Travel Savings Alerts Newsletter, July 2019 Issue
Travel Savings Alerts
P.O. Box 877
Logan OH 43138
ISSN: 1542-801X, Copyright 2019
All Rights Reserved.
Editor: Nicki Chodnoff
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Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd
1. Fort Lauderdale 2-for-1 Savings Card
|The Greater Fort Lauderdale area offers ways to satisfy your wanderlust and your wallet with offers and VIP hotel packages. The Vacation Like a VIP promotion and destination-wide 2-for-1 Summer Savings program runs through Sep. 30, 2019, with hotel stays from $159.
The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau's Summer Savings 2-for-1 card features more than 40 BOGO (buy one, get one) offers including options for boating/cruising, diving/snorkeling, museums, nature, restaurants, shopping, watersports, and spa and fitness.
Highlights of the 2-for-1 Summer Savings include airboat rides through the Everglades, surfing on the FlowRider, scuba diving and snorkeling excursions, kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing, surfing, boogie boarding, fishing trips, sailing excursions and Water Taxi tours.
Art, history and science come together at area museums and historic sites including the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, Butterfly World, Museum of Discovery and Science, History Fort Lauderdale, Young At Art Museum, NSU Art Museum, Art and Culture Center/Hollywood, Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum, and the Historic Stranahan House.
The summer 2019 Vacation Like a VIP promotion, which runs at the same time, is offered at the destination's Resort Collection properties. Participating hotels include Bonaventure Resort & Spa, Costa Hollywood Beach Resort, The Diplomat Beach Resort, Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa, Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa, Lago Mar Beach Resort & Club, Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort, Sonesta Fort Lauderdale, The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale, W Fort Lauderdale and Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort.
Highlights of the Vacation Like a VIP package include the following:
- Hotel rates from $159 per night, based on a minimum two-night stay, depending on property and availability.
- Hotel room upgrade (based on availability)
- $100 resort credit applied to food and beverage, spa, pool/beach cabana, water activities, kid's programs
- Free resort valet parking
- Free on-the-go power bank, courtesy of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau
- Summer Savings cards with 2-for-1 offers
- Free access to The Colonnade Outlets at Sawgrass Mills Luxury Lounge with welcome refreshments, concierge, and free valet parking.
2-for-1 Summer Savings card. Vacation Like a VIP offers. 800/22-FSUNNY.
2. Windstar All-In Package
|Windstar Cruises makes the convenience of a cruise more appealing with its inclusive onboard package.
Purchase the “All-In” package and receive Wi-Fi access, laundry service, hotel and beverage gratuities, and the top shelf Captain's Exclusive Beverage package featuring all wines by the glass, all beer selections, all mini-bar beverages, and a broad assortment of cocktails — for $89 per person, per day.
The "All-In” package is available on more than 550 cruises (ranging from seven- to 56-days) sailing to destinations around the globe into 2021. Even after aboard the ship, you may purchase the package for $89 per person up through day two of the cruise.
You save an estimated $35 per person, per day when booking the "All-In” package versus separately paying for the services and amenities. Unbundled, these amenities total approximately $124 per person, per day including the beverage package typically priced at $59 per person, per day.
Unlimited Wi-Fi allows you to keep in touch and share vacation escapades. Laundry Service allows you to streamline packing, save on luggage expenses, and is useful for sailing on water and beach-focused itineraries; and participating in adventurous explorations off the ship such as hiking, bike-riding, kayaking, and zip-lining.
The Captain's Exclusive Beverage package includes all domestic and imported beer and 33 varieties of wine or sparkling wine by the glass plus cordials, liqueurs, aperitifs, cocktails, and mini-bar items. Cocktails are based on house and select brands, and you may choose from more than 40 liquors such as Grey Goose, Hendricks, Johnny Walker Black, Ketel One, Glenfiddich, and Hennessy. Brands rotate and are subject to availability.
In addition, you receive these free amenities on every Windstar cruise: all meals in all venues; 24 hour room service; all non-alcoholic beverages including specialty coffees and teas; free water sports from the ship's Watersports Platform in tropical ports; local cultural performances in select ports; special events such as Sail Away and Signature Deck Party, and Signature Beach Party on select sailings; onboard activities including culinary and mixology classes, and enrichment lectures.
