Where Will You Be For Spring Break 2018?

By: Terri Henderson

It’s hard to believe but spring break 2018 is only about 6 months away. If you’d like to getaway during spring break and haven’t yet made your travel plans, now is the time to make your arrangements. Availability typically will become more limited everyday, with pricing increasing and the best options going first, booking early is definitely recommended.

Still thinking about traveling over the holidays? Although space is limited for this peak time period, we are still finding some availability. If you’d like to travel after Christmas and over New Years, we’d recommend making those travel plans as soon as possible (like today isn’t too soon!).

Now that you realize you should make your plans, the next step is to determine where you’d like to go. If you need a little inspiration, here is our top 3 spring break destinations from last year.

  1. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
  2. Caribbean Cruises
  3. Walt Disney World

As an extra incentive to make your travel plans early,  we will be giving away one, one-way airport transportation (value $120) to those who make their travel plans by November 30th, 2017, for travel December 15th, 2017-April 30th, 2018. Already booked your travel plans for that time period with us? No worries, you will still qualify for the transportation drawing!

Why should you choose Geneva Travel & Cruise to assist with your travel arrangements? We provide personalized service and attention to detail, ensuring you have a smooth and stress free travel experience. Let us do the work for you, contact Geneva Travel & Cruise  at 630-845-8999 today to help plan that perfect getaway!

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UNICO 20º87º Review

By: Terri Henderson

My most recent trip was to visit the brand new adults only UNICO 20º87º in the Riviera Maya, MX. UNICO is a new all inclusive concept, where not only are meals and drinks included, but you also receive select tours and spa treatments for just a small service fee. This resort truly is an all-inclusive experience.

Check-in
We were welcomed with a delicious drink, were quickly checked-in and escorted to our room by our personal host, who gave a brief tour of the resort along the way.

Room
What a view! Besides the amazing view our room was quite large, with high-end finishes, comfy beds, large bathroom, and huge balcony with large soaking tub. Literally loved the room, including the huge flat screen (so many channel choices and in English, which was a huge plus).

 

Pools
They have 3 pools, 2 main pools, and a more quiet pool for those looking for an area without music and a more relaxing atmosphere. All were beautiful and well maintained, and plenty warm for swimming. Many great seating options to choose from. We never had a problem finding a chair.

Beach
The beach is a decent beach, a bit narrow, but still what I would consider a nice beach. The water was just beautiful, all different shades of blue.

Food
Food was really excellent, we ate at the buffet, Mexican and Italian restaurant and honestly were not disappointed with one item we were served. I also appreciated the wait staff at each meal asking if we had any food allergies they needed to be aware of.  Oh, don’t miss the cucumber/mint margarita at the Mexican restaurant, it was beyond delicious.

Staff
The staff was always friendly and eager to offer assistance, even when we didn’t ask for it. Very pleased with the service we received. For a resort that had only been open for 2 months, I was surprised to see how smoothly everything was running.

Nightlife
The resort seemed a bit more quiet at night, but there is nightly live music offered in their lounge area, which had nice outdoor seating available adjacent.

Overall
I really enjoyed my stay at UNICO and hope I’ll be able to visit again soon. They seem to really have done everything right with this resort from the design, to the wi-fi that was lightning quick throughout the entire resort (even at the beach!), all ocean view rooms, and excellent food and service. I really couldn’t think of anything I’d change. There is still a bit of construction going on adding some more stores, etc., but it was very minimal and didn’t distract one bit from our stay, and will probably be completed soon. If you can, I’d get to this resort as soon as possible, you won’t be sorry you did.

Contact Terri Henderson at Geneva Travel & Cruise for further details about UNICO 2087 or to book your next getaway!

To see more of pictures of this resort please visit our Facebook page.

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The Clock is Ticking! Have you made your fall/holiday travel plans?

Southwest Airlines has now released their flights through January 7, 2018. If you have been waiting to make your fall/holiday travel plans, now is the time! Those who book early will tend to find the best rates and options. Contact us to start planning your getaway today!

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Have You Made Your Spring Break/Winter Travel Plans?

