What to Wear to a Tropical Destination Wedding?

It’s time to pack for a destination wedding that you are attending. One of the biggest questions you ask yourself is … what should I wear?

Here are a few tips for you …

Most tropical weddings are going to be on the beach so please keep that in mind when picking shoes. I would bring a sandal with no heel for the wedding and then if there is a dance floor, then put on the heels and dance the night away. Men can get away with a nice pair of leather sandals as well. No need for the fancy dress shoes. Also, many brides may even say NO SHOES. There aren’t many things that feel better than dipping your toes in the sand, plus then there are no worries about getting sand in your shoes.

Wedding Attire
It will be warm so I would recommend a sun dress for the ladies and then linen pants and shirt for the men.
For the men check with the bride and groom, but most do not require you to wear a jacket. A nice linen shirt along with  linen pants is usually just right, but shorts are a NO-NO.  Ladies remember there are those ocean breezes … so think longer dresses so there are no Marilyn moments during the ceremony. Be sure that your dress fabric is light and not clingy, preferably breathable. You want to be comfortable and tropical while dressed for a wedding. There are weddings that are done at sunset so you will want to bring along a scarf or a pashmina to keep you warm with those ocean breezes.

Don’t Forget
You need SUNSCREEN as there is usually little to no shade during the ceremony. Yes, it tends to be a shorter ceremony, but there is still plenty of time to get burnt!

Each destination wedding is different it could be  beach-formal, semi-formal or casual weddings. Please make sure you understand what kind of wedding it will be before picking out your outfits.

The Outback Meets the Reef

Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef is a remote beach-side safari camp in the dunes of the Cape Range National Park. It’s located just an hour ride from the Learmonth Airport, a military airport for the Royal Australian Air Force. This is an extraordinary luxury lodge located in Western Australia.  You’ll be near the Indian Ocean enjoying breathtaking views of the Ningaloo Reef. During the day you can explore the reef and its 500 species of fish and over 250 species of coral. Just beyond the reef you have the opportunity to swim with some of the mighty giants of the ocean—Whale Sharks, Orcas, Humpback Whales, Manta Rays and dolphins. Depending on the season, will depend on what species you will see. So make sure to check that out before booking to be sure you are in the right season.

Sal Salis, nestled amongst the sand dunes, offers all guests Eco-luxe Safari tent accommodations. This is an eco-friendly resort and is run entirely off of solar panels. Each tent is allowed 20L of water per person per day to shower. There is no WiFi or phone service which forces you to be cut off from your everyday distractions of life offering ultimate relaxation.

The resort offers plenty of things to keep you as busy as you want. You are steps away from the Ningaloo Reef if you want to snorkel or just relax on their amazing beach. I was able to see some of the most unique fish and turtles right off the beach. No need to bring your snorkel gear, the resort has some for you to use during your stay.

Because of the seclusion of the resort is it all-inclusive. All meals are served in the main lodge or the beautiful desk and are shared with fellow guests. In the main lodge there is a set up where you can grab anything you want to drink any time of the day or some small snacks. If you wanted to grab a glass of wine, sit on the deck and watch the sun set … you can! Each night you are treated to a 5-star gourmet meal made from a simple camp kitchen. I am not sure how they did it, but the food was absolutely amazing. You will be eating with the other campers at one long table so it was quite fun to meet people from all over the world and share your stories.

From the minute you step on property you are treated like family throughout your stay. We even got to know the mangers that ran the resort, a husband and wife with a true passion for what they do. The staff is highly engaged with the guests … they offer daily walks and guided snorkeling tours at a different location each day. I truly can’t say enough about the staff … some of the best I have personally experienced. One morning I woke up, walked out of the tent to watch sunrise and there was a Wallaby just hopping by. That is what dreams are made of and I just sat back in awe and took that moment in.

This resort does offer a truly unique experience. The outback and reef combo is something you must see for yourself. When you are ready to make this dream a reality I am here to help.


Exploring Lizard Island in Australia

I was lucky enough to visit Lizard Island on my first trip to Australia … talk about a dream come true! This amazing little island is an hour flight north of Cairns. It is an island in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef. The 1-hour flight was on a little plane with about 12 seats. I have never been on a plane that small, this was a plane where the pilot was actually within reach. We flew right over the reef and the views below were so amazing. There are so many little reefs that make up the Great Barrier Reef.

