Category Archives: luxury travel

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

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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Flight Attendants Make a Difference

 

Carlos - "What every flight attendant should be"

As an avid traveler for so many years, and then becoming a travel agent…I fly frequently.  I love air travel as a means to reaching destinations rather than auto travel.  On a whole, I think that Airlines attempt to  satisfy customers.  But as they say in life, “You can’t please everybody!”  However, the other rule of business is “The Customer is always right!”  Considering the “things that can go wrong, and the things that will go wrong”..being a flight attendant is a true test of Customer service. After all, even in the worst Customer Service situation, the customer usually storms out of the place….that is not an option on an airplane!

Now, I am not saying that there isn’t anything to complain about on an airplane.Strictly from a passengers view, there is so much to complain about when traveling by plane…

  • The seats are too small
  • We had to sit on the plane for 1 hour before taking off
  • It is so hot!  It is freezing!
  • The passengers in the rear have taken up all the overhead space in the front!
  • The food is worse than TV dinners!   Now you must pay for that bad food!
  • The guy in front of me reclined his seat the whole time!
  • My TV screen doesn’t work.

All of these complaints are valid, and the airline executives are for the most part immune to these daily complaints.  But unfortunately it is the people on the front line (the Cabin Attendants) who are FULLY aware of these inconveniences and problems.  In fact, the airline executives are counting on the Attendents to “fix” it.

As a passenger I have seen it all.  I have seen passengers & Flight attendents act rudely.  I have actually been a bit offended by many flight attendants reactions to passengers.  But as in any other profession, it is always that one person that stands out in the crowd and truely does his best.  On Continental flight #1867 from Newark to LA there was a serious issue with a passenger that was irrupting quickly.  Flight attendant Carlos went above and beyond what training could have ever taught him.  He resolved the issue without making the passenger angrier and actually calmed him down.  There were other incidences on the plane that were verging on volitile and he handled with grace and strength.

I do appreciate that in stressful situations (and most people are stressed when they fly) it is important to have people like Carlos in charge.  I would like to say Thank You to Carlos.  I only hope that on my future flights, Carlos is waiting to greet me when I board my next Continental flight!

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Filed under Continental Airlines, Girls Travel, luxury travel, travel, vacations

The Bachelor “Fantasy Suite”

The Bachelor's "Fantasy Suite"

"Where is the bathroom"?

“Am I nuts or does this look like the one place I would NOT want to spend the night”?!

I was watching the Bachelor on CBS last night (okay, I admit it!) and it was the night that the Bachelor Brad takes the 3 remaining women to a “fantasy Destination” to spend time with them before he chooses which 2 girls he would like to bring home to Mama.  Before I start, I would like to say…I know this show has critics, because I am one of them.  As much as I love to watch this show…I also criticize the heck out of it!  It is fun, It is entertainment!  And it is sooooo easy!

So last night the show took the Bachelor and the 3 girls to South Africa.  His first date was with Chantal on a safari.  It was awesome to see the wild animals and how close they were in their Safari Jeep.  It looked like such an exotic fun experience.  After dinner, Brad the Bachelor had a surprise for her.  He delivered her the invitation to a “Fantasy Suite” where they could spend the night alone without the cameras, relax and “really” get to know each other  (hey, get your minds out of the gutter!).

I have watched this show for years and each Fantasy Suite is better than the next.  Seriously top notch rooms.  Super impressive.  On this season of the Bachelor, Brad took Chantal to the middle of a field and proceeded to show her the Fantasy Suite..a Tree House.  YEP, that’s right.  A Tree House. The Chalkley Treehouse at the Lion Sands Resort.

The Lion Sands website says –

“Guests are taken to the treehouse at sunset, where drinks and a delicious picnic dinner await them. They then enjoy the hours of African dusk relaxing and absorbing the beauty and sounds of the bushveld as it transforms from day to night, before turning in for slumber beneath the stars. As dawn breaks, guests are collected by their ranger for a morning game drive, followed by a delicious bush breakfast at one of the many animal and bird hides.”

Now in many circumstances this could be very romantic.  A Tree House could set the mood for adventure.  In fact, the bedding was gorgeous and the colors blended right into nature…BECAUSE IT WAS IN THE NATURE!  THERE WERE NO WALLS AT ALL!   TOTALLY in nature.  My first thought….”WHERE DO I PEE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT!?”

Then the thoughts started rolling in….

 

I am pretty sure these pretty little things climb!

