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.
After we checked out our room, we went out to the main Sun Deck for the Sail Away party as we disembarked from the Port of Vancouver. Once the party was finished, we decided to grab one of Norwegian’s famous mojitos from the Sugarcane Mojito Bar and walked the Waterfront. The Waterfront is a quarter-mile oceanfront promenade that allows you to walk past outdoor dining venues, bars, lounges, and many comfortable seating areas with plush chairs, all with beautiful views of the ocean. This is something that I have yet to experience on a cruise ship. It was almost like walking down streets in a little town and was easily my favorite part about the ship!
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.
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.
Gorgeous sunsets, beautiful beaches, lively cities, and welcoming people are just a few reasons to love Mexico; yet some people are still hesitant to travel here because of negative news coverage. What we want to say is – don’t buy it. Mexico is nothing to be afraid of. They have their issues just like anywhere else in the world, you just have to be smart!
For many of our clients, Mexico is one of their favorite places in the world. Here at Brentwood Travel, we feel there’s a lot more to love about Mexico than there is to fear and getting there from St. Louis has never been easier!
To show how much we love Mexico, we've compiled our favorite photos from our travels to Mexico and what we love most about this beautiful country!
"I have been visiting Mexico since I first honeymooned there back in the 60’s. I’ve spent time in Acapulco and then charming Puerto Vallarta, with its cobblestone streets, both on the Pacific west coast. Then I started visiting the white sand beaches in the Cancun/Riviera Maya area on the Caribbean side of Mexico back in the 80’s. I have brought my children on several wonderful family vacations to all these destinations in Mexico as well! Not only did we bask in the sunshine on beautiful beaches, but we visited the famed Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza and learned much about the history of the people of Mexico. I’ve also visited other areas while on cruises to Mexico. Last year, we went for a week’s stay to Cabo San Lucas on the west coast which is now one of my favorite visits to date. Today we are so fortunate to have nonstop charters from St. Louis and many other cities into Cancun, Cabo and on occasion other places in Mexico. The country offers an array of fantastic beautiful resorts, many of which are all inclusive. These are great because you can choose the resort that fits your lifestyle and pocketbook. For those who like to dine around in a destination, that option is also still available – again at many different price points!
The Mexican people are kind, service oriented and extremely welcoming. They actually speak English, overall, better than most other beach destinations and the country offers everything to fit your interests from outdoor activities to historical and educational opportunities. Shopping is fun and affordable in Mexico and there are many cultural opportunities throughout the country as well.
Every country has some challenges, but I feel safer in Mexico than in many U.S cities. Don’t buy into any of the negative hype about Mexico. Just as you would anywhere you go, you must be aware of your surroundings, but overall this is a destination I highly recommend. I have even taken my grandchildren to various destinations in Mexico on several occasions and they are the most precious things I have!"
"My family of 10 recently celebrated our anniversary in Riviera Maya, Mexico. We stayed at the Iberostar Paraiso Maya and it was wonderful and the staff could not have been better! The kids participated in basket ball, volleyball, soccer and other pool and beach games. We had dinners in 3 of the specialty restaurants and I am pretty sure the kids depleted the supply of ice cream each day! We have taken the family before and look forward to the next time. Safe, comfortable and relaxing."
"I’ve been to Los Cabos twice and Riviera Maya once. I’m headed back to Riviera Maya this fall for a friends Destination Wedding! I love traveling to Mexico for the great service, fun culture, and easy nonstop flights from STL! I particularly love taking excursions like this catamaran cruise to the Arch of Cabo San Lucas."
"My favorite destination in Mexico is Iberostar Paraíso del Mar in Riviera Maya. I traveled to this resort with Funjet Vacations and my trip was incredible. The included transfers made it so easy to get to and from the airport without having to stress on vacation. The whole complex was just breathtaking and I felt completely separated from society, almost like we were in our own world. The customer service we received was unreal during our week-long stay and I just couldn’t get enough of the beach, pools and cocktails. I would recommend Mexico as a destination to anyone because of its beauty and relaxing atmosphere. I can’t wait for the chance to go back!"
"I love Mexico for the convenient non-stop flights, no time change, great beaches, and the fact that there is a lot of choices for different types of hotels for all types of people!"
"I love traveling to Cancun and Riviera Maya in Mexico! The nonstop flights from STL make it perfect for a quick getaway. The people are so friendly and welcoming, the food is great, and the beaches are beautiful!"
"Mexico has beautiful beaches and WONDERFUL all-inclusive resorts. Traveling to Mexico is easy with nonstop flights out of Saint Louis and I have never felt unsafe during my time there. The resorts I have stayed at had wonderful security both on the property and the beaches. There is so much to do and see in Mexico! We went on a 9-hour ATV tour while in Cozumel and had a chance to tour a tequila distillery, a nature reserve, and see some Mayan ruins and meet a true Mayan – all in one tour! The beaches are beautiful, the animals are adorable, and there is nothing quite like enjoying some chips and guacamole with a margarita in hand while sitting on the beach with family!"
"You could say I love Mexico because I know they will take great care of me when I am hesitant to try to foods or restaurants. The people, service and flavors are a great escape from our everyday."
"I can give 5 reasons why I love Mexico!
Interested in traveling to Mexico?
Have questions or concerns you'd like to address?
Contact us! We'd love to help!
(314) 439-5700 or Email Us
Brentwood Travel Vacation Experts
In the 62 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.