Your Romantic Cruise Weddingmoon

Have you ever thought of “tying the knot” or renewing your vows at sea?  Sailing away into the sunset on your romantic honeymoon?  Well the cruise lines offer that and so much more.  Cruise lines now are the floating resorts of the seas stopping at different port around the world for you to venture out and explore shop, eat or just stay on the ship and relax and enjoy.
Many of the cruise lines offer a variety of wedding packages to assist you with a wedding ceremony on the ship in one of the many beautiful venues or shore side at one of the destination ports along the ships itinerary.
Family and friends can join you for just the ceremony or the full cruise.
See how beautiful and wonderful your wedding day can be.

cruise weddings

There are several cruise lines that offer different wedding packages to fit your dreams.
These are a few of the cruise lines that offer wedding packages:

Princess
Carnival
Norwegian
Royal Caribbean
Disney Cruise Line
Celebrity
Cunard
Holland America
MSC Cruise Line

cruise ships
After the wedding you can go start your honeymoon in one of the beautiful staterooms on the ship.

Stateroom bed

Or enjoy a dip in the pool, feast in the dining rooms, enjoy a show, go to the spa and get couples massage, shopping, hang out in the bar/lounge, participate in the many activities on the ship, or just honeymoon in your stateroom.

cruise dining

One of the many dining venues on the ship

 

 

cruise pool

There is always time to take a dip into the pool.

spa cruise

It is time to enjoy a couple’s massage.

sunsets at sea

 Just think you could have your Wedding/Honeymoon anywhere around the world with family and friends or just you two sailing into the sunset.

Written by Sandra Scott of JFM Travel
For more information on creating your Destination Wedding/Honeymoon or any Specialmoon,
contact Sandra Scott at Sandra@jfmtravel.com
Don’t know where to go on your next getaway?

Find your Destination match here

fiji

 

VR videos helping agents close sales

A growing number of travel advisers are reporting that virtual reality (VR) is helping them close sales more often and faster, and several said they’re considering ways to put the technology in their clients’ hands with branded headsets to make it more accessible.

“You know, you can talk up a resort, you can talk up a destination, but letting them experience it for themselves like they’re really there gets them very excited about trips,” said Michele Botnick, owner of Lucky N Love Travel in Roswell, N.M.

Botnick is among the agents using a product developed by Virtual Honeymoon, a company owned by former agent Robin Hawkey, who created a set of interactive, online quizzes to help clients narrow their preferred destinations.

The service now offers quizzes for honeymoons, vacations, anniversary trips and weddings (including venue matching). Agents who sign up for the service also get access to VR content for which Hawkey partners with a Canadian company, Explor VR.

A number of Hawkey’s agent clients, including Botnick, have begun bringing VR headsets powered by smartphones to bridal shows. They have prospective clients take Virtual Honeymoon’s quiz, which takes into account personal preferences and budgets to determine two recommended destinations. They then showcase one or both destinations on the VR headset.

“It literally is doubling their sales,” Hawkey said. “They are closing sales quicker, and it gets the clients really excited.”

Hawkey has seen agents’ use of VR increase in the past year or so, a trend she attributed to the increasing quality and affordability of headsets.

VR has existed in some form for decades, but the market for headsets designed for consumer use has exploded in recent years. At first, headsets required expensive computers to run, but versions that utilize a smartphone have become very common.

Some cost less than $20, among them the Google Cardboard, a smartphone-powered headset. Sets that run off smartphones range in price and quality.

Newer entrants even run as standalone systems, not requiring a smartphone. Among those is the Oculus Go (starting at $200). Higher-end headsets requiring the use of a computer cost hundreds of dollars for the headset alone.

Companies in the retail travel space have been experimenting with VR in recent years. For example, Virtuoso several years ago beta-tested the use of high-end headsets in member agencies. The consortium found that interest varied greatly among members, and VR efforts are now member-driven.

One of those interested members is Direct Travel. Vicky DiMichele, digital marketing manager of leisure at the agency is Willoughby, Ohio, said it plans to introduce VR this year using Oculus Go headsets.

vr headsets

Guests viewing content from Virtual Honeymoon at a bridal show.

The idea is to place headsets in offices with walk-in leisure business. She would showcase videos from suppliers but is also considering creating her own VR content, especially from familiarization or adviser-incentive trips. That could also be useful for agents, DiMichele said.

Largay Travel of Waterbury, Conn., another Virtuoso agency, was an early tester of using high-end headsets in agencies, but Scott Largay, director of marketing, said the agency ran into issues with content development.

The agency was attempting to create its own content and app, but Largay said he found that limits to the amount and quality of content “was very restrictive to what we were looking to do.”

Companies producing VR content weren’t able to produce the caliber of content Largay wanted, he said, and those that could were “astronomically priced.”

“Virtual reality will be a big part of the travel industry moving forward, and I will be there with my headset on when it happens,” he said. “But it’s just not right now.”

While some have taken a step back from VR, Virtual Honeymoon’s Hawkey is doubling down on the technology and encouraging resorts to start filming weddings with it.

She works with several VR companies, and each has agreed to record at least one complimentary mock wedding as long as the resort hosts the production (and, of course, arranges the event). Hawkey said she has several resorts interested and that she believes they will see a direct impact on bookings if agents showcase weddings virtually.

She said other resorts would likely follow suit and pay to have their own mock weddings recorded in VR.

“The reason that we’re doing that is to prove how powerful viewing VR weddings really is and to show how that venue is going to double, if not triple, their weddings by doing something as powerful as a virtual wedding,” she said. “Because then you can literally drop the couple into the wedding without being there.”

