Today we tackle unconventional travel experiences and trends. We start with Mike’s unforgettable story from Cancun, showcasing the profound impact that immersive cultural experiences can have.
Then, we dive into a groundbreaking trend in the travel industry – “Life at Sea Cruises.” This year-long journey offers the perfect blend of work and leisure for the modern, digital-age professional. Not shying away from controversy, we also discuss Air New Zealand’s proposal to weigh passengers for safety reasons.
James guides us through the emerging trends shaping post-pandemic travel, from fulfilling ambitious bucket-list dreams to the surge in ‘bleisure’—the fusion of business and pleasure. We also bring you an exclusive conversation with our deals guru, Jessica Deverson, who reveals some enticing deals from popular Caribbean resorts and gives us a sneak peek into the ultra-luxurious all-inclusive Seabourn cruises.
Join us, see the world from a fresh perspective, and discover the real essence of travel.
Mike Putman: Welcome to No Tourists Allowed. I’m Mike Putman.
James Ferrara: And I’m James Ferrara.
Mike Putman: And welcome to, uh, our third episode of our second season of No Tourists Allowed. We’re glad you took the time to join us today and please share with your friends and family. Uh, if you enjoy this podcast, uh, share with them the good news of No Tourists Allowed, and you can also go to our website, notouristallowed.com where you’ll find some, um, show notes and some additional information as well as you’re able to submit questions. So if you have any questions for James or myself, please feel free to, um, submit there and then we’ll talk about those on the air. Uh, for those that have, um, interest to, or what we think is interest to the, to our audience, um, or otherwise, we will personally respond to you.
So notouristsallowed.com please. Um, please come and check it out.
James Ferrara: You know Mike, one of the most common questions I get about our podcast here is what do we mean when we say no tourists allowed? And I think, you know, we have new listeners every week. And by the way, guys, I am still, as you can hear, going through my oral surgery, but I am almost done, and hopefully by this time next week I’ll be back to sounding normal.
So thank you for your patience. I’ll also be able to eat a steak for the first time in like five months. So you will hear the joy in my voice. But people want to know what do we mean when we say no tourists allowed. For some people it’s a little confusing, like they’re not allowed to listen because they love travel?
Mike Putman: Yeah, not at all. Not at all. We want our, we want our listeners and the people that are in our circle to enjoy travel, of course, but enjoy travel not like a tourist. To go visit destinations. Uh, enjoy the local culture, the local food. And soak those things in versus getting stuck in an all-inclusive resort for seven days and never leaving, never leaving the boundaries of the property.
James Ferrara: Or a big branded American box hotel. Um, we, we want you to have a real sense of place when you travel because that’s really what makes memories. That’s what changes lives. That’s what opens you up to other cultures and, and enriches you. Right? That’s the kind of travel that we, we try to do ourselves, and so we wish it for you as well.
And nothing disappoints me more than hearing someone talk about their travels and saying they didn’t enjoy the food or, uh, they didn’t like the people. Because my follow-up questions to that are, well, where did you eat? And you know, invariably I hear, “well, we ate at this big tourist spot that the tour operator recommended, or, you know, the hotel, or we, um, you know, we ate at a american style restaurant when they were in France.” And, and people weren’t kind to you, did you attempt to speak the language? Did you get out of the big touristy, overcrowded areas? Because when you get to the real people and you act with the kind of respect and, and kindness and interest that you would want people to show you in your home country then I don’t think that ever is the experience, right? So we’re just trying to help you see the possibility and along the way give you tips from our joint many decades. What we figure out, Mike, 71 years together in the travel industry?
Mike Putman: Yeah.
James Ferrara: Uh, and, and our personal, intense travel experience.
We’re, we’re giving you some tips and tricks, and then we’re bringing you some big names in the travel industry to do the same.
Mike Putman: Exactly. And this, and, and for me, James, this has become my why. You know, after I’ve been in the space for 38 years now, and after doing this for so long, people say, “do you get burnout?” You know, “are you tired of travel?” Because it’s really all I’ve done my adult life. And I say, no. And, and I, there was a point in time where I was getting a little bit tired of it, but my last company, um, we did a lot of group trips and we did, um, literally a few thousand of these a year at one point where we would take people to different places around the world.
