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Sea World goes above and beyond for children with special needs.


I have never been to an amusement park that took care of visitors with special needs as well as Sea World does. Having a child in a wheelchair and another child with Asperger’s our hands are always full. Sea World truly went above and beyond to make sure they had an amazing visit. At multiple locations throughout the park a staff member made sure that my daughter was able to see everything going on. While waiting in line to see Turtle Trek staff member's asked what we were planning to do next and called over to the Pet's Ahoy show to let them know that we were headed over there next and to make sure we had a good seat since my daughter was visually impaired. While my daughter did not ride any coasters everything we did see and do was handicap accessible. The hardest thing to see was the up close with the dolphins since it gets crowded. Here are a few pictures from our visit. Let me know if you have any questions about accessibility or visiting Sea World. The Travel Depot can set up your next trip to Sea World and even take care of any transfers that you may need from other hotels throughout Orlando. Agents with the Travel Depot are SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment Travel Specialists!






I love when the dolphins wave!


So many acrobats in the show now.


Have wheelchair, will travel! Sea World really is great with special needs kids!


Since my daughters arms are so short the staff had a dolphin pull up and lay on the ledge in front of her so she could pet him. 

Right now Sea World is offering some great deals!
$50 per ticket weekday deal.
Buy one - get one half off on dining packages.
Plus many more ticket options available, contact the Travel Depot today to start planning your fun trip to Sea World.

Universal Studios and Islands of Adventures in Orlando, FL

What a wonderful day! My husband and I spent our 10 year anniversary at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure in May. We started in Universal Studios and zipped through all the stuff we wanted to see super fast. We were surprised considering we were there on a Saturday! We hardly waited in any lines. If you go, check out Revenge of the Mummy! It was awesome. Men in black was fun too.
We grabbed a quick lunch in City Walk at Panda Express before heading to Islands of Adventure. There are many more choices if you eat in CityWalk just outside of Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. 
At Islands of Adventure we went straight to Harry Potter World! The lines were decent here too. The castle was so awesome, the Dragon Challenge was pretty fun as well as the Flight of the Hippogriff. The highlight for us was the Forbidden Journey which is after the castle tour. For those that don't want/can't ride the Forbidden Journey they have an exit or waiting area right before the ride. We went back to Islands of Adventure on Sunday and it was a little bit busier and we waited about 40 minutes to ride the Forbidden Journey, but it was nice because the first time we didn't stop and look at everything in the castle. Make sure you take a look at the Mandrakes!
The worst part of our day was that we wasted time on 2 rides. Posiden's Fury was the most boring show I've ever been through! It is a walking tour/show and multiple people kept slipping out of the emergency exits. The other ride we weren't impressed with was the Pterodactyl flyers. The line is ridiculously long for the quick ride that you get.
On Marvel's Super Hero Island, I LOVED the HULK roller coaster. Spider man was fun too. We ended the day having dinner in City Walk at the Latin Quarter. The food was delicious and I suggest the guacamole made table side! 
Give me a call to set up your Universal Vacation!
Travel Depot 412-716-5065
jenniehenn@gmail.com

The book store in Seuss Landing

The Cat in the Hat ride was cut but you really get jerked around in the carts. Be cautious if you have back or neck issues.

Welcome to Hogsmede! 

The entrance to the Three Broomsticks.

This is the family platter they offer, it was delicious. 

I think this couple must have drank to much butterbeer or they were under a spell. We found them behind the Three Broomsticks.

Butterbeer is so yummy. Grab some to drink while you enjoy the frog chior. 


Ride a Hippogriff was a fun roller coaster that is not to fast or big.


Entrance into the Hogwarts Castle.


How is your house doing?

Mandrakes! 

This hall was very cool. All the portraits talk to each other.  


Portrait of the Fat Lady.
Password Please! 

Neat stuff to check out on Marvel's Super Hero Island. 


The miniature golf area in CityWalk


Whenever I go out to eat with friends, we can never decide where to go! The Porch of Indecision is the perfect spot for us!


