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Now browsing: Hometown News > Travel > Patty Toppa

Patty Toppa
This Week | Archive

March 25, 2011
Are the cruise lines becoming more like the airlines? - Not completely sure yet, but it appears the cruise lines are promoting the bare bones of cruising, and everything else is a la carte, just like the airlines do. They market flights for one price, but by the time you are done, you have all these add-ons, each with a price - why not just give the cost up front? It is so frustrating for travel cons... Full Story

March 11, 2011
Royal wedding is a perfect reason to visit London - With all of the hoopla going on with the upcoming wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William, it is difficult not to feel the excitement even way over here across the pond. For little girls (as well as some of us big girls) it is a princess story that ranks right up there with the those of Cinderella, Snow White, Belle and Jasmine. If you want... Full Story

March 4, 2011
Thousands of tulips in bloom offer kaleidoscope of color - Every spring brings a breath of fresh air no matter where you live, but if you visit Holland during the spring time you get an added kaleidoscope of color from millions of tulips blooming in the fields. For miles and miles you can see one vibrant color after another. If you are fortunate enough to see it from the air, you can see the colorful ... Full Story

February 25, 2011
Step back in time with a tour of Europe's Christmas markets - Imagine experiencing the Christmas season without shopping malls and traffic jams. We all grew up on the tales of Christmas past and how people of the towns and villages got together to celebrate the season, not to buy cell phones and laptops! Traditionally, European Christmas Markets take place in December but today they start mid-November. The ... Full Story

February 18, 2011
Religious tours can be uplifting and spiritual - Whatever your faith there is no doubt you will find a faith-based cruise or tour very uplifting and rewarding. These tours are put together by some of the big tour companies as well as some not that are not so well known but have been in the tour industry for many years. Religious travel, though not new, is a growing segment of the travel industr... Full Story

February 11, 2011
Two tours to commemorate 150th anniversary of Civil War - Many of you who have followed my columns over the years know that I love the history and culture of places that I or my clients visit and look forward to hearing from them when they return. I also love helping them plan travel around the things they are interested in. For American History buffs - here are two to seriously consider. I was so exci... Full Story

February 4, 2011
Sailing alone can be enjoyable and affordable - For those folks who either enjoy traveling solo or have found themselves suddenly traveling as a single, the dreaded single-supplement can stop them in their tracks when trying to make a reservation. Just about all cruise lines (not to mention hotels, resorts and tour companies) base their pricing on double occupancy, so when one is traveling alo... Full Story

January 28, 2011
Big Red Boat employees cruise together again - If there were such a thing as professional cruisers, the folks planning a big trip this fall would definitely be deserving of that title. Former employees of the Big Red Boat line, which abruptly shut down in 2000, have been keeping in touch and getting together since then, but now will cruise together for the first time in 11 years. This is a gr... Full Story

January 21, 2011
For something special, try Food Network cruise - I am so excited that we finally have a sail date for the next Food Network Cruise! This year, Food Network Chef Anne Burrell, the spiky blond-haired, quirky star of "Secrets of a Restaurant Chef" and "Worst Cooks in America," will be aboard. The new Celebrity Silhouette will be the ship for the 11-Night transatlantic cruise that sets sail Oct. 22... Full Story

January 7, 2011
Western ski resorts offer great amenities and deep, powdered snow - I'm from the northeast where I could be on the slopes in less than an hour when the skiing bug hit. So, of course, I never skied anywhere else. But living in Florida now, I have broadened my thinking when it comes to choosing skiing destinations. Since I have to fly anyway, why not fly west to ski on the deep, powdered snow? I can also bring all ... Full Story

December 31, 2010
Sail the South Pacific with Cousteau - What exciting news! Jean-Michel Cousteau will be sailing aboard the Paul Gauguin on a few upcoming 10-night Society Islands and Tuamotus cruise. He will be aboard for three sailings: Jan 5, May 25, and June 29, 2011. Jean-Michel Cousteau is the son of the iconic oceanographer Jacques Cousteau and a well-respected environmentalist and filmmaker h... Full Story

December 24, 2010
Compensation varies for problems on cruises - Recently there have been troubles on a few cruise ships have left passengers frustrated and angry. The most recent - the Norwegian Sun sailing from Port Canaveral - had one of their engines fail three days into a seven-night cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. This caused the ship to cancel their stops in St. Thomas and St. Maarten. They were limpin... Full Story

December 17, 2010
A luxury safari can be the trip of a lifetime - Ever since I was a child I have dreamed about going on a safari. I believe the movie and TV show "Born Free," about Elsa the orphaned lion who was raised in captivity and then released into the wilds of Kenya, had a lot to do with my longings. The later film "Out of Africa" and its beautiful scenery only added to my desire to experience a safari.... Full Story

December 10, 2010
Allure of the Seas: a huge ship that manages to feel cozy - I just returned from Fort Lauderdale where I took a two-day, pre-inaugural sailing aboard the largest ship in the world the Royal Caribbean "Allure of the Seas." Invitees were mainly from the travel industry and press. There was not a lot of time to see everything, but we certainly did our best to experience as much as we could of the 225,282-ton... Full Story

December 3, 2010
First trip to Las Vegas a memorable one - For those who know me, it's a bit of a surprise that I had not yet visited Las Vegas. Many times I was slated to go, but for one reason or another I did not. I have been to Atlantic City and Lake Tahoe, as far as comparisons go, but this past week I was in Las Vegas for a conference and had a taste of what my clients' would experience. I would hav... Full Story

November 19, 2010
Family riverboat adventure on Blue Danube - European river cruising has catapulted to the forefront in the last few years, with river cruise operators adding more vessels to accommodate many guests with various tastes. Along with the new vessels, there are more land-tour operators adding river cruises to their repertoire of European vacations. This brings yet another group into the mix. Tr... Full Story

November 12, 2010
Luxury resort ranch stands out - Oh, the Montana sky..." I've always wanted to say that since I was really young and read some romance novel that used Montana as a backdrop. I have always had an inkling to visit Montana (Wyoming as well, but that must have been another book). I think I fell in love with the rustic feel of it. Over the years, when I saw anything pertaining to Mont... Full Story

November 5, 2010
A convenient vacation, part two - Editor's note: This is the second of a two-part series. If you missed part I, my convenient trip started from Melbourne Airport early on Saturday morning, arriving at the Baer Air facility and 30 minutes later we were in the air on our way to Marsh Harbour and the Abaco Beach Resort and Boat Harbor. We arrived in Marsh Harbour an hour and 20 minu... Full Story

October 29, 2010
The start of a convenient Bahamas vacation - Editor's note: This is the first part of a two-part series. In all my years in the travel business I have never had such a low-key travel experience as I did this weekend to the Abaco Beach Resort at Boat Harbor located on Great Abaco Island, the second-largest island in the Bahamas archipelago. The Abaco Islands are a cluster of 100 islands (m... Full Story

October 22, 2010
Shedding some light on your many cruise options - I have in my past columns highlighted a particular ship or cruise line. At a recent show for seniors and baby boomers, I found myself speaking with many on the differences in various cruise types, whether it is the difference in the cruise line or the general experience. I thought that maybe I can shed some light on what would make one more appea... Full Story

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