Top 7 ways to save money on a cruise vacation

Top 7 tips to save money on a cruise

 

Whether you are going for the first time or are a frequent cruiser there are various ways to save money when you go on a cruise.  From booking the cruise, excursions, and even while onboard. These simple tips can help you not break your bank when traveling and save money on a cruise.  Unless you want to go all out which is really fun too.  So read along as I help you learn “How to save money on a cruise”

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Everyone always wants to know how to save money on booking a cruise.  The various boards are full of post on how to get the best deal on a cruise.  How to get the best pricing, when, where, and on and on.  Well here is the number one lesson from a Travel Advisor.  Use a Travel Advisor.

I know, I can here you saying I can book it myself right?  Why yes you most certainly can but a Travel Advisor has the ability to check many different cruises at the same time.  They have access to sales from there own agency that you don’t.  They have groups that they could add you into that will give you a little extra something like and onboard credit.  They also can use whatever you received from the cruise line as a bonus when they book your trip.

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Tip number 2 sometimes the earlier the better especially if you want a certain cabin.  You can always update pricing if a sale comes out that is better along the way.  So you are in the cabin you want and when a sale comes up your Travel Advisor would just rebook you into the new sale if it is beneficial.

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Tip number 3 There are certain times of the year that prices drop for cruises.  A good Travel Advisor knows this and will help you with the timing.  That is if you don’t need the cruise to be during a certain time frame.

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Tip number 4 Saving money while on ship can be done.  I remember our first cruise, we bought the ship out I think.  Pictures, spa, drinks, specialty dining, shopping, excursions, Casino ect ect.  It was new and we were excited.  It was FUN!  We received our bill at the end and were WOW!  All in and all no regrets.  We enjoy our memories and I laugh and can tell you about it now.  So on ship there are extras and these all can add up.  My suggestion only do the things you really want to do.  Only purchase the pictures you really like not all the whole pack that you can never put up on your wall.

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Tip number 5 Excursions are great but can add up at every port.  My suggestion take a look a head of time at what you would like to do.  Sometimes if it’s not a crazy long trip in the jungle two hours you can pick up an excursion in port.  Like we did renting a golf cart in Bonaire.  You will learn about this later this week when our next update post.

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Tip number 6 Onboard credits, drink packages, free internet, the list goes on an on.  Everyone has things that are important for them.  Some don’t care for internet so this does not matter to them.  Others it’s a drink package they won’t use.  So for the perks on board companies like Norwegian often run a sale with pick 5 free and you choose between what they are offering.  Companies like Princess often run an onboard credit sale.  You can then take your on-board credit and use it for what you want.   There is usually a sale that can fit any traveler.  All these will help you save money on a cruise.

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Tip number 7 there are many other tips a travel advisor has for saving money on cruising one of my favorites is go River Cruising where the price you pay is the price for basically everything .  There are not a lot of extras as your excursions are included.   Overall cruising is an excellent value for your money.  You see many places, unpack once, food is included, and you have entertainment on board.  What are you waiting for GO CRUISING!  I hope you enjoyed the Top 7 things to save money on a cruise.

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If you have any questions on cruising or travel do not hesitate to reach out and I would love to help you.  Who are you traveling with?  Travel with T

 

Finding Luxury on Princess Cruises

Emerald PrincessSo if you have popped in because the Luxury Minimalist tag caught your eye read on.  I call my travel style Luxury Minimalist.  I like a little bit of Luxury and a little bit of price.  So I find that while cruising on Princess Cruise line.

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Now if you follow me at all you know my favorite way to travel is River Cruising but I do enjoy an Ocean Cruise too.  Ocean Cruising is the perfect style of travel for me.  I love to see several different places on one trip.  Ocean Cruising offers it up on a silver platter with Princess Cruises.

