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Travel Savings Alerts Newsletter, September 2012 Issue

Travel Savings Alerts
P.O. Box 91033
Columbus OH 43209
ISSN: 1542-801X, Copyright  2012 
All Rights Reserved.
Editor: Nicki Chodnoff

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In This Issue:

Monarch butterflies at Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa
Monarch butterflies at Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa. Photo credit: Gene Nieminen

  • To Rome with Love Package
  • 2 Nights Free at The West Bay Club
  • Finnair Specials from NY to Asia
  • Vacation Express Reopening Deal
  • Fall Savings at staySky Hotels & Resorts
  • Nayara Suite Special
  • Jumeirah, MasterCard Deal
  • Hotel Urbano Triple Play Package
  • Tick Tips
  • Puerto Rico Free Adventure Tours
  • Family Packages in the Palm Beaches
  • Five Stops on the Monarch Migration Trail
  • Aurora Expeditions Discounts to Antarctica
  • Vancouver Luxury Hotel Packages
  • Club Med Early Booking Rates
  • Compagnie Du Ponant $500 Per Person Savings
  • Aston Hotels & Resorts One Million HawaiianMiles
  • Seven Stars Resort 40% Fall Savings
  • Restaurant Weeks by Nicki Chodnoff
  • October is "Kids Free San Diego" Month

    To Rome with Love Package

    TourCrafters’ To Rome with Love package is a five-night land-only deal that starts at $325 per person in November and December at the centrally-located three-star Hotel Brasile. The package includes five buffet breakfasts, a 48-hour Hop on Hop Off bus ticket, a 50 euros coupon for a gourmet restaurant, a gelato in a historic gelateria and an aperitif at the Terrazza Caffarelli, which has a fabulous view of Rome.

    There’s also a choice of 10 hotels at different price points, including the four-star Crowne Plaza St. Peters, which has a swimming pool, tennis court and airport shuttle, and costs $566 in November and $490 in December. Topping the list is the five-star boutique Hotel St. George, which costs $1,018 in November and $939 in December.

    All prices are per person, double occupancy, are subject to availability and do not include airfare, arrival and departure transfers or city tax (paid in euros directly to the hotel).

    TourCrafters or 800/482-5995.

    2 Nights Free at The West Bay Club

    Stay at the boutique West Bay Club resort in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, and receive two nights free for booking at least seven nights or one free night for a four night stay.

    This offer is for new reservations that are booked directly with the resort and paid directly to the resort for travel through Dec. 20, 2012. The offer is valid on accommodations of one bedroom or larger, based on availability and includes a free breakfast buffet.

    The West Bay Club is located on the expansive beaches of Grace Bay which was voted by TripAdvisor as the Travelers' Choice 2012 #1 Beach Destination.

    The West Bay Club features ocean-front suites with living areas, full kitchens and outdoor balconies with direct ocean views. The resort offers a poolside restaurant and bar serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, beach service, free use of the Hobie Cat and other non-motorized water sports, a fitness center, spa, free wireless Internet throughout the resort and a kitchen stock-up service prior to your arrival.

    Accommodations include one, two and three-bedroom suites with views of the beach and waters, and studios with kitchenettes and courtyard views. The family-friendly resort is ideal for any type of getaway, including group events, weddings, honeymoons and corporate outings.

    The West Bay Club or 866/607-4156.

    Save up to 40% on Last Minute Flights with Hotwire Limited Rates!

    Finnair Specials from NY to Asia

    Finnair offers special roundtrip fares from New York’s JFK International Airport to Delhi, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Flights to Delhi start from $1,085, Hong Kong from $1,265 and Bangkok from $1,259 for weekday departures. Travel is effective until Mar. 31, 2013. Fares for Friday to Sunday departures are $20 higher each way.

    Prices apply to roundtrips in economy class with flight numbers AY006 and AY005. The minimum stay is one Saturday night and the maximum stay is 30 days. Tickets must be purchased at least three days before departure and children between two and 11 years of age traveling with an adult are 25 percent off the price before taxes. Stopovers are not permitted. Changes are permitted before and after departure for an additional $250. Tickets are non-refundable. The offer is limited to availability, and may be changed or withdrawn without notice.

    Finnair has more than 250 flights a month via Helsinki to Asia. From Helsinki, you can travel to 11 destinations in seven countries.


    Vacation Express Reopening Deal

    The reopened Hotel Riu Caribe in Cancun sports $12 million dollars in renovations with new bars and pools and more modern style in its rooms and public areas. This beachfront, all-inclusive resort is next to the recently opened Riu Palace Peninsula.

    A four night stay is $319 per person based on double occupancy for travel through Oct. 22, 2012.

    The hotel has 506 rooms with flat screen TVs, laptop size electronic safes and wireless internet access, new furniture and linens. The bathrooms are equipped with a large walk-in shower instead of a tub.

    The garden has three pools, one with a wet bar and another with a children’s area. For the little ones, there is Club RiuLand with activities and playground.

    The hotel offers dishes cooked to order and a pizzeria in the pool area. With reservation, you can eat in the a la carte venues: a poolside palapa restaurant; the Mexican restaurant; or the Asian restaurant.

    Facilities include a spa and free use of the gym, sauna and Jacuzzi. There are two tennis courts, table tennis, beach volleyball, rifle shooting, and water activities such as windsurfing, sailing, kayaking, body boarding and snorkeling.

