Can You Bring Your Own Alcohol On Board a Cruise Ship?

August 15th, 2015 / blog / Comments Off on Can You Bring Your Own Alcohol On Board a Cruise Ship?

While some cruise lines have very strict policies against bringing your own alcohol on board their ships, others allow it or at least some types of alcohol. “Know before you go” so you don’t get it confiscated while embarking. Check out the latest policy for these major ocean cruise lines, go to:, courtesy of Huffington Post.

Italy: A Wellspring of Artistic and Historical Inspiration

August 11th, 2015 / blog / Comments Off on Italy: A Wellspring of Artistic and Historical Inspiration

Whether you are a travel aficionado or someone who is just getting ready to step into the cultural diversity of our world, there is little doubt that you’ve heard of the beauty of Italy. Often listed among the most beautiful countries in the world, it is considered a top destination for any tourist.

If you’re the type to envision a classic, romantic setting with a dimly lit atmosphere as your ideal vacation, you’ll probably want to consider visiting Italy because it will surely satisfy your expectations. The country is overwhelmingly rich in art and history, as it contains the very city where Shakespeare set the famous tragedy of Romeo and Juliet— Verona.

Other than its capability to host romantic getaways, it can also excite history buffs, serve as a wellspring of inspiration for writers or painters, and entertain those who simply want to appreciate various architectural structures, sculptures, literature, and many more historic pieces of art; some of which include ornate, Baroque architecture, masterpieces by Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and a Roman amphitheater.

From exploring the home to one of Europe’s oldest universities to the ancient ruins of the Romans, the many cities of Italy will provide you with such an exceptional sight-seeing experience, you’ll feel as if you’ve been teleported into the fifteenth century, during the Renaissance Age.

And if this wasn’t enough to pique your interest, it is also the home to one of the most iconic buildings you’ve seen in photos— the leaning tower of Pisa. It’s spectacular in pictures, but even more so in person.

As you explore the graceful, cobblestoned streets of Italy and, with every passing second, breathe in more of the rich aura of Italy, you may find this aura almost tangible as it seeps into every city and corner, permeating the entire country with its vivid artistic array.

It is no wonder it is considered by many people to be a dream location for their honeymoon, or anything romantic in that matter. When you’re both aiming for a passionate, candle-lit dinner, having one in this picturesque country won’t require much effort on your part, as Italy would act as a naturally tender atmosphere.

However, with all these mentions of different cities and cities to go sightseeing in, it may be difficult to plan your own schedule when you’ve decided to travel there. You’ll find yourself asking, “Which cities are the best options for me to visit? How will I know if I’ve missed anything special that I would have liked to see?”

Luckily, there are numerous agencies designed to provide you with a custom Italian vacation, where travel experts and managers will assist you in planning your perfect trip.

The Nostalgic Charm of Europe’s Christmas Markets

August 1st, 2015 / blog / Comments Off on The Nostalgic Charm of Europe’s Christmas Markets

For those of us who celebrate Christmas, experiencing a Christmas Market in Europe may bring back childhood meChristmas market4mories like it was yesterday.  From the end of November through Christmas Eve and sometimes through New Year’s Eve, numerous towns in Europe line the streets of their historic centers with wooden structures filled with gifts and food for sale.  Music abounds everywhere in the streets and sipping hot beverages such as mulled spice wine or hot cocoa keeps shoppers warm while they wander the streets looking for just the right gift or memento.   Each town or village offers their unique crafts and foods for sale, but all exude a common atmosphere of festive joy.
Christmas market, EuropeTraveling the beautiful waterways of Europe is one of the best ways to visit several Christmas markets during one season.  Leading river cruise lines such as AmaWaterways, Uniworld, Avalon, Scenic, Tauck, Emerald and Viking offer itineraries that focus on visiting these colorful markets found in the charming villages and bustling towns along the river banks of Europe.  Imagine returning to your cozy stateroom aboard your beautiful “floating hotel” after enjoying a few hours in the crisp winter air after a busy day or night of shopping and merriment.  Then relaxing with a delicious meal and a comfortable night’s sleep before waking up to explore the treasures at the next port.

River cruising in Europe during the Christmas season is an ideal way to unite friends or family members and spend enjoyable quality time together.

Should Travel to Greece be Postponed or Avoided?

July 15th, 2015 / blog / Comments Off on Should Travel to Greece be Postponed or Avoided?

Although the Greek government has restricted access to cash and credit cards for local citizens, foreign funds are still currently available to international travelers through ATM machines and banks.  It is advisable to carry extra cash and several forms of payment, however, in case bank and ATM accessibility also becomes difficult for travelers.  Strikes affecting local transportation and flights could increase in protest to tighter governmental controls to reduce costs.  Allowing a little extra time for traveling (such as ferry connections) is a good idea until the dust settles.  All the reasons to visit Greece are unchanged – beautiful scenery and pristine beaches, azure seas, friendly people, good food, amazing history and outstanding architecture.

