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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!


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.


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.


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

A Closer Look at Sandals Royal Bahamian

Sandals Resorts are some of the most impressive and popular Adult Only destinations in the Caribbean. Today I’d like to highlight Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort, located in Nassau, Bahamas.

Offshore Island

Sandals private island, located just minutes away from the main resort, is available via a private ferry. It’s like having 2 resorts in 1! offshore adventure with two secluded beaches where you can relax, go for a leisure swim, or explore the Bahamas’ best snorkeling. The Beach Club is your complimentary membership to a pool, whirlpool, swim-up bar, and the region’s best seafood house. You’ll also find shaded hammocks, private cabanas, and a Zen garden with fire pit seating throughout the natural landscape.

Luxurious Accommodations

Sandals Royal Bahamian offers luxurious rooms and suites, including the magnificent River Pool Swim-up Suites. Also featured are walkout suites set directly on the beach. Upgrade your experience with a Butler Suite, providing an unimaginably supreme standard of service and luxury, where your every need is anticipated.

What’s Included at Sandals Royal Bahamian

You’ll receive all of the amenities you’ve grown to love from Sandals Resorts, including:

  • Unlimited fine dining at 11 restaurants
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and anytime snacks
  • Unlimited Premium Liquors
  • 8 bars, including swim-up bars
  • Stocked bars in every room
  • Unlimited Robert Mondavi Twin Oaks® wines
  • All tips, taxes, and gratuities
  • Roundtrip airport transfers
  • PADI-Certified SCUBA diving (and all equipment)
  • Snorkeling (and all equipment)
  • Hobie Cats, paddleboards, kayaks
  • Professional instruction for water sports
  • Beach volleyball, basketball, pool tables
  • Day and night tennis
  • Unlimited land sports and state-of-the-art fitness centers
  • Day and night entertainment including live shows
  • Free WiFi (in-room and all common areas)
  • Free wedding (for stays of 3 nights or longer)

Be sure to reach out to your Travel Planner if you would like more information about Sandals Royal Bahamian or any Sandals Resort!

Brooks Lake Lodge for Christmas

One of my favorite family Christmas travel memories is spending Christmas at Brooks Lake Lodge in Dubois, Wyoming.

Being from Florida, the chance of seeing snow on Christmas is very appealing idea!

Brooks Lake Lodge is very rustic at 9200 feet above sea level with the Pinnacle Mountains in the background

Brooks Lake Lodge welcomes you with daily temperature and avalanche reports, as well as the evening’s dinner menu

There’s always snow at Brooks.

Always snow, lots of snow!

Landing at Jackson Hole airport is always interesting. It feels like you swoop in over the Tetons and land on a short runway in the middle of a National Park, Teton National Park.

Elk Horns collected from the grazing and migration lands welcome you to Jackson Hole.

In this rustic lodge at 9200 feet, the dining is impeccably delicious.

There’s always interesting game on the menu, from bison to elk tenderloin, venison chops, as well as duck and amazing fish.

Wonderful food wonderfully presented.

This was our Christmas dinner. Yes, that’s one portion. Yes, it does cover the whole plate.

The amazing desserts and other homemade baked goods are amazing!

Freshly made cinnamon buns anyone?

Just because it’s a little out of the way doesn’t mean you can’t have a world-class pastry chef.

Brooks Lake Lodge and the surrounding areas are known for their amazing snowmobile trails and meadows.

All geared up and ready to go!

No one has been her but us today.

And sometimes you just get stuck and have to start digging.

Because there’s snow, lots of snow!

This is Leslie and I with head snowmobile guide and wrangler, Skinner Bell.

This is Skinner in action doing more of what he does. Where’s the back of his snowmobile? That’s a lot of snow!

Here’s the three of us, family Christmas, minus one

Wait a minute, where’s the back of my snowmobile

Playing in the snow.

Our rides here take us back to the airport, Florida is going to seem different when we get home  😉

We’ll definitely miss this place, can’t wait to return again!

Thanks for following our trip, till next time, travel safe and be well!

If you scrolled down this far, you should get a treat. Check out these buns,  I really miss Brooks Lake Lodge!

Welcome to AmaWaterways

If you aren’t familiar with River Cruising, you are in for a surprise! River Cruising is very different from Ocean Cruising. The ships are small, making the onboard experience more intimate and boutique. You will visit incredible cities and villages in Europe, Southeast Asia, and Africa.

