Land Deals of the Week 11.16.20

Collette is one of the leaders in group tours. They have been around forever and are easily one of the most recognizable brands offering curated tours around the world. Even if you think tours are not for you, check these guys out. They offer small group, solo, and private options as well themed experiences like faith-based travel and explorations (one-destination, in-depth experiences). They also offer many options for customizing your trip.
You may not recognize the name Karisma but chances are you recognize one of their brands like El Dorado, Azul, Margaritaville, and Nickelodeon. What says family vacation better than a stay with your favorite Nickelodeon characters!
By far one of our favorites, G-Adventures is the global leader in responsible, immersive travel. This is not your typical tour group. Participation in each group is capped at around 12-15 people and they love to go off the beaten path to really get to know a destination. Add on tours and experiences help travelers break out of their comfort zones to try something new and a wide variety of “styles” – from classic to National Geographic, even Marine (expedition cruising) and National Geographic – means you’ll find the perfect experience for you and/or your family. You can even select tours limited to younger travelers or families, “active” tours, and wellness tours. There’s even an option to add a donation to Planeterra, their nonprofit foundation that invests in the communities and environments where they operate. Hurry up though, their Cyber Sale ends November 30th so contact us today to book before it’s too late!

**As with all good things, these too must eventually come to end. In some cases the “book by” dates are published, in others they are not. As a general rule, most sales last a week or two, rarely do they extend beyond the end of the month. Popular deals may get extended on occasion but it’s not guaranteed. Please don’t assume these offers are still available a week after they’re posted. We recommend contacting us directly to inquire and, if they are still available, to book as soon as possible before you miss out.**

Cruise Deals of the Week 11.16.20

Cruise Deals of the Week 11.16.20

Norwegian has some of the newest ships in the industry and some of the best promotions so you are sure to enjoy a beautiful cruise. With the free kids option (when they stay in your cabin) you can’t afford to not take the kids along. Free open bar and specialty dining means they offer a little something for the parents too.

Our little one loves Norwegian cruises. The kids camp is clean, safe, and spacious with ample activities like dance parties and games to keep them wanting to come back – which frees the adults up to relax by the pool, take in a show, or hang out at the Ice Bar.

While they typically offer some version of this offer at various times throughout the year, please keep in mind that pricing usually increases as you approach your embarkation date so it is better to book as far out as you can.

Royal Caribbean is another great cruise line for the whole family. They specialize in multigenerational cruising, offering activities for young and young at heart. This is one of the better sales they offer periodically throughout the year. You can usually catch a BOGOHO, but 60% off is less common. Again, the kids sail free option (on select cruises) makes it the perfect, non-airport option for a family vacation.
If you think cruising is too boring for you and that travel is meant for adventure and learning, then take a look at Hurtigruten. This Norwegian-based cruise line runs expedition style cruises to Alaska, Norway, South America and other exotic destinations. They offer onboard naturalist lectures and active shore excursions. Hurtigruten is a pricier cruise line but you get an unparalleled experience for you money. Nonetheless, they’ve sweetened the deal with their Black Friday Sale (going on now through December 2, 2020) and are offering 50% off their rates and $500/passenger deposits!

**As with all good things, these too must eventually come to end. In some cases the “book by” dates are published, in others they are not. As a general rule, most sales last a week or two, rarely do they extend beyond the end of the month. Popular deals may get extended on occasion but it’s not guaranteed. Please don’t assume these offers are still available a week after they’re posted. We recommend contacting us directly to inquire and, if they are still available, to book as soon as possible before you miss out.**

Santorini Windmills

Is It Time To Book Yet?

Like most of us, this question is probably weighing heavily on your mind right now. Several destinations are opening up – Mexico, Jamaica, Bahamas. Resorts are posting their enhanced COVID-19 safety protocols, flights are adding itineraries and throwing in flexible rebooking policies, and the cruise industry is poised to spring into action as soon as the CDC gives them the go (which the industry and Washington are currently negotiating). You’d be forgiven for thinking the time is right to finally take that postponed 2020 family vacation.

So should you? Ultimately, the decision is one you will have to make after careful deliberation (and preferably consultation with your doctor). The answer is not a simple one. Many factors are at play here. First and foremost is your own safety. Are you in a high risk group for developing severe complications if you catch the virus? Your loved ones must also be considered. Even if you are not at high risk, is someone close to? Are you likely to spread it to him/her?

After the health consideration of you and your family, you must consider the community implications of your travel. Are you from a community that is experiencing a rise in cases? Will your employer or state require a quarantine if you do travel? Are you traveling to an area that is experiencing a spike in cases?

