Category Archives: Family Vacation

Cruising is more then just Food

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A Cruise is MORE THAN just Food, Food & More Food!

When I mention “cruises” to people who have never cruised,  I often hear people say “I don’t want to cruise, all you do is eat!”  Let me dispel that myth right now.  Cruising is WAAAAYYY more then just food! Just check out the Video above…eating was not high on the list.

I have personally been cruising for 18 years.  I have sailed many different cruise lines, and yes, I do like a cruise line that has really good food, I mean…we all do have to eat meals!  But people are genuinely shocked on their first cruise experience that dining is just a small part of the Cruise Experience.

“Why do most people take a cruise?”  It isn’t to eat… here are the top reasons why I CRUISE!

  1. ADVENTURE – Cruising will take you places that it would normally take you several trips to see.  For example, a typical 7 day Caribbean Cruise will take you to 4 different Islands.  Very hard to see all of that in one”land” trip.  It is great to see which Islands you would love to go back to and spend a week on land…like a scouting mission.  And depending on what Cruise Line you are taking, there are many islands that you can go to that would be way to hard to reach via airplane.  For example, we took a Windstar Cruise to Isle de Saints in by Guadeloupe.   Windstar typically gets into tiny ports that feel “off the grid”.
  2. SO MUCH TO DO – So much to keep you busy while at sea!  There is something for everyone on a Cruise… Wine tastings, Painting Class, Bocce Ball, Basketball, Surfing, Dancing, Comedy shows, Broadway Shows,  Casino Gambling… Geeze, getting tired, but I am not done.  Working out, taking classes to learn how to cook,  sculpt, trivia contests and fabulously fun sing alongs.  (This could be dozens of reasons, but I just grouped them into 1.
  3. TOTAL RELAXATION – I can’t think of anything more relaxing then lounging on your own private deck with a good book (who am I kidding…3 pages in and I fall asleep!), a cappuccino or a glass of wine.  And when I want to be pampered I head to the spa for a bit more relaxation.  There is no doubt about it, fresh sea air does something to your mind and body that makes you go ” ahhhhhhhhhhhh”.
  4. ROMANCE – Sunsets at sea?  A starry sky with no light pollution? Need I say more.

I love land vacations too.  In fact, years of cruising introduced me to Islands that I now return to often.   There are wonderful things about both vacations.  In fact, I have found excellent finding options at resorts I have stayed at… but to me, I never choose a vacation for food…I choose for Adventure, Relaxation, Romance and OPTIONS!

You should try it sometime.

http://www.BookitWithJanet.com

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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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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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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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Windstar Cruise 2011

Windstar Cruises
“Why now?”

You deserve to treat yourself

In this stressful life, it is so important to restore your body and soul. Experts say that couples that take time out to vacation together, spending time without the stresses of daily life , have happier, healthier long term relationships then those that don’t. There is no time like NOW to plan your escape!


For so many of us, the Holidays are the most stressful time of year. All the preparation, family drama…and then come the “after Holiday Blues”…

Now imagine that when the real stress begins, you can look across the table and smile, knowing that when it is all over you will escape on a fantastic getaway for a week of sailing on a Windstar Cruise.

YES, a week of relaxing with the gentle breeze, turquoise ocean, amazing service, culinary perfection and romance in the air…EVERYONE DESERVES THAT!


Think of it as an investment in your physical and mental health!

“A Happy Wife is a Happy Life” and a “Happy Couple is a Happy Family”!

YOU DESERVE TO GETAWAY!. And there isn’t a better time then right after the Holidays!


What’s so special about a Windstar Cruise?

A Windstar Cruise is a refreshingly casual onboard experience appealing to even non-cruisers who want to experience the romance of the Sea without the confinement, crowds, regimentation or stuffiness often associated with “conventional” cruise ships. As one of the privileged few (148 guests) you the feel as though you are on your own sailing yacht.



