April 2018 Newsletter
April 3, 2018 by Brenda Fairfax No Comment
Let us welcome the month of April and its showers … flowers will bloom, our yards will turn green, and the rain will be welcoming. Have you thought of visiting The Netherlands to see beautiful tulips? Contact us … it is a great time to visit and you will be amazed to see how big the tulips grow! I know some of us have them in our yards, but seeing them in Amsterdam or Rotterdam is something to be experience.
We always express the importance of purchasing insurance for your travels. Most of us think we do not need insurance, but we just never know when or if it will be needed. I received an email from a client that was scheduled to go on a cruise on April 6, 2018, and unfortunately her mother fell and broke her hip. Needless to say, the client had to cancel their cruise to care for her mother. I called the cruise line with this awful news and had to cancel the cruise … if only the client had purchased insurance! So, please consider purchasing insurance for your travel, as we just never know … better to be safe than sorry.
Travel abroad and fighting fraud. Please follow these steps to fight fraud abroad:
- Using public networks in an airport, café, or hotel can be dangerous from a cybersecurity standpoint as they can be hacked.
- Keep your boarding pass secure. There is more information contained on the barcode than you know, for example: your credit card information, if you are a frequent flyer, your address, and the list goes on!
- Pare down whenever possible. When you get ready to explore the town do not take more credit cards with you than you need. Also write the number down, and put your cards and the numbers in your safe.
- Your passport is very important. If you insist on taking it with you, take a copy and leave the passport in the safe.
- Inspect ATMs carefully. Use ATMs that are attached to a bank in well-lit areas that are under surveillance 24/7. If the machine looks suspicious, follow your mind as skimmer devices can be installed which will capture your PIN. Also hide the keypad when typing PIN.
- Convert currency strategically. You can order currency from your bank by telephone or online, but go to your financial institution and collect the currency in person. Most international airports have ATMs that are relatively safe to exchange money.
Quotes from Nomadic Star Travel, LLC. Effective immediately, your quote will be provided verbally and not in writing. The only quotes provided in writing are secured with a service fee and/or deposit, due to the dedicated amount of time agents at Nomadic Star Travel provide to your individual requests. If you book the travel, the service fee will be applied towards your booking. If you decide not to book, the service fee is for our time … thanks for understanding. All travel requests can be submitted online though the website’s Reservation or Contact links. The requests come directly to our inbox and one of the agents responds within 24 hours of receipt acknowledging your request with follow-on questions, if necessary.
The hours for Nomadic Star Travel, LLC are:
- Monday – Thursday, 9:00am-5:00pm
- Friday – 9:00am-4:00pm
The Florida Keys … open for business after Hurricane Irma.
Another major Florida Keys resort has reopened after being heavily damaged by last September’s Hurricane Irma. Islamorada’s iconic Cheeca Lodge Resort & Spa has resumed operations, more than six months after Irma’s storm surge devastated the resort’s lobby and landscaping and destroyed a 525-foot-long (160-meter-long) oceanside dock. Tourism officials say 80% of the Florida Keys’ lodging properties can host visitors. In Key West, more than 92% of accommodations are open.
Passport Prices Have Increased Getting a passport will cost $10 more for all U.S. travelers. The Department of State announced the passport execution fee will have increased which means all passports will cost more! According to the Department of State, the increase is due to the fact that two studies done by the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs and the U.S. Postal Service determined that the cost of processing a passport was “higher than the current fee of $25.”
Let Nomadic Star Travel, LLC help make your cruise booking truly complete. The other half of booking your cruise is helping you select and book your shore excursions and tours prior to the cruise. When we book your shore excursions and pre- and post-tours, you do not have to worry about wanting a selected excursion and it being sold out once you get onboard. Booking your excursions through the cruise line is safer also. Did you know the majority of first time cruisers and many repeaters do not want to select their own shore excursions and tours? Vacation time is irreplaceable time and money.
Identification for Flights. Check with your airlines. In a few months some states will no longer accept your driver’s license as formal identification when you enter the Transportation Security Administration’s line for flights. Some states have started issuing REAL ID on drivers license. I just received a duplicate driver license and it specifically has “NOT FOR FEDERAL IDENTIFICATION” … we will get new licenses when the current ones apply, but have our passports to check in for flights now. Please check your license.
