Latest Event Updates

Carnival Vista December 3-11, 2016

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Meet Carnival Vista

Built to bring you closer to the sea, Carnival Vista opens things up with outdoor spots like Havana Bar & Pool, SkyRide at SportSquare, and Seafood Shack… plus plenty of family- and kid-friendly spaces like the first IMAX at sea. We’ve even got custom staterooms for Cuban culture lovers, or just families that like to stay close. Join us on this journey.

 

Inside Cabin $964.50 pp dbl occupancy

Carnival Vista Inside Cabin

 

The most affordable way to experience all the excitement, without cutting corners on comfort. Full private bathroom, complimentary 24-hour room service — plus linens you can feel at home in — make this the perfect spot to curl up after a long day’s fun.

Oceanview Cabin   $1,114.50 pp dbl occupancy

Vista Oceanview

 

 

 

These comfy rooms with a view let you sail along to beautiful destinations while gazing at the sort of vistas you simply won’t find anywhere on land.

Balcony Cabin     $1414.50 pp dbl occupancy

breathtaking-view-from-balcony-stateroom

 

 

Any time you’re in your room, you’re steps away from your own personal outdoor oasis… designed for maximum sea breeze and the most stunning views.

 

$300 deposit is due by July 15, 2016

Payment in full is due September 9, 2016

 

Cruise Booking Form – 8 Day Exotic Southern Caribbean Cruise

Please fill out one form per Cabin –

Main Contact Information(Please Print Clearly)
Name:
Address
City State Zip:
Telephone Email:
Passenger Information(Name as it appears on your passport) PLEASE PRINT CLEARLY
All Passengers must have a passport to travel on the cruise Cancellation Insurance
Passenger Name(Print First, Middle, Last) Birth date Citizenship  

Yes/No

 

Pricing per Person:

 

Request Quote

1
2
3
4
Special Requirements – Any Birthdates, Anniversaries, Special Occasions, etc.
Cabin Booking
Cabin Category (please circle): I – Inside         O – Ocean View      B- Balcony  S-Suites Upon Request
Traveling with:
Group Affiliation:                                    D   Long term Financial Services      D  Life Style Travel Club  D Online Advertisement
Final Payment is Due: Sep 19, 2016 Air Fare? Yes                No City of Departure:
Interested in Pre or Post Cruise Package Yes              NO Number of People:
Form of Payment for Deposit
Deposit  $              x       Persons $
Credit Card Accepted: Carnival Vista

Cancellation Insurance

$
American Express – Master Card – VISA – Discover Total Enclosed/to Charge $
I authorize CCL or Lifestyles Travel Club, LLC to Charge the above amount to the Credit Card listed below
Credit Card # Expiration

Date

Print Name Date
Signature:

 

 

miami

 

MIAMI

Known as one of the most eclectic cities in the United States, Miami exudes an air of cultural diversity mixed with a laid-back beach town feel. It is one of the hottest vacation destinations in the country–in terms of both temperature and popularity, due to its southern location, proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean islands, and its bustling social and nightlife scene. Many visitors come to Miami to relax on its numerous beautiful beaches and enjoy the warm tropical savanna climate, which keeps summer temperatures between 70°F and 80°F and winter temperatures around 60°F to 70°F. The city also boasts a melting pot of cultures, especially Latin American, Caribbean, and Cuban ethnicities, which all contribute to the great diversity of music, food, and language that Miami is so famous for.

Grand TurkTURKS & CAICOS

Turks and Caicos is a small archipelago nation south of the Bahamas. It is made up of 40 islands and cays, eight of which are inhabited. Technically, it’s located in the Atlantic Ocean, not in the Caribbean Sea, but it’s still commonly thought of as part of the Caribbean. Turks and Caicos is a welcoming place for U.S. citizens – the U.S. dollar is the official currency and the official language is English. But the nation is a British Crown Colony, so U.S. travelers need a passport to travel there.

The weather in Turks and Caicos is ideal. A constant trade wind keeps temperatures comfortable and tropical, ranging from 85 to 90 degrees from June to October and 80 to 84 degrees from November to May. It also averages 350 days of sunshine a year, so travelers can feel confident that their trip will be warm and sunny almost any time they go.

The two main islands, Providenciales (part of the Caicos Islands) and Grand Turk (part of the Turks Islands), are home to many of the main attractions of Turks and Caicos. Providenciales is the most populated of the islands and is a top beach destination. Grace Bay Beach, located on the island, is a long beach by Caribbean standards (12 miles long), so travelers usually have an easy time finding a patch of sand to relax in. Providenciales is also home to the Caicos Conch Farm, the only conch farm in the world. Conch is an integral part of Caribbean cuisine, especially in Turks and Caicos, and the country’s flag even has a conch symbol on it. Conch fritters and conch salad are the most popular ways to enjoy the island staple.

Grand Turk is the capital island as well as the largest of the Turks Islands. A popular excursion for travelers is a trip to Gibbs Cay, where visitors can explore an uninhabited island and meet friendly stingrays who will swim right up to them. Another popular activity on Grand Turk is scuba diving, as the island has healthy coral, diverse marine life and visibility that can exceed 100 feet. There are many dive companies for travelers to choose from, as well as many beautiful locations to dive in.

