Celebrations International Travel Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Hawaii

What’s the difference between building Disney Cruise Line‘s Disney Fantasy and the Disney Dream?  Frank de Heer, VP of New Ship Development for Disney Cruise Line and Philip Gennotte at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany share their thoughts during construction of the new ship.  More

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On September 22, 2011, Disney celebrated the grand opening of its new resort in Hawaii:  Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, located in the Ko’Olina area of the island of O’ahu.  This newest venture brings Disney hospitality and style to a Hawaiian paradise!  More

In celebration of today’s grand opening of Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa on the Hawaiian island of O’ahu, I wanted to share this fun time-lapse video that lets you see the entire construction process in a matter of minutes!  Read More

Take a behind-the-scenes look at the new Disney resort in Hawai’i — Aulani, opening on August 29, 2011. There’s something for everyone in the family at Aulani — see what’s in store for you in this special sneak peek.  Read More

A USA Today headline earlier today read: “Tourists Dropping Fewer Dollars in Hawaii”.  A brief scan of the article brought several thoughts to mind that I’d like to share.

While I won’t pretend to be an expert either on all things affecting Hawaiian tourism or all aspects of the travel industry, here are my thoughts as a travel professional:

Airfares to Hawaii have increased dramatically in the last couple of years.  Decreased capacity due to the closure of a few airlines that once serviced Hawaii, combined with fewer flights offered by other carriers means that travelers pay much more than they did before.  I see this as a major deterrent to potential visitors to Hawaii, which in turn hurts hotels and other land-based operations that depend on tourism dollars.

With the traditional “air-and-land” combination looking less attractive these days, my attention turns to another great way to see Hawaii:  cruising the Hawaiian Islands.  While it’s true that many Hawaiian cruises start in Honolulu, cruisers looking to save on airfare should consider departures out of Los Angeles, San Diego, or even San Francisco or Vancouver, depending on the cruise line’s current offerings.  If you live within driving distance of any of these port cities, you can save on airfare by parking at the cruise terminal, and if not, your flight out to the port city will likely still cost you much less than a flight to Honolulu would.

Another reason cruising to Hawaii is a better deal is the all-inclusive nature of a cruise.  Meals, transportation, and entertainment can be quite costly on a land-based vacation in Hawaii.  But on a cruise, all of that’s included in your cruise fare.

What better way to see the Hawaiian Islands than to wake up in a new port each morning and go exploring?  Of course shore excursions are at an additional cost, but you might decide to splurge on a special excursion one day and explore on your own the next, thereby keeping your costs in check.  And anything extra you spend onboard is always optional–you decide.

For more information on cruising to Hawaii or any other destination, visit our Oceanliner Cruises page.   Contact us with any questions!

Mahalo, cruisers!

This is an article I wrote that was published today by Travel Research Online, a resource for travel professionals.   I write columns for consumers as well as industry-related articles whenever possible.

Enjoy!

A Travel Pro Dares to Dream
June 26th, 2009 . by Adrienne Mitra

As travel agents, much of our time is spent planning clients’ trips, solving logistical challenges, and researching.  I am often drawn to itineraries or locales my clients choose, resulting in a long list of “someday” trips I’d like to take.  When it comes to my “dream trip”, there is no question:  a cruise around the world, complete with a land tour component in each major city.
My goal for this trip would be to experience the countries, cultures, histories, peoples and cuisines of the world first-hand, not just to sightsee.  With that in mind, I have a strong preference for shore excursions that provide travelers with a tangible experience to treasure, rather than whirlwind bus tours that leave travelers with little more than a panorama of discombobulated images. Unfortunately, working in a full land tour in each area is next to impossible, but since I am dreaming…

I wish I could combine all the wonderful ways to explore Alaska into a single tour.  In Hawaii, I imagine an inter-island tour encompassing the sunrise over Mount Haleakala, touring the natural wonders of Molokai, an authentic Hawaiian luau, and leisure time on Poipu Beach.  Next would be visits to the pristine islands of the South Pacific.  In Australia and New Zealand, apart from seeing the Great Barrier Reef, the Outback and the major city highlights, I would tour some of the best estate wineries, visit Kangaroo Island, and witness the ritual of the fairy penguin parade on Philip Island.

After that, my tour of exotic Asia, land of my family’s heritage, would begin.  I would immerse myself in all the unique sights, events, culinary delights, and possibilities for one-of-a-kind experiences the Asian countries have to offer.

Continuing westward, I would want to visit my husband’s native India. To avoid extensive overland travel, I would insist on flying to the most popular destinations from the port city and touring fully escorted, possibly requiring a multi-night stay in each given city.

The opulence of modern Dubai, navigating through the Suez Canal, and visiting the ancient wonders of Egypt would all present opportunities for new adventures, the conclusion of which would be our entry into the Mediterranean.  Having traveled extensively in this region, I would plan more unique, less touristy experiences.  For example, enjoying authentic paella cooked over an open fire on a beach in Spain or a walk through a lavender field in Provence.

Sailing north, I would like to spend a significant amount of time exploring northern Europe, Scandinavia, the Baltics, and Russia.  I would be tempted to debark from our oceanliner in Bergen, and take Hurtigruten’s 12-day round-trip voyage to experience the Norwegian Fjords, no matter what time of year.  And when it comes to Russia, I’m not sure the overnight in St. Petersburg would do it justice, especially during White Nights.

Owing to the fact that I would eventually have to come home, after concluding the tour of Europe, I would set sail back across the Atlantic to Nova Scotia.  Hopefully I would arrive in time for the fall foliage, which I haven’t seen in years.  Then it’s down the eastern seaboard, paying homage to my childhood origins in the south before heading to parts of South America for experiences new and different, then transiting through the Panama Canal, and finally ending my journey back in Los Angeles.

Would this be a dream trip or my ultimate challenge as a travel professional?  Both.  As there is no single supplier or cruise that can offer this type of voyage, most of this trip would have to be pieced together—if it even could be. But a girl can dream, right? And, should something like this ever come to fruition, I believe  I would be my own toughest client indeed.

Adrienne Mitra is the owner of Celebrations International Travel, Inc., an independent agency focused on serving a number of niche markets, including culinary travel, cruises, tours, and group travel. Phone:  (480) 272-6020


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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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