Tips – security preparedness when flying. You may want to consider applying for the TSA Precheck or other trusted travel programs. Tweet or Message AskTSA to receive information on items that are allowed through security. Avoid overpacking your carry-on bag, and always consider checking bags when feasible. Have your valid ID and board pass readily available. Follow the liquids rule for liquids, gels, aerosols, creams and pastes – they must be 3.4 ounces or less.
All-inclusive Resorts. If you are interested in booking travel for all-inclusive resorts (adult or family), the airfare must be paid for in full within 24 hours, plus a $100 deposit per adult. It is important to provide the following, and a personalized quote will be provided:
- Complete names as appears on passport (no initials for middle name)
- Complete birth dates
- All adult or family resort
- Airport interested in departing from
- Type room (garden or ocean view)
- Interested in insurance
Membership with Travel Leaders Group. Being a member of the Travel Leaders Network provides access to whatever our agency needs –
- CruisePro where we can easily search, compare, book and manage cruises online through an all-in-one platform
- Amenity departure dates provides an exclusive group space cruise program with special amenities like shipboard credit and prepaid gratuities
- Culinary collection with food and wine-themed cruise itineraries on premium and luxury sailings with bonus amenities
- Distinctive voyages provide exclusive packages that include Distinctive Voyages Host, exclusive shore event and private cocktail reception
- Hotels are booked using our hotel booking tools
Travel to Cuba – still a popular destination. The U. S. Department of Transportation tentatively awarded a slew of United States-Havana routes to five major airlines from several cities in the country, including Miami and Fort Lauderdale. The proposed flights are:
- Once daily flight on American Airlines from Miami
- Once daily flight on Delta Air Lines from Miami
- Once daily flight on Southwest Airlines from Fort Lauderdale.
- Six-times-a-week flights, Sunday through Friday, on JetBlue Airways from Fort Lauderdale.
- Six-times-a-week flights, Sunday through Friday, on United Airlines/Mesa Airlines from Houston.
- One weekly flight, on Saturdays, on JetBlue Airways from Boston.
Solo Travelers on Cruises. Often we are asked about cruise lines for solo travelers. We are happy to share some of he best cruise lines for solo travelers where you are able to wander the world and contemplate life on your own terms! Just think, you do not have to be responsible for anyone’s pleasure but your own! If you are interested in your “time” here are some of he cruise lines that we recommend you considering booking your next cruise through Nomadic Star Travel, LLC as we have conducted business with all of these cruise lines:
- Norwegian Cruise Line
- Holland America Line
- Royal Caribbean International
- Crystal Cruises
Airlines may owe you money. Did you know there are times the airlines likely owe you money?
- If you are bumped from a flight, by law your carrier has to make it up to you, and the laws are very specific. Check with the Department of Transportation, and also ask desk agent nicely if you can secure meal vouchers as well (the meal vouchers are not a part of the law).
- Severe weather or air traffic control issues does not entitle you, the travel to benefits, BUT if the holdup is due to a mechanical failure or crew delay, you might be able to negotiate a voucher to spend at the airport. Airlines are not required to compensate you, so keep this in mind.
- It does not hurt trying to negotiate a meal voucher, or if there are no flights until the morning, a hotel room if you miss a connection.
- If you luggage is lost some airlines compensate you after three days, no questions asked. Other airlines require you file a claim. It is a good idea to take photos of items packed in your luggage, especially if you are traveling with brand name clothing/shoes.
Travel is a huge investment … let us help you.
Nomadic Star Travel, LLC would like to be
“Your Passport to Adventure”
“You did it again! The Disney cruise was wonderful. My entire family had an amazing time. The adjoining staterooms and verandahs gave us plenty of room for the grandchildren to run and play and made babysitting so convenient. If this trip wasn’t as good as St. Lucia it was very close. Thank you for your expertise and attention to detail. Hawaii here we come!”Dr. S. Carraway (Winterville, NC)
W. Carlton (Durham, NC)
“The cruise was more than I expected, although I had issues with my knees. Services from your agency was good, although I had a glitch with receiving my documents (Oceania’s problem). The experience was great. Long range goal is to do this again. Thank you for working with us.”
