All of this icy, snowy, cold Saint Louis weather has all of us wanting to book our next flight to the beach!
Our staff has traveled to some amazing places around the world, but we all agree there is nothing quite like a beach.
This blog highlights just a few of our favorite beaches around the world!
"Kauai is a magical place and what you dream of when you think of sunsets melting into the ocean and majestic waves in a serene setting. With over 100 miles of coastline, breathtaking mountains, lush tropical gardens and greenery, it’s what makes Kauai extra special. You are put into a magical place that has huge sea turtles along the beach, dolphins swimming up to you and not to mention the waterfalls surrounding Kauai. It is paradise."
-Stacey Acree (Executive Vice-President)
Ko Kut, Thailand
Senior Travel Consultant Dianna Paridon chose two beaches in Thailand as her favorite beaches of the world. One in Ko Kut & the other in Phuket.
Laniakea Beach, Hawaii
" This is my favorite beach so far because I got to see these turtles resting on the sand! It was an impulsive stop on a drive to the North Shore and it made my day! "
-Stacey Hoehne (Supervisor of Leisure Travel)
Ruakaka Beach, New Zealand
" My favorite is beach Ruakaka Beach in New Zealand!
My study abroad group spent an afternoon at this beach and it was one of the highlights of our trip! The water was beautiful and clear, and we all played in the waves like little kids. "
-Maggie Groene (Travel Consultant)
" This was my favorite beach. It’s on Royal Caribbean’s private port in Labadee, Haiti. It was surrounded by mountains so it felt like we were the only ones there. "
-Ashley Curry (Senior Travel Consultant)
" My favorite beach in the world is probably the beaches in Antigua, a small island in the Caribbean. The water is crystal clear and the sand was so very soft. The small shops and restaurants along the beach were absolutely adorable and there were so many boats in the water it was as if the beach itself was a little shopping center. LOVED it! "
-Christine Hakenjos (Travel Consultant)
Half Moon Cay, Bahamas
" The water is crystal clear and the sand seriously felt like powder. It was almost white in color and I have never seen a beach so beautiful. Since it’s a private island it’s clean, quiet and extremely relaxing. I dream about being back on that beach! "
-Missi Wilson (Marketing Associate)
" It had been awhile since I had been to Negril, Jamaica and I went there with a group of co-workers while I was going through a rough time in life. This was exactly what I needed, walking on the beach in my own thoughts. The healing had begun! "
-Susan Hakenjos (Vice-President & General Manager)
" I love the black sand beaches and watching the blue waves come crashing in on the black lava rock. It is unlike any destination I have ever been to. "
-Stevie Goeke (Corporate & Leisure Travel Consultant)
Ready to escape the cold and book your next vacation to the beach?
Give us a call at (314) 439-5700
or send us an email!
"The cruise and Hawaii were amazing! Thank you for the strawberries!
We enjoyed them out on our balcony. Attached are a few highlight photos.
The luau on Maui was great and the other people we were at the table with said it was then best they have been to (one couple lives in Hawaii and had been to about 14 luaus). Hiking Waimea Canyon was memorable (but muddy).
We even saw whales on our snorkeling trip!
Thanks for all the recommendations!"
- Allison and Brandon K.
Contact Stacey at 314-439-5700 ext. 128 or
send her an email
to begin planning an amazing Hawaiian Cruise!
I’m still pinching myself at the fact that I’m ENGAGED!!!
When looking back on these photos from our vacation to Sandals Grenada, I feel a sense of pure joy and happiness because that is exactly what this trip was for me and my fiancé *I still think that word is weird for me to say*.
We arrived to the south end of this beautiful island of Grenada at 3pm with plenty time to enjoy the rest of our day. Our included Sandals transportation was waiting for us at the airport and after a very short 5-minute drive, we found ourselves at the resort being welcomed with cold towels and a glass of champagne! We began feeling the luxury that is Sandals from the very start!
