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Are Caribbean Islands Open For Travel?

Recent hurricanes Irma, Jose, and Maria halted travel for many vacationers and with holiday day travel plans in full swing, most tourists are crossing the Caribbean off their destination list.
But not so fast!
There several islands open for business. Below are excerpts taken from Travel & Leisure, Cruise Critic, and The Washington Post explaining which islands are tourist ready.

Hurricane Aftermath: What to Know If You’ve Booked a Caribbean Cruise (Travel & Leisure)

Travelers may be surprised at the number of Caribbean cruise ports that were entirely unaffected by the storms. In fact, both Irma and Maria avoided altogether the port cities of the Western Caribbean (which includes Mexican ports of call and Belize) and the Southern Caribbean (the ABC islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao).

Additionally, the Bahamas are virtually unscathed and open for business. And the St. Kitts port Basseterre opened almost immediately after Hurricane Irma.

Many other ports, including Gustavia on St. Bart’s, are open, but only for relief efforts — one of the reasons it’s important to confirm itinerary details for your individual sailing.

Hurricane Season 2017: Which Caribbean Cruise Ports Are Open? (Cruise Critic)

More than 30 Caribbean cruise ports have been affected by either Irma or Maria. More than a dozen ports have re-opened to cruise passengers since Irma, some faster than expected — Key West had originally expected to be closed to cruise ships through October 20, but reopened to Royal Caribbean’s Empress of the Seas on September 24.

Hurricane Maria also passed by the French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe. Seven ports are officially closed due to damage from Hurricane Irma; others — like Dominica — have been equally devastated by Maria. Other ports are still are pending further assessment.

Which hurricane-affected areas in the Caribbean and U.S. are open for business? (Washington Post)

U.S. Virgin Islands
Governor Kenneth E. Mapp announced that St. Thomas’s Cyril E. King Airport has reopened to commercial flights, with American and Delta airlines offering flights from the U.S. mainland.
The governor said cruise ships could probably return to St. Thomas and St. Croix as soon as Oct. 15 but that late October is more “realistic.”

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Hotels and Resorts: Top 9 Travel Deals

I scoured the earth in search of the best vacation deals (Ok maybe not scoured, but I did some digging). There are some amazing travel deals out there so now is the time to book your winter getaway. Below are my top 9 Hot Deals. Some deals expire by the end of this month so if you see one you like, jump on it quick!

Southwest Vacations

Gourmet Inclusive® vacations: save up to 56% + up to $600 in instant credit and more in Mexico and the Caribbean.
Destinations: The Caribbean, Mexico
Travel Dates: 09/06/17 – 05/31/18
Booking Dates: 09/05/17 – 09/30/17

Funtastic Deals with Carnival Cruises From $299

Book by September 30th to get rates from just $299 on sailings through April 2019.

Sandals® Resorts: Up to 65% Off

Unlimited land and water sports including scuba* and golf**, plus tips, taxes and transfers included.
Destinations: Jamaica, Antigua, St. Lucia, Bahamas, Grenada, Barbados
Travel Dates: Now – 12/31/17
Booking Dates: Now – 09/30/17

Excellence Group Luxury Hotels and Resorts: Up to 47% off

Adults-Only Boutique All-Inclusive hotel
Destinations: Cancun
Travel Dates: 12/21/17 – 12/26/17
Booking Dates: Now – 10/15/17

Facilities:
109 suites, in 8 different categories
4 restaurants with no reservations, limitations and restrictions
4 bars and 1 lounge
3 swimming pools, including 1 beachfront
Blvgary amenities, Nespresso machines, in
room liquor selection and Jacuzzi available at every suite
35,000 sq. feet wellness center

Save$700 On Adventures by Disney Cruises & Save $700 on Select Staterooms for Adventures by Disney Danube River Cruise

On an Adventures by Disney Danube River Cruise, you can explore 8 destinations in 4 countries on an all-inclusive adventure through Europe.
Destinations: Europe
Travel Dates: Now-
Book By: 10/20/17

