Category Archives: Kristin Marcus

We are Riding the Wave Season

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This is a special time of year. This is the magical time of year. In the Northeast we are in the doldrums of winter, with new cold snow fronts that now have “names” that are forever heading toward us. Now our thoughts begin to drift towards warm days and exotic vacation destinations. The planning begins.

This is the Wave Season. This is the time when cruiselines off their very best deals. The Wave season typically runs through January to April, but industry sources are telling me the special and success they have seen will cause it to run longer this year. The specials, discounts, and incentives are not limited to the time of the sale but usually for most sailings throughout the year. If you are planning to cruise with any line in 2015 into 2016, now is the time to book.

Here are some of the best wave season specials that I have seen, prepaid gratuities,  complimentary specialties dining packages, free beverage packages that included alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, cabin upgrades, 2 for 1 specials in cruise fares  and airline tickets, half priced shore excursions. There are some many items out there please consult with  a travel professional beyond the cruiseline to get the best perks and the most combinable offers.

One of my favorite perks that has made it’s appearance this last year is the reduced deposit special.  This allows more people to make a cruise booking without having to make a larger financial commitment too far away from the vacation. People like to make payments on a vacation, it seems easier.

Some of the specific wave season specials included Norwegian Cruise Lines’s freestyle choice sales and everyone’s highly anticipated “kids sail Free” special is beginning to roll out.  Royal Caribbean has the Vow to WoW sale that includes things like 50% off second guest and reduced deposits and added shipboard spending money. There is a new ship homeporting for now in Bayonne, NJ named the Quantum of the seas and the specials can be applies to this ship.  Princess Cruises is having a 50th anniversary Sale that includes complimentary specialty dining and discounted pricing. One of my favorite lines, Celebrity is having a “123 Go” sale which includes three perks to choose from.

As stated earlier please consult with a travel professional who know which line is offering the best perks that fit your style.

There is a cruise to fit every style and every budget.  A good travel agent will have the most up to date knowledge and contacts within the cruise industry. This knowledge will help you plan your cruise with ease.  Don’t get caught adrift in a sea of confusing offers.  Please don’t forget to purchase travel insurance no matter what type of trip you are taking.

Oceans of love from Kristen and all your friendly agents of

Palm Breezes Travel

a local agency in Forked River, NJ   609-971-9267

Don’t Put Your Travel Dreams in Jeopardy

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Written by:  Kristen Marcus

I know insurance may seem like a boring topic and you would rather I talk about the best airfares or white sand beaches, but this is one of the most important parts of your trip, peace of mind. Most people don’t think about travel insurance, I hear, “I don’t need that, I am going no matter what”. Travel insurance is so much more than cancellation coverage.

Do you think your health insurance will cover you while on vacation? Think again. Here are a few things to think about when booking your next trip. Don’t assume you are covered fully with your health care insurance. Check what is covered with your plan before you leave, especially when traveling out of the country. Most health care plans do not cover medical treatment overseas.

Travel insurance will cover emergency medical treatment and even medical evacuation and emergency reunions. These are things we don’t want to think about while planning a dream trip, but just to be covered can be very reassuring.

When purchasing travel insurance you should assess your needs. Is this going to be an active trip? An adventure trip? Will I be taking risks? Will this be a pure relaxing trip? What is your age? And what is your current health situation? You can pick your level of coverage. You can have a comprehensive coverage that covers everything under the sun or you can have just a basic emergency medical.

Good travel insurance can be purchased through a travel agent, even if you did not book the travel with them. Or there are websites like www.insuremytrip.com that will allow you to compare coverage and price. Purchase travel insurance, you don’t want to get stuck will a huge medical bill while away.

If the worst happens, seek a private hospital. Many countries have public health care systems and there can be a significant difference in care between public and private hospitals. If you have good travel insurance the private hospital treatment will be primarily covered. The private hospital will be well worth any out of pocket expense you may incur.

Various travel insurance will cover trip cancellation for a variety of different reasons. Living here in the northeast weather is always a concern and any delays or cancels due to weather will be covered. There is a cancel for any reason option of some insurance. Travel insurance will also cover things like lost luggage and the contents. For example, some people travel with expensive cameras, video equipment, and computers and you can choose the coverage that will pay to replace anything that is lost.

Please consult a knowledgeable travel professional to help determine what type of coverage is needed. In my experience, when travel insurance has been needed the companies work quickly and efficiently.

I wish I could make the weather behave for everyone leaving on vacation or keep everyone safe and healthy, but I can’t, so I will offer and strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance and ease the pain of any misadventure that may happen.

 

Oceans of love from Kristen and all your friendly agents of

Palm Breezes Travel

A local agency in Forked River, NJ   609-971-9267

Palm Breeze Dreams ~ Travel for a Good Cause

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Lacey is a generous town, we have historically had very active churches, humanitarian, youth and athletic groups. These organizations run on volunteers, donations and fundraising. The recent economic downturn has left many nonprofit organizations even more hard pressed to raise the money they need to carry on. Now is the time to try creative fundraising techniques that go beyond selling 50/50 tickets, selling candy bars door to door, or organizing expensive events.

