Fox World Travel Hosts Travel Show with Worldwide CEO of Insight Vacations, John Boulding

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Fox World Travel welcomed John Boulding, Worldwide CEO of Insight Vacations, as their special presenter for their Insight Vacations Travel Show. Boulding shared a rich travel history, deep insight on premium and luxury escorted tours along with an entertaining peek into the next travel hot spots.

european-treasures-main-smFox World Travel understands that their clients want to experience more than just the conventional tourist sites and that’s why they recommend Insight Vacations. Insight includes authentic understanding of every destination. Tour Directors know their destinations and they use that expertise to create tailor-made experiences.  Limited spots still available on the May 2015 European Treasures Guided Vacation.

At this presentation, attendees had the chance to meet top Insight Vacations representatives and discuss vacation options with Fox World Travel’s local travel consultants. Plus, learn about Fox World Travel’s exclusive Select Group Vacations, featuring added amenities and special values that can’t be found anywhere else. For more information on the guided vacations discussed at this travel show click here.

Get the most up-to-date details on future Fox World Travel Shows click here.

A Review on the Litchfield, AZ Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium, and Safari Park

Amy, of Fox World Travel, recently went on a trip to Phoenix, AZ accompanied by her son.  During their vacation, once of their favorite excursions was Litchfield Park’s Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium and Safari Park.  Hear all about their experience here:

SP6The Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium and Safari Park is located in Litchfield Park, AZ and was an incredible experience for visitors of all ages. Admission is $32.00 plus tax per adult, kids 3-12 $15.25 plus tax, which includes admission to the zoo, aquarium and safari park. They do offer evening admission to the aquarium only for $16.99 plus tax per adult and kids 3-12 $8.99 plus tax. The zoo and safari park are open 365 days a year including holidays from 9am-6pm but be aware the last zoo admission is at 5pm. The aquarium is open from 9am-9pm. There is an additional charge for the rides in the park and be sure to have lots of quarters to feed the animals throughout the park. We were lucky and the lady before us had a buy one get one coupon so we only paid the $32.00. Parking is free as well but there was a charge for strollers and wheelchairs if needed. You can also bring in food and drinks. They have picnic tables throughout the park for easy access. The park does offer two cafés in the park that serve burgers and other items but the prices were high. $8.00 for a hamburger without the fries.

a02I have to say this was the best zoo I have ever been to! It has Arizona’s largest collection of exotic animals, the first and only public aquarium, 225,000 gallons of fresh and salt water in 80 exciting exhibits including sharks, stingrays, penguins and seahorses. They have a Log Flume ride around Monkey Islands, past the Tropical Birds and through the South Pacific Reef Aquarium for $6.00 a person but it was not open when we were there. We started at the aquarium and I was impressed at how large it was. We got to feed stingrays and touch them! That was $3.00 a person for the food but well worth it. So fun to have them swarm around you and suck the food right out of your fingers! I can see it might be scary for little ones though as you are startled a bit when they take the food. We also got to touch starfish, a sea urchin and a sea cucumber. They have an interactive area called the touch tank where you can do this. Touching the animals was free and a ton of fun!

deer nibblesWe then moved on to the petting zoo area which had a 5/8 mile train ride around it. We did not take this, as it was really made for the little kids. It was $3.00 to ride the train. The petting zoo area had a play area for the kids to play on an actual playground. It also had Prairie Dogs, Snakes, Meerkats, a turtle feeding exhibit which I wish I would’ve done and Parrots around the petting zoo. I entered the petting zoo with a handful of food (25 cents for a handful) and was immediately swarmed by goats and deer. I ended up spending $1.50 to feed them all! My shirt was nibbled by a deer while feeding them and my purse was also nipped at by the goats! They do warn you that the goats will eat anything you bring in. I had so much fun in there; I think I could’ve spent at least another hour or so feeding them all!

feeding parotI noticed on our map that they had Lory Parrot feeding. I thought that we would watch the keeper feed these birds. Nope, you actually got to go into the enclosure, grab an apple, put it in your hand and the birds landed on you and ate right out of your hand! They only let a set amount of people in so get there early if you want to do this. This was free. The Lory’s were more interested in my fingernails then the apple so I got bit more times than I could count, which was more surprising than painful. My son found this to be very entertaining! They do this three times a day.

