Saturday, December 20, 2014

Last Reason for Taking Alaska Cruise

#5. To see Totem poles and learn about the culture.
  The best place to see totem poles is in Ketchikan. There are over 80 you can see by taking a tour or just by walking around town.

 These are all original Native American totem poles which show the symbols of the clan they belong to. These are NOT religious symbols but rather they tell stories and honor their heritage.
I saw many from the Tlingit tribe.
Stop by the Saxman Native Village or Totem Bight State Park. Do not miss learning about their culture!
It is very interesting.

For help planning your Alaska vacation call me at 336-922-1837 or email I will be glad to help you plan the best cruise for you! NOW is the time to plan that summer cruise.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Reasons #3 and #4

3. To eat fresh salmon. 
  It doesn't get any better than this!
Of course you don't have to fish for your own as it is easy to find salmon in any restaurant in Alaska. And it is SO good and fresh!

In August when the salmon are spawning you will see the bears having a feast getting ready for their winter hibernation.

How about some grilled salmon?

4.  To take a train ride through the mountains. Most cruise ships stop in Skagway where you can take the tour through the mountains and hear about Soapy Smith as well as see his grave.

You can also take this tour in a van. The road is across the valley from the train tracks but takes a similar route. The downside to this is that it can get foggy as you are traveling up the mountain. This happened to us and our van had to turn around as we could not see through the fog to see the road.

Another train ride that is fun is to take it from Seward to Anchorage or vice versa. It should be about a 4 hr. ride however they run on Alaska time so it could be longer.
We got on the train at 6pm in June when they have 20 hrs of daylight and we saw people grilling on their deck at midnight in broad daylight when we arrived in Anchorage.

 Be ready to stop for a moose on the track. Some can get lazy and decide to lay down on the tracks and you just have to wait for it to move.           

Stay tuned for my 5th reason to take an Alaska cruise. You may contact me at with any questions or more information on cruising Alaska.

Monday, November 17, 2014

More reasons for taking an Alaska Cruise

2. To see whales...eagles...bears.....moose! Yes there is so much wildlife to see.

 You will be able to see orca whales and humpback whales from your ship but to get really up close take a whale watching trip out of Juneau. It is an awesome experience! You might even be lucky enough to see the humpbacks bubble net. And the cooler the day the better since they are not as active on warm days.


You will see eagles flying around or sitting on a light pole. Just watch for them. 

Add on a visit to Denali National Park before your cruise to see lots of wildlife.
Contact me to help you plan your Alaska cruise for next summer. Call 336-922-1837.

Friday, October 24, 2014

5 Reasons to Take An Alaska Cruise

1. To see glaciers.
  Glaciers were formed on land over many years, often centuries. They have carved out valleys and sculpted mountains.  Glacial ice is very dense and blue.

 Your ship will get up close to the glaciers in Glacier Bay National Park or Tracy Arm most likely. You might  see Hubbard Glacier (depending on your itinerary)  which is the largest tidewater glacier in N. America at 76 miles long and 7 miles wide.

When your ship gets close to the glaciers go out on your balcony or on the upper deck and be very quiet. If you listen you will hear them crack and break off. This is called "calving".    

  Your ship will have a stop in Juneau. Hop on a bus and take the 10 minute ride to Mendenhall Glacier. It is worth seeing. There is a park ranger on duty to answer your questions.

  If you want to actually walk on a glacier take a helicopter ride which will land on a glacier. It's a thrilling experience! 
  I will be glad to help you plan your Alaska cruise and tours for next summer. I will find you the best ship and best cabin at the best price.  Give me a call at 336-922-1837.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

10 Tips for Traveling with Luggage

More of us are traveling with less luggage now that the airlines charge for each bag. If you are going for an extended time and cannot get by with a carry-on  then I have

                10 Tips to Help Your Luggage Arrive On Time and in Good Condition

1. Put your printed itinerary with your contact information inside your luggage where it will be easily seen if opened.

2. Remove all tags and travel stickers from previous trips as the scanner may read the wrong one.

3.Take a photo of the contents of your suitcase and keep in a safe place.