The airport was VERY small. It was basically a landing strip near the resort. You step off the plane and head right to a vehicle to take you to the resort! We arrived at the resort and were so amazed by everything. The rooms left me speechless. As I walked out the front patio … I took 10 steps and I was on the beach! We were lucky enough to spend 2-nights here.

The next morning, we hopped on a boat and did a full day snorkel tour. We were located 1 hour away from the outer reef. I have snorkeled before, but nothing will ever compare to what the Great Barrier Reef has to offer! We even were able to snorkel at the World Famous Cod Hole. It is home to huge Potato Cod. I saw sharks, turtles, clams, oysters and just about every fish you can think of.. and of course we did find Nemo and Dory … LOL. A snorkeling experience I will NEVER forget.

We also got to visit the research station that is the on the island! This was a very cool experience! It was on the opposite side of the island so guests and researchers aren’t running into each other.

Here are a few things I learned:

  • It’s a National Park in the middle of the northern part of the Great Barrier Reef
  • It has 24 sandy beaches and a lagoon
  • It is a 1-hour flight north from Cairns flying right over the amazing Great Barrier Reef
  • It is located in Tropical Queensland with an average temp of 80 degrees
  • There is a Coral Reef research Station on the island, where researchers from all over the world come to work and learn about the coral reef.

I am ready for a trip back … are you ready to go? I’d be happy to share more about my experience.

Start a Private Facebook Group for Your Destination Wedding.

Planning a Destination Wedding? A great way to communicate with all your guests is to create a private Facebook Group. Be sure to include your travel agent in the group as well. This will allow them to share information on the trip and details on the wedding. A group like this offers a very personal touch with all your guests. 

A few reasons why a private Facebook group is a great tool for a Destination Wedding Group:

  • Facebook has become a primary communication tool so your guests will receive details faster.
  • Allows your travel agent to field questions about the trip
  • Gets your guests excited about the trip and most importantly … YOUR BIG DAY!
  • Post things about the trip & destination
    • Videos & photos about the resort
    • Destination facts & weather
    • Things to do
  • This is a great place to note all guest arrivals and departures
  • A good way for the group to connect prior to the trip
  • You can start planning a group excursion or dinner. Plus, you can poll your guests to see what they are interested in doing.
  • This is a great way for your guests to build a relationship with your travel agent and they will be more comfortable booking with the group

Now you can see the many reasons why this is a great tool. Let’s start planning your wedding and create that Facebook group.

Luxury Livin’ at Southern Ocean Lodge

Southern Ocean is an exquisite luxury lodge located on Kangaroo island. You can reach this lodge by plane from Adelaide or via a ferry ride. This is one of the most sought after places to stay in Australia and now I know why. We arrived very late in the day from Adelaide and were anxious to get to the resort. Upon landing in Kangaroo island, the resort had someone waiting at the airport to pick us up. The staff member at the airport knew who we were and were awaiting our arrival. As it was dark once we landed, we learned how alert and a driver/guide have to be on the roads on Kangaroo island. Those Wallabies, Kangaroos and Koala’s don’t always obey the animal crossing signs. LOL They can jump out in front of a car at night or even during the day. The training for these drivers and guides is intense as they have to learn to not be distracted while driving and always on the lookout for these cute animals. 😊  


We traveled there in the Winter so it was rainy season, but the lodge was still completely booked. Upon arrival at the resort, the Manager of the hotel was waiting for us and ready to welcome us. There is no standard check in desk, you are lead to the beautiful couch in front of the fire place to get all checked in. Once we were checked in, we mentioned we were starving from traveling all day. They kept the kitchen open a little later for us to be able to have something to eat so that we didn’t go hungry. So thoughtful and made a great first impression.


The dining at the lodge was superb some of the best I have divulged in my travel. There was everything from burgers to the gastronomic journey of Kangaroo Island. The menu changes daily and there are plenty of selections to please your palette. There is also complimentary FULL bar as well … and when I say full bar, I mean full bar. They had wine selections from all over Australia and endless beer varieties including local specialties. All beverages were self-serve. The rooms and common areas were focused on the outdoors and amazing surroundings. 


