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Where Do You Dream of Cruising?

As we all dream of the places we’ll travel to once the world returns to normal once again, Ive been recalling some of our favorite trips we took pre-covid. One of our last trips before the world changed, was to Bordeaux, France to take a wine cruise on the AmaDolce from AmaWaterways.

 

The beautiful AmaDolce from AmaWaterways.

 

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We had a wonderful dinner created by Chef Sebastion in an intimate setting

 

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The menu for the evening

 

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Chef Sebastion working in his kitchen to create the evening’s appetizers

 

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Here’s the cheese board that will come later, nothing like French wines and cheese.

 

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Our first course. Chef’s Welcome – Foie Gras – Jambon de Bayonne – Fig Spring Roll

 

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Our view from the table, the chef plating up his delicacies.

 

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The next course. Get the Taste – Curried Atlantic Scallops – Spicy Melon-Mint Salad – Sweet Potato Creme

 

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Chef Sebastian prepping the soup for his guests.

 

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Tease the Senses – White Asparagus Cream Soup – Balsamic-Strawberry – Comte Cheese Cookies

 

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The Chef and his crew

 

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From the Rivers – Grilled Fillet of Sea Bream – Saffron Veloute – Oven-Baked Tomato-Eggplant Salad – Chick Pea-Lentil Souk

 

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Sherbert – Apple – Ginger-Ale – Sparkling Wine

 

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Country Spirit – French Barbarie Duck Crepinette – Lavender-Orange Sauce – Broccoli – Braised Celeriac – Vichy Carrot Mash

 

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Chef preparing the cheese plates to be served.

 

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From Heaven – Frangipane Pistachio Tart – Blueberry Caviar – Cappuccino Ice Cream

 

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There’s a close-up of that cheese, oh my!

 

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“Warm summer breezes and French wines and cheeses” – He Went To Paris – Jimmy Buffet

 

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Thanks, Chef Sebastion and crew of the AmaDolce for a wonderful night, and fantastic dinner and a memorable cruise. Au revoir!


 

Return to Sailing with Royal Caribbean

Wow! Back to sailing and it feels great! I just returned from sailing on the beautiful amplified Freedom of the Seas from Royal Caribbean. I thought you might like to hear a little about what Royal Caribbean is doing to ensure their clients are sailing safely.

From the moment the pandemic started, Royal Caribbean has been on top of every aspect of returning to sailing. For the Travel Advisors, they meet with us weekly and keep us up to date and informed about the latest news. As a Director and Travel Advisor, you couldn’t ask for more.

We arrived for our sailing at a scheduled time. They are scheduling groups of people to go through the embarkation process. Those guests who are vaccinated have their vaccination card scanned and viewed three times before boarding. You are also presented with a purple wristband so the staff knows you are vaccinated and allowed in those areas of the ship. The boarding process went smoothly. The Royal Caribbean app allows you to flow through your safety check, confirm you have completed viewing all the safety information, and guides you through your voyage. One of the things I enjoyed most was the new muster drill process. You show at your designated area and are individually informed of the process.

 

The crew was amazing the entire time. There were only 1037 guests on this sailing so it actually felt like we were in our own private yacht. We have 1027 crew serving us.

The majority of the guests were vaccinated. There were specific vaccinated-only locations throughout the ship. If someone was traveling with children or guests unvaccinated they needed to participate with that group only if they wanted to be with them. We wore masks in all common areas and were able to remove them in vaccinated venues and of course outside. Vaccinated people had their own pool area as well.

 

 

Many ask about the buffets. They were still there, however, the crew served you. This was at Windjammers and also on their private island, Perfect Day Cocco Cay. I personally really appreciated the service. They have created menus that would make this easy. There were also some prepackaged grab-and-go items.

Social distancing was prevalent in all venues and as soon as someone would leave a table or seating area it was sanitized and prepared for the next guest.

Overall, exceptional service! I can’t wait to sail again! Don’t wait to plan if you want to sail later this year or in the future as sailings are really filling up.

