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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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8 Tips on How to Go Through Customs & Immigration

customsWhen you arrive at your island destination you will need to clear immigration & customs. Each country is a little different, but the process is very similar. You can expedite this process by being properly prepared.
Preparation begins when you pack for your trip and if you plan to purchase any duty-free items in the U.S airport. Every island has different restrictions on what you can bring in “duty-free”. Each island also has “prohibited items”.

Depending on the airport and/or airline you depart from you may need to pick up your own immigration and customs forms at the gate prior to boarding. Other times they are distributed by flight attendants once you are in the air. Don’t forget to bring an ink pen to fill out the forms!

You will need to fill out an immigration form for each passenger. Go slow to avoid mistakes. Date format is often different from what you may be used to. Be sure to sign form. Some countries, like Jamaica, have a separate immigration card attached to form. You need to fill it out as well or you will be delayed at immigration. For most countries you will also need to fill out customs form. These are generally per family, but if you passports have different surnames you may want to fill one out for each different name. You most likely will have nothing to declare.

When you arrive at destination, proceed to immigration. Cell phones and cameras may not be used in immigration and customs areas. Please stay behind line and wait for next available immigration agent. You will need to present you passport and forms. Be polite and answer any questions asked. Once through immigration you can put your passports away in safe place. Keep customs forms handy.

Proceed to the baggage claim area. Make sure you get all your bags and that they are YOUR bags. You can grab a cart to make it easier. Check to see if customs exit has “Nothing to Declare” lines and get in line. Depending on county, the customs official will review your customs form and/or interview you. On occasion the customs agents may want to perform a physical inspection of you luggage.

8 Tips on How to Go Through US Customs & Immigration

1
Onboard your flight, you will be given customs and immigration documents. If you are not a U.S. Citizen, then you will need to fill out an I-94 form. If you are a U.S. Citizen, then you do not need this form. All passengers must also complete a customs declaration form. This form is required for both U.S. and Foreign citizens. Make sure to have the required documents completed before you enter the customs and immigration facilities.

2
When you deplane, follow the signs directing you to international arrivals, immigration and customs. Most often, you will walk through a hallway or go down an escalator to the customs and immigration facilities. In rare circumstances (mostly at smaller, more poorly run airports), you will need to ride a bus.

3
The first stop is at Passport Control/Immigration. If you are a U.S. Citizen, go to the lanes marked United States Citizens. If you are non-U.S. Citizen, go to the lanes marked Foreign Citizens. If you have another flight to connect with, there are sometimes special lanes for Connecting Passengers.

4
Give your passport and immigration/customs forms to the officer. He/she will look at your passport, scan it, and possibly validate it. He/she will also retain any I-94 forms, and validate and return the customs forms.

5
After you clear Passport Control, follow the signs to Baggage Claim. Here, you will claim your checked baggage, even if you have another flight to connect with. Check the screens for the carousel number that your flight has been assigned to and wait for your bags to appear.

6
Once you have claimed your bags, your next stop is at Customs. If you do not have any items to declare, proceed to the green lanes marked “Nothing to Declare”. If you do have items to declare, proceed to the red lanes marked “Goods to Declare”. Here, you will turn in your customs form and if you do not have anything to declare, you will be waved through to the exit.

7
If you have another flight to connect with, follow the signs marked “Connecting Flights/Connecting Baggage Drop-off” as you leave the customs area. If you are already at your final destination, skip straight to step 8. When you get to the connecting baggage carousel, be sure to place any liquids, gels, and aerosols that are over 3 oz, or any other items that are not allowed through TSA security checkpoints in your checked luggage. Check that your baggage tags match your final destination. Place your luggage on the conveyor belt, wheels or handles facing up (the bag itself should be upside down).

Continue following the signs marked Connecting Flights, and proceed through security to the departures area.

8
If you are already at your final destination, follow the exit and ground transportation signs. Once you exit the customs and immigration facilities you will be in the International Arrivals area. Here you will meet up with friends and family, or proceed to courtesy shuttles, taxis, rental cars, or other ground transportation.

For more information and FREE ASSISTANCE with your travel plans, please contact a professional travel consultant at Jolly Mon Vacations today!
No charges, no fees…just expert advice and assistance! No strings attached.