Ask us about the ticket options that would work best for your family.
Universal’s Select Ticket Program

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines review

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines has so much to offer their guests! With the most activities at sea they are perfect for multi-generational groups and parties with different views of what a vacation is. Everything from relaxing on your private balcony to climbing the rock wall, everyone in your party will be able to find something to do!
I love cruising with family and friends. Especially when you don't want to spend all your time together but want to Meetup throughout the day. Check out some of the great things that RCCL has to offer you, then contact the Travel Depot and let us book your next amazing adventure!
Accommodations, as on all cruise lines the cheapest options start on the inside of the ship. These will also be your smallest staterooms. A basic stateroom offers bedding, Pullmans bed in some, a sofa that may convert to a bed, TV, storage closets and drawers. Royal Caribbean offers a great option for those that love to people watch. Promenade staterooms offer a view of the atrium or central park. For short sailings
A variety of dining options are available aboard all of Royal Caribbean cruise ships. Room service, buffets, full service dining room, casual eateries and even grab and go options such as pizza and burgers. Where will you enjoy your next meal? While they offer a timed seating they also offer a my time dining option. This is available on a first come first serve basis and can fill up fast. Dining options vary from ship to ship but may include Sushi, Boardwalk Dog House, Boardwalk donuts, a Bistro and cafes. Royal Caribbean also offers a variety of dining options for a small additional fee. Ask your travel agent which ship has the dining options that interest you the most!
One great option for those with children is family time dining. This program offers expedited service for those with children ages 3-11 and then the children are picked up by a staff member and taken to camp.
Character dining with Dreamworks is available on select ships and sailings, advanced reservations required.

Children's programming - Royal Caribbean has divided their children’s programming into 5 ages groups. Adventure Ocean - Aquanots 3-5, Explorers 6-8, Voyagers 9-11, and two teen groups 12-14 and 15-17. Many ships offer the Dreamworks Experience which includes character dining options with Shrek and other characters as well as meet and greets and a parade. Partnered with Barbie for fashion shows, and Fisher Price toy lending program for infants and toddlers and Crayola for all ages there truly is something that your child will love. *Some age groups are combined on cruises with low children in attendance.
 
 

Whether you want to relax or be active, Royal Caribbean Cruise ships have everything you are looking for!
  • Oasis and Allure both offer Carousels in the Central park area.
  • True Broadway shows are performed on Royals ships!
  • Flow Rider
  • ziplining
  • rock climbing
  • ice rinks
  • miniature golf
  • H2O zone
  • Outdoor movies
  • adults only solarium
  • iFly
  • Vitality Spa
  • Dance classes
  • Cooking demonstrations
  • Broadway Style Shows
Do I need to go on? It is very unlikely that anyone in your party will be bored! Personally, one of my favorite things to do is to relax on my balcony with a book!
On select cruises your ship may stop at CocoCay, Bahamas. Here you get enjoy the lush vegetation of an eco-certified private destination. There is an array or water activities to enjoy as well as an aqua park!

Suggested sailing
Freedom of the seas out of port Canaveral alternating between an eastern and western Caribbean itinerary.

On November 3rd, sailing the Eastern Caribbean ocean view cabins are starting at $574.86 including all port taxes and government fees!
Current Promotion through our agency, The Travel Depot.
Book a 5 night or longer Caribbean, Bahamas or Bermuda Cruise on Royal Caribbean and travel before December 31, 2013 in an ocean view or balcony and receive a $100 on-board credit! Restrictions apply. Call or email us to help plan your perfect vacation!

Disney Cruise Lines Overview

Disney Cruise ships truly are a dream come true. There is so much to see and do it will be hard getting off the ship in all the great ports! There are even opportunities to hang out with some of the characters! Here is some basic information about the Disney Cruise lines. The Travel Depot is an authorized seller of Disney Travel.

Oceaneer Club and Lab offer supervised cooking school and educational science classes for ages 3-12. There is so much to do for kids in the Oceaneer play areas that your kids will love it!
Teens ages 14-17 get to hang out at Vibe while those 11-14 have Edge both offer fun places to hang out with couches, computers, tvs and more. There’s even a giant chess board to play with. Within the Oceaneer club, kids can dress up in Pixie Hollow, run around in Andy’s room as well as other themed areas offering tons of fun.

Adults - There are many adult only areas on board Disney ships. An adults only pool, a spa, a restaurant, and an adults only entertainment area including a night club! You would be amazed at how many adults sail without kids.


