Category Archives: cruiseOne

Lago Mar Resort & Club , Fort Lauderdale

I am writing this sitting on the plane, returning home after a 5 day stay in Fort Lauderdale at the Lago Mar Resort. It was my first time there in over 2 years.  And after arriving I quickly remembered why we loved Lago Mar years ago….

A resort has about 15 minutes to make that first impression.  It is a “make or break”  moment.  At Lago Mar our first impression was one of  “welcome back friend” (even though it had been so long since our last visit) and “ Casual Classy” (we are relaxed, but 1st class all the way!).  Even if there was something little to complain about, I would never!  This resort made me feel like I was family.

The rooms are unique and decorated very “Tommy Bahama”, just like I would want my Floridian home styled in.  The Beach is also exactly what I would want in a beach front home in the islands, hammocks, comfy lounges, meandering pool and special spots for the kids.  Oh, and let’s not forget the gazebo for cocktails and lunch!  And there is the mini store ( aka neighborhood market) to get all of your essentials including a nice bottle of wine for the room.

The service, very friendly.  In fact, when room service came, I felt like my sister was bringing me breakfast in bed (not that she ever would!! LOL but I can imagine!)   I would also like to add that the Shop at Lago Mar is a unique boutique…one I would consider FABULOUS!  I have bought quite a bit of unique things over the years…and can’t wait for my first grandchild to be born, because I am going to have so much fun shopping for the kids clothes there!

The pool at Lago Mar Resort and Club

The pool at Lago Mar Resort and Club

The Beach at Lago Mar .

The Beach at Lago Mar .

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Check out the Pool Bar for one of Paul's famous Sea Breezes.

Check out the Pool Bar for one of Paul’s famous Sea Breezes.

Relaxing in style at Lago Mar

Relaxing in style at Lago Mar

The Corridor

The Corridor

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Service with a Smile at Lago Mar Resort and Club

Service with a Smile at Lago Mar Resort and Club

A welcoming hello and a warm "See you when you return!"

A welcoming hello and a warm “See you when you return!”

As a travel agent and friend, I would highly recommend staying at Lago Mar.  Whether you are looking for a week stay, a weekend or a pre or post cruise stay… Lago Mar is a superb place to stay.  A Resort that feels like your home on the beach.

Located 5 minutes from the Airport and Cruise Terminals, location is perfect for pre- and post- Cruise stays.  www.BookItWithJanet.com

For more information about Lago mar – 

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“Why does it seem unfair to pay double to cruise single?”

Cruising Solo

“Do I really have to pay 200%?” 

I have been a Cruise Specialist for almost 12 years now and approximately 1/4 of  my clients are solo/single travelers.  Cruising is a great way for singles to travel.  Whether it is with a group or a couple of single friends, after a day on a cruise solo travelers are suddenly “not so solo” anymore!  On any given cruise ship there are bound to be quite a few singles…so you won’t be alone!  Cruise lines do cater to the singles by hosting “meet & greet” cocktail parties throughout the cruise.

For singles & solo cruisers, having your own cabin is often the most preferred way to cruise as it is nice to have the privacy of your own cabin. There is however, one question that always comes up when someone traveling solo calls for information…

”Why do I have to pay double to have a have my own room?”  

For those of you unfamiliar with cruising, the cruise fare is usually quoted in a “per person”  rate.  That rate is always based on double occupancy.  However, if you are planning to have your own stateroom as a solo you are required to pay “double” (except on very few occasions where the cruise line is running specials).  For many this seems unfair and sometimes it is a deciding factor in cruising for a single/solo.

Although on the surface, it does seem unfair.  But if you think about the cost of a cruise in terms of booking a hotel rate, it is really not unfair at all.

