Zika-Free Honeymoons

Zika-free Honeymoon Destinations

Who doesn’t love a wedding? Friends and family come together to celebrate love, have a feast and dance late into the night. But if you’re the bride or groom, just making it to your big day involves a lot of planning and stress. You have to pare down that guest list and make sure you’re having the right people sit together for dinner. All those little touches throughout the night that wow your guests don’t just happen. There’s a lot of work that goes into it.

So it’s no wonder that after the ceremony and reception are over, you want to just hit the beach for a week and relax on an island somewhere with your new spouse. Of course, finding the right place for your honeymoon doesn’t just happen on its own, either. And with the spread of the Zika virus, even finding somewhere to relax has gotten more stressful for honeymooners who want to start families soon. Fortunately, there are still quite a few islands where you can spend a worry-free vacation that are Zika-free.

Bermuda

 

 

Thanks to its unique position in the Atlantic off the East Coast of the U.S., Bermuda has managed avoid the spread of Zika that has reached many Caribbean islands. Though it’s a bit too far north to be a year-round beach destination, high temperatures average between 75 and 85 degrees from May through November. The beaches are gorgeous, flecked with pink sand, and there’s no shortage of water-based activities, including caves and shipwrecks to explore.

 

Hawaii

 

 

You don’t even need passports for this one. With the variety of islands, you can make your honeymoon as active or slow-paced as you want. With an abundance of interisland flights that are less than an hour from takeoff to landing, you can island-hop with ease. So if you absolutely have to visit Pearl Harbor but then you want to get as far away from a city as you can, fly into Honolulu and spend a night there before heading out to one of the quieter Neighbor Islands.

 

French Polynesia

 

 

Lagoons and mountains and endless beauty pretty much sum it up. Just saying the names of some of the islands -- Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea -- conjures up images of tranquility. These islands were tailor-made for getting away from it all. The protected lagoons make for calm, clear waters that wash your cares away and make you forgot all about your embarrassing cousin who tried to ruin the reception. One other bonus: The French brought their cooking techniques with them when they came to the Pacific.

 

Seychelles

 

 

About 1,000 miles off the east coast of Kenya, the Seychelles pair well with a safari. The beaches are spectacular, the weather is consistently warm year-round and the locals love welcoming visitors. You’ll see plenty of things, including several bird species, you won’t find anywhere else on Earth. If you opt for cruising around the Seychelles, Virtuoso-preferred Crystal Cruises has a submersible available so you can even see things underwater you won’t see anywhere else on Earth.

 

Maldives

 

 

Southwest of India, the Maldives consist of nearly 1,200 islands that collectively form the lowest-lying country in the world. The highest point is less than 10 feet, and white-sand beaches make up a significant portion of the topography of the islands, each with its own coral reef. While the resorts (including 10 that are Virtuoso-preferred) are designed with sustainability in mind, rising sea levels threaten to erase the Maldives from the map. So, unfortunately, you may not have many more opportunities to visit this idyllic paradise.

Bridal Shows and Honeymoons Plus Try VirtualHoneymoon!

In the wedding industry we have what is known as the " bridal season." This is the timeframe where many young ladies receive engagement rings from Christmas to New Year's to Valentine's Day. This is also the time of year that you'll find these ladies going to bridal shows to learn more about the services of local wedding professionals and what they have to offer.

At a bridal show you can meet with wedding photographers, florists, bakers, linen supply companies, party favor vendors, DJ's, invitation representatives, photo booth rental companies, ice sculpturers, representatives for wedding reception locations, hair and makeup artists, wedding gown and tuxedos rental companies as well as a honeymoon travel advisor!  

Just about anyplace in the world can be made into a honeymoon! Some couples prefer to travel and explore exotic lands, while others want to relax, sun themselves, and enjoy some fun activities. Most popular honeymoon destinations from New England are: Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Mexico.  Exotic destinations are Tahiti, Hawaii, and St Lucia.  And other festinating spots are Alaska, Iceland, Costa Rica, Italy and Greece.

Where is your dream honeymoon location?  Have fun with this Virtual Honeymoon Tool!

Why Jamaica?