By: Terri Henderson

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It’s hard to believe it’s the first day of fall. What does the first day of fall signal? To most it means cooler temperatures ahead, changing leaves, plenty of pumpkin treats and ultimately winter. What does the first day of fall mean to us here at Geneva Travel & Cruise? It’s a time for us to remind travelers that if you haven’t made your spring break or winter travel plans, now is the time! Many of our clients have already booked their trips because they know booking early provides the best pricing and options. But, it’s not too late! We are still finding availability for this high demand travel season, and many tour operators are currently offering promotions to help lower pricing.

If you are planning to travel after Christmas and over New Years, the options are very limited at this time. We are still seeing availability, but space is filling up very quickly. Don’t delay if you wish to travel at this most busy time of the year.

Why should you choose Geneva Travel & Cruise to assist with your travel arrangements? We provide personalized service and attention to details, ensuring you have a smooth and stress free travel experience. Let us do the work for you, contact Geneva Travel & Cruise  at 630-845-8999 today to help plan that perfect getaway!

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Iberostar Grand Paraiso Review

By: Terri Henderson

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Recently I had the pleasure to stay the Iberostar Grand Paraiso hotel in the Riviera Maya area of Mexico. I really looked forward to seeing this resort for myself, as many of my clients have loved the property. Iberostar Grand resorts are the chain’s adults only resorts, and are the most deluxe.

Upon arrival we were welcomed with a tasty beverage, and after a quick check-in, we were taken to our room. The room was spacious and had a view of the water and pool, along with some foliage. Everything was nice about the room, and I just loved the large balcony to relax on.

The salt water pool is just perfect at this resort, large and never felt crowded. I could have spent all day in that pool.

The beach was very nice as well. The water was a bit rough while I was there and there were some rocks in the water, but that didn’t deter me from spending many hours on the beach. I was always easily able to find chairs, with plenty of shade.

Food and drinks were really wonderful, I didn’t have anything I didn’t enjoy. The buffet had a great selection, and the specialty restaurants were all tasty as well.

Besides all the wonderful things mentioned above, one of the things that made my stay most special was the staff. I don’t think I’ve ever been greeted my so many smiles, and people asking how my stay was, or if there was anything that they could do to make it better (and truly there wasn’t!). You really felt like everyone at the hotel wanted to ensure you were having a wonderful time.

I’d highly recommend the Iberostar Grand Paraiso hotel, and hope I’ll get to return sometime soon. Please contact Geneva Travel & Cruise today at 630-845-8999 and we’ll help you plan that perfect getaway!

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Have you made your holiday travel arrangements?

Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe - BeachBy: Terri Henderson

It’s that time of year for my annual reminder, if you haven’t made your holiday travel arrangements yet, now is the time! Southwest Airlines has released their flights through January 4, 2017, and for holiday travel it is definitely best to make your plans as early as possible. There is still availability for this peak holiday period, but it is booking up fast. Those who book early will have the best options available to them. Don’t get stuck in the cold…contact Geneva Travel & Cruise at 630-845-8999 today and we’ll help you find that perfect destination!

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Review of Avalon Waterways Romantic Rhine, Basel to Amsterdam

By: Terri Henderson

Avalon Waterways

It’s been a few months since my river cruise, and I still think of it often. It was really such a fabulous experience that I’ve been eager to share. River cruising is a trip I get asked about quite often lately, and after my recent cruise I’m not surprised why. This way of traveling has really taken off, as it offers a way to get into the heart of cities with ease, while enjoying excellent accommodations, dining, and included tours, and of course wonderful service.  I decided it was time for me to experience this trip for myself, and sailed this past November with Avalon Waterways on their newer ship the Tranquility II, sailing the “Romantic Rhine” from Basel, Switzerland to Amsterdam, Netherlands.

My trip began in Zurich, where I spent one night before the cruise began. It’s a good idea to fly in the day before your cruise. Arriving early not only gives you time to see Zurich, but also allows you a little cushion before your cruise starts in the event there were to be any flight delays. Zurich is really a fantastic city, very pretty and easily walk-able. We took the train from our hotel to downtown Zurich which was quick, easy, and inexpensive. We walked through the newer section of Zurich to the older section, which was so quaint. Enjoyed dinner there at a small café, and made our way back to our hotel. I’d definitely like to go back to Zurich for a longer visit.

Zurich

The next day we traveled by motor coach to Basel, on an Avalon excursion that included Mount Pilates and a quick visit to downtown Lucerne. I have wanted to visit Lucerne for as long as I can remember, and was very happy to check it off my bucket list. I would highly recommend this excursion, the views from Mt. Pilates were just beautiful, and the city of Lucerne is wonderful. I’ll definitely be back for a longer stay.