But, you know, one in particular, um, there was a group of Midwest folks and, and no discrimination against Midwest folks, by the way. But a lot of these folks had not seen the ocean, right. And these were people in their forties and fifties. And so there was a trip down to Cancun.
I’ll, I’ll never forget it. And this group of people that belong to this organization walked into, you know, this fabulous lobby. And, and for those of you who have not been to some of these large resorts in Mexico and and throughout the world there, there’s been a real renaissance in how they’re making these entrances so grand and, and luxurious.
But I see this group of people come in again, who haven’t seen the ocean and, and just watch their jaws drop as they walk in and they see these 40 foot high ceiling chandeliers, maybe only two walls to the building where there’s open air as you walk in and there’s an open side towards the beach and the ocean.
And the cool air is blowing in. And you see that, and then, as I spent time with those folks, uh, throughout this three or four day period you saw some of those prejudices melt away because that, that, you know, guy with black hair and brown eyes, uh, in Mexico was serving them. And, and the folks from the Midwest, uh, in particular may have had some biases against um, these type people.
And then once they saw how nice they were, that they were really just exactly like them. They just spoke a different language and maybe their skin color was slightly different. It was just great to see them get immersed into this. And even though we were in a what we might refer to as a tourist area, that was a big exposure for them. And that was a life-changing event for a lot of people. And, and it changed more than just their travel habits. It changed how they look at, look at the world, uh, in a, in an overall view with, uh, more acceptance and more love.
James Ferrara: Travel’s our religion. Right? That could have been another podcast, uh, title for us, right? Travel church. That’s very hard for me to say by the way.
Mike Putman: That might be a stretch.
James Ferrara: Anyhow. So there are some very interesting things going on in the world of travel at the moment. And we want to talk about some of them, some trends this week.
And of course we have coming up some incredible research done by our very own deals guru Jessica Deverson, and she is going to bring us some great uh, deals and offers at the moment. But, uh, before we get there, Mike, let’s, let’s talk about some of this recent news.
Mike Putman: Yeah, absolutely. Um, there’s a new cruise line called Life at Sea Cruises, and they have begun something that has really interesting to me, and I’m sure, uh, is to you as well, James. You know, we love cruises. Um, I’ve been on 60 plus cruises through my life. I started going when I was a, a young child and have chosen to take cruise vacations you know, throughout my entire, in my entire life. So I’ve got a propensity to enjoy and even recommend for people to take cruises as a, a form of vacation. Well, this new organization called Life at Sea Cruises is offering something really, really unique, and that is a three year cruise.
So, you know, as our listeners, I’m sure know, cruises come in all sorts and fashions. There’s three night cruises, there’s four night, there’s seven night, there’s 14 nights. There’s cruises to the Caribbean, Alaska, Mediterranean, Asia. Pretty much anywhere where there is a port, there is a cruise ship it seems, or at least a cruise itinerary.
But this particular organization is launching a three year cruise, and you as a consumer can buy segments of that cruise, but their lead in offer, which is really, to me, extremely interesting is you can cruise for one year, continuous cruise for as low as $30,000, right? So if you think about the cost of living, just staying in an apartment somewhere, having meals, you know, et cetera, this breaks down to about $2,500 per month.
You could be aboard a cruise ship, sailing the seven seas, and, uh, being in different ports of call each week and living the high life on the cruise, on, on a cruise for an entire year.
James Ferrara: That’s food, entertainment, service, activities, everything?
Mike Putman: It’s everything. Their port charges are on top of that. I don’t have a clear definition of what those are, and I guess it will vary based on the itinerary, but let’s say it’s another $5,000 in port charges. It’s probably less than that. You’re still looking at $3,000 a month.
James Ferrara: And a, a kind of quality of life or type of life that seems pretty, uh, attractive.
Mike Putman: And James, you’re nearing the age of retirement home. So if you could think about just changing, instead of planning to go to retirement home, you could just spend, uh, you know, a year or two on a cruise ship.