For two guests purchasing the "All-In” package" sharing a suite or stateroom, the total savings amounts to $240 per guest or $480 total per couple, based on a seven-day cruise.
Windstar "All-In” package or 800/258-7245.
3. Endless Summer Promotion
|The Myst Dong Khoi Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, invites you to experience their Endless Summer promotion package.
The Endless Summer Promotion is available for booking and valid for stays through July, 2019. This package for two includes:
- Two nights' accommodations in Dong Khoi room, Saigon City room and Verdant Calm room
- Free daily buffet breakfast, Western or Vietnamese
- Free afternoon high tea with hors d'oeuvres at the Nest Restaurant
- Free airport pickup service
- One free 60-minutes foot massage for two
- Free use of minibar, rooftop swimming pool, gym and steam bath
- Free welcome drink and free WI FI Internet.
In Ho Chi Minh City's central district, the Myst Dong Khoi hotel's rooms reflect Saigon residences of old days. The hotel's distinct façade has asymmetrical windows and greenery-filled balconies, while its lobby and corridors display a private gallery with historic artifacts and local antiques.
The Myst Dong Khoi Endless Summer package.
4. UnCruise Adventures Early Bird Alaska Savings
|UnCruise Adventures Alaska cruises for 2020 has 117 departures on seven inclusive itineraries throughout Southeast Alaska. Five itineraries visit Glacier Bay National Park and all itineraries include daily adventures for varying interests and abilities.
Early bird savings offer up to $1,200 per couple off. The offer is good until Dec. 13, 2019 for weeklong 2020 Alaska sailings aboard the Legacy, Wilderness Explorer and Wilderness Discoverer.
From April through September, boutique yachts and expedition ships sail adventure cruises lasting one to two weeks from Seattle, WA; Ketchikan, Juneau, and Sitka, Alaska. Ships carry 22 to 90 guests for up close and personal adventures in wild areas. Every vessel is equipped with kayaks, paddle boards, skiffs, and a launch platform.
UnCruise begins spring 2020 sailings in April, offering early access to Alaska’s landscapes and Southeast Alaska’s driest months of the year.
With few or no port calls, every Alaska cruise includes daily adventure activities in remote wilderness hiking, bushwhacking, kayaking, paddle boarding, skiff excursions and whale watching. Flexible itineraries and the small group size facilitate unimpeded exploration and time to search for and watch wildlife. Trained expedition guides, many with advanced degrees in marine biology and environmental science, lead adventures and provide expert nature and cultural interpretation along the way.
Each cruise includes meals, all drinks and snacks to support daily adventures and excursions. A pastry chef on every ship bakes all breads, desserts and pastries fresh each day. Sustainable seafood is sourced locally in Alaska.
Rates for weeklong Alaska cruises begin at $3,195 per person based on double occupancy and include fresh meals; all beverages including alcohol; adventure activities; transfers day of cruise; hot tub; and fitness equipment. A six-night pre-cruise package is available to Denali National Park and Talkeetna.
UnCruise Adventures or 888/862-8881.
5. New Go California Explorer Pass
|The Leisure Pass Group launched its first California-wide pass to tour the Golden State.
The Go California Explorer Pass offers access to a choice of 14 attractions around California. Among them are eight theme parks, including Knott's Berry Farm and SeaWorld San Diego, with savings of up to 34 percent on usual gate prices.
Designed for visitors on extended touring itineraries, the Go California Explorer Pass can be purchased as a three-, four- or five-attraction option. After first using the pass to gain entry to an attraction, holders have 30 days to visit their remaining choices.
Holders can visit one of two 'premium' attractions - Universal Studios Hollywood or Legoland California Resort (a two-day ticket including Sea Life Aquarium and Legoland Water Park) - plus an unrestricted choice from the remaining 12 attractions on the Go California Explorer Pass. Tours and nature-based attractions are offered in addition to theme parks.
