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All Agents are College of Disney Knowledge graduates, with some also holding additional specialties like:   Accredited Cruise Counselor, Universal Specialist, Sandals & Beaches Specialist, as well as other destination specialties.   Our Agents are experienced travelers.  If your specific agent hasn’t experienced “it”, there is someone in the Agency that has; so you have access to first-hand, experienced advice.  That’s how we can provide you this experiential based travel planning service!  We are an entire Team working together!

Our Agents will ALWAYS, without fail, no exceptions – tell you the truth and do what they say.

Trained. Traveled. Trusted.  It’s Who We Are.

 

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5 VACATIONS THAT WILL MAKE YOU LOVE OVERNIGHT TRAIN TRAVEL

Posted by on 7:00 am in Thoughts and Opinions | 0 comments

5 VACATIONS THAT WILL MAKE YOU LOVE OVERNIGHT TRAIN TRAVEL

By Amtrak Vacations

IMAGINE TRAVELING WITH NO ROADS, NO TRAFFIC, AND NO STRESS.

Just miles and miles of natural scenery, and you’re right in the middle of it.  Take a comfortable, front-row seat to relax onboard the train!

For many riders, the views are the best part of the train experience and why they keep coming back for more. But the views wouldn’t be nearly as enjoyable without the relaxed pace and friendly vibe onboard, especially on a long-distance, overnight rail journey. The food, the accommodations, the people onboard, and the friendly staff all contribute to a one of a kind travel experience, quite unlike any other. And if the journey is longer than one overnight on the train, upgrade to a roomette or a bedroom and enjoy the privacy and added comfort of having your own room onboard the train.

The following 5 rail experiences are as much about the train journey as they are about the amazing destinations they take you to. Each vacation features one or more overnights on the train, so you get to experience life onboard the train. And each journey can start and end from the train station nearest to your hometown, so you don’t have to make a separate trip just to get to the train!

1. NORTHERN RAIL EXPERIENCE

Venture from the breathtaking great plains of the Midwest to the serene waters of the Pacific Coast on this scenic rail journey from Chicago to San Francisco, with a stop in Seattle. Enjoy the landscape as you travel along major portions of the Lewis and Clark trail. Explore Seattle on a hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tour. Discover the sights of San Francisco. Spend some quality time in two majestic parts of Northern California: Muir Woods and Sausalito. And, then you’ll head back to the “Windy City” onboard one of the most beautiful train trips in all of North America. This journey goes through arguably the most scenic routes Amtrak can offer; through the forests of Montana, the coast of the Pacific, and through the incredible Rocky Mountains!

CLICK HERE to learn more about this vacation.

2. GRAND NATIONAL PARKS OF THE SOUTHWEST – BRYCE & ZION TO THE GRAND CANYON

zion national park river at sunset

Experience spectacular landscapes and scenery on this 9-Day adventure to the Grand Canyon and the Parks of the Southwest! Discover the beauty of the most untamed landscapes of the American Southwest. Immerse yourself in the mysterious and soul-stirring geography of Grand JunctionArches & CanyonlandsCapitol ReefBryce CanyonZionLake Powell, and the Grand Canyon—with plenty of leisure time to lounge and take it easy along the way. Featuring dazzling views everywhere you look, you could spend a lifetime exploring these regions and still discover something new and exciting each time.

CLICK HERE to learn more about this vacation.

3. GRAND NATIONAL PARKS WITH YELLOWSTONE, YOSEMITE, AND THE GRAND CANYONPrepare for a journey to three of the nation’s greatest national parks! Experience the best of the American West as you travel across the Great Plains and through the Rocky Mountains onboard Amtrak. Stop to explore all the sites and wonders of timeless Yellowstone National ParkYosemite also awaits where your tour takes in all the natural glory to be found in this astounding national park. Grand Canyon National Park is home to unique combinations of geological colors and shapes carved out over millions of years of history. There’s plenty to do, including taking a hike around the canyon rim or into the canyon itself, embarking on a river trip, or taking in the breathtaking aerial views of the canyon on a helicopter tour. This is a vacation you will never forget!

CLICK HERE to learn more about this vacation.

4. GRAND TETONS AND YELLOWSTONE RAIL JOURNEYExplore two of America’s grandest national parks on this fabulous rail vacation! Travel through the wide-open landscape of the Heartland of America by rail before reaching Salt Lake City. Continue on to Jackson Hole for an exploration of Grand Teton National Park and its spectacular wildlife. From there, the journey north continues to Yellowstone National Park, where you can take in the amazing scenery that has made this destination a must-see for decades.

CLICK HERE to learn more about this vacation.

5. GRAND RAIL EXPERIENCE

Amtrak Empire Builder Train Route

Sit back, relax, and enjoy some of North America’s best landscapes by rail on this USA Rail Experience! Begin your journey on Amtrak’s Empire Builder traveling from Chicago to the Pacific Northwest passing through Glacier National Park. Explore Seattle’s most popular sites including the iconic Space Needle observatory and the culinary landmark Pike Place Market. Ride along the Pacific Coast until you arrive in the “City of Angels”. You will continue on your journey to then experience New Orleans which is filled with a variety of activities, from numerous art galleries and museums to the Audubon Zoo and Aquarium and history and heritage tours. Following will be an incredible stop at Washington, DC which is home to numerous museums, including the Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo, historic homes, and gardens, the sightseeing options are endless.