This Week in Travel – 7/18/21

Well it was another newsworthy week around the world of travel, but actually this week the big news in travel is out of this world. Well out in space anyway.

Virgin Galactic has gotten one step closer to making commercial space tourism a possibility.

Last Saturday, Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity ship successfully reached space for the first time with a full crew, including the company’s founder Sir Richard Branson, onboard.

Saturday’s crew for Virgin Galactic’s spaceflight. Photo: Virgin Galactic.

The flight is a major milestone in space tourism, something that many in the travel industry believe will be a real possibility for consumers in the future.

“Today is a landmark achievement for the company and a historic moment for the new commercial space industry,” Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier said. “With each successful mission, we are paving the way for the generation of astronauts.”

Branson, reacting to the flight, said that it was a moment he had dreamt about since he was a child.

“We are at the vanguard of a new space age,” he said, adding that the company’s mission is to “make space more accessible to all.”

“For so long, we have looked back in wonder at the space pioneers of yesterday. Now, I want the astronauts of tomorrow to look forward and make their own dreams come true.”

Virgin shared the full video of the test flight on its YouTube channel live:

We’ve already heard a rumor that a travel advisor has booked passage on the first commercial trip to space. How about you? Can we reserve a seat for you today?

 

This Week in Travel – 7/11/21

7/11/21

This week Disney announces that all of the Walt Disney World® Resort hotels will reopen by the end of this year.

With fan favorites resorts like Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge reopening soon, there were only a few hotels that still didn’t have reopening dates…until this week that is. Both Disney Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarter, along with Disney’s All-Star Music and All-Star Sports Resort.

These resorts are now available for bookings. Here are their respective reopening dates:

  • September 16th, 2021 – Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
  • October 14th, 2021 – Disney’s Port Orleans Resort –— Riverside
  • October 28th, 2021 – Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
  • December 9th, 2021 – Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort

As more and more of the world opens up, and as more of the Walt Disney World Resort opens up, more of the Disney restaurants will begin to reopen as well.

This week we’re also glad to hear ‘Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort has reopened for a family-style breakfast and dinner.

This Week in Travel – 7/4/21

7/04/21

Happy Fourth of July! There have been a lot of changes and updates this week in the world of travel as the world continues to open up and evolve with changes in the covid environment.

But before we get into some of this week’s updates, to celebrate July 4th, here are some firework facts, According to the WSJ

1. Supply chain issues are back again to dull your holiday. Firework supply is expected to drop ~30% across the country with logistics all scrambled due to Covid.
2. Not helping: 90% of US fireworks are made in China, so logjams at ports over there mean a reduction or delay in getting supply over here.
3. Retailers warn that you might have to pay as much as 25% more than you’re used to for some fireworks.
4. Last year, firework sales jumped to $1.9 billion from $1 billion because there was simply nothing else to do except blow things up.
5. Massachusetts is the only state with a total ban on the sale of consumer fireworks. Thanks, Ben Affleck.

And speaking of fireworks, we’re so happy to announce the return of nighttime fireworks spectaculars at both Magic Kingdom Park and EPCOT as of July 1!

The Disneyland Hotel has now reopened to Guests, completing the phased reopening of the Disneyland Resort Hotels. Select dining offerings will be available to hotel and non-hotel guests with reservations, pending availability, or via mobile order.

As Disney and the world continues to move towards a new normal, we’re also very happy to report that Corn Dog Nuggets have also returned to the Magic Kingdom Park now that Casey’s Corner has reopened on Main Street U.S.A.

Gov. Ron DeSantis this week signed Senate Bill 1194 into law. Section 311.25 in the bill prohibits any ban on cruise ships with a capacity of 1,300 or more persons docking in South Florida, voiding last November’s referendum, passed by Key West voters, which aimed to keep them out of the Keys.

Despite residents voting to do so last November, Florida will not ban large cruise ships from docking in Key West.

Key West residents had passed the bill by a wide margin during a referendum last November, but the bill signed into law this week will not allow any referendum to “restrict maritime commerce” at any port that has received or is eligible to apply for state funding

Princess Cruises is canceling its sailings in and out of Australia through Dec. 19, 2021, because of a “continued uncertainty regarding the timing for the resumption of cruise holidays in the region,” the line announced Wednesday.

