Travel Savings Alerts Newsletter, May 2014 Issue
Travel Savings Alerts
P.O. Box 91033
Columbus OH 43209
ISSN: 1542-801X, Copyright 2014
All Rights Reserved.
Editor: Nicki Chodnoff
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Devil Anse Hatfield statue in family cemetery, Sarah Ann, WV
Costa Rica Summer Packages from Recreo
|Recreo resort in the La Cruz, Guanacaste Costa Rica, is a thin piece of land near the border of Nicaragua. Surrounded by nature preserves, La Cruz will become home to major resort. The Dream Resort Las Mareas will open in November 2014. Before everyone discovers this vacation destination Recreo offers two packages for an adventurous summer vacation to Costa Rica.
Package 1 - DIY Vacation package offers value prices at $85 per person, per night with four people in two rooms and up to two kids stay free. That adds up to $340 per night for up to four adults and two kids free. Daily maid service is included. Recreo provides a map to the local super market or you can buy fresh fish at the nearby village dock. You can get airfare and a rental car package from Jet Blue.
Package 2 - WDE (We Do Everything) Vacation package in an ultra-modern villa with a private chef and maid on call at all times. The villa sits on the side of a mountain overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The $888 per night price includes three meals for up to four adults and two free kids.
Save on Great America Hotel Packages
|Save on California's Great America theme park when you spend a night at one of eight Santa Clara, CA hotels. The discount packages represent almost 50 percent savings over regular room and ticket cost. Hotel/theme park packages include one night's weekend accommodations and two California's Great America general admission tickets (extra tickets can be purchased at a discount at participating hotels). In addition, several of the packages include free breakfast.
Participating hotels are Avatar Hotel ($159), Biltmore Hotel & Suites ($139), Embassy Suites Santa Clara ($149), Hilton Santa Clara ($149), Hyatt Regency Santa Clara ($159), Mariani's Inn and Restaurant ($159), Marriott, Santa Clara ($179), and The Plaza Suites ($174). Sales tax is not included and packages are subject to availability. Packages are good thru Nov. 2, 2014.
New at California's Great America in 2014 are food options and an all-day dining plan, along with a red Flight Deck.
California's Great America theme park offers more than 100-acres of entertainment. It is open weekends through mid–May, daily May 24 through Aug. 18, and weekends in September, October, and the first weekend of November.
Great America Hotel Packages.
British Virgin Islands Summer Freedom Savings
|The British Virgin Islands (BVI) Tourist Board invites you to the BVI for a Summer of FREEdom with offers throughout the 60 islands. Value-added offers from a variety of properties – private islands to luxury villas to yachts – include free nights, resort credits, free car rental and free excursions.
Summer in the BVI is the season for deals and celebrations and with the destination’s 60th Anniversary of Emancipation (July 28 to Aug. 9, 2014) there will be even more activities including cultural festivals and parades.
Here are some deals a various resorts and accommodations:
- Necker Island: During select weeks throughout the year, known as Celebration Weeks, book individual rooms and share the island for an all-inclusive experience (meals and select activities).
- Rosewood Little Dix Bay: Stay four nights and receive a free fifth night (except the Beach Houses). Stay five nights and receive a free sixth and seventh night at a Deluxe Cottage, Beach Front Cottage, Rosewood Junior Suite or Villa.
- Peter Island Resort & Spa: Receive 35 percent off beach front junior suites, nightly villa rates and ocean view rooms. A $500 resort credit is included with ocean view room bookings.
- Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina: Pay for five nights and stay for seven in a two, three or four-bedroom Cliffside Villa.
- Bitter End Yacht Club: Standard beachfront cottages are 20 percent off, with a second room 50 percent off when booking a seven night package.
- Fort Burt Hotel: Spend five days and receive one free night. Spend three days and receive a free day trip excursion.
- Fort Recovery Beachfront Villa & Suites Hotel: Spend seven nights and receive a free trip to the Indians, Norman Island or Jost Van Dyke, including dinner.
- Long Bay Beach Club: Book a Beachfront Cabana and get a free upgrade to a Beachfront Deluxe.
- Myett’s Cane Garden Bay: Book three nights and receive the fourth night free.
- Sea View Hotel: Book four nights and receive a fifth night at 50 percent off. Spend six nights and receive the seventh night free.
- Sugar Mill Hotel: Book four nights or more and receive a free three day vehicle rental.
