It's a Great Big Beautiful World! Let's Discover it Together

Showing posts with label Beach Vacations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beach Vacations. Show all posts

Monday, May 10, 2021

Hawaii Says You Deserve a Vacation



The islands are open and would love to get to know you this year. If you've been considering a getaway, the six different islands of Hawaii that you can visit each have their own unique personality and would make for a fantastic getaway.  Reach out and let's have a conversation about it. I'd be honored to help you find your Aloha. 

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Destination Florida! Summer Vacation Plans Await

Itching to travel but not yet ready to go too far? Want to have some beach & fun? Then be sure to visit the state where the sun always shines: Florida! You’ll never run out of activities and adventures in this tropical paradise. From the beautiful beaches to the amazing theme parks; the awesome natural wonders to the cultural and culinary delights; from the links to the clubs...Florida has something for everyone year-round!

Whether you're thinking of staying in a lush tropical resort, beach condo, a cute bungalow somewhere near the water, or at one of the many incredible vacation homes available to rent, I can help!

Or perhaps you want more thrills and fun at Universal Orlando or Walt Disney World...I can help with that too. Don't let the agency name fool you...we are SO MUCH MORE than simply cruises.


I love helping people find amazing adventures and experiences to create memories for a lifetime through land vacations, as well as cruises. Want to know more? Just ask!  

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Time for a Land Vacation?

After a year of covid, if you're ready to get out and explore once again, I'm ready to help you plan your next adventure. Now booking, land trips all across the USA (including theme parks, cabins, beach vacations & condos, Alaska, Hawaii, & much more), along with cruises for when they start sailing again. Caribbean & Mexico getaways and all-inclusive resorts too!

PLUS! We have a number of exciting curated shared group travel itineraries that you could join including US National Parks, Colorado Rockies, America's Music Cities, New York City Holidays, and others.

Don't delay, reach out today by email, phone, or through the website.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Did You Know We Can Book That?   BEACH VACATIONS & RENTALS

If your dream vacation includes plenty of sun, sand, and water…we’ve got a wide range of great options for you across the country! How does overlooking the water sound? Or being just down the road from the saltwater with your own freshwater pool or hot tub to enjoy when not at the beach. Whether a condo, vacation home, bungalow, or luxury villa at or near the beach is your idea of the perfect vacation, then reach out and give us the opportunity to help you plan it this year. From simple to complete luxury we’ve got connections for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 bedrooms, and depending on location, even more!
You might only think of us as just a cruise agency because of the name, but we truly are SO MUCH MORE THAN JUST CRUISES!
Here's just a sampling of where we can find a beach vacation rental for you:
Hawaii | Myrtle Beach | Naples | Cape Cod | Santa Barbara | Destin | Holden Beach | Gulf Shores | Pismo Beach | Sanibel | Port Aransas | Clearwater | Hilton Head | Panama City | Newport Beach | Marco Island and many more
Intrigued? Ask us! We love helping people get out & explore with land-based vacations and vacation rentals!

#travel #adventure #tourism #vacation #exploremore #supportsmallbusinesses #travelagent #theinternetisforlookingbuttravelagentsareforbooking #getbacktonature #beachgetaway #beachvacation

FacebookLive... I Need Some Help...

 As shared via FacebookLive this morning... I need some help, please! 

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Happy March! Where Will Your Next Adventure Take You?

It's March, and here are some fabulous things to consider for your next vacation. I'd be happy to help you score some of these great experiences!

Celebrity Cruises - Choose from the lowest available fare with a non-refundable deposit or two free perks, including onboard credit, beverage packages, and more
Sandals Resorts - Save up to 65% when you book a minimum of 3 nights
AMA Waterways - Enjoy up to $2,000 in savings, up to $100 onboard credit, and a complimentary stateroom upgrade or prepaid gratuities on select sailings
Reach out and let's chat. | 317.776.1733 |

Saturday, February 22, 2020

We're Growing Again - Announcing the Addition of New Travel Advisors to the Team

Christopher Lingren, Local Cruise Planners Travel Agency Franchise Owner, Expands His Team Once Again