James Ferrara: And if there’s one thing the last couple of years taught us, you can work from anywhere.
Mike Putman: Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah.
James Ferrara: And they do have satellite wifi now. Wifi on cruise ships was a joke for a while that we used to get a good laugh at, but now it, it’s seriously good. So you could really live your life and work this way.
Mike Putman: Yeah. And, and the some unique aspects about this cruise ship, which is designed for more of a residential lifestyle aboard a cruise ship is the, the cruise ship is equipped with a full hospital. 24/7 uh, medical support there. Um, they’ve got the ability to do operations and things, uh, which you might not find on a normal cruise ship, but they also have a business center with meeting rooms.
So, and they also offer 14 offices. So you really could be the roaming nomad and, and have your own office space as well as a business library set up for Zoom calls, uh, in case you know, you’ve got multiple people on the ship with you that, that need to be on a call.
James Ferrara: That’s a pretty amazing idea. And I wanna be clear, they are not a sponsor of our show. And in fact, neither Mike company nor mine sells this product. So this isn’t a commercial for them, but just a true, uh, appreciation of the idea. Right?
Mike Putman: Yep. Pretty fascinating stuff.
James Ferrara: So that’s some good news. Uh, I, there’s some controversial news out there in the travel industry that we wanted to touch on. And uh, one of them is that airlines are now talking about weighing passengers before they board international flights.
I mean, they’re doing this for safety reasons. They need to know the weight of the aircraft in its totality, including all the people and the luggage. And I have been on planes before where that has been an issue.
Uh, I was on a plane, which didn’t take off because of a problem with the brakes, and it was late at night and they couldn’t do anything to fix the brakes. But it wasn’t that the brakes were totally inoperable, but that they were compromised in some way. And so the flight crew, and I guess the local engineers did a calculation and if there was, you know, below a certain amount of weight for the plane, they could still safely take off and land.
Now can imagine when they made that announcement and gave people the option to get off the plane, a lot of passengers got off the plane.
Mike Putman: Yeah.
James Ferrara: But I did not, I want you to to know. I’m an intrepid traveler and I took the risk and I made it fun. So I understand that weight is a real issue. But, as a weighty person myself, I will say that I take this as a personal attack.
Mike Putman: Yeah, but you can see the point though. I mean, look, look, so this is Air New Zealand and they, they came out with the concept of, of weighing people or having the right, if you will, to weigh people prior to, um, boarding the plane and for all the reasons James has just explained. But another element of technical element is weight and balance.
So, it’s not just total weight, but it’s, it’s how the weight sits on the plane. And, um, and, and I have been on planes myself where, for whatever reason, there’s more people sitting on the left side than there are on the right, and they’ve asked people to move and things of that nature. So there’s a balanced component to it.
With these large, you know, super jets that are doing these international flights, I, I’m not quite sure how much that comes into play, but at any rate, there is, could be an operational argument to say we should be able to weigh people for that purpose.
James Ferrara: Now, we, we should say they’re not gonna display or disclose people’s weight. The scales would be private and the, the data is anonymous. So you know, this isn’t like a joke that they would make out of it, but still it’s a little concerning to me. Also, you know, here they are potentially stressing out passengers, embarrassing passengers.
And at the same time, they allow people to bring, you know, goats and chickens on the plane. I mean, everything you could imagine. And people come overloaded and little old ladies with suitcases bigger than they are and all this crazy onboard luggage. And that doesn’t seem to concern anybody.
Mike Putman: True, true. And then, you know, and there are of course, like you said, the other side of the story is people, um, should have the right to be able to fly. But, but let me give you yet another side of the story, and, and that is as a passenger, you know, I have sat beside people that were… Uh, and I’m, I’m just gonna be really frank about the statement, that spilled over the seat, right?
So, especially on a long flight, uh, if, you know, you’re sitting in coach, you know, the, the, the seats are not like lazy boys or, you know, things like that. For those who haven’t been on those flights, those, they are, you know, somewhat constrictive. And to have someone that’s kind of spilling over into your space, I mean, you’ve got this armrest right, that you put down, but they kind of have more mass than, than the space allows.
