Kyra’s Amazing Alaska Cruise – Part 5

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A popular belief is that an Alaskan cruise is a trip to take if you’re looking for a slower paced vacation; and for some this can be true. However, I am here to tell you that I believe it is a perfect trip for all types of travellers!

For the adventure seekers, there are tons of fun and exciting excursions available at each port. Some of these include the ZipRider zip-line in Icy Strait, ATV adventures, tree-top climbing apparatuses, helicopter tours, railways, boating trips, hiking, gold-panning, dog-sledding, gondolas, and wildlife spotting.

For the foodies, there are so many delicious food venues and options onboard you’ll be in heaven! Bordeaux or Provence for daily changing menus, the Pizzeria for delicious pizza made right in front of you, The Grill for burgers and hot dogs, and of course the buffet Horizon Court. There are also a couple of specialty restaurants onboard such as Sabatini’s for Italian food and Bayou Cafe for New Orleans inspired cuisine! All food was delicious and beautifully presented! Plus there’s room service or you can splurge on a balcony dining experience like we did for a super special meal. Did I mention, the dessert options are just endless??

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For those interested in wildlife and scenery, I can assure you that you will get your fill of beautiful and stunning views of mountains, forests, waterfalls, rivers, glaciers, valleys, etc.! There’s lots of exciting wildlife spotting opportunities throughout the entire trip! We saw whales, lots of sea otters, and tons of bald eagles right from the ship especially in Glacier Bay and College Fjords!

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Onboard the ship, they have activities that may appeal to all guests such as trivia games, dancing contests, karaoke times and contests, gambling and gambling contests, dance parties, Movies Under the Stars, and so much more to keep yourselves entertained while at sea! This is in addition to the pools, hot tubs, spa, salon, shuffle boards, foosball tables, mini golf course, etc. onboard as well.

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I believe Alaskan cruises are a great trip for any type of traveller! I have been to Mexico, the Caribbean, Hawaii, and Europe and various other places but my Alaskan cruise with Princess has now become one of my favourite trips so far even as a traveller in my 20’s!

Ready to start planning your own Alaskan cruise?  I would love to help get you there!  You can find me at our Sutherland office or call me at 306-955-1449 or email kyra@uniglobevacation.com.   I can’t wait to help you see Alaska too!

Kyra’s Amazing Alaska Cruise – Part 4

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Today we sailed through Glacier Bay National Park! The first glacier we visited was Margerie Glacier which is 250 feet high above the waterline and has a base about 100 feet below sea level. It was absolutely gorgeous and we were lucky enough to have a perfect view right from our balcony. The ship stayed at this glacier for about 1 hour, but the captain turns the boat around after 30mins so the other side of the boat has a good view as well. We were also lucky to witness the glacier calving. Calving is when chunks of the glacier break off into the water. When this happens, it sounds like thunder!

Next up was Lamplugh Glacier. Smaller than Margerie, but still beautiful! We just sailed by this one as we were sailing onwards to Johns Hopkins Inlet at Jaw Point for a jaw dropping view of Johns Hopkins Glacier! One of the most beautiful views in the park! Again, the boat turns after a bit to give the other side of the ship a better view. It was just stunning!

After viewing the glaciers, we sailed back out of Glacier Bay National Park. It is a wildlife hotspot filled with marine life. There was a naturalist onboard with us for pointing out wildlife and providing commentary on the glaciers, park, and wildlife. We saw whales, seals, and sea otters!

I even got to see a playful seal completely jump out of the water twice as he was following the ship.

You don’t want to miss Glacier Bay, so get out and enjoy the beautiful scenery!

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Kyra’s Amazing Alaska Cruise – Part 3

For Skagway, we decided to pre-book the White Pass Railway tour! It is a beautiful and very scenic 2.5hour roundtrip train ride up the mountains to the summit and back. The train picks up right at the cruise port.

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On the ride, we seen stunning mountains, valleys, waterfalls, old train bridges, and train tunnels that we got to travel through! That was pretty neat!

While onboard, there is commentary about the old Gold Rush days, how it was built, facts, and they also point out beautiful views not to be missed!

Each car has a bathroom, a fire heater, and two by two seats. You are even able to go stand outside on the train car platforms for better views!

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Insider tip, don’t worry about sitting on the wrong side on the train. Since it is a round trip ride, the train loops around and goes the same way back. So if you had the mountain out your window on the way up, you will get the scenery on your side on the way back! No seat is a bad seat!

I highly recommend this amazing tour while visiting Skagway!

