Senior Travel Consultant Ashley Curry recently had clients return from a trip to Italy. They were excited to experience the beauty of Italy with their granddaughter, as the trip was to celebrate her recent graduation.
Read their rave review below!
wan·der·lust (/ˈwändərˌləst/) noun
A strong desire to travel.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? From beautiful islands to rolling green hills, we want to see it all! We asked our staff and these are Brentwood Travel's current top destinations giving us wanderlust.
What destinations are giving you wanderlust?
Give us a call at (314) 439-5700 or email us to make your dream getaway come to life
Recently Corporate Travel Consultant Christy Sorth returned home from her birthday trip to Riviera Maya, Mexico, with one of her good friends. They stayed at the all-inclusive Ocean Coral and Turquesa Resort. Christy came back with a great tan and even better stories to share.
GETTING TO THE RESORT
Christy used Amstar, a transfer service, to get from the airport to the resort. The drive was about twenty to thirty minutes and she enjoyed the ride over. Everything went smoothly, no complaints.
They arrived at the resort around 1 P.M. They found out their room was not going to be available until 3 P.M., but the staff was accommodating. They held their luggage and suggested grabbing lunch and going to the poll while their room was being prepared. Christy suggests packing a change of clothes and a swimsuit in your carry-on bag so you can easily grab those items during your wait.
THE ROOM AND AMENITIES
At 3 P.M. Christy headed up to her room to settle in. She stayed in a Deluxe Junior Suite. While the room was the most cost-effective option the resort offered, Christy felt the suite was gorgeous! She was impressed by the updated bathroom that featured a waterfall shower and separate tub.
The resort had four pools on the grounds. There was a pool for kids and families and a pool with music and a swim up bar. If you wanted to relax, there were options, such as a quieter pool as well as an adult only pool. You even had a beautiful ocean view from the pools!
Christy was impressed with the staff and service at the resort. The maintenance staff kept the grounds and even the beach, incredibly clean. Whenever she needed something, the resort staff would always eagerly assist her.
DINING AND ACTIVITIES
There were twelve dining options on the resort, that were all phenomenal. Christy’s favorite restaurant was Le Petite Creperie, that served crepes, salad and pizza.
The resort offered kayaks and two-seater catamarans to their guests daily. They also hosted daily morning bike rides to a local shopping center about a 30-minute ride from the resort, which was right up avid bike rider Christy’s alley. Christy also tried the water aerobics class at the resort.
Besides the activities available on the resort, there were other options for a change of scenery. Christy went on a one-day catamaran ride with about 30 other guests to Isla Mujeres. She spent the day relaxing and snorkeling and felt it was worth the additional cost.
Every night around 9:30 P.M. there was entertainment for the guests. Christy enjoyed watching the different themed dance performances each night. Their themed shows included Grease, the Lion King, and Dancing with the Stars.
Christy had an incredible time in Riviera Maya! The room, staff and amenities at the resort all exceeded her expectations. She would recommend the Ocean Coral and Turquesa Resort for families, younger couples or anyone wanting an all-inclusive experience in Mexico on a budget.
Interested in traveling to Riviera Maya?
Contact Brentwood Travel to book your trip today!
(314) 480-5750 or email here
Travel Consultants Maggie Groene & Rachel Madigan recently returned from sailing Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Vista. The two enjoyed their time aboard and in Costa Maya and Cozumel. They enjoyed the delicious food, friendly staff and beautiful views. Keep reading for a recap of their trip and their tips for first-time cruisers.
Every part of the check-in process went smoothly. They did not have any issues and were quickly checked in and on the ship. Maggie and Rachel spent the day exploring Galveston, Texas, before boarding the ship. This trip was Rachel’s first time cruising. Her first impression of Carnival Vista was that the ship was very large, but upon boarding, she did not feel overwhelmed by the size. One of the first things they saw upon boarding was the atrium, which featured a Dreamscape funnel with various images projected onto it throughout the entire trip.
ENTERTAINMENT AND ACTIVITIES
There was never a moment where entertainment was not at their fingertips, day or night. On the ship there were pools, a water park, IMAX theatre, spas, performances and much more. They loved going to comedy shows at night and taking a trip to the spa during the day.