4.Do not pack anything valuable such as jewelry, electronics, important documents or medicines.

5. Take off any straps that can cause a bag to get caught on a conveyer belt.

6. Instead of putting your home address on your luggage tag, put the address of where you will be staying. You don't want to announce that your house will be empty.

7. Avoid using very expensive looking bags. Thieves will think it holds expensive items.

8. To protect checked bags from damage and theft use one of the luggage wrapping services found at many airports. For  about $10 you can wrap your bag in what looks like Saran Wrap and if the TSA unwraps it they will rewrap it for free.     

9.  Shortly after arriving at your destination check your items to make sure it is all there. If not submit a claim with the airline as soon as possible.

10.Most importantly buy travel insurance when you make your reservation. Besides covering you for cancellation due to illness or death in the family it will also cover your luggage up to a certain amount should it get lost.

For travel advice to anywhere call Birds of a Feather at 336-922-1837.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

More Educational Fun at Disney World

Before leaving Epcot stop at Innovations behind Spaceship Earth and play the Great Piggy Bank Adventure game. It teaches kids (and adults) about setting smart financial goals, saving and spending wisely, inflation, asset allocation and diversification.

As you can see Epcot has a lot of opportunities for learning and having fun at the same time.

Now let's head over to Animal Kingdom which offers many more opportunities for learning. This is a 500 acre park/zoo anchored in the middle by The Tree of Life. This huge tree has 325 carvings on its trunk. Both art and science can be experienced here by studying these beautiful carvings.

There are many trails taking you by different animals. Have your child determine if each animal they see is a mammal, reptile, amphibian, bird or fish. And don't miss the Kilimanjaro Safaris which take you out on a 100 acre African savannah looking for animals. You never know what animals you will see.

If you are lucky enough to stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge get a room overlooking the savannah and watch the animals as they go about their daily life.

Take the Wildlife Express Train to the Conservation Station to see how the animals are cared for and you might even see an animal surgery in progress on the monitor in the hospital.

In Dinoland the younger ones will enjoy the larger than life audio -animatronic dinosaurs and they can dig for bones at the Boneyards Dig Site.

There are many environmental exhibits and as you wander down the paths also notice the many kinds of plants and try to identify them. (botany)

In both the Asia and Africa areas there are cultural experiences and performances. You can beat on a drum in Africa or eat a spring roll in Asia.

In the Magic Kingdom the Hall of Presidents has very realistic moving wax replicas of all the presidents telling the early history of our country.

Animation and history are also taught in Hollywood Studios at the Magic of Disney Animation. You see a film showing how animated characters are made. At the Animation Station you can experience  what it's like to be a Disney animator.

You can probably find more educational things to do in Disney World but this gives you many ideas. 
I will be glad to help you plan your next Disney trip! Give me a call at 336-922-1837.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Yes learning can be fun in Disney World.  It's all here - history, geography, culture, science, math, economics and more.
Epcot has many fun opportunities starting with the pavilions of 11 countries at World Showcase. Sign up for Kidcot  then make your way around the world stopping at the Kidcot fun stops. It is a little like a scavenger hunt. Your child can collect a stamp in each country as they learn from an international cast member about their culture, food, dress and how to say "hello" in their language.
They younger ones can color a picture or learn a craft.

Agent P's Secret Agent Mission is getting great reviews from the kids so don't miss this one. Start by going to a recruitment station located at either Odyssey Bridge, Norway or Italy pavilions or near International Gateway.     

You will receive your assignment and get your interactive hand held evil detector device that will guide you on your mission (2-4 agents can share this). Clues are in various pavilions in World Showcase. Each mission lasts 30-45 minutes

The American Adventure show in the American pavilion has Ben Franklin and Mark Twain telling the story of America beginning with the pilgrims 

 through World War II. 