- A Dream Come True Villa Estate: Book six nights and receive the seventh free, along with a three-course welcome dinner, breakfast on the first day and laundry service.
- Greenbank Estate Villas: Pay for six nights and stay for seven in any villa.
- Indigo House on the Beach: Book three nights and receive the fourth night free.
- Surfsong Villa Resort: Free meal on arrival with a reservation of a week or more.
- Guavaberry Spring Vacation Homes: Free snorkel equipment on site.
- BVI Yacht Charters: Pay for seven nights and receive an additional three free days.
- Cuan Law (Trimarine Boat Company): Children 18 and under stay at 50 percent off with all food, beverages, activities and watersports gear free.
- Horizon Yacht Charters: Receive 10 nights for the price of seven.
- Virgin Traders: Stay 10, nine or eight nights for the price of seven while on a motor yacht charter.
Click here for booking and travel dates and details on how to book the following deals. visit .
Visit through May 6, 2014, and BVI Tourist Board.
B Resort Introductory Offer
|Experience Orlando’s newest lifestyle hotel, B Resort, in the Walt Disney World Resort, and receive the special introductory offer, valid on stays through September 2014.
B Resort opens in summer 2014. The introductory offer provides a Chic Room from $159 per night, a Captivating Room from $179 per night, or a Stunning Room from $199 per night. This offer includes resort fees and self-parking.
To qualify, reserve one night and pay in full when booking a stay. This offer is valid for reservations made through May 31, 2014, for travel July to Sep. 30, 2014. Blackout dates apply and prices are subject to change at any time. Reservations are final and nonrefundable.
This full-service hotel is in the Downtown Disney area within walking distance to shops, restaurants and entertainment, and five minutes from the Walt Disney World Resort theme parks. B Resort is 10 minutes from the Orange County Convention Center and approximately 20 minutes from Orlando International Airport and downtown Orlando.
The 394-room hotel offers amenities for children and adults. B Resort is home to a full-service spa which includes massages, a hair salon, a nail boutique and a fitness center.
The resort’s signature restaurant that serves barbecue will be one of four dining options which include a poolside bar and grill; a casual shop off of the lobby for a quick breakfast and snacks; and in-room dining, available 24/7.
Rooms and suites feature a large HD LED interactive flat-screen television, free Wi-Fi (free high-speed Internet is available in guest rooms, public areas and meeting spaces), a mini fridge, snacks, and gaming consoles available on request. Some rooms also are equipped with bunk beds, kitchenettes or wet bars.
Other amenities include a zero-entry saltwater pool with interactive water features, fire pits and a kids’ zone; courtesy loaner iPads; and Monscierge, a digital touchscreen concierge and destination guide.
B Resort or 407/828-2828.
Intro Rate at Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa
|The privately-owned Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas and Spa will open June 1, 2014 with the architecture designed around existing fauna.
The villas and spa features 11 oceanfront villas on Paje Beach with private pool, lounge and dining area, bedroom with king size bed, dressing closet, bathroom with rain shower and outdoor bathtub. Tropical vegetation surrounds each villa, ensuring seclusion and privacy.
The resort’s focus on sustainability and service include:
The resort installed a wind turbine, solar water heaters on each villa, solar panels and their own desalinization plant.
Fruits and vegetables used in the kitchen are grown in their own bio garden
To celebrate the grand opening month, save 30 percent when visiting in June, with villa rates from $490 per night in a one bedroom, including breakfast.
The property includes a spa, a fine dining restaurant serving freshly caught fish, bar with rooftop lounge, concierge service, and a watersports center specializing in kitesurfing.
Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa.
Specially-Priced "Sunny South Africa" Package
|South African Airways Vacations showcases South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal region, also known as the "Sunshine Coast," with a specially-priced package from $1,999 (restrictions apply).
The price is per person based on double occupancy for departures from New York or Washington, D.C. through May 9, 2014; May 13 to May 31, 2014 and Aug. 11 to Aug. 31, 2014. The same itinerary is available at higher prices during other travel periods. The package includes all government and airline imposed taxes and fees.
The "Sunny South Africa" air-inclusive package features five nights at the Southern Sun Elangeni Hotel, on Durban's Golden Mile beachfront; a half-day city tour of Durban; and full-day tour of Shakaland learning about the culture of the region's Zulu tribe.