    Vacation Express or 800/309-4717.

    Fall Savings at staySky Hotels & Resorts

    Families fall into savings at each of staySky Hotels & Resorts’ seven Orlando properties. Rates start at $59 per night. Use promo code FALL2012.

    Book online through Dec. 20, 2012, and receive a $50 excursion credit from Florida Dolphin Tours toward experiences such as swimming with dolphins or manatees, a Disney character meal or visiting Kennedy Space Center.

    All centrally located, staySky Hotels & Resorts give you easy access to attractions including Walt Disney World, SeaWorld and Universal Orlando.

      Staysky Hotels & Resorts Rates through Dec. 20, 2012
    • Enclave Suites from $59
    • Palisades Resort from $99
    • Hawthorn Suites By Wyndham Universal from $99
    • Hawthorn Suites By Wyndham Lake Buena Vista from $99
    • Coral Cay Resort from $99
    • Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa from $119
    • Damai from $199

    he largest of the staySky Hotels & Resorts portfolio, Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa offers one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom suites with full kitchens, private balconies and Jacuzzi tubs. On property are the Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores. The resort also offers Reflections Spa-Salon, zero-entry Pirate's Plunge pool with 61-foot long pirate ship with shooting water cannons and water slide, sun deck with tiki bar, grocery store and Frankie Farrell's Irish Pub and Grille.

    Enclave Suites, off International Drive, provides multiple bedroom suites, a food court, two outdoor pools and an indoor pool, tennis courts and playground. As one of two hotels on I-Drive to have rooms with outdoor balconies, Enclave Suites is in walking distance to Wet 'n Wild and Pirate's Dinner Adventure.

    staySky Hotels & Resorts or 866/455-4062.


    Nayara Suite Special

    Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens, in Arenal, Costa Rica, was named number one resort in Central and South America in the World's Best Awards readers' survey. To celebrate, Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens offers a Suite Special of $149 per person, per night. Valid September and October 2012, the offer includes suite accommodation with breakfast and dinner.

    Two hours from the capital of San Jose, Nayara sits at the foothills of the Arenal Volcano. Each of Nayara’s suites includes a king-size canopy bed, indoor and outdoor showers, veranda with Jacuzzi tub, iPod dock, turndown service, fluffy robes and slippers.

    Dining options include the open-air Altamira Restaurant, serving Costa Rican fare, the Sushi Amor with a Latin American-Japanese fusion menu, the Nostalgia Latin American wine bar and the Kali-Kali pool bar.

    Rates at Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens include a daily hot breakfast, welcome drinks, free Internet access and long distance telephone calls.

    Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens or 866/311-1197.

    Jumeirah, MasterCard Deal

    Jumeirah Group and MasterCard offer cardholders discounts and special offers in the hotel rooms, restaurants and spas at selected UAE properties of the Jumeirah Group.

    MasterCard cardholders can take advantage of room, casual dining and spa offers, while signature dining is for World MasterCard cardholders and Ramadan offers for Platinum and World MasterCard cardholders.

    Participating hotels are Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Madinat Jumeirah, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Jumeirah Creekside Hotel in Dubai and Jumeirah at Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi. A total of 26 restaurants within these hotels are included in the deal.

    The stay offer features a 15 percent discount on the best available room rate for bookings made online. This offer includes free access to Wild Wadi Water Park when staying at any of the participating Dubai hotels and free internet access during your stay.

    The restaurants and bars offer features a 20 percent discount on casual dining, while the signature dining offer gives you the opportunity to book 24 hours in advance and get confirmed reservation, a personal visit by a master chef and free limousine pick up and drop off in Dubai.

    With the spa offer, when you book a 60 minute spa treatment, you get a 30 minute upgrade. The Ramadan offer allows you to book a table for four to get two more free at Iftar packages across select Jumeirah restaurants. http://www..

    Jumeirah Group.

    Hotel Urbano Triple Play Package

    Miami’s 65-room boutique Hotel Urbano at Brickell offers a “Triple Play” package in honor of the new Miami Marlins Park baseball stadium. Book the “Triple Play” package and receive your third night free plus three free beers at the Bistro Urbano bar. Use promotion code “Marlins.” During your stay, you can relax at hotel’s outdoor swimming pool, poolside bar and lounge with flat screen TVs.

    Book this package and attend a baseball game won by the Miami Marlins and you can receive a discounted future visit to the hotel with their “Miami Friends & Family” rate. Present your Marlins Park game day ticket stub to the hotel staff and book a future visit to receive the “Miami Friends & Family” rate.

    As a bonus, get free roundtrip transportation to and from the Miami Marlins Stadium on game days via the new City of Miami Trolley. Hotel Urbano is on its regular route. The Brickell Biscayne Trolley connects downtown Miami with free rides every 15 minutes to major area attractions including stops at the Mary Brickell Village, Bayfront Park, Bayside, the Adrienne Arscht Center, American Airlines Arena, and the Miami Convention Center.

    Hotel Urbano’s Triple Play package is valid for new bookings, in all room categories, for stays of at least two consecutive nights through Sep. 30, 2012. The offer cannot be used with any other hotel offer and is not applicable for groups.

    Hotel Urbano at Brickell or 305/854-2070.