LaRomana

LA ROMANA

La Romana is a city on the Domincan Republic’s Caribbean coast with a population of about 130,000. It is the Dominican Republic’s youngest and wealthiest city and has a well-developed tourism infrastructure. It was founded in 1897 as an oil town and later turned to sugar production, but now its main industry is tourism, as its beautiful beaches and large collection of hotels and resorts attract travelers from around the world.

Many travelers come to La Romana to relax, and many hotels are located right on the ocean so they have their own beaches. But travelers looking to be more active have many options as well.

La Romana is home to the Teeth of the Dog golf course, the Caribbean’s highest-rated golf course. The city has other world-class golf courses that make La Romana a paradise for golf lovers. Diving is also a popular outdoor activity and La Romana has many dive sites where divers can explore colorful and exciting marine life like coral formations, dolphins, nurse sharks and manatees.

The National Park of the East, established in 1975, is the most visited natural attraction in the Dominican Republic. There, travelers can see the rare bayahibe rose, a cactus-shrub that serves as the country’s national flower. The most popular area of the park is Saona Island, which has a settlement of about 500 people and is also home to a turtle sanctuary. Throughout the nesting season, which lasts from March to November, green turtles, leatherback turtles and the endangered hawksbill turtles lay their eggs on Saona Island’s beaches, making it the most important area for marine turtles in the Dominican Republic.

There is also an exciting dining scene in La Romana. Bakeries, cafes, Italian restaurants and restaurants with classic Dominican cuisine can keep any foodie busy. Travelers looking for arts and culture can visit Altos de Chavon, an artists’ village with many galleries and shops that are very welcoming to tourists.

Curacao_WillemstadCURACAO

Curacao is an island country in the southern Caribbean Sea, just northeast of Venezuela. It’s a constituent country of the Netherlands, and the Dutch lifestyle is very evident in the island’s architecture. It only consists of about 170 square miles and has a population of 150,000, but its big personality and bright image make it feel larger than life.

U.S. travelers will need a valid passport to gain entry. The official currency is the Antillean guilder, but U.S currency as well as major credit cards are widely accepted. The official language is Papaimento, but Spanish, English and Dutch are commonly spoken, making it easy for U.S. travelers to communicate with locals.

It’s summer year-round in Curacao. It has a tropical savannah climate, meaning it has a dry season (January to September) and a wet season (October to December). Temperatures remain constant throughout the year with an average of 88 degrees, making any time of year ideal for a visit.

The capital of Willemstad became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997 because of its unique architecture and harbor entry. It’s the largest dry dock in the region and also has a large, busy port. Large ships sail right through the downtown and the Queen Emma Bridge, a long pontoon bridge, is built to turn sideways to allow them to pass. It’s a charming city with high-end retailers, restaurants and bars and the Dutch colonial architecture can be seen in the bright, sherbet-colored buildings that can’t be found anywhere else outside of the Netherlands.

Curacao’s perfect year-round weather gives visitors lots of opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities. The island’s coral reefs are an amazing natural resource that attracts divers and snorkelers to 40 different dive areas around the island. One of the most incredible places to scuba dive is the Mushroom Forest, an underwater jungle filled with 10-foot tall mushroom-shaped star coral. Christoffel National Park, on the northern tip of the island, encompasses 4,446 acres and is the largest national park on Curacao. There are eight hiking trails to choose from, and visitors can also experience the park on a safari, cave excursion, guided park tour or full moon walk.

Travelers who want to spend time outside but be more relaxed have many beaches to choose from. Most of Curacao’s beaches are along the southwestern coast in calm and crystal clear water. Some beaches charge admission, but sometimes visitors will get a beach chair along with the fee.

Of course a trip to Curacao would not be complete without enjoying a cocktail made from the island’s famous orange liqueur. A visit to the Curacao Liqueur Distillery allows travelers to take a self-guided tour of the factory and visit the on-site café to enjoy a cup of coffee or a cocktail made with the liqueur the island is known for.

ARUBA: ONE HAPPY ISLAND

Brought to you by Aruba Tourism Authority

Located 15 miles north of Venezuela in the warm waters of the southern Caribbean, Aruba is home to beautiful white-sand beaches, 82-degree days and some of the warmest people in the world.

Our island is 19.6 miles long and 6 miles across, with a total area of 70 square miles. We’re located just below the hurricane belt, and unlike many islands in the Caribbean, our climate is dry, so we rarely have a rainy day. On the south and west coasts of Aruba, you’ll find Oranjestad, our capital city, and miles of beaches that have been named some of the best in the world. Here, you’ll find most of the hotels and all-inclusive resorts in Aruba, and Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA).

In the interior of the island, you’ll find Arikok National Park, a desert-like preserve with a variety of wildlife, cacti and dramatic rock formations. You’ll also find some of Aruba’s most striking views, as the ocean crashes against the rugged shoreline below.

On the northeast coast, along the windward shore, you’ll see our island’s unofficial mascots, the fofoti trees. The constant trade winds have permanently sculpted them into graceful, southwesterly bending forms.

 

 

Harmony of the Seas

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Harmony of the SeasJOIN US!

On the Harmony of the Sea 

Are you brave enough to ride the Ultimate Abyss on Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas? It will be a 10 story slide that promises to be an epic adventure!