(NOBLESVILLE, Indiana) – Feb 19, 2020 – Christopher Lingren, Cruise Planners travel agency franchise owner, announced today he has expanded his team with two new agents, Tiffany Hufferd, of New Orleans, Louisiana; and Rob Doenges, of Fishers, Indiana. The local travel agency is part of Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, the nation’s largest home-based travel agent franchise network. Lingren and his team of four travel advisors offer travelers exclusive pricing on a wide range of cruise and destination wedding packages, private cruise sales, as well as cabin upgrades. The team also offers special amenities such as shore excursions, discounted fares, travel gifts, and more. As a new Cruise Planners travel advisor, Hufferd is specializing in adventures in Southeast Asia, Australia, LGBTQ vacations, Destination Weddings, and Surprise Getaways; while Doenges is specializing in Cruises, Beach Vacations, Sports Travel, Theme Parks, LGBTQ vacations, and Woodsy Getaways.


“Everyone travels, and it’s important to use a trusted travel advisor to get the most value out of a vacation,” Lingren said. “As travel experts, my team and I take the stress and hassle out of planning all types of vacations for our clients. We make professional recommendations based on value, destination, group size, and seasonality, among other things to customize the best and most memorable vacation possible. Since Cruise Planners has achieved top producer status with every major cruise line and with many key travel partners, we have the resources and connections to provide our customers with the best value along with our expertise and personal touches.”


The cruising trend is always evolving and today’s cruisers are more diverse than ever. From the adventurous youth to the laid-back relaxed type, there is something for everyone. Many travelers are experiencing culturally immersive European river cruises, which is increasingly popular for savvy travelers. No matter the cruise line or destination, cruises offer a satisfying, convenient and value-oriented way to travel.


Many travelers are also opting to go on land-based vacations, enjoy all-inclusive resort stays, explore foreign countries on guided tours and experience high-adventure trips worldwide.


“As a Cruise Planners franchise, we sell complete vacation packages from exotic getaways to romantic retreats and culturally immersive European experiences to customized African safaris, Polar Expeditions, Alaskan adventures, and more, and of course cruises,” Lingren said. “Some people want to go on a cruise one year, then a land-based vacation the next – I offer a one-stop-shop for all things travel with trusted travel expertise and a personalized touch.”


As an American Express Travel Services Representative agency, Cruise Planners offers special programs for both American Express cardholders and non-cardholders, offering even more added value to vacationers.


About Cruise Planners

Cruise Planners, an independently owned and operated home-based franchise, is part of the American Express Travel Representative network and the nation’s largest home-based travel agent franchise company in the travel industry. Cruise Planners’ travel professionals independently book amazing vacation and travel experiences for their clients around the world. Cruise Planners franchise owner Christopher Lingren is based in Noblesville, Indiana with additional agents locally, as well as Reidsville, North Carolina, and now New Orleans, Louisiana, and Fishers, Indiana specializing in adventure and expedition travel. For more information, please visit


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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Cancun Is Calling While the Snow is Falling

To my midwest peeps... The temperatures continue to drop, and the snow is falling turning our area into a wintry playground. If that gets you down, call us to help you get some vitamin sea instead! Whether you're thinking of an all-inclusive resort, a cruise, a Disney or Universal visit, or simply a vacation rental by the ocean, at Cruise Planners, we are your land & cruise experts and can help you "seas" the day and beat the pending old man winter blues. Winter is just beginning. Let us help you plan a great getaway for January or February when the cold is at its worst! Call 317.776.1733 or visit our website at We'd love to help you find the perfect winter getaway.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Featured Foto Friday - Aulani Recreation

Recreational activities abound at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii. Lounge chairs and kayaks in the morning hours await guests to come and enjoy them on the resort's shared lagoon at Ko Olina.  Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, guests have the opportunity to kayak out into open waters and enjoy!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Tips on Thursday - Love Happens

You’ve dreamt your whole life of that special day where everything is absolutely perfect.  Did you know that Cruise Planners can help you plan the most idyllic destination wedding, whether it is on a cruise to the Mediterranean or at an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean?  It’s true!  We can take care of all your travel needs and ensure a dedicated wedding planner is on location to handle every last-minute detail. 