    Bed Bug Kit Banner

    Tick Tips

    Gardening, camping, hiking are great activities, but don't forget that ticks may be in the same environment. Fortunately there are several tactics you can use to prevent tick bites and reduce your risk of tick-borne disease.
      Some of the more common diseases that you can get from a tick bite include (listed alphabetically):
    • Babesiosis
    • Ehrlichiosis
    • Lyme disease
    • Rocky Mountain spotted fever
    • Southern tick-associated rash illness
    • Tick-borne relapsing fever
    • Tularemia

    In some species and life stages, ticks are so small that they can be difficult to see, but all hungrily look for animals and people to bite. Depending on the species, you can find ticks in various environments, often in or near wooded areas. You may come into contact with ticks when walking through infested areas or by brushing up against infested vegetation (such as leaf litter or shrubs). Ticks also feed on mammals and birds, which play a role in maintaining ticks and the pathogens they carry.

    Tick-borne diseases can occur worldwide. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to protect yourself and your family.

    Protect Yourself from Tick Bites - Ticks live in moist and humid environments, in or near wooded or grassy areas. You may come into contact with ticks during outdoor activities or walking through vegetation such as leaf litter or shrubs. Always walk in the center of trails, in order to avoid ticks.

    Ticks cannot fly, they crawl up. Avoid sitting directly on the ground, woodpiles or fallen logs - areas where ticks love to live.

    Use a repellent with DEET (on skin or clothing) or permethrin (on clothing) and wear long sleeves, long pants and socks. Products containing permethrin can treat boots, clothing and camping gear which can remain protective through several washings. Repellents containing 20 percent or more DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) can be applied to the skin, and they can protect up to several hours. Always follow product instructions. Parents should apply this product to children, avoiding the hands, eyes, and mouth.

    Perform Tick Checks - Check your body for ticks after being outdoors, even in your own yard. Conduct a body check upon return from potentially tick-infested areas by searching your entire body for ticks. Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body and remove any tick you find.

      Check these parts of your body and your child's body for ticks:
    • Under the arms
    • In and around the ears
    • Inside belly button
    • Back of the knees
    • Under the arms
    • In and around the hair
    • Between the legs
    • Around the waist

    Shower soon after being outdoors. Showering within two hours of coming indoors has shown to reduce your risk of being bitten by a tick.

    Check children for ticks, especially in the hair, when returning from potentially tick-infested areas.

    Check your clothing for ticks. Wear light colored clothing so ticks are easier to find. Ticks may be carried into your hotel room, tent or house on clothing. Any ticks that are found should be removed. Placing clothes in a dryer on high heat for at least an hour effectively kills ticks.

    What to Do If You Are Bitten by a Tick - Remove an attached tick as soon as you notice it. Watch for signs of illness such as rash or fever, and see a health care provider if these develop.

    Your risk of acquiring a tick-borne illness depends on many factors, including where you live, what type of tick bit you, and how long the tick was attached. If you become ill after a tick bite, see a health care provider.

    Puerto Rico Free Adventure Tours

    BOOK BY SEP. 16 - - See how "Puerto Rico Does It Better" with a free adventure promotion. The offer allows you to experience some of the best and most unique adventures and attractions Puerto Rico has to offer.

    Here's how you can experience Puerto Rico for free:

      Book a minimum four nights' stay with participating hotels and choose a free experience from the following:
    • Kayak in a bioluminescent bay
    • Hiking tour of El Yunque rain forest (the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. Forest System)
    • Culinary tour of San Juan
    • Catamaran tour
    • Old San Juan (or Caguas) city tour
    • ToroVerde Adventure Park (including the world's highest zipline: The Beast)
    • Guided biking in Old San Juan
    • Golf at one of the Island's fairways

    To book, contact a travel agent or visit the promotion landing page with details including direct links to participating hotels.

    The website provides info about specific tour availability per hotel. Upon check-in, you will receive a free tour voucher that can be redeemed with the hotel tour desk or front desk.

    You must book by Sep. 16, 2012, for travel before Nov. 16, 2012.

    Different tours are at different properties and are subject to change, so contact your hotel in advance to confirm availability. Minimum stay is four nights; limit of one tour voucher per person and two per group.


    Family Packages in the Palm Beaches

    There is still a chance to squeeze in an end-of-summer getaway to the Palm Beaches. Many resorts, hotels and inns throughout the Palm Beaches offer family-themed packages. Blackout dates and special restrictions may apply.

    Current offers include:

    Two-night stays at Crane’s BeachHouse Hotel & Tiki Bar, through Oct. 28, 2012, start at $369, with the Ahoy, Pirates! package. It includes four passes to the interactive Pirates, Myths & Legends exhibit at the Museum of Art & American Culture, a $50 dining credit at Deck84, treasure chest gift upon arrival, free breakfast and free parking.

    For every two-night stay in a studio room or one-bedroom double bed suite at the Delray Beach Residence Inn by Marriott, you receive a $50 credit on the final bill. Rates range from $149 to $189 per room, per night.

    The Brazilian Court Hotel & Beach Club offers a Sophistokids vacation in a one-bedroom suite with den, behind-the-scenes passes for the Palm Beach Zoo, bike rentals, one-hour surf lessons and macaroons from Café Boulud. Prices start at $639 per night for a family of three through Sep. 30, 2012.