In Future World they can learn about science at Mission Space. Be forewarned that this ride can cause motion sickness.
The Universe of Energy teaches about fossil fuels, energy and conservation.

The Circle of Life show in the Land Pavilion teaches about environmental protection. Also here is The Living with the Land ride which is an indoor boat ride through greenhouses where they can see aquaculture tanks and see plants growing without soil (hydroponics).                  

You can have fun with several hands-on activities in the Innoventions Pavilion and learn about new technologies.

Nemo and his Friends have their own pavilion where the kids can learn about aquatic life with marine exhibits. Don't pass up the Turtle Talk with Crush. It is a lot of fun.                                      

At the Test Track you can create your own virtual concept vehicle and then go for a high octane ride. This thrill ride requires a child to be 40 inches tall.

One of my favorite rides is Soarin'. Again you must be 40 inches tall. You feel like you are flying above California and you can even smell the orange groves. The lines here are usually long so use a fast pass  here.

Spaceship Earth (aka as the golf ball) has a ride teaching about the history of communication. Kids like going up "in the ball". This is at the entrance to Epcot so is a good one either at the start of the day or the end of the day.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Disney in the Off Season

Traveling to Disney in the off-season offers more discounts.

So when is the off-season? Pretty much anytime the kids are in school.

Disney in the Off Season with CruiseTogether

September and October as well as November and December have some great prices as long as you don't go over the holidays.

Usually if you stay at a resort in the park in the fall you will get a free dining plan . Or if you don't want the dining plan you can get a discount (usually 30% off) at a resort.

Off season at Disney can mean big discounts on the hotels!

It is also less crowded at those times. Some families opt to take their kids out of school for a few days. If your kids are young that might be an option. However if your kids are in middle or high school they probably would miss out on a lot and it would be more difficult to catch up.

At some schools you can get an excused absence if you go to the office prior to your trip and ask permission.  The child may have some "homework" such as writing a report on his/her trip.

So how can you make this an educational trip? Any kind of travel is a learning opportunity and exposes us all to new experiences if we are open to it.  Disney World has many educational opportunities and the kids won't even know they are learning because it will be so much fun.

How to make your Disney trip educational

To prepare the kids for your trip buy them each a journal so they can write in it each night. It will help them with their spelling and in forming ideas on paper. They can write about their favorite things so they can remember them later and what fun it is to re-live it later many times over!

If you are driving get some maps. Yes, the paper ones so they can learn to read a map and maybe they won't be crying "are we there yet?" quite so often.

And have them read about the states you drive through. Perhaps they can play "tour guide" and read to you as you drive along. You might even learn a thing or two.

As soon as you know you will be going talk to them about a budget. Encourage them to save some money for their own souvenirs.The younger ones will enjoy learning to count their money.

Photo with Piglet

Call me to find out about free dining or other discounts - 336-922-1837.

Next I will give you some ideas on educational opportunities in the park.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

All Things Disney

As a recent graduate of the College of Disney Knowledge I have now become a part of an elite group of travel industry professionals who have attained a special knowledge of the Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney and Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa.

This was a fun and informative way to learn more about the Disney vacation portfolio. I feel more confident about selling Disney destinations.

The College of Disney Knowledge has taught me how to add more value to each Disney itinerary so that I can help make every client's magical dreams come true.

Contact me for helping you plan your next Disney vacation! Call Becki @336-922-1837.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Island of Kauai

Our final port was 2 nights on the island of Kauai.

We took a tour to Waimea Canyon which is known as "the Grand Canyon of the Pacific". There were curvy roads going up with great views at the top. We were lucky the weather was good because we were told the day before it was too foggy to see.


There was a guy dressed as a warrior with a mask made from a gourd with who one could get their picture made.

