As I sit here pondering another cruise quote for a new client, I was contemplating the wonderful options out of the Charleston, SC cruise port, for the next several months. Since it's practically a hop, skip and a jump from NC, it makes it super convenient for us to leave out of this port, and more cost effective. We usually head down the night before, then rent a nice hotel in the area to take advantage of the park and cruise options. Why pay for parking at the port when you can get to Charleston, SC the night before, and take a wonderful stroll downtown to the historic areas. With the price of cruise port parking, it's worth it to pay a tad bit more to have a decent hotel room the night before (to ensure you get there on time for your cruise) and then snag a shuttle or uber to the port. Once your done with your cruise, you simply head back to your hotel to grab your vehicle and go.
So...lets get back to my review of Carnival Ecstasy vs Carnival Sunshine.
Here's my input:
Out of the two ships (I have had the wonderful opportunity to sail on both of these) my personal opinion would be to ABSOLUTELY Sail on Carnival Sunshine. It has an absolutely beautiful, relaxing waterfall cascading down into a Small Pool in the Quiet, Adult's only SERENITY AREA (this was where I spent the majority of my days relaxing and soaking up the sunshine and cool vibes). The ship is much newer (I hear Ecstasy is the oldest in the fleet so its quite dated) and has wonderful amenities as well! In my humble opinion, it's worth paying a tad bit more to be on the Carnival Sunshine. I thoroughly enjoyed the Red Frog Pub Bar...where Every Evening I enjoyed the special beer brew on tap, for a fraction of the cost of those expensive Fruity Beverages! The bartenders got to know us, as we returned each day for a cold, frosty drink in a beer mug. We even enjoyed the frog balls....which were actually very lightly battered and deep fried chick peas (for free).
If I had to choose between both cruise ships, my choice would be Carnival Sunshine, all the way. But hey....as long as you're sailing on a cruise ship out to see (to the destination of your choice) it's worth it's weight in gold.
Let’s face it, life with a teenager is not always easy. It’s not always fun, and it always keeps you on your toes. I wouldn't trade our memories for anything, even those some moments have been much harder than others.
As I sit and ponder this limited time left with my teenage son, I can’t help but wonder how many more days we’ll get to spend together. It will be limited, and the time will come when he decides to spread his wings and fly the nest.
So this summer I asked him what type of vacation he’d like to plan for next year, and he quickly responded- a cruise! Last year we were blessed to be able to enjoy a cruise on the Carnival Vista, their most latest and greatest cruise. We had a blast as we checked out amazing Cozumel and the always beautiful Jamaica. This time around he wanted to go back to his favorite cruise line, Royal Caribbean.
So, this mom has the two of us booked on the Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas, where during Spring Break of 2019 we’ll be headed to Puerto Rico and St. Maarten (both first time locations for him). Yes, while it may be a bit slightly higher priced cruise than we normally take (for our budget) this ship has ALL of the most wonderful things as Sea such as: kids and teen youth clubs, ice skating, an aqua show, many pools, surfing at sea, Starbucks, rock climbing walls, zip line, seven unique neighborhoods, nonstop activities, fabulous food and amazing entertainment.
I splurged and booked us onboard the amazing ship! We even have a special group cruise with rooms set aside for our family, friends and clients at very special pricing, along with some surprise perks. Want to join us? CLICK HERE
This Mom has been saving and budgeting for this cruise for months! I'll be glad when I've got it paid off and we can get on the ship and simply enjoy our time together and (this mom) can also spend some much needed time relaxing.
Escape Destinations Travel has become one of the first agencies to introduce a unique and exciting Vacation Layaway Program. We know families are always looking for the best way to save money. Vacations and time together definitely deserve a place in your family's budget, which is why we offer our affordable, free, no interest Layaway Plans for your Vacation. In addition to saving you the most on your vacation package(s), you can hold your vacation and guarantee the lowest price for just $200 down!
How Does it Work?
Learning a New Language Travel Tip-
By Jen Campbell of Escape Destinations Travel
If you're trying to learn a new language, then download the amazing FREE Duolingo App. We've been using it to learn German for the past few months and it's been really great! We Just Love It!!!
There are lots of different, unique games to play, many fun ways to memorize words and phrases and the app tracks your progress and even grades you as you go. You can move further along if your skills are successful. It also has a fun robot chat room where you can chat with the app to practice your writing, as well as speak and listen functionality that ensures your language pronunciation is up to par.
Give it a try, we think you'll enjoy it!
Pack some wet-wipes with you on your next trip. No, they’re not just for little children or parents.
Whether you're hiking, taking a long flight, or simply going out for the day, we suggest you have a small pack of wet-wipes (the travel size ones are perfect) with you, when on the road.
Often times, there won't be a shower available when hiking, or visiting the desert and these little wipe/cloths are the perfect substitution for a quick freshening up (getting the dust & sweat off of you is a must!). When no water is around, these little gems will save you!
Another time wet-wipes can come in handy is when you can't wash your hands, or when you need to sanitize an eating surface (like those little plane tray tables that can be gross!). Or, you can even wipe down a nasty toilet seat with the wipe. YUCK!