It’s not a cheap prospect. In addition to the mock wedding, VR videos feature other aspects of the property to give viewers a better feel for what they will experience. Hawkey estimated that recording one property costs between $7,500 and $10,000, a price driven not only by the effort to videotape at a resort but also the costs of expensive professional equipment and the editing process.

The expense involved in VR is what led Camille Sanders, owner of Chic Romance Travel in Fresno, Calif., to partner with Virtual Honeymoon to offer VR to her clients instead of trying to create her own program and content.

“It’s very expensive to produce,” she said. “It definitely is better to partner with somebody.”

Like Lucky N Love’s Botnick, Sanders brings headsets to bridal shows.

“I feel it really sets me aside differently than anything out there, especially with other local agencies,” Sanders said. “It’s something different to offer.”

Miki Taylor, founder and CEO of Taylor & Co. Travel in Auburn, Ala., lives in a college town and brings the headsets to many local events. She said VR has gone over very well with clients, especially students, for whom Taylor plans many spring break trips.

“If I had a storefront, I’d have [headsets] on every station,” Taylor said. “Every agent would have them, and they would use them to sell. It sells itself.”

Both Sanders and Botnick are also considering purchasing branded headsets that are inexpensive, foldable and easily mailable to clients around the country, who can use their smartphones to view VR content.

Hawkey said VR is a powerful technology for agents to have in their arsenal.

“I just feel it in my gut,” she said. “If agents don’t get on with the technology, they’re going to be the next ones out of business.”

 

Paradise is called Jamaica, the island of All Right!

Rising out of the Caribbean Sea is an island full of life, music, and spice, is Jamaica!
Landscape of rich tropical vegetation, white sandy beaches, and turquoise waters is a kaleidoscope of amazing color. Its people are every bit as vibrant as the landscape and their music is every bit as calming as the ocean’s waves.
Jamaica is the kind of place you can’t wait to get to and never want to leave. It is truly the quintessential island escape you only thought existed in the movies. Featuring an abundance of the Caribbean’s most spectacular resorts paired with thrilling adventures and laid-back relaxation Jamaica truly has something for everyone. For this reason, Jamaica is an ideal location for honeymooners and for those planning a destination wedding. Secrets St. James
No matter whether it is a romance-filled honeymoon or a fun-filled destination wedding one is seeking, they can expect to find the ideal resort matched perfectly with their personality and desired level of action or relaxation. Each resort is unique in design and individualized for the specific traveler they are attracting. From family friendly to couples only, from quiet and relaxed to energetic and active… on the island of Jamaica variety is the spice of life!
The opportunities for romance are at every turn… from couples’ massages to champagne toasts at sunset. From catamaran cruises to snorkeling tours. From hiking up Dunn’s River Falls to diving into Jamaica’s Blue Lagoon. However you choose to spend your time in Jamaica you can be assured that it will be nothing short of incredible. jamaica
In the event that you’re still just not sure if Jamaica is right for you, allow me the opportunity to paint you a picture… It won’t take you long to realize what your time in Jamaica is going to be like. In fact, you’ll get a pretty good idea as soon as you load into the van taking you from the airport to your resort. With the van bumping and swaying along as your driver cruises up and down the twisty turny 2-lane roads with the Reggae music blasting you’ll start to understand the Jamaicans care free no worries attitude.
Once you arrive at your resort things will start to slow down a little… The stresses of traveling will start to fade away, the tension in your neck and shoulders will start to relax, and you’ll even realize that your body has begun to sway to the sounds of the music. You’ll stop and stare, trying to take it all in as you stand looking out at the gorgeous lagoon style pool with the breathtakingly beautiful Caribbean Sea in the background.

There will be people all around you, the Reggae band will be playing, but the only thing you’ll be able to hear is Bob Marley singing over and over again in your head, “Don’t worry ‘bout a thing, ‘cause every little thing gonna be alright”.

For more information on Jamaica, contact Kevin Lowe of Better Days Travel

If you don’t know where to go on your next getaway, take our fun quiz and find your top destination match

Virtual Vacation

Saint Lucia will inspire you!

Saint Lucia has earned the slogan of, “Let Her Inspire you” and it is easy to see why!

Saint Lucia

With resorts ranging from family friendly properties with kids’ and teens’ clubs, water slides, petting zoos, paint ball, and trampolines; to boutique properties with little cottages and nearly private beaches; to mega resort properties; to three-sided-open air sanctuaries formed on the side of a mountain for a romantic getaway, Saint Lucia offers it all.

jade mountain

When asked, “What can I do in Saint Lucia?” I have to respond with, “it is easier to advised what you cannot do in Saint Lucia!” You cannot find sky scrapers. You won’t find a desert terrain. But truly, many activities abound in this lush and beautiful paradise! You will understand why Saint Lucia is referred to as the Hawaii of the Caribbean!

Land adventures can be experienced through ziplining, hiking, biking, climbing, jungle swing, aerial tram, bird watching, dune buggies, Segway tours, and even a volcano experience with hot springs! Water adventures include snorkeling, scuba, beaches in various colors, stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, canoeing, sailing, kite surfing, speed boating, catamaran cruises, whale watching, and fantastic deep see fishing! While you will not be short on activities in Saint Lucia, should you want to venture out, you can even take a trip over to the neighboring island of Martinique!