The package includes flights on South African Airways, plus accommodations on a bed and breakfast basis, tours, ground transfers and meet and greet by SAA Vacations professionals.
"Sunny South Africa" package or 855/FLY-SAAV.
Vacation Rental Deal and Promotions
|An easy to book and budget-friendly option, vacation rentals give families a “home away from home.”
You can locate vacation rental homes through DiscoverVacationHomes.com, spearheaded by the Vacation Rental Managers Association (VRMA).
Professionally managed vacation rentals offer services to accommodate all your family travel needs. The following are deals and promotions offered from Vacation Rental Managers Association (VRMA) members:
Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, AL - Kaiser Realty by Wyndham Vacation Rentals, 877/405-5587, offers 15 percent off reservations for stays between Thursdays and Sundays. A minimum stay of three nights is required on their “Midweek Special;” blackout days apply.
Barbados, Antigua, Dominica, Jamaica and Saint Lucia - Blue Sky Luxury, 246/622-4466, offers private beachfront villas at $450 per night for stays May 19 to July 28, 2014. Some packages include free surf lessons, stand-up paddle boarding or golf (up to a $480 added value).
Palm Springs, CA - save up to 30 percent with Vacation Palm Springs when booking three nights for the price of two in select homes, from $239 a night, between June 1 and Aug. 31, 2014; blackout dates apply.
Orlando, FL - Wyndham Vacation Rentals offers 15 percent off your stay when booking at Bahama Bay Resort & Spa and Caribe Cove Resort. For more information and reservations, visit www.wvrNWFL.com
Ft. Walton and Destin, FL - Wyndham Vacation Rentals,877/678-0433, offers two promotions at the Waterscape Resort in Fort Walton Beach, SunDestin Beach Resort and TOPS’L Beach and Racquet Resort:
- The “Spring Break – Stay Longer, Save More” provides 20 percent off stays of seven nights or more, 15 percent off six nights or 10 percent off five nights, when using the promo code “WARMUP;” blackout dates apply
- “Arrive Sunday and Save” promotion offers 15 percent off a three or four night stay. Use promo code “MIDWEEK.” Offer is valid throughout 2014; blackout dates apply.
Blue Ridge, GA - Morning Breeze Rentals gives a $140 discount off a one-week stay all year round, with no black-out dates at the cabins. There are discount offers for local outdoor activities, such as visiting the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway.
Cape Cod, MA - New England Vacation Rentals offers a full week’s stay at its new three-bedroom Harwich Port home along with a one-day clamming excursion to the Chatham Harbor Flats for up to six people, for $1,350 (savings of $600) during June. Blackout dates apply.
Lincoln, NH - Book a two-night stay and receive a third night free at Franconia Notch Vacations, 800/247-5536, through June 20, 2014.
Caroline Beach, NC - Sea Scape Properties, 910/332-7284, gives up to $300 off a stay at their beachfront homes and a free half day Fishing Charter or Island Excursion.
Myrtle Beach, SC - Book with Elliott Realty, 800/525-0225, and receive 10 percent off the lowest advertised price. Promotion is on select properties and valid throughout 2014; blackout dates apply.
Gatlinburg, TN - Fireside Chalets, 877/774-4142, include specials through August with free nights when booking a minimum of three nights and a maximum of six nights; blackout dates apply. .
Pigeon Forge, TN - At Dollywood Cabins, book a six-night stay, and receive one night free. You can purchase a “Length of Stay” pass, which provides unlimited access to Dollywood theme park and costs the same amount as a single day entry to the park. The passes are available to guests staying at Dollywood Cabins. Free sixth night stay offer is valid through 2014 and Length of Stay pass is valid on theme park operating days.
St. George, UT - St. George Vacation Rentals, visit gives 20 percent off properties in near Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park and the Grand Canyon; blackout dates apply.
Mission Point Resort Getaway Packages
|Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island, MI, reopens May 1, 2014, with getaway packages to enjoy the car-free island.
Mission Point's packages highlight the activities at the resort and around the island. All packages include roundtrip ferry tickets on the Arnold Line and daily breakfast in Chianti, the signature restaurant.
The two-night Family Fun Getaway, available June 1 to Sep. 2, 2014, includes golf at the Resort's putting greens, all lawn games (tennis, croquet and bocce ball), half-day bike rentals; and admission to the Butterfly House, Fort Mackinac, and the Richard and Jane Manoogian Art Museum. Milk and cookies welcome you along with a Mission Point stuffed animal to take home. Children 12 and under eat free while at the Resort. From $195 per night.