Do Cheetahs climb trees?  Can the Giraffes reach this far?  Do Bats eat mesh? DO monkeys get tangled the mesh?  OMG!  Are they kidding!  And it all comes back to “Where do I brush my teeth and pee?”   SO they drop you off at sunset and leave you there all night until someone comes to get you at dawn?  Okay…NOT HAPPENING!  Romance is not how I would describe that.  To me that would be torture.  Waiting for the next sound, thump that makes the ground shake or buzzz that threatens to suck my blood.  Relaxation is definitely not the word I would use to describe a night in the jungle.  Terror would be a better description!

When I visited the website to try and find out where the bathroom would be (answer – there is a toilet bowl and bath sink!) I did see the main lodge and accommodations and they seemed more my speed.

 

My Style of Fantasy Suite!

But I still do have to ask one question….”If they have such a big mosquito net over a bed that is INDOORS…how is that flimsy little net in the Treehouse supposed to help at all?”

For more information on the Lion Sands Private Game Reserve click here!

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Filed under adult vacations, honeymoon, luxury travel, travel

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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Filed under adult cruise, adult vacations, Celebrity, Celebrity Cruises, cruiseOne, honeymoon, luxury cruises, luxury travel, travel

Travel Disasters…Look at the Bright Side!

Half the fun of planning a dream vacation is “looking forward to it” & “looking back on it”.  What happens on the actual vacation…that’s the other half. Sometimes the best planning can’t avoid the unexpected pitfalls…..

True story – My husband, Frank, and I planned our Dream vacation for our 10th Anniversary.  As big fans of St Marten (Orient Bay) we meticulously planned our  3 week Anniversary trip like we were producing the perfect Feature film…

Location – Villa Coccinelle , Orient Bay .  A luxury 4 bedroom Villa with a breathtaking infinity pool overlooking Orient Bay.

IS this heaven or what!!

Cast – Our family of 7 + 14 (Names have been changed to protect “hurt feelings!)

Timeline

  • Frank and I would arrive 5 days ahead to “set up ”  Villa Coccinelle & play house! (HEY, it was our Anniversary!)
  • Our 5 children, sisters family  & Grandma would arrive for Christmas  (family time)
  • Extended family & friends arrive for New Years

It was a dream.  Everything was even better then we thought it could be.  Christmas Eve at Cherri’s, Christmas day on the beach.  Every night, Frank and I would go to bed thinking “This is so awesome!  We did such a great job planning this!”  and then…..

The day after Christmas, while on a family morning jog (sounds nerdy, but true!) Frank rolled his ankle.  A moment in time that he wishes he could take back…but as his ankle ballooned to elephant proportions, he realized he was screwed! And he was in PAIN!  We could have ended it right there and returned home…but with so many family and friends depending on us, Frank decided to make the best of it.    Alot of ice, a pair of crutches & an endless supply of Grey Goose and Frank could make it through!  (Let’s toast to that!)

Just when we all got used to the “altered state” of our vacation, a one in a million event occurred (NO, we did not hit the St Marten Lotto!)…..

His sisters family, returning to their resort one evening, encountered a crazy patch of mosquitos.  Unfortunately as they entered the buzzing fog they realized the windows were down.  6 humans versus a million mosquitos.  Who wins?  The 1 little bug that bit “Ann”.  And a few days later, it was confirmed…she had Dengue Fever.  Yes, she contracted a third world country disease.  (R U KIDDING ME!!)

Again, we made the best of it.  How could we not?  We were in beautiful Villa Coccinelle, lunching at our favorite “Cocos” on the beach (with Sophie) everyday, dinner at our favorite La Cigale” with Olivier and “Marios Bistro, we had great weather and were with our closest friends and family.  Life was good.  But what we didn’t count on was the occasional “clash of the idiosyncrasies” amongst our guests…

Can’t we go to a different restaurant tonight?” “I went to the store yesterday, why should I go today?” “How did your 4 Pina Coladas end up on my bill?” “THEY LEFT FOR THE BEACH WITHOUT ME!!” “It’s your turn to buy the next bottle of Grey Goose!” “Who gets Grandmas Bedroom when she leaves?”  “Who left the mess on the counter?” “Can’t Frank go to the doctor on his own? He is infringing on our beach time!”  And when “Sam” said to “Carol” – “Why do you take so freaking long to do your hair when it looks the same as it did an hour ago!!” … I sensed the tension (okay, so that is an understatement!)

We asked ourselves, was it worth it?  And the answer is a resounding YES!  In fact, those moments of disaster seem to bring about the best memories. WeDoug always knows how to make us laugh! crack up when we think about  night the boys almost ran out of gas, when Doug served Champagne like a Chippendale dancer on NY Eve, when we imagine “Carol’s” face after we left her (tired of waiting), when our 6 foot tall sons jumped on the bed petrified of an island spider, watching Frank struggle in the waves after thinking he could body surf with one foot!  And yes, we even laugh hysterically when we picture “Ann” with bruises all over like she had been poked by a thousand people!

