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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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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!

NoFees

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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Scotland & Ireland CIE Tour

We just returned from a fabulous trip across Scotland and Ireland. We escorted a group of 16 from the Midwest and what a great group of people it turned out to be!

CIE coach on a comfort stop in Scotland
CIE coach on a comfort stop in Scotland

Here’s how it went down:

Jolly Mon Vacations blocked some space on a CIE Tour that many people seemed to like. We picked a date that was doable to most, which was just outside of the busy ‘tourist season’, but still had pretty fair weather. It ended up being May 1st to 11th on an adventure across three countries.

Jolly Mon Vacations took care of the booking, paperwork, payments and documents. We also booked everyone’s flights, transfers and even a pre-night hotel stay.

Everything went off without a glitch! Our group flew into Glasgow, Scotland on the same flight and transferred to the hotel together. This gave our bodies some time to adapt to the time difference and rest before the start of the tour the following day.

We toured big cities, small towns, the highlands, the country side and everything in between. We cruised by boat on the infamous Loch Ness and across the sea on a ferry boat. We cruised across the River Shannon and cruised the canals of Dublin.

The Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
The Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

We saw beauty everywhere:  castles, ruins, monastic sites, historic sites, farms, mountains, loughs, cliffs, waterfalls, bridges, National Parks and much more. We even stopped in the county my ancestors called home! We were immersed in the cultures of these places and experienced things we will never forget. This is the beauty of traveling by luxury coach.

Is this a relaxing vacation?

It can be. It’s a journey that takes you to places you won’t see any other way. From present day back to ancient times. There is a daily schedule and you will travel from place to place. Relaxing on the beach? Not going to happen. This is a different style of vacation. It’s comfortable but busy, inclusive and fun. This type of trip is much more about the journey AND the destination melted together as one. Your Tour Director is your Yoda and everything is taken care of for you.

You will make new friends and have some great bonding experiences. You will laugh together, dine together and enjoy the ride together. You will hug when the trip comes to an end and you will contact each other when its all over.

Jolly Mon Vacations exists to make thing easy for their clients. Seamless trips like this is what we do. Let us plan your next adventure, you won’t be disappointed that you missed something and no detail is left out. Contact us when you are ready to explore! We’ll make your dream a reality.

Pete Larson, CTC, DS, LS

Certified Travel Counselor, Destination Specialist, Lifestyle Specialist

www.JollyMonVacations.com

Email:  pete@jollymonvacations.com

218-779-3050

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5 – Tips to Save You Money on a River Cruise

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Pete on The Danube River

1.  Use a certified River Cruise Specialist! A specialist is highly trained in river cruises and has actually been on them before. They know the ins & outs of the different brands, inclusions, itineraries and much more. They can help you find the right cruise that fits your style and budget…saving you money. They know flight options, insurance, pre and post cruise stays, transportation, tours….you get the picture? You’ll pay the same or LESS than booking directly…and get MUCH BETTER ADVICE…all for free.

2.  BUY EARLY! When you buy early…and you can buy a full year ahead…they usually offer some great discounts. These ships are small and fill up fast. Waiting can cause you to ‘miss the boat!’ Why not get some of the best discounts by booking early and choose a cabin location or category that YOU want. (not settle for what is left) I repeat, buy early.

3.  Choose wisely. Each brand has its own style and inclusions. Some brands are much more inclusive than others. When comparing prices, take into consideration that some lines make you pay for extras…like gratuities, drinks, ship transfers, shore excursions and more. Some lines include it. Figure out what you need and how much more it will cost if you choose a line that doesn’t include it. You may find the more expensive price actually is the better value!

4.  Pre or post trip extensions:  You can buy them from the cruise line…but they can be expensive. It’s very convenient to add them on but be sure to weigh the cost of doing your own extensions. Your Rive Cruise Specialist can provide you with hotels and tours as well that may be a better value.

5.  Some lines offer discounts for paying in full at time of booking. Some offer discounts for paying with an electronic wire transfer. Some offer free transfers when you have them book your airfare. Some lines waive single supplements. Some have single berth staterooms. Again, your River Cruise Specialist can help you with all the discounts being offered that you may not know of.

The bottom line is this…Know before you go.

You don’t have to re-invent the wheel to understand river cruising. You just need to enlist an expert to answer your questions and help you make the right choices that fit your travel style. And that my friends…is why we exist!

Contact us today to get started on your river cruise planning.

We don’t charge any fees and we know river cruising!

Pete Larson,

Certified River Cruise Specialist

River Cruise Guru

www.RiverCruiseGuru.com

218-779-3050

pete@rivercruiseguru.com

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River Cruising Europe

Why should I go on a river cruise?

