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So you want a romantic getaway

The ocean is quietly rumbling toward the shore as the sun rises over the Gulf of Mexico. The birds are talking their language to one another as they show off their bright colorful coats. The workers are quietly getting the pool area and all the gardens with precise detail. Perfection! Is there such a place? Yes! A true romantic getaway!

This week I have been staying at the El Dorado Casitas Royale in Mexico. Our room, the Infinity Pool Swim up suite the perfect indulgence for a quiet time away from the everyday life. Staying in this section of the resort your room is in a U shaped section that has its own swim up pool and bar. This section also hosts a small cafe for sandwiches and various shakes. Your room has its own pool with access to the lazy river that will take you to the main pool and bar and not to mention just short steps away from the beach where you can relax in a cabana or beach lounger. You Beach/Pool Butler will be attending to whatever you need.

The Karisma resorts are award winning Gourmet Inclusive resorts. From excellent gourmet food, premium drinks, activities and especially the personalized service you can expect when staying at any of their resorts. Fresh vegetable and spices are grown in their own 70,000 square foot greenhouse located at the El Dorado Royale. There is a variety of 15 dining locations and 24 room service so you are sure to never go hungry. Two of our favorites were Kampai and D’Italia. They also feature Fuentes which is a culinary theater. Activities and entertainment are also available if you want to mix and mingle about.

So here is the question……You want to go on a romantic getaway, but how do you choose? There are so many different resorts and destinations that it does make it difficult to choose. I look at the brand first. What do the brands offer? Are there hidden fees? What level of service do you receive? You typically have consistency throughout a brand. Like Disney Destinations, something we are all familiar with, you can see that whether you go to Disneyland or Walt Disney World you will have some consistency in the level of service and what the brand has to offer. There may be some differences just because of location, but overall they are similar. The same is for the various all inclusive or in Karisma’s case, gourmet inclusive brands. You will see similarities in all Sandals, Excellence Resorts, Palace Resorts, Secrets, and so on. Also, look for adult only resorts for romantic getaways. When planning romance – adult only is the way to go!

Budget is usually pretty high on the list when picking out a resort and destination. Be willing to pay a little more to receive more. You can save on such things as room category or go during low season such as Oct., Nov. and early Dec. Nothing can be worse than spending money on something and the experience doesn’t match up. Plan ahead! There is a time and place for last minute getaways, but when you are planning your honeymoon, anniversary or just that special getaway plan early! This will allow you to deposit your trip and pay a little bit along the way. Planning ahead allows you to stretch the budget a bit to get what you want. Destinations such as Mexico, Punta Cana and Jamaica are usually the most cost effective when looking at airfare and resort packages.

Consider going with a group. You may receive a discount when traveling with a group. Talk it up with your friends or family! It takes 5 – 10 rooms to create a typical group. You can check with your travel planner about those possibilities. Groups make it fun and yet you still have alone time .

When you are away, you will know what it means to relax and enjoy! All- Inclusive is a no worries vacation. Don’t just search the internet though. Work with a travel professional so you will be sure to get the perfect resort and destination. They are there to guide you, answer questions and be your advocate.

If you haven’t experienced an “adult” time away you need to! Destination Weddings, Honeymoons, Anniversary or just because ….you choose the reason and let us help make it happen!

Princess Cruise Line Cyber Sale!

Looking for a great cruise deal then look no further, Princess Cruise Line is running a fantastic Cyber Sale deal.  The offer will end on November 29 so you will want to contact an agent soon to take advantage of this sale.  The sale gives you two options to choose from so you can pick the one that best suits your traveling schedule.

The first is called “Sail Soon”.  With this deal you can sail from this winter of 2017 through Spring 2018 and will save up to $1,000 per stateroom.  The second is called “Sail Later”.  This gives you the option to cruise from Summer 2018 through Spring 2019 and everyone in a stateroom would enjoy a free stateroom location upgrade, free gratuities on select services and free onboard spending money up to $500 per stateroom.

Looking for a great Christmas present for your family, why not give them the gift of a Princess Cruise!  There is so much to enjoy such as movies under the stars, theater style productions, expansive spas and fitness facilities, kid’s clubs, casinos, discos, night clubs and a mix of culinary themed restaurants.

Princess is the first line in the Carnival Corporation fleet to introduce the Ocean Medallion.  Seven ships will be outfitted with this technology.  The device which was created by innovator, John Padgett who created Disney’s Magic bands.  This wearable disc will serve as a virtual concierge which can be used to book shore excursions, order food to be delivered poolside, locate friends and family throughout the ship and streamline embarkation and debarkation and much more.

With the Cyber Sale that is going on now there has never been a better time to plan your family cruise!

Best Cruise Tips to Make the Most Out of Your Next Cruise!

A cruise is a wonderful and relaxing getaway. Here are some tips to make your next cruise even better!

