Monthly Archives: April 2009

Caribbean Nations Take Swine Flu Precautions

Although there have been no reported cases of swine flu in the Caribbean, individual destinations have stepped up measures to help ensure that infected visitors do not enter the country.

In Jamaica, the island’s ports of entry are on alert to screen travelers arriving from Mexico, the U.S. and Canada where cases of swine flu have been confirmed, according to Health Minister Rudyard Spencer.

In the Bahamas, the Ministry of Health and related agencies activated their preparedness plans to limit the spread of the influenza strain if any cases are identified, according to Health Minister Hubert Minnis.

The ministry is stocking antiviral medications and will implement quarantines if necessary, Minnis said.

Surveillance measures in the Bahamas’ ports of entry are monitoring the health of arriving individuals. Immigration and customs officers can contact 24-hour, on-call health officials if there are concerns about a traveler.

Belize, which shares a northern border with Mexico, issued a travel advisory discouraging travel to Mexico, according to Health Minister Pablo Marin. Local authorities have stepped up surveillance across Belize to detect cases of swine flu but none has been found.

St. Kitts and Nevis increased surveillance at official points of entry and mobilized its Rapid Response Team and stockpiles of medical supplies, according to Chief Medical Officer Patrick Martin.

Leave a comment

Filed under antigua, Cruise, Girls Travel, jamaica, royal caribbean, vacation, womens travel

Saint John, NB Canada FUN!

Think you have to go South to have fun?

Try Saint John, NB Canada

Think you can’t have fun unless you head south? WRONG! Harbor towns along the East coast from Canada to Key West all have the same element of coziness, beauty and FUN!

But first, don’t forget the indescribable views when you leave the Port of NYC and cruise alongside Manhattan! An amazing collage of skyscrapers, boats and bridges. Be sure to bring your cameras!

Once you arrive in St John, the photo ops just get better! You will be bowled over by the beauty of the Bay of Fundy. And the endless array of options to spend the day “your way”!

“Got Beer”? Celebrate a passion for beer and culture Sample Moosehead beers with Live Entertainment. Visit the Moosehead brewery or do a Pub tour.

“Golf your Game?” Enjoy 18 holes in the beautiful 2,200 acre Rockwood Park.

“Chocolate!!!!” Visit the home of Gannong Chocolate and get your taste buds tingling!

“Outdoor Adventurer?” Paddle by Kayak along the coast and enjoy a lobster bake.

“LOVE Lobster?” For those of you who love lobster, imaginge cracking fresh lobster on the shores with a cold Moosehead Lager! Perfect lunch.

Can’t decide? Do your own thing or join in on our “GirlsonaCruise Scavenger Hunt” Sure to help you find amazing places and fun!

Leave a comment

Filed under Cruise, girls cruise, girls getaway, Girls Travel, New England Cruise, NYC, pub tour, pubcrawl, st john port

Miami South Beach

Miami South Beach

Okay, so this time it was a “business” trip, but as usual, it somehow turns out to be “pleasure”! We attempted to find the perfect Luxury Hotel to stay at while meeting someone for Business, and decided on the Ritz Carlton. We wanted to try something different from the others we have stayed at (Hotel Victor, Tides, Delano, Loews) and the Ritz had its’ Ups & Downs.

First Impression –

Lobby – Very warmly modern, with a splash of Art Deco.

Staff – Very pleasant, welcoming and accommodating.

Location – Excellent! Walk 2 blocks west and you are on Lincoln Road. Walking distance to all the action on the Ocean Ave Strip.

Rooms – Well…we were not happy (at first!) But let me tell the story………..

Our initial room (# 831) was a bomb. Not the interior. Ritz is very consistent with the interior design and comfort of the rooms. Decor (with the nautical flair) was simply Ritz. Nautical blues, whites, beiges. Expected and satisfactory. Just enough luxury without being over the top. The Ritz luxury items that are expected and make us smile…including the very plush towels and Bulgari toilettries. If we had come in the middle of the night, we probably wouldn’t have noticed the lack of Balcony and the horrible view!

Truth be told, Room # 831 was very confining…and maybe the worst view in all of South Beach! I have had better views in Detroit! Frank was not a happy camper!

We phoned the Guest services and were informed that there were “Lanai Rooms” available. Only $50 extra. Didn’t take to long to discuss that! Talk about $50 well spent! The room was exactly the same in the traditional Ritz decor, yet spaciousness, mood and view were amazingly different. NOW we had arrived in South Beach!

Welcome to room #382. Walking into the room we were immediately drawn to the wall of windows and the Balcony beyond. Wonderfully sized balcony with ample space for 2 lounge chairs and table, that overlooked the very “South Beach” pool area. Standing on the balcony, pulsing to the beat of the “Beautiful People” music eminating from the gardens, the hotel wrapped around the pool area. Very cozy. Also intriguing. The rooms surrounding the pool area were encased in Black Glass that appeared like dark reflective sunglasses. Interesting. Made me wonder what was going on behind those lenses. People “staring back”? “Making Love”?