European river cruising is the fastest growing segment of the travel industry, and here’s why. The itineraries pack as many as four countries into a 7 night cruise, with a chance to wake up somewhere new each day. How cool is that?

Scenic Crystal 2012

Over the past three years, more than fifty new river vessels have taken to the water, with around twenty more due this year. The season runs from March to December– with special Christmas Market and New Year’s departures. You can find many theme cruises as well, from wine and art to history and beer. Holiday market cruises are spectacular, as you can visit the famous markets, sip Gluhwein and shop in the brisk but festive atmosphere.

With spectacular scenery, charming villages and cities such as Amsterdam, Cologne, Nuremberg, Vienna and Budapest, it’s easy to see why the Rhine, Main and Danube attract the highest number of cruisers. Other popular rivers include the Seine, where ships are based in Paris and cruise to Normandy, and the Rhône, for trips through Provence between Lyon and Arles. Or you can cruise the Elbe from Berlin to Prague, the Moselle through Germany’s wine-growing heartland, Italy’s Po or Portugal’s Douro. There are many options to fit the discerning traveler. One of my favorites is the Moselle (or Mosel) as pictured below. I stood in a castle when I took this picture!

Cochem, Germany - Copyright River Cruise Guru
Cochem, Germany – Copyright River Cruise Guru

The size of European river cruise vessels is limited by low bridges and narrow locks, so compared with ocean-going ships they’re small and friendly, carrying less than 200 passengers. The on-board atmosphere tends to be relaxed, with no strict dress codes and usually open seating at mealtimes. All meals come as standard and the majority of lines also offer free daily excursions. All-inclusive river cruise lines are available, with drinks and tips included in the fare.

As vessels tend to moor right in the heart of towns and cities, it’s easy for passengers to explore on their own if they feel like opting out of organised excursions.

Many lines carry bicycles you can take and explore the river, the towns or cities at no extra cost. The top lines, such as Scenic Cruises, offers a GPS guided device you can take along while you explore on your own. It gives you directions and acts as your mini tour guide telling you about the sites you are seeing.

Many river cruise lines cater to English speakers, so there is no worries about language barriers. Its a great way to explore Europe and unpack only once.

We are certified River Cruise Specialists. We do not charge you any fees and will help you every step of the way. Your package can include your arrangements from the time you leave your doorstep to the time your return there.

Call us today. Don’t miss out on one of the greatest ways to travel Europe at a great value.

Pete Larson, CTA, DS, LS

www.RiverCruiseGuru.com

pete@rivercruiseguru.com

218-779-3050

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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.

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Scenic Crystal River Cruise Review: Part 4; The Ship

Scenic Crystal River Cruise Review:

Part 4:  The ship

By Pete Larson, Owner of River Cruise Guru and Jolly Mon Vacations

We are River Cruise Specialists! Your free vacation planning source!

Scenic Crystal 2012. Photo © Jolly Mon Vacations

Scenic Cruises launched its sixth river cruise ship, the 169-passenger Scenic Crystal in April and we were on this maiden voyage. Scenic Crystal is 443 feet long and has cabins and suites ranging from 164 to 315 square feet, most of which have real outdoor balconies that you can enclose at the touch of a button.

We boarded this ship in Amsterdam for a trip down the Rhine to Rüdesheim where the ship would be christened before continuing down to Basel, Switzerland.

The Airport Transfers:

Scenic Cruises will pick you up at the airport when you arrive on departure day whether or not you purchase flights from Scenic. Scenic staff will be waiting  near the baggage carousel holding a sign. You may have to go to a bus or holding area for a little bit while others are arriving. In 2013, the included transfers will become PRIVATE transfers, so once you arrive at the airport, you will be whisked directly to the ship without delay! Show me another cruise line that offers that included in the price! Since we arrived two nights early, we simply took a taxi to the port.

Boarding Ship:

Upon arrival at the Scenic Crystal, staff came off the ship and grabbed our suitcases for us and took them onboard the ship. We climbed the gangway and entered the lobby of this amazing new river ship and met with the staff. They quickly introduced us to Igor, the Hotel Manager and he offered my wife a single rose. We were given our room keys and they ushered us to our stateroom. This was the quickest and hassle-free boarding experience I’ve ever encountered in all our travels!

The Butler:

Once in our stateroom, we were met by our butler who explained the room and services. In 2013, all three passenger decks will receive butler services included in the price! She made sure our devices were hooked to the internet and made us reservations for Portobello’s Restaurant at my request.

