Favorite Destinations – According to our Experts

As we begin to see light at the end of this pandemic tunnel we have all been in, we thought it would be fun to share some our Boscov’s Travel Advisors’ favorite destinations. We hope some of these spots and best things to see and do will give you ideas for your first “out of the pandemic” vacation plans.

Danube River Cruise

Of all the places in the world, actually 2 of our advisors – Amy Bressler of our Camp Hill office and Kelly Burton from the Neshaminy office – selected an AmaWaterways river cruise from Vilshofen, Germany to Budapest, Hungary. Amy loved how up close and personal you stayed when cruising the river, and Kelly enjoyed the varied shore excursion options at each port town. From biking along the river, hiking up to a medieval castle or sampling wines at local vineyards, it was a beautiful trip. While they did not travel together, they both have a common favorite part – touring Salzburg, Austria! As fans of “Sound of Music”, seeing many of the filming sights was a bucket-list experience.

Wachau Valley Austria: Durnstein Castle
Wachau Valley Austria: Durnstein Castle
Salzburg, Austria: Sound of Music Von Trapp family home
Salzburg, Austria: Sound of Music Von Trapp family home

Exotic Tanzania Tour

Sue Blum of our Reading-East office has logged 16 trips to the African continent, so her choice is no surprise. After befriending and entrusting one of her guides from earlier trips, he hosted her in a very remote, authentic safari camp in southern Tanzania. She experienced hippos, crocodiles, zebras, antelopes, right by the camp that was set up amongst huge palm trees on a ridge overlooking the savannah. While remote, accommodations had every luxury in mind – private tents with mesh screening, comfortable bedding, canvas washstand areas, bucket showers and beautiful lantern-lit paths to the common dining area for cold beverages and gourmet foods. Time out in the savannah got her up close to lions and ostrich families, and experiencing the Great Migration of the Wildebeest herds. Truly a sight to see.

Tanzania, Africa: The Great Migration
Tanzania, Africa: The Great Migration

Bermuda Cruise

If you like sand and sun, then Erica Putt of our Lancaster office recommends a Bermuda cruise. The cruise is so relaxing, and once in port, there are so many activities for every interest. She mostly enjoys getting a transportation pass and exploring the island. Immersing yourself in the culture through history and cuisine is wonderful, and the locals are so friendly and happy to have you visit their beautiful island.

Bermuda: Horseshoe Bay
Bermuda: Horseshoe Bay

Banff National Park – Canadian Rockies, Alberta, Canada

When you’re headed into the Canadian Rockies, be sure to visit Banff National Park and treat yourself to a stay at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. According to Michelle Tymon in our Easton office, the sunrise canoe excursion on Lake Louise is well worth the early hour. And she is NOT a morning person! The colors are spectacular, and the rhythmic sound of the paddle cutting through the water make you instantly relax and immerse yourself in the awesome and majestic views. Once you’ve worked up an appetite paddling, you can enjoy an amazing breakfast at the Fairview Bar & Restaurant. The service and hospitality at the Fairmont Lake Louise will not disappoint.

Banff, Alberta, Canada: Canoes on Lake Louise
Banff, Alberta, Canada: Canoes on Lake Louise

Newport, Rhode Island

Not every getaway needs to be far away. Just ask Larissa Hayward of our Easton office. She fell in love with Newport, Rhode Island, with its lovely beaches, stunning architecture and great shopping and dining. If you love historical architecture, be sure to tour some of the “summer cottages” aka mansions like the Breakers and the Marble House. Her favorite was the Doris Duke Rough Point Mansion, which showcased the dedicated patron of the arts love for the finer things. Rough Point is filled with a truly unique collection of artwork and fine décor. You can get great views of these cottages from a leisurely stroll along the Cliff Walk too.

Newport, Rhode Island: Cliff Walk
Newport, Rhode Island: Cliff Walk

The French Riviera

Paula Heyman of our Moorestown, NJ office likes to say in one place, but still get to experience a number of different areas, and that’s just what she found in the French Riviera. There are so many places close by. She chose Monaco as home base for a single unpacking, but got to see some amazing nearby destinations like Nice, Menton, Eze, La Turbie and St. Tropez in France, as well as San Remo, Italy. It’s just a perfect spot for sight-seeing and as the playground for some of the rich-and-famous, has great people-watching.