The rooms are absolutely breathtaking. Since we arrived in the dark, we were very anxious to see our view and the rest of the hotel once the sun came up. Trust me, it didn’t disappoint. 


The lodge is located on Hanson Bay on the southwest coast of the island. There are just 21 luxury suites with some of the most amazing views you will ever have the pleasure of experiencing. The best features of the room were the heated Floors, free Wi-Fi, walk in closet and a mini bar that is stocked daily 


When you’re ready for the ultimate luxury experience in Australia contact me and I will share more about this once in a lifetime experience and help you to plan your own personal journey.

Touring the Taronga Zoo!

After the long, long flight to Sydney, we knew we were going to be exhausted, but we couldn’t let that get in our way so we dropped off our bags and got as far away from the hotel as possible! We decided to head to The Taronga Zoo for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Australian animals habitat.

 The zoo is easy enough to get to; it’s just a short ferry ride form Circular Key. No planning needed – you can buy your tickets right at the ferry!

Once the ferry ride was over it really hit us… WE’RE HALFWAY AROUND THE WORLD! That feeling is indescribable.

Touring the Taronga

When we got to the zoo, we rode the gondola lift – The Sky Safari! – up to the top. Since we had time before our tour started, we walked around a bit. It was just my aunt and me. It was nice to be able to explore the place just the two of us.

We were there during Vivid Sydney, an annual city-wide three-week celebration of lights, music and ideas. In celebration of Vivid, the zoo had a great display of giant animal light sculptures. It was fun to see the display before we got to the real animals!

A Different Kind of Zoo

We went straight for the wallabies. Wallabies look a lot like kangaroos, but they are a lot smaller. We got to feed them, and I even got close enough to try and take a selfie with one, because I couldn’t pass up that opportunity!

Guess what was next on the list! If you guessed koalas, you are correct! You’re not allowed to hold the koalas – in Queensland you can hold the koalas – but you are still able to get up close and personal. They were just hanging out in the trees, which didn’t look so comfortable to me, but must have been to them. We were even able to see some of the babies coming out of their pouches! And of course, I got a selfie.

After that, we went to see some smaller animals. First, the echidna – a flying squirrel – and then the bilbies – rabbit bandicoot. Then on to the kangaroos.

And, I couldn’t possibly forget about the Tasmanian devil! On our way out, we saw the giraffes. We even got to see the baby!

It was a great experience, and a great day at the zoo. The Taronga is a must do when visiting Sydney!

Conquering Fears and Great Heights in Sydney!

Climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge was one of the most exhilarating and rewarding experiences I have ever had!

I’ve wanted to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge since my very first trip to Australia in 2013, so I wasn’t going to let my fear of heights stop me when I returned this year!

I got to check the bridge climb off my bucket list with a beautiful twilight climb to the top! I would highly recommend the twilight tour over a daytime tour. We started off the trek in daylight, as we reached the top we got to watch the sun set and watch the city lights begin to come alive.

Facing Fears

Before the climb, we got all suited up, and latched onto the steel safety beam, and then we were off! The feat starts with four sets of stairs, and only one person can ascend each set at once. It was a little unsettling being alone on the stairs, but I felt comforted knowing that my aunt was not too far behind me with another guide.

I was in full panic attack mode by the time I got to the second set of stairs, but I knew I had to do this; I had to keep going. I needed to conquer my fears and prove to myself that I could do it.

As if the heights weren’t bad enough, the steps are tiny and steep as can be! Each set of stairs brings you closer and closer to the open air of the top of the bridge. By the time you get through all four and are on the final ascent, you can look down directly into the Harbour.

Although I was white knuckled up the last three sets of stairs, I did it! I got to the top of the stairs and started off on the nice gradual climb to the very top. As we climbed, the guide pointed out many different landmarks down below, and we stopped to take some pictures. I managed to have the exact same look on my face for every picture.

What Goes Up…

We made it to the top and watched the sunset. That’s when I realized… We still have to take the stairs back down. There we were at the top of the stairs, and to get back down I had to turn myself around and go backwards down the stairs! I was crying before I even made it down the first set of steps.

It was getting dark by this time. We had lights, but we also had sunglasses, so most of my light was blocked. I had to stop after the first two sets of stairs to compose myself. My aunt caught up to me here to make sure I was doing okay. I told her yes. Even though I was mid-panic attack, I had to do it. At this point, I really had no choice.

