Thursday, June 8, 2017
Linda and George Shouse are retired teachers who love to travel. For over seven years they have relied on their travel consultant, Natalie Johnson, for her expert advice. As their partner in travel, Natalie looks for the best choices in destinations and accommodations wherever and whenever they go, and springtime being a great time for river travel, Natalie suggested that they add a river cruise to their travel memories.
After considering several options, they found a Viking River Cruise that had the perfect itinerary for Linda and George’s busy schedule and it also fit into the schedule of their friends, Deborah and Gary Stilley. So, this April in Amsterdam, the two couples boarded the Magni, one of Viking’s Longships, to begin exploring the Rhine, one of the longest and most picturesque rivers in Europe. Some of the highlights of this fabulous itinerary are:
In Amsterdam–they took a canal cruise via a glass-topped boat for a good look at the city’s Golden Age architecture and graceful bridges that facilitate pedestrian and bicycle traffic--bicycles seem to outnumber cars; visited the Anne Frank House with its message of hope in the midst of darkness; and then experienced one of the world’s most splendid floral extravaganzas—seven million tulips--in the Keukenhof Gardens which covers more than 70 acres.
In Kinderdijk--they visited one of the five UNESCO World Heritage Sites on this sailing. Kinderdijk is unique for its 19 windmills dating from 1500. The windmills have played a great role in Holland’s history--each windmill housed a family charged with keeping the windmill in working order. They had the opportunity to tour inside a working windmill and George couldn’t resist being photographed in the wooden shoes. In early times, wooden shoes were worn with thick woolen socks and were removed prior to entering a house to keep from scarring the wooden floors.
In Bruges– another UNESCO World Heritage Site--where the Church of Our Lady dominates the skyline of the city. It took two centuries (13th – 15th) to build the church. Among the many art treasures is Michelangelo’s sculpture Madonna With Child.
In Veere--In the Netherlands it wasn’t quite spring. It was a cold, blustery day but their visit was rewarding as they enjoyed a walking tour of Veere, a Medieval village. It was also a perfect day to get back on board and take advantage of lavish comfort on the Magni. There is a real dichotomy aboard ship: should we take advantage of everything a port offers or take advantage of every luxury provided on the ship. Today was the day to take advantage of cooking demonstrations, some informative lectures on history and art and spend time with fellow travelers all the while enjoying complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks which are available on the Magni every day.
In Conclusion: We never stop learning, even in retirement, (any teacher will tell you) and they learned a lot about river cruising on this trip, especially how a river cruise provides a new destination every day and how nice it is to unpack once, relax and enjoy the ride. A ride that gives you ample time ashore; excursions in each port; and overnight stays in places that warrant a closer look.
Friday, May 5, 2017
Great news...the Symphony and Serenity are getting a multi-million-dollar makeover--the Symphony in September 2017 and the Serenity in October 2018. For Crystal devotees, it's more of what you loved before only better. For anyone new to Crystal, it's what you would expect of a cruise line that has earned more World's Best awards than any other.
The already low guest capacity is being reduced even more on both ships from 922 to 848 guests on Crystal Symphony and from 1,070 to 980 guests on Crystal Serenity. There will be fewer guests and more ship services, including cutting-edge enhancements like new butler services, suites and penthouses with verandas, large luxury showers with body jets instead of bathtubs, and a unique entryway connecting penthouses to create seamless accommodations.
The New Dining Options
- The Marketplace - a gorgeous social space for dining and conversation by day, turned Brazilian steakhouse (Churrascaria) by night
- Silk - a contemporary Asian restaurant
- Waterside - a re-branded main dining room set to usher in "dine as you desire" open seating
Not new, but taking on a new name of "Umi Uma" is Nobuyaki "Nobu" Matsuhisa's only sea-going restaurant aboard both ships. Umi Uma is Japanese for seahorse, which is Crystal's iconic logo.
|Seabreeze Penthouse Suite Bathroom|
Beginning October 21, 2017 aboard Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, every guest receives FREE WiFi. Other exciting high-tech features include
- SpeedNet accelerators that will double satellite speed
- Free, unlimited WiFi across all devices
- Crystal Connect, an exclusive Internet portal and digital app featuring the ships' daily newsletter and Newspapers Direct
- Access to bookings for spa appointments, Crystal Adventures shore excursions, and more
- New interactive televisions in every stateroom and suite will offer current movies and popular TV series
To discover your ideal luxury journey, with a value that is perfectly tailored to you, reserve a featured cruise with us by June 30, 2017 and take advantage of "Crystal Clear Choices" - a choice of one of these three savings options:
Cruise Fare Savings - up to $2,000 per couple
Shipboard Credit - up to $2,500 per couple
Air Credit or Benefit - up to $4,200 per couple
Crystal always has destination speakers and other famous personalities aboard, willing to share their knowledge. With the latest in fitness equipment and professional instructors, your body is not neglected. Crystal's goal has always been to ensure that every guest always feels at home while at sea. Our clients have consistently found this to be true.
We look forward to many more pampered clients on the Symphony and Serenity. Call us for more details or brochures for their upcoming itineraries.