CLICK HERE to learn more about this vacation.

Origionally posted – https://www.amtrakvacations.com/blog/5-vacations-that-will-make-you-love-overnight-train-travel/

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Royal Caribbean’s Cyber Week Sale Book By: 12/1/2020

Posted by on 8:00 am in Cruise Specials, Cruises, NON Disney Specials, Special Offers, WFT Specials | 0 comments

Royal Caribbean’s Cyber Week Sale Book By: 12/1/2020

November 24, 2020

Get ready for wow-worthy deals on your next getaway — our Cyber Week Sale is back and bolder than ever. Book a vacation now and score up to $550 off, plus 60% off your second guest. That means more savings to put toward unforgettable experiences. Like record-breaking thrills at our private destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay, sun-soaked beach breaks to the Caribbean’s most captivating shores, and a flightseeing tour over Alaska’s glimmering glaciers. Bring the whole family, because kids sail free all year long.*

If you need to change your plans, that’s okay — our Cruise With Confidence policy allows you to cancel your booking up to 48 hours before you sail, and our Best Price Guarantee ensures you’ll always get the best deal. Come Seek the Royal Caribbean®.

For more information, contact your Wishes Family Travel Agent!
info@wishesfamilytravel.com
864-649-1016

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Carnival Cruise Line’s Cyber Blowout Sale Book By: 11/29/2020

Posted by on 7:00 am in Cruise Specials, Cruises, NON Disney Specials, Special Offers, WFT Specials | 0 comments

Carnival Cruise Line’s Cyber Blowout Sale Book By: 11/29/2020

November 23, 2020

Get Early Saver rates, reduced deposits from $50 per person and free room upgrades on sailings through April 2023.

Terms & Conditions:
Early Saver fare is subject to availability and is capacity controlled. $50 per person deposit is applicable for 2-9 day sailings (excluding all Europe, Alaska, Celebration, Mardi Gras, Vista, Horizon, & Panorama sailings). $149 per person deposit is applicable to Celebration, Mardi Gras, Vista, Horizon, & Panorama sailings. $199 per person deposit is applicable to 10+ day, all Europe & Alaska sailings. Deposit is non-refundable, applicable to sailings outside of final payment due date, and is valid for all ships, stateroom types and sail dates. Free room location upgrades are automatically assigned at the time of booking and are based on availability in like to like categories only (interior to interior, ocean view to ocean view and balcony to balcony). Upgrade is not available on upper/lower, obstructed, and cove categories.  Changes made to the reservation may result in the assessment of cancellation penalties or service fees. Full names are required for each guest. Carnival reserves the right to withdraw and/or change offer at any time without prior notice. Price Protection applies to the cruise fare only and does not include Taxes, Fees and Port Expenses. Taxes, Fees and Port Expenses range from $63.14 to $427.64, and are assessed on a per guest basis for all guests according to the itinerary. Early Saver fare is backed by a unique price protection policy (only available to bookings made in USD currency) that allows you to adjust your cruise fare to the best available fare for a like category stateroom (no downgrades allowed) advertised by Carnival and available to the general public. Price protection will be subject to the prevailing Taxes, Fees and Port Expenses and/or fuel supplement if applicable. Carnival will honor your request for price protection if the reduction on the total amount paid for your booking results only from a lower cruise fare and not from the booked ancillary services, such as air, transfers, pre-paid gratuities, or Taxes, Fees and Port Expenses. The guest is responsible for increases to ancillary services such as air, resulting from changes to ship and/or sail date, or adjustments to cruise fare. Early Saver price protection does not apply to group rates, membership programs, charters, select promotional fares, travel agent rebates, or other travel agent promotions not offered by Carnival to the general public. When re-pricing to a new promotion, guest assumes all terms and conditions of the new promotion and may forfeit any or all features associated with the original fare, such as cabin assignment, onboard credit, an upgrade, special deposit and payment terms, etc. A $50 change fee per guest will be assessed for ship and/or sail date changes made prior to final payment due date.  Remaining funds are nonrefundable/nontransferable and will be held as a future cruise credit to be applied to your cruise fare on a sailing within 24 months from the date of cancellation.  Guest may select their stateroom. Offer applies to new bookings made between November 16, 2020 and November 29, 2020. Offer is applicable on sailings through April 2023 where Early Saver is available. Request rate code PEG. Ships’ Registry: The Bahamas, Panama & Malta.

For more information, contact your Wishes Family Travel Agent!
info@wishesfamilytravel.com
864-649-1016

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Norwegian Cruise Line’s Black Friday Sale Book By: 11/27/2020

Posted by on 7:49 pm in Cruise Specials, Cruises, NON Disney Specials, Special Offers, WFT Specials | 0 comments

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Black Friday Sale Book By: 11/27/2020

November 22, 2020

Plan your future vacation and enjoy 30% off all ships and all destinations, plus five free offers!

The best deal of the year is here – and it doesn’t get any better than this! Break Free with Norwegian’s Black Friday Sale and enjoy 30% Off all ships and all destinations + 5 FREE Offers including Free Open Bar, Free Specialty
Dining, Free Excursions & more! Feel Free to Break Free in 2021. Book now! This offer ends November 27th!

