Blowes Travel & Cruise Centres Inc.'s Blog

That the surrounding area teems with the amazing African wildlife is a major plus. Carry your binoculars and get a vantage point to see the magical jungles of Africa from Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira volcanic cones at the summit of the mountain. read more
The beautiful sights, waterfront cafes, postcard perfect neighborhoods and knowledgeable tour guides makes you want to visit the Parisian canals over and over again. read more
5 farmers markets you need to check out in Amsterdam  If you are in the city, you have already realized how expensive it is to eat out. If you are yet to travel, then today is your lucky day. You will learn how to save on your food budget. Listed below are the top farmers markets in Amsterdam. read more
Discover Jamaica's Rockhouse hotel Even cynics agree that Jamaica is the place to be when you want to enjoy the Caribbean feel. One of the hidden gems of this quaint destination is Rockhouse Hotel. read more
Three Local Restaurants You Must Check Out in Cayman Islands Go ahead and book a vacation of a lifetime. Better yet, find out why the Cayman islands will rock your travel world. Suggestion; upon arrival, why not start off your vacation by checking out the following top restaurants? read more
Discover Luxury at Sugar Beach A Viceroy Resort St. Lucia

Fresh breeze, waves' whispers, sunny days and sometimes the howling winds that sway the palm rafters are some of the defining elements that you encounter at the Sugar Beach. You will get the views of the Pitons and the Caribbean Sea as you sip away at freshly pressed juice from local about that for a great holiday? Welcome to Sugar Beach A Viceroy Resort St. Lucia.

And the leisure does not stop at the beach. The accommodations at the resort are such that you cannot help but be awed. The surroundings help you sit back and reflect on your happy life. There is a happy feeling around the resort.

There are 4 classes of accommodations at the resort including; Luxury Guestrooms, Luxury Villas, Luxury Beachfront Bungalows and The Residences. The minimum amenities that you can expect from each of these accommodations include;

  • Butler Services
  • IPod docking station
  • In-roof safe
  • Coffee maker
  • Flat screen TV and DVD player
  • Bathroom amenities
  • Wi-Fi internet
  • A plunge pool and many more

For your dining needs, you are welcomed to the Great Room Restaurant for red wine and Jerusalem artichoke, Bayside Restaurant for beachside dining and the Terrace for poolside breakfast and the stunning morning views of the Caribbean.

For drinks, visit Bayside Bar, Cane Bar, The Late Night Bar and The Palm Court Lounge. Note that each of these bars serves authentic cocktails, beers, wines and teas from all over the globe.

If you want specialized dining setup, all you have to do is make an order. There is a room service for in-room diners, beach service for those that want to feel the sand between their toes as they dine and dine anywhere, anytime package for those that need special romantic considerations.

Among the holiday activities to be enjoyed here include; spa services, yoga and fitness, scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, windsurfing, riding hobie cats, paddle boarding, and tours to various attractions such as Morne Coubaril Estate and Gros Piton.

Sounds like a fantastic destination to spend your holiday, doesn't? Well, make a reservation at the resort and start living your holiday dream.

Click here to view comments about the resort on Trip Advisor.

Uncover the History Behind Belize Note that the name 'Balis' might have come from the Mayan word 'Belix' which means 'muddy-watered'. River Belize is muddy. read more
10 Things you probably didn’t know about Cayman Islands but should There is actually a town called Hell in the will probably want to find out why. read more
Where do old airline seats go to die? So where do old airline seats go to die? In the case of Alaska Airlines, old seat covers are not languishing in landfills. Instead, they’re being turned into carry-ons. read more
10 Things you probably didn’t know about Jamaica but should About 90 miles south of Cuba lay the third largest island of the Greater Antilles. Its name is Jamaica. The island's surface area is 4249 square miles and it is nestled in the heart of the Caribbean Sea. It also happens to be one of the most sought after tour destinations. read more
How to Get Through Customs and Immigration in 12 Minutes It's possible: to deplane quickly with your personal items (and sanity) intact. Here are six steps to getting off the plane—and through customs—in 12 minutes. read more
11 Ways to Prevent Identity Theft While Travelling Identity theft is a growing problem worldwide. As time and technology advance, this problem is only going to affect more travelers. Here are 11 tips to avoid identity theft while traveling, right now. read more
What Cabin Should You Book on a Cruise? Here are some tips on what cabin to choose on your next cruise. Reprinted from read more
The Mount Nevis Hotel On reflection, one might say that it is a reincarnation of the biblical Garden of Eden. Its beauty is refreshing and its beaches are literally unexplored. read more
Is a 5-star Cuban Hotel Really a 5-star Hotel? In the next 2 years alone, thousands of new 4- or 5-star hotel rooms will open in Havana, Varadero, Cayo Santa Maria, Cayo Coco and Holguin. This winter, new upscale offerings include the 1,176-room Meliá Jardines del Rey. read more
Arenas Del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort in Costa Rica Its neighbors include Manuel Antonio National Park, azure sea waters, and tropical beautiful rainforests. read more
Explore Oceanview Hotel in St. Lucia Apart from the panoramic views, the hotel is a hub of tourist activities, boasting many bars, restaurants, nightclubs and a beach. There will never be a dull moment at the Oceanview Hotel. read more

It’s pretty common knowledge that “flipping the a bird” is meant as an insult to the recipient. What is not well known is that several innocent hand gestures here in North America will not be well received in other parts of the world. This infographic designed by Pimsleur Approach contains 7 of the most offensive (and dangerous) ones.

