With the growing popularity of destination weddings to Mexico, Caribbean and Jamaica, this question commonly comes up:
The answer: It varies by the destination you will be getting married in and whether or not you are going to have a symbolic destination wedding or a legally-binding destination wedding.
We have a team of travel specialists on a destination wedding exploration trip right now in Riviera Maya, Mexico at the beautiful Azul Hotels. We can’t wait to share what they have to say about the Azul Fives, Azul Beach and Azul Sensatori. In addition, they will be visiting the Adults-Only El Dorado Resorts and Spas and we will share photos of that trip as well! Call 888-369-8785 to start planning your destination wedding or fill out our form online and someone will be in contact with you to discuss your interests, travel plans, options and more.
We have quite a few families headed on Cruises this summer and thought we’d share a few of our travel agent’s recommendations on things to bring on a Caribbean Cruise!
-Bathing Suits for All Occasions
-Snorkel and Mask
-Wildlife and Night Sky ID Cards (for those interested in wildlife/snorkeling excursions)
-Sun Hat and Fastener (gets windy!)
-Smaller Day Pack/Back pack (definitely for day trips)
-Watch (you will not find many clocks on board, especially helpful when traveling with a group and setting meeting times!)
-One/two pair of dress pants that can be paired with multiple shirts for formal dining (saves space!)
-Lanyard to attach your room key to (a whole puncher is nice too :)
For more expert advice or cruise planning guidance, contact a Caribbean Cruise Expert today!
We found these museums to be unusual and interesting and thought you might too! Our travel specialists help travelers plan vacations to these popular destinations year round, and these are some unconventional ideas to consider when you’re looking for things to do on your vacation!
Paris Sewer Museum – Paris, France
Of course our travelers flock to popular tourist attractions, including the Eiffel Tower in Paris, but here’s another idea for an attraction to visit: the Paris Sewer Museum. First opened to the public in 1867, the sewer tunnels running underneath Paris are where visitors can gain knowledge of the history and inner workings of the Paris sewer system.
Bata Shoe Museum – Toronto, Canada
The Bata Shoe Museum is home to a collection of more than 10,000 pieces of footwear with over 4,500 years of history. This massive shoe collection will excite those interested in both fashion and history!
Museum of Witchcraft – Cornwall, England
Opened in 1951 by Cecil Williamson, the museum exhibits the largest witchcraft collection in the world. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about the practice and history of witchcraft and magic, and view artifacts such as a witch’s altar and a magician’s sword.
British Lawnmower Museum – Merseyside, England
With over 250 lawnmowers, this museum is a tribute to the garden machine invented in 1830 by Edwin Beard Budding. Sounds pretty interesting doesn’t it?
Toilet Seat Museum – Alamo Heights, Texas, U.S.
Barney Smith, a retired plumber, has been creating toilet seat art for over 30 years. More than 1,000 of his decorated toilet covers are on display in the Toilet Seat Museum… which is in fact Barney’s garage in Alamo Heights, Texas. Since Barney is the only person who operates the museum, we recommend calling first, so he knows to open his doors.
Instant Ramen Museum – Osaka, Japan
Dedicated to ramen noodle cups and creator Momofuko Ando, the museum showcases the many ramen flavors created, and a reproduction of the hut where the noodles were first produced. You’ll even have the opportunity to make fresh noodles and assemble your own cup noodles.
Cumberland Pencil Museum – Keswick, England
The Cumberland Pencil Museum takes visitors through the history of the pencil and pencil making. The museum is also home to the biggest pencil in the world! According to legend, a huge storm in the 1500s uprooted trees in Cumberland, and graphite was discovered. Shepherds used the graphite to mark their sheep, leading to the creation of the pencil industry.
Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum – Gatlinburg, Tennessee, U.S.
Explore the Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum in Gatlinburg, Tennessee housing a collection of over 20,000 sets of salt & pepper shakers from around the world, some dating back to the 1500s. Andrea, an archaeologist, was fascinated by the history behind salt & pepper shakers, and so she launched the museum. The museum also displays the largest collection of pepper mills in the world!
NEW! Upcoming Hawaii Group Tours
Fox World Travel has just announced two, 10-day escorted group tour packages to Hawaii! Explore the Hawaiian Islands of Maui, Oahu and The Big Island, all with the peace of mind of having a Fox World Travel Tour Manager with you and a group of fellow travelers along the way!
You’ll have plenty of free-time and opportunities to explore popular highlights including: Pearl Harbor, the Arizona Memorial, Hawaii’s State Capital, famous beaches, cultural activities, Whaler’s Village, a delightful tour of Maui’s scenic areas, private Circle Island Tour of the Big Island and more!
