Recently one of our Boscov’s Travel Advisors took our Boscov’s Travel exclusive private non-stop charter flight to Orlando. Read her incredible experience below.
MSC Cruises’ Seaside
My husband and I went on the Boscov’s Travel exclusive private non-stop Orlando charter the week of October 22, 2023. We weren’t traveling with family this trip so we decided to forego the theme parks in the Orlando area and instead take a relaxing 4-night cruise to the Bahamas along with 2-days in St. Augustine after the cruise.
As a Boscov’s Travel employee, I have taken our charter several times before and it’s always been such a pleasurable experience compared to flying out of the other airports where there’s lots of traffic congestion and extra costs. The Reading Regional Airport is easy to get to, easy to park (we were right in front of the terminal, mere steps away), and the Boscov’s Travel check-in and TSA security were fast and efficient (all done within a few minutes). We did not have to pay to park, pay for our seats, or pay for luggage! When you add up all of these costs, these are big savings, plus driving time to the airport is a breeze!
The Southwest Airlines flight crew was friendly and welcoming and our plane ride was very fast and smooth (we arrived early). We were booked on the MSC Cruises’ Seaside sailing to Nassau and Ocean Cay – MSC Marine Reserve, Bahamas. We met an MSC Cruises representative shortly after our arrival at the Orlando International Airport and were effortlessly transferred to Port Canaveral (less than an hour ride) where we boarded the ship.
MSC Cruises’ Seaside
We had a cabin in the Yacht Club which is an exclusive ship-within-a-ship experience with excellent service from the ship’s staff (special praise to Jordan, our waiter and Glen, our butler). As part of the Yacht Club experience, a private butler meets you at the pier and escorts you onto the ship bypassing the long lines. We were checked in promptly at their Concierge Desk and were eating a delicious lunch within minutes at their private dining room. Our Yacht Club experience included the Premium Beverage package, unlimited Wi-Fi and complimentary access to the Thermal Spa area.
Nassau Port Terminal
Our first stop was Nassau, Bahamas which has a very nice and new Port Terminal & Shops. If you traveled to Nassau in the past, you may remember the old straw market and vendors. This was not a pleasant experience… very claustrophobic and chaotic with lots of pressure from the vendors to buy their wares. This new Port Terminal & Shops is very clean, bright and organized with lots of open space, beautiful landscaping and friendly vendors. Such a great improvement! After our shopping jaunt, we returned to the ship where I decided to take advantage of the Thermal Spa (my husband went off to explore the ship). I spent two hours experiencing all the features which included a steam room, two saunas (a dry and a European), a snow room, a salt room, a Vitality pool with oxygen-intensified water, an aromatherapy shower and a heated stone lounge chair. I absolutely loved these last four options!
Our next stop was Ocean Cay – MSC Marine Reserve, their private island. This island was a former industrial site where sand was excavated that MSC reclaimed and restored to its natural beauty. What was nice about this stop was we were here overnight so we didn’t feel rushed and could enjoy a leisurely day and a half at the beach using the ship as our hotel. As part of the Yacht Club, we were escorted off the ship by our private butler (again bypassing the lines) and taken by a dedicated tram to the Ocean House Beach & Restaurant. The Restaurant was very nice and served several options for lunch including local fish, lobster and tropical drinks.
The beach here is pretty, but we decided to walk a short distance to the North Beach which was located on the lagoon and had beautiful calm clear water with a palm tree-lined beach. On our walk we passed Bimini Beach which has a spectacular lighthouse and views. In the evening, the beach is filled with night-life including a beach party and light show!
Casa Monica Resort
Dinner at Forgotten Tonic
We disembarked the ship on Thursday morning and picked up the car rental shuttle at the pier for the next part of our adventure. We got our car then drove to St. Augustine! Our drive took a little over two hours as we took the scenic route rather than major toll-ways. We checked into the Casa Monica Resort (part of the Marriott Autograph Collection), which is a beautiful hotel built in 1888 nestled in the heart of St. Augustine’s Historic District. We spent the afternoon exploring this area which was all within walking distance of our hotel. Later, we had dinner at a quaint little restaurant called Forgotten Tonic. The restaurant reminded us of dining in a cafe on a Mediterranean street.
St. Augustine Historic District
Flagler College Hall
Spanish Moss – Fountain of Youth
Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse in the U.S.A.
The next day we took a narrated sightseeing tour of St. Augustine’s historic landmarks on Ripley’s Red Train tour. A special perk is they offer military and senior discounts, but you must ask for it. Our driver/guide was very knowledgeable and entertaining as he told us about the history of America’s oldest city. After this tour, we went back to the Orlando area for our overnight stay at the Embassy Suites-Orlando International Airport. The next day check-in at the airport was easy with the help of the dedicated Southwest staff at the North East Flight Departures ticket counter. We did check in three hours ahead of our flight departure time because security lines at Orlando International Airport can be very long. Our flight back to Reading Regional Airport was again enjoyable with a colorful fall aerial view of Berks County as we arrived back in Reading.
We had a wonderful vacation and the charter was truly the best way to get to Orlando! I highly recommend trying Boscov’s Travel’s exclusive private non-stop charter flights to Orlando at least once (and when you fly once with us, you’ll agree it’s the best way to get to central Florida)! Your local Boscov’s Travel Advisor is ready to assist you in planning your Orlando vacation whenever you’re ready! Contact your local Boscov’s Travel or call 800-755-8020 or visit https://www.boscovstravel.com/exclusives/orlando-charter/default.aspx to learn more.