Thursday, July 23, 2015

"Distinctive Voyages"


A "Distinctive Voyage" is a cruise sailing that has the added value and benefit of select amenities. These amenities include a private cocktail reception with hot canapés and open bar, an exclusive shore event and the services of a "Distinctive Voyages" Host on board. 
The best part is that there is no additional charge! 

I bet you're thinking, "This sounds too good to be true! Who pays for these added amenities anyway?"
You can thank your travel agent and the travel agency he/she works for, because that agency is a member of the largest travel marketing consortium in North America.

Keep in mind that not all travel agencies are members. However, there are over 1,000 North American travel agencies with about 400 "Distinctive Voyages Hosts" that are members. With over 300 "Distinctive Voyages" sailing the high seas to seven continents each year, I'm sure that there a sailing to put on your bucket list.


"Distinctive Voyages" Hosts are hand-selected, well traveled, extremely qualified members who take time away from their busy schedules and travel agencies to help with the program. On board they assist with client's questions and such things, as locating lost luggage, suggesting off-the-beaten-path experiences, providing translators when needed, etcetera. Essentially, they are your on board contact.

Although "Distinctive Voyage" hosts are also travel agents, they will never hand out their business card or promote their own agency to the clients of other agencies on board. Instead, they will endorse the "Distinctive Voyages" program and the travel agency who booked their cruise.


Early in the cruise, a personalized invitation will be delivered to your stateroom announcing the time and date of the private cocktail reception. The Cocktail reception is usually held at a private venue on board between 5:00pm - 6:00pm on the second day. It is an informal gathering with complimentary drinks and canapés. Your attendance is not mandatory, but it is a way to get personally acquainted with the "Distinctive Voyages" Host and meet other VIP guests. During the reception, the Host will also give you exciting details about the Exclusive Shore Event.


The exclusive shore event/shore excursion, is guided by local experts. The specially-chosen shore event is not a tour that you can purchase at the shore excursion office on board but is an excursion that reveals the true nature of the people and places that you will be visiting, to help connect to the culture in a personal and unforgettable way. This shore event is only available to the members of the "Distinctive Voyages" group and are generally much smaller in size than the shore excursions purchased on board.

The following sailings are a couple of "Distinctive Voyages" that I will be hosting soon. 
It would be a pleasure to have you in my group!

Ship: Celebrity Equinox
Date: October 2, 2015
Itinerary: 13-Night Spain & Portugal
Exclusive Shore Event: 
Lisbon and Beyond - Wine at Fonseca, Arrabida Countryside & Lisbon Orientation

Ship: Celebrity Infinity
Date: January 3, 2016
Itinerary: 14-Night Argentina & Chile
Exclusive Shore Event: 

Contact: Wendy McDonald

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Big Apple - 72 Hours in New York City

This isn't  my first time to New York City, but it is the first time that I've spent more than 24 hours in the Big Apple prior to a cruise. There are so many entertainment and dining choices, that it's mind-boggling. Sensory overload is more like it! New York City is a fast paced loud city. 

You will get the most out of your visit to New York City, if you have some sort of plan of what attractions you want to see. For us, it was a Broadway show, a stroll through Central Park to Strawberry Fields, a walk through Times Square, a self guided tour of Grand Central Station, a close up view of the Chrysler building and, of course, my personal must-do was to go to Brooklyn and snap a photo of the Brooklyn Bridge, from an ideal vantage point.

We stayed at the Westin Times Square for two nights, which was an ideal walking location to everything we wanted to see. Then we boarded our beautiful ship, the Crystal Symphony, at the Manhattan Terminal. Crystal Symphony spent overnight in Manhattan, so we were able to hit the streets again. Basically, we walked our socks off in New York City to see what we could see.

There are hundreds of eateries within Times Square area, high end and budget priced. Restaurant Row, with more than 20 restaurants along one block, is three blocks from the Westin. The popular value priced "Shake Shack" is across the street. 

There are city bike rentals and bicycle pathways all over the City. Just use your credit card and ride off.

Grand Central Station is certainly an amazing building, not only for its decor, but also for shopping and swank eateries. Grand Central Market has some pretty interesting healthy fast food take-out kiosks.


Over 117 tracks from Grand Central Station will take you just about anywhere in the USA and also north into Canada.

The beautiful Art Deco "Chrysler Building" on Lexington Avenue, adjacent to Grand Central Station, is a sight for sore eyes. However, if you want to tour the interior of the building, you will have to go there during the work week between 8:00 and 4:00pm. Otherwise, you will only see the interior from the roped off area inside the front doors.


Al Hirschfeld Theatre, a five minute walk from the Westin Times Square, is where the hilarious 
"Kinky Boots" is playing. Buy your tickets online at least 30 days in advance, if you want good seating.

One of the things I wanted to do while in New York City, was to get a photo of the infamous Brooklyn Bridge from an ideal vantage point. I took the "Discover Brooklyn" tour with the cruise line.

Finally, no visit to New York City is final until you've sailed by the "Statue of Liberty."

Saturday, April 12, 2014

My Passion for Travel

My passion for travel is truly an understatement! In fact, it goes way back to when I was six years old.

My father worked for a major airline as a mechanic. On occasional weekends he would take me to the hanger, where I had the chance to spend short bursts of time, inside some of the planes in the hanger. I was in my glory, pretending that I was a stewardess (now known as a flight attendant,) greeting and serving my dolls, which sat buckled in their seats. 

Unbelievable right??? However, there weren't the security measures in the 60's like there are today. Travel has changed drastically since then, but my passion for travel is still as strong as ever.

It's not surprising that I work in the travel industry as a Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) "Master Cruise Consultant" and "Luxury Cruise Specialist. 

Although my focus is of nautical nature, I sell land based luxury vacations as well.

Whether by land or sea, I do a lot of travelling to destinations throughout the world and would love to share my travel experiences with you.