We wanted to get to the Safari park next which is located in the back of the zoo. We passed the African animal area; Gazelles, Waterbuck, Antelope and Ostriches were found here. On the way to the safari park we passed the giraffes and you could feed them and pet them! Another 25 cents for the food. My son ended up feeding the one giraffe because he was all alone and the other station had lots of kids around it. It was amazing how close you got. I think we could’ve spent another hour here feeding and petting him but there was so much more to see. They also had a baby giraffe in the other enclosure. We entered the safari park and there is a tram ride around it. It was $5.00 a person to ride but the driver was on break when we arrived so we decided to walk around it first.

SP10Here we found the white lion, storks, wildebeest and a whole bunch of other African animals! My son must have been very attractive that day because he had an ostrich follow him through the entire exhibit to the very end. It even sat there while we looked at other animals until we were out of sight. We arrived back at the entrance and took the tram ride. The tram ride allows you to get up close and personal with the animals, they are literally within arm’s reach! We were surprised at how close you got. My son’s ostrich friend was also in there so as soon as he was spotted the ostrich came right over and started eating his buttons on his shorts. He was followed until the tram went into another area. I believe it would’ve followed us home. We had a great driver who was very knowledgeable about the animals and entertained us throughout the ride. The tram ride ticket seller was originally from Kenosha so we chatted with him for quite a while!  All in all, this was a great excursion during our time in Arizonia and I would recommend it to anyone.

Learn more about making your next vacation a memorable one by clicking here or contact a Fox World Travel Agent today!

6 Easy Ways to Save on a Cruise

cruise ship and its reflection

All inclusive, convenient, simple to plan… There are many benefits to cruise vacations.  Whether you are looking for a family friendly adventure, or a romantic getaway on the sea, cruise ships come in all shapes and sizes with various on-board activities that can create the perfect vacation for anyone’s interests.  Here are a few ways to save on your next cruise vacation.  Content brought to you by Fox World Travel courtesy of TravelTribe. 

BOOK EARLY
By reserving six to 12 months ahead of your cruise, you can lock in an early-bird rate that’s 25 to 50 percent lower than the published “brochure” rate most lines advertise. You’ll also have a wider selection of itineraries, dates, and cabins, and possibly get better deals on airfare and hotels. If prices go down after you book, a good travel agent—or the cruise line itself—should help you get the new lower rate.

shutterstock_87865477 (2)OR BOOK LATE
Yes, it runs completely counter to what we just said about booking early, but if you wait 60 to 90 days before you want to sail, cruise lines often drop prices significantly to fill any remaining spaces on their ships. If you’re willing and able to white-knuckle it, this is when you can nab a weeklong Caribbean cruise for under $500. But of course, you won’t have as much choice of itinerary or cabin, it may be tricky to find a low airfare to your port, and last-minute fares are typically nonrefundable.

REQUEST A DISCOUNT
Asking the right questions can work magic. If you’re a return customer, mention it when booking and politely inquire whether you’re eligible for a discount—it can shave 5 to 15 percent off your fare. Since cruise prices are based on double occupancy, a third or fourth person in your cabin should get a 30 to 60 percent discount. If you’re 55 or older, don’t be shy about asking for a 5 percent discount; likewise, active and retired servicemen and women should always ask if the line offers them savings.

USE A TRAVEL AGENTA 19125
Sites like Kayak and Expedia have put you in the driver’s seat—sometimes literally—but don’t underestimate the role a good travel agent can play in finding you the right deal. Many have reserved spaces they can sell you at a discount, and they can explain whether an advertised “free” upgrade or all-inclusive package is for real or just a ploy. They can also advocate for you if rates drop after you’ve booked your cruise

GO BIG
Large groups—like family reunions at sea—can be complicated to pull together, but they can also knock big bucks off the price of cabins. A group of 16 people in eight cabins, for instance, can sometimes get a steep discount on the 16th fare, or in some cases a free berth. For large groups, booking a year in advance is advised to ensure you get the block of cabins you want.

TRY SHOULDER SEASON
You won’t save a ton, but sailing when most folks stay home can nab you a modest bargain—maybe 10 percent off typical high-season rates. Here are the best times to find deals in four highly popular cruise regions: Caribbean. September and October, the non-holiday weeks in December, and early January to Presidents’ Day. Europe. Mid-March and April, September to December Alaska. May and September Bermuda. April and October

Cruise Girl

Lean more about cruising or current promotions with Fox World Travel.