The news comes as Australia continues to extend its cruise ban, which right now is scheduled to end in September 2021.

This week Royal Caribbean Gets Green Light to Restart Cruises with Ticketed Passengers.

After successfully completing its test cruises, Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas has officially received approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to restart sailings with ticketed passengers.

With the news, Freedom will become the cruise line’s first ship to resume sailing from the U.S.

Royal Caribbean president Michael Bayley made the announcement in a message posted to social media on Tuesday morning, writing that “this is exciting progress, and we look forward to welcoming our guests onboard.”

Guests will now be able to sail on Freedom starting next month. The first revenue sailing will depart from Miami on July 2 and visit Nassau and Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island destination, in The Bahamas, before returning to Miami on July 5.

While the CDC’s approval allows ships to sail with less than 95% of guests vaccinated, Freedom will sail with all crew fully vaccinated and the “majority of guests fully vaccinated.”

That’s it for this week, check back her next week for more updates.

This Week in Travel – Jun 26-2021

Well, it seems every week we are letting you know of more and more places and opportunities opening up in the world of travel.

Cruise ships are returning to Alaska soon, sailing out of Seattle.

On Sunday, Royal Caribbean International’s Freedom of the Seas became the first large cruise ship to sail from a U.S. port in more than 15 months. The ship departed from Port of Miami on a non-revenue “test cruise” with 600 volunteer passengers who are Royal Caribbean employees and their spouses/friends.

This week Spain Drops Vaccine requirements for Americans. Travelers from the U.S. will be able to visit Spain regardless of their vaccination status with no test and no quarantine.

Effective immediately, the new rule applies to residents in the U.S who don’t visit any other country prior to arrival in Spain, other than to connect flights without leaving the airport.

Previously, Americans had to be fully vaccinated at least 14 days before traveling in order to be permitted entry into the country.

And lastly, we continue to see the Walt Disney World Resort and the Disneyland Resort modifying their mask rules for guests and cast members as well as social distancing policy.

Just a few days ago, we shared that masks are no longer required for fully vaccinated Cast Members working outdoors. Masks are now optional for fully vaccinated Cast Members while they’re working indoors too.

It was also reported this week that PhotoPass photographers are once again able to hold a guest’s phone or camera to take photos of that guest when asked.

The world is ever-changing and now more than ever when you’re ready to travel you need a trusted travel professional to help you know where to go and how to get there. When you’re ready to travel again, we’re here to help.  Contact us today!

 

This Week in Travel – June 19 – 2021

This week we’ve seen lots of fun and exciting announcements.  Things are starting to get back to “normal” and we’ll continue to see other great announcements.

We are so happy to hear the nighttime fireworks spectaculars are returning to both Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot!   There’s no better way to end a day at the Magic Kingdom than watching the “Happily Ever After” fireworks presentation.  And over at Epcot, Epcot Forever is a new spectacle of fireworks, music, and lighting effects over World Showcase Lagoon.

My wife Leslie and I will be at the Walt Disney World Resot in July to welcome the fireworks back at both the Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot. I’m sure we’ll have lots of pictures, videos and stories to share, we can’t wait to see the sky light up over the castle again!

Disney also announced this week that Animal Kingdom Lodge is set to reopen on August 26, 2021, providing yet another resort option for upcoming stays.  And for even more fun this fall, additional dates were announced for Disney After Hours Boo Bash.  Get ready for frightfully fun experiences at this spooktacular event.

Things are also continuing to open up at Disneyland in California. The Disneyland Hotel is reopening July 2 and fireworks will resume on July 4th with “Mickey’s Mix Magic”

We can’t leave out Disney Cruise Line and their announcement of the fall 2022 itineraries.  Halloween on the High Seas sailings and Very Merrytime Cruises return next October, November and December of 2022.  If you haven’t seen and experienced the Disney ships decorated for the holidays you don’t know what you’re missing.  Now’s the time to discover all Disney Cruise Line has to offer.

