Click One To Contact Us
Fall Is the Perfect Time for Caribbean Cruises

If you are like some people who wonder when they should cruise, you need to hear this: fall is the best time for Caribbean cruises.

If you are like many people who would love to experience one of the biggest passenger ships at sea, but you were turned off by the summer rates, here this: fall is the best time for Caribbean cruises.

If you are like some people who carefully watch how much money they spend on vacation, this is for you: fall is the best time for Caribbean cruises.

If you are like many people who have always wanted to experience a cruise ship vacation, but thought it was too expensive, here this: fall is the best time for Caribbean cruises.

What is so great about cruising to the Caribbean during the fall months?  Money.  You save on your vacation and can do more.

It is a fact that you will always pay less for an inclusive family cruise to the Caribbean from September through November (excluding Thanksgiving), than you would at any other time.  The truth is that most people take a vacation during the summer months.

Consequently, as demand for cruise ship cabins fall the prices fall.  It is simple economics.  

Another factor which contribute to lower cruise rates is the fact that the Atlantic Hurricane Season runs until November 30th.  Many people stay away from the Caribbean during this time of the year, but not everyone.

You should plan to be among the reduced number of people sailing on Caribbean cruises this year or next, because fall is the perfect time for Caribbean cruises.

With more money in your pocket, you can do more things with your cruise vacation. 

Let us help you plan your fall cruise getaway. Click now to visit us and send a cruise quote request.

Happy sailing!

Petes Travel Center

Home-Schoolers Cruise In The Fall

It is no secret that thousands more families than ever before are home-schooling their children.

Homes-schooling offers great flexibility with schedules and therefore I contend that home-schoolers should cruise in the fall.

If your children are home-schooled, do not spend more money than you need to in order to cruise during the summer. Simply wait until most children are back in school and then take your family's inclusive cruise vacation.

Why do I recommend this? It is quite simple:

1. There are fewer people and children cruising in the fall;
2. The prices on fall cruises are much better than on summer sailings; and,
3. You have a better chance of getting on the cruise ship and with the cruise line you desire.

Use your flexibility in scheduling as your biggest advantage and plan your next family getaway. 

Who knows?  You may make your home-schooler cruise in the fall an annual family vacation.

Happy sailing!

Petes Travel Center

Summer 2016 Vacation Plans - What Are Yours?

Our children have been on summer break now for almost two weeks.  Incredible!  

It seemed like just yesterday that they were so jubilant that summer was here and now two weeks have flown by.

For those of you in the northeast or elsewhere, school is still in.  But before long, your kids will also be out.

What are your summer 2016 vacation plans?

Yes, summer has arrived for us the South.  How about you?  How much longer to summer break do you have?  And, what plans do you have for your kids?

We normally take a week to get away during summer.  This year, that week will be at the end of June.  We will be flying to Montego Bay, Jamaica for an all-inclusive resort family getaway.

I must admit that I would prefer to be going on a cruise, but this year we will do something different.  If fact, we have already been on a cruise this year (sailed from New Orleans to Cozumel and Progreso in Mexico in February).

The trip to Jamaica promises to be great fun.  We will be staying at the Holiday Inn Resort, which is quite family-friendly and which recently underwent millions of dollars in renovations.  Twelve of us are making this trip and we hope to spend quite a bit of time on the beach, much time enjoying the Jamaican cuisine and we will take a day to check out one or two attractions in Montego Bay or Ocho Rios.

How are the plans going at your house?  What are some of the things you normally do?  If you have never tried a getaway – a cruise – for example, you should think about it.  

You can sometimes find last minute cruises at decent rates.

If not a cruise, I hope that you are planning something else.  Have you considered a beach trip?  How about an all-inclusive resort?  You may even do a hike somewhere or visit an amusement park.

With summer upon us, it is time to get some plans for the kids.  If you need help, I’ll be happy to assist.  You may reach me at

Whatever you do, I hope that you will make your summer 2016 vacation plans super.  

Go have fun!

Peter Grant
Petes Travel Center


Cruise Lines' Private Bahamian Island Resorts

Did you know that the top Caribbean cruise lines own private Bahamian island resorts?  Well, if you did not, now you do.

Cruise lines such as Carnival, Disney Cruises, Holland America, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International have multiple cruise itineraries to the Bahamas year-round.  The fact is the islands of the Bahamas are very close to south Florida, have great weather all year, and are a major magnet for vacationers.

Consequently, it makes sense to have pieces of prime property where certain specialties can be offered to cruise passengers.

Cruise lines' private Bahamian island resorts are used largely as beach stops.  Each island has nicely carved out beach spots, as well as a ton of other activities for cruise passengers.

Expect to find adult-only fun areas, as well as those for the entire family. You will also have a chance at many water equipment and sports such as parasailing and jet-skiing.

