Our travels and ideas for planning your next trip!

DreamAlongTravel has a new, wonderful tool and website for romance travel!  This is a Must-Go-To if you are considering travel to the sun and sand but not sure where you want to go.  Visit my site.   It won first place award with Travelage West Trendsetter award for “Best Targeted Marketing Idea”!  I am honored to be the first associate site for this romance travel wedsite.  Be sure to Check it Out!!!

dreamalongtravelvirtual honeymoon

What does Trendsetter awards mean? Each year, the TravelAge West Trendsetter Awards recognize travel agency leaders who make an impact on the industry and the community. Two finalists in each category are invited to and honored at the WAVE Awards as guests of their sponsor.

Entries are reviewed and voted on by the sponsors and editorial staff of TravelAge West. Furthermore, suppliers who sponsor the Trendsetter Awards do so not just for publicity – they support the travel agent community and wish to honor those who are making significant strides in the industry.

See the Trendsetter winners in all categories below and check out the July issue of Travelage West Magazine honoring all the recipients held at The Ritz Carlton in Marina Del Ray, California
TravelAge West 2016 Trendsetter Award Recipients

Best Targeted Marketing Idea
Winner: Robin Hawkey, Virtual Honeymoon (see my personal story- page 20)
Runner Up: Alexis Lee, Avenues of the World Travel

Best Group Booking Sales Effort:
Winner: April Schmitt, Divine Destination Weddings
Runner Up: Montrose Travel

Upward Bound, Rock Star Agent Under 40
Winner: Melissa Varela, Modern Romance Travel
Runner Up: Jason Olson, True Vacation Travel

Best Use of Social Media
Winner: David & Carol Porter, The Roaming Boomers
Runner Up: Tom Chongruk & Lora Chow, Travel 4 Food Fun

Aruba, located in the Southern Caribbean Sea are blessed with some world famous beaches, along with dry tropical climate, welcoming trade winds, pristine landscapes and beautiful historic sites to explore. They are also located just outside the hurricane belt, have more sunny days than any other Caribbean island, making Aruba a ideal honeymoon destination anytime of year.

A snorkeler and divers paradise, with 40 dive sites where visitors can meet the local marine life or explore World War II wrecks, the surrounding waters are populated by colorful creatures such as parrot fish splashed with teal and gold, as well as stunning coral formations, bountiful marine life and sunken ships, visitors can enjoy excellent visibility in Aruba’s crystalline waters.

For the shoppers, this is your place, as a free zone, duty on most items in Aruba is so low that shopping here can have obvious advantages, carrying goods from all parts of the world, plus a range of locally made handicrafts. Aloe grows in abundance on Aruba, and skin care products are made locally.

Nightlife here is your paradise with casinos, open from until early morning, with some over 24 hours!
Hotel bars usually offer live entertainment, also there are several cocktail bars and nightclubs or join one of the party buses for a lively pub tour. Another option is one of the party cruises, usually offering dinner, drinks and entertainment.

Speaking of entertainment, Aruba hosts monthly events such as the Music festival in May, International film festival in June, Jazz festival in October and Grand Carnival in February.

Aruba Honeymoon

Lots of reasons to visit this beautiful Caribbean island, but one the best is the people, they are so friendly and welcoming, that’s why they are known as one happy island.





One of my specialties is Honeymoons to the Sun, Sand and Sea!  If you dream of soft white sand between your toes, gentle breezes and a sunset colored rum drink in your hand, I’m your gal.  Go to http://www.dreamalonghoneymoon.com to start designing your dream honeymoon.  Or call me at (208) 964-3578.  Anne Del Vecchio, Honeymoon Designer

Here’s what just two couples had to say…


     We had a wonderful time at the Sandals Grand Riviera.  I must say it was better than my honeymoon to Hawaii 5 years ago. Kenny really enjoyed it. That was the quickest week vacation I ever had. The food and restaurants were great. All the theme nights we loved the villa and  private pool, you did a fantastic job. May God bless you and your family a thousand times more for the time and effort you put into making this a trip one we will never forget. Almost forgot, our butlers,  Kameisha and Nicola were great. I will request them again as our butler’s, they were worth every dime and more.  Thank you again, Trina

Here are a few more pics of the happy couple...from now on you're our travel agent... Kenny 


From now on you're our agent!