Content courtesy of travelagencytribes.com

AMA Waterways Christmas Market Cruise on the Danube by Diane Czeczot

Diane Czeczot, Manager of our Greenfield office, recently celebrated her 35th wedding anniversary by visiting European Christmas Markets on the AMA Bella river cruise. Hear about her trip here:

December 2014

Upon arrival in Budapest, a private car was waiting for us. We were greeted by a young, handsome, English speaking driver holding a sign with our name and escorted us to our Mercedes Sedan.

Thirty five minutes later we arrived at the Marriott Budapest–a 4 star modern hotel on the Pest side, in a great location. A nicely appointed room with a king bed facing the Danube and great breakfast was included. The Marriott had a huge patio in the front where you could people watch or enjoy the views of the Danube. It was a Friday night and many guests remained in the lobby /reception area listening to the piano player. We checked out the patisserie counter, and enjoyed traditional Hungarian Goulash at Peppers’ Mediterranean Grill. Afterwards, we stopped at the AQVA Lounge Bar where we relaxed and enjoyed cool vibes and music.

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Saturday was embarkation day. This was a Christmas Market cruise from Budapest to Nuremberg on the AMA BELLA. The dock was less than 4 blocks from our hotel but we took a taxi rather than drag our luggage.

There were two AMA ships parked side by side. We left our luggage outside and the purser welcomed us onboard. Our cabin was not ready so we were invited to stay and enjoy lunch. Instead, we walked 2 short blocks to the famous Great Market Hall. This covered multi story market is the most beautiful in Europe according to CNN. The selection ranges from fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, spices and gifts. Hungary uses Forints as their currency and the rest of the time we used EURO.

The ship did not sail that evening. However I always recommend going in a day or two earlier. Budapest is the city of cultural diversity, festivals, medicinal and thermal waters, and the fantastic Danube panorama so one could easily spend several nights there.

10834968_10152897135537290_8716533607230563610_oThe AMA Bella was built in 2010. It holds 168 passengers but this sailing only had 138 guests. We had an AMAzing time. Our crew members received outstanding training and they spoke very good English. They were mostly from Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary, except the captain and Cruise Director who were both Dutch. There is only one main dining room, but the AMA BELLA has a Chef’s Table Restaurant located in the aft that holds 24 passengers. Each passenger was allowed at least one meal in that restaurant, and a second one if available.

infotainmentAll cabins included an infotainment system which is your TV and computer. Movies, music, cable TV, and free WIFI were included. Unfortunately, the WIFI was unreliable and frequently stopped working. The cabin also included an AUDIO VOX unit. This enabled the passengers to hear their tour guide without standing 2 feet away from them. We just had to remember to bring it along for the included tours.

The dress code onboard was casual. Shorts and tee shirts were not allowed in the dining room at dinner time. Men generally wore polo shirts, sweaters, or sport coats. Women wore slacks or skirts, while a few wore dresses.  Every evening our cruise director gave a brief talk about the next day’s agenda. Afterwards, everyone headed to their respective dining rooms.

That evening in Budapest, our ship sailed under the Chain and Elizabeth Bridge and past the stunning and illuminated Parliament building. The air was quite chilly. The crew members passed out blankets, Schnapps, and hot cocoa to the hearty souls who choose to remain on deck outside. In our winter gear we danced on the sun deck to various songs, including Johann Strauss’ the BLUE DANUBE WALTZ. It was magical!!!!10620505_10152897137082290_1200340345821118540_o

10628869_10152897136702290_394914887309484976_oA daily tour was included. There were optional tours for an additional cost. AMA divided their tours among five groups. It ranged from the gentle walkers all the way to the fast group. They had four motor coaches with very knowledgeable guides in each city.

We had our resident musician Peter–the Jay Leno look alike who sang and played the piano very well.   One night after dinner we had a fun evening ama on board entertainmentdecorating Christmas trees and drinking Gluhwein while Peter played Christmas music. It was very festive. Two other nights we had additional musicians come onboard. This included La Strada, an amazing classical trio, and Valerie May, a very talented performer who sang popular songs in five different languages.