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You Won't Catch Ebola From a Giraffe in Tanzania This virus has wreaked havoc on Africa's tourism industry. Here's a better perspective on why not to worry if you are heading to South Africa. Read this article by ANDERS KELTO. read more


Cruise ship comedy used to be a joke. No more. Today top-rated comics and comedy acts vie for the steady work, good money and solid crowds.

Cruise lines typically have some family friendly comedy shows that are expletive free. But that rule doesn't necessarily apply at late-night, adults-only shows – which feature more or less the same comedy fare you'll find in clubs on land (though opinionated politics jokes may be muted).

Check out the best cruises for comedy.

Carnival Cruise Lines: Carnival gets advice from funnyman George Lopez in choosing talent for its Punchliner Comedy Club (photo above). The line's two-dozen ships host multiple comedy shows each night. Carnival is one of the top employers of comics around the world. The late night, age 18 and up shows can be downright naughty, and the crowd loves it.

Looking for laughs? Talk to a travel agent for free, today!

Celebrity Cruises: Acts such as comedic jugglers and impersonators perform as guests in the main theater but the Vegas act Sin City Comedy, making the rounds ofCelebrity ships (it was first introduced on Celebrity Summit), goes beyond regular cruise ship fare, combining nationally known stand-up comedians and burlesque – yes, jokes and seductive dance. The fun takes place in a lounge; for age 18 and up.

Norwegian and Headliners Comedy Club: The intimate comedy clubs onNorwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway attract top-flight comics, some of whom also do shows in the theater. On the Miami-based Getaway, the performers are booked via Levity Entertainment Group, the largest producer of live comedy. The late show is for age 18 and up. On alternate nights, there's the fun (and often funny) dueling piano experience "Howl at the Moon."

Norwegian and The Second City: The renowned Chicago-based company has troupes doing improvisational and sketch comedy on several Norwegian Cruise Lineships. Passengers can take improv comedy classes.

Princess Cruises: Comedians, including Carlos Oscar (who has voted by passengers as Princess Cruises' "entertainer of the year"), perform in the Vista Lounge – with slightly naughty jokes in the late shows. You'll also find impersonators and other comedic acts as guest performers in the Princess Theater.

Royal Caribbean: Live comedy is part of the entertainment scene on all of Royal Caribbean's ships. Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, the world's largest cruise ships, have Comedy LIVE, a dark and intimate New York-style club where a comedy host and two headliner comedians do at least a couple of shows each night, for an adult audience.

Holland America Line: Comics come onboard Holland America Line's ships as guest entertainers, performing in the main theater and Queen's Lounge. There are some seriously funny acts including comedy jugglers.

Disney Cruise Line: On Disney ships, comedy often comes with a physical or visual element – such as music, ventriloquism, juggling or magic – so that passengers of all ages are in on the joke. Select late-night performances are geared towards adults.The show productions also bring lots of laughs from Disney characters.

Cunard: On the Cunard ships you'll find comedy in many forms – including stand-up, improvisation, slapstick, observational humor, one-liners and satire. In addition to guest performers in the Royal Court Theatre, check out the Cunard Insights program for lectures by guests that might include humorist Bill Bryson or funnyman John Cleese.

Fran Golden, special for USA TODAY

Airline baggage limits can result in big fees for over-packing passengers, but two travellers en route to Singapore from Sydney had a quick fix to avoid paying for an overweight bag.

Facing a $130 fee for exceeding the weight limit, the pair from San Francisco layered themselves in as many of their clothes as possible. A photo of the 2 was posted on Reddit by the user 'stou' who was also travelling on the flight.

"These 2 guys were flying to Singapore from Sydney and their carry-on was over the "free" weight limit so the airline, Scoot, wanted to charge them $130," the post read. "Apparently when they started putting on the clothes the airline agent told them something along the lines of, 'I am going to come to the gate and make sure you are still wearing everything'."

The strategy appeared to work for them, and for others who responded to the Reddit post.

"This happened to me at CDG in Paris,” wrote one respondent. “I was over by a few pounds on my carry-on so I started taking stuff out and putting them on. I even asked the lady if that was okay and she didn't care as long as it wasn't in the carryon bag. After I was under the allowed weight she gave me my ticket and I walked 10 feet away and put everything back in my bag."

