Category Archives: girlsonacruise

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 .

IMG_8374

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

IMG_8404

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 – 

2 Comments

Filed under adult vacations, cruiseOne, family cruise, family reunion, Family Vacation, FLorida, girlfreind getaway, girlsonacruise, luxury travel

“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! 

1 Comment

Filed under adult cruise, carnival cruise, Celebrity Cruises, Cruise, cruiseOne, cruises, girlfreind getaway, girlsonacruise, luxury cruises, Singles cruise, singles travel, travel, vacations

Guest Post from Girlfriendology.com

All I ever needed to know … Girlfriend Cruise Edition!

Guest post from Girlfriendology.com – Great source for all things “Friends”! 

"Girls on Horseshoe Beach"

Wish you could have joined us on our Girlfriend Cruise to Bermuda with GirlsonaCruise.com!

It was an amazing seven days with fabulous female friends – new and not so new. We sailed to beautiful Bermuda on board the Celebrity Summit. We met wonderful women from all over the U.S. who ‘get’ them importance of getting away with their girlfriends!

Here’s updates on our Girlfriend Cruise travels –

You know how they say: ‘Everything I needed to know, I learned in Kindergarten?’ Well, after spending a week with the wonderful women on our girlfriend cruise to Bermuda, I think there is much to learn from women in our lives. Like these life lessons from the ‘ladies of leisure’ on the Celebrity Summit:

  • Sometimes you just gotta hang out with your girlfriends! Kids, husbands, relationships, jobs, responsibilities and schedules were all left back in the U.S. when we debarked for Bermuda – and it was a very good thing. Quality time with girlfriends, I personally find, and witnessed other women who agree, was an amazing opportunity to ‘get back to our true selves.’ It’s wonderful how the laughter, conversations, smiles and overall happiness just take over your whole outlook on life. We definitely experienced some great ‘girlfriend therapy’ just by spending a little quality time with other women.
  • Girlfriends NEED each other. Two of the women in our group are cancer survivors (who met on a cancer survivor cruise previously). They expressed deep appreciation and even the medicinal value of spending time with their girlfriends. We women don’t just enjoy time with our friends, we NEED them. We need their friendship, support and guidance. Thankfully we’re there for each other.
  • It’s wonderful to feel totally accepted. I’ll be honest with you. I don’t think I’ve been in public in a bathing suit in a decade (seriously!). It was wonderful to feel so totally accepted and comfortable with a group of girlfriends that it didn’t matter if I held in my stomach or had the cutest suit. We just enjoyed each other’s company – as we are.
  • Laughing together is medicinal. The conversations we had, funny secrets we shared, stores we told – all bonded us through our life experiences and lessons. There is nothing like laughing with female friends with whom you feel so comfortable and happy. Laughing, and friendship, is VERY good.
  • A helpful, fabulous girlfriend-in-charge makes traveling even more fun! We were so lucky to travel with a great cruise director (who arranges cruises for girlfriend trips and other groups) – Janet DeVito of GirlsonaCruise.com. From giving us ‘noodles’ to float on in the Atlantic, to hand-written notes on our door, to making sure our happy hour and dinner conversations were always inclusive and amusing, Janet is a pro in making it a great girlfriend cruise! Check out this video she made:

Leave a comment

Filed under Celebrity Cruises, Cruise, girlfreind getaway, girlfriends, girls getaway, girlsgetaway, girlsonacruise, gno, royal caribbean, susan komen, vacation cuisine, women travel, womens travel

Girls Getaway to Bermuda – Day 1 thru 3

Girls Cruise – Celebrity Summit to Bermuda

I’m sitting by the pool on the third day of our Girls Getaway Cruise to Bermuda. The weather is what I consider “stunning”! The only complaint is that it is a “bit” warm. But still stunning! I am relaxing and contemplating when it is appropriate to have my first drink for the day…and then I think “It’s noon somewhere!” And for our GirlsonaCruise.com it is always noon!

Day 1:

So 2 days ago we sailed out of Bayonne NJ on the Celebrity Summit and I met the 16 girls who are in our Girls Getaway group. I knew 4 of them before this trip, but hadn’t met the others including Debba from Girlfriendology. I must say, after years of putting these Girls trips together, I have never once met someone who wasn’t nice & fun. Maybe it is because the type of Girl who chooses to travel with a group of other women that they don’t know MUST have a fun, adventurous personality! Whatever the reason…I love that this always holds true! We had a pre-dinner party and had an “ice breaker” type event so everyone could get to know a bit about each other. I always worry that someone will say “OMG, I am NOT doing that!” But as I said, this group always attracts people who actually like to met new people. I would tell you what we did….but I don’t want to spoil the surprise for all “future Girls cruisers!” Just trust me…it was fun! Dinner was delicious. The best item on the menu was the “Mushroom Cappicino” A favorite of mine. Everyone loved the food and the service was also great. I sat with Debba (from Girlfriendology) and other women I had just met but had plenty to talk about and so much in common even though we all just met. Everyone was off to bed early after dinner. I would say the first day was exhausting, exciting and the apprehension of meeting everyone was over. We are off to another great Girls Getaway Cruise!! Whooo Hoooo! Okay, so I admit…Connie and I went to Michaels Club and talked till wee hours over drinks. (Hey, isn’t that what us girls do? Talk, and Talk, and Talk……) 