Finally, the private Bahamian island resorts are set up to provide you with an enjoyable Caribbean-style lunch - a hearty bite, while you enjoy the Caribbean Sea.  You will also find vendors on the islands.

So, what are the Caribbean Cruise lines' private Bahamian islands?  Carnival shares ownership of the Half Moon Cay with Holland America.  Disney owns Castaway Cay.  Norwegian owns Great Stirrup Cay. 
Princess Cruises owns Princess Cays.  Royal Caribbean owns CocoCay (Coco Cay).

Expect a ton load of fun, if you book a cruise that includes one of these island resorts.

Note: Above photo was taken on Princess Cays by yours truly.

Petes Travel Center


Exciting Group Cruise Opportunities for 2016

Before you know it, the New Year will begin.  

What family vacation plans have you already made? If you said, "None", then I have some exciting group cruise opportunities for 2016 to share with you.

These cruises are with three different cruise lines: Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean International.  The cruises are during different months of 2016.  One cruise with Carnival is actually a "mission" sailing, giving you a great opportunity to help needy orphans in Cozumel, Mexico.  Also, the cruise with Royal Caribbean is aboard the biggest cruise ship at sea, Allure of the Seas.

Sounds like fun to me!

Click on the link for each cruise, check it out, discuss it with your family and return to the link to reserve your cabin.

Here are the cruises:

1. Cruise Pack Mission Cozumel - Please join us as we bring backpacks with supplies to an orphanage in Cozumel, February 15-20, 2016.  You may click here to view the information and reserve your cabin.  You have until December 10th to pay only $200 per person to hold a cabin. Final payments must be made by December 15th.

2. End of Winter Princess Cruise - Celebrate the end of winter and ring in spring aboard an exciting cruise ship to the Caribbean.  Plan to escape on the beautiful Emerald Princess.  This cruise sails from Ft. Lauderdale.  To see more information and reserve your cabin, click here.

3. Caribbean Cruise Springathon - How about springtime in the Caribbean?  Do so with friends and relatives for sheer fun.  Sail with Carnival Paradise to Grand Cayman and Cozumel at really great prices.  Click now to view the information and reserve your cabin.

4. Cruisers Only - This one is for cruisers only.  If that's you, plan to get away in the middle of spring to the Caribbean.  Set sail from Miami to the Turks & Caicos Islands aboard the highly popular Carnival Breeze.  Bring some girlfriends along for the ride.  Click here to see the information and reserve your cabin.  

5. Biggest Ship Getaway - The biggest cruise ship on the high seas is Royal Caribbean's, Allure of the Seas.  This ship offers just about everything.  Think Central Park, carousel, zipline, aqua-theater and so much more.  Now you can plan to sail away on this huge and fun ship in October 2016.  Grab some pals and go.  Click here to view the information and reserve your cabin now.

I hope that one of these exciting group cruise opportunities for 2016 works for you and your family.

Remember to go have fun!

Peter Grant
Petes Travel Center


Las Vegas Hotels: Tropicana Las Vegas


On our recent drive-over from Flagstaff to Las Vegas, I took a photo of several hotels on the strip.  But for the Tropicana, we actually walked into the lobby.  It was a beautiful and inviting area, with the casino “right there.”

The Tropicana Las Vegas is rated #76 of 273 hotels in Las Vegas and most of its past guests recommend it as a place to stay.

Some things to note about this hotel is that it is only about 2 miles from the McCarran Airport, which means that the taxi fare should be reasonable.  In addition, the hotel has a tropical and beach-like ambiance.  Look at the attached photo and you’ll see the palm trees in front.

The Tropicana Las Vegas gets an “Excellent” or “Very Good” rating from most of its visitors, and there are many positive reviews on a site like TripAdvisor.  However, there are some negative ones.  Compare and make your decision.

If you would like to consider this hotel, you may check for prices here:

Have a great Las Vegas getaway!

Peter Grant

Petes Travel Center


We Toured Sedona, Arizona On Vacation

One of the highlights of our Arizona vacation was a tour of Sedona.  This is actually a well-known city located in hilly terrain not far from Flagstaff.

Before leaving home for Arizona, we checked Groupon for activity deals and found a tour deal costing $57 for four people (local taxes added at the site).  The tour was with a company called the Red Rock Magic Trolley. 

Our tour started out with a cookie and a bottle of water being given to each rider.  

There was a driver and guide.  They took turns sharing interesting information about Sedona and pointing out points of interests, including amazing rock formations.  There was a lizard having lunch from one angle and then lunch was all gone from another angle.  Cool!