    Through Sep. 30, 2012, the Breakers Palm Beach weekday rates start at $289 per room, per night, based on standard accommodations. The rate includes continental breakfast, kids' meals, kids' camp, unlimited tennis and fitness classes and savings on golf, dining, spa, bungalow rentals, on-site shopping, and overnight valet parking.

    Packages in the Palm Beaches.

    Five Stops on the Monarch Migration Trail

    Every fall, monarch butterflies fly thousands of miles from as far north as Canada to winter in Mexico. When swarms of monarchs pause en route to rest and feed on nectar-bearing plants, you can see them blanket trees and shrubs in orange and black at national wildlife refuges along the monarch migration trail.

    Here are five prime viewing spots in five states.

    Florida - St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge is the last stop for migrating monarchs before they fly over the open water of the Gulf of Mexico. If all goes right, St. Marks’ Butterfly Festival (Oct. 27, 2012) coincides with peak monarch arrival on Florida’s Panhandle when swarms of tired butterflies drop down and feed on blossoming salt bushes and goldenrod. Then they wait for the wind to shift offshore and carry them to Mexico. St. Marks Refuge’s festival offers butterfly tagging demonstrations, guided butterfly walks, butterfly talks, butterfly crafts for children and van tours to where butterflies are feeding.

    Virginia - To late October, the Coastal Virginia Wildlife Observatory counts and tags monarchs at Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge, at the tip of the Delmarva Peninsula between the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay. Visitors can watch. Taggers record monarch size, condition and gender. Butterflies are also a focus of the annual Eastern Shore of Virginia Birding and Wildlife Festival, Oct. 5 to 7, 2012.

    Texas - In late September/early October, when conditions are favorable, thousands of monarchs may flutter through the prairies and oak savannahs of Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge, where the Great Plains and the Gulf Coast meet. Butterfly tagging and butterfly walks are among planned activities of the refuge’s National Wildlife Refuge Week celebration Oct. 13, 2012, at Doeskin Ranch.

    Kansas - “Monarch Mania” is one of the most popular events at Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, Sep. 15, 2012. After an introductory program on monarch biology, you can help net butterflies for tagging and release them. Butterflies are the theme of a children’s craft activity. The butterflies tend to come in waves, based on weather patterns. Migrating monarchs feed on asters and goldenrod and other wildflowers that bloom in the central Kansas wetlands. If winds frustrate butterfly hunters, you can catch monarchs inside an enclosed butterfly pavilion. During the day, look for monarchs in wildflower areas. Toward evening, the best viewing areas are sheltered places that are cool and damp. Monarchs are expected in Kansas in mid to late September.

    Iowa - Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge Monarch Madness Day takes place on Sep. 8, 2012. You catch the butterflies; refuge staff tag them. They’ll also record your name so they can send you a certificate if your butterfly is found in Mexico. Through the refuge’s tallgrass prairie restoration project, thousands of acres are planted with native plants, many of which are attractive to monarchs. Monarchs can be seen in large number along the Tallgrass Trail and the sides of roads in the refuge. The refuge has monarchs year-round.

    Frequently asked questions:

    Q: When will the butterflies arrive this year?
    A: Timing depends on seasonal patterns, weather conditions and storm activity. Falling temperatures and shrinking daylight generally prompt butterflies in the northernmost states of the Lower 48 to start their migrations by late August. But a big tropical storm could set back their schedules.

    Q: What are the prospects for good monarch viewing this year?
    A: Mixed. The country’s mid-section is parched, though in Texas, last year’s drought is easing. In Iowa, where a mild winter and warm spring have wildflowers blooming early, biologists are seeing fewer monarchs this summer. Experts say long-term monarch trends are worrisome.

    MonarchWatch reported low monarch numbers in Mexico this winter, continuing a downward trend. Among the factors it blames:
    • stepped-up conversion of pastures and grasslands to crops for biofuel production,
    • increased planting of herbicide-tolerant corn and soybean crops (less likely to harbor monarch-friendly milkweed), and
    • excess mowing.

    Q: How do the butterflies travel south?
    A: They ride a cold front, often at speeds of 10 to 30 miles per hour, covering up to 80 miles a day.

    Q: Do the same butterflies return from Mexico when the winter is over?
    A: Yes, but they’re on a tight time clock. Migrating monarchs live up to nine months longer than other butterflies. That gives them just time enough to fly several hundred miles north in the spring before laying eggs and dying. The next two generations proceed further north. The fourth generation begins the migratory cycle again.

    Aurora Expeditions Discounts to Antarctica

    Aurora Expeditions offers springtime experiences in Antarctica at discounted rates that start from $5,095 per person.

    Aurora Expeditions offers the opportunity to check Antarctica off your Bucket List with a 20 percent discount on selected November and December 2012 voyages departing from South America. The discount applies to new bookings only and is not available in conjunction with any other offer.

    Aurora Expeditions' small ships carry a maximum of 54 passengers. Voyages are suited to single travelers with the option of shared cabins, no single supplement and the friendly atmosphere on board. Antarctica cruises provide the option of additional activities including kayaking, camping, climbing and photography

    Sail Antarctic Peninsula - Nov. 26 Dec. 6, 2012, Ushuaia to Ushuaia. Activities: Kayaking, Photography, Climbing, Camping

    Antarctic Peninsula - Sail/Fly - Dec. 6 to Dec. 14, 2012, Ushuaia to Punta Arenas. Activities: Kayaking, Photography, Camping

    Antarctic Peninsula - Fly/Sail - Dec. 14 Dec. 22, 2012, Punta Arenas to Ushuaia. Activities: Kayaking, Camping

    Aurora Expeditions.