MGM Resorts

Limited Time Offer! Save up to 46% on select MGM Resorts Hotels
Destinations: Las Vegas
Travel Dates: Now – 04/30/18
Book By: 10/03/17

United Vacations

Exclusive $200 instant savings, bonus miles, and Bonus Cash to Hawaii
Destinations: Hawaii
Travel Dates: 01/01/18 – 05/31/18
Booking Dates: Now – 10/12/17

Club Med Winter Getaways from $1,649

Sale of Exclusive Savings with all-inclusive packages now starting at $1,649 per adult, per week with air included from Toronto or Montreal.
Destination: Selected Resorts
Travel Dates: Now-05/05/18
Book Dates: Now- 10/24/17

Funjet Vacations

Universal Orlando Resort™
Current Offer: 2 Days FREE with the purchase of a 3-Park, 2-Day Park-to-Park Ticket.*
Destinations: Orlando
Travel Dates: Now – 05/17/18
Booking Dates: Now – 11/30/17

Call your travel agent today to take advantage of these hot deals!

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Have You Gone Apple Picking Yet?

Photo by Melody Bates on UnsplashFor the past 3 years, Ryan and I have gone apple picking at our local fruit farm and I look forward to it every year. It’s one of the many fall activities that we enjoy.
Most people go once a year, but not us. We have to go at least twice every season. If I had it my way, we would go every weekend for the whole season.

Why?

There are hundreds of apple varieties and no one apple orchard are alike. Walking through endless rows of apple trees invites my inner child to run and explore.
For some odd reason, it tickles my fancy to pluck an apple from the tree and munch on it before tossing it on the ground. (I probably did this a lot as a child).

We’ve picked apples twice this fall and we’re going pack at least one more time (Honey Crisp will be ripe the end of September).
On each visit, different varieties were available to pick.

What’s Your Favorite Apple Variety?

During our first, visit I discovered a new favorite, mollies. They’re sweeter than Honey Crisp, loads of flavor, and firm. They taste like Apple Jolly Ranchers.

I think I’m becoming an apple geek… but what do you expect from a fall baby!

Our last visit wasn’t as spectacular as the first.Courland, Fuji, Gala, and McIntosh were available but I didn’t care for any of them.

Thank goodness I tasted each variety! There’s nothing worse than picking a bag full of apples you don’t like (yep, been there, done that)!
Courtland apples are very tart and super firm.
You know, the kind of firmness that gets stuck between your teeth and can cut your gums. Eating a Courtland apple is like that Tums commercial when the food fights you back.

Galas, Fuji and McIntosh were ok in texture but the apple flavor is very mild. I was a little surprised by how mild they are.
We’ve brought these varieties at the store and thought the bland taste was due to the apples being picked before ripeness or we got a bad bunch.
Turns out that’s how they taste fresh off the tree.

Now I know what apples NOT to buy when grocery shopping.

If you and your family have yet to go apple picking, there’s still time to get out there and discover your favorite varieties.
Where else is it encouraged to chuck half eaten apples on the ground?
Doesn’t that sound like fun?

Where To Go

There are plenty of apple orchards here in Wisconsin and you can find a list of them here. Apple picking will go into October so set a date, invite friends and family, and get to picking.

The nearest orchard near me is Barthel Fruit Farm. You’ll find dates, list of varieties, recipes, directions, etc on their website. They also have a pumpkin farm, pears, and a store if you don’t want to pick your own apples.

Apple Holler is another well- known orchard and great for families. An unique orchard I’d like to try is Weston’s Antique Apples. They have varieties I’ve never heard of.
Autumn fruit picking is in full swing and with so many apple varieties to experience, it’s the perfect time to take a trip to your nearest fruit farm.

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Travel Insurance: Here’s What You Should Know

If the last two weeks of hurricanes have you rethinking your vacation plans, you’re not alone. Watching the news report as hurricane Irma slamed the Caribbean was terrifying.