Hike Saint Lucia

I describe Saint Lucia as something for everyone. The clearness and blues of the water welcome you from every direction. The topography offers mountainous Pitons, Rainforest, areas known for calm waters, and areas known for waves and kite surfing! The temperature stays between 75 degrees and 90 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. The English language is spoken fluently by most on the island. The currency is Eastern Caribbean, but they will commonly accept the US Dollar when you are shopping or tipping. And YES, the people are welcoming, and the tap water is safe to drink!

If interested in finding out more about Saint Lucia, feel free to reach out directly to TravelAgentSuz

If  you don’t know where to go on your next romantic getaway, take our virtual quiz and find your top two matches here:

Virtual Honeymoon

Written by TravelAgentSuz

Xcaret Resort

We attended the Love Mexico conference last week which was hosted by Xcaret Resort in Cancun, Riviera Maya, Mexico.
Xcaret combines Mayan history, art, and an ecosystem of jungles, caves & rivers that is just perfect for a destination wedding, honeymoon or a romantic getaway.Xcaret Resort

The resort grounds are beautiful and ready for some romantic exploration. The suites are very large, and offer all the amenities you would expect in a luxury resort. Food options are endless and during our stay we were not disappointed.
The service is impeccable, and Raul & Daniel at the lobby bar deserve a big shout out!  Xcaret ResortEach suite has a balcony or terrace that includes a hammock (or two) for enjoying the views and relaxing. The suites are decorated based on the key elements of the Mayan culture; spiral, earth, wind, water & fire.

Take your romantic getaway, destination wedding or honeymoon for a test drive in virtual reality

Thank you to our Mexico Specialist, Michele Botnick of Lucky n Love Travel for blogging on their most recent trip to Hotel Xcaret in Riviera Maya, Mexico.

For more information of this property and destination, please reach out directly:
michele@luckynlovetravel.com

Start Planning Your Hotel Xcaret Getaway

Virtual Destination Wedding wins Trendsetter of the year award 2018

We are excited to announce Virtual Honeymoon’s sister site, Virtual Destination Wedding won Trendsetter of the year 2018 award for best targeted marketing idea!

2018 trendsetter of year

Virtual Honeymoon won this honor for Trendsetter of year in 2016 for best targeted marketing idea as well!

While Virtual Honeymoon software runs both virtual matching sites, Virtual Destination Wedding goes a step further in not only matching a couples destination but helps plan their wedding, this helps wedding planners and destination wedding specialists work smarter!

Virtual Destination Wedding story-

Virtual Destination Wedding won 2018 trendsetter award

What does Trendsetter awards mean? Each year, the TravelAge West Trendsetter Awards recognize travel agency leaders who make an impact on the industry and the community. Two finalists in each category are invited to and honored at the WAVE Awards as guests of their sponsor.

Entries are reviewed and voted on by the sponsors and editorial staff of TravelAge West. Furthermore, suppliers who sponsor the Trendsetter Awards do so not just for publicity – they support the travel agent community and wish to honor those who are making significant strides in the industry.

See the Trendsetter winners in all categories by checking out the July issue of Travelage West Magazine honoring all the recipients held at The Ritz Carlton in Marina Del Ray, California
A huge thank you goes out to Travelage West for our award and Celebrity Cruise line for honoring us with a Europe Cruise, we are so excited!

Virtual Destination Wedding is honored to work with over 200 Destination Wedding Specialists in US and Canada!
If your a travel agent specializing in romance travel or wedding planner, find out how you can work smarter @
VirtualDestinationWedding.com

“This interactive tool saves time, gets your clients excited and ready to book!”

Destination Wedding Specialists & Wedding Planners can try our demo-site below:

Virtual Destination Wedding- Wedding Planners

Virtual Destination Wedding- Wedding Planners

 

Virtual Honeymoon in TravelWeek news!

Robin Hawkey, owner of Virtual Honeymoon, was recently interviewed by Travel Week about how she came up with the concept for this VR interactive matching tool, and how its solving problems for hundreds of  Travel specialists in the Romance Travel industry, as well as plans for growth.

 the travel industry largest and most trusted media source in Canada!
See below a copy to article.

Virtual Honeymoon launches sister sites, partners with ExplorVR amid company...

Virtual Honeymoon launches sister sites

Virtual Honeymoon launches sister sites, partners with ExplorVR amid company growth

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

TORONTO — Here’s a common scenario: You ask your wedding clients where they would go on their dream honeymoon, and they respond with a bunch of destinations in quick succession. Bali. Italy. Tahiti. The list goes on and on.

But there is a fun and easy way to whittle down the options so that your clients are left with a destination that best suits their needs and preferences. Virtual Honeymoon is an interactive destination matching tool used by agents with indecisive clients. Using intuitive software and an algorithm to search for and match destinations, the tool matches couples with their top two destinations, allowing them to ‘test drive’ these locales and help agents close the sale.

Robin Hawkey

Robin Hawkey- Owner of Virtual Honeymoon

Started and owned by travel industry veteran Robin Hawkey, Virtual Honeymoon kicked off in January 2015 for year-long testing before launching its affiliate program in March 2016. Hawkey says the idea came to her after “years of frustration of working with couples that were all over the map”, which resulted in wasting weeks of valuable time, sometimes only to lose them to the Internet.

“When couples have no idea where to go on their getaway, or say something like ‘We just want to go some place warm and tropical’, that usually leads to seeing every tropical island and comparing them all. We call [these couples] ‘tire-kickers’ or ‘time-wasters’ for using travel agents as a human resource tool,” she tells Travelweek.

How it works is simple: Clients answer a series of fun, interactive questions, the tool then matches them to their top two destinations based on their answers. After clients fill out a contact form, all the questions and answers, including their matches, are emailed directly to the travel agent who will then follow up directly.