    Vancouver Luxury Hotel Packages

    Looking for a city getaway that will really wow? Until Dec. 31, 2012, 17 Vancouver hotels offer getaway packages featuring the best in Vancouver's culinary, cultural, spa and adventure experiences. The three-night packages range from $799 to $2,699 CAD (plus tax) and are based on double occupancy.

    Offers include:

    The Fairmont Waterfront's Uniquely Vancouver package features a helicopter sightseeing tour and mountain-top picnic lunch at Grouse Mountain, a tour of the hotel's rooftop honeybee apiary, free use of the hotel’s BMW bikes to cycle the Stanley Park seawall, plus various dining opportunities in the hotel restaurant. From $2,399.

    The Listel Hotel's Cultivate, Gawk, Gather, Graze package featuring accommodation in a BC or Artist Series suite and private tours of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Bill Reid Gallery and Museum of Anthropology. From $999.

    Opus Hotel Vancouver's Close Encounters package features a beluga encounter at the Vancouver Aquarium, private kayak tour of Granville Island and five-course meal. From $1,317.

    Vancouver Luxury Hotel Packages.

    Club Med Early Booking Rates

    Club Med, with more than 80 all-inclusive resorts around the world, offers early booking rates and free stays for kids under four starting with summer 2013 vacations. Book early and all-inclusive seven-night vacations start at $749 per person, at resorts in Florida, Mexico, Turks & Caicos, the Caribbean, Martinique or the Bahamas. To take advantage of early booking rates, book by Oct. 29, 2012, for travel Apr. 27 to Oct. 26, 2013.

    Price is per person, based on double occupancy in a minimum category room and requires a three-night minimum stay (seven-night minimum for Columbus Isle) at select resorts. The price does not include airfare and is valid for new individual bookings only. The offer is subject to capacity control and may increase at any time. Holiday blackouts apply. Turkoise guests must be 18 and older. Club Med membership fees of $60 per adult and $30 per child are additional.

    Club Med's new pricing policy is that kids under four years are free and children’s prices are valid for kids under 16.

    Club Med resorts provide family getaways with family rooms and family-friendly amenities and activities. The children's programs are designed for specific age groups. Enriching activities include junior tennis, golf, sailing, flying trapeze/circus school, Le Petit Chef cooking lessons and Zumbatomic.

    Club Med makes it easy when traveling with a baby with the Baby Welcome program. Highchairs, cribs, strollers, bottle warmers and bathtubs are available upon arrival to ensure that parents and baby have a seamless vacation experience.

    A Club Med all-inclusive escape includes everything in one price. Dining throughout the day is prepared by international chefs, and a full open bar with premium alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages is offered. Take part in activities throughout the day, and enjoy nightly entertainment every evening.

    Club Med or 800/ClubMed.

    Compagnie Du Ponant $500 Per Person Savings

    Compagnie du Ponant makes it easier to enjoy South America, offering a $500 per person discount on seven sailings from Nov. 6, 2012 to Apr. 4, 2013.

    Cruises explore Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Brazil and Uruguay on two of Compagnie du Ponant’s newest yachts – the 264-guest Le Boréal or L’Austral. This discount can be combined with Ponant Bonus fares increasing savings up to 30 percent - depending on when you book. The more in advance the booking, the greater the savings.

    The 10- to 14-night itineraries visit colonial Cartagena; Montecristi; citadel of Chan Chan, the 13th-century capital of the Chimu; swimming and snorkeling near Paraty, Brazil; or paragliding in tandem near Chile’s Pacific Ocean.

    Cruises on the L’Austral are the 14-night Montevideo to Recife cruise along the Brazilian coast, departing Mar. 5, 2013; and the 16-night Recife to Las Palmas Mar. 19, 2013, sailing, which heads to Africa. Prices start at $5,387 per person, double with the combined savings.

    On the Le Boréal, 10 night sailings from Lima to Valparaiso depart Nov. 6, 2012. The 13 night Nov. 16 itinerary, from Valparaiso to Argentina’s Ushuaia, takes in the Chilean Fjords. Returning from its Antarctica sailings, Le Boréal repeats the 13 night Valparaiso to Ushuaia route on Feb. 28, 2013 then heading on a 12 night cruise between Valparaiso and Guayaquil on Mar. 13, 2013, which passes the peaks of the Patagonia volcanoes. Fares with savings for these four departures start at $3,730.

    Compagnie du Ponant offers one- to five-day pre- and post-cruise programs which include Iguaza Falls, the Alacama Deser, Machu Picchu, and a fly over the Nazca Lines. Prices start at $190.

    Compagnie du Ponant or 888/400-1082.

    Sixt 4

    Aston Hotels & Resorts One Million HawaiianMiles

    Enter the Aston Hotels & Resorts One Million HawaiianMiles Sweepstakes where 10 grand prize winners will each win 100,000 HawaiianMiles redeemable for travel anywhere Hawaiian Airlines flies.

    To enter log on to Aston’s web site or Aston’s Facebook page. You must enter by Oct. 15, 2012. The winners will be contacted on Nov. 5, 2012.