7 Night Western Cruise
May 27, 2017
Leaving from Fort Lauderdale, FL
Visiting: Cozumel, Mexico; Falmouth, Jamaica
Enjoy the fun days at Sea

The third ship to join the innovative Oasis class of Royal Caribbean ships, Harmony of the Seas boasts seven distinct neighborhoods, each offering a wide array of activities, amenities and entertainment. For the action-seeking cruiser, the ship offers two FlowRider® surf simulators, two 43-foot high rock-climbing walls, three water slides, an ice skating rink, a mini-golf course and a zip line that soars 9 decks in the air over the ship. For a more relaxed time, visit the full-service Vitality Spa, take a yoga class at the Fitness Center, or soak up some sun at one of the four swimming pools.

Grab a drink at the Bionic Bar on the Royal Promenade, where robot bartenders serve up your favorite libations, before heading over to the Casino Royale® or catching a show in the AquaTheater. Additionally, guests onboard will enjoy RFID technology with Royal WOWBands. These innovative arm bands will allow you to make onboard purchases and reservations, as well as provide access to your stateroom. Like her sisters, Harmony will also feature the fastest internet connection at sea. Royal Caribbean’s Dynamic Dining will give Harmony of the Seas’ guests a vast culinary experience, allowing guests to rotate through each of the main complimentary restaurants. For the younger crowd onboard, Harmony of the Seas features the complimentary Adventure Ocean® Youth Program, Royal Babies® and Royal Tots® program, teen lounge areas and disco, and the H2O Zone kids’ water park.

Tipping Guidelines Royal Caribbean will automatically add $13.50 per day, per guest ($16.50 per day, per guest for suite guests) to your onboard account. 15% tip included on beverage orders.
Onboard Currency US Dollar

Deposit $50.00 per person by Jul, 15, 2016
Payment of $100.00 per person due on the 15th of Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec 2016
Final Payment Due on Jan 15, 2017
NOT including airfare

Balcony Stateroom
Balcony Stateroom

 

Balcony – 1st and 2nd passenger – $1650;

 

 

 

Oceanview Stateroom     Oceanview 1st and 2nd passenger –  $1370

Oceanview Stateroom

Interior State Room    Interior 1st and 2nd passenger –  $1250

Interior State Room

$25.00 On Board Credit Per CabinLifestyles Travel Club Booking Form Cruise
Payments can be made via: Check, Visa, MC, A/E, and Discover

GET QUOTE NOWTravel Safe Logo different size    Booking FormHarmony of the Sea

For More Information Contact: Val Langham  240-350-8904(cell)

Lifestyles Travel Club
12821 Old Fort Rd. Suite 201
Ft. Washington, MD 20744
https://Lifestylestravelclub.com

JEWEL OF THE SEAS, SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN CRUISE, DECEMBER 11 -18, 2016

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7 Night Southern Caribbean Cruise

  • LEAVING FROM  San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • SHIPJewel of the Seas

i

From $599.00 USD* Was $799.00 USD*

7 Night Southern Caribbean Cruise

  • LEAVING FROMSan Juan, Puerto Rico
  • SHIPJewel of the Seas
From $599.00 USD* Was $799.00 USD*

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Behind stone walls, Old San Juan charms with 500 years of history, colorful colonial buildings and streets lined with shops, galleries, and cafes. Experience Puerto Rico’s enchanting natural side in the nearby rainforest.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO

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CABO SAN LUCAS

Cabo San Lucas, a resort city on the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula, is known for its beaches, water-based activities and nightlife. Playa El Médano is Cabo’s main beach, with outdoor restaurants and numerous bars. Past the marina is Land’s End promontory, site of Playa del Amor (Lover’s Beach) and El Arco, a natural archway in the seacliffs .Situated at the southernmost tip of the Baja California peninsula, Cabo San Lucas is a renowned Mexican destination for its arid climate, sunny skies, beautiful beaches, marine life, scuba diving, game fishing, and the characteristic striking sea arches of El Arco de Cabo San Lucas. Once a sleepy fishing village, Cabo is now an elite vacation destination with a coastline dotted with upscale resorts, golf courses, and a bevy of nightlife hot spots.

Cabo San Lucas, known simply as Cabo, boasts a large marina and sits where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean. The bustling town is known for its nightlife and party atmosphere that is in full swing not only during Spring Break but year round. The other main town within the Los Cabos region is San Jose del Cabo, which is located 20 miles northeast of Cabo San Lucas and is considered its sister city. San Jose del Cabo is known as a charming colonial town with restaurants, art galleries and shops surrounding the main square. Founded as a mission, this town is more family-friendly and laid-back compared to lively Cabo San Lucas. In between these two towns is what’s known as The Corridor where the majority of the many resorts and residential communities are located in addition to stunning beaches and coastline.

The Los Cabos region is not only a destination for party-goers. Big game fishing including marlins, is a top attraction for many visitors to the region. Golfers, sunbathers, and divers alike all continue to visit Cabo throughout the year. As a popular port of call for cruise ships and a major vacation destination, the Los Cabos area continues to boom with tourism and sees a steady growth of resorts, residential properties, and businesses.

The best time to visit Cabo is from May to June, when the wintertime crowds have gone home and the summertime storms have yet to hit. October and November are also nice months for a vacation, but you’ll need to begin your hotel search early if you want to save money. It could be that your motivation for visiting is not the beach: If you’re into whale-watching, plan to visit between December and March. If you like to fish, look to come in the late summer or fall.