There were over 30 different dining options on the ship. Maggie and Rachel dined mostly in the main dining area. The menus in the main dining areas changed daily, so they were able to try a variety of meals throughout the trip and never get bored of the food on board. Their favorite restaurant was Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse. Some of their favorite foods on the ship were the chocolate lava cake and 24/7 pizza.
Carnival Vista offered several bars on board for their 21+ guests. One of Maggie and Rachel's favorites was RedFrog Pub & Brewery, the ship's on board brewery. At RedFrog they tried the craft brews that were made right on the ship and enjoyed the live music and pub games. Alchemy Bar was another favorite spot of theirs for drinks. They made specialty cocktails that were as delicious as they were beautiful.
The amazing Carnival Vista staff stood out to Maggie and Rachel. They made them feel comfortable as soon as they stepped on the ship and felt taken care of every minute of their trip. Their room steward, the main dining staff, and the entertainment staff were very friendly and provided personable service to every guest. They loved getting a different towel animal in their room every day and collected them throughout their trip. Rachel even brought one back home with her!
When they weren't enjoying themselves on the ship, they spent time on beautiful beaches. They spent a day snorkeling in Costa Maya, and saw sea turtles! They also purchased day passes to Secrets Aura Cozumel to enjoy the many pools and beautiful views at the resort.
MAGGIE AND RACHEL'S TIPS FOR FIRST-TIME CRUISERS
1. Purchase a drink package
Opting for a drink package versus paying for drinks individually will save you money in the long run for your trip. These packages give you the option for unlimited soda, beer, wine, spirits, and more depending on the package you decide to purchase.
2. Book a balcony room
Balcony rooms give you the option to get fresh air and enjoy a view of the water without having to leave your room. Rachel felt that for her first time cruising, the balcony room was a great option that make her feel the most comfortable.
3. Download the Carnival Hub app
This was a game changer for Maggie and Rachel’s trip. If you plan on sailing with Carnival, make sure to download this app! They were able to view their daily itineraries, menus, entertainment and even get pizza delivered to them anywhere on the ship all from their phones! You can also use the app before your cruise to book shore excursions, schedule dining reservations and schedule spa treatments.
4. Pack for formal/themed nights
Make sure to check your itinerary while packing to make sure you bring the proper attire for any themed or formal nights.
5. Bring certain items to avoid heavy on-board costs
Be sure to pack items such as sunscreen, seasickness remedies (bands, pills, or patches), and the allotted number of approved beverages to keep in your room. These items can have high prices on board, so you can save money by picking up and packing these items before your trip.
Interested in sailing the Western Caribbean on Carnival Vista?
"Egypt was a bucket list destination for me. When I saw the Pyramids for the first time, I remember feeling extremely lucky to be able to witness them in person and very grateful that my job was allowing me to travel the world and see so much that most people won’t see in a lifetime. This stop made me appreciate the life that was being built around me at a young age. The people I was meeting and the experiences I was having were truly amazing. "
"My love for Norway started when I worked for Regent Seven Seas Cruises and we used to hike the destinations of almost every port we stopped at. The natural springs running down the mountains and being able to hold your bottle up to the water and drink straight from it made this land feel so pure and untouched. I felt at peace in Norway. I used to take hikes with my Grandad and still have a love for it today, so the pure beauty of Norway made me feel closer to him. The type of peace I felt there was something I haven’t felt anywhere else since and that was 10 years ago!"
Jen Ramig (Travel Consultant)
"A trip that changed my life is for the active individual (it was tough but beautiful). I wrote this on the train leaving for Barcelona after this amazing hike with my brothers and sisters:
I'm sitting on the train heading to Barcelona. I am looking into the distance, wondering if I can see The Camino De Santiago that we just hiked. In Chile. I wonder if my fellow Peregrinos (pilgrims) are staring into the horizon thinking the same. Heavy tears fall down my cheeks, but why? Is it a release of something? The weight of my pack is no longer a struggle, but I still feel the weight on my back and shoulders. I think it is to remind me that, we carry so many burdens every day. My sore legs, ankles and feet remind me that I am stronger than I think. I walked with a heavy bag up a mountain, wow, I did that. My heavy heart makes me feel the love for my family, what I left on the Camino and the love I have waiting for me at home. The smell of my clothes is the remnants of the sweat and layers of dirt from the Camino. I want to keep walking, get questions answered and feel nothing but the pain of my muscles. The sound of my shoes on the gravel, walking the steps of past pilgrims and the beautiful countryside. Adios Camino, I will be back again.