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So why is Princess Cruises so appealing to the Luxury Minimalist?   First off they offer a on-board credit for Military service.  So my husband the “Gunny” being a retired USMC we usually come away with 100.00 right off the bat.  We usually can be found using it in the Casino or the Spa.

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Princess also offers 100.00 onboard credit for cruising 7 days as a stockholder.  Which can be quite a little perk if you travel on any of the CCL brands including Holland American, Princess, and Carnival Cruises.

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The Luxury Minimalist in me loves the little extra service that Princess seems to provide.  Booking a balcony cabin or a mini-suite is a little piece of heaven as you sail through Caribbean, Mediterranean or the Ultimate ALASKA.

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Princess treats you just a bit above some of the other lines we have experienced.  I am all about being pampered in the SPA.  Which just so happens to be one of my favorite onboard activities.

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Your entertainment on-board is included from Vegas style shows, to Comedy, to game shows where the talent are your fellow passengers.  I feel the return on your dollar is very good.

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You are able to see many different places on the same cruise.  This is one of my favorite aspects.    I love getting out and seeing things.  Enjoying everything the destination has to offer.   So being able to visit and see different Islands or even countries highly appeals to my wanderlust.

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Can I say PACKING AND UNPACKING ONLY ONCE!  You never have to worry about getting back to the hotel for your next city or country.  You unpack and you are settled until you depart for home.  This is one of my favorite things.  The fashionista in me lets me take a little more luggage then I do for something like Europe.  For Europe I always tend to pack a little lighter but I mix and match a lot of items.  If I am on the move I don’t want to have to haul around too much luggage.  I liked the Samsonite Omni I picked up on Amazon for easy travel when I am in Europe or for an extra piece when cruising.   For the Ocean Cruise I don’t have to worry about a thing because I unpack only once.

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The cabin steward is a luxury in itself.  They visit you twice a day taking care of your room, ice for your drinks and anything you may need in your stateroom while you are aboard.  Would you like robes for your time on-board ask your room steward.  When they arrive in the evening for turn down they arrive with lovely little chocolates that are left on your bed.

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So for a little luxury on your vacation a cruise is one of the nicest adventure at sea you can take.  Princess works for me but it could be Celebrity, Seabourn, Cunard or Holland American for you.

Some of the things I took on my cruise that I really loved Dream Pairs Women’s Open Peep Platform Summer Sandal.  If you happened to catch my voice performance on ship I had these on.  Comfortable and I loved them.  So many complements.  For one evening dinner I wore Urban K Women’s Racer Back Jumpsuit.  This is definitely a keeper and can travel well.  You can mix and match it with anything.  So if you would like to try a cruise I would love to help you book it.  Just use the form to contact me below.   You can also support my blog by purchasing the items I have tried.   (If you like them)  This post contains references to products we have used. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products.

Take a look at our You Tube Channel for additional information just click on our link.  Travel with T on You Tube

What is the best way to see Vietnam and Cambodia?

What is the best way to see Vietnam and Cambodia?  When you think about Vietnam and Cambodia what pops into your mind?

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Do you imagine gliding along the Mekong Delta sipping on a Mai-tai as you watch a family washing their cow on the bank of the river?  Do you picture looking out from your open air panoramic window that takes up the whole wall of your suite?  What about having morning coffee as you watch Buddhist monks gathering along the bank to watch you as get ready to step off your boat?  Do you imagine evening dinner dining on local regional specialties that are not only there to entice your eyes but delight your palate.  These are indeed some of the things we experienced on our Luxury River Cruise along Mekong Delta.

Floating Markets

To experience Vietnam and Cambodia there is no better way than a Luxury River Cruise.

Life on the Delta

 

A journey along the Mekong Delta is a fascinating immersion in ancient traditions, cultures and history.   As you glide down the Mekong you are witness to centuries old traditions and culture that will create memories and experiences you are not likely to forget.  You will be immersed in iconic scenery as you view life along the delta, from silk towns, fishing villages, floating markets, to monasteries.  The crown jewel on your luxury river cruise if you choose to go from Vietnam Cambodia (which I recommend) is Cambodia’s Ankor Watt.  This is truly a trip of a lifetime.

