Celebrations International Travel Blog

Archive for May 2011

This article in The Washington Post was brought to my attention this morning:

Travelers Turn Back to Travel Agents

Taj Mahal    Normally I don’t read articles like this in detail, but what got my attention was that it recounts the experience of a traveler who asked his travel agent to book a 10-day trip to India on short notice.  When we first opened Celebrations International Travel in 2005, we booked itineraries like this every day.  The reason was that we worked with adoption travel at that time, and most of our clients departed within 7-10 days of purchasing their arrangements.  With that being said, we had several clients who left within 48 – 72 hours of completing their arrangements.  No, that is not a misprint!

We know and understand that as travelers, you always have a choice as to how, where, and with whom you book your travel arrangements.  I’ll be the first to admit there are great travel deals to be found online, and travelers can indeed book on their own.  However, there really is no substitute for the expertise that a good travel agent brings to the table.

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I came across this interesting article and thought I’d share it.  I’ll be the first to admit that unless I’m on the go and pressed for time, I prefer to seek out better food options when I’m traveling. 

To this list I’d like to add a personal favorite:  Changi International Airport in Singapore.  Their food court boasts numerous options including local specialties, all at reasonable prices for an airport.  The noodle house offers fresh Chinese hand-pulled noodles of all different varieties….a very welcome choice for a “fried-and-dipped”-weary world traveler!

Eat Up:  10 Airport Dining Experiences That Make Flying Taste Better

In this final installment in Princess Cruises‘ Grand Princess drydock video diary, the passengers have boarded.  Martyn proudly showcases the new Piazza-style atrium’s many features, as well as the Crown Grill.  On hand to help celebrate the ship’s Grand Opening are many Princess Cruises executives and crew members, including Executive Chef Alfredo Marzi (for whom the new Alfredo’s Pizzaria is named), the Grand Princess’s Sommelier, Maitre d’ and others.

The pastries and coffee in the International Cafe look very tempting, the Sommelier mentions a few exquisite wines available onboard, Chef Marzi serves Martyn the first pizza made in his new namesake restaurant, and the ambience in the new Crown Grill is superb.

And if you’ve been following my posts about the Grand Princess’s renovations, you know that’s just a few of the new features onboard.  What a magnificent new ship the Grand Princess has become!

Just one day before welcoming passengers onboard the newly-renovated Grand Princess, cruise director Martyn takes us on a whirlwind tour of the completed areas, including the Princess casino, the family sunbathing area (complete with a new splash pool), the fitness center and Lotus Spa (You’ll even get the hairdresser’s perspective on the new salon and spa areas while she gives Martyn a haircut!).

I was particularly interested in Mona Ehrenreich’s post because the Princess Cruises Scandinavia and Russia cruise itinerary she went on also happens to be on our personal travel bucket list.  I really liked how she and her fellow travelers helped the young people in their group relate to the sights and monuments they visited, and I am thoroughly impressed at the amount of research she did before her trip to be able to impart these details to those traveling with her.

This truly goes to show how there is something for everyone to be found throughout the world.  We look forward to taking our family on a cruise to Scandinavia and Russia soon!

Mystery and Intrigue in the Venice of the North

Fountains at Peterhopf Palace, Russia

Fountains at Peterhopf Palace

In Istanbul Ignites a Spirit of Adventure, I really like how Captain Kent of Princess Cruises‘ Star Princess relates his desire to be at sea and to travel to pop culture and his family’s history.  When he describes finally having the chance to visit Istanbul, the realization of his dream is palpable.   I’m happy to know that Captain Kent will have the opportunity to visit Istanbul once again when the Star Princess returns to the Mediterranean this summer!

Istanbul's Grand Bazaar

The Famous Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

A Mayan Discovery With An Unlikely Guide describes a very interesting trip in which a Princess Cruises representative discovered Tulum, Mexico 37 years ago, long before it was touched by tourists.  Tulum, Mexico is now a popular stop on many cruise itineraries.  Enjoy!

Panoramic View of Tulum

A Panoramic View of the Many Buildings That Make Up Tulum


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This is blog based on the experiences and interests of travel agency owners Adrienne and Agni Mitra. Through our blog entries, we will share our travel experience and expertise. We will also have other entries of interest to inspire your travels.

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