Thursday, December 19, 2013

Great Alaska Cruise Sailing From San Francisco!

ALASKA is one of the most beautiful settings to take a cruise and Princess takes it one step further by offering 11-night Alaska Inside Passage cruise round trip from San Francisco! Sail away from the city on the bay, under the Golden Gate Bridge for an unforgettable, memory making 11-night cruise. Check out the flyer. Fares for this incredible cruise start at $1,298 per person double occupancy (based on the May 23, 2014 sailing). Fare does not include $185 per person government taxes and fees; fares and fees subject to change until booked. Limited capacity so call now and receive up to $75 On Board Credit per stateroom.

Chip's Luxury Travel
phone: 877-805-3948 Chip's Luxury Travel or email
California Seller of Travel Registration Number: 2089491-50 Registration as a seller of travel in California does not constitute the states approval.
Florida Seller of Travel Reference Number: ST37113
Iowa Seller of Travel Number: 960
Washington Seller of Travel Number: UBI#602775122

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Tipping - When, Where, Who, How Much

Cruise vacations are very similar to All Includive Resorts except that they visit multiple locations. How much and when to tip can certainly be more confusing than college calculus. You do not want to appear to be cheap but then again you surely do not want to over-do it, especially when traveling on a budget. This is a quick guide to help you to not feel lost or uncertain in these vacation tipping situations.

Both the cruise crew and the All Inclusive staff work 10, 12, or more hours per day trying to make your vacation perfect. Thier pay is low and the hours are long but they depend on tips to improve their earnings and in many cases help to support their family. I recommend to show your appreciation for amazing service and excelent drinks in various situations. Let's look at the All Inclusive staff first.

Your waiter or waitress should be $1-$2 per person per meal. If you are feeling generous and the service was fabulous then show your appreciation with a couple more dollars. The recognition will be greatly appreciated and if you are seated with the same waiter or waitress again, most will go all out to try and better the last service for you. Considering what the same meal would have cost at a restaurant back home, it is still much less than the expected 15% many servers feel entitled to regardless of the quality of the service they provide.

If you enjoy your adult beverages, the bartender can be your best friend. For those quick cocktails here and there through the day, $1 to $2 is appropriate. Now if you are frequenting the same bartender who just rocks and sets you up just how you like your drinks, then by all means slip a $5 in once in a while. In comparison to the All Inclusive Resort, your bar tab back home would probably been $200+. A little appreciation for a pour well done can benefit you in later orders.

Housekeeping can have such an impact on your comfort in the room. Generically yes the room gets vacuumed and the bed gets made again; just the basics consider $2 per night. However, if you are lucky enough to have that Rock Star housekeeper who freshens the linens on the bed, provides fresh towels, freshens the mini-bar daily (as opposed to every other day or so) and even hangs up the clothes you left laying by the bed, consider $3 per night, more if staying at a high-end resort or if you have 4 or 5 in your room.

Room service is included at many All Inclusive resports so the delivery person will be happy with $2 to $3 per room.

SPA services are ussually not included at most resorts and is an add-on cost to you. This tip should be the standard 15% - 20%.

Airport or Tour drivers $2 to $3 per person is appropriate form most short to moderate distanced trips. If the drive is an hour or more amd the driver handles your luggage for you then use your judgement and tip as best as you can.

If you are having your wedding at the resort and using the event planning staff to coordinate your wedding for you, then tipping for the quality support and service level is at your discretion. It takes a lot of effort to make a wedding come together seamlessly. I am almost certain the event cooridinator would appreciate $50-$100 or a special gift (if you know a little aout their personality).

That is a lot of tipping information to digest. Now let's turn our attention to cruise vacations. A cruise is very similar to an ALl Inclusive resort except that the basic tips are automatically charged to the cabin account (unless you have chosen to prepay your gratuities). Still, there are situations to consider recognizing personal service with a tip.

The basic gratuities cover the cabin steward, dining room staff, and various other hotel staff members, kitchen staff and guest services. The auto-gratuities will run between $11.50 and $12 per day per guest depending on the cruise line. When you buy from the bars or specialty restaurants the tips are included as a service charge. When you cruise and consider how many crusie staff provide you with the various services this $12 per day is an incredible bargain.

Your cabin steward will freshen your cabin at least twice per day and replace both beach and bath towels as requested. Once you leave your cabin for breakfast or for activities the cabin will be freshened with the bed made, carpet vacuumed, and the bathroom cleaned and towels replaced if requested. In the evening when you are out for dining and evening activities, the bed will be turned down and in most cases a towel animal will be left for you. The cabin steward will accomodate your requests for extra blankets or pillows and handle any laundry requests for you. This is a lot of work and should be considered for an additional gratuity of between $2 and $5 per night depending on how many extras you request of him/her.

Room service, like at the resorts is included with your fare. The delivery person should receive $2 to $3 per room.