TRAVELSAFE

Photo Opportunity

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Val and Earv with Tom Joyner

 

Tom Joyner in Memphis, Tenn

Thomas “TomJoyner (born November 23, 1949) is an American radio host, host of the nationally syndicated The Tom Joyner Morning Show, and also founder of REACH Media Inc., the Tom Joyner Foundation, and BlackAmericaWeb.com.

For all the Mid-South Lovers... you know where to tune V101.1

It’s always nice to get close and up personal….

Memphis R&B and Old School Music

Join us for other events to meet personalities like Tom Joyner whether in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee or wherever you might live.

Call us we are here to serve you!

 

 

SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA, MAY 28- 6 JUNE 2016

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COSTA RICA

 

PACKAGE INCLUDES, AIR, HOTEL, TRANSFERS and TRAVEL INSURANCE  BOOK 31 DECEMBER TO SAVE 35% ONLY $1550 PP BOOK IT NOW!

 

GUANACASTE

ACCOMODATIONS

Costa Rica’s Guanacaste province is heralded as the “next Hawaii,” with a tremendous building boom that includes a number of five-star hotels and resorts and large condominium projects. The reopening of the Daniel Oduber International Airport in the capital city of Liberia has helped fuel this phenomenon, with more than 20 airlines using the airport, some with nonstop flights from the U.S.

Some of Costa Rica’s most beautiful and expansive beaches are located in Guanacaste, and many of them have black volcanic sand. The contrast of these ebony-sand beaches with sparkling blue waves crashing on them, bordered by verdant forest, is striking. Some of them, such as Tamarindo, are favorites of the surfing crowd.

The forests that abound in Guanacaste are dry tropical forests as opposed to tropical rain forests found in the rest of the country. The weather is drier than the rest of the country and subject to drought. Along with cattle ranches, the province has a large cowboy population.

The city of Nicoya, located in the middle of the Nicoya Peninsula, is considered a center of arts and crafts for the Province of Guanacaste.

Guanacaste technically includes the entire Nicoya Peninsula but, because of the difficulties in traveling between the northern and southern areas of the peninsula, administration of the three southern cantons (counties) has been assigned to Puntarenas Province. This adds to tourists’ confusion regarding what is Puntarenas Province, what is Puntarenas City, and why the Nicoya Peninsula is sometimes considered Guanacaste and sometimes Puntarenas.

Guanacaste has the distinction as the only province to voluntarily join Costa Rica after Central America’s liberation from Spain on 15 September 1821, a date celebrated as Independence Day in all Central American countries. In 1825, the citizens of Guanacaste voted to leave Nicaragua and join Costa Rica.

To commemorate that act, the government declared the national tree of Costa Rica to be the guanacaste tree, a large spreading tree that grows primarily in Guanacaste. The seed pod resembles a human ear, and the name given to the tree is taken from the indigenous Indian name guana (tree) and caste (ear).

Known world-wide for its eco-tourism efforts, stunning natural beauty from the rain forest to the beaches, and an extensive amount of wildlife species that live in the varying habitats, Costa Rica is a top-notch destination. Many visitors favor Costa Rica for its seemingly laid-back culture and to enjoy the lifestyle known as “pura vida” that most locals adopt, which means pure life. This motto not only represents a way of life, but is also a popular greeting, farewell phrase, and is used in many situations in daily life in Costa Rica. The Pura Vida philosophy not only refers to the locals, visitors, and growing ex-pat community but also extends to the abundance of pure nature to be seen and enjoyed throughout Costa Rica.

Costa Rica is located in Central America, wedged between Nicaragua on the northern border and Panama on the southern border. Costa Rica is touched by both the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east. The dominant language spoken here is Spanish, although tourist areas and attractions generally have access to English-speaking guides and English is the second most spoken language in the country. Costa Rica is also set apart from its fellow Central American countries in that it survived the harsh days of colonialism and overcame the odds of other developing nations who still suffer from poverty and dictatorships. Instead, Costa Rica has an unarmed democracy and leads the way in terms of environmental standards and green practices. Of course, this was not always the case. Costa Rica’s rich history is steeped in the challenges caused by Spanish colonization, but was officially declared independent from Spain in 1821. The country’s first major export and boom in terms of economical growth came in the form of coffee and later bananas. Today, Costa Rica’s dominant industry is tourism with the wealth of national parks and reserves stretching across the country and showcasing the many ecosystems that exist here.

Although the country may be somewhat small in size, it offers a great variety of places to explore, animals to discover, and clean beaches to enjoy the sun and surf. Located in the Central Plateau region of Costa Rica is its capital city San José. Many visitors either start or end their journey throughout Costa Rica in this city, which boasts local cultural attractions such as historic landmarks, museums, and hotels. Many day trips also originate from San José. Located in the central northern region of the country is the famed Arenal Volcano. One of the many volcanoes throughout Costa Rica, this is perhaps one of the most visited. The Volcano is located near the small town of La Fortuna de San Carlos and is surrounded by many boutique hotels offering therapeutic thermal hot springs and spas. The relaxation, views, and spa treatments offered here all contribute to this area being a huge draw for tourists. Beyond the thermal pools, visitors can embark on nature tours, hiking trails to waterfalls, and horseback adventures with outstanding views of the volcano all along the way. On the Pacific Ocean side of the country is a long peninsula known as Guanacaste. This region boasts some of the country’s best beaches and is brimming with all-inclusive resorts and surfing spots. Environmental enthusiasts and adventurous travelers alike can tour the country by car discovering the biodiversity found at the numerous established national parks and reserves found in each pocket of the country beyond the well-trotted tourist trail.