 

Keep what you need for your first day in your carry-on

A wonderful perk with cruising is that typically you drop off your bags upon arrival and your cruise line will take care of delivering them to your cabin for you. This is a great convenience and allows you to enjoy exploring the ship without being weighed down with all your luggage. However, it can take awhile until you get your bags back, often you may not see your bags until that evening. With this in mind it is smart to plan ahead and pack anything you may want with you for that first day in your carry-on bag. Examples of some items you may want to have might be a change of clothes, your swimsuit to enjoy the pool, chargers, any medicines you may need, sunscreen, ect.

BYOB

Depending on your Cruise Line’s regulations, some ships do allow you to bring a certain amount of alcohol onboard. Usually up to 2 bottles of wine are allowed per cabin. Bringing your own beverages to enjoy in your cabin can save you a significant amount on your bar tab. Passengers typically pick up their bottles at their arrival airport’s duty-free shop. Pack your bottles in your carry-on and you will get through security with no problems. You can check on your Cruise Line’s website or ask your travel agent to find out the exact alcohol regulations for your specific cruise ship.

Consider the Late Dining Seating

If excursions are important to you and your party you may want to consider requesting the late dining seating. This is important because the shore excursions often do not make it back in time and could conflict with the early seating. You wouldn’t want to miss out on your dinner! If the late dining option is something you want be sure to request it or tell your travel agent as soon as possible to guarantee your spot.

Bring it with you!

Everyone knows to pack any medications or toiletries that you use on a daily basis but it is also important to pack those “just in case” items. For example, allergy pills, Advil, motion sickness medications, additional sunscreen, ect. Many people like to just pack what they know they will need and say that anything else they will just buy on the ship. However, toiletries and medicines like these can cost up to 10 times more on the ship. That’s why we strongly recommend bringing these items yourself. They don’t take up that much extra room in your suitcase and if needed you will be happy you already have it and don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for it.

Don’t Miss the Boat! – Literally!

Many travelers plan on arriving to port the day their cruise vacation begins. However, it’s important to plan ahead for the unexpected. If you are flying in from out of town, what if your flight is delayed? What if there is traffic? Unlike other vacations when you know your hotel will be there whenever you get there, with a cruise your ship may sail without you. For this reason, it is a good idea to consider arriving the day before and spending the night at a hotel near your port. This can make the start of your vacation much more relaxed and stress-free not having to rush and possibly missing your cruise.

Hope these simple tips help you in making your next cruise more even enjoyable! Happy cruising!

 

Packing Tips For Your Next Cruise

Going on a cruise vacation is an exciting adventure! You and your traveling party have an experience ahead of you full of discovery and relaxation! With your Must Love Travel agent handling all your travel details all you have to do is sit back, enjoy and of course pack your suitcase! Today we are going to look at a few key points to keep in mind to make the process of packing for your next cruise easy and fun!

Research

A lot of what you pack for your upcoming cruise should be based on where you are headed. Are you experiencing the breathtaking wildlife of Alaska? Or will you and your family be soaking up the sun on a beach in the beautiful Caribbean?  These two destinations are examples of very different climates. It’s important to research prior to packing your clothing what the weather will be like during your cruise so you know what to prepare for. You can always turn to your Must Love Travel agent for advice. With our agents experience and vast knowledge of many destinations they can give you great input on this matter.

 

Just In Case

We have all heard the classic saying, “It’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.” These are wise words to keep in mind when packing. For example; it can be smart to pack additional toiletry items such as medications, allergy relief and first aid products. You never know when you might be in a situation that one of these items could come in handy.  Another ‘just in case item’ might be a light sweatshirt jacket. Even if your heading to a sunny, tropical destination it’s important to avoid only packing shorts and tee shirts. You should always prepare for if it might be breezy sitting out on the rooftop deck one evening, or if the AC is on high in the dining hall. A light jacket is always great to just have on hand.

 

Dress Codes

It’s important to research or ask your agent about any dress codes that might be present on your ship or at certain onboard restaurants you plan on dining at. Some restaurants have a formal attire dress code. Being aware of any policies will help you chose what outfits to bring. Another item to pack for your cruise is a pair of sneakers. I know personally I love to live in my flip-flops when on vacation! However, when cruising some activities or excursions require appropriate closed-toe footwear. Bringing along your favorite sneakers is a smart choice to guarantee you will be able to participate in all events and activities.

 

Luggage

Some cruise lines have limits on how many luggage bags you can bring and restriction on the size and dimensions of your bags. Being aware of this and checking the size of your suitcase at home prior to arriving for your cruise will save you a lot of time and hassle at the port. It’s also crucial to be aware of any restricted items that are not allowed on the ship. You don’t want to risk having any of your items confiscated by the cruise line. You can find information on what you can and can not bring on your cruise line’s website or by asking your agent.

 

Don’t Over-Pack

This is a great tip for whatever kind of trip you are going on. Make sure you have just what you need and try to avoid over-packing. Think about what you will absolutely need and stick with the basics. Travelers typically always return with more items than they depart with. You want to leave extra room in your suitcase to be able to bring home souvenirs and gifts!

