Kurt von Schleicher
Cruise & Vacation Consultant

News & Notes

September 2018

Alaska: Where Joy Meets Bliss

Exciting news is coming to Norwegian Cruise Line’s 2019 Alaska itineraries. The Norwegian Joy is sailing to the Great North towards Alaska in summer 2019, where it will join its sister ship, Norwegian Bliss (which is Norwegian’s newest and most successful ship in its 51-year history)! All through summer 2019, Norwegian Joy will be sailing through the glacial waters of Alaska, offering 7-day cruise itineraries through this stunning landscape.

Scheduled to reposition in Seattle in April 2019, Norwegian Joy will be undergoing significant upgrades beforehand, on some of the most popular features onboard. Its new design will be nearly identical to the well-loved and most-sought-after features from the Norwegian Bliss. With $50 million in upgrade enhancements, guests will enJoy an incomparable experience with enhanced restaurants, bar venues, new entertainment options like a two-level race track and a virtual reality simulator, and even your daily Starbucks® favorites onboard!

Norwegian Joy’s introduction to Alaska is sure to be a welcome addition for those guests looking to cruise on a world-class ship to this exciting destination. With complimentary itineraries to the Norwegian Bliss, its sister ship will also take cruises through iconic ports of call like Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway, Holkham Bay, and Icy Straight Point – but Alaska just got even better with Norwegian Joy’s added stops like Victoria, British Columbia in Canada!

Strike gold on your next cruise vacation onboard Norwegian Cruise Line, and take advantage of exclusive Expedia® Extras when you book select sailings between September 10 – 29, 2018, and receive the following:*

Expedia® Extras*

  • Free Bottle of Wine and Chocolate Covered Strawberries
  • $25 Deposits

Plus, enjoy Freestyle Cruising with one or more of Norwegian’s Free at Sea offers:*

Free at Sea

  • Free Unlimited Open Bar1
  • Free Specialty Dining2
  • Free Wi-Fi3
  • Free Shore Excursion Credit4
  • Friends and Family Sail Free (on select sailings)5

The incredible snow-capped and glacial views from a cruise through Alaska just got even better with Norwegian Cruise Line’s best-of-the-best at sea, with thrilling features onboard that are sure to take your vacation through Alaska from relaxing to exciting! Contact your Vacation Consultant today to find out how you can embark on your very own escape to Alaska with Norwegian Cruise Line.

*Terms and Conditions: Offer not applicable to categories IX, OX, BX or MX (Sail Away Categories). Pride of America sailings are not eligible for the bottle of wine. Offer is per stateroom and applied to the first guest. First guest in the stateroom must be at least 21 years old to receive bottle of wine. Offer is for new individual FIT reservations and new speculative group delegates. Qualifying new individual FIT reservations can be moved into an existing speculative group and count towards tour conductor credits. Offer is not valid for affinity or tour operator groups and cannot be held as group block. Offer is not valid for affinity groups. Singles paying 200% of voyage fare qualify. Guests who cancel and rebook must accept this promotion's terms and conditions. Guests cannot substitute or customize this offer. Government taxes, port expenses & fees, and discretionary onboard service charges are additional. Cancellation fees also apply based on the booking/sailing date; therefore, Norwegian Cruise Line strongly recommends the purchase of travel protection on all bookings. Not applicable to chartered dates and group types: CMI OP EVENT, CMI OP LG EVENT, INCREG & INCLARGE. This is a cruise only offer. This promotion is not applicable on the land portion of cruisetours or bundles. No components included in this offer have any monetary value, are non-refundable and non-transferable. Offer and combinability with other promotional offers is subject to change at any time per Norwegian Cruise Line's discretion. Other restrictions may apply. 1Applicable to guests 1-2 on the reservation. Guest must be at least 21 years of age at the time of sailing to qualify for the Ultimate Beverage Package. Guests under 21 will receive the soda package. Eligible guests are entitled to one beverage per person per transaction. Includes a variety of spirits and cocktails, wines by the glass and bottled or draft beer up to $15 USD. Includes fountain soda and juice, and non-alcoholic beer. A 20% discount will be given on bottles of wine (champagne and sparkling included) purchased on board. 2 Package prices are subject to change. Guest is responsible for 20% gratuities on the retail value of the Specialty Dining Package prior to cruise. 20% gratuities on the retail value of the Specialty Dining Package are included when booking through the Australia office. Packages are based on a per meal basis. Applicable to guests 1-2 on the reservation. Dining package is applicable to guest ages 2 and older. Specialty Dining Packages include one main course per person at Cagney's and Le Bistro restaurants. Additional main courses will be charged at the a la carte price listed on the menu. There is no minimum or maximum to the number of meals that can be redeemed in a day, however, each meal is counted towards the package.3 250 minutes per stateroom. Internet package is per stateroom. One login per stateroom. Internet package is not available at Great Stirrup Cay or Harvest Caye. On Breakaway, stateroom receives an internet package of 250 minutes or 1000 MB of data. Internet package includes activation fee. Other restrictions may apply. 4 $50 USD per port shore excursion credit is per stateroom. Credit has no monetary value and is nonrefundable. In the event a port of call or excursion is missed, for any reason, no refund or credit will be issued. Shore excursion credit is applicable for each port, including debarkation port, and is not transferable to other ports. Use the credit or lose it. Does not include embarkation ports. Overnight stays count as one port, except Bermuda sailings which can receive up to 3 individual days of shore excursion credit. For the guests that book their excursions online; they are charged full retail for the excursions and the discount will be applied onboard in the form of a credit to their onboard account. 5 Offer valid for guests 3-4 sharing a stateroom with guests 1-2 paying full fare. Offer only valid on select sailings. 3 and 4 Guests Sail Free dates are subject to change at any time without notice. No deposit is required for qualifying 3 and 4 guests. If there are guests 5 - 8 in a reservation, those guests will be required to pay prevailing fares.