For more information, contact your Wishes Family Travel Agent!
info@wishesfamilytravel.com
864-649-1016

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Cyber Event From Princess Cruises Book By: 11/30/20

Posted by on 8:00 am in Cruise Specials, Cruises, NON Disney Specials, Special Offers, WFT Specials | 0 comments

Cyber Event From Princess Cruises Book By: 11/30/20

November 22, 2020

Don’t miss our Cyber Event’s great offer!

  • 50% off deposits and up to $200 onboard spending money per stateroom only valid until November 30, 2020.
  • Available on cruises and cruisetours departing May 2021 and beyond.
  • Offer is combinable with Princess Plus and Princess Savers
  • Princess Plus — our best value fare with drinks, Wi-Fi, and gratuitie included
  • Princess Savers — no frills, our lowest cruise fare

Disclaimer below:

We are monitoring changes in regulations and protocols in an effort to minimize the potential exposure of our guests to COVID-19 onboard our cruises, and are continuously assessing how we enhance safety in light of COVID-19 and how it will impact our offerings. Because COVID-19 is a novel virus with no current vaccine, however, you should be aware there is always a risk with travel. As such, our actual on-board offerings and itinerary may vary from what is displayed in photos and descriptions used throughout this promotion. We are not responsible for any change or difference in the availability of any amenities, offerings, itineraries, or otherwise when such arises out of our effort to adhere to changes as they arise on a voyage, or when there is a change in regulations and protocols with respect to COVID-19, over which we have no control.

1 50% off deposits applies to all new bookings only made between Nov 24 to Nov 30, 2020 for cruises and cruisetours departing May 2021 and beyond. Deposits are refundable. Cruises in which final payment is required are not eligible.

2 Up to $200 Onboard Spending Money per stateroom ($50 per guest) is applicable to all 4 guests in a stateroom. Onboard spending money is awarded as an onboard credit. Guests with single occupancy will receive $100 onboard spending money. Onboard spending money must be used on the single voyage that it was awarded in connection with, is not redeemable for cash, cannot be used in the casino, expires at the end of that voyage and is not applicable during the land portion of cruisetours. Onboard spending money is awarded in the currency corresponding to the ship’s onboard currency. Onboard spending money will be applied to guest’s folio.

Offer is not applicable for cruises that are 8 days or longer departing before November 1, 2021 that visits a United States port (including the following destinations: Alaska, Caribbean, Canada New England, Mexico, California Coast, Hawaii and Panama Canal). 

Offer expires: November 30, 2020  Reference promotion code: UL* and UP*

For more information, contact your Wishes Family Travel Agent!
info@wishesfamilytravel.com
864-649-1016

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Palace Resorts Black Friday 2 for 1 Offer Book By: 12/4/2020

Posted by on 3:03 pm in NON Disney Specials, Special Offers, WFT Specials | 0 comments

Palace Resorts Black Friday 2 for 1 Offer Book By: 12/4/2020

November 21, 2020

BOOK 1 ROOM, GET 1 ROOM FREE

Our holiday gift to you—exclusive 2-for-1 savings for stays December 22 through January 3. Imagine it: You and those you love celebrating the season wrapped in all-inclusive luxury, enjoying fine cuisine, premium beverages, amazing entertainment every night, and a resort specially decorated for the holidays.

  • Kids & Teens Stay Free at Select Resorts
  • Free Airport Transfer at Select Resorts
  • 250+ Preventive Health Measures at Every Resort

Book by December 4, 2020
For Stays Through January 3, 2021

Terms and conditions apply. Information is subject to change.

For more information, contact your Wishes Family Travel Agent!
info@wishesfamilytravel.com
864-649-1016

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WHY CRUISERS ALSO LOVE RESORTS

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WHY CRUISERS ALSO LOVE RESORTS

By Jonathan Hermann

For cruise lovers who set sail every year, you have a tough choice to make. Do you stick with a cruise in 2021, unsure when your favorite cruise line will sail again or wondering if your preferred voyage will fill up too quickly due to limited capacity? Or do you opt for another, similar option? Here are six reasons why an all-inclusive resort vacation should be your next choice.

BENEFITS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE RESORTS 

Sponsored by Le Blanc Spa Resorts

Some people are cruisers — we get that. There’s a lot to love about cruising, from the ease of seeing multiple locations while only unpacking once, to having everything you could need or want right on board. However, as the COVID epidemic continues to cause waves across the cruising industry, many annual cruisers are turning their vacation eyes more and more to all-inclusive resorts.

But how do they stack up? Cruising and land-based vacations are inherently different, yet not without similarities. In fact, there are numerous ways that all-inclusive resorts are actually preferred over cruising. For comparison’s sake, we’ll focus on Le Blanc Spa Resorts, two adults-only, all-inclusive resorts in Cancun and Los Cabos, showing here six ways that they surpass any cruising experience.Your favorite wines and beers are all included.