After a speedy check in, we were handed off to a butler who escorted us to our room. Along the way he gave us a tour of the resort with much needed information about the restaurants we were passing including their hours of operation and if reservations were required and the dress codes.
The butler welcomed us to our ‘South Seas Waterfall River Pool Junior Suite w/ Balcony’ & gave us a little tour and made sure we were aware of the complimentary wine, beer, juices & bottled water in our mini fridge and reminded us that it was stocked daily. Even showed us how to use the Tranquility Soaking Tub that was out on our private balcony!
After dinner we went out to the pier that is on the resort, right off the private beach (Pink Gin Beach) to relax from our busy travel day. We had the entire pier to ourselves and just gazed at the stars the rest of the evening. I even told Joe this was officially my favorite part of the resort (besides Soy Sushi of course!). The entire resort at night is absolutely gorgeous with numerous fire pits all around.
Our second day consisted of pina coladas and some much-needed sun bathing! The “party area” (what our butler called it) or the South Seas Main Pool featured a massive pool area, a DJ playing top hits, a swim up bar, and a little hut that made personal pizzas, popcorn, ice cream, and little snacks to snack on while you’re at the pool!
After relaxing in the sun all day, we went back to our room to freshen up for what I thought was going to be a quick complimentary photo shoot and dinner at the Italian restaurant, Cucina Romana. But little did I know…my boyfriend Joe (now fiancé) had an entire evening planned with the help of the resort and my coworker/Travel Consultant, Janine Cartier!
Our walk down to the beach was stunning. It was sunset, so the resort almost seemed as if it was glowing. We got to the beach for our photos and boy was it just perfect. The sun was beginning to set behind the rocks and the entire sky was lit up orange, pink and blue. There were sailboats in the distance and the beach was nearly empty. It almost didn’t look real!
We met the Sandals photographer down by the rocks, took some photos there & then Joe asked him if we could take some right up on the pier!
(he had remembered that it was my favorite spot at the resort 😉)
We got to the pier and the photographer had me pose rather awkwardly in front of Joe. So here I am, thinking this is going to be a VERY strange picture, but the photographer knew what Joe had up his sleeve the entire time!
So this is it…this was the moment…..Joe was behind me prepared to pop the big question! The photographer then told me “okay now turn around and LOOK at your man!” So I did just that, I turned around and saw Joe on one knee! The photographer caught all of it and knew exactly how to make it happen!
It was the most amazing moment of my life and these picturesque views and the planning from Joe & the resort made it that much better! I am SO glad the photographer was there to catch every moment and we were VERY happy with the photos!
After getting off the pier, Deanette, the Wedding Coordinator at Sandals Grenada greeted us with big hugs and glasses of champagne! She then escorted us to where we were going to be meeting our dinner butler because they had set up a beautiful candlelit dinner right on the beach, just for the two of us! What a wonderful surprise after an even BIGGER surprise!
We continued our stay by celebrating with many great tasting drinks, dining at (almost) all the 10 different restaurants at the resort and just trying to soak in every amazing moment together!
THEN comes our fourth and final day on the resort. Just when we thought this trip couldn’t get any better, we receive a notice under our suite door that says we have been upgraded rooms! We collect our things and get escorted to our upgrade….and boy, was it an UPGRADE!
Watch the video below for a virtual tour of our upgraded Villa:
Our new room was called the “South Seas One Bedroom Butler Villa with Infinity Edge Pool”. The room was unreal. Our Villa consisted of two separate entrances into our own infinity pool, one from our bedroom and one from the living room as well as our very own Jacuzzi tub all out on our private balcony!
We could even see the ocean from our room!
On our last morning on the resort, we walked down to the beach and said a little goodbye and waited for our included airport transportation. Again, it took everything in us not to just book a room for the rest of the week!