France: Port of Monaco
France: Port of Monaco

Aruba

Don’t let this fun-in-the-sun destination fool you. Randy Laub of our Lebanon office says that while Aruba is known for great resorts, superb beaches, friendly people and excellent food and night life, you need to get off the beaten path. Try exploring the battered coast in a Jeep, following the trails made after years of Jeep exploration. But don’t go rogue off the trails…the cliffs can get you! This truly is “One Happy Island!”

Aruba: Island Jeep tours
Aruba: Island Jeep tours

Interlaken, Switzerland

Tracee Eroh of our Selinsgrove office suggests a visit to Switzerland to experience a whole other part of our world. The scenery is gorgeous. One of the best ways to see and do the area is to rent motorized bicycles and ride through the countryside visiting quaint little towns, seeing breathtaking waterfalls. Stop off in Gruyere, home of some of the best cheeses named after this town. More of a traditional swiss cheese fan? Then Emmental is the one for you. Enjoy some of the best cheese fondue you can imagine. Around here cheese is for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Be sure to do some shopping for some traditional swiss finds like cuckoo clocks, watches and knives.

Interlaken, Switzerland
Interlaken, Switzerland

Eastern Mediterranean Cruise

If you know Dori, you know she’s always up for an adventure! Her cruise to the Eastern Mediterranean had her trekking to semi-active volcanos, riding a pirate ship around the island, swimming in hot springs, riding mules to the top of Santorini and taking the tram back down, walking through the streets surrounded by white-washed buildings with beautiful blue doors and roofs. The smells of sambuca and olive oil overtake your senses – it’s breathtakingly beautiful. On the other side of the island, she visited Vlichada Beach which is a bit pebbly so bring along some water shoes. Amazing that 15,500 people live on this volcanic caldera. It’s a trip of a lifetime!

Santorini, Greece
Santorini, Greece

Hawaii

Susie Roth is one of our remote advisors, and recommends a trip to Hawaii to explore all the natural wonders of this island chain. While it seems like an exotic foreign destination, it’s still part of the U.S., making travel easy and safe. There is so much to see and do from adventurous outdoor and nature activities to relaxing resorts with some of the world’s best beaches. Every island is unique and offers something for everyone. You can’t beat the scenery, weather, culture and friendly people. Larissa of Easton also loved Maui, and recommends a road trip to Hana to hike to a waterfall, a drive out to see Kahakuloa Head in western Maui, as well as a bike ride down from Haleakala Crater, with spectacular views of the islands and Pacific Ocean from this highest point in Maui.

Maui, Hawaii: Kahakuloa Head
Maui, Hawaii: Kahakuloa Head

These are just some of the great places you can explore when you are ready to travel again. Our travel advisors have many miles and trips under their belts, and are happy to “talk travel” and inspire your next getaway. Meet our Advisors to learn more about their travel experiences.

The Boscov’s Travel BIG Cruise Sale 2021 is Here!

Cruise ship in blue water with big cruise sale graphic overlay

Let’s face it – we all miss cruising.  In preparation for the waters to re-open and cruise lines to begin sailing again, we have worked with our cruise partners to get you some of the best offers available. There is no better time than now to plan and book your next cruise!

The Boscov’s Travel BIG Cruise Sale offers are valid March 8 – 26, 2021 for booking, with travel through 2022 in many cases. You can book your travel based on the criteria each of our cruise partners have outlined in their offers. These exclusive deals and perks are only available through Boscov’s Travel, and can be bundled and combined with the best national offers, with minimal restrictions.  So go ahead, start planning your future cruise NOW!

Participating Cruise Partner Offers:

AmaWaterways logo

 

 

AmaWaterways: Receive $100 in onboard credit per stateroom on select Europe sailings.


Avalon Waterways logo

 

 

Avalon Waterways: Save $100 per person on select 2021 and 2022 6-nights or more European river cruises.


Celebrity Cruises logo

 

 

Celebrity Cruises: Enjoy $300 onboard credit per cabin for balcony and above on any 2021 and 2022 sailing.


Holland America Line logo

 

 

Holland America Line: Earn up to $150 in onboard credit per cabin on cruises 7-nights or longer.


MSC Cruises logo

 

 

MSC Cruises: Receive up to $200 in shipboard credit per cabin when booking any ALL-IN Caribbean Cruise.