Looking to plan your next vacation or destination wedding and can't decide on a location? Jamaica is a fabulous option to consider! Why Jamaica? Here are 8 reasons:

1. Beautiful Beaches for Miles

Home to some of the Caribbean’s most impressive beaches, Jamaica offers a vast expanse of spectacular white sands. With breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, mountains, and crystal blue waters, the beaches are the perfect place to relax on vacation. Consider Whitehouse, & Montego Bay as wonderful beaches to enjoy. Or the famous Seven Mile Beach with amazing sunsets!

beaches in Jamaica

2. Tropical Climate & Weather

If you like tropical weather, then Jamaica is for you. Jamaica is a tropical destination where you can put on a bathing suit and enjoy an island with an average temperature of 81˚ all year round!  

3. Enjoy Local Cuisine

Jamaica is well known for its exotic and locally sourced food. You may have heard of jerk-seasoned dishes, which is native to Jamaica. And while you're here you have to try the national dish of Ackee and Saltfish, a locally grown fruit sautéed and served with onions, peppers, tomatoes and salt cod. Delicious!

4. Perfect for Nature Lovers

If you love to experience nature, you'll be delighted with the new experiences and adventures to take in while visiting Jamaica. Known for their exotic wildlife, the area bird species and flora will astound you. And if you dream of swimming with the dolphins, you can in Ocho Rios!

Jamaican sunset

5. All-Inclusive Resorts Abound

The easiest and greatest way to experience Jamaica is with an all-inclusive resort. Vacation packages with all amenities and activities included give you the freedom to immerse yourself in the culture and island while on a refreshing travel. Whether you're traveling on a budget or searching for the luxurious side of the island, you're sure to find an all-inclusive package that fits your needs.

6. Child Friendly Resorts & Activities

Traveling families know the importance of making sure children can and will enjoy the vacation just as much as the adults do! That being said, the adults need to have some fun themselves, too.

Many resorts in Jamaica offer childcare for the days and nights when parents need a little alone time. Don’t worry about dreary childcare in a room filled only with crayons and paper. Kids are on vacation too, and you want to make sure it stays that way!

7. An Island Rich in Culture

Still asking yourself “why visit Jamaica?” Jamaica has a proud and astounding culture, embracing the land and the lifestyles they lead. One of the greatest aspects of Jamaica’s culture is the friendly and welcoming nature of the locals. You won’t feel like a stranger when you arrive at the island; the locals will welcome you with warm hearts. Visit the island with a schedule a tour, and don't miss out on the Bob Marley House in Nine Mile.

8. Destination Weddings

It's easy to have a destination wedding on a friendly island with no blood tests required, where you only have to arrive 2 days prior to the ceremony, and with so many resorts to chose. From large all-inclusive resorts to boutique hotels to villas, your destination wedding in Jamaica will never be forgotten.

destination wedding in Jamaica

Grand Velas Riviera Maya | Luxurious All Inclusive Resort

Grand Velas Riviera MayaLuxurious All Inclusive Resort

If basking in the sun on pristine beaches while enveloped in luxury is your idea of a perfect vacation, then Grand Velas Riviera Maya Mexico Resort is the place for you! Grand Velas is easy to get to - it's located just 35 minutes from Cancun Airport - and it's perfect for couples, weddings, and families.

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The Riviera Maya in Mexico is a spectacular destination because of its turquoise waters, white-sand beaches, nightlife, shopping, and golf. Grand Velas adds a layer of pampering and splendor with its world-class spa, named "Best Spa in the World" by Virtuoso in 2010. 42 treatment suites with services that span from massages to facials to hydrotherapy means you'll find the relaxation or rejuvenation you deserve.

The accommodations at Grand Velas live up to the title of luxurious with large suites that include 2 double beds or 1 king, a sitting area, and views of the ocean from your private terrace. This is where I want to start my day with a cup of coffee and then sit and unwind before dinner. All rooms include large TVs and wireless Internet, but this is the place to unplug so I hope you don't use them much!

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For those that like to sit and bask in the sun, in addition to the ocean or the zen garden you can enjoy three huge swimming pools with plenty of chairs to relax. There's also a children's pool. Yes, the Grand Velas is luxurious enough for a romantic couples getaway but it's also family-friendly with kid's activities and a kids club.