SAN JOSE

San Jose, Costa Rica, is the country’s social, political and commercial center, and it’s more cosmopolitan and prosperous than many other cities in Central America. San Jose is a pleasant place to visit, although it has comparatively few colonial structures, and most travelers use it as a stepping stone to somewhere else in the country. Volcanoes and mountains ring the city’s barrios and suburbs; cloud forests, beaches, raging rivers and rain forests lie within a few hours’ drive.

San Jose has its own attractions worth exploring, however, and these are on the increase. The capital has entered a revitalization period—condos are going up to attract urban dwellers, cultural events are thriving, and older areas have revived thanks to the boom in tourism. Because of a traditional lack of urban planning, San Jose’s architecture is a mishmash of historic structures, glass high-rises and run-down buildings. In many ways, this is part of its charm. However, the city’s streets are plagued by congestion and pollution in a country renowned for its environmental prowess, though this is thankfully beginning to change.

Amidst it all, the city is blessed with high-quality restaurants, excellent art galleries, museums and boutique-hotels. San Jose’s delightful springlike climate is never too hot and never too cold because of the city’s location in the Central Valley. The Ticos, as locals are known, provide excellent hospitality.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

Sights—The European-style Teatro Nacional; the elevated square in Parque Central; the variety of goods and lively activity at the Mercado Calle Nacional; the Estadio Nacional in Parque la Sabana.

Museums—Exhibits of pre-Hispanic cultures and colonial artifacts, and exhibits on 19th- and 20th-century history and culture at the Museo Nacional; pre-Columbian gold sculpture, jewelry and other artifacts at the Museo de Oro Precolumbino; pre-Columbian jade figurines and jewelry at the Museo de Jade; contemporary art at the Museo de Arte Costarricense.

Memorable Meals—A romantic dinner at Restaurante Grano de Oro; the sample platter at Lubnan; hip, bohemian La Hoja De Aire; parilla at La Esquina de Buenos Aires; people-watching at News Cafe Restaurant and Bar in Hotel Presidente; delicious seviche and Peruvian seafood at Machu Picchu.

Late Night—Disco at El Tobogan; live bands and a hip crowd at El Cuartel de la Boca del Monte; live jazz at the Jazz Cafe in San Pedro or Escazu; DJs and live house music at Club Vertigo.

Walks—Exploring the galleries, cafes and stately mansions of barrios Amon and Otoya; strolling the pedestrian precincts along Avenida Central and Avenida 4; walking leafy Parque Nacional; a walking tour of downtown San Jose.

Especially for Kids—The hands-on science exhibits at Museo de los Ninos; INBioparque in Santa Domingo; a day trip to La Paz Waterfall Gardens with its aviary, butterfly farm, hummingbird garden and jungle cats exhibits; The Butterfly Farm in Alajuela.

PUNTARENAS

Puntarenas, Costa Rica, a small Pacific-coast city about 50 mi/80 km west of San Jose, is making a comeback as a port and resort town. The toll highway between San Jose and Puntarenas cuts the journey to less than one hour, but for foreign tourists it remains mainly a place to pass through en route to or from the Nicoya Peninsula.

Built at the tip of a long, narrow peninsula, Puntarenas (Spanish for “sandy point”) is a good base from which to visit nearby national parks or the towns of Quepos or Jaco because of its central location on the west coast. Puntarenas is also the best place to catch ferries to the Nicoya Peninsula or to take day cruises to nearby islands. The beach can get crowded on holiday weekends, when Ticos from San Jose flock to it. (“Ticos” is a term Costa Ricans apply to themselves and anything Costa Rican.)

Other than some spectacular sunsets, the city itself previously didn’t have much to offer. That is changing: The once-polluted Puntarenas beach has been cleaned up and refurbished with sand. Some beaches in the area have been awarded “Blue Flag” status, ranking them among the most ecological beaches in the country. An aquarium has opened, and the pier area, where large cruise ships dock, has been transformed into a pleasant place to stroll.

Restaurants and shops now line the Malecon, a pedestrian walkway that runs along the waterfront north of town. Ticos on weekend vacation mingle with tourists there. Take an hour or so to explore the city—it’s a good place to shop for supplies and souvenirs, have coffee and take photos. Note, however, that the climate is usually hot and muggy.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

Sights—A catamaran cruise to Isla Tortuga; a guided tour of Manuel Antonio National Park.

Museums—A broad look at the history of Puntarenas in the Puntarenas City Historical Museum.

Memorable Meals—The buffet with a view at Club del Mar Las Sandalias Restaurant on Jaco Beach; all-you-can eat seafood buffet at El Hicaco Restaurant in Jaco; fresh seafood at Cevichito Bar and Restaurant; all-organic dishes at Organico in Montezuma.

Walks—The seafront boardwalk known as Paseo de los Turistas; the Malecon, a pedestrian walkway that runs along the waterfront north of town; wandering the hiking trails at Cabo Blanco Absolute Wildlife Reserve.

Especially for Kids—Parque Marino del Pacifico aquarium; zipline adventure and horseback riding at Hotel Vista Golfo Adventure Park; a crocodile safari on the Tarcoles River.