Ever Stress Over Luggage When Traveling Abroad?

June 15th, 2015 / blog / Comments Off on Ever Stress Over Luggage When Traveling Abroad?

Have you ever wondered if there is an easier way to deal with your luggage while traveling abroad?  Or had the unhappy experience of delayed or lost luggage by an airline?  You can certainly consider shipping your luggage to your destinations using shipping services like FedEx or DHL, but innovative companies such as Luggage Forward (and others) offer personalized shipping service from your home to your destination.  This service comes with a price but may offset the worry of it being delayed or lost, and the stress of handling your own luggage through train stations and in and out of hotels before or after a cruise, for example.

Their services typically include tracking where your bag is at all times until it reaches its destination, re-routing it if your itinerary changes, and guaranteeing an on-time delivery, and in good condition.  Call us for details to see if this may be a good choice for your next vacation.

Have You Checked Your Passport Expiration Date?

May 15th, 2015 / blog / Comments Off on Have You Checked Your Passport Expiration Date?
passport expiration, international travel

A quick check of your passport may save you a lot of time and stress when getting ready to leave for your next trip abroad. Many countries now require that the passport expiration date be valid for at least six months beyond your return travel date so make sure yours is ready to go.

The Not-to-be-Missed “Lake District” of Northern Italy

May 10th, 2015 / blog / Comments Off on The Not-to-be-Missed “Lake District” of Northern Italy

Visions of Italy for many include iconic art treasures, breath-taking historical sites, delicious wines and food, and scenic countryside for starters, but often overlooked is the majestic beauty of Italy’s numerous lakes, just steps away from Milan and Venice in the foothills of the Alps.  Each of the major lakes has its own unique character but all offer relaxation, beauty, a variety of accommodations, great cuisine, and a plethora of water and outdoor activities.  Having just spent a glorious week in this area, I invite you to consider seeing for yourself what these lakes have to offer.  In addition to experiencing one of the major lakes described below, you may want to explore some of the smaller lakes such as Lake Orta and its medieval village of Orta San Giulio.  Here is an idea of what you will find at the major lakes in this region…

Lake Garda, Italy, Northern Italy, lake districtLake Garda – is located farthest to the east and is the largest lake in Italy.  The water is clean and great for swimming, fishing and boating.  It boasts natural hot springs water that is piped to two villages on its shoreline.  One of these spa towns is picturesque and medieval Sirmione, located on a peninsula on the southern shore – less than one hour from beautiful Verona and next door to the Valpolicella wine region.   Consider the Villa Cortine Palace Hotel for a luxurious stay in a tranquil park setting with glorious lake views.

Lake Como, Italy, Northern Italy Lake Como – lies directly north of Milan about one hour by train or car.  Surrounded by beautiful mountains, it has the largest concentration of beautiful villas on its shoreline, which were largely built during the heyday of the silk business in this area.  The southern and middle portions of Lake Como are dotted with charming villages as well as the bustling town of Como to the south that has a lovely historic center, great shopping, two train stations, and plenty of great dining options.  This is the hub for the public ferry systems that run throughout the lake and even offers a seaplane port for transportation “uplake” or to nearby lakes and scenic sightseeing.  Great hiking trails abound all around the lake, some quite challenging.  Accommodations range from simple boutique hotels to luxurious villa hotels that you will not want to leave.

Lake Maggiore, Italy, Northern ItalyLake Maggiore – is the second largest of the lakes in this region and has several lovely islands, all of which are privately owned by the Borromeo family except one.  Two of their islands, Isola Madre and Isola Bella, have beautiful gardens open to the public, with Bella also offering a villa to explore – both of which are well worth a visit.  This lake is great for swimming and boating, as well as other water activities. Other activities include golf, a scenic train, shopping, hiking, and a visit to nearby Piedmont wine region.  The Villa & Palazzo Aminta awaits you if you are looking for a luxurious and relaxing stay.

These lakes are easily reached by car (Lake Garda from Venice or Verona to the east, Lakes Como and Maggiore from Milan to the south) or by train.  Driving is not for the faint of heart in this area, however, as roads are very narrow and many are very windy with lots of congestion (especially Lake Como).  You may want to consider arriving by train then having a private transfer or car/water taxi to your hotel.

Avoiding Catching A Cold When Flying

April 15th, 2015 / blog / Comments Off on Avoiding Catching A Cold When Flying
If you are like me, I have often suffered getting a cold after flying a long distance. The air dryness and lingering germs on surfaces are both factors. Try these helpful tips, courtesy of
1.  Stay well hydrated (drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine).
2. Keep your hands clean (wash with hot soapy water, if possible, or use alcohol wipes)
3. Use a saline nasal mist to keep mucous membranes moist.
4. Use a germ-killing mouthwash (helps moisten your throat as well).
5. Consider taking large does of Vitamin C before, during and shortly after your travel and don’t forget your vitamins.