All in all, I could not have imagined a better resort to get engaged at! The resort and island itself was unbelievably gorgeous and screamed luxury. From the beautiful ocean and hillside views on this beautiful, soft sand beach, to the amazingly clean, fun and relaxing pools….not to mention all the FANTASTIC food and unlimited sushi!!! It was VERY hard for us to leave.
The staff at Sandals very carefully worked with Joe to plan an unforgettable engagement. They were in direct contact with Joe and Janine about all the plans and made sure that I never got even a hint that something was happening. And even after the big engagement, we continued to feel celebrated the entire length of our stay. I really hope we get the chance to visit Sandals Grenada again!
Hey…maybe for our Honeymoon 😉
“The staff at Sandals Grenada were so fantastic! Especially one of the Wedding Coordinators, Deanette! Deanette helped me plan a beautiful proposal that was executed perfectly. From e-mails before the trip, to secretly meeting upon arrival, to being there to make sure our moment was absolutely perfect, Deanette was there every step of the way. She genuinely cared to see our special moment play out in a way that was special to the both of us. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. I will cherish that moment & this trip forever and it’s all thanks to the incredible people at Sandals!”
Click through the Slideshow below to view more photos from Sandals Grenada:
Contact Christine at (314) 439-5700 Ext. 134 or send her an email to
begin planning a trip to Grenada!
This past year, our staff along with their friends & family traveled to some of the most beautiful places in the world! Our journeys have left us with a lifetime of memories and a million stories to tell. Nothing fills our hearts quite like travel does!
This blog highlights just a few of our favorite photos from our travels in 2018. We cannot wait to see where 2019 will take us next!
This past August, Travel Consultant Michelle Busse and husband Jim went on a European River Cruise along the Danube River with Avalon Waterways aboard Expression. The itinerary was called The Blue Danube Discovery with stops in Hungary, Vienna, Dürnstein, Passau, Regensburg & Nuremberg.
Michelle knew that after years of recommending clients to fly in at least a night or two before the cruise embarks that she must do so also! They flew into Budapest three days before embarkation and she was SO glad they did! Doing so gave her and her husband an extra three days & two nights in the beautiful city. Those two nights pre-cruise, they stayed at the Marriott in Budapest and Michelle would recommend this hotel to anyone traveling to Budapest!
Their cruise ended in Nuremberg, where they decided to take the train from Nuremberg to Munich where they stayed their final night at Le Meridian Munich. They loved this hotel also!
“I would DEFINITELY recommend adding pre AND post accommodations when doing any river cruise. Pre-accommodations is a must in case something was to happen with your flights into the city. Post accommodations will allow you to see more of the beautiful cities that you are seeing via the river.”
The Avalon Experience
Michelle thought that cruising with Avalon on Expression was like staying in a beautiful, boutique hotel on a ship. She thinks that river cruising really allowed them to experience the culture of each city and that it gave her and Jim a chance to experience Europe like they never have before. All the rooms on board are all suites and there are 144 total. They stayed in a “Panorama Suite” and the couple thought it was WELL worth it! There was no balcony, but the floor to ceiling windows had a little seating area near them which really brought the spectacular views into the room. Michelle specifically noted that the service on board was absolutely amazing and that the food was excellent!
"The largest and most comfortable Suites on the rivers." -Michelle Busse
To see pictures of Avalon Waterways' Panorama Suites & lifestyle on board Expression, click through the slideshow below:
Michelle could not stop talking about the pure beauty that she and her husband experienced, and they owe it all to this great itinerary! Because with stops in Hungary, Munich, Vienna, Dürnstein, Passau, Regensburg & Nuremberg, how could anyone disagree?
Day One consisted of the couple boarding the river cruise vessel, Expression with a Welcome Dinner giving the travelers a chance to meet the crew and other passengers on board.
They awoke on Day Three ready to experience the magical capital of Austria, Vienna. The included city sightseeing tour took the couple to must-see Vienna sights such as the lavish Hofburg Imperial Palace complex, the neo-renaissance Vienna Opera House, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and much more!
