Monday, May 2, 2011

Travel Deals - 1st week of May

As the summer months approach us, I know that many of us teachers are thinking about where we are goint to venture to in order to make most of the summer. My summer plans include a trip to Spain and Barbados - each for a week, and a couple of weekend trips to like New Orleans and Boston. The Sensational Sistahood trip is a go also for the 2nd Annual Rosh Hashana Cruise. Then I think I will lay it cool until next spring.

For those of you that are thinking about planning an upcoming summer trip here are the most latest deal that are out this week.

Royal Caribbean - Hot Deals 
Just a few highlights. Click the link above to view the whole list.
Alaska: 7 Night Alaska Sawyer Glacier Cruise package sailing from Seattle, Washington on the Rhapsody Of The Seas -- Starting from $795 interior room (Dates -July 29th, Aug 8th and 19th)
Bermuda: 5 Night Bermuda Cruise package sailing from Cape Liberty Cruise Port, New Jersey on the Explorer Of The Seas -- Starting from $719 interior room (Date - Aug 27th )
Caribbean: 7 Night Western Caribbean Cruise package sailing from Port Canaveral, Florida on the Freedom Of The Seas -- Starting from $549 interior room (Dates -July 10th and 24th, Aug 7th and 21th)

4 Day Canada/New England from New York, NY starting from $349 interior rooms (Date- Aug 4th) $379 (Date- Aug 18th)

4 Day Western Caribbean from Miami, FL starting from $389 interior rooms (Dates -- July  4th, 18th, 25th)

Highlights from TravelZoo


China 4-City Vacation Package incl. Airfare »


Orlando Hotel near Universal w/Breakfast, 60% Off » Hampton Inn Orlando South of Universal Studios

$59 & up

Virgin America Sale incl. Fall Travel; Ends 4/29 » Virgin America


Oregon: Mount Hood Resort w/Free Skiing (Reg. $385) » Timberline Lodge


Turks & Caicos: Club Med 4-Night Stay w/$200 Credit » Orbitz


Ireland: Luxe Ritz-Carlton Vacation incl. Car & Air » Sceptre Tours


Alaska: Oceanview Cabin on 7-Night June Cruise » American Discount Cruises & Travel


Puerto Rico 4-Star Getaway w/Spa Credit & Air »

$199 and up

Las Vegas 4-Star Summer Getaway incl. Airfare » Delta Vacations


Palm Springs 4-Star Resort incl. Weekends (Reg. $339) » The Westin Mission Hills Resort & Spa

$39 & up

Nationwide Fares on Sale through June (each way) » American Airlines 

I am a fan of the MegaBus, especially since it takes about 3-4hrs to get to Boston. Boston tends to have reasonable airfares. Here are some deals from JetBlue ( check out the site as well) that include departures from Boston.
Boston ----> Bermuda (One Way) $109
Boston ----> Virginia (One Way)$69
JFK ----> Bermuda (One Way) $59

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pre-Cruise NCL Epic Adveture Begins @ La Quinta Inn

         I am starting out this vacation with Jon and Tatty for our Epic Journey. Machael, Sonia  and the rest were due in on the Saturday morning. We left straight from school pn the Friday afternoon to catch our 5:29 flight on AA, which was very comfortable I may add. Jon made his way earlier in the day on 3pm jetBlue to FLL. Flights tend to be cheaper to Fort Lauderdale and the transportation to Miami Airport was easy. He took the free shuttle service (via the FLL airport)  to the Tri-Rail. Then the Tri-rail to MIA airport station which only cost $3.75.

         It was funny how we all met up at the same time. As soon as we got to the luggage carousel, Jon was there to meet us .We quickly got our hotel shuttle to La Quinta Inn Airport Hotel East.I chose this hotel because it was highly recommended on the cruise critics web page .  Not only did it provide breakfast in the morning, but it had  the Airport shuttle to the hotel and a free one-way port shuttle to the port of Miami so we can catch the boat.
         We arrived at the hotel around 8:30 PM and was told that the pool will be open until 10:00 PM.  The three of us looked at each other and said let's start the vacation right. We quickly changed our clothes, and went straight to the pool. It felt so nice and warm (after awhile). The amazing thing that we saw at the pool was this Caucasian woman.  She was hanging out with these guys that were also at the poolside drinking and talking, and she rolled up looking a little intoxicated ( I wished I had my camera).  The problem was that she didn't think she was intoxicated at all and then decided to jump in the pool.  Backside first.  Now on a normal night that would not be unusual, but I forgot to mention that she did not to have a bathing suit on.  She was but naked, and that was a bad sight.  Luckily, her friends got her out in time.  So besides that view, the three of us did manage to enjoy our moonlight swim.
Afterwards, we were hungry and decided to go to Benningan's for a cold beer and some food.  The walk back to the hotel was not that bad. It was really close.  We all said good night had a good night's rest because we knew what we were in store for tomorrow.
When we woke up in the morning and looking like P. Diddy, we anxiously got ready and headed for breakfast.  We met a lot of other people who were staying at the hotel going on other cruises as well.  So breakfast was quite crowded.  If you stay at this hotel do not expect a hot breakfast.  The hottest thing would be the boiled eggs, toast, or make your own waffles (which are Jon's favorite).It was unlimited so we definitely helped ourselves.  Our shuttle was not due to arrive until noon, which was OK because you could not get on the boat before hand.  KSA tours provided the shuttle service and if you wanted to make arrangements for a return pick-up to Miami Airport the cost would be $10.00(Fort Lauderdale: $65.00). We got to the port of Miami in no time.  I got my first text from my friend Machael, and it was of Sparkle drinking a Bahama Mama.  I screamed and said, "Wait for us!"