View from our stateroom

The truth is most will not imagine visiting Vietnam and Cambodia on luxury river cruise but there is no better way to immerse yourself in the culture and experiences of life on the Delta.  Its where you can visit a local family and be invited to share what life is like as they invite you into their home.  Visit the floating markets and spend time with a local fisherman as he shares his family’s life on the delta.

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As you pull up towards the embankment you realize you are not pulling up to a dock you are docking on the bank.  You step off into a small village of silk weavers and your visit helps to support and maintain an art that is not only beautiful but not easily learned.  To experience these opportunities it would take months of journeying through the country.  With a river cruise the work has all been done for you.  You unpack once your luxury hotel travels with you and you make new friends along the way.

 

Blessed in Ankor Watt

To truly visit a place is to experience it’s people and a river cruise allows you just that opportunity.  What about a chance of a life stop in one of the small local villages to spend time helping to teach English in Cambodia?  Truly unique and so very rewarding these are the experiences that build memories that last a lifetime.  These are the experiences you can live on a River Cruise.

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So if you are looking for a little adventure with a little bit of luxury included a River Cruise along the Mekong Delta might just be what you are looking for.

The Monkey’s of Ankor Watt

If you would like any information about booking a Luxury River Cruise in Asia or any of the other amazing destinations please contact me and I would love to help you.  I am a River Cruise Travel Agent Specialist.

 

 

Are there benefits to Group Travel

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Rome Touring is Amazing Photo Credit Travel with T

In the world of the internet there is one word that can become very apparent early on and it is “Rabbit Hole”.  The task of even planning a trip or multicountry trip can become not only daunting but increasingly frustrating.  This is where group travel or touring might appeal.   The changes in tours and or groups have changed with the times and if you think slow well put your tennis shoes on and lets go for a ride.  Group Travel and Tours can be a fantastic way to see an area with as little effort as possible and you meet great people along the way who you may develop life long friendships with.  Group travel might not be for everyone but for those that are interested there definitely is a lot of bang for your buck.  Someone has done everything for you and you never needed to jump down that “Rabbit Hole”.

 

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Lines are non existent in group touring Rome Photo Credit Travel with T

In group touring the planning is done for you and the only thing you need to do is show up (with tennis shoes), choose your extras which could be an extra event not included with the tour (most are amazing), and plan your free time.   Hotels, transfers, entrance fees to destinations, sightseeing and travel is all included.   No need for the stress of trying to figure out logistics as most of it is taken care of by your travel agent and the tour company.

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Rome an amazing place to go touring photo credit Travel with T

Transportation is completely taken care of from picking you up at the airport to the various modes that might occur throughout your trip.  In Venice for instance you may be taken to a loading area by a coach bus and then transferred on to a more common form of transport in Venice some type of water craft.  Changing cities?  No problem it’s all handled by the tour company

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The Coliseum  Photo Credit Travel with T

Every detail to make your life a little easier is organized for you.  You only have to show up and meet your group at the designated meeting point.  Usually a casual dinner at the hotel restaurant where everyone get’s to meet and you are introduced to your tour guide.

 

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Quaint Lunch in Italy Photo Credit Travel with T

 

Food and Beverage most of your breakfast are included and you usually will have several dinners that will also be part of your package.  If you are changing cities throughout the tour it’s common to have one dinner in each city.   You are also able to often purchase extra excursions which are almost always incredible.  Highly recommended as most are designed specifically to highlight the tour.  My own opinion is they are the highlight.

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Italy Photo Travel with T

Now some of the con’s of group travel are you are with a group.  This can range from a small to a large group and usually it’s a pretty mixed bag of goods.   You will have older and younger in the group and usually from all over.  You travel with your group which might not appeal to some.  The places you see such as museums you may not have as long as you like in the area.   You get to see a lot in a short amount of time which does not always appeal to everyone.