Norwegian Cruise Line logo

 

 

Norwegian Cruise Line: Receive up to $300 in onboard credit per cabin based on category on 5+ night cruises.


Oceania Cruises logo

 

 

Oceania Cruises: Earn a $250 in shipboard credit for new veranda and above stateroom bookings on all sailings, destinations and ships.


Royal Caribbean International logo

 

 

Royal Caribbean: Receive up to $100 in onboard credit to spend at sea on any sailings, ship or destination.


 

Travel Insured logo

Protect Your Investment

Travel is a luxury at any cost, so be sure you protect your investment with our extensive plan options. We offer Worldwide Trip Protector and Worldwide Trip Protector Plus plans and you can add this option into your cruise plans and enjoy a $20 Boscov’s gift card when you purchase a protection plan at the time of cruise deposit.


Make Your Plans Today!

For full details on all of these great cruise savings and credits, be sure to visit the 2021 BIG Cruise Sale page. Then, talk with your local cruise specialist and plan the vacation of your dreams. We are excited to help you get back to cruising this year!

All-Inclusive Resorts Make Vacations Easy

All-inclusive resort with pool and beach
When you consider your next vacation, don’t forget about all-inclusive resorts. No matter how you say it – the works, the whole nine, the full monty, the whole shebang – that’s what you’ll get with an all-inclusive resort. Ask anyone who’s been to one and they can’t stop raving about it.
Here are a few reasons we can’t get enough of an all-inclusive vacation.

Leave the wallet at home (well, OK maybe not literally)

It’s rare to go on a vacation knowing exactly how much you’re going to spend. When you book an all-inclusive Apple Vacation with Boscov’s Travel, everything’s included so you know you’re within budget from the moment you leave.
Family of four on pool floats in the middle of a pool

Everything but the kitchen sink (yup, yet another way to say you want it all)

It’s in the name. All included means just that – from the flights and transfers to the resort, hotel accommodations to the daily entertainment, all meals and open bar, and any number of activities, it’s all one price. What could be simpler?
Pool side restaurant and grill

So many choices

With so many options including destinations, price points, and activities, it’s important to think about ways to narrow down your selection. Our suggestion is to start with your traveling party. Are you taking the family, is it a girls or guys getaway, or are you looking for a couples-only resort? Are you looking for fun around every corner with endless activities, or are you looking to relax and escape to a retreat? The following guide can help you zoom in on what will work best.
– If you’re looking for family-friendly resorts: Sunscape ($), Now ($), Dreams ($$)
– If you’re looking for adults and couples only + parties around every corner: Riu Palace ($$), Breathless ($$)
– If you’re looking for couples only + relaxation: Secrets ($$), Zoetry ($$$)
Couple relaxing pool side being served cocktails

Optional adventures abound!

Want to see more than just the resort? Sign up for optional excursions before you go with your Boscov’s Travel Advisor or at the resort with a dedicated AMResort representative. Here are just a few things to see and do in some of our favorite destinations:
Cancun, Mexico:
– Submarine ride to see one of the longest reefs in the world
– Swim with dolphins and meet a manatee
– Take a private fishing charter and cheers with included beer
– Explore Tulum’s ancient Mayan temples
– Zipline through the jungle
– Enjoy a leisurely afternoon on a catamaran
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic:
– Take to the high seas on a real life pirate ship and enjoy a show with your favorite scalawags
– Savor the scenery on a dinner cruise
– Learn about the culture on a heritage trip to an artisan village, cigar rolling factory and more
– Dance the night away in a cave converted to a discotheque
– Ride a horse through the countryside
– Take a trip to a private snorkeling and swimming spot
Montego Bay, Jamaica:
– Wade in the luminous lagoon, one of the most famous glowing lagoons
– Take an ATV adventure through the jungle
– Tee off at an 18-hole championship course
– Horseback ride in the water
– Ride down the shore on a river tube ride
– Bathe in a beautiful waterfall
Couple on bright colored hobie cat

What to bring?

