Category Archives: Travel Tuesday

Travel Tuesday: Road Trip Attractions

There’s nothing that says summertime like piling into the back of your buddy’s car and hitting the open road. Sometimes there’s a destination in mind, and other times you simply “wing it”. Whether you’re going for one day or traveling cross country, sometimes the best part of the road trip are the attractions along the way.

Lucky for me I’ve had the pleasure of making the cross country road trip twice in my life. All along the way we were met with hidden treasures of classic Americana. From whole in the wall restaurants to campy souvenir shops, each of these places made our trip that much more fascinating. For this week’s blog post we’ll be discussing our favorite road trip attractions for 2012.

South of the Border

One of the most famous attractions you’ll see when traveling down 95 south is the South of the Border rest stop between Billon, South Carolina and Rowland, North Carolina. Trust me, it’s not something you want to miss, and chances are you won’t have a chance to miss. Known for their hilarious billboards lining Interstate 95, the intentionally kitschy amusement park/ souvenir shop/ restaurant hub is the perfect place to stop and recharge. While the food may not be Food Network quality, the whole experience will have you taking pictures and telling your friends.

American International Rattlesnake Museum

As a kid I remember visiting Albuquerque, New Mexico for the first time. Being from the East Coast, I had never traveled that far west before in my life. I remember walking around the city and being awestruck by the landscape that differed so much from the hustle and bustle of New Jersey. One of the places I remembered more than anything was the American International Rattlesnake Museum. They have of 30 different species of live rattlesnakes on site. They also have a large collection of snake related artwork and memorabilia for you to see and purchase. Being a young Boy Scout I was always fascinated by animals and insects. If you ever find yourself in New Mexico, be sure you stop by for the coolest experience of your life.

Graceland

Located in beautiful Memphis, Tennessee, Graceland represents everything that’s holy to Elvis Presley fans. Built in 1939, Graceland was once the home of Presley and his family. The mansion has since been preserved and was expanded into a museum in 1982. Since then the attraction has become one of the most-visited private homes in the country with over 600,000 visitors a year. Some of the most notable visitors to the site have been Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Prince Albert II. While there you can tour the many rooms as well as his private planes and gardens, but be warned,  no flash photography or video cameras or allowed.

Route 66

If you ever find yourself traveling out west, I strongly recommend you take the Historic Route 66. Also known as Will Rogers Highway, it stretches over 2,000 miles and spans from Chicago all the way to Santa Monica, California. For those of you you’ve never traveled west of the Mississippi, traveling on Route 66 will expose you to many of the attractions that define this country. From the Snow Cap Drive-In in Seligman, Arizona to the America’s Great Plains, you’ll never have a shortage of things to see and do along the way.

Cracker Barrel

It’s a given fact. At some point while traveling, you’re going to have to eat. What’s a road trip without a stop at one of the many Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores along the way? Whether you’re traveling North, East, South or West you can most likely find one of these old country store’s along your way. As of 2011, there are over 600 locations in 42 states, mostly positioned right next to the highway. Stop at Cracker Barrel for a quick bite to eat, a family fun game to entertain the kids, or to pick up some nostalgic candy to keep you awake for the rest of the ride! You can always spot a Cracker Barrel by all of the wooden rocking chairs on the front porch. The best part of the whole experience is the wooden peg game that’s on your table. The food is awesome and the experience is even better. This is why it made it on to our list!

Travel Tueday: Cruises

This week, we are reminiscing about some of our favorite cruises, and offering some helpful travel tips for your next cruise. Life aboard a cruise ship can feel like vacationing in a floating hotel, experiencing different cities and towns from the comfort of your cabin, or from the deck of your ship. Cruise ships offer countless entertainment options, from casinos and comedy shows to bingo and swimming. The food is endless, drinks are plentiful, and the amenities are superb. Also, there are a variety of ports from which to travel, giving you many travel origination spots and destinations.

Cruise travel tips:

Have you thought about going on a cruise and were not sure which cruise line to try? Here are some tips and reviews of the various cruise lines, based on experiences from Media Works cruisers:

Disney – Typically one of the highest priced, Disney cruises feature the best entertainment and the most family-friendly atmosphere of all cruise lines. While the image of a Disney cruise may make you shudder, as you imagine small children running wild and characters following your every move, but we are here to assure you that Disney cruises offer that BUT much, much more.

  • Activities for Kids: There are plenty of small kids, such as my 3 year old niece that came with us. But there are pools, food and an entire activity area just for the little ones.