Adult beverages purchased at the ship's bars include a service fee (15% tip) in the price of the cocktail. If you are visiting the same bartender and they accomodate any special drink requests or gives you cocktail order extra attention; personal service above and beyond the expected, consider recognizing your regular bartender with $5 per day. It will usually pay dividends the next visit to the bar.

The dining room waiters have a lot of work each evening, providing dining for 2,500+ guests in a 3.5 hour span. When you think of that, not many, if any, land side restaurants can match that level of service. The head waiter does not much more than supervising the waiter and assistant waiter. Unless there is a special celebration or meal order that the head waiter personally handled there is not usually an extra tip. The waiter and assistant waiter are the drivers of a good dinner service. Is the wait team personable and accomodating to your requests? Are they great hosts and make dining fun? Do they cater to your children to ensure they enjoy diner also? If you feel they have provided the best dinner service you have seen the consider providing a cash tip to the waiter and assistant waiter on the last night of your cruise.

This group of crew members are very frequently over looked when talk of gratuities comes up. The are the counselors at the youth program who provide entertainment and care for your children while you are doing your cruise activities. There is no common thought as to the proper amount for a couselor tip but consider the patience and care needed to ensure that the particpants in the youth program enjoy their cruise. Afterall, if the kids enjoy the youth program, it gives mom and dad more time to enjoy the activities that appeal to them. How much is that worth? I can say that I have tipped my children's youth counselors $20 per child at the end of the cruise. With no common tip guidance for this position we are left to make a judgement call. My kids are easy to supervise and have no special attention required.

SPA services had add-on fees and tips sshould be the standard 15% to 20% as on shore.

The guide on a shore excursion should be considered for a tip. $2 for a half day excursion and $4 for a full day, more if the guide has spent some one-on-one time with you sharing more information about the tour or the area that others did not receive.

Have questions about All Inclusive or Cruise Vacations? Contact Chip at 877-805- 3948 or chipper@chipsluxurytravel.com

Chip Quass is a Cruise and All Inclusive Vacation Specialist and founder of Chip's Luxury Travel www.chipsluxurytravel.com

Photo credit:

Friday, December 6, 2013

Norwegian Cruise Line Fans - Limited Mexican Riviera Cruises in 2014

The Norwegian Star will be cruising limited 7-night Mexican Riviera cruises in 2014. Are you a NCL fan or have always wanted to try NCL? The 7-night itinerary sails roundtrip from Los Angeles to Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta from $529 cruise-only fare per person double occupancy. Does not include gov't taxes and fees of $95 per person, gratuities, on board purchases or shore excursion. Fare based on December 7, 2014 sail date.

Mexico Riviera Fall 2014 Cruise Deals

Who would you like to cruise with? Great holiday gift idea, a 10-night Mexican Riviera cruise from either San Francisco or Los Angeles. The gift of vacation memories to last a lifetime.

The beautiful Star Princess sailing 10-nights from San Francisco to Cabo San Lucas, La Paz, Loreto, and Puerto Vallarta from $999 cruise fare only per person double occupancy PLUS an $85 per cabin on-board credit. Does not include gov't taxes and fees of $120 per person, gratuities, on board purchases or shore excursion. Fare based on January 3, 2015 sail date, flyer

Just as beautiful is the Grand Princess sailing 10-nights from Los Angeles to San Diego, Cabo San Lucas, La Paz, Loreto, and Puerto Vallarta from $1,099 cruise fare only per person double occupancy PLUS an $60 per cabin on-board credit. Does not include gov't taxes and fees of $115 per person, gratuities, on board purchases or shore excursion. Fare based on October 14, 2014 sail date.

Cabo and Puerto Vallarta are standards for Mexican Riviera cruises but La Paz and Loreto are unique, smaller old school fishing communities. Great itinerary for something new on the West Coast.

Not able to get away for 10 days, the beautiful Crown Princess sails a 7-night itinerary from Los Angeles to Ensenada, Cabo an Lucas, and Puerto Vallarta from $649 cruise fare only per person double occupancy PLUS an $50 per cabin on-board credit. Does not include gov't taxes and fees of $85 per person, gratuities, on board purchases or shore excursion. Fare based on November 15, 2014 sail date.

Fares are subject to change until booked and space is limited. California Seller of Travel Registration Number: 2089491-50 Registration as a seller of travel in California does not constitute the states approval.
Florida Seller of Travel Reference Number: ST37113
Iowa Seller of Travel Number: 960
Washington Seller of Travel Number: UBI#602775122

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Carnival Inspiration Review

To be totally honest, I did not always have a good image of what a 3-night weekend getaway cruise would be like. I had visions of fall-down drunk post-college aged couples stumbling around the ship spouting four-letter words endlessly. Not quite the cruise getaway I pictured to bring my wife and kids but, the cruise pricing for the 3-night cruises are very good and hard to pass up. So I decided to grit the teeth and sail away to Baja Mexico on the Carnival Inspiration. More

Friday, November 22, 2013

Resolve To Save for Vacation 2015

Do you have a travel savings plan? A special account, a cookie jar or maybe the 5 gallon water jug to stash loose change; you know some place to save money for your vacation plans. Well, 2014 is lurking around the corner so it may be a good resolution to start putting money away for your 2015 vacation. How nice do you think that would be to pay for a memorable vacation and not have to run up your credit cards?