The guide behind me started yelling encouragements and telling me I was almost done, and I was getting the same encouragement from my aunt. It was really what I needed that on those last 2 sets of stairs!

I got to the bottom and breathed a sigh of relief – I did it! I was so happy; happy to be back down off the bridge, happy to have faced my fear, and happy to have done something incredible. Check! It was one of the best experiences of my life and I am so glad my aunt and I got to share it. I honestly can’t wait to do it again!

Top 10 Things to Do/See in Sydney, Australia

Australia is a MUST!

If you do not have Australia on your list of places to travel I highly suggest that you add it on … and near the top.

Here are some of my personal favorites:

  1. Darling harbour. Lots of restaurant choices including the Hard Rock Café, Chinese Garden of Friendship, Wild Life Sydney Zoo, Sea Life Aquarium, A carousel, a Huge Ferris Wheel and the National Maritime Museum. There is also were you can pick up your Harbour cruises, Dinner cruises, Set Sail with America’s Cup or just take a Jet boat out on the Harbour.


  2. Sydney Tower Eye. Enjoy 360 views of the beautiful city of Sydney. While you are up there you can choose to do a SkyWalk. It is a 45 min guided tour outside at the top of the Eye.


  3. China Town. You need to make a stop at Paddy’s Market and do some Souvenir Shopping. After you’re done shopping stop at the 3 Wise Monkey bar for a drink and some food.


  4. Bridge Climb. I would highly suggest a twilight tour.


  5. Panorama City Tour. Takes you all through the city including a stop at Royal Botanical Gardens, Drive by the most expensive street in Sydney, Head over to Watson’s Bay and then a stop at Bondi Beach.


  6. Rocks District. While you are there have lunch at Sydney’s Oldest Pub


  7. Take a Ferry from Circular Key. You can go just about anywhere in Sydney including the Taronga Zoo.
  8. Harbour Bridge Pylon Lookout. Experience breathtaking views of the Harbour and if you don’t get a chance to do the Bridge Climb, this is the next best thing.


  9. Sydney Opera House. A must visit don’t forget to stop at the Opera Kitchen and have Chocolate and Salted Carmel tart with Hot chocolate (Best when traveling to Sydney in the winter).


  10. Relax and take in the city. It is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited and there is so much to see and do.

Day trips from Auckland New Zealand when stopping over

In August 2015 I had a 2 day stopover in Auckland and I found many opportunities for day trips and excursions from the city of Auckland. If you find yourself with the chance to stop over, I highly recommend it. Even better plan an entire trip just to visit New Zealand.


Experience the Lord of the Rings movie set to take in the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of Middle Earth. Hobbiton is a must see for travelers to New Zealand where they are given an opportunity to see the living movie set and immerse themselves in the wonders of the Trilogies.

Wonder the paths of the Shire, escape into a Hobbit hole and attempt to recreate your favorite scenes. The land Sir Peter Jackson loves so much comes to life as your guide shares details of moving making and famous movie sites.

They even have a banquet room on site and opportunities for dining after your tour.

I had never even seen the movies before experiencing Hobbiton but I still found the tour the be very interesting and a great introduction to the countryside of New Zealand. This is only a 2 hour drive from Auckland.

My time as a Hobbit

My time as a Hobbit.

Waitomo Caves

The Waitomo Glowworm Caves are another must see when visiting New Zealand. The glowworms radiate luminescent light that illuminate the caves with historical and geographical interests.

Enjoy the tour by boat ride under thousands of magical glowworms and become a part of over 120 years of cultural and natural history. While on the boat ride you cannot have any light and must stay extremely quiet or you will scare the light out of them. You are guided through the caves by a pulling system lead by a professional glowworm dude.

I wish I had more opportunity to explore here but it was pouring rain and the caves had flooded. It is very rare that this happens so I will plan it to go back because what I did see was worth every minute. This is only 2.5 hours from Auckland.

America’s Cup Sailing Adventure 

Enjoy the thrill of sailing on the America’s Cup sailing ships. With no sailing experience necessary, you can still be involved in all things sailing. It takes more than you think to get these ships race ready. As the wind hits the sails, the professional crew shares their experience with you while letting you feel the exhilaration and power of a sailing regatta.

