World Travel Diaries

Featured Consultant - William Coulston experiences Celebrity Cruises' new Suite class

Friday 14 November 2014 | By William Coulston |

This month's Featured Consultant, William Coulston has worked in travel for nearly 30 years and his biggest passion is cruising. Being a cruise specialist he loves nothing more than helping you plan your first or next cruise. William loves collecting cruise memorabilia, cruising and keeping cool at home on hot summer days.

William has just returned from a 12 night South Pacific cruise on Celebrity Cruise lines' Celebrity Century and shares his experience of their new Suite class.

Celebrity Cruise Lines all new Suite class – you will be treated like Royalty

I have just come back from a fabulous twelve night South pacific Cruise on Celebrity Cruise lines Fabulous five star Celebrity Century. Celebrity Cruises is rolling out a whole range of new benefits for their Suite passenger across the fleet with the final parts coming on line in April 2015.

My partner and I decided to treat ourselves on this cruise to the ship’s Royal Suite and we were treated royally from start to finish. Indeed the special treatment started a couple of weeks before the cruise sailed from Sydney. The on-board Michaels’ Club concierge was emailing us asking if we had any special requests that she could arrange for us.

Sailing day in Sydney at the Overseas Passenger terminal we queue jumped 1700 other passengers and were checked in at a special desk then escorted on-board by a white gloved butler. The butler took us to Michael’s Club, which for the next 12 days and nights became our second home away from home, where we were introduce to our concierge (in reality a host) Sylvia, who would ensure smooth sailing the next 12 days.

Michael’s Club is an exclusive lounge just for major Suite Guests on-board the fleet, a casually elegant lounge where all of our drinks were complimentary (saved heaps) and where we could socialise with the other suite guests, which my partner and I did. It was fabulous and we easily made some great new friends who we would meet for drinks and canapés in the evening or to share a story or two at lunch.

The special treatment continued...

- An exclusive champagne sailaway from Sydney out on the bow of the ship with senior officers
- Exclusive invitations to behind the scenes tours of the ship
- A shore excursion concierge who could arrange pretty much anything in our different ports of call
- Invitations to dinner with the captain at the captains table on formal nights

Our suite was huge, fabulous and extremely comfortable. A couple of days at sea we didn’t even leave it. An amazing butler completed the package who arranged and served a vast arrange of canapés when we invited 16 of our new best friends into our Royal Suite for a party late one afternoon, or a champagne breakfast on our balcony sailing into Champagne Bay, Vanuatu.

Free laundry, free pressing, the list went on and on and for us. It was well worth paying the surcharge to travel in a fantastic suite and receive very special service.

Tender ports, the lines to get ashore vanished for us as we were escorted down to the tender. On disembarking days a lift was even keyed off just for us and the other 30 odd suite class passengers to leave when we wished.

Celebrity Cruises has an outstanding reputation for food and I'll admit I've had to go back to the gym big time to work off the extra kilos.

For a relaxed indulgent cruise experience, with amazing service and staying in amazing spaces, Celebrity’s new Suite Class is for me, the way to go. I have already booked my next cruise on Celebrity which offer Australia’s highest rated cruise ships.

For learn more about Celebrity Cruises new Suite Class - click here




Featured Consultant - David Wood travels to Uzes in France

Friday 12 September 2014 | By William Coulston |

 David Wood – Travel Advisor, WTP Perth

David Wood joined the WTP Family in February 2014 when Travel Design Professionals and Paramount Cruise Centre merged with World Travel Professionals.

David has over 40 years experience in the Industry, having variously worked for Airlines (both Domestic and International), STA Travel and from April 2002 to February 2014 with Travel Design Professionals and Paramount Cruise Centre.

He has travelled extensively throughout Europe, the USA as well as Asia and South America.  David has a particular fondness for France, Italy, Germany and Central Europe, and in the last couple of years has developed a liking for Cruising with Silversea!  2015 will see him take his third Mediterranean Voyage.David recently returned from Europe and an amazing experience in the South of France and a 10 day voyage on “Silver Spirit” from Rome to Istanbul……

David shares his experience of his recent visit to Mas Laurent, a stunning B&B near Uzes, France below:

Mas Laurent, France


Mas Laurent

On my recent holiday, I was fortunate enough to spend some time at this wonderful B and B, located close to Uzes in the Languedoc/Roussillon region of France. This is an area of France that I was not familiar with, however having spent 5 days here, have no hesitation in recommending to anyone looking for somewhere different to visit.  Your time here can be as busy or as relaxed as you like.