One good place to start is with your pay check. What if you could put $25, $50 or maybe $75 dollars from each pay check into a savings account? If you get paid every two week and are able to put away $75 of each paycheck, in one year you will have built up $1,950 in your travel account. Certainly not enough to cover the dream, one-in-a-lifetime vacation but it is a very good start.

How about those frequent visits to the specialty coffee shop for the extra-mocha-frappe-espresso-cappuccino concoction that you "need" to kick start the day? Each time you choose to skip your specialty coffee fix, put another $5 to the side. Every little bit adds to the pot. In one year of skipping one special coffee shop visit per week you can have another $260 to add to your fund. (now the account is up to $2,210)

Do you and your significant other go out to dinner, or even drive-thru for dinner more than once per week? This is another opportunity to choose to cut one dinner away from home out of the expenses and stash what you would have spent into a vacation fund. Even skipping one drive-thru dinner each week for a year a couple can save at least $12 per visit or $624 each year. (now the account can reach $2,834).

What do you do with your loose change every night when you come home? Dumping that change into a vacation jar over the course of a year can add up to another$150 to $200. Choosing to make some changes to how we spend in our everyday lives provides an opportunity to save money for the things that we view as important to us. In this example, at the end of 2014 we will have a vacation savings of approximately $3,000. That is a great start and enough to make a deposit on you 2015 vacation. Being unlikely that your 2015 vacation will occur in the early months of the year, you then have several month to continue saving for the vacation you have earned. Best yet, is that you will have much less of the vacation cost to have to float on a credit card. Where will your vacation savings take you to?

There are certainly so many different ways to save for vacations and other important things in our lives. You work hard all year. Don't you think you deserve the most memorable vacation? It is never too early to start planning ahead for vacation 2015. Travel safe.

A Couples Cruise and Family Cruise in One?

This does sound rather odd at first glance but it really can happen. My wife and I have taken our two children on three cruises so far with a forth cruise coming in November and this is how we experienced the best of both cruise worlds. This is one of my best reasons why I believe that cruise vacations are the best family vacation values possible.

Having sailed without children several times this was a new chapter in cruising for us. We knew all the activity and dining options that we enjoy but now, bringing along the kids ages 8 and 10, what were we getting in to? Questions swirled endlessly around in our heads. Will the kids like the food? Will they be bored? What if they don't like the food? What if they hate the youth program? Will we be so worried about their enjoyment that we ruin ours? In the ten months leading up to the cruise embarkation the nervous excitement was building. We really needed the cruise from all the exhausting worries.

Embarkation day finally arrives and we were fortunate to arrive at the pier before long lines had developed and boarded our ship right about noon time. Perfect time to wander up to the Lido deck and check out the buffet for the first time. PIZZA! Thank goodness right off the bat at least one food that the kids definitely will eat. OMG. There's pasta, salad and a deli station also! Great. There are now so many options the kids take forever to decide what they want to eat. Eventually we settle in at a table near the pool to enjoy the first of many meals on this 8-day cruise.

One thirty rolled about and the announcement that the cabins were ready for guests. Let's go check it out and drop the carry-on bags. I have to admit that I am a balcony snob. Once I had sailed the first cruise with a balcony cabin, there was no turning back to insides or ocean views. Through the doors, drop the carry-ons and straight to the balcony. I love watching the harbor activity. Inside however, dilemma number one. Which kid will sleep in the upper berth? A quick coin toss and an agreement that they will alternate nights in the upper and problem solved. On to unpacking which was uneventful. My son and I completely unpacked in less than one minute while my wife and daughter took nearly 30 minutes.

We head off to explore the ship and an uneventful muster drill before sail away. Sadly, there was no live band but the DJ kept the beat nice and lively with a tropical vibe. A couple sodas with little umbrellas in them for the kids, a special sail-away cocktail for my wife and an ice cold beer for me and the clock just hit vacation time. It is so cool watching the ship pull away from the pier and cut it's way through the smooth harbor water, dwarfing the sail boats and private fishing boats. Off into the sunset.

Just about six o'clock we head off to the main dining room for the first real test of the children's liking of finer dining compared to happy meals. My daughter stuck to the children's menu which had chicken strips and French fries but I was pleasantly surprised that my son wanted a steak from the adult menu. Of course they ate enough that they were too full to consider any desert although they had already found the self-serve ice cream machines on deck so I am sure they were not overly concerned with missing desert at the dining room. Our fears about menu choices and the kids finding food that they would eat has vanished.

