Emerald Waterways Announces First Ocean Cruise

Posted By : travelisswell/ 15 0

Emerald Waterways is heading into the world of ocean cruising with the announcement of a brand-new yacht sailing itinerary along Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast.

Set to launch in 2019, the Islands of Dalmatia cruise will be Emerald Waterways’ first ocean cruise. The itinerary invites guests aboard the 18-cabin MV Adriatic Princess II, a newly commissioned yacht designed to navigate the small ports of the Dalmatian Coast. Highlights of the 8-day itinerary include visits to Trogir, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; Sibenik, one of the oldest towns on the Adriatic Coast; and Krka National Park, known for its waterfalls and lavender fields.

The Islands of Dalmatia itinerary will sail April through October 2019, and Emerald Waterways is currently accepting pre-bookings with a refundable $250 deposit.

Karisma Hotel Experience

Posted By : travelisswell/ 12 0

The Karisma Experience begins the moment you arrive at one of our hotels or resorts. From the first hello, you will encounter a commitment to personal service and comfort that is unprecedented in hospitality. Whether you choose to stay in one of our Gourmet Inclusive® properties, an à la carte hotel, an all-inclusive resort or a private villa, your experience will be one that you’ll never forget. Because luxury is more than beautiful architecture and accommodations…it’s anticipating the needs of our guests without ever being intrusive.

Karisma offers a wide range of unique properties in a variety of world-class destinations; from adults-only and family-friendly to opulent villas and intimate urban retreats. At Karisma, we believe in sustainability and giving back to the community. The real secret behind the Karisma Experience is that when you treat your staff and your guests like family, you create positive feelings and cherished memories that last forever.

Karisma Hotel Brands include El Dorado Resorts, Azul Beach Resorts, Hidden Beach Resorts and Generations Resort. Learn more about Karisma Hotels in Mexico and Jamaica…

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Seabourn Debuts Culinary Options Aboard Seabourn Ovation

Posted By : travelisswell/ 11 0

Luxury cruise line Seabourn is readying a menu of dining options on its newest ship, Seabourn Ovation. Scheduled to launch in May 2018, the fifth ultra-luxury vessel in the Seabourn fleet will have five distinct restaurants, each serving gourmet dishes curated by expert chefs, including the Michelin-starred American Chef and restaurateur, Thomas Keller.

Here’s what’s on the menu for Seabourn Ovation:

New Artisan Gelato

The ship will offer the line’s new milk- and fruit-based gelato, which will be made fresh daily and served across the vessel. Guests can choose from flavors like Amarena Cherry, Amaretto, Dulce De Leche, and Cappuccino. The selection will also include fruit-based gelato flavors such as Blood Orange, Coconut, Wild Berry, Yuzu, Black Currant, and Black Cherry.

The gelato menu will also have a local ingredient gelato as a “daily special” on voyages where the culinary team can procure the ingredients in select ports such as lemon when visiting the Amalfi Coast. Flavors will also include “no sugar added” gelato. The new gelato program will launch in April on Seabourn Encore and be available fleet wide by early 2019.
The Grill by Thomas Keller

Created via partnership with Thomas Keller, The Grill serves a classic menu with updated versions of iconic dishes in an ambiance inspired by the classic ’50s and ’60s American restaurant. Options include classic Caesar Salad; Lobster Thermidor; Medallions of Elysian Fields Farm Lamb; And Meyer Lemon Meringue Tart. The wine list, personally curated by Chef Keller, has more than 90 domestic and old-world labels, including many rare offerings. Advanced reservations are required for The Grill.


Sushi offers hot and cold items like Salmon Tataki; Black King Fish Sashimi; and Bbq Eel Maki. The sake menu offers a number of selections, many displayed against a lighted wall creating a work of art. Service is available through the day, including Bento boxes and select sushi features at lunch, with sushi chefs in action for all to see. This restaurant is only featured on Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation.