    Entries are also accepted by mail. Send a postcard with name and full contact information to: Aston Hotels & Resorts, ATTN: SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY, 2155 Kalakaua Avenue, 5th Floor, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815.

    No purchase, internet access, accommodation reservations or payment is necessary to enter or win. Void where prohibited. Visit here for complete Official Rules. Certain restrictions apply for contest entry.

    In addition to 10 grand prize winners, three first place winners will receive a four-night stay at one of Aston’s Oahu or Maui resorts.

    HawaiianMiles won during the Aston’s Million Miles promotion will be added to the winner’s HawaiianMiles account and may be used toward anything in the HawaiianMiles redemption program. If you are not a HawaiianMiles member, you can join for free.

    Aston Hotels & Resorts or 866/774-2924.

    Seven Stars Resort 40% Fall Savings

    BOOK BY SEP. 15 - - Trade autumn’s falling leaves for the warmth of the Caribbean sun at the Seven Stars Resort in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos.

    Offering 40 percent savings on stays Oct. 15 through Dec. 15, 2012, room rates start at $339 per night for a junior suite garden view. Stay five nights or more and receive a $150 resort credit, which can be used at the spa or any of the resort’s restaurants and bars. The Fall sale is valid for new bookings made through Sep. 15, 2012.

    The offer is good on new bookings, based upon availability and cannot be combined with any other existing offers. The starting room rate does not include government tax and service charge, and black-out dates apply. Mention ’Fall sale’ when booking.

    Named for the seven stars of the Pleiades constellation, the all-suite resort sits on 22 acres at the center of Grace Bay Beach. Suites offer private balconies, dramatic views, and gourmet kitchens with wine refrigerators and Nespresso machines.

    Seven Stars offers varied dining experiences. At Seven restaurant, breakfast is served in the morning and a Caribbean-inspired menu for dinner. The poolside Sand Dollar offers sandwiches and salads for lunch. Beachside, the Deck provides alfresco dining for lunch and cocktails and tapas during the evening.

    Seven Stars Resort offers a spa; salt water pool; fitness center featuring Yoga, Pilates and Body Toning; free water sports including Hobie Cats, kayaks, surfboards, snorkeling equipment and pool floats; tennis courts; and a children’s play area.

    Become a fan of the resort’s Facebook page. New Facebook fans can receive savings on their next stay with Seven Stars’ Facebook Fan offer, 35 percent off the best available rate on an ocean front junior suite when booking five or more nights.

    Seven Stars Resort or 866/570-7777.

    Restaurant Weeks by Nicki Chodnoff

    Killer food. Bargain prices. For diners, be they locals or travelers, it doesn’t get any better than that. That’s the attraction of restaurant weeks, events where a group of restaurants in a destination coordinate to offer a set menu for a fixed price. This fixed price is usually much lower than the price you'd ordinarily pay at that restaurant.

    For diners the attraction is obvious, eating food at a restaurant that may normally be out of reach. The restaurant benefits by showcasing their food to a broader audience.

    Discounted food doesn’t mean you shouldn’t tip. Tip your server the standard amount for the area. Be aware that some restaurants add an extra service charge to their bill during Restaurant Week. Check your bill when calculating your tip.

    When considering restaurant weeks, here are some thoughts to remember. Not all restaurant weeks last a week. Some last less than a week, while others can last up to a month. Some cities split their restaurant weeks into two times per year.

    Restaurant week menus are not just for dinner. Many restaurants offer a lunch menu, often at a lesser fixed price. Pricing varies by area and what’s included. Lunch may be two courses, while dinner may be a three course meal. Some restaurant week destinations feature tiered pricing for dinner and/or lunch. In a three-tier system for example, a restaurant may choose their fixed price at $20, $25 or $30 per meal.

    Lastly, you don’t need to order from the set menu. Most restaurants make their regular menu with their regular prices available during restaurant week.

    Here are a few restaurant week events.