– Sunscreen! The Caribbean is full of sunny days so be sure to pack a (Banana) boat-load! Of course if you do forget the lotion, you can always purchase at the resort gift shop…but expect to pay a premium.
– Your favorite sun hat (did we mention the sun?!)
– A copy of your booking – this will help ease the check-in process
– Break out your brightest, loudest, most fun beach towel! The resort will always have towels for you to use but if you want to find your chair easily, it’s best to mark with the your towel
– Dollar bills. Though you don’t need to, you may want to tip your favorite bartender or the helpful service staff. Perhaps you’ll want to enjoy a massage at the spa or go on an excursion, so having a few extra dollars isn’t a bad idea. Of course, none of these are required.
– Some dress-to-impress attire. Most resorts have specialty dining restaurants where you can enjoy French, Italian or Thai cuisine. Often resorts require nicer attire when dining at these special restaurants. If you prefer to stay casual, you can always hit the buffet or beach-side grills.
So who’s ready to go? You can learn more about all-inclusive vacation options on our website, and when you’re ready to travel, contact your local Boscov’s Travel office and make an appointment to talk to one of our all-inclusive specialists. Let us help make your dream vacation a reality.

Get away from it all with Royal Caribbean at the Perfect Day at CocoCay

Looking to plan a fun-in-the-sun vacation with something for everyone can be a challenge – someone wants to relax on the beach, someone else wants the thrills of a water park, and someone else wants to cruise around and check out exciting new ports. Royal Caribbean could be the answer you’re looking for. CocoCay, the new vibrant and picturesque Royal Caribbean private island located in the Bahamas, adds in the beach and fun to an already exciting cruise itinerary.

So what is CocoCay?

CocoCay is Royal Caribbean’s private island opened in 2019 designed with something for everyone. With their slogan “Perfect Day at CocoCay” it seems to be one of the best places to go, right? With 13 water slides, a 1,600 foot long zip-line, a tethered helium balloon ride, a swim up bar, private floating cabanas, and snorkeling, there is so much to choose from! A piece of paradise, this is the perfect place to relax, recharge, or thrill.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the best things this private island in the Bahamas has to offer

DareDevil’s Peak – The tallest water slide in North America sits at approximately 135 feet high! This slide calls to anyone not afraid of heights that wants to be a dare devil and get the thrill of a lifetime! This comes with the charge of water park admission.

Wave pool – Even in the middle of the Caribbean, you can safely enjoy the waves in the largest wave pool in the Caribbean at CocoCay Thrill water park. There is an admission to the park but the admission has a lot to offer in this water park.

Up, Up, and Away – Taller than the Statue of Liberty, this tethered helium balloon flies small groups 450 feet above the island where you can have breathtaking views of the whole island for a charge.

Splash Summit – Boasting over 1,600 feet of water slides, here you can find multi-rider slides, slides like The Slingshot, and The Twister. Although there is a fee for this activity, it is a great place for your group.

Captain Jack’s – A full-service restaurant with a full bar and live music. This is the only restaurant on the island that comes with a price but well worth it!

Oasis Lagoon – The largest freshwater pool in the Bahamas, this is a complimentary lagoon to everyone at the island.

Chill Island – If you want complete chill, this is where you want to be. A place where you sit back and enjoy the beach laced in beautiful white sand and blue water, take in the sun and just relax! It’s the perfect spot to set up a “home base” for those that want to take off to the thrills for a bit.

Splash Away Bay – Described as the perfect place for kids, this has fountains and buckets for kids to enjoy – complimentary of course.

Skipper Grill – Satisfy your building appetite with complimentary sandwiches, salads, tacos, guacamole, BBQ chicken and so much more!

South Beach – If you’re in the mood for physical activity, this is the area to go. Located on the South Beach part of the island, grab a partner and enjoy volleyball, paddle boarding and basketball.

Chill Grill – A complimentary grill with some fresh bites like tacos and BBQ chicken on the go, Chill Grill is known for its laid back vibes. With a beer station where you can grab a drink yourself (additional cost), this is the place to make a pit stop!

This gives you an overview of the endless possibilities at the Perfect Day at CocoCay! Check out this video and we think you’ll be hooked. Talk to a Boscov’s Travel Advisor to see how you can experience your Perfect Day at CocoCay in the future. We cannot wait to hear about it!

Encore! For The Norwegian Encore

The following post is written by Amanda from the Boscov’s Travel Marketing Department. Amanda recently experienced the inaugural “docked cruise” of the brand new Norwegian Encore. The newest ship in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet, she can accommodate 4,000 guests.

