Sandals Montego Bay, Jamaica

Sandals Montego Bay is the entertainment capital of the Sandals resorts in Jamaica. Set close to the airport and close to town it is a great vacation for many couples. The setting of Sandals Montego bay is on Jamaica’s North Coast’s largest private white sand beach. A unique feature to this resort is The Chapel. The quaint Chapel is the only one of its kind at any of the Sandals Resorts.   Couples getting married here can use this quiet chapel on the grounds for their ceremony. It is also used when Jamaica is getting some “liquid sunshine”.   The Chapel has a non denominational service every Sunday.   Walking the grounds of this resort you will feel relaxed and peaceful with the lush green vegetation and vibrant colorful flowers that blanket the landscape.

Mansfield, MA-Based Darby Wojick Joins Top Travel Professionals in Orlando for Major Industry Conference

Darby Wojick at Port Canaveral

Port Canaveral boarding the Disney Dream

Mansfield, MA-Based Darby Wojick Joins Top Travel Professionals in Orlando for Major Industry Conference

Darby K Wojick Among More Than 600 Travel Industry Professionals to Attend Nexion’s Annual Conference for Extensive Training and Networking Events

Mansfield, MA September 29, 2014 – Darby K Wojick of Darby’s Destinations recently returned from Orlando, FL, after attending four days of top-tier travel industry training and networking hosted by Nexion®, premier host travel agency. She was part of a group of only 600 out of roughly 100,000 U.S. travel industry professionals attending CoNexion 2014, held Sept. 17-20, 2014, at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld in Orlando, FL. At CoNexion 2014, Wojick had ample opportunities to connect with travel industry experts and learn more about the many tools and resources Nexion provides to ultimately better assist Mansfield and greater Boston area travelers.

“As an expert in the travel industry, it’s imperative I stay up to date on the education and resources that are available to me, so that I can continue providing first-class service to my clients,” stated Wojick, who is an independent travel agent serving Mansfield and greater Boston travelers for the past 5 years. “CoNexion 2014 was an incredible experience and offered the unique opportunity to connect with elite industry professionals who share the same passion as I do. Nexion’s annual conference exceeded my expectations and has made me more ardent and proud of my profession.”

CoNexion 2014 was Nexion’s largest-ever annual conference and featured expanded breakout sessions, a networking power hour, an extensive supplier trade show and much more. According to Wojick, one of the most valuable benefits of attending CoNexion is the opportunity to meet face-to-face with top cruise, tour, and airline executives – as well as hotel, car rental and travel insurance partners. Wojick also attended a number of highly-specialized workshops; including Customer Service and Problem Resolution.

To tap into Wojick’s travel expertise, contact her at 508-576-7495 or online at http://www.darbysdestinations.com.

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Darby’s Destinations specializes in creating memorable family celebration vacations for families of all sizes. I can save you time and money so you can have a memorable vacation with your family.

Bar Harbor, Maine – a great fall destination

60 Second Geography – Bar Harbor, Maine

Bar Harbor is a town on Mount Desert Island in Hancock County, Maine. Located in Downeast, Bar Harbor was once considered a small fishing and ship-building community. Today, it is a favorite destination for people throughout the world. With Acadia National Park in our backyard, a visit to Bar Harbor affords the comforts and luxury of a classic vacation retreat, but also offers spectacular beauty and natural wonder for those who would prefer to spend their time outdoors.

  • Scenic Flight. Fly over some of Maine’s historic lighthouses (built in the 1800’s) including: Winter Harbor, Prospect Harbor, Egg Rock, Baker Island, Bear Island, Bass Harbor Head and the Blue Hill Bay Light and experience the beauty of the area from above!
  • Fish for lobstah. Sail out on a fun lobster boat and sample a day in the life of a Maine Lobsterman! Watch the captain haul in lobster traps and listen to the tales of lobster fishing, seals and other marine life in Maine. Lobstermen always have a story and you likely will hear all about the local history and folklore. The tales sometimes seem tall, you decide if it’s fact or fiction! Ask about the Flying Dutchman of Maine, the curse of the Saco River, the night during World War II when a German U-Boat landed two spies on Hancock Point, and any others he may want to throw in.
  • Explore Acadia National Park. Did you know that Acadia National Park covers over 42,000 acres? Explore its cliffs, rocky coves, glacier-carved lakes, dense forests and get taken aback by the incredible vistas! Some of the more famous sites include Sand Beach, Otter Cliffs, Thunder Hole, and Jordan Pond House. Most of the park was donated by the Rockefeller family. As you explore the park you will see hand-cut stone bridges and other evidence of the family’s elaborate 57 miles of auto-free carriage trails.

Ready to experience Bar Harbor? Contact Darby’s Destinations and get started planning your trip.