Activities - Disney Fantasy has the aquaduck is a 765 foot long water coaster running along both sides of the ship, as well as swimming pools and other water slide options. The Fantasy has a great Aqua Lab to splash around in as well.
There is a movie theater showing first run movies, fun areas playing music, a dance club, a comedy club, family time activities area offering games and even cooking demonstrations. The nightly shows can not be compared to any at sea! If you’ve seen any Disney shows on broadway, you can expect to see the same on a Disney ship!

In the D lounge parents and kids can come together to play games and other activities during the day and turns into a family lounge in the evening with fun dance nights and more.


Dining - Disney is the only cruise line at sea to offer rotational dining where your wait staff moves with you every night. This offers a different atmosphere each night but a wait staff that knows your preferences. All the ships offer this and the restaurant names vary from ship to ship.
Other options available include the buffet, room service, pizza, ice cream and various other options.
There are sit down options for breakfast and lunch as well as the buffet.
Disney cruise lines includes soft drinks throughout the ship.


Besides formal and semi-formal nights Disney offers themed nights with lots of fun for everyone. Disney is the only cruise line that sets off fireworks from all of their ships!

Disney is one of the best cruise lines for those with special needs! Gluten, Dairy, Soy free… You name it they will happily help you with whatever you need. Even those with physical issues. It’s always best to let your travel agent know of any possible concerns you may have about your vacation.


Right now you can celebrate Halloween on all of the Disney ships!
Here is what the fantasy has to offer sailing out of Port Canaveral.
Activities vary from ship to ship.
Discover treats, tricks, magical mischief and eerie surroundings as you celebrate Halloween with Disney Cruise Line.
Thrills and chills await you at every turn on Disney ships—with themed d├ęcor and so much more, including:
  • Costume parade for kids
  • Costume contest for adults with a variety of award categories
  • Halloween movie marathon to get you in the spirit, shown at Buena Vista Theatre, on Funnel Vision and on the dedicated in-room television channel
  • Holiday candy, including a bag of sweets in your stateroom and a trick-or-treating event
  • Halloween activities for kids


  • Disney Fantasy itineraries departing September 21 to October 26, 2013

Port of Cozumel

On Western Caribbean itineraries, Cozumel is my favorite port of call. Yes it is very touristy, but its a safe port to explore on your own without feeling nervous. I love the variety of excursions offered as well!
Whether you get off the boat to shop on the pier and have a bite to eat or want to explore some ruins, or do some scuba diving. Cozumel is a great port to do it all!

Taxi cabs are readily available throughout the island making it easy to get around. Renting a moped or walking is always an option. Depending what pier your ship docks out will make all the difference. Ask your travel agent for suggestions on the easiest way for your family to get around.


On our most recent trip we decided to swim with stingrays. There was a cold front that had just gone through the area so the water was rough and the air was cool. It definitely wasn't ideal weather to be in the water. The guides that helped us “meet” the stingrays were informative and helpful. We went in about waist deep but the waves were rough and with the ground being rocky it was easy to get pushed around by the water, making some people nervous about the stingrays swimming around our feet. They also offered a large area that was netted in that you could snorkel in after meeting the stingrays. I highly recommenced doing this when the weather is nice.

 


There are a variety of animal encounters available in Cozumel including dolphins, manatees and sea lions. While snorkeling is available make sure you go with a tour operator or guide to guarantee a good spot for seeing all there is under water.

If you don’t want to get in the water and shopping is not your thing check out the Chichen Itza or Tulum for those seeking some enrichment. Your travel agent can help you find a tour that fits your needs as well as those in your party. Please let the travel depot know of any physical limitations when booking your cruise to make sure everything is taken care of.

We always have lunch at Pancho's backyard located near the pier where Disney docks. The food is good but pricey. It's become a recommended tourist spot over the years and it is obvious when you visit but our family knows it well. They usually have a couple playing the xylophone and will allow kids to come up and play while parents take pictures. There are many other"local" food options as well.

The gift shops are much cheaper in this area compared to the pier, Puerto Maya! Expect to pay at least 1/2 of what things cost at Punta Langosta in downtown San Migel. There are a variety of items available but the most popular are bright colored pottery, magnets, leather goods, jewelry and wooden carved items. As for alcohol, go right for the tequila!

