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Tahiti… More affordable than ever and perfect for social distancing

DC Vekic blog December 12, 2020

In this crazy times in 2020, when almost all travel went to a halt, a clear winner is emerging for when we start traveling again. Now that we almost see the light at the end of a tunnel, Tahiti is working hard to rebuild their economy, which is largely based on tourism. Specifically French Polynesia. With only 91 deaths caused by coronavirus, and safety protocols in place, I feel safer recommending it than any other vacation destination.

It’s a natural place for social distancing. Even when the resorts were filled to the capacity, I would walk around and ask the management if they were full because the resorts looked empty. Beaches have chairs away from each other, as everything has been designed for privacy, peace and immersion in the beauty around you. A perfect spot for a romantic honeymoon, for getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Tahitian islands are there to offer you a plethora of water and land activities, amazing local food in mostly outdoor dining areas and bungalows with more than ample space between.

So how do we get there? Easy. Usually there is an overnight flight from LAX only 8 hours (or as we call it in the industry: just a movie and a snack longer than Hawaii). Also evening flight is taking you back home, which gives you the most time on location for your vacation. Whether you are taking a ferry to Moorea, or a flight to Raiatea (Taha’a), Maupiti, Huahine, Bora Bora, etc, you will be at your resort before lunch, with plenty of time to rest, enjoy an afternoon on the beach or snorkeling around your overwater bungalow, and leisurely get ready for the first dinner of your vacation. Typically the resorts include only breakfast, but we have some incredible specials with half board (breakfast and dinner) included for free.

I also never saw airline tickets as low, and I am expecting when the travel picks up in the later part of 2021, we will never see this pricing again. Right now all the specials are in place for travel through June 2021.

So let’s talk safety protocols. 72 hours before your flight, you will have to complete PRC-RT test and board the plane with the negative results, and then you will be given another test at the resort 2 days later. It’s a great peace of mind knowing that all the people around you have completed the same procedure.

Tahiti has always been quite expensive, and now for the first time ever we have pricing that is no longer out of the reach. This is definitely a bucket list check, and it will stay with you forever.

As you know, travel is my passion, and I can talk endlessly about the destinations, resorts, activities, etc, so ask me anything. I have been a Certified Tahiti Tiare Specialist for years now. Even if your plans are for travel in much further future, I’d love to give you my insider knowledge. Call me 310-490-1893 or email me dc@cosmopolitantravels.com.

Mauruuru Roa!

Caribbean from Barbados on a Sea Dream Yacht

DC Vekic blog November 10, 2020

This has been my personal favorite luxury sailing. They are so very adamant that “this is YACHTING – not sailing”. With so many incredible luxurious extra’s like a CAVIAR SPLASH (where you are served caviar and champagne waist deep in the crystalline waters), among many unexpected luxurious details, award-winning 5-star service is second to none. The only place I know to recommend for even my raw food people, they have mastered their 5 star cuisine to encompass even the most finicky traveler.

Right now we have a winter special for your dream vacation in the balmy beaches of Barbados and take some time for yourself. Enjoy the safe and luxurious experience of SeaDream’s signature service, now with a reduced Single Supplement of 150% on any voyage in our Barbados Winter Season sailing from November 7, 2020 through April 3, 2021.

From the moment you set foot aboard one Sea Dream’s inclusive cruises, the crew is there to support you and provide for your every need. Each yacht accommodates 112 guests and includes a crew complement of 95 members. With this near 1:1 ratio, they are able to start and end your journey with the focused attention you deserve on such a voyage. This allows for a more personalized and intimate experience, ensuring all your needs are met and can exceed your every expectation.

