I just recently visited Jamaica in June 2011 and stayed at the Couples Tower Isle. This place is just amazing. It also has a very unique private island which is an au-natural retreat. The service, food, and accomodations were spectacular. The added values they offer at this resort is great. The complimentary added values are tours such as Dunns River Falls, Horseback Riding, Sunset Catamaran Tour, Margaritaville Tour, and a shopping tour.
The first was kayaking at Ketchikan, next was glacier trekking on the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, the White Mountain Pass train in Skagway (which they thought it was overpriced) and an Iditarod sled dog visit in Talkeetna. The glacier trak was the highlight - here are a few photos. The weather was good. Not really any rain to speak of. Even had sun in Ketchikan. We also saw Mt. McKinley. Thanks for your help!
The glacier trek was a 2 1/2 hour hike on foot to the glacier (included some rock climbing) and about 1 hour on, under and inside the glacier and then the long hike back. I booked it on-line through Above and Beyond Alaska. It was amazing fun but you need to be somewhat in shape to do the excursion. It was about 7 hours from start to finish and over 7 miles of hiking and climbing on foot.
Rochester-Area TRAVEL LEADERS Expert Becomes an Australia Specialist Recent Specialist Certification as an Australia Expert included Exclusive Travel Leaders Familiarization Trip “Down Under” for Jody Meyer. Rochester, Minnesota (May 26, 2010) — For a decade, Australia has been the number one dream vacation destination for Americans. In fact, in a recent consumer survey conducted by Travel Leaders, the desire to travel to the land “Down Under” is higher than the interest in such dream destinations as Italy, Greece, Tahiti, Germany, Ireland, Fiji, Egypt or France. So, in order to continue providing unparalleled expert travel consultation to Rochester’s consumers, Jody Meyer recently undertook the extensive educational efforts to become an officially certified Australia Specialist. Meyer is one of the travel experts at the Travel Leaders agency located at 3522 55th St NW.
“Australia is so diverse in what it has to offer, and because of its distance from the U.S., it really is a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ kind of journey for most travelers. That’s why I decided it was so important to take advantage of this specialized training opportunity to make absolutely certain I am assisting my clients in the best way possible when creating a dream trip to Australia,” stated Meyer. “In fact, the most beneficial part of my specialized training was to experience Australia first-hand. Traveling throughout various regions of Australia was an amazing discovery for me and completely elevates the level of service and expertise I can provide to my clients.”
Travel Leaders partnered with Tourism Australia in order to specially train these travel experts in all things Australia. Meyer completed the following training in order to obtain her Australia Specialist designation: • 4 Training Courses – each curriculum required passing an exam with a score of 85% or better. The modules included: “Introduction to Australia,” “Australian Experiences” (Aboriginal Australia, Nature in Australia, Outback Australia, The Aussie Coastal Lifestyle, Food and Wine, Vibrant Cities, and Australian Journeys), “Travel Essentials,” and “Building Effective Itineraries.”
• Qualification Exam – once all modules were successfully completed, Meyer was required to complete a final qualification exam in order to become certified as an Australia Specialist.
• Familiarization Trip – highlighting Tropical North Queensland and Sydney.
While in Australia, Meyer was able to enjoy several truly unique experiences that further enhance her knowledge of each area and her ability to assist clients in creating uniquely personalized travel plans. The familiarization trip included: • Dinner, star-gazing and a night-time tour of Cairns Tropical Night Zoo to experience Australia’s wildlife by night.
• Enjoying the “Gold Class” of the Kuranda Scenic Rail (a luxurious way to enjoy breathtaking natural wonders via the Kuranda Scenic Railway) followed by sightseeing at Barron Falls, Caravonica Lakes and the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park via Skyrail – which glides silently over the rainforest canopy.
• A fast and luxurious wavepiercer catamaran ride to Agincourt Reef – which is at the very edge of Australia's Continental Shelf – to experience a magnificent ribbon reef and the magic of the Great Barrier Reef.