As I imagined vacations being interrupted by extreme weather, my heart sank. Waiting out the hurricane in your sixth floor hotel room is dangerous.

What if that were me and my family? What would we do? What could we do?

The unexpected like hurricane Irma can happen anywhere at any time while on vacation.

If and when it does, knowing you’re protected from the extra costs of vacation interruptions is priceless.

Travel insurance can provide the security needed in case the unexpected happens while traveling. Here is what you should know about Travel Insurance.

Handling A Crisis

You’ve planed the ultimate family trip and the day before vacation your child becomes sick.  You’ll be out of thousands if you cancel the trip, but there really no other option.

With cancellation protection coverage, you can recoup most of your costs or you reschedule your dream trip.  Most vacation packages are non refundable so it’s a good idea to have cancellation coverage.

What if you’re vacationing in France and while soaking in the beautiful scenery, you get a call that your house is badly damaged from a storm or your dad was in a serious accident.
Would you want to continue your vacation as planned?

Of course not!

Going home to handle things is all you care about. Having interruption coverage will help you recoup most of your costs so you can get home ASAP.

Baggage Replacement

We’ve all heard of someone who’s had their luggage lost/ stolen or have been a victim of it.

Isn’t it comforting to know travel insurance has baggage benefits?

Yes, baggage benefits can help with replacing your essentials if bags are delayed, damaged or stolen.

Health Coverage

Having a health scar while on vacation is something we never want to imagine but it can happen.

Being faced with a serious injury or health condition while traveling can put a huge financial dent in your pocket, especially when touring outside the country.

Travel insurance with medical coverage can direct you to  English speaking doctors or hospital, help pay for care, arrange payments for major medical emergencies, and even arrange for private medical evacuations in remote areas.

Coverage For Minor Hiccups

Not all travelers have complex vacations overseas. Simple travel insurance with car protection can cover car rental costs should you get into a fender bender.
By using travel insurance, you avoid getting your car insurance provider involved, which can lead to a premium increase.

Peace of Mind

Many vacationers skip travel insurance to avoid paying more for their vacation. I understand and have been guilty of it too.

We live with more uncertainly today than ever and not having the added protection of travel insurance can mean disaster should you need it but don’t have it.
When choosing travel insurance, keep in mind that third party coverage can provide more benefits than the operating tour group planning your trip.

Not all travel insurance is created equal and knowing what’s available will help you choose the right plan for you.

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Top 8 Download Worthy Travel Apps For 2017

When you’re on the go, your best friend and resource can be your phone.

As U.S. News blogger Joel Finman said it best, “In the age of smartphones, apps are like guiding stars: They can point you in the right direction.”

Downloading the right travel apps can enhance your travel experience by saving you time and money.

We’ve tried the latest travel apps to determine which tools are the most useful for planning a trip, getting around, finding friends, and saving money along the way.  Here are the top 8  travel apps you should download. All apps are available for Android and iOS and best of all, they’re free.

Grab

If you’ve ever experienced traveling on an empty stomach, then you’ll appreciate this app. Grab will let you view airport restaurant menus ahead of time, map them in the terminal. In some locations, you can order in advance and pick up your food on the way to the gate. No more waiting in lines!

Happy Cow

Traveling while vegan can be a challenge, especially if you’ve not familiar with the area. That’s where Happy Cow comes in to save the day.
With lists of vegan and vegetarian restaurants in nearly 10,500 cities worldwide, finding a suitable eatery nearby is easy. Each restaurant listing comes with a short description of the menu and user-generated reviews.

Roomer

If you’ve ever lost money on a prepaid nonrefundable hotel room, you’ll love Roomer.
Get deep discounts on hotel rooms from people who have had to cancel their trips. Likewise, if you’ve prepaid for a nonrefundable room, you can sell your reservation on the app.