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Assisi Italy Photo Credit Travel with T

Tours given in English of course will have Americans, Canadians, and Australians or any of the other English speaking countries.  You will spend quite a lot of time with your group as you go through the different tours and enjoy dinner and this is an aspect many may enjoy.   You share an experience with others that may never be forgotten and some have gone on to be great friends after.  Even touring again together.

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Forum Rome Italy Photo Credit Travel with T

 

All and all group travel is definitely more advantages then disadvantages.   It will not appeal to everyone but it is a great way to see the world and experience it with other’s which is really what life is all about.   So if you have never tried it give it a try and you open up  a wonderful land of possibilities.

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Coliseum Rome Italy Photo Credit Travel with T

Travel with T usually has a group going somewhere every year.  So if you follow me and would like to Travel with T let me know.  I would love to experience our next destination discovery together.

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River Cruising the Art of Luxury

The art of luxury river cruising

River Cruising
River Cruising

River Cruising and the Art of Luxury

Picture gliding down an ancient river with a gentle breeze just sweeping across face as you sit sipping a glass of wine from the local region you are visiting.   You’re escorted down the river with picturesque countryside and you never worry about unpacking and packing, you never worry how you are going to get from one destination to the next, you never worry about paying for anything on board, you never worry about making a bed, or even what you are going to eat.  

 

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You dine on regional specialties and traditional fare that is not only delicious but a feast for the eyes as well.  All the while in casual comfort.

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A casual yet refined style of travel known as river cruising is blooming into a new style of travel for most.   The value for the lifestyle is enough to make the luxury minimalist drool a little.   Try pricing out everything you do and see on a river cruise individually and your head will spin as the dollar signs start to rise.   It appears almost exponentially as you start adding things like transfers, comfortable hotels, and exquisite meals.   Yes, I guess you could go really budget and stay in a hostel but why?

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Travel is meant to be a journey, not rushed, not hurried but a wonderful journey into life.   It is not only the destination you discover but the culture and the people.  It’s meant to be smooth, it’s meant to be lived.  It’s meant to be EXPERIENCED.  I captured these moments with my love Nikon 3300 SR I can’t tell you how many times I have dropped it and it still works amazing.

 

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Daily Life along the Mekong Delta

 

 

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Floating Markets in Cambodia

 

The only thing I regret is I hadn’t discovered it sooner.  For those with a passion to travel and experience river cruising provides a wonderful venue for you.  Your back drop is the world and your mode of transport is a vessel that glides along the most beautiful rivers.   If you are lucky to choose the correct line you may be presented with a panoramic view and more than likely you will settle for no less later on.  Yet for the budget minded you can also experience everything a river cruise has to offer in a room with slightly different set up that still will provide you all the experience and wonder you desire.

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There she is my girl Nikon 3300 SR

 

From the Castles of Europe to the exotic venues of Asia you will not be disappointed.  If there is a navigable waterway there is likely a river cruise company that will carry you on your journey.  Gone is the hustle and bustle of the larger lines here you find the destination is the experience.  Everything glides along in a river pace.  Not to be confused with nothing to do and boring because as I mentioned earlier the destination is the discovery and the experience.   You are free to relax and enjoy on your own or join the group as they go out and explore each new stop.  Discover River Cruising and the Art of Luxury you will not be disappointed.dsc_0289

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Contact Travel with T @ TravelwithTtoday.com to discover your next destination discovery

Why River Cruising is the best way to see Europe

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Travel with T Photography

I have experienced one of the best ways to see certain parts of Europe in a short amount of time which is the American Vacation and that is River Cruising.   Everything is taken care of including getting around the various countries.  No worries over hotels, where to eat, what to do, and countless hours getting to and from someplace.

