Blog Archives

Have You Ever Said This?

As in most service-based industries, the odd questions and statements we hear from our wide variety of clients can be at times…flabbergasting. That being said, I have also come to learn that people don’t know what they don’t know and it is my job to help answer any and all questions. There are a few things though that come up regularly enough that I feel compelled to address them here. When these fairly common travel misconceptions come up for the 12th time this month, they have me saying to myself, “I don’t understand what you don’t understand.” But again, people don’t know what they don’t know, so here’s my attempt to help to shed some light on some of the most common travel misconceptions we hear from guests on a regular basis. Enjoy!

Tower Bridge from the Tower of London

“One day I’ll be able to afford it.”

We hear people make some form of this statement ALL. THE. TIME. And it breaks my heart. Can’t we just let ourselves dream a little? When someone says, “One day I’ll be able to afford it,” it almost sounds like dreaming, and one may even argue it implies there is a dream down the road. But to me, it feels like there is a negative connotation attached to your dream. To me, it’s like people are saying only IF & WHEN you can afford it, will you start to seriously consider it. Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we attach negativity to our dreams? In the meantime, there is a big, beautiful world out there just waiting to be explored. Maybe right now you can’t afford your ultimate dream trip of two-weeks travelling around Europe or the all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean with the over-water bungalow, but what can you do? Can you find happiness where you are right now while making plans for the future? I believe we ALL can. Maybe you can only afford one night at a hotel in a neighboring town. Will you look down your nose at that experience, or will you take the opportunities you can and let yourself just enjoy life? Stop letting your vacation days go to waste while you wait for your big monetary break! Use those vacation days and go as far as the budget will take you. I PROMISE you won’t regret it. It will give you something to look forward to & actually DO while you save up for that grand vacation you’ve always dreamed of. It’s not settling, it’s enjoying life as it is right now. You have plenty of options, but will you take them?

Now, don’t misunderstand me. I realize finances are often THE determining factor in whether or not someone can take a vacation. If you’ve been following my blog the last several months, you know I strongly advocate for having a set budget for vacation before you start planning. I stand by that 100%. However, as outlined in my blog “Plan in Advance, Pay Over Time,” you’ll see that many places allow you make reservations 12-18 months in advance and pay over time. If you know beforehand what you anticipate to be able to save during that time, you can make plans & pay as you go. Additionally, travel agents are trained specifically to help you have a great vacation at any budget (see “Why Use a Travel Agent”). You may even find you can get further than you thought if you do plan in advance & use an agent. There are MANY great options for vacation at any budget. Are there constraints on the amenities you might receive based on your budget? Sure. But having a good time & making memories is possible regardless of how much money you spend, or where you go, so stop saying “One day…” and start making plans today. You won’t know what’s waiting for you until you try.

Disney Wonder in Ketchikan, Alaska

“I could never go on a cruise – I’m afraid of water.”

No kidding, I’ve heard this at least six times this year from different people at different times. To all of you I say, “Hence the boat.” Now I don’t want to minimize anyone’s fears. I understand there are those that are legitimately afraid of water. Nor do I want to minimize that some people get motion sickness and would not do well on a boat. That is absolutely true, but most of the people who say they’re afraid of water, don’t have motion sickness bad enough that a patch or Dramamine wouldn’t do the trick. That being the case, do you realize you can go on a cruise & NEVER touch the water? Normally when I bring this up, those I’m speaking with will say, “But what if you sink? The Titanic sank.” Yes, but that was over 100 years ago when safety protocols were severely lacking and they didn’t have the state-of-the-art equipment on board like they do now. Ships now are tracking the weather, other boats in the area, and a hundred other factors 24-hours a day. According to the interwebs, your odds of dying on a cruise are 1 in 6.25 MILLION. You’re much more likely to die in a car where your odds are 1 in 645. The safety procedures on cruise ships are remarkable.  They are literally floating cities with populations greater than most towns in rural America. PLUS! Everything is right there waiting for you. Accommodations, food, entertainment. You can literally do as much or as little as you want. It is one of my favorite ways to travel & in my opinion, if you’re not trying something that is well-known to be awesome because you’re “afraid of water,” then you’re missing out on a great opportunity.  You won’t know what’s waiting for you until you try.

Our campsite near Grand Teton National Park

“I hate camping.”

