Working with a honeymoon couple!

Driving my Sandals wrapped car is always fun!  I’m finally used of people staring, friends honking at me and people asking for brochures while I’m pumping gas.  The wrap is definitely an attention getter!  One of my favorite stories is the time I’m sitting at a traffic light and my phone rings so I answer it.  The young man calling says “Are you in front of me in the Sandals SUV?”  I look in my rear view mirror and see a guy in a blue truck on the phone.  So I say  “ Yes, if that’s you in a blue truck I’m in front of you”  He says “good we are wanting to book our honeymoon Sandals but we have no idea which one is right for us can you help us?”

Absolutely!!! That is what being a travel consultant is about!  Asking the right questions and more importantly listening to their needs, wants and expectations in a trip!  They knew they wanted an all-inclusive honeymoon somewhere tropical.  They had searched online and had become very overwhelmed with the choices.  Mix that in with all of the other wedding plans they are taking care of and you can understand how they were feeling.  We met for coffee one afternoon and as I asked questions about what they were expecting, previous traveling experiences, do they want to just lay around and relax or do they want activities and adventure, and many other questions to help me guide them in the right direction!  Since I am a Sandals certified specialist I am knowledgeable about all of the Sandals property.  I gave them my top 3 recommendations for them!  We looked at brochures, online and just talked about the resorts in depth!  A couple of days later they called me and let me know that they had decided on Sandals Emerald Bay in Exuma (It was my first choice for them)!! A BREATH-TAKING RESORT!   The resort has a beautiful beach and all rooms have an ocean view which was a priority for my clients.

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We spoke a few times and exchanged emails from the time they booked until the time they left.  Through those correspondences I gave them travel tips, advice and answered any questions that they had!  A couple days before he came by and picked up their documents, he was so excited about the wedding and then honeymoon to Sandals!  It was handing over a Christmas present to a kid on Christmas morning!

I spoke to them not too long after they returned and when I asked “how was the trip? “ his response was well we are upset…and I have to be honest, my heart dropped!  “Why are you upset?” I asked (holding my breath) and he said “We are upset that we had to come home!” He went on to say it was the best vacation he’s ever had and they cannot wait to go back…maybe for their one year anniversary!

It is so rewarding to know that my knowledge of the industry, products and ability to ask the right questions help my clients have the best vacations ever!

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Lobster Anyone?

One of my favorite things to do when traveling to the Caribbean is to enjoy some of incredible food they have to offer!  My most desired food to have while in the Caribbean is lobster!!!Image

It just goes hand in hand for an ultimate romantic dinner while on vacation.  Sunsets, clear blue waters, tropical drinks, reggae music in the background and I’m ready for some mouthwatering lobster!Image

There are two types of lobster, the cold water lobster where you can get fresh along the east coast and the Caribbean lobster a warm water lobster!  Did you know that the Caribbean lobster does not have claws?  That means all the flavor is in the tail!

In the islands, lobster season starts and ends at various times of the year.   Sandals all inclusive luxury resorts, also includes fine dining only serve tantalizing lobster dishes during the lobster season!  So if you are a big lobster fan and want to make sure you are getting the freshest Caribbean lobster check out the seasons of the islands.

Jamaica Lobster Season: July 1 – April 31
Bahamas Lobster Season: August 1 – March 1
Turks & Caicos Lobster Season: September 1-March 31
Antigua: All Year Round
St. Lucia: November 1-April 31

Here is an outstanding recipe to add some Caribbean flair to your dishes:

Jerk Marinade

Ingredients

¼ cup stemmed & finely chopped Habanero peppers (about 6 peppers)

½ cup stemmed fresh thyme

¼ cup freshly ground allspice (not too fine)

½ cup chopped fresh ginger

3 cups finely chopped onions (about 2 medium onions)

¼ cup finely chopped garlic (about 6 medium cloves)

6 cups finely chopped scallions (about 4 bunches, using the white and the green parts)

3 cups soy sauce

3 cups vegetable oil

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Method

– Place all ingredients in food processor except soy sauce and oil.