For my first time on a ship, this beauty surely did not disappoint! I am not by any means a “cruiser”. In fact, I have never been on a ship in my life. After this inaugural though, I cannot wait to plan a cruise next year for myself! I think I really have been missing out on this on my entire life…

A few of my fellow Travel Specialists are avid cruises and made the experience smooth sailing for me, giving me great tips and tricks… Thanks Boscov’s Travel! Our Travel Specialists really know their stuff. With all the laughs and tears (from laughing so hard) we had while knowing that this was our mini-vacation, I know anyone will be able to go on this beautiful ship and make great memories – just like I did!

Some of Boscov’s Travel Specialists enjoying the ship!
Some of Boscov’s Travel Specialists enjoying the ship!

A little more about the ship… from the classy atrium to the bake shop, to the race track all the way to the mojito bar, this ship had something to offer for everyone. In addition to touring the ship and experiencing the entertainment, we had a chance to hear from Norwegian’s CEO. He shared his plans for the future and how the company is focused on the environment and issues surrounding cruising! HOW COOL!

One special perk of being invited to the inaugural is the ability to tour the entire ship to better inform each and every client. We were lucky enough to be able to tour The Haven which is their luxurious accommodations, and let me tell you they really are! With their own entrance onto the ship, their own private pool, and their own concierge, The Haven is most definitely worth the extra cost.

The Haven private pool

We were also able to experience the cuisine. The Encore has so many dining options so there is something for everyone! I am a very picky eater and I did not go hungry. The restaurants on this ship were absolutely amazing! I was fortunate enough to be able to experience various complimentary restaurants and one specialty dining restaurant. My favorite – the complimentary Manhattan Room (available on several Norwegian ships) – featured my favorite meal onboard, surf and turf. I must say, it might have been one of the best steaks I have ever had.

We also dined at additional specialty restaurants including Los Lobos,  contemporary Mexican restaurant with a modern twist. Everything our table ordered was spectacular and the views were even better. We sat adjacent to the floor to ceiling glass paneled windows and were treated to spectacular views. Paired with a delicious dinner and table-side guacamole, it is safe to say that this is a great specialty dining choice.

Food on the Norwegian Ecnore
Specialty dining, Los Cabos Salad!
Caesar Salad from complimentary dining restaurant, The Manhattan Room
Surf and Turf from complimentary dining restaurant, The Manhattan Room

I know I keep saying this, but this ship has so much to offer! Shows, the casino, comedy clubs, dance clubs, trivia, the spa, virtual games, an arcade, casino, laser tag and go cart racing you will never go bored on this ship. I was able to experience a variety of entertainment on board. First stop, the shows. Choir of Man and Kinky Boots are performed nightly in the theater and WOW let me tell you, everyone raved about these shows, especially Choir of Man. In fact, it’s the highest rated entertainment on all of Norwegian’s ships! And it’s all included – these guys perform at venues around the globe and tickets are in excess of $140/each (and worth it). Luckily, it will be complimentary for you onboard… just be sure to reserve your seats as soon as you can.

I was able to experience the Galaxy Pavillion – the virtual game room onboard –  which was nothing less than amazing! In one scenario you lay down and it feels like you are soaring through the most scenic places. I also tried a game called descendants which sadly I think I might have had the worst record on the ship but man was that game fun! Shout out to our Travel Specialist Tammy from Camp Hill who rocked it, as the worker reminded me (haha).

One thing I never got up to see due to the weather was the Encore Speedway. My colleagues who had a chance to ride it and said it was epic! This speedway hangs 13 feet over the side of the ship. Then once you’re done racing you can head next door to the laser tag on the same deck! How cool that you can have these experiences on a cruise.

My two favorite parts of the ship? The Waterfront and the Observatory Lounge for their views. Let me tell you these pictures do not do it justice. Floor to ceiling windows in the lounge, you will never have a bad view from wherever you sit. Hang by the comfy chairs and enjoy the scenery because that lounge is spectacular. When you’re done there head outside to the Waterfront for the most comfy chairs and views. They also have built in heaters in the ceiling for when it gets chilly. On a chilly Tuesday afternoon in New York, I felt warm with the help of the heaters.

This ship has so much to offer – I could go on for days, but I won’t. You should just go experience it yourself so you truly understand. I promise you, it will not disappoint. Scroll down for more photos from the ship!