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Itinerary:

Sunday in Budapest

budapestMatthiasChurchThis morning we had a 4.5 hour included tour of Budapest, the capital city with Buda on the right bank and Pest on the left bank. These two merged back in 1873 and became a single city. We sailed the week of Thanksgiving and the Christmas Market in Budapest was not open yet. We enjoyed views from the Buda Castle, a visit to the Fisherman’s Bastion and a panoramic tour of the Royal Palace. While the ship sailed up the Danube to Esztergom, we caught up to it via motor coach.

Monday in Vienna:

christmas market vienna austriaWith our included city tour we saw the Vienna Opera House, St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the city’s historic center, rich in architectural marvels, Baroque castles and lush gardens. We enjoyed two Christmas Markets and the majestic Ringstrasse, Vienna’s famed ring road.

In the afternoon the optional tour was Schonbrunn Palace–the most famous and beautiful palace in Vienna. It once served as the summer palace of the Habsburgs who ruled much of Europe for over 600 years. The most influential ruler to have lived there was Maria Theresa who spends her late years in seclusion after the death of her husband.

That evening we went to the Optional Mozart and Strauss Concert presented by the Resident Orchestra. It was a classical concert held in one of the truly great formal concert houses of Imperial Vienna. We enjoyed a mixture of the most popular compositions of Vienna’s favorite composers–Mozart and Johann Strauss II. Not only was the concert fabulous but seeing Vienna all decorated and the illuminated monuments and grand buildings was absolutely delightful.

Tuesday in Melk.

melk danubeOur included tour today to The Melk Abbey is one of the most famous and visited cultural sights in Austria and one of the finest examples of Baroque architecture of all of Europe. It became a Benedictine monastery in 1089 and for over 900 years monks have lived and worked in the abbey following the rules laid down by St. Benedict. After the tour we walked back to the ship and explored the picturesque village of Melk.

Wednesday in Passau:

Today we had 3 choices:

  1. Passau Walking Tour–city of Three Rivers. The passau germany winterDanube is joined at Passau by the Inn from the south and Ilz from the north. The town has many Baroque building and cobblestone streets. The Christmas Markets were very authentic and one of the favorites of the entire cruise.
  1. Guided Bike Ride along the Inn River (no one participated)
  1. Salzburg Excursion. This full day tour had an additional cost but well worth it. Our drive was over 2 hours in each direction. Highlights of the tour include a visit to Mirabell Gardens, the colorful St. Peter’s Cemetery, Salzburg Cathedral where Mozart once served as court organist and composed numerous works of sacred music and Mozart’s Birthplace. Salzburg had its own beautiful Christmas Market which had local handicrafts so we were able to spend some time and enjoy Gluhwein (mulled wine).

Thursday in Regensburg

RegensburgLimited Edition Tour AUDI DISCOVERY PRODUCTION TOUR This was a car enthusiast dream. We travelled to the Audi Factory in Ingolstadt and enjoyed a guided tour of the production line. They use state-of-the-art technology. Their welding robots performed a fascinating ballet. We really appreciated the precision workmanship that goes into building an AUDI.

Friday in Nuremberg

This morning we were sailing through the Main-Danube Canal which links the North Sea to the Black Sea through a series of 16 locks. This engineering marvel makes it possible for ships such as the AMA BELLA to cruise all the way from the Netherlands to Romania! In fact, on this trip we sailed through a total of 25 locks.

Nuremberg (Bavaria’s second largest city) we explored medieval Nuremberg. We stopped at the “big balcony” for an amazing view of the old city. We learned about the legend of the Beautiful Fountain, the centerpiece of Market Square. This was the largest Christmas Market with over 100 booths.nuremberg holiday markets

This evening the locals were celebrating the opening of the Christ Kindles Market Festival. This annual event is held each year on Friday before the first Sunday in Advent. We were there among the locals that were overflowing with people. The Christmas Angel’s opening prologue began at 5.30 pm. After the prologue was read, the children’s choir sang Silent Night. Despite the crowd, an atmosphere of reverential silence filled the market as onlookers anticipated the solemn event. It was magical!!!!!