Day Four took Michelle and Jim to the very small town of Dürnstein. With a population of less than 1,000 – they were guaranteed to experience the culture like the residents of this town. Travelers were given the chance to partake in the INCLUDED walking tour to learn about the tale of England’s King Richard the Lionheart, who was imprisoned in the castle whose ruins still stand above the town.
After the walking tour, passengers boarded the vessel again for lunch & to sail the picturesque Wachau Valley with an arrival in Melk. While in Melk, Michelle and Jim joined the included guided visit to Europe’s largest monasteries and the magnificent 11th-century Benedictine Abbey. Back on board that evening, they got to sample some of the Wachau Valley’s famous wines back on board the ship!
Day Five started with an arrival in Passau, Germany. Avalon Waterways had quite a few full-day optional excursions to choose from while in Passau, but Michelle and Jim decided to take the included guided walk to experience the highlights of Passau. This included excursion took the couple on a maze through the narrow cobblestone streets lined with beautiful patrician houses, dominated by St. Stephen’s Cathedral. The rest of their evening was spent with dinner on board the ship before embarking for Regensburg.
The couple started Day Six with an included guided walk of one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities, Regensburg. Regensburg was established during the Holy Roman Empire and was the only German city not bombed during WWII. The included walk took the couple to see the architectural highlights of this beautiful, old city. They wandered through the city’s lanes and alleys to discover the many mansions with high towers built by wealthy families to emphasize their status and wealth. They went to Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall), built in the 13th century, and on to Porta Pretoria, the gates to an ancient Roman fort built in 179 AD. Halfway through their day, Michelle and Jim enjoyed an included snack and German beer at the 17th-century Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen). The day continued with a walk across the 12th-century Steinerne Brücke (Stone Bridge), the oldest of its kind in Germany. Back on board the ship, they were introduced to some of Germany’s famous beers before sitting down for dinner.
On Day Eight, Michelle and Jim enjoyed breakfast on board and continued on to their post-cruise plans.
They took the train from Nuremberg to Munich where they experienced more of what Munich has to offer. Michelle thought Munich was just absolutely beautiful! Here, they stayed the night at the Le Meridian hotel in Munich.
Michelle and Jim cannot wait to take a river cruise with Avalon Waterways again! (Hopefully, soon!)
Interested in a European River Cruise?
Contact Michelle at (314) 439-5700 ext. 117 or send her an email to begin planning a trip of a lifetime!
In September, Brentwood Travel in partnership with the Nine Network of Public Media, presented “On Location with Victoria”-a travel package that followed the footsteps of Queen Victoria and the filming of the TV series Victoria. The hit TV series portrays the dramatic life of the candid, spirited monarch who was perhaps the first woman who seemed to have it all!
16 travelers, along with President and CEO of Nine Network, Jack Galmiche, and his wife Rosemary, traveled from St. Louis to Europe for a 7-night royalty-filled adventure. With stops at locations that serve as a backdrop during the filming, these 18 travelers truly got a royal experience of a lifetime!
After arriving at the Manchester Airport, travelers went by motor coach to the ancient Viking city of York and checked into the Principal Hotel York. After a quick “freshen up” at the hotel, the travelers continued their day at Carlton Towers, which doubles as Windsor Castle in the TV series.
Upon arrival at Carlton Towers, the group was surprised by Brentwood Travel with the chance to meet the one and only Tom Hughes and Jenna Coleman (the Actor & Actress who play Prince Albert & Queen Victoria)! The travelers were privy to very special views of filming of the TV series that was taking place at that exact time of day! After quite the exciting visit, a quaint English afternoon tea was enjoyed before the guests returned to their hotel for an evening of leisure.