I firmly believe that if you say you hate camping, you’re doing it wrong. “But when I was a teenager, I went to summer camp & had to sleep on the ground & it rained & the other girls made fun of me. It was miserable!” Yep. I know. That happened to lots of people. That’s also not what real camping is like. You don’t have to sleep on the ground, you prepare for the weather, and hopefully, you’re traveling with people you actually like. Camping is one of my favorite things to do. Sometimes it just feels good to be independent, to be outside, to witness the beauties of the earth, to truly see the stars & to wake up with the sun. Camping can take many forms. I tent camp all the time and love it, but we also trailer-camp quite often and love that too. Plenty of people camp in RVs and if you do that, you have a bed, a bathroom & a kitchen that you take along with you. Camping can be a very comfortable experience if you know what you’re doing.  I realize this one paragraph will likely not be enough to convince most people, so to you I say, just give it another try.  Talk to someone who loves it BEFORE you go to get tips on how to make the most of it. Most travel agents don’t know how to help with camping, but some do, including me.  I’d be happy to help you however I can. Trust me. There are just some experiences that can’t be had from a hotel room. You won’t know what’s waiting for you until you try.

Sleeping Beauty’s Castle – Disneyland, CA

“My friend told me…”

Can we agree that ALL of us are guilty of reading a headline & assuming the truth of it without actually reading the article or doing our own research & then we tell someone else what we “read?” We all do it, it’s no secret. However, it perpetuates A LOT of problems in the world, including the travel industry. It’s come to the point though, where we are constantly putting out fires in people’s minds about one thing or another due to what their friend told them, or the headline they saw that said blah, blah, blah. Here’s my best advice. If you want to know the status of what is going on in the industry, go to the source directly. If Disney, or a cruise line, or a hotel chain has a big announcement, they will make it themselves. The rumor mill won’t. Until media publications are quoting directly from the source, take it with a grain of salt. If you still have questions, call your travel agent. We receive updates on the industry DAILY. If we don’t know the answer to your questions or concerns, we will find out. Do us a favor though? Don’t panic when you hear news until you can confirm it came from the source. Stay calm & take the rumor mill for what it is.

If you’ve found yourself saying any of the above, you’re not alone. But hopefully I’ve given you some ideas on how to address the things you say. There are a lot of great options for people of all types & circumstances & we don’t have to let our pre-conceived notions dictate our reality. You won’t know what’s waiting for you until you try. If you need help, we are always here.  Check out our website to request a quote: http://woodbreyfamilytravel.com/getaquote.php

Disney Cruise Line Unveils Ports and Itineraries for Early 2018

Disney Cruise Line just announced their ports of call for early 2018! These itineraries include some of their guests favorite destinations along with an all new port of call to Bonaire, which is located just North of the South America coast.

Early 2018 itineraries open for booking to Platinum and Gold Castaway Club guests on October 26, 2016 and to all guests on October 27, 2016.

Disney Dream

Bahamas
Drop anchor in paradise on a 3-, 4- or 5-night cruise from Port Canaveral (near Orlando) and Miami. Exciting ports of call include Nassau and Key West—and all itineraries stop at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.

Eastern Caribbean
Surround yourself with crystal blue waters and powder-soft beaches when you embark on a 7-night cruise to such unspoiled destinations as Tortola, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, San Juan and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.

Western Caribbean
Soak up the tropical beauty and vibrant cultures of Costa Maya, Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Falmouth, Jamaica during a 7-night roundtrip cruise from Port Canaveral that includes a stop at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.

Southern Caribbean
Join Disney Cruise Line for one of their limited-time 7-night cruises out of San Juan. Each of these unique cruises will include a combination ports of call on either St. Lucia, Curacao, Martinique, St. Kitts, Aruba, Antigua and Bonaire. These special cruises depart Jan. 14, 21 and 28, each voyage offers a unique itinerary with four destinations and two days at sea.

Baja Peninsula
In the months of April and May, the Disney Wonder will set sail on two to five night cruises out of San Diego. Each cruise will make a stop at Ensenda, with the five night cruises making an extra stop at Cabo San Lucas.

Panama Canal
Savor top-notch amenities aboard a 14-night coast-to-coast cruise that takes you from Port Canaveral (near Orlando) through the world-famous Panama Canal. Call upon blissful port cities in Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica and the Caribbean before landing in San Diego, California.