We live in a great area and many people who live in this town are civil servants, such as police officers, firefighters, and teachers. We also have a large retired population. This segment of our community still has a steady income and is still traveling. We are cruising, going to Disney, touring and vacationing in the Caribbean.

If residents in our town are still traveling why not link this to a passive fundraising activity? As a local travel agent I am willing to work with schools, sports organizations, and other nonprofit groups, in which people will book their travel and I will pledge a percentage back to the group.  I have done this with Alice’s Dancin Corner in which I gave back a percentage of the commission as a donation to the competition team.

Cruise lines give great discounts and incentives to groups so this is always the easiest way to generate a large contribution to your charity. Group cruising is always fun and fabulous.  Also if an organization has a raffle license a free cruise giveaway is always a big attraction.

Travel is fun and the consumers are likely to purchase anyway. Such a program generates donations simply by attaching the travel as a fundraiser concept to the trips they had to or wanted to take anyway.

Another great way to create a quick fundraiser is to host a bus trip to Atlantic City. We live in such a unique area, we have local buses who charge unbelievable reasonable rates to go to AC with incentives such as bonus play and food vouchers. You could host this bus trip on any day of the week and anytime of the day. So if you have younger participants that may want to go on a Friday night for dinner and a night out, this most certainly can be arranged. This is easy to promote and most travel companies like Palm Breezes Travel can arrange this with minimal hassle and maximum return.

The viral nature of this fundraising strategy is very compelling. Everybody knows somebody who is travelling, will be travelling, or needs to travel. Even if someone has worked out some of the details, the trip can always be attached to the organizational fundraiser. These efforts need a travel agency to coordinate and work closely with the organization. With social medial and good old fashioned word of mouth these fundraising efforts will become exponentially greater.

Palm Breezes Travel does not charge any service fees and commissions come from suppliers. Imagine yourself on the beach sipping a cool beverage, the palm trees swaying and at the same time helping a local charity. Doesn’t that make you smile?

Always book your travel with an agent. We are not obsolete, we can help you navigate through the choices for fundraising plans or group trips.

Oceans of love from Kristen and all your friendly agents of Palm Breezes Travel, a local agency in Forked River, NJ   609-971-9267

Palm Breeze O’Dreams

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Now that the parades are over, the beer has been drunk, the corned beef is finished (and we know we only really cook and eat it once a year) we continue to think about Ireland.  This time every year we celebrate our Irish heritage or at least we pretend to. Every year I get tons of people who get carried away with the Irish spirit and want to go to Ireland. They ask, “when is the best time to go” and I always reply anytime is a good time in Ireland.

Ireland is still in reach, the prices are still very reasonable. There is never a bad time to travel there, not too hot and not too cold, you’ll find Ireland is just right. Ireland’s climate is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and as a result, it doesn’t have the extreme temperatures that we have in New Jersey, especially what we have experienced this year. The average temperature in Ireland is a mild 50 degrees F.

Summer is the high season and the daylight lasts until 11:00PM and the temps are warmer. The summer is also the high tourist season and the prices will reflect this.  I truly recommend discovering Ireland in the winter season in the months of December, January, and February. Do not be afraid. You will get the most bang for your buck and the hills will still be green. Just imagine yourself sitting in an old pub next to a roaring fire in your new handmade Irish wool sweater sipping a local pint and listening to traditional music. That sounds like “neamh” which is Gaelic for heaven.

Even the bust of the last several years could not undo Dublin’s transformation into a World City. They have everything from wonderful gastro-pubs, literary pub crawls, world class museums, castles and galleries and historical National Botanical Gardens.  Last year Dublin hosted a historic Notre Dame vs. Navy football game in which the fighting Irish sunk navy in this Emerald Isle classic. This year they will host Penn State University vs. University of Central Florida on August 30 as an exciting way to kick off the season.

I highly suggest a guided tour to this lovely Island especially for first time visitors. The tours are well planned, full of information and fun, and never stuffy. CIE is one of the top Ireland tour operators and is based in Morristown, New Jersey.  This is a plus because they can usually get great air prices from our local airports. They have some of the best tours and prices, for example they are offering for 2014 an 8 day Irish Pub and Folklore trip that can be surprisingly affordable.  Some of the highlights of this trip will include all tours of Dublin, Killarney, Cliffs of Moher, Galway, and a special tour of Blarney Castle near Cork where you will be able to kiss the stone and never be at a loss for words.  For this tour most meals are included, nightly entertainment, some drinks, superior accommodations, luxury motorcoach, creative tour guides and so much more.

I wish I could send everyone on a trip to the lush and mystical Emerald Island, so contact me or a travel agent to get you the best possible prices and dates. A good travel agent will have extensive knowledge and great contacts for Ireland. If you dreamed of this, the time is now to grab some luck of the Irish.

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Oceans of love from Kristen and all your friendly agents of Palm Breezes Travel a local agency in Forked River, NJ   609-971-9267