Monthly Archives: March 2013

Spring Break – Where to go?

It’s really amazing how quickly Spring Break can come up on us.  People that live in states
like Florida & California who experience nice weather the majority of the year cannot
fully appreciate what “Spring Break” signifies to those who live in the Midwest and
northern states and endure cold, harsh winters.

Spring Break announces the coming the spring flowers, Easter, Passover, warmer temps
around the corner and of course, the always appreciated & anticipated – family vacation.

When people imagine Spring Break, one of the 1st things that always comes to mind is
large groups of 18-25 year olds drinking excessively on the beaches in Cancun. Followed
by the removal of clothing in public areas by those that have had a bit too much to drink.
So, you ask yourself, if you are not a high school or college student looking to drink
heavily each day on the beach and possibly end up with your clothing removed…. where is
a great place to go on Spring Break?  Taking the kiddies?  Of course if a person is taking
the kids on the Spring break family vacation, you want to pick an area that will be family
friendly and will offer lots of activities for the kids to do.  There’s nothing worse than a
bored kid on vacation!

So, where do you go with kids for a fun filled vacation during Spring Break?  Let’s list
some hotspots for you.  Your favorite Spring Break location not on the list below, send us
a comment to this blog and tell us where your family likes to spend Spring Break and
WHY this destination is a great place to go!

Disney World Theme Parks in Orlando FL
Universal Studios, Orlando FL – featuring Harry Potter
Hawaiian Island 7 night Cruise
Ski trip – Steamboat Springs CO
Dude Ranch (great places around the country)
Beaches Resorts in Turks & Caicos or in Jamaica -featuring Sesame Street Characters
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines BIGGEST ships- The Allure of the Seas
& The Oasis of the Seas! – now offering Barbie Packages
Atlantis Resort in Nassau Bahamas
Disney’s new Aulani Resort in Hawaii

Budget a little too tight this year to do one of the above vacations?  No Problem, play
tourist in your own city or town.  If you stop to look around at what your closest big city
offers, you may find that you can see lots of great things on a low budget.

Take for example St. Louis, Missouri…. This city offers lots of great FREE sight-seeing
opportunities:
St. Louis Zoo – general admission – FREE
The Museum of Westward Expansion located under the Arch – FREE
Tram to the top of the Gateway Arch – $10 for 16 & older, $5 for kids 3-15 years
Grant’s Farm– admission, tram ride and all shows- FREE
Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tours– FREE
St. Louis Science Center – FREE
Natural History Museum – FREE
The St. Louis Art Museum – FREE

There’s no reason you and your family can’t be a tourist somewhere!  Travel, its an
education for everyone.

St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone.  As they say, everyone is Irish during
St. Patricks Day.  Speaking of the Irish, wouldn’t now be a great time to talk about Ireland?

I escorted a group of our friends and clients to Ireland in 2010.  I wanted to make their
experience of Ireland something they wouldn’t be able to do on any other tour of the
country.  To make this a unique experience, I custom built the itinerary, which allowed me
dictate every piece of the adventure.

My group ended up doing and seeing more in 10 days in Ireland than what most people
would see or do in 14+ days in country.

We literally circled the entire country in 10 days.  We started each morning with a fabulous
Irish breakfast at 8am.  Our days were long and FULL of adventure.  We normally didn’t
end up eating dinner until after 8:00pm. Of course our group did all the “normal” touristy
things throughout the country – kissed the Blarney, spent a couple of nights in castles,
went to the pubs at night to drink Guinness and Irish Whiskey, listened to the locals
play music in the pubs and saw Irish cloggers dance their way into our hearts and
memories.

But, some of the unique items of our trip included being in the town of Derry, Ireland on
the day that they read the ruling of Bloody Sunday.  What an historical day that was in the
town of Derry, and we were right there in the heart of it.  The youngest Mayor in the
history of Derry met us along a side street in town and was gracious enough to greet us as
visitor’s to his town and even gave us time to take photo’s with him.

We ended up in Drumcliff, County Slingo visiting poet & playwright, W.B. Yeats burial site
on the day that would have been his birthday, June 13th. Was it just by chance or could I
possibly have planned this in advance?  Only I know the truth….

Another stop along our way through this fabulous country was a visit to the Slieve League.
Don’t know what that is do you?  Well, its a extrodinary coast line of cliff ranges. If you
think seeing the Cliffs of Moher is something to see, make the trip further North and take
in the beauty of the Slieve League.  You can actually hike across the top of this mountain
range but I warn you in advance that at certain points along the path it becomes impossible
to pass another person (way too narrow), so if you greet a fellow hiker along the way, one
of you will have to lay down so the other can step over him.

The Giant’s Causeway I think is a MUST SEE in Ireland.  I often ask myself why so many
tourists visit the wonderful country of Ireland but do not take the time to go see this
natural wonder?  It is truly a great site to see.  My youngest traveler in our group was a
boy of the age of 12.  Standing there viewing this natural wonder in Ireland, he turned and
looked at his mother and said “I’m going to get married here someday”.  If a 12 year old
boy can see the beauty of Giant’s Causeway, I think you too would be impressed with it.

The highlight of this trip for me was when we went to the Down Cathedral.  This is where
St. Patrick himself is buried.  – No, St. Patrick is NOT buried in Dublin like so many tourists
think.  My father, having passed away 7 years prior to this journey never had the
opportunity to visit the country that his people came to America from.  I took my father’s
picture with me on this trip and placed his picture on the grave of St. Patrick.
We made the journey to Ireland together in spirit.

If you have not had the opportunity yet to visit Ireland, I would recommend you do so.
Make the highlights I provided above a part of your journey as well.  Take friends and
family with you to enjoy all these great sights and may you make wonderful memories of
your own.   May the Luck of the Irish be with you all!

Welcome to my First Blog – By Diane Mason

Welcome Everyone to our brand new website.  I hope you will find it full of great information to help you in selecting a vacation of your dreams…and easy to use too!   We are still wrapping up the fine tuning of everything so if you see a spelling error or something that doesn’t appear to be working correctly, please contact me at: Diane@thecruiseplanner.com and let me know.  I can’t fix it if I don’t know that it’s broken.

I’ve never ran a “Blog” before so it may take a little while for me to get in the swing of things.  I would love to have your feedback as to what things you might like to see me blog about.   Once we get the regular blog going, I will be blogging about destinations all over the World, great tours (and the not so great tours) that a person can do in different cities around the World, Places to eat (who doesn’t love a great restaurant)? And of course many more Fabulous travel related issues.

We will be announcing our 1st ever brand new ANNUAL photo contest.  This contest will be open to any of our clients using pictures from trips that we booked for them in the past.  All we need to do is have you send your pictures in via e-mail to myself or Jim and we will post them onto our Facebook Page.  Once they are posted, you can invite all your friends and family to LIKE our Facebook page and LIKE your picture!  Each like is a vote!

So, let’s get you started …. Find the FACEBOOK logo at the top of this page and LIKE us!  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, you just never know what we might be posting on our pages.  We also put “special deals” on our Facebook page so if you like to know about those last minute deals, make sure you are following us.

See ya soon!
Diane