Reading this still makes me cry and brings me right back. I plan on going back. I am not finished, it has forever changed me."
Click through the slideshow below to see more of Jen's photos from The Camino De Santiago hike in Chile.
Stacey Hoehne (Supervisor of Leisure Travel)
“In 2015 I quit my job and took off on a 4.5 month adventure in Southeast Asia with my best friend. I came home from this journey with my eyes opened to new cultures. When I returned back to the U.S., I knew that I wanted to have a job where I could travel more and encourage others to have similar experiences. This is what led me to Brentwood Travel!”
Ready for your own transformative travel experience?
Contact us today!
(314) 439-5700 or Email Us
Travel Consultant Carrie Fry recently had two clients return from an amazing 22-day tour of Europe! Client Karrie M. and her mom Paula started their travels with C.I.E's Irish & British Focus 11-Day Tour and continued to the Netherlands with The Dutchman and then finished in Zurich to join Cosmo's Scenic Switzerland by Train tour.
Read their rave review below!
"Our trip was amazing!
The C.I.E. small group tour was a good start for Mom. There was only 10 of us in the group which made it easy to get to know each other on a short trip. Everyone was on time, it was easy to get in and out of attractions, the tour guide Pat was extra knowledgeable about many things and talked about the area , the history of Ireland, and cricket.
I had purchased underground tickets before we left for London. Especially with being in London for three days, it made navigating through London so much faster than bus and cheaper than other modes of transportation. The underground is also really easy to use!"
"Holland was beautiful. We were able to catch the end of the tulips being in the fields and see the stripes of color!
Switzerland was amazing and I think everything Mom had in mind of Switzerland. It is really expensive and we purchased several meals from the grocery store and the tour guide Flo was aware of this and would always let us know where the grocery stores were located.
Both tours were very good. I am glad we took the train from London to Amsterdam. The security was easier to get through and we didn’t have to be there as early. The table on the train made the journey more comfortable and let both mom and I to have a window seat. I didn’t mind riding backwards. I’m glad we flew to Zurich, especially with the amount of train traveling we did later."
"Carrie did an amazing job of putting everything together for us. It was a once in a lifetime trip and one my mom never thought would actually be done. There are a few trips I would like to do closer. Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, Prince Edward Island, etc. When the time comes, I would love Carrie's help!! It will be a year or two, but hopefully not too long."
- Clients Karrie M. and her mom Paula
After a $50 million-plus makeover, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Joy was ready for her U.S. Inaugural cruise out of Vancouver. On Friday, April 26th Travel Consultant Christine Hakenjos and her fiance Joe boarded this beautiful ship at the Vancouver cruise port to begin their three days at sea. Christine had nothing but great things to say about Norwegian Joy!
The check in process was extremely easy and efficient. A lot of the crew members were working the lines and after about 15 minutes, we were off with our key cards and onto the ship!
Our first impression of the ship was it's very clean, very new, and that it felt like modern luxury. The darker tones and dark wood finishing gave off a very luxurious feel and the ship felt like it had the space of one of the bigger ships, yet we were not overwhelmed by people since her guest capacity size is only 3,800. We made our way to our well-acquainted Ocean View Balcony stateroom and we were pleasantly surprised by the size of the room, bathroom and balcony.
The entertainment on board was spectacular! One evening was saw the musical Footloose and another evening we saw Elements which reminded me a lot of Cirque Du Soleil. Both AMAZING shows held in the Joy Theater. The Social Comedy and Night Club feature two stand-up comedians and later in the evening a DJ spins tracks until late at night. There is also a Beatles cover band that plays at The Cavern Club and The District Brew House has live musicians playing almost every night and features 50 different bottled beers and 24 draft beers on tap. Joe really enjoyed the beers on tap at The District Brew House!