 

 

Sandals, Regency La Toc, Castries, St. Lucia 26-31 May 2016

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Sandals
INDULGE IN LUXURY…..

                                                                     CASTRIES ST. LUCIA

BOOK IT NOW      PRICES GOOD THRU NOVEMBER 17, 2015….   

LUXURY EVERYONE DESERVES!
LUXURY EVERYONE DESERVES!

Regency La Toc Beach

ARE YOU A BEACH LOVER        WHERE TO NEXT

Puntarenas Costa RicaSt Lucia Map

HISTORY

Pirates and rum; bananas and volcanoes; British and French—the rich history of St. Lucia is as captivating as a child?s adventure storybook. Before any British or French ship touched the shores of the island it was inhabited by Amerindians, starting with the peaceful Arawak Indians over 1,200 years ago. Eventually, the more hostile Carib people migrated to there from other islands in the Caribbean, and drove the Arawaks south and into slavery. St. Lucia was known back then as Hewanorra,” which can be translated into “there where the iguana is found,” (if the name sounds familiar, that?s because today it?s also the name of the airport at Vieux Fort). When the Europeans stumbled across the island in 1499, they found more than a few iguana there. Gorgeous beaches, and land ripe for colonizing was in their sight line. It would be another hundred years, however, until a settlement would be attempted.

The pirate Francois Le Clerc, more infamously known as ‘Jambe de Bois’ or ‘Peg Leg’, and his crew of 330 men, were technically the first Europeans to settle the island. They used nearby Pigeon Island to target and plunder unsuspecting ships navigating the strait. It wasn?t until the British landed on the island in 1605 that a sanctioned European settlement attempt was made, but they were driven off the island and into the sea by the hostile Caribs. The first successful, permanent settlement came in 1746, when the French founded the city of Soufriere at a cove where the Piton mountains meet the sea in the southern part of the island. The city was named after the distinct sulfurous smell wafting in from nearby volcanic activity.

Following the French acquisition of St. Lucia, many of the sugar plantations that are still scattered across the island were built. King Louis the XIV even built a bathhouse near Soufriere to take advantage of the ‘agreeable’ climate and to promote his troops’ health. The British eventually tried a settlement attempt again in 1651, spurred on by their last failure and France?s success, immediately igniting a fierce dispute with the French. The British and French hostilities over who owned the island continued for over 150 years and St. Lucia changed hands 14 times during that period. French soldiers and freed slaves called Brigands fortified themselves in the covered hills and attacked any British presence, making it difficult to claim control of the island for an extended period of time.

Ruins of military fortifications dot the west coast, and the large barracks and fortress at Pigeon Island are solemn reminders of the drawn-out conflict. Many of St. Lucia’s inhabitants speak a version of French Patois called Kwéyòl, along with the official language of the island, English. The island was finally ceded to the British in 1814, and remained of vital importance to the empire. Castries became an important fueling point for coal-driven steam ships during the later half of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The United Kingdom granted the island complete independence in 1979 as a state in the Commonwealth of Nations.

ST. LUCIA TODAY

While St. Lucia’s predominantly plantation-driven economy of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was vital to the growth and prosperity of the island, tourism has far surpassed agriculture as the dominant source of prosperity for the small island. Banana export is still an important source of income for the island, but St. Lucia is one of the best ecotourism destinations in the Caribbean due to its largely untouched interior and growing reef system. The Pitons are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and widely considered to have the most scenic view in the entire Caribbean. Not everyone is going to be packing their mud-caked hiking boots for the mountain trails, or their snorkel for the coral reefs, though—many just come for the beaches. The resorts situated on the brilliant white sands of the northwest coast make an ideal location for Caribbean weddings or honeymoon getaways.

St. Lucia is not a very big island, covering an area of only about 239 square miles, but its tumultuous winding roads make parts of the island more secluded than others. Of the 160,765 inhabitants, nearly half live in the largest city, Castries, with the rest populating the cities of Soufriere, Gros Islet, and Vieux Fort, or spread out in the small villages and fishing communities along the coast. Well over 80% of the population is of African descent, their ancestors the slaves who worked the plantations that were the island’s original source of wealth.

The people in St. Lucia are what make the island so special, and locals go out of their way to welcome visitors to their island. Small community markets are a great way to meet these people and immerse yourself in their culture as the smell of fresh fish and the sounds of people bartering over coconut and coal stoves envelopes you. Take a few moments to watch the kids playing cricket in an old banana fields or empty street, and break for lunch at a local haunt, striking up a conversation with the outgoing island residents. You?ll find it?s a whole different world from the beach umbrellas and cocktails at the resort up the road.

The St. Lucian diet is heavily influenced by the creole cuisine that dates back to the plantation days. Feast on delectable fried plantains, jerked chicken and rice, and wash it all down with a cold Piton beer, or the Caribbean’s other most popular export — rum. The fish markets of the island bring a wide variety of seafood tastes to the island such as crab and grouper. Make your way up to the bustling village of Gros Islet any Friday night for the weekly Jump Up, an evening block party with food vendors and drinks, and music surging through the little streets. Soca, zouk, and reggae are widely popular, and the annual jazz festival draws international acclaim. Every July, the Carnival celebration is executed with irresistible Caribbean flair and celebration.