From now on you’re our agent!

“My fiancé and I were trying to find the perfect honeymoon. We would get onto the computer every night and look up different places and different hotels, but it was just becoming more and more frustrating. We weren’t able to narrow it down to a place, let alone a resort, and our wedding day was quickly approaching. Then, someone suggested we call the travel agent, Anne Del Vecchio. I really liked Anne and the knowledge she had of different, exotic places. She made my fiancé and I feel extremely comfortable entrusting her with our honeymoon. Shortly after our first meeting, she came back to me with different ideas and then from there, helped me to narrow it down to the most cost-efficient. And we ended up with an incredible honeymoon in Puerto Vallarta with a resort directly on the beach and were upgraded to a beautiful view of the ocean. And it was all a very reasonable price including the flight as well as this amazing resort which had great service, amazing food, and excellent excursions to go on. We truly would not have been able to have such a wonderful honeymoon in our budget if it weren’t for Anne Del Vecchio. Thank you Anne!”

Hallie and LeeRoy

Hallie and LeRoy

“We would get onto the computer every night and look up different places and different hotels, but it was just becoming more and more frustrating. “


Costa Rica Deal

Even if you are flying from other cities, this is a good deal.

Even if you are flying from other cities, this is a good deal.

Anne Del Vecchio, Your Personal Travel Consultant (208) 964-3578

Call me today so you can start walking on that seven mile beach very soon!

Hello Dear Travel Friends,

I just got back from Jamaica and let me tell you, once again, I was overjoyed with the pampering, dining and luxury of the Sandals resorts.  Sandals Negril was an absolute favorite of mine.   Can’t wait to share my pictures with you.

What I loved was the beautiful white sand beach that went on forever.  You can walk as far as you wish along the water past other resorts to little beach bars.  Dine on the beach while watching amazing sunsets.  Or be pampered in the Red Lane Spa with tropical inspired treatments.  Gorgeous, luxurious, relaxing…Oh my!  I’m going back!

Sandals Fam 204??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????Spanning Negril’s famed Seven-Mile Beach, Sandals’ Negril vacations conjure up tropical vibrations with a casual, understated elegance. Stroll through walkways dotted with swaying palms and sea breezes, while listening to the hypnotic sound of waves. Experience romantic moments created by the most amazing sunsets at the Caribbean’s ultimate beach resort. Savor world-class cuisine at breathtaking, oceanfront restaurants. Relax and enjoy luxurious accommodations, just steps from the beach, including some of the most unique suites in the world with butler service where you can swim-up to your private patio. ??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????

??????????????????????????????? We stayed here and I loved every minute of it.  If I were returning to the Negril area, this is the resort I would choose.

There are so many reasons to recommend Sandals Negril.  Here are my top 10.

Reason for recommending this resort:

1.        Incredible beach, luxurious resort.

2.       Fun beach party night

3.       Free wedding with magenta orchids, cake, champagne

4.       Premium wines are standard

5.       Has a country cottage feel rather than high rise.

6.       Romantic Candlelight dinners in exquisite gazebos

7.      Waterfront locations to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner

8.  Perfect location for amazing sunsets

9.  Trees that fall are carved into fun art work

10. Snorkeling trips included and many non-motorized water toys

OK…How about the top 11.       Some rooms that walk right out onto the beach




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??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????  ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????




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What could be more beautiful than a wedding dinner in this lovely gazebo by the blue water? ???????????????????????????????



Check out some of these very special rooms that have their own pools or walk out onto the beach…





Carry your sweetheart away to Sandals Negril because this table is reserved for you!  Or maybe me and my HoneyBear if I get there first.


Call me for reservations…I guarantee the best price!  

Anne Del Vecchio, Your Personal Travel Agent   (208) 964-3578







Ever seeking to discover the most wonderful resorts for my clients, the lure of sun and sand drew me to the Riviera Maya, Mexico for a fantastic experience at the El Dorado Royale.  If you are longing for a ROMANTIC CELEBRATION FOR JUST THE TWO OF YOU, this is the place.  I stayed in the Casitas Suite which was like my own little bungalow (palapa) with a private pool and poolside bar for the little courtyard of suites.