The next challenge came up shortly after dinner as the orientation mixer for the youth program was scheduled for eight o'clock sharp. We were not so concerned about our 8 year old. She is a social butterfly who makes BFF friends immediately and sure enough, as soon as we walked into the club she was off to the dance floor to dance with the other kids. My son on the other hand is a reserved analytical kid; content to hang off to the sides to check out everyone and everything before joining in. The counselors had several ice breakers centered around dance or music and games and they did a great job engaging all the kids. After five minutes of 'hanging out' my son began tapping his toes to the tunes. At the ten minute mark the shoulders and hips had engaged and by the 15 minute mark he was out on the floor with the other kids. This was the point where the family cruise became the best of both worlds. The kids were loving the youth program.

The mixer only lasted about 90 minutes so as a family we went to the late show in the theater (after some ice cream of course) and had a relaxing evening. When we returned to the cabin, the next day's activity guide was waiting for us. A little competition to get to the activity guide but the warning of receiving a restriction settled them down. Taking a lot of time to carefully plan out their next day's activities, the kids were filling their schedules up so much we were balancing on that double edged sword: we will barely see them tomorrow and WE WILL BARELY SEE THEM TOMORROW! The gentle motion of the ship led each one of us to a deep sleep very quickly.

Well, my son and I are earlier risers and more quickly get ready in the morning so we quietly showered and dressed then made our way up to the Lido deck for breakfast. My son loved that there were pancakes and syrup and biscuits and pastries and....he loaded his plate. I love fresh-made omelets and had one loaded with all the side ingredients then found my son and we took a table out on deck to enjoy the early morning light breeze and fresh air. Breakfast on the open deck is my favorite way to start the day. About an hour later my wife and daughter joined us and both too found plenty of tasty breakfast items to choose from. Once we all had finished breakfast, it was near time for the youth program to begin and we brought the kids to the activity room and signed them in. We equipped my son with a walkie-talkie so that he could call for us if either he or our daughter wanted to leave the youth program before the lunch break.

Now it is just the two of us on a vacation for the first time since before the kids arrived. We casually strolled back toward the Lido deck for some more coffee and took a comfortable seat to go over our plans for the first port call, anxiously waiting to hear the squawking of the walkie-talkie asking that we rescue one or both from the youth club. Over the course of the whole cruise, neither child once asked to be taken out of the youth program. Either my wife or I returned as scheduled to pick them up a lunch and dinner breaks and at the end of the evening programs. The kids had a very good cruise which made for a very good cruise for mom and dad also.

So you see, a family cruise on a ship with a solid youth program enables the parents to get two cruises in one. Enough time for just mom and dad alone-time and enough family time with meals, shows and shore visits that each one of us had a very memorable cruise vacation. Both of our kids are on track to be Platinum level return cruisers by the time they reach age 18. Very cool (wish my parents had taken me on more cruises). Bon Voyage!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Great Princess Fares for Mexico Riviera!

Great time to book Princess for the Mexican Riviera 7-nights from Los Angeles this winter. Cruise only fares starting at $599 ( Gov't fees and taxes additional, fares subject to change by Princess Cruise lines at anytime without notice). Check out the FLYER. Don't let these excellent fares for Princess pass you by! 877-805-3948 chipper@chipsluxurytravel.com

Friday, October 4, 2013

Great Celebrity Offer

If you had ever dreamed of a South Pacific or Australia cruise Celebrity has a new promotion that is too good to pass up. Second passenger sails for half off on select cruises. Check out the FLYER with the dates. Book now before the sale expires! 877.805.3948

Monday, September 30, 2013

Getaway Trips

Ladies, have you ever felt that urge to just take a timeout from your daily grind? You know, just to get away for a couple days to refresh and rejuvenate. We all get that feeling from time to time. Round up a couple of the girlfriends or the Bunco group and just escape for a weekend cruise.


Guys, certainly you need a getaway from time to time. Take a break from your daily demands and take off with your pals for a weekend blowout cruise. The cruise staff does the cooking and cabin cleaning so all you need to do is have fun. Why not? The girls have girls night out or getaway weekends right? Why not the guys too.

How about you engaged couples out there? Are you concerned about the bachelor or bachelorette party that will be coming up? Who will drive and who will make sure no one drives impaired are serious considerations today. These 3-night weekend cruises are perfect for memorable bachelor/bachelorette parties. Nobody has to worry about driving home. Party hearty until the early morning and sleep in the next morning then start all over again. Much more cost effective than a Vegas weekend.

Several cruise lines offer 3-night weekend cruises that sail away Friday afternoon and return Monday morning. A weekend free from cooking, cleaning, and picking up after everyone else. You and your gal pals enjoying 3 nights of fine dining and scores of entertainment choices. Have a Spa day at sea and unwind. Or, live it up and party at one of the many lounges until the wee hours of the morning. Why not? You don't have to get up in the morning to make breakfast or school lunches. This is YOU TIME!