Mas Laurent is a 300 yr old Farmhouse that has been converted to a B and B and is now owned by ex-pat West Australians, Tim and Deborah McComish.  I visited in June.  What could be more inviting than walking along a small avenue of Cherry Trees and plucking then eating the ripe fruit from the tree or having a lazy lunch sitting under a huge tree in the courtyard!

Some of the things to do in this wonderful area

  • A walking tour of Uzes;
  • Visit the local markets in Uzes – held each Wednesday and Saturday;
  • Walk in to Uzes from the Mas – approximately 45 mins;
  • Visit the Pont du Gard – This famous Roman aquaduct is only a 10 min drive away, and is a UNESCO World Heritage structure.  On the way visit 2 charming villages, Vers-Pont-du-Gard and Castillon-du-Gard;
  • Spend a day in the Ancient Roman Town of Nimes (from where the cloth Denim came from);
  • Visit Avignon and the Palace of The Popes;
  • And of course wine tasting at Chateauneuf-du-Pape!
  • Visit Arles and St Remy – synonymous with the artist Vincent Van Gogh


Getting There

Fly in to Paris/Charles de Gaulle and take the TGV to Avignon
Fly in to Nice, transfer to Nice/Ville and take the TGV to Avignon
Avignon is situated on the banks of The Rhone River and the drive to Uzes is about  40/50 minutes.

Tim and Deborah have put together 7 and 10 day relaxing culinary and historical introductory tours to Uzes and the Provence.   Do you have a small group of like-minded friends?  Then I am sure we could negotiate a rate for sole occupancy of The Mas.

Contact your World Travel Professionals Travel Advisor for more information

 

Mas Laurent, France

Mas Laurent, France

Mas Laurent, France

Mas Laurent, France

Consultant of the Month - Eileen Hayse travels to Brazil, Spain & France

Thursday 14 August 2014 | By Eileen Hayse |

 

Round the World !!!  Brazil, Spain and Paris with a luxury stopover in Singapore.

I recently returned form an extended  holiday due to Long Service leave. WTP turned 20 and I have been there from Day 1.

Being an avid soccer fan, I visited Brazil for the 2014 world cup. What an experience. Rio was a riot of colour and excitement.  We stayed in a 3.5 star Tulip hotel right opposite Copacabana beach but the newly opened Belmond hotel, Copacabana Palace was the jewel on the beach. (FIFA delegates no doubt staying there as security tight). Belmond is the new name for the Orient Express hotel group…. So top of the range.

After 2 weeks in Brazil flew Iberia (economy class) to Madrid and on to Malaga.  Service was good and the seats were fine.

I had time share for a week before driving to Alicante and Valencia on the way to Barcelona. In Barcelona  I stayed at the hotel OMM  - a Design Hotel in the Eixample district  just a stone’s throw from the Paseo de Gracia…. The Rodeo Drive of Barcelona.  A cutting edge modern hotel – some rooms with little balconies allowed fresh air.

We had an innovative lunch at their Michelin star restaurant MOO – set 3 courses with glass of wine for EUR45 per person. Delicious with coffee and petit fours by the rooftop pool. Lovely way to end in Barcelona. 

Next, solo on the TGV to Paris … relatively new day service 9.30am till 4pm ending in Gare d Lyon and two Metro stops from St. Paul in the Marais. Here I had private apartment, but boutique hotels abound and Le Pavillon de la Reine has prime position on Place Des Vosges. A leisurely week spent doing walking tours of  Montmartre, Left Bank etc. and wine tasting - I enjoyed a 3 course  dinner with paring wines at Chateau O – not a chateau but good quality experience for eur95 per person. I can highly recommend Paris for the solo  traveller with many opportunities to meet and share experiences.

I flew home with Finnair, business class – flat bed and wonderful service, to Singapore where I stayed at the Pan Pacific. The hotel was so good I didn’t leave enjoying a views of Marina Bay and beautiful pool area.

Qantas Economy home… full flight and overnight so breakfast was fine as was the  Inflight entertainment.

In closing …. Go to Brazil…. Exciting vibrant place with warm friendly people and exotic wildlife.

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