 

Visit Boscov’s Travel located within select Boscov’s including Pennsylvania (Camp Hill, Colonial Park/Harrisburg, Easton, Lancaster, Lebanon, Neshaminy/Bensalem, Wyomissing, Reading, Pottstown, Pottsville, Scranton, Selinsgrove, Wilkes-Barre), New York (Binghamton), New Jersey (Atlantic City and Moorestown), Delaware (Wilmington), and Maryland (Salisbury). View our locations here. If you live a little further away, book over the phone by calling us at 800-755-8020. Learn more at boscovstravel.com 

Oh Joy! There’s So Much to Love About Norwegian’s Newly Reimagined Ship

Introducing the New Norwegian Joy

The following post is written by Amanda from the Boscov’s Travel Marketing Department.

Have you ever heard of a ship that gets refurbished after only two years? Probably not – it’s unheard of. Once again, though, Norwegian Cruise Line doesn’t disappoint and has decided to refurbish the Norwegian Joy for the American market. Originally created for the Asian market, this ship underwent a $50 million makeover and let me tell you, this ship is GORGEOUS!

With a guest capacity over 3,800 and overall length 1,094 feet, this ship features a race track like sister ship Bliss, and so much more. It will make you feel like you’re living in an entertainment-packed resort no matter where you are on the ship. Take on the challenge of outdoor laser tag and virtual experiences, ride the first of its kind two level race track… then check out the water slide that hangs 11 feet off the side of the ship, the casino, observation lounge, splash academy, teen club, and a kids’ aqua park – there is something do for every member of the family.

After my extensive research, I must say I’m so obsessed with the wide range of dining options (yes, I am restaurant guru). There is an American diner restaurant, an outdoor promenade and The Waterfront where you can eat outdoors overlooking the beautiful ocean! Enjoy 16 dining options – – food is everywhere you turn.

So the big question: how can you experience this beautiful cruise ship? She will be sailing year round – summers in Alaska and the rest of the year sailing the Mexican Riviera, from Miami and LA to the Panama Canal. So if any of these sound interesting to you then get ready to sail!

I’m excited with anticipation as I’m about to book my first cruise (through Boscov’s Travel, of course) and am absolutely considering this ship! It really looks like a dream vacation with endless possibilities and things to do! Great job Norwegian! I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.


If you’re ready to start planning your Norwegian Cruise aboard the Norwegian Joy, email travelrequest@boscovs.com or call 800-755-8020.

Visit Boscov’s Travel located within select Boscov’s including Pennsylvania (Camp Hill, Colonial Park/Harrisburg, Easton, Lancaster, Lebanon, Neshaminy/Bensalem, Wyomissing, Reading, Pottstown, Pottsville, Scranton, Selinsgrove, Wilkes-Barre), New York (Binghamton), New Jersey (Atlantic City and Moorestown), Delaware (Wilmington), and Maryland (Salisbury). View our locations here. If you live a little further away, book over the phone by calling us at 800-755-8020. Learn more at boscovstravel.com

Find Bliss on Norwegian’s Cruise Line’s Newest Ship

If go-karting at sea seems your speed, get ready to meet the new Norwegian Bliss. Debuting in the summer of 2018, Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship, the 16th in their fleet, will initially spend her summers exploring Alaska and her winters island-hopping in the Carribean and Mexico. Besides offering the largest-at-sea two-level electric go-kart race track where drivers reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour, the ship boasts an aqua park with a free-fall slide, a side-by-side racing inner tube slide, and a looping water slide that extends over the sides of the ship. Younger water lovers can splash under tipping water buckets and take aim at their parents with water cannons in the ship’s aqua park. And for those looking for a little less relaxation and a little more adventure can take aim in a competitive open-air laser tag course themed as an abandoned space station.

Foodies will delight at the ship’s southern-inspired cuisine, including the new Texas Smokehouse Q, featuring authentic Texas barbeque against the sounds of live contemporary pop country music, and Los Lobos, which offers upscale Mexican flavors along with guest favorites, like tableside fresh guacamole preparation and handcrafted margaritas. Steak lovers can challenge their stomach capacity with the 20-ounce Angus porterhouse featured at Cagney’s Steakhouse, and enjoy a nightcap at the A-List Bar, serving premium cocktails, wines and spirits. Even those missing their daily latte at sea will be thrilled to hear the ship houses a full-service Starbucks location, in a nod to its home port in Seattle.