“Dancing naked”? What was going on with the drapes open

that I COULDN’T see?! Mystery. Intrigue.

The landscaping was well manicured. Perfect. White on White with the black glass and the signature Ritz Blue enhanced the pool . Cool and serene. The crisp blue surface of the pool rippling in the breeze. Yes, I am in South Beach.

And then…the disruption. Imagine sitting on the lawn, in front of an ampitheatre on a starlit night, listening to Andrea Boccelli. Romantic, mood perfect, beautiful music. And then static starts blaring through the speaker system. An annoying static, like AM radio in a car! That is what it was like at the pool, at the Ritz Carlton in South Beach! look, I love kids. Raised 5 ! I know what it is like to take kids on vacation. I also know that kids will be kids. And it is tough to take them to a small boutique-ish hotel. The Loews would have been a great idea! When kids and floats consume the pools surface and turn it into a camp pool, that adults can’t wander into safely…it becomes a problem.

When the sunbeds that couples pay $250 to use for the day are next to 14 un-ruley kids fighting on the next bed…it becomes a problem. The Ritz Carlton should have rules about that. It was a spectacle all day, and the sunbeds on either side were vacated.

Parents need to take responsibility and if they don’t, the hotel staff needs to nicely correct the situation. There were families that had control of their children. Kudos to them!

Every day, from early morning till late, kids took over the hot tub. COME ON! Yes, they do have a right to go in. But what thinking adult would go in after 17 kids have been in and out all day! WE KNOW what warm water does to little kids!!! Maybe the Ritz Carlton should post a sign that the hot tub is for “Adults only”.

We should have done more research. Next time we go to South Beach for relaxation during a spring break…we would choose a more adult hotel. Guess that was ultimately our fault!

Notables that were definitely “Ritz Carlton”:

Staff – Wonderful, attentive and polite. From general service to water and juice being served Butler Style around the pool. Service was great.

$250 Charge for Sunbeds – Very fair. Large, plush towel covered beds that include 2 large bottles of H2O, 2 bottles of Champagne and a very attractive Fruit Plate. Nice way to spend the day in the sun.

Clientele – Very “Connecticut Style” wealth. A bit stuffy. An older crowd then hotels like the Delano or Hotel Victor. It is almost as though everyone staying at the hotel could be family! It is almost like a private club.

Lunch at the restaurant was a treat. If you are under the watchful, caring eye of Julian (the supervisor) and have the good fortune of Liz waiting on you…life (and lunch) is good! Service is the most important aspect to a great dining experience. The Ritz Carlton should be proud of thier staff. They did a great job.

As I return to my luxuriously padded lounge chair, I can’t help but notice the “Ritz Calrton Secret Service” patrolling the grounds. Suddenly opening umbrellas for fear of a sun shower…or is there someone famous in the midst? or is it ME?! I think it is me! That is how the Ritz makes you feel!

Lounging in the sun, in this atmosphere, it is hard to not have a glass of sparkling water and a glass of chilled wine at my side. Just another elegant touch. Once again, I feel blessed to be here. After all, it is the first day of spring (and it snowed in NYC this morning)!

Extra mentionables:

Hotel Mondrain – We went to dinner at the Mondrains’ Asia de Cuba. Very impressive…if you like Alice in Wonderland! I felt like we were in a fairytale. Everything was oversized. Strangely elegant and very white!!! Asia de Cuba was very over priced and the service was horrible. Would not return.

Settai – Heaven. Simply gorgeous. The pool area was comprised of 3 long sleek pools, surrounded by luxury sunbeds, Some of the sunbeds were encased in tall hedges. Absolutely stunning. Will definitely return! (con – Vodka and Orange juice $20!!!)

Miami South Beach…We will return!!!

Leave a comment

Filed under Beach, Cruise, FLorida, girls getaway, Miami, Ritz Carlton, South Beach, spa, travel, vacation, womens travel

Girlfriend Getaways set a Trend

Vacations where women travel and leave the men at home are booming!

The phenomenon might have started decades ago with bachelorette parties and trips to Cancun for college girls, but the trend has exploded! SInce 1993 there has been a 230% increase in the number of women-only travel companies.

With so many women in the working world, the need to get away from it all has become a reason to vacation! A prescription for “de-stressing”. And getting to together with other women is just what the doctor ordered.

Whether you are married, single or divorced… research shows that women love to travel with friends, family and BFFS in an effort to “Getaway” from it all! It is no surprise that womens’ presence in the business world has afforded them the opportunity to travel much more often and on their terms. Women are seeking out Adventure travel, theme travel, spa getaways and choose to travel with other women. It is a great way to bond and reconnect with your mom, sister, daughter or BFF! Women often choose to travel single, and traveling in a group with other women offers them the chance to feel safe, network and meet new friends!

SO join the biggest trend in travel! GETAWAY WITH THE GIRLS!!!

