St. Kitts Destination Specialist–heading there next week!

St. Kitts DiplomaIn preparation for my Carnival Cruise on the Victory next week, I wanted to learn more about one of our scheduled ports of call, St. Kitts.  Today I studied and passed the St. Kitts Agent Destination Specialist training course.  My thanks to Travel Agent University and the St. Kitts Tourism Authority.  I’m especially interested in visiting the Reggae Beach Bar or maybe “The Strip” on Frigate Bay (the Monkey Bar or the Shiggidy Shack) and Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Although our visit is via cruise ship, I learned that St. Kitts is easily accessible from the USA via several major airlines.  All flights arrive at the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport (SKB), situated just 2 miles outside the historic capital city of Basseterre.  American Airlines has daily non-stop flights from Miami and on Wednesday and Sundays from New York’s JFK.  Delta flies non-stop from Atlanta on Saturdays.  US Airways flies non-stop from Charlotte on Saturdays.   Travelers can also connect on flights from San Juan on American Eagle.

Vacation Express announces summer non-stop “Champagne Flights” to Jamaica, Cancun, and Punta Cana

Update (May 18, 2012): Vacation Express is extending this seasonal Sunwing service from Cincinnati.  The Cincinnati flights will now be year round service, same destinations, same days of the week. No breaks in the service , no blackout weeks to remember, every week and every month! Now open for sale through October 2013.

Punta Cana leaves on Fridays!
Jamaica leaves on Saturdays!
Cancun leaves on Sundays!

Vacation Express

Vacation Express has announced their schedule of value/charter flights (via SunWing Airlines) for Summer through Fall of 2012. These flights will allow for amazing priced packages from Atlanta, Cincinnati, and Nashville to Cancun, Jamaica, and Punta Cana. Vacation Express offers many all-inclusive and adults only hotels.

from Atlanta:

to Cancun: 3,4, or 7 night vacation packages leaving on Fridays or Mondays (May 25–October 29)
to Punta Cana: 7 night vacation packages leaving on Saturdays (May 26–October 27)

from Cincinnati:

to Cancun: 7 night vacation packages leaving on Sundays (May 27–October 28)
to Jamaica: 7 night vacation packages leaving on Saturdays (May 26–October 27)
to Punta Cana: 7 night vacation packages leaving on Fridays (May 25–October 26)

from Nashville:

to Cancun: 7 night vacation packages leaving on Saturdays (May 26–October 27)
to Jamaica: 7 night vacation packages leaving on Sundays (May 27–October 28)

Sunwing Airlines

Vacation Express, based in Atlanta, is one of the largest tour operators in the southeast United States and has been in business for over 22 years. For more information or a quote, contact Island Time Travel at info@islandtimetravel.com.

Source: Vacation Express

Related: Funjet Vacations Announces 2012 Charter Flights to Jamaica from St. Louis

Great American Steamboat Kentucky Derby Voyage

American Queen

The Great American Steamboat Company is offering a 4-night voyage, roundtrip from Cincinnati, that includes admission to the Kentucky Derby.  The cruise departs May 4, 2012, and stops in Louisville and Madison.  Fares begin at $1,395 per guest–be sure to take note of all the inclusions listed below.  Entertainment provided by the Juggernaut Jug Band.

“Our Kentucky Derby river voyage celebrates one of the most prestigious events in the ‘sport of kings.’  You’ll experience the Derby parades and festivities in Louisville, then have the opportunity to witness the Kentucky Derby itself.  General admission Kentucky Derby tickets and a special Derby Day party at the storied Seelbach Hotel are included in the price of your voyage.  Of course, there’ll be plenty of mint juleps available to put everyone in just the right spirit for the ‘Run for the Roses.’  Grandstand seating for the Derby is available starting at $799 per guest, but availability is limited.”

Fares from just $1,395 per guest include:

  • Free one night luxury hotel stay in Cincinnati
  • Free shore excursions
  • Complimentary wine and beer with dinner, free bottled water, soft drinks, specialty coffees, cappuccino, and espresso throughout your voyage and much more!
  • General admission Kentucky Derby tickets
  • Gourmet cuisine by celebrated American Chef Regina Charboneau
  • Multiple specialty dining options, all at no additional charge
  • Professional showboat-style entertainment and dancing nightly

Contact Island Time Travel for more information.  Send us an email and we’ll send you a quote.

Related: River Cruising in the Heartland of America
Related: Steamboating Through America’s Heartland is Back on the American Queen
Related: Love to cruise but hate to fly?