It’s beginning to more and more feel like the world is returning to normal. Social distancing requirements are relaxing as well as mask requirements in outdoor areas. If you have questions we’re here to help you with your magical vacation plans, contact us today1

 

 

 

 

Cancun Mexico Apple Leisure Group’s 500 Club Appreciation Event

Happy Sunday Everyone! It is so good to see the world starting to travel again! I recently returned from Cancun, Mexico.

Our agency was honored to be invited by Apple Leisure Group, 500 Club to an appreciation event for being one of their top travel agencies. We were hosted by AMResorts at the new Dreams Vista Cancun Golf and Spa Resort. It was a packed few days with meetings, networking, and a little fun.

I thought I would pull back the curtain a little bit and share with you some highlights from my trip so here we go!

These trips are so important to those of us in the travel industry. It gives us the opportunity to talk face to face with executives, hotel sales managers, transportation and destination management companies, and more. These face-to-face encounters build relationships that are invaluable to us. We connect with them so we know how to serve our clients better.

This past trip we heard from President, Randy Sinsky, Group President at ALG Vacations. He shared great news about the travel trends for now and in the future. ALG Vacations is seeing a high demand for travel to the Caribbean, Mexico and Hawaii. This was so encouraging! The quick responses from the various brands to provide Covid testing and high safety standards has made travel to these destinations very desirable. I personally, was so impressed with the changes, even down to the smallest details, like sanitizing the bottom of your shoes before walking inside any dining location or room in the buildings.

Jacki Marks, Executive Vice President, Apple Leisure Group, shared what ALG is doing to improve systems and communication with travel advisors in order to help their clients with changes, and future travel credits. Over this past year, Jacki has kept us up to date, with transparency which has made a big difference in how we can best serve our clients. Of course, as she acknowledges, there are still challenges that arise, but the efforts to overcome them are ongoing. Jacki set aside time to speak to many owners and managers to hear from them. During our face-to-face meeting, we had the opportunity to discuss business trends, challenges we have had with some of the bookings, and have them ask us questions.

Both Randy and Jacki shared with us statistics on how consumers are moving rapidly toward using a travel advisor since so many travelers faced major challenges booking with online companies and vacations on their own. The knowledge and connections travel advisors have are invaluable to their clients and is not something that you receive from an online company.

Many consumers don’t realize that their travel advisor never received any income from this past year with all the cancellations. They don’t get paid by suppliers until clients travel. This past year, travel advisors worked tireless hours on the phones and at their desks changing or canceling vacations as well as keeping up to date with what was happening in the world with no income. What kept them going was great companies like Apple Leisure Group, and as we all know, that travel will resume and more and more people will want to seek out their expertise when booking their next vacation.

As we celebrate 25 years in the Travel Industry, we are excited about the future! We are grateful to our clients and the suppliers we work with and the relationships that have been built.

Port Canaveral Welcomes Carnival Mardi Gras Home

This week my wife Leslie and I had the pleasure to go up to Port Canaveral and welcome Carnival’s newest ship, the Mardi Gras to her new homeport. It was great to get out and see other people from the travel industry, advisors, media, and friends!  And while we actually didn’t get on the ship, it was great to see the new terminal and the Mardi Gras in port. The long-awaited return to cruising is just around the corner and we couldn’t be more excited!

 

Executives from the Carnival Corporation, the port authority, travel industry, and media were all on hand to welcome the Mardi Gras home.

Carnival’s new VIP lounge awaits, ready for a cruise?

Carnival’s new terminal was completed in mid-2020 has been sitting vacant for a year waiting to welcome her first guests.

Soon Carnival’s new terminal will be welcoming cruise guests for the first time.

Spacious and comfortable waiting areas are available to guests waiting to board their ship.

 

The port seems eerily empty, but ready for guests to return.

Port Canaveral, home to Carnival Mardi Gras

The media was out in full force to welcome the Mardi Gras home.

It was great seeing the Mardi Gras in port. Soon she’ll welcome guests on board for the first time.

Wait, is that a roller coaster on the top deck?