~ DAY TWO ~
Day two mainly focused on the Royal Wedding scenes from Victoria. The day started with breakfast at the hotel and continued on a morning tour of the small town of Beverley. The morning tour was led by a fantastic local tour guide named Alan Rowley. The tour continued on to Beverley Minster, a Gothic masterpiece in this lovely little town. The filmmakers used the Minster for all the Royal Wedding scenes.
Day two continued with the travelers and local guide Alan returning to York for an afternoon walking tour of the main sites of York. The tour ended at York Minster, where some of the travelers decided to stay for Evensong, an evening prayer service.
Later that evening, the group met in the hotel lobby for a departure to the village of Nun Monkton, where a delicious dinner at the Alice Hawthorne Gastro-Pub was served, beginning with a glass of Prosecco! Yum!
~ DAY THREE ~
Day three was once again led by local guide Alan Rowley. The day started with a visit to Castle Howard which recalls the 1850 visit of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to the home of royal confidant, George Howard.
Castle Howard has served as many filming locations for the TV series and for the series Brideshead Revisited. Guests were able to see the rooms used in the filming, as well as the stunning garden on site. Dr. Ridgway, a Queen Victoria expert, met the group at Castle Howard for a private talk on the subject of Queen Victoria and her visit to Castle Howard. After the tour, guests were given the time to spend at leisure for lunch and to explore the gardens and park before heading out to their next location.
Day three continued with the group making their way to Newby Hall. Newby Hall, in the TV series, was used as the setting for Brooks, a Gentleman’s Club in Mayfair. This location is known for its gorgeous gardens as it was a former winner of the coveted Historic Houses Association/Christies Garden of the Year Award, which has also been awarded to Castle Howard in the past. Guests were served an afternoon tea with cookies before returning to York for the rest of their evening at leisure.
Click through the slideshow below to view more pictures from day three.
On day four, local guide Alan led the group to the treasure-filled Harewood House, another top filming location of Victoria. Harewood House, set in a Capability Brown-inspired landscape, is the home of the Earl of Harewood, who is the cousin of Her Majesty, The Queen. The Victoria film crew used much of the State Floor, Below Stairs and the estate for the Buckingham Palace scenes. To continue bringing the story to life, the opulent State Rooms were used as the setting for many of the costumes used in the TV series.
Later in the day, the guests returned to York for an afternoon full of enjoying the local museums and fantastic shops at their leisure.
Click through the slideshow below to view more pictures from day four.
~ DAY FIVE ~
On the fifth and final day in York, Alan took guests on a full-day tour to Brodsworth Hall and Haworth, West Yorkshire, which was home of the Bronte sisters and is considered a literary mecca.
Brodsworth Hall was built by the famously wealthy Charles Thellusson and was home to the Thellusson family for more than 120 years. It illustrates the grandeur of Victorian living. Guests fully experienced the “Grand Rooms” and even viewed many of the original furnishings, which were designed in the Italianate style of the 1860s. They continued on with a unique, privately guided tour around the rest of the home which has been preserved exactly as the last resident, Sylvia Grant-Dalton, left it. Once the tour was over, the group was given free time to explore the gardens on their own. The morning finished up with a delicious lunch before leaving Brodsworth for the day.
On the way back to York, the group stopped at the charming village of Haworth, home of the Bronte sisters – three quiet, sheltered Victorian women whose writing became a worldwide phenomenon. Who has not heard of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights?! Here, guests visited the Bronte’s parsonage home where they enjoyed a guided walk through of the home and village to experience what it was like during the time of the Bronte’s. Travelers enjoyed the Airedale village, exuding a vintage charm to make you feel as if you’ve stepped into a different era.
After quite a busy fifth day, travelers arrived back in York where they were given a bit of time to freshen up in their hotel rooms before departing for a very special dinner on their last evening in York at the Star Inn – The City Restaurant.
Click through the slideshow below to view more pictures from day five.
