Category: Travel

First Impressions of Holland America Line

By MM Travel and Tours on in Travel

Book your cruise vacation today with M & M Travel and Tours!

I have cruised on 11 different cruise lines over the years, but had yet to take a cruise on Holland America Line.

Holland America recently invited me on a cruise on one of their newer cruise ships, Koningsdam.  We are currently halfway through our 13 night itinerary in the Mediterranean and enjoying our second sea day.  What do I think of Holland America Line?  Here are my first impressions of the cruise line.

Embarkation

We embarked in Civitavecchia (Rome) and it was one of the easiest and smoothest check-ins I’ve had in my 40 cruises. I went from sidewalk to ship in less than 15 minutes, to say it was a breeze would be an understatement.

I arrived at the port a little after noon and assumed I would be waiting in lines. I’m glad I was wrong.


It was a great way to kick off the cruise practically walking right on the ship.

Cruise Ship

Koningsdam was Holland America’s first Pinnacle class cruise ship and comes in just under 100,000 gross tons.  It’s the perfect sized ship, not too big and not too small.

The more I am on here, the more I am loving the ship. No, you won’t find water slides, bumper cars, laser tag, or a go-kart track.  What you will find is a beautiful cruise ship that is perfect for music lovers, explorers, and foodies. And yes, exploring the world is my favorite thing to do in life.

Everything on the ship seems to be designed for comfort and I really appreciate that. The main pool area is great and there’s an aft pool that is adults only.  For a ship this size, there is a good amount of outside deck space.

Cabin

My cabin is a balcony stateroom on deck 5. The room has a really good sized balcony and the stateroom is extremely comfortable.

One thing that I love about the bathroom is the shower is huge (for a cruise ship) and has really good water pressure. It’s one of my favorite bathrooms I’ve ever had on a cruise ship.

One super cool feature about my stateroom is the motion sensor for when you get up at night to use the bathroom.  When you get up with the lights turned off, floor lights will turn on so you can walk around the stateroom without smashing your toes into things.  The lights slowly dim after you climb back into bed.  It’s little features like this that have helped to elevate this cruise experience above others that I have taken.

There are also plenty power outlets, five to be exact to go along with three USB ports.

Staff

The staff has been nothing short of superb.  My room steward has done a tremendous job and always greets me by my name when he sees me in the hallway.

But it’s not just my room steward, it’s everywhere you go around the ship.  Frits in the coffee shop (Grand Dutch Cafe) is just awesome.  Speaking of coffee shops, the Grand Dutch Cafe is one of my favorite coffee shops on a cruise ship.  I’m actually writing this article from there right now.

I really love how they serve you at the buffet.  You tell them what you want, and they put it on your plate for you.  This also helps keep everyone on board much healthier and keeps sickness from spreading.  I wish more cruise ships would do this.

Service has been on point so far during this cruise.  I couldn’t be happier.

Entertainment

If you love live music, than Koningsdam is the perfect cruise ship for you. There are so many options to choose from including the Rolling Stone Rock Room, B.B. King’s Blues Club, Lincoln Center Stage, and billboard onboard.

Billboard onboard is my favorite entertainment venue by far. The two guys on the duel pianos are fantastic. I’m a big fan of piano bars and this is the best duo I’ve ever seen.  They are entertaining, funny, great at improvising, and the small banter between them is just perfect. Tip: Get there early as many times it ends up being standing room only.

With live music ranging from rock to blues to classical strings, there is something for everyone.

One thing I really loved was how they brought in a local group to perform on the World Stage the night we stayed in port late in Dubrovnik. We were treated with traditional Croatian music and dance. This greatly helps enhance the cruise experience on board as you travel the world.

Food

I normally don’t go into too much detail on food on cruises because everyone has different tastes and opinions.

There is such a great variety of food on board and it has all been fantastic so far. From the Pinnacle Grill (steak house) to the made to order pizza by the pool, everything has been delicious.