Yes, it is, the first-ever, roller coaster at sea, on a cruise ship!

For more information on sailing on Carnival’s Mardi Gras out of Port Canaveral contact one of our personal travel advisors today!

Why Stay at a Walt Disney World Resort?

Staying at a Walt Disney World Resort can enhance your vacation with perks, convenience, and also a little extra layer of magic! Staying on-site gives you extra opportunities that only resort guests can take advantage of. Here are just a few of the benefits you will experience when staying at a Walt Disney World Resort:

Proximity

The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, is over 40 square miles. The resort truly is an entire world of its own! With 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, Disney Springs, the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, and hundreds of restaurants and shops, the Disney property has something for everyone! The massive resort is also home to over 30 themed Disney Resort hotels. Staying at a Disney Resort on-property allows you to make the most out of your vacation time with easy access to everywhere on-property. Staying off-site, you lose so much precious time by having to commute on and off Disney property each day of your trip.

Transportation

Staying on-site at a Disney Resort, you can enjoy the benefit of utilizing the Disney transportation system. All Disney Resorts have buses that can take you directly to all of the theme parks, water parks, Disney Springs, and many other locations on Disney property. Some resorts even offer boat transportation to and from the parks! If you stay in the Magic Kingdom Resort area, you can even take a monorail straight from your resort to the front gates of the Magic Kingdom park! And don’t forget about Disney’s newest form of transportation to Epcot and Hollywood Studios – the Disney Skyliner, available at Disney’s Pop Century, Art of Animation, Caribbean Beach, and Riviera Resorts.

Theming

Disney World Resort hotels are known for their immersive theming and attention to detail. When you stay on-property at a Disney Resort, you get to stay within the magic of Disney 24/7! The same creative team of Imagineers that design the parks and attractions also design the resort hotels! They bring the hotels to life through storytelling and hints of Disney magic everywhere you turn. Feel as if you are staying on a tropical island at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Discover the colorful city of New Orleans at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort. Relax in nature and luxury at Disney Wilderness lodge. Pamper yourself and step back in time to the beauty of the Victorian era at Disney Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. When you stay at a Disney Resort, you truly get to have a vacation within your vacation!

View of Grand Floridian from the water

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Private Island: Great Stirrup Cay

We are getting so close to sailing again! As all of the cruise lines continue to prepare their ships for returning to the sea, I wanted to share a post I wrote in 2019 when some of the Must Love Travel Planners had the opportunity to sail on Norwegian’s brand new ship, the Norwegian Encore. It was incredible! And one of the highlights of our sailing was stopping at Norwegian’s own private island in the Bahamas, Great Stirrup Cay.

I will be honest. I had fairly low expectations for this private island. I’ve been to a few other private islands of major cruise lines (Disney, Royal Caribbean), and they are both bigger than Norwegian’s island. But WOW, I was completely blown away! Yes, it is small, but the beach is beautiful, the service is top-notch, the food was great, and some really spectacular excursions were available!

Beach

The beach was beautiful!! TONS of chairs, so you don’t have to fight for one. And there will be a towel waiting for you on each chair, so you don’t have to carry them off the ship. Bar service was excellent and fast, and there are plenty of water activities available for rent, such as floats and paddleboarding. If you want to splurge on a Cabana, those are available for an additional cost.

Lunch

There is a Main Grill and also a few additional food stations located throughout the beach area. The food is great, and there is plenty of it! We even found some light breakfast offerings (banana bread, etc.) available before the lunch was ready, which was perfect for those of us who got to the island early for an excursion.

Excursions

There are some really spectacular excursions, but what impressed me the most was how organized they were. In our group of agents, we were able to sample quite a few excursions. I personally went parasailing and rented a wave runner (jetski), while other agents rented kayaks, swam with pigs (that’s right, I said swam with pigs), and swam with the stingrays.

Overall, I was very impressed with this little slice of paradise. I could have easily spent another day there! Almost every Bahamas and Caribbean sailing on Norwegian makes a stop at Great Stirrup Cay, so be sure to ask your Must Love Travel Planner for more info on this island paradise.