The Restaurant

A fine-dining and open-seating gourmet experience, The Restaurant’s menus offer a wide variety of choices and dishes prepared to order by the line’s culinary team. Choose an appetizer, an entrée (or vegetarian option), and a dessert with selections such as Black Truffle Risotto & Poached Egg; Char Broiled Iberico Pork Chop; Crisp Polenta and Mushroom Cake; and Hot Coconut Soufflé. On select nights, The Restaurant offers a selection of dishes by Thomas Keller as well as favorites from Seabourn’s menu. The Restaurant also features a premium wine selection showcased in a glass wall.


The Colonnade

This casual restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating is the spot for breakfast, lunch and dinner prepared in an open-kitchen style and offered via table service or buffet. Guests can look on as Seabourn chefs create an ever-changing array of regionally themed, bistro-style experiences such as Dungeness Crab Cakes; Roast Prime Rib of Beef; Potato & Beaufort Cheese Torte; And Baked New York Cheese Cake. Special theme nights offer Chef Keller-influenced family-style dinners that pay homage to his American childhood.


The Patio

Relaxed, casual, and located by the pool, The Patio offers luncheon buffets and a full dinner menu with salads, pastas, soups, and grilled specialties, plus freshly baked gourmet pizza. Guests can order Chef Keller’s signature Napa Burger developed exclusively for Seabourn, or his artisanal Yountwurst hot-dog named for the hometown of The French Laundry and the original Bouchon.

In-Suite Dining

Seabourn Ovation offers a menu of gourmet breakfast, lunch and dinner items around the clock, including course by course dinner from The Restaurant, to be enjoyed in suite or on the private veranda.


Cocktail Hour

Seabourn Ovation will have seven lounges and bars with an accessible open-bar policy. Select venues also offer craft cocktails created exclusively for Seabourn by mixologist Brian van Flandern. Every evening guests will find tapas served in the Observation Bar and a selection of canapes in The Club.

Seabourn Square

Seabourn Square offers freshly baked breakfast treats and afternoon snacks. The baristas onboard also roast coffee fresh each day and prepare a variety of coffee and tea selections.

Afternoon Tea

Served daily in The Observation Bar, Afternoon Tea is welcome ritual for many guests and includes light bites such as scones and fresh baked cookies.

Learn More About Seabourn…..



All New – Shop for Cruise Deals on All Major Cruise Lines with CMTravelonline

Posted By : travelisswell/ 21 0

CMTravelonline.net, our sister site, now makes booking discount and luxury cruises easy. Get a great price on your next cruise vacation for multiple destinations and lengths.  Shop for Cruise Deals on all major Cruise Lines that you’ve come to know and love.


CMTravelonline.net features cruise vacations at top cruise destinations around the world. Cruise to the sunny Caribbean, Bahamas or Mexico or a more adventurous location such as Europe or Alaska. Wherever your destination, you’re sure to find the cruise vacation of your dreams on CMTravelonline – Where Travel is SWELL.


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Introducing: The New All-Fun Inclusive Hotel Xcaret Mexico!

Posted By : travelisswell/ 24 0

Five miles from Playa del Carmen in the heart of the Riviera Maya, a new hotel concept is born: Hotel Xcaret Mexico, a natural haven by the Caribbean Sea and the mystic jungle—inspired by the warmth of true Mexican hospitality, full of both tradition and modernity. Enjoy the best of Mexico, with unlimited access to Xcaret parks and tours: Xcaret, Xel-Ha, Xplor, Xplor Fuego, Xoximilco, Xenses, Xenotes, and Xichen; with transportation included and a meal plan offered by each attraction. The ALL-FUN INCLUSIVE® program transforms the traditional all-inclusive into a unique experience!   Learn More…..

What is a Travel Designer?

Posted By : travelisswell/ 106 0

Everybody knows what a Travel Agent is, but when I say “Travel Designer” most people are left scratching their heads and giving me a weird look that says Technically I know what both of those words mean, but I have no idea what you’re talking about. Also, I am hungry.

