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New Website Launch: Now LIVE!

The new www.JollyMonVacations.com website makeover is complete.

Please go check it out and tell me what you think. I’ll be tweaking it as needed to perfect it and to update content regularly.

What is new?

  • New, updated look.
  • New Social Media Center on Home page.
  • Complete remodel of the River Cruise Guru page/tab.
  • SPECIALS page refreshed with links at the bottom for researching/booking yourself. (for the serious DIY’ers)
  • New PHOTO & VIDEO page with updated trip photos & videos.
  • New BLOG link to find this BLOG easily.
  • Floating side links to easily SHARE the content on your social media sites, like Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and others.

Please use the site and share with your friends! We are watching and will randomly award prizes for sharing our content!

JMV Official Logomini

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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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New River Cruise Ships for 2011

New River Cruise Ships  for 2011

Uniworld River Cruises’ River Antoinette, which will launch in March on the Rhine River, will have a 20-by-13-foot, heated swimming pool and glass-enclosed balconies. The River Antoinette, sister ship to the River Beatrice, will be the largest ship in Uniworld’s fleet at 443 feet in length and 37.5 feet wide. Most of the 73 staterooms will be 196 square feet, and 20 staterooms will be 163 square feet. There will be eight junior suites measuring 294 square feet each and one owner’s suite at 391 square feet. The River Antoinette will sail Uniworld’s Castles Along the Rhine itinerary.

This year, Viking River Cruises said it was investing $250 million to build eight new ships over the next three years. The first of those new ships, the 264-passenger Viking Emerald, will replace the Viking Century Sun on China’s Yangtze River in 2011. The Emerald will be 361 feet long, and will have 128 staterooms, including 2 presidential suites that will measure 840 square feet each. All staterooms will have a balcony with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors.

Viking Emerald

April

Uniworld is introducing a newbuild in Portugal in April, the 128-passenger Duoro Spirit, which will replace the 126-passenger Duoro Queen on Uniworld’s Portugal, Spain and Duoro River Valley itinerary. Uniworld will have a long-term charter on the Duoro Spirit, which is being built at the Navalria shipyard in Portugal by the ship’s owner, Douro Azul.

May

In May, Avalon Waterways is unveiling the Avalon Panorama, which will feature 64 newly-designed, 200-square-foot suites on the top two decks. Each suite will have a seating area adjacent to an 11-foot wide, floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall panoramic window. The suites will be in addition to 17 staterooms on the lower deck that measure 172 square feet each. Avalon employed a new interior-design team to tackle the Panorama’s design features, which include marble bathrooms, new Avalon-branded bedding called Comfort Collection by Avalon and love seats in the suites.

Also in May, Uniworld will unveil the 206-passenger River Victoria on the Volga River. Uniworld signed a five-year deal to charter the Russian river ship, which is being completely refurbished. Series of three cabins will be combined into two, which will create cabins ranging in size from 135 to 210 square feet. There will be 10 suites.

The River Victoria will be joined on the Volga by the newly renovated 212-passenger Amakatarina. AMAWATERWAYS has signed a five-year lease agreement with the ship’s owner, Russian company Vodohod. The Amakatarina will replace Ama’s existing leased vessel in Russia, the 160-passenger Tolstoy. The ship is being stripped entirely and is being converted from a 400-passenger to a 212-passenger vessel with 106 cabins, 76 of which will feature balconies.

July

Viking Prestige

Viking’s new 188-passenger Viking Prestige will sail the 8-day Romantic Danube sailing from Budapest to Nuremberg (and the reverse). It is being built at the Neptun Shipyard in Rostock, Germany. It is being built with ecologically friendly engines, suites that measure 310 square feet, and French balconies on the upper and middle decks.

August

Tauck World Discovery is back in the shipbuilding game too, with the new 118-passenger Treasures scheduled to set sail in August. Currently under construction at the Vahali Shipyards in Gendt, the Netherlands, Treasures will feature new beds and an enhanced cabin décor, both of which Tauck is implementing fleet-wide for 2011. The ship will sail on five different Tauck itineraries throughout Europe.

