Category Archives: travel

Weekly Cruise Deals for May 2nd

Great deals this week in Travel!!  Royal Caribbean’s WOW sale and Pandomonium Summer Event!

NCL’s “Kids Cruise Free” sale if booked this week!

Watch video for details and then visit www.jdevito.cruiseone.com to book today!

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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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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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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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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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The 4 Phases of Adventure – Guest Blogger!

Sheri Bennefeld of Beyond the Beach is a long time fan of girlfriends and an even bigger fan of traveling with her girlfriends. In Beyond the Beach Sheri highlights the adventures of travel, not only for what it is on the outside, but for what is does on the inside. You can read more of Beyond the Beach at www.Sheri’s Blog . I came across her blog about 4 Phases of Adventure and Couldn’t agree more!  Very well defined!  Travel is exciting in every phases…enjoy……

4 Phases of Adventure

I’m getting ready for a little girlfriend getaway next weekend. These trips can never happen enough. This trip is all about taking time just for us. So, game on!

We have rented a cottage in Asheville, NC. Our plans include; visiting the Biltmore Houseand winery, spending a day at the Grove Park Inn spa and enjoying countless glasses of bubbly in our hot tub and anywhere else we may choose.

When I’m getting ready for any trip, I find myself either mentally or physically starting a list. A list of things I want to see, things I want to do, things I need to pack, things I need to buy before I go.

For me, the list is part of the trip and knowing I’m preparing for the trip  it makes the wait time go by a little faster. This is Phase 2 of the trip.

If you are going to truly take advantage of everything that travel and life has to offer that means you have to appreciate the journey as much as the destination. Here are what I see as the 4 Phases of any great adventure.

4 Phases of Adventure

Phase 1: The Decision

Phase 1 is where all the fun begins. It starts with some type of trigger, an idea, a thought or a suggestion. The seed is planted and it’s time to hit the road. Sometimes the destination was part of the trigger, other times it a decision to be made. For example, each year I go on a trip with a group of girlfriends. We go somewhere new every year. The group began with four girls, and sometimes we widen that circle to include others. So, planning the trip really begins with three decisions; where do we go, when do we go, and who should we invite? We have many fun conversations just around the possibilities.

If the destination is already determined – say it’s a Workation. Then the decisions might start with questions like “what are the attractions I need to see there?” and “how can I get the most out of this trip?” All to often business travelers lose sight of the opportunities that sit at their finger tips. I know it’s easy to let the new wear off of traveling for business and it can become a hassle or even a dread. And to those of you in that place right now, I challenge you to look at your next trip with a new perspective. Think of it as a chance to discover something new, to meet new people, to see a different city. Even if you’re going to a city you’ve been to a hundred times, go see something new, try out a new restaurant, take a tour, bring the explorer in you along.

Phase 2: The Planning

All the decisions have been made, now you get to plan. This is where you get to start making lists, buying tickets, shopping for the right stuff, looking at event schedules and discovering the possibilities.

Most cities have great visitors websites where you can get information on area attractions, events that will be in town when you’re there and also insider scoop on what the locals like to do.

Phase 2 of my Asheville weekend included checking out local music venues to see what bands are playing while we’re there. Booking dinner reservations on the Terrace at the Grove Park Inn, booking spa treatments, booking tickets to Biltmore House, creating a shopping list of things we might want to have on hand at the cottage. Although we’ll go out for most meals, we’ll want to have somethings on hand to accompany the Champagne.

And finally, the most important part of  Phase 2 is setting an intention for the trip. Beginning your adventure with the right mind set makes all the difference in the world. Decide what you want to learn on this trip, how you want to feel during it, adventures you plan to have, and experiences you want to take away. Make conscious decisions about what you want to accomplish on the trip.

My intentions for my Asheville trip are very simple.

  • I intend to clear my mind of my workload and all the projects I’m responsible for
  • I intend to connect with my friends and have great conversations
  • I intend to belly laugh at least twice a day
  • I intend to discover something new in Asheville that I have never seen before

Phase 3: The Trip

Obviously the trip is the phase where it all goes down. Where we put it all together and head out on the adventure. Keys to making the most of The Trip:

  • Keep your intentions in mind
  • Be open to new plans – you never know when something better comes along
  • Meet people. When I look back on favorite trips and adventures,  the highlights nearly always center around meeting new people and discovering new cultures.
  • Document the adventure. Whether you’re a writer or a photographer, pick your favorite medium and capture the memories. It’s so easy to be a journalist now. Just post your journey on Facebook, use mobile uploads, blog, or just take pictures for your own memories. Documenting your adventure is a great way to stay connected to it and to see the greatness is the things around you.

Phase 4: Reflection

After all the planning and the anticipation the return home from the trip can sometimes be a downer. You return to all the stresses of your everyday life. You go back to work and before you know it it feels like you never even went on your adventure.

Take time to reflect on the experience, on what you learned from it, how you have grown because of it and certainly the fun you had.

I like to start the reflection process while I’m still on the trip. The plane ride home is a great time to reflect on favorite moments, highlights and insights.

After returning home take time to go through your photos, reflect on each one, the feeling you had at the time and the intentions you set. You may even discover that there are moments from your trip that have changed you forever.

And now, start dreaming about the next trip – it’s time for Phase 1

FOR MORE OF SHERI BENNEFELD…CLICK HERE!

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Just finished a radio segment on the Gir

Just finished a radio segment on the Girlsonacruiselcom & Girlfriendology Girls GEtaway! Too fun! #FF http://ow.ly/3I6kW

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‎5 minutes until our interview with Jane

‎5 minutes until our interview with Janet DeVito on our Girlfriend Cruise Bermuda! JOIN US! http://ow.ly/3I38X @girlfriendology #FF

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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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