With exclusive shoreside wedding packages in over 20 beautiful destinations, your special event can be customized to suit you and your intended.  To name just a few, locations include Miami, Ft Lauderdale, the Bahamas, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Rome, Santorini and more!
Weddings, vow renewals, commitment ceremonies, anniversaries, you name it – we do it!  Tell us your hopes and dreams and we will simplify the process for you so that you can simply enjoy your special day.  With packages designed to fit all party sizes and budgets, your Destination Wedding or Honeymoon is simply a phone call away.  To learn more, please visit my website or call 317.776.1733.   

Friday, September 7, 2012

Featured Foto Friday - Disney's Vero Beach Resort

This view is from the room that I had at Disney's Vero Beach Resort last December.  I was staying in a studio room in the main building, directly overlooking the ocean.  It was my first stay at Vero Beach, and definitely one that made me want to return again.  I love the ocean, and any time I have an ocean view room, my stay at any hotel or resort is automatically better!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Aulani Opens

August 29, 2011 – Oahu, Hawaii

At approximately 6:30 a.m., Hawai'i time, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa opens its' doors and the first guests enter. Disney's first resort in Hawaii, is located on the leeward, or west coast, of the island of Oahu, in the Ko Olina resort area.  It is about 10 minutes from Pearl Harbor, and about 20 miles west of downtown Honolulu.  The resort is comprised of a unique mix of "mouse-inspired" imagineering and Native Hawaiian culture on the approximate 21 acre ocean-front parcel it occupies.  It is a blend of traditional hotel rooms and Disney Vacation Club villas.  

Friday, August 17, 2012

Featured Foto Friday - 'Ama 'Ama; Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa

This is the view from 'Ama 'Ama, one of two table service restaurants at Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa in Hawaii. It's a wonderful place to enjoy any meal, but here I took this shot while enjoying a delicious breakfast.  

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sunday Spotlight - Disney's Vero Beach Resort

Disney's Vero Beach® Resort first opened October 1, 1995.  It is a Disney Vacation Club® (DVC) timeshare property, and was the first DVC resort to be opened outside of the Walt Disney World® Resort.
Disney’s Vero Beach® Resort is a blended resort featuring both traditional guest rooms and Disney Deluxe villas.  It is comprised of 115 guest rooms and 95 villas comprised of Deluxe Studios, 1-Bedroom, 2-Bedroom and 3-Bedroom Beach Cottages. 

  • Deluxe Studios are 375 square feet and can accommodate up to 4 guests, plus 1 child under age 3 in a crib.  They include a kitchenette, 2 queen-size beds and a private porch or balcony.
  • 1-Bedrooms are 880 square feet, and can accommodate up to 5 guests, plus 1 child under age 3 in a crib. They include a fully equipped kitchen, washer & dryer, king-size bed in the master bedroom, a queen-size sleeper sofa plus a sleeper chair in the living room, whirlpool tub in the master bathroom, and a private porch or balcony. 
  • 2-Bedrooms are 1,255 square feet, and can accommodate up to 9 guests, plus 1 child under 3 in a crib. They offer all that a 1-Bedroom has plus a 2nd bedroom with 2 queen-size.
  • 3-Bedroom Beach Cottages are 2,175 square feet, and can accommodate up to 12 guests, plus 1 child under 3 in a crib. They offer all of the amenities of the 2-Bedroom, plus they include a 3rd  bedroom with 2 queen-size beds, a full dining room, additional private balcony and are 2-story rooms.

 The resort includes 1 feature pool with waterslide, and  a water play area;  The Spa at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort; fitness center;  miniature golf; bicycle rentals;  tennis;  shuffleboard;  fishing & surfing lessons;  private access to the beach/seashore;  an arcade and other assorted recreational activities including Disney movies after dark.

The resort features 2 table service restaurants:  Shutters and Sonya’s.  It also features lounge/bar locations: The Green Cabin Room and Bleachers.  A Character breakfast is offered on weekends as well.