Not only did I enjoy the race I also enjoyed seeing the contrast of natural landscapes and city skyscrapers that line the harbour from the best view in town. I was given the opportunity to steer, use the grinders to raise and trim the sails and try not to fall off the ship. Located in Waitemata Harbour in Auckland.

I specialize in travel to Australia and New Zealand. Use my insider knowledge and experience to help you plan your bucket list vacation.

Splashing around at Memories in Punta Cana

Here is a client review of their family vacations to Memories Punta Cana, all inclusive resort in Dominican Republic.

Flights- Sun Country Charter—no issues, I always try to fly with Sun Country because there has never been any problems.

Transfers- We had a few issues with the transfer company, they seemed to not understand that we purchased nonstop transfers to and from the airport. After about 20 minutes trying to explain this to them we were on our way to the hotel. The area outside the airport where you get into your cab/bus/shuttle is always so busy but the guys who run the Island Sun transfers are very good about finding your ride in a timely manner.

Hotel- Memories Splash Punta Cana- We upgraded to the Diamond Club. This was our second year staying at this hotel, we love it here. I definitely will go with the Diamond Club again. The extra perks that you get are so worth the extra money. Some of the benefits that you receive with diamond club are: Room location is much better, you have your own personal butler, premium alcohol at the bars that serve it, private pool, private beach access, priority reservations at the ala cart restaurants at the Royalton and priority check in and check out. We did encounter a few minor issues during our stay this year, they were much busier this year that the year prior so this might explain some of the issues we had. 1 issue we had was 2 times in the buffet we were seated at a dirty table, several times in the buffet area no one ever came over to offer us water or take our drink orders. Towels at the pool where hard to come by, we often had to wait several hours to get one. This year we also had difficulty getting a chair by the pool, we had to get up every morning by 6am to go to the pool and save 3 chairs, by 7am they were all spoken for. Housekeeping was never consistent, some time they stopped by in the am and sometimes they came by to clean in the late afternoon. None of these issues will prevent us from going back, they were all pretty minor in our opinion. Staff at this hotel are amazing. They are so friendly and go out of their way to make your vacation amazing. Many of the staff remembered us from our stay last year, I couldn’t believe it since they see so many people daily. This hotel is the perfect fit for my family, it has enough going on to keep the adults happy and definitely enough going on to keep my 12 year old busy and happy. Some of the great things about this resort are: The staff, the cleanliness, the water park, the entertainment, the beach and the ability to use 2 resorts, the Royalton is next door and this is where the beach is located. The 1 thing that I love most about Memories is that it is not too large and not too small. Something else which is great is they have 3 ala cart restaurants on site and you do not need reservations and there is not limit as to how many times you can visit. The Royalton also has ala cart restaurants that you can eat at but you do need reservations and they charge a fee, its $15 per adult and $10 for kids. So for the price and the amenities offered this is our choice for hotels in Punta Cana.

Excursions- We bought 2 excursions this year while on vacation. The 1st one we did was Zip Lining. This was amazing. We had the opportunity to see so much of the beautiful country side and mountains. As we traveled to the mountains to do the Zip Lining we went through many small villages and had the opportunity to see how the locals live and see their way of life. We also did a day on Saona Island, this was my 2nd visit there and this place is truly beautiful. The catamaran on the ride to the island had some mechanical issues but it was not anything to complain about, we still made it there in 1 piece. The speed boat ride back was great and we stopped in the natural wadding pool out in the ocean to spend time with the star fish.

Travel Agent-I have known my travel agent Kristi(Ali) for more than 10 years both professionally and personally. She has been amazing to work with, she never seemed to get frustrated with all my many emails with questions and requests for price adjustments when I noticed a sale happening. I have referred several friends and family to Kristi because I know she will treat her clients like family and get them the best vacation for their money. Thank You Kristi!!