A three-attraction Go California Explorer Pass is available at an introductory promotion price of $219 per adult and $204 per child aged three to 12 years. Digital delivery lets you use the pass directly from your smartphone.
Together the two-day Legoland Park Hopper ticket and entry to SeaWorld San Diego and Six Flags Magic Mountain would cost $336.98 at gate prices; three-attraction Go California Explorer Pass holders save nearly $118 visiting the same three attractions.
Holders also know their experiences are pre-purchased, with nothing further to pay at the gate. On arrival, you show your Go California Explorer Pass and walk in.
Go California Explorer Pass.
6. Lodging Discount During Construction
|After updating condominium suites, the Antlers at Vail hotel in Vail, CO upgrades and expands the lobby and front desk area. The new lobby will provide natural light through large windows and cathedral ceiling and will offer a gathering space for guests and intimate hotel events.
To offset any construction inconvenience, Antlers at Vail's Hard Hat Special offers a 30 percent discount on summer Vail accommodations through Sep. 30, 2019. Summer rates start from $175 for a one-bedroom condominium. To sweeten the deal, each reservation receives a free chocolate hammer and squishy hard hat-shaped "stress reliever." The Antlers will limit occupancy during construction months to ensure a positive guest experience, so advance booking is advised.
While changes are coming, many things will remain the same, such as Antlers' commitment to accommodating guests with a response of: "the answer is yes, now what was the question?" That policy led to the list of free amenities such as year-round heated pool and hot tub, ski valet service, covered parking, Wi-Fi, Vail Athletic Club membership, electric car plug-ins, weekly yoga, loaner bicycles, snowshoes, sleds, Go Pro Cameras and small kitchen appliances for guest use. Antlers stays also include free daily housekeeping service and no resort fees.
The Antlers at Vail renovation is expected to be completed by December 2019.
Antlers at Vail hotel.
7. Reynolds Lake Oconee Summer Package
|"Escape to the Lake" with a package from Reynolds Lake Oconee, the golf community and destination resort between Atlanta and Augusta, GA.
Available through July 31, 2019, the two-night package includes:
- Accommodations in a cottage or condominium with daily housekeeping
- Two-hour pontoon boat rental for each night of stay
- $100 resort credit for each night of stay
- Breakfast each morning
- Access to The Landing Fitness Center.
Nightly rates start at $625 per night based on four guests staying in a two-bedroom condominium. Three- and four-bedroom cottages and condominiums are also available. Guests staying at Reynolds have access to Reynolds Kingdom of Golf for instruction and club fitting, plus Sandy Creek Sporting Grounds, a facility with sporting clays, archery, air rifle, hiking and fishing. Additional fees apply at both.
With 90 miles of Lake Oconee shoreline, the 12,000-acre property is a retreat to beat the summer heat. The resort's four full-service marinas offer access to boat rentals for fishing plus kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding.
Off the water, Reynolds Lake Oconee community offers golf courses, biking along 21 miles of trails, a tennis complex, and access to 10 distinctive restaurants.
Reynolds Lake Oconee.
8. Free Activities In Puerto Vallarta
|Visitors to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico find low season can provide discounted rates on many activities plus many free activities in the beach city.
Walk the Malecon - The Malecon, the boardwalk that hugs the historic downtown and the coastline of the Bay of Banderas is where you can immerse yourself in the flavor, color, and activity of Puerto Vallarta. The north side starts at Hotel Rosita and ends by the Amphitheater beside the Plaza de Armas. Attractions include local artwork, statues, seaside artists, shopping, restaurants, bars, and the perfect vantage point to view Pacific Coast sunsets. After 10 p.m., nightlife spills onto the streets. The Southside of the Malecon includes Los Muertos Pier and the Rio Cuale crafts market.
Zona Romantica - One of the best-preserved sections of Puerto Vallarta is its historic Zona Romantica with cobblestone streets, terra-cotta roofs, historic buildings, and winding roads that lead into the jungled hillsides. Wandering is free and every vantage point provides a picture perfect Instagrammable moment.
