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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Author Archive: Glen Faison

Cruise lines unveil the latest, greatest for 2014

As the cruise industry continues to grow, suppliers are jockeying to be the best at sea. Consequently, many lines are revamping existing ships and adding new ones. This month, I’m taking a quick look at three vessels deploying in 2014. Princess Cruises launches the new Regal Princess in May 2014. The 141,000-ton ship begins its […]

Claim a little paradise in Turks and Caicos

If you’re a fan of turquoise blue water, white sandy beaches and a laid-back lifestyle, plan a visit to a rising star in the Caribbean: the Turks and Caicos Islands. Here you can escape the trials of everyday life, enjoy marvelous cuisine and dance to the rhythm of Afro-Caribbean beats. Turks and Caicos is a […]

March 01, 2014 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged , | 1 Reply

Don’t let fear prevent you from traveling the Holy Land

Sometimes fear keeps us from experiencing new things and places. Some people fear a trip to the Holy Land. I just returned from Israel and I believe there is nothing to fear. A historical or faith-based journey to this location will produce an unforgettable travel experience. I took the trip with 35 other travel professionals […]

Add variety to your vacation life

It’s been said variety is the spice of life and I must agree. There’s time for exciting vacations and time to be quiet. Last Christmas, I celebrated the season with 3,600 other passengers on a Western Caribbean cruise. This year, I enjoyed the peace and quiet of the homey La Terraza Guest House in Grecia, […]

Watching nature unfold, the sand to ocean trek of baby turtles

Do you have a bucket list; things you want to do before you leave this world? Two weeks ago I checked off one item from my list; seeing the birthing and migration of baby turtles at the Ostional Wildlife Refuge in Costa Rica. I’m not an early riser, but for this I rolled out of […]

Time to make plans for 2014 vacations

We’re two months away from 2014, so now is a good time to begin planning next year’s vacation. Although the vacation selection process may not be underway by your employer, if you stay away from peak holidays, you can usually get your requested time off. In addition, you can save big bucks by vacationing in […]

Indulge your inner child with a trip to Orlando

Life can be overwhelming at times, but staying in touch with your inner child is a great way to deal with the curves life throws you. This week, my inner child (little Rosy) and I spent the day at Universal Orlando in Florida. We laughed, squealed and released some adult stress. Universal Orlando is comprised […]

Relaxing Canada, friendly, fun, hospitable

A few weeks ago, I experienced an extraordinary vacation in the Blue Mountains region of Ontario, Canada, which is located less than two hours from Toronto International Airport. It wasn’t an exotic, whirlwind adventure, but actually a good old-fashioned visit with caring friends, neighbors and extended family. Mayor Ellen Anderson was our superb host for […]

Roatan Island a fascinating paradise

If you’re looking for a new vacation destination with a laid-back lifestyle, consider the paradise of Roatan Island. Located 37 miles off the north shore of Honduras, this legendary locale boasts turquoise waters, emerald hills and sparkling white beaches. Since the 16th century, it has been home to pirates, Mayan Indians, English settlers, descendants of African […]

Cruise ship companies roll out amenities to woo back customers

Mechanical and operational mishaps have plagued the cruise industry in recent months, but cruising is still a great vacation value. To attract new and foster repeat customers, the cruise industry is striving to develop more innovative ships and entertainment to appeal to a wider demographic of customers and create a cruise niche for everyone. The […]

Be a responsible traveler

This week I enjoyed dinner with a group of Canadian friends on holiday in Costa Rica. They shared about one of the group members who was left at the airport because her passport had expired. One of the ladies said, “The travel agent should have told her (the passport was expired).” While a good travel […]

Visiting a gem in southeast Asia, the Philippines

More than 1 million Filipinos call California home. We’ve been influenced by their culture, cuisine and recipients of myriad products and services. But in the past decade, very few of my American-born clients have considered a vacation in the Philippines. Asking myself why, and doing a bit of research, I concluded a lack of promotion […]

Singapore: Busy, indulgent island beckons the tourists

Where can you go to experience warm weather all year, beautiful gardens, indulge all your senses and find just about everything made on Earth? It’s an island state, the fourth-leading financial center and the fifth-busiest port in the world. A total of 63 islands make up this republic sandwiched between Malaysia and Indonesia. I’m talking about Singapore; […]

April 06, 2013 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged | Leave a reply

Some shipboard secrets from the professionals

Whether you’re an avid cruiser or thinking about taking your first cruise, there are things the cruise lines don’t always openly advertise. To help you make the most of your shipboard experience and get greater value from your cruise dollar, take note of the following: Room service is free. Norwegian Cruise Line charges for pizza […]