Our favorite Cruiseline…Windstar! We have a group sailing round trip from St Martin to St Martin. We will be visiting St kitts, Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, Virgin Gorda, & St Barths.
This is a small, casually elegant sailing ship. Great way to start off the New Year and at a FANTASTIC price of $1555 per person INCLUDING accommodations, meals, entertainment, Bottle of wine, Bonvoyage party, Port charges. Let me know if you are interested!!! Pricing is the best I have seen and space will be going fast!
Call today to reserve your stateroom. Call for more details…732-577-9150
go to www.morethanjustacruise.com for more details. Click on Windstar 2011

http://www.youtube.com/get_player

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The Men in My Life

A Perfect Fathers Day for MOM!


A year ago, my son Colin Louro(center) moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dream in movie production. Yep, he moved 3000 miles away from all of us. Am I sad, actually not! Just like when they all went off to college, I am excited for him and the future that is in store for him. And hey, after all, it is a nice place to visit! (Could be worse, he could have moved to Australia – too far to visit!) Although, when they went off to college, I always knew they would come back…the difference is that Colin will probably build his future in LA.

What I do get sad about is the disconnect that the 4 brothers could easily develop. Doug and Jon are in NYC, Nick is still in college in South Carolina and between work and school it is often hard to have them all together at the same time! In fact, it had already been 1 1/2 years since they had all been in the same room! Let me introduce them, in the photo from left to right – Jon, Nicky, Colin, Frank (Dad) and Doug. Such a handsome bunch! I am so proud of them all for each of their lives! But as brothers, I want them so much to KNOW each other. (By the way…ever seen such a group of cute guys! LOVE tHEM!)

So for Fathers Day, (which happened to be Colin’s Bday this year) I secretly arranged with all the boys to fly to LA and surprise Colin! First of all, it was so much fun planning the secret trip. It was fun to coordinate the flights to arrive simultaneously and exciting to know that all my boys were up in the sky, on separate planes, crossing the country! When we all arrived, we headed directly to surprise Colin at his job at Trump Golf Course, Palos Verde.

OF course, his manager and staff were all “in on” the secret surprise (which made it even more fun!). And as he walked into the lounge and saw us all sitting at the bar, I could feel the love! I know that sounds corny, but I could. It was so fun to hear the bantering that only brothers can do. I half expected them to start wrestling on the floor!

Colin had the surprise of his life. He thought he would be spending his bday without family and now he had ALL of his brothers there in California. They could finally see where he worked, where he lived, where he spent his free time.

They could finally relate to things when they talked on the phone. California is a different planet from the North East…and you have to be there to understand the lifestyle. The brothers now knew how cold the ocean is, how eclectic the people are, how terrible the traffic is and how beautiful the scenery is. They finally understand why Colin is there.

We had a great time. Didn’t do any of the typical “sight seeing” activities…just hung out and lived in Colin’s world for 5 days.

For me, it was one of the best vacations that I have ever had. Not to mention that this was also Fathers Day, so it was heart warming to see Dad with all his boys! I will never forget the sounds of laughter, banter, and even the occasional argument. It actually makes me cry when I think about it….I hope that there are many more times just like this.

So hurry up Colin! We are all pulling for you to jumpstart your fabulous career! We want to come visit again soon! I want all the Boys together again!

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The Carlisle Bay Resort, Antigua



Carlisle Bay Resort, Antigua

Sublime” – causing wonder or astonishment

We came to Carlisle Bay with high expectations. We took great care and much thought to choose Carlisle Bay. A large part of that decision was based on their website. My skeptical nature did cause me to worry.

During our flight to Antigua, I started to worry, to second guess our decision….”Were the photos accurate?” “Could it really be that beautiful?” “Should we have chosen one of the others?” Too late now!

We arrived in Antigua on time. The views from the plane were amazing. My buyers remorse disappeared instantly! Our ride to the resort was impressive. Antigua reminds me of St Martin 20 years ago, before St Martin was ruined with the inundation of timeshare units. Antigua has kept their virtue. Much more pristine.