218-779-3050
pete@jollymonvacations.com
www.JollyMonVacations.com
www.RiverCruiseGuru.com

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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

==========================

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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Larson is a Certified Sandals Specialist

FARGO, ND AUGUST 2012 –

Pete Larson, President and owner of Jolly Mon Vacations of Grand Forks, ND participated in an intensive travel agent workshop administered by Unique Vacations, Inc. (UVI), the worldwide sales and marketing representative for Sandals, Beaches, and Grand Pineapple Beach resorts. Each workshop – It Pays to Know It All… –offers detailed information on Sandals Resorts International extensive portfolio – comprised of Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts, and Grand Pineapple Beach Resorts – as well as an overview of new developments, services and amenities. All who participate in the workshop are eligible to become Certified Sandals Specialists (CSS), an elite group of travel agents recognized by Unique Vacations, Inc. and the travel industry as experts in the worlds only Luxury Included® Resorts.

According to Pete of Jolly Mon Vacations, there is a serious job at hand, understanding the nuances of each brand within the Sandals Resorts portfolio is critical to his customers.  “My clients rely on me to help them make the best vacation choices so that every hard-earned dollar they spend is giving them true value,” said Larson, “I am thrilled to have been a part of this workshop. I have come away with a wealth of knowledge. My clients want to feel confident that the information they receive is based on expert knowledge and now, my Certified Sandals Specialist designation does just that.”

According to Gary Sadler, Senior Vice President of Sales at UVI, relying on a CSS travel agent is one of the best ways consumers can get the most out of their Caribbean vacation.  “Vacations are memories in the making,” said Sadler.  “You don’t get a second chance to celebrate the perfect honeymoon or family reunion. It has to be just right. CSS agents such as Pete are helping us to match customers to their ideal vacation experience. We congratulate Pete for participating in our workshop, and wish him the very best.”

You can find out more about Pete at:  www.JollyMonVacations.com  Your NO FEE source for all-inclusive vacations!

Contact Pete today at pete@jollymonvacations.com or phone 218-779-3050.

To explore Sandals or Beaches Resorts, please visit www.JollyMonVacations.co

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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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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

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www.twitter.com/thejollymon

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Island Routes Caribbean Adventure Tours Wins Six Star Diamond Award

Island Routes is a major supplier of shore excursions in the islands. They can be pre-booked prior to your vacation to simplify the process, and give you more time to have fun!

Island Routes Caribbean Adventure Tours received its second straight International Six Star Diamond Award from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences (AAHS), which rewards excellence in the global travel and luxury services industries.

“We are the first and only adventure tour company to ever be honored with this prestigious award, and it is a tribute to our Island Routes team to continue to garner recognition from our distinguished industry colleagues,” said David L. Shields, general manager. “We are dedicated to delivering exceptional customer service standards and guarantees, and we strive to showcase each of our destinations with diverse tours that have high appeal for the experiential traveler. It is gratifying to know that these efforts resonate with our travel partners.”

Island Routes offers more than 200 tours in Jamaica, St. Lucia, Antigua, Great Exuma, the Bahamas and the Turks & Caicos. Tours include kayaking expeditions and river explorations, catamaran rides, swimming with sharks, zip-line tours, and ATV, Segway, horse and camel excursions. Island Routes tours are fully commissionable. For more information contact pete@jollymonvacations.com or 218-779-3050.

Jolly Mon Vacations is a full-service travel agency and travel adviser specializing in river cruising and the Caribbean.

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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.
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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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Jamaica Resort Review: Part II

Hello from beautiful Montego Bay,  Jamaica!

It is early in the morning here, and the sunrise was absolutely breathtaking.  It is another picture perfect day here in paradise.  The air is filled with the smell of flowers and that crisp fresh ocean air.  It is just beautiful here!  Sail boats, sun, surf, fantastic food, fresh fruit…. what’s not to like! 

Montego Bay has it all. Beautifully warm weather, turquoise Caribbean waters, white sand beaches, swaying palm trees, and a culture of its own.

We were toured resorts such as Legends, Half Moon Resort in Rose Hall, Sandals Montego Bay, RIU, Holiday Inn Sunspree, Sandals Royal Caribbean, Couples Swept Away, Charela Inn, Secrets Wild Orchid & Secrets St. James, Grand Paladium Lady Hamilton, Grand Paladium Jamaica, & Rockhouse Negril.

All the resorts had their own character, charm, and unique facilities. From romantic hideaways to expansive sandy beaches…these resorts had it all. In time I will post some reviews and pictures for you to see.

