TO LISTEN TO CURRENT OR PAST SHOWS, CHECK OUT THE LET'S TALK TRAVEL PODCAST PAGE! CLICK HERE
Check out Sandy's ongoing Patriot-News special travel features. Go to www.PennLive.com/travel - look for "Fenton's Favorites."
ALL SHOWS ARE SATURDAY 3PM-4PM
SATURDAY, MAY 25TH, 3PM-4PM - "The All-Inclusive Regent Seven Seas Cruise Experience" Having recently returned from extensive Bahamas/Caribbean cruises, travel events and site inspections - I learned that the best value for upcoming summer and fall vacations may be the excellent discounts, particularly in the luxury travel brands. One of the best is the all-inclusive luxury cruise market and one of my favorites, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, continues to offer exceptional values on many worldwide sailings. Regent Seven Seas is an award-winning , all-suite , all-inclusive cruise line with three luxurious mid-sized ships (Seven Seas Voyager, Seven Seas Mariner and Seven Seas Navigator), carrying 490 or 700 pampered guests, to some of the most glamorous and off-the-beaten-path places on the planet. Some of Regent's all-inclusive experiences include roundtrip air, unlimited shore excursions, pre-paid gratuities, specialty restaurants, unlimited beverages plus open bars, lounges and in-suite mini-bar replenished daily…and so much more. Kate Otto, Regent Seven Seas sales director, will be my in-studio guest next Saturday at 3 p.m. on "Let's Talk Travel with AAA" on WHP-AM580. Before you settle for the "same old - same old" vacation, be sure to tune in and learn why a Regent Seven Seas cruise may be a perfect fit for you.
SATURDAY, JUNE 1ST, 3PM-4PM - "HOW TO STAY HEALTHY WHILE TRAVELING" Not much is worse than you or a family member getting sick while on vacation. What do you do - especially if you are in a foreign country or an exotic destination and the nearest medical facility is hours away? Can you prepare in advance? You bet you can. Since the early days of "Let's Talk Travel with AAA" one of the most popular shows continue to be the "How to Stay Healthy While Traveling" interview segments with Dr. John Goldman, medical director for Pinnacle Health Infectious Diseases and Travel Clinic. And to add some "reality show drama" - I was recently diagnosed with lyme disease (via a blood test) and had been referred to Dr. Goldman, who just so happens to be my in-studio guest at 3p.m. next Saturday on "Let's Talk Travel with AAA" on WHP-AM580. Lyme disease, especially during summer vacation months, is one of the most frequent travel medicine inquiries we receive. At this point in time Dr. Goldman has recommended I continue my antibiotic treatment and wants additional testing for other causes. In addition to a feature on lyme disease, Dr. Goldman will answer many listener questions - including what to pack in a traveler's first aid kit ; new virus threats ; food poisoning ; heat stroke and immunizations needed for exotic destinations. Prevention is key. When traveling, always wash your hands thoroughly and frequently to prevent the spread of illness. And remember, if your travels take you to a Third Word country : If you can't cook it, boil it or peel it , then forget it.
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TO LISTEN TO FUTURE SHOWS, CHECK OUT THE LET'S TALK TRAVEL PODCAST PAGE! CLICK HERE
If you're thinking about a holiday getaway to New York City and wondering about any negative after-affects of Hurricane Sandy - you can stop worrying and start planning. NYC is open for business and ready to greet the holiday festivities with a bang.
As I write this story I am sitting on the train (Amtrak Keystone service - www.amtrak.com) returning from a three day NYC press trip and site inspection - and I can tell you in confidence - the city is just as it should be. Crowded, energetic, overwhelming, exciting and festive. New York City - the greatest city in the world - remains just that.
Officiially kicking off with Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade through the long anticipated New Years Eve "ball drop" in Times Square - NYC is a magical winter wonderland for every member of your family.
Before arriving in NYC I recommend doing some homework. Unless you are on a group tour with a set itinerary, you will need a plan of action or you'll find yourself confused , walking around in circles and wasting valuable vacation time. ("DK Eyewitness Travel - New York" is my favorite guide book for touring the city.)