Tips on Traveling to Hawaii from our Travel Specialists
For the savvy shoppers, try to plan your stay in Waikiki on Wed, Sat or Sun so that you can take advantage of the ALOHA STADIUM SWAP MEET. Open three days a week, they offer endless rows of over 700 local merchants offering the best value on imported merchandise, hand made items, eclectic art pieces, popular local snacks, and other made in Hawaii products. This is sure to be your one stop destination to find that special gift or souvenir for everyone on your list.
–Debbi Haney, Travel Specialist
Many of the hotels in Waikiki are across the street from and easily accessible to the beach. The prices are normally lower than a hotel on the beach. Request a high floor for better views too!
–Barbara Anderson, Travel Specialist
Hawaii is an awesome destination, however I would not recommend traveling in January or February, because this is the rainy season. Also, in Honolulu a must see is the Polynesian Cultural Center and Pearl Harbor.
–Sherrie Stroh, Travel Specialist
I always recommend clients to buy the entertainment book for Hawaii for many dining discounts etc.
–Kathi Madison, Travel Specialist
If you go to Hawaii you should definitely try to go to more than one island. Also make sure you have enough time over there (anywhere from 8 -10 nights). That way you can really do it right. It is a trip of a lifetime… so why rush through it?
–Kathy Grant, Travel Specialist
Plan on visiting Oahu first. Honolulu, which no one should miss, is a very busy, big city and it’s nice to get the hustle and bustle done first, so you can relax on the other laidback islands.
-Colleen Alsberg, Fox World Travel Tour Manager
Planning a trip today can be confusing and time-consuming. A travel agent can arrange transportation and help save you money with early booking discounts, special fares, hotel deals and travel advisories. Here are the top four reasons you should be using a travel agent to book your travel:
1. Save money!
When most people think of using a travel agent they probably don’t think they can save money, but often this is the case. Strong working relationships with travel suppliers and the latest in computer reservations technology enable our travel agents to access the most up-to-date information to get you the best value.
2. Traveler advocates
At Fox World Travel, we recognize no two travelers are alike. We will personalize your vacation by taking time to understand your unique travel needs and interests. Your best interests are our top priority. Fox has a long-standing record—more than 50 years—helping customers create their best trip while being by their side the whole time.
3. Make travel easy
Fox is proud to offer a one-stop shopping experience for all travel arrangements. Vacations can take on many different forms, and we can help with the details of booking that cruise, train, flight or car. Because we are advocates (see number two) we take the time to learn what is important and create customized itineraries for you. We take the confusion and stress of planning away so you can sit back and enjoy a memorable experience.
Our travel agents are knowledgeable and active in the industry. We specialize in all-inclusive vacations, destination weddings and cruises—just to name a few. Many of our agents have specific destination knowledge to places like Alaska, the Caribbean, and Europe. Want to take a romantic trip through Italy? We have agents who can key you into the perfect spot to see a Tuscan sunset. Want to plan a memorable family vacation to Disney? We have Disney certified agents who can make your dreams come true. Or you do you want to sit back and relax as you cruise blue waters? We have a cruise specialist team who will find the best cruise for you.
We recommend finding a travel agent you can trust and building a relationship with someone for the long haul. Many of our travel agents have long-standing clients who now trust them to make recommendations without even having to ask! It’s the exciting world of travel planning relationships!
WTMJ Mediterranean Cruise with Fox World Travel, a set on Flickr.
Fox World Travel Group Cruise, hosted by Rose Gray, host of the Fox World Travel Show on 620 WTMJ. April 2011.
WTMJ Paris and Normandy River Cruise with Jim Peck, a set on Flickr.
Fox World Travel group river cruise, hosted by 620 WTMJ’s Jim Peck, onboard Avalon Creativity in April 2012. Photos taken by popular Fox World Travel’s popular Tour Manager Colleen Alsberg
There’s something so magical about the experience of river cruising in Europe and we thought we’d share it with you first hand, with day by day updates from our popular Tour Manager, Colleen Alsberg. Colleen escorted a group of travelers from Wisconsin and Illinois on an Avalon Waterways River Cruise, hosted by News talk radio 620 WTMJ’s Jim Peck.
River Cruise: Paris and Normandy’s Landing Beaches
Cruise Ship: Avalon Creativity
2-night stay in Paris
Day 1: Heads are bobbin’ but the WTMJ travelers are in Paris safe and sound! We are anxiously awaiting our cruise on the Avalon Creativity in a couple of hours and hanging out with our resident celebrity, Mr. Jim Peck.
WTMJ Paris & Normandy trip update: I wish you could have seen the faces of the folks in our group as we explored Paris today. They were like kids at an amusement park, oohing and ahhing at the beautiful monuments and buildings, excited to see what was around the next corner and cameras buzzing. We are having a wonderful sunny day. This afternoon we are off to the Louvre or Versaille, the choice was theirs.
