAIN OUR FREE HELP AND EXPERIENCE at no extra cost! We know the best resorts for you, the best room levels, best views, best beaches, best pools, best excursions.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT SANDALS RESORTS HERE:  Sandals Resorts

Pete Larson, CTC, DS, LS

Certified Travel Counselor and Sandals Specialist

www.JollyMonVacations.com

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Sandals Resorts

Sandals Lasource

Why do I believe in Sandals Resorts? Because they believe in Travel Agents!

Sandals ensures we are highly trained in their products through annual certification workshops. Sandals levels the playing field when it comes to pricing. They have a “no discounting” policy, so you can’t find a lower price online than you can get from us!

They support us in many other ways as well. No other resort, cruise line or vacation product provides the kind of support that Sandals and Beaches Resorts does. None.

Their all-inclusive product is easy to sell…because they include everything! Other resorts just pale in comparison in the value you receive from Sandals. The closer you look…the better they look.

What’s the difference between Sandals and Beaches Resorts?

Sandals is for couples and Beaches is for all others. (couples, kids, singles, families) Many of the same high quality amenities are available at both. Why not check them out by contacting us today?

We are CERTIFIED SANDALS SPECIALISTS! OUR RESORT PLANNING IS FREE!

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Free vacation help? YES! No fees, no catches…contact us today!

Pete Larson, CTC, DS, LS

Certified Sandals Specialist
Jolly Mon Vacations

www.JollyMonVacations.com

pete@jollymonvacations.com

218-779-3050

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From Castles to Cafés: Uniworld’s 2016 Themed Cruises

Uniworld  Boutique River Cruises is proud to offer themed cruises in 2016 that highlight unique aspects of European culture, as well as family-friendly cruises that allow guests to share the gift of travel with their children or grandchildren.

Uniworld’s themed cruises:

  • Our NEW Monarch Collection cruises showcase the finer aspects of European royalty.
  • The NEW Connoisseur Collection cruises take your clients on a culinary adventure through France. Good food, wine and friend…what else do you need?
  • Holiday Season cruises introduce travelers to the magic of Europe at Christmas. It’s no secret that Europe’s Christmas Markets rank among our very favorite river cruises to take each year. The combination of Holiday spirit and old-world charm makes visiting Europe in late November and early December a delight, particularly given that the summer crowds that clog streets, museums and attractions have long since dispersed.
  • Finally, our award-winning Multi-generational Family-Friendly program includes more itineraries and departures than ever before…50% off cruise fare for ages 4-18! Family-friendly shore excursions will keep everyone thrilled. A great bonding experience for the whole family.

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Uniworld Cruises are ALL-INCLUSIVE! Look what’s included in our up-front pricing:

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Contact us for more details!

  • We specialize in RIVER CRUISING.
  • We are certified by the cruise lines and have sailed on the rivers first-hand!
  • Expert advice and NO FEES!
  • We’ll get you the best possible price and value on a cruise that is RIGHT FOR YOU!
  • Anyone can book a cruise…but our experience and knowledge will find you a cruise that matches your travel style.

Pete Larson, CTA, DS, LS

Certified River Cruise Specialist

Owner/River Cruise Guru

www.RiverCruiseGuru.com

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