Friday, March 10, 2017
It’s spring! St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner and, once again, our hearts are turning to all things green. The wearing of the green, the three-leaf clover, the drinking of green beverages and the greenest of the green—Ireland--the emerald Isle and a true gem of a destination.
St. Patrick’s Day
Wherever you may be on March 17th, we want to wish you a happy St. Patrick’s Day, the festival celebrating Irish culture. St. Patrick is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish populace. On this day we celebrate with the “wearing of the green”. So, adorn yourself in “green”, think Irish thoughts and just think… in 6 ½ hours from New York you could be in Dublin.
Small In Size But Big In Hospitality
Ireland, a special little island in the north Atlantic, is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea and St. George’s Channel. Just about 300 miles long and 170 miles wide Ireland may be small in size, but it is big in hospitality.
Friendly locals and lively pubs meet breathtaking landscapes and a dramatic coastline to create an unforgettable destination you’ll want to return to time and time again. Here you can learn to pour the perfect pint at the Guinness Storehouse in the vibrant capital city of Dublin, kiss the famous stone at Blarney Castle, discover hidden treasures along the Wild Atlantic Way or play a round of golf on some of the finest links courses in the world.
The Old Head Golf Links is one of the most remarkable developments ever conceived in the history of golf; an Atlantic promontory that will never be rivalled in terms of drama and beauty. It rises hundreds of feet high above dramatic cliffs, surrounded by the ocean on all sides and commanding the most spectacular views from virtually every part.
Food In Ireland
Ireland’s food traditions are undergoing an exciting revival right now, and many restaurants are adding traditional flavors to their menus. Combining high-quality local ingredients with the latest techniques, the result is dishes that taste fresh, modern, and delicious while still staying true to their heritage.
Irish Stew is an enduring favorite thanks to its hearty rustic combination of lamb, potatoes and carrots and Gleeson’s of Roscommon is reputed to serve one of the best.
|The Wild Atlantic Way|
All along the Wild Atlantic Way you’ll find that smoked fish platters combine the best of the sea and bring a contemporary edge to one of Ireland’s oldest food traditions.
Then there’s black pudding from Clonakilty, freshly baked soda bread, and great potato pancakes called boxty. And you definitely don’t want to miss an Irish cooked breakfast.
Ireland excels at producing local artisan cheese – all with different styles and a distinctive creamy taste. Look for Milleens, Kearney Blue, Cashel Blue and the first smoked brie in Europe, Ballyoak from Fivemiletown Creamery. Also, you don’t want to miss the award winning AJ apple juice, made from freshly pressed Armagh apples – simply delicious.
Did You Know
- It takes 40 pounds of green dye to turn the Chicago River green on St. Patrick's Day.
- The Shamrock isn’t just any old piece of clover: it’s three-leafed. Tradition holds that Saint Patrick used the trefoil to teach the Trinity. He’d have no luck with the four-leaf clover on your leprechaun hat.
- IT'S PADDY NOT PATTY! Paddy is derived from the Irish, Pádraig: the source of those mysterious, emerald double-Ds. Patty is the diminutive of Patricia, or a burger, and just not something you call a fella.
OK, we’re getting overrun with leprechauns here wanting to grant us three wishes and we all know how that’s gonna work out. So, we conclude by wishing everyone happy vacation days and remember that “It’s Actually Easy to be Green”.
Give us a call and we’ll show you the way.
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
The Dish on El Mangroove
Sharing information about places we’ve been is one of our greatest pleasures at Reid Travel. And this week we will be dishing on the ElMangroove, which is a bit of nirvana on Costa Rica’s Gulf of Papagayo that one of our staff visited recently and had so many great experiences to share. If you are looking for a quick get-away, El Mangroove is ideal because the travel time is short as it’s only about a two-hour flight from Miami.
When you arrive, you’ll want to stay longer as El Mangroove is situated on a magnificent stretch of beachfront space. This is an all-suite, eco-friendly, contemporary resort, with modern see-through showers and accoutrements. The living room area in all suites will have either a hammock or sofa--we call it “barefoot luxury”. The resort is surrounded by forest, beach and mangroves, so don’t be surprised if you wake up to find a monkey in the tree outside your room. If you love poolside, there’s also a 130-ft pool with 5 private cabanas available.
El Mangroove’s Bearth Spa, nestled between natural mangroves is the perfect place for an array of treatments: body scrub, body wrap, couple’s massage, facials, in-suite massage and many other items to indulge your wildest imagination.
Farm-to-table and ocean-to-table menus provide a dining experience that will entice all palates. Makoko is open for breakfast and dinner and Matiss, the beach restaurant with an ocean view and sand floors, is the place to be for lunch. Fresh ingredients are always on the menu. Remember: we said “barefoot luxury.”
If you want to venture off premises, there are bicycles to explore the neighboring funky town, and there are kayaks to venture into the Gulf of Papagayo as well. There’s also an 18-hole golf course designed by Arnold Palmer that overlooks the waters of Bahia Culebra.
When you experience El Mangroove you may find that this quick get-away just won’t be long enough!
Call Reid Travel Today!