Destination — Cancun, Mexico

As one of the most popular tourist destinations in Mexico, Cancun attracts about four million visitors each year to its pristine white beaches, its top-notch resort and hotel scene and its crystal blue water. The city is home to hundreds of hotels that line the beaches in an area called the hotel zone, attracting all types of guests, from traveling business people to timeshare owners to families. The city is probably most famous for its Mayan ruins, which dot the landscape around this southern region of Mexico. From El Rey to Tulum, the ancient stone remains are unique archaeological attractions that tell the original story of the now bustling modern city. Many people also visit the area for its great dive sites. Colorful coral reefs and diverse sea life are located right offshore, and a variety of inland cenotes (deep natural wells) attract diving enthusiasts to explore the rich underwater worlds of Cancun.

Couples looking for a luxury wedding or a spicy celebration bursting with entertainment will find what they want in Cancun. Convenient to travel to from origins throughout the U.S., Cancun was designed with the needs of a tourist in mind, which makes it easy to design a dream wedding experience. Including a traditional Mariachi trio during the destination wedding cocktail hour adds a beautiful and soulful soundtrack to make sure guests never forget their incredible experience. Or hosting the reception at sunset on a catamaran allows guests to enjoy the wedding and a breathtaking Mexican sunset at the same time.

 

Destination Quick Facts:

  • U.S. travelers: Valid passport needed for entry
  • Official language: Spanish (English is widely spoken)
  • Official currency: Mexican peso (American dollars are widely accepted)
  • Climate: From October to March, average temperature is 68-86° F and from April to September, average temperature is 75-91° F
  • Currency converter
  • STEP Program
  • Mexico entry requirements

Over-the-Water Bungalows at Sandals Grand St. Lucian

These gorgeous Over-the-Water bungalows convey an intimate connection to the Caribbean Sea and deliver complete immersion of the fine turquoise waters and rich marine life below.

Glass floor panels and lit water ensure you can enjoy undersea views at any time. Couples can also admire the beauty of the ocean from their private outdoor Tranquility Soaking Tub for two or over-water hammocks.

Every bungalow captures the height of luxury with hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings, custom crafted king-size beds adorned with soft linens, and plush pillows for the ultimate sleep experience.

Inside, each bungalow is also equipped with a smart TV and a large ceiling fan to stay cool while enjoying fresh Caribbean breezes. The bathrooms are equipped with his and her sinks, a large backlit mirror adorned with mosaic tile, and a walk-in rain shower.

Outside, your private patio is also equipped with an extended sun deck, outdoor shower, sun loungers, and a bistro set for two.

Butler Elite service, which handles every detail of your vacation with unobtrusive grace, private airport transfers, and 24-hour room service, is included to complete your over-water vacation.

9 Family-Friendly Hawaii Resorts

Whether it’s unforgettable pool experiences, new kids club offerings, robust keiki (children) day programs, or kitchenettes to make travel just a bit easier, our friends at Marriott International have a portfolio of hotels and resorts offering exquisite options on all four major Hawaiian islands.

Travel insights from Marriott International in Hawai’i have put together a collection of 9 of the most family-friendly Hawaiian resorts:

1. Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa
Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa

Celebrate the best of Honolulu from Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, Waikiki Beach. Widely known as the “First Lady of Waikiki,” our historic hotel first opened its doors in 1901 and offers a seamless blend of Victorian elegance and contemporary comfort. Boasting an unbeatable beachfront location, we’re just steps from the immaculate shores of legendary Waikiki Beach and within walking distance of Honolulu’s most beloved shopping, dining and entertainment attractions. For your convenience, we provide three distinct, sophisticated room layouts, each one overflowing with thoughtful amenities. In addition, our hotel features a towering banyan tree, a shimmering outdoor pool, a state-of-the-art fitness center, the only beachfront spa in Waikiki and six on-site bars and restaurants. Host an event with us here in Honolulu to take advantage of stunning outdoor venues and top-quality planning and catering. Allow Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, Waikiki Beach to raise the bar for beachfront luxury