Google Translate App

March 15th, 2015 / blog / Comments Off on Google Translate App
Your smartphone may become your best friend on your next trip. Google recently announced a major update to their translate app that enables your phone’s camera to translate printed text, even without an Internet or data connection. This is currently available for six languages on Android and iOS versions, with plans to keep adding languages. There is also translation by speech once the foreign language is selected on your phone. Enjoy this demo, courtesy of the Huffington Post: Huffington Post Google Tech Interview.

Best Honeymoon Packages this 2015

February 24th, 2015 / blog / Comments Off on Best Honeymoon Packages this 2015

Best Honeymoon Packages this 2015

Getting married this year? Congratulations! Perhaps you’re too overwhelmed now with the wedding plans and preparations, but don’t forget you still have the honeymoon to plan. It’s one of the most exciting times in a couple’s life so you’ve got to make sure you plan it well.

We know you want a perfect honeymoon but there are just too many details to work on with your wedding preps. We can help you with that as Gateway Destinations can create a personalized and unique honeymoon for you and your love. We aim to save you time and money with the customized honeymoon packages we can plan for you.

Gateway Destinations has been in the business of honeymoon tours for many years. We also customize women-only tours and more adventures for the whole family. If you’ve been thinking of going to Hawaii, Alaska, or some country in Europe, you can leave the planning to our team and we promise to create an unforgettable dream vacation.

You deserve a tailor-made honeymoon vacation to celebrate your love and union as a new couple. You can go on a land tour or on a cruise for your honeymoon—your very first vacation together as a newly married couple.

Even if it’s a customized and personalized travel, we can still work with you to match your budget, style, and preferences—and even make your dreams come true. That romantic getaway you’ve been dreaming of with the love of your life is about to come true.

No matter how complex or simple you want your vacation to be, you will look forward to the honeymoon package Gateway Destinations will be preparing for you. After a beautiful wedding, head on to an extraordinary vacation in any of these places for an ultimate honeymoon experience:

 (1) Venice, Verona & Lake Garda
Enjoy picturesque Verona to see famed Juliet’s balcony, its beautiful and lively piazza and ancient well-preserved arena. Round out your northeastern Italy adventure by exploring the lake-side villages of beautiful Lake Garda, largest of the Italian lakes.

(2) Sorrento & The Amalfi Coast 
Visit Naples and Pompeii with your local guide and discover secret shopping places on the isle of Capri with your personal shopper! End your week with a full day on the amazing Amalfi coast – dine alfresco in the quaint village of Ravello while overlooking the sea then shop the boutiques of picturesque Positano.

(3) Versilia Coast & The Cinque Terre
Travel from village to village by a walking trail or hop-on/hop-off regional train. Enjoy fishing, swimming, boating, wine-tasting, hiking and great casual dining in this truly unique hidden area of the Tuscany region of Italy with the love of your life.

(4) London Theatre & Shakespeare Country
Enjoy one of London’s infamous live theatre performances, contrasting it to a Shakespearean play in the countryside with your spouse.

(5) Athens & The Greek Isles
With our tour itinerary, you can enjoy abundant shopping, savor great food, and enjoy the very lively atmosphere of this vibrant city. Cruise the blue waters of the Aegean sea for three full relaxing days, then off to the beautiful Greek Isles. You’ll also get to visit the ancient site of Ephesus in Turkey.

(6) Costa Rica
Rediscover yourself while you increase awareness of your body, improve your mood and mind, and release stress. You’ll practice daily yoga, focused on tapping into your energy within, eat wholesome gourmet healthy food for vitality, relax on the sand as we meditate to the sound and vibration of the ocean, swim in the oceanfront infinity pool and discover a new you through relaxation and revitalization—all these with your new spouse.

(7) Bordeaux Wine Cruise
This cruise is set in a cozy and air-conditional hotel barge. It’s a small boat used in canals or rivers so this tour is one intimate party. If you love French wine, you may want to attend a Bounties of Bordeaux Wine Cruise organized by Gateway Destinations.

(8) Corfu & Crete, Greece
Corfu and Crete can be the ideal honeymoon destination. Corfu is a beautiful lush island situated in the Ionian sea, west side of mainland Greece. The area boasts of inviting beaches and offers a variety of great dining venues and fine accommodations. Cruise travelers often ignore it but here at Gateway Destinations, we believe there is more to Greece.

For all your honeymoon travel needs, contact Gateway Destinations and we’ll be glad to customize a tour package for you.