From the amazing service to the delicious food rolled into an all-inclusive resort, Grand Velas Riviera Maya is a stellar vacation spot. If you want to know more about this resort or you're ready to book your vacation, contact me at 978-745-2575 or marisa@sensationaltravel.com.

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Honeymoon Destinations

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Newly engaged couples I meet at New England Bridal Shows are constantly asking me where is the popular destination for a honeymoon. It remains the top three are; Jamaica, Punta Cana, D.R. and Mexico mostly the Mayan Riviera area. Why: These three top destinations for honeymoons offer the best value for young couples who want beach & sun while getting most for their money.

Which resorts to consider?

In Punta Cana there is the Excellence Resort, Zoetry Resort, Majestic Elegance Resort, HardRock Resort and Breathless Resort that are the most popular.

In Jamaica, Couples Resorts offer free tours in their room packages and the well known Sandals Resorts for their luxurious accommodations. Here you can chose between Ocho Rios for the variable of tours and Negril for amazing sunsets.

In Mexico, there are many resorts to chose from from the larger resorts such as Moon Palace Resort to smaller Playacar Palace Resort to the luxurious LeBlanc Resort. Hard Rock Resorts for music lovers. RoyalHideaway Resort or Karisma El Dorado Seaside Suites Resort where both offer exceptional service. In the Manyan Rivera there are many tours and activities honeymooners can enjoy or just relax on a beautiful beach.

Choices are numerous and it is wise to use a travel professional to make sure the selection is best. Contact marisa@sensationaltravel.com for stress-free planning.

Free Honeymoon?

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If you are an engaged couple and worrying about rain on your wedding day in May or June 2014, maybe you should book your honeymoon with Sensational Travel. Contact Marisa L. Cole for details on this promotion & to book your memorable honeymoon. Marisa@sensationaltravel.com

Sandals La Toc Resort St Lucia

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What a wonderful resort with many features such as an activity pool or a quiet pool. Lots of watersports such as paddleboarding or waterskiing. Piano bar to enjoy or a street fair to dance the night away. Lovely rooms to chose from and of course my favorite is either the concierge service or a luxury Butler to cater to your wishes. Here are my favorite staff at the resort, general manager and hotel manager along with the sales manager. Mr Eliott, Mr James and Pearl!! Contact me about how we can make your next Sandals LaToc Experience special.

St Lucia

As a Boston traveler it was to be two airplanes and a 1hr layover in Miami for a 7hr journey then a 1hr van transfer to St Lucia's Sandals La Toc. Was it worth it? We arrive into our Sunset Bluff Waterview Edge Room with time to swim in the pool, enjoy a drink at the swim up bar and watch a beautiful sunset before dinning at Armando's Italian Restaurant on the Sunset Bluff. Food and service was top-notch at Armando's! Yes, all was forgotton about the long travel day.

Windstar Cruises Fall Sale

  Imagine sailing from Spain to Portugal for a 8 day voyage with Windstar Cruises.

Imagine that you can do this for as little as $1549.00 per person with Windstar Crusies “flash” sale ending on 9/1/12.  Contact Sensational Travel for details at  Marisa@sensationaltravel.com

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Over-Water Bungalows

Featuring just 6 overwater bungalows plus two restaurants and a spa, the Coral Lodge is a boutique resort in a secluded part of the San Blas Islands in Panama. The bare-bones and eco-friendly approach means there is no TVs or internet here, so a distraction-free vacation is nearly guaranteed.

The resort also offers “romance packages” and several other extras, so this is still quite luxurious. The Coral Lodge also is great value, with perhaps the cheapest overwater bungalows in the world. There’s great diving and snorkeling, as well as horseback riding nearby, so this could be a perfect choice for the right people.

Caribbean overwater bungalow resorts that aren’t open

Sandals Grande St. Lucia – This famous all-inclusive resort is building 26 overwater bungalows around its private island just off St. Lucia, scheduled to break ground in August 2012 and open in February 2013. Curiously, they are billing them as “the Caribbean’s first overwater bungalows,” so perhaps their definition of ‘Caribbean’ is more limited than ours or the general public’s. Sandals is also reportedly planning on opening overwater bungalows at its Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay, Jamaica resort as well, though information on those is limited as construction permits have yet to be granted as of February, 2012.