St. Lucia is a popular Lesser Antilles destination featuring all the picturesque views and beautiful weather (temperatures are in the 70s and 80s year-round) you would expect from a Caribbean getaway. Look a little deeper, though, and what you’ll find is a place that?s much more than the sum of her beautiful beaches — it?s an island filled with magic and charm and adventure.

Climate:
St. Lucia is an amazing vacation destination as its climate is moderated by consistent northeast trade winds that produce very pleasant year-round conditions.

Average temperatures range from 29°C (84°F) along the coastal areas, but do lower to a yearly average of 13°C (57°F) in the mountains.

The island receives copious amounts of rainfall, and most precipitation falls from mid-July through December.

Like most of the Caribbean islands, St. Lucia is subject to potential hurricane damage from July through mid-November.

 

TRAVEL THE WORLD IN THREE MINUTES

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TRAVEL THE WORLD, IT’S A CHOICE, THERE IS A SPENDING PLAN FOR EVERYONE…. ASK US HOW

 

 

Here’s why:  Everyone should enrich their life with around the world travel.

It’s easier than you think – We believe that traveling around the world should not be hard, but it should be something everyone should do at least once in their lives.  You can choose to spend a year or a few months traveling this beautiful planet and seeing what is out there. It’s up to you to make the dream come true and take the first step.

It opens your eyes – If you are open to it, travel will simply make you a more well-rounded human being. Which is really the goal, isn’t it? Learn who you are – Traveling with all the challenges it presents and opportunities, let’s you discover who you are in a way that only the road brings. It will create meaningful relationships – People you meet while on the road usually become some of the most valued ones in your address book, giving you points on the map to visit later on. These folks give you a glimpse outside your hometown circle of friends, forcing you into new and refreshing perspectives on things. It will develop skills you didn’t know you had – The satisfaction you get when reaching the top of the mountain, or crossing a gorge, or helping a villager clean up after a storm, or simply getting what you wanted at restaurant in rural China, these things all allow access to skill sets you didn’t know you had.

Learn new languages – There’s something satisfying about being able to throw around a few words of Greek, knowing how to say hello and thanks in Thai, pulling out that long dormant Spanish to book a room in Santiago, or simply hearing a language you didn’t know existed just a few weeks before.

Gives you adventure – No one looks back fondly on a trip to the dry-cleaner. But after ziplining over the jungle canopy in Peru, successfully navigating the alleys of Marrakech, the speedboat ride in New Zealand, or Jeeping out with the grazing animals in Tanzania you get a feel for what being an active human being is like (again). The need for adventure is hardwired; travel lets you tap into it.

Gives you perspective – Meeting folks from exotic cultures will teach you that the way you look at the world (perhaps through the lens of mass media) is not the way everybody does it. That you could in fact be dead wrong about it. Seeing it for yourself brings a healthy dose of reality to your so-called higher thinking. As a transition – If you happen to be between jobs, schools, kids, or relationships, around the world travel can be a perfect way to separate these life stages, give you insight into your next phase and provide closure on the last one. Plus there’ll be a nice time stamp on that moment in your life. For education – Seeing the world provides a source of education absolutely impossible get in school, teaching you things like economy, politics, history, geography and sociology. While not an accredited institution, the school of travel is currently taking applications. The challenge – Getting your daily Starbucks not nearly interesting enough for you? How about finding an address in downtown Tokyo.

Travel is full of moment of joy and challenges. Overcoming the challenges will give you some of the greatest joys of all. To do something new – It sucks to be stuck in a rut. Everyone knows what that’s like. Travel can be the perfect solution. And what’s not new about being in Bolivia? Go ahead and plan your ideal route Around the World. Dreams come true – If you want to do it now you’ve probably always wanted to. You imagined it, daydreamed about it, envisioned it. Guess what? Now’s the time to do it.  The cool stories – Don’t fancy yourself a storyteller? If anyone says “why travel” at a party, you’ll be able to outline why with any one of the many travel stories you’ll come home with. Even if they seemed trivial when they happened, nostalgia will create a epic spin around getting your laundry done in Zanzibar. You will eat food like you never have – Yes, you will be constantly surprised at the flavors the world has to offer. To prove to yourself you can – If you’re the kind of person to dream big, and simply by reading this you’ve proven that you are, you’re probably also the kind to reach for new challenges. Finishing a trip gives you the satisfaction that you were able to accomplish what you set out to do. And to give you energy to set up the next challenge too. Just for the heck of it – Why travel? Because you can. Why not pick up your tickets and set the ball rolling!  Our experts are here just give us a call.

 

2016 BALLOON FIESTA, October 1 – October 9, 2016 Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Package Prices & Features

Customize your package for the days you’d like to attend!

All prices are per person in USD and include tax – Extra Night rate includes hotel, fiesta ticket, car and tax. Children under 16: With two paying adults at double, up to two children may travel at 50% off base package. Extra Nights, Options and Ticket Upgrades are offered FROM the prices shown; Please consult your travel professional for the current pricing..