Think about your getaway weekend cruise opportunity and check with Chip's Luxury Travel 877.805.3948 or chipper@chipsluxurytravel.com to book your getaway cruise.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

If your were thinking of a Carnival cruise in 2014, right now is a great time to book those March through December 2014 cruises. Don't let this deal pass by. Call Chip at 877-805.3948 or email to chipper@chipsluxurytravel.com

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Newset Princess Cruises Sale starts Aug 28, 2013

Get ready! Princess cruises kicks off the Endless Summer sales event on Wednesday August 28th through September 16, 2013. On select itineraries get up to $1,000 of and up to $100 on board credit (OBC). If you have been considering a cruise vacation, take a look at what Princess has to offer where you can escape completely. Call us at 877-805-3498 or email at chipper@chipsluxurytravel.com

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Why Cruise Vacations

You have probably crossed paths at one time or another with them. Someone who works in your office or attends the PTA meetings or maybe even the team mom for your child's sport team. They are the one raving about such a wonderful vacation they have just returned from. The ports they have visited, the fine dining and the entertainment. What is it that these people know that maybe you are missing? Why Cruise Vacations?

Surely it cannot be much fun cramped on a boat with 3,000 other passengers. How could it be enjoyable waiting in line over and over just to get cafeteria food? Certainly it is not pleasant rocking endlessly with no land in sight! How could that be something that you would want to pay for?

Well. Are you sitting down? What many people do not know about cruising or the misconceptions they have about cruise vacations are keeping them from having one of the most enjoyable and memorable vacations of their life. Whether it is a romantic get-away for two or a full-blown family event, cruise vacations have something for everyone. So, follow along here and see what you may have been missing.

Right out of the gate, the price of a cruise vacation include most everything on the ship. It is a floating all-inclusive resort. You get a comfortable cabin and only have to unpack one time for the length of the cruise. You get a very good variety of entertainment for all ages and likes. You receive exceptional service from the cruise staff. The cruise includes transportation to any number of ports along the itinerary. Best yet, you get food, nearly 24 hours a day. In the main dining room, the buffet, pool-side, and room service. Opportunities to stuff your face are all around you.

Now I won't kid you. There are some things the cruise fare does not cover. It does not cover soda or alcoholic beverages. It does not cover dining in one of the "specialty" restaurants. It does not cover the gratuities or the shore excursions. These extras are entirely optional although, it really would not be a classy thing to skip out on the gratuities. The cruise staff does work long hours to help make your vacation great.

That's the big item, the cost of the cruise, but when you compare to a land-based vacation with resort lodging and service you can easily see how good a deal a cruise vacation is. What other reasons are cruise vacations best?

The destination options are nearly endless. There are so many itineraries to choose from that you would have a difficult time repeating a cruise to the point where it would become less exciting. Cruise lines sail to the Caribbean, Mexico, Alaska, Mediterranean, South Pacific, the Baltics, Europe, Australia, Hawaii, and Asia. The larger problem once you take your first cruise is where you will take your next cruise. Believe me, your are very likely to become hooked on cruising.

Another reason a cruise vacation is a great choice is the romance. Honeymooners, couples celebrating a 50th anniversary, or young couples getting away alone together for the first time in years once the kids have grown. Reconnecting the romance. It is just the two of you (if you want) and an opportunity to fall in love all over again. Remember the reasons you got together in the first place. On board there are couple's massages, on shore you can arrange a secluded beach excursion or just fun bar hopping if that's your thing.

Relaxation is another of the big draws to cruise vacations. You have no idea how to relax until about the second day of your first cruise. There comes a moment when you can feel all the weigh of your daily grind fall away and you start getting into your "cruise groove". No worries. To facilitate the relaxation, cruise staff is always nearby to pamper you. Don't be afraid to say 'yes' to their offer to help you get a fresh towel or to refresh your cocktail or whatever. Go with it.

Imagine going out to dinner each night to one of the best restaurants in your city. It would be easy to get spoiled with the thought of not having to make dinner each night and to top that off be served fine cuisine. Fine dining with gourmet selections on the menu and that is just for dinner. The main dining room is also open for breakfast and for lunch (on sea days). Gourmet breakfast, lunch, and dinner already paid for in the cruise fare. The ship also has a buffet court which is open from breakfast through dinner for many other choices when you want. This is in addition to the pool-side grill or 24-hour pizzeria that many ships also have available for their passengers. If you did not watch yourself, you can see how it may be very easy to add a few extra pounds on your vacation.

Each evening the ship's cruise staff will leave a daily activity newsletter in your cabin detailing all the activities that are planned for the following day. There are more activities than you can possibly participate in such as the cruise staple Bingo, or trivia games, art shows, cooking demonstrations, presentations regarding the next port, the pool, the spa, the casino, Karaoke, lounges etc. etc. etc. Pace yourself.