I prefer to experience different hotels when staying in NYC and for this particular visit I stayed at The Kimberly Hotel. A European-style boutique hotel, The Kimberly offers spacious guestrooms and luxurious one and two bedroom suites (ideeal for families) in the heart of midtown's east side. I loved the location, the accommodations and "The Upstairs" - a new rooftop (small-plates) dining and lounge area, plus a cozy outdoor heated garden area with 360-degree views of Manhattan, perfect for daytime and evening observation. Go to www.kimberlyhotel.com and look up the "Holiday Sights, Sounds & Spectacular" savings package complete with tickets to see the Rockettes at Radio City now through Dec. 30th.Hotels in NYC are especially busy Thanksgiving week through New Years, with many sold-out on the weekends leading up to Christmas. Don't fret, there are still hotel rooms available and some terrific holiday packages left.
But don't wait. NYC is not only popular with Americans, it is filled with overseas tourists, most notably from the UK, Europe and South America. In many parts of the world, New York City is a shoppers paradise and quite the bargain. Many savvy foreign visitors bring extra luggage so they can fill with famous designer products and goods. (Step into any hotel lobby, restaurant or department store and you'll hear more accents and foreign languages than you can imagine.)
Some hotels offer shopping discounts at iconic department stores like Bloomingdales, complimentary breakfast, late checkouts, complimentary cocktails or hot cocoa with home baked cookies. If you're a AAA member, be sure to show your card and save at participating hotels.
You can see all the Big Apple sites - including the Empire State Building, Broadway, Times Square, Central Park and Ground Zero - onboard one of the fun and informative New York sightseeing tours such as Gray Line or Circle Line.
The atmosphere at Rockefeller Center Plaza at 50th Street and Fifth Avenue is always festive with the sunken ice-skating rink and gigantic Rockefeller Center Christmas tree - the most famous and worldwide symbol of the NYC holiday season.
If you want to take the family and see "Elf", "A Christmas Story" , "Lion King" or "Annie" on Broadway, get your tickets now, some of the shows are already sold-out.
Of course, my favorite way to see and experience NYC is walking and since you'll want to do some holiday shopping, a stroll along Fifth Avenue will take you by some of the most famous stores (and window displays) in the world. Gucci , FAO Schwarz , Tiffany & Co. ; Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue.
If you're planning to go shoe shopping, Saks Fifth Avenue has a shoe department that is so large, it has it's own zip code. Once you're done shopping, you'll need to rest those tired feet and take a relaxing break ...and I've got the perfect place for you to do just that. Behind Saks' shoe department is the popular Café SFA. Ask for a table by the window and order a Saks Snowflake Cosmo or Winter Royale followed by a Saks Fifth Avenue salad. If you want to really splurge, order the lobster Caesar salad - it was delicious.
For more New York City information, go to www.nycgo.com
Although I spend a lot of time in New York City - I still only know bits and pieces. When I need in-depth NYC travel advice I call Eric Gordon, the president and founder of "Beyond Times Square" a specialty NYC and Hudson River Valley tour company. (www.btsq.com)
Q - Is NYC up and running for the 2012 holiday season?
A - 100% - because the tourist areas are all ready for visitors. There were some parts of Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island that were hit hard and will take some time to get back to normal - but not the major tourist haunts.
Q - What are some of your favorite NYC restaurants?
A - This is a tough one Sandy, because we have so many great restaurants with atmosphere - but I like : Gramercy Tavern ; Po and A.O.C. both in the West Village.
Q - What about families dining on a budget?
A - Moaz Vegetarian - great falafel and French fries plus you add all your own condiments and veggies ; Union Square Carmines - family style Italian and a lot of food ; Wo Hop Chinese in Chinatown.
Q - Theater goers on a time schedule?
A - E & E Grill House ; Pigalle : Uncle Nicks and Lambs Club.
Q - What are your top 3 most popular tours?
A - *Battery to Circle A Tour covering the most popular parts of Manhattan Island south of Central Park *Walking over the Brooklyn Bridge and exploring lower Manhattan and Brooklyn Heights. *Ethnic Noshing (food tasting) tours of Brooklyn and Manhattan.
Q - What is something we need to experience in NYC for this season?
A - You've covered much of it Sandy but I would include going to Bryant Park and having a drink at Celsius- an amazing temporary bar/restaurant set up in the park next to the skating rink. Everyone inside is full of good cheer for the holidays.