One of Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Top 100 Hotels in the World and a AAA Four Diamond Resort, El Dorado Casitas Royale  is the top of romantic seaside luxury.

Here I am with a travel agent friend being welcomed at the resort with a glass of champagne.  (I’m the one on the left.)

karisma fam 144

Snuggled along the beach in a separate, private area on Mexico’s Riviera Maya, El Dorado Casitas Royale is an adults-only resort made for romance. An impressive selection of amenities and services make this an unmatchable destination for romantic escapades, weddings, honeymoons, and anniversaries.

Unwind in your private, picturesque Casita on the beach and enjoy the luxurious space with an in-suite Jacuzzi. Enjoy gourmet dining at seven different delicious restaurants. Cater in rejuvenating Spa services, including the popular couples massage lessons. Delight on 13 swimming pools by day, and participate in the exciting nightlife.

Click on the slippers to watch my video when I first entered my room: ( Then click the back arrow to return to this blog for more pictures.)

karisma fam 131

More pictures….so you can imagine yourself lounging in your own Casita or out by your pool or beach….

My Casita



Jacuzzi Bath

Day Bed on the Veranda

Shower Grotto
Table for Two

Table for Two

Shower Grotto

Now let’s go outside… the temperature is marvelous, the sand is soft white, the sea aqua blue, my pool a step away…Ahh!karisma fam 168

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karisma fam 113

karisma fam 139 karisma fam 141 karisma fam 163 karisma fam 164 karisma fam 165 karisma fam 166 karisma fam 180










Wander down the path to the El Dorado Royale proper to visit the SWIM UP SUITES, just in case that type of room is your preference.

karisma fam 147 karisma fam 151 karisma fam 195 karisma fam 209Could resist a sip by the pool!

ROMANCE IS THE FOCUS OF THE EL DORADO so embrace a wedding, anniversary, candle light dinner or fine dining.  The options are many for lovers to share.

 karisma fam 149 karisma fam 156 karisma fam 157  karisma fam 167 karisma fam 170 karisma fam 179karisma fam 162 karisma fam 181 karisma fam 183 karisma fam 186 karisma fam 191karisma fam 143karisma fam 128 karisma fam 153 karisma fam 172  karisma fam 175 karisma fam 185

Fine food a la carte made every meal a pleasure!

Now please excuse me while I relax on a swing waiting for my marquerita!  Adios!

signaturekarisma fam 176

It is exciting to head off on that long-awaited vacation or honeymoon.  The first moment in the car leaving home, I consider my vacation has begun and am filled with delightful anticipation of a good trip.  With a little preparation, my self-pampering begins at the airport.  So let’s discuss how to make the first leg of the journey, the airplane ride, comfortable and enjoyable.


Pack into carry-on to be placed under the seat in front of you on the plane:

Important medicines

Consider taking: Baby aspirin, sea sickness medicine, sleep aid, immune system boost supplements, eye drops.

Ear plugs or noise reducer ear phones

Eye mask

Thick socks or slippers

Reading material or electronic entertainment that does not need the internet

Neck pillow and thin blanket

Lip and skin moisturizer

Toothbrush and toothpaste

Comb, deodorant

Moist toilettes

Food Favorites

Gum or mints

Empty water bottle (fill it up once you are past security at the airport)

WHEN BOOKING YOUR FLIGHT – Comfort starts here:

  1. 1.       Be sure your name on the ticket is absolutely to the letter correct. Security at the airport requires it to be correct.  However, you most likely will still be able to board if a mistake has been made, it will take longer and require extra measures.
  2. Select your seat, if possible, when you book your flight. Aisle seats allow more freedom of movement, window seats provide a view and a place to lean your head.  Avoid the middle seat if possible. Within five rows from an exit or towards the rear is safest in an emergency.  Over the wing limits your view from the window.  Avoid the seats at the end of the aircraft and those near the wings and toilets if you want minimal distraction, noise and movement. Sit up front for best air quality. A recently released Harvard study found air quality in aircraft cabins didn’t meet minimum standards for office buildings. You’ll find less carbon dioxide in forward seats.
  3. Use www.seatguru.com to find out the most comfortable seats on your particular airplane.
  4. Two people flying together on a flight with three seats in a row, may consider reserving the aisle and window seat.  Just maybe the middle will remain empty giving you extra room.  If not, the middle seat traveler will inevitably be happy to exchange for your isle or window seat.
  5. Here are the top rated airlines for economy class comfortable seats:

Jet Blue – extra leg room and Direct TV plus endless snacks

Southwest – still as of this publishing date offers blankets, pillows and in flight snack.  Be sure to go online 24 hours in advance to get “A” boarding or purchase “A” boarding for $5.00 by going to Boardfirst.com.

Virgin Atlantic – provides earplugs, slippers and eyemasks

Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific – In flight entertainment, comfortable seats and leg room.  Best economy seats if you are flying these two airlines are seats 61A and 61K on Singapore and seats 66A and 66K on Cathay.  They are the only twosome in a 3-4-3 configuration with extra room around them.

  1. Consider the bulkhead or exit row aisles.  Advantages are you will have extra leg room, no one can recline their seat into your face, and no children will be seated next to you.  Disadvantages are, your plane comfort bag will need to be stored overhead and you will need to be able to open the emergency door if needed.  Some airlines charge an extra fee for bulkhead seats.


  1.  Do the electronic check-in to avoid waiting in line and to get a better seat assignment if not previously selected.
  2. Pack your bags.
  3. Search for a discount coupon online if parking your car at an airport parking lot.
  4. Plan the time you need to get ready in the morning and drive to the airport arriving a minimum of 2 hours prior to your flight.  Minimize the stress at the start of your trip by not needing to rush.
  5. Double check to be sure you have: Driver’s license, passport, flight tickets (e-tickets), itinerary, money, medicines, glasses.
  6. Lay out your clothes to wear on the airplane.


Layer Up.  Dress for fashion when you get there, on a long flight, dress for comfort.  That means layers of loose – no pinching or pulling or unzipping required to be comfortable. You have three temperatures you need to consider here – the temperature in your country, the temperature on the plane, and the temperature when you arrive at your holiday destination. What makes life tricky on the plane too is that it’s very hard to predict the temperature and this is largely because of the sporadic use of air conditioning. Some planes will have none and you’ll be boiling hot, while others will have the air conditioning on full blast and aimed right at your feet – and this can get freezing cold. The solution then is to wear layers so that you can put more on if you’re cold or take more off if you’re hot. You should also wear soft and comfortable clothes though so that you can essentially pad yourself into your seat. Think nice wooly jumpers and t-shirts that are made from soft neoprene, nothing silky as silky tends to be cold. Don’t wear anything too tight. . Bring a jacket

My Layer List: Short sleeved t-shirt, Long sleeved t-shirt, sweater or sweatshirt, jacket.  Shorts in my comfort carry-on bag. Long loose fit pants.  Wearing my short-sleeved t-shirt, I can layer on or off as needed and change into my shorts right before the plane lands if the weather is hot.



Your feet will naturally swell during the flight due to the pressure in the cabin. They will also tend to get both cold and hot.

  • The best shoes to wear on the flight are flexible shoes      that you can dislodge easily from your feet (slip-ons, loafers) and do not      require tying when you need to put them back on (like for that long      postponed trip to the lavatory).
  • Next best are any flexible shoe (sneakers, walking      shoes, etc).
  • Dress shoes, especially heels, do not adjust for      swelling and would be a hazard in an emergency.
  • Flight socks (any heavy, loose-fitting socks) are more      comfortable than shoes, keep your feet warm, and serve to walk around the      plane, at least anyplace but the lavatory.
  • Slipper socks are great for comfort, warmth and also      for the lavatory because they have soles.
  • For an extra luxurious comfort treat yourself to some      cashmere socks and slip on slippers for your in-flight feet pampering.


Most airlines no longer provide blankets and pillows.  If they do, grab on as you walk to your seat because there are not enough to go around.  In a pinch, your coat will act as your blanket but  taking your own blanket will make the cold flight infinitely more comfortable.

