Blog Archives

Hotel Review: Loew’s Portofino Bay Hotel, Orlando

Address:  Loew’s Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando is located at 5601 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, Florida. Value Luxury Rating:  (out of three hearts) Features:  Located on the grounds of Universal Orlando Resort, and a short complimentary water taxi away from CityWalk and the theme parks (and through November first from Halloween Horror Nights), the hotel location is popular with guests wanting the extra benefits that come with staying on property. Those theme park benefits are substantial, adding up to real dollar and cents savings, and include:  Express Pass (skip the lines) valued at up to $89/per day, priority seating at many theme park restaurants and first available seating at others, first available seating at CityWalk restaurants, complimentary water taxi to both theme parks (avoid driving and parking), complimentary shuttle to Wet ‘n Wild water park, SeaWorld, and Aquatica, and one hour early […]

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Is a River Cruise Right for You?

Earlier this year, I was the enthusiastic guest of Viking River Cruises onboard their longship Eistla cruising the Rhine. We started in Frankfurt and ended in Amsterdam, the trip is also offered in reverse, and, I’m told, this was a fairly typical first river cruise itinerary. River cruising is generating a lot of buzz lately, with gorgeous print ads, television sponsorships (Viking sponsors on PBS), and blogger campaigns. But when you strip away all that glitzy advertising, the decision to take a river cruise is a big one – one that needs to be made out of the spotlight and made with an eye toward your personal vacation preferences. Here’s my take on Viking’s Legends of the Rhine cruise. I hope it will help you decide if a river cruise is right for you. River cruising attracts an “older” demographic I […]

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Hotel Review: Cherry Wood Bed, Breakfast & Barn, Yakima Valley

Cherry Wood Bed, Breakfast & Barn Address:  3271 Roza Drive, Zillah, Washington (Yakima Valley) Value Luxury Rating:   (out of 3 hearts) Features:  Set on a working farm in the Yakima Valley,  Cherry Wood Bed, Breakfast & Barn offers overnight accommodations in 22-foot teepees. This specialty bed and breakfast has barbeque grills, compact refrigerators, separate super-clean and private water closets, along with an open-air shower to round out its amenities. The property is horse and dog-friendly, and the teepees have a special bed in your teepee so your dog can sleep right along with you. No children permitted. Price Range:  $245/night based on double occupancy. Full breakfast included. Cherry Wood is open during the “season”, generally from late spring into early fall. Reservations required; make them early as they book up for the season quite quickly.   Personal Notes:  I’ve been interested in […]

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