Disney Cruise Line 2020

Starting tomorrow, Disney Cruise Line is accepting bookings for early 2020!

There are new itineraries, including departures from New Orleans in Louisiana, visits in Puerto Rico, and a Hawaiian Island cruise! There will, of course, continue to be cruises departing from Florida and California.

Image from disneytravelagents.ca (not available to non-agents, sorry!)

Are you interested in travelling on a Disney Cruise? You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca

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Guest post: 5 James Bond Travel Destinations

This is a guest post. All content, images, and links were supplied by a contributor. This was not written by JenEric Designs nor are any links endorsed or verified by us. It is however a very interesting post with fun facts.

Enjoy!


According to Hollywood, spies travel the world like no other. Not only do they get to go to all kinds of exotic destinations, from tropical beaches to non-existent moon bases, but they tend to do so dressed sharply, without needing to pay for much, while sipping cocktails and rendezvousing with gorgeous members of the opposite sex. Not a bad lifestyle, but then that’s why it’s fantasy (I think – if any of you are globetrotting spies and find the cinematic experiences to be accurate, drop a line in the comments).

At any rate, no fictional character enjoys spy-style travel quite like James Bond. The MI-6 agent otherwise known as 007 has been all over the world and has looked impossibly suave doing it, all resulting in the fact that plenty of Bond fans would love to follow the spy’s footsteps. Lo and behold, I’ve put together a guide for how to do so, or at least a list of some of the best Bond-related destinations to consider visiting.

Enjoy, and don’t forget to pack your best jet pack and laser watch!

1. Khao Phing Kan, Thailand

Would you buy it if I told you there were a place called James Bond Island? Well, it’s not official, so perhaps you’d be right not to. But Khao Phing Kan (and its sister island Ko Khao Phing Kan) in the Andaman Sea off the coast of Thailand are actually loosely known by that name. That’s because they appeared in The Man With The Golden Gun, and hosted an iconic beach duel between Bond and his nemesis Francisco Scaramanga. Evidently, the islands’ original names are rarely used by the locals, which in a way makes this the Bond tourism destination. As you might imagine it’s become a bit of a hot spot, but it’s not as if it’s teeming with commercial development. You’re still in for a remote, beautiful Thailand beach escape.

2. Istanbul, Turkey

As far as major cities are concerned, Istanbul may be the quintessential Bond location, so long as we aren’t counting London. In a way this makes perfect sense. The city famously sits between two continents and has historically been an important crossroads – which suits a series that famously treks all over the world and involves all kinds of different cultures. Bond showed up in the city in Skyfall (Daniel Craig), The World Is Not Enough (Pierce Brosnan), and From Russia With Love (Sean Connery), and left a veritable guidebook of landmarks for fans to follow. There’s the Hagia Sophia, the Grand Bazaar, and the Basilica Cistern for instance. However, don’t miss out on more general Istanbul attractions while you’re there. This is a fascinating city full of awesome things to see and do. Additionally, make sure to try the local tea (sometimes offered as a friendly gesture) and the lamb preparation known as kofte.

3. Bahamas

The Bahamas are most closely associated with recent Bond films, given that Daniel Craig spent time there in Casino Royale However, speaking more broadly, Bond has frequented the Caribbean, and you can soak up lots of that classic atmosphere at this island nation. Another perk here is that it’s one Bond destination where you can enjoy one of his favorite activities (and one that’s all over Casino Royale) in casino gaming. This is becoming less of a tourist draw around the globe, with online and mobile gaming taking over. Says one Canadian guide to the topic, gambling on mobile devices have been steadily rising with each passing year, which can make it less necessary in person. But would Bond play poker on a mobile phone? I don’t really think so, but stacking chips at a beachside casino in the Bahamas is different, and can make you feel quite a bit like 007.