All Inclusive is Key

Many cruise lines expect you to pay more for their drink package and specialty restaurants, as well as some onboard activities. Most resorts do not. In fact, at Le Blanc Spa Resorts, they believe you can never have too much of a good thing, so they surround their guests with lavish accommodations, 24-hour room service, world-class dining, wireless Internet, even bottles of top-shelf spirits in your room — all included in the price of your stay.Relax in your spacious Royal Deluxe Suite

Rooms are Larger, More Luxurious

Cruise lines have come a long way in recent years as modern ships include two-story mega-suites. But most cruisers find themselves in ocean view rooms or balcony suites that measure south of 300 square feet. Rooms at Le Blanc Spa Resorts are all over 400 square feet, with some exceeding 1,000, complete with BVLGARI® bath amenities, a fully-stocked minibar, a welcome bottle of tequila and red wine, personalized butler service, pedestal tubs and more. Oh, and each resort room has its own iron and ironing board — something you just don’t find on a cruise ship.Spend a blissful hour in the hydrotherapy room

Relaxing Activities

As cruise ships become more like floating amusement parks, for better or worse, they place a premium on the number of activities you can enjoy while on board as well as shore excursions at each port. Since luxury all-inclusive resorts like Le Blanc Spa Resorts are peaceful havens, they don’t have a go-cart track or gargantuan waterslides. But they do include a fitness center and exercise classes, as well as off-site tours that will have you marveling at Maya monuments, snorkeling in turquoise waters and swimming with dolphins.Adults-only means no kids and plenty of space

Adults-Only is the Only Way

We go on vacations mainly to relax and reconnect with an inner sense of wellness. That is much easier to do at an adults-only resort, like Le Blanc Spa Resorts, than on cruise ships that range from floating playgrounds packed with kids to upscale ships complete with board kids. Not that there is anything wrong with kids on cruise ships — for many families, that’s the reason they choose to cruise. But for those who seek a serene oasis by the sea, the less loud voices the better.Mimosas at the beach

The Motion of the Ocean

No matter how technologically advanced the cruise ships’ stabilizers are, you’re going to feel the ship rocking throughout your voyage. Many people become accustomed to this within the first few hours on board, but not everyone. Le Blanc Spa Resorts sit solidly by the ocean, not on it, allowing you to listen to the peaceful waves break upon the sandy shore. The only time you feel the waves is when you go swimming in the warm ocean waters.Never over-crowded, your resort gives you all the space you need

Peace of Mind

In the open air and beneath the warm tropical sun, resorts have an easier time keeping their properties clean and safe. In fact, Le Blanc Spa Resorts’ brand-new program, Purely Le Blanc, goes beyond the already stringent quality controls and health measures in place. It includes the implementation of more than 140 preventative actions to assure everyone’s health and safety, including a Purely Le Blanc health certification in every room on arrival, guaranteeing its complete disinfection.

Plus, Le Blanc Spa Resorts’ flexible booking program offers you the freedom to modify the dates of all existing and new reservations at any of their properties at the same rate and under the same conditions as the original reservation. No penalties for date changes will apply. Reservations may also be deferred to 2021. In such cases, any rate difference between the original booking and 2021 date will apply.

To book the Le Blanc Spa Resort that’s right for you, contact your travel professional today.

Originally posted – https://www.travelleaders.com/travelbetter/article/default.aspx?article=Why_cruisers_also_love_resorts_

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Disney’s Castaway Cay

Posted by on 7:00 am in Thoughts and Opinions | 0 comments

Disney’s Castaway Cay

Kenni Rich
11.19.20

Did you know Disney Cruise Line has their own private island? Let me introduce you to Disneys Castaway Cay, an exclusive private island for those who sail onboard Disney Cruise Line.

What you will first notice is that Disney Castaway Cay has its own dock. You will not have to tender. Hop off the ship and you are ready to enjoy the pristine beaches lined with umbrellas, beach chairs and hammocks scattered throughout the island.

TRANSPORTATION

The walk from the ship to the beach can be long, so take advantage of the tram which is the main mode of transportation around the island. Once you leave the ship it’s a short walk to Kargo Handling where you will board the tram. The tram has two stops, the first two stops will drop you off at the family beaches. The first stop is Scuttle’s Cove, here you will find Scuttle’s Cove Youth Club and the first family beach. The second stop is Pelican Plunge, my family’s favorite. Here you will be closer to the Pelican Plunge water slides and the second family beach. If you are wanting to lounge at the adult only beach, Serenity Bay, you will transfer trams at Pelican Plunge.

SHOPPING

I’m going to be honest, shopping is one of my favorite things to do while on vacation. I was very excited to shop on Disney Castaway Cay. On the island you will find two stores. She Sells Seashells…and Everything Else and Buy the Seashore are stores filled with Disney Castaway Cay items. Shirts, beach toys, beach towels, Disney Castaway Cay 5k items, beach bags, keychains, coffee mugs and so much more. Did you know you can only purchase Disney Castaway Cay souvenirs on the island? Make sure you stock up before heading back to the ship.

FOOD

You have two dining options while you are on the island. Cookie’s and Cookie’s Too, both serve lunch and this is included in your cruise fare. There is an array of options, fruit, hamburgers, chicken, hotdogs and barbecue favorites. If you didn’t get your fill at lunch, soft serve ice cream is available. If you are looking for specialty tropical drinks, keep your Key to the World card handy. Cast Members wander the beach taking orders or you can place your order at one of the bars on the island.

CHARACTERS

Did you know Disney characters make appearances around the island? Some will have posted times, while others will randomly appear. You can meet everyone from Mickey and Minnie to Jack Sparrow, Donald Duck, Goofy and Pluto. You never know who is going to show up!