Package Price Extra Nights From
Double Occupancy $595 $150
Single Occupancy $950 $300
Triple Occupancy $495 $110
Quad Occupancy $450 $85
  • Two nights accommodations at the Hampton Inn & Suites Albuquerque North
  • Balloon Fiesta admission tickets for each day
  • Breakfast each morning
  • Two days compact car rental (48 hours)

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Options

Option Price Per Person
Taos Inn Self Drive – enjoy the beauty of Taos including 1 night at the Taos Inn and 2 days compact car; Information on all the area sites is included for all packages From $175
Hampton Inn Taos Self Drive – enjoy the beauty of Taos including 1 night at the Hampton Inn including breakfast daily and 2 days compact car From $125
Sage Inn Santa Fe Self Drive – enjoy the beauty of Sante Fe including 1 night at the Sage Inn including breakfast daily and 2 days compact car From $145
Hilton Santa Fe Self Drive – enjoy the beauty of Sante Fe including 1 night at the Hilton Sante Fe or Buffalo Thunder Casino and 2 days compact car From $195

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Hotel Information

Two nights at the Hampton Inn & Suites Albuquerque North

hotel pictureThis brand new Hampton Inn offer rooms equipped with fridge & microwave, an indoor pool & spa and large fitness room, plus free high-speed Internet access. The hotel is approximately 5 miles south of Balloon Fiesta Park and 10 miles from Albuquerque International Airport (ABQ).

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Schedule of Events

Tentative Schedule-Subject to Change

Saturday, October 3
5:45am – 6:45am Dawn Patrol Show
6:45am – 7:45am Opening Ceremonies
7:00am – 8:00am Mass Ascension
10:00am – 11:00am Fiesta del Vino – Wine Festival separate admission required
2:00pm – 3:00pm America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race Inflation
5:45pm – 7:30pm Twilight Twinkle Glow
6:00pm – 7:00pm America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race Launch
8:00pm – 9:00pm AfterGlow™ Fireworks Show presented by the Albuquerque Journal
Sunday, October 4
5:45am – 7:45am Dawn Patrol Show
7:00am – 8:00am Mass Ascension
9:00am – 10:00am Fiesta of Wheels Car Show
12:00pm – 1:00pm Fiesta del Vino – Wine Festival separate admission required
5:45pm – 7:30pm Balloon Glow
8:00pm – 9:00pm AfterGlow™ Fireworks Show presented by the Albuquerque Journal
Monday, October 5
5:45am – 6:45am Dawn Patrol
7:00am – 8:00am Flying Competition – Balloon Fiesta Hold’em
Tuesday, October 6
5:45am – 6:45am Dawn Patrol
7:00am – 8:00am Flying Competition – Balloon Fiesta Hold’em
Wednesday, October 7
5:45am – 6:45am Dawn Patrol Show
7:00am – 8:00am Flight of the Nations & Mass Ascension Flying Competition
Thursday, October 8
5:45am – 6:45am Dawn Patrol
7:00am – 8:00am Wells Fargo Special Shape Rodeo™
8:00am – 9:00am Flying Competition & Prize Grab
5:45pm – 7:30pm Wells Fargo Special Shape Glowdeo™
8:00pm – 9:00pm AfterGlow™ Fireworks Show presented by the Albuquerque Journal
Friday, October 9
5:45am – 6:45am Dawn Patrol
7:00am – 8:00am Wells Fargo Special Shape Rodeo™
8:00am – 9:00am Key Grab Competition
5:45pm – 7:30pm Wells Fargo Special Shape Glowdeo™
8:00pm – 9:00pm AfterGlow™ Fireworks Show presented by the Albuquerque Journal
Saturday, October 10
5:45am – 6:45am Dawn Patrol
7:00am – 8:00am Mass Ascension
5:45pm – 7:30pm Night Magic™ Glow
8:00pm – 9:00pm AfterGlow™ Fireworks Show presented by the Albuquerque Journal
Sunday, October 11
5:45am – 6:45am Dawn Patrol Show
7:00am – 8:00am Farewell Mass Ascension

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2016 NBA ALL-STAR GAME, February 13-15, 2016 – Toronto, Ontario

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The best players in the world – in one place at one time.

YYZ_Hilton TORONTO CANADA

Package Prices & Features

All prices are per person in USD and include tax – Extra Night rate includes hotel and tax.

Extra Nights, Options and Ticket Upgrades are offered FROM the prices shown;

Please consult your travel professional for the current pricing.

Package Price Extra Nights From
Double Occupancy $1995 $225
Single Occupancy $2495 $450
Triple Occupancy $1850 $160
Quad Occupancy $1795 $125

Land Features:

  • Two nights at the Hilton Toronto
  • Breakfast Daily
  • Ticket to the NBA All-Star Game — Upper Level Behind Basket (Click for ticket location)
  • Roundtrip Airport Transfers

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Options

Option Price Per Person
Friday Rising Stars Challenge From $750
All-Star Saturday – Slam Dunk Contest and Three-Point Shootout From $1000

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Hotel Information

Two nights at the Hilton Toronto

hotel pictureThe Hilton Toronto features spacious well-appointed guestrooms located in the heart of downtown Toronto’s entertainment, fashion and shopping district. The hotel is 15 miles from Pearson International Airport (YYZ) and 1 mile from the arena via mass transit or walking.

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Ticket Diagram & Upgrades

Package price includes tickets in Upper Level Behind Baskets (light blue)

Seat upgrade Price per person
Upper Corner (Purple) Add From $1000
Upper Side (Green) Add From $2000
Lower Behind (Blue) Add From $3000
Lower Corner (Red) Add From $4000
Lower Side (Yellow) Add From $5000

Air Canada Centre in Toronto

Toronto, Ontario

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