4. Lake Como, Italy

Lake Como has a whole lot going for it. Yes, it’s beautiful enough to have been invented as a utopia in a fantasy novel. Yes, George Clooney summers there. But most importantly for any self-respecting Bond nerd (I’m certainly in that club), this is where Craig’s Bond wound up at the end of Casino Royale. Remember when he wakes up with Vesper watching over him on a balcony straight out of your imagination of what Heaven must look like? That’s a villa (Villa La Gaeta) right on the edge of Lake Como. It’s not exactly memorable for any Bond-like action, but if you get the chance to relax anywhere close to this you might be able to replicate a rare moment of peace and serenity from our favorite double-o.

5. Hong Kong

Roger Moore actually shot in Hong Kong, though the character of Bond has appeared there multiple times (in You Only Live Twice, The Man With The Golden Gun, and Die Another Day). And truth be told, the city hasn’t produced many of the most memorable scenes of 007 lore. Nevertheless, this same lore gives you a good excuse to check the city out, and it happens to be a popular favorite tourist destination in the world for a lot of regular travelers. I will say this: Pierce Brosnan’s escape from boat captivity straight into Victoria Harbor does give you some excellent glimpses of the city at night, which is enough to make you want to visit. Just don’t jump into the water like he did!


Are you interested in travelling like James Bond? You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca

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Recommendation Wednesday: Disney Food Blog

Do you love Disney? Do you love food? Have I got the blog for you!

Disney Food Blog

Menus, festivals, food news, and guides to the food at Disney World and Disneyland in California.

Image from Disney Food Blog.

Are you interested in travelling to Disney? They are currently taking bookings until Dec 31, 2019! You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca

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Detroit Public Library

At first glance, the Detroit Public Library looks that same as any library in any other city. The website for it certainly doesn’t give any indication of uniqueness (despite being a great website – very easy to navigate).

But the Main branch is so much more than just a library!

Detroit Public Library Main Branch. Image from detroitpubliclibrary.org

Take a look at this:


Are you interested in travelling to Detroit? You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca

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It – Canadian film locations

As I was looking for something to write about this week, I decided to type “new film locations” into Google and see what popped up. And, well, this was kinda interesting.

The movie ‘It’ premiered in 2017, and although it is set in Derry, Maine (based off of Bangor, Maine), filming did not take place there. Instead, they filmed in Toronto’s Riverdale area (mostly at the Cranfield House at 450 Pape Ave), and Oshawa and Port Hope for exterior shots.

The film crew setting up a location in Port Hope. Image from inquisitr.com.
The facade of the house. Built in Oshawa. Torn down after filming ended. Image from onset-hollywood.com.

I can’t imagine how I would feel walking around in the same locations as a horror movie…and I have friends in that area!

However, if YOU are interested in following in Pennywise’s footsteps, here are the filming locations: ‘It’ filming locations


Are you interested in touring Ontario? You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca

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Writing Excuses workshop at Sea

Yesterday, a writer’s cruise was brought to my attention. And wow, did it ever get my attention!

The Writing Excuses Workshop and Retreat 2018! (scroll past the ticket info to get to the event details)

Take a look at the incredible instructors and the amazing seminars being offered!

I have met a couple of these instructors at Can-Con in Ottawa and I was incredibly shy and quiet around them very impressed by them. To have the opportunity to have a one-on-one session with even one of these instructors – where you can cover anything from a critique, worldbuilding, pitching practice (no, not baseball!), or simply get general writing advice – is worth it’s weight in gold.

The seminars themselves are extremely comprehensive and include writing exercises and Q&A time with the professor as well as instructional time.

The cruise allows for a guest to accompany their writer, with a nice discount. Children aged 12-17 can also attend seminars with parental guidance.

Please bear in mind that the prices listed are in USD but they include things like WiFi, gratuities, and transfers to/from the Houston WX hotel, all things that are not normally included in cruise pricing.

There are only a few tickets to the conference left! What are you waiting for?

The Liberty of the Seas from Royal Caribbean. Image from Wikipedia.