There are five specialty dining restaurants and I am slowly eating my way through them. After all, if you aren’t eating your way through a cruise, you’re doing it all wrong. My favorites so far would be a tie between Pinnacle Grill and Tamarind.

Odds and Ends

Holland America’s Navigator app is just awesome. It’s simple, easy to use, and a great way to keep up with what is going on around the ship.

The internet on board is pretty decent.  While it’s not like being at home (it never is on a cruise ship), I am able to do everything I need to do.  I’m pleased with it.

We have late night port stays in several of our port stops. This is important to me as it allows you to spend extra time exploring a port without having to rush back to the ship.

For dinner, they put out place mats in the buffet. While this is something little, it makes eating dinner in the buffet a little nicer.

In the hallway by Club Orange, there are tables with two USB ports in the middle of them.  This is a great feature so you can charge your mobile devices while relaxing in a public area.

For this voyage, I have Club Orange access.  Club Orange is Holland America Line’s new program where you can receive “VIP” treatment for a daily fee.  So far I am loving it and will have more on the program after the cruise is over.

Also, a shoutout to Ross the cruise director on board Koningsdam. He is the perfect cruise director for an itinerary like this in the Mediterranean.

You can follow along on my cruise on Cruise Fever’s Instagram and Twitter accounts. (@CruiseFever for both)  I am posting daily photos and videos so you can see what this cruise on Holland America is all about.

I will have more on this cruise on Koningsdam in a few days and after I get home from the cruise. I can’t wait to share with you all the great features on this ship and itinerary.

While I am a guest of Holland America Line on this cruise, opinions in this article are 100% my own.  

This information was not written by M & M Travel and Tours and the source link is below.

Source link

All content is property of the owner, unless otherwise specified. This content is not owned, or maintained by M & M Travel and Tours, and is used only for informational purposes. Please visit the content owners link via the source link for more information.

Aloha Friday Photo: “Maui sunset dining”

By MM Travel and Tours on in Travel

Mahalo to Tom Sakiyama for sharing this sunset shot with us for Aloha Friday Photos. Here’s what Tom says about this photo:

“As we walked from the parking area to the Seahouse on Maui, we discovered the meaning of Maui sunset dining.”

Ah, a Hawaiian sunset view with dinner is absolutely delicious!

Happy Aloha Friday!

Source link

All content is property of the owner, unless otherwise specified. This content is not owned, or maintained by M & M Travel and Tours, and is used only for informational purposes. Please visit the content owners link via the source link for more information.

19 Best Restaurants in Maui

By MM Travel and Tours on in Travel

From our friends at Funjet Vacations. Call us to get your reservations made today!

For upscale, al fresco dining and gorgeous views, check out The Mill House.

 

19 Best Restaurants in Maui

Freshly caught fish, locally grown taro, and yes, homemade spam musubi: when it comes to food, this island doesn’t play.

Source

All content is property of the owner, unless otherwise specified. This content is not owned, or maintained by M & M Travel and Tours, and is used only for informational purposes. Please visit the content owners link via the source link for more information.

A First Look at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

By MM Travel and Tours on in Travel

From our friends at Funjet Vacations. Call us to get your reservations made today! 810 877 1814

🤩🚀

 

A First Look at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Ever dream of piloting the Millennium Falcon? This is your chance. Click the link above to find out how!

Source
All content is property of the owner, unless otherwise specified. This content is not owned, or maintained by M & M Travel and Tours, and is used only for informational purposes. Please visit the content owners link via the source link for more information.

5 Reasons to Plan Your Vacation with Funjet

By MM Travel and Tours on in Travel

From our friends at Funjet Vacations. Call us to get your reservations made today! 810 877 1814

1. Book now, pay later.

 

5 Reasons to Plan Your Vacation with Funjet

We’ve been around since 1974, so we know more than a little about what makes a great vacation. Here’s why you should choose Funjet for your next vacation.