And, and to have them kind of, physically touching you for seven, eight hours on a European flight, look, it’s, it’s uncomfortable. And I get that everybody should have their rights, but the people who are exposed to that, you know, they should have some rights as well.
James Ferrara: Part of that problem though also is that the seats are not well sized to contemporary Americans at least. Well, you know, because if you looked at what the average, uh, waist size or dress size is, uh, of a man or woman in the United States, it’s probably a good bit larger than what those seats are designed against.
And so that’s a bit of prejudice that exists in a lot of areas in our culture, in the fashion industry, in, you know, theater seats on Broadway and in plane seats also. So I think there’s some accountability there. But then also some people are really, really large and those people sometimes are, they’ll buy two seats.
I saw a really interesting, uh, seat design that goes back a couple years now, and I don’t know that it was ever implemented, but it’s kind of a complicated contraption where the armrests could move side to side so you could make the seat smaller or larger. And as families who had like a row of three could, and it’s like two parents and a kid, could make the middle seat for the kid narrower, which made the two seats next to it wider. It was a really cool design. I don’t think it caught on anywhere though.
Mike Putman: That is, that is, that’s really interesting. I haven’t heard of that. Um, and I’ve been on flights where, um, I was on a flight with a professional football player and I don’t remember his name, but you know, big guy, big broad shoulder guy. And, and we were on a RJ of regional jet, you know, one of the smaller jets that are commercially operated.
And he purchased two seats and he, um, you know, I look not, not inexpensive to do that, but uh, he had the right to the space and the two seats and he was comfortable and the person sitting next to him, uh, would’ve been comfortable.
James Ferrara: So there gonna weigh me, but then, you know, the lady next to me is still allowed to bring her support ostrich on board or whatever. I mean, come on, let’s get to what some of the real problems are.
Mike Putman: Yeah, it seems like you can put support, a support little vest on any animal, and all of a sudden they’re, uh, they should be allowed on, on aircraft.
James Ferrara: I had a a, a cat run up the aisle on a recent flight and then the pilot had to come on loud speaker like, “will passengers please contain their livestock during the flight.”
Mike Putman: Oh wow. Oh, that reminds me of stories I heard about Aero Flight, the, the Russian National Carrier back in its day. Well, James, you’ve, uh, you’ve recently been in touch with, uh, or, or have been part of, uh, media here with the New York Times. What were your, what was your topic..
James Ferrara: Oh yeah.
Mike Putman: Topic with the, with the New York Times?
James Ferrara: Yeah. So I did an interview this morning with them and, uh, it’s a writer that I’ve spoken to a couple of times, Christine Chung, very good, writes about travel. And she brought up an interesting question. She asked about trends, sort of post pandemic trends in travel, and particularly about sort of ultra luxury travel, adventure travel, things that maybe would have been considered more extreme prior to the pandemic and now seem to be becoming more mainstream. And we talked quite a bit about that and I’ll, I’ll give you some good examples. First of all, I think what’s happening here is that people have had bucket lists always, right? But after having travel taken away from them During the pandemic and now getting it back, the ability to travel back.
People are feeling a little urgency to get to their bucket list, right? Like their priorities have changed a little bit in their lives and they’re thinking, “I’m not gonna wait till the golden years, the end years of my life, but I’m actually gonna pursue these bucket lists experiences now.” And we’ve seen a real increase in I’ll give you an example, uh, around the world cruises.
You know, there are these cruises that go across six or seven continents going from east to west around the world. Uh, they go on for more than 120 days, 130 days. Like that. So you’re on a cruise ship, not quite the year or three years of this new line that you were talking about, Mike, but you know, let’s say four months right, five months on a cruise ship.
And some of them even go, pole to pole. So they go from the North Pole to Antarctica, touching on continents along the way. And we’re seeing lots of interest in that area. And I have to say, as a travel advisor, you sell one of those cruises and it’s a huge commission because you’re looking at $175,000, 150, $175,000 per person cruise fair.