Day 2:

Pool anyone? Sun anyone? ME ME ME ME!!! Connie and I woke up early to Coffee and tea room service. Did the obligatory walking on the Sunrise Deck (3 laps = 5/8 mile….so we did 6) to get the blood flowing. Although somehow walking around the deck of the ship with the sea breeze and the fresh air doesn’t seem like exercise it clearly is. Walking in the morning is a great way to start the day. After perusing the breakfast buffet and grabbing some lox and a bagel, I headed back to the room to shower and change into my uniform – BATHING SUIT AND COVER UP. Yes, that is my uniform for the next week. I wish it could be my uniform everyday…but then I wouldn’t appreciate the week on a vacation. Then it is out to the pool. I got everything I need – beach bag, sun screen, book, hat and camera (I must have it at all times, you never know what will happen that I need to remember!). And that is where I spent the whole second day. Hanging by the pool with the Girls! And what did we do? Talk, Talk, Talk…Laugh, Laugh, Laugh. Yep, we probably shouldn’t have been so loud in the Thallasso Therapy Spa pool, but how can you stop laughing when we are being tossed around like dolls as the water seems like a wave pool. Oh well… I spent an hour in the iLounge checking emails and writing my hubby and then it was of to shower for our pre-dinner cocktail party. Okay…funny story…I left to go to the party early with Jeananne and we ordered a drink at the Champagne Bar and waited for everyone. An hour later, no one showed. We couldn’t figure it out. We decided to stroll to another lounge and saw everyone else sitting in Michaels club. Of course, I had to laugh because I am the one who set up the party, and there I sat at the wrong place with Jeananne for an hour while everyone else had a blast! Oh well, all is not lost because I got to know Jeanann! Another awesome dinner (everyone at our table got the rack of lamb and it was fabulous!) After dinner…we hit the disco. Danced and laughed until 1 am. What a blast! A definite do-over tonight!! (I will try to get pics too!)

It is now day 3. I sit in the sun writing this. Connie and I are in the groove. We have our routine down pat! Morning coffee – walking – pool. But the day holds alot of surprises. I will write all about it tomorrow! Oh and Happy Birthday to my Hubby! It is his bday today!

janet

Leave a comment

Filed under adult cruise, girlfreind getaway, girlfriends, girls cruise, girls getaway, girls getaways, Girls Travel, girlsgetaway, girlsonacruise, women

Port of the Week – Grand Cayman

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Grand Cayman is known around the world for Diving & Banking.  Personally, I don’t Dive & I don’t have millions to bank, but I still love Grand Cayman!  The island is beautiful & rich in so many other ways.  It is definitely a favorite Western Caribbean port.

I don’t really care to spend time in the town of George Town (I could shop at expensive stores in NJ!).  I just feel that with such beautiful beaches & crystal clear waters I would have to be nuts to just shop!

Beach lovers will think they died & went to heaven on 7 Mile Beach!  The sand is so white & soft you might think it is actually baby powder and the ocean is a shade of aqua that only exists in dreams.  Clear waters that just say “JUMP IN!”  It is breathtaking.  Great resorts line the beach & can be the perfect landing spot to grab lunch & rent beach chairs.  But don’t get too comfortable, because that amazing water is a playground in the sun!

7 Mile Beach is a perfect beach for water sports – Windsurfing, kayaking, jet skiing, Waterskiing, Hobie Cat sailing, Parasailing, Banana Boat rides and more!  I highly recommend Red Sail Sports for all of your water activities (diving, sailing etc).  They are very reputable, friendly and dependable.  Taxis are readily available at the cruise ship pier. The approximate cost to Red Sail watersports centers on Seven Mile Beach is $20.00 one-way. It’s about a 10 minute drive.  A great idea is to just spend your whole day there!  But if you did, you would be missing out on the most amazing experience Grand Cayman has to offer…Swimming with the Stingrays!

We have done this a few times, but never as a Cruise Ship excursion, we have always booked separately through Red Sail Sports for the simple reason that the Cruise Ships excursions all go to the same general area and it is crowded!  For me, that takes away some of the natural beauty of the experience.  Red Sail will take you to another location where it feels more intimate.  Cost is about the same.  Red Sail even does a Stingray & Rum Point Catamaran trip that is awesome!  Or you may opt for a Stingray visit and then spend the rest of the day on 7 Mile beach.  (by the way, that is why it is so important to use a travel agent when planning your trip, we know these little secrets!)

Swimming with the Stingrays is just plain awesome! The first time I did this, I was truly amazed at these beautiful creatures gliding through the water.  I couldn’t believe how friendly they were.  My kids became like mermaids (or should I say “mermans”), swimming around them like they were fish themselves!  Definitely one of the most memorable things we have done.  It should be on everyones Bucket List.

I might not be a Diver and I might not have a need for international banking, but when I drift on a float in that heavenly water, I feel like a gazillionaire!!!