      Name of the Event: Alabama Restaurant Week
    • When the event takes place: Mid-August
    • Approximate number of restaurants that participate: More than 130
    • Fixed price and what it includes: $10, $20 and $30 for dinner and $5, $10 and $15 for lunch. Some restaurants participate with dinner and lunch. The price is per person and excludes tax, tip and drink.
    • When did the event start: 2007
    • Web site
      Name of the Event: Ann Arbor Restaurant Weeks
    • When the event takes place: Mid-January and mid-June.
    • Approximate number of restaurants that participate: approximately 50
    • Fixed price and what it includes. Are there separate opportunities for lunch and dinner
    • Lunch is a $12 menu of special restaurant week items with one, two or three course lunches. Many offer two for one pricing. Dinner is a fixed price three course menu for $25. Some restaurants will offer two for one pricing.
    • When did the event start: 2007
    • Web site
      Name of the Event: First Bite Boulder, CO
    • When the event takes place: In mid-January and mid-June.
    • Approximate number of restaurants that participate: more than 40
    • Fixed price and what it includes: three course $26 prix fixe dinner.
    • When did the event start: 2005
    • Web site
      Name of Event: Cleveland Restaurant Weeks – two different events
    • Downtown Cleveland Restaurant Week: weeklong fixed price specials in downtown Cleveland. Put on by the Downtown Cleveland Alliance, it includes parking discounts, public transportation maps for folks who don’t traditionally visit the downtown area and the opportunity to win prizes for dining downtown.
    • Cleveland Restaurant Week: put on by the Cleveland Independents, nearly 90 independently owned and operated restaurants throughout Northeast Ohio. Event takes place twice a year.
    • When the event takes place:
    • Downtown Cleveland Restaurant Week: End of February through beginning of March
    • Cleveland Restaurant Week: First two weeks in April and first two weeks in November.
    • Approximate number of restaurants that participate
    • Downtown Cleveland Restaurant Week: More than 40 restaurants
    • Cleveland Restaurant Week: About 50 restaurants
    • Fixed price and what it includes:
    • Downtown Cleveland Restaurant Week: $30 three-course dinner and $15 lunch specials. Receive $2 parking with voucher after 5 p.m. at select parking lots downtown.
    • Cleveland Restaurant Week: three-course dinners for $30 a person or $30 per couple. $15 lunch options at select locations.
    • When did the event start:
    • Downtown Cleveland Restaurant Week: 2008
    • Cleveland Restaurant Week: 2007
    • Web site
    • Downtown Cleveland Restaurant Week
    • Cleveland Restaurant Week
      Name of the Event: KRLD Restaurant Week Dallas
    • When the event takes place: First week in January and mid-August
    • Approximate number of restaurants that participate: About 125
    • Fixed price and what it includes: three-course dinner $35 per person. For each prix fixe dinner purchased, restaurant donates $7 to food bank or organization that benefits families in need.
    • When did the event start: 1997
    • Web site
      Name of the Event: Denver Restaurant Week
    • When the event takes place: 14 nights at the end of Feb. and first week in March.
    • Approximate number of restaurants that participate: Nearly 300
    • Fixed price and what it includes: Multi-course meal $52.80 for two, $26.40 for one, tax and tip not included.
    • Web site
      Name of Event: Des Moines Restaurant Week
    • When the event takes place: Mid-August
    • Approximate number of restaurants that participate: More than 30
    • Fixed priced and what it includes: $25 for two lunches or one three-course dinner
    • When did the event start: 2007
    • Web site
    • A prize is given to one winner who enters four or more receipts from restaurants visited participating in Restaurant Week. The prize is usually a destination trip for two to Puerto Rico or Sonoma Valley. Promotions run through Twitter in the weeks leading up to the event where followers will be in the running to win a $25 or $50 gift card to a participating restaurant.
      Name of Event: Dunwoody, Georgia Restaurant Week
    • When the event takes place: Third week in June
    • Approximate number of restaurants that participate: 17
    • Fixed priced and what it includes: $12 lunch and $25 at dinner.
    • When did the event start: 2012
    • Web site
      Name of Event : Gwinnett International Restaurant Week in Gwinnett County, Georgia
    • When the event takes place: Last week in July
    • Approximate number of restaurants that participate: nearly 20
    • Fixed price and what it includes: three-course dinner $21.21 per person, plus tax and gratuity
    • When did the event start: 2012
    • Web site
      Name of Event : Maine Restaurant Week
    • When the event takes place: First week in March
    • Approximate number of restaurants that participate: Approximately 75
    • Fixed priced and what it includes: $20, $30 or $40 for a three course meal. Some restaurants serve prix fixe lunches for $15
    • When did the event start: 2009
    • Web site
      Name of Event: Nashville Originals Restaurant Week
    • When event takes place: Mid-January and mid-September
    • Approximate number of restaurants that participate: 49
    • Fixed price and what it includes: Each restaurant presents its own special offer. Most offer dinner. A few offer lunch or brunch.
    • When did the event start - September 2008
    • Web site
      Name of the Event: New Mexico Restaurant Weeks
    • When the event takes place: March
    • Approximate number of restaurants that participate: more than 100 in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Taos and Las Cruces.
    • Fixed price and what it includes: dinner price in four tiers: $ (under $20 per person), $$ ($21-29 per person), $$$ ($30-39 per person) and $$$$ ($40 and over per person). Let's Do Lunch" offers two- or three-course prix-fixe lunches.
    • When did the event start: 2010
    • Web site
      Name of the Event: Philadelphia Center City District Restaurant Weeks
    • When the event takes place: Last week in Sep. and first week of Oct. and the last week in Jan. and first week of Feb.
    • Approximate number of restaurants that participate: More than 120
    • Fixed price and what it includes: Three-course lunch, $20. Three-course dinner, $35
    • The Philadelphia Parking Association and Philadelphia Parking Authority offer deep discount parking at dozens of lots and garages all over Center City.
    • Web site
      Name of the Event: Pikes Peak Restaurant Week, Colorado Springs, CO
    • When the event takes place: First two weeks of March
    • Approximate number of restaurants that participate: nearly 70
    • Fixed price and what it includes: dinners for two at: $30, $40 or $50. Lunch $5 and $10 per person.
    • When did the event start: 2011
    • Web site
      Name of the Event: About Town San Francisco
    • When the event takes place: Last two weeks of January, first two weeks of June
    • Approximate number of restaurants that participate: more than 100
    • Fixed price and what it includes: two-course lunch for $17.95 and/or a three-course dinner for $34.95.
    • When did the event start: 2002
    • Web site
    • American Express card members earn a $15 statement credit when they dine three or more times during Dine About Town at any participating restaurants and pay with any American Express Card. You must register at the Dine About web site. www.dineabouttown.com.
      Name of the Event: Downtown South Bend Restaurant Week Eat. Drink. DTSB
    • When the event takes place: Last week of January/first week of February and the last week of June/first week of July.
    • Approximate number of restaurants that participate: 13
    • Fixed price and what it includes: $25 dinner; some offer lunch 2 for $15 or 2 for $20
    • When did the event start: 2011
    • Web site
      Name of the Event: Talbot County, Maryland Restaurant Week
    • When the event takes place: Last week in March
    • Approximate number of restaurants that participate: More than 20
    • Fixed price and what it includes: Two-course lunches $20.12, three-course dinners $30.12 plus tax, tip, and beverages.
    • Web site
      Name of the Event: Tampa Bay Restaurant Week
    • When the event takes place: Last two weeks in August
    • Approximate number of restaurants that participate: 65
    • Fixed price and what it includes: $25, $35 or $45 three course meals
    • When did the event start: 2010
    • Web site
      Name of the Event: Toronto Restaurant Weeks “Winterlicious” and “Summerlicious”
    • When the event takes place: Winterlicious last week in Jan./first week in Feb. Summerlicious; second and third week in July
    • Approximate number of restaurants that participate: Approx. 175
    • Fixed price and what it includes: Lunch $15, $20 or $25. Dinner $25, $35 or $45. Lunch and dinner menus include starter, entrée and dessert. Beverages, taxes and gratuity are additional.
    • When did the event start: 2002
    • Web site
      Name of the Event: DC Restaurant Week
    • When the event takes place: Winter second week in January. Summer mid-August.
    • Approximate number of restaurants that participate: More than 200
    • Fixed price and what it includes: $20.12 lunch; $35.12 dinner. Not all restaurants do both lunch and dinner.
    • When did the event start: 2002
    • Web site