If you ask my kids, they will tell you it was the best vacation they ever took.  If you ask my friends, they would go again in a heartbeat.  Even “Ann” & her hubby got an extended vacation (Doctors wouldn’t let her fly) when Grandma flew home with her kids! And us…of course Frank would have preferred to have had both feet working, but in our heads, we are always planning another dream trip to Villa Coccinelle.

So have fun “looking forward” to your dream vacation.  Laugh your head off sharing memories afterwards.  And in the middle…make the best out of it, and remember, those unexpected moments can end up being the best memories!

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For more info on Villa Coccinelle CLICK HERE.

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Filed under janet devito, luxury travel, travel, vacation

Does the TSA really want to “Touch His Junk”?!

 

Fly Safe...

POP QUIZ…

Question :

Where was John Tyner when he said “If you touch my junk, I will have you arrested”!

A. – At the Collingswood Flea Market

B. – At the Jones’ yard sale in my neighborhood.

C. – At the Airports’ TSA security line.

If you guessed “C” then you guessed right (and that means you aren’t living under a rock!).

OMG!  This is all I have heard about today!  Like this is something new?  Just last month my husband got the “Pat Down”  at the Airport & I have seen hundreds of other people experience this…yet today, this is the hottest news to talk about?!  I thought this was old news!

So here is what happened:

This John Tyner was at the Airport, going through TSA security checkpoints and he refused to go through the new body scanner that they are using.  As protocol has it, if you refuse to go through the scanner, your option is to get a “pat down” (as seen on cop shows since the Dragnet days!).  Well, this John Tyner wasn’t happy about that! So as the TSA agent was giving an explanation of how he would be “Patting him down” he said “If you touch my junk I will have you arrested”.  The TSA Agent informed him that he needed to call a supervisor since he made that statement (OF COURSE!  that statements says “I am going to sue you and have your job”, so he had to protect himself!).

Long story short…John Tyner never went on his trip. TSA is pretty straight forward – If you don’t go through security, you don’t get on the plane!  I personally like that rule.  But apparently there are many people who disagree with me.  Here is my case…

I fly often and have been very inconvenienced at the TSA security.  I too have bitched & moaned about the time delay (it’s just human nature to complain). And through it all…I am so happy that they are there doing their jobs.  I gladly take my shoes, belt, sweater &  bracelets off.  I gladly pull out my laptop, ziploc filled with liquid items & electronics.  I gladly step aside to be searched more thoroughly when it is requested of me.  I actually get excited, because to me it means that they are doing their jobs!

They are not there to get their “Jollys”.  TSA is there to protect the people, the planes & America from another tragedy.  I say “Thank You” and I gladly oblige.  The day I stop believing this, is the day I stop flying.

John Tyners’ first problem is that he didnt want to go through the Body Scanner.  Me?  I kinda agree with that.  Not because I am worried about someone seeing an image of my body…but because I am not convinced that the radiation is safe.  (Although, I think people wearing burkas or other large garments that could hide so much should HAVE TO be scanned.  That is just common sense!  Cut the “I don’t want to profile and hurt anyones feelings” crap, because this is about safety, and safety supersedes political correctness!)

So I would agree to be patted down.  I have nothing to hide.  I sacrifice a little inconvenience for the safety of all.  I am getting on a plane with many other people, and that is a privilege, not a right.  And everyone else on that plane deserves to have the comfort that I am not hiding anything.  I personally don’t want to get on a plane & worry about someone having circumvented TSA!

John Tyner needs to get over himself and start thinking about the collective good for Airline travel and that is preventing terrorists from attacking us again!  Does he really think that TSA agent wanted to touch his junk?!

I remember when everyone was freaking out that their pocketbooks and carry-ons were being scanned.  I remember when everyone was freaking out about having to take off their shoes!  I remember when people were freaking out about not bringing liquid or sharp instruments through security…and now this is the new thing.  TSA security keeps evolving & changing due to threats and concerns that we (the general public are not even aware of.  As Americans, we need to kinda “go with the flow” as it is a learning process for all of us, and totally for our own good!

Sure, could the process be improved?  Yes.  Is it flawless? No. Are there always a few bad eggs in ANY job place, that abuse authority and should be fired? YES. But I believe that the TSA is doing the best they can to keep America & Americans safe.

So if the TSA agent accidentally touched this guys junk, I say “Who freaking cares!”

It is simple to me…If you want to fly, you have to follow the rules…or don’t get on my plane!

Just my opinion…..What’s yours?

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Filed under American Airlines, Continental Airlines, couples cruise, Cruise, cruiseOne, jet blue, luxury travel, singles travel, travel, vacation, vacations

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!

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