The tool costs $24.95/month, or $239.52 per year with a savings of 20%.
You can access the site at virtualhoneymoon.com.

To enhance the experience, Hawkey has added a virtual reality component to the website’s destination pages. She’s teamed up with ExplorVR to allow clients to pre-experience their matched destination. Virtual Honeymoon’s affiliates have already used VR headsets and videos at wedding fairs where clients were able to test-drive their destinations on the spot.

“I think [VR] is so beneficial as most millennials want to be involved in the planning process. VR is the next best thing to being there!” said Hawkey. “I also feel that the agents who don’t get on this VR trend will be left behind – literally!”

Devin Kinasz, President & CEO of ExplorVR, adds: “Virtual Honeymoon is embracing VR technology and partnering with ExplorVR to give their agents access to exciting destination experiences. We are very excited to partner with Virtual Honeymoon because they align with our values of being a forward-thinking company that embraces technology.”

Virtual reality acts as the perfect selling tool in the destination wedding and honeymoon market as it allows clients to “try before they fly”. As Hawkey puts it, all couples want their weddings and honeymoons to go off without a hitch, so the best way to ensure that the destination matches their vision is to virtually travel there ahead of time.

“There is on average over two million weddings per year in the U.S. alone, with couples spending over $72 billion on weddings and $8 billion on honeymoons. The romance niche is such a great niche to get into to build your entire travel business,” said Hawkey. “If an agent does a great job on the wedding or honeymoon, and builds a good relationship with their client, they will do all their travel-related activities such as anniversaries, babymoons, graduations, family trips and more, not to mention the referrals to all their friends getting married. This creates a booming business that will continue to grow and prosper.”

With business booming, Virtual Honeymoon launched its sister site – Virtual Destination Wedding – at the Love Mexico event in Cabo last December. Operating much like Virtual Honeymoon, the new site not only matches clients with their top two destinations but also helps plan the wedding. And like its sister site, it costs $24.95, or $239.52 with a 20% discount.

Looking ahead, Hawkey is preparing to launch the company’s newest addition – Virtual Vacationing – on April 10 at the Travel Agent Forum in Las Vegas. While its main concept is the same as interactive destination matching, she says the new site does not focus on romance as the other two sites.

“We realize that not all getaways are about romance, sometimes it’s about vacation travel with family and friends and they too can be confused about where to go on their getaway,” she adds. “We are so excited to be at the Forum with our VR partner, ExplorVR. They have really helped our vision of bringing virtual travel to life, allowing clients to virtually experience their destination match before booking and, thus, closing sales!”

“Test drive” one of our demo-sites below and find the best match for your business:

Travel agents specializing in Romance Travel

Virtual Destination Wedding

       Destination Wedding Planners

Virtual Vacations

     Travel agents selling Vacations

Try before you Fly with Virtual Honeymoon!

“Try before you fly” using Virtualhoneymoon.com!
Virtual Honeymoon is a Interactive Destination Matching tool, that Travel Specialists use for those time-consuming clients that are “all over the map!”
The intuitive tool uses algorithm + scoring technology software, to virtually match each client to their top Destinations, where they can virtually experience it before they book!
Virtual Honeymoon just partnered with Travel weeks Xplr VR company based out of Canada, using their VR + 360 videos.

Clients can now “virtually experience” their destinations they match to, thus travel specialists closing the sale!

Try before you fly!

Here’s a great example of using this technology to work smarter and close the sale from a Virtual Honeymoon affiliate:
“I had a appointment with a Destination Wedding couple on Wednesday night, they both took the Virtual Honeymoon quiz and matched to BVI and Jamaica!”  The groom was excited about Jamaica, the bride wasn’t sure, but was open to exploring. I put the VR headset on her, set to Jamaica with sound on and within 2 minutes she was SOLD!!!! “I wish I would have videoed taped her, she was smiling, looking up down all around, laughing, gasping with excitement!” The groom was trying to pull headset off her, he was so excited to try it! He got his turn and was like a little kid, pointing in the air, spinning around, smiling, etc….within about 10 minutes, they BOTH fell in Love with Jamaica for their beach wedding and honeymoon!
 
“This interactive tool SAVES TIME, gets clients EXCITED & ready to BOOK!
 
Today’s travel consumers are tech savvy, and expect brands to be as well!
Virtual Honeymoon + Xplr VR technology is revolutionizing the way “smart agents” sell travel!

Virtual Honeymoon offers white label sites, allowing  agents to personalize their agencies, helping them work smarter!”

Robin Hawkey is the owner/visionary of Virtual Honeymoon.
She won 2016 Trendsetter Award for “Best Targeted Marketing idea” and was featured in Travelage West.
This year, Virtual Honeymoon is up for Travvy Award and Magellan Award.

St. Martin – St. Maarten Romance

St. Martin-St.Maarten- Although the island is often referred to by one name, it is actually divided between France (St. Martin) and the Netherlands (St. Maarten). Cruise ships dock at the Dutch capital, Philipsburg, which boasts hundreds of duty-free shops, golfing, casinos, and exciting nightlife. In St. Martin you’ll find less-crowded beaches and fabulous restaurants. Marigot and Grand Case are famous for their Creole cuisine.