Cody Woodbrey

Creating Dream Vacations
Cell: 435-757-0838
cody@woodbreyfamilytravel.com

 

Disney Cruise Line Unveils New Itineraries for Summer 2017

In 2017, Disney Cruise Line will sail on new itineraries and to new ports, including first-time visits to new destinations in Alaska and Europe. That summer, Disney Cruise Line also returns to Norway, the British Isles, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean and the Bahamas.

When you travel the world with Disney, you’ll experience impeccable attention to detail, distinctive service and original, award-winning entertainment. Disney Cruise Line truly offers something for everyone—from Broadway-style musicals to family-friendly activities, kids’ clubs, adults-only lounges and more. Your perfect paradise awaits!

Disney Cruise Line

In Alaska, you can see Icy Strait Point and Hubbard Glacier. And, in Europe, you’ll have the chance to visit Amsterdam, Netherlands and Portland, England – a short distance from Stonehenge prehistoric monument.

In addition, for the first time, the Disney Fantasy will sail from Port Canaveral on longer itineraries – new 10- and 11-night cruises to the southern Caribbean. Plus, select Disney Dream sailings from Port Canaveral will include two stops at Disney Castaway Cay.

Bookings open to Platinum and Gold Castaway Club Guests April 13 and to all other Guests April 14.

To book or get more information on taking a Disney Cruse, please contact us for a quote. Disney cruises are typically the cheapest the further out you book them. 

Itineraries

Alaska
For the first time, Disney Cruise Line will take guests to Alaska’s Icy Strait Point and Hubbard Glacier. These dramatic locations are part of  a new nine-night itinerary on the Disney Wonder. Departing from Vancouver, British Columbia, on July 24, 2017, this itinerary also sails to Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Tracy Arm Fjord.

Icy Strait Point offers a variety of Alaska nature adventures, including a zip line attraction that is one of the longest and highest zip lines in the world. Nearby, Glacier Bay National Park is a spectacular highlight of Alaska’s Inside Passage and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Another highlight of this cruise is seeing Hubbard Glacier, the largest and most active tidewater glacier in North America. Displaying extraordinary blue hues and immense beauty, this spectacular glacier is more than six miles wide where it meets the ocean.
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A new seven-night Alaska sailing from Vancouver, departing July 17, 2017, includes a call on Icy Strait Point, in addition to Tracy Arm, Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan. On Aug. 2, 2017, the Disney Wonder will sail its first five-night Alaska cruise from Vancouver to Tracy Arm and Ketchikan.

Northern Europe
Drift across crystal blue waters and explore scenic cities like St. Petersburg, Helsinki and Stockholm. Plus, stroll through the storybook-like streets of Amsterdam during a new 10-night sailing from Copenhagen to Dover.

A visit to Amsterdam also will be part of a 10-night northern Europe itinerary that departs June 18, 2017, from Copenhagen, Denmark, to Dover, England. Other ports on this sailing include Warnemunde (Berlin), Germany; Stockholm, Sweden; Helsinki, Finland; St. Petersburg, Russia; and Tallinn, Estonia.

Norwegian Fjords
Glide past mystical fjords and colorful coastal homes on a 7-night adventure from Copenhagen to 4 Norwegian towns. Or take a 10-night round-trip from Dover, England, which whisks you to Iceland, Scotland and a pair of captivating Norwegian port cities.

British Isles
Traverse the spectacular Inner and Outer Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland on a 12-night roundtrip adventure out of Dover that travels to ports of call throughout England, France, Germany and Ireland.

Mediterranean
Spice up your summer with a round-trip cruise from Barcelona. Itineraries ranging from 5 to 10 nights invite you to roam the bustling streets of picturesque cities in Spain, Italy and France. And you can reflect on each one’s distinct character as you recharge at sea.

Transatlantic
On May 13, 2017, the Disney Magic embarks on a 15-night transatlantic crossing from Port Canaveral, Florida, to Copenhagen, with a stop in Amsterdam along the way. This itinerary also includes a call on Portland, England – another first-time port for Disney Cruise Line. Portland is a short distance from Stonehenge, the prehistoric ring of standing stones monument that is one of the Seven Wonders of the Medieval World.

Southern Caribbean
Take rest and relaxation to the next level when you choose a brand new 10- or 11-night itinerary from Port Canaveral that transports you to idyllic islands like Aruba, Barbados and Curacao—each boasting a diverse array of land and sea activities.