Couples Resorts in Jamaica

What a complimentary wedding?  Chose Couples Resorts in Jamaica!

Couples Resorts

are an adults only all-inclusive collection of 4 hotels in Jamaica. Two are located in Negril and two are located in Ocho Rios.

Couples Resorts

are a great choice for a laid back, island chic

Destination Wedding

.  Some of the wedding planners have been with these resorts for over ten years and assure you professional & caring service to plan a dreamy destination wedding or a wonderful honeymoon experience.

Couples Resorts Complimentary Wedding Package

It's all included* - an intimate wedding ceremony, gourmet dining and a relaxing His / Hers massage.

 Personal service of a minister

 Personal service of a Wedding Coordinator

 Bridal bouquet

 Boutonniere for the groom

 Sparking wine

 Two-tier cake

 His and hers half-hour massages

Contact Sensational Travel to learn more about these resorts and personal experience at Couples Resorts.

978-745-2575 or

marisa@sensationaltravel.com

Jamaica 2012 with Sandals Resorts

JAMAICA 2012 with SANDALS RESORTS

Sandals and Beaches Resorts offers weddings and vow renewals your way, your style, your Sandals with many choices. Check out Sandals new wedding designer tool on their website to see how easy and affordable it is to plan a wedding ceremony and optional reception in the Caribbean.  Contact Sensational Travel at  978-745-2575 for specials and pricing.  View photos on Sensational Travel Facebook Page                              

http://www.facebook.com/sensationtravels

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Luxury resorts and destinations

Travelers will ask  travel agents if they have "been there".  The answer is usually we haven't and even if we had, resorts & destinations are constantly changing.  I am happy to read a new blog from a luxury travel agent like myself who might have gone to a destination or resort I haven't been to.  Enjoy reading:  

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Destination - St Lucia

Want to travel to the South Pacific? Want to save time and money?  Consider a vacation to St. Lucia in the Caribbean. You can do a drive-in volcano, scuba dive or snorkel, sail or swim at black-sand beaches, zip line in rainforests, taste unforgetable cusine, stay in family-friendly Coconut Bay Resort, luxury honeymoon at Jade Mountain, or "the Bachelor" treatment at Cap Maison.  Contact Sensational Travel for special offerings  at 978-745-2575.

Too Far, Too Expensive?   East Coast Travelers want to visit the South Pacific, Society Islands  however travelers are concerned about Too Far, Too Expensive.  From Los Angeles you can be in Tahiti in 8 hours and packages with airfare start at $1799.00 per person for a 7 night stay.  Concern about nothing to do except swimming?  There are many activities in the Society Islands such as snorkeling, diving, dolphin encounters, surfing, golf, 4x4 jeep tours, ATV tours, para-sailing, museums, spas, black pearl shopping and of course just relaxing.  Dinning choices from fine dinning to open-air casual meals with residents.  Now U.S. citizens can have a legal destination wedding with only 3 days prior to the ceremony requirement in beautiful chapels.  And if you want to experience the Society Islands by unpacking only once, consider the Paul Gauguin Cruise or Princess Cruises for 10 day voyages.

Honeymoon Travel Tips

Honeymoon Travel Tips

Countdown to a wonderful & stress-free honeymoon.

1. Nine months prior; work up your honeymoon wish list and make your first contact with your local travel consultant. 2. Six months prior; firm up your honeymoon budget, and make your honeymoon travel plans with your first deposit. 3. Four months prior; secure your U.S. Passport, and advise your credit card banks of your itinerary so card charges will not be declined due to tighter credit card security. 4. Three months prior; finalize your travel honeymoon plans with your local travel agent and list your honeymoon on your bridal shower registry for unexpected travel gifts. 3. Two months prior; review your travel wardrobe and sizes of suitcases & weight limitations due to TSA and airline restrictions. Refill any prescriptions you will need for your honeymoon. 5. One month prior; review your travel documents with your local travel consultant. Begin packing. Leave copies of your travel arrangements with family at home.

Bon Voyage for a wonderful honeymoon!