~ DAY SIX ~
Day six started with an early departure out of York to make the journey to London. Guests had a full day traveling to London led by Transfer Manager, Alison Lowe. On their way, the group paid a visit to the stunning Burghley House, an Elizabethan treasure in the English countryside, with enough time to fully experience the house and enjoy lunch in the Garden Café.
Later that afternoon, the group arrived at their hotel in London, Bailey’s Hotel with the rest of their evening spent at their leisure.
To view more photos from The Burghley House click through the slideshow below.
~ DAY SEVEN ~
On day seven, the guests spent their day with local Blue Badge Guide, Liz Cooper. Liz led the travelers on a tour of Victorian London where they saw the great buildings and institutions of this very important time in British history.
On day seven, the group got to learn all about Queen Victoria’s extraordinary life at her childhood home of Kensington Palace. The group even learned about the beautiful Princess Diana and the enormous impact she had on the life of the royals.
After their visit at Kensington Palace, the group then visited Buckingham Palace where Queen Victoria made many additions and improvements to the original design. Did you know that Queen Victoria was the first sovereign to call Buckingham Palace her official residence?
The rest of the day was given to the travelers to explore London on their own!
~ DAY EIGHT ~
Day eight was the last and final day of this amazing adventure. Guests were either transferred from their hotel to the airport for their return flight home or extended their vacation to enjoy more of what London has to offer!
“From our serendipitous encounter on the very first day to our splendid dinner on our last night in York, every minute of this trip was a life experience. I've been to England several times, but I've never been to York and found it to be as welcoming and appealing as one could wish for. Our guide on the trip was knowledgeable, charming and entertaining and the places we visited were delightful. I can't wait for the next season of Victoria to begin so I can try to spot all the places we visited.” -Client Sharon Dougherty
“First-class. Exceptional. Stellar. Our needs were regularly anticipated and met with THE highest level of professionalism. Thanks and more thanks!” – Client Lucie G. Watel
created by the team at Nine Network!
Continue following the drama of Queen Victoria’s life when Season 3 of “Victoria” premiers Sunday, January 13th!
*All photos and videos provided by Jack Galmiche, President & CEO of Nine Network *
*Blog written by Travel Consultant Christine Hakenjos*
Travel Consultants, Dagmar Morrison and Ann Fendelman recently returned from the APPLE VACATIONS Apple Leisure Group Trip to Cancun, Mexico. Ann gives us her first hand experience below!
Dagmar and I had the wonderful opportunity of attending the ‘Apple Leisure Group’ trip to Cancun where we stayed at the new “Dreams Playa Mujeres Golf and Spa Resort”. This resort is 10 miles from Cancun and very close to where you would go to ferry over to the Isle of Mujeres. It is an ultra- deluxe hotel with beautifully appointed rooms and some 2-bedroom suites.
The first night we arrived they hosted a “Day of the Dead” party where they celebrate with great music, wonderful food and elaborate costumes.
Our second evening at Dreams started with a lovely dinner. My onion soup and lamb chops at the resort's French restaurant was to die for!
The resort caters to families with children and there is non-stop fun for the kids. The water slide and Lazy River were great, and you can even swim with the dolphins nearby!
We also got a chance to experience the Secrets resort in Playa Mujeres, which is right next door and it is for adults only. This area had the prettiest beach I have ever seen, with sand like sugar!
We also toured “Dreams in Riviera Maya” and “Secrets The Vine” in Cancun. Both spectacular resorts!
Interested in a fun in the sun, luxurious getaway? Contact Ann or Dagmar to begin planning a trip to Mexico!
Ann Fendelman: 314-439-5700, Ext. 118 or by Email
Dagmar Morrison: 314-439-5700, Ext. 104 or by Email
Travel Consultant, Ashley Curry, Supervisor of Leisure Travel, Stacey Hoehne, President & CEO, Stephanie Turner and her husband, Will, have all just returned from the inaugural of Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, Symphony of the Seas!
