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Royal Caribbean: World’s Largest, Innovative Cruise Ships

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Royal Caribbean is well known for being the second largest cruise company in the world, but I bet most do not know that four of their 23 ships are the biggest (gross tonnage in volume) cruise vessels in the world. All of these cruise ships can hold anywhere from 4,000 to over 5,000 passengers.

Founded in 1968, this cruise line has been changing the world of cruising ever since. Their desire to create innovative ships began in the 1980’s and has continued into their most recent ship, Anthem of the Seas. This ship is ranked as the third largest cruise vessel in the world, coming in behind two other Royal Caribbean ships.

Royal Caribbean takes pride in their cruise ships, no matter the size, but their biggest ones definitely offer the most innovative experiences for a cruiser. Some of their most recent onboard activities include; ice skating, rock climbing, onboard surfing, zip lining, a golf simulator and many more experiences. An added benefit is that because there are so many options, the lines for each activity are likely to be shorter.

Being a large ship has befits that go beyond just the offered activities. Many of their ships offer over twenty places to eat, a spa, a fitness center, amplitude of entertainment options, and designated areas for all ages of the family. Not to mention, if you like having the option to not see the same people all the time, a large cruise ship is perfect for you.

Some would even call these big cruise vessels a floating city. The choices available on large cruise ships are endless. You are not limited to only a few activities when traveling on one of Royal Caribbean’s ships. Whether you feel like lying by one of their multiple pools, or zip lining through the sky, the choice is yours.

These large cruise ships are truly innovative, full of activities, and have a city-like feel while still being out in the middle of the ocean. It will be interesting to see what Royal Caribbean comes up with next.

Call us today to help you plan your next cruise vacation. 828-254-0746


All-Inclusive Special from $999 Per Person


Dreaming of somewhere warm and sunny? Well, at an affordable cost that dream vacation just became reality. Right now Royalton White Sands Resort is offering a great deal that we wanted to share with you. By choosing this all-inclusive resort you will have a peace of mind knowing your trip will be hassle free. All you are required to bring is your bags and yourself, leave the rest up to the staff at Royalton White Sands Resort. During your stay you will experience not only a luxury atmosphere, but also Jamaican culture. The staff is dedicated to giving their guests outstanding service, and pays very close attention to details while offering a 24-hour concierge service. As a guest you will receive first-class dining opportunities, which includes unlimited food and drink options. The resort also offers two pool options with an addition of a children’s splash pool, rain showers, a fitness center, daily and nightly activities, plus many more. The all-inclusive services will make your luxury vacation experience more wonderful than you could have imagined.

If you or a friend is interested in going here this summer, now would be a great time to book with the rates being as low as $999 a person. In addition to a good price, they are also including flights leaving from Charlotte, which is nearby and easily accessible. With that being said, since we are in the travel industry we like to share you all these rare deals that come through. We think this is a great bang-for-your-buck offer and the resort really does offer something for everyone.

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Good news, flyers! Airfare set to drop in 2015

Good news, flyers: a new report on the state of flying predicts that airfare prices will drop next year.

That’s one of several findings in a new report prepared by online booking site Expedia and the Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC), which offers a glimpse into how ticket prices are expected to change in 2015; the best times to score an airfare deal; and the shrinking gap between economy and premium class tickets.

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For flyers in North America and Europe, an increase in demand and increased capacity, paired with a decline in fuel prices, will translate into slightly lower ticket prices in 2015.

That’s especially true of for flights originating in North America and flying into Dallas, as fares are expected to drop 11% based on a year-over-year forecast.

Washington DC-bound travellers will also be happy to know that the report forecasts a 7% drop in year-over-year prices, while airfares are also expected to drop 6% to Tampa.

Driving increased capacity in Europe is the strong presence of low-cost carriers such as Vueling, Ryanair, Wizzair, easyJet and Norwegian who are leading the charge, the report notes.

Travellers in Europe may want to keep Rome on their travel radar in 2015, as airfare to the Italian destination is expected to drop 13% compared to the year previous. Fares to Madrid are also likely to drop 6%, while prices to Amsterdam and

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Top Travel Apps for International Travelers

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of travel apps out there to help you find everything from the best food in an airport to the best seat on a particular plane. But which of these apps are essential, and which are just fun to have? When you’re traveling overseas, what you need most are apps that can help you with navigation, translation and medical emergencies. Unless you’re springing for an international data plan, you also want apps that can function without a Wi-Fi/data connection.

We’ve done the research so you don’t have to and found nine of the top travel apps for international trips. All of the travel apps we found are available for both iOS and Android devices.

One note: Pay attention to your surroundings before pulling out an iPhone or other expensive device while you’re traveling overseas. In many countries, no one will give you a second glance; in some, you’re issuing an invitation to thieves.

Top Travel Apps for Translation

Remember flipping to the back of your guidebook and trying desperately to sound out the Polish words for “May I use the restroom?” With the powerful translation apps that are now available, communicating in a foreign language is vastly easier. The most popular travel app for translation is Google Translate because it can translate between 80 languages, can translate handwriting (but not printed text), and is, amazingly, free. Most reviewers praise the accuracy of the translations. One downside is that the iOS version requires a data connection or Wi-Fi to function, which can be expensive overseas.