Any thin car blanket will do but is hard to squeeze into your flight comfort bag.  Purchasing a pashima might be worth it for a long trip.  A Pashmina shawl is a fine cashmere wool from a special breed of goat.  It is soft and warm, takes less room than a blanket and can easily pack into a small bag.  It multi tasks as a scarf, shawl, blanket or lumbar support.  If you don’t need it to keep warm, roll it up and put it behind your back, which helps significantly to increase your comfort level.  These shawls come in muted colors so gentlemen can enjoy one tucked into their comfort bag as well.


  1. Instead of drinking soda or coffee, opt for water if you are wanting to sleep.  Save sugary treats for when you wake up.
  2. Take off your shoes and cuddle your feet in warm socks.
  3. Use your neck pillow.
  4. Wear compression socks if your feet tend to swell.
  5. Listen to soft music
  6. Use an eye mask
  7. Take the wallet out of your back pocket and store in your under seat bag.
  8. Put a lumbar pillow or your rolled up sweatshirt between your low back and the seat to alleviate spinal compression.
  9. Consider a light sleep medication if your flight is over 8 hours and if OK with your doctor.


For Noise Reduction – Crying babies, etc.

  1. Consider buying EarPlanes Earplugs – Relieves inflight ear discomfort with the exclusive CeramX™ Filter that regulates air pressure and reduces harsh noise naturally.
  2. Ear plugs from any drug store
  3. Bose noise-canceling headphones
  4. Down load a white noise app on your phone and use with headphones
  5. Listen to an audio book on your mp3player
  6. Listen to your favorite music or video


WATER, WATER, WATER – Flying is dehydrating.

Eat a good meal before you get on the airplane incorporating plenty of water and fruit juice to hydrate yourself.  Go to a deli at home before your flight and treat yourself to whatever deli foods tickle your fancy. You can purchase many of these items at the airport but the cost will be double. Remember, no liquids and that includes apple sauce or liquid type foods.  The minute you leave home, your vacation begins so plan your airplane picnic with gusto.  Be sure it will pack well and not smash easily.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Cut up fruit or veggie dip plate
  • Hunk of salame and cheese, sour dough bread, specialty olives
  • Specialty salads
  • Raison cinnamon bagel and cream cheese
  • Deli Sandwich or buy meat, cheeses and a roll and put a sandwich together on the plane
  • Jerky, protein bar, trail mix, chocolate bar.
  • Add  on moist toilettes and napkins.  An empty water bottle to fill up after security.
  • Drink lots of fluids on the plane to stay hydrated.  Alcohol doesn’t count.  Try to drink down your full bottle of water plus whatever the flight attendants provide.
  • If you have a long layover, this it the time to have a nice meal in an airport restaurant.  After you eat walk around a good deal to get your circulation going before the next flight.


Of course you need to pack your personal medicine requirements but in addition consider the following suggestions.  Ask your doctor about taking baby aspirin for the prevention of deep vein thrombosis and blood clots caused by physical inactivity.  You may also want compression socks.  For those who get motion sickness, consider taking sea sickness pills or ginger capsules.  If sleeping on an airplane is an issue for you, over the counter sleep aids can be of assistance.  Though be sure to take it early in your flight or right before you get on board so that you are fully awake when the flight arrive at your destination. If you have a cold or allergies, ask your doctor about taking a decongestants before the flight to help clear your ears. Many supplements to boost your immune system are available. We seldom get colds any longer after breathing the recycled air on a plane since we started fortifying our immune system with “Airborne” about half an hour before the flight.

Just a precaution, wipe your table top on the plane down with a moist toilette when you first sit down.  Who knows what hands with a snotty infectious nose have been sitting there just before you.


  1.  Get up and walk up and down the aisle
  2. Wiggle toes and ankles
  3. Stretch your arms and back
  4. Put your feet up on your  under seat bag






Sandals Wrap

Sandals and Beaches resorts are a class of their own!  Known worldwide for their 5 star resorts in the Caribbean and more quality inclusions than any other resorts on the planet!!   When Gordon “Butch” Stewart offered me the opportunity last December of having my car wrapped with Sandals and Beaches advertizing, I jumped at the chance.  Here I am with Mr. Stewart last December in Antigua.  (OK, so he offered the wrap to 160 other agents too and had his picture taken with them as well, but, hey, this is me and it is him.  I’m just getting to know more Sandals up close and friendly.)