  • Activities for Adults: For those seeking relaxation in the sun, take a dip in Quiet Cove Pool (adults only), have a drink at Sessions (their piano bar), or enjoy an adult meal at Palo.
  • Excursions: My two younger brothers, 21 and 22 respectively, were also on this particular cruise with us. They are not really into sunning by the pool, or running after children. For them, a Disney cruise offered excursions that were right up their alley. Off-roading in a jeep to remote parts of Grand Cayman Island and exploring Cozumel via four wheelers was more their style.
  • Food: Another aspect of any cruise ship is the food. And of course the Disney cruise does not disappoint. Disney combines fine dining and entertainment, effortlessly. As you dine, the black and white walls slowly become alive with color through The Animator’s Palette.
  • Castaway Cay: One of the most extravagant splurges that Disney made when creating their cruise line was the purchase of their very own island. Castaway Cay is a beautiful island that has so much to offer. There is a family beach, a teen beach and an adult only beach. There are play areas for children and cabanas for families or adults that can be rented for true seclusion and relaxation. There are activities for everyone, from open air massages with a view of the ocean to swimming with the sting rays.
  • The Disney Touch: There are thousands of unique touches on the Disney Magic, because that is the Disney way. If you are considering a cruise and think your children are too old or that you will not be able to relax, Disney’s cruises will make you reconsider. Enjoy a fun-filled vacation where the magic extends to all ages.

Royal Caribbean – With moderate pricing and a family-friendly atmosphere, you can’t go wrong with Royal Caribbean. The Oasis, Freedom and Voyager include many family-based activities, such as climbing walls, ice skating rinks and characters from the DreamWorks films. Food selection in the dining room is sometimes limited; however they offer restaurant alternatives. And, when you’re not eating, Royal Caribbean’s entertainment is incredible!

  • Oasis of the Seas: This is the Grand Daddy of all ships!  It is one of the largest ships sailing – next to its sister ship, the Allure of the Seas, which is 6” longer!  It is truly a floating city. Not once during the seven night cruise did I feel like I was on a ship. I highly recommend the Western Caribbean itinerary – sea days and port days are spread out evenly throughout the week so you can avoid too many days at sea.
  • Perfect cabin views: We stayed on the Central Park level, mid ship – the MOST perfect location.  We were in cabins 8550 & 8552, balcony staterooms.  We were a short distance from Park Café for morning coffee, breakfast sandwiches, and frittatas, bagels made to order and every kind of fruit imaginable!  As big as the ship is, being centrally located made the ship easy to navigate.
  • For the Kids: Yes, we brought our kids with us on the cruise – Royal Caribbean is extremely kid-friendly and there are so many activities for them!  Activities included cupcake decorating classes, flow rider, the arcade, swimming at the pools, ice skating, the Ice Skating Show (make sure to have your kids sit in 1 of the 4 “For Children Only” seats – they will get to be a part of the show!), the Aqua Theatre and 3D movies currently in theatres.
  • Bermuda:  I recently sailed from Baltimore to Bermuda on Enchantment of the Seas, and once we arrived in King’s Wharf, we were able to leave the ship to explore the island and return whenever we pleased. Bermuda is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches which are often featured in the movies.  What they say about the pink beaches and the blue water is true.  I spent the day at Horseshoe Bay, which had many coves and grottoes, offering a good deal of privacy and beautiful scenery.
  • Labadee: If you stop in Labadee, RC’s private island in Haiti, make sure you take a ride on the Dragon Coaster and slide down the new Aqua Slide.
  • Cozumel: In Cozumel, we visited Mr. Sancho’s – for 1 fee you can eat, drink, play volleyball and chill in Bali beds or swim up to the bar in one of their pools.

Carnival – Carnival has the lowest prices and the youngest average age of travelers. Several of their newly re-furbished ships will be setting sail soon, which now include a water park for the kids, more of a party crowd, and more modern décor with neon and “loud” colors. Carnival’s inside staterooms are larger than Royal Caribbean and Princess, so there’s plenty of room to relax inside your cabin.

Princess – Princess has moderate prices and typically has the oldest group of travelers with few children aboard. There are limited family activities, but excellent food in the dining room. The décor aboard Princess’ ships is very formal and upscale, creating a much quieter, more laid-back atmosphere.

Norwegian – Norwegian’s pricing is moderate to low, and their ships have always featured flexible dining options, which are ideal for all ages. While this used to be an exclusive feature of Norwegian’s cruises, most of the cruise lines offer this option now, so we don’t consider it unique to the line any longer.