Disney’s Vero Beach® Resort is a deluxe villas level resort located on the eastern coast of Florida, along the Atlantic Ocean, about 2 hours away from Walt Disney World® Resort. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Spotlight - Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa® first opened August 29, 2011 in the Ko Olina resort area on the leeward coast of Oahu, Hawaii.  Inspired by the natural beauty, culture and traditions of Hawai’i, this beautiful resort was designed with families in mind.  Sharing a secluded lagoon with the JW Marriott resort, and another future-resort that is still to be developed, Aulani is situated on 21 acres of oceanfront property, with spectacular views.
The Lobby, with Makahiki & the 'Olelo Room below

The resort is comprised of both traditional hotel accommodations and Disney Vacation Club timeshare villas. There are 359 hotel rooms, including 16 suites, and 460 villas comprised of deluxe studios, one and two bedroom villas, and 21 three bedroom Grand Villas (18 of which directly overlook the ocean).

From the 10th Floor, looking out to the ocean
The resort towers surround the Waikalohe Valley, which comprises the various water and recreational amenities.  These amenities include:
 Waikalohe Stream – an exhilarating yet refreshing waterway meandering throughout the Waikalohe Valley.
  • Menehune Bridge – an interactive water play area which features interactive water elements, 3 slides and a climbing structure
  • Two sparkling pools & four unique hot tubs
  • Two waterslides, Tubestone Curl – an inner tube slide for 1 or 2 guests at a time, and Volcanic Vertical – a single rider body slide
  • Rainbow Reef – a snorkeling experience at the largest inland snorkeling reef on the island (this is a fee-based activity)
  • Makai Preserve – a conservation lagoon where guests can interact with stingrays and other marine life (this is a fee-based  activity)
  • Pau Hana Room – video gaming, foosball, board games, storytelling, TV viewing area and arts & crafts (some but not all activities are fee-based)
  • Aunty’s Beach House – this fun-filled destination for the kids is a place of discovery, magic and exploration where kids can learn about the Hawaiian culture while they play.  Supervised playtime at Aunty’s Beach House allows mom and dad the opportunity to spend some adult time on the beach, at a romantic dinner or any other excursions of their choice.
  • Located directly across the street from the resort, is the Ko Olina Golf Club, and discounted greens fees are available for resort guests.

Riding the Waikalohe Stream

Menehune Bridge

One of four distinctive hot tubs
The resort features several unique places to wine and dine.  These include: 

  • ’Ama ‘Ama, a table-service restaurant offers spectacular ocean-front views for breakfast, lunch & dinner.  Seafood is plentiful on the menu, along with traditional Hawaiian specialities.
  • Makahiki, offers an all-you-care-to enjoy breakfast and dinner buffet, and features a character breakfast, Aunty’s Character Breakfast at the Makahiki, currently offered on Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays.  The food selection includes a generous mix of Hawaiian, Japanese and Chinese fare.
  • One Paddle, Two Paddle, is a counter-service location with a variety of delightful Hawaiian dishes, fresh made sandwiches and wraps.
  • Off the Hook is a colorful, pool and beachside lounge designed after a Hawaiian fisherman’s seaside shack, and features libations and appetizers.
  • The ‘Olelo Room is a pub-like gathering place where visitors can learn a variety of Hawaiian words while enjoying favorite cocktails.
  • The Lava Shack is located in the heart of the Waikalohe Valley, and features cold fried chicken, cured meats & cheeses and other grab & go snacks.

The view from 'Ama 'Ama
The parade during Aunty's Breakfast Celebration at the Makahiki

For guests looking for relaxing spa treatments - no worries, the Laniwai Spa offers unique, blissful, customized treatments, and includes the only outdoor hydrotherapy garden in Hawaii. Additionally, for the teens, Aulani offers the only Teen Spa in Hawaii - Painted Sky - which offers special treatments and options just for teens.