Of course, no cruise would be complete without a little relaxation and spa-time, and like the ship’s name implies, bliss can be found in Mandara Spa, which also features a full-service salon and barber shop and fitness center. Due to popularity on its sister ship, Breakaway, Bliss features plenty of outdoor promenades and lounge and bar areas, as well as al fresco dining options to immerse guests in the cruise experience, as well as the beautiful views on board at sea. Custom-built for the Alaskan cruiser, guests will be able to view glaciers and the natural beauty of our northernmost state directly from the ship, or hop off at one of the Alaskan ports for sightseeing and exploring.

After departing from Seattle, the cruise will feature stops in the Alaskan ports of Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway, as well as Victoria, British Columbia. Whether exploring the Misty Fjords or zip-lining in Ketchikan, or trekking through glaciers or whale-watching in Juneau, or panning for gold or dog sledding through Skagway, Alaska offers adventure for everyone. Victoria, with its stunning Butchart Gardens and famed Chinatown, as well as Seattle’s Space Needle and historic Pike Place Market rounds out just a taste of shoreside opportunities for cruisers on the Bliss’ inaugural Alaskan voyages.

To learn more about the Bliss’ itineraries and price out your stateroom or suite today, please contact a Boscov’s Travel Specialist at 800-755-8020 or email us at travelrequest@boscovs.com.

Visit Boscov’s Travel located within select Boscov’s including Pennsylvania (Camp Hill, Colonial Park/Harrisburg, Easton, Lancaster, Lebanon, Neshaminy/Bensalem, Wyomissing, Reading, Pottstown, Pottsville, Scranton, Selinsgrove, Wilkes-Barre), New York (Binghamton), New Jersey (Atlantic City and Moorestown), Delaware (Wilmington), and Maryland (Salisbury). View our locations here. If you live a little further away, book over the phone by calling us at 800-755-8020. Learn more at boscovstravel.com

Ahoy Cruisers! Here’s What We Learned Planning Our First Cruise

The following post is written by Jen from the Boscov’s Travel Marketing Department. Jen set sail on Disney Cruise Lines in September 2017. 

Confession: Despite having spent my childhood summers on the water from Maine to Maryland on my family’s small speedboat, I had never considered taking my own family on a cruise. Although I loved my summers on the ocean on our tiny little boat, graduating up to a huge ship wasn’t necessarily something that ranked highly on my vacation bucket list. But after several friends came home from a cruise raving about their experience, and after our kids kept hinting that they’d like to visit islands and the beaches in the Caribbean, we decided it was time to set sail. With the help of an experienced Travel  Specialist to guide us through the planning process, we planned a memorable vacation our whole family enjoyed. Here are a few things we learned along the way:

It’s so much more helpful to plan a cruise with a Travel Specialist

At first, planning a cruise seemed simple and something we could on our own  (we planned the trip prior to me joining the Boscov’s Travel team). But we quickly realized that everything—from picking a departure port, cruise line and a ship, and then a category and room on the ship, as well as an itinerary that worked well for us at the time we needed to vacation—was not nearly as simple as it originally seemed. Although we pride ourselves on being able to research and plan many of our own family vacations to the beach or other nearby locales, as inexperienced cruisers, we quickly became overwhelmed by the choices and realized that we needed expert help to be able to craft the perfect vacation that also fit into our budget. Our Travel Specialist, an experienced cruiser herself, quickly put us at ease and started to explain the process to us: First, roughly decide on your budget. Next, decide which cruise line appeals to you. For us, this was our simplest choice since we own a timeshare through Disney Vacation Club and had the option to use our points in lieu of cash (which we ultimately decided against doing since our points didn’t go very far towards covering our fare). But had we not been so committed to sailing Disney, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the number of cruise lines and the sometimes subtle or not-so-subtle differences among the ships, as well as price-points for sailing on each line. Once we had that narrowed down, we took a look at what ships and what itineraries were available during the timeframe we wanted to sail, and from where the ship departed so we could factor in any additional transportation and pre- and post-cruise lodging costs into our overall budget. At this point, with our Travel Specialist, we compiled a small list of suitable cruises and went to work on researching the ships and itineraries to decide which one appealed the most to us. Taking the information back to our kids, we determined as a family that we wanted to experience a short 3-night cruise for the first time to ensure that we all enjoyed it (and no one would be prone to motion sickness) before we invested in a longer week-long stay aboard a cruise ship. At this time, our Travel Specialist also advised us she felt it was best to fly to Florida at least a day before our cruise’s departure to take some of the stress out of worrying about flight delays or cancellations, which might affect our ability to get to the port on time. This pre-cruise stay allowed us to get in two nights at Walt Disney World prior to our cruise, thus extending our short cruise into a longer land and sea vacation, which was great for us since we knew we’d be blending together a familiar and fun vacation spot along with a new and unfamiliar experience.