Celebrity – Celebrity cruises are typically higher-priced. They are not as family-friendly, catering to more of an upscale, mature crowd.

Cruises offer something for everyone, and with these simple tips, you can find a relaxing, enjoyable vacation that suits your vacation style.

Top 5 Apps for Business Travel

Whether you’re going for business or pleasure, traveling can be a headache for anyone. From planning to packing, there’s so much that needs to be done before you fly, it’s hard to keep from going crazy. Did you remember to pack the toothpaste? Where did you put your boarding pass? These are all common questions one might ask while standing in the security line prior to a flight. Luckily, over the past few years, we’ve seen a surge of handy mobile and tablet apps that make business travel easier to navigate.

Kayak

Gone are the days of booking your flight directly through your airline. These days, you simply need to login to Expedia or Travelocity to compare ticket prices. Perhaps you’re so enthusiastic about your business trip to Los Angeles that you want to book the flight from your car. Well, rejoice! Thanks to Kayak’s new mobile app, you can do everything from booking your flight to reserving a hotel room. The interface for the app is clean and easy on the eyes. One of the coolest features from the app was the friend tracker. It allows you to find exactly where your travel buddy is located in the airport as you travel. Of course, your friend needs to turn this feature on, but it’s great to know the technology exists.

https://www.kayak.com/iphone

Expensify

Remember when you would return to the office from a long trip and the office manager would ask for your expense receipts? Thanks to Expensify, you no longer have to carry 300 dining receipts when you travel out of town. With Expensify, you can simply scan your receipts with your mobile device and it will automatically input the key figures. From there, it will upload the data to your company’s database. The app also allows you to track mileage and run reports in PDF format. Right now, the app is free for personal use and available on iPhone, Android, BB, and Palm.

https://www.expensify.com/

Wi-Fi Finder

We’ve all been there before – stuck in a new city with no access to the internet. Lucky for you, you recently downloaded Wi-Fi Finder from JiWire. With this app, you have the ability to search for public Wi-Fi spots anywhere in the world. You can also search for nearby Wi-Fi Hotspots and get turn-by-turn directions to their locations. This is perfect for road warriors who don’t necessarily want to trek down to the nearest Panera or Starbucks to use their public hotspot. The service also allows you to filter the Wi-Fi results by Free, Paid, or Both which is very handy. Overall, the app is easy to use and received great reviews online. The app is now on its second Version and available for Android and iPhone for free!

http://www.jiwire.com/iphone/

Packing Pro

So you’ve bought your ticket, reserved your rental car, and called ahead to schedule your massage, when you realize you’ve forgotten the most important part – packing. Currently available on the app market is a great tool called Packing Pro that promises to make the daunting task easier to bear. The app allows you to create custom lists of items to pack for your trip. The best part is that you can create lists for different travel profiles from business to personal. You can break down the list into categories such as pre-trip, essentials, and gadgets so you don’t forget the basics. Once you’ve packed the item, you simply check it off the list. Right now the app is available on iOS devices for $2.99.

http://www.quinnscape.com/

Seat Guru

If you’re like me and can’t stand the aisle seat, make sure you download SeatGuru by TripAdvisor. This app was recently updated in March and provides real-time flight alerts and airline recommendations. The best part is that it allows you to see a seat chart for your plane so you get the best spot. All you need is your airline, flight number, and the date you’ll be flying and it will give you a list of flight segments. From there you can pull up the aircraft you’ll most likely be flying on and select your seat. The good news is that the app is free. The bad news is that it’s only available for iPhones.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/seatguru-by-tripadvisor-seat/id508487044?mt=8

Beat the Heat with Smart Summer Travel Tips

With gas prices dropping to a National average of $3.45 per gallon, you may want to take to the roads this summer for a drive-to vacation, weekend road trip or just a day trip. According to AAA, 90% of Americans travel by car, but there are a few things you should know before you go.

A large portion of the US has been feeling the effects of sweltering summer temperatures. Last week, 24 states were under heat advisories, and most of the country felt the effects of 100-degree days.

Many state and local road crews have been out fixing roads that have literally buckled under the summer heat. As the pavement heats up, it expands and can’t contract if it doesn’t cool down enough overnight, causing cracks. If moisture gets in, the crack weakens and causes the road to buckle. The DOT calls this a “blow-up” and warns motorists to be on the looking for these conditions, especially motorcyclists.