The Beaches - The majority of beaches in Mexico are public and free. While it might cost money to rent a beach chair, you can bring your own anything and camp out on the sand for an afternoon. Some of the best beaches are Playa Los Muertos, Playa Las Gemelas, and Playa Mismaloya.
Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe - This iconic red brick cathedral dominates Vallarta's downtown skyline and is best-known for the golden crown that sits atop. You can go inside (free) and see the spiritual center of the Catholics in town. The church bells are rung 30 and 15 minutes prior to each service. On the 12 days of Our Lady of Guadalupe Festival, Dec. 1 to 12, candlelight processions start on Av. Juarez and advance toward the church.
Cerro de La Cruz Mirador - Get a bird’s eye view of the historic downtown, the Church, the Hotel Zone, and views of the Bay of Banderas from this clifftop perch. Getting to the top is not for the faint of heart, but worth the trek. Follow Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez Street, a straight uphill route to reach the top. Another route is Abasolo Street, which starts from the Malecon.
Art Walk - Puerto Vallarta bills itself as a center of creation, exhibition, and promotion. The weekly ArtWalk is held every Wednesday from 6 to 10 pm during high season. In low season tour the galleries on your own and include galleries not included in the regular schedule. The participating galleries in Historic Center exhibit works by national and international artists.
Free or discounted activities in Puerto Vallarta.
9. Save Up to 25% on Disney Resort Hotels
|Stay at Walt Disney World Resort with this room offer.
Save up to 25 percent on rooms at select Disney Resort hotels, valid for stays most nights through Aug. 28, 2019 when you book by Aug. 28, 2019.
Resort Category Resort Savings:
- Select Disney Deluxe Villas save up to 25 percent
- Select Disney Deluxe Resorts save up to 25 percent
- Select Disney Moderate Resorts save up to 25 percent
- Select Disney Value Resort Hotels save up to 15 percent.
Additional per-adult charges may apply if more than two adults are in a room at Disney Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts and Studios at Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts. This offer cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion.
Offer excludes the following room types: three-bedroom villas, cabins at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, the Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows.
The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited and savings are based on the non-discounted price for the same room. Length of stay requirements may apply.
Disneyworld Summer Hotel Offer or 407/939-7534.
10. Sea Island Specials
|Several hotels on Georgia’s Sea Island offer accommodations specials. Since 1928, visitors have come to Sea Island on the southern coast of Georgia.
Inn at Sea Island, 855/572-4975 – Stay three nights for the price of two. The offer is valid for stays through Aug. 29, 2019, excluding July 1 to 6, 2019. A three-night minimum is required. Fees and taxes are additional. The offer is subject to availability, applies to new reservations booked at the standard nightly rate and cannot be combined with other packages or offers. Does not apply to group bookings.
Cool Rates at The Cloister - If your travel plans are flexible, get special rates at The Cloister on selected dates through October 2019.
Save 10 percent off Standard Rate - Book and pre-pay your stay for 10 percent off the standard room rate. Rate is available at The Cloister and The Lodge for bookings from eight days up to 90 days prior to arrival; and from three days up to 90 days prior to arrival at The Inn. Rates reflect 10 percent off the best available rate and are based on single or double occupancy. Fees and taxes are additional. Full payment is due at the time of booking and is non-refundable and non-transferable.
Sea Island Specials.
11. 7-Day Moroccan Tour From $699
|Escapes by Globus offers an itinerary in Morocco during the low season, so you can experience the most popular cities for less.
The Moroccan Escape KMA, from Casablanca to Casablanca, starts at $699 per person, single, double or triple room occupancy, and is for the Dec. 1 or 15, 2019 departures. The single supplement waiver and single room capacity is limited, call for availability. Airfare is extra.
All Escapes by Globus tours and departures are excluded from the following Globus discounts: Book Early & Save, Welcome Back Credit, Second Tour discount and Small Group discount.
You can extend the trip with extra nights in Casablanca. The per person cost from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31 2019 in a single room is $144, in twin $83, and in triple $78.
