Category Archives: resort

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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Filed under adult vacations, Celebrity Cruises, Continental Airlines, cruiseOne, honeymoon, luxury cruises, luxury cruising, resort, royal caribbean, small ships, travel, vacation

A Wedding to Remember

I have spent hours watching  “Say Yes to the Dress” “Four Weddings” and other reality Bridal & Wedding shows.  I understand tradition, but I am amazed how Wedding traditions have made weddings so repetitive.

To me, weddings have become very “generic”.  Sure, Wedding Dresses can be different, Cakes unique, venues styled differently…dress it up in different ways, it still follows the same plan.. Blah Blah Blah!  And the worst is – Poof! Thousands of dollars gone in 5 hours!  Seriously…it all comes down to those 5 hours!  In a perfect world, the amount spent would last at least 5 days!

My kids are getting to the age where soon be getting married and I really hope that they do something to step out of the box.  Make that special day of celebrating love & life an intimate memory.  So many weddings I have been to have a guest list that includes some people that the Bride & Groom don’t even know!  How many times have you been to a wedding and didn’t have more then a few minutes to spend with the cousins you haven’t seen in 2 years?  Back to that ridiculous 5 hours…. barely enough tie to talk to the wedding party.

The solution – For the same amount of money (within ANY budget) you can break outside that “generic” wedding box.

Make it an event where people truly spend time with “the Couple”. I Love the idea of Destination Weddings!  What ever your budget, there is an exotic, exciting Destination for you.

An Island destination oozes romance. Sunset catamaran for 50 followed by a beach BBQ for a rehearsal dinner.  Vows shared with a gentle breeze. Dancing under the stars with your feet in the sand.  And best of all, Time to enjoy this moment in time…the Happiest day of your life with Family and Friends.  Not just 5 hours, but days to celebrate and reconnect.

Do you have to spend a fortune for a Destination Wedding? NO! There are Island resorts to suite any budget. From Iberostar all-inclusives to Caneel Bay Rosewood Resort (above photos)…the pricing includes “Celebration, Time & Romance”.

But don’t let you’re “out of the Box” thinking stop there….Ever consider a “Wedding at Sea?”  A wedding on a Cruise Ship is true romance.  What could be more Romantic, Intimate & fun for the Bride, Groom and Guests?  While at the same time offering so much for such a great value.  Choose to say your vows on the Ship or at port…whether it’s a stunning cliff-top ceremony in Greece or an elegant affair onboard a luxurious ship, love is best served with a perfect experience.

Variety of Cruise Lines for every budget:

Luxury – Sea Dream Yacht, Paul Gauguin, Windstar – charter the WIndstar with 130 guests!

Large Ships – Carnival, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity – Accommodations  to fit every budget on one ship.

Now, some of you might say  “But what if some guests can’t afford to travel?”

If you plan ahead, it will give everyone plenty of time to save. Easy payment plans are available with CruiseOne.  And for those guests that choose not to travel, plan a small celebration or cocktail party upon return.

Why cram the beginning of your life into those 5 short hours of stress and anxiety!  What better fun then to have quality time with close family & friends, relaxing, reconnecting, creating long lasting memories and celebrating your love!  A Destination Wedding and a Wedding at Sea will take you right “out of the Box” and start your new life together in a Unique, Memorable Celebration.

At CruiseOne, we even offer Bridal Registry for guests to give the gift of a Honeymoon! Visit my website for details!

Best Cruises for a Wedding

Bon Voyage!

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Filed under Celebrity Century, Cruise, cruiseOne, honeymoon, luxury cruise, marriage, resort, travel, Weddings, Windstar Cruises

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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Filed under antigua, Beach, Family Vacation, honeymoon, resort, travel

The Borgata, Atlantic City

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

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

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

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Filed under Hotel, resort, travel