Missouri, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Virginia have all reported instances of road buckling. Wisconsin received 30 reports of blow-ups last week alone. This video of an SUV hitting a portion of the road that had buckled because of the heat went viral last week:

So, where can you go to avoid the summer heat? Smarter Travel identified five cool summer escapes that weren’t too far away:

–          San Francisco, CA: During the summer, San Francisco’s average temperature is 72 degrees. Watch the fog come in over the Golden Gate Bridge, visit Baker or Ocean Beach, or take a ferry out to Alcatraz to see the city from a  different perspective.

–          Breckenridge, CO: With high elevations and cool temperatures, Breckenridge’s ski resort offers lots of activities during the summer months. From hiking, biking, golfing and rafting to relaxing at the spa, there’s something for everyone in the Colorado mountains.

–          Prince Edward Island, CAN: Made famous by the fictional character, Anne of Green Gables, PEI is a cool 73 degrees during the summer and offers a beautiful island landscape. Take tours, visit historical landmarks and lighthouses, or cycle along the Confederation Trail.

–          Olympic National Park, WA: Olympic National Park is a temperate rainforest that ranges from 65 to 75 degrees during the summer months.  These beautiful parklands line the Pacific Coast, with beach breezes, shady tall trees and snow-tipped mountains.

–          Southern Maine Coast: Maine’s coastland features some quaint towns and plenty of summertime activities, with mid-70 degree temperatures. Coastal inlets,  historic villages and wildlife refuges are nearby, and don’t forget the delicious Maine lobster.

If you do decide to hop in the car and take to the roads, Media Works has a few tips and precautions to help you beat the heat and keep you on the road.

–          Check your car’s AC: Have your air conditioning checked; your system should have a full charge of refrigerant.

–          Test your car battery: Believe it or not, heat is the #1 killer of car batteries, so test it before you go.

–          Inflate your tires: Under-inflation can cause tires to run hot, leading to blow-outs and flats.

–          Change your oil: Get an oil change before you go; it will prevent your car from getting overheated and keep it running smoothly.

–          Check you fluids: Make sure all your fluid levels are topped off; most places will do this for free when you get your oil changed.

–          Always bring water: It will keep you hydrated, and may come in handy if you get stranded and need to walk in the heat.

Travel Tuesday: South Africa

Over a year ago, I had the opportunity to go to South Africa. My cousin was studying there abroad, and my sister, two friends and I took up the invitation to come and visit him. Although the plane ride is over 20 hours (and our in-flight entertainment did not work the entire time!), it was absolutely worth it. We did a road trip throughout South Africa, starting in Cape Town and making our way up the Eastern Cape and ending with a Safari near Port Elizabeth. They drive on the opposite side of the road, so that in itself was an adventure!

Cape Town, South Africa

Starting out in Cape Town, we stayed in a small boutique hotel in the Camps Bay area of the city, The Primi Royal (http://www.primi-royal.com/ ). This neighborhood is breathtaking, sitting directly on Table Bay, nestled between Table Mountain and Lion’s Head Mountain. Our first day in the city we set out to explore as many neighborhoods in the city as we could. We headed over to the V&A Waterfront, a harbor filled with restaurant, bars and shops. It is also where you can catch a boat to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. The area is very tourist-y, but worth checking out. We caught a bus that took us throughout the city, and we able to take in some great scenery, including the World Cup Stadium that was used in 2010.

Lion’s Head Mountain, Cape Town

Table Mountain was next on our list. In order to get to the top, you either have to hike or take a cable car to the top. Because of time, we choose the cable car. Once at the top, the views were stunning. You can see the entire city spread out below you.

For our next adventure, we hopped into the car and drove to Cape Point which is the most southern point of South Africa. The drive there itself was unbelievable (and a little scary). The twisting and turning mountain roads gave great views of the many fishing towns and beaches along the African coast. Once there, beware of the baboons. They are everywhere and if you have any food in your purse or bag, they will find it and take it from you!

The next stop was Boulder Beach, a beach inhabited by African penguins. They are everywhere, from the boardwalks surrounding the beach, to the rocks out in the ocean. We stayed and had lunch here, where you could take in the scenery and watch the penguins play.

The Winelands, South Africa

Next on our roadtrip was the Winelands, which is located only about an hour outside of Capetown. We stayed at the Spier Hotel (http://www.spier.co.za/) located in the Stellenbosch area. The estate has beautiful grounds and villas, with private backyards & pools. It also has a cheetah sanctuary on-site and an African market in the mornings with great shopping. We also visited Rickety Bridge Winery (http://www.ricketybridge.com/index.php), in the Franschhoek valley. The staff was extremely knowledgeable, and it was great to sit outside drinking wine and overlooking the vineyards and Wemmershoek Mountains. Try the 2008 Paulina’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, it was wonderful!