I absolutely LOVE having my car wrapped!  Thought I would share the experience with you.  Here is my car in the garage last week in snowy Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.  BEFORE…   Eric from Sir Graphic out of Spokane arrived early in the morning, before I even had my first cup of tea.  My husband, Gene, welcomed him to our warmed garage.  By the time, I got my first glimpse, one side of the car was already done.  Wow!



Isn’t it beautiful?  Doesn’t it just make you want to be there?  Give me a call or email and I will make it happen for you.  Let me take the stress of putting together your honeymoon, destination wedding or vacation.  Let me take the stress, you take the beach! 

Anne DelVecchio, Your Travel Consultant

(208) 964-3578    4anne@dreamalongtravel.com    www.dreamalongtravel.com   http://www.honeymoonsbyannemarie.com

For a whole lot less dollars, experience the brilliant aqua marine water caressing silky white sand, Caribbean charm and the all-inclusive pampering of Sandals resorts at the Grand Pineapple Beach Antigua.  These lesser known resorts, owned by Sandals, and located in both Jamaica and Antigua, are incredible gems for those folks willing to forgo the five-star Sandals or Beaches resort for a more colloquial, homey type of vacation. And I must say, guests at the Grand Pineapple Beach Antigua were more than satisfied.  On my visit in December 2011 to six Sandals resorts, the Grand Pineapple Antigua was the only resort with “no vacancy”!  We met one woman who has been coming to the Grand Pineapple Antigua from Brittain for the month of December for twenty-five years!!

The two-story bungalow style resort is located on its own private little cove for carefree swimming and sun soaking.   Warm, friendly staff greet you with a cool scented towel and refreshing drink as you arrive.  What a “cool” touch.

Take a stroll through the lovely gardens, read a book from your bungalow porch, or sip a frosty drink under a shade tree…. My husband and I would choose this resort in a minute.  Families are welcome though children’s programs are limited.  Make your own family fun on the beach.


Weddings at the Grand Pineapple Beach Antigua are complimentary with a seven night stay in an ocean view room or only $899 with a shorter stay.  This includes the flowers, cake, government fees and ceremony costs.  Select the garden gazebos for your wedding, then family at home can watch the ceremony on a web cam.  Isn’t that great! 

Or choose the hilltop gazebos overlooking the stunning blue waters.  There is a steep walk up to this sweet vista so be prepared.  

Of course, couples may wish to choose the beach for a wedding, after all it is the Caribbean.  Or maybe, just for relaxing on a beach chair.  This is a small resort and cove so expect company on the beach, especially during the sunshine hours.  Speaking of beach, non-motorized water sports are included. Doesn’t that water bike look fun?


See the hilltop gazebos up on the cliff!

Of course, sumptuous food is always a priority on vacation.  And though the dining rooms are more like a summer camp facility than a fine restaurant, the food is wonderful.  There are three restaurants, the pool side grill, the main dining room and the “Outhouse”.   

Hike up that promontory past the hilltop gazebos to discover the “Outhouse” and I promise you will not be sorry.  The ambiance is pure shack!  Grab a stick, write your thoughts or name and hammer it on.  A part of you will always remain in Antigua.  Spend a while savoring those lip smacking ribs and chicken while you are there.  


Two rooms became vacant while we were at the Grand Pineapple Beach Antigua.  After staying at the luxury Sandals resorts, these rooms appeared basic, rather like a typical hotel.  Clean, charming and simple.  The pools are reminiscent of the 1960 era.  But hey, I’m here for the fun, sun, water and affordability.  Throw me in this folksy place anytime!


Scenic, friendly and serene…the Grand Pineapple Beach Antigua is calling me.

If you want affordable, if you enjoy a smaller resort with a 1940’s feel, if less than perfect but funky, lovely, warm and friendly is fine with you perhaps the Grand Pineapple Beach Antigua is calling you too.