2. The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort
The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort

The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort stretches along its namesake white-sand beach on the Island of Hawaii. The Kohala Coast is known for its world-class shoreline as well as for the cultural and archaeological gems nestled between its centuries-old lava fields. Our resort’s contemporary style contrasts with our lush, manicured gardens and the endless blues of the sky and the ocean. Enjoy our four reimagined dining venues influenced by the island’s bounty. Hit the links on our award-winning 18-hole Hapuna Golf Course designed by Arnold Palmer. Cool off in two swimming pools, including a 6,800-square-foot freeform family pool and an adult-exclusive infinity pool, overlooking Hapuna Beach. Our WestinWorkout Center and Crossfit Studio are complemented by the Hapuna Spa for rejuvenation and relaxation. Our resort boasts more than 85,000 square feet of newly refreshed function space for productive business meetings and inspiring social events. Choose from 249 oversized guest rooms, including 17 suites.

3. Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa
Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa

Edging the western coast of Hawaii’s breathtaking Big Island, Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa is a beachfront haven in a stunning travel destination. Find your respite in scenic hotel accommodations with contemporary comforts and signature amenities. Elevate your experience in select suites and resort rooms overlooking beautiful Anaeho’omalu Bay. Ignite your senses with delectable dining at our hotel restaurants, and be sure to attend our Sunset Luau for music, dancing and classic Big Island fare. Hone your golf game at two championship courses or spend the day lounging on an immaculate white-sand beach. Host flawless meetings, weddings and social affairs in inspiring event space with custom catering and expert planners. After a full day in Hawaii, refresh your well-being with massage, beauty and wellness therapies at our hotel spa. With three sparkling outdoor pools, a waterslide and covered beachfront location, Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa is an island oasis on the lovely Big Island of Hawaii.

4. Sheraton Kauai Resort at Poipu Beach
Sheraton Kauai Resort at Poipu Beach

Aloha from Sheraton Kauai Resort, a welcoming hotel oasis nestled on the shores of Hawaii’s world-famous Poipu Beach. From this enviable vantage point, our hotel offers guests intimate access to the Garden Island’s endless charms—from spectacular beaches, lush rainforests to world-class golf courses. Relax in our newly-renovated guest rooms and suites, where either sparkling oceanfront or lush garden views await. Spend your days soaking in the sun on Poipu Beach or relaxing in a shaded cabana next to our Ocean Pool. Dine at our array of authentic eateries, serving fresh Hawaiian fare in a tropical setting; RumFire Poipu Beach is our signature restaurant boasting spectacular sunset views. Showcasing an array of indoor and outdoor event venues, our hotel is also a brilliant location for a corporate retreat, wedding or family reunion in Kauai. Whatever brings you to Hawaii, our golden-sand beaches and misty sea breezes ensure you’ll never want to leave. We look forward to hosting you at Sheraton Kauai Resort.

5. Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay
Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay

With an unparalleled location on the iconic lava rocks of Hawaii’s Kona Coast, Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay offers a captivating blend of adventure, culture, heritage and hospitality for your trip to Kailua-Kona. Our hotel overlooks Kailua-Kona’s manta ray coastal feeding grounds and offers access to Kona Coffee farms, snorkeling in Kealakekua Bay and Volcanoes National Park. Embrace Kona life in our hotel pool, pamper yourself at Ho’ola Spa or try traditional Hawaiian activities like snorkeling, cultural tours and hula lessons. Bask in the Kona sunshine at our poolside resort bar, sample fusion cuisine at Rays on the Bay or enjoy history and entertainment at Haleo Luau. Explore our adaptable indoor venues, as well as 100,000 square feet of outdoor space with awe-inspiring views. Unwind in expansive hotel rooms and suites with private lanais and the Sheraton Signature Sleep Experience. Find your own slice of paradise in Hawaii at Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay.