EXCURSIONS

If you are looking for variety and excitement, I recommend booking an excursion while on Disney Castaway Cay. There are many excursions for you to enjoy! Parasailing, watercraft ski adventure, fishing, feeding stingrays and my personal favorite, snorkeling. During my family’s visit we decided to rent an inner tube and snorkel gear. My kids loved looking at the fish, searching for hidden Disney character statues in the ocean and swim with one of the four loggerhead sea turtles that call Castaway Cay home. Remember, loggerhead sea turtles are on the endangered species list and are protected animals. If you’re looking to explore the island, reserving a bike is a great option. With 1.5 miles of bike trail you will not only get some exercise, you will also experience breathtaking views of the island.

KIDS AND TEENS

The kids club and teen club fun doesn’t stop on the ship, Disney carried over their spaces onto Disney Castaway Cay. Scuttle’s Cove is the youth club for those young sailors who spend their time in the Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab. Within Scuttle’s Cove you will find a water play area and a sandy excavation site for children to explore. Youth counselors also host games throughout the day. For the teens in your family, the Teen Hideout is for those between the ages of fourteen and seventeen years old where they can kickback, meet other teens, listen to music and participate in activities in their own private area.

If there is one downside to Disney Castaway Cay it would have to be leaving. It is one of the prettiest places I have ever visited and offers lots of things to do.

I would love to help you plan your next Disney vacation! Email me at kenni@wishesfamilytravel.com for a complimentary quote.

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Mask Policy at Walt Disney World

Posted by on 7:00 am in Thoughts and Opinions | 0 comments

Mask Policy at Walt Disney World

Stephanie Peavy
11/17/20

Let me start off by saying that I know a lot of people do not feel comfortable traveling during this uncertain time, and I completely understand your reservations. However, if you would like to take a trip to Walt Disney World, I am here to tell you all about the mask policies and how to ease your fears. I took a quick trip to the parks a couple of months ago to see things for myself and to be able to give my clients the most up to date information available. Honestly, it was still a magical trip and I am so happy I was able to share it with my daughter on our first trip alone.

The policy on masks currently at Disney World are very straightforward and strict. You are required to wear your mask at all times in the park, whether you are walking around or riding a ride. You can only remove them if you are sitting down eating or in a designated rest area. There are several of these rest areas around the park and any cast member can point you in the right direction. We went to one in Magic Kingdom and one in Epcot. They both had tables and chairs socially distanced from one another and air conditioning which was wonderful. You can remove your mask in these areas and rest for as long as you need to. They were a blessing during the scorching summer months. 

I was so skeptical about having to wear a mask in the parks all day long in the July heat. I even had an anxiety attack worrying about it. I went a little overboard and ordered about 20 different masks to try and find one that worked best for me. In my opinion, the ones made out of spandex material stayed cool all day long. We were able to wash them at night and hang to dry and were ready to wear again the next day. 

You also are not able to wear any mask you want. The masks have to include two layers of material that cover your mouth and nose as well as have loops that go around your ears. You are not allowed to wear neck gaiters or bandanas to cover your face. It’s a good idea to know all of this information before your trip to Walt Disney World so you can be as prepared as possible. If you follow the rules, you can still have a very enjoyable experience even wearing masks. I would go again tomorrow if I could, mask and all. 

Please contact me to help you plan your next magical vacation!

stephaniep@wishesfamilytravel.com

318-229-9956

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19 Beautiful Things Saint Lucia Is Known For

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19 Beautiful Things Saint Lucia Is Known For

November 16, 2020

By: Kylie Morrow from Sandals Resorts

Saint Lucia isn’t called the Helen of the West for nothing – the island literally switched political allegiances seven times between French and the British rules. Only in 1814 did the British take definitive control, something that would leave a lasting mark on the island.

Comparable to Helen of Troy in beauty, the tagline fits this small island which has, since times of war, become independent, and self-sustainable. The Saint Lucia that is marketed today is one that has grown leaps and bounds, and still manages to hold onto elements both distinctively English, and unmistakably French.

sgl
Picture: Sandals Grande St. Lucian, the largest of three Sandals resorts in Saint Lucia.

Insider tip: Stay at one of the Sandals all-inclusive resorts in Saint Lucia, and get access to all three resorts and two golf courses (green fees included)! This includes free transfers between the resorts and a total of 27 spectacular restaurants on-property.

There is much to appreciate about Saint Lucia and the things the island is known for, including its majestic Piton Mountains, drive-in volcano, refreshing waterfalls, spectacular hiking trails, beautiful beaches, local street parties and exclusive restaurants.

There are many other things Saint Lucia is known for, and we’ve taken the liberty to detail the most popular!

19 things Saint Lucia is known for

The Piton Mountains

Pitons-Mountains-Saint-Lucia-2
Photo credit: Vyshnivskyy/Shutterstock.com

No matter how many times you see them, the Pitons remain as awe-inspiring as the first time. First time viewers, however, are likely to be especially blown away at how majestic these twin peaks are in real life, particularly when taking them in close up in either of the two towns where they are located.

Yup, indeed, Gros Piton and Petit Piton as they are known, can be found in two different areas on the island, Soufriere and Choiseul to be exact. They are in such precise positions, that from various angles they seem to be spouting up side by side, which makes a sighting of them even more remarkable. The Pitons are a World Heritage Site, with Gros Piton standing at 2,619ft, being the taller of the two.