September

AMALotus

AMAWATERWAYS is launching its second Mekong River ship next year. The 124-passenger Amalotus — which will make stops in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Angkor Wat, Cambodia — will have standard cabins that will be 226 square feet, 10 junior suites that will be 290 square feet and two suites will be 452 square feet each. Like with its first 94-passenger Mekong ship La Marguerite, Ama Waterways will have partial ownership in the Amalotus as well.

River Cruising is the fastest growing segment of the cruise industry, and it shows. Book your river cruise with a certified River Cruise Expert:  The River Cruise Guru, pete@rivercruiseguru.com or 218-779-3050. Get your ‘river cruise’ on!

River Cruise Guru is a branch of Jolly Mon Vacations…destination anywhere.

www.JollyMonVacations.com

www.RiverCruiseGuru.com

Pete Larson,

Owner/President

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Secure Flight Rules Effective November 1

Effective November 1, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requires passengers to provide complete Secure Flight passenger data when booking reservations so TSA can conduct watch list matching and approve airlines to issue a boarding pass.

To avoid unnecessary delays and prevent misidentifications, the TSA is advising passengers to provide complete Secure Flight data when booking airline travel, whether they have booked directly with the airline, a travel agent or an online booking site.

Secure Flight requires airlines to collect a passenger’s full name (as it appears on government-issued ID), date of birth, gender and Redress Number (if applicable). By providing complete information, passengers can significantly decrease the likelihood of watch list misidentification, TSA says.

Secure Flight watch list matching takes a matter of seconds to complete, and providing this data enables passengers to print their boarding passes at home or at an airline kiosk, TSA notes.

The November 1 deadline marks the end of the year-long grace period for airlines to clear out their systems of older reservations made before Secure Flight requirements took effect in October 2009.

After November 1, 2010, Secure Flight will not conduct watch list matching or approve the issuance of a boarding pass by an airline if complete passenger data is not submitted, the TSA says.

Contact:  pete@jollymonvacations.com for more information on how to do this.

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Christmas Market Cruise: A Holiday Celebration

If you love the Christmas holidays, then get in the spirit with a Christmas Market river cruise!

Many old European towns – such as Salzburg, Strasbourg, Vienna and Nuremberg – host old-fashioned Christmas markets to celebrate the season.

 The European Christmas markets are a great way to get into the holiday spirit! The hand-made crafts, the food, the delicious smells, the lights – not even Ebeneezer Scrooge could deny the spirit of Christmas!

There are land tours that travel from one town to the next, visiting Christmas markets in each village or large city. Most will require travel by bus (comfortable, but sometimes cramped), and packing and unpacking your bag at another hotel almost every day. Forget it!

One of the best ways to enjoy the markets is on a Christmas Market river cruise. Virtually all river cruise lines offer Holiday Market cruises and each cruise visits at least 4 or 5 towns (if not more!).

And when you’re not shopping the markets or exploring the town, you’ll be relaxing on a comfortable river cruise ship, watching the world go by as you sip hot chocolate in the lounge or your cabin – much better than the seat of a bus!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SB5lzvW1yGQ]

Since towns and villages have always been located on a river or other waterway, the river cruise ships can take you right to the heart of town. You get off the ship, and start exploring! No need to travel from a hotel on the outskirts to the heart of the city; no need to pack and unpack every day, either – your “hotel” travels with you, so there’s more time for enjoying the sights.

And there are many rivers in Europe, and many areas to explore.

A Danube River Cruise will take you to Nuremberg, Germany and Vienna, Austria and possibly Prague or Budapest. This is the most common route, and is offered by Viking, Uniworld, Avalon , and AMA Waterways.

A Rhine River Cruise takes you to Cologne and Heidelberg, Germany or even  Strasbourg, France and is available from most cruise lines. Enjoy Christmas in Germany with gingerbread and hot, spiced wine (glühwein).

The sights, sounds, tastes and smells of the spirit of Christmas. This is the land where Christmas celebrations began. Contact your River Cruise Specialist today! pete@rivercruiseguru.com

Jolly Mon Vacations

Pete is a certified ‘River Cruise Specialist’ with River Cruise Guru and Owner/operator of Jolly Mon Vacations. He will ensure your planning goes smoothly, your booking is perfect, your price is the best value, and you have the vacation of your dreams!

Your Christmas experience awaits! Call today! Pete:  218-779-3050

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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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Destination: Los Cabos, Mexico

Destination:  Los Cabos, Mexico

Where the heck is it?

