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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.

CTCcert

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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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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.

Sandals LaSource Grenada
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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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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Scenic Cruises is Upgrading European Riverboats

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The River Cruise Guru is a specialty branch of Jolly Mon Vacations!
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Sandals Resorts 2012 Star Diamond Awards

Sandals Resorts International was honored with 22 awards by The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences. The International Star Diamond Award is one of the most prestigious emblems of achievement and is awarded to exclusive recipients throughout the world. Nominations are routinely submitted by world travelers and industry professionals. All decisions of the Academy are based solely on whether the nominee demonstrates a commitment to excellence in luxury and service within its industry’s specific category and classification, including hospitality, attitude, quality, and cleanliness.

“We are thrilled to be recognized by The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences,” said Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, Chairman of Sandals Resorts International.  “We work hard to offer the finest luxury vacation, and we are honored that so many of our resorts have received Star Diamond Awards.”

The impressive awards and distinguished group of winners included:

  • Fowl Cay Resort: 2012 Five Star Diamond Award
  • Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas:
    • 2012 Green Six Star Diamond Award – Red Lane ® Spa at Sandals Emerald Bay
    • 2012 Green Six Star Diamond Award – Sandals Emerald Bay
    • 2012 Six Star Diamond Award – Sandals Emerald Bay
    • Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa:
      • 2012 Six Star Diamond Award – Mediterranean Village at Sandals Grande Antigua
      • 2012 Five Star Diamond Award – Sandals Grande Antigua
      • Sandals La Toc Golf Resort & Spa in St. Lucia:
        • 2012 Five Star Diamond Award – Sandals La Toc
        • 2012 Five Star Diamond Award – Sandals La Toc Restaurant
        • Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort: 2012 Five Star Diamond Award
        • Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island: 2012 Five Star Diamond Award
        • Sandals Negril Beach Resort & Spa: 2012 Five Star Diamond Award
        • Sandals Royal Plantation, Ocho Rios, Jamaica:
          • 2012 Five Star Diamond Award – Sandals Royal Plantation
          • 2012 Five Star Diamond Award – Red Lane® Spa at Sandals Royal Plantation
          • Sandals Whitehouse European Village & Spa: 2012 Five Star Diamond Award
          • Beaches Resorts: 2012 Six Star Green Diamond Award – Beaches Resorts “Keeping it Green”
          • Beaches Negril Resort & Spa: 2012 Five Star Diamond Award
          • Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa:
            • 2012 Five Star Diamond Award – Beaches Turks & Caicos
            • 2012 Six Star Diamond Award – Italian Village at Beaches Turks & Caicos
            • 2012 Five Star Diamond Award – Mario’s Restaurant at Beaches Turks & Caicos
            • 2012 Five Star Diamond Award – Le Petit Chateau Restaurant at Beaches Turks & Caicos
            • Rio Chico Private Estate: 2012 Five Star Diamond Award
            • Sandals Resorts at the Montego Bay Airport: 2012 Five Star Diamond Award – Sandals Resorts Arrival Lounge

Jolly Mon Vacations is your Certified Sandals & Beaches Resort Specialist!

Not only do we get you the best possible promo price but if a better one comes along AFTER you are booked…we will have your price adjusted down to get you the absolute BEST PRICE! We work closely with our Sandals Business Development Manager to get you every possible discount and free amenity possible. (oh, and we do it at NO COST TO YOU! Our services are FREE!)

You can’t go wrong, we guarantee!

Contact us today!

pete@jollymonvacations.com or 218.779.3050

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SANDALS RESORTS OFFER COMPLIMENTARY RENEWAL OF VOWS CEREMONY

SANDALS RESORTS AND BEACHES RESORTS OFFER GUESTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

Phone:  218-779-3050

Email:  pete@jollymonvacations.com

Website:  www.JollyMonVacations.com

Website:  www.RiverCruiseGuru.com

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/jollymonvacations

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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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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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Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Ships 2011

Hello from the River Cruise Guru and Jolly Mon Vacations!

Here is some real exciting news from Uniworld!