The two-night Island Adventure Getaway, May 30 to Oct. 16,2014, includes half-day bike rentals, a Mission Point-created island map to navigate wooded trails; choice of horseback riding, kayak or paddle surfing rentals, healthy snacks, bottled water, sunscreen and resort hat. From $220 per night.
The two- or three-night Lilac Festival Getaway - June 6 to 15, 2014, includes a lilac and garden tour with the resort's resident horticulturist, and a take-home gift. From $180 per night.
Pure Michigan Getaway, May 2 to Oct. 19, 2014, includes a Michigan-themed welcome amenity, two-hour bike rental, admissions to the Tower Museum and Richard and Jane Manoogian Art Museum, golf on the resort's 18-hole executive putting greens, and a $100 food and beverage credit valid at any Mission Point Resort restaurant or bistro. From $185 per night.
The two-night Mission Point Culinary Getaway, June 15 to Sep. 12, 2014, includes all meals; a two-hour bike rental; tickets to Fort Mackinac; and a Mackinac Island cookbook to take home. From $265 per night.
Mission Point packages or 906/984-4092.
Bad Ratings for London Hotels
|London tourists often leave their hotel disappointed, according to a survey from the hotel booking site Cheaprooms.co.uk. Hotels in the British capital receive, on average, the worst customer reviews among 30 top European destinations over the past three years.
The survey is based on hotel reviews on Expedia by customers after their hotel stay. It considers whether guests would or would not recommend their hotel to other clients. For the various destinations, all reviews of three- and four-star hotels over the past 24 months were considered.
Over that timeframe, in London 19 percent of the reviews for three-star hotels have been negative, the worst rating among all 30 destinations. London also ranked near the bottom of the survey for four-star hotels with 12 percent negative reviews. Only the French cities of Paris (13 percent) and Nice (16 percent) performed even worse.
The best destination, according to the survey, is Berlin, where six percent of the three-star hotel reviews and five percent of the four-star hotel reviews have been negative. Prague (seven percent/ five percent) and Budapest (eight percent/ five percent) also did well.
Among the other UK destinations covered, Liverpool (eight percent/ six percent) ranked well as did Cardiff and Belfast (both eight percent/ seven percent). These percentages positioned them among the top European destinations. Edinburgh ranked in the middle of the field whereas Manchester came in at lower end.
Visit here for the full results of this survey.
Aston Hotels & Resorts “Room for Romance” Package
|The “Room for Romance” package is available at Aston Hotels & Resorts destinations on the four major Hawaiian Islands, South Lake Tahoe, CA, Lake Las Vegas, NV, and Orlando, FL.
The “Room for Romance” package pairs romantic amenities with a free room upgrade and late check-out, plus a $100 gift card from SpaFinder. Packages start from $110 per night based on double occupancy for a minimum length of stay and include:
- $100 SpaFinder gift card good at 20,000 locations worldwide.
- Welcome bottle of champagne or sparkling wine paired with a box of gourmet chocolates.
- Free late check-out.
- Free room upgrade. Fully equipped kitchens, grocery delivery service, large outdoor areas, and on-site washers and dryers are in condominium resorts.
Aston Hotels & Resorts operates condominium resorts and hotels with accommodations from hotel rooms and condominium suites, to villas and cottages.
Aston Hotels & Resorts or 866/774-2924.
Homewood Early Bird Passes
|Homewood Mountain Resort, near Lake Tahoe, CA’s west shore, releases its 2014-15 early-bird season pass pricing. Early bird purchase prices are good through June 1, 2014.
All 2014-15 Homewood season passes offer unlimited skiing and snowboarding, with no blackout dates. In addition, Homewood pass holders receive four free ski days at Diamond Peak Ski Resort in Incline Village, CA and five free days at Whitefish and unlimited days at Red Lodge Mountain, both in Montana.
Homewood pass holders receive summer discounts at Incline Village golf courses, and discounts on summer bicycle, kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals at Homewood.
Homewood’s signature Family Pass starts at $739 through June 1, 2014, and includes two adult passes and two teen or child passes with no blackout dates all season long. Families can also buy the Heritage 3 Generations Pass, which adds two grandparents to the family pass deal for $1,059 total.