Sidekix

Do you enjoy sightseeing and want to explore a new itinerary?
If you’re tired of walking the same route every day or ever wondered “what are the interesting things to do around me”? Then Sidekix is for you.
This urban route planner will help you find the best way to get around. Sidekix will choose the best walking directions based on your interests and preferences. Looking for a trendy cafe for a lunch on your way to an art gallery? The app is filled with reccommendations from locals.

Binaural

Stimulate your concentration, meditation or relaxation to alleviate jet lag with this app.
Binaural beats, or binaural tones, are repetitive sounds, that help induce relaxation, meditation, creativity and other desirable mental states. Cultures around the world have relied on binaural beats for centuries to create relaxed states of mind.

AirHelp

AirHelp helps travelers get paid for your canceled, delayed, or overbooked flights. The average reimbursement is more than $500 per claim, and the company takes a 25 percent cut.

Memrise

Learn about the language and culture of your destination with Memrise, named the best app of 2017. Choose from a variety of topics in more than 200 tongues. Gain insight on China’s ethnic groups and learn how to identify different kinds of spices in Polish.

SoloTraveller

Solo Traveller is great for meeting locals and serves as a platform for single female travelers to connect with other female travel companions nearby.

What’s your favorite travel app? Share it with us by commenting below!

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Top 3 Family Vacation Ideas For The Fall

School’s back in session and you know what that means, car pools, after school activities, and homework.  It’s a bitter sweet change in your daily routine and it can feel daunting at times.

I can relate.

Children have the same mixed feelings about the school season and while parents celebrate having our homes kid free during the day, planning a fall trip will ease  the pressure of a demanding family schedule.

Why not take advantage of school breaks and plan a family getaway?
Here are the top 3 vacation ideas taken from Travel Agent magazine.

Theme Parks

Perennial theme parks are a popular choice family getaways and every year there’s something new for visitors to experience. Universal Orlando opened its new Volcano Bay water park late spring.

It’s the third theme park in the resort, spanning 30 acres and four themed areas. Enjoy the 200 foot body plunge slide, 124 foot water slides and the Krakatau Aqua Coaster. If death defying rides isn’t for you, there’s multi-directional wave pool with sandy beaches, a winding river and plenty of places to lounge and relax.

The 22nd annual Epcot International Food and Wine Festival runs from August 31 through November 13th.

This festival is  packed with activities the whole family can enjoy. There’s entertainment and eats for foodies. Children receive a passport that can be stamped at a collection of 35 global marketplace booths.

Local indoor theme parks in Wisconsin Dells offers an wide array of fun too..

Road Trips

Did you know that Georgia is a hotspot for the Hollywood film industry?

That’s right, location scouts and director flock to this beautiful state to film movies like the Hunger Games: Catching fire, XMen First Class, and The Blind Side.

Georgia Film Selfie Spot Tour, a self-guided tour, is open until  the end of the year. Visit 33 sites across the state. Each site marks the ideal spot for the perfect selfie.    Visit “Captain America: Civil War,” at the Porsche Experience Center, Atlanta, where families can test drive a Porsche and take a selfie at the Avengers’ Headquarters.

Resorts

Little River Inn, a three hour drive from San Francisco. Spend time at the Pennyroyal Dairy tasting handcrafted cheeses, ride the heritage Skunk Train along redwoods and take a guided kayaking tour of nearby sea caves.
A special 2 night package for two adults, two children under 12, above mention activities and 1 breakfast for four is priced at $945.

Did I mention Little River Inn is pet friendly?

You can begin pricing vacations for October and November, when the weather averages are mid-eighties and seventies in most southern states.  Perfect timing for the first days off from school.

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Weekend Trip To Minneapolis

Sculpture Garden
Sculpture Garden

Our weekend trip to Minneapolis went exactly as I hoped. The 6 hour road trip kicked off with a visit with Ryan’s parents before heading across the state. The smooth ride allowed me to catch up on my reading as we drove through endless farmland.