The Stateroom:

Deluxe Balcony of Scenic Crystal. Photo © River Cruise Guru

We had stateroom B205, which is a Deluxe Balcony, mid-ship on the middle (Rhine) deck. This is a nice sized room with closets, safe, Apple TV, mini bar, hair dryer, bottled water, two-twin beds configured into a queen sized bed with suitcase storage beneath. A sliding glass door opened onto a full outdoor balcony with glass/wood rail. There were two chairs and a small table. Scenic calls this area, the “Scenic Sun Lounge” because at the push of a button, a window slides up (just like a car window) and encloses the deck from noise, wind, rain and cold. You can enjoy your balcony at anytime! This is a great new feature and we used it a lot. You will need an electrical adapter/converter to power your electronics as they use European electrical plugs.

The bathroom. Photo © River Cruise Guru

The bathroom was the best I’ve had on any ship. It was larger than most ocean-going ships and it featured modern sink with LED down-lighting and a glass-walled shower that had three heads and an LED colored lighting display in the upper showerhead! It gave you a SPA-like experience right in your own stateroom. Unbelievable.

Noise and vibration:

Now you sometimes read reviews about ship vibration on certain cruises. On river cruises, the ships are smaller and follow a very winding river. These ships will sometimes make more noise during turns as they use side thrusters. The engine noise will be heard no matter where your cabin is located but it never seems to bother me. I know I’m on a moving vehicle  and when going in and out of locks there will be some bumping and engine noise. Is this something that ever kept me awake? No. I rather enjoyed the hum of the engines.

Daily Program:

The Daily Programme. Photo © River Cruise Guru

Scenic Tours leaves a DAILY PROGRAMME on your bed each day so you will know the schedule. The ship was to depart Amsterdam at 17:00 hours. (yes, they use the 24 hour/military time) Shortly before sailing, they gathered us for a Welcome Reception and safety briefing. Scenic Tours CEO/Managing Director came onboard and gave us a nice welcome speech and the ships Captain then took over the safety briefing. An actual ‘safety drill’ was held the second day and we all put on life-vests on the Sun Deck. There are no lifeboats on a river ship so you simply go to the upper deck when the alarm is sounded and they hand you a life-vest.

First Thoughts:

My first thoughts were WOW! The ship is brand new and pristine. I’ve been on a lot of ships before, but none that smelled of new paint and carpet. I expected the crew to be a bunch of inexperienced employees thrown together at the last minute not knowing how to do things. Boy, was I wrong! They were all spectacular! Like a well-oiled machine. Polite, knowledgeable and accommodating.

Crystal Lounge:

The Crystal Lounge. Photo © River Cruise Guru

This is a great space and well used. From reading a book, having coffee or a cocktail to having some lunch or dancing the night away this room delivers. Beautiful furnishings that are comfortable to eat lunch in or just sit and watch the scenery go by through the large windows.  There are coffee and tea stations here, available around the clock and the new lunch venue, The River Café. A light lunch fare is served there and it also houses appetizers and desserts as well. Forward of this area is the Portobello’s Restaurant (only set up in the evening, otherwise its an extension of the lounge) which is a special place to have a 7 course dinner. The dinner is special and the service is incredible. There is no extra fee for any of these dining venues. In 2013, drinks will be included as part of the cruise fare. That’s right, all-inclusive!

Portobello’s Restaurant:

This is considered to be a ‘special’ dining experience and will require a reservation due to limited seating area. There is no extra charge to dine here which is incredible. The staff is ‘extra-attentive’ and greets you with a flute of champagne upon arrival. There are many sized tables and we were seated at a table for six. We shared dinner with four other passengers and found them to be very fun and interesting. Dinner served was seven courses of delight. Several choices of regional wines were offered and each course was presented by the chef with a story. The meal was great, the service spectacular and the experience  was memorable.

Observation Deck:

Forward Observation Deck. Photo © River Cruise Guru

Forward of Portobello’s is a small but covered seating area right near the bow. It offers a fantastic forward view of the area you are traveling. It offers some sun or rain protection and even has some radiant heaters overhead which helped on a blustery day. A great spot to view the transit through one of the many river locks.

The Sundeck:

The Sundeck of Scenic Crystal. Photo © River Cruise Guru

A great big area to socialize, watch scenery and catch some rays. On our cruise, it didn’t see the use it would during the summer months but we still found it a great place to take photos and watch as we passed under low bridges. During nice weather it also serves as another alternate dining venue. The wheelhouse and the upper railings on the very top deck are sometimes put down. The wheelhouse is able to be lowered and the deck rails and canopies fold down. This makes it possible to fit under lower bridges on the river. We were allowed to sit forward of the wheelhouse during the passing of low bridges, but were ordered to stay seated. It is quite amazing how they scoot right under these bridges with very little clearance. There were only two areas to smoke onboard; one was the furthest point aft on the Sundeck, the other was right near the middle stairs/wheelhouse on the Sun Deck. The Captain said, “if you don’t see an ashtray, you cannot smoke there.” No smoking was allowed on the balconies either.