Check in process was very smooth at the new Miami Royal Caribbean Terminal. We all did our cruise check-in prior on the Royal Caribbean App. We were able to upload our check-in photo, card on file, and everything prior to arriving at the pier. At check-in, we just had to show our Set Sail Pass, Passport, and answer a couple of heath questions and we were right through!
We walked onto deck 5, which is full of restaurants, bars, and also home to guest services. The energy on board was incredible! We did a walk-through of the different neighborhoods to get a feel for the ship. The Boardwalk on the aft of deck 6 is home to a carousel, arcade, Johnny Rockets, fun food stands, and the ending of the Ultimate Abyss slide. Central Park on deck 8, truly feels like walking through a nice neighborhood with fine shops and good restaurants. On the top decks we took a look at the impressive pools, sports court, Flowrider surf simulators, slides, mini golf course, and more.
The Wifi package- Voom—truly felt like the fastest internet at sea. It is definitely worth the purchase if you want to stay in contact with people back home. It also allows you to contact your friends and family on board through the Whatsapp or iMessage. We were able to send some of our trip photos and videos to the office in STL for a preview of the ship!
We chose split up to see some of the big shows! Hairspray is currently on board and was such a fun performance. Stephanie Turner and her husband Will saw the production of Flight which is a journey through time, chronicling aviation milestones. The special effects of the show were very impressive. Stacey Hoehne and Ashley Curry caught the late-night comedy show which was highly entertaining! Throughout the ship, there were also performers in the Dazzels Nightclub, Irish Pub, Boardwalk, Aqua Theatre, Ice Show and more.
We all had a lovely dinner at the Costal Kitchen specialty restaurant. Costal Kitchen is normally exclusively for suite guests and Pinnacle Club members. The food and service here was top notch. Stephanie Turner’s husband, Will, declared that this chocolate cake was a 10/10. The following night, Ashley Curry and Stacey Hoehne enjoyed a delicious dinner in the Main Dining room. Stephanie and Will dined at Jamie's Italian by Jamie Oliver for their second dinner. There was a wide variety of choices and some of the dishes were served family style for our group of 8 -10. Though everything was tasty, the pastas were really top notch. The desserts were also very spectacular. For lunch on Wednesday, the ship opened up the specialty restaurant options and had samples so that we could get a taste from each restaurant. This was an excellent way for us to try the shrimp sushi from Izumi, Mad Hatter Purple Potted Shrimp from Wonderland, filet mignon from Chops Grille, and cured meats from Jamie's Italian.
When asked about his favorite part of the ship, Will said the highlights were the dinners at the Costal Kitchen and Jamie’s Italian! He also mentioned, “Even though the ship was big it was easy to get around and there were plenty of places to stop. The staff was all great as well.”
We got a chance to see the different room categories, including the top suites. These suites are very impressive! The top Star Class suites come with a Royal Genie to truly give a VIP experience.
“After experiencing 220 cruises, this one definitely had the most to offer for every age group. If I were planning my trip with a family, I would absolutely recommend a Suite for all of us – there are many with different sizes and layouts – to have that gathering place for everyone. But, I must say the Verandah staterooms - from Oceanview to Central Park - were well laid out as were the inside rooms with a virtual window. No choice is a bad choice – it just has to be right for you.” -President & CEO, Stephanie Turner.