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This was a wonderful trip and my second river cruise. The first time I traveled from Paris to Normandy with Uniworld. I was fortunate to experience two luxury products. Both companies had excellent tour guides, great food and service. The staff always smiled and greeted you and the ships were spotless. Uniworld includes drinks and gratuities where AMA includes unlimited beer, wine and soda with lunch and dinner.   I thought my cabin was slightly larger this time on AMA and I loved the main lounge on the AMA Bella. It was my favorite place onboard to enjoy the scenery, relax or chat with fellow cruisers.

For more information on Europe Vacations or River Cruising, please visit us online at www.gofox.com and follow us for more of our first hand travel experiences and photos.

Natasha’s ‘Italy’s Best’ Cosmos Tour and Independent Travel to Croatia

Natasha, of our Fond du lac office recently went on a trip that she has dreamed about for years.  This magical trip to Italy and Croatia was full of family heritage and incredible experiences.

2In September I traveled to Europe for the first time with my husband (Adam) and my father and mother in law.   Adam and I had dreamed of this trip since we first got together because we really wanted to see where his beloved Grandma Caterina grew up (Rovingo- once Italy before WWII, now present day Croatia).   We decided it would be best to take a guided tour around Italy, and then travel to Croatia on our own to stay with relatives who still reside there.

TOUR ITINERARY OVERVIEWITALY

Day 1: Checked in at the hotel, had our orientation with our tour manager Oriana, went to bed early.

Day 2: Saw many of Rome’s ‘highlights’ – St. Peter’s Square (with a blessing by the POPE), the Roman Forum, and the Coliseum (all included). We purchased the optional tours in which we saw the Vatican, Trevii Fountain, and the Spanish Steps.   TIP: The pick-pocketers are BAD in Rome. My father in law almost got his wallet taken from him at the Coliseum. However, nothing screams TOURIST quite like a fanny pack, passport necklace, and a shirt with a million zippers….

Day 3: Left Rome in the morning, stopped in Pisa along the way to Florence.   Purchased the optional excursion as an introduction to Florence – stopped at a lookout point to see a spectacular panorama of the city and had an amazing dinner in the Tuscan Hills.   The restaurant’s name was “La Certoza” – and I would highly recommend a visit here!   Everyone had a roaring good time!

Day 4: Walking tour of Florence and its many Piazzas.   Loved this city, as most people do.   We did purchase the optional tour of the Uffizi Gallery, which holds some of the world’s greatest Renaissance art.   I was never particularly interested in art – so this was a snooze fest for me. I’m still glad I saw it once.

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Day 5: Departed Florence and stopped in Milan for a couple of hours.   Milan is a big cosmopolitan city, and is considered to be the most “European” places in Italy. One things that really ‘wowed’ me here was the famous gothic Duomo. It’s a must-see for anyone stopping in Milan. After Milan we drove to our final destination, Lake Maggiore in the Italian Lake District. BEAUTIFUL!

day6Day 6: Spent the day in Lugano, Switzerland.   It was extremely clean, eco-friendly… and expensive! Very picturesque, though. We did the optional excursion to Monte Tamaro where we took a cable car up the mountain for lunch. Great views of the Alps! I also did a bobcart luge down part of the mountain while my husband zip-lined.   This tour was worth every penny. Would love to see more of Switzerland someday.

Day 7: Left Lake Maggiore, drove to Verona. We did a walking tour of the city, which is the fourth most visited city in Italy (after Rome, Venice, and Florence).   We saw Juliet’s balcony and Romeo’s house!   We left for Venice later that afternoon. We purchased the optional “Venetian Nigh Out” tour – and it was spectacular!   We took a boat there at sunset and we saw St. Mark’s Square all lit up.   The city is PACKED with tourists, but it’s a place everyone must see once as there is no other place like it in the world.day 7

Day 8: I spent the day sick in bed with a migraine, but my husband explored Venice with the tour group.   He even took a most romantic gondola ride with his parents….

Day 9: Our only rainy day – we departed Venice and stopped in Ravenna, a city known for their intricate mosaics.   We then drove to Assisi, the town of St. Francis.   This stop was meaningful as my alma mater, Cardinal Stritch University, is Franciscan affiliated, and I learned a lot about this Saint while I went to school there.   Regardless, I think Assisi is an enchanting town for most tourists…

Day 10: Drove to Pompeii – a must see sight for History lovers as its remains are literally ‘frozen in time’.   Next we drove to Sorrento on the Bay of Naples.   The Almalfi Coast is beautiful, but you’ll notice it’s ‘dirtier’ than the north.