Ryan and I kept the pit stops to a minimum and only stopped for lunch.
(Although I enjoy frequent pit stops on a road trip, we didn’t have time for laligaging).

We ate lunch at El Tequila Salsa in Wausau. The festive decor and great food made this restaurant a worthwhile stop.

Intermedia Arts

Intermedia Arts
Intermedia Arts

Once in Minneapolis, we checked out Intermedia Arts on Lyndale Avenue in south Minneapolis. If you’ve ever driven down Lyndale Avenue and seen a building covered with colorful murals, that’s the place.

Intricate graffiti, expressive portraits, and whimsical landscapes covered the exterior. Since my honey enjoys photographing murals, we had to stop.
Each mural was different from the next and some were so strange that I had to have a look inside.

As I tip toed through the door, and as I stood in the small entry way, I could see people in small groups engaged in deep discussion.

Feeling like an intruder, I immediately  began to turn back around.

Before I could make a break for the door, I was greeted with a warm welcome and asked if I wanted to join in the discussions. After introducing myself and explaining why I was there, the manager allowed us to take pictures and roam around.

Intermedia Arts
Intermedia Arts

Intermedia is a multidisciplinary, multicultural arts organization. Their mission is to build understanding among people by catalyzing and inspiring artists to make changes in their lives and communities.
What a cool mission and a true asset to Minneapolis!

Our next stop was the family. Ryan and I met little Marin for the first time. She slept for the first we were there. Ryan’s first time holding baby Marin was a precious moment.
We hung out with his brother and family for a few hours. They have 4 year old twin girls who are hilarious! The girls read to us, danced, played keyboard, and gave us a tour of their house.
It was a great time catching up and spending time with everyone.

Sculpture Garden

Sculpture Garden
Sculpture Garden

Sculpture Garden in downtown Minneapolis was our last stop before heading home. The sun came out and revealed this charming garden, filled with quirky sculptures and playful contraptions.  The proud rooster stood at attention as the guardian of the garden.

I took in the garden with all of my senses with the curiosity of a child.  We could have stayed there for hours but it was time to hit the road and start our journey back home.

My weekend getaway pretty low key and chill. The gloomy weather was a good excuse stay in and watch Fixer Upper reruns.  It was a carefree trip. I spent time with family, learned about an amazing art organization and indulged in the simple things.  Thank goodness I put aside those negative thoughts and focused on what was important; connection and relaxation.

What are your plans this weekend?

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Fall Travel: Take Advantage of Last Minute Special Offers

Fall is the perfect time for travel as there are plenty of special offers and last minute summer deals available. Below are several exciting specials I found. From 50% off deals to free wedding packages, these last minute deals are hot! If you see an offer that interest you, contact your trusted travel agent or give us a call!

Puerto Rico Sale: Enjoy up to 55% off with Funjet Vacations!

Valid Origins: All
Valid Destinations: Puerto Rico
Valid Hotels: Select Hotels
Minimum Spend: $1,500
Minimum length of stay: 3 nights
Valid Products: All air + hotel packages
Travel Dates: 08/25/17 – 04/02/18
Booking Dates: 08/24/17 – 09/07/17

 

Royal Caribbean BOGO 50 + kids sail Free

Buy One Guest, Get Second Guest 50% Off Book by August 31st to take advantage BOGO 50% Off! Plus, save an additional 25% Off 3rd and 4th guests. Families will also enjoy Kids Sail Free on select sailings during the offer period.

Up to $225 off Europe with Delta

Save up to $225 Off Your Next Europe Trip
A vacation to Europe entices with new foods to savor, fantastic museums to peruse and top-notch theater to experience. The perfect getaway includes great package pricing when you bundle and book with Delta Vacations.

Save up to $200 per flight and hotel booking of five nights or longer:
$100 on vacations of $2,500 – $4,999
$200 on vacations of $5,000 or more
Add a car rental and save an additional $25, for a total savings of up to $225 per booking!

