Kyra’s Amazing Alaska Cruise – Part 1

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All aboard as we set sail for Alaska on the Island Princess ship with Princess Cruise Lines! This is my very first cruise and so far everything has been amazing! From an easy and quick embarkation in Vancouver to first impressions of the ship and food, I can tell this will be a fantastic cruise and vacation!

We started out in an Obstructed Ocean-view cabin and ended up getting upgraded to a Balcony cabin due to a big wet spot on our stateroom carpet. It is definitely worth it to spend the extra money and treat yourself to the balcony cabin especially when sailing in Alaska. The room is bigger, some amenities are upgraded, and the balcony is huge and perfect for watching the mountains and cities go by!

There’s so much to do onboard such as the Princess Theatre, casino, fitness room, pools, hot tubs, spa, lounges, art gallery and actions, Movies Under The Stars (daytime showings as well), The Library, lounges, and a bunch of daily scheduled activities! You won’t get bored while onboard!

Food venues include a pizzeria and grill located on the pool deck (Lido Deck 14), Horizon Court buffet (Lido Deck 14), Bordeaux (sit-down restaurant for Anytime Dining) and Provence (sit-down for Traditional Dining). There are also paid dining options such as Sabatini’s and Bayou which both have a cover charge of $29USD per person. 24hr room service is also included and very convenient. All food has been delicious!

Stay tuned as we sail Alaska up to Anchorage!

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Travel Agent Day 2019

Happy Travel Agent Day!

This year we celebrated with a surprise for the members of our team every hour!  Check out some of the things they received.

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We also asked each of our agents to share something about themselves that our customers and their co-workers may not know.  Here is what they had to share:

  • Joanne Pidwerbetsky – I always buy limited edition food items.
  • Karen Katelnikoff – My grandfather was Harry Bailey and I used to compete on the Goldfins.
  • Annette Frey – I lived in Kamloops BC from age 3-16. I still have a fond place in my heart for BC.
  • Kyra December – Two of my toes on each foot are webbed.
  • Jamie Milton – I learned how to do the Flying Trapeze at Club Med.
  • Amanda Campbell – During my free time I enjoy my Zumba and Pilates classes.
  • Marcy Melnyk – I am the first born grandchild on both sides of my family. My maternal grandmother has 15 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren and still growing…… We have to host our family Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings in a hall.
  • Czarina Sastaunik – One of my goals in life is to make it to all the destinations in the song Kokomo by the Beach Boys! So far I’ve made it to 7 out of 10.
  • Stephanie Afseth – When I was 15, I received my 1st Dan Black Belt in Taekwon-Do. I used to teach classes at a school not far from our office. I’m secretly a ninja 😉 *Stephanie is currently on maternity leave but she’ll be back later this year.*
  • Correna Tymchen – My first plane ride was when I was 35 years old and to Vancouver. First All Inclusive trip was when I was 39 and we travelled to Puerto Vallarta
  • Colleen Lorenzen – We have 2 sets of twins in our family and I am the middle of both. My older sisters are 4 years older and my younger sisters are 4 years younger.
  • Cordell Strachan – I have a bachelor of arts four year Anthropology degree from the University of Saskatchewan.
  • Helen Klassen – My grandparents were some of the 1st pioneers to settle in the Muenster area here in Saskatchewan. Because of this our family was featured in the May edition of the National Geographic Magazine in 1979 including a photo of all of us in front of the original house they built.
  • Casie Schmidt – When I was a kid I ate tomatoes like they were apples

 

We hope you had fun learning a little more about our team.  If you haven’t met your travel agent face to face, here is a little video showcasing each of them.

Want to know how to show some love to your travel agent?  Why not leave them a review on Google or Facebook, refer your friends and family to them or simply send them an email telling them that you appreciate them!

Get Social With us @UniglobeCarefree on Facebook and @uniglobeYXE on Instagram and Twitter

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.

Annette & Joanne’s Avalon River Cruise – Part 3

We had 2 days of sleeping in and enjoyed all the activities on board the ship as we sailed along the river admiring the beautiful scenery.  We even took part in the power walking class on the sky deck.    Our next stop was a visit to the Kröller-Müller Museum with its fabulous collection of paintings by Van Gogh, Monet and Picasso to bring a little culture to our trip.

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Then on to our next stop and the highlight of our trip the Keukenhof gardens, also known as the Garden of Europe.  There are more than 7 million tulips, daffodils and hyacinths that fill over 32 hectares with colour and fragrance. These gardens are only open for a total of 8 weeks during the year.

We ended our trip with a canal cruise in the wonderful city of Amsterdam.  Our experience with Avalon Waterways was amazing and we would definitely recommend it to everybody wanting to see Europe.  Can’t wait to cruise again!

If you are interested in a river cruise of your own or have any questions about the experience, you can reach Joanne by calling 306-934-3400 or emailing joanne@uniglobevacation.com.

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Annette & Joanne’s Avalon River Cruise – Part 2

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We boarded our Avalon river cruise which was docked just 5 minutes from the Mövenpick hotel. We sailed on the Avalon Tranquility which can accommodate 130 passengers.  We walked into our panoramic suite and were amazed by the floor to ceiling, wall to wall French balcony.  What a great way to watch the scenery go by.  After a leisurely lunch we took an optional excursion to Zaanse Schans where we saw windmills, cheese making and watched a wooden clog making demonstration.  Then back to the ship for dinner and evening entertainment.

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Amazing food onboard the Avalon Tranquility

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Clog Making

Our highlight the next day was our tour to the bulb farm where we saw tulips growing inside and outside.  We learnt all about the lifecycle of the tulip and just what it takes to grow the world’s most beautiful flowers in land reclaimed from the sea.  We also saw an amazing hyacinths field in full bloom.

We loved experiencing the Dutch culture as we wandered around the towns on guided walking tours which were included in our cruise.  It was such a beautiful day in Kampen that we decided to take in the true dutch culture in the local square by sitting on a patio people watching and having a few beverages.

Windmill

Stay tuned for more from our sailing onboard the Avalon Tranquility.

Check out our Instagram for more photos from Annette & Joanne’s trip as well as pictures from all of our team’s travels.

Annette & Joanne’s Avalon River Cruise – Part 1

We flew with Westjet from Saskatoon to Calgary then KLM to Amsterdam.  Both flights were uneventful which is something we all want when we fly.  It was our first time on KLM and it is a very good airline.  The direct flight was nice.

Appies from club lounge at movenpick Amsterdam hotel

Perks of the Executive lounge at Mövenpick Hotel

Upon arrival in Amsterdam we decided to take a cab from the airport to the Mövenpick hotel.   The cab ride was $80.00 Euro.  That was a very interesting experience! They drive very fast and in and out of traffic but we made it to the hotel in one piece.  The Movenpick hotel was a very nice hotel and it included breakfast.   It was very handy as it was right next to the cruise ship terminal.   We walked from the Movenpick hotel to the city centre it was about a 20 minute walk.

We spent our first day in Amsterdam wondering around the streets on our own taking in the Dutch lifestyle.  We stopped  at a local pub and had a local cider,  then wondered around  the different shops and stumbled upon the red light district.  We stopped for supper at a place that had a hot dog in a pizza bun and a waffle coated in chocolate.  All was very interesting.  Thankfully we brought our heavier coats as it is chilly as you walk around especially at night.

Tomorrow we’re on to our next adventure the Avalon cruise – Tulips of Northern Holland.