If you are new to River Cruising, a great place to start is AmaWaterways. Take a few minutes to enjoy the video below, giving you a wonderful overview of River Cruising, and how AmaWaterways connects with their guests so that every mile of your river cruise experience becomes one of your most cherished memories.


Want to learn more about river cruising with AmaWaterways? Contact your Must Love Travel Planner today!

Seven Seas Marina at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

If you are looking for a unique, and surprisingly affordable, way to experience the Walt Disney World Resort, consider renting a private boat! Private boat rentals are available at both the Epcot Area and Magic Kingdom Area Resorts. I recommend renting a boat from one of the Magic Kingdom Resorts, as there is so much more to see on the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake.

The Seven Seas Marinna at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort offers multiple types of small boat rentals for 2 – 10 guests. The 8 – 10 passenger boats can also include a driver if you’d prefer to just sit back and enjoy the experience. 

I recently spent one-night after a Disney Cruise at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, and we decided we did not want to do a park but rather spend the day simply enjoying our Resort and all it has to offer.  After a few hours at the pool, we decided to rent a 2-person Sea Racer from the Seven Seas Marina and spent about an hour and a half exploring the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake.

This was a very special way of seeing the Monorail Resorts on the Seven Seas Lagoon, but my favorite was sailing past Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and exploring Bay Lake. If you aren’t familiar, Bay Lake sits behind the Contemporary Resort and is where Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground is located.

We were able to get an up-close look at the new Cabins built for Copper Creek at Wilderness Lodge. You can see these Cabins from the water taxi, but it was nice to take it at our own pace and get really close.

There’s plenty of active fish and game warden’s out on the lakes at all times, making sure everyone is staying safe. And when that giant ferry comes through, they certainly make sure all of the smaller boats stay out of the way!

Our hour and a half experience cost about $80, and was worth every penny! It was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon outside of the parks. I would do it again in a heartbeat!

View of Grand Floridian from the water

Royal Caribbean: All This Included

As Royal Caribbean likes to state, “This is not a cruise. This is the best vacation value around.” And isn’t that what is so important to all of us? Knowing that we are not only having the best possible vacation, but that we are also getting the best value…the best bang for our buck!

Clients always ask us “What is included with my cruise?”. And my answer is always “SO MUCH”!

Take a look below to see ALL that is included in your Royal Caribbean cruise. When you are ready to book your next cruise, reach out to your Travel Advisor for help! That’s what we are here for. To help you create unforgettable vacation experiences.







Kensington Tours

Kensington Tours has always been a global leader in custom, private-guided travel all over the world.

What is Private-Guided Travel? It’s freedom! No fixed dates, and the freedom of flexibility. See the world as YOU want to see it.

Now we’re excited to discover that Kensington has added the United States and Canada to their growing list of destinations!

Kensington has been an amazing company to partner with over the years, as we know that our clients will always have the most amazing vacations! If you are interested, reach out to your Travel Advisor. If you do not currently have a Travel Advisor, let us connect you with one of our experts!

Universal Orlando Resort Guest Benefits (including a FREE skip the lines pass!)

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

Staying at an official Universal Orlando Resort Hotel is always going to be fun. They are all excellent properties, and perfectly located to be near all that Universal has to offer.

There is another reason you’ll want to stay at an official Universal Resort Hotel…the PERKS!

Some of the hotels offer more perks than others, so you want to make sure you are choosing the hotel that best fits your needs, budget and gives you the benefits you are looking for.

Endless Summer Resorts, Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Aventura Hotel and Sapphire Falls Resort receive the following exclusive Universal Resort Guest Benefits:

  • Early Park Admission† to The Wizarding World of Harry PotterTM and Universal’s Volcano Bay, one hour before the theme park opens (valid theme park admission required; select attractions).
  • Free transportation so it’s always a quick hop between your room and the theme parks.
  • Resort-wide charging privileges with your room key.
  • Complimentary merchandise delivery to your hotel from Universal shops.
  • Complimentary Club-to-Club access at Universal CityWalk* to select venues for the length of your stay (age restrictions apply).

In addition to the benefits listed above, the following is also available for guests staying at Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel and Royal Pacific Resort:

  • FREE Universal Express Unlimited Pass to SKIP-THE-LINES at most popular attractions at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventures Parks.
  • Priority Seating at select restaurants throughout the Resort.