Two more tidbits before I end the pre-cruise info.  A good travel tip for you to remember is that it is never too late to call your credit card company or your bank to let them know you are traveling out of the country.  If you do not notify them, they will freeze your account. I actually only remembered as we were on the shuttle on our way to the Port of Miami.

Second tidbit: if you are worried about TSA then you need to travel with Tatty. As she was re-packing her bag the night before, she was telling Jon and I about how she didn't really have a lot of her aerosols or her liquids in clear bags. And um, like me she didn't check a bag. Shame on you TSA. Shame on you TSA. But luck Tatty.  Take a look and what she did not get in trouble for.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Pheonix - Day 2

Woke up this morning to a beautiful Phoenix skyline and 60 degree weather. It was Boxing Day and for my aunt and I that meant shopping. We went to Paradise Valley Mall and I was most certainly impressed with the fact that it was not overly crowded. There were definitely great sales to be had.

After our fabulous shopping spree, David decided to take us to the Deer Valley airport where he flies out on his tiny Cessna. Now you know that my behind will never be caught dead on those small little planes. For my other cousin Garry and his son, this was a great outing especially since they go plane watching in Barbados. There was also a nice place for lunch located on the first floor of the airport. The restaurant allows you have a great view of the runway and all of the planes. It is a great place to visit especially on a Sunday afternoon if you are into aviation or if you just want a quiet outing. Here are some picture to get you intrigued. Just keep in mind that I did not go close to the planes because I am a "scaredy" cat.

Being from the East Coast, there was a little part of that me that missed the snow because of the association it has with Christmas time. However, there is a little treasure in Phoenix where you can get that feeling: the Phoenix Zoo-Zoolights. For only $10 a person, you can visit the zoo and witness the animals at night and the zoo's wonderful light display. The only animal that I was able to see was the zebra, because the time we went ( around 8pm) most of the animals were already asleep. The light displays were great and my favorite one was the Music in Motion where the lights move to the music. My little cousin enjoyed the merry-go-round and taking pictures at the many different exhibits. He was only saddened by the fact that not many of the animals came out. I like the idea of the Zoolights and when I mentioned it to some of my friends they asked if there was anything like that here in the city. I am not sure if the local zoos do have a light show but I do think it would be a great idea if they did. If you are interested in the Zoolights, it takes place from Thanksgiving through the first week in January at the Phoenix Zoo.

West Coast Christmas

To end the year 2010, I decided to visit with my mom's side, who lives in Barbados, and we all met up at my cousin David's house in Phoenix, Arizona. My intentions were to stay from Christmas to the Monday after, but the "Great Blizzard of 2010" said nope. Now if anyone knows my David, they know that although you say you are travling to Phoenix there is going to be some road trip elsewhere. The first time it was too the Grand Canyon, the second time was to San Fransisco. This time the road trip destinations were to San Diego and L.A. Overall, it was great time held by all.

Day 1 - Christmas Day
Phoenix , Arizona
I wanted to make sure that I spent time with hubby for at least Christmas Eve, which is why I decided to leave on Christmas day. Now if you ever have to travel during the Christmas holiday and you don't mind missing Christmas Eve at your destination , try flying out on Christmas day. First and foremost the flights are cheaper. Secondly , there are empty seats because most people try to get to their destinations before Christmas day. It definitely makes sense to do when you are going to the west coast. I left 6:30am on Saturday morning and arrived in Phoenix at 9:30am. I was still able to have the rest of the day to do plenty of stuff.

The weather was quite pleasant which was a change from the cold winter air I was used to. If you dress like it is fall in September and October you are straight. Layering also is a good idea due to the fact that it gets quite cool at night. I wasn't feeling too well so I definitely was layered-up.

We had a wonderful feast prepared by my aunt and cousin and though we were missing my mom and his dad, it was still good to have the family together again. And I believed that they were there in spirit.

Resuming the blog

O.K. the New Year is here and I vowed that I will be resuming my travel blog because I know this year I have some upcoming trips that I would like to share with my friends and family. Also, just in talking to some people at work, I have gotten them excited about traveling again.