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In late fall right around Thanksgiving we opted for a different style of travel.  We selected our first River Cruise.  We were very delighted and extremely satisfied and discovered this type is travel is well suited to the luxury minimalist.  There is nothing more satisfying then gliding down one of Europe’s ancient waterways in complete comfort.   From castles, to historic cities, to story book villages you are traveling on a luxury hotel and your trip is as smooth as glass in more ways then one.

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Think luxury hotel, concierge, all inclusive, all in a pace to allow you to see the sights and sounds of a delightful cities along the way.   Think someone to take care of you every step of your journey from your room to your food and drink now this is river cruising.   Comfort, elegance, active, romantic are some of the words I would use to describe this wonderful mode of travel.   For me I discovered there really isn’t anything more romantic than sitting with a glass of wine as you glide down the Rhine taking in the sights of Europe.  Sitting back and just dreaming of how throughout the centuries people have traveled along this river.  Then to think you are doing the same thing except with a little more elegance and definitely more comfort.

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We opted to cruise the Rhine over the holidays and just in time for the start of Advent season.  What a charming time of the year, everything is decorated in Christmas splendor and the Christmas markets are a wonderful breath of fresh air.  You are surrounded by extraordinary delectable delicacies to suit any fancy.

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Now being the luxury minimalist the timing is very good because the prices have dropped, this makes it a great value for the product you are getting. Edging into winter the temperatures are dropping, the sun sets earlier and it is becoming colder.  Fair weathered travelers don’t necessarily want to travel because temperatures are often not ideal.  The crowds are fewer because it is cooler.  Yet here you will discover the Christmas markets which always seem to have crowds.   They are filled with delightful smells and the warmth of many of Europe’s traditional Christmas pastries.   Here you just join in the fun and have a glass of Gluewhine (hot spiced wine)  one of my favorite little indulgences.  A visit to Europe during this time is magical. and a whirl wind of colors that fill the eyes with an experience you will not likely forget.

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The lines are pretty much non existent and you can see what you desire without the rush of summer travel.   You can visit many awe inspirational places of prayer and worship without the press of time from those who in summer are rushing to get to the next tourist attraction.  The brisk weather creates an experience not be missed as the clouds and mist gather around your backdrop of castles.  It is completely magical.

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So if you really want to see Europe and experience some amazing travel try off season travel.   Bundle up enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas in Europe and try and book a River-cruise you won’t regret it.   It can really save you some money, time, and is a great value.  It appeals to my luxury minimalist style which means it comes in a a great price for a valuable product.

I would love to help you plan your next River Cruise.  Just send me a little note and let me know what you are looking for.

 

A Better Way to Travel for the Luxury Minimalist

As a Travel advisor I have plenty of information at my fingertips but one company stands out. It’s Monograms

Monograms a better way to Travel

In the day an age of travel it’s easy to get lost in a world of so many choices.  I have recently discovered through my travels that there is a better way.  A better way to get the most from your vacation dollars and if you are an American like me a better way to make use of the short amount of time you have for vacation.pexels-photo-589989.jpeg

 

The average American vacation is 1 week or 2 weeks if you are really lucky.  This is a small amount of precious time compared to other countries who will often have 30 days or more.   So what is an American to do?  Well you can do all your own research all your own plans all your own transports, getting from here to there, all your own meals, all your own tours, ect ect.   Then you sit around and hope you get the best deal, the best price, and it comes in at budget.   You deal with an internet entity and you are left to your own devices if anything goes wrong.  After all you just spent 3 grand or more and you got nothing for that but a website and nothing to back it up.  NO human interaction what so ever.  Who booked it?  You really have no idea, all you do know is you saved 5 bucks. You feel somewhat good about it but really have no idea what to expect or even what to anticipate.