 A coffee farm was our next stop with many coffee bean trees and we tasted several flavors of coffee. (I preferred the banana coffee).

You may have heard or seen pictures of the "Spouting Horn". It is on the south shore of  Kauai. The waves come in under the rock and produce a geyser. It is fun to watch.

We rode along the Popiu shore with many nice beaches. This is a place I would like to come back and spend more time someday.

The following day  our ship left port at 2pm so that morning we walked over to the nearby Marriott which had beautiful gardens

and a very nice beach.

 As we left that afternoon on our ship we cruised the Na Pali Coast. Many movies have been made here because of the beauty.

This was a great grand finale to our 7 day cruise!

This was a fantastic vacation! Everything went very smoothly and we were able to see a lot on each island.
I would be very glad to help you plan your vacation to Hawaii.

Contact me for more information on your Hawaii cruise as well as tour information - or 336-922-1837.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Day 2 on "The Big Island" of Hawaii

Our ship cruised to the opposite side of the island overnight and we docked near Kona for our second day on this island.

We took a historical tour which included Pu'uhonua 0 Honaunau National Park. It was very pretty here and we got to walk on lava rock into the ocean.

We then went to St. Benedicts Catholic Church which is also known as "the painted church".

Everywhere we looked were beautiful trees and flowers.

Another enjoyable day on the islands. Our show on the ship that evening was "Oh What a Night" with Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons songs. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Day 1 on "The Big Island" of Hawaii

After we left Maui...

We cruised next to the island that is known as "The Big Island" and also "Hawaii".

Our ship spent 2 days here with our first day near Hilo. You have a 50-50 chance of rain on any day. It did rain on us some but we had rain ponchos.

We took a full day tour stopping first at Rainbow Falls.

We then went to the big attraction of the day, Volcano National Park.  We saw a crater that had collapsed and the steam was still pouring out of it.

We also got to walk through a lava tube. How cool is that?

We were not able to get close to flowing lava  because it was considered too dangerous but it all depends on where it is flowing on any given day.

We also stopped at Mauna Loa factory where you will find every flavor of macadamia nut . And they all were good!

After a full day we went back to our ship and ate at the Liberty restaurant which became our favorite place on the ship to eat. We then saw a comedian in the theater and  the band Toby which was quite good.

Our ship cruised to the opposite side of the island overnight and we docked near Kona for our second day on this island. To be continued...

Monday, June 23, 2014

Cruising Pride of America in Hawaii

I certainly recommend flying into Honolulu several days prior to the cruise. It will help you to acclimate to the time difference and there is so much to see  on the island of Oahu. We stayed for 4 nights previous to boarding the ship which seemed about right.

Sailing with in Hawaii

Having been on 15 previous cruises I was pleasantly surprised. I thought this ship was quite nice. It has a patriotic theme throughout.

The only Hawaiian decor was in the hall to our room.

Two of our shows were the best I have seen on a ship. The first night was a magician who not only did fantastic tricks but also danced and told jokes. Another night was a Jersey Boys act "What a Night" which was very enjoyable if you like Frankie Valli and the 4 Seasons songs.

This is a casual cruise but they encouraged us to dress Hawaiian one day. The staircase is a nice place to have a picture taken.

Our first day of our cruise was in Maui where we rented a car, drove the 40 minutes to Lahaina where we shopped and then went 3 miles down the road to Kaanapali Beach and Whalers Village.

The Banyan trees are quite a sight.

We had already been to Chiefs Luau on Oahu but another great choice for a luau is Old Lahaina Luau on Maui. It is not a full Hawaiian experience without a luau.

Our second day on Maui we went to Ioa Valley and saw the "needle".

Not far from that we stopped at Maui Plantation. It was beautiful with many plants and flowers.
We also enjoyed going through a few little shops with handcrafted items.

I will continue sharing more in my next post on the cruise.
If you want any information on NCL's Pride of America Hawaii cruise send me an email and I will be glad to help you!