If you are planning a weekend vacation at a hotel, you are quoted a “per night” rate based on the room you choose.  For example, you may choose a hotel accommodation that costs $300 per night.  If you are traveling alone it will cost you $300 per night.  If you are sharing with a friend and splitting the cost, it would then cost you each $150 per night.  The hotel does not charge you half the room price if you are only 1 person in the room.  The hotel bases their operating budget on the cost of the room, whether 1 or 2 guests are in the hotel room.

A cruise ship is very similar.  If a stateroom costs $300 per night, as a solo you would pay $300 per night and if you share the stateroom you would split that.  Sounds fair…but why does it seem so unfair?

It is the way Cruise pricing is quoted…on a “per person basis.” If a client hears that a cruise is $150 per person/per night, it is hard to understand why as a solo you have to pay double ($300 per night).  It somehow sounds wrong for a cruise to charge a 200% cruise fare for a solo traveler.  But the reality is that the Stateroom has to be paid for, exactly like the Hotel room.  The Cruise lines formulate a budget based on each stateroom being filled whether 1 or 2 guests are in the stateroom. IF the cruise was quoted in a “Per Cabin” rate instead of a “per person” rate, no one would think twice about the solo pricing.

Some cite that the difference is that Cruise fares include meals and the solo traveler is only eating for 1, so shouldn’t there be a discount?  Yet if you were staying at a hotel that included daily breakfast, you would not get a discount on the Hotel room rate if you are solo.  Again, it is thought of in terms of a “Room charge per night”.

As a solo cruiser, it might sound unfair to pay double, but when you compare it on equal terms to a hotel vacation, you will still find the Cruise a much better value…even when you are traveling solo!

So don’t let that 200% charge for a Solo Cruise fare scare you away…it is just in the way it is phrased.  And let’s not forget the benefits of having your own room – privacy, space and your own closet!  Plan your solo travel today! 

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Top 5 Reasons Cruising is Great for Families!

TOP 5 Reasons Cruising is Great for Families!

  1. Kids are split into age appropriate groups so making new friends is easy and fun is supervised!
  2. Teens have their own Dance Clubs onboard where parents can’t “Hang around”!
  3. On deck sports activities such as Golf, Rock Climbing, Zip Lining & Water slides keep kids entertained!
  4. Raining?  No Problem!  How about Movies, Arcades, painting, Ice Cream Sundae Parties and MORE!!
  5. Late evening entertainment for the kids & that means MOM & DAD can stay out and have fun where kids can’t “Hang around”!!
Okay, here is the scoop.  I have raised 5  kids  who are now all in their 20’s and I can honestly tell you that Cruising was the perfect vacation for us.
Disney World?  Pretty awesome…but you really need a vacation when you come back from there!!  It certainly isn’t relaxing!
Beach Resort?  I love to relax on the beach and get a massage at a beautiful island resort….but not when the kids get bored and start saying “Mom, can you come in the water?”  “Dad, can you walk me back to the room”?  I
OH!  And did I mention how expensive it is to feed everyone every day?!!!!  Totally unpredictable when each family member has different desires for lunch  or dinner.  Maybe that should be # 6  – Kids can eat WHAT they want WHEN they want it.  (and it’s all included!)
A Cruise solves all of these issues …
 Kids are entertained so Mom & Dad can enjoy some alone time to relax or “whatever”!
Days at sea are just what us parents need to decompress and relax.
Everyone can eat what they want, when they want.  No hassles, no expensive dining bills…and that means no stress!
After our first 3 cruises, it was our families vacation of choice.  Cruising made everyone happy!
Our favorite Cruise Lines for Family vacation?
  • Royal Caribbean (The kids favorite!)
  • Celebrity Cruise Lines
  • Princess Cruises
  • NCL
Now that the ids are grown up, we still love those Cruise vacations…in fact I look forward to our Super Bowl Cruise on the Celebrity Millennium in 2012 with the whole family!
It is still the #1 vacation for our family because a vacation is really about relaxing, having fun and creating your own mix.

Join us on our Super Bowl Cruise in February 2012!  www.MoreThanJustaCruise.com 

A great holiday Gift for your family…togetherness on a cruise!