How to Budget for Your Dream Honeymoon!
By Jenifer Campbell of Escape Destinations Travel
Did you know that the average Honeymoon is 7 nights in duration and will cost over $5,000+! Your budget may be higher (or lower) than many others. Setting your budget up (ahead of time) will help you in the decision-making process, as you will be able to discover what may be dreams and what’s more realistic.
We have a detailed spreadsheet where you can add up these costs (actually it auto calculates it all for you) based upon what you add into the budgeting sheet. Request our Free Honeymoon Budget Planning Form today!
*Our Secret Honeymoon Tip:
Did you know you can use a free honeymoon registry (such as HoneyFund) where your friends and family can actually contribute towards your dream honeymoon as a wedding gift? More details can be found on our website.
Here’s a few Budgetary Questions You may want to Consider when Planning Your Honeymoon Vacation:
Think of your “must have” items needed for your Dream Honeymoon, and then consider prioritizing from there. Don’t forget the romance, fun (and budget) at the same time. You want to have the Honeymoon of your dreams, but don’t want to spend the next year after that, eating Ramen Noodles and Boiled Hot Dogs every night for dinner!
Our quick travel tip is to not “over-plan” Your Vacation.
If you’re anything like me (I’m definitely a "type A" person) who likes to plan everything down to the last detail- this may be hard to do. Planning all the details may seem like the logical way to go about your travel prep, but trust us, over-planning can ruin a trip, and make it seem more regimented than it needs to be. Learn from me and- RELAX….
We recently experienced the downsides of this, when trying to "be prepared" every single day of our 9 night small group tour to Germany with plenty of activities to keep us busy. Then came the last day, and we thought we were boarding a flight home from Germany. Well.....both our flights were cancelled and we were “stuck” in Germany for an extra day. So, whatever would we do with zero “plans” in one of my most favorite countries? Well…. we were spontaneous!! We quickly settled into our hotel rooms. My sister and I hopped on a bus to the train station, then took the local commuter's train to drop us off in the middle of downtown Frankfurt, so we could explore on our own. Help from a friendly, local German man, sent us on our way to get off at the best spot to experience downtown Frankfurt.
BONUS: we ended up at a small, wonderful wine festival that we weren’t aware of, and it was absolutely fabulous!! We ended up enjoying Gluhwein (hot spiced wine), yummy food, great music, neat little shops, incredibly amazing architecture and lots of fun German locals.
Planning is always good, but remember to leave some room for changes and especially times of spontaneity. We'll always cherish our extra day in Germany for years to come.
Interested in an amazing small group tour to Germany with us, then CONTACT US now to get a trip of a lifetime planned to Germany in the near future!
Why should you Contact Us for your All Inclusive Vacation?
1. We book amazing All Inclusive Vacation Packages every, single, day.
2. We've been there (to many of the best resorts) ourselves, or...our colleagues have clients who have been there and can offer us unbiased pros and cons of the resort, location, value, etc.
3. We work with ALL major suppliers who offer us special volume pricing.
4. We have a guaranteed price match on nearly all published resorts.
5. We have numerous colleagues in our network (3,000+) and many available additional resources, to answer all your questions before/during and after you book your All Inclusive Vacation with us.
6. We offer special group vacation pricing for your family, friends, reunion, groups and wedding guests.
7. Why risk your trip through a massive vacation search engine with no after-the sale support?
8. Who can you call to assist you once you've bought from a massive search engine? Do you want to be "on-hold" at the airport, when your having issues? We offer one-on-one, personalized support during your entire vacation.
9. We offer our clients wonderful perks, specials, discounts, gifts, VIP service and superior customer service.
10. We have many happy clients, just check out our Reviews Page!
11. Save Time and Research. We do ALL the leg-work for you, at no additional cost, when you book your All Inclusive Vacation package through us.
Give us a call today, OR fill out our Dream Vacation- Planner tool, to book your All Inclusive Vacation of your Dreams! Call Escape Destinations Travel at: 910.379.4033
Did you know? You’re Leaving Good Money on the Table When You Book Hotels Direct Instead of With Us!
We can add amazing value to your hotel reservation with complimentary breakfast daily, possible upgrades, and a special amenity like a spa or food and beverage credit. We’re able to give you added amenities with our VIP treatment!
Save time, hassle and frustrations! Allow our specialists to do all the research and work out all the details for you, without any additional cost. You don’t have time to do all the comparisons, but we do. Let us do what we do best- research!
Give us a try and enjoy being treated as our very special client!
Research less, relax more...and let an experienced, knowledgeable travel professional plan your hard-earned vacation! Contact Us today, to get your hotel booked.
Before I became a travel consultant, I didn’t realize that any vacation can be put on layaway! Say What? Yes, you can take any vacation package (including cruises) and place a small deposit. Then just pay on it as you go (any amount you'd like) towards the balance due.
What this means is that you can layaway your vacation, pay as you go and then, voila…within 60-90 days, you’ve got your vacation paid for! This means truly a stress-free vacation, without worrying about any financial obligations. This is too easy! Everyone should be going on vacation when it's very affordable!!
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