Some interesting things we learned about Sedona included:

1. The city was named after a lady, who married a man of whom her family did not approve.

2. The city’s population is comprised mainly of people over 50 years old.

3. Sedona goes from fall to spring temperatures, with winter temperatures reaching about 55 degrees.

4. Sedona was once home to a Western town, in which several Westerns were filmed featuring popular stars like John Wayne.

5. Several Hollywood celebrities are said to have homes in Sedona, which is about a day’s drive from Los Angeles.

6. Sedona is home to the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a unique chapel nestled in the hillside and a place where people may stop to pray.

7. Real estate in Sedona is quite expensive.

The city is known for its red rocks and soil.  Many people rent jeeps and take rides into the rugged terrain.  From observation, it is a well-kept city, quite clean, with authentic foods and other things to enjoy.

Plan to visit, next time you are in Arizona.

Peter Grant


Amazing Grand Canyon Vacation

Whenever I think of the Grand Canyon, I can only think of terms such as “amazing”, “impressive”, “incredible!"

My family recently vacationed in Arizona.  The main reason for our trip was to visit the Grand Canyon.  We had heard all the stories, had seen pictures, but wanted to see the “thing” in person.

We stayed at the Wyndham Flagstaff Resort, which put us about 80 miles from the south rim of the canyon.  

You might have heard that there is a south and a north rim.  The distance from Flagstaff to the north rim was over 200 miles.  At first we had planned to visit Utah and then enter the Grand Canyon from the north rim, on our way home.  But we changed our plans.

From Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon we headed north on SR89 and then went west on SR64.  The trip took us about an hour and half to get to the eastern entrance.  The fee to enter is $25, but you can use the pass for seven days at the Grand Canyon or any other national park.

Our first stop inside the canyon was at Desert Point.  This turned out to be the only place we noticed with some kind of rail.  There was also a tower overlooking the canyon.  As you can imagine, we climbed the stairs of the tower (quite exhausting), to get a better view.  Amazing!

From the Desert Point, we continued to the “Grand View” and then onto the Marketplace.  After grabbing lunch, we boarded a shuttle bus (this service is complimentary) to a transfer point where we were able to ride another bus along the rim.  We got out at different points to get photos and waited for the next bus to continue the journey.

The experience was simply fabulous!  I could not fathom the vastness and interesting formations of the Grand Canyon.  It is said that this was all caused by erosion – maybe some – but I give glory to God for the natural beauty I got a chance to see.

I also learned some interesting facts about the Grand Canyon:

1. It is 277 miles in length, 10 miles across and 1 mile deep.

2. It is bigger than the state of Delaware.

3. The north rim is about 1,000 feet higher than the south rim.

4. The lone river running through the canyon is the Colorado River, which is about 300 feet across. 

5. The Grand Canyon Park houses over 1,700 species of plants, 90 species of mammals and 362 species of birds.

I can help your family to experience this kind of unforgettable vacation.  Contact me below.

Petes Travel Center


What An Amazing Tourist Destination! 

Here is a Caribbean destination that is simply perfect - a true tropical paradise – and it offers packages for all budgets.

Which Caribbean country am I talking about?

1.  This tourist destination has the most number of international airports in the Caribbean – 7.

2.  This country has 28 golf courses designed by top names in the industry.

3.  This hot tourist spot has the only subway system in the Caribbean.

4.  This country is home to 40 brands of cigars.

5.  The country welcomes more tourists than any other Caribbean country.

6.  This country boasts sixteen (16) national parks and many lush forests.

7.  The country saw nearly a 4% growth in visitors in 2013, compared to 1% elsewhere.

8.  This country offers a rich experience of “Old World” meeting “New World.”

9.  This country makes up two-thirds of the second largest island in the Caribbean.

Which country is it? 

If you said the Dominican Republic, then you are correct.  Tourists from North America and Europe continue to flock to this Caribbean paradise year after year.

Will you visit the Dominican Republic?

Peter Grant


All-Inclusive Resorts: Club Riu Ocho Rios – Jamaica

The next best vacation to a cruise getaway is an all-inclusive resort getaway.  

If you are considering a family vacation this fall or next summer, consider the Club Riu Ocho Rios Resort in Jamaica.

This resort is all-inclusive, which means you pay one price and get all your meals, accommodations, amenities and some entertainment included.

The Riu Ocho Rios is a 40-minute drive from the nearest airport (Montego Bay International Airport), but it is worth your time.  Most of the past guests of this resort recommend it as a place to be and give it an “Excellent” or “Very Good” rating. 

TripAdvisor ranks it 12th out of 39 hotels in the Ocho Rios area.

I strongly believe that your family will enjoy its stay at this all-inclusive property.  Go have fun and share your experience.

You may check for amazing resort rates at: FunJet Vacations.

Peter Grant


2015 Family Fun Getaways By Petes Travel Center. All Rights Reserved.