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“Why DO I Have to Put My Seat back Up for Takeoff?”

Jayne Waterbury & John Walker - Continental Flight Attendants

So I am sitting on a Continental flight (Love Continental Airlines) and after 30 plus years of flying I just learned something. (I always say you are never old to learn a new trick!)

As a rebel at heart, I always wondered “why do you have to put your seats in an upright position and stow everything under your seat for take off and landing”.  I always got annoyed when they wouldn’t even let me hold my pocketbook on my lap!

Does anyone know the answer to that? I sure didn’t.  Well, NEWSFLASH!  While waiting to take off on my Continental flight to visit parents, I came across the inflight magazine and a pilot’s Q & A answered my question.  I actually felt like an idiot!  It was such an obvious answer…but I had not thought of it…..

ANSWER:

Most flight accidents take place during take off and landing.  In case of emergency, it is extremely important that the aisles are absolutely clear so everyone can evacuate quickly.  I mean, imagine that 100 women have pocket books on their laps..the plane jolts…the pocketbooks go flying…landing in pathways of freedom!  OH… I GET IT NOW!

Considering that, it totally makes sense that the seats be in an upright position too.  Reclined airline seats can definitely impede someone even getting up to go to the bathroom let alone needing to evacuate suddenly!  I can testify to that at this very moment as the woman in front of me has reclined her seat fully and my laptop is currently sitting on my chest! (Try to remember that someone is sitting behind you and be courteous.)

Now I totally understand.  It is all about the escape route and keeping it clear.

Took me 30 plus year…but thank you Captain Mike Bowers.   Now instead of feeling inconvenienced, I will feel like I am doing the responsible thing!  And as usual on a Continental flight, the Flight Attendants are always so nice!  Once again, I’ve encountered professionalism along with friendliness & humor in Jayne Waterbury & John Walker on my Continental Flight # 1845.  I mean, how can I be “a rebel” to such nice people.

Have any other questions?  Write Captain Bowers at askthePilot@united.com .   And be patient…even if you don’t understand the stupid rules!  There is usually an underlying reason…..

My Rebel attitude will have to take a break…I would rather fly safe!

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Planning a Girls Getaway?

Rules #1 & #2

Rule #1 for a Girls Getaway –

DO NOT invite the Girls who can’t understand the invitation for a “Girls Getaway” (okay…a bit of sarcasm!).  

A classic example of a “Girls Getaway Gone Wrong” happened on the Real Housewives of Orange County when Vicky planned a Girlfriend Getaway to Fort Lauderdale… and most of the women showed up with their husbands!  To top it off, when Vicky got upset, the other women just didn’t get it!  Why?

Seriously, why would Vicky go out of her way to plan a Girls Getaway?  (Think real hard now) The answer is  -” TO GET AWAY WITH THE GIRLS!”  What don’t they get about that?  I thought that statement was completely self-explanatory…and I totally thought that they were rude to just ignore it and bring the GUYS.

I was yelling at the TV screen when I watched that episode.  I totally understood why Vicky was so mad!  There is something very special about “time away with the Girlfriends” that just isn’t the same when half of the group is “couples”.  It would destroy the “girly” atmosphere of any Girls Getaway.  

 Lesson #2 for a Girls Getaway –

Choose the right venue & atmosphere for the Girlfriends Getaway that allows choice, but makes it easy.

The best aspect of Vicky’s Girls Getaway Vicky was that she planned the whole event, day by day, activity by activity…all the way down to dinners.  She could easily get away with that & be in total control as she was paying for everything. But that is usually NOT the case when a group of girls travel.  Everyone has different budgets, desires and ideas of what they want to do, which can lead to catastrophe!