- reprinted from

Hotel San Anselmo From the comfort of your Hotel San Anselmo, you will register the mesmerizing views of the eternal city. Just know this; it is the secret longing of many a Rome tourist to enjoy the views you will be having - just make the best of them. Do not forget to thank the gods for getting you into this hotel. read more
Emerald  River Cruising on the Rhine Read my review of Scenic Tours new river cruise line called Emerald Waterways which began in Amsterdam and ended in Basel, Switzerland. Trip was taken June of 2014. read more
Now Amber Puerto Vallarta The Now Amber Puerto Vallarta Resort is flanked by sapphire waters and golden sand beach. It has an uncanny resemblance to an oasis in a huge desert. And indeed it is an oasis. It is the place of refuge where tired workers get to rejuvenate and head back to work totally reinvigorated. read more
Prague Made my Top 10 list of Favourite European Cities - Make it Yours!

The last time I was in the Czech Republic was about 18 years ago. I travelled by train, backpacking through Europe with my sister. We stayed at campgrounds, slept in a tent, and cooked our meals over a camp stove. We wandered endlessly around Prague and fell in love with the city; it made our “Top 10” list of favourite European cities and left me with a longing to return.

I was fortunate enough to have that wish fulfilled. In June I travelled with a group of my colleagues to Prague and throughout the Czech Republic. This time I traveled by motor coach, slept in hotels and had my meals cooked for me and, I fell in love all over again!

I travelled with Transat Holidays on a shortened version of their Unesco Treasures tour. The flight was on Air Transat’s new seasonal service from Toronto to Prague. A direct flight with a stop in Montreal on departure and return, making for a bit of a longer journey but still, it’s always a bonus not to have to change planes.

Prague certainly did not disappoint me the 2nd time around.  It remains one of the great cities, steeped in history, and yet alive and bursting with energy. There’s St. Charles Bridge, spanning the Vltava and lined with a procession of saints; silent witnesses to your crossing.  The famous Astronomical clock at the Old Town Hall still marks the passage of time, and has since the fifteenth century. Prague is a city for walking and strolling and meandering; and at every turn there is something new, from Gothic cathedrals to baroque palaces, Prague Castle, and a myriad of churches, towers & chapels…. all a feast for the eyes. Finally, at the end of the day your weary feet can take you to the Old Town Square, a great place to sit and watch the world go by and sample some of the world famous local Czech beer!

There is of course much more to the Czech Republic than just Prague, and the Unesco Treasures tour gives you a wonderful look at the rest of the country. Departing the city we travelled throughout visiting several of the World Heritage sites.

Cesky Krumlov- an extremely picturesque and neatly preserved medieval town cradled in a deep valley in southern Bohemia. The town is dominated by Krumlov Castle and filled with tiny shops, outdoor cafes, cobblestone streets and a sleepy market square. A serene and peaceful place to spend the day.

Telc- the perfect example of Renaissance beauty. The town was devastated by fire in 1530 but completely rebuilt by master Italian craftsmen and now features a square  lined with pastel coloured houses, built architecturally uniform. A photographer’s delight.

Trebic- known for St. Procopius Basilica; but also for its Jewish quarter. The Jewish community here was completely exterminated at the end of WWII;  but over 100 buildings have been preserved. There still lingers the atmosphere of the ghetto, echoes of the past.

The Lednice-Valtice complex- known as the “The Garden of Europe”. A vast park comprised of rare trees, lakes, and a profusion of flowers. The Lichtenstein dynasty created a summer playground here for the nobility; complete with temples, castles and a 60 metre minaret from which you can view the entire landscape.

Kutna Hora- one of the largest producers of silver from the 13th to 18ht centuries, is famous for its cathedral dedicated to the patron saint of miners, St Barbara, and for the Italian Court which housed the royal mint. 

Sedlec- the oldest Gothic cathedral in central Europe, the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary can be found here, as part of the Cistercian monastery. Even more fascinating is the ossuary created in the chapel from the monastery’s extensive cemetery. The ossuary is the final resting place for the bones of over forty thousand people; transformed into pyramids, a chandelier, and a coat of arms. The souls of the dead linger in the shadows.

The Czech Republic has much history to offer, but also much beauty. Traversing the countryside you are treated to tracts of wheat fields as far as the eye can see; lakes and streams, fields blooming with white poppies and sunflowers. Moravia is home to vineyards, famous for producing white wines. Southern Bohemia is populated by dense forest, wooded hills, and tiny villages. The beauty of the landscape gives you a feeling of peaceful serenity.

The Unesco Treasures tour was a wonderful chance to re-visit the Czech Republic and see it again for the 1st time.  I recommend anyone who is considering future travels to Eastern Europe to include this amazing destination in their itinerary. You will not be disappointed! 

Please contact me at 519.245.2201 CWT Blowes Travel Strathroy for assistance in planning your European Adventure.

- Monica Purdon