All early-bird pass purchasers can take advantage of Homewood’s season pass down payment plan: Put $49 down now ($99 on Family and 3 Generations passes) and pay the balance on Oct. 1, 2014. Down payment plan can only be purchased online.
2014-15 Homewood season pass prices valid through June 1, 2014:
- Adult (19-61): $379 Local/Returning Adult (19-61): $319
- Teen (13-18): $329 Local/Returning Teen (13-18): $279
- Child (5-12): $129 Local/Returning Child (5-12): $109
- Senior (62-69): $249 Local/Returning Senios (62-69): $209
- Super Senior (70+): $219 Local/Returning Super Senior (70+): $189
- Family Pass (2 adult, 2 teen/child): $839 Local/Returning Family: $739
- Heritage 3 Generations Pass (2 adult, 2 teen/child, 2 senior/super-senior): $1,159
Local/Returning Heritage 3 Generations: $1,059
- Season Pass down payment plan (all individual passes): $49
- Family & 3 Generations Pass down payment: $99
Homewood Mountain Resort or 530/ 525-2992.
Save $500 with Trafalgar Airfare Offer
|BOOK BY MAY 15 - - Trafalgar offers limited-time airfare savings for your 2014 summer vacation to Europe.
Save $500 per couple on air-inclusive trips to Italy (code 14ITAIR250) or save $400 per couple to all other European destinations (code 14EBAIR200).
Book and pay for the entire vacation package (land and air portion) by May 15, 2014 or by the normal final payment date, whichever comes first. Plus, save extra if you’ve previously traveled with Trafalgar or one of their sister brands, including Brendan Vacations and Insight Vacations, within the past five years.
A few of the eligible trips include:
- Best of Italy 14 days from $3,699 per person, save $250 per person on air
- Great Italian Cities 11 days from $2,675 per person, save $250 per person on air
- Britain & Ireland Highlights 11 days from $2,350 per person, save $200 per person on air
- European Traveler 11 days from $2,565 per person, save $200 per person on air
- Spanish Wonder 10 days from $2,099 per person, save $200 per person on air.
Trafalgar or 866/513-1995.
MSC Cruises Fiat Giveaway
|MSC Cruises teams up with Fiat with a joint promotion where one guest will win a new FIAT 500c POP, with a retail value of more than $21,000.
Guests are automatically entered when they book a seven-night Caribbean cruise on board MSC Divina during the promotional period through May 18, 2014, and sail between Aug. 2, 2014 and Dec. 27, 2014.
One grand prize winner will be selected at random and announced as part of a holiday celebration in mid-December of this year.
One entry will be awarded for each new cruise booking made through May 18, 2014, with a limit of two entries per household. You must be 18 years or older and a legal resident of the 50 United States (D.C.) or Canada (except Quebec) to enter.
For official rules and entry information are posted here.
The 1,751-cabin MSC Divina offers 322,900 square feet of public spaces including 18 bars and lounges, five swimming pools, a bowling alley, gym and spa, 4D Theater, a Formula 1 racecar simulator, and a new gourmet coffee bar.
MSC Divina also features the MSC Yacht Club, an innovative "ship-within-a-ship" concept with 69 suites on board. MSC Yacht Club guests can indulge in comfort and convenience, from their own personal Butler and 24-hour concierge service to complimentary wines and spirits available any time of the day throughout MSC Yacht Club's exclusive lounges and pool area.
MSC Cruises or 877/665-4655.
Holland America 'Summer on Sale' Promotion
|Families looking for a summer vacation can take advantage of Holland America Line's annual promotion on summer cruises. The "Summer on Sale" specials feature savings on select Europe, Canada/New England and Alaska cruises and Land+Sea Journeys.
Book a Summer on Sale promotion where fares start at $499, and offer free or reduced third and fourth fares for kids 17 and under on select voyages, and a $50 Beverage Card per person, up to $100 per stateroom.
With families spending time together during summer break and multigenerational travel increasing, a family-friendly option is a cruise to Alaska, Europe or Canada/New England under the free or reduced third and fourth fares promotion. These regions offer experiences for the whole family with shore excursions and cultural encounters to make it an educational holiday.
For an extended trip beyond a cruise, the Alaska Land+Sea Journeys combine a Holland America Line cruise with an overland tour of Alaska and the Yukon. In summer 2014, the line will have seven ships sailing Alaska itineraries and 12 Land+Sea Journeys that combine a cruise with overland tours to the Yukon and Denali National Park.