While in Saint Lucia, say yes to an opportunity to climb the Pitons, as this is an experience you won’t soon forget. Guided tours are available to the top of Gros Piton, while Petit Piton rising 2,425ft is a steeper and more challenging climb, with much less hiking traffic to the top.

If you’re not up for climbing the Pitons, consider taking a catamaran cruise around these majestic landmarks which will allow you get close enough to take great photos.

The Sulphur Spring mud baths

Sulphur-Spring-mud-baths

The Sulphur Springs in Soufriere are often described as the only drive-in volcano in the Caribbean, and possibly the world. This is an active geothermal area, so much so that there are bubbling mud baths, and steaming vents.

The most popular thing to do at the Sulphur Springs is to dip into a mud bath, which is both therapeutic and fun. The Sulphur Springs is the ideal place to learn about the creation of the volcanic Caribbean islands, and the benefits of soaking in the springs, which are high in minerals. Try the Saint Lucian mud bath experience for a natural and economical spa treatment that’s also a good time. Visitors planning on going into the mud bath are encouraged to wear bathing suits that they don’t mind getting stained!

Gorgeous beaches

sgl-beach

Though Saint Lucia is a volcanic island, this nation boasts some of the most beautiful white/golden sand beaches in the Caribbean. In fact, the beaches at Anse Chastanet, Marigot Bay Beach and Rodney Bay are among the most stunning in the world. Bring more than one swimsuit/boardshorts to ensure you’re always beach ready!

Insider tip: Want to stay near the beach? Sandals Grande Saint Lucian Beach Resort & Spa is located on one of the most beautiful stretches of white sand beach in Saint Lucia. Guests of this luxurious all-inclusive resort can enjoy unlimited free cocktails, gourmet food, watersports, golf and more. With 12 gourmet restaurants on-property to choose from, you can eat something different every day!

Locally grown chocolate

chocolate
Photo credit: chromoprisme/Shutterstock.com

Chocolate is the magic word that often mends hearts, and in Saint Lucia you can try authentic, locally grown chocolate at the history packed Morne Coubaril or Fond Doux Plantation. At either of these spots you can get into the chocolate making action and take a cocoa tour during which you can learn about the cocoa making process while nibbling on fresh cocoa pods along the way. The most hands-on part of this activity is definitely crushing cocoa beans as you attempt to make your own chocolate bar, but it will all be worth it in the end!

Lush rainforests

Rain_forest
Photo credit: Simon Dannhauer/Shutterstock.com

Saint Lucia has thousands of acres of rainforest waiting to be explored. This makes it a great choice for travelers who want to go on hiking expeditions, or at least visit a rainforest to get more in tune with nature. Over 70% of the island consists of rainforest, which is remarkable considering some areas on the island are far more developed than many of the smaller islands of the region.

Nature trails and rainforest hikes

Tet-Paul-Nature-Trail-2

Speaking of hiking, there are quite a few options when it comes to exploring the Saint Lucian rainforest by foot; you can go to places like the Edmund Forest Reserve which can be accessed by way of Fond St. Jacques in Soufriere and takes about three to four hours to navigate, or trek along the Barre de l’Isle Forest Reserve which is a relatively easy walk, with great views along the way. You can also try the famous Tet Paul Nature Trail, which isn’t very strenuous, and takes about 45 minutes. Guides are necessary in most instances when it comes to hiking in Saint Lucia, and in some cases, you may have to get permission from the Forestry Department.

Beautiful botanical gardens

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Get away from it all at the Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens in Soufriere, where you can take in tropical flowers, and a whole lot of greenery. The Botanical Gardens is a mellow tour stop on the island, which is often explored simultaneously with the Diamond Falls, a picturesque waterfall located in the south of the island.

Spectacular helicopter tours

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See Saint Lucia from an aerial perspective with a helicopter tour. Some visitors work the helicopter tour into their airport transfers, making the transfer to their resort into an attraction itself. You can do a helicopter tour from the north to the south, and on most tours, you’ll have a knowledgeable pitot who can answer all your questions about the island. As you soar through the skies, take note of all the interesting things you see along the way, and take lots of spectacular photos!

A history of Indians

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Photo credit: Stephanie Rousseau/Shutterstock.com

The Arawaks are said to have been the first settlers to Saint Lucia, though from historical accounts, there may have been natives residing on the island even before the Arawaks arrived. It is believed that the Arawaks called the island Iouanalao, which translates to ‘Land of the Iguanas’, because of the multitude of iguanas roaming about. There aren’t as many iguanas on the island anymore, but the story and details of the history of the Arawaks and the Caribs who arrived later, still live on today. The Caribs referred to Saint Lucia as Hewanarau, and Hewanorra, the latter which serves as the name of the island’s international airport in Vieux Fort.

A history of piracy

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Photo credit: John Ray Gordon/Shutterstock.com

Many Caribbean islands have a surprising history of piracy, and Saint Lucia is one of those. The name of French pirate François le Clerc (known as Jambe de Bois) comes up a lot in Saint Lucia, as does the story about him setting up camp on Pigeon Island, from which vantage he was able to attack Spanish ships sailing in the area.

There are also reports of Blackbeard using the waters of Saint Lucia to plunder ships, and of the notorious pirate stashing his bounty in Vieux Fort. The bounty stashing claims have never been proven, nor has any hidden treasure been found, but many islands suffered for a while in the pirate era, which fortunately is something that has been left in the far distant past of Saint Lucia.