Beautiful beaches on island of St. Martin

The two sides of the island have some similarities, yet each offers a unique experience for travelers. St. Martin is the place to go for quiet relaxation and seclusion. It offers quaint towns with typical French colonial architecture and nice street-side cafes. Some of the best restaurants can be found on this side of the island, specializing in sophisticated French and Creole cuisine. Head to Sint Maarten for the nightlife and for a more lively scene. Their renowned celebration of Carnival includes parades, music, dancing, and great parties that last all night. Activities abound here, from casinos to malls to dance clubs — something for everyone to guarantee an action-packed, upbeat vacation. Both sides offer unbeatable white-sand beaches, plenty of palm trees and the chance to experience some of the best island time that the Caribbean has to offer.

The two nations have been living peacefully (for the most part) for the past 350 years, cooperating and sharing the island’s generous natural resources, beauty and tourist traffic, yet still allowing their respective national cultures to shine through. Both are great for romantic travel!

Highlights:

  • Bask in the sunshine on St. Martin’s stunning beaches
  • Kayak through the hidden shores of the island for an intimate look at the coastline
  • Snorkel in protected Marine Reserve Le Gallion, where sea life flourishes
  • Charter a boat for the day and explore the island in comfort and style
  • Go horseback riding along the beautiful shores

Seychelles Romance Travel

The Seychelles are located in the Indian Ocean, are thought to have been the original Garden of Eden, the stunning beauty of these islands will leave the most discerning traveler speechless. Visitors to Seychelles will enjoy the relaxing vibe the islands have to offer, the beauty of the silver sand beaches, and the perfection in the lush surroundings. The simplicity of life on these beautiful islands create a genuine feeling of escape. The people are kind and welcoming, proud of the immense beauty of their islands. Seychelles islands aren’t cluttered with roads, it is popular for visitors to get around by means of foot, bike, or boat.

The Seychelles are located in the Indian Ocean, are thought to have been the original Garden of Eden, the stunning beauty of these islands will leave the most discerning traveler speechless.

Top Highlights:

  • Visit the sights and sounds of the center of Victoria.
  • Challenge yourself for an adventurous hike up into the woods of Mahe.
  • Take a scenic boat ride out on the pristine waters of the Indian Ocean.
  • Island hop to Praslin, the second largest of Seychelles, take in the breath-taking scenery and picnic on a remote beach.

There is no bad time to visit the Seychelles. This warm, tropical climate stays beautiful year – round, perfect for travelers all over the world. Popular activities include bird-watching, hiking, snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing / windsailing, and surfing. These islands are a tropical paradise. Whether you’re the active type, or the type looking for a little R & R, look no further than the Seychelles. These islands captivate travelers with their spectacular scenery and their ease of a place that has been closely treasured, a perfect honeymoon or destination wedding island!

 

To connect with a Seychelles Romance Destination Specialist, and get your personalized travel album and up to $100 off one of our recommended resorts, please visit us @ www.VirtualHoneymoon.com

Find your top 2 Destinations, try our fun interactive matching tool and virtually experience your top destinations: www.Virtualhoneymoon.com

Thailand Romance Travel

Thailand is simply amazing! From the bustling streets of Bangkok to island beaches lined in limestone cliffs; golden temples to lush, green forests; ancient ruins to exotic nightlife.The attractions of Thailand are myriad, with ruined cities, ancient monasteries, Buddhist monks, colorful hill tribes, floating markets, rave parties, dense rainforests, exotic wildlife, tropical islands, golden beaches and pristine coral reefs.

From Thailand’s bustling metropolises to acres of rice fields to miles of beautiful sandy beaches, Thailand earns its spot as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. Thailand is one of the only Southeast Asian countries to have never been conquered by a European power, a fact many Thai are proud of that!

Thailand with its golden temples to lush, green forests; ancient ruins to exotic nightlife.

Top Highlights:

  • Bangkok – take a boat trip through Bangkok’s Floating Market, or along the klongs; a network of canals leading off the river, and lined with dwellings opening directly on to the water.
  • Chaing Mai -visit a training camp of elephants which is almost like a school, see how the animals are trained, then ride a elephant through the jungle.
  • Chiang Dao- Explore Thailands’s highest limestone mountains amidst a jungle oases with mystical caves waiting to be discovered.
  • Phang Nga Bay- one of the world’s great scenic wonders, consists of verdant limestone islands, some of which reach 984ft high, the area is famous for its caves and aquatic grottoes.

From bustling metropolises to acres of rice fields to miles of beautiful sandy beaches, Thailand earns its spot as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Southeast Asia

  • To connect with a Thailand Romance Destination Specialist, and get your personalized travel album and up to $100 off one of our recommended resorts, please visit us @ www.VirtualHoneymoon.com
     

    Find your top 2 Destinations, try our fun interactive matching tool and virtually experience your top destinations: www.Virtualhoneymoon.com

Maldives Islands

The Maldives islands is a tropical wonderland in the exotic Indian Ocean made up of 1,190 coral islands, stretching some 575 miles north to south in the Indian Ocean. Of that number, only 202 are inhabited, and 120 are exclusive island resorts. The atolls are barely higher than sea level, coconut trees, sea cabbage and pandans grow in abundance.
Maldives islands are  the ideal setting for romance, a divers paradise, discover the sunny side of life.
Attracting romance with honeymooners, destination weddings, anniversary trips and more!