Of course, the most popular Resort Guest Benefit is the Universal Express Unlimited Pass. You can ride all of your favorite attractions as much as you’d like!

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

Universal Orlando is a wonderful vacation destination. If you’d like to discuss planning your own Universal vacation, reach out to one of our Travel Advisors and we’d be happy to help!

Wizarding World of Harry Potter



Norwegian Cruise Line Freestyle Dining

If you haven’t cruised on Norwegian yet, you may not understand what they mean when they call themselves “Freestyle Cruising”. It means a lot of things, but the biggest difference between Freestyle Cruising and Traditional Cruising would be the way Norwegian structures their DINING.

Traditional cruising requires you to select a Dining Time – typically, either “Early” or “Late”. You are locked into this Dining Time. So every night, you dine at the exact same time.

Some people love this! I mean, if you think about it, this is how cruising has been since it started, and look at how many people love to cruise!

Then Norwegian came out with Freestyle Dining, and it completely changed the way people cruise. As a result of the popularity of Freestyle Dining, other large cruise lines, such as Royal Caribbean, are also giving you the option to have similar “Anytime” dining choices.

Freestyle Dining is simple: No fixed dining times or pre-assigned seating. 

As Norwegian likes to say…Enjoy a four-course meal and a great bottle of wine. Or grab a burger hot off the grill. Dress up. Dress down. Sit with your friends or make new ones. Dine inside or Oceanside along The Waterfront. So follow your mood, not a schedule.

If you would like more information on cruising with Norwegian Cruise Lines, talk to one of our Travel Advisors today! All of our Travel Advisors specialize in cruising and can help you choose the best cruise line for your next vacation.

A Closer Look at Sandals Grande Antigua

Often referred to as “The Worlds Most Romantic Resort”, Sandals Grande Antigua is situated on the most beautiful and longest white-sand beach in Antigua – Dickenson Bay. It is only 15 minutes from V. C. Bird International Airport and 10 minutes from Antigua‟s capital, St. John‟s.

Offering the sensation of a quaint Caribbean Beachfront Grove with lush, tropical gardens highlighted by brilliant bougainvillea combined with luxurious suites incorporating Mediterranean inspired elements both nestled against a powdery white-sand beach. The newly designed gardens and landscaping of the Mediterranean Oceanview Village and the newly refurbished Red Lane Spa add to the feeling of luxury and romance that permeates Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa.

Sandals Grande Antigua is also the home of the Original “Rondovals”, which have been renovated to offer larger bathrooms with overhead rain showers. Those in the gardens have been magnificently enhanced with private pool sanctuaries.

Consider upgrading your Resort experience to Butler Elite, where “Your wish is our command”. With the uncompromising attention of a personal butler, trained to the highest standards by the elite Guild of Professional English Butlers, you will be pampered throughout your stay in extraordinary ways. From unpacking and packing your luggage, attending to your wardrobe to serving a glorious repast on your terrace, just to name a few. A Sandals Suite, complete with your own personal butler, is the ultimate indulgence.







All of our Travel Advisors are specialized in Sandals Resorts, and would be thrilled to help you plan your next romantic vacation to Antigua!

Universal Orlando Dining Plans


When planning your Universal vacation, the easiest way to make sure your meals are carefree is with the Universal Dining Plan. It’s the perfect way to lock in great prices for great food at over 100 dining locations throughout Universal Orlando’s Theme Parks and Universal CityWalk.

Currently there are 2 different Dining Plans available. Let’s take a closer look at both! And check out the cheat sheet below, which may help you compare the two.

When you are ready to book your Universal vacation, give us a call. Our Travel Advisors specialize in Universal Orlando and are ready to help you plan a vacation you will never forget!


The Full Service Dining Plan is exclusively reserved for guests who are pre-booking a vacation package, and staying at an official Universal Resort hotel.

This is the only plan that includes BOTH Full Service Locations and Quick Service Locations, as well as snacks.


•One Full Service Meal consisting of one of each: entrée, Dining Plan dessert, & non-alcoholic beverage.

• One Quick Service Meal consisting of one of each: entrée platter and non-alcoholic beverage.

• One Snack (such as popcorn, ice cream or a frozen beverage) from food carts or quick service locations.