  • WHAY IS INCLUDED?
  • Well-appointed stateroom or suite accommodation: featuring unobstructed ocean views, marble lined bathroom with multi-jet shower, Bvlgari® bath amenities, personalized stationery, superior Belgian bed & bath linens and more.
  • All gourmet meals expertly prepared a la minute with the freshest of ingredients– served open seating in our Dining Salon or al fresco at the outdoor Topside Restaurant.
  • 24-hour room service from the in-suite menu
  • Gratuities
  • Open Bar with select premium brands
  • Daily selection of wines to accompany lunch and dinner
  • Water “toys” from the yacht’s marina including wave runners, kayaks, personal sailboats, stand-up paddle boards, snorkel gear, water skiing, wake boards, swim platform, banana boat and floating island.
  • Mountain bikes for shore side exploration
  • Golf Simulator with 30 signature golf courses
  • Crew-led shore side activities like hiking and biking with the Activities Manager, or go shopping with the Chef.
  • Full library with over 1,200 books
  • Media & Entertainment Library
  • Laptop computers for use while onboard
  • High powered binoculars on deck for our guests’ viewing pleasure
  • Pool and Jacuzzi
  • Sauna/steam room
  • Fitness Center with ocean views featuring treadmills, recumbent bikes with TV’s and DVD players, free weights, daily Yoga and Tai Chi classes
  • SeaDream’s Champagne and Caviar Splash™ in the Caribbean
  • Special Dessert Extravaganza
  • Signature Balinese Dream Beds with elevated views of the sea
  • Starlit Movies™ (on deck under the stars)
  • Piano Bar
  • and more…

Let’s talk about these balinese beds, which your butler can prepare with overnight sheets and pillows for a “sleep under the stars”… It’s a bucket list item for sure. Hidden coves & harbors, broad teak decks, al fresco dining & personalized service defines the lifestyle. Be as relaxed or as active as you like.

Caribbean Blue Water

Providing a 5-star dining experience, meal-time aboard a SeaDream yacht is always a highlight of the journey. Offering a gastronomical dining experience, each meal is prepared with multiple courses to give you the exciting and diverse flavors that a memorable vacation deserves. While you dine, the on-board sommelier is happy to provide wine pairing recommendations, which can enhance your lunch or dinner with the perfect addition. Preparing dishes that are light and easy to digest, we ensure that you can enjoy the complete meal including dessert. With these meals prepared a la minute, always with the freshest of ingredients, you can truly savor and appreciate the culinary experience.

I always thought Sea Dream is an amazing value for the level of service and truly a 5 star luxury they offer. Maybe now is the time to take advantage of it. It’s always been a top 10 list of boutique cruises, as a matter of fact the 2 ships hold #1 and #2 spots.

Give us a call at 310-490-1893 or email us at dc@cosmopolitantravels.com and we’ll make your winter travel dream into a reality…

Travel during pandemic

DC Vekic blog September 24, 2020

In 2020 we have really been through a lot of things that blindsided most of the world, and practically crippled the travel and hospitality industry. What is going to be the new normal, we still don’t know. However, people are starting to travel again.

In my past experience, only about 25% of my clients added travel insurance. As much as I explain the penalties and cancelations, and how really important it is to be insured, majority opted to decline insurance. Obviously after everything we have been through since March 2020, insurance policies have changed drastically. Usually, pandemic is not covered under most insurance policies. Also, practically overnight insurance companies put out so many new policies, some of them issuing future travel credit, or even only 50% of the cost. Sometimes, people are also completely unaware that non-refundable fare means that exactly. Any kind of travel insurance you can get: cash-back policy with cancel for any reason, will still not cover a nonrefundable rate for a hotel or an airline. We also have airline rates that are contracted or published, and only contracted or negotiated rates will be refundable 100%. Traditionally, published airfare is only 75% refundable after filing a claim, providing you have cancel for any reason policy or a reason where the coverage would automatically kick in. Some airlines only sell published airfare.

  • So far in our industry, we had a fraction of our usual clients traveling, but the ones who did, nine times out of 10 gave us the feedback that they actually felt safer traveling than staying at home. The hotels are taking huge precautions to keep their staff and guests safe and healthy. Right now the hotels are only booking 30% of their capacity. Mexico is faring the best, they are about to enter phase B of their reopening, which means the hotels will open up more space. Hawaii will be removing quarantine requirements as of October 15 with a PSR viral Covid test. Destination weddings are starting to get back on track as well, but definitely with smaller guests lists. 

 Airlines are starting to do flights to nowhere, for people who just need to get on the plane and feel like they are traveling, and obviously to recoup some of their losses. Quantas had a seven hour flight to nowhere from Sydney that’s sold out in exactly 11 minutes! Would you take a flight to nowhere? 

We are hoping the 2021 gets much better, we are already booking 2022, as people are anxious to go on vacation somewhere. In conclusion, the importance of a travel agent has proven to be greater than ever. We were able to get refunds to our clients even without insurance in some cases, and the clients didn’t have to get on the phone for 5-7 hours on hold just to be disconnected, as they were with Costco Travel and Expedia, just to name a few. I am always just a phone call away and I love to talk about travel.

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