In Canada and New England, ms Maasdam and ms Veendam cruise this region throughout the summer. For the fall foliage period, ms Eurodam joins the two ships sailing between New York and Quebec on four cruises.
For the summer Europe season, seven Holland America Line ships sail itineraries that visit northern Europe and the Mediterranean.
Holland America Summer on Sale promotion or 877/724-5425.
Bonvoy Adventure Travel’s Name Your Price
|This summer put your own price tag on Bonvoy Adventure Travel’s six-day, all-inclusive wilderness and multi-sport catered camping adventure in and around Lake Tahoe, CA.
The itinerary introduces you to lake kayaking, rock climbing, hiking and mountain biking on the Tahoe Rim Trail looping around the 10th deepest lake in the world (with water clarity of 70 feet).
A day of mountain biking brings you to the top of steep cliffs for expansive views. After climbing instruction, learn how to ascend a granite face called Lover’s Leap. Kayaking across Lake Tahoe’s coastline includes a visit to a Scandinavian-themed castle built nearly 100 years ago. On mountain bikes explore the Flume Trail along the lake’s rim. Hiking the Tahoe Rim trail showcases forest and wildflower-strewn, high-alpine meadows.
Bonvoy Adventure Travel offers flexible pricing on a suggested per person rate of $1,551 for exploring this wilderness. Departures for up to 10 guests leave July 8, July 15, July 22, Aug. 5, Aug. 12 and Aug. 19, 2014. The rate includes roundtrip ground transportation from Reno International Airport to the campsite and all transportation during the trip; all camping gear and camp set up and breakdown; gourmet meals; instructors and guides and equipment for all activities. No prior experience for any of the activities is required.
Bonvoy Adventure Travel asks you to decide what you are willing to pay for your journey into the wild with Flex Pricing that lets you name your own price on select domestic trips. With more control over travel costs, Bonvoy Adventure Travel hopes you can find wiggle room in your budget for much needed getaway.
International trips at set prices are two weeks or longer and usually include inns and lodges at night. Not included are gratuities to guides and airfare. Domestic trips are normally camping itineraries (except in winter when lodging is utilized) for groups of up to 10 participants with two guides.
Bonvoy Adventure Travel or 212/542-0735.
Hurtigruten Combines 10% Discount with 35% Savings Offer
|Hurtigruten, the Norwegian cruise line, makes it easier to visit Greenland with savings up to 35 percent off its regular fares. For two “Glaciers and Ice” departures in June and July, you can take an additional 10 percent off, saving up to 43 percent with a fare of $5,925 per person, based on double occupancy, for the 13-day cruise.
Experience the 5,000-year-old culture of this ice-capped island while sailing on the 318-passenger expedition ship MS Fram. The offer is good for new bookings on any of the three summer 2014 itineraries. Discounted fares range from $5,925 to $8,578 per person, double. Flights are available from the U.S., from $1,200.
“Glaciers & Ice” cruise visits historical places from the Viking era around southern and eastern Greenland and two days exploring Reykjavik, Iceland and Grundarfjörðurfj fjord, and an overnight stay in Copenhagen.
The 11- and 14-day “Arctic Wilderness Adventure” focuses on Disko Bay and the rarely visited settlement of Upernavik.
The “National Park Expedition” 15- or 16-day route spends seven days exploring Northeast Greenland National Park only visited by about 500 people per year and spending time exploring Iceland and Spitsbergen.
Excursions are led by degreed experts, who offer lectures about life in Greenland: culture, climate change effects, industry, etc. Highlights include a night sleeping on the ship’s deck, watching icebergs and enjoying hot chocolate; fishing with the officers and crew during the day and eating the catch at dinner; kayaking arctic waters; visiting cultural-historical museums and local handicraft workshops; and sharing a “kaffemik” in the home of a local Itilleq resident.
Hurtigruten or 800/323-7436.
Azamara Club Cruises Double Upgrade
|Azamara Club Cruises offers a double upgrade when booking a cruise by May 31, 2014. If you book an interior stateroom, on nearly all voyages sailing from October 2014 to December 2015, you will be upgraded by two categories to a veranda stateroom.