If you’re lucky and your ship is staying in port late check out Carlos and Charlies for a fun time! Huge drinks, bar food and a hopping party scene. http://www.carlosandcharlies.com

Another great restaurant choice is La Mission. Delicious Mexican fare with a great atmosphere. My favorite is their tortilla soup.
http://www.lamissioncozumel.com/ing/

Cozumel is a great port with tons to offer, even though it has become very touristy of the years it's worth the visit!

Want to make sure your cruise stops in Cozumel? Let the travel depot show you the cruise that is best for your party. We have many years of experience planning vacations, weddings, honeymoons and family reunions on cruise ships! In fact Jennifer was married aboard Carnival Cruise Lines. Make sure you book with a knowledgeable agent!

The beautiful Turks and Caicos Islands



Only 675 miles south of Miami some of the best tropical beaches in the world are on the islands of Turks and Caicos. Grace Bay Beach has been voted world’s best beach by many tour and travel companies.


A trip to the Turks and Caicos is perfect for those looking for a lot of activities during the day but a low key relaxing atmosphere in the evenings. They are great for eco-tourism! There is very little nightlife on the islands so if dancing the night away is your idea of vacation fun, you won't find much of it here!

A few of the islands: 

  • Providenciales is the most populated island and is where the main airport is located as well as the major hotels, shopping and many activities.
  • Grand Turks is worth the visit to learn about some of the history about the islands.
  • Salt Cay is also the best spot in the country for watching the winter migration of Humpback Whales.


Some water sports offered throughout the islands are para-sailing, kite-boarding, various types of surfing, diving, snorkeling, stan up paddle boarding, kayaking, boating, sailing, snuba, jet skis (and jet boats), reef fishing, whale-watching, aqua-boats, bone fishing, deep sea fishing and boat cruises. Of course there is tons of wildlife to explore in and out of the water. 

There are a few All-inclusive resorts on the islands but most are not. The good news is there are many options to choose from. There are close to 70 local restaurants for you to enjoy featuring local and international. 
The Sands at Grace Bay Resort


Still need more reasons to visit?
There are many limestone caves to explore. Conch Bar Caves on Middle Caicos is the largest above-water cave system in the Bahamas-Turks and Caicos island chain and is a Turks and Caicos mational park. The cave system is named after the village of Conch Bar nearby. The fee to tour them is $10-$15 and reservations must be made, they do not allow you to go in unattended.


To make it easy for tourists, even though it is a British Territory, they use the US dollar!


With very little rain and temperatures in the 80’s year round you will enjoy about 360 days of sun a year on the islands! This makes it a great year round vacation destination. The islands are not outside of the hurricane belt and the season runs from June through November. Make sure you ask us about travel insurance to protect your vacation investment!


All that is needed to visit the Turks and Caicos from the United States is a Passport.

Contact the Travel Depot today to start planning your next vacation!



The Carnival Dream

What is better than words? Pictures! Check out these pictures from the Carnival Dream. 

Tea time on days at sea are great for any dessert lover! All the girls in our party got together to enjoy it the first day at sea.

 View of the Carnival Dream from the pier in Cozumel Mexico.

This is a view of the balcony from the inside of an Ocean View Suite. There were 3 chairs and a small table on the balcony. It was located on deck 7 which was neat since you could look down on to deck 5 and do some people watching. 

View from the balcony looking toward the rear of the ship.

 Inside the Ocean Suite. The bed on the left is actually the sofa which was converted to accommodate the children in the cabin. There were no pull-mans beds in this cabin.

 Here is part of the water works area. They also had 3 larger water slides as well as swimming pools and Jacuzzi tubs located throughout the ship. Including 2 in the adults only area. 

This is the midnight buffet for Mexican food. 


 It was a little chilly this night so the deck wasn't crowded for the deck party. We had fun though! The camp carnival people were handing out toy prizes and glow sticks for the kids dancing.

 The Ocean Suite has a Jacuzzi tub but it is VERY narrow. 

View of the Jacuzzi tubs on deck 5, from deck 7. The water is not hot in any of them, but it was nice since the air was warm. They are drained and cleaned nightly.


 Everyone's favorite buffet! The midnight chocolate buffet.