So that’s a commission of 30 or $40,000. So me as a, as a travel agent you know, that a… Sell one or two of those and it’s pretty decent income for the year. Um, it was a good, it’s a good business plan. On land we’re seeing things like holidays including six star hotels like in Dubai or those over the water bungalows in Mauritius.
Those, those can be two or $3,000 a night. Although, you know, a good travel agent can find you a version of that for three, four, $500 a night.
Mike Putman: And some of ’em are more than two or 3000 a night too. I mean, that’s probably the average.
James Ferrara: There’s always no ceiling, right? If you, you really have unlimited funds, you can find things to spend it on in travel, uh, private jets. Private villas. You know, another example, even private islands. We recently had a sale to an island called, uh, Velaa, V-E-L-A-A, I believe in the Maldive where you take the whole island.
So we had a family travel there. There’s also one in the Caribbean, petty St. Vincent.
Mike Putman: Branson has a Necker Island, which is, um, you know, it’s same, same type thing, but Sir Richard Branson has that, and that’s, uh, you can rent that out. I think it’s 25,000 a night.
James Ferrara: So, and, and their heightened interest also, um, not just in this kind of super luxury but in adventure travel. And we particularly see it in expedition cruising, where there’ve been a couple of new brands entering that market. So, there’s new availability, new inventory, but expedition cruising are those smaller ships.
They’re outfitted for um, rugged exploration usually, but there are actually some of them that are very luxurious. And, uh, the new brand I’m thinking about is from MSC Cruises. It’s called Explora. It’s their sort of expedition version, but a real luxury, real luxury ship. Or even celebrity cruises. Many people know celebrity and they’re very designy and beautiful and great food.
They have specific ships in the Galapagos. Um, one of them is called Laura. And uh, they sail this beautiful itinerary in the Galapagos. But you can go to the ends of the earth with expedition cruising. They cruise in Iceland. They cruise in Antarctica. You can even now visit Antarctica without crossing the very uh, rough straits at the bottom of South America there.
You can go to Antarctica by helicopter. That’s a very luxurious adventure trip. And then we see things that, uh, you might think of more commonly, but still adventure like National Geographic has become huge with offering jungle tracking to see the gorillas. That’s an awesome experience to come upon these majestic and scary gorillas in the middle of the jungle.
They’ve also been offering, National Geographic has, these underwater submarine trips. Although this week, that’s probably not something we want to talk about. There was a, a mishap this week. You heard about that, right, Mike?
Mike Putman: Yeah. Yes. Terrible.
James Ferrara: Yeah. So a, a Titanic submarine has gone missing. So we all pray for those people.
There are luxury African safaris and I have always wanted to do this. I have not done it, but to stay in one of the great treetop hotels and observe the game, the giraffes and the elephants and so on, kind of eye to eye from one of these hotels. Or to go glamping in these luxurious tent with mahogany furniture and butler service and so on.
We’re also noticing that Egypt and Jordan in the Middle East are really hot destinations right now. So I was talking with, with the Times and with Christine about all of that. And I think maybe the most surprising thing for her was that I said that these ultra luxury trips and the adventure trips are sometimes booked by relatively ordinary people who don’t travel that way for every trip, but they’ve saved up for a once a year or once in a lifetime experience.
And as long as they see the value for that money, they’re willing to make that sort of unusual spend, extraordinary spend for them. I’ve also seen with millennials and young people that they are blending experiences. So they’ll do something like a backpacking portion of the trip in Asia or in Europe, but then they’ll couple it with a portion of the trip that’s a luxury hotel stay, so they’re covering both the adventure and the luxury in one trip. So that’s what we’re seeing out there is these, these are newer behaviors after the pandemic and they seem pretty exciting to me.
Mike Putman: Yeah, it’s a real change in the industry for sure. And um, and like you said, we’re seeing normal people take extraordinary trips. Um, I was on a, a river cruise during Christmas in Europe, and met a couple that had taken, I, I can’t remember. It was an unbelievable number of river cruises, 20 or 30. And those river cruises are not inexpensive, by the way.