These saving will allow you to add ports and book additional shore excursion. You can choose from Azamara’s new, personalized destination experiences – Insider Access and Nights and Cool Places. Insider Access includes exclusive invitations, which allows you to engage with individuals eager to share stories and historic tales of their home destination.
Nights and Cool Places makes the most of Azamara’s longer stays in port and overnights with a night touring program. These custom evening experiences give you opportunities to visit museums after hours, such as Malaga’s Picasso Museum; sip cocktails at a local hot spot, such as Rio de Janeiro’s Scenarium; or take a stroll on a guided architectural walk with a local guide.
Additionally you may combine voyages such as Azamara Journey’s seven-night Mediterranean voyage from Rome to Monte-Carlo with the following seven night voyage from Monte-Carlo to Barcelona, for a personalized cruise vacation.
Azamara Club Cruises or 877/999-9553.
Up to 50 Percent Off at Hotel Lanai
|Island Air and Hotel Lanai, an inn in Lana'i City, Hawaii, have partnered on a discounted accommodations offer. Fly Island Air to Lanai and you are eligible for 50 percent off the second night's accommodation at Hotel Lanai with the following additional nights being 25 percent off.
This offer is valid until June 30, 2014 and only available for premium and Lana‘i rooms, which includes a daily free breakfast.
When booking online, mention "Island Air Special" in the comments box.
Hotel Lanai was the first hotel on Lanai built in 1923 by James Dole.
Hotel Lanai or 808/565-7211.
Family Feud, The Hatfields and McCoys Trail - article and photos by Nicki Chodnoff
|The stories we return with from a journey are our best souvenirs. I heard that phrase many times during a conference promoting travel to the South.
As I reflect on the many stories I heard about the Hatfields and McCoy while attending the conference in West Virginia, I realized these are souvenirs that will remain in my head for a long time and won’t be thrown in some corner to gather dust. Also known as oral histories, stories about the feuding Hatfield and McCoys still intrigue us and keep the events on our national consciousness all of these years. We are as fascinated today, evidenced by the popular three part miniseries about the Hatfields and McCoys, starring Kevin Costner that aired in 2012, as when the feud was presented to the American public by the New York Times around the late 1800s.
Local tourism departments are working to transform feud folklore into souvenirs for travelers and jobs and revenue for Eastern Kentucky and Southern West Virginia, a region grappling with the decline of coal where the median income is $18,500 per year according to Bill Richardson, a West Virginia University extension professor.
A feud experience self-driving tour is a way to get a sense of the geography around the stories and lets you weave back and forth to about 10 locations along the Tug Fork River, the boundary between Kentucky and West Virginia. Following the feud is a good excuse to drive some beautiful, winding back roads where you may even get a bit lost. Make sure you have a full tank of gas before you start as there are few gas stations along the way.
Pick up your free self-driving tour brochure at the Coal House, 2nd Ave. and Court St., in Williamson, WV, 304/235-5240. Yes, its exterior walls are two foot thick blocks of coal. Built in 1933, and on the National Register of Historic Places, this monument to coal serves as the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau.
How and when did the feud start? No one knows for sure. Some say it was during the Civil War. Others point to the matter of a stolen hog as one of the early incidents of the feud. Randolph “Ranel” McCoy was convinced that Floyd Hatfield, a cousin to William Anderson “Devil Anse” McCoy, stole one of his hogs. Today the Tug Valley is rural. After the Civil War, when the Hatfield McCoy feud was first sparked, the valley was one of the most remote and isolated valleys in the United States. There were no railroads, no coal mines and no villages or towns. The Hatfields and McCoys weren’t exactly neighbors. Ranel McCoy lived along Tug Fork River in Kentucky about six hours by foot from “Devil Anse” Hatfield in Grapevine Creek, West Virginia.
In those days a hog was close to a winter’s worth of meat for a family in this farming economy. Court records indicate that theft was rare and an atmosphere of trust prevailed among neighbors. Ranel McCoy was convinced that Floyd Hatfield stole a hog, with the McCoy pattern notched on its ear. So he filed a complaint with the justice of the peace, Preacher Anderson Hatfield. Trying for an impartial trial, a jury of six Hatfields and six McCoys were selected. Ranel McCoy didn’t fare well in this trial. One of his kin that worked for “Devil Anse” sided with the Hatfields, breaking the tie and Floyd Hatfield ate the hog so there was no evidence of hog ownership.