For the adventurist looking to augment their beach vacation with some really neat, self-guided Hawaiian “local color” -  Aulani is not far from many fun, exciting, and enjoyable destinations around Oahu. In the mood for a Dole Whip?  The Dole Plantation is just 30 minutes away.  Want to catch some waves or go surfing on some of the best beaches in the world, the North Shore, home of famed surfing competitions is just 45 minutes away.  Looking for the stereotypical Hawaiian tour? The famed beaches and experiences at Waikiki are just about an hour’s drive from the resort.  Hiking to the top of Diamond Head, or through a rainforest?  Both are just about an hour’s drive from the resort.  Of course the island is also home to numerous historic sites, significant in how the world changed so dramatically one December morning in 1941. The World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument at Pearl Harbor is only about 20 minutes from Aulani, and is a must-see for so many different reasons.  This very moving site includes the USS Arizona Memorial, the USS Bowfin, the USS Missouri, the USS Oklahoma Memorial and the USS Utah Memorial – plus a handful of Exhibit Galleries, Museums, artifacts and a 23-minute film discussing the attacks on Pearl Harbor that December morning.

For those guests looking to enjoy different aspects of Hawaii but choose to do so on guided excursions,  you won’t be disappointed!  Just as cruise ships offer a plethora of land excursions on “port days” – Aulani provides similar opportunities for its’ guests as well.  The range of offerings can change from time to time, but currently there are about 14 different excursions. Each day there are 1 or 2 different guided tours and experiences for guests to select from. Costs range from about $50 per adult up to about $400 per adult. These excursions can be reserved in advance on Aulani’s website, or in person at the Holoholo Desk just to the left of the Lobby.  Excursion possibilities include learning to surf, riding horseback through lush valleys, hiking in the rainforest, setting sail on a catamaran or kayak along protected islets, cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs, island hopping to explore volcanoes and so much more. 

Were Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa® to be located at the Walt Disney World® Resort, it would be considered a Deluxe level.  Transportation to and from the resort is not provided.  Guests can arrange for their choice of rental car, shuttle, taxi or limo service.  Rental Cars are highly recommended for a variety of self-guided excursions, grocery shopping (for villas guests) and other local visits away from the resort.  

Looking at the resort from the ocean side of the Lagoon

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Aulani - More Images

Here are a few more images from Aulani.  This stand-alone Disney resort is filled with beautiful vistas.  The resort itself has some positives and negatives, but overall is a very nice resort that can provide memorable vacations for all types of families. 

These fun lamps are available for purchase in Kalepa's Store down in the Lobby.  They're "only" $200 - and shipping is available.  I wish I had $200 to spare for one, because it sure would look nice in my home office.  Hopefully the next time I come to Aulani they'll still be selling them.

This is the view from 'Ama 'Ama, one of three restaurants on property - this one specifically is the table service restaurant that is not a buffet. 

Aulani features two waterslides in Waikalohe Valley.  My favorite is Tubestone Curl - I think I rode it seven times today. 

The DVC side of Aulani, as seen from within the Waikalohe Stream.

Minnie is one of several characters to meet & greet their adoring fans at Aulani.  Today I saw Mickey, Donald & Goofy, in addition to Minnie. 

The Lobby area, as seen from the Waikalohe Stream.

Inside the cave along Waikalohe Stream. 

The Porte Cachere, very similar to those found at Walt Disney World resorts.  To the far left, where Magical Express buses pick up & drop off guests at Walt Disney World - here at Aulani buses & shuttles come and pick up & drop off guests from the various off-site excursions.  I enjoyed a wonderful excursion to the Kualoa Ranch yesterday, for a day filled with water sports & horseback riding through a beautiful ranch & valley - which is home to many, many movie & television shoots as the ranch is one of the busiest movie production sites in the state of Hawaii.

The view from the upper level of the "waterfall" hot tub. 

The Menehune Bridge is a fun-filled water play area good for kids and adults alike. 

Just after sunset, while standing on the promontory by the edge of the lagoon.  

Just before dinner at Makahiki, located below the Lobby, I snapped this shot of the Lobby building.  Makahiki is a buffet restaurant, serving a delectable selection of Hawaiian, Chinese and Japanese dishes.