Maldives islands

In the Maldives Islands, you can stay on a tiny island that has a soft, sandy beach, a sparkling turquoise lagoon and only a single dwelling. And if you plunge beneath the surface of the lagoon, you’ll find extraordinary underwater scenery with an amazing variety of colorful reef fish.
The Maldives Islands also attracts lovers of the sea for diving, snorkeling and more.
Some of our top recommendation highlights in the Maldives:

  • Addu Atoll– The most southerly of the Maldives island groups, is definitely worth visiting for divers, the coral is the best in the country.
  • Hulhumalé Island– Ferry out to this man-made island and take a look to the future. A utopian town, Hulhumalé is set to become the new hub of the Maldives in decades to come as sea levels rise. At 2m above sea level, it is mountainous by local standards.
  • Island Hop- To a uninhabited island, spend the night by yourselves, its quite the experience to dream a bit.
  • Vilingili Island– Ferry out to the tranquil neighbouring island of Vilingili. Join locals at the beach, watch cricket matches in the park, and picnic under the multitude of gently-waving palm trees.
  • Dive Wreck- An unforgettable underwater experience for divers is the wreck of the merchant ship Maldives Victory, which lies 115 ft below the waves near Hulhule. Sinking in 1981, the ship has become an artificial reef, with coral, sponges and fish all making it their home.

To be matched with your Destination and Romance Specialists, try our fun interactive matching tool: www.Virtualhoneymoon.com

Greek Isles

The Greek Isles are located in southeastern Europe, Greece is one the most popular holiday destinations in the world—for good reason.
Greek Isles, all 6000 of them of which 227 are inhabited, are lined with golden stretches of sand with dunes, sheltered bays and coves and coastal caves with steep rocks and black volcanic soil. With the breath-taking scenery of island paradises such as Crete, Mykonons and Santorini is a perfect back drop for swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling and water skiing, sailing and windsurfing.

Greek Isles

The Greek Isles is one of the most Romantic Destinations, attracting Honeymooners and Destination Weddings, with its spotless sands and clear-blue water abound. The landscape offers a picturesque variety, from whitewashed homes and blue-domed churches to neoclassical architecture and traditional authentic villages in the mountainous areas. The Greek cuisine will reward even the most demanding visitors and definitely those who appreciate simple and good quality food (after all, the famous Cretan diet is the cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet). The country’s vibrant nightlife is famous and includes a great variety of clubs and bars.

Some of our top recommended Greek islands to explore:

  • Athens- explore its historic center which was converted into a two-mile pedestrian zone that leads to major archelogical sites with its beautiful ancient landscape, where you will find Acropolis, the Agora and the Areopagus, the hills and municipalities of ancient Athens and more.
  • Crete- Take a day trip to Gramvousa Island, located off the north-west coast of Crete. Gramvousa is an uninhibited island which is only accessible by boat. See remains of a Venetian fort, which was occupied by pirates during the Greek War of Independence.
  • Mykonos- spend the day exploring this quaint town with its cobblestone streets, remarkable architecture, with stunning views, a whitewashed paradise in the heart of the Cyclades. End the day in Little Venice overlooking the windmills while the sunsets, one of the most romantic places there!
  • Santorini- Take in breathtaking panoramas from a hilltop monastery, roam the serene streets of a quiet village, and kick back on a black sand beach before a winetasting and tour of an ancient archaeological site.

Find your top 2 Destinations, try our fun interactive matching tool and virtually experience your top destinations: www.Virtualhoneymoon.com

Dominican Republic- Romantic Caribbean Island!

Dominican Republic – The Caribbean’s most geographically diverse country, showcasing everything from tropical rainforests and alpine ranges to mangrove swamps and desert expanses. These natural gifts offer superb adventure travel and eco-tourism options, catering for mountain-bikers, trekkers, water sport fanatics among other outdoor enthusiasts. With their almost perfect weather year round 78*-88* its natures tropical paradise, just waiting to be explored!

Dominican Republic

  • Punta Cana- Boasting a series of wide white beaches that stretch nearly uninterrupted for 35 miles, has a well-deserved reputation as one of the most affordable destinations in the Caribbean.
  • Puerto Plata- The first beach destination developed for tourism in the Dominican Republic, it remains one of its most popular, with a long string of affordable beachfront resorts and a reputation as one of the best spots for windsurfing in the world. North Coast resorts, including laid-back
  • Cabarete- On the North Coast, Cabarete is famous for kite-boarding and also a well known snorkeling area.
  • Limon- A impressive waterfall, that is 52 meter high cascading into a amazing swimming hole.
  • Santo Domingo- One of the oldest city’s, where Christopher Columbus first landed! Stroll the cobblestone streets, shop Mercado Modelo handcraft market, experience some local food.

*Locals Secret:  Merengue Festival- held the last two weeks of July, the largest music festival in the country, most of the activity is on the Malecon but there are related events across the city of Santo Domingo.
*Hidden Gem:  Hoyo Azul, a chilly, neon-blue lagoon that’s perfect for diving into on a hot day.

Travel back in time, discover influences of the ancient Taino Indians, Spanish, African, Latin and European, sip a coconut drink, stroll the white sand beaches, the Dominican Republic has it all….Honeymoon or have your Destination Wedding in the Dominican Republic!”

 

  • To connect with a Dominican Republic Island Destination Specialists, and get your personalized travel album and up to $100 off one of our recommended resorts, visit us @ www.VirtualHoneymoon.com/DominicanRepublic

     

    Find your top 2 Destinations, try our fun interactive matching tool and virtually experience your top destinations: www.Virtualhoneymoon.com

Cayman Islands – Island hoppers dream

Cayman Islands- Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, Little Cayman are Caribbean archipelago renowned for its beautiful beaches, world-class diving and incredible food and enjoy tropical climate throughout the year with temperatures as high at 90* in summer and as low as 72* in their winter.

Cayman Islands,Cayman Islands- Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, Little Cayman are Caribbean archipelago.