 

Stick with these guidelines and you will be a packing pro for your next cruise! Stay organized, smart and have fun! Packing always symbolizes the beginning of a great adventure ahead!

Travel Safety Tips

While no one can say with certainty that any destination is 100% safe, we strongly encourage our clients to use care and common sense – no matter where they travel – to maximize their safety and security. For example:

  • Leave a copy of your itinerary and passport data page with a friend or family member back home so you can be contacted in case of an emergency.

  • Know and respect the laws in the country you are visiting. o Remain alert to your surroundings at all times. Follow your instincts and avoid any areas or situations that seem as though they could become dangerous.
  • Avoid all demonstrations, as even peaceful ones can quickly become unruly and a foreigner could become a target of harassment. If caught unexpectedly near a 4 demonstration, obey instructions from police and leave the area as quickly as possible.
  • Ask tour guides and hotel officials about any planned demonstrations in the locations they plan to visit.
  • Do not display expensive looking jewelry, large amounts of money or other valuable items. Also, do not leave luggage unattended in public areas and do not accept packages from strangers.
  • Check with your cell phone provider prior to departure to see if your phone is capable of roaming on GSM or 3G/4G international networks.
  • Check your medical insurance coverage to make sure it applies overseas. If it doesn’t, consider buying travel insurance that covers overseas medical attention and medical evacuation.
  • Do not display large amounts of money. Place small amounts in different pockets to assist with this or use credit cards or travelers’ checks.
  • Make copies of your credit cards front and back and place them in a secured place for your records (room safe). This can be very useful if you need to report a lost or stolen card.
  • If you see something suspicious, call 911 immediately. When you return to your hotel, use the main entrance especially in the evening.
  • Be wary of solicitors. Use reputable places of business for all your entertainment transactions.
  • Travel in pairs or groups if possible.
  • Always have a meeting place for the kids to meet you if they get lost.
  • Small children should have their name and phone number placed on their clothes label or the inside of a shoe flap with a permanent marker in case they are lost.
  • Small children should always be led by the hand when crossing the road or near busy streets.
  • Teach your kids your name, house phone and cell phone number.
  • Use the sidewalk and pedestrian crossings.

Alaska Cruise – Princess Cruise Line

A cruise vacation is an adventure to remember. A cruise allows you to travel in luxury and relaxation as you see new parts of the world! Princess Cruise Line is a leader in the cruise line industry for outstanding quality and value.

Princess Cruise Line offers a wonderful itinerary for Alaskan Cruises. The cruise portion of your journey allows you to take in the grandeur and beauty of the State’s natural wonders while traveling in comfort and style.

What sets Princess Cruise Line apart from other cruise lines is their amazing port excursion offerings. These excursions allow you to take in the lifestyle of Alaska through experiencing the local cuisine, touring with the locals, and getting up close to Alaska’s amazing wildlife.

Princess’s moto is “Come back new.” Travel allows us time to reflect, relax and grow through new cultures and experiences. By taking a Princess Cruise adventure you and your family are sure to come back refreshed and new!

Contact your Must Love Travel agent today to find a sailing that fits what your looking for in an Alaskan Princess Cruise.

Sandals Resorts

When you are looking for the ultimate Caribbean getaway, look no further than a Sandals Resort!  It is an authentic Caribbean experience.  There are no hidden fees at a Sandals Resort.  When they say all-inclusive that is exactly what they mean.  Let me go over some of the things you can experience at a Sandals Resort.

All activities are included! Sandals has the largest private fleet of boats in the Caribbean which can take you on many boating adventures.  Certified divers can dive for free everyday. Also enjoy snorkeling, fishing or paddle boarding.

There are many opportunities for fun on the land.  Sandals has wonderful fitness centers, tennis facilities and for the golf lover there is unlimited golf included.  There are also private off shore island excursions at no extra cost where you can relax or play in a beautiful paradise retreat. If you are looking for a destination wedding look no further.  Sandals has what you are looking for in a beautiful romantic wedding.

Sandals boosts 16 restaurants per resort!  You can dine wherever and whenever you want at no extra cost.  Unlike other resorts there are no seating times.  You can eat whenever you wish and also all drinks are included 24-7.

So if you are looking for a relaxing Island vacation consider Sandals Resorts for you next getaway.  Contact your Must Love Travel Agent today for a quote and to find out more about the incredible value you receive by staying at a Sandals Resort!

 

Welcome to the Must Love Travel Blog

I’m Rick Howard, President Must Love Travel Group and host of the video and travel blog, Travel with Rick.

This blog will feature stories and video from all the places we like to travel. From our back yard in the Florida to Keys to the far side of the world on tours and cruise vacations. We love what you love, great food, interesting and relaxing locations and discovering the world through travel.

I look forward to sharing my travel  adventures with you as well as those of friends, our personal travel planners at Must Love Travel and our guests.

Travel Often,

Rick

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