The Crystal Dining Room:

The Crystal Dining Room. Photo © River Cruise Guru

A very nice restaurant for all three daily meals right at water level. Many different sized tables to choose from and It operates with an open-seating policy. A great place to meet old friends or to discover new ones. Breakfast and lunch were served buffet-style. Mornings saw an omelet station and afternoons usually had some sort of carved meats available. Regional wines, beer and soft drinks are complimentary at lunch and dinner. In 2013, these beverages will be complimentary around the clock! We enjoyed the local Riesling wines very much. There was usually a choice between a couple of different wines with each meal. The food was served up in courses; appetizer, soup/salad, main entrée and dessert. I found each dish I had ordered to be very good. Sometimes they had a theme, like on German day the staff was dressed in lederhosen, German music was played, they served authentic German dishes and trays of bier!

The Staff/Service:

I found the staff to be very accommodating at all times. Whenever I had a question, they were there with an answer. The Cruise Director, Sylvie, was very good as running things. She gave the port talks each day in the Lounge and also took care of us when it came to tours and on debarkation day. Service staff were excellent both in the lounge and dining rooms. Stateroom staff were also very good. All gratuities are included with Scenic Tours/Cruises which is very nice and convenient.

Entertainment:

If you are the type that needs constant entertainment, you may be a bit bored on a river cruise. Entertainment usually consists of a piano player/singer/entertainer, dancing , local musicians brought onboard, lectures or a glass blowing demonstration. I found it to be a nice distraction in the evening when you could not see the scenery.

Internet:

The internet is a fee for service program now, (about $30 Euros/week) but in 2013 it will also be complimentary…and it should be. I found the internet to be very frustrating. It’s satellite -based so connections are horrible through the river valleys and locks. It seemed you could never get connected and once you did it didn’t last. I told the ship staff that if I had to pay for internet…I wouldn’t have. It just wasn’t worth the aggravation in my opinion.

Onboard Dress:

Casual elegance for the most part. Several of us men wore sport jackets during the more dressy nights, like the GALA dinner and in Portobello’s Restaurant. Most men wore collared shirts or polo’s and women wore dresses or pant suits.

Overall the dress code was not something to worry much about. As long as you look presentable, everything is fine. Yes, people were wearing jeans in the dining room. Women may need a shawl or sweater for the dining rooms or lounge as the air conditioning can be quite chilly inside.

Weather:

We had cold, rainy weather. Dressing in layers works very well on a river cruise. As the day heats up you can strip layers or the opposite if the temperatures drop. Rain was a big factor, so a raincoat was perfect as it also offered protection from water and wind. Scenic provides each stateroom with a large umbrella to use on excursions as well. These are great  for taking pictures when its raining so your camera doesn’t get wet.

Next Up:

The next sections (part 5) of this review will cover our Shore Excursions and tours followed by the naming ceremony and some other thoughts and tips. Stay tuned!

www.RiverCruiseGuru.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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Scenic Tours River Cruise: Scenic Crystal 2012

I encourage you to follow us on our travels on the brand new river ship from Scenic Tours: Scenic Crystal. We are embarking on her very first cruise from the shipbuilding in Amsterdam to the christening ceremony in Rudesheim, Germany. I’ll be blogging about it as it happens as well as posting the first pictures and videos of this new ship.

Please become a follower and subscribe to Jolly Mon Vacations Blog. Feel free to ask questions or comment and share this with friends as well.

We will see if were paying attention to our posts and awarding prizes to those that do. Each time you share our Facebook pages or blog posts enters you to win something fabulous.