Los Cabos is located on Mexico’s West coast, at the Southern point of the

Baja Peninsula. Where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez.

Pictured above is the beautiful Dreams Los Cabos Suites Golf Resort & Spa.
Why You Should Go to Los Cabos  Just visualize yourself in these pictures!

Cabo is well known for its sandy beaches, sunny skies, world-class

Scuba diving locations, championship golf courses, and the distinctive

rocky arch El Arco de Cabo San Lucas.

Commonly called ‘Cabo’, the area consists of a resort area spanning

from the city of Cabo San Lucas to San José del Cabo. The 20 mile resort

area in between is know as ‘the Corridor.’ The Corridor is host to many

luxury resorts and championship golf courses.

 Cabo’s Fantastic All-inclusive Resorts Is that you lounging by the pool?

There are plenty of different accomodations located around Cabo.

Some of the most popular are:  Dreams, RIU, Crowne Plaza, Melia,

Royal Solaris and Barcelo.  Pete is standing by to assist you with

additional information on any of these resorts, and is a certified

Master Agent’ for Dreams, Secrets, Now, and Zoetry Resorts owned

by AMResorts.

 

Activities in CaboHere are some great things to do in Cabo:

  • SCUBA diving/ Snorkeling
  • Whale watching / Dolphins
  • Golfing world-class courses
  • Deep sea fishing
  • Beaches/ Sunbathing
  • Watersports/ Kayaking/ Jet Skiing/ Surfing
  • Horseback riding/ ATVing/ Hiking
  • Culture/ Eco tours
  • Dining / Nightlife / Shopping / Weddings
  • Reconnecting / Making memories
 Where Do We Go From Here? How can I learn more, or book a vacation?

Its simple. Send an email to pete@jollymonvacations.com, or call

Pete at 218.779.3050. Whether you are interested in a resort, a

cruise in Europe, or a trip to the islands…JMV’s is here to help.

There are no fees for our service, so you can’t go wrong.

Why take chances with your hard earned money? The internet is

full of travel scams, and people ready to take your money. It’s full

of misleading information, confusing fine print, and liquidators

with ‘too good to be true’ prices.

You could spend hours on the internet trying to book yourself a

vacation. You could end up with a room facing the dumpster, 

a pool that’s closed for repairs, and food that baked under a heat

lamp. Who will be looking out for YOU? Your discount website?

Sure. Call them when you miss your connecting flight because

of a delay. What will be their response when you reach that call 

center in Pakistan?

Trust in Jolly Mon Vacations. Pete is a trained destination specialist,

an expert in cruise lines and resorts, and is also accredited with IATAN,

which is the International Association of Travel Agents Network. He is 

experienced, well-cruised, and well-traveled. His knowledge, experience,

education and training is invaluable. He will use it to assist you in

finding the best vacation, at the best value for your money. Safe, simple,

complete.

 It’s like traveling with a friend, I’m with you to the end. That’s my

VIP pledge to you.

 PS….JMV’s loves your referrals! If someone you refer books

with us, JMV’s will pay you cash!

 

Contact Us:You can learn more about Jolly Mon Vacations at:

Website:  www.jollymonvacations.com

Email:  pete@jollymonvacations.com

Call Pete at:  218-779-3050

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Jolly Mon Vacations Prize Giveaway

Jolly Mon Vacations Prize Giveaway is in full swing. Become a fan of JMV on facebook and win! You can learn about vacations, get a price quote on your next trip, make new friends, or win a prize!

This months free t-shirt giveaway is in full swing. Certain FANS were given t-shirts simply for interacting on the page. Will you be next? You could be! Become a fan, and interact on the site by posting vacation pics, stories, videos, or making posts.

JMV’s for all your travel needs. Contact Pete at 218-779-3050 or pete@jollymonvacations.com today! (or text me!)

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NCL Cruise Sale!

Want to get in on the Freestyle Dash? Act fast because from March 23-26 Norwegian Cruise Line is offering 50% reduced deposit on every ship and every sailing, plus you’ll receive up to $250 on-board credit on select sailings. But, you’ve got to act quickly because once it’s over, it’s over.

Contact pete@jollymonvacations.com for more details.