Are you interested in cruising? You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca

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PEI and Anne

One of my favourite books, both when I was growing up and now that I’m older, is Anne of Green Gables (and the rest of the series). Did you know that they found a bunch of Montgomery’s writings recently and published them?

Needless to say, I have wanted to visit PEI for a very long time, to walk in Anne’s footsteps. The tourism PEI website was incredibly helpful in planning a 3-day itinerary. I’ll only include a bit of it here – you should go to the website to check it out.

Cavendish, PEI. Image from www.welcomepei.com.

Day one – Cavendish, Avonlea, and New London. Visit Anne’s beginnings, with Green Gables Heritage Place, the town where Anne lived, and where Montgomery grew up.

Day two – Green Gables Museum, a carriage ride, Bideford, and Lower Bedeque Schoolhouse.

Day three – Charlottetown for the musicals. Yes, there are two. Personally, I would stay an extra day just so I can see both. Anne of Green Gables – The Musical plays at the Confederation Centre of the Arts, has matinees on Wednesday and evening shows on Mon, Tues (except Sept 18), and Sat, until September 22. After that, the dates and times change and are not on the website. Anne & Gilbert plays at the Guild, and plays during the summer on every day except Saturday in a matinee or evening show, and in September/October on every day but Monday and select Sundays. Please note, the Guild does not allow children under the age of 4.


Are you interested in travelling to PEI? You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca

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Chatham, Kent

A few years ago, I really got into Call the Midwife. There were only a few seasons out at that time, and we voraciously devoured them. I had to stop watching when I got pregnant, because hormones, but I look forward to the time when I don’t get all weepy when I watch it.

Image from www.thedockyard.co.uk

However, if I ever get the chance to go to Chatham in South-East England, I am going to go on the Call the Midwife walking tour in the historic Dockyard district. The tour is 90 minutes long with a guide, and you get access to the rest of the Dockyard during the rest of the day.


Are you interested in travelling to England? You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca

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The MET

While I don’t encourage travelling to the States right now, add this one to your list for the future.

I saw Ocean’s Eight last night, and after a rough night with the toddler, my brain is functioning at a very low capacity, so I’m going to stick with what I dreamt about all night: the MET.

The MET was (along with Cartier and the house) the main location of the movie. It was gorgeous, and every bit as fantastic as I remembered. When I visited NYC in 2014, we had about an hour in the museum (not enough time!) and I really want to go back.

Tip: it says that the “recommended entry fee” is $25. But you can pay whatever you like to get in. We paid $2 each.

The fountain outside the MET
The Egyptian Gallery – the dinner for the Gala in the movie takes place in here

Go see this movie! It’s fun, and the acting is amazing. I think I liked it better than Clooney’s Ocean’s Eleven – and that’s saying something!


Are you interested in travelling to NYC? You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca

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Colette and Star Wars

On May the Fourth, one of the tour companies that I am registered with, Collette, sent an email about their Star Wars Tours. I thought it was cute and decided to share it with you.

Image from atlasandboots.com.

The battle scene between the Resistance and the First Order in “The Last Jedi” was filmed at Salar De Uyuni, Bolivia. You can see this location in the Cultures of Peru and Bolivia Tour.

Visit the stormy planet Eadu from “Rogue One” in Myrdalssandur Beach, Iceland. You can see this location in the Iceland’s Magical Northern Lights Tour.

Endor, the forest moon home of the Ewoks, can be found in Redwood National Park. You can see this location in the Pacific Northwest and California Tour.

For scenes in “Attack of the Clones” and “The Phantom Menace,” visit Plaza de Espana, Seville, Spain. You can see this location in the Spain’s Classics Tour.

To see the moon of Jedha in “Rogue One,” visit Wadi, Jordan. You can see this location in the Iconic Israel with 4-night Jordan Extension Tour.

Don’t worry – you won’t see any other planets in the sky.


Are you interested in travelling with Collette? You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca

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