This escorted tour escapes the crowds found at busier times of the year. Begin your vacation with a welcome dinner in Casablanca. Follow North Africa’s Barbary Coast to Rabat to see the medieval battlements and Royal Palace. Continue to Fez, Morocco’s spiritual and artistic center, drive to the entrance to the Royal Palace, drive through the old Jewish quarter and the traditional entrance to Old Fez and through the streets of its Medina. Then to Marrakesh, the “Red City.” You’ll visit Bahia Palace, the Saadian Tombs (or Badia Palace), the Djemaa El-Fna town center and marketplace. Return to Casablanca, to visit the Hassan II Mosque and a farewell dinner.
Globus or 866/755-8581.
12. Up to 60% Off Saint Lucia Hotels
|More than 20 hotels in Saint Lucia, an island in the Caribbean, offer up to 60 percent off rates this summer, giving an extra incentive for the summer travel season.
From intimate inns to luxury resorts, attractive rates are offered by hotels that cater to families, couples, and wellness enthusiasts.
The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority has a Summer Specials promotional page with details about all hotel offers.
Butler service, rooms with private plunge pools, all-inclusive options, family-focused programs, spa treatments and dining deals are a few of the amenities offered.
Participating hotels include Aupic Paradise, Bay Gardens Beach Resort and Spa, Bay Gardens Hotel, Bay Gardens Inn, Bay Gardens Marina Haven, Calabash Cove Resort and Spa, C’est La Vie, Coco Palm, Coconut Bay Beach Resort and Spa, East Winds, Fond Doux Plantation and Resort, Hotel Chocolat, Ladera, The Landings Resort and Spa, Marigot Bay Resort Spa and Marina, Mango Beach Inn, Serenity at Coconut Bay, Ti Kaye Resort and Spa, Tet Rouge Resort and Villa Capri.
Saint Lucia has nearly 100 miles of coastline and beaches with activities and accommodations for those who want to be active or enjoy relaxation.
While in Saint Lucia, check out the newly-renovated facilities at Hummingbird Beach in Soufriere and the expanded mud baths in Sulphur Springs Park. Other summer activities include cooling off at Toraille Falls, taking in 360-degree views of the island and the signature Pitons from Tet Paul Nature Trail, and snorkeling or diving at nearly two dozen dive sites.
St. Lucia Hotel Summer Specials.
13. La Serena Villas Summer Special
|La Serena Villas, the newest addition to the Palm Springs, CA Boutique Hotels collection, offers the summer special, “Dream, Drink, Dine.” Buy three nights and receive a $100 dining credit at their restaurant, Azúcar. Available Sunday through Thursday and non-holidays, rates start at $199. Use code Azucar100. The offer must be booked directly with the hotel and ends Aug. 31, 2019.
Built in 1933, La Serena Villas has 18 rooms, a pool and a spa. The historic hotel sits on more than an acre in the heart of downtown Palm Springs, a block away but within walking distance to Palm Canyon Drive.
Guest rooms are different in design with several offering outdoor tubs, a fireplace, plunge pool or a private spa. Many feature private front patios with a swing or large back deck for privacy. Villa 18 offers a full kitchen and can be joined with Villa 16 for a two-bedroom retreat. All rooms feature Frette linens and towels. Amenities include L’Occitane, La Serena Villas robes, hairdryers, Keurig coffeemakers, and 40-inch flat screen televisions.
La Serena Villas or 844/932-8044.
14. Colorado Summer Travel Deals
|Destinations and lodging properties across Colorado roll out deals to make summer travel fun and affordable.
Here are a few examples:
20 Percent Summer Discount at 14ers Ranch, Westcliffe – Enjoy glamping with personal service and incredible views. Book a three-night stay between Sunday and Thursday, through Sep. 30, 2019 and save 20 percent off your stay.
Devil's Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa Complete Ranch Experience Package, Tabernash – the new, inclusive Complete Ranch Experience allows you to immerse yourself in 6,000 acres of wilderness with one set price for accommodations, dining and authentic ranch adventures and recreational activities.
Far View Lodge Advance Purchase Rate, Mesa Verde National Park – Save up to 15 percent off when you stay at the Far View Lodge, the only lodging inside Mesa Verde National Park.
