American Holiday Search
Dated: 19th December 2011
It's in the blood!
Below is a picture from the archives, a relic of the past Mary our MD found when browsing through her old family photographs.  It's a picture of her late father Frank from the 1960's when he himself was a pioneer within the travel industry something Mary soon found really was 'in her blood'.
Dated: 13th December 2011
On Thursday the 30th November the Inaugural Travel Media Awards took place in the Westbury Hotel in Dublin. The awards, which were organised by TravelMedia.ie, were attended by over 120 guests including members of the travel trade and members of the media.
Our MD, Mary McKenna was present to collect our award for 'Best use of social media in the travel industry'.
"Thank you to all the media who voted and contributed to the success of www.touramerica.ie and our for choosing us to win this award for our social media at the Travel Media Awards event", said Mary McKenna.  We were delighted to be awarded this prestigious award.''
Dated: 24th June 2010
Myself and Brian (GM) have just come back from our recent trip to Southampton for the launch of NCL brand new ship 'EPIC'. This was my first time on a NCL ship and I was extremely impressed. A couple of things I found different to other cruise ships were that I felt it was very much geared towards the younger market, great bars, even an Irish bar, and Ice bar, Bliss bar (well I have never seen anything like this place, cages, 4 pollster beds - it was very Turkish or Moroccan theme to it), Fat Cats, where comedy took place every night, a jazz bar and it goes on and on.  and I could see someone planning a different venue every night.
The outside entertainment area, where there is a huge screen (they showed the England game on this yesterday) turns into a night club at night time.  And I have to say the Gym was the best Gym I have ever been in.
The restaurants had all got great ambiance and were intimate, even the main restaurant really appealed to me as it wasn't as formal as other Cruise ships.  The cabins were small but longer than Royal Caribbean, but really hip hop in theme and I really liked the room.
The only thing I didn't like was the charge for the Internet, I thought that was a bit high, but maybe as our customers on holidays, you might not be using it as much as I did.
Great places on board for children and I even met Dora in the corridors.
Cruise lines have never seriously tackled the singles market until now, and this is a very stylish response. The studios are priced competively with no single supplement and are arranged to create a very sophisticated shared social area for fantastic craic. I would bring my children onboard for a the 3 water slides at the pool area as I know that would absolutely keep them entertained, the Nickleodeon themed activities are excellent including breakfast with Sponge Bob, and the teenage area is the best I have seen.
The wider choice of smaller restaurants to the norm is a real improvement
Dated : 02nd February 2010.
Last week myself and Brian Ingarfield (GM) were on business in both Orlando and Clearwater.
We stayed at the DoubleTree - International drive in Orlando and the Sheraton Sand Key in Clearwater.
The DoubleTree, is just an amazing property with excellent facilities, it to me is a 4 star property at a 2 star price.  As you sit outside and eat your breakfast and take in all this property has to offer, fantastic spa facility, a great gym (which we both used), 3 swimming pools, great restaurants and bars and what I was most impressed with was the  lobby area and the staff at the hotel.  They all wore Number 10 badges on their uniform, and when I ask what this was about, they said it was the level of service the strive to achieve.
This hotel is at the very end of international drive, past the convention centre, so it would be about a 15 minute walk to the centre of International Drive. It is just across the road from Aquatica.
The Florida Mall - you pass this on the way from the airport to the hotel, and again all the main shops are there.  I think a car is a most in Orlando, if you don' want to drive the day you arrive you can always pick up a car the next day from International Drive.  Ask us for a free GPS system if you hire a car.
(My conference was in Clearwater a 1 hour and a half away, really easy to drive there.)
Now from there it is a short drive to Clearwater, and I truly forgot how beautiful this place is, they have done a major job on the walkway on the main beach in Clearwater, but just across the bridge is the beautiful Sheraton Sand Key, for years we have sent very happy Irish customers here. It is really a fantastic hotel, with great facilities and such a wide beach, very private, the room I was in had a balcony with splendid views of the beach.  A great bar where you could have a drink and some food, I ate there three times and found it very reasonable, then I also ate in the main restaurant for both dinner and breakfast, again, very good food and good value for money. The general manager there is a guy called Russ and he just loves the Irish customer, he takes great care of all his clients and is very much about attention to detail.
This is my choice of a two-centre holiday this month.
I took these pictures on my iphone.
The pool at the DoubleTree
Beach at the Sheraton Sand Key
Sheraton Sand Key Clearwater