Pigeon Island National Park and Fort Rodney

Pigeon-Island
Photo credit: John Ray Gordon/Shutterstock.com

Pigeon Island was once just that, an island, which was linked after careful thought to the mainland via a causeway. Pigeon Island is packed with history, particularly the Pigeon Island National Park, home to Fort Rodney. Apart from pirates like Jambe de Bois making the area famous for all the wrong reasons, Fort Rodney within the National Park was once a British garrison. While in the park you’ll be able to explore trails, ruins, and beaches, and perhaps even picnic in the wide expanse of space in the park. Pigeon Island National Park is a 5-minute walk from Sandals Grande St. Lucian.

Castries colonial fort Morne Fortuné

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Photo credit: Lisa Strachan/Shutterstock.com

Morne Fortune means ‘Hill of Good Luck’, and the area just outside Castries has many impressive viewing points. Back in 1803-1844, during the time when the British had designated capital Castries as a major naval port, fortifications were built on Morne Fortune, which overlooks the city. These fortifications were significant in the battles between the French and the British, and most of them still stand today. A trip to Morne Fortune is worthwhile to see some of what has been left behind from that era, and to check out places like Government House on the northern side of the Morne, which is the official residence of Saint Lucia’s Governor General.

Picturesque Marigot Bay

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There are many things Saint Lucia is known for, and the postcard worthy Marigot Bay is one of those. The Bay is one of the most breathtaking in Saint Lucia, made even more special by its peaceful ambiance and striking landscape. One of the best ways to view Marigot Bay is by boat, and you’ll be swooning as you sail into the Marigot Bay Marina. Marigot Bay was prominently featured in the 1967 Doctor Doolittle movie, and today it remains just as beautiful or even more so than it was then.

Exotic birdwatching

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Even the birds realize that Saint Lucia is paradise, and this is clear in the multitude of bird species that can be found on the island, including six endemic species. Some of the endemic birds that can be found on the island are the Saint Lucia Parrot, known as the Amazona Versicolor, the Saint Lucia Oriole, and the Saint Lucia Pewee. All in all, there are 180 types of birds on the island, and the best places to bird watch or find out more about the different species are the Millet Bird Sanctuary, the Vieux Fort Wetlands, and the Des Cartiers Rainforest Trail.

Amazing scuba diving and snorkeling

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Scuba diving and snorkeling are great reasons to vacation in the Caribbean, and Saint Lucia is one of the best islands to do both because of the vibrant reefs that can be found in waters around the island. Some of the most popular places to dive are the Piton Wall, Anse Cochon, Coral Gardens, and Anse Chastanet, to name a few. If you’re planning on snorkeling or scuba diving in Saint Lucia, don’t worry too much about bringing your own gear, as you can rent some on the island. Sightings when snorkeling in Saint Lucia include turtles, rays, wrecks, and more.

Insider tip: Stay at any of the three all-inclusive Sandals Resorts in Saint Lucia, where PADI® certified guests scuba dive for free (max. two tanks per guest a day). This includes professional equipment and staff! Not yet PADI® certified? You can get your certification at the resort at additional cost.

Beautiful waterfalls

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There’s nothing like a cascading waterfall set against a spectacular tropical backdrop to set your mind at ease. In Saint Lucia, you can witness several of those, including the Toraille Waterfall which flows 50 feet down into a pool that you can dip into, the Diamond Falls, or the Piton Falls. There are many other waterfalls on the island, some which are harder to get to than others, and require a guide. The best way to explore Saint Lucia’s waterfalls is via a tour, which will also give you an opportunity to navigate nature trails with your tour group or guide.

Friday night parties at the “Fish Fry”

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Saint Lucians love to party, and Gros Islet and Anse La Raye are two communities on the island where you can experience the popular Saint Lucia street party. In Gros Islet, every Friday night grills are fired up and speakers are mounted up in the streets in anticipation of a night of partying and fun. This event has gone on for years and is known as the Gros Islet Street Party.

Occasionally you’ll find live performances, but every night there’s a DJ spinning the most popular Caribbean and international tracks. Anse La Raye on the west coast has a similar street party on Friday nights, but this event is known as a “Fish Fry”, and here seafood lovers can enjoy a variety of grilled food including crayfish, stewed fish, lobster and tasty local sides. You can also get items like roasted corn and hot bakes.

The Anse La Raye Fish Fry is more about the food than Gros Islet Friday Night, though both events are great for food and fun. These events are both usually well attended by locals and visitors and are the perfect opportunity to try the local beer, which in Saint Lucia’s case, is Piton beer! Dennery on the east coast also has a similar event, where you can dance to Reggae and Dancehall music all night and get a chance to hear Saint Lucia’s popular ‘Dennery Segment’, which is taking the music world by storm.

Riding horses on the beach

Horse-riding

Horse riding on the beach is something you can enjoy on your own, with friends, or with kids. Usually tours of this nature start off at the stables, where riders get a chance to get comfortable with their horses. After that, it’s onto the trail which leads to the beach. If you see your horse heading toward the water when you get to the beach, don’t panic; it’s all part of the tour. The horses are well trained, and simply love cooling off on a local beach just as much as the average human. Most horse-riding tours are about two hours long, so plan accordingly. Try Atlantic Shores Stables in Vieux Fort, Hoofprint Ranch in Roseau Valley, or any of the local stables in Cas En Bar.