You are traveling on vacation with people that you may never, NEVER see again. This is a great opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Heck, try lots of things that you would normally not even consider back at home. Channel that Karaoke singing hiding deep down inside and give it a try. You know you have secretly dreamt about belting out "Sweet Caroline". Go for it!. Another opportunity for extending your comfort zone is the chance to try food that you would never try at your local restaurant. Try Escargot. Come on, you will be able to boast to friends of being so sophisticated to have ordered the classic French dish in a fine dining restaurant. There are so many choices and each one an opportunity to try something you would not have the chance to try if you were not on a cruise vacation.

The bottom line about cruise vacations is that there truly is something for everyone. Cruise vacations have the highest level of traveler satisfaction than any other vacation type. So much fun and adventure in one package that after your first cruise, you will likely find yourself to be hooked on cruising.

Cruises are possibly the best travel bargain possible with nearly everything included in one fare. A comparable land vacation staying in a resort can cost significantly more. Go ahead and start thinking about where you would like to cruise and feel free to consult with a cruise specialist travel agent. The professional travel agent can help you find the best cruise for your interests and budget. Bon Voyage.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Princess Cruises from Houston - Not Galveston

Did we mention that Princess Cruises sails out of Houston now, not Galveston! There is a reason their catch phrase is "Escape Completely" with their attention to detail and the exceptional service from all levels of staff and crew. Check these rates out on the Caribbean Princess:

  • December 7, 2013 7-night RT to Cozumel, Roatan and Belize from $574 per person based on double occupancy (cabin cat IF), with $25 OBC per cabin!
  • December 21, 2013 7-night Christmas cruise RT to Cozumel, Roatan and Belize from $824 per person based on double occupancy (cabin cat IF)m with $50 OBC per cabin!

Limited availability, fares are cruise only and subject to change at any time until booked. BOOK NOW with Chip's Luxury Travel. Call for details 877-8005-3948 or email Chip

Deals Too Good to be True?

Check this out: Vacation Hell. It is best to work with a professional travel agent with whom you can develop a solid relationship.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Best Bachelorette or Bachelor Party - EVER

This bachelor/bachelorette party certainly applies primarily to the Florida and the Southern California areas but it is one very cool celebration of the last days of single-hood. Gather your group and set off for a 3-night weekend cruise to the Bahamas or to Ensenada, Mexico. Three days without cooking, cleaning, or driving home from the bar. A time to really let loose one last time before the knot is tied.

This got me thinking, I wish I knew back then, what I know now! I would have jumped on a 3-day weekender bachelor party cruise in a heartbeat. Take off Friday and Monday from work, head off to the cruise terminal around noon and head up to the pool deck to begin the fun. I could party until the early hours of the morning than crash at the cabin for a few hours of shut-eye before heading back up to the pool deck to start all over again. My pals and I could have had an incredible time.

If you have enough people in your group, talk to a cruise travel agent and see if you can qualify for a group cruise. There may be some on board spending for you or other comps. What a great time this could be!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Hot Deal Out of Long Beach Ca

With the Carnival Fall and Winter special through August 30, sail the Carnival Inspiration 4 nights from Long Beach December 9, 2013 from $259 per person double occupancy! Does not include taxes and fees of $48.67 per person. Other cabins available. Pricing subject to change until booked so call now. Chip's Luxury Travel 877-805-3948 or email chipper@chipsluxurytravel.com Hurry while cabins are still available.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Going Places August/September Newsletter is Released

The newsletter is now released for August/September. Check it out at Going Places for helpful travel tips.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Shore Excursions

Check this site out for purchasing many of the same shore excursions as offered by the cruise lines for a better price and a smaller group. Stop paying too much for your shore tours. Shore Excursions by Port Promotions.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Depressing Thought

Ask.com says that the average person spends about 182 hours per year in the bathroom. This is over 7 days! This is more time than many people get to spend on a vacation. So SAD!

ROMANTIC DANUBE RIVER CRUISE

What an incredible way to see Europe in style! Cruising from Nuremburg to Budapest on the Danube River visiting the beautiful cities of Kelheim, Regensburg, Passau, Melk, Vienna and Budapest. This river cruise includes six guided tours, meals on board the ship, and beer, wine or soda with lunches and dinners. What a memory making vacation.

Limited space currently available for the July, 19, 2014 8-day cruise for $8,701 per couple (dbl occ) including RT air from LAX and transfers to/from the ship. This rate also includes the taxes and fees of $112 per person. These European River Cruises speak English on board the ship and the guided tours are provided by English speaking escorts. This offer is a limited time - call now to book. Chip's Luxury Travel 877-805-3948 or email at chipper@chipsluxurytravel.com

Friday, July 26, 2013

DISNEY AULANI Resort Deal

LIMITED OFFER book now for kids stay free and $100 resort credit. Travel through 12/13/13 black out dates apply. Up to two kids age 17 or less stay free in same room with parents and get a $100 resort credit.