• A Daintree River excursion to the Cape Tribulation section of the Wet Tropics World Heritage protected rainforest to view waterfalls, wildlife and an exotic tropical fruit orchard.
• An outing to Blue Mountains National Park and Featherdale Wildlife Park to experience the native wildlife and flora of this unique World Heritage Region and “Scenic World” – home of the worlds’ steepest incline railway.
• Free time to explore and research other sights and multitudes of dining options in and around Sydney. I experienced the Sydney Tower and Skywalk, the Monorail, the Sydney Aquarium, the Sydney Imax Theatre, and a Darling Harbour Cruise.
• My most memorable experience while in Australia was diving at the Great Barrier Reef..
To tap into the personalized Australia expertise of Meyer or any of the specialized travel expertise of the professionals at Travel Leaders, contact them at 507-281-1014 or visit them online at www.suntimetravel.com or in person at 3522 55th St NW, Suite 4, Rochester, MN 55901. ###
Travel Leaders/Suntime Travel is owned and operated by John and Debbie Nahorniak and is an Associate (franchise) of Travel Leaders. Nahorniak’s opened Suntime Travel in 1984 in Prescott, WI and have expanded over the years to serve the surrounding communities of Hastings, MN, River Falls, WI, Red Wing, MN, and Rochester, MN. They are members of IATA, CLIA and ARC and specialize in Vacation, Destination Weddings, Group, and Corporate Travel.
Travel Leaders is transforming travel with a new name that boldly embodies our commitment to our vacation and business travel clients via a progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. As one of America’s top ten-ranked travel companies, Travel Leaders has assisted millions of travelers through our strong roots – the former Carlson Wagonlit Travel Associates, TraveLeaders and Tzell Travel Group joined together in 2008 to form one of the industry’s fastest-growing and robust networks of travel agents. Travel Leaders Franchise Group can trace its beginnings to 1984 as the Carlson franchise system “Ask Mr. Foster Travel,” which itself was North America’s first travel agency chain established in 1888.
I visited Sandals Antigua in December 2007. I am a Sandals specialist, and would love to help you plan your trip to ANY Sandals properties!!!
We stayed on the Mediterranian Village side and it was fantastic. The pool was very large but had limited lounge chairs, just not enough for everyone. The restaurants were all fantastic except the Teppanyaki (Kimonos). We enjoyed eating lunch at the Barefoot by the Sea restaurant. The OK Corral (Southwestern) was our favorite. The entertainment is very limited or there is no existance. The Cricketer's Arms is a great place to hang out and enjoy the music in the evening. They have no Theater for evening shows. The Pizzeria was a great place for a mid afternoon snack. The rooms were beautiful and well taken care of. They had a fully stocked mini bar and liquer in the rooms. The older section of the resort is very lush and tropical. The beach was long but not very wide at all. All in all it was a fantastic resort.
In June 2007 I was honored to be a part of the Funjet 500 Club Award trip. We toured many different resorts and went on a private Pirate Steak and Lobster Cruise. We were hosted by the Excellence Riviera Cancun. This resort is excellent for couples and honeymooners. All of the restaurants were outstanding and the best part was that you did not have to make dinner reservations at any of them!!! They offered a lot of entertainment as well. This was an overall 5 + star resort.
I traveled to Puerto Vallarta in December 2006. We stayed at the RIU Jalisco.
I felt the front desk people do not really want to help you and are not very friendly. The furniture in the lobby was ripped and torn and full of black mold spots. The lobby bar was very smokey and the sports bar was too. The bartenders in the sports bar really knew how to make drinks. The food was only ok and it was very repeticious. The so called A la carte restaurants are not that way you still need to get up and get your own food like a buffet. The "adults only" pool was very dirty and kids had to be taken out by security always. The rooms are very small and the beds are as hard as rocks. The nightly entertainment was great and always different. The beach was huge and many of chairs to sit on. I feel the hotel needs some major renovations with the lobby furniture and the rooms.