See you on the beach,


Hello Anne,

I’ve been giving it some thought since we’ve been back from Jamaica about the entire experience and I have to say that the resort, Couples Sans Souci, was completely beyond expectations.  Overall we enjoyed every aspect of the resort that was offered, from the room service, daily stocked mini bar, cuisine, Dunn’s river, water sports, weather, everything.  The non-alcoholic smoothie station they have next to the mineral pool and workout room is out of this world.  The mango and strawberry-banana shake are so tongue tantalizing I sometimes forgot about the rest of the resort and even made special trips from my room just for the shakes. 



We had spent the first day getting a feel for the resort and planning our stay and roughly came up with a game plan of what we’d like to do the rest of the stay.  We were trying to get out as much of the Jamaican vibe as we could, trying to experience what Jamaica had to offer.  One particular day we were going to learn the soca dance and when we had shown up nobody was to be found, we waited a few minutes, then left.  We were next to the beach so it wasn’t that big of a deal. Other days there were activities that we had also wanted to participate in but had a conflict with other activities, then one thing led to another and we missed out on those.  So we didn’t get to do as much activities as we’d hoped.  So I guess in a nutshell for first time travelers traveling anywhere for the first time, it may be difficult to take in everything in that a place has to offer and the sooner you realize you can’t do everything, the more fun you’ll have doing whatever you’ve done.  You just have to plan to make another trip.     

One critique, if you can call it that, was an activity we did sign-up for giving them our room number.  We signed up three days in advance to go scuba diving.  Scuba was at 11 am but you had to go through a small course before at 845ish am.  We had fun the night before dancing and stayed up late.  We needed breakfast and time for it to digest so we order breakfast in bed early at 6 am.  December is one of the rainy months in Jamaica and sometimes makes for rougher seas.  So we go down to the water activities station only to find that the water activities for the day have been canceled.  Now the thing is, is that when it comes to scuba diving, is that you can predict the under water conditions from the weather the night before and the morning of.  And with their experience and expertise (resort scuba instructors)they knew before hand the scuba was going to be out of the question.  So making my point, with them having this knowledge and this being an activity that guests actually sign up for with a room number it would’ve been nice to been given a heads up instead of going through all the effort of waking up early, getting ready, and marching down there to find out its canceled.  They could’ve called and notified us since they had our information on hand.  That was a little irritating personally, maybe its just me.  So another activity we missed out on.  I know above I wrote we enjoyed the water sports and then you read this, but the following day the weather was perfect and we took full advantage, going sailing, snorkeling, and glass bottom boat ride.  So in the end the water activities were very eventful and worth it.  Surprisingly I didn’t expect the water to be as salty as it was.


There really is just so much that I could jot down about our experience but It’d just be easier for me to tell you verbally so if you have any questions at all I’d be happy to share more of our experience with you or other people thinking of couples or couples sans souci in particular.  Again, I’d definitely recommend Couples.  We spoke with a number of other guests from all over the country staying there and they say that the extra amenities that Couples offers, you’d have to pay extra at other resorts, yet the price for couples was comparable if not better.  And comparing Sans Souci to the other Couples, many said that the geographical location of Sans Souci compared to the others was the best and there favorite.



It was pretty easy to have the airlines change Ann’s name on the reservations.  I wonder if we could’ve booked the flight and all reservations with her married name even though the flight was booked before the wedding and we didn’t fly till after the wedding, to avoid any future delays.


It would’ve been best if we’d reconfirmed the swim with the dolphins before we left for Jamaica because there was a little difficulty in finding the reservations on their part and also once we arrived at Dolphin Cove at the front desk they could’nt find our rsvp for about 15 minutes.  Even though we had the confirmation papers from GoGo with the Swim with the Dolphins information.  That by the way was an awesome and forever memorable experience which we are completely happy with.  Also how often are you going to get the chance to partake in an event like that so we had to purchase the CD and DVD combo to share our experience.  That by the way was $110, fyi.  It was an unexpected purchase and took most of our souvenir money.