Try a vacation ‘hot spot’ this year

It’s that time of the year to start planning your annual vacation. If you haven’t thought about it, consider traveling to one or more of the 2013 “hot spots” identified by various consumer groups and travel industry experts. Surprisingly, a trend has developed to more exotic destinations, but the U.S. also has its share. Domestically, […]

A new way to celebrate the coming of a new year

In past years, my New Year’s Eves were spent in a variety of ways. The past few were dining with friends and watching fireworks on the beach in Costa Rica. This year, I decided to do something quite different and went for a “bang-up time in Bangkok.” The journey involved a lengthy flight to Bangkok, […]

Sometimes a silly side to travel business

The travel industry is a serious profession, but sometimes you can’t take it too seriously. Otherwise you could lose your mind. So rather than writing about a destination, I thought I’d share some of the lighter moments I’ve experienced over the years. I apologize in advance if I offend anyone, but sometimes you just have […]

December 01, 2012 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged , | 1 Reply

Cruise to Hawaii a trip to paradise

As you may know, Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess will call San Francisco its home port in 2013. Her varied itinerary includes 15-night round trip sailings to Hawaii in the fall, winter and spring; 10-night sailings to Mexico in the spring; and 10-night Alaska sailings during the summer months. Additionally, Grand Princess will offer several seven-night […]

Trip to Walt Disney World is still magical

Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Fla., is possibly the most-visited destination in the United States. Operating at full capacity, it can accommodate more than 600,000 visitors in its many venues. Although some consider this a destination for children, Disney World has become a popular destination for all ages, including groups. Recently I returned […]

Plenty of food to eat, places to see in Lima

I have friends who moved to Lima, Peru, and socialize with another couple itching to move there. It wasn’t a place I had on my bucket list, but an opportunity arose for me to make a short visit last year. So I asked myself, “what’s the attraction to Lima?” Lima is a city with a […]

Plenty of festivals to celebrate region

As the summer clock begins to wind down, it’s time to consider excursions in the Golden State. A great budget-conscious option is visiting one or more of the festivals close to home. Some festivals are better known than others; however, hopefully I can introduce you to a few new ones that provide an entertaining mini-vacation. […]

Experiencing Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Recently I spent a day in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, with 300 of my inquisitive clients. This port was a stop on a five-day Conference-at-Sea aboard the Carnival Destiny. I visited Ocho Rios previously, so a group of us decided to forego the traditional cruise line excursions and hire a local guide. As a result, we […]

Head to Europe while the going is ‘hot’

Europe is hot this year and I’m not talking weather. The exchange rate for the Euro to the dollar is very favorable to U.S. consumers. In addition, major cruise lines and river cruise companies have a ton of capacity available. So there’s no better time to take advantage of the deals. Travelers may opt for […]

A destination for your bucket list

Let me introduce you to a destination you may want to add to your bucket list. It’s the fifth-largest city in North America. Nearly 100 cultures claim it as home. It has a rich arts and theater heritage, world-class cuisine and a diverse collection of activities to entertain residents and visitors. I’m talking about Toronto […]

Consider a health and medical vacation

For many Americans, vacations means visiting family, heading for a cruise ship, beach resort or lodge. However, today’s world offers myriad alternative trips that benefit the vacationer and others. So before planning your next holiday, consider doing something you’ve never done. As we’ve become a more sedentary society, obesity and diseases such as diabetes are […]

Can I afford a vacation?

Summer is approaching; gas prices and plane fares are rising. So many people are asking whether they can afford a vacation. With today’s busy schedules, financial pressures and more, I’m prone to say “can you afford not to take a vacation?” A vacation doesn’t always mean spending a lot of money. Affordable vacations can be […]

Traveling off the beaten path

Sometimes you find the most interesting things and learning experiences “off the beaten path.” Such was my pleasure on a recent visit to the port of Manta, Ecuador. Most land travelers probably wouldn’t make this a destination, but travel by ship provides glimpses of medium to small culture-rich places such as Manta and the surrounding […]

Wave Season is the time for cruise perks, discounts

If you are a cruiser or thinking about your first cruise, it’s time to catch the waves during “Wave Season.” The travel industry’s “Wave Season” annually occurs between January and March. It’s a time when cruise lines offer sales and value added benefits to entice travelers to book. So if you are a savvy shopper […]

Take a trip back in history

To understand who we are and from where we’ve come, a look back at history can be a wonderful vacation experience. Our West Coast has historical significance, but the eastern United States is the birthplace of our nation. A journey to three of its historic cities will enlighten and delight travelers of all ages. A […]

European markets offers old world holiday charm

Summer is over, Christmas is coming and Europe will be ablaze with Christmas markets. What a great opportunity to experience a touch of the “Ye Olde Holidays.” A European Christmas is a time of elaborate pastries, musical midnight church services and brightly decorated shops and stalls in or near city centers. So if you desire […]

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