Source
All content is property of the owner, unless otherwise specified. This content is not owned, or maintained by M & M Travel and Tours, and is used only for informational purposes. Please visit the content owners link via the source link for more information.

Norwegian Cruise Line Adds New Cruises for 2020

By MM Travel and Tours on in Travel

Book your cruise vacation today with M & M Travel and Tours! (810) 877 1814

Norwegian Cruise Line is offering new cruises in 2020 that include a new homeport, more intensive itineraries, and new port visits on three cruise ship.

The new cruises on these three cruise ships are now open for bookings and will visit the best ports in Europe, Asia, and Alaska.

Norwegian Spirit

Following a multi-million-dollar, bow-to-stern revitalization in January 2020, Norwegian Spirit will return to Asia for a series of immersive itineraries. From May 9 through December 21, 2020, she will sail a mix of nine-to-15-day voyages showcasing the very best of the region including four new ports of call for the brand. These new ports are Beppu, Kumamoto, Niigata and Nagoya, Japan.


Norwegian Spirit will also overnight in Tokyo and Kyoto (Osaka), Japan; Shanghai, China; and Hong Kong. During these unique itineraries, guests will have the chance to witness the historic Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan; view the colorful fall foliage in Taipei,Taiwan; visit the largest temple in Shanghai, the Longhua Temple; walk the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China; or drift down the Love River in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Norwegian Sun

Following a three-year hiatus in the region, Norwegian Sun returns to Alaska on May 21, 2020 joining Norwegian Bliss, Joy and Jewel. She will offer the brand’s most extensive itineraries in the area with nine-to-12-day voyages from Seattle with calls to Sitka, Glacier Bay, Hubbard Glacier, Holkham Bay, Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska; as well as a stop in Victoria, British Columbia. Guests can spend a full day exploring Icy Strait Point, one of the most naturally-beautiful destinations in Alaska, providing a more culturally authentic experience.

View Prices on Cruises on Norwegian Cruise Line

In April 2018, Norwegian Sun underwent a three-week bow-to-stern renovation as part of The Norwegian Edge program, the company’s commitment to elevating the standard of excellence across the fleet. Enhancements were made to every part of the onboard experience. The ship now features refreshed staterooms and public spaces and three new venues including Los Lobos Cantina, Bliss Ultra Lounge and Spinnaker Lounge.

Norwegian Jade

Beginning Sept. 8, 2020, Norwegian Jade will offer a variety of one-way, 10-to-11-day Greek Isles, Italy, and Mediterranean cruises departing or returning from Barcelona, Spain; Venice, Italy; and Athens (Piraeus), Greece, where the company will homeport for the first time.

These port-intensive itineraries offer guests two distinct homeports to explore and the chance to discover a new destination every day with calls to Monte Carlo, Monaco; Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Rome (Civitavecchia), Naples and Messina, Italy; Olympia (Katakolon), Santorini, Rhodes and Mykonos, Greece; and Kusadasi, Turkey.

Source link

All content is property of the owner, unless otherwise specified. This content is not owned, or maintained by M & M Travel and Tours, and is used only for informational purposes. Please visit the content owners link via the source link for more information.

Aloha Friday Photo: Rugged Maui Coastline

By MM Travel and Tours on in Travel

Happy Aloha Friday!

The post Aloha Friday Photo: Rugged Maui Coastline appeared first on Go Visit Hawaii.

Book your Hawaii vacation today through M & M Travel and Tours! (810) 877 1814

Source link

All content is property of the owner, unless otherwise specified. This content is not owned, or maintained by M & M Travel and Tours, and is used only for informational purposes. Please visit the content owners link via the source link for more information.

In need of a refreshing spa day surrounded by a lush rainforest? Hilton Seychell…

By MM Travel and Tours on in Travel

From our friends at Hilton Hotels and Resorts. Call us to get your reservations made today!