I recently did a Girls getaway to Los Angeles and the 5 days were filled with “Where do you want to have lunch?” “What time do you want to go shopping?”  “We have plans for dinner so you can’t get your hair blown out?”   Of course, I was not “the boss” as everyone was paying for themselves…and that led to half of our time spent discussing / debating all of this.  Don’t get me wrong, I still had a great time…but “ideally” life would have been easier without having to make plans!  AND that could have been accomplished by a change of venue.

The most important factor that goes into selecting the best place to have a Girls Getaway?  Go to a place where everyone can be together yet also have space so each girl can do their own thing. It is essential to take the “thinking & planning” out of the equation once you arrive at your destination.  Choice is essential, but should be a pleasure, not a major decision!  Free time should be spent having fun, relaxing & laughing!

My favorite picks for a Girls Getaway is a Cruise or an All-inclusive Resort. Both offer an easy vacation with a super wide menu of activities all within easy reach.  Shopping, Gym, Spa, Dining Options, Pools, Beach, Entertainment and more!  And the best is that on any particular ship or at any particular resort there are accommodations to suit every budget…and every woman will STILL be able to participate in the same activities!  A cruise has the added feature of being able to satisfy everyone with visits to different ports of call.  That is what it is all about Girls, taking the decisions away from the day to day and making it easy!

Options + Options + Options + Ease = A great “Girls Getaway”!

(And please remember the key word –  “GIRLS”!)

For Fun, Carefree Girls Getaway options….go to “GirlsonaCruise.com” 

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Cruise & Travel Deals of the Week!

April 4, 2011 Last Minute Cruise Deals

Confused by all of the offers and websites on the internet?   Sometimes it can be overwhelming!

Just remember…”The internet is for looking, your Travel Specialist is for booking!”

When you are spending money on a vacation, it is important that it is the right “fit” for you.  Every Cruise ship and Resort has a unique personality and it is my job to match your personality up with the perfect vacation!  As a Travel Specialist, I can clear the confusion and make your life easier (and happier!).

Don’t make planning a vacation become a huge headache…

Check here for Weekly deals and then call me to make your life easier!

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Port of Call of the Week – St Martin

A video says a thousand words!!  Need I write more?

Some people say “I have already done that itinerary.  I want to see other islands.”

I say that the great thing about going to the same port many times is knowing exactly “What” you want to do when you get there.  It really is much more enjoyable when you don’t feel pressured to see everything and you can spend all day doing your favorite thing on the island.  In St Martin, our favorite thing to do is spend the day at Orient Beach…more specifically “Coco’s Beach”.   Of course you can go on an excursion to Orient Beach, but then you will be like a herd of cows (not a literal picture!) and not feel special.  Take my advice…take a cab to Coco’s and feel the difference!

Sure…you could go to Kontiki’s, Waikiki (totally expensive!) or Bikini Beach, but you won’t feel the intimate friendly service.  As with any restaurant or resort, service is always key…and at Cocos the employees really care.  You can feel it.  And I attribute that to the owner Sophie.  She is hands on and a part of the experience.  You can always count on the food being fabulous, the service being top notch and the “after lunch specialty rum” being …oh how can I say “rumilicious!” (is that a word?!)

Look for the Periwinkle umbrellas and THAT is Coco’s.  I recommend the lobster salad, the Rigaletto Pizza or the grilled chicken (devito style!).  Ask for Phillipe, Roman and Sophie and tell them Janet & Frank sent you…and don’t forget to say “Bonjour!”

Take a cruise to St Marten, stay at one of our fav hotels (Alamanda or Esmeralda) or renta villa (Casa Lana, Coccinelle or Dolce Vita – depending on your budget)….but just GO!  I have been going there for over 25 years and love it!

For more tips on St marten and booking that special vacationClick Here!

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Celebrity Eclipse Update! “Who are those Mysterious Bathrobe people?” I will tell you…they are people who know HOW TO START A RELAXING VACATION! That could be YOU!

Call today 732-577-9150 to plan your Celebrity Cruise!

Go to www.jdevito.cruiseone.com for great last minute deals!

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Fear of Flying? GET ON THE PLANE!