6. Sheraton Princess Kaiulani
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani

Sheraton Princess Kaiulani invites you to experience the Aloha spirit at our hotel in the heart of Honolulu, Hawaii. Our inviting hotel is situated one block from Oahu’s famous Waikiki Beach and within walking distance of some of the area’s best shopping, dining and entertainment. Hotel guests have proximity to attractions like Diamond Head, Hawaii Convention Center, the Aloha Tower and Honolulu Zoo. Well-appointed hotel rooms and suites include Wi-Fi (for a fee), mini-refrigerators, private lanais and our Sheraton Signature Sleep Experience with premium linens. Those planning events on Oahu can explore our hotel’s modern venues, which can host as many as 500 guests. Whatever your reason for visiting Hawaii, we know you’re going to love your stay at Sheraton Princess Kaiulani.

7. Residence Inn Maui Wailea
Residence Inn Maui Wailea

Find your home away from home at Residence Inn Maui Wailea, a modern all-suite hotel in near Wailea’s world class golf courses, Wailea Blue Golf Course, Kihei Town, Ulua and Wailea Beach. With our complimentary shuttle service in the Wailea Resort Area, our extended-stay hotel makes it easy to access all the best local dining and shopping at The Shops at Wailea. Enjoy your time in Maui by relaxing with a hotel breakfast buffet in the morning. Our hotel bar offers curated cocktails and scenic views of the Pacific. For your comfort, our pet-friendly suites feature ocean-inspired designs and plush beds. Upgrade to a spacious two-bedroom suite to ensure ample space for the whole family. After a day spent exploring, prepare a homemade meal in your suite, complete with a refrigerator, microwave and stovetop, or opt for the convenience of complimentary grocery shopping services. Whatever it is that brings you to Maui, make the most of your travels by booking a stay with Residence Inn Maui Wailea.

8. Courtyard Maui Kahului Airport
Courtyard Maui Kahului Airport

Providing modern convenience in a soothing setting, Courtyard Maui Kahului Airport will elevate your island getaway. With our free shuttle service to and from Kahului Airport, you can expect effortless travels. Ignite your next Maui adventure at premier attractions such as Kanaha Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary, Lahaina Front Street and Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm. After soaking up the Hawaiian sun, gather in the comforts of our hotel rooms and seamlessly transition between work and play with our flat-panel TVs and ergonomic workstations. To satisfy you cravings, visit The Bistro for energizing breakfast options, along with tempting dishes and handcrafted cocktails for dinner. Committing to healthy habits? Burn off some calories at our 24-hour fitness center or outdoor pool. If you’re hosting an event, enliven conferences and celebrations alike with our AV equipment and catering options. Whether you’re conducting business, or exploring the beautiful area, revel in relaxation at Courtyard Maui Kahului Airport.

9. Courtyard Waikiki Beach
Courtyard Waikiki Beach

Stay, play and explore everything we have to offer at Courtyard Waikiki Beach. Located in the heart of Waikiki in Honolulu, HI, our hotel is a short walk from Waikiki Beach and several top local attractions, including the Honolulu Zoo. In addition, find many leisure activities nearby, like golfing, surfing, biking and hiking, then return to our hotel where we offer a 24-hour, state-of-the-art fitness center, a calming spa with a variety of treatments and two refreshing outdoor pools. After a busy day in Honolulu, stop by our hotel’s authentic Italian restaurant serving freshly prepared cuisine and signature cocktails. If you want to host your wedding in Waikiki, take advantage of our group booking offers and special hotel room rates. Additional hotel amenities include valet parking, on-site laundry and car rentals. At the end of the day, retire to a contemporary, newly refurbished hotel room or suite with free Wi-Fi, an outdoor balcony and modern media offerings. Make us your tropical oasis in Honolulu.

Puerto Rico’s Picture-Perfect Postcard Regions

There are many reasons to explore beyond San Juan and truly discover everything Puerto Rico has to offer. This Caribbean island measures approximately 100 by 35 miles, so in a couple of hours, you can drive around the whole island, but allow yourself plenty of time to discover its six different regions. Each one has a unique identity featuring local cuisine, diverse cultural activities, tourist attractions, adventure tours, and more.

Read more about Puerto Rico’s six different regions in this article shared by our friends at The Compass.

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