The first thing I noticed was the lack of “junk” and the neatness of the locals homes. It was obvious that Antiguans are prideful of their homes and their island.

After driving through rolling hills and pastures surrounded by mountains, we entered a rainforest. Absolutely stunning. It reminded me of St Lucia. At that moment, I affirmed my decision that there is no need to fly 15 hours to Hawaii!!! The Caribbean has it all!

As we cleared the forest and began our descent into Carlisle Bay I suddenly felt very proud of myself…I DEFINITELY made the right decision!

Stepping out of the car, a bridge led us over a Koi pond surrounded by Bougainvilla and right into the Great House reception. The designers were extremely successful at blending Caribbean soul with modern sleek. Refreshingly charming.

First impressions are everything and Carlisle Bay made a magnificent first impression. How can I describe it…Sometimes pictures are worth a thousand words!

Warm welcoming reception.

Think crisp White sheets, azure sea with sparkling crystals and the sound of palm trees in the breeze. Tropical , lush garden walkways. Absolute perfection!

You know it is a great resort when you can’t decide to stay in the room, or go outside! We did stay long enough to play with the luxurious Cappuccino Machine! (Funny how special little things are exciting!) It was great to have that in our room. Fresh ground coffee, espresso or cappuccino as soon as you wake!

Breakfast served on our balcony is something I am still thinking about! Fantastic service. Stunning views. I miss that!

Beach- Perfect. Kayaked on the smooth, clear rolling waters each morning. Sand that is meticulously groomed and soft, surrounded by the mountains. Montserrat mysteriously looming on the horizon of the bay…could not stop staring at the white lava covered slopes. It was perfect. Not to mention the fresh fruit kabobs & cool drinks delivered with a smile!

Cuisine – Wonderful. Romantic setting overlooking the beach. Open air, clean and crisp. Again, pictures are worth a thousand words! Great menu selection. Would stand up to the finest NYC restaurants. Presentation was very artistic. Service was lacking a bit, but very friendly (remember that you are on “island time”).

Lunch was amazing. Beautiful, serene views. The soft sound of the water lapping at the shore. We had a nice bottle of wine and fresh, fantastic Avocado and Tuna salad….and then, the chorus of children whining and crying began!

I will tell you the only bad thing that I can say about Carlisle Bay Resort is that it is such a romantic place yet the children seem to overwhelm the dining room. Carlisle Bay does a great job of segregating the families from the couples on the beach, and they can easily solve this problem by utilizing the other half of the dining room for families and leaving the romantic side for couples. It would make everyone more relaxed (including the parents that are stressed!).

Spa – Sleek, calming and very professional. Menu had many options. The massage was wonderful for both of us. Rates were very reasonable. Gym small but very nice equipment, very clean and motivating class schedule.Tennis – I don’t play tennis, but I was impressed! Great courts. Excellent tennis pros.

I highly recommend Carlisle Bay Resort! I would go back in a heartbeat! Worth every penny! Treat yourself!

This could be your view for the day!





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Disney does it again!

http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/7fMcb8cGThI&hl=en_US&fs=1&border=1

DANGER!! Once your kids see this, you will be required to book it!

You can always rely on Disney to “Do it Right”! But Disney Cruise Line has even outdone Disney! The New Disney Dream will join it’s sister ships and sail families to exotic islands on this luxury ship! I am not sure about you, but I could just float around at sea on this ship!

Take a sneak peek at the AquaDuck Water Coaster! Exciting stuff for kids and adults! Disney Cruises is sure to give Royal Caribbean and NCL alot of innovative competition! Sure, other cruiselines have waterslides…but just watch this video. But be careful, it may be dangerous to have your kids watch! They will BEG you to book this Cruise!

The Disney Dream is now accepting reservations with interesting offers to book 1 year in advance. Make your reservations today! Be sure to find the best deals HERE!

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