Isn’t there something better out there?

pexels-photo-230793.jpegYes Yes Yes!!!  There is and I have discovered it’s called Monograms it provides me a much better service and value for not only my vacation dollars but my time.  How about in the age of the internet we do it smarter?   Yet by all means do the research some of it’s fun until you realize there could be 8 billion entries for something simple like Paris.  So this is where Monograms is that smarter way and of course booking Monograms through your travel agent.

 

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For the luxury minimalist Monograms could not be a better option as I can maximize not only my vacation dollars, I get amazing value, and use my precious vacation time very wisely.  I am very much about value and of course luxury and it fits well into what Monograms does.  So………Who is Monograms?

neuschwanstein-castle-germany-disney-40735.jpegThey are a quiet little company offering you a one stop shop vacation that includes everything from hotels to transfers, to breakfast and some meals, and get this a LOCAL HOST for just about the same price you would pay by putting together yourself and if you really include what they do for a lot less.   Monograms will not only get you there quicker, and easier, they will do it with a lot less hassle.  Everything is arranged for you including highlights, tickets, and tours too.   You will be able to  see things quicker and easier than going alone. No waiting in lines, no waiting at the airport to figure out how you’re getting to the hotel, no waiting to grab your iPhone or dictionary to figure out what someone is trying to help you with or explain.  Your local host will pick you up and take you right from the airport.  It is NOT a tour.  It’s is totally self directed in the aspect you are not with a group of people.  You have some things which are scheduled at a certain time not unlike booking a visit to a popular attraction.  The difference is no line.  Transportation all included no having to worry about how your getting from there to there.  It’s set.

pexels-photo-338515.jpegIn Paris for instance a taxi is 150 or so from the airport to downtown where you want to stay because it is close to everything and walking distance.  Now you could take your luggage with you and catch a train which would be less but when you are lugging around a week or two of luggage good luck. Especially because it’s not really saving you any money.  With Monograms this is included remember your local host pics you up at the airport in a private car.  In Paris the price of a hotel in the same downtown area can be upwards of 300 or more per night with Monograms this is included.  Tours to the Louvre, Eiffel tower and all the must see attractions yes you guessed it included.

france-landmark-lights-night.jpgWhen in Rome why pay to wait in line at the Vatican which can sometimes take up to 4 hours or longer especially in the height of the season?   Why have to worry about getting to and from the different areas of Vietnam and Cambodia all the while not speaking the language?   What are the best places or things you should see in Venice or in Budapest?  All these are taken care of for you when you book with your travel agent a Monograms vacation.  Which leaves time for………………………….

 

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When you only get 7 days those 7 days become extremely valuable and that time becomes very important.  So why not do it in a way that provides a stress free vacation at pretty much the same cost you could get doing it yourself.   Luxury and service at a great price is extremely valuable so why settle for less?

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So for the luxury minimalist I say give your travel agent a call and have your next vacation be a Monograms vacation.  Stress free, comfort, service, value all of these become very important to me when I am using my minimal vacation hours.  Why would I want to settle for anything less?  Yes I would say the journey is part of the destination but I like the journey to be comfortable of course with a little bit of luxury built in.

-8 degrees is nothing when you have a Redwood

Jeep and Redwood

Winter and a 5th wheel are not always used in the same sentence and especially winter in the negative range.   Yet, with our Redwood it has been nothing but complete comfort.   Winter in the Four Corners area of Colorado can be mild or can be brutal and this year our first year in our Redwood it has been brutal.  We have seen quite a significant amount of snow and just this past week we have been in negative digits.

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Just a little snow

We chose the Redwood because it was rated as four season and I am pretty certain the four season they were talking about was not in the negatives.  I can only tell you that that it lives up to its claim in every aspect.

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With a Redwood and a Jeep we got this covered

We made the required adjustments and prepped it for winter.  We heat traced the water and wrapped it in insulation.  I should say the husband did this really as the only thing I did was help hold the insulation so he could place it on the water.   This definitely helped and thus far we have had no issues.  We have a small heater in the underbelly which is also insulated and heated but because of the extremes we wanted to be sure we were thoroughly prepared.