Sandals Royal Plantation – a romantic getaway

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Sandals Royal Plantation is a quiet couples only resort that boast an English charm. This 74 all suite, all butler and all oceanview resort is a wonderful retreat for any couple looking to reconnect. The resort is small and intimate and attacks a wide range of couples.

There are two main dining venues, The Terrace which serves a la carte breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Le Papillion, an elegant French restaurant has a wonderful menu and in a very romantic setting. Le Papillion has the only Caribbean champagne and caviar Bar, though the caviar is an additional cost. The Wobbly Peacock Pub is an English style Pub service exciting pub fare. At Sandals Royal Plantation you can get the full beverage and food menu on the beach and or in your room 24 hours a day. Also you have dining privileges at Sandals Grande Riviera but the guests at Sandals Grande Riviera cannot dine here.

The grounds are beautifully landscaped with lush tropical vegetation. On the terrace you can relax while you look out over the Caribbean sea. The resort has a family of peacock’s living on property so you will always see them hanging out on the terrace and in the gardens. They are not shy either and will come up to the guest for food. The pool is located on the lower level of the terrace. The property also has two beaches with all of the watersports you could want. There is a elegant room in the main building called the Drawing Room, this is a great place to have a small private dinner. There is a plaque on the wall that showcases the many famous guests such as Richard Nixon, Winston Churchill and Mrs. Coretta King that stayed at Sandals Royal Plantation. There are many stairs to climb throughout the resort so it may be challenging for guests that have mobility issues.

The all butler suites are well appointed accommodations which have king size four poster canopy beds, large baths with great soaking tubs. Some suites have a French balconies while the other have a full balcony to relax on and all have an oceanview, so there is never a question on what the view will be from your room.

Another special accommodation here is the Villa Plantana, a 3 bedroom villa located on the secluded east beach of the resort with its own swimming pool. “A stay at this exquisite three bedroom villa is like being wrapped in a cocoon of tranquility and privacy”*. The living and dining areas are spacious with great views of the sea. The pampering continues with the full time butler and private room attendant to cater to your every need.

Whether you are a young honeymoon couple or a couple celebrating many years of marriage you will have a great time together at Sandals Royal Plantation.

* Sandals Royal Plantation*

Sandals Grande Riviera – a wonderful retreat

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Sandals Grande Riviera Resort in Ocho Rios Jamaica is like two resorts in one, The Riviera Seaside and The Great House Manor mountain side. This couples only resort has a lot to offer many types of guests, whether you want quiet seclusion or high energy activities day and night, you can find it here.

There are 15 dining options to choose from so you will never go hungry. When I was there we were able to sample the China Doll restaurant that has some great Chinese dishes. Since our accommodations were in the Butler Village we also dined at Kelly’s Dockside which is reserved for butler guests. This restaurant is on the pier with some great ambiance. If you are in the mood for pizza, Italian, Caribbean or just some pub food there are so many selections that you could dine at a different restaurant each night of your stay. The bartenders at all of the bars have a wide choice of fresh cocktails and always have special of the day or their very own specialty. Andre at the poolside bar on the Riviera Seaside makes a great cocktail and is always recommended to guests.

When I stayed at the resort we were lucky to have accommodations in the Bulter Village. The suites here are very large each with a pool that is shared with another suite next door. The bedroom area is spacious with a separate seating area or a wet bar. The bathrooms have great soaking tubs and double vanities. The butlers work two together so from 7 am to 10 pm you have someone to take care of anything you need. You have your own cell phone to call your butler with one click to ask to make dinner reservations or provide you an afternoon snack in your villa while you are relaxing by the pool. My Butler’s Gladstone and Omar were great. They brought me my favorite wine when requested and one evening when I came back from dinner, I had a wonderful bubble bath drawn with flower pedals and candles. The Butlers are here to assist in any way they can. The Butler Villas are located up the hill from the Great House so the Butlers shuttle their guest back and forth on golf carts.

The most luxurious and romantic accommodations at Sandals Grande Riviera are the Butler Village Honeymoon Romeo & Juliet Sanctuary One Bedroom Villa Suite with Private Pool. These spacious suites have a separate bedroom area with a great bathroom. In the middle of the suite is an outdoor private plunge pool with hot tub and on the opposite side is a “man cave” with wet bar, large screen TV and great couch for relaxing. This is a wonderful suite for any couple looking to connect with each other.

For some added luxury at Sandals Grande Riviera the Red Lane Spa offers several couple treatments like the Scrub a dub dub – 2 in a tub. You can also relax in the couples sanctuary for more quiet time together.

On the ocean side is the Ochi Beach Club which offers all types of water activities from snorkeling to a dedicated scuba pool. There is usually a lively round of volleyball going on for guest to enjoy or take one of the small catamaran’s out for a relaxing sail.