And, um, and they, they were single as, uh, they didn’t have any kids, but one was a teacher and I think one worked as a mechanic at, um, you know, an auto mechanic type thing. So, you know, kind of normal people, but they just had a, a, a fascination and a love of, of a type of travel that is, you know, that’s somewhat exotic, not super exotic, but somewhat exotic to us.
And they, um, did it over and over and over again, and that’s how they spent their disposable income. I guess they probably didn’t spend it on cars or a luxury home, but spent it on travel.
James Ferrara: Yeah, and taking this back round to your first story about the yearlong cruise and that kind of nomadic lifestyle, the other trend that we’ve seen so much about is blended travel or bleileisure travel, where we see people covering both their business travel or taking advantage of a business trip to add on a little bit of personal time.
And you know, from a, an employee’s point of view, if you’re a traveling executive and your company is sending you somewhere and picking up the cost of the airfare, you know, why not add on a couple of days and you just pay for your personal days, the hotel and your expenses, and, uh, you get a trip out of it.
And, uh, both you and I are heading to London, uh, in the next couple of weeks, Mike. And my daughter is tagging along with me. I’m doing the business side of the trip and she gets the leisure. Uh, she’s visiting friends and she went to school there for a while, so she’s revisiting her old haunts while poor old dad coils away.
Mike Putman: Oh yeah, I’m, I’m sure you’ll really suffer.
James Ferrara: Yeah, yeah,
Mike Putman: Yeah, and for me, it’s the front end of a, of a golfing trip, Scotland, an annual golfing trip, uh, Scotland that I do. So I’m, I’m looking forward to, to that and sharing my experiences, uh, with our listeners as, uh, as along the way and as I return
James Ferrara: Yeah. Absolutely. Well, so it’s that time and we have our beloved deals guru, really a marketing executive in the travel industry who spends her days dealing with the top brands in the industry and and bringing the best deals in travel to a wide range of customers. And she’s lent her expertise to our No Tourists Allowed podcast to help you guys see some examples of what we talk about. So it’s time to bring on Jessica Deverson. Jessica, you with us?
Jessica Deverson: Yes, I am. So yeah, I thought in honor of, um, you know, Summer being this the first official day of summer being this week, I’d bring you some sizzling summer resort deals. So first off, Sandals and Beaches. I’m sure everyone is familiar with these properties, but if not, um, just sandals is all inclusive resorts located in gorgeous tropical settings, beautiful beaches, um, all throughout the Caribbean. And you can really stay and play and truly play. There’s lots to do, tons of activities and experience the best the Caribbean has to offer. And, um, the great thing about Sandals and Beaches is it’s all unlimited. It’s all inclusive.
So, you know, gourmet dining, unique bars, premium liquors and wines. Um, every kind of land and water sport you can think of, plus for the golfers, um, there’s complimentary green feasts at the golf resorts. You can get scuba diving certified. You can have a free wedding there. I mean, it really is the leader.
One of the leaders in the Caribbean as far as all inclusives go, and for beaches, beaches is a perfect family getaway. Uh, they’re all inclusive resorts as well. Um, but it’s for the family so you and your family can spend your vacation in luxurious rooms and suites, have fun at the waterpark. You know, all the inclusions are there, but they also have really great inclusion just for kids. So, um, certified nannies, a special water park. They have something for all ages from Sesame Street to the, for the little guys all the way up to, um, you know, uh, night entertainment for the, um, for the teens and things like that. So, great resorts you know, all throughout the Caribbean and right now they have their Rhythm & Blues sale.
So, um, for both, for both beaches and sandals, you’ll get up to $500 in air credit, which we love. And you’ll also get $150 spa credit and rate, those rates are starting from $241 per person per night for, like I said, both beaches and sandals.
James Ferrara: So the Sandals brand is so interesting and so successful for so long. And they’re beaches family counterpart. But the sandals ones, the Sandals branded ones are couples only. So, you know, it’s, it’s really interesting concept. And what I also love about it is it’s really luxury so that they, they, there’s many different types of, all inclusive, but sandals really luxury.