The activities on the ship were endless! The most talked about activity on board was easily the thrilling two-level Race Track. Which was KILLER. There is also Laser Tag which is both indoor and outdoor and boy was it cool to play laser tag at night, in the middle of the ocean under the stars! On the top deck there is a 5-hole Mini Golf course which is beautiful on a sunny day with views of the ocean and is suitable for all ages. The Mandara Spa & Salon is stunning and has a wide variety of services to choose from.
In addition, there is the Aqua Park featuring a double loop water slide over the side of the ship, a Kids’ Aqua Park, the Pulse Fitness Center with beautiful views and brand new gym equipment, the Splash Academy for the kiddos, the Entourage Teen Club for the teenagers, and of course the Casino and many great shops to purchase some souvenirs in.
Our favorite activity on board was hands down the Galaxy Pavilion. As you walk in to the Galaxy Pavilion, it feels as if you are walking into a futuristic space ship. This room reminded me a lot of an arcade but everything was virtual reality. My fiance's favorite part (probably of the entire ship) was easily the Formula One Race Car Simulator. Norwegian Cruise Line purchased a REAL Formula One race car and replaced the engine with a computer system to allow for the car to be converted into a simulator. With three huge screens in front, and the real steering wheel in hand, my fiance felt as if he was truly driving this race car which has been a dream of his for as long as I’ve known him. Needless to say, we could have spent hours in there!
With every cruise fare comes five complimentary dining restaurants. The Manhattan Room, Savor Restaurant, and Taste Restaurant are the ship's three main dining rooms. Garden Café is another complimentary dining venue but it is the buffet option and The Local is a 24-hour eatery and bar lounge/restaurant.
One of our favorite meals was at Savor where I enjoyed some of THE best lamb shanks I have ever eaten and Joe enjoyed beautiful lobster tails.
There are also nine specialty dining restaurants that are either a flat cover charge or a la carte. Ocean Blue for seafood lovers, Teppanyaki for an authentic Japanese hibachi experience, American Diner for a slice of Americana, Cagney’s Steakhouse for the steak lovers, Food Republic to enjoy foods and cultures from around the globe, La Cucina for an Italian flavor, Le Bistro for French cuisine, Q for some Texan BBQ and live music, and good ole’ Starbucks for your favorite latte.
Another favorite meal of ours was at Q, the specialty Texan BBQ restaurant. Joe said that Q had some of the best jalapeno cornbread he has ever had and I fell head over heels for the deviled eggs as well as the banana pudding and the bread pudding for dessert!
Everything we ate on board was SO delicious, you really can't go wrong anywhere you eat!
BARS & LOUNGES
All the bars and lounges were beautiful and each bartender on staff was extremely professional and made the most delicious drinks. I couldn’t have enough of the mojitos! There are a total of 15 different clubs and lounges, but by far my favorites were the Observation Lounge and Spice H20. The Observation Lounge is located at the very front of the ship and features full-service bar offerings, one of two of the Starbucks on board, and AMAZING 180-degree panoramic views of the ocean. Spice H20 is an adults-only lounge with a large hot tub and beautiful bar located at the very back of the ship.
Hidden at the top of the ship is The Haven. The Haven features the most luxurious, well-appointment suites on the entire ship. These include penthouse suites, family villas (some with multiple bedrooms), connecting stateroom suites, courtyard penthouses, all with very large balconies.
With 24-hour butler service, concierge service, private restaurants, private lounges (including their own private Observation Lounge), and a private sundeck, Haven guests never have to leave The Haven if they don't want to!
The WiFi on board was efficient and fast. There are two options available for purchase. The first option is just for regular internet browsing, emailing and messaging. The upgraded option is for streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, etc. Both worked like a charm and were easy to purchase once in our stateroom!
Overall, ship was absolutely stunning, the food was so delicious, the staterooms were beautiful, and the staff on board were absolutely amazing. I can’t wait to sail on Norwegian Joy again and hopefully soon!
Interested in enjoying this ultimate joyride for yourself?
Contact Christine Hakenjos to book your next cruise on Norwegian Joy today!
(314) 439-5700 ext. 134 or email her.
Brentwood Travel Vacation Experts
In the 60 years since Brentwood Travel was founded in 1957, we've grown into the largest, full-service travel agency in the Greater St. Louis area. No matter what your travel needs may be, our consultants will be able to assist you.
All Inclusive Resorts
Brentwood Travel Specialists