Garden Route, South Africa

Now our road trip really began. The Garden Route is a stretch of the south-east coast of Africa. It is full of forests, lagoons, lakes, and mountains. There are so many places to stop, but we choose just a few of the numerous towns to stay in.

Almost by accident, we found the Knysa Elephant Park. This is a controlled, free range park for elephants. Once you pay your admission, the rangers take you out to feed and hang out with the elephants! This was such a great experience, to be up close and personal with these beautiful giants. Feeding them and petting them was something I will never forget.

Getting a little adventurous again, we decided to go hiking at the Tsitsikamma National Park, a beautiful national park on the Indian Ocean. The hike started out fairly easy, but you eventually have to cross multiple suspension bridges to get across the ocean, and then the terrain gets a little rough up the mountain. Once at the top however, it was completely worth it!

Kariega Game Reserve

Our last stop was the Kariega Game Reserve (http://www.kariega.co.za/ ) near Port Elizabeth. The accommodations were perfect; we had our own 3 bedroom house, with a porch that overlooked the reserve. As we were driving up the road to get there, a giraffe was blocking our driveway! Our ranger, Matt, was so friendly and knowledgeable. There was not a question he could not answer. We did multiple drives with him, and knew the reserve like the back of his hand – where to find all of the animals and what time of day was best to see them.

Kruger National Park

Our CEO, Jody Berg, also had the pleasure of visiting Kruger National Park in South Africa. Here are some of the pictures from her visit.

Travel Tuesday: Peru

Where in the world has Media Works been?

Are you bored with your typical vacation? Want to take a step off the beaten path? March to a different drum? Then we suggest taking in the many wonders of Peru

Cuzco:

This is a town where wealthy tourists, traveling students and Peruvian peasants walk the same ancient streets. Plaza de Armas is the city square where the Cathedral of Santo Domingo, built in 1539, makes a perfect backdrop for the city’s daily festivals and parades, which take place almost daily.     

For a fabulous Peruvian dining experience, check out La Divina Comedia. Their ravioli is to die for! Or, you can walk on the wild side and order the roasted alpaca. You may even be treated to a performance by the wait-staff, an opera singer by trade, who belts out her number while you dine, making this a truly unforgettable place to eat.

Pisac & Scared Valley:

The Pisac ruins are at 10,000 feet above sea level and offer an amazing view of the Urubamba River and the Sacred Valley. You can take the day to cycle through the valley, on and off-road, or raft down Class III rapids.

Make sure to take your time walking through the Pisac market and bargain with the locals for hand crafted wares and fresh fruit.

Inca Trail

There are many ways to travel to Machu Picchu, however if you feel brave enough to hike the Inca Trail, we highly suggest it. The highest point of the Trail is at 14,000 feet, and the views of the sub-tropical forest and Andes mountain range are stunning. The ruins of Runcuracay and Sayacmarca can only be accessed on foot, and give you a glimpse of what is to come. When you reach the “Gate of the Sun” and look over Machu Picchu, you will know that the four-day trek is worth it.

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu, is perhaps the best known site in all of South America, the ancient city is perched atop a narrow mountain crest high above the Urubamba River. While in the Lost City, you can travel by beautiful stone roadways, climb ancient stairs and traverse mountain tunnels.  When staying in the town of Machu Picchu, we suggest Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. The hotel is nestled on a luscious twelve acres of orchid gardens and offers spa treatments, fine dining and picturesque bungalow rooms.

Machu Picchu is considered one of the “New Wonders of the World” and should be on everyone’s bucket list. Whether you want to hike, bike and swim or be wrapped in the arms of luxury, Peru has it all. Don’t be afraid – make the trip and enjoy the breathtaking scenery!

Travel Tuesday: Tropics

Where in the world has Media Works been?

This Travel Tuesday we’re taking you to the Tropics right before the hurricane season begins.  So sit back, relax, put on your sun screen and join us – the water’s beautiful!

Aruba:

If you enjoy lazy days on the beach, good food, picturesque scenery, and an all-around good time, you need to make a trip to Aruba! With a warm climate year-round and ocean front amenities, there is something for everyone on this island in the Southern Caribbean.