As you can see there are many ways for couples to enjoy a wonderful vacation together at Sandals Grande Riviera, just let your imagination take you away….

Beaches Ocho Rios Jamaica

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Beaches Ocho Rios is a small intimate family resort in Ocho Rios Jamaica. The resort is about a 2 hour drive from Montego Bay’s international airport.   The drive is long but there are great views of the sea along the way and you will be sure to see some goats by the roadside along the way.

When you arrive at Beaches the staff is warm and inviting. The main reception area is open with many comfy couches and sitting areas. The staff is quick to check you in and shows you the way to your room.

The resort has 223 room and suites in a variety of categories. We stayed in the Greek Oceanfront Concierge Terrace suites overlooking the Caribbean Sea.   These suites have either a king bed or two double beds, a sitting area with sleep sofa and a desk area. The terrace area overlooks the ocean with a table for light dining. The only downfall with the terrace is there is a walk way in front of each room so there is no privacy on your terrace, which I would have liked some quiet time there.

The beach area is small but the water is Caribbean blue with the waves crashing off the reefs off shore. We had a chance to go snorkeling from the beach and off of the boats along the reef.   The water was a little rough so we could not get close to the reef.   We did see many colorful fish and shells. The banana boating was fast and fun.   We also had many opportunities to paddle board, kayak, ride the water bike and sailing on the hobie cat’s.   Even when the resort is close to full there is plenty of equipment for all who want to try something new.   An added bonus at any Beaches Resort is the scuba diving is included in the cost. PADI certified divers can dive twice a day if there is availability.

There are several dining options at Beaches Ocho Rios:

  • Venetian Italian restaurant for great food and Antipasti Bar. They had the tastiest lamb chops.
  • Neptune’s on the water has many seafood specialty dishes. A favorite was the shrimp scampi.
  • For a more elegant dinner, Eleanor’s serving Caribbean dishes. A great restaurant for a intimate dinner for two, resort evening attire required.
  • Bayside Restaurant for an international buffet, with a wide selection for adults and kids alike.
  • Bar-B-Q park and Bella Napoli Pizzeria – great Hawaiian pizza by the pool
  • Josephine’s Creperie – the best smoothies and Nutella Crepes for a quick chocolate snack.

The main pool is large with several cabana’s surrounding the pool. The cabana rental was well worth the extra cost. We had our own butler for the afternoon. Her name was Venice and she was great. She pampered the kids with food and smoothies. She also had my cooler stocked with wine and beer and waters for the us.   If the girls needed something from the store, she would go get it for them. They were getting a little too used to someone taking care of their every need, but it was a great experience. The water park has about 11 slides including the smaller kiddie ones.   It is a great size for families with younger children and the lines were never more than one or two guests.

The kids camp has structured activities for kids of all ages. It is fun to hang out with other kids while the adults are having some adult time. There is also a great arts and crafts place where we made some fun crafts from painted shells to picture frames. These have an added cost but it is worth the memories you can bring home.

The Beaches Ocho Rios Resort is a great first experience at a Beaches property since it is small and intimate and offers all of the amenities and activities the other larger Beaches Resorts.   Our vacation to Ocho Rios was memorable and we can’t wait to go back to the warm Jamaican sun and sea.

Oceania “Regatta” Ship Tour

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Oceania is an upper premium cruise line offering many distinctive amenities and itineraries. Oceania was introduced in 2003. This cruise line is known for its “points of distinction”. One area of distinction is the culinary experience. The lunch on board was wonderful with many choices. The feeling you get on the Oceania Regatta is country club casual. They want the passengers to leave the tuxedos and evening gowns at home. They provide passionate service on board where the atmosphere is very relaxed. The ships are mid size (ranging from 684 to 1250 passengers) so when you are in a small port like St. Barts you are not docked next to 5 other mega ships.

The Oceania is a great line for retirees that are experienced cruisers looking for a more intimate cruise.  An added benefit is the specialty restaurants do not charge extra for dining in them.  The onboard life is extensive. There is an artist loft and a great library that houses many books and has a warm inviting feel. The shows are musically focused and many itineraries have guest lecturers for more enrichment.   Hands on cooking experiences are offered on two of the ships.

Oceania cruises all over the world. Another distinction is the many overnight stays and late night departures so guests have the extra time to explore the destinations.   For example in Monte Carlo you can experience the Casino at night since the ship is not departing at 5:00 pm. Unique itineraries are the norm, for example when the ship is in Italy it visits Cinque Terre since the ship can get close to the port. In the Caribbean they travel to the British Virgin Isles and Tortola. Also the air is included in the brochure prices which can be a great bonus.   You can sail on Oceania from 7 day cruise to a 120 day around the world cruise.

If a client that normally cruises on Holland America or Princess is looking for a different more intimate cruise experience, then Oceania Cruise Line would be a great recommendation.