To view more of the rooms on board, watch the slideshow below:
Our Overall Thoughts:
“When you’re on such a large ship and have never seen what all it has to offer, I recommend exploring it without a plan. Each corner you turned brought a cool new view or vibe. The boardwalk made you feel like a kid again with hot dogs, an arcade and the carousel. Walking through Central Park was quiet and relaxing with the perfect spot for a coffee and breakfast sandwich. Each deck had something fun to discover. I recommend seeking out the “Wonderland” dining venue. So much fun!” – Travel Consultant, Ashley Curry
“This ship was so beautiful. I see it as a perfect vacation for multigenerational families. I know my teenage grandsons would love all the great activities on board. It was also very exciting to watch Stacey Hoehne on the Flowrider. I could see my grandsons playing laser tag or climbing the rock wall or perhaps even ziplining. For young children I loved the kids pool area, it looked like so much fun with a variety of colorful things to climb on or through. Kids also have their own unique area on the ship as well as The Adventure Ocean Program with lots of varied activities. There is also the arcade with many different games. Even I rode the carousel on the Boardwalk – bringing out my inner child!” -President & CEO, Stephanie Turner
Our 2-night cruise was considered a “preview cruise”, so we didn’t get a chance to experience everything that was offered on board. We’ll just have to book a 7-night cruise soon to experience the rest of all that the Symphony of the Seas has to offer. Like the Laser Tag, Aqua Theatre, Ice- Skating Show and to try out the rest of the restaurants and bars! The Symphony is currently sailing out of Miami switching between the Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries!
Last week, my friend Lindsay and I traveled to Denver, Colorado to visit two of our friends that have relocated there for work. This was a very short trip, but it was just enough to catch up, laugh a lot, and experience the natural beauty that is Colorado!
Our trip started with lunch, drinks, and a bit of shopping in the River North Art District or as the locals would call it, “RiNo”. RiNo is known for its handful of historic warehouses and factories that have been transformed into house jazz bars, art galleries, restaurants, brewpubs and working studios. The neighborhood itself could be considered art with its array of beautiful murals painted on most of the buildings. Agreeing on a place to settle in for lunch was difficult due to the number of restaurants available to us. We decided on Park Burger, a gourmet burger joint where I had THE best hamburger I have ever eaten, hands down. The spiked milkshake wasn’t too shabby either 😉 After lunch, we walked the rest of the district and enjoyed the various shops in the area.
We woke up the next morning to get on the road for Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The three-hour journey to Steamboat took us through many adorable small towns. Towns like Idaho Springs, Silverthorne and Kremmling, while passing mountains and hillsides, snowy pines, lakes, rivers and even a handful of wildlife! All of which made the whole road trip a sightseeing opportunity.
The Inn at Steamboat
We arrived at our hotel (The Inn at Steamboat) a little past noon and to our surprise we were able to check in right away! This small, boutique hotel was right in the middle of town making it the perfect stay for us! Our double-queen balcony room had an absolutely beautiful view of the mountains, a small living area with a quaint fireplace for guests as well as a pool and Jacuzzi tub outside.
This small town of Steamboat, just west of Denver is known for its many opportunities for outdoor activities. One of which being the various natural hot springs in the area (the purpose for us choosing this town). We chose to spend the day at Strawberry Park Hot Springs, just a short 10-minute drive from our hotel.
Strawberry Park Hot Springs
We arrived at the springs prepared for a day full of relaxing in nature’s hot tubs, (swimsuits and all under a good 10 extra pounds of winter gear). A short walk down a gravel road led us to an open, stunning view of the springs surrounded by snowy mountains and trees. The views were just unreal. We claimed a spot and undressed as quickly as we could and hopped into the closest hot spring possible. The water was much warmer than I was expecting!
After spending the day hopping in and out of the different springs, we all noticed that we had a sense of energy and relief that we did not have prior to our visit. My daily back pain was completely gone and I was surprisingly very energized and relaxed for the remainder of the day. I didn’t want to leave!
Our evening in Steamboat was spent enjoying the small downtown area with visits to various shops and boutiques. We had a very delicious, authentic Mexican meal at Fiesta Jalisco in town and then the rest of our night was spent enjoying the warmth of our hotel room.
This trip was the perfect combination of sightseeing and much-needed R&R. Our three days were full of beautiful city, small town and mountainous views, hours of relaxation mixed with many laughs (some of which resulted in tears) while catching up with 3 of my favorite ladies 😊
Contact Christine at (314) 439-5700 Ext. 134 or send her an email to
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