Update,  January 18, 2012 – The Great American Steamboat Company has also announced three Epic Civil War voyages for 2012These 8-10 night cruises (“Themeboating Adventures”) onboard the most opulent steamboat ever built will bring the history books to life.  Highlights will include visits to legendary battlefields and onboard entertainment including actors, impersonators, leading lecturers, balladeers and reenactments to increase understanding of this pivotal moment in U.S. history.

The three departures are designed to explore the footprints of the Blue and Gray traveling between New Orleans, La.; Vicksburg, Miss.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; and Louisville, Ky.  These cruises start at $2,295 per guest based on double occupancy, but remember that includes a pre- or post-cruise luxury hotel stay, all bottled water and soft drinks, wine and beer at dinner, and complimentary shore adventures in each port of call.

American Experience and Artful Travelers present the Epic Civil War Journey – August 10-20, 2012: 10-night voyage between New Orleans, La.; Vicksburg, Miss.; and Chattanooga, Tenn.  Ports include Helena, Miss.; Memphis, Tenn.; Paducah, Ky.; Savannah, Tenn. (Shiloh National Military Park); and Decatur, Ala.

Epic Civil War – August 20-30, 2012: 10-night voyage between Chattanooga, Tenn. and Vicksburg, Miss.  Ports include Decatur, Ala.; Florence, Ala.; Savannah, Tenn. (Shiloh National Military Park); Paducah, Ky.; Ashport Landing, Tenn.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Vicksburg, Miss.

Civil War – August 30-September 7, 2012: Eight-night voyage between Vicksburg, Miss. and Louisville, Ky.  Ports include Helena, Ark.; Memphis, Ten.; Henderson, Ky.; and Louisville, Ky.

Carnival Breeze to include elaborate ‘five dimension’ movie theater

Carnival Breeze 5D Theater
Copyright Carnival Cruise Lines

Link to good article from USA Today about Carnival’s newest ship, the Breeze: Carnival Breeze to include elaborate ‘five dimension’ movie theater – USATODAY.com.

Carnival Cruise Lines has also launched a Facebook contest related to this new theater.  The 5D Challenge: Trivial Pursuit Edition, a Facebook promotion designed to highlight the new Thrill 5D Theater, which is set to debut on the Carnival Breeze in June.  The contest can be found on Carnival’s Facebook page under the Carnival Breeze tab.

Contest participants answer movie-themed trivia questions from Hasbro’s Trivial Pursuit brand.  One prize will be given away daily through Jan. 13, with contestants required to correctly answer three daily trivia questions to enter into a prize drawing.  Prizes include a 50-inch, 3D Plasma HDTV, a 3D phone, HD camcorder, and a $250 movie theater gift card.  Also, Hasbro Video and Board Game Prize Packs, including an Xbox 360 gaming console, will be given away throughout the contest period.

The contest aims to draw attention to Carnival Breeze’s Thrill 5D Theater, a multi-dimensional experience designed to make passengers feel like they are actually in the movie.  The theater combines a high-definition, 3D projection system with 4D elements such as squirting water and bubbles and original special effects that will tickle guests’ legs, blow air on their necks and poke them in their seats. Seats within the theater will shift back and forth, move from side to side and vibrate, creating a fifth-dimensional element.

The theater is one of several Fun Ship 2.0 entertainment features being implemented on the Carnival Breeze.  Among the other features are Hasbro, The Game Show, a series of larger-than-life productions and entertainment activities based on the Family Game Night television series produced by Hasbro Studios and seen on The Hub, a network for children and their families, and Playlist Productions, which will combine live performances with high-tech LED staging and special effects and set the revues to music.

Sources: USA Today and Travel Pulse Travel News

Related: Carnival Cruise Lines New Fun Ship 2.0 Initiative

I’m Now a Carnival Cruise “Funologist” :)

Carnival Certificate
CONTACT: Gary Thatcher (877-439-8729)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LOCAL TRAVEL AGENT ACHIEVES EXPERT ‘CRUISE FUNOLOGIST’ CERTIFICATION FROM CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES

Hilliard, Ohio (January 9, 2012) – Gary Thatcher of Hilliard-based Island Time Travel has successfully completed Carnival Cruise Lines’ comprehensive new travel agent online training program, “CCL University,” earning a Bachelor’s of Fun degree as a Carnival sales specialist.

Launched earlier this year, the intensive Web-based course encompasses four distinct chapters, each focusing on different aspects of the world’s largest cruise operator and its various vacation products.
To earn this degree in Funology, Gary had to successfully master content related to such wide-ranging topics as the line’s 39-year history, new features on the fleet of “Fun Ships,”a broad selection of shipboard activities and entertainment, including the line’s popular youth programs, as well as creating group business opportunities within the local community.  “The cruise industry is constantly evolving so it is critical that travel agents keep up-to-date on the wide variety of cruise offerings available.  Carnival’s highly interactive and immersive training program was extremely effective and will enable me to help clients choose the cruise that’s right for them better than ever,” said Gary of Island Time Travel.