On June 17, 2017, a new 11-night itinerary will visit Aruba, Barbados, Martinique, St. Kitts, Tortola and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.
On June 28, 2017, a new 10-night itinerary will call on Aruba, Curacao, St. Kitts, Tortola and Castaway Cay.

Eastern Caribbean
Surround yourself with crystal blue waters, powder-soft beaches and nonstop family fun on a 6- to 7-night cruise leading you to treasured islands like Tortola, St. John’s and Castaway Cay.

Western Caribbean
Soak up the natural beauty and vibrant cultures of 3 tropical ports of call—Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Falmouth, Jamaica—during a 7-night round-trip cruise from Port Canaveral that includes a fun stop at Castaway Cay.

Bahamas
Navigate your way to the tropical shores of Nassau and Castaway Cay. Plus, enjoy an extra dose of Disney’s private island-a series of 4- and 5-night “double dip” cruises grants you 2 fun-filled stops at this beloved retreat.

Special five-night sailings, departing June 2, 11, 16, 25, 30 and July 9, 2017, will call on Castaway Cay twice and include a stop in Nassau, Bahamas.
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Special four-night sailings, departing June 7, 21 and July 5, 2017, will visit Castaway Cay twice, also with a stop in Nassau.

Baja
Celebrate something special with a weekend jaunt from San Diego to Ensenada—a captivating city known for its stellar surfing conditions, innovative cuisine and legendary hot springs.

Panama Canal
Savor top-notch amenities aboard a 14-night coast-to-coast cruise that takes you through the world-famous Panama Canal and calls upon 4 blissful port cities in Mexico and Columbia, before you land in San Diego.

Cody Woodbrey

Creating Dream Vacations
Cell: 435-757-0838

 

Disney Cruise Line Annouces Two New Ships

We are extremely excited to share that Disney Cruise Line has just announced this morning for plans to build two additional cruise ships, bringing their fleet of ships to six cruise liners. Much like the current ships, both of these ships will continue to showcase Disney’s immersive family style entertainment with enchanting storytelling throughout these cruises.

The two new ships are approximately 135,000 gross tons with about 1,250 guest staterooms, making these ships the larger than both the than the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. Like last time, these ships will be built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany, and are expected to be completed in 2021 and 2023.

The names, deck plans and itineraries have not yet been released but they are sure to surprise and delight their guests. As more information comes available, we will be sure to post again.

Cody Woodbrey

Creating Dream Vacations
Cell: 435-757-0838

 

Disney Cruise Line Annouces 2 New Ships

 

25 Fun Facts About the Disney Wonder

Disney Wonder - Alaska

  1. Maiden Voyage: August 15, 1999 – 4 Night Bahamian Cruise
  2. Passenger Capacity: 2,400
  3. Gross Tonnage: 83,000 Tons
  4. Length: 964 ft, Beam: 106 ft, Draft: 25.3 ft
  5. Speed: Cruising – 21.5 Knots, Max – 24 Knots
  6. Crew: 950 Cast Members on board at all times
  7. Ship Cost: $350 Million
  8. Lobby Statue is Ariel
  9. Donald Duck is painting the back of the ship – Each ship has a different character
  10. Ship Builder was Fincantieri (Marghera, Italy)
  11. Godmother of the ship is Tinker Bell
  12. On a 7-Night cruise over 15,000 pool towels will be used
  13. There are 877 Staterooms – Inside: 256, Oceanview: 259 and Verandah 362
  14. The ship horn whistles, “When You Wish Upon a Star”
  15. There are 5,390 pillows on board
  16. On an average 7-Night cruise, 10,000 lbs of Chicken are consumed
  17. The ship can make 500,000 gallons of fresh water from seawater each day
  18. Disney Wonder is almost as long as the Eiffel Tower is high
  19. One anchor alone weighs more than 3 elephants
  20. On arrival day, cast members will transport approximately 10,000 suitcases
  21. There is 1,367 miles of cable on the ship
  22. The ship is painted in Mickey Mouse-inspired colors – black hull, superstructure, yellow trim and two giant red funnels, each with the Disney Line Mickey Mouse Logo.
  23. Wood is used throughout the whole ship, which is rare for newer ships
  24. On average there are 86 different nationalities of cast members
  25. All pools are filled with freshwater and are heated when the temperature drops below 75 Degrees

– Cody Woodbrey

Creating Magical Vacations
Cell: 435-757-0838