Watch here and at www.facebook.com/rivercruiseguru
And www.facebook.com/jollymonvacations

Email: pete@jolloymonvacations.com
www.JollyMonVacations.com

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60 Second Geography: Cancun and the Riviera Maya

60-Second Geography

Cancun and the  Riviera Maya

Cancun and the Riviera Maya have become a second home for North American travelers looking for great beaches, lots of sun and exciting nightlife. Mayan ruins sit next door to world-class accommodations and tourism facilities, with water sports and natural attractions close at hand. Only a couple of hours from   many United States cities, Cancun is one of the most accessible international   destinations available.
  • The Yucatán coast has been a staple of travelers from the United States for forty years or more. The rapid development in and around Cancun became a model for the best and the worst in the ways in which tourism could enrich a population. This area was largely isolated from the rest of Mexico until the Mexican government selected the region for development.
  • The Yucatán’s Caribbean coast is more than 236 miles and stretches from Cancún in the north all the way to Chetumal, on the border with the nation of Belize.
  • The northern half of the Yucatán’s coast is known as the “Maya Riviera “; to the south, the “Costa Maya.” Between the two is the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve.
  • South of Cancun development along the Riviera Maya is on a smaller scale, with a greater understanding for the principles of sustainable tourism and a respect for native cultures.
  • The second longest reef system in the world runs much of the length of the coast. Playa del Carmen, Xpu-Ha, Tulum and the other magnificent beaches occur where there are gaps in the reef and the tidal action of the ocean’s waves pounds the reef into fine sand.
  • The reef provides great snorkeling and diving and the beaches are some of the world’s finest.
  • Ancient Mayan ruins dot the coast and are easily accessible from the resort communities along the coast.
  • Inland, vast caves are present and under ground rivers run where travelers can explore with experienced guides.
  • The choice of accommodations is large and varied from cabins to all inclusive resorts or boutique hotels.
  • The ancient Mayan cities of Uxmal and Chichen Itza remain some of the best examples of the mysterious cultures, the vestages of which exist to this day in the native populations.
Contact:  Jolly Mon Vacations to assist with booking your Mexico vacation!Your NO FEE source of expert advice and

great prices!

www.JollyMonVacations.com

www.facebook.com/jollymonvacations

Email:  pete@jollymonvacations.com

www.RiverCruiseGuru.com

© Copyright 2011 Travmarket. LLC.

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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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Deceptive Travel Pricing: 15 Ways They Deceive You!

Deceptive Travel Pricing: 15 Ways They Deceive You!

By:  Pete Larson, Owner of Jolly Mon Vacations & River Cruise Guru

Deceptive Marketing and false advertising is all around us. It’s on billboards, your hometown newspaper, on TV and the
internet. When a company intentionally leads you to believe something that is false,  is over-promising something, or burying
things deep within the ‘fine print’ so that you don’t understand what is occurring is being deceptive.

Travel is a business where this type of deception runs amok. They bait your interest with the promise of these incredible deals and low prices. They add all sorts of restrictions, cut away the value and confuse you with endless fine print. You end up with a hollow shell of what was promised, and your hard earned vacation ends in disappointment.

Lets look at some common marketing ‘tricks’ companies like to use to keep you confused:

Specific Gateway – Only valid from a certain airport.

Booking window – Only valid if you book before a certain time period. (act now! Limited time only!) Only valid when a certain
deposit amount is laid before a certain date.

Travel window – Only valid when you travel between certain limited dates. (usually their slow season)

Specific Accommodation– only valid when you book a certain room level. (higher category or they quote the lowest category
room where there is a very limited supply that may be sold out forcing you to book a higher category than advertised)

Specific Itinerary – Only valid when you book a certain itinerary. (in cruising or tours, it’s usually an itinerary that is not
popular)

Exclusions – Many things are excluded making the price lower. (taxes, port fees, fuel surcharges, transfers, obc, airfare) Offer valid only to individual bookings, not groups.

New Bookings Only – A discounted rate you can only get if you don’t already have a reservation. Cruise lines are notorious for doing this when they have trouble selling out a ship. Usually offered close to sail date, but only on unpopular ships, dates,  itineraries, or departure ports.

Early Saver Rates /Advanced Purchase – This is popular with Carnival Cruise Lines and many hotels. It basically means you pay
the entire cruise or hotel stay at the time of booking and your money is NON-REFUNDABLE.

Combining discounts– Offer may not be combined with any other discount. (Military, AAA, Govt, Club, coupons, shareholder
benefits, promos)

Limitations – Offer only good when a certain number of persons are booked. (quad occupancy, double occupancy) Offer only
valid when booking a certain number of days. (7 days)

Booking Limitations – Offer only valid in the USA, or only when booked online. Offer not transferrable. Offer expires if not
applied by certain date.

Residential Limitations – Offer only valid to persons living in a certain area, city, state or region. (California, etc.)

Availability – Offer only valid to a limited number of customers. (creating the need for speed booking) Offer subject to
change at any time.

Deceptive ‘Sales’-

-The ‘percentage discount’ deception:

The claim:   Save up to 40%- The ‘up to’ means the figure taken is the rack rate that almost no one pays in the first place, and on a higher category room making the discounted price no different than the regular price. This may seem like a deal, but its not.