Brenda and Jim,I cannot begin to express my gratitude for the marvelous service you provided to me and my group for my retirement cruise. Working with a group of 35 was no easy task but you went above and beyond expectations to insure that everyone’s needs were met. You gave new meaning to the term full service travel agency. I will cherish the many memories of our group as I move into retirement. Thanks again for you attention to details and for the way you pampered us. Please know that Nomadic Star Travel is now the official travel agency for Union Baptist Church.I am looking forward to planning more cruises and travel opportunities in the very near future.Wishing you all the best,Kenneth Hammond, Senior Pastor (Durham, NC)
“The Mediterrean Cruise to Monaco, France, Italy and Spain was a dream of a lifetime. Doing a cruise like this one was on my bucket list. The seven days on the Riveria were beautiful even though the weather was hot!!!!!! I’m used to hot weather, but the weather In those countries seemed a wee bit hotter than in Norh Carolina. The excursions and the visits in the cities were exciting and remarkable; however, the Riveria was something to behold. The hospitality and service were excellent and we enjoyed “our butler”, Leslie. Again, thanks for the opportunity to sail with you and Jim and we look forward to doing it again.”E. Edwards (Durham, NC)
Livingstone College, Salisbury, NC is in the infant stages of its international study abroad global initiative. This program includes sending Livingstone College students to other parts of the world and having students from institutions abroad come to Livingstone. To date there have been two students who travelled to Peru, South America, six students to Invertis University, Bareilly, India, and six students from Invertis University to Livingstone College from August- December 2016 and three Livingstone students for summer 2016 study in China.
Livingstone College used Nomadic Star Travel as the travel agent of record for Livingstone College student travel. When there are students and faculty travelling to distant parts of the world many things can happen to interrupt travel plans. For example, two students travelling to China arrived in Chicago only to discover their American Airlines flight to Beijing had been cancelled. Within minutes after being notified by my students, the Nomadic Star representative had me on a three-way call with the agent at the gate assisting my students. I was kept on the telephone until the students were re-routed via Japan to Shanghai, China.
Other instances of changes of departure and return flight times and dates were performed well by Nomadic Star Travel. Through this agent, Livingstone College was able to secure all of the necessary insurance coverages for international travel. Livingstone College is very pleased with the performance of Nomadic Star Travel, LLC.
E. M. Brown, Jr., Director, International Program
“Dear Brenda,A note to thank you so much for your extraordinary work in arranging our family trip to South Africa!! It was a beautiful, fun, fantastic adventure and we will remember it forever! That you took such great care, with grace and ease, in working out all the logistics for our group of ten is truly appreciated.Oceania is a wonderful company and does many things absolutely top notch on their beautiful ships. We especially enjoyed the terrific service, yummy cuisine, interesting excursions, the guest speakers and music groups and the very nice rooms with balconies that were awesome for viewing whales and sea lions! We had a delightful experience that included many individual, thoughtful surprises – including balloons in our room, singing and a special cake for Mom’s birthday celebrated on the ship. The holidays were also celebrated beautifully and we enjoyed ourselves immensely.South Africa is an awesome part of the world – not to be missed. The beautiful people, breathtaking and diverse environments, spectacular animals in the wild and in the sea…so much to enjoy and experience deeply. We were welcomed everywhere and treated kindly in every port. The days at sea on the Indian and Atlantic Oceans were beautiful and peaceful with an abundance of sights to observe and enjoy.We had SO much fun!!!Again, many thanks for your skill and efforts in making this wonderful trip possible of our family! Hope you like the pics…Nomadic Star Travel rocks!!With gratitude and appreciation,Dee and Daureen”Dee (Oregon) & Daureen (Chicago)
“WOW! What great help, for a great trip. Brenda and Nomadic Star helped the fifteen of us that traveled out to San Diego from Raleigh. We didn’t have one question about anything! Everything flowed together vey nicely for our trip. Thanks again!”L. Pippin (Greenville, NC)
“Thank you so much for all of your help with making this trip possible. Everything went very smoothly on the hotel end and we have no complaints. We had a very pleasant stay at the Double Tree. Thank you for your assistance I am so very appreciative as this was a huge commitment. We are very much looking forward to working with you again!”B. A. (Farmville, NC)
Just wanted to take a moment to send you a Heartfelt Thank You! I soooo enjoyed the Smooth Jazz Cruise and enjoyed both you and your husband Jim even more. I truly had a FANTASTIC time and look forward to doing business with you in the future. I will be recommending you to anyone that is in need of a GREAT Travel Agent! I am also extremely happy to be a part of the “family”!!!! Again, thank you so very much for all your help! I had a BLAST!!!!”S. Fondren (Lansing, IL)
“Hello Brenda, winning the cruise in the silent auction was truly a blessing for us. We are travelers, and once we got on the ship, a great time was had by all. We took full advantage of most cruise activities. We dined most meals in the formal dining room – all meals served and prepared to the finest. We now plan to incorporate additional cruises in our future. Thanks again Brenda!”Renee D. B-H. (Greenville, NC)
“We had a wonderful time on the Smooth Jazz Cruise 2015, and look forward to joining you again in the future.”Mel & Marsha W. (Naperville, IL)
Still on a cruise high since returning from Smooth Jazz Cruise. I had a great time.D. Pattani (Philadelphia, PA)
Thanks for everything.