In need of a refreshing spa day surrounded by a lush rainforest? Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa has you covered at their award-winning spa overlooking the Indian Ocean. ?IG:hoffjanine__

Source
All content is property of the owner, unless otherwise specified. This content is not owned, or maintained by M & M Travel and Tours, and is used only for informational purposes. Please visit the content owners link via the source link for more information.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Receiving New Features

By MM Travel and Tours on in Travel

Book your cruise vacation today with M & M Travel and Tours!

A Royal Caribbean cruise ship is set to receive new features during a $97 million overhaul to the vessel. Royal Caribbean announced that Voyager of the Seas will be the cruise line’s latest ship to be transformed this fall.

From The Perfect Storm duo of racer waterslides to the reinvigorated Vitality Spa and redesigned kids and teens spaces, Voyager of the Seas will tout a thrilling combination of experiences that make for an unforgettable family vacation to far-flung destinations on the other side of the world.

Beginning October 21, the newly transformed cruise ship will set sail on a series of 3- to 5-night Southeast Asia itineraries from Singapore, followed by a season down under with 9- to 12-night South Pacific cruises from Sydney, Australia, starting on November 30.

Deck-Defying Thrills

On Voyager of the Seas, vacationers can dial up the adventure with newly added Royal Caribbean hits never before seen in the South Pacific.

Sponsored Links
The Perfect Storm waterslides duo – Typhoon and Cyclone – will raise the stakes with three stories of heart-pumping twists and turns. This is the ultimate ride where guests can challenge their limits and each other in a highspeed race for bragging rights. The can’t-miss attraction joins returning favorites, including the FlowRider surf simulator, rock-climbing wall and mini-golf, to round out the ship’s action-packed aft.

Family Time Maximized

The cruise line’s amped-up getaways also introduce new and reimagined experiences for the whole family to spend time together and on their own while on board.

Making its out-of-this-world debut on Voyager of the Seas, Battle for Planet Z laser tag has quickly become a staple on Royal Caribbean ships. The glow-in-the-dark adventure in Studio B takes place in a universe of the distant future as two groups of thrill seekers – aliens and robots – go head to head to claim the last planet of a far-flung galaxy.

Younger guests, ranging from babies to teens, will enjoy a top-to-bottom redesign of their dedicated spaces. A fresh take on the award-winning Adventure Ocean, for kids of 3 to 12 years old, brings a modern, free-play approach to a new, open layout with whimsical activities at every corner.

A first on Voyager of the Seas, a nursery for babies and tots will open its doors, while 3- to 5-year-olds can dive into the excitement in an area created just for them. Teens are in for an exclusive, updated hangout like no other on board, along with the addition of a laidback outdoor deck.

Relaxation Renewed

Vacationers looking to relax and recharge are in for a treat at the Vitality Spa and Fitness Center. Enhanced and relocated to the aft of the ship, the spa and gym will offer its extensive, signature menu of services, including massages, acupuncture, manicures, fitness classes and personal training. Guests who opt to cool down poolside can look forward to a refreshed Solarium for all-day, adults-only tranquil vibes.

More highlights to make their way to Voyager include 72 new inside and balcony staterooms, a Suite Lounge and outdoor area – exclusively for guests in Grand Suites and above; and the Diamond Lounge for members of Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program.

The reimagined cruise ship will also feature the new Royal Caribbean International mobile app. Travelers can soon check in for their cruise vacation from their phone, and once on board, the app will deliver an array of capabilities. From exploring and planning activities for each day of the itinerary, and viewing onboard expenses, to booking and managing dining, shore excursion and show reservations, guests will be able to seamlessly transition into vacation mode.

Voyager of the Seas will be the fourth cruise ship reimagined as part of the Royal Amplified fleet modernization effort built on research and guest feedback. The cruise line’s investment of more than $1 billion spans 10 ships in four years and touches every facet of the guest experience.

Introducing a robust variety of bold adventures meant to appeal to every generation, the program is a representation of Royal Caribbean’s passion for innovation, relentless attention to detail and commitment to delivering unforgettable vacations.