The Ultimate Family Vacation with Royal Caribbean

Ahoy there! Are you ready to experience a cruising experience unlike any other? With Royal Caribbean, you can escape on the ultimate family vacation, all while enjoying exceptional Expedia Extras! Scale a rock climbing wall, zip-line across the deck, and ride the first carousel at sea all aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis class! Oasis of the Seas®, Allure of the Seas®, Harmony of Seas®, Symphony of the Seas℠ (debuting at Port Miami in November 2018), and Anthem of the Seas® offer some of the most innovative features and experiences found at sea to ensure your vacation is what dreams are made of. From thrilling adventures, like the tallest slide at sea, to advanced staterooms with virtual balconies, every moment you spend onboard will be exceptional.

With seven unique neighborhoods including Central Park, Royal Promenade, and Entertainment Place, there is something in store for every type of traveler. During the day, join the adventure at the Pool and Sports Zone that features rock climbing walls, catch a wave on the thrilling FlowRider®, glide down larger-than-life slides, and so much more. Or relax and recharge with a visit to the Vitality℠ Spa and Fitness center where you can enjoy the most luxurious spa services at sea! Feeling hungry after all the fun? Food options range from hand crafted sushi to modern Mexican, or relax in bed after a day of fun and dial in for some delicious room service – day or night! No matter which neighborhood you choose to visit, there is something for everyone in your family!

Take advantage of Royal Caribbean’s BOGO offer when you book by September 30, 2018 and enjoy one or more of the following Expedia® Extras:*

Expedia® Extras*

  • Buy One Guest, Get Second Guest 50% off
  • 25% Savings for 3rd and 4th guests

With Royal Caribbean’s Deck the Holidays Deals, book by September 30, 2018 for sailings between December 18, 2018 – January 1, 2019, and sailings between December 19, 2019 – December 31, 2019, to enjoy the following Expedia® Extras:*

Expedia® Extras*

  • Up to $150 Instant Savings

Plus, right now during our Everywhere Under the Sun Sale from September 10 - 29, book select Royal Caribbean sailings and enjoy an exclusive Free Gratuities for 1st and 2nd guests in a balcony or above stateroom!*

Don’t let these amazing offers with Royal Caribbean pass you by – contact your Vacation Consultant today and find out how you can set sail on one of Royal Caribbean’s iconic ships and broaden your horizons with new breathtaking ports from around the world!