We stayed at Half Moon Resort in Rose Hall, Jamaica where we roomed in on of the exclusive Villas. The Villas are gated off from the rest of the property for seclusion. Each Villa had 7 bedrooms with common areas to dine, sit, and even had its own swimming pool. These Villas rent starting at $1,700 per night and are perfect for families and groups that want to share the experience together. There are plenty of other room options at Half Moon as well.

The Villa at Half Moon Resort

We had our own housekeeper, personal chef, and a butler.

 The staff was great. The butler would do whatever we asked him to. They even did our laundry so we could depart with clean clothes!

We also had our own golf cart and free wireless internet. This property is HUGE, and has several beaches, room types, a dolphin cove, an equestrian center, SPA, shopping center, golf  course and everything in between.

While the property is not all-inclusive…we were provided with daily breakfast in our Villa, and we dined in the resort and area restaurants which were very good.  We dined at Pier One in Montego Bay, which is a great setting for dinner at the end of a pier in the bay. The best sunset over Montego Bay!

Inside our Villa at Half Moon

The common areas of the Villa are not air-conditioned, but they are very open and large. There are balconies on each side of the upper floor.

At least one staff member  is on-site around the clock.

We awoke each morning to the smell of fresh muffins baking in the kitchen. Breakfast was served in the dining room and by the pool. Fresh juices, native fruits such as sun-ripened bananas, mangos, papayas, watermelon and pineapple were a staple. Eggs, pancakes, French toast, sausage, bacon, toast, yogurt, muffins and a host of other things to choose from. Fresh Jamaican high mountain coffee was also served. More to come!

For more information on Jamaica, or Half Moon Resort contact:  pete@jollymonvacations.com

Call or Text:  218-779-3050

Half Moon Views
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Jamaica Resort Review

Jolly is in Jamaica Mon!

I was invited by The Jamaica Tourist Board to come down to Jamaica and see the country and it’s resorts and beaches for myself. This way I can better place clients at the right resort. You’ve got to get to know the product, and this is a great way…to see and experience it for myself.

I flew into Sangster Airport in Montego Bay this afternoon. Landing here was incredible. The plane flies in low over the ocean, and just when it looks as if you are going to touch down in the ocean…there’s the runway. WOW! That view of the turquoise colored Caribbean waters! We even spotted a giant sea turtle from the plane as we descended.

After processing through Customs and Immigration, we met up with resort reps. I am staying at the beautiful Half Moon Resort, Rose Hall, Jamaica. We were taken by bus right to the property. The resort is HUGE! Over 400 acres in all. http://www.halfmoon.com/

About 38 other travel agents are staying here, and we are in The Villas. They are multiple bedroom villas that share a common area. It comes complete with it’s own pool, golf cart, butler, chef, and maid. They cook your meals right in your villa. It’s very open and airy. The bedrooms are air conditioned but the common areas are not…making it quite sticky this time of year.

We had a late lunch at The Pub, which consisted of Smoked Marlin Salad, Jerk BBQ Breast of Chicken served with a garlic and scallion mash and fresh vegys. It was topped off with their award winning Pina Colada Cake and homemade ice cream. (and Jamaica has some great ice cream!) Needless to say, I washed it all back with a Red Stripe Beer on draught. Delicious.

We unpacked, and headed to a Cocktail party for the agents. Free cocktails, canapes, and live music sponsored by the JTB. After this, we went to the Beach BBQ Party. A festive line up of Jamaica specialties like Curried Goat, Suckling roasted pig, garlic steamed crab legs, mahi mahi, jerk chicken, bbq ribs, mussels, and a whole lot of other stuff. An awesome display of tasty food to enjoy on the beach. We ate on linen lined picnic tables by candlelight with the stars shining over our heads. The steel drum band was knocking out some Jimmy Buffett tunes, and the waves were lapping the shore behind us. The perfect setting.

There were also quite a few stage shows to watch there, everything from reggae music, limbo dancers, and fire dancers. It was a great time.

I’m back in our Villa, ready for a new day tomorrow. Frogs are croaking, the pool is lit up, and I’m ready for bed. I’ve been awake for 20 hours and I need some shut eye! Stay tuned for part II.

www.jollymonvacations.com

Find out more about Jamaica or Half Moon Resort from:  pete@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.