Cayman’s is all about switching off. The extraordinary beaches on all three islands are perfect for whiling away lazy days, whilst the surrounding waters are a treasure trove of marine life. With world-class spas and resorts to celebrity-designed golf courses and the best selection of gourmet restaurants in all the Caribbean, Cayman kind delivers all the measures of a life well-lived. With unmatched service and unrivaled pride…..that’s Cayman kind, find yours!

Some of our top recommended highlights on Cayman Islands:

  • Cayman Brac Caves- The Bluff that runs along the centrer of Cayman Brac is riddled with caves, many of them with tales to tell about the islanders who have sheltered there during hurricanes. One of the popular ones is Bat Cave, which for obvious reasons, is a photo opportunity in the making.
  • Seven Mile Beach- The turquoise waters of Grand Cayman’s West Bay are backed by the long, sandy Seven Mile Beach, and, this glorious stretch of coast retains its idyllic charms, with some of the best snorkeling in all of the islands!
  • Stingray City- Snorkel alongside southern stingrays at Stingray City in North Sound on Grand Cayman. These shallow waters are home to a profusion of stingrays and visitors can get right up close with these otherworldly, gentle creatures.
    *Island Hopping- Cayman Brac- caters to adventure-loving nature enthusiasts with its spectacular hiking trails and caves
    *Little Cayman- smallest Cayman island is an adventure in seclusion unlike anything else in the Caribbean. With fewer than 170 residents, most of the island is free of people and full of glistening white sand beaches that make your trip feel like a private island vacation.

 

Find your top 2 Destinations, try our fun interactive matching tool and virtually experience your top destinations: www.Virtualhoneymoon.com

Anguilla Island – Top honeymoon destination

Anguilla Island is one of the smaller Caribbean islands, at just 16 miles long and three miles wide, the most northerly of the British Leeward Islands.

Anguilla island

Home to 33 pristine beaches with more than 12 miles of stunning, powder-white sand. This island paradise retains the laid-back character of a sleepy backwater. Goats still wander the streets and reggae music blares from passing cars.  
On the Island of Anguilla, it lays claim to some of the finest beaches in the region, its a perfect Honeymoon and Destination Wedding spot! Anguilla Island has some of the most luxurious hotels and some amazing areas to explore on this small yet bountiful island paradise, check out some of our top highlights below:

  • Explore white coral beaches- Many of the best, like Rendezvous Bay, Shoal Bay and Road Bay, offer water sports but Crocus Bay and Barnes Bay can’t be beaten for peace, quiet and warm cyan seas.
  • Offshore Islands- Sandy Island and its beach bar is just 15 minutes from Sandy Ground Harbor and Prickly Pear is 25 minutes away. Scilly Cay, another favorite for lunch, sits in the bay just off the fishing village of Island Harbor.
  • The Fountain- explore a huge underground cave with a constant supply of fresh water at Shoal Bay.
  • Snorkeling or Diving- There are numerous sunken ships within its depths, there is much to explore. The best diving areas to travel to are those at Sandy Islands and Prickly Pear Cays.

    *Top recommended beaches we love on Anguilla Island; Rendezvous Bay, Shoal Bay and Road Bay, Crocus Bay and Barnes Bay.

To find out more about this Romantic Caribbean island and connect with a Destination Specialist , go to www.Virtualhoneymoon.com/Anguilla
get your Personalized Travel Album and up to $100 off one of our Recommended Resorts!

Find your top 2 Destinations, try our fun interactive matching tool and virtually experience your top destinations: www.Virtualhoneymoon.com

British Virgin Islands – Top Honeymoon Destination

British Virgin Islands, surrounded by sixty small islands of topaz sea, 16 of which are inhabited, for those seeking a great yachting experience on their Caribbean vacation, BVI is a must visit island(s), with is almost perfect weather of  sub-tropical average of 82*degrees

BVI

The British Virgin Islands, known for its sloping hills of green, lush mountainous terrain, extensive coral reefs and famous shipwrecks sum up the thrills and spills of the British Virgin Islands. With myriad nautical pursuits on offer, the idyllic islands are a slice of paradise, though for travelers who prefer to watch the sea rather than get into it, there is the breathtaking chance of spotting dolphins and whales criss-crossing the surface.

 

Top recommended highlights for British Virgin Islands include:

*Sage Mountain- Climb mountain for excellent views of the island and breath-taking coast, which kisses the sky at 1,800ft. The mountain sits in a gorgeous national park lined with mahoganies, hanging vines, white cedars and kapok trees. The area is well-marked with trails to explore.
*Chest National Park- Snorkel amidst the stunning coral gardens of Chest National Park. The island is said to have been named when the infamous pirate Blackbeard put 15 mutinous men ashore with only a bottle of rum between them.
*Rhone Marine Park- The wreck of the RMS off Salt Island is a mecca for divers. The mail ship sank during the hurricane of 1867 and now lies in two sections in waters between 30ft and 90ft deep. The clear water also allows for good snorkeling of the wreck site.
*The Baths in Virgin Gorda- a unique rock formation of dimly lit grottoes and caves most of which can only be reached by foot or boat, not to be missed!

To connect with a British Virgin Island Destination Specialists, visit us @ www.VirtualHoneymoon.com/BritishVirginIslands

 

Find your top 2 Destinations, try our fun interactive matching tool and virtually experience your top destinations: www.Virtualhoneymoon.com

 

Virtual Reality the new trend for Travel

Is VR- Virtual Reality the next big trend for marketing travel?
We here at Virtual Honeymoon agency think it is!
Marriott hotels and some Cruise lines are jumping on that virtual travel experience.
Virtual reality is a great way to attract clients, imagine being able to pre-experience a destination, hotel or cruise ahead of time before you invest any money in booking!