Day 11: We took a boat to the Isle of Capri (included). This island was so beautifully filled with vibrant flowers, lush foliage, and lemon trees.   It was also FULL of tourists – however, it did not take away from its charm. We purchased the optional tour of the island, and a boat ride around the island – which again, was worth more than we paid.   I would not want to navigate that island on my own – dodging crowds and lines of tourists at every turn.  day 11

Day 12: There was nothing on the itinerary except if you wanted to purchase an optional trip to Positano.   We had the best sweet treats at a pastry shop here.   We were also able to dip our toes in the Mediterranean Sea for the first time.   The beach there was described in the tour’s description as “enchanting”, but it was small, dark, and rather uninviting.   However, it’s typical of the area due to the nearby volcanoes.   The excursion was short, and I would have liked more time here.   We drove to Rome that afternoon, and we purchased the optional “Farewell Dinner”.   This dinner was the best meal I had while in Italy – PLUS, we got to see the Pantheon which we didn’t see when we were in Rome at the start of our tour.

Day 13 (September 14): Tour ended with breakfast – and we were transferred back to the airport according to our flight time.

TOUR SIDE NOTES:

Meals –

A ‘buffet’ breakfast was included every day, however it’s important to note that it was usually a continental style breakfast.

All included dinners, as well as the optional dinners, were usually four course and very good!

Tour Guide and Driver-

Our tour guide Oriana was exceptional – very knowledgeable, informative, and friendly. She was a native Italian, but her English was impeccable.

Our driver, Carmine, was impressive! How he navigated through those narrow streets and made those hairpin turns are beyond me!! And not a scratch on the bus! He also kept the coach very clean day after day. When he wasn’t driving, he was caring for the bus.

The Coach-

Very comfortable and clean! It was the same quality as Globus – but as I mentioned earlier, no Wi-Fi. HOWEVER, our tour guide said that is a good possibility that Wi-Fi will be on the Cosmos coaches in the near future.

Local Guides-

All of the local guides for the included excursions and optional tours were wonderful. Absolutely no complaints about any of them! Also, the headsets provided worked out beautifully.

Hotels-

All of the hotels we stayed in were “First Class” – and we even used some of the same ones Globus was using.   However, it’s important to note before traveling to Europe as the standards and amenities are different than what we may be used to in America.     The rooms are usually smaller, the buildings are older, and washcloths and shampoo are not always provided!   Even though some of our hotels were located outside of the city, it was still within walking distance to some kind of public transportation.

CROATIA-

We flew to Trieste, Italy from Rome on the day our Italy tour ended.   My husband’s second cousin (whom we never met before) picked us up at the airport there and drove us to Rovigno/Rovinj, Croatia.   The drive was only about an hour – but we crossed through three countries- Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia.   The borders were a breeze and NOT intimidating! We just showed our passports, they were stamped, and we were on our way.

We arrived at our cousin’s villa where we stayed for four nights.   It was an interesting experience as our family knew very little English and we knew very little Italian and ZERO Croatian.   Because Rovinj was once Italy, the town is bilingual.

The town itself is spectacular – medieval, quaint, and set on the sparkling Adriatic Sea.   I honestly think we will see it on more and more European guided tours.   Croatia, as a tourist destination, is growing – and I do believe this will be the HOT destination SOON.   It recently joined the European Union (July 2013) and will be switching to the Euro in a couple of years. This will give it a huge boost in tourism, I think.cr

The four days we spent there, we explored the town, attended a festival (Fest of St. Euphemia), visited with distant relatives, and saw the house Adam’s grandma grew up in.   His grandma still owns land there – over 50 acres of rolling hills with olive groves and mature fruit trees……AND you can also see the Adriatic Sea from higher vista points of the land (CHA-CHING)!   Our cousin also took us on many boat rides which included feeding wild dolphins, fishing for sardines, and cliff jumping!

We are planning our next trip back to Europe in a few years – but this time we will spend MOST of our time in Croatia.   I’m dying to see Plitvice National Park, which is only a couple hours from Rovingo/Rovinj. I would LOVE to become a Croatia specialist some day!