Even if the stars all seem to align in your favor, remember that you will be passing through multiple possible infection sources. You may be entering a cab or Uber. You will pass through airports. You may take a shared transfer to your hotel. You will need to eat in restaurants. You will want to visit attractions (if they are even open). Each one of these represents a point where multiple people, from multiple destinations, with varying levels of infection are coming into contact with facilities you will be contacting as well. That presents risk, despite the best intended safety protocols. Safety is not guaranteed. It is a buyer beware market in the travel industry right now.

In the end, the decision is yours. As your dedicated travel advisor, our goal is to arm you with information to make an informed decision. We hope you will make it rationally and not put yourself or others at risk. When the time is right, we are here guide you through the process of understanding what tests are needed, what protocols are in place, and what recourse you have in the event of a worst case scenario. That is the value of planning your vacation with a trusted professional.

Featured Sea Promotion

Norwegian is one of our favorite cruise lines. They have beautiful ships, some of the youngest in the industry. Often overlooked by families, it’s worth giving them a second consideration. This is no longer your grandparents’ cruise line. Spurred by recent attention to innovative onboard activities – water parks, kids’ camps, rides, movies and more – not too mention great perks like free kids (and free drinks!), more and more families are turning to Norwegian. Hurry though, this offer was recently extended but it will expire soon so contact us now to book your next Norwegian cruise.

CLIA Proposes Health & Safety Protocols for COVID-Cruising…

Recently, the regulatory body for the global cruise lines proposed a plan to the CDC to resume sailing. The plan is to start cruising again under a phased and highly controlled approach. These recommendations are not final or otherwise approved, but they should, nonetheless, give you an idea of what to expect when cruising in the near future. Of course, we will post updates and revisions as they are released.

Proposed protocls include:

-Tesing 100% of passengers and crew before embarkation.

-Mandatory masks for passengers and crew both onboard and during excursions, whenever physical distancing is not possible.

-Maintaining physcial distancing in terminals, onboard ships and on private islands.

-Improved ventilation to increase fresh air onboard ships and implementing enhanced filtration to mitigate risk.

-Ship-specific response plans.

-Dedicated isolation cabins.

-Arrangements with shoreside facilities for quarantining and medical treatment.

-Passengers only allowed to leave ship while on a cruise-line excursion and while abiding by excursions’ protocols with strict enforcement for noncompliance, including denial of re-boarding.

Featured Land Promotions

We may not be ready to travel now but many experts are saying a vaccine could be on the market by spring. Don’t get caught off guard with your 2021 vacation plans. Start planning now and take advantage of the resorts’ eagerness to get guests back into their pools. Here are some great deals from one of our preferred land suppliers. Like what you see? Contact us to grab an offer before it expires.

Blue dome

Are We Ready To Travel Yet?

Being a travel advisor means staying on top of all the current travel trends and news. As you can imagine, staying on top of the current events in this COVID-19 era is an extra challenge. Things are changing daily (if not more frequently). I was reading this article about losing the buffet on Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines’ ships from one of my favorite trade rags and it got me to thinking. Am I ready for this?

My family and I love to cruise. We love to travel in general for that matter, and we’re equally comfortable with what we call “no-brainer” vacations like cruises and theme parks as we are with more immersive vacations – you know, “real” travel. The kind where you meet the locals and things don’t always go as planned, if there even is a plan. Like many of you, we had our much-anticipated travel plans for 2020 cancelled due to the virus. That’s why early on in the lock-down we said that when things open up, we’d be the first to book a trip, both to cure our cabin fever and to prove to our clients that it is now safe to move about the world.

Well, things are opening up. Cruise lines are releasing their plans to sail (most of them toward the end of the summer). Disney is implementing rolling openings at its theme parks. Other parks are making similar plans. Resorts are getting the word out about their enhanced cleaning protocols and revised amenities. However, we still have not booked our first post-COVID trip yet.

We talked about this the other night and we just don’t feel it’s time. Partly because we are not convinced there is an adequate response plan in place if this all backfires, the number of cases increases, and the hospitals become overwhelmed. Partly because we don’t feel there is an effective treatment or prevention in place yet. We feel relatively confident we may survive, but we have a 6 year old and now they are finding potentially-lethal COVID-related infection that is affecting children under 8. We also realize we live in Florida where we are predominantly surrounded by residents in high-risk age groups. We don’t infect them.

Still, we think more than anything, we just aren’t thrilled about the idea of a vacation in which we have to wear face masks. We love food and a cruise without a buffet doesn’t sound the same to us. How can you explore a new place when the stores and museums are shuttered and the people are self-isolating? And flying… I don’t think so.

We predict the Great Outdoors will be the hot destination this summer.

Looks like, if we do travel this summer, we’ll be getting back to basics. It’ll be time for the old family road trip, piled into a minivan. Since we are avoiding people like the plague (pun intended), it will be some quality time in the great outdoors too. I’m putting my money on rental car agencies, campgrounds and state/national parks for the foreseeable future. But hey, that’s just us. Are you ready to hit the skies/sea/road yet?