Category Archives: Travel

Best Way to Visit Cuba – By Cruise Ship!

Just wanted to make sure that everyone is aware that even with change in Cuba travel restrictions, visiting by cruise ship is the best way to visit Cuba.  Also, enjoy everything a cruise has to offer including beautiful sunrises and sunsets!

The following are statements from Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) and Royal Caribbean International (RCCL).

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Response to Trump Administration announcement about Cuba
June 16, 2017

‘Based on the information shared today, we are very pleased to learn the news that cruises to Cuba will continue under the new guidelines laid out by the Administration.  All of our cruises to, and shore excursions in, Cuba are in full compliance with regulations set forth by the US Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”), and we will work with the Administration to comply with any changes to those and any other regulation’s that will result from its decision.  We are also pleased that education travel and travel that supports the Cuban people will continue. ‘

 

and

June 16, 2017

‘Today President Trump announced his administration’s new policy changes for U.S. citizens traveling to Cuba, and we are pleased to inform you that we don’t anticipate any changes to our Cuba itineraries. Your clients can expect to enjoy the immersive, unforgettable experience they’ve been looking forward to as we visit Havana, Cuba on their upcoming sailing onboard Empress of the Seas. ‘

Sincerely,
Royal Caribbean International 

 

Email dreameztravel@gmail.com to book a cruise or for more information!!

Click here for www.dreameztravel.com.

***Just saved client $269.00!

Just in the last month I saved a client $269.00 on a cruise that was booked in November 2016!!  Cruise is for May 2017.  I compare prices and if there is a better promotion/price, I will get the better price for you as long as it is before final payment.  No work for you!

Email dreameztravel@gmail.com to book or for more information!!

Click here for www.dreameztravel.com.

Would you like to be walking on a beautiful beach like this guy?  Enjoy life!  We can help make all the arrangements so you can sleep worry free!

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***Norwegian Escape – The Solo Traveler Experience!

Cruising as a solo traveler is a smooth, safe, and enjoyable process on the Norwegian Escape. Studio rooms created just for the solo traveler are an affordable choice. Unlike other cruise lines that charge double, a studio cabin on the Escape can be very affordable. Norwegian’s Breakaway, Epic, Getaway, and Pride of America offer studios also.

I found all different ages and types of people staying in the studios during my voyage. There were folks in their young twenties to seventies. Some people were traveling with others staying in other sections of the ship and some were traveling alone. It was a great opportunity to meet many different people.

Studio Rooms:

There are many studio cabins on the Escape. The studio cabins are located on Deck 11 and 12. Card key access is required to get into the corridor in the studios. Each cabin is 100 square feet. In the cabin there is a full size bed and plenty of space for storage. The cabin is well designed.

Studio Lounge:

In the middle of the studios hallway, easily accessible from all studio cabins, is a lounge area called the Studio Lounge. In the lounge there is a bar, specialty espresso and cappuccino coffee machine, fresh orange juice, snacks, a white board to help people connect, and comfy, attractive couches and chairs.  There is a solo traveler host available during the cruise (one of the cruise staff) that can help solo travelers with any questions and in help making group reservations.  On embarkation day there is an opportunity to meet other solo travelers during a meeting that takes place usually around 5:30-6:00. Everyone that attends introduces himself/herself and tells a little about himself/herself. It is then nice when seeing these individuals during the cruise. There is an optional meeting at 5:30/6:00 each day in the lounge to help people connect for dinner, excursions, shows, or other activities.

Dining:

If desired dining alone on the Escape is very comfortable. There are many tables for two that easily will accommodate just one. Many of these small tables are located near windows in either Taste, Savor, or The Manhattan Room. Some tables for two are located near the band in the Manhattan Room. If eating in the Garden Cafe buffet, there are plenty of seats available. I especially liked the tall table and chairs on the end. The other complimentary option is O’Sheehan’s and there are usually plenty of seats there also. I never had to wait for a seat to become available at any of the dining locations.