I am actually heading to Grand Cayman on one of my GirlsonaCruise.com Girls Getaways January 22 – 27, 2011 onboard the Celebrity Century. I am so excited to show the girls this island.  And YES, we will be arranging activities through Red Sail Sports!  (There is still space if you would like to join us!).

Okay..one thing I have to warn you about is that if Grand Cayman is on your Itinerary, there is always a chance you might not make it there!  I have heard rumor that 50% of the time, ships cant make the stop due to weather…not sure if that is true, but it has been for us!  In Grand Cayman, ships are required to tender passengers to the island and often the currents change making that process dangerously rough, so ships opt out for safety reasons.  It sucks..but Safety always comes first!

PS…if you do pre-book an activity with Red Sail Sports, they are aware of this issue & are very understanding should your ship not stop.

Make your dream trip to Grand Cayman come true!

2 Comments

Filed under adult cruise, Celebrity Century, Celebrity Cruises, Cruise, family cruise, girlfreind getaway, girls getaways, girlsonacruise, royal caribbean, travel

Everyone deserves to be pampered…

I Might Never Leave This Hotel…
Does “Squatters Rights” apply?

Beautiful summer day in Manhattan. Hubby asks me to drive in to meet him and spend the night (long business hours…) at the Ritz Carlton on Central Park. “I WILL BE THERE IN 45 MINUTES!” I say quietly…..but screaming in my brain! The chance to experience The Ritz, Central Park NYC…I can’t get there fast enough. I have read about so many celebrities, dignitaries and politicians staying at the Ritz, so why not me!

So here I am, after being escorted to the lobby “suite” by the kindest Gentleman (Front Desk Receptionist) to await my suite. Okay…I am already pampered and I haven’t even entered the room. Actually, if I left right now, I would have great things to say about this hotel…but there is not a chance I am leaving until I experience that room, not after the last half hour of being in the lobby! I almost don’t want to go up to the room yet (even though it is ready), similar in the way that I wait to open a gift…anticipation is half the thrill.

But now I am ready..

By the way, I have stayed at the Four Seasons in NYC many times, so when I say this is impressive….I know what I am comparing it to. SO far, the service is “wildy over and above”. Is that an appropriate description? It would be if you were sitting here.

Finally made the decision to head up to the room..I MEAN SUITE! After the silent glide up the elevator, and the “OMG! I could live here” reaction to the suite, I am now settled into the comfort of this classic, beige, comfy poofy room. As I sit here, among the traditional decor, I always wonder “Is Buckingham Palace this comfortable? Because, the traditional decor of Buckingham Palace is so NOT comfortable looking! But this is.

Of course, the bathroom was my first stop (I AM a girl) and I think it has the most amazing marble I have ever seen. It looks like soft, swirly, caramel ice cream. Beautiful. Bathroom amenities…Yes, I have everything I need and more AND top notch!

Comparable to the Four Seasons…Different. Service is definitely better (which makes EVERYTHING BETTER!). Room is comparable but styled differently. Bathroom is absolutely awesome in both.

Well, I have been here for 2 hours. I have a huge smile on my face. About to climb in the shower to get ready for dinner at Scotto’s. Life is good at the Ritz Carlton.

The Ritz Carlton got me at “Welcome to the Ritz”. Click here to see more and reserve your stay!

Leave a comment

Filed under Cruise, cruiseOne, Girls Travel, girlsonacruise, luxury travel, Ritz Carlton

Walking for a Cure on the Girls Cruise


I have been running these “Girls Getaways” for may years. I have met many women with many different back rounds and history. But I can tell you that there is one thing they all have in common..and that is that someone they love has been touched with cancer (if not themselves)!

I personally have 2 girl friends with breast cancer & one with ovarian cancer. It definitely touches close to home. I have heard such great stories of “courage and hope” not only from my friends but from so many of the Girls on my GIrls Getaways.

On our last Girls Getaway, I was so excited and moved to hear that Carnival does a “Walk for the Cure” on each sailing, every week throughout their fleet! But it doesn’t stop there! Every ship in the Carnival Cruise line Corp. also hosts a fundraising “Walk for the Cure”! I say Kudos to them!

This is how it works…every walker pays $ 10 on their shipboard account. That money goes directly to the Susan G Komen Foundation. Each participant receives a t-shirt (although they could have been cuter!) and is eligible to walk at a designated time. That might not sound like the most fun to you..but it actually is alot of fun. It is such a great feeling to meet so may others that are also walking, but it is such a good feeling to be “giving” when you are so blessed to be fortunate enough to be on a cruise vacation.

Carnival Cruises raises about $ 1000 average per ship. With 40b ships sailing sper week (among many Cruise Lines) that is approx. $ 40,000 per week! It is a great feeling to be part of that! I am so glad that Carnival offers the opportunity to “be part” of that. I might not be one to walk 5 miles..but I certainly can contribute for 30 minutes on a cruise vacation!

I think the concept is generous and brilliant! I think Carnival Cruises should be applauded! Check it out! http://bit.ly/ondeckfrcure

Leave a comment

Filed under Cruise, Girls Travel, girlsonacruise, susan komen, walk for cure, women