WordLens is a top-rated travel app for visual translation: Just point your camera phone at a sign or printed material and it will translate it into your chosen language. As the app maker points out, “it’s not perfect, but you can get the general meaning!” No data is required, but you do have to purchase language packs for $4.99 (some are free.)

Top Travel Apps for Navigation

Sure, your phone already came pre-installed with a map or navigation app — but these rely on a data connection. City Maps 2Go offers more than 6,700 maps of world cities with tourist information. Even without an Internet connection, your position is shown on the map. The free version of the app includes five cities, while the $2.99 Pro version offers unlimited access to destination maps.

For even more detailed information on restaurants, hotels, attractions and nightlife, try the TripAdvisor Offline City Guides, one of the top-rated free travel apps that stores all its data on your phone, no data connection required.

Just need to check your email? The free travel app Wi-Fi Finder helps you find Wi-Fi spots around the world. For $4.99, WiFi Map Pro goes a step further, furnishing passwords as well as locations for more than 2 million hotspots.

Top Travel Apps for Health and Safety

Medical crisis overseas? Instead of trying to remember if you need to call 911 (in Liberia) or 119 (in Jamaica), use the TravelSmart app from Allianz Global Assistance. This free travel app includes emergency numbers, translations for essential first-aid terms, a drug dictionary and a list of reputable medical providers in your country.

For even more immediate help, download the First Aid by American Red Cross app. One of the must-have free travel apps, it includes instructions for administering first aid in various situations, and no Internet connection is required. The ICE Standard with Smart 911 app and similar apps add your emergency contact and medical information to your phone lock screen. Be aware, however, that the smart 911 feature is not designed to work in other countries. And remember that when you’re protected with travel insurance from Allianz Global Assistance, help is always just a phone call away.

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Wilcox Travel Consultant Fred Reed Receives Life Time Award

December 11, 2014


~ Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts Honor Shining Stars at the 13th Annual Sandals Travel Agency Recognition (S.T.A.R.) Awards~


Sandals Resorts celebrated The 13th Annual Sandals Travel Agency Recognition (S.T.A.R.) Awards on December 9, 2014, at Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort.


A total of 400 travel agents from North America, UK, Canada and Latin America traveled to Ocho Rios, Jamaica where they were recognized for their diligence and fortitude in selling the world’s best Luxury Included® vacations. Their trip consisted of activities and celebrations at Sandals Grande Riviera as they were honored for their hard work this past year.  Agents also experienced and enjoyed all the Luxury Included® amenities at Sandals Grande Riviera with an itinerary that included a beach party, a luncheon hosted by the Chairman for Chairman’s Royal Club members, Island Routes Caribbean Adventure tours, an exclusive performance from Tessane Chin, winner of NBC’s “The Voice” and much more. Agents were also able to spread holiday cheer with the Sandals Foundation by giving toys to local children of Stewart Town Primary school during the annual Christmas Treats celebration.


Special guests attending the 13th annual award ceremony included President & CEO of ASTA, Mr. Zane Kerby, who personally addressed the agents; keynote speaker and Dr. The Hon. Kenneth Wykeham McNeill, Minister of Tourism and Entertainment for Jamaica and event sponsors, TravelWeek, Travel Agent magazine and AirCanada.


Sandals Resorts created the S.T.A.R. Awards in 2002 as a way to recognize top travel agents and their agencies as well as showcase the latest resort products and on-island attractions.  In addition to top product, regional and national categories, the S.T.A.R. Awards announced the Worldwide Top Ten Travel Agencies, President’s and Chairman’s Awards and the Lifetime Achievement Awards. Among the impressive awards taken home this year, the distinguished group of winners included the following:


  • Lifetime Achievement Awards:

o   Marta Perez, Roger’s Travel

o   Rita Caracola, Travel Expo

o   Barbara May, Travel Leaders

o   Fred Reed, Wilcox Travel

o   Cindy McCabe, Bethany Travel

o   Glenn McGehee, McGehee Cruise & Vacation

o   Linda Martindell, Totem Travel

o   Douglas Dorey, Ultima Travel

  • CEO’s Award: Kira Solomon, My Paradise Planner (US)
  • Chairman’s Award: Kim Hartlen, (CAN); Mark Hennigan, Dreamer’s Travel (US)
  • Worldwide Top Grand Pineapple Travel Agency Chain: American Express Travel
  • Worldwide Top Beaches Travel Agency Chain: AAA Travel
  • Worldwide Top Sandals Travel Agency Chain:Liberty Travel
  • Worldwide Contribution to the Sandals Foundation:Jennifer Borgh, Travel Only (CAN)
  • Worldwide Top Ten Travel Agencies:Nexion, INC,, KHM Travel Group, Enchanted Honeymoons, Travel Planners International INC/ATR Travel SVC, Cruise Planners/American Express, Vacations To Go,, LoyaltyOne Travel, V.I.P Vacations, Inc.

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