Depart LAX October 7, 2013 Two adults, two children 17 or under, 5 nights at Disney Aulani Resort from $3,982.72 includes flight and taxes of $156.66. Other departure cities available, call to check on pricing. Rates are for a limited time and are subject to change until booked. Don't wait - call now 877-805-3948 or email for a quote to chipper@chipsluxurytravel.com

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Celebrity and Carnival Specials

LIMITED TIME OFFER - BOOK NOW!

15-Night Celebrity Hawaii Cruise RT from San Diego Oct 22, 2013

  • Ocean view cabin from $1,799 pp dbl occ
  • up to $100 on board credit
  • Exclusive shore event

12-Night Immersive Wine Cruise RT from Harwich, England Sep 6, 2013

  • Ocean view cabin from $1,049 pp dbl occ
  • Up to $100 on board credit
  • Exclusive shore event

7-Night Carnival Pride Bahamas RT from Baltimore September 15, 2013

  • Interior from $419 pp dbl occ PAST GUEST FROM $379 pp dbl occ
  • Ocean view from $429 pp dbl occ PAST GUEST FROM $429 with upgrade
  • Balcony from $$549 pp dbl occ PAST GUEST FROM $549 with upgrade
  • Fare does not include taxes of $101.81 pp

All pricing is cruise only not including taxes and fees, all cabin fares subject to change until booked. Contact Chip's Luxury Travel toll free at 877-805-3948 or by email at chipper@chipsluxurytravel.com

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Princess 3&4-night cruise deals

SPACE IS LIMITED SO BOOK NOW!

3-night west coast getaway RT from Los Angeles from $229 pp dbl occupancy. (Oct 7, 2013 sailing, does not include taxes of $48.82 pp)

4-night western Caribbean getaway RT from Ft Lauderdale from $349 pp dbl occupancy. (Dec 14, 2013 sailing, does not include taxes of $70.00 pp)

4-night eastern Caribbean getaway RT from Ft Lauderdale from $349 pp dbl occupancy. (Dec 18, 2013 sailing, does not include taxes of $75.00 pp)

BEST DEAL 7-night western Caribbean RT from Houston from $499 pp dbl occupancy. (Nov 16, 2013 sailing, does not include taxes of $75.00 pp)

To book call Chip's Luxury Travel at 877-805-3948 or email at chipper@chipsluxurytravel.com Other sailings available, call for pricing. NOTE: pricing subject to change until booked.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Chip's Luxury Travel Cruise Referral Program

Receive up to a $50 VISA gift card when you refer a friend who books a cruise with Chip's Luxury Travel

How To Claim Referral Credit: To receive this promotion, you must have your friend provide your name as the referer and you also must notify chipper@chipsluxurytravel.com by email the name of the friend(s) you have referred. The VISA gift card will be sent by U.S. mail to U.S. addresses only within four weeks after the completion of the cruise

RESTRICTIONS: Promotion is not applicable to group bookings and is only available to U.S. residents. Only one VISA gift card will be issued per cabin. The VISA gift card is mailed within four weeks after the completion of the cruise.

Receive a $15 VISA gift card for referrals on cruises of 3 to 6 days length, a $25 VISA gift card for referrals on cruises of 7 to 15 days length and a $50 VISA gift card for referrals on cruises of 16 days or greater. Referred cruise must be booked with Chip's Luxury Travel

This is a limited offer and is subject to change or cancellation at any time, check with Chip's Luxury Travel before booking that your cruise line is eligible for this promotion. Referrals are not eligible for the promotion unless booked with Chip's Luxury Travel. The person making the referral cannot room in the same cabin as the person that has been referred.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Why Travel Insurance?

Many cruisers think of travel insurance as a protection against missing their cruise but this is just a small part of why we should seriously consider a good travel insurance policy before we embark on a cruise vacation. Do you know that Medicare and most US Medical insurances do not cover you outside of the United States? When you need medical care abroad, in most cases, you will need to pay first before you will be treated. Look at what the U.S. State Department says in the Passport portal:

"Obtaining medical treatment and hospital care abroad can be expensive, and medical evacuation to the U.S. can cost more than $50,000. Note that U.S. medical insurance is generally not accepted outside the United States, nor do the Social Security Medicare and Medicaid programs provide coverage for hospital or medical costs outside the United States."

"If your insurance policy does not cover you abroad, it is a good idea to consider purchasing a short-term policy that does. There are health insurance policies designed specifically to cover travel. Many travel agents and private companies offer insurance plans that will cover health care expenses incurred overseas including emergency services such as medical evacuations."

Considering this, losing the cost of your cruise because of a missed flight is small by comparison.