Entertainment:

There are many entertainment options on board that a solo traveler can take advantage of. Free entertainment includes After Midnight, Levity Comedy, Vocal Overdrive, Howl at the Moon (Dueling Pianos), Jazz, and many other music choices.  For a fee, there is a dinner show ‘For the Record – The Brat Pack’ that is excellent also.  Shows can be signed up for before sailing, from on the TV in your stateroom, or at the Box Office right on the Escape. If you enjoy a certain type of show, you can attend another performance by either booking again if the show is not full, or arriving 10 minutes before the show and going in the stand-by line. Getting a seat is not usually an issue at all.

For more information on cruising solo on the Escape, to answer a specific question, or to book a cruise please email dreameztravel@gmail.com. Also, please visit my website:

Click here for www.dreameztravel.com.

 

 

***Norwegian Escape – The Spa Experience!

Going to the spa on the Norwegian Escape is a relaxing experience. Within the spa there are specialized rooms and areas just to hang out- with a beautiful view. There is a beverage area with orange water, lemon water, and hot teas. There is a large pool with jets and a whirlpool. If you choose to buy a pass or if you are staying in a spa room, you will feel pampered in the spa area!

If you are not in a spa room, if you sign up for the thermal suite and pool on embarkation day and you get a special package price. Or, better yet, sign up online, before the cruise starts.  They sell a limited number of these packages so that the area never gets crowded, so you will want to sign up by the first day/night. The spa is open 8:00am – 10:00pm except for the last day when the thermal suites and pool are only open until 8:00pm. Pricing is based on number of days of cruise: 2 day-$79, 7 day-$199, 12 day-$279 (prices if booked before cruise starts). The pass gives you complete usage of saunas, showers, steamroom, salt room, snow room, and therapeutic pool and whirlpool.

If you have a spa pass (sticker on your card), you stop at the desk to check in. You leave your room key and in exchange they will give you a bracelet. The bracelet allows you to enter the thermal suite.  You can lock your belongings in the lockers in the changing area. In the changing area you will find a beautiful view, towels, robes, hair dryers, showers, and bathrooms. After you change and put your bathing suit and robe on, enter the spa area. There are plenty of lounging chairs. You can also select the heated tile lounge chairs to relax on.

Choices in the spa area include a pool with all different kinds of water jets, a whirlpool, a sauna, a sanarium, rain shower, aromatic steam bath, and salt bath. This spa area is a great area to just relax and unwind. I found that this area never really got crowded (even with 4900 guests!). I stayed in the studios so it was a great place to hangout as a solo traveler. I saw many other solo travelers there also. Calming music plays in the background. I either closed my eyes and relaxed or read or listened to my ipod. I felt it was a good choice especially for sea days!

If you have any questions or if you would like to book a cruise, please contact me at dreameztravel@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you. Also, please check out my website at

Click here for www.dreameztravel.com.

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***Do Business With a Professional Travel Planner

Cruising.org is a site that has a wealth of information about cruising. ‘Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is the world’s largest cruise industry trade association, providing a unified voice and leading authority of the global cruise community. CLIA supports policies and practices that foster a safe, secure, healthy and sustainable cruise ship environment and is dedicated to promote the cruise travel experience.’

A service that CLIA offers is to help you find travel professionals that can assist you in planning for your perfect cruise. You can use the ‘Cruise Agent Finder’ to get contact information based on zipcode.

As described by Cruise Lines International Association -‘CLIA affiliated agents have chosen to specialize in cruise vacations setting them apart from other travel agents. A CLIA Certified Cruise Agent is even more equipped with the skills and knowledge and are especially qualified to assist you in choosing the perfect cruise and ensuring you the best vacation value. Find a CLIA Certified Cruise Agent to assist you. Search using your City and State/Province, or by Zip or Postal Code and Proximity, then start planning your cruise vacation today!’
Click here for CLIA Agent finder.

 

I can be found by entering the 01040 zipcode:

DEBORAH LACASSE
28 GREENWOOD AVE
HOLYOKE, MA 01040
413-949-9784
dreameztravel@gmail.com
http://www.dreameztravel.com

I can work with you wherever you live!  I look forward to speaking with you!

Click here for www.dreameztravel.com.