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Just a little snow

During winter especially a cold winter in Colorado our stick built home would usually have a pipe bust.  At least one either outside or inside.  The Redwood so far has not had an issue

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Lot’s of vacancies here

It is absolutely amazing and has been completely comfortable.   It is actually warmer in winter than our stick built 2500 sq foot home.    We have one fireplace in the living area and one in the bedroom and both run off electricity.   These have kept the Redwood completely warm.   Only when it has been in the single digits has the propane heater even come on.  We set it at 65 and this has been more than warm enough.

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Not many have this idea for their own Redwood life.

I really have to say testing it out has been pleasant and we have yet to encounter any significant issues.   The Redwood maintains its heat well and the two fireplaces hold up to the most frigid temperatures.   It does have a few little drafts mostly in the lower areas of the floors but nothing that is a game changer.  It would be interesting to figure out where the drafts are actually coming from.Overall we are happy with its performance in winter with really nothing to complain about.  It will now be interesting at the opposite of the spectrum and see how it holds up in the summer months maybe in some place like Lake Havasu.   I am pretty confident that if it does this well in winter we won’t be disappointed in summer.  Only time will tell.A

For the Luxury Minimalist this life offers complete mobility in or out of the US.  I am completely satisfied with selling our large home and all the ENTRAPMENT’S that come along with it. Now we enjoy our luxury studio and we hit the road whenever we desire.   As for regrets I have none.  Affordable luxury lifestyle without breaking the bank offers me opportunity travel, travel, travel.   As always if you are in need of any questions answered send me an email.   Would love to book your next travel adventure around the world or around the corner.

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You have to be prepared!

A Year with Marriott Gold destination: Renaissance Paris Verdome

DSC_0612Aaaah Paris I love you!   I could not have made a better choice than the Renaissance Paris Verdome.   A fairly small somewhat boutique property located close to the Seine River and many of the tourist destinations are only a short walk.

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Arch de Triump as you walk down the Champs de Elysee
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Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral

Upon entrance you are greeted by door man a welcome sight in various metropolitan cities.   As you walk through to the front desk you are greeted with classic and modern design of the Renaissance brand.   It’s colorful yet not overstated with a perfect blend of sleek and fashionable furnishings.

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Renaissance Paris Verdome

We were greeted by a lovely young woman who checked us in flawlessly.   She provided us a simple upgrade being Marriott Gold members and thanked us.  She also provided us with a map of the city, highlighting the popular destinations.  She was the consummate host and spoke eloquent English.

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Marriott’s Renaissance Paris Verdome Front welcome area

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The hotel itself only has six floors and we were placed on the 6th floor.    The room was classic European which means even with the upgrade it was small.  Yet, perfect and simplistic in design.

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Renaissance Paris Verdome

 

We had a courtyard style view meaning we were in the inner portion of the hotel with a view overlooking the center lobby area.  The windows opened which I am sure in summer is wonderful.  In winter though we did not need it.

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Marriott Renaissance Paris Verdome

We received our normal high speed or enhanced wifi with our Marriott Gold.

We also had turned down service in the evening and our lovely caretaker would do this for me.

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Marriott’s turn down service

Breakfast is included here for Gold members and we were presented with choice to enjoy it in the hotel of if you choose not too the points are applied to your account.   The choice is standard European with cheeses, meats, yet also bacon, eggs and my favorite the basque inspired tomato dish which I loved but unfortunately I did not get a picture of it.

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Breakfast at the Marriott Paris Verdome
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Breakfast Buffet Marriott’s Renaissance Paris Verdome

Every small detail is taken care of if you happen to look around.  The small little extra’s are a nice touch and well received by this weary traveler.

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Nice little touch Candy Bar

 

All and all this was a fantastic stay and a great property that is located pretty close to the center of everything.  Yes you will pay more but you are in the heart of the city.   You never need to pay for transit because everything is in walking distance of the hotel.   For my Gold viewpoint upgrade, turn down, wifi, breakfast a pretty good option.  Especially this time being I used points for both my nights great little perk for the luxury minimalist.