    October is "Kids Free San Diego" Month

    During October 2012, families get deals at more than 105 San Diego hotels, restaurants, attractions, museums and transportation companies. "Kids Free San Diego" month incentives range from free meals, attraction admission, Amtrak rides and welcome amenities at area hotels.

    Below are highlights of the first "Kids Free San Diego" month.

      Kids Ride Free
    • Amtrak offers one child, age two to 15, free rides with one paid adult rail fare aboard the Pacific Surfliner route, servicing San Luis Obispo to San Diego.
    • Hornblower Cruises & Events and Flagship Cruises & Events offer kids, ages 12 and under, a free ride on one- and two-hour harbor tours along San Diego Bay.
    • One child, age 12 or under, rides free per one paid adult on the hop-on, hop-off Old Town Trolley Tours and San Diego SEAL Tours Sea and Land Adventures.
    • With one paid adult admission, kids ages 17 and under, can search for blue and grey whales on a 2.5-hour whale watching excursion with Newport Landing Whale Watching.
      Free kids' admission to more than 30 attractions.
    • San Diego Zoo - Kids, ages 11 and younger, are admitted free and into the 1,800-acre San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
    • SeaWorld San Diego - Free admission with one full-paid adult admission for one child, age three to nine. The offer is valid at Dine with Shamu. Kids, ages 10 to 12, can participate for free in SeaWorld's Dolphin Encounter and Dolphin and Beluga Interaction Programs with one paid adult participant (kids must be at least 48" tall to participate).
    • LEGOLAND California Resort - Free one-day child hopper ticket for one kid, age 12 and under, with purchase of a full-price one-day adult hopper ticket.
      More than 30 hotels roll out the welcome mat. Kids eat free at many hotels or receive welcome gifts upon arrival at others.
    • Kids eat free at the Catamaran Resort & Spa on Mission Bay, the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego and the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa.
    • In addition to free dining, kids staying at the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa on Mission Bay can enjoy Kids S'mores Night on Wednesdays, Kids Night Out with popcorn and hot cocoa on Fridays.
    • Hotel del Coronado offers a plush, blue octopus to all kids upon check in to the hotel.
      Kids Feast at San Diego's Restaurants
    • Vigilucci's Ristorante Coronado – Free cheese pizza and classic pasta for kids.
    • Hard Rock Café San Diego – Free Ben & Jerry's hot fudge sundaes and milk shakes for kids.
    • Croce's Restaurant & Jazz Bar - Kids dine free.
    • Urban Bar & Grill - Four kids can dine free with two paid adult entrees.
      More than 30 San Diego museums offer free admission to kids, ages 12 and under:
    • The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and its IMAX Dome Theater.
    • The New Children's Museum.
    • USS Midway Museum
    • Martime Museum of San Diego
    • Birch Aquarium at Scripps in La Jolla.
      Deals at more than 45 San Diego arts and culture organizations:
    • Kids, ages six and under, can enjoy free Trolley Dances 2012, performed by the Jean Isaacs San Diego Dance Theatre. Oct. 6 and 7, ride the light-rail San Diego Trolley to six stops where site-specific dance is performed by 50 of San Diego's most adventurous dancers.
    • Free opening concert of the Art of Elan's for one-hour chamber music performances that expose new audiences to classical music.
  • With a purchase of one adult lesson, one child, ages five to 12, receives a free lesson from the Surf Diva Surf School.
  • At the San Vicente Golf Resort, one child, under 12 years old, receives a free round of golf with one paid adult round.

    Kids Free San Diego Month offers or or 619/236-1212.

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