Source link

All content is property of the owner, unless otherwise specified. This content is not owned, or maintained by M & M Travel and Tours, and is used only for informational purposes. Please visit the content owners link via the source link for more information.

Barbados Has its Sights Set on New Hotels, Better Accessibility

By MM Travel and Tours on in Travel

At Caribbean Week New York, Travel Agent sat down with Hon. Kerrie D. Symmonds, Barbados’ minister of tourism and international transport, to get the latest on the island.

New Hotels: You can expect a handful of new properties catering to a variety of travelers to open in the coming years. Symmonds says he has identified three or four greenfield sites in the southeast of the island near the Hilton Barbados, which are being put to the market. He adds, the island hosted a “successful” investment conference at the end of April to bring awareness to these sites.

“New government has to meet new thinking and it makes no sense having car parks on one of the most beautiful beaches to be found in the Caribbean,” he tells Travel Agent.

And on those sites, you can expect some new types of property. Currently, Symmonds tells us, the zoning laws in Barbados have a building cap at seven stories; new permits, however, would let buildings reach as high as 15 stories. This would give investors an opportunity to get a better ROI—but it would also allow for sizable expansion in terms of room numbers without occupying large plots.

What’s also interesting is that, in these newbuilds, gaming tables will be allowed—a first for Barbados. While the process to bring in casino-type properties only got rolling in April, there’s already one signed agreement; Symmonds expects the project to take up to two years before it opens. Unfortunately, there is no word on what brand may be opening shop—although Symmonds said Barbados reached out to numerous international brands during the investment conference, as the island mostly has locally operated hotels. In addition to the gaming hotels, Symmonds says Barbados has its sights set on bringing romantic hotels to the island.

On the immediate horizon, The Sands is opening on Worthing Beach (near the Ocean Two Resort & Residences on the Saint Lawrence Gap). It will have 175 rooms and should be open this summer.

It’s also important to note that the occurrence of sargassum seaweed has increased as of late; however, it’s not as bad as last year and only the east (Atlantic) coast is affected, Symmonds says. He adds that they are trying to capture as much seaweed before it reaches land to save the beaches but to also use agriculturally—as it has many benefits for farmers.

Access: Barbados recently expanded its partnership with JetBlue, launching year-round flights from Newark Liberty International Airport to Grantley Adams International Airport. Symmonds says he wants to expand this relationship even further and had plans to meet with the JetBlue team while he was in New York. “I think the Mint service is working exceptionally well out of New York, and I am very keen on seeing that expanding,” he tells Travel Agent. “I think there’s a wealth of opportunity now, and JetBlue has been a major developmental partner.”

From Europe, Barbados has just signed the first deal to bring Lufthansa Group to the Eastern Caribbean. The flights will be operated by Eurowings and start in October. Symmonds adds that Lufthansa Group chose Barbados and Mauritius as the first two destinations for this expansion.

Barbados set a record for arrivals in 2018, topping 200,000 visitors from the United States for the first time. With those numbers, American visitors now make up roughly 30 percent of the total visitors to the island, which trails the U.K. (at 33 percent) but leads Canada and the rest of Europe, which make up a combined 27 percent. “So, we are becoming more global and that keeps me happy,” Symmonds says.

Symmonds says a major focus of his is accessibility—but not to the island. Rather, he’s concerned about how people get around the island, and how people with disabilities can get around. “The infrastructure is not the best,” he tells us.

So, with the new hotels, travelers can also expect more accessible rooms. The same goes for restaurants and other attractions on the island: These, in time, will cater better to those with disabilities better than they do now. Symmonds adds, “It works not only for us as a tourism destination, but it also helps us develop as a country—our people have disabilities, too.”

Book your next vacation today through M & M Travel and Tours! (810) 877 1814

Source link

All content is property of the owner, unless otherwise specified. This content is not owned, or maintained by M & M Travel and Tours, and is used only for informational purposes. Please visit the content owners link via the source link for more information.