The Marriott launched a great Virtual Reality marketing campaign with their Teleporter.
Imagine, getting swept away on a beach vacation, complete with your hair blowing in the wind, the smell of the ocean and the mist spraying you while your virtually walking along the white sand beach!


The Marriott hotels are on the right track and some of their hotels also have Virtual Reality – VR headsets in their rooms for clients to experience some of their destinations in the privacy of their rooms, very exciting future in store.

Virtual Reality is part of the reason Virtual Honeymoon was born!
We envisioned our clients to be able to pre-experience a destination before booking, by interactively matching their top 2 destinations and being able to test drive their honeymoon, with videos, virtual tours, google maps, virtual honeymoon itineraries and much more!
Experience it for yourself @ http://www.virtualhoneymoon.com

Virtual reality travel and honeymoons

Virtual Honeymoon at SF Luxury Wedding Show

 

Virtual Honeymoon is the leading travel agency in this Virtual Reality Travel market that will be driving travel futures, expect to not only be matched to your top destinations but to be able to virtually experience it before you book!

We are happy to be finishing up our travel agent affiliate program to launch early April 2016.
This will be open to travel agents that specialize in honeymoons and romance travel, stay tuned for details to follow in a press release very soon!

Romance Travel Specialist, this is for you!

Virtual Honeymoon was created for travel specialists that are Certified in selling Romance Travel.
This interactive tool will save you time, get your couples excited and ready to book!

This virtual tool is perfect for couples that have no idea where to go on their Honeymoon or Destination Wedding. When you have a client who says something to this affect, “we don’t know where we want to go, just some place tropical and warm, or some where in the Caribbean!!!!”

How it works:
By answering a series of carefully thought out, fun, interactive questions about their likes, tastes, budget, etc….this tool will match a couple to their top two destinations based on their answers selected.
The tool will then show their matched destinations side-by-side with descriptions of each, from there they can select one (or both) to explore.
Romance Travel to Fiji or TahitiOnce they click on one, a beautiful page opens up with destination information, photo and video to experience!

You as the agent, will also have a option to show or send a “Virtual travel album” that you can personalize and use as a booking tool!
See example here: Romance Travel in TahitiAlso, as an affiliate you will get a link on the homepage to all your personalized destinations, where clients can get a quick one page view of details with video.

Virtual Honeymoon has been testing this tool since January 2015 with Certified Romance Travel Specialists and can happily report that it is working 100% of the time, it pre-qualifies couples and saves planning time, allowing you to work smarter!

This tool was a God given vision that came out of years of frustration of working with couples that were all over the map about where to go! “Well that’s NOW a thing of the past!!!!”

Travelage West Magazine awarded Virtual Honeymoon with “Trendsetter of the Year 2016 for Best Targeted Marketing Idea” and we are now ready to share this amazing tool with other Certified Romance Travel Specialist……find out if Virtual Honeymoon is a good fit for you…….

Become a Virtual Honeymoon Affiliate for just $19.95 month(limited time):

  • Branded with your Logo
  • Personalize your own site by choosing the Destinations you sell
  • Personalize with your own social media components
  • Pre-qualify your couples
  • *Personalize travel albums

“Robin, my most recent bride loved Virtual Honeymoon. It was fun and easy. She was the perfect VH user because she did not have a clue as to where, what, price, etc. VH saved me time and convincing. She is all excited now to go to the Mexican Riviera Maya. It perfect for her wedding dreams, activities and budget. Thank you for creating this wonderful tool!”

— Anne Del Vecchio, Affiiliate of Virtual Honeymoon
Dreamalongtravel.Virtualhoneymoon.com

2016 Travelage West Trendsetter awards

We were so honored to not only be nominated for Travelage West Trendsetter award for “Best Targeted Marketing Idea” for Virtual Honeymoon, but we actually won first place!

See our personal story here:

 2016 trendsetter

What does Trendsetter awards mean? Each year, the TravelAge West Trendsetter Awards recognize travel agency leaders who make an impact on the industry and the community. Two finalists in each category are invited to and honored at the WAVE Awards as guests of their sponsor.

Entries are reviewed and voted on by the sponsors and editorial staff of TravelAge West. Furthermore, suppliers who sponsor the Trendsetter Awards do so not just for publicity – they support the travel agent community and wish to honor those who are making significant strides in the industry.

See the Trendsetter winners in all categories below and check out the July issue of Travelage West Magazine honoring all the recipients held at The Ritz Carlton in Marina Del Ray, California
A huge thank you goes out to Travelage West for our award and Celebrity Cruise line for honoring us with a Europe Cruise, we are so excited!

Trendsetter awards

Travelage West Trendsetter Award finalists

TravelAge West 2016 Trendsetter Award Recipients

Best Targeted Marketing Idea
Winner: Robin Hawkey, Virtual Honeymoon (see my personal story- page 20)
Runner Up: Alexis Lee, Avenues of the World Travel

Best Group Booking Sales Effort:
Winner: April Schmitt, Divine Destination Weddings
Runner Up: Montrose Travel

Upward Bound, Rock Star Agent Under 40
Winner: Melissa Varela, Modern Romance Travel
Runner Up: Jason Olson, True Vacation Travel

Best Use of Social Media
Winner: David & Carol Porter, The Roaming Boomers
Runner Up: Tom Chongruk & Lora Chow, Travel 4 Food Fun

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