Mt. Pilatus  Mt. Pilatus

When we arrived in Basel we were taken to our ship, the gorgeous Tranquility II. I can’t say enough how much I enjoyed the ship, which felt elegant without being stuffy. Although river cruises are small in comparison to ocean cruises, it never felt crowded on-board and I was always able to find a seat in the common areas. The suite cabins are very nice as well, spacious with great views from our sliding glass doors. I really enjoyed relaxing in our cabin and watching the scenery pass by.

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Our first stop on the trip was Strasbourg, France. What a charming city! I loved strolling around, visiting the Gothic Cathedral, doing some window shopping, and just taking in the city while sipping a delicious hot chocolate. Oh, how I wish I could go back tomorrow!
Strausbourg                   Strasbourg Cathedral

The second day of our cruise we visited delightful Heidelberg. Our included excursion took us to the Heidelberg Castle, which is located up on a hill and gives you beautiful views of the city below. After our excursion we walked around this cute town, did some window shopping and had more hot chocolate. I really couldn’t get enough hot chocolate on this trip, it was delicious everywhere we tried it!

Heidelberg Castle

Heidelberg Castle

The following day we visited Mainz and then Rüdesheim. Our included excursion in Mainz visited the Gutenberg Museum, which was very interesting. We received a demonstration of what the first printing press looked like, and saw many old books, that I really enjoyed viewing.

In Rüdesheim we visited the Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it really was fascinating to see all the different musical instruments used years ago.

Siegfried's Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum

The following day we cruised the Rhine Gorge, and this really was a highlight of the trip. Such stunning views with castles dotted along the way. Just loved this part of the trip.

Rhine Gorge

Next up was Cologne, a city we decided to walk around on our own, which was very easy to do as the ship docks right in the city.  We visited another amazing Gothic Cathedral, enjoyed lunch and the famous Kölsch beer. Our visit ended at the Chocolate Museum, not to be missed!

Cologne Cathedral

Cologne Cathedral

Our last stop on the cruise was Amsterdam, a fascinating and bustling city. One interesting fact, Amsterdam has more bikes than cars, and you’ll see them everywhere. I really enjoyed the included canal river cruise in Amsterdam, which is great way to see the city. I also chose the Anne Frank House as my optional excursion, and was so glad I did, this is a not to be missed experience.

Amsterdam

Sadly after Amsterdam it was time to head home. I really loved the Romantic Rhine itinerary, and hope to be able to experience it again someday, it truly was incredible.

A few things to note about the wonderful ship…

Accommodations

I stayed in a Panorama Suite, which was nice in size, includes a wall of windows, and a spacious bathroom. An unusual highlight of this suite is the beds face the huge window, allowing you a great place to relax and view the passing scenery. I highly recommend these suites and feel it really enhanced my river cruise experience.

Panorama Suite Panorama Suite

Dining

I found the food on-board this ship to be excellent, really everything was tasty. There was a good selection and the included wines with dinner were always delicious. I was a bit worried about possible weight gain on this trip, but surprisingly I gained only 5 ounces for the 10 days I was gone. All that walking really paid off. In retrospect I should have eaten more!

Entertainment

A river cruise is definitely a different experience than ocean cruising. The evenings tend to be quiet, but there is live music played on-board every night. One night we had a real treat with a very talented violinist and guitar player. It’s a more subdued atmosphere, but one that I enjoyed, as it was nice to wind down after a day of touring.

Staff

I really can’t say enough about the staff. They were always eager to please and friendly. This cruise was their last sailing of the year for this itinerary, and you’d think it might have been reflected in the service as everyone I’m sure was looking forward to some time off. But this was not the case at all, you would have never known this was their last sailing of the year.

German Feast Night

German Feast Night

I really can’t recommend river cruising enough. It’s a fabulous way to travel and Avalon was just superb.

River cruise vacations should be booked as early as possible, even a year in advance is not too soon, as the ships are small and can sell out early. Currently there are some excellent promotions available including free air or $1500.00 off per person (select sailings, terms and restrictions apply). For more information or to confirm your trip, please contact Geneva Travel & Cruise at 630-845-8999. We will help put together your own wonderful river cruise experience, offering assistance before, during and after travel.

 

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