Raving Review on a Hawaiian Family Getaway

hawaii-turtleI just wanted to let you know you did a great job for us in Hawaii.  We had a blast!  Mike’s flights worked out great and the timing of our flights meshing with theirs couldn’t have been better.  Mike and his family had a great time at the Sheraton in Kona and Mike got a chance to go night diving.  He said it was the experience of a lifetime.  We had lots of fun with the grandkids on Kauai and Maui.  Brecken (age 5) snorkeled like a pro without any instruction.  We found the best coral we have ever seen anywhere and huge schools of beautiful fish when we snorkeled off the beach in front of the Westin Ocean Villas (beyond the black rock) on Kaanapali and would recommend it to anyone.  It was not at all crowded, unlike the black rock (Sheraton) and the surf was more gentle too.  Brecken and Mike also took surf lessons on Maui from Maui Surfer Girls and they were excellent.  Brecken had a private 2 hour lesson and after a little practice on land went out on her own board with the instructor on a separate board and got right up all by herself.  She loved it.  When she got tired, the instructor put her on a board with her and the instructor caught the wave and stayed down and let Brecken stand up and ride the wave in.  We have a picture of Brecken and Mike riding a wave side by side.


Our “R and R” time in Honolulu after we sent the kids back home went really well too.  The Hotel Renew was a perfect choice for us although I would give people a little more heads up on how to just double park out front on the street to check in since there is no real place to pull in.  The staff was very helpful and friendly, the room good and the location was perfect for us.  We ate at some “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives”  places around the island and actually spent most of our time away from Honolulu seeing some of the towns and beaches we haven’t been to before.  We ate at Nicos on Pier 38 just before boarding out flight back home.  A great ending for a great vacation.


Thanks for all your help with this adventure and we look forward to your help with the next one.

Client Review: Ocean Blue and Sand in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Thank you Kristi for finding us a perfect get away for our family.  Your patience with my indecisiveness was much appreciated.  I was so busy with work, family and activities that I really didn’t have time to plan our trip.  You listened to what we wanted and made it happen in a very short time frame,  The resort was perfect for our family.  It was everything we wanted…beach, pool, great food, entertainment, wonderful staff and sunshine.  We loved Punta Cana and can’t wait until we can go back!  Thank you for everything!

Client Review: Iberostar Paraiso Maya in the Riviera Maya, Mexico

It was great and we wouldn’t think twice about returning.

As a reminder, we were a group of 6 that ranged in age from 5 to 77.  Everyone was thrilled with the vacation.  Here is a quick summary:

  • We emailed in advance and were able to make room requests (ground floor) and secure dinner reservations for the first two nights prior to arriving (our room request was also honored)
  • The rooms are spacious and the beds are comfortable.  This is the only AI I have been to where the beds aren’t hard and generally miserable.
  • When we arrived we had fresh flowers in our rooms, a fruit tray, and (as returning guests) a bottle of tequila.  A few days in t-shirts we delivered to our room with the Iberostar brand and “We’re Back” imprinted on them.
  • We ate at the a la carte restaurants all seven nights.  When we arrived, the front desk concierge made our reservations for the five nights we weren’t able to make in advance.  Some or all of us dined at the Japanese, Steak House, Mexican, Seafood, Italian, French, and Gourmet restaurants. The French restaurant was the least favorite because of slow serve and too much air conditioning.  We ate at the seafood restaurant twice.  The first time the food tasted good but was served cold.  Only when prompted by the restaurant manager the next day did we mention this.  We didn’t complain.  The next time we were there he met us and bent over backwards to ensure we had great service and hot food.  In the morning we ate all of our breakfasts at La Marina.  The staff were great and brought me a piping hot cappuccino as soon as they saw me coming.
  • All the bartenders were great.  We enjoyed before and after dinner drinks and the bartenders quickly learned what we liked and mixed great drinks using premium brands (Bombay sapphire, Absolut, Remy Martin, Courvoisier, etc.).  Service around the pool and on the beach was great.  We brought insulated cups and never got attitude about filling them.
  • Housekeeping was fantastic.  They cleaned the rooms and refreshed towels twice a day.  This is the only AI I have ever been to where I don’t mind walking barefoot on the floor in my room.  There is never sand, grit or dirt.
  • We enjoyed the nightly shows and recommend them
  • Paige participated in Lucy’s Club (the kid’s program) on multiple occasions.  They seemed to be having so much fun that she asked to go.  She loved it!  One day she made tie-dyed t-shirts and one day dressed as a pirate and when on a treasure hunt.  At night Paige participated (and performed) in the 8:00 p.m. kids programs.
  • We never had trouble finding chairs by the pool or on the beach.  Also, while we had read that there was a lot of seaweed on the beach, that was not the case while we were there.
  • Dan and I got massages and enjoyed the spa services.  They are spendy … but a great way to relax on vacation.
  • I had read in advance that the hotel was pretty aggressive in marketing their new preferred guest program.  On our first day the main desk concierge tried to rope me in to the “presentation”.  She offered us a meal at The Grand and free massages.  I politely declined and made it clear that none of us wanted to spend 90 minutes of our vacation on the pitch.  That was the one and only time it was brought up.  No one else in our party was even approached.

