Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thursday Morning with Avalon Waterways 4/22/10

I am not sure how to explain my week. I can tell you that I had no idea that going to watch a college football spring game would end up putting me on my butt, but it did. As we get older we get smarter and we think we can take on any athletic challenge that is presented to us. I think I let my smartness get the best of me as I thought that I could go out and kick 30 yard field goals with a 47+ year old body! Just because my youngest son kicks for La Tech does not mean that his dad can as well! When the hormones kick in we become invincible and we can do anything! Wrong! While attempting to kick this chip shot I remember making contact with the ball and the next thing I remember is the grinding noise of my plant knee and I was now laying on the field with my knee cap on the backside of my left knee. I knew it was bad, but I really had no idea. I am thankful for everyone who helped, but I am most thankful for Pod (My Youngest Son) and Mr. Dan "the equipment man" for the calm thinking and the foresight to go check and see if any trainers were still in the field house. To my amazement Keith and some of his staff made their way to the field and Keith was able to put my knee back in place. I was in a lot of pain, but felt relieved when my knee popped back in place. They drove me to the training room and placed a compression sock on my left leg and fitted me with a knee brace and some crutches. I was so very lucky that things worked out the way they did. We made our way back to Dallas to David & Barbara's (Janet's Aunt & Uncle) house. This would become my home until we could figure out what the next step was. We are so grateful for this. I was also fortunate that Meggie (Janet's Mom) was here as well. To make a long story short, I had surgery a few days later to repair a torn MCL, ACL and a partial tear in the PCL. I also had a dislocated Patella and a 1.5 CM piece of bone broken off of my Femur and a torn lower thigh muscle. I am in full recovery wearing a flexible brace and will need to wear it for the next 12 weeks during the healing process. A special thanks to all of my family and friends for all of the support and guidance duing this time. I am a full believer that even though we are older that we are not always as smart as we think. My football career might be over, but my love for the game will never go away. Ok enough of me! Who wants to go to Alaska? Alaska travel is just around the corner and I thought I would start off with an Alaskan Pipeline. You take 1 shot of Yukon Jack and 1 shot of Amaretto. Mix equal parts Yukon Jack and Amaretto in your favorite shaker with ice and shake. Serve in your favorite glass with or without ice. Cheers and I hope Alaska is in your travel plans this year. One of the things that intrigues me the most is River Cruising. What a fantastic way to see parts the world from your very own floating hotel that takes you right to the center of these world famous cities. I thought what I would do over the next few weeks is break down the 5 major River Cruise Lines and really see what makes them stand out and what makes them the River Cruise Line of choice. The 5 River Cruise Lines that I will break down are Avalon Waterways, AMA Waterways, Uniworld River Cruises, Tauck River Cruises, and Viking River Cruises. This week I will start with Avalon Waterways. Avalon Waterways is part of the Globus Family of Brands. Some ask "Why Take a River Cruise?" Taking a European river cruise is a best-of-the-best situation: the best way to discover a destination in the best conditions. Whether your destination is Europe, Russia, China, Vietnam, Egypt or the Galápagos Islands, a river cruise is an experience of a lifetime and a uniquely pleasant way to discover and enjoy the area, region, or country you are visiting. The key concepts are life at a leisurely pace, comfort, admiring the scenery, well-planned itineraries, and plenty of opportunities to explore the delightful towns, villages, sites, and monuments on shore along the way. All the worries of transport, accommodation, and food are taken out of the travelling scenario, leaving only the best things to enjoy, savour, and explore. While making yourself at home aboard the vessel, you are well taken care of, allowing you to fully relax and unwind; thereby making way to admire the enchanting scenery, participate in a variety of activities, and revel in an astonishing array of culinary delights. Unpacking only once, you are unencumbered and truly free to take in the fantastic sites and activities without worrying about transportation, luggage, or accommodation. The river cruise routes highlight the intriguing and interesting ports of call along the rivers or canals, including authentic and sometimes sleepy villages, bustling towns, or capital cities. Schedules are unhurried and there is plenty of time to discover, or rediscover, ancient and modern history, marvel at the natural beauty of the landscape, and come into close contact with on- and off-the-beaten path destinations. European river cruises are well-organized and activity-rich, offering resplendent scenery and plenty of sightseeing excursions in a comfortable, relaxing, and welcoming atmosphere. Who is ready for a river cruise?

Some of the key highlights with Avalon are:

Sail on the Youngest Fleet – with ships averaging two and a half years in age, know your clients will be consistently sailing upon the newest ships on the European waterways. The Avalon Creativity and Avalon Affinity debut in 2009, and the Avalon Luminary and Avalon Felicity set sail in 2010 bringing our European fleet to 10 vessels.

Modern Contemporary Design – since our ships are so new, all of them feature state-of-the-art design and technology and modern amenities such as flat screen TVs in the staterooms which are 172 sq feet, mini-bar, large wardrobes and hotel style beds that can be configured as two twins or one queen with Egyptian linens. Wireless access is available on all ships.

Floating Room with a View – 85% of the staterooms in the Avalon fleet have panoramic sliding glass doors and French balconies, enhancing the view of the landscape from individual staterooms.

Delightful dining - from handcrafted cuisines that incorporate local flavors to choice of complimentary wine, beer or soft drinks with dinner, dining with Avalon is a true treat.

A staff focused on you! - With an average crew to traveler ratio of 4:1, know that your needs will be met. An English-speaking staff caters to you every step of the way.