If I have some food on me I’ll be sure and offer it up, but I’ve always got an answer for “What is a Travel Designer?” Simply put: a Travel Agent will get you where you’re going, but a Travel Designer will not only get you there but make sure you have the time of your life.

Travel is SWELL‘s purpose is to design customized travel and wellness experiences. This is a fancy way of saying, “Tell us what kind of vacation you want and we’ll make it happen.” Travel Designers talk with you, get to know you and your likes and dislikes, and then present to you packages or options that best fit your needs and wants. Because of our connections around the world with hotels, tours, excursion providers, resorts, and so much more, we can get you anywhere in the world you want to go and provide you with a variety of experiences once you get there… experiences you might turn up via research, or you might not. But who wants to do research? The great thing is: we’ve already done all the research for you. And, in the vast majority of cases, we won’t charge you a thing for our services.

I’ll be honest with you and tell you that the first time I found out what a Travel Designer is and does, I needed more explanation. I’m the kind of person who needs words spelled for me to pronounce them correctly, and I need to see examples to understand something as abstract as “make sure you have the time of your life.” Here’s what this all looks like, practically:

The first thing a Travel Designer will do is ask what things you liked and disliked about your past travel experiences, and what you’re thinking about doing now. Let’s use Eli and Rosa as an example. Eli and Rosa are a California couple in their 50’s. All the kids have moved out of the house and they’re finally ready to explore the world. They’ve been saving for a little while now and they, like a lot of us these days, value experiences over accumulating more stuff. They’re ready to invest in an experience they can remember forever. They’ve been talking about traveling to New York for years, but have never pulled the trigger. Why? They honestly hate trying to figure out flights and hotels and rental cars and where to go and what to do and where to eat. Especially in a big, crazy city like New York.

In other words, they’re our perfect clients.

One of our premiere Travel Designers, Erin, sat down with Eli and Rosa and used the Travel is SWELL questionnaire to determine that they’re the type of people who like the touristy stuff. They wanted to see the Empire State Building and Central Park and Ground Zero and all of it. They also wanted to take in a show on Broadway and eat at a good hole-in-the-wall place that other tourists might not know about. And they wanted at least an afternoon to just wander around the city, but they wanted the safety of not getting lost. Additionally, there were a few historical sites in Upstate New York they desperately wanted to see, but they weren’t sure they’d be able to fit them into their five-day schedule and stay on budget.

Erin took what they talked about together and was able to craft three different, fully customized travel packages for Eli and Rosa. They were able to get everything they wanted, including a trip upstate and a flight out of Rochester on instead of returning to the airport they’d be arriving at in New York City. Their itinerary will take them to the Empire State Building, Central Park, a show on Broadway, the Ground Zero Museum, and several restaurants. They also have an afternoon when they’ll wander around the city using a hop-on/hop-off bus to set their own pace and get them safely back to their hotel. Erin also let Eli and Rosa know that the historical sites they’d be visiting would put them within spitting distance of Niagra Falls. A little juggling of the schedule and they could absolutely check it out with time to spare. Eli and Rosa were all about that.

A week after they first met, Eli and Rosa approved the package Erin put together and Erin took care of the rest. She booked the flights, hotel, and rental car. She secured the tickets to the show and mapped out their travels so they knew exactly where to be and when. The relief Eli and Rosa felt at having it all taken care of for them was the best part of the whole process for Erin. It’s what gives her the most joy in her work as a Travel Designer.

Full disclosure: Erin is my wife. While she was confident this was absolutely the trip that was just right for Eli and Rosa, we reflected together afterwards about how their trip seems amazing, but is also quite different from what we’d do as couple. And that’s okay! If we were to take the trip, we’d seek more of the out out-of-the-way places and experiences that a typical New Yorker would have in their day-to-day. We’d probably also have turned it more into a food tour (at my insistence). But that’s what a Travel Designer does: it’s not just about getting there, it’s about having the time of YOUR life when you’re there. Not mine, and not Erin’s–yours.