We love this resort and hope to return soon.  This was the experience of all six in our party.  I will say that we tried to tip all staff generously.  However, I do not think this determined the level or quality of service we received.  There were others who tipped nothing and they appeared to be treated equally well.

The favorite thing about the trip was definitely the resort.  It is a 9 or 10 out of 10 in our book.

Thanks so much for your patience in helping us book this trip.  You are definitely my go to person.


Client Review: Honeymoon at Sandals La Toc, St Lucia

I am so happy that we worked with you to plan our honeymoon.  I have told everyone I know to talk with you if they need help planning a trip.  Thank you again.

The Sandals La Toc was beautiful.  We stayed in the room with the ocean view, I bet you still have it on file, and it came with one room-service breakfast and one bottle of champagne (for our honeymoon), one couples massage (for staying at least 6 nights), and one Piton sunset cruise (for staying at least 7 nights).

When we got off the plane and went through customs, we were put on a shuttle bus with AC that took us to the resort.  The driver was very knowledgeable and gave us a little history lesson about the island.  The people in the airport who shuttled our bags to the bus loading area requested a tip.  Everyone else at the resort (with the exception of the massage therapists) refused tips per the rules of the resort.  Even at the restaurants… you just order, eat, and leave.

When we got there, we gathered near the entrance and had a welcome champagne cocktail.  Orientation took about an hour.  Then we went to our room and got ready for dinner.  There are 9 restaurants there!

All of the food was good.  We did not eat at the French restaurant because my husband didn’t have closed toe shoes along so we were not allowed in (since we were not dressed according to their dress code).  The closed toe shoe requirement is not clearly posted either… we had dress clothes along, which we wore to most dinners, but because of his sandals we could not go to the French place.  Make sure you tell them that a man must have dress shoes in order for the couple to eat dinner there!!  It is ok for a lady to have sandals though!!

We also did not eat at the Japanese and sushi restaurants because my husband isn’t a fan of that kind of food.
The French place and the Japanese place are by reservation only.  They fill up fast, so make sure to get on the list right away!!

Our favorite was the Neptune.  It is right on the ocean, open to the breeze.  We ate there for lunch and dinner one day!

The Pizza place was great too, and if you sit at Neptunes you can have the pizza too since they basically share a kitchen.  The pizza place is only open for lunch.

Armondo’s was the Italian place, we ate there for dinner 2 nights.  It was also my favorite!!!!  It is up the hill on “Sunset Bluff”.  We found the most amazing little sitting area on the bluff, just down the steps from the Sunset Bluff pool.  No one was ever there!!

The Pavillion was the buffet, open for all 3 meals, and everything was good there.

The Cricketers Pub was a nice piece of home in the tropics… basically an English pub like Houlihans.

Finally, the Pitons was a Caribbean restaurant that served a lot of local-type food… it was amazing.  I had this seafood bouillon that had a small octopus in it!!  It was good.

Eat a lot at meals because there isn’t anything open between meals (except snacks at the gift shop)!!  A couple of days I actually got really hungry in between lunch and dinner.

We went to the no-tax gift shop and got some gifts and clothes, and we went to the “locals” gift shop to get some other gifts.  We went into the resort gift shop to get some cigars and some snacks.  It was so nice to get a drink, have a cigar, and sit by the fire at night.

Friday nights they have a street dance.  We were on the Sunset cruise, so we didn’t make the street dance.

Saturday nights are steak night.  We didn’t make it to that either, since we wanted to spend our last night there at Neptunes with the gentle ocean breeze.

I LOVED the swim up bar.  I had never seen anything like that before.