WTMJ Vacation Update: As it was our last night in Paris, we gathered on the sundeck and watched the Eifel Tower sparkle and twinkle. What a magical and romantic evening! Paris sure brings out the romance in people. I think there was a little more hand-holding and kissing’ tonight!
WTMJ Vacation Update: We started our trip down the River Seine this morning and what a glorious start. The sun was bright and the sky could not have been bluer! After arriving in Conflans, some of us traveled to Josephine Bonaparte’s Malmaison Palace, while the rest literally walked into a Van Gogh painting in Auvers sur Oise! Back onboard, we enjoyed a lovely classical trio before what everyone thought was the best dinner to date! Ohhh the French delicacies!
WTMJ Vacation Update: We could not have had a more perfect day yesterday! Visiting Monet’s Giverny in the early morning fog gave his lily pond and gardens a mystical feel. Then the sun shone brilliantly on all the gorgeous flowers and his quaint French village. Everyone loves how diverse this trip is. Later back on board we were treated to fresh crepes for lunch, a fun pastry demo at the afternoon tea and then a hilarious Crew Talent Show after another amazing dinner!
WTMJ Vacation Update: We are in Rouen now and enjoyed a lovely walking tour of the old city. Some highlights: stained glass windows in the cathedral dating back to the 13th Century, St. Joan of Arc history and church, the Astrological Clock, Normandy houses dating back to the time of the plague, and of course, MACAROONS! For a bigger French city it still has a lot of charm! Some of us took the optional tour to the harbor village of Honfleur. So picturesque, it’s no wonder the artists came here….painted, drank a little absinthe, painted some more!
WTMJ Vacation Update: Had a wonderful dinner last night with Jim Peck and 3 lovely ladies in our group (lucky Jim!). He is full of interesting stories and kept us entertained. Today we are off to Normandy.
WTMJ Vacation Update: It’s hard to put in words all the emotions that were felt today as we visited the sites of WWII. From Pointe du Hoc and Omaha Beach where thousands of soldiers lost their lives, to the American Cemetery where they now peacefully lay. This day was very personal for many on our trip. Fathers, Uncles and Brothers were there on D-Day. Many tears fell, especially when they played the National Anthem and Taps in a special ceremony for us Americans on American soil in France.
WTMJ Vacation Update: Well we’re home and we had a memorable trip! I can’t wait to escort our future groups on river cruises throughout Europe. They offer such a diverse and personal look into some of the most treasured parts of Europe.
Brochure styles vary by each of the cruise lines. Open any cruise brochure and you are sure to find an overwhelming display of information and photographs. Some cruise lines feature their entire fleet of ships with the itineraries in one brochure. Others have brochures for each destination – such as the Caribbean, Bahamas, Bermuda, Alaska, Hawaii and Europe.
What you need are just the facts in simple-to-understand terms (of course that’s where a travel agent’s guidance and expertise comes in, especially when you are working with a Master Cruise Counselor who has been on over 30 cruises!! :).
BUT, if you are going to try reading a cruise line brochure for inspiration and ideas, here are some tips and information to consider.
The front of the brochure has the table of contents. Here you’ll also find the illustrations and photos, along with description of the cruise line and the itineraries available in that particular brochure.
Next you will usually find information on any special programs offered such as their kids’ programs. You will also find a quick description of the ports of call and shore excursions offered. It’s important to be sure the ports of call are going to meet your expectations if the in-destination experience is important to you! Not all ports are the same. Some offer a wealth of activities, and others cater more towards shoppers, sightseeing, beaches, etc. It’s important to have an idea of what kind of overall experience you’d like to have beyond the ship before choosing an itinerary.
Deck Plans, staterooms and fares, hotel stays, and past guest programs are usually listed next. A deck plan is a map of the ship that lists all levels of accommodations, shows the location of the restaurants, bars and lounges, swimming pools, fitness center, spa, shops, casino, kids’ center and everything else the ship has to offer. These are typically color-coordinated and many cruise lines now offer interactive deck maps on their web sites. These deck maps are also found onboard.
The last few pages of the brochure is where you will find the ‘fine print’. This section usually includes the following information – welcome aboard info, Q-and-A’s, terms and conditions, what you need to know before you go, important policies, and cruise line contact information. Make sure you read it very carefully, or just call your travel agent to walk you through all of the must knows.
The back of the brochure is also where you usually find the information on air and sea programs, cancellation insurance, and any amenity packages offered for your cruise. Whether flying or driving, we recommend arriving into your port city a day or two early. Problems can arise (more often than we’d like at times) and you wouldn’t want to miss the ship or start your trip off on the wrong foot. As always, with cruises especially, we recommend travel insurance.