-The ‘FREE!’ deception:

The catch is…it’s not really free. You must meet all the requirements first. Free, LOADED with conditions like:

  • Free,  only under a certain age restriction
  • Free, only when parents purchase something specific, or stay in a certain category room.
  • Free,  but you pay the taxes, port fees, surcharges, transportation, etc.
  • Free, while supplies last. (and the supply is so limited its near impossible to obtain)

How do you protect yourself?

You could study all this stuff day and night like I do, or simply engage in a trustworthy source to begin with:
A good Travel Agent. Let the buyer beware! A good travel agent is worth their weight in gold. Remember, if you see a vacation priced at some
unbelievable price…you aren’t getting the entire  story. This should be a red flag that the company is using some sort of deceptive pricing.

Let me answer some questions about Travel Agents, and how they can save you time and money while protecting you from bad travel choices:

Travel Agent, Travel Counselor and  Travel Consultants are mostly the same thing. They act on your behalf as an independent agent to shop
many different sources to find you a good price with good value ensuring it’s exactly what you desire. They bring the right vacation product to clients and book it for them. They answer questions you have, assist with insurance, get your travel documents in order, and assist you along the way.

Not well traveled?
Perfect! Travel Agents will help you become familiar with what to expect and assist you with activities at your destination. They can also monitor prices after the booking and go to the vendor to obtain discounts for you.  Using an agent can protect you from a bad vacation experience, keep you safe by advising you of where NOT to go, and make sure you arrive and depart with ease.

Q:  What can a travel agent do for me?

A:  A good travel agent will bring the desired vacation experience to meet the clients needs at the best value possible. We act as your ‘vacation broker’ so to speak. Jolly Mon Vacations always starts with a good client interview to find the needs and desires of the client. We match our clients using our expansive knowledge on travel, destinations, resorts, hotels, cruise lines, ships and other things. We have special relationships with vacation vendors that will package up your vacation needs at special prices. Often times our buying power can help us obtain a better price, amenities, upgrades or a host of other promotional benefits. The travel agent saves you both time and money!

Go ahead, type “cruise” into Google…228 MILLION links! Do you have time to sift through that to find a trustworthy source for a good price with great value?

Q:  How much will using a travel agent cost me?

A:  In most cases….NOTHING!

Jolly Mon Vacations doesn’t charge fees to do your vacation planning or booking. Free help, advice and assistance for you…and money stays in your wallet! We are paid by the vendor we use for each sale, and they add nothing to your price for our service either.
You pay the same whether or not a travel agent books your trip, so you win by getting free professional assistance! Many vendors will match any price as well, ensuring you get the lowest price for your trip.

Q:  How do I know I can trust them to find me what I need?

A:  Travel Agents are educated and certified in specific destinations, cruise lines, resorts, vendors and travel. Experience is also a
great teacher and yet another way we can assist you. Our knowledge is backed by actual hotel, resort, destination and ship inspections. We travel to these destinations and tour them ourselves to assist in placing our clients. Nothing backs up a good education like a real life experience! A legitimate Travel Agent will be accredited by a major agency such as the IATA, IATAN, ARC, TRUE, CLIA or a host agency. You can check their credentials to ensure they are valid agents in good standing that hold proper accreditation.  Don’t hesitate to ask about accreditation to protect yourself.

Q:  I don’t need an agent, I can just book it direct with the cruise line or resort.

A:  Not so fast! Did you know each ship, cruise line, itinerary, port, resort can be COMPLETELY different from one another? You
may be climbing on a ‘floating old folks home’ when you are looking for a party. You could be getting on a ship or a cruise line that totally misses the reasons you need a vacation. A good Travel Agent knows the ships, the ports, resorts and the overall ‘vibe’ of where it is you are going and how you are getting there. A Travel Agent works for YOU, and looks out for YOUR best interest. The people at the other end of the direct booking look out for THEMSELVES and their company.

When it comes to planning and booking your next vacation, hotel, or any travel:  see a professional Trave Agent!

Jolly Mon Vacations would love to help you with your vacation. When we give a price quote, you can bet that it includes all taxes, fees and outlines exactly what is extra. We hide nothing, and do our best to promote THE REAL price.  We are an IATAN accredited agency and we’ll
do our best to make it your best vacation ever! The honest way.

Pete Larson,

Travel Agent & River Cruise Specialist

Jolly Mon Vacations  …destination anywhere.

