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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
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The River Cruise Guru is a specialty branch of Jolly Mon Vacations!
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All-inclusive resort vs cruise vacation prices

All-inclusive Resort
Jolly Mon Vacations is your ticket to savings this winter for your getaway.

“What will a week-long vacation to an all-inclusive resort cost me?”
Here are some prices for some one week getaways figured for two persons. Airfare is figured from Minneapolis, but can be purchased from most any gateway. Prices may vary greatly to deviate. There are a host of different resort and flight options but these were picked for best value and scheduling. Contact us for any specific requests or different resort options: pete@jollymonvacations.com

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A week in Cancun, Mexico that won’t break the bank!
• Roundtrip NON-STOP flights for two on Sun Country Airlines from Minneapolis to Cancun, Mexico.
• Roundtrip transfers from Cancun airport to the resort. 7 nights stay arriving February 2 at the 4-star Krystal Cancun Resort in a Deluxe room.
• Price: $1,432 per person total.
• $100 deposit at booking

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A week in laid-back Negril, Jamaica…just what the doctor ordered!
• Roundtrip flights for two on US Airways from Minneapolis to Montego Bay, Jamaica.
• Roundtrip transfers from Sangster International airport to the resort in Negril.
• 7 nights stay arriving February 2 at the 4-star RIU Negril Resort in a standard room.
• Price: $1,670 per person total.
• $1,263 deposit at booking, full payment due: 19DEC12.

RIU Negril all-inclusive resort
RIU Negril all-inclusive resort

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Sunning in Montego Bay, Jamaica this winter can be a reality!
• Roundtrip flights for two on United Airlines from Minneapolis to Montego Bay, Jamaica.
• Roundtrip transfers from Sangster International airport to the resort.
• 7 nights stay arriving February 3rd at the 3.5-star Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort in a Superior room. (thru Cyber Monday)
• Price: $1,371 per person total.
• $1,063 deposit at booking, full payment due: 20DEC12.

Holiday Inn  Sunspree Resort, Montego Bay, Jamaica

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Looking for something completely different? How about Costa Rica?
• Roundtrip NON-STOP flights for two on Sun Country Airlines from Minneapolis to Liberia, Costa Rica.
• Roundtrip transfers from Liberia airport to the resort.
• 7 nights stay arriving February 22nd at the 4.5-star RIU Guanacaste Resort in a standard room.
• Bonus: Complimentary city tour of Liberia. (4 hours)
• Price: $1,980 per person total.
• $100 deposit at booking, full payment due: 08JAN13.

RIU Guanacaste, Costa Rica

RIU Gaunacaste Pool area

RIU Guanacaste:
Where families, spa-lovers, active travelers and couples come for sun and luxurious sand, this inviting resort provides the perfect blend of service and smiles fronting Costa Rica’s warm Pacific Coast. Nestled amidst tropical palms and fragrant gardens, guests are treated to spacious guestrooms and suites featuring a regularly restocked in-room mini-bar and liquor dispenser; a pampering spa; fun-filled children’s amenities including a playground, activity club and pool; lighted tennis courts; a disco and 24-hour, all-inclusive restaurants and bars serving delicious cuisines ranging from Asian fare to a robust Steakhouse. Creating the perfect setting for unforgettable vacation experiences, this polished resort has something for every member of the family.

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How do these all-inclusive resort prices compare to a one week cruise vacation?

-Here is a sample of what a cruise vacation actually costs:
• Ship: Ruby Princess sailing from Ft. Lauderdale to the Eastern Caribbean:
• Feb 3, 2013 for 7 nights. (FLL-Princess Cays-St. Maarten-St.Thomas-Grand Turk)
• Category BE Balcony: $1,210 per person cruise-only double occupancy. *
• Hotel night prior: $100 per person with free airport shuttle.
• Dinner & breakfast prior to cruise: $30 per person.
• Transfers from hotel to ship and ship to airport: $25 per person.
• Roundtrip flights from MSP-FLL: $377 per person.
• Shipboard gratuities: $80.50 per person/week.
• Water, soda, juice, specialty coffee, beer, wine, alcohol: $175 per person/week.
• Baggage gratuities/misc. gratuities: $15 per person.
• Actual total cruise vacation price: $2,013 per person.
*All soda, specialty coffee, wine, beer, liquor and some juices are extra on cruises.
Mandatory gratuities are 15% extra on beverages. If you were to drink a bottle of water, one soda and three mixed drinks each day it would add more than $25 per day, per person or $175 per person for the week. (which is added above. Adjust this according to your drinking preferences)

We advocate flying in to the port city at least one night prior to your cruise so a flight delay won’t cause you to miss your ship. We’ve added this into the overall cost above.

All-inclusive resorts generally include some other activities and tours that will cost extra aboard a ship. Each resort is different in it’s inclusions so study them closely when comparing a specific resort Vs. cruise vacation.

Some resorts, like RIU above include free Wi-Fi . Aboard ship, you will pay a premium for internet service. Since everyone does not require Wi-Fi service, this fee has been omitted above. Please add these costs onto your trip if its something you require.

Call, text or email us today if you are interested in booking your next vacation at the lowest prices available.

IMPORTANT! These prices /quotes /offers are time-sensitive and capacity controlled. They were priced on 11/25/12 and prices can rise and fall daily. All pricing and/or promotions are subject to availability at the time of booking. All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise stated. Jolly Mon Vacations does not control these offers and cannot be held responsible for changes in price or terms.