*Terms and Conditions: BOGO (“Offer”): Cruise must be booked by 8/30/18 (“Offer Period”). Offer applies to select sailings departing on or after 9/30/18. “BOGO” Offer includes 50% off cruise fare of second guest booked in the same stateroom as first full-fare paying guest. 25% off cruise fare for third guests and higher booked in the same stateroom as the first two qualified guests. “Deck the Holiday Deals Sale” offers instant savings of up to $150 per stateroom determined by category booked and sailing length: On sailings 5 nights or less, $50 savings for Interior and Ocean View, $75 for Balconies and $75 for Suites; on sailing 6 nights or longer, $50 savings for Interior and Ocean View, $100 for Balconies and $150 for Suites for those guests’ sailing between 12/18/18 – 1/1/19 and sailing between 12/19/19 – 12/31/19. Instant savings amount shown in USD and will be converted to currency used for cruise purchase. Pre-Paid Gratuity (PPG) offer applies to new bookings made September 10, 2018 – September 29, 2018 for 7 night or longer Caribbean, Bahamas or Bermuda sailings on Oasis, Allure, Harmony, Symphony, Anthem and Liberty of the Seas departing November 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019 in balcony and above stateroom categories. Offer includes Pre-Paid Gratuities for the first and second guests booked in the same stateroom. Additional restrictions apply. Contact your Vacation Consultant for complete terms and conditions. ©2018 Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Ships’ registry: Bahamas.

Towering Peaks. Tremendous Value.

Settle in and prepare to be amazed as you carve your way through the Pacific Northwest and the Canadian Rockies onboard the award-winning Rocky Mountaineer train. Ride along miles of train tracks through the Canadian wilderness and take in views of the pristine countryside, all from the comfort of your spacious seat. Sky-high peaks, fine dining, roaming wildlife, impeccable service—a journey through the Canadian Rocky Mountains by rail is quite simply, unforgettable. The views are enough to keep you enthralled, but beyond that, there’s the chance to make new friends and connect with your travelling companions as you take in this memorable trip of a lifetime.

For a limited time, when you book a 2019 qualifying package by October 26, 2018 and you’ll receive one of the following Expedia® Extras during our Peaks and Perks offer:*

Expedia® Extras*

  • Credit of up to $600 per couple on a package of 8 days or more
  • Credit of up to $400 per couple on a package of 5-7 days

Enjoy using it towards extra hotel nights, sightseeing, and more! Experience the best the Canadian Rockies has to offer with Rocky Mountaineer.

What are you waiting for? Indulge all of your senses as you wind through awe-inspiring scenery – complemented by gourmet cuisine, vibrant storytelling, and impeccable service. Journey to a place that’s truly above and beyond the extraordinary. Contact your Vacation Consultant today!

*Terms and conditions: Offer applies only to new 2019 bookings made by October 26, 2018 for qualifying Rocky Mountaineer packages booked in GoldLeaf or SilverLeaf Service for travel during the 2019 Rocky Mountaineer season on selected dates. Added value credit (“Credit”) must be requested at the time of booking and will not be automatically allocated or retroactively added. Guests selection of specific Credit must be made at the time of booking and an amendment fee of $40 USD per booking will be charged for changes after the booking has been confirmed. Deposits are required at the time of booking and full payment of the balance must be made by Friday, January 11, 2019. Offer applies to single, double, triple or quad package prices and amount of Credit varies by duration of package: maximum Credit of $300 USD per adult ($600 USD per couple) for qualifying packages of eight days or more, qualifying packages of 5–7 days will receive $200 USD per adult ($400 USD per couple). Credit can only be used towards the purchase of specified additional services offered by Rocky Mountaineer and cannot be used against the price of the purchased package or to upgrade rail service. Offer cannot be combined with any other offer, is not applicable to child prices, 2 or 3-day rail-only bookings or group tour bookings, has no cash value, is non-transferable and cannot be deferred to a later trip. Offer is capacity controlled and may be modified, withdrawn or amended without prior notice. Additional conditions apply.

Five Stars & Infinite Experiences at Hotel Xcaret Mexico

The five-star experience at Hotel Xcaret Mexico ensures every aspect of your vacation will be utopian. The beauty of this multi-faceted resort is you don’t have to decide between serenity and exhilarating adventures while on your getaway. One moment, surrender your tension to the tranquil treatments at the Muluk Spa. The next, scratch that courageous itch and immerse yourself in cave tours through underground rivers deep in the Mayan jungle. Tie the knot somewhere that reflects how dreamy your love feels in Hotel Xcaret’s unparalleled halls and facilities – think panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea and serene underground reception areas. The spectrum of ways to spend your time here is endless, but the options have one thing in common – you’ll be grateful for the irreplaceable memories made.