The two big trips for 2011 are the NCL Epic cruise to Mexico & Belize, and a week long stay in Espana, a.k.a Spain. I do intend to do some mini-trips along the way, especially since Jon has four day weekends now. I plan to take advantage of visiting places on the east coast that I haven't been to. I will also be mentioning when I find dog friendly hotels because as my baby Spyro is growing older, he is whining more when he is left even for a few hours.

There has been a lot going on with the airline industry and online websites and I plan to report on who will give you great deals and who you need to watch out for. For instance, American Airlines, just announced last week how they were removing there ticket prices from online websites, Expedia and Orbitz. Which now means that you may only purchase from This was due to a dispute that was had over ticket prices. Competition, Competition, Competition. We will see if others follow suit.

Well, there is a synopsis of what is ahead for this Ebony Travel blog and I hope you like what I have to share. :)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Cheap Travel Deals

Well thanks to my home girl Lynn, I received some valuable information for cheap travel. It appears that two of the most reliable carriers have been holding out from us. American Airlines and JetBlue both release really cheap airfare on Twitter . I mean really CHEAP. I checked out the site and I was amazed to see from JFK to Syracuse it is $9 one way. WOW ! The only reason why I am a little perterbed is that I belong to both airline loyalty programs and I was never told about it. They said on the news report on Fox 5, that they only release these cheap fares via their Twitter. For those Twitter phobic and facebook phobic people , ya'll are going to have to join the band wagon so you won't miss out on these great deals.

Click on the Cheap deals for jetblue's mobile twitter.
Click here for AA travel website on Facebook

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Aussie Day 1

OMG I am here at last. Thank God Almighty I am free at last. Free from the confines of a seat in a 777 for the past 14 and a half hours. It is 7am and the morning light is shining in my eye until I reach the immigration counter. I gave them my passport ,my filled out declaration form, and told them about my electronic visa*(SEE NOTE 1) . I guess when I was filling out my visa online I forgot to add my middle initial which can be seen on my passport. I was detained for a few minutes while they fixed my visa and then I was allowed to proceed to baggage. With that minor delay, the baggage didn't take long to come out and we made it through Customs with a breeze. As we got outside, we had to determine if it was in our best interest to take a cab or the train. The train would have cost $15.20 AUD * (SEE NOTE 2) per person while the cab ride to our hotel in World Square was about $50. We opted for the cab since we didn't know exactly where we were going or the distance we would have had to walk.

RYDGES World Square Hotel

- They let us check us check in early. Thank God
- We had a nice suite with a bathroom that had a separate bath tub and shower.
I also fell in love with the flat screen t.v.'s, and the eco-friendly toilets.
- It was close to the Museum St train station and the World Square monorail stop.

- It was just simply annoying sometimes to remember to leave a key in the
keyholder that also controlled the electricity in the room.

We settled in for a little bit until Jeff's friend Levi called for us and out we went. The plan was to meet at the Museum of New South Wales, walk through the Botanical Gardens and end up by the Opera House and Circular Quay.

Royal Botanical Gardens

I was enjoying the 'free' beautiful gardens until I saw something fly above my head. The natives call them Flying Foxes.... Bajans call them Fruit Bats... April calls them People-Eating-Vampire bats. I have no clue who is right . All I knew was that I was ready to run. But I was the only girl amongst five guys (Levi also brought his Australian buddy Luke to help with the tour )and the BOYS were too busy taking pictures. Sigh. But the rest of the landscapes in the garden were very pleasant to look at. While passing the garden cafe I came across this strange bird that till this day I do not know what it is called.

Opera House
Okay now you know April is crazy when she recalls out loud ," That is where Blair from The Facts of Life left her shoe when the Jewelry Robbers were after her." Yeah I know I am special. That episode aired in 1987 and that was when I first wanted to go to OZ. Now as I approached the Opera steps I started to cry . I just could not believe I was finally here. We didn't take a tour only because we had purchased ticket to see singer Lillias White perform there that night. ( It was a really great show for a good price, however I was lil' tired and was sleeping through most parts . But I at least was awake to hear her ask the audience if anyone was from Brooklyn.) The Opera house was a magnificent architectural piece that to the common eye you thought you were looking at sea shells or sails on a boat.

We ended the day with a tasty Thai dinner and an excellent show at the Opera House. Who could really ask for more? G'day Mate!

NOTE 1 {Now I meant to mention about the Visa details before on my preparations for Australia, but I will take the time now to do so. Well after you purchase your airline tickets you must apply for a visa for both Australia and New Zealand. If you are a U.S. citizen you can apply for it electronically on the following website and it costs $20 AUD. As a US resident you have to send you passport in to the respective embassy and pay a higher price. You do get your passport back before time of travel , and for those of you that like your passport to have proof of your travel the Australian and New Zealand visa patches will provide that.}

NOTE 2 {The conversion is $1 USD = $1.21 AUD. Most currencies mentioned will be in AUD unless otherwise noted.}