A Cruise Director who cares - Avalon attracts best in industry Cruise Directors who focus on making each and every sailing unique, entertaining, and engaging.

Included sightseeing - don’t pay extra to experience the destinations you visit with Avalon. Expertly crafted excursions will enhance your cruise journey.

Fastest-Growing River Cruise Company - Avalon’s European fleet continues to grow with the addition of two ships in 2009 and two more are scheduled to launch in 2010. This brings the total to 10 luxury ships in Europe, and 65 vacations worldwide reinforcing our position as the fastest-growing river cruise company in the world.

Special Details and Extra Touches – since its inception, Avalon has offered fine dining with a choice of unlimited complimentary wine, and new for 2010 beer and soda, at dinner, thus setting the standard for dining on European river cruise vacations. For royal deck guests, continental breakfast is available to order the night before and have delivered to their stateroom.

The Best on Land Programs – because Avalon is part of the Globus family of brands, all land programs are arranged by Globus, the leader in escorted travel for more than 80 years. Europe land programs are what Globus does best, and your river cruise clients get the benefit of the most enriching excursions in each of their destinations, including audio headsets for all Europe shore excursions.

200 support staff in Europe & 32 offices worldwide – the Globus family of brands was born in Europe but is an international company. As such, Avalon benefits from an unparalleled level of support in Europe and all the worldwide destinations it cruises to including China, Egypt and the Galápagos Islands.

Avalon Waterways received the Condé Nast Traveler: Gold List 2009 award, Condé Nast Traveler: Top Cruise Ships 2009 award, Travel Age West Magazine’s WAVE Award for Best New River Cruise Ship (Avalon Scenery) as well as "Editor's Pick" for Best Overall Cruise Line for River Cruising and ranked #2 among the Top 10 Small-Ship Cruise Lines in Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards 2009 readers' survey.

Travelers with Avalon Waterways gave our vacations a 98% satisfaction rating on post-vacation surveys.

Take a Look at Avalon Waterways for Yourself

Take a look at the advantages and features of taking a cruise with Avalon Waterways. You may want to begin with a virtual tour on three of our ships — the Avalon Scenery, Avalon Tranquility and Avalon Poetry. You can also view photos of our ships, watch an informative video, read testimonials from past Avalon passengers, or check the ship camera of ships that are currently sailing.

Avalon Virtual Tours - experience the Avalon difference by taking an online tour of three of our ships — the Avalon Scenery, Avalon Tranquility and Avalon Poetry.

Ship Camera & Locator - find a ship and view photos of the landscape from the deck.

Passenger Stories & Testimonials - read what past passengers have said about cruising with Avalon.

Avalon River Cruising Video - watch a 10-minute video about Avalon Waterways.

Avalon Ship Fleet - visit the Avalon Web site to see information and photo galleries of the Avalon fleet.

Avalon Interactive eBrochure - view the Avalon eBrochure anytime you want from your own computer.

What are you waiting for? Take a look at River Cruising. What a great way to visit the world with your mom & dad! Are you part of a group who loves history, art, wine or the traditions of other countries throughout the world? If you are, then River Cruising is for you! If you have any questions let me know. I would love to help you plan your next journey on a river cruise! Until we unite again remember to always love your Travel Agent. He needs lots of love, plus he is a real nice guy! Remember that my services, research and recommendations are always No Charge! If you know someone who travels send them my way. If you have a group who wants to travel together let me know. Traveling in a group is always more fun when you all share like interests! You know you will be taken care of. Keep your Cruisitude in check and most important is to Travel Your Way!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wednesday Afternoon at the BEACH 4/7/0

I love technology and I felt it was important enough to let you know about some new travel tools offered by Fantasy Cruise & Travel. I am super excited about this and I think you will be as well.

As a Cruise Planners Travel Professional, I am proud to announce a new feature just added to my website, Fantasy Cruise & Travel. This convenient booking tool offers you state of the art technology to research and book your Air, Car, Hotel and Vacation Rentals. This new tool will make your travel planning, with or without a cruise, much easier, and if you require additional service or help with the reservations, I’m just a phone call away.

This new tool includes special rates plus an easy-to-navigate format, making searching for multiple deals effortless. Here’s some of what you’ll find:

• Over 100,000 hotels worldwide, many of which offer specially negotiated rates
• Available 24 hours a day 7 days a week
• Lowest Hotel Rates – Guaranteed*!
• Incredible Air Rates!
• The Best Rental Car Rates!
• Awesome Vacation Rentals
Destination Guides provided by Trip Advisor, the most popular and largest travel community in the world
Road Trips - Enjoy The Freedom of the Road!
• And so much more

Available 24 hours a day 7 days a week, this one stop shopping feature offers all the services other travel websites offer without the hassle of searching through them all. This new tool includes special rates plus an easy-to-navigate format, making searching for multiple reservation deals effortless. So, call me to book your next cruise vacation, and then visit Fantasy Cruise & Travel for additional travel reservations beyond your cruise. Or, feel free to use this new technology for your non-cruise travel needs. Your complete vacation is just a few easy clicks away. Let me know what you think.

I encourage you to take a look at this powerful tool to book all your traveling needs. Your complete vacation is just a few easy clicks away. Thanks so much for all of your support and I look forward to working with you real soon.

*For details on the lowest hotel rates guaranteed, please go to my website above.