Leave a comment

Filed under Cruise, mexico, royal caribbean, travel, women, women travel, womens journeys

Check Out Lipstick Laundry

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Cruise Assurance

CruiseOne, CruiseAssurance!

Consumers might be concerned about losing their jobs, but they no longer need to worry about a pink slip ruining their vacation plans. CruiseOne unveiled the first-ever comprehensive job loss travel insurance policy covering travel on all cruise lines. The new “CruiseAssurance” initiative is an exclusive benefit to consumers booking through CruiseOne, even if they have to cancel their trip at the last minute because of an unexpected layoff.

The best part? CruiseOne is picking up the tab for “CruiseAssurance” for consumers purchasing their basic travel insurance. Combined with lower-than-ever prices, cruising is now the most affordable and worry-free vacation option.

“In today’s environment, it is crucial for businesses to step up to the plate showing we understand consumer challenges, and a handful of companies have recently done this with their versions of job loss protection,” said Dwain Wall, General Manager of CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. “Our ‘CruiseAssurance’ policy takes the concept of job loss insurance to a new level, easing the concerns of consumers at no charge and on any cruise line of their choice.”

Under the “CruiseAssurance” policy, travelers booking a cruise with CruiseOne can cancel their trip up to the day of departure, or even during the vacation. The only requirements are that travelers purchase an entry-level travel insurance plan from their CruiseOne agent – administered by Travel Guard – and present their termination letter. One year of employment is required. “CruiseAssurance” applies to bookings made March 1 through May 2, 2009 and is offered in addition to an already comprehensive travel protection policy.*

“We have our finger on the pulse of what is happening with consumers and travel, and we are passionate about finding innovative ways to problem-solve, making cruise travel accessible and affordable for everyone,” said Wall.

Leave a comment

Filed under Celebrity, Cruise, cruise one, cruiseOne, cruises, Cruising, girls getaways, girlsgetaway, Princess cruises, royal caribbean, travel, travel insurance

Top Ten Reasons to Go on a Girls Getaway!

Top 10 Reasons to Getaway with the Girls!

  1. Laugh, Laugh, Laugh…
  2. Reconnect
  3. Explore New Adventures
  4. Cheaper than Therapy
  5. Shops, Salon & Spa
  6. Be treated “Royally” By Royal Caribbean
  7. Much better than “Lunch once a month”
  8. Every Night is “Girls night out”!
  9. Relax…no kids…no work…no pressure

Leave a comment

Filed under Cruise, girls cruise, girls getaway, girls weekend, reunion, royal caribbean, royal caribbeans, travel

The Borgata, Atlantic City

Beautiful day for a drive. Top down, cruising the Garden State Parkway. First real feel of summer. An hour down the Parkway, an alley of concrete with towering trees on either side. Summer is almost here and I am loving it!
Frank has business (MailCom…a convention for Mail, Messenger business) and once again, I am tagging along! Love to “tag”!
We decided to stay at the Borgata for the simple reason of sticking with the familiar. Although, on such a nice day, it would be advantageous to be at a resort ON the boardwalk, but who knew it was going to be so nice out! Immediately after checking in,we changed into gym clothes and headed towards the beach. We just took a cab to the boardwalk and strolled for an hour. Problem solved!
We were a bit surprised at the “quietness “of the resort. Check-in is usually a nightmare at the Borgata. This time was a breeze! Usually, patrons are told “Your room will be ready in 12 hours!!! but not today! Not only was our room ready, but we had our choice of Floors, Bed size…every room was ready! Not a good sign for the Resorts of Atlantic City! Good for us though!
We should have seen it coming. When we called yesterday to make spa reservations..there WAS availability! That was the first sign. Usually it is impossible (unless you are good friends with the OWNER of the Borgata, or gamble millions of dollars every year) to get a spa reservation. We had our choice of day, time. SO we got pampered a bit!

Room # 922. Very consistent. We have stayed here a few times and the rooms are always clean, well decorated, great views and comfy beds. I must say, the best feature of the room is the shower in the large, well appointed bathroom. Great shower! The only improvement could be a few more shower heads, but I am not complaining. Every hotel Chain should take a design lesson from The Borgatas’ bathrooms!
Dinner was great. Wolfgang Pucks is an innovative restaurant. Although the menu is a bit limited, they manage to create a wide variety to chose from. Okay, so when the waiter informed us that they were out of the Rabbit Loin, I was not upset! We had a great dinner, nice bottle of wine.
After dinner, we decided to check out Harrahs. After a 10 minute walk through the casino…we hopped a cab back to The Borgata. That is enough said.
That is why we keep coming back to the Borgata…It is a nice place!
Restaurant recommendation:

If you are looking for Great Italian Food in a warm atmosphere (reminds me of sitting in a field of Sunflowers) try Girasole. One block from the ocean (Across from the Tropicana Resort and Casino). Very dependable! Very delicious!

Leave a comment

Filed under Hotel, resort, travel