Check out what else the U.S. State Department says at Medical Coverage Abroad

Now before you jump in and just go along with your cruise line's "trip protection", you need to realize that all insurance policies are not created equal. Take your time to understand the exclusions and limitations. Most cruise line policies do not "protect" your trip if your flight is so delayed that you miss your cruise. By doing a little research into coverage available, frequently you can get more comprehensive coverage from a private agency than you can get from the cruise line and PAY LESS FOR IT! Some insurance plans such as TravelSafe provide "cancel for any reason" coverage and plans that waive pre-existing conditions. So do your homework. Why not start here with Travel Safe. Regardless of who you choose to protect your vacation travels, please consider travel insurance.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Fox News - 8 Money Saving Cruise Tips

Fox News has posted 8 good tips for savings on a cruise vacation. Seasoned cruisers surely knkow most of these but for new and first time cruisers, these are very good tips to keep in mind when planning a cruise vacation. check out the article at 8 Savings Tips

Monday, April 15, 2013

Trying Out Luxevo Travel Club

I love good deals and I also love to travel so naturally the Luxevo Club looks very attractive to me. So, after reading through the material, and then again, and once more etc, I signed up not only to be a Luxevo Club Member, but to also sell the program. The monthly membership is only $19.95 per month with no contract or minimum commitment. Why not?

One of the perks of the Luxevo Club is the Advantage Benefits program which provides a variety of discounts every day whether at home or travelling. So my first test of the system will be to see what savings the Advantage Benefits can provide me. I figure if I save at least $20 then the membership pays for itself.

Feel free to follow along as I "test drive" the Luxevo Club program. I will add on to this post as I use the features of this cool looking program. Stay tuned.

15-Apr-2013, was looking ahead to next weekend and planning to go see the new movie 42. So I checked the Advantage Benefit section and bought a 4 pack of tickets from a major theater chain for $8.40 per ticket. The regular price for non IMAX or 3-D movies is now $11.50. I paid $33.60 for tickets valued at $46. I saved $12.40 right there and I am only into day one. $7.55 to go just to break even with my monthly membership fee. I may go to the movies now more six times per year.

19-Apr-2013, So my kids just called to remind me that it's Friday and PIZZA NIGHT! Friday night is usually the only night of the week that noone has sports or practice or meeting so every other Friday we do pizza night. My Luxevo Club Advantage benefits currently have a 25% off deal on a national chain ordered online. Happens to be one of the two shops where we all like the pizza. I went online and made our usual order except this time used the special code Luxevo provided (sorry, cannot share the code). My usual $19.25 order for two mediums was now $14.44. Another $4.81 savings bringing my month to date benefit savings up to $17.21; my total monthly membership fee is only $19.95. I know at least in two weeks, on our next pizza night will push me past my monthly fee. I am liking this.

26-Apr-2013, I didn't last the two weeks until pizza night again. My wife and daughter were away this weekend which left my son and me to fend for ourselves. So on Friday night I hit up the pizza place again and saved another $3.11. The savings for the month to date now have reached $20.32 and there are two weeks left in the month. So, at least for this first month, membership in the travel program has effectively not cost me anything. Not so bad.

Since I already reached my monthly fee in savings I will start this new month from May 1. Just a little easier to track. With Cinco de Mayo last weekend there was no Friday Pizza night as we just hung out and BBQ all weekend long. We did get back on track with our usual bi-weekly pizza night tonight and saved $4.81 again off the pizza price. We probably won'r be using the offer but I got in email this morning a 40% off deal for a regionally local major theme park's water park. I have no idea what those big waterpark admissions are but if it is like the Theme Parks themselves I can imagine this offer would have been quite a nice savings.

Where has the month gone! Well, the nice guy that I am had to buy some flowers for Mother's Day and there were some good online specials going but I used my Luxevo Club Advantage benefits program and got 5% more than the other online deals. Overall I got 25% off my order but 20 percent of that was an online special open to everyone so not fair to count any more then the extra 5% or $4.00. Also I had two pizza Friday nights with my usual order with a $4.81 savings each bringing May up to $13.62 the program has saved me.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Celebrity Lovers

Keep an eye out next week for a new two day sale coming out. I have heard there will be some nice perks.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Thinking About Disney World Before or After Your Cruise?

You are sailing out of Florida for your cruise vacation and want to take a few days pre or post cruise to do the Disney World visit. Check this out before you start making the Disney arrangements: Ex-Disney employee reveals insider secrets. See how easily you can have a Disney World vacation for a fraction of what others pay. This is more than just how to save on those $8 hamburgers. More Info!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Senior Cruise Vacations

In many regions of the world senior citizens are viewed as persons with great limitations. While it is true that health issues may plague some senior citizens, most individuals are healthy, happy and very mobile. In fact, many seniors consider these golden years to be the prime of their lives. Cruise vacations have been so widely marketed toward families that one of the first images one may picture is a deck party with loud DJ music. There certainly is that element on most cruise lines but there is plenty of entertainment and excitement on board that seniors may find appealing....MORE

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Honeymoon Cruising

Every year, thousands of couples make the decision to get married. If you are planning on becoming one of those individuals, then it is likely that you and your new spouse will plan a honeymoon. When it comes to selecting a honeymoon destination, you have a number of options to choose. MORE