Jolly Mon Vacations ALWAYS recommends that you purchase travel insurance. Travel insurance is not included in these prices but a personalized quote will be provided at request.

Jolly Mon Vacations
Call: 218.779.3050
Click: www.JollyMonVacations.com
Email: pete@jollymonvacations.com
Jolly Mon Vacations and its branch River Cruise Guru are owned and operated by Peter Larson.
The business is registered in the state of North Dakota, USA.

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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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How does a river cruise differ from an ocean cruise?

How does a river cruise differ from an ocean cruise?  

There are many differences between todays mass-market cruises and a much smaller, more intimate river cruise. On an ocean cruise the huge mega-ship is the prime destination. The ship is like an entire floating resort. A river cruise ship is more like a floating boutique hotel that brings you to the desired destination. River cruises offer a very cozy environment with only 100 to 180 guests on board, and within one week you can meet all of them and make many new friends. It is an educational experience, and it is as easy to get on and off the ship as walking in and out of a hotel. (On European itineraries) boats are docked most of the time in the center of a gorgeous city or quaint village, surrounded by lovely vineyards or old European heritage sites. 

Each day is a new port, and there aren’t any ‘sea days’ where you waste your time watching belly flop competitions or kids running amok. Each day you will arrive in a new port in the heart of it all. You will step off the ship and begin your new tour of discovery, which is also included in the price! That is another big difference, there are many more things included in your cruise fare with rivefr cruises. When the price is nearly all-inclusive…you will know your costs ‘up-front.’ No surprises.

River cruise vessels are only 3 decks high, and made to fit under the pictureque stone bridges that dot the waterways of Europe. You won’t get lost looking for a place to eat like on the big cruise ships. These small ships are built to specifically to observe the passing scenery, with lots of open deck space and many large interior windows. Imagine, floating by in your deck chair with ancient castles sitting high atop the river valley, wildlife in every direction, and vineyards stretched as far as the eye can see. Pass quaint villages where the culture unfolds before you, and sail into the heart of large cities…without a traffic jam.

You will see many different countries on your trip, and you only unpack once. No living out of your suitcase like on a bus tour driving town to town in close quarters, nor dragging suitcases from hotel to hotel. Your fabulous boutique hotel goes with you. What better way to travel through Europe?

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River cruising—a better way to explore

River Cruising Europe

 

River cruising is, quite simply, the best way to travel through many of the world’s most fascinating places. Comfortable and convenient, it offers a greater variety of destinations than you could encounter any other way—and lets you get in-depth exposure to each region.

Both experienced and first-time travelers are discovering the joys of river cruising—and you can too! Take advantage of Viking River Cruise Lines Early Booking Discount and enjoy a river cruise or cruisetour through Europe, Russia, Ukraine, China or Egypt in 2011.

2011 Early Booking Discount


2-FOR-1 Cruise plus up to 2-FOR-1 Air!
~plus complimentary wine with dinner.

Contact pete@jollymonvacations.com , your River Cruise Specialist today!

Hurry Expires July 31, 2010

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Cruising: The Benefits

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

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

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

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Why Take a Cruise Vacation?

Why should I choose a cruise vacation over a land resort?

A cruise is a lot different from a land based vacation, here’s why:

A cruise ship is a resort by day, and an urban playground by night. It’s also your means of transportation! Why not leave the ‘driving’ to the professionals so you can relax, and concentrate on fun?

Your floating resort makes its way around the neighborhood at 20 knots! You don’t have to leave the resort to get anywhere, the destinations comes to you! New exotic ports of call, loaded with different cultures and steeped in rich history knock on your door each day. Something new and exciting each time you step off the ship.

Land based vacations are nice, but you won’t have the chance to wake up in your hotel room at a different island each day. You won’t have the option of frolicking on a new beach, or learning a different culture each day. Every day brings new things to you on a cruise vacation. Why not?

World class evening entertainment, just steps outside your door. Tickets? You won’t need to stand in line and pay exhuberant prices for tickets! Walk right in, sit down…and enjoy the show. Piano bars, nightclubs, discos, casinos, show lounges, dining venues, sushi bars, giant outdoor movie screens, or just sit under the stars and listen to the sea. The choices are endless.

Got children? The children’s facilities are second to none. There are more than enough activities to keep your children busy all day and night. Children are divided into like age groups, and have the time of their lives. Ice skating at sea? They can do it! Climbing rock walls, video games, learning new things…you’ll have a hard time getting them away for some family time! And while they are having fun together, you are free to relax in the sun, dine with your mate, or head to the spa for a much-needed massage.

Daytime sea day activities can be as active as you want them to be. How about bingo, trivia, demonstrations, pool games, scavenger hunts,  movies, exercise,  enrichment classes, or have a cocktail and listen to live music. perhaps you just want to read a book on your private balcony or watch the waves for a passing whale? Opportunities abound.

Aboard a cruise ship, there is something for everyone. You can see four different countries in a week, and unpack only once. Try a cruise vacation today, you won’t regret it.

While a cruise vacation can have a lot of variables, I suggest contacting a travel agent to ensure you get on the right cruise line for your budget, the right ship and the right itinerary. These are critical to the success of your vacation.

Contact pete@jollymonvacations.com for further questions. I will put you on the right cruise vacation, and I won’t charge any fees. I will help you every step of the way. Now that’s something to smile about!