Gateway Canyons Canyon Credits, Gateway – Among the red sandstone walls of Unaweep Canyon, Gateway Canyons resort features a dude ranch, a classic car museum, and an all-season adventure center. Create your own adventure with up to a $200 daily adventure credit. Explore the outdoors by horseback, UTV or a Jeep.
G&M Cabins and OHV Adventure, Lake City – Book a one-night stay at G&M Cabins which includes one full day OHV rental for $200 (a 24 percent savings on the OHV rental). Walk from your cabin to your OHV and ride from town to the Alpine Loop.
The JW Marriott Denver Choose Your Own Family Adventure, Cherry Creek – Package offers a 25 percent discount and includes overnight accommodations, valet parking and two tickets to the Denver Zoo, Denver Museum of Nature & Science or Denver Botanic Gardens. Prices from $249 per night.
Passport to Leadville History, Leadville – See eight museums for one price. This combination ticket is good for one visit to each of the town's eight museums. The Museum Passport also offers 10 percent off trips on the Leadville Colorado & Southern Railroad and Twin Lakes Interlaken Boat Tours plus 10 percent discounts on stays Sunday through Wednesday nights at the historic Delaware Hotel.
The Oxford Hotel Colorado Rockies Pregame Package, Denver – The Pregame package offers a 20 percent discount and includes overnight accommodations, an Oxford tote bag, game day snacks, and free parking. Prices start at $200 per night.
The Ritz-Carlton Edge of Wild Package, Bachelor Gulch – Stay three nights and receive a $200 resort credit towards your adventure. You have the option of a guided mountain hike, a spa experience, or mountainside dining. Valid through Sep. 28, 2019, prices from $199.
The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa 2 for 1 Summer Getaway, Avon – Book a one-bedroom condo and you are upgraded to a two-bedroom condo. Rates from $259 per night.
Visit Colorado or 800/COLORADO.
15. Free Summer Music Concerts in St. Joseph
|The free Wednesday Brown Bag Concerts and Friday Night Concert Series return to St. Joseph, MI. Both series showcase regional musicians along Lake Michigan’s shore. Performers play in the John E.N. Howard Bandshell on Port Street, which has bench and lawn seating.
The Wednesday Brown Bag Concerts, sponsored by Holt Bosse, offer lunchtime entertainment noon to 1 p.m. each week through Aug. 21, 2019. Concertgoers can bring brown bag lunches or get take out food from restaurants in the adjacent downtown.
After the concert, walk to Elm and State Street for free horse-drawn trolley rides through August, made possible by the Frederick S. Upton Foundation.
The Friday Night Concert Series starts at 7:30 p.m., and continues through Aug. 30, 2019. Music concerts reflect Big Band, Jazz, Folk, Rock, Americana and Oldies music styles to name a few.
Free Summer Music Concerts in St. Joseph or 269/985-1111.
16. Two nights free on Deccan Odyssey
|Exotic Journeys International has a special offer for a luxury train journey on board the Deccan Odyssey.
The Deccan Odyssey has 12 air-conditioned sleeping cars and two suite cars. The cabins, four in a car, are 95 sq. ft in area and have twin or double beds and bathrooms. The four 205 sq. ft. presidential suites have large double beds, sitting area, and two bathrooms. Off train excursions for guests are provided by private coaches with English speaking guides.
The guests in suites have the option of private touring. The train accommodates 88 guests, has dining cars serving Continental and Indian foods, full service bar lounge, gym, spa, sauna and beauty parlor.
The journey starts from Mumbai and travels through Bijapur, Aihole, Hampi, Hyderabad, Aurangabad and Ajanta Caves before returning to Mumbai on the eigth day.
There are three departures at the discounted price: Oct. 5, Nov. 30 and Dec. 29, 2019, and seats at this price are limited. To receive the special fare with two free nights you must book by July 29, 2019.
Price for this all-inclusive eight day train tour, not including government and service taxes, is:
Deluxe Cabins: $3,450 per person based on double occupancy or $4,810 single.
Presidential Suite: $5,209 per person based on double occupancy or $10,418 single.
Exotic Journeys International or 800/554-6342.