As I said before, we don’t, in most cases, charge a thing for these services. I know that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when you consider just how much a Travel Designer does for you, but it’s true.

If you think you’d like to talk to one of our Travel Designers, you should! An inquiry or a conversation costs nothing and you might be surprised just how much they can do for you.


This is Erin. She was able to help Eli and Rosa and she can help you. You can contact her via email at eheasley@travelisswell.com, or by phone at 559-906-0270.


This is Chris. He has almost three decades of experience in the travel industry and you’d be hard-pressed to find a place he hasn’t been. You can contact him at info@travelisswell.com, or by phone at 559-207-0545.

They sincerely hope to hear from you today.

Brock Heasley is a filmmaker and artist serving as Travel is SWELL‘s Creative Director. His favorite place in the world is Garmisch, Germany where he swears the color green was actually invented. 

Announcing our New 2018 Family Travel Collection

Posted By : travelisswell/ 26 0

Here at Travel is SWELL, we believe that travel is essential for a happy life—and of course, it’s better together. Taking trips with family can be life-changing, but with so many different desires for the ideal vacation experience, it requires some careful advance planning. That’s where your Travel Designer comes in! Our Family Travel collection provides you and your Travel Designer a vast selection of exciting destinations, luxurious accommodations, and delightful amenities and activities to suit every unique member of your family. From boutique resorts offering relaxation away from home, to expansive residences perfect for multi-generational adventurers, this collection is sure to inspire your next vacation experience, with amazing memories in store for the whole family.


We Invite You to Preview Our New Family Travel Collection

Top RIU Spa Hotels: A Rejuvenating Experience

Posted By : travelisswell/ 81 0

If you are looking for more than just some sunny days at the beach, we can offer you exactly what you are looking for. Many of our hotels offer beauty and body treatments to care for your body and mind. We work together with experts on special health programs that are run in comfortable and elegant facilities. So we have created a list of our top 10 hotels with the best spas and wellness centers at the world’s most popular destinations. Choose the dates of your next vacation, come and relax, and we will take care of the rest.


Many RIU hotels have spas, health and wellness centers or thalassotherapy facilities to give you some precious moments of relaxation during your stay. All of them are designed so that when you reach your destination you can enjoy the best treatments at the hands of true professionals in modern and elegant facilities.

Programs range from classic beauty treatments and relaxing massages to oriental relaxation. If our guests prefer something more, or want to spend a special day, for example during their honeymoon, there are special packages for weddings and newlyweds. Come and see our facilities and let yourself be looked after!


1: Hotel Riu Palace Aruba
As well as views of Palm Beach, this hotel also a top-quality spa. The luxury service and comfort of its facilities make this palace an ideal place to spend a dream vacation.

2: Hotel Riu Tikida Palmeraie
Only those who have visited the hotel can imagine the sensation of well-being that surrounds the place. So we invite you to experience for yourself this little oasis in the middle of the city of Marrakech. Its spa can give various body treatments that will make you forget about all the strains of daily living.

3: Hotel Riu Kaya Palazzo
This modern and sophisticated hotel has one of the most striking interior decors in Antalya. The peace and relaxation offered by day and the display of colored light by the pool at night make this an unforgettable place. It offers a range of beauty and wellness treatments and very comfortable rooms.

4: Hotel Riu Tikida Beach
If you have never visited a hamam, we suggest you try an authentic one at the Hotel Riu Tikida Beach. Morocco is well known, among other things, for its hamams, which are steam baths with curative and purifying properties. This is certainly one of our best wellness centers on the Agadir coast.

5: Hotel Riu Tikida Garden
If, on the other hand, you travel to the center of Marrakech, you will be able to enjoy some time at the hotel spa. This is a hotel that has managed to combine elements of traditional Moroccan culture with a contemporary look. It is a true oasis in the center of Marrakech city. Its spa offers guests various treatments, such as massages, facial treatments and water jets.