Atlantis, Paradise Island: Kids eat free + Up to $450 in Resort Credits with Funjet Vacation

Book Atlantis, Paradise Island for kids eat free* and receive up to $450 in resort credits.**
NEW for select dates in 2017, Atlantis is offering an optional All-Inclusive Plan^ in Beach Tower (terrace category only) and Royal Towers (water view category). The All-Inclusive Experience includes all meals, beverages, gratuities and much more!
Destinations: Nassau
Travel Dates: Now – 12/24/17
Booking Dates: Now – 10/31/17

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Fourth night free with additional 5% off*
Do you enjoy incredible Las Vegas entertainment?
See below for our special offers on world-reknowned Las Vegas shows:

Michael Jackson ONE by Cirque du Soleil
EXCLUSIVE $40 OFF – Category C Tickets

The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil
EXCLUSIVE $40 OFF – Category C Tickets

KA by Cirque du Soleil
EXCLUSIVE $40 OFF – Category C Tickets

Travel Dates: Now – 10/31/17
Booking Dates: Now – 10/31/17

Save up to 43% at Crown Paradise Resorts with United Vacations!

Whether you are looking for family friendly fun or a romantic beach getaway, Crown Paradise Resorts has it all.
Destinations: Cancun, Riviera Maya
Travel Dates: 05/26/16 – 12/21/17
Booking Dates: 05/27/16 – 09/30/17

Free Wedding Package at Unique Destinations for Unique Weddings with Riu Hotels & Restorts

A romantic beachfront setting, friends and family gathered in joy with the finest of luxuries and amenities. No wonder RIU Hotels are the favorite choice for couples to begin their lives together in paradise…
Choose sun-kissed sands for your ceremony; a destination wedding is a truly special way to celebrate your love. Organized with ease, brimming with value and rich uniqueness, tropical ceremonies allow you to focus on each other while we take care of the details.
Riu offer the promotion of the Free wedding package at selected destination of Riu Properties. Our Riu Free wedding package is meant for those who want a beautiful wedding without the costs associated with such an event, the Riu FREE Wedding package is truly the perfect package to make your special event, with all the aspects that you could hope for.

FREE* Wedding Package includes:
Services of an on-site wedding coordinator
Wedding cake and sparkling wine
Ceremony decoration and set up
Bridal bouquet and groom boutonniere
Recorded music during the ceremony

It’s All Included at Renaissance Aruba Resort and Save 28%!

Save 28% on the all-inclusive package at Renaissance Aruba Resort and Casino!
Featuring two newly renovated accommodations for couples and families and the perfect blend of chic style and island culture.
All Inclusive Highlights:
8 restaurants offering a la carte options
No need to wait in line for dinner reservations
Unlimited access to LG Smith’s Steak & Chop House, the resort’s signature restaurant
Dining options in two hotels and on Renaissance Island
Late night dining in The Lounge, Midnight Grill
Kids 5 and under are free (for stays at the Renaissance Ocean Suites)
Resort amenities include:
Two accommodation options:
The adult exclusive Renaissance Marina Hotel
Spacious suites at the Renaissance Ocean Suites
Aruba’s only private beaches on Renaissance Island including access to the flamingos
Okeanos Spa
Renaissance Mall and Marketplace
Crystal and Seaport Casino
Travel Dates: Now – 12/19/17
Book By: 12/01/17

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What Are Your Plans For The Weekend?

This weekend, my honey and I are taking a trip to visit his brother’s family and their new born.  It’s a joyous occasion and while I love babies, enjoy road trips, and the family is nice, I’m apprehensive.

Is that bad?

Maybe it is, but that’s how I feel.
Why?

It’s awkward visiting my boyfriend’s brother. The nervousness, the over thinking, the feelings of being judged, it’s energy draining. I’m worried I won’t be accepted.

That’s crazy!

I’ve connected with them plenty of times!

Ok, maybe it’s all in my head.

Although.

They gossip.

They tell everyone’s business and it’s nerve wrecking.