The trip was a dream and it couldn’t have gone more smoothly (despite the minor flight delays).   My in-laws were impressed with my recommendations and planning.   The planning of this trip, along with experiencing it for myself, gave me a confidence boost for selling Europe to clients!

Contact Fox World Travel to learn how you can plan a dream vacation of your own.

A Review of the World’s First Ever Smart Ship:

Connie and Alana, of Fox World Travel recently experienced the awe-inspiring luxury of Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, the Quantum of the Seas.  From robot bartenders to transformation grand ballrooms, this ship has got it all!  Hear about their experience here:

Royal Caribbean’s newest ship and the world’s first “smartship”, Quantum of the Seas. The ship has a bold, new, “smart” approach to technology, the first of its kind in the cruising world. The theme on this ship is “prepare to be wowed”, and ‘wowed’ was an understatement!

wow-band-bgStarting with the “Smart check-in”, where you can go from arriving at the pier to your cabin in 10 minutes or less. By completing the online check in prior to arrival and downloading your picture, you get a digital boarding confirmation, thus avoiding check in counters and lines at the pier. You are assigned an arrival appointed time (a 30 minute window) and once you arrive at the pier you are met by mobile agents who check your passports and scan the setsail pass you received after completing the online check in. You go through a security area and proceed onto the ship. Your “Seapass card” is waiting for you outside your stateroom. You use the seapass card to access your stateroom, activate power in the stateroom, as your identification to get on/off the ship at ports and throughout the ship to make purchases, and reservations for dining and activities. In addition, there are “Wowbands” waiting for you in your stateroom. They look like watches that you use in lieu of your seapass card. You would wave the wowband at any of the seapass card readers to make them work the same way the seapass card would work. So no need to dig in your purse or pocket to find the card, just wear the wowband!

“Smart concierge” is the cruise planner that you can use to pre-arrange dining and activities before arriving on the cruise and/or during the cruise. There is a Royal iQ app that you can download to assist you during the cruise in making those reservations or managing the ones you already have.

“Smart connect” is the fast connectivity onboard Quantum of the Seas. It has more bandwidth than every other cruise ship in the world combined! You can be online 24/7 with any personal device by connecting to “royal-wifi” which is complimentary.

Some of the new “smart experiences” onboard include:

A bionic bar- where robotic bartenders make your drinks.

Two70- a multi-level great room with 270 degree panoramic seaviews. This is where technology and North Starentertainment are fused together. This venue transforms from a modern, open area with panoramic views during the day, to a one of a kind experience at night. The glass walls provide a projectable backdrop, featuring a Vistarama and dancing Roboscreens that use a video projection entertainment system to make the screens come to life. You will be immersed in light shows, digital scenery with dazzling performances.

Virtual balcony staterooms-interior staterooms with a “view”.

ENTERTAIMENT –

The Quantum of the Seas has amazing one-of-a kind experiences. It offers the largest active space at sea and is also the most revolutionary. There is fun for all ages.

QN_03The youth program is bigger and better than ever with the Adventure Ocean’s two-deck space. Children can become scientists exploring the insect world, eye-patched pirates seeking hidden treasure or become a great athlete taking the gold at the Wacky Sport Tourney. The older teen’s program has teen-only spaces and staff to keep the fun going. For the little ones there are interactive playgroup sessions for the Royal Babies and the Royal Tots. Trained professionals are also available for an hourly fee to care for children 6-36 months.

The Seaplex is an indoor sports zone where you can go roller skating, play basketball, bumper cars and go to circus school. There are four activity rooms with live global video gaming and there is even a floating DJ booth suspended overhead. It’s an amazing space.

In addition, more one-of-a-kind experiences are:

North Star – a jewel shaped capsule “ride” that ascends 300 feet above sea level giving you 360 degree views of the ocean, the ship and ports of call.QN_01

RipCord by iFLY – a groundbreaking skydiving simulator. This vertical wind tunnel gives you the feeling of “flying” while never leaving the ship.

Flowrider – Catch a wave right onboard on the 40-foot long surf simulator.Rip Core by iFly

Rock Climbing – See how far you can climb up the signature rock wall to enjoy views 40 feet above deck.

Ice skating and inline skating-Both are available for you to choose from…ice or track.