***Hints and Tips for the Norwegian Escape

I recently had the opportunity to cruise on the beautiful Norwegian Escape out of Miami. The Escape’s first sailing was in November 2015 so she is not even a year old. The Escape has a unique Miami type theme.  She is very similar to the Breakaway and Getaway.  She has the first Jimmy Buffet Margaritaville At Sea.  The hull was painted by Guy Harvey and has a marine life theme.

Guest capacity is around 4200 double occupancy. The design of the ship is very nice so rarely did it feel crowded and there were 4900 guests onboard the cruise I was on. The following are some hints and tips for the Norwegian Escape.

-The fish on the carpet in the hallways are always facing the front of the ship- helps with confusion on which direction you want to go.

-Drop off your carry on luggage at Headliners when you get on the ship instead of carrying around. Have lunch and check out the ship until cabins are ready. Then pick up your carry on luggage.

-When you get on the ship on Embarkation day, instead of going to the buffet, head to either O’Sheehan’s or The Taste/Savor (whichever is open that afternoon). You will be able to have a more leisurely lunch (less crowded than buffet).

-Try to go for check in 11:00am and be 1 of the first people on board!

-Put bathing suit in carry on so can go in whirlpool, pool, or to Spa on Embarkation day. Otherwise could be delay in getting your luggage.

-Take a tour of the spa on Embarkation day and you can enter in drawing. Multiple prizes given away. Many time around $500 in spa services given away. Drawing for my cruise was at 5:00pm. Need to be present to win.  Pick up a fitness schedule while you are there.  Not all class offerings are listed in the Freestyle Daily.

-If you sign up for thermal suite and pool online before the cruise for complete usage of saunas, showers, steamroom, salt room, snow room, and therapeutic pool and whirlpool you get the lowest price.  If you buy the first day on board, you will get a slightly higher price.  They sell a limited number of these packages so that the area never gets crowded, so you will want to sign up on or before the first day/night. The spa is open 8:00am – 10:00pm except for the last day when the thermal suites and pool are only open until 8:00pm. Advance pricing is based on number of days of cruise: 2 day-$79, 7 day-$199, 12 day-$279.

-Lockers are available at the Spa for those with access to the thermal suites and pool/whirlpool.

-The thermal suite area is handicap accessible, including pools.

-Bring earplugs for at night in case you go to bed early and there is loud talking in the hallways. Earplugs will also block out any announcements in the hallway from the cruise director.

-There are a limited number of passes to the outdoor Vibe beach area. It is a private sun deck available to Haven and suite guests. Only a certain number of passes are sold each sailing so that the Vibe area never gets crowded. If you are interested in this type of pass, try to check in early on Embarkation day and go right to the Guest Services desk as soon as you get on the ship to see if they have any passes left.

-Sign up for as many shows as possible online before Embarkation day. When you get on the ship, sign up for all remaining shows either at the Box Office or on the large touch screen in the hallway outside the theater, or using your cabin TV. Shows will fill up quickly. Since the theater only holds approximately 850 people, those with reservations will almost fill each show. All reservations are released 10 minutes before the show. At this time, anyone waiting in the standby line can be let in the theater. Standby can be nice if you want to see a show more than once.

-Every day at 7:00am there is a stretch class in the group room in the gym area. This class is free and lasts for 30 minutes. Try to arrive early to make sure you get a spot. There is only room for about 20 people once the mats are down.

-Abs class is free and offered at 7:30am everyday also.   Need to check Freestyle Daily to confirm time.

-Zumba is offered on sea days at the Sports Court usually at 9am. Classes are for about 30 minutes.  Even though this class is outdoors, it takes place before the sun is really hot.

-Walnuts and pecans can be found at the sides of the buffet in the morning near the oatmeal or fruit.  Great with oatmeal, brown sugar or cinnamon, raisins, and banana chips in the morning.

-The ‘For the Record – Brat Pack’ show in the Supper Club is awesome. All seats are good but arrive early so you have a better selection. Performances are right in front of you. Surf and Turf dinner is served along with an appetizer and triple selection dessert. Show is 1 1/2 hours. Try to make reservations early since shows will fill up.

-Sometimes we found that some of the restaurants were on the dark side. Might want to bring little flashlight to help read the menu. Small flashlights can be purchased in the gift store also.

-80’s party and White Out party are lots of fun.