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River Seine Paris France

As always let me know if I can assist you with booking.  Or if you are a do it yourself person please feel free to use my booking site.   TravelwithT.mtravel.com

Cruising it’s all about Princess or maybe “The Princess”

 

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Puerto Vallarta on Princess Cruises

We have been cruising for several years now and have quite a number under our belt. Our choice being Princess for there superb service, classically beautiful design, destinations, and military friendliness.   For the ultimate experience and pampering you really can’t beat it.  For instance I am a Elite member and this includes yup a free mini bar set up.

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For the luxury minimalist it is a very nice room especially if you book a balcony.   I get to bring two YES two bottles of wine on board and I really love my wine.   I have a room steward who comes to take care of my room twice a day.  I can order room service to be served on my balcony if I booked one over looking that big beautiful ocean.   Or I can have them open my wine as I just sit and relax in ultimate comfort.  It really has a lot of featured comforts that can’t be beat.

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On the Ruby Princess Ocean View with obstruction ok ok it’s a little messy.

 

For this cruise we chose a ocean view obstructed room on the Ruby Princess and it was cabin E632.   We had a great window and there was hardly any obstruction at all.   A little noise in the morning from the opening of the storage door below but really nothing.  When you book an ocean view obstructed you can just about get anything.  It can be completely obstructed to really nothing to speak of.  I try to usually go on line and make sure I am getting a room that is not totally blocked.   This is always a great value and is comparable to a interior room and less than a full ocean view in price.   It’s a great deal if you are not spending a lot of time in the room.

E532 Ocean View Obstructed on the Ruby Princess Can you see the obstruction?
E632 Ocean View Obstructed on the Ruby Princess Can you see the obstruction?

I chose the ocean view obstructed because we were traveling with a group this time and was pretty sure I would not be in the room too much.  I was not disappointed as this view was great!  The cabin fantastic.

E 532 Ruby Princess Ocean view with Obstruction
E 632 Ruby Princess Ocean view with Obstruction

Our cruise this time was to the Mexican Rivera our stops were Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas.   I have to say my favorite used to be Puerto Vallarta but I really enjoyed Mazatlan this time.  We chose a self guided taxi ride that took us throughout the city and out to the beach area to somewhere called Playa Bruja area.   We stopped and had lunch at a little place right on the beach.

Matzatlan, Mexico Playa Bruja
Matzatlan, Mexico Playa Bruha

The food was classic seafood style Mexican.  I chose grilled lobster which was very good.  Now I have to say that is was not as good as the little lobster village down in Baja California called Puerto Nuevo but it was close.  I was serenaded upon request of course as I enjoyed my lunch with great company.

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Cruising with Friends is always good

If you have never taken a cruise it is wonderful and one of my husbands favorite vacations.  He really enjoys the idea of unpacking once yet seeing multiple places.  It’s great if you just want to step your foot into various places before you make a longer trip.  In the United States our vacation time is some of the shortest in the working world so most try to make the most of the short time.   A cruise is perfect in this aspect because you can see a lot in a relatively small time frame.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Photo Credit Travel with T

For those who just want to enjoy the sea it’s perfect.  You can stroll upon the decks or sit in the International Café and enjoy a cup of freshly brewed coffee or a nice cup of loose leaf tea.  There is no better place on ship for my favorite past time people watching then the Piazza.

Wine is better on a Cruise
Wine is better on a Cruise Photo Credit Travel with T
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Piazza on the Ruby Princess Photo Credit Teresa Halsey Hollar TravelwithT.net
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Piazza on the Ruby Princess Photo Credit Teresa Halsey Hollar

As always if you enjoyed my review of Princess and would like more information please contact me.  I would love to help you book your destination discovery.