Don’t pay high prices for cruise line shore excursions! Get a resort day pass!
If you are coming up from the NY area, cross over at the Peace Bridge, much shorter lines, fewer tourists use this bridge. Then take the QEW to 420. Coming back over however, we waited for 30 minutes to enter the USA. Try to stay near the middle of the pack and don’t get caught in the RV line.
Hilton—no complaints at all, would not hesitate to stay here again. Be sure to join the Hilton Honors program so you can get the free WiFi and use the Hilton Honors line at the front desk. We were able to bypass a very long line upon checkout. As others have posted, be sure to ask that all VOLUNTARY taxes are removed from your bill at checkout.
We decided to not worry about trying to find the cheapest parking around, we just used the Hilton self-park for $30 per night. Quick, easy, painless, no hassle; sure beat trying to drag our luggage from the casino or some lot down the street.
We booked a room with two queen beds, but upon arrival, we asked about a king bed, and they upgraded us to a Jacuzzi suite. It had a king bed, Jacuzzi tub, shower, in room safe, coffee maker, mini fridge, hair dryer, and a great view of the falls. Our room did overlook the casino and casino parking garage, but we still had a great view of both the American and Canadian falls. Upon checkout, I noticed a $50 upgrade charge that had not been mentioned, but I thought it was well worth it considering the great room we got and chose not to argue about it.
Skylon Tower revolving dining room. Biggest lobster tail I have seen in a long time; I had the seafood symphony and Estelle had a surf and turf (New York strip steak and smaller lobster tail). Great service, surprisingly great food for a touristy type of place. Fabulous deserts and of course the view of the falls. I made our reservation at 8pm so later during dinner we could see the falls light up at night.
We also ate at Kelsey’s on Clifton Hill. Had a great time, ate on the patio, listened to live music, had the won-ton nachos. We did not realize it is a Canadian chain of restaurants similar to Applebee’s; we would definitely go back.
We also highly recommend Coco’s near the Skylon and Fallsview Casino. Again, we dined outside on the patio, listened to live entertainment, had great wood fired pizza, and watched people walk by.
Clifton Hill area—lots to do, especially for families with children. Reminded us of the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area. Sidewalks were very crowded in the evening.
WeGo bus system. Very easy to navigate. Passes for 24 hours are $7 CAD, or you can by a 48 hour pass. You cannot buy just one ride. We got our passes in our hotel gift shop.
Casinos—we learned they are owned by the same company, so if you get a player’s card, it will work at both casinos. The one in the Clifton Hill area is the older one and does not have craps. Alcoholic beverages are not comped if you are gaming like in Vegas. One afternoon at Casino Niagara we had fun listening to an Elvis impersonator.
If you plan on doing the Journey Behind the Falls or the Hornblower (same as Maid of the Mist, only it leaves from the Canadian side) take a tour which includes these attractions. You will be glad you did when you see the long lines that you get to walk right past. We used Viator and it worked out great.
Cell phone use—we had Sprint 3g or LTE the entire time with roaming turned off. WiFi free at the Hilton if you are an Honors Member but not great coverage; in the room, we sort of had to move around the room to find just the right spot to get WiFi connectivity.
In my opinion, this area is not a honeymoon destination unless you already have a family. You must love to be around families and children everywhere if you go to Niagara Falls. If you are looking for an adult getaway, this is not it.
Use a major credit card (one that does not charge foreign transaction fees) whenever you can. You will get a much better exchange rate than paying in US dollars.
I knew I shouldn’t have let Estelle drive the barrel.
Happy is a state of mind. Watch as our friend Erik Nicolaisen (VW Super Bowl Commercial) entices travelers from Wisconsin to find their happy on a Jamaican bobsled at Mystic Mountain in Ocho Rios.
Thanks to Jamaica Tourist Board for sharing!
Sharing this story from CNN about a potentially historic winter storm closing in on New England. The storm has canceled thousands of flights and could bring 2 feet of snow.
Read the full article here: Whopping winter storm nearly in Sandy’s path
Another related article: Super Snowstorms Cancel Thousands of Flights
Yet another reason why you must never travel without travel insurance!
Many cruisers continue to be confused by the different sailing ship options with “windjammer” in the title. Hope this summary helps:
Cruise Line: Island Windjammers
Ships: Diamant, Sagitta
Itinerary (Diamant): Grenada and Windward Islands (Tobago Cays, Mayreau, Bequia, Union Island, Carriacou)
Itinerary (Sagitta): St. Maarten and the Leeward Islands (St. Barts, Nevis, St. Kitts, St. Eustatius, Anguilla)
Cruise Line: The Maine Windjammer Association
- American Eagle (Rockland, Maine)
- Victory Chimes (Rockland, Maine)
- Mary Day (Camden, Maine)
- Heritage (Rockland, Maine)
- Stephen Taber (Rockland, Maine)
- Lewis R. French (Camden, Maine)
- Nathaniel Bowditch (Rockland, Maine)
- Angelique (Camden, Maine)
- Issac H. Evans (Rockland, Maine)
- Timberwind (Rockport, Maine)
Itineraries: Maine Coast
Cruise Line: Liberty Windjammer Cruises
Ships: Liberty Clipper (Homeport in Summer: Boston), Liberty Star (Homeport: St. Thomas)
Itineraries: Liberty Clipper: Bahamas; Liberty Star: Virgin Islands
Summer Itineraries: Boston, New York City,Great Chesapeake Bay
Cruise Line: Windstar Cruises
Ships: Wind Spirit, Wind Star, Wind Surf
Itineraries: Vary (Destinations include Italy, Mediterranean, Greek Isles, Caribbean, Costa Rica, Panama Canal, Northern Europe, Transatlantic)
This week marks an important anniversary for Funjet Vacations–for 39 years, they have worked with travel agents to provide unforgettable vacation experiences to millions of customers.
Since they opened their doors, a lot has changed in the travel industry. Other competitors are now owned by an airline, online travel agency, competing retail travel agencies, and invested in by a venture capitalist firm. Funjet Vacations remains the only large scale tour operator that is still owned and operated by the family that founded the business. Click the logo to price and book a complete vacation online!
Related: Cruises Are Wonderful, but All-Inclusive Resorts Provide Stress Free Vacations
Related: Funjet Vacations Announces Charter Flights to Jamaica From Dallas
Related: Funjet Vacations Announces 2012 Charter Flights to Jamaica from St. Louis