I know people who look at the Flight as “part of the vacation experience “ (that’s me!).  I know people who just don’t particularly like to fly because of inconvenience, but do anyway.  I know people who will NOT fly under any circumstances.   All are different, but have one thing in common….they all have some level of “fear of flying”.  The only difference between them is how much their personal desire to travel will over shadow the fear.

Even I admit that every time I see a plane or fly one, I say the same thing…”That is amazing that that tin can with all that weight and those flimsy wings can actually fly for hours and hours!”  It can actually freak me out!  Personally, I will make no bones about it…do what you have to do,  take a valium or have a drink…but get on that plane!  A whole world of adventure and opportunity is out there for you to explore.  So let’s break it down and figure out a way to “Get on that Plane”!

When most people are asked about why they are afraid to fly, they talk about the lack of control that they feel when riding in a plane.  Add to that the fear of turbulence, heights, claustrophobia, the strange noises they hear and the basic lack of understanding how planes fly.  In total, it is actually ignorance & irrational thoughts that make us afraid. If you think about flying logically, statistics show it is 30 times safer then driving in your car!  Your chances of being involved in an airline accident are about 1 in 11 million.  Compare that to your chances of being killed in an auto accident – 1 in 5000!  You are more likely to get killed DRIVING TO the airport than flying to your destination!

Logically, aircraft today is designed and maintained meticulously.  Take into account the incredible # of flights daily and the # of fatalities and the airlines have a stellar record!  If we all had a lesson in Aviation and understood more “How” planes fly, most of our fears would be erased.  I mean, think about it…”Why do pilots and flight attendants work on planes everyday? They understand them!  If they were so risky, why on earth would they work on them? (We know it isn’t because they are getting paid millions!) It is because they have knowledge and trust in aviation.

But let’s think on a personal level…

With the prevalence and need for airline travel in todays modern world, it is almost archaic for someone to say “I wont fly”.  It is almost as ridiculous as hearing some one say “I will never go on the internet!”

There are so many great reasons to FLY….

Family lives in different parts of the country (if not world!)

Your children want to go to Disney!

Your job requires that you be in 2 cities in one week.

How do you explain to your children that you are afraid of flying?  Or do they just accept that they will never take a family vacation to an island, visit Disney, see the Grand Canyon, take a historical trip to Europe.  Sure, you might say that you could drive there…but you can’t drive over an ocean!  Are you really prepared to go through life without ever playing with your child on a beach on an island.  For me, there is nothing more precious than experiencing the wonders of the world with your kids and leaving them with those memories.  I will never forget when my parents took me to Jamaica when I was 11.  The amazement has imprinted in my mind forever.

How do you tell your boss that you cannot attend that sales meeting across the country?  Do you just forgo a promotion because of your irrational fear?

How do you face life knowing that you will never see your grandchildren who live 3000 miles away?  Are you really going to let fear stop you!

Now let’s try to think about this logically.   You need to have trust in the Pilot and crew.  Don’t you think they have a families they want to get home to?  Their intention is to tuck their kids in at night and kiss their spouse.  Remember the statistics!  Let’s talk about the danger of driving a car?!!  But you still get in one of those every day.

I say, take the responsibility to learn the simple principles of Aviation, seek out the safety records of your airlines and research studies on risks.  Educate yourself, because “Knowledge is Power”, power to conquer your fears!  And if all else fails…take that valium or have that cocktail….BUT JUST GET ON THAT PLANE!!!  SEE THE WORLD!

Plan that trip you have always dreamed about Today!

How Planes Fly – simple video

Air vs. Auto statistics

A beautiful thing!

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Azamara Club Cruises

“You’ll Love Where They take
You” is the Azamara Motto…. and I say “You’ll Love How They Take
You There”!