Below are a few of our favorite places to eat and things to do while frolicking around the island:
Where to Eat:

  • El Gaucho’s is a Argentinian Style steakhouse offering everything from Sirloin to bacon wrapped filets
  • Madame Janette’s is a must while you are in Aruba! Ranked in the top 5 best restaurants on the island by Trip Advisor, the Caribbean fare is as inviting as the romantic outdoor dining are

What to do:

  • Check out the colorful shops and restaurants on Main Street
  • Take a Catamaran Cruise out to sea and go snorkeling, parasailing, or scuba diving!

Bahamas:

If you’re looking for a semi-quick flight to an exotic island, the Bahamas is the place for you! Our favorite place to stay is at the luxurious Atlantis hotel. Whether you stay in one of the Royal Towers, or the brand new Cove and you’ll be sure to be relaxed.

For meals, eat breakfast at Mosaic and end your day with the spice-rubbed pork tenderloin at Bobby Flay’s restaurant, Mesa Grill.

If you’re up for an adventure, take a plunge through shark tanks on the Leap of Faith. If you want to relax, hop on a tube and enjoy the lazy river that takes you around the tropical landscape of the Atlantic!

Bermuda
Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, this small island is well-known for its crystal blue waters, active reefs and British culture. The island itself is only covers 20.6 square miles, but there are many things to see and do.

Rent a Scooter: Bermuda’s roads are curvy and narrow, so the safest way to travel is by bus. However, if you decide to brave the roads and explore the island on your own, rent a scooter. Just remember to wear your helmet!

Sunbathe at Horseshoe Bay:  Horseshoe Bay is an amazing horseshoe-shaped alcove of water with pristine pink beaches. Sunbathe on the shore or explore the pools of water near the rocky shoreline, where you can find tropical fish swimming by. Or, follow one of the nearby hiking trails to see the island from a different perspective.

Tour the Capital City of Hamilton: Although Hamilton is known for its pastel-colored buildings, eclectic restaurants and shops, it is also the center of Bermuda’s economy. Front Street is where most of the high-end shops are located, but you may also see the Bank of Bermuda, one of the island’s two banks for which Bermuda shorts originated. During WWII when Bermuda experienced a clothing shortage, the banks had shorts made for their male employees.

Glass Bottom Boat Tour:
These tours allow you to see the underwater beauty of Bermuda. The island is surrounded by a natural coral reef, which is home to many species of fish and sea life. Also, there are tons of shipwrecks all around the island, from 18th and 19th century boats that ran aground in the shallow waters.

St. Thomas/Tortola:

If you’re looking for the ultimate Caribbean getaway, consider cruising your way through paradise aboard the Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas. A seven day journey aboard what some call a moving city, this ship provides you with non-stop fun and breathtaking views and experiences.

 

On the fourth day, the ship docks in Port Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, a district of the US Virgin Islands, where local reptiles are there to greet you.

 

Swimming with dolphins is a common excursion for people visiting the Caribbean. A great place to do this is at the Tortola Dolphin Swim Adventure, in Tortola, a British Virgin Island. After a scenic boat ride and a trip through customs, you are just a short bus ride away from an afternoon of swimming with dolphins. Once you arrive, you are divided into small groups and introduced to a dolphin. Enjoy the sights and sounds as your dolphin high-fives, feeds and swims with you!

Back in St. Thomas, there are tons of local shops and bars to visit. At a local bar right in the port, you can try the Virgin Islands-Island Summer Ale, brewed by St. John Brewers. You can also find Virgin Island ales, here in the US between April and August.

Once back on board, the Oasis of the Seas will continue its journey stopping in St. Martin and then head back north to Florida, leaving you with lasting memories and a longing to relive the week all over again.

St. Barths

If you’re afraid of small planes, it might be difficult to access the island of St. Barths, but we promise you the flight is worth the visit! From the second you touch down, you’ll feel like you’re in paradise!

This quaint island is surrounded by the crystal clear waters of the French Caribbean and beautiful beaches. Our favorite beach is Governeur, where you’re sure to get a tan and spot a celebrity.

As if the view of the Eden Rock isn’t good enough, you can also find the world’s best lunch at The Sand Bar.

After you’re full from your delicious lunch, make sure to stop by Nikki Beach, where the music and drinks never stop.

Those of you who are looking for a delicious and not so rowdy dinner, L’esprit de Saline is the spot for you. This Mediterranean beach side restaurant is located by Saline beach, another one of our favorite beaches of the island. Make sure to try the Vietnamese-style crispy snapper.

If a day partying in St.Barths isn’t enough, make a reservation at Le Ti St. Barths, where you will enjoy a delicious meal, dance to great music and be a part of a cabaret show.