-Miniature golf, Bocce, Ropes course with zip line and plank and in the Sports area, Deck 18.

-Lots of sitting areas on Deck 8 in the Waterfront section. You can also dine outside. There is a wraparound deck that you can walk around (goes around 90% of the ship).  Coffee and paper cups are available outside on each side of Deck 8 each morning.  You can also get coffee refills at O’Sheehan’s.

-O’Sheehan’s, a 24 hour venue, is great especially off hours. Nice choices and everything is cooked up quickly and fresh.

-At ports, Norwegian always has tents set up with seats, drinks, and wet washcloths. Nice meeting area or place to rest when returning to the ship.

-Use Norwegian IConcierge on your Smart Phone.

-Choices galore: 29 restaurants, and many Bars and Lounges!!  Restaurants have beepers so you do not need to wait at the entrance, you can relax down the hall or at a close bar.

-Play WII on the big screen in the atrium!

-Go to the Q & A presented by the Cruise Director –running a Hotel on Sea. Hotel director, bar director, and head executive chef answer guests’ questions.

-Go to the Technical Q & A presented by the Cruise Director- the Captain and Chief Engineer answer questions. Nice informational presentation by Cruise Director.

-Manhattan Room has similar menu as from Taste and Savor.  Manhattan is more dressy (no shorts).  The menu is posted right outside each restaurant.

-Classes offered at the gym include Pilates and Yoga.

-Beautiful to watch front or back of ship from decks. Many times see dolphins playing.

-There are switches in the room that turn on lights on outside of room to let cabin steward know if you do not want to be disturbed or you want your cabin made up.

-Go to the Q & A by the performers. Very interesting. The panel that I saw consisted of 2 performers from ‘After Midnight’, 1 performer from ‘The Brat Pack’, and 1 performer from ‘Vocal Overdrive’.

-Go first thing in the morning on the Aqua slides and you will not need to wait in line.

-Bug spray is available at guest services.

-Sometimes the last ‘Howl at the Moon show’ (the last night of the cruise), different ship performers will go there.

-Conditioning shampoo and body wash are in the room

-Studio cabins are available for solo travelers.  Studio lounge is available to all guests staying in Studio cabins.

-Watch a sunrise and sunset!!

Please email or call for me to book your next cruise – dreameztravel@gmail.com or 413-949-9784.  I specialize in service.  Let me do the work for you.  If anyone in your group has food allergies, I will make sure that the cruise line knows in advance and you are all set.  Let me know what questions you have.

 

 

***Carnival Live Performers For Fall 2016

Carnival LIVE brings some of the biggest acts in entertainment aboard Carnival ships to play a captivating performance for guests. It is a one-of-a-kind entertainment experience that’s truly a great value! Recently announced:  these amazing performers will be part of the line-up for the fall 2016 concert series:

Sam Hunt: Recently nominated for a Grammy Award and honored with an American Music Award, a CMT Award and an Academy of Country Music Award – Sam Hunt is the first country artist to chart all singles from his debut album in the Billboard Hot 100! You will be singing along and dancing in the aisles as he performs two shows while Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Splendor are docked in Cozumel on October 19th and 20th, respectively.

Jim Gaffigan: This Grammy award-winning comedian, New York Times best-selling author, top touring performer, and multi-platinum-selling father of five will bring his unique brand of humor with performances in Nassau on Carnival Valor September 6th and Carnival Fantasy September 7th.

Chris Tucker: Best known for his successful stand-up comedy career and starring roles in movies such as the popular Rush Hour movie series, and most recently starring in a self-titled comedy show, “Chris Tucker – Live” on Netflix. Chris Tucker will keep you laughing with his hilarious outlook on life with two shows – aboard Carnival Freedom in Grand Cayman October 25th and Carnival Dream in Montego Bay October 26th.

Carnival LIVE tickets for Sam Hunt, Chris Tucker and Jim Gaffigan range from $30 to $75 for general admission, significantly less than land-based venues. VIP tickets are available for $100 to $250 and offer seating in the first five rows, a photo opportunity with the entertainer and a commemorative concert pass.

Please email me at dreameztravel@gmail.com or call 413-949-9784 to book one of these cruise events.