In 2011, Uniworld will launch three NEW beautiful boutique cruise ships:

  • The ultra-luxurious S.S. Antoinette will sail on our very popular “Castles along the Rhine” itinerary and will elevate the standard of river cruising.

S.S. Antoinette Stateroom

 

The Douro Spirit—the premiere ship on the Douro River—will sail Portugal and Spain’s spectacular UNESCO World Heritage-designated Douro River Valley, and every stateroom will feature a French balcony.

  • The lovely River Victoria will take our guests to the treasure trove of architectural and cultural gems of our “Imperial Waterways of Russia” itinerary with all staterooms on the top two decks having full balconies.

Similar to our entire fleet, these ships will offer an exceptional, unrivaled river cruise experience for our guests who want to enjoy the best sights in Europe and Russia in world-class comfort. In addition, Uniworld will have completed the remodeling of our entire fleet in 2011 with the final three being River Ambassador, River Baroness, and River Princess.

For FREE assistance in choosing, comparing and booking a river cruise, please contact Pete at  The River Cruise Guru. We are river cruise SPECIALISTS, and we are standing by to asssit you. Full service travel counselor and River Cruise Specialists.

Pete:  pete@rivercruiseguru.com

218-779-3050

The River Cruise Guru & Jolly Mon Vacations

www.jollymonvacations.com

www.rivercruiseguru.com

Contact us today to get started on YOUR dream river cruise!

Europe, China, Russia…destination anywhere!

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Royal Caribbean Raises Recommended Gratuities

Royal Caribbean International is adjusting the recommended gratuities guideline for sailings that commence on or after July 1, 2011.  The new recommended daily gratuities for dining staff and housekeeping staff will be a total of $11.65 per guest per day, up from $9.75, and $13.90 per suite guest per day, up from $12.

This will be Royal Caribbean’s first gratuities guideline adjustment in 13 years. “This adjustment is the result of a long period of consideration and assessment that places the cruise line’s recommendations in line with its competitors,” the company said.

All guests who prepay gratuities or select the My Time Dining flexible dining program before 12:01 a.m. U.S. Eastern Time on Dec. 11 for sailings on or after July 1 will not be affected by the adjusted guideline.

Gratuities will continue to be given at the discretion of each guest, except for guests who choose My Time Dining, which requires prepaid gratuities. For more information, visit www.royalcaribbean.com or contact pete@jollymonvacations.com

Pete is owner/operator of Jolly Mon Vacations, your full service/no fee travel agent.

www.jollymonvacations.com

www.rivercruiseguru.com

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New T-shirts, New Contests!

New T-shirt design and  New Contests!
JMV's new t-shirt

Jolly Mon Vacations newly designed t-shirts are in stock! They look fantastic!

Facebook Fans….be sure you click ‘SUGGEST TO FRIENDS‘ on both JMV and/or my River Cruise Guru facebook business pages. Each new fan that (‘Likes’) it…and their referrer are entered to win FREE STUFF!
 
You can find both sites at:
 
While you are there, feel free to TALK VACATIONS or post some pics. There’s a lot going on, don’t miss out on the fun!
 
Not on facebook?
Visit my webpages at:
 
Call or text me at: 218.779.3050  (Verizon)
 
WHAT’S NEW?
Jolly Mon Vacations books all types of vacation travel, but one of our ‘specialties’ is River Cruising. The rivers of Europe, China, Egypt and Russia. Its a whole new way of immersing yourself in the destination.
 
I’ve got a great Cruise Blog at:
I write many travel related articles, reviews, and information. I also post pictures and videos. Come on by, and send your friends!
Thanks for your support, and please keep on referring your family and friends to Jolly Mon Vacations! Remember, I not only appreciate your referrals…I pay YOU cash for them!
 
Here’s how it works:
1. You refer your friends or family to Jolly Mon Vacations.
2. Once they book a vacation through us, and they travel…you get paid!*
(*The amount is based on the vacation booked, amounts may vary)
Your friends get a great price, fabulous service and an outstanding vacation.
You get some extra cash!
Hurry! This free cash offer won’t last forever!
Send them now! Jolly Mon Vacations will treat them right.
Jolly Mon Vacations
…destination anywhere.