– After finely minced or pureed, place in mixing bowl and add soy sauce and oil, mixing until well combined.

– Store in glass jar or clay pot. (Do not use metal or plastic.)

For Meats (chicken, beef or pork)

– Place the meat in the marinade and let sit overnight.

– Remove the meat from the marinade and grill at a high temperature until cooked through.

For Seafood (fish, lobster, shrimp)

– Place the fish or seafood in the marinade for one hour only.

Do not over-marinate or it will break down the fibers in the fish and seafood, resulting in a mushy consistency when cooked.

– Remove from the marinade and grill at a high temperature until cooked through.

Chef’s Note:  The unique flavor of Jerk comes in great part from cooking over moist pimento wood, which is not available in the US.  To create that wonderful flavor without the pimento wood, soak 1/4 cup of whole allspice berries in water for about 30 minutes, then sprinkle them over the coals of the grill and cover to allow the smoke to permeate the meat, fish or seafood.

This is from the kitchen of Sandals Resorts Culinary Ambassador, Walter Staib!

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 XOXOXO,

Shannon LeBlanc

CRO,chief romance officer

Luxury romance travel expert

Here Today Gone To Maui Travel Services

Honeymoon Discussions at the Fall Couture Bridal Event

During the fall my Sundays are usually spend either in the Superdome cheering on the Saints or at home watching all of the NFL games.  This past Sunday was different and I still had fun! It was my pleasure to be a vendor set up at the Holiday Inn Crown Plaza for their 7th Annual Fall Couture Bridal Event.

I love having the opportunity to meet brides and talk to them about planning their honeymoon or destination wedding.  They get so caught up in the shopping for a dress,finding venues, interviewing wedding consultants, tasting wedding cakes, and everything else that takes place to put together a fabulous wedding.  When it comes time to the honeymoon they need a vacation to relax and get away from all of the stress that planning a wedding involves.

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I love being able to tell brides about great destinations available for their honeymoons! Among my list of favorites are Bahamas, Hawaii, St. Lucia, Antigua, Turks Caicos, Fiji, Jamaica, Cabo San Lucas, and that is just to name a few!!!  I let each bride know about my complimentary consultation session and what it takes to get started!  So hopefully the next couple of weeks I will be meeting with some of the brides  I met on Sunday!

Each vendor provides a door prize for a lucky bride…and while I wasn’t able to provide an all expense paid honeymoon at this bridal show , Miss Kristen Ourso won a great prize pack with a Beaches wedding album , a Sandals t shirt and lots of other goodies in the bag! Congratulations Kristen!

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I can’t wait for the next Bridal event that I will participate in…. coming up in January!

Have a great day!

Shannon

CRO- chief romance officer

Luxury Honeymoon Expert

Luxury Escapes For Romance and Honeymoon In The Bahamas

I recently booked another happy couple to Sandals Great Exuma in the Bahamas.  One of the reasons I love recommending this resort for honeymoon couples or any couple looking to get away is because it fits the wants and needs of most couples.   I always go over during the planning session what the couples interest are, their likes and dislikes and we also discuss excursions they may be interested in doing. Knowing  a lot of honeymoon couples are looking not only for romance and bliss but also for a luxurious retreat that is a little exotic but easy to travel to.  Sandals Great Exuma fulfills all of those requirements and more.honeymoon  bahamas sandals

Sandals Resorts have some unique options through their Island Routes program.  As a travel professional I recommend the honeymoon couple plan at least one excursion in advance.  One of the excursions if you are an James Bond fan or a fan of fun and adventure is the 007 Thunderball Luxury Tour!  This is a tour where you Cruise in and out of 150 little islands and cays in a speed boat, snorkel the incredible Thunderball Grotto, feed wild iguanas, swim with sharks, you can even swim with pigs too , yes I said pigs, as in oink oink and walk a pristine sandbar.   If you are looking for something a little more romantic is the Private Castaway Getaway Tour .  Have you ever dreamed you could be stranded on an uninhabited island with the one you love, left to your own devices? That’s dream could come true on your honeymoon!