Stay tuned for my next blog from Glacier Bay National Park.  I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

Kyra’s Amazing Alaska Cruise – Part 2

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Today we arrived in Juneau and had our first excursion! We had pre-booked with Princess to go dogsledding and were super excited for this tour. Plus, who doesn’t love puppies! The sled dog camp was only about a 20min scenic ride from the cruise port. Once we got there, we got to learn a bit about dogsledding before going on a ride. We learned about the mandatory equipment and the processes of dog sledding.

Did you know that the average cost to participate in the famous 1,150 mile Iditarod race is $40,000 and the maximum number of dogs per team is 14?

After the kennel talk, we got to go on a 1.5mile ride around the camp. We were pulled by a team of 15 dogs ranging from experienced to just learning. It was a fast and exhilarating ride with beautiful scenery.

Then it was time for a hot beverage and puppy snuggles! The pups were 3 weeks old and absolutely adorable!

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The camp has a beautiful suspension bridge which offered beautiful views of the camp and Tongass Rainforest!

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All in all the tour was about 2.5 hours and I would highly recommend considering this tour while in Juneau!

Stay tuned for more from our amazing Alaska adventure.

ASK A TRAVEL AGENT – WALT DISNEY WORLD

Here at UNIGLOBE Carefree Travel our team is passionate about sharing their experiences with you.    Karen Katelnikoff’s favourite place to visit is Walt Disney World in Florida and she would love to share all that she loves about her “home away from home” with you.

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  1. When is the best time to visit Walt Disney World?

Anytime is the best time to visit Disney! If you would like a slower time to go, September is my favorite.

  1. How far in advance should travellers start planning their vacation when considering Walt Disney World?

A Disney vacation is like putting together a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle. It takes a lot of time. The best time to start planning would be about 8-10 months out. This will insure you do not miss out on an important reservation.

  1. How many days would you recommend someone spend at Walt Disney World?

I would recommend 7 -10 days so you do not feel too rushed

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  1. Are there benefits to staying at one of the Disney hotels in Florida?

There are a lot of benefits to staying on property. You have extra hours to access the parks; you can book FastPasses as early as 60 days before your trip and have all of the transportation you need to get around the parks. The best part about staying on property though is you feel like you are in the middle of all the magic.

  1. What Disney hotels would you recommend on property? 

Pop Century is the value resort with the best transportation service and of course the tie dyed cheese cake.

Port Orleans Riverside has one of my favorite themed rooms in it called the Royal Guest Room with a special headboard that creates a firework display.

Grand Floridian is my favorite Christmas time hotel. It has a life size gingerbread house that is made of over 600 lbs of gingerbread so the lobby smells amazing.

  1. What other hotel would you recommend in the Walt Disney World area?

Sheraton Vistana Villages.  This is a resort in itself. It has daily activities for the kids if you just want a down day. They have multiple bedroom villas with laundry and a full kitchen. It’s still close to the action but if staying on Disney property is not really your thing, this is a great option.

  1. What are your top 3 tips for travellers going to Walt Disney World?

Plan ahead, especially if this is your first time. This is not a last minute holiday.

Work with a specialized travel agent so you are not disappointed on things you could miss out on because you didn’t know.

Plan ahead about when and where you are going to eat for the day. If you or your family are hungry, no one is having fun.

  1. What is your favourite ride or attraction in each of the four Disney parks in Florida?

Magic Kingdom – Splash Mountain

Epcot – Soarin’ Around the World

Hollywood Studios – Rock N Roll Coaster

Animal Kingdom – Expedition Everest

  1. Is Walt Disney World just for families?

Disney is not just a family holiday. I have been able to do both types of trips. While it is an amazing family trip with so many memories made, there is something to be said about going as adults only. I was able to attend the food and wine festival at Epcot without worrying about my children under foot. I also found that when I took my children we could either go early in the morning or stay late, never both. I was never ready to leave!

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  1. Are there other nearby attractions that should be included in a vacation in Florida?

I also love Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. If you have older kids or you are on an adult trip these parks are for the more adventurous. This should not be missed if you are a Harry Potter fan.

  1. What are you looking forward to the most for your next trip to Walt Disney World?

I am trying to wait until Magic Kingdom’s 50th anniversary to go back. By then all of the amazing new expansions should be done and it will be like visiting a new park.

  1. Why should someone book their Walt Disney World vacation with UNIGLOBE Carefree Travel?

There are so many steps to planning a Disney trip and it can become very overwhelming. I help my clients to organize one thing at a time so they can be well educated and have the best time when they are there. Disney is not just an ordinary family vacation. It is THE family vacation and can be the most magical experience. Even if you book all of your other travel yourself, come to an expert who is always learning about everything new that is going on so that you will not be disappointed.