Carnival is the largest and most popular cruise line in the world with 23 “Fun Ships” operating three- to 16-day voyages to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Panama Canal, Canada, New England, Bermuda, Europe, the Pacific Islands and New Zealand.  The line recently debuted its newest ship, the 130,000-ton Carnival Magic, in Europe May 1, 2011.  The new 130,000-ton Carnival Breeze is scheduled to enter service in June 2012.

For additional information, contact Gary at Island Time Travel.
CCLUniversity_logo
Related: Carnival Cruise Lines New Fun Ship 2.0 Initiative
Related: Love to cruise but hate to fly?

New Secrets Adults Only All Inclusive Resort in Cancun

AMResorts (Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts, Secrets, Dreams, Now, and Sunscape Resorts & Spas) will introduce the Secrets Resorts & Spas brand to Cancun’s popular Hotel Zone with the opening of adults-only Secrets The Vine Cancun in August 2012.  The resort becomes AMResorts’ twenty-first property in Mexico and tenth for the Secrets brand.

The newly built Secrets The Vine is located on the golden Yucatan Peninsula coastline.  The property will feature 495 luxurious guest rooms, all with ocean views, private balconies, Italian porcelain floors, and teak wood furnishings.

The Secrets The Vine’s lobby celebrates fine wine in both its design and menu offerings with a designated wine tasting area for guests, the Enoteca (wine cellar).  Featuring a Mexican handcrafted wood table with seating for up to 30 guests, a unique wine wall housing as many as 3000 varieties of wine, and sommelier-lead tastings of some of the world’s finest wine collections, the Enoteca promises guests a rich and relaxing wine tasting experience.

All resort guests will enjoy the benefits of Secrets Resorts & Spas’ signature Unlimited-Luxury vacation concept which offers limitless access to gourmet a la carte dining and premium beverage brands, 24-hour room and concierge services, countless daytime activities, live evening entertainment, and more.

The resort features seven distinctive restaurants and three bars offering a variety of experiences. Additionally, guests have access to a range of activities including land and water sports, daily special events such as movies on the beach, dance classes, nightly shows, evening entertainment and more.

Secrets The Vine’s 12,580 square-feet spa offers the perfect atmosphere for those seeking relaxation with a selection of signature treatments and hydrotherapy experience inspired by the underground limestone caves and subterranean open water pools of the Yucatan Peninsula. A fitness center facility and full service beauty salon also are available.

Secrets The Vine also provides the perfect romantic setting for couples with many special amenities; and wedding, honeymoon, and anniversary packages available.

Contact Island Time Travel for more information.

Source: AMResorts

Related: Secrets Resorts & Spas Celebrates Opening of Adults Only Secrets Huatulco
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Related: Resort Review: Secrets Capri Riviera Maya

NCL’s Newest Ship: Norwegian Breakaway

Norwegian Breakaway
The Norwegian Breakaway will be the newest and largest ship to sail from New York beginning in 2013.   This new state-of-the-art 4,000 passenger ship will sail from her year-round homeport of New York City to the Bahamas, Florida, and the Caribbean during her inaugural winter season.  Following a summer inaugural season sailing seven-day cruises from New York to Bermuda, Norwegian Breakaway will embark on a series of 25 seven-day cruises to the Bahamas and Florida beginning on Sunday, October 13, 2013.  The ship will also sail two 12-day Southern Caribbean itineraries on January 5 and 19, 2014, along with two Weekend Escape cruises on January 17 and 31, 2014.

These cruises go on sale to Norwegian’s top travel partners and Latitudes Rewards members (past guests) January 4 and to the general public on Friday, January 6.

Norwegian Breakaway’s Bahamas and Florida cruises depart on Sundays and include stops in Nassau, Bahamas; Norwegian’s private island in the Bahamas, Great Stirrup Cay; and Orlando/Port Canaveral, Florida; along with three relaxing days at sea.  These sailings run through April 27, 2014.  The ship’s 12-day Southern Caribbean cruises include the following ports of call: San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Castries, St. Lucia; Bridgetown, Barbados; and Basseterre, St. Kitts; along with five relaxing days at sea.

Currently under construction at Meyer Werft in Germany, Norwegian Breakaway will be 144,017 gross tons and is scheduled for delivery in April 2013.   For more information, contact Island Time Travel

Related: Love to cruise but hate to fly?
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