17. South African Splendor
|African Travel Inc. showcases South Africa with its South African Splendor tour that visits Cape Town and Durban. Then safari in the wilderness of the Manyoni Private Game Reserve in the heart of Zululand.
This 12 day special offer is priced from $5,995 per person, based on double occupancy and includes airfare. The package is subject to availability and may change without notice. A 50 percent deposit is due at the time of booking and final payment is due 100 days prior to departure. Once final payment is received, the program is non-refundable.
African Travel Inc. or 800/421-8907.
18. Miami Hotel Months
|The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau kicks off its third-annual Miami Hotel Months, with deals at more than 90 hotels. That makes it more affordable to stay at some of the best hotels in Miami and Miami Beach.
In addition to discounted rates, there are other amenities offered such as free breakfast, valet parking, happy hour deals and bonus free night stays.
Here are a few of the deals available during the promotion, which runs through September:
Ritz-Carlton, Bal Harbour Stay Longer With Us promotion valid to Sep. 30, 2019. Stay longer and receive up to 20 to 40 percent savings when staying three to five nights on select rooms and suites.
JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa - Get a $100 daily resort credit plus free shuttle service to Aventura Mall and admission to Tidal Cove Waterpark, with seven slides and a FlowRider Triple surf simulation pool.
North Beach Getaway - 25 percent off valid through Sep. 30, 2019. Stay five nights and save at the Beachside Apartment Hotel. Studio apartments with kitchens near the beach in Miami Beach's North Beach.
Casablanca West Tower - 30 percent off summer vacation. Stay through Sep. 30, 2019 and get 30 percent off your stay. Continental breakfast included during these dates.
Miami Hotel Months.
19. Vent Haven Museum by Nicki Chodnoff
|I opened the front door and saw dozens of dummies staring back. It was at once amusing and creeepy. There sat rows upon rows of ventriloquist figures sitting in chairs, staring with big googly eyes, heavy eyelids and clunky mouths. Invented for 18th century music hall entertainment, but somewhere along the way, ventriloquist dummies became creepy and conjure up our worst fears, a familiar horror movie character.
The dummies live on a suburban street in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, across the Ohio River from Cincinnati. About 850 dummies call the Vent Haven Museum home, which bills itself as the “only museum in the world dedicated to the art of ventriloquism.” It turns out that the museum houses the largest collection of ventriloquial figures, playbills, letters, and thousands of photographs. Aside from being a museum, it hosts the international ConVENTion that attracts more than 600 ventriloquists each year.
And yes, they are dummies. The term is politically correct. According to Lisa Sweasy, curator of the museum, the term dummy is correct as you can’t insult or upset wood.
But 3 West Maple Avenue wasn’t always the Vent Haven Museum. It was the home of William Shakespeare Berger, known to his friends as W.S. Being a professional ventriloquist was not Berger’s profession. Instead, he was a Cincinnati tile salesman, who in 1895 started working at Cambridge Tile Company and by 1947, he retired as president of the company.
On a fateful day in 1910 in New York, Berger saw dummy Tommy Baloney, with his big brown eyes and cherry lips, and snapped him up. By 1925, Berger was collecting in earnest and performing as an amateur. Berger was so enthralled with dummies, he created the International Brotherhood of Ventriloquists and started a monthly magazine, “The Oracle,” which kept up with current events in the “Vent” community and was a former president of the International Brotherhood of Ventriloquists.
By 1947, Berger’s collection had grown and the dummies were overtaking the Bergers in their bungalow. Their garage was renovated to house the figures. In 1962, Berger constructed a second building. Berger outlived his wife, son, and grandson and had no other heirs. Afraid the dummies might be sold piecemeal after his death, Berger set up a charitable foundation to keep his pals together. The one one stipulation: the curator not be a ventriloquist. That was because Berger promised dummy donors that no one would animate their dummy as the owner who gave voice to the dummy was no longer there. After all, the Vent Haven Museum is a retirement home for dummies.