I don’t know exactly how to put it, but these are some things that I’d recommend or would find useful in future traveling by plane and visits to Jamaica.  I did my best to think about what we’d need along our travels but didn’t think of everything, I didn’t know what to expect.  I’d suggest even if you don’t use it, to have on hand: ear plugs – lets be honest, the screaming kid on even a two hour flight would get on just about anybodies nerves, or better yet an iPod or mp3 player if you have one.  It may not block out all the noise but it helps muffle at least.  Also an eye face mask to block out any light especially if you have to sleep in the airport entrance to catch the morning flight or while on the plane, some times the lights can be bright.  Snacks, snacks, snacks!  Who in there right mind will willingly pay $8 for a sandwhich that you make at home for $2 tops.  Wow, are those airport prices enormously expensive.  There are so many snacks you can bring from home that will save you a bundle.  Also we’ll definitely invest in that neck pillow, for some reason the plane ride can be pretty tiring and it would’ve been nice to have one.  Games, we brought regular cards and uno cards that kept us pretty entertained both on the plane and waiting for the next flight so time went by a little quicker.  Bring water shoes or aqua socks especially for Dunn’s River excursion.  You can rent them but who knows who’s feet have been in them and you only get one use out of them so its a waste of money.  Closed toes are the best, I had sandals, open toed, and continually had rocks in my sandal for the excursion.  Swim goggles are small and easy to carry and would’ve been nice to look under water while swimming around at the beach to see whats underwater.  Didn’t have any need for it but people recommended bug spray so we had some just in case.  If you don’t have one purchase your underwater camera here locally, rite aid has it for $9.  It cost $20 at the gift shop.  When traveling abroad or just in general have a pen to fill out the custom forms, otherwise you’ll be waiting to borrow one since the flight attendants don’t carry any.

Cash, i’d say a few hundred worth or depends on what you plan on doing.  I’d bring at least $20 in ones, $20 in fives, $40 in tens, and the rest in $20’s.  I was a little caught off guard with the tipping ettique and I’m not a big tipper anyway.  Though we didn’t have to worry about tipping at the resort, any excursions to and from, its customary to tip your driver or tour guide.  Just remember you worked hard for that money so don’t feel bad if you don’t tip big. 

There are so many vendors trying to sell you the same thing as the next vendor.  Everything is negotiable it seemed, so don’t be afraid to barter the price with them, your biggest weapon is walking away because the next vendor down probably has the same stuff and they want your money.  These Jamaican’s have been doing this a while and are good with working with your emotions and psychy making it hard to walk away sometimes, but you have to stand strong.  You can find great deals by bartering and shopping around, not hastly buying the first one you see.  Also with the smaller bills you have more le-way* when bartering.  Unlike here, the sale of liquor isn’t regulated by the government.  We purchased a few bottles marked at $28 each for $15 each.   A side note on the liquour too is that you can bring back 2 liters per person, which is equivalent to 3 fiths, to the states but keep in mind that you’ll have to check it at the airport, depending on the airport will cost you an additional $25 that wasn’t on your mind at the time.  Especially if you brought carry-ons to avoid those extra charges. Also, beware that some places charge tax between 8.5% to 18.5% so if you have cash you may avoid tax, depends on the place.  Using a credit card may also cost you an additional percentage by the credit card company for foreign transaction fees and by the shop for them processing it.  Cash is the best option in my opinion, don’t be flashy and use some common sense and have fun with it.  Also cash gives you a budget on how much your going to spend and once you’ve reached that limit then you know it.

Alright, I hope you find some useful information in what I’ve written.  If you have any other questions I’ll do my best to answer them.  I brought back a few brochures about activities if you’d like them for your collection too.  Well that’s enough for now so I hope you enjoyed the pictures and we’ll talk with you later.


Brent and Ann

P.S. The layover wasn’t that bad in North Carolina.  Ann brought a blanket and kept warm. Used sweatshirts as pillows.  For me the eye face mask would’ve been helpful though.  They kicked us out of the terminal so we had to sleep inside at the entrance of the airport. It was cozy though.  Would do it again to save money and add to the experience.

(Note from Anne: They elected to take a flight that gave them an overnight in North Carolina but did not get a hotel.)