•One Beverage (non-alcoholic) from food carts or quick service locations.

There are over 100 locations to choose from. Just look for this symbol at participating dining locations throughout Universal Orlando Resort. 


Universal’s Quick Service Dining Plan is the perfect way to lock in great prices for great food at over 100 dining locations throughout Universal Orlando’s Theme Parks and Universal CityWalk.


• One Quick Service Meal consisting of one of each: entrée and non-alcoholic beverage.

• One Snack (such as popcorn, ice cream or a frozen beverage) from food carts or quick service locations.

•One Beverage (non-alcoholic) from food carts or quick service locations.

Norwegian’s Private Island: Great Stirrup Cay

One of the highlights of any Bahamian sailing is spending the day at Norwegian Cruise Line’s own Private Island – Great Stirrup Cay!

Great Stirrup Cay is an idyllic private island paradise exclusive to Norwegian guests. There are so many ways to enjoy this island paradise! Unwind on white-sand beaches, or enjoy an exciting excursion, such as snorkeling with sea turtles, kayaking along the coastline or zip-lining across the island.

One very unique excursion available on Great Stirrup Cay is to take a short 10-minute scenic boat ride to Treasure Island, where you can enjoy interacting with the Swimming Pigs!

For lunch, choose from building your own taco at Abaco Taco, or grab some beach grub at Jumbey Beach Grill.

Talk to your Travel Planner to help find an itinerary that includes a stop at this private island paradise.

Don’t have a Must Love Travel Planner? Leave a comment below to be connected to one of our vacation specialists!

Walt Disney World is Reopening!

We are excited to share that the Walt Disney World Resort theme parks plan to begin reopening on July 11. There are lots of policy and resort changes, and we have them all listed for you below.

Walt Disney World Resort plans for Magic Kingdom Park and Disney’s Animal Kingdom to begin a phased reopening to the general public on July 11, followed by EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 15. In preparing to reopen during this unusual time, Disney will be managing their theme parks in a very different way from what we’ve known before.

This phased reopening will demonstrate a deliberate approach, with limits on attendance and controlled Guest density that aligns with guidance on physical distancing. That means certain experiences that draw large group gatherings – such as parades and nighttime spectaculars – will return at a later date. In addition, “high-touch” experiences such as makeover opportunities, playgrounds and character meet and greets will remain temporarily unavailable.

Because theme park capacity will be significantly limited, Disney has announced plans to manage attendance through a new theme park reservation system that will require all Guests to obtain a reservation for park entry in advance. At this time, Disney is temporarily pausing new ticket sales and Disney Resort hotel reservations so they can focus on Guests with existing tickets and reservations. Existing ticket holders and Annual Passholders will be able to make reservation requests in phases before new tickets are sold; Disney will be reaching out to these Guests soon to provide additional details. Disney will resume new ticket sales and hotel reservations after that period of time. Theme park reservations will be limited due to attendance limitations and will be subject to availability. More details about this new reservation system will be available soon.

Additionally, Disney Vacation Club resorts at Walt Disney World will reopen to members and Guests and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground will begin to reopen on June 22. Plans to support required physical distancing as well as enhanced cleaning measures, along with a number of other safety and cleanliness protocols, will be implemented as part of this planned phased reopening.

Walt Disney World Resort will continue to follow enhanced safety protocols based upon applicable guidance from health authorities and government agencies. Cast Members as well as Guests 2 years of age and older will be required to wear appropriate face coverings in theme parks and common areas of resort hotels. All Guests will also undergo temperature screenings prior to entering a theme park; Cast Members will also have temperature checks. Cashless transactions are recommended, and cleaning and disinfection procedures will be increased in high-traffic areas.

Very important to note, these policies are under continuous review and are subject to change.


Universal Orlando Resort is Reopening!

Universal Orlando Resort is getting ready to re-open!

Universal Orlando Resort is opening to a limited capacity on June 5th.

Universal has announced that their gates are about to reopen. Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay will welcome guests beginning June 5th.

This carefully managed reopening comes with stringent new health, safety and hygiene procedures in place. Of course, this means everyone will need to follow CDC guidelines and the recommendations of health officials, and Universal Orlando’s policies.

Here’s how it’s going to work. Contact your Must Love Travel Planner with questions, or to book your next vacation!