And you even at some of the resorts, You can get butler suites, right. Butler service and kind of like swim out pools and the whole nine yards.
Mike Putman: They even got over the water bungalows too.
Jessica Deverson: Yes, they do, they’re gorgeous.
James Ferrara: Yeah. So, uh, and you know, food’s great. Service is great. Just the one thing we always say, you’ll hear Mike say it several times is that although the resorts are designed so you never have to leave them, you know, you sh you should leave them a little, right? You’re, you’re, you’re in Jamaica for God’s sakes, or in some, on some beautiful island, like get, get off the property a little.
Try to find the heartbeat of that place. Meet some people, see something special off the resort, as well as on the resort.
Jessica Deverson: Definitely, and if time is an issue, just book more nights obviously. In that same vein for, uh, adult travel, Charisma Hotels is actually having their summer loving adult travel sale. Um, so right now they’re doing room upgrades, free nights and up to 70% off. Really great deal. And, um, this includes the Charisma Hotels and Resorts, El Dorado and Margaritaville Resorts as well.
Again, all in tropical destinations, Mexico, Caribbean, and, you know, really consider it, I know it’s summer, but leave the kids at home, send ’em away to camp or to grandma’s or whatever, and have some time to yourself, some quality time. And these are all inclusive resorts as well, and you’ll be spoiled with great service, luxury amenities, beautiful accommodations.
And when you book with a vacation expressed certified travel advisor, you’ll actually have access to exclusive nonstop flights. And those flights are available from nine cities and they go to, um, Cancun, Riviera Maya, Jamaica, Los Cabos, and Puntacana. So very good offer right there for Charisma Resorts for the summer.
James Ferrara: Quick commercial, but InteleTravel, of course, is a certified Vacation Express seller, so InteleTravel agents can help you with that. Charisma is known for its gourmet food. That’s really their brand position. And well, everyone knows what Margaritaville is known for. It’s known for Jimmy Buffett kicking back, having a brewski.
Totally relaxed, fun, and I have been so impressed with that whole Margaritaville brand. It’s like America’s version of Virgin, right? Now they’re into cruises. They have hotels and resorts, which I’ve stayed at and found extremely well executed, right, and they also have the largest retirement communities in the United States and probably in the world where people go to live that Jimmy Buffet, Margaritaville life. Really incredible.
Mike Putman: It sounds like you’ve done your research on the retirement homes, James.
Jessica Deverson: He actually put a deposit down on a home.
James Ferrara: The theme of this podcast is my retirement. Apparently Mike has me retiring like next month, so I’ve been looking into it.
Mike Putman: But I will say, I, I, and listen, I’ve been to this, uh, the, a couple of Margaritaville resorts and they are really upscale. I mean, it’s the, I’ve been to one in Panama City, which I think was the first one, or excuse me, Panama Beach. And then, uh, no, Pensacola Beach. I’m sorry. Pensacola Beach. And then one in Hollywood, Florida, just south of Fort Lauderdale.
Yeah. Which was really, really nice. And, and there is, you know, there’s the Jimmy Buffett music playing sometimes, but it’s, it’s not like they just throw up Jimmy Buffett on you all the time. But, uh, really well done.
Jessica Deverson: And, um, so last but not least, uh, you know, we just mentioned a handful of great resorts, but you know, maybe for those who per prefer shipped to shore, um, I wanted to mention Seaborne, which is an ultra luxury, all inclusive, basically it’s a floating resort at sea. Um, you know, the Seabourne cruise experience is luxurious and they really position themselves to be relaxed and elegant.
Casual yet sumptuous. Um, they just, you know, that’s, they wanna be luxury but understated. So the intimate ships you know, they visit the most desirable destinations. They sail to, um, all seven continents and it, the small ships about 500 people on board. You know, they can sail to those hidden gems with the larger ships cannot go.