A replica of the cabin where the hog trial convened now stands on the spot and historical markers describe pivotal events in the feud such as the hog trial and the spot where three sons of Ranel McCoy were tied to pawpaw trees and executed by an unofficial posse organized by Devil Anse Hatfield who was avenging the death of his brother Elliston at the hands of the McCoys.
The turning point in the feud, when public sentiment turned against the Hatfields, came with the 1888 New Year’s attack on Randolph McCoy’s cabin in Pike County, KY. The New Year’s attack was one of the bloodiest episodes in the feud. The McCoy homestead was set ablaze by intoxicated Hatfield family members. Two McCoy children, Alifair and Calvin, were gunned down and their mother, Aunt Sally, was brutally beaten. Hatfield family members and supporters were soon thrown in jail.
Unearthed artifacts pinpoint the location of the 1888 ambush, a stop on the driving tour. Excavators found bullets believed to have been fired by the McCoys in self-defense, along with fragments of windows and ceramic from the family’s cabin. The spent casings are displayed in the Coal House and were dug up by metal-detecting buffs Tim “Ringy” Saylor and “King” George Wyant of the Diggers show on the National Geographic channel. The McCoy house no longer stands but the perimeter of the house is outlined in orange tape and white flags indicate where artifacts were found. You might spot the neighbor that lives next to the McCoy homestead. If he is out and about, he has lots of information about the feud and local sights and a collection of pictures that he will share, if you are lucky.
Consider the ending point of the feud tour as walking up the steep mud road to the Hatfield Family cemetery near Sarah Ann, WV. Not for the physically challenged, the steep slope presents jagged rocks, unstable stones and yawning ruts that stand in your way. At the top, amongst all the Hatfield graves, there’s a life-size marble statue of Captain “Devil Anse” Hatfield, standing watch over the family cemetery, a tail of his overcoat chipped away. Carved in Italy, Hatfield ordered this $3,000 marble statue of himself, a fortune by 1920s standards, and had it hauled up the mountainside by mules as this spot was “nice and dry” for graves. Hatfield was 83 when he died in 1921.
Historic Matewan, WV, on the National Register of Historic Places, plays into the histories of the feud, coal and trains and provides a good overview of feud events. As you cross the Tug River Bridge into West Virginia, the flood wall that surrounds the town has reliefs on the town’s history.
Near the bridge is the Matewan Depot Welcome Center & Museum, 100 Bridge Street, 304/426-5744. In the 1900s, the railroad depot was the center of community life. The Matewan Depot combined passenger and freight and served the nearly 7,000 people in Matewan and the surrounding area. After the railroad left, the depot closed and fell into disrepair. With an initiative to rebuild it, the depot now serves as a visitor's center and museum that includes information on the Hatfield and McCoy feud, the Matewan Massacre, and coal mining in the region.
West Virginia Division of Tourism or 800/225-5982.
Verdanza Hotel Summer Package
|The 222-room Verdanza Hotel in the Isla Verde tourism district in San Juan, Puerto Rico, offers the Endless Summer Vibe package.
The package includes:
- A two-night stay for two adults in standard accommodations
- Up to two children under 16 years old can share a room with adults at no additional cost
- One Welcome Rondanza, Verdanza’s signature rum cocktail per adult
- Daily buffet breakfast for two
- One 12 inch pizza
- A 15 percent discount voucher valid at any of Verdanza’s restaurants.
A block from the beach, the Verdanza Hotel features three restaurants, a wine & tapas bar, and a deli café; pool with Jacuzzi, water spray park and poolside food and beverage service.
Accommodation amenities include air conditioning, television with premium cable programming and movies-on-demand, compact refrigerator and dual phone lines with voicemail, free high speed Internet access, iPod docking station, hair dryer, in-room iron and ironing board, in-room safe, work area with lighting, coffeemaker and two bottles of water upon arrival.
The pet-friendly hotel has a program that includes guestrooms equipped with pet beds, food and water bowls, a toy and a welcome treat. The hotel inaugurated “PawsPark,” an outdoor pet park with an agility course where pets can exercise and play off-leash in a safe and controlled environment under the supervision of their owners.
The Endless Summer Vibe package starts at $285 and is valid through Oct. 31, 2014, subject to availability.
The package is not applicable for groups of 10 rooms or more and may not be combined with other packages or promotions. Restrictions may apply. Unused features are not redeemable for cash.
Verdanza Hotel or 800/625-0312.
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