The pool is busy.  There is another pool up on the Sunset Bluff, but since we weren’t staying up there we didn’t feel like walking up to that pool.  It was fun to walk around on the beach too, and swim in the ocean.

There are a lot of things to do there.  We would have golfed, but it was too hot for us.  The couples massage was incredible.  There are “playmakers” who walk around and try to get people to play games, trivia, etc.  There are also resort photographers who try to take your picture all the time.

We took a kayak out around the bay, that was super fun but we got super burned!!  We had SPF 70 and we still burned.


The beaches are not privatized in St. Lucia.  The locals DO hang out on the beach and WILL try to sell you ANYTHING no matter how many times you might have said NO before.  I was even asleep on a chair and one came and woke me up to tell me he made us a little thing out of a palm leaf for $20.  To avoid being hassled any more, I just gave him the money and we went back up the steps to the resort…. and stayed there.

For the most part, everyone is extremely nice.  The resort staff keep close tabs on you- for example one day we were going to go walk to town and look around, but they would not let us do that. In order to look around town you had to buy a “shopping excursion” for around $150/person.  There are a lot of cool-looking excursions… we wanted to do a zip line and hike the Piton Mountains but didn’t get around to it.

When it was time to go home, we got on the shuttle bus and went back to the airport, and that driver was also very nice and knowledgeable.  I literally cried when we had to leave.  It was just so beautiful.  Like nothing I had ever seen before (granted the most tropical place I have ever been is Miami)….

We did not visit the Halcyon.  I do know it is a smaller resort with not as many things to do, but the one couple we talked to on the Sunset cruise were staying there and said it was “intimate and beautiful”.  You can take a shuttle to the other Sandals resorts and drink there, eat there, party there all day if you wanted.  You just can’t sleep there (since you aren’t checked in there)!!

I LOVE St Lucia.  I would go back right now if I could.  I have even looked up what it takes to work there, cost of living, etc.

Client Review: Honeymoon Adventures in the Land Down Under

The trip was fantastic.  Of the 4 places we went, I’d be pressed to pick a favorite because they were all such different experiences.  The location of all the hotels you found were perfect, we could just walk to do anything we wanted during our free time.  Each hotel had gotten your note that it was our honeymoon and had left out some wine or chocolates or both and a couple of them even gave us hand written congratulatory notes which was extremely touching.  The Hobbit tour driver Damion even had a printout of a very kind email you’d written to them and gave us a special memento to take back with us.  Chris from Quicksilver met us when we checked in, walked out to the boat with us, made us feel very welcome and mentioned your name and even gave us some drink tickets which was great!  All the tours went well, it often felt like they were really chaotic, but incredibly they all ended precisely as described.  The Sydney harbor bridge climb was amazing and its accessible to far more people than you’d think based on how they describe it.  To get a sample of the great barrier reef, both Tusa and Quicksilver are great options for a try scuba day trip.  If you have to pick, Cairns seems like a better place to stay than Port Douglas, there just seems to be more to do.  The service we encountered at all locations and tours was very welcoming and the amazing concierge in Auckland helped us find entertainment and a delicious Valentines Day dinner.

I’m really struggling to summarize the diving portion as Quicksilver and Tusa both really did a great job.  The staff at both outfitters were nice, competent, efficient, all good things.  I’m not sure which I’d recommend over the other as they were quite different.  Quicksilver was a longer day as they fetched us from our hotel (which was great), there were many times more people on that boat, but it was also bigger and faster so you were able to get to better places on the reef.  Quicksilver broke people out into groups of 4-6 and had a dive guide, Tusa gave you more autonomy unless you asked to have a guided tour.  The food on both was very good, though I did think Tusa’s was better.  I think we only paid for 2 dives on Tusa, but they gave us a 3rd for free which was really nice.

If I ever went there again, I would spend the money to do a live aboard and get better dive sites and a more intimate group of divers.  I would say for you, if someone asked about it I would find out how much diving they’ve done.  If it’s not much, then either of these outfits are perfect (or if they’re really set and cannot do more than 1 or 2 days).  If they’ve done a bit of diving (like more than 50 dives) then maybe steer them to a liveaboard.  Anyone can do either obviously, you’ll probably get a more experienced group doing a live aboard.  Or at least no college kids betting on who can hold their breath the best. haha

Overall it was definitely a success and we had a great time.  Thank you!!