The resort in Exuma is a luxury honeymooners escape frosandals honeymoon bahamasm reality and start of their happily ever after!  You have indescribable turquoise water, 1 mile of powder sand beach, a Greg Norman designed golf course, the largest Red Lane Spa at any Sandals resort, heated pool, 24 hour room service for all room categories, stadium tennis, a world class marina and all rooms are either concierge or Butler service!  What way to start your marriage or enhance the marriage you already have by reconnecting with each other in a paradise setting!

As a travel professional, if you are looking for luxury, bliss, relaxation, romance and a little excitement Sandals Exuma is fit for you!

Shannon LeBlanc

CRO – chief romance officer

Luxury romance travel expert

Here Today Gone To Maui Travel Services, llc

sandals bahama honeymoon

Honeymoons! Its never too late….

I just love this article I came across today:
Man to take wife on honeymoon with lottery winnings
Posted: Oct 04, 2012 9:31 AM CDT Updated: Oct 04, 2012 9:31 AM CDT
By: Debra Worley – bio | email
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – A man from Wilmington plans to use money he won playing the Mega Bucks game to take his wife on a honeymoon.
According to the North Carolina Education Lottery, Charles Wallace II, a landscaper, stopped for gas at the Han-Dee Hugo on North College Road to test his luck.
“I was right outside at the pump when I scratched off the ticket,” Wallace said in a press release. “I just started crying tears of joy right then and there. This money will really help my family.”
Wallace said he has been married to his wife for 20 years and never got to go on a honeymoon.
“Now we can finally make it right,” said Wallace. “We’re going to take a Caribbean cruise.”
According to the NCECL, Wallace said he plans to use a portion of his winnings, worth $68,001 after state and federal taxes were withheld, to pay off his car loans.
Copyright 2012 WECT. All rights reserved.

As a romance travel expert…I tell people that they can take as many honeymoons as they like… and it’s NEVER too late! There are so many options for quick getaways! It’s a great time of the year to go to the Caribbean! You can escape to St Thomas together and not even need a passport!
Don’t ever let the honeymoon end….
XOXO- Shannon

Romance Travel …. An essential key to healthy loving relationships

Honeymoons and Romance Travel… one of the things I love most about my relationship with my sweetie is that we take the time out to do things together that we love.   Football, wine, and travel!  I came to realize how valuable this time is that we spend together when we travel away together from the everyday hustles and bustles and each trip we take together brings us closer to each other and enriches our relationship with each other. Not to mention the fabulous memories we are making!  This is why I decided to specialize in Luxury romance travel.  I think it’s important enough that I don’t just make sure my travels are romantic and memorable; it is my job to help others reconnect with each other.  Starting with honeymoons, to weekend getaways, to Anniversary trips to babymoons, destination weddings, and renewals…

The top three reasons why I think people should make Romance travel a priority.

  1. Honeymoons are a great way to start your happily ever after!  After all of the hustle and bustle of planning a wedding and the actual wedding you will need some down time to relax and enjoy each other’s company… and talk about your future, your hopes and dreams now that you are Mr.  & Mrs.!
  2. Getaways … these are so great for relationships!  You can leave work and kids behind even for the weekend!  Have fun with each other …flirt…play…remember again why you fell in love with each other and really appreciate the person you are with!  It can be done at home but being in a different location, even just an hour away helps you focus one each other and not the dirty house, the yard, and other details.
  3. Make memories…. Actually this should be number one!  Romance travel allows you to make wonderful memories….long walks on the beach….candle light dinners,  private pools in your bungalow…. So many memories to be made for you to reminisce on….. And make you smile during the middle of a hectic day at work….

I have clients that often ask how can they make the trip just a little more special and romantic… and I have TONS of ideas…while you have probably covered all the basis by having me make your dinner reservations and excursions in advance something you can do to add the personal touch is bring along some candles or even the flameless candles work to set the mood in your hotel room. Don’t forget to bring some bubble bath and surprise your special person by putting a flower or a seashell you found on their pillow!

X O X O – Shannon