6: Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica
If, as well as discovering the marvels of Costa Rica’s wild environment, you are looking for a place to relax, this hotel should be your destination. Its excellent facilities and spectacular surroundings will make your stay unforgettable. Revel in the tropical climate and heavenly beach where you find yourself.

7: Hotel Riu Palace Jamaica
In Jamaica you can find everything a tourist is looking for: good music, local and international cuisine and fun, 24 hours a day. Furthermore, after a full day, what could be better than this palace hotel’s spa? Relaxing massages, whirlpool baths, sauna and a range of treatments. As the locals say: ‘Don’t worry, be happy’.

8: Hotel Riu Palace Peninsula
This recently built hotel is located by a beach lapped by turquoise waters, and it offers guests a very high quality service. It has a full wellness center with a range of facial and body treatments. Furthermore, this resort has taken tranquility to a new level, and boasts Adults Only Villas, rooms exclusively for adults looking for a relaxed stay, away from the bustle of Cancun.

About RIU Hotels & Resorts

RIU Hotels & Resorts offers you a wide variety of hotels in the world’s best destinations so that you can enjoy unforgettable holidays. At our hotels, you’ll find complete facilities where you can enjoy an extensive gastronomic offer, the best entertainment and a host of exclusive services that characterize the company.

Choose one of our holiday, urban, family or adults-only hotels and enjoy an escape to your favorite destination. Enjoy unique experiences with RIU!  Learn More…..


4 Reasons You Should Still Travel to the Caribbean

Posted By : travelisswell/ 96 0

Hurricanes Irma and Maria attacked the Caribbean as if it was their mission this September, leaving billions of dollars of damage in their wake. Reports say that Barbuda (sister island of Antigua) is no longer inhabitable, and a tragic news story about Puerto Rico comes out every day.

And, let’s not forget about St. Maarten and Dominica, where as much as 90 percent of the islands were destroyed.

While all the bad news may make you wonder if the Caribbean is worth visiting, it’s important to note that there are still plenty of reasons to visit the selection of islands that make up this part of the world. Before you eschew the Caribbean and book elsewhere, consider these reasons to visit anyway:

Plenty of Islands Are Outside the Hurricane Belt

If you’ve been dreaming of visiting the Caribbean but are worried about running into damage that might ruin your trip, keep in mind that plenty of Caribbean islands are outside the hurricane belt—and that many didn’t encounter a hurricane at all.

Barbados, Curacao, Grenada and many other islands aren’t anywhere near the typical hurricane zone. Many others like Jamaica and Grand Cayman saw no damage at all while some resort destinations like the Dominican Republic and St. Kitts/Nevis saw only a passing blow.

Damaged Islands Need Your Money and Help

Since many Caribbean islands rely on tourism as their main source of income, actually visiting an impacted island is one of the best ways you can help.

By spending your money at hotels and restaurants, you’re putting cash right into the hands of people who can desperately use it.


Many Damaged Islands Are Already Back Up and Running

Some islands that noted damage were able to turn around and reopen to tourists rather fast.

Antigua, for example, is mostly open and just as beautiful as ever, its CEO of the local tourism board told The Telegraph. Anguilla appears to be on its way back in business, and the islands that make up the Bahamas are mostly back up and running as usual.

The Caribbean Offers Any Travel Experience You Could Want

You could fly to Europe to experience Dutch, French or British culture, but several islands in the Caribbean offer European flair—and often food—since they are colonies of larger countries across the pond.

Visit Curacao for a taste of Dutch delicacies like bitterballen and stroopwafels, for example.

And, don’t forget that the Caribbean is more than just beautiful beaches. The islands boast mountains you can climb, amazing snorkeling, plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation and amazing foodie experiences featuring local ingredients like seafood and spices.

Hurricanes Irma and Maria may have battered part of the Caribbean, but the islands still have plenty to offer visitors. Whether you love seafood or snorkeling or giant stretches of white sand beach, you can still find it in the Caribbean.

And right now, they need you more than ever.