Tommy Baloney still greets visitors at the Vent Haven Museum, alongside Berger’s Skinny Hamilton and Jacko, the museum’s monkey mascot. With a stick-out-tongue, wiggling ears and real rabbit fur, Jacko was built by legendary figure makers George and Glenn McElroy. The McElroy figures, crafted by the brothers in Harrison, Ohio, are considered the Cadillacs of dummies. Working between 1936 and 1941, the McElroys made about 24 dummies, and Vent Haven has nine. One character, Cecil Wiggle Nose, can wiggle his nose and ears, wink, roll and cross his eyes, make his hair stand on end and stick out his tongue.
You are bound to find something that interests you at the Vent Haven Museum. Thousands of photographs, including a portrait of Mr. Berger with animated mouth and eyes, and wall to wall figures. Look around and you’ll see a walking dummy that transforms into a clock, presidential dummies, and dummies depicting every stereotype.
Some of the most notable pieces in the collection are the dummies that once belonged to well-known ventriloquists such as Jeff Dunham, Shari Lewis and Terry Fator. Visitors of a certain age will recognize replicas of Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd, who once belonged to ventriloquist and actor Edgar Bergen. They were made from Edgar Bergen’s original molds. The originals are part of Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History collection and made their debut in 1936 on Rudy Valée’s radio show.
Jeff Dunham, one of the most popular ventriloquist now at work, is represented. An entire corner of the museum is dedicated to his work, including his characters — crotchety and cranky old man Walter, the manic Peanut, and Achmed the Dead Terrorist. Additionally, Dunham takes the time to serve on the museum board and donate to the cause. He’s donated a version of Walter, Peanut and Jose Jalapeño.
Often, it’s the backstory that’s as fascinating as the dummies themselves. Dunham made this version of Walter in three days, for a Hertz commercial, and used it for seven years before giving the dummy to Vent Haven in 2003.
The museum has one soft puppet which looks like a monkey on which visitors can try out their ventriloquism skills. However, the rest of the dummies are off limits, even to Sweasy.
Tours are by appointment from May through September. A $10 donation is suggested. Sweasy gives an hour-long guided tour, which is spread across four buildings. Each tour is different from the previous one as Sweasy likes to tailor tours to visitors’ interest and questions.
Vent Haven Museum or 859/341-0461.
20. Princess Sun-Drenched Deals
|Princess Cruises offers its annual Sun-Drenched Deals sale, with savings up to 35 percent and $99 fares for third and fourth guests in the stateroom. The sale is on cruises departing from Fall to Winter 2019. Destinations include the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada & New England, Hawaii, Panama Canal, California Coast, Australia & New Zealand, South Pacific, Asia, Mediterranean, Transatlantic, Scandinavia & Russia, South America & Antarctica and Japan.
Book this cruise deal in all stateroom categories with a deposit of 10 percent per guest.
Select ships during this promotional period are MedallionClass ships, enabled by OceanMedallion, a free wearable device that enhances the cruise experience and personalized service.
Examples of Sun-Drenched cruise fares per guest, based on double occupancy, include:
- Regal Princess to the Western Caribbean, roundtrip Ft. Lauderdale — seven days: $599 interior (was $749); $899 balcony (was $1,099); departs Nov. 17, 2019
- Royal Princess to the Mexican Riviera, roundtrip Los Angeles — seven days: $699 interior (was $749); $829 balcony (was $999); departs Dec. 14, 2019
- Regal Princess to Canada & New England, roundtrip New York City — seven days: $799 interior (was $1,049); $1,109 balcony (was $1,649); departs Sep. 28, 2019
- Ruby Princess to Australia & New Zealand, Sydney to Auckland — 14 days: $969 interior (was $1,999); $1,419 balcony (was $3,149); departs Dec. 13, 2019
- Golden Princess to Hawaii, Tahiti & South Pacific Crossing, San Francisco to Sydney — 26 days: $2,219 interior (was $3,299); $2,869 balcony (was $5,599); departs Sept. 28, 2019.
All cruise prices are per person, based on double occupancy. The Sun-Drenched Deals sale runs through July 31, 2019 and is available to residents 21 years of age and older of the United States & D.C., Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Bermuda.
Sun-Drenched Deals or 800/774-6237.
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