Local open-air markets

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Castries may not be the most modern city, but it certainly is bustling. From Monday to Saturday you’ll find lots of activity in the city center, particularly at the Castries Market, or the Arcade. The Market is the place to go for fresh fruits, vegetables, and local spices, while you can find nearly any souvenir you can think of at the Arcade. A trip to the Market is a true way to meet and experience the authentic Saint Lucian way of life, and it is a good opportunity to find spices, cocoa tea, homemade craft items, and random Knick knacks to take home.

Seven authentic souvenirs to bring home with you

1. Painted masks

There is no short supply of souvenirs to be found in Saint Lucia, and brightly colored and hard carved wooden masks are high up on the list of things not to leave the island without for many visitors. The masks make it possible to take a piece of Saint Lucia home with you, which you can use to exhibit within your home, or give as a gift.

2. Handmade pottery

Pottery is never a bad gift, especially if it’s hand-crafted. You can pick up practical pottery pieces or show pieces that will add a lift to your décor back home. The pottery available in Saint Lucia is unique, and ranges from stylish to traditional, so you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.

3. Cocoa sticks

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Photo credit: BodyslamJ/Shutterstock.com

Cocoa tea in the Caribbean equates to hot chocolate in many other places, but the Caribbean version packs a lot more flavor. Cocoa sticks are essentially log sized ground and fermented cocoa beans. They are the essential ingredient in making Saint Lucian Cocoa Tea, and because they’re often so neatly packaged, you won’t have a hard time taking a few home with you.

4. Hot sauce

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Photo credit: New Africa/Shutterstock.com

Hot sauce goes with just about every meal on Caribbean terms, and by the time you’re ready to go back home, you’re likely to have a newfound appreciation for pepper. Try brands like Baron’s West Indian Hot Sauce if you’re looking for a tasty Caribbean hot sauce to take home. There are other local varieties available, but Barons is the most popular, and you’ll be able to use it on things like barbecued meats, burgers, fries, and more!

5. Local honey

Honey
Photo credit: Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

All honey is not created equal, and that is something that always comes as a surprise to people. Sweet and nutritionally dense, the reality is that honey can taste different depending on where it is made. This has to do with where the bees source the nectar and pollen, and the truth of the matter is, a well-made bottle of honey can indeed add some much-needed sweetness to life. Saint Lucian honey is pure and delicious, and you’ll want to try some during your time on the island.

6. Rum

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Photo credit: Kester Urwin/Shutterstock.com

Rum is something Saint Lucia knows a thing or two about, and this is much due to the island’s extensive rum distilling history. Saint Lucia has produced a few expertly crafted rums over the years, including the Saint Lucia Distillers produced and promoted Chairman’s Reserve Rum. You can get Chairman’s in the Original flavor, or in a Spiced Rum or White Rum variety, or you can get the ‘Forgotten Casks’ limited-edition bottles to give as gifts.

7. Piton Beer

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Photo credit: RaksyBH/Shutterstock.com

Piton Beer is one of those things you simply must try during your vacation in Saint Lucia, especially if you intend to snap some photos holding a Piton, on top of the Piton! This is the ultimate vacation photo ideal in Saint Lucia, but it wouldn’t be possible without the home-brewed Piton pilsner beer, which has earned international accolades, including several Monde Selection awards.

Three interesting facts about Saint Lucia

1. St. Lucia grows LOTS of bananas

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Photo credit: Kusska/Shutterstock.com

Bananas were once considered green gold in Saint Lucia (from 1964 onwards), and through the ‘gold rush’ has simmered down significantly over the years, Saint Lucia still has a healthy banana industry and farmers that are committed to ensuring their products get a space in regional and international markets in order to sustain their livelihoods.

You can see how big the banana industry is in Saint Lucia by just observing the extensive banana plantations on the roadside as you’re making your way to your resort; the bananas are usually wrapped in blue plastic bags to protect them from the elements, hungry birds and pesky insects. Be sure to have a banana or two while in Saint Lucia, as Saint Lucian bananas are known to be sweeter, and overall tastier.

2. Saint Lucia is the only country named after a woman

Saint Lucia is full of allure and excitement, and it is hardly surprising that it would be the only country in the world named after a woman (Saint Lucia of Syracuse)!

3. Two Nobel Prize winners were born in Saint Lucia

It’s no walk in the park to win a Nobel Prize, but the small island nation of Saint Lucia has earned two by way of Sir Derek Walcott for Literature (1992), and Sir Arthur Lewis in Economics (1979). This achievement makes Saint Lucia the country with the most Nobel Laureates per capita in the world. Saint Lucia’s Nobel Laureates are celebrated annually in the month of January (their birthday month), with an entire committee being set up to organize activities in their honor.

Simply beautiful

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Picture: The Sunset Oceanview Bluff Millionaire Butler Villa with Private Pool Sanctuary at all-inclusive resort Sandals Regency La Toc.

Knowing intricate details about a destination before getting there can enhance one’s experience by stretching their perspective and allowing them to be more receptive by way of being informed. There are so many things Saint Lucia is known for, that you’ll without a doubt be able to add to this list during your vacation on this simply beautiful island.

Originally posted November 6, 2020, by Sandals Resorts: https://www.sandals.com/blog/things-saint-lucia-is-known-for/

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