In addition there are fitness classes, a fitness center with the latest cardio and resistance equipment powered by Technogym, mini-golf, a jogging track, table tennis, pools and even a boxing ring.

Transformative VenutesMusic Hall– is a venue that features daytime activities ranging from dance classes to game shows during the day. In the evening you can dance the night away to live music performances, shows, play billiards, dance or watch a tribute band from the second floor.

The Royal Theater-a state of the art theater featuring the Broadway production of Mamma Mia, Sonic Odyssey (an original production featuring musicians, vocalist and dancers) and 3D movies.

STATEROOMS –

Quantum class has the largest variety of new stateroom types to accommodate different needs. The options vary from 101 square feet in the interior staterooms to 1,640 square feet in the Royal Loft Suite.

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For families, they have three different category staterooms uniquely connected through a vestibule to form a special layout that provides separate bedrooms and bathrooms for multi-generational families. They are called Family Connected Junior Suites and can accommodate up to 10 people.

The balcony staterooms are stunning and offer a sitting area with sofa, full bathroom and two twin beds that covert to a Royal King. These vary in size from 119 to 198 square feet. Junior suites and suites are also offered for those wanting more space. They are even two-story Loft Suites featuring the finest amenities and breathtaking, expensive views. They have a dining area, more space and a dedicated concierge.

Newly Designed StateroomsEven the interior rooms are revolutionary. They are designed to provide real-time views of the ocean by featuring virtual balconies that span nearly floor to ceiling, thus offering a “view” in every stateroom category.

DINING –

New to Royal Caribbean with the Quantum class ships is “Dynamic Dining”- A exploration of dining offering more choices and flexibility. There are no set dining times, assigned seats or formal nights. AN_DiningYou have 18 choices including five complimentary full service restaurants (Chic, The Grande, American Icon Grill, Silk and Coastal Kitchen), and 15 additional choices; many that have a fee. They range from upscale to casual dining to healthful home style dishes. Three of the restaurants feature award winning chefs; Jamie Oliver, Michael Schwartz and Devin Alexander. Reservations for all restaurants are based on a first come first serve basis. It is highly recommended to pre-book your dining. Reservations are only required for dinner and the fees for the non-complimentary restaurants can be found at RoyalCaribbean.com/Dynamic Dining as well as menus for all of the dining venues.

Notes-Coastal Kitchen restaurant is exclusive to those booked in grand suite staterooms or higher.

-The five complimentary restaurants have children’s menus, select specialty restaurants offer children’s menu’s at a reduced service charge.

-Café Promenade and Windjammer Grill are open 24 hours.

FUN FACTS –

Standing upright at 1,141 feet Quantum of the Seas is 2.5 times taller than the Great Pyramid of Giza and about equal to 3.5 regulation size soccer fields.

Quantum of the Seas is longer than 5 Boeing 747 planes.

Quantum of the Seas is almost 3 times as wide as a regulation size basketball court.

Quantum of the Seas is 11 times bigger than a blue whale.

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This is a great ship for all ages, singles, couples and families. It never seemed crowded as they have done a fantastic job offering options to keep the guests spread throughout the ship. And their promise to wow was fulfilled for all.

To learn how you can experience the state of the art luxury of the Quantum of the Seas, visit us online or contact a vacation travel consultant today!

Susan May named Branch Manager at Fox World Travel – Kenosha

OSHKOSH, WI – Fox World Travel has named Susan May the Branch Manager for Susan Maytheir office located in Kenosha, WI at 5721 75th St.  

May has been in the travel industry for 14 years and most recently worked for Adelman Travel Group as a Groups & Incentives manager and Supervisor of Vacations in Milwaukee. She has worked directly with fortune 500 corporate accounts creating budgets as well as developed customized reports for arrival/departure manifest that fully met customer’s expectations.

May looks forward to using her experience and leadership to create unforgettable vacations for the Kenosha area and enhancing Fox World Travel’s reputation for outstanding customer service.

Fox World Travel, headquartered in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, has been in business for over 50 years and operates 11 vacation travel offices in Wisconsin. In addition to the Vacation Travel Division, Fox World Travel owns Fox Premier Meetings and Incentives, Fox World Travel School, and a Corporate Travel Division. Fox World Travel ranks in the top 20 of over 18,000 travel agencies in the United States, according to the Business Travel Survey in Business Travel News.