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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!

Would you like to win a spa/golf getaway for two? Sign up for my newsletter for a chance to win!  Drawing will be held September 18th.

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Health and Wellness Travel: Top 8 Spas


Wellness tourism is a rapidly growing travel niche and it’s no surprise.  As more Americans understand the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, self care is on the rise.

And what better way to show self love than a spa getaway?

Yes beloved, with 4 months left of 2017, there’s plenty to do and prepare for.  A spa getaway would melt away the stress and give you something to look forward to.

Call your girl friends and get out your calendars because there’s a list of the top 8 spas to visit from Travel Agent magazine July edition.

International Health and Wellness Spas

Budapest, named the “City of Spas” since the 1930s. Its wellness culture history spans as far back as the Roman era. The Ritz-Carlton Budapest, which opened in March offers a steam room, sauna, a glass enclosed pool and a 24hr fitness center. Try the Serenity on the Danube or The Royal Ritual spa treatments for a personal Hungarian experience.

The new Oberoi Marrakech, a destination spa, is located on a private island sprawling across a lake within a citrus orchard. Amenities include swimming pools, hammams, yoga in the garden, a fitness center, and treatment rooms. You can choose between Ayurvedic and Moroccan- inspired treatments or Balinese, Western and Oberoi signature rituals.

The Heavenly Spa, in The Westin Golf Resort and Spa, has six treatment rooms including hydrotherapy rooms, saunas, hot and cold whirlpools and a relaxation room. This spa offers couples massages and bridal party buyouts of up to 12 people.

Health and Wellness Spas at Sea

Silver sea’s Silver Discoverer has complimentary wellness-themed on expedition voyages to Micronesia, Melanesia, and Australia. The complementary program includes stretching, yoga, Pilates classes, daily lectures, cooking demonstrations, gym session with a personal trainer and a choice of 1 spa massage treatment.

Star Clippers Royal Clipper round trip cruises from Barbados offers complementary yoga, meditation and fitness classes.

Domestic Health and Wellness Spas

You don’t have to leave the U.S. to keep up with your wellness regimens. New York’s 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, which debut in February is home to Bamford Spa, a nine treatment room facility. There’s also a fitness center, a yoga and barre studio.

The Confidente Miami Beach Hotel might suit your taste. The oceanfront hotel has recently launched a monthly Spa Nights experience. Guests and locals are invited to the rooftop Spa at The Confidante after hours to enjoy music, complimentary glass of champagne and s 15% discount on the spa menu.

The Ritz-Carlton Denver recently added a “babymoom” overnight package and a collection of pre-natal spa treatments for expanding families and moms to be. Packages include facial, manicure, pedicure, sparkling cider, and a rubber ducky and baby bib of choice.

Would you like to win a spa getaway for two? Sign up for my newsletter for a chance to win!  Drawing will be held September 18th.

 

THANKS FOR READING MY BLOG!
If you’re a semi-expert traveler, why not get paid for it? Click here for details.
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Why Not Taking A Vacation Can Cost You

timeconstraintsHow many times have you thought about taking a vacation, but resigned not too? Whether it’s because of financial reasons or time constrains, more than half of Americans (55%) leave vacation days unused. (I’m guilty as charged)!
Did you know not taking a trip is costing you money?!!
Yes, it may sound counterintuitive, but not getting away can do more harm than good, and here’s why.

People who use 11 or more vacation days are more likely to get a praise.

In the article, Data Driven Case for Vacation, it’s noted that people who took 11 or more days of vacation were 65.4% likely to receive a raise in a three year period. While those who took less time off only had a 34.6% chance.

WHAT!!

Wait a minute, those who rarely take vacation days (like my boyfriend), are less likely to get a raise?
I know you may be hesitant to believe this and some of you may completely object. I felt the same way initially.

In truth, by not taking vacation days, you’re leaving money on the table.

Shawn Achor and Michelle Gielan said it best,
“If you are not taking all your time off, you’re not working more — you’re volunteering your time.”
In other words you are working for free!
In fact, Americans are forfeiting $61.4 billion in benefits.
You’re also less productive when you don’t take time off. Being able to relax and go somewhere far from home can increase your well-being.

Our daily routines can consume all of our time and life is about more than accomplishment.  When you take the time to create experiences life becomes more fulfilling and that’s the key to happiness.
We never know what tomorrow will bring, so do what you can while you can to enjoy life and plan that well deserved vacation!

 

THANKS FOR ALLOWING ME TO HELP YOU IMPROVE YOUR TRAVEL!
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