Okay, so I was
having way too much fun to write every day for 12 days! I
admit it, I procrastinated! But here I am, 6 days home from
my Azamara Journey cruise and I am still wishing I was back on the
ship! I have already written about my first impressions of
the Journey, now I will write about my “lasting impressions” of the
Journey. And there were plenty! It is so often that you
travel, whether on a ship or at a resort, and something happens
that disappoints you. The sad thing is that often, it can
ruin what would otherwise be a great trip. Of course, at the
end of the vacation you can always put your comments in the box,
and although satisfying, it still leaves a bad taste about the
experience. I must admit, that did happen to us on the
Journey. What is amazing is how my disappointment actually
became the best thing about the Journey! The first 2 mornings, the
breakfast service was not so good. Coffee was consistently
unlabeled (caf – decaf), dirty plates stood in front of guests for
up to half hour (yet plenty of waiters around)…I would basically
say that it seemed as though there was NO service. And that
is not what we expected from such a luxury cruise. It seemed
so unusual since every other point of service was excellent!
But those mornings could definitely spoil everyones
experience. What happened on the 3rd day was truly amazing,
and something I have NEVER seen before! Each guest was given
a comment card and asked to complete it that day. The letter
said that it was the Journey’s way of addressing any issues early
in the 12 day cruise. I thought this was a fabulous idea!
So I wrote down how pleased I was with everything except that
morning breakfast service. What a GREAT opportunity for the
Azamara Journey to say “We care and we want to make this a
fantastic experience”! After handing in my card, breakfast
service was impeccable! Yes, the lax service issue was
addressed and resolved! I was so impressed with the results
that it made those first 2 mornings a past memory! Hey,
everyone makes mistakes, but to make the effort to correct it WHILE
on the vacation is truly great service! SO KUDOS to the
AZAMARA Journey Staff for that! There were many things that we were
truly impressed with on the Azamara Journey. One was the
cleanliness of
the ship. It was cleaner then a Disney Cruise! And that
says alot! Again, I will use the word “impeccable”.
Cabin
service
was “on spot”!
Dany was always there when we needed him
and always with a smile! The Main
dining room
“Discoveries” was wonderful. Food selection and quality was
excellent. Service was wonderful (Chris was a
favorite!
). The
Aqualina” dining
experience was perfection. “Prime
C
” was a disappointment only because the
steak that I had the night before in the main dining was
better…but again, service was excellent. The
Fitness center
was well equipped and had a wide variety
of classes. The pool
deck
was pristine and very clean.
The poolside BBQ
events
were spectacular. Great
atmosphere and food selection. The
entertainment was
awesome. I truly appreciate the effort they put into a
special Christmas play. It had me laughing and left me
tingling with emotion. It was
excellent. Captain Tysse
was actually a Captain that we had on a previous Sea Dream Yacht
Club cruise and I must say, his humor, warmth and connection with
the passengers was inspiring. He runs a tight ship and it
shows. Azamara should be proud to have him on the Journey!
Acupuncturist was super knowledgable. Internet Cafe was
very well run. Little things that stood out…refreshment
table on the jogging deck for morning walkers. Very nice
touch! My final and only disapointment was actually the most
exciting moment for me! I WON THE JACKPOT BINGO! I was
so excited and happy! Everyone was waiting to see how much I won!
I was shaking with anticipation! Would it be $ 2,000 ?
$ 1,000 ? even $ 500 would be thrilling! NOPE. It
was $ 85! YES! $ 85 dollars! Heck, it cost me $ 40 to
play! If I knew that it would be $ 85 I never would have
wasted that precious hour of sunshine!! (Everyone was
complaining to the Bingo staff on the way out that it was actually
tacky to give a Jackpot Bingo prize of $85 dollars!) It was
actually embarrassing for them to do that. In the end…Take an
“Azamara Journey”. You will LOVE HOW they take you
away. (Just don’t bother wasting time playing Bingo!)
Thank You to the Azamara Journey Crew for making us feel so
welcome! The video below is my THANK YOU…so the Crew can
say “Hi” to their families back home!

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