So think of this as like, you know, a floating resort, but kind of, you know, a yacht experience. And so, like I said, about 500 people, guests, on board, but almost the same amount of crew as well. So it’s, it’s nearly a one-to-one ratio. So exceptional service, again, visits all seven continents. I think it’s something like 90% balcony suites, all ocean front suites.
They try to combine that ultra luxury, all-inclusive cruising. And now they’re really big into expeditions and you know, they bring to life these kind of like special moments, these seaboard moments. So one of their big things is they do, uh, in the Caribbean and I think, uh, Tahiti, uh, they do caviar in the surf where they actually have their, uh, their team, their crew serve you caviar while you’re in the water, just relaxing on wraps and boats and having a water day and on the jet skis and things like that.
So that’s one of their really luxurious experience that they, you know, they pride themselves on. And all already included is, premium drinks, world-class dining in partnership with Chef Thomas Keller actually, um, included gratuity, wifi, shore excursions, that sort of thing. So, and another thing they do is these really amazing, uh, enrichment programs on board.
So they have amazing explorers, renowned uh, chefs and , you know, scholars and celebrated performers and, you know, they’re on the ship and they’re speaking to you and they bring their skills to their presentation, but they actually are on the cruise with you. They participate in the social, social scene.
They, you know, share meals. They, they go ashore with you. So it’s a really unique, interesting experience that enrichment, uh, on board. Um, and right now Seaborn has their Bon Voyage event, so running for a few more weeks. So definitely take, take this offer into consideration. Um, if you’re looking for ultra luxury cruising, you’ll receive up to a $2,000 air credit per person.
Again, we love air credits and anything to help us offset air costs. And you’ll also receive a complimentary two category suite upgrade plus reduced deposits. So Seaborne is another really, really amazing, um, option if you’re looking for that all inclusive sort of luxury upscale experience.
James Ferrara: Well, that’s my kind of expedition from the Caviar Bar to the Thomas Keller restaurant. That’s quite an expedition. A little unlike the expedition cruises we were talking about earlier in the podcast, but very cool and, and spectacular ships. These are are jewel boxes of ships and Seaborne comes to us out of the Carnival Corporation family like Holland America Line and Princess and Carnival and so on. It’s one of their line and a, a competing line uh, that offers a similar product is Regent, which comes out of the Norwegian cruise line family of brands. Both of them incredibly beautiful designed and, and incredible experiences and, uh, more value than some people might assume, because when you look at this kind of cruise product, It really is much closer to all inclusive.
They’re including a lot in these, you know, these cruise fairs that may have some sticker shock to you, but when you really get into it, they’ve in included quite a lot. So if you have the wherewithal to splurge or you’re the kind of person that cruises in suites on more regular cruise lines, you might be surprised how, uh, how much value is here and maybe how affordable it is for you.
Mike Putman: Yeah, I mean, generally they’ll offer wine with meals. I know I was on a regent ship and they had, they… and they asked what type of drinks I wanted in my refrigerator in my suite, and they fully stocked that and that was all included as well. So a lot of value there for sure.
James Ferrara: Great. Well, Jessica, thank you so much. These are exciting and we would like you to go out and test them all personally, please. Uh, and then report back in a couple of weeks.
Jessica Deverson: Absolutely can do.
Mike Putman: Don’t do it during our recording time though.
Jessica Deverson: I can record from the beach, from the sand, from the caviar in the surf.
James Ferrara: Absolutely.
Mike Putman: Well , Well, great. Thanks so much, Jessica. Thank you.
Jessica Deverson: Have a great day.
Mike Putman: All right, and that wraps up our third episode of season two of No Tourists Allowed. Thank you so much for spending a little bit of time with us. Hopefully you’re able to take a couple of nuggets of knowledge about travel away, and, uh, we look forward to seeing you again next week.
James Ferrara: Yeah, stay with us this season. Still to come we have some experts talking about space travel, believe it or not. We’re bringing some travel writers to the podcast to tell us about the subjects that readers are finding interesting right now in travel and, uh, many other leaders and sort of celebrities from the travel industry.
So come back with us each week and we thank you so much for listening.
Mike Putman: Bye for now.
Image via Life at Sea Cruises