President and Owner

www.JollyMonVacations.com

www.RiverCruiseGuru.com

Phone or text:  218-779-3050

pete@jollymonvacations.com

www.facebook.com/jollymonvacations

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All-Inclusive Resorts: Part II

All-Inclusive Resorts:  Part II

 I put together an informative series about All-Inclusive Resorts. I will release them over the course of the next month or two.  I hope you find them helpful, and that you will use this information to help guide you in your future vacations. I will also post them on the Jolly Mon Vacations official Blog as well for future reference. If you find that you are ready to try a resort, don’t hesitate to contact me right away. Jolly Mon Vacations is with you every step of the way. Enjoy part two.

Q:  What types of accommodations and am I sacrificing quality at an All-Inclusive Resort?

Several factors differentiate the type of accommodations. Room size, view from the room, room location and room type such as standard or suite. In the past All-Inclusive Resorts were considered basic with only buffet dining and accommodations. Today you can stay at a 5 star All-Inclusive resort with up to 10 dining choices, most of them sit down A la Carte dining. These resorts have honeymoon suites, villas on the beach, ocean views, pool views and garden views. Some are luxurious, complete with Jacuzzi tubs, or swim-out balconies. The options are endless, and your budget will guide you. Each resort is different in its own respect. This is where you must rely on the knowledge of your travel agent to guide you to the right resort and accomodations for YOU.

The Rockhouse, Negril Jamaica

Q:  Are there activities at All-Inclusive Resorts?

Most All-Inclusive Resorts have organized activities during the day and at night. You can participate in these activities if you choose or you can do nothing at all, it’s your choice. Music, dancing shows, talent acts, magic shows, local cultural shows, classes, lessons, enrichment, SCUBA diving, waterskiing, snorkeling, sailing, kayaking, sunset cruises, volleyball, shuffleboard, basketball, table tennis, tennis, exercise equipment, beach parties, dolphin swims, golf, equestrian areas, swimming, huge pool areas, dancing, waterslides, and fun for the kids. Each resort offers a different array of things to do.

Of course, precious family time…romance…sunsets…ocean views…lounging on the beach…stress relief…all included!

 

Room at RIU Montego Bay, Jamaica

                                      

 

Q:   Where can we go? Where are the All-Inclusive Resorts located?

Jamaica is the birthplace of the All-Inclusive resort, so there are many to choose from there. Mexico has much more area on both coasts and has the most resorts by far. Great deals can be found in both places.

Here are some places you can go:

Mexico: Acapulco, Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Maya, Cancun, Isla Mujeres, Cozumel, Ixtapa, Playa Del Carmen

Costa Rica

Panama

Dominican Republic

St. Lucia

St. Thomas USVI

Bahamas

Turks & Caicos Islands

Jamaica

Antigua & Barbuda

Aruba

Guadalupe

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Top 10 Family Vacation Destinations

Looking for a great place to take the family?

Here are some suggestions from AAA on the Top 10 USA family-friendly hotspots:

Crowne Plaza at Historic Union Station, Indianapolis

A former railroad, the Crowne Plaza at Historic Union Station is located in downtown Indianapolis. Stay in one of the 26 rooms converted from a Pullman Train car. In town, take your kids to White River State Park, the Indianapolis Zoo and the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

Visit www.indianapolis.com/crowne-plaza.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Lake Buena Vista, Florida

From the balcony rooms, get an around-the-clock view of animals in the savannahs in the 43-acre wildlife preserve. African architecture decorates the lodge, and interactive exhibits and kids’ programs are catered to younger guests.

 

 

Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center on Lake Grapevine, Grapevine, Texas

Through Labor Day, you can attend the sixth annual SummerFest featuring four and a half acres of indoor gardens transformed into Alice’s Wonderland Adventure. Wander through Wonderland through the giant art, and meet Alice, The Queen of Hearts and The Hatter. Extras include pool parties, family dine-in movies, dessert dine-arounds, fireworks and Sunday tea.

www.gaylordhotels.com/gaylord-texan.

Great Wolf Lodge, Sandusky, Ohio

Dive into the water at Fort Mackenzie, a four-story, interactive water fort at the indoor water park. Every evening at 8:15, kids can go to the lobby Clock Tower in pajamas and slippers for story time, while older kids can visit the Northern Lights Arcade.

Visit www.greatwolf.com/sandusky/waterpark.

Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina, Cambridge, Maryland

On the Eastern Shore, the resort includes its 18-hole championship golf course and a spa where you can get a massage. Kids can visit Camp Hyatt and watch poolside movies, and the whole family can play miniature golf and beach volleyball and meander through the hotel’s 18-acre Blue Heron Rookery nature preserve.

Visit http://chesapeakebay.hyatt.com.

Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa, Bernalillo, New Mexico

Adorned in Southwestern decor, featuring Native American artwork, the resort has multiple swimming pools for children, as well as walking trails, horseback riding and a camp program. Take the Rail Runner train in nearby Bernalillo, and check out the New Mexico History Museum  in Santa Fe and the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

Visit www.tamaya.hyatt.com.

Lost Valley Ranch, Deckers, Colorado

Families are welcomed with Western-themed cabin in Deckers, Colorado. Ranch counselors host programs and activities for kids from infants to teens and adults, including horseback riding, hiking, swimming, tubing, fishing and rafting.

Visit www.lostvalleyranch.com.

Moody Garden Hotel, Spa and Convention Center, Galveston, Texas

The resort in Galveston, Texas, offers a variety of activities, including an aquarium, rainforest, golf course, swimming pool, beach, an IMAX theater and 4-D theater. During the summer weekends, kids can try their hands at arts and crafts and go on scavenger hunts and pool coin dives. Then, they can visit the bounce house, go kite flying and karaoking, and participate in clown face painting and Wii competitions.

Visit www.moodygardenshotel.com.

Nickelodeon Suites Resort, Lake Buena Vista, Florida

At Nickelodeon Suites Resorts in Florida, kids activities include water parks, interactive pools, poolside shows, a kid’s spa and slime. Also, kids can take advantage of the resort’s games, character breakfast and nightly Nickelodeon shows.

Visit www.nickhotel.com.

Wequassett Resort and Golf Club, East Harwich, Massachusetts

Kids can an outdoors experience at this resort’s  pirate-themed interactive water playground with treasure chests, fountains and a pirate ship with slides and swimming ropes. Afterwards, they can go to the outdoor amphitheater, visit the high-tech children’s center that has a 135-inch HD screen for Wii, PlayStation and Xbox 360 gaming. Resort activities include dive-in-movies, teen gaming nights and lessons in swimming, sailing and tennis.

Visit www.wequassett.com.

Contact:  pete@jollymonvacations.com for more information or booking these great destinations!

Pete Larson:  218-779-3050

www.jollymonvacations.com

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Cruising: The Benefits

If  you’ve never taken a cruise before, consider the benefits of taking a cruise vacation:

  • Getting there is have the fun! Cruising allows you to enjoy the ride to the destination! Nonstop deck activities, lounging by the pool, dancing the night away, hitting the SPA or a quiet spot with a book. You choose!
  • Cruises are all-inclusive! (or nearly) The price of your cruise covers your lodging, transportation to the destinations, all your food, non-alcoholic beverages and even your activities and entertainment. Some luxury lines include even more, such as alcoholic beverages.
  • On a Cruise You Unpack Once! If you want to visit more than one place, but you can’t imagine lugging around your bags,  packing and unpacking everywhere you go then a cruise is for you. Your stateroom is your floating hotel. You unpack and then you can leave everything on the ship while you explore the latest port of call and then come back on board for dinner, a show, or to rest and relax. Hit the casino, go to a movie under the stars, take in the sunset with your significant other. It’s all about choice…YOUR choice.
  • A cruise gives you a sample of multiple destinations! A cruise is a great option if you are not sure where you want to go. You can choose a region and then narrow it down to one that stops at a few places you may be curious about and have a small taste of the region as a whole instead of being confined only to one country. Get a variety of cultures and scenery all in the same trip.

A vacation is a great way to relax, get away from your stresses, have fun, bond with family and friends, pamper yourself, learn new things, and explore cultures while seeing the world. Whether you spend it on land, or on the sea…it’s all about getting away. A cruise vacation can be a great way to do it.

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Hawaii Hotel for Military/Retired/DoD Civilians

Did you know there is a  hotel on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii that is strictly for the use of the military and those associated with it?

That’s right, active duty military, retired military, disabled veterarns, widows, and a few others can use this hotel for vacations. (see website for eligibility)

It’s name is the Hale Koa Hotel www.halekoa.com and its prices are based on your rank. Example:   E-1 through E-5 can stay in this hotel on the famous Waikiki Beach for under $100 per night! The prices rise of course with your rank, and your desired view. DoD Civilian rates range from a low of $118 all the way to $222 for the deluxe ocean view rooms.

These really are incredible rates for this area of Hawaii. In order to take advantage of these rates, it’s recommended that you make reservations at least 6 months in advance. Forms of ID will be needed for check-in, so read the requirements for your situation.

The Hale Koa Hotel
Waikiki Hotel for Military & Associates

 

Aloha!  Thanks to all those serving our country!

Thanks to all those supporting our military, and to those left behind.