Dare to imagine the trip of your dreams. Wake contentedly after a blissful night’s sleep in your king or one of two queen beds. Step onto your private balcony or terrace and take in the views of the turquoise-blue Caribbean Sea and white-sand beach, inhale that unique beachy scent and exhale while you lay back on your personal hammock. Visit La Trajinera, the buffet by the main pool, for a mouth-watering breakfast and prepare to be well-fed at all times on your trip, with ten restaurant options to choose from! Continue living your best life at the daily yoga class or utilizing one of three gyms, relaxing at any of the eleven pools and taking in nature along the rainforest trails. Whether you choose to end the day with 24-hour room service, taking in an authentic Mexican dinner and show at Teatro Del Rio or at any of the eight bars, you’re sure to fall asleep satisfied. 

Hotel Xcaret’s All-Fun Inclusive® program gives guests the unique opportunity to broaden their horizons farther than the resort, with unlimited access to nearby parks and deluxe tours, including each park’s meal plan and transportation. Access your daring side at the Xcaret parks, like the Xplor Fuego Park, the only nighttime adventure park in Riviera Maya. Drive amphibious vehicles through torch-lit paths, paddle with your own hands along “lava” rivers and fly on Riviera Maya’s highest zip-lines above the trees in the dark. After feeling that indescribable adrenaline rush, dig in to a delicious BBQ ribs buffet, quench your thirst with fresh flavored waters or just relax by the campfire. 

On the Xel-Há – Tulum Tour, visit the archaeological site of Tulum and take a moment to reflect on the only ruins along the Mexican Caribbean coast. Refresh yourself at Mexico’s hidden wonder, Xel-Há Park, in the cenotes and walking the lush trails of the Mayan jungle. You’ll find the four tour options combine nature, history and adventure activities seamlessly. 

A day (or two, let’s be honest) at the spa is inevitable when it comes to the mystical and natural sanctuary of the Muluk Spa. Unwind in one of the fifteen cabins nestled in natural rock or the temzacal set deep in the jungle and choose from seemingly endless treatment options. Choose one of the Muluk Spa Journeys, different wellness philosophies with varying end goals. On the Ayurvedic Journey, say good-bye to any lingering worries during the Abhyanga, or ayurvedic massage, treatment which aims to balance the brain hemispheres while stimulating “marma” (vital energy) points through synchronized movements. 

Once you’re loosened up, spend your wedding day in paradise and start your love story off with unreal, fairytale surroundings. No one will blame you if you’re just as moved by the picturesque natural rock reception areas as your first look at your significant other on the big day. Breathe a sigh of relief at the Bridal Suite at Muluk Spa while you get ready, knowing your wedding coordinator has everything covered.

If this vacation sounds like a dream, make it your reality with incredible deals on all-inclusive packages to Hotel Xcaret Mexico with air to Cancun from Vacation Express. Take advantage of non-stop flights to Cancun from Cincinnati and Newark  winter 2018 and Atlanta, Buffalo, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Columbus, Indianapolis, Memphis, Nashville, Newark and Pittsburgh in 2019. Contact your Vacation Consultant today – your Riviera Maya retreat with Vacation Express awaits!

Meet Expedia® CruiseShipCenters’® Dedicated Franchise Start-up Team

Did you know that as a new Expedia franchise owner, you’ll be supported by two Corporate Team members committed to guiding you through the process to build out and set up your business? Our Franchise Services Start-Up team members, Alicia and Lyzbeth are dedicated to helping owners through the process of selecting the perfect location, Center design and construction planning, licensing and getting set-up with all suppliers. Take a few minutes and get to know the team and how their guidance sets each new franchise owner up for success in our latest blog post.

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Terms & Conditions

*Expedia Extras offers are per stateroom (unless otherwise stated) on select sailings, based on double occupancy, apply to new bookings only, are not combinable with any other offer, are capacity controlled and may be withdrawn without notice. Certain restrictions may apply. For full terms and conditions, click the specific Expedia Extra offer or contact your Expedia CruiseShipCenters Vacation Consultant.

Prices are per person (based on 2 passengers in the same stateroom), cruise only in USD dollars. Airfare, transfers, taxes, fees and port expenses are additional (unless otherwise stated). Prices vary by ship, stateroom type and sailing date. Prices and offers are subject to availability and change without notice, and are capacity controlled. Fuel supplement may apply. Expedia CruiseShipCenters is not responsible for errors that may occur due to the transfer of information from selected third parties, technical error, or human error.

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Kurt von Schleicher
Cruise & Vacation Consultant