Ready to start planning your own vacation to the most magical place on Earth?  Karen would love to help!  Reach out to her by calling 306-934-3400 or emailing karen@uniglobevacation.com.

Ask a Travel Agent – Disneyland

Here at UNIGLOBE Carefree Travel our team is passionate about sharing their experiences with you.    Amanda Campbell absolutely loves Disneyland, so we have asked her some of those burning questions to help you plan your own vacation to the Happiest Place on Earth.

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  1. When is the best time to visit Disneyland? I think in the warmer months that way you can enjoy the wet rides more instead of freezing.
  2. How many days would you recommend someone spend at Disneyland? If it’s someone visiting for the first time, around 4 days.
  3. What hotel would you recommend in the Disneyland area? I really like the Courtyard Marriott theme park entrance.  It’s a newer hotel with a beautiful water park. Their rooms have bunk beds as well in the lead in/introductory category.
  4. Are there benefits to staying at one of the Disney hotels in Anaheim? You get extra magic hours, the convenience of charging things like meals and merchandise purchases to your room, and have package service to your room. As a little bonus, you might even get one of the Disney characters calling your room for any special occasions.
  5. What is a tip for visitors to Disneyland that may not be common knowledge? To purchase the MaxPass which includes ride and character photos as well as the option to skip the lines at certain attractions.
  6. What is your favourite ride or attraction at Disneyland?  Radiator Springs Racers or Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!

  7. Is Disneyland just for families?   I had always gone with my mom, the latest time I was with a bunch of travel agents.  I think it’s great for families but it’s also awesome as just adults going to have some fun.  This way you can go on the rides as much as you want, not have to worry about height restrictions and have a good time.  It is great for families too as you can walk between the two parks, they aren’t as spread out as the parks in Walt Disney World.
  8. Are there other nearby attractions that should be included in a vacation in California? I did a Star’s Home tour that included going down Rodeo Drive, going by the tar pits, etc.  I also like visiting Universal Studios.  Some people like the Six Flags Magic Mountain park, and the Knott’s Berry Farm.  I think going to the beach at some point is a must as well.  Some people like going down to San Diego to do the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, or LEGOLAND.
  9. Why should someone book their Disneyland vacation with UNIGLOBE Carefree Travel? We can offer insider information and tips that you won’t get by booking online.  Some people do lots of research and rely on their friend’s reviews.  We put together a list of tips and recommendations and send to our clients that book with us.

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Ready to start planning your own magical getaway?  Contact Amanda by calling 306-934-3400 or emailing amanda@uniglobevacation.com.

Colleen’s Down in New Orleans – Blog 4

With our trip wrapping up, we are sorry to leave New Orleans.  It was so much more than I expected.  It was never on my radar but had always been my Mom’s dream to see the Mississippi river and I am so glad that we did.  We have had such a great time, from the music to the food to the people.  We met such great people all the way through our trip.  The French Quarter is such a great part of the city to walk and lots of places to shop and people watch.

Here are some tips to make your trip easier.

  • Book your tours in advance, there were many people getting turned away when we were picking up our tickets.
  • If you are taking the River  Boat Cruise on the Natchez sit on the left hand side of the boat.  As they leave the dock, they will talk about what you are passing.
  • When you get off the river boat, turn left and take the Riverwalk to the outlet mall.  This is the only place you can walk on the river in New Orleans.
  • Go for a drink in the courtyard at Pat O’Briens.  It’s great to get away from the crowds and listen to the fountain.  The Hurricane cocktail originated from this restaurant.  They also have a dueling piano bar.
  • Check out Bourbon Street, it’s like Spring Break every day.
  • If you want to listen to good New Orleans jazz go to Frenchman Street and stop at the Spotted Cat.  Small venue but some great musicians.
  • If you want to get a good picture of Jackson Square, go across the street and you can get a great picture of the church and the square.
  • If you are looking for art work, check out Jackson Square.  Here you can talk to the artists and buy your favorite piece.
  • If you are interested in history check out the 1850 house on Jackson Square.  It costs $3.00 to go into the house that has been setup as a small museum to see how they lived in 1850.
  • Take a plantation tour.  If you love history, it will be worth the trip.  It will take you out of the city to see the bayou and Lake Pontchartrain.

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I hope that my blogs have sparked your interest in New Orleans.  We will definitely be going back! If you want to plan your own vacation to this wonderful destination please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team.

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