Yes, I’m carrying on like an 8 year old right now.

My arms are folded and I’m pouting (well maybe not physically, but the little girl in my mind is).

It’s a day before the trip and I have to spew whatever venom I have inside so I can turn this  stinkin’ thinkin’  around. Since backing out isn’t what I want, finding the good in this situation will get me out of this funk.

So what do I want?

I want to be at peace driving through rolling farm lands and quaint towns. I want to laugh, delight in the simple things, and be carefree.

I want confidence to be myself and connect with others, especially my boyfriend’s family.
Relationships make life worth living and we all want to be loved for who we are.

Moments of acceptance creates unforgettable memories.

Most of all, I want to fill up my emotional bank account with unforgettable memories.
Much like a retirement plan, the longer you wait to start saving, the more time works against you.

I have a dear friend who’s emotional bank account is filled with great memories.

He enjoys sharing his favorite vacation experiences.
The other day, my friend shared the story of when he and his family took a 3 week trip to D.C.

While my friend reminisced about the trip, I could hear the love in his voice. I visualized his family trekking around D.C. sight seeing.
“We had a plan A, plan B, and screw the plan!” My friend proudly stated with laughter.

It wasn’t the first time he shared this story with me. He knew it and I knew it but neither of us cared.

My friend took me with him on vacation every time he shared that story.
And I appreciate it.

Every time my friend shares his stories, I’m reminded of what a fulfilled life is all about.
A great life is filled with experiences and I have an opportunity to create amazing memories this weekend.

The trip we’re taking tomorrow can be special and exciting if I choose.
Know this, I acknowledge my hesitations and with confidence, envision a fun weekend.

Now it’s time to pack.

Have a great weekend!

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Forbidden Destinations: Set Sail to Cuba


It’s time to set sail for an exotic adventure. An island previously off limits and only 90 miles south of Florida.
Let’s tour this island in classic American cars, sip on the world’s best mojitos, and take in panoramic views of old Havana.
Yes, Cuba is an amazing island with plenty to offer.
Although business ties between Cuba and US are somewhat in question, this beautiful island is still open to American travelers.
If you’re daydreaming of a trip to Cuba, the Royal Caribbean’s Empress of the Seas might be the ideal vacation for you. Here’s a look at this boutique boat and what you can expect with Royal Caribbean.

Sail To Cuba In Style

Royal Caribbean recently spent 90 million dollars to renovate the Empress of the Seas. It’s a boutique boat, holding about 2,000 passengers, which makes for an intimate and elegant voyage.
Affordable luxury comes to mind when comparing the cost of Royal Caribbean’s trip to other Cuban cruises.

The festivities begins as the Empress sets sail.
Rhythmic music fills the air as salsa instructors gently guide you to the dance floor for lessons.
There’ll be many opportunities to show off your salsa moves in Havana.

If you’re a history buff and prefer engaging in conversation, connect with Cuban historians or take Spanish lessons.
With plenty to do while onboard the Empress, enjoy taking in the sights, and sound of Cuban culture.

Sight Seeing In Cuba

Once you arrive in Havana, chose from 6 tours the Royal Caribbean has to offer or explore on your own. There are walking tours, motor-coach tours, or tour in an iconic vintage car.
Each tour varies in time and destination.
When visiting Cuba, you cannot use bank cards and phone service is limited, but you can use American dollars (bring singles, fives and ten dollar bills). You can also exchange your dollars for Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC) and pay an exchange fee.

And yes, you are allowed to bring back up to 50 cigars and 1 liter of Rum (get Santiago De Rum).
Sights to check out include the Malecon, Plaza de la Revolution, El Morro Castle, and Tropicana Cabaret (great mojitos). And if you’re staying in Cuba overnight, check out western Cuba’s Soroa Orchid Garden and Vinales National Park.

The Empress at Sea has deployment to Cuba scheduled for the end of 2017 through 2019 and seats fill up fast so book your trip today!

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