Figuring out your budget and what’s most important to you

Once our ship, date and itinerary were chosen, it was time to tackle where to stay on the ship. Unlike most vacations where we’re placed wherever the hotel chooses to put us, cruising is much different with cruisers selecting the exact room they’d like to stay in. Prices can also wildly vary with those staying in interior rooms low on the ship paying much less than those staying high on the ship with verandahs or balconies. Additionally, like airfare, cruise pricing is not set: Generally, cruises are least expensive  when the itineraries and dates are first announced (often a year to almost two years in advance – see current itineraries here http://boscovstravel.com/temp/Disney-Cruise-Line-Sailings-2017-2018.pdf), and steadily increase in price as you near the sailing date. Because our family chose a short cruise, and because we were not sailing to many ports of interest, we decided to splurge on our accommodations to make the most out of our time on the ship. As first-time cruisers, and since communication to our Travel Specialist would be cut off as soon as we sailed away from Port Canaveral unless we wanted to pay exorbitantly high roaming charges on our cell phones, we decided it would be in our best interest to have the help of a concierge staff to help us with any request, including personalized help with booking on-board experiences and off-ship excursions both before and during our stay. Our concierge privileges also enabled us to be among the first to board the ship, maximizing the time of our vacation, plus gave us access to a special lounge steps from our room that offered specialty coffee, hors d’oeuvres, and beer, wine and cocktails, which are not normally included in your cruise fare. While our concierge stay nearly doubled the cost of our cruise compared with us sailing in a less expensive cabin on the ship, as first-time cruisers unfamiliar with cruising and overwhelmed with the options each day both on and off the ship, we were glad we opted to go for a shorter cruise to save money and instead splurged for the extra help and truly personalized service we received from the concierge staff—they made everything incredibly easy and stress-free for us from the moment we arrived at the port to the moment we stepped off the ship.  While we were definitely spoiled this time by the amazing service of the concierge staff, we certainly feel more confident to sail without such a luxury next time now that we know the lay of the land and what to expect during a cruise vacation.

Because we allocated so much of our budget towards our concierge room, we didn’t have much left over for excursions off the ship, nor for much pampering or paid-activities on the ship. Cruises are packed with hourly entertainment for the whole family, and while most activities and dining are included with your fare on a Disney cruise, some activities are not, such as wine tastings, spa treatments and specialty dining and beverages. Additionally, nearly every excursion off the ship cost something—whether it was a couple of bucks per person, or sometimes several hundred per person. Since our next cruise will likely be longer in length, and we’ll place importance on the ports over the on-the-ship experience, we’ll likely sail in more moderate accommodations to be able to afford excursion adventures and some additional fun things on the ship while we’re at sea.

Other financial considerations also include the cost of passports for your family if you don’t already have them, gratuities for your dining and stateroom attendants, as well as travel insurance. We were incredibly fortunate to be the last unaffected sailing prior to Hurricane Irma’s arrival, and didn’t stress too much about her impending arrival since we knew our trip would be covered due to any delays or disruptions.

Because we received such experienced guidance by our Travel Specialist when planning our trip, and had such personalized help with the concierge staff on the ship, we were truly able to simply relax and enjoy every second of our cruise, making it a truly unforgettable and fun experience for our whole family.

If you’re ready to start planning your next cruise, email travelrequest@boscovs.com, call 800-755-8020 or direct message us.

Visit Boscov’s Travel located within select Boscov’s including Pennsylvania (Camp Hill, Colonial Park/Harrisburg, Easton, Lancaster, Lebanon, Neshaminy/Bensalem, Wyomissing, Reading, Pottstown, Pottsville, Scranton, Selinsgrove, Wilkes-Barre), New York (Binghamton), New Jersey (Atlantic City and Moorestown), Delaware (Wilmington), and Maryland (Salisbury). View our locations here. If you live a little further away, book over the phone by calling us at 800-755-8020. Learn more at boscovstravel.com