“Oscar and I had so much fun on the Smooth Jazz Cruise, January 11-18, 2015. You and Jim were the perfect hosts from the time we met at the hotel with friends we had not seen since the last cruise. We especially liked you greeting us each night at dinner with great conversation about the fun activities of the day. Oscar and I really appreciate the reserved seating each night at shows. Nomadic Star Travel, YOU ROCK!”I. & O. Little (Baltimore, MD)
I am writing to thank you for our marvelous experience in the Bahamas on a Royal Caribbean cruise. Nomadic Star Travels provides the extra level of customer service that travelers need. From proactively sending me passport applications to checking on my family once we returned, Brenda Fairfax goes the extra mile. Mrs. Fairfax is courteous and prompt which adds value to time-starved mothers like myself who do not want to be involved in non-value added activities related to excessive follow-up. My sons are still talking about the cruise three months later. I would strongly recommend using Nomadic Star Travel to meet all of your travel needs.
Dr. M. Patterson (Greenville, NC)
“Many thanks to Mrs Fairfax for making my summer vacation worry-free and very affordable. I recently had to travel to Providence, RI and Baltimore, MD. I had limited time and funds for the trip. I attempted to make arrangements but had trouble coordinating flight schedules to be compatible with my need to be at several places at specific times. Arriving in Providence in time for my meeting without having to spend extra time there gave me the extra time I needed for Baltimore. I tried to do this myself without much success and my wife suggested Mrs. Fairfax who had successfully arranged other travel for her. Once I contacted Mrs Fairfax everything was handled more efficiently and inexpensively than what I was able to do on my on. The next time I travel I now have to make only one call!!Mr. E. German (Riverside, CA)
“Thanks Nomadic Star Travel for excellent service. Our graduation cruise in June 2014 was very nice. We enjoyed every thing and thanks for the t-shirts.”B. Matthews (Ellenwood, GA)
“Excellent service provided by Nomadic Star Travel. Wore burgundy t-shirts while onboard Queen Mary 2 in July 2014.”Dr. J. McKenzie (Hampton, VA)
“The cruise was wonderful! Everything went well. The food was delicious, the weather was very nice, the beach at Great Stirrup Cay was very relaxing for us. We enjoyed the straw markets on shore at Nassau and other shopping areas. NCL is the way to cruise! Thanks Nomadic Star Travel.”V. Boyd (Falkland, NC)
“The hotel was great. They even had complimentary cookies for all of us. They were extremely accommodating to our needs. We thank you for all that you have done as well. – Middle High School Trip to Washington, DC”L. V. (Farmville, NC)
“My first travel agent happens to be my very dear friend, Brenda (Nomadic Star Travel). All of my personal trips are completely taken care of by Brenda. I do not have to worry as she takes care of all details as if she was booking her own travel. I highly recommend Nomadic Star Travel if you are looking for travel agents that have that “personal” touch. Thanks Brenda.”G. Fanning (Alexandria, VA)
“I took my first and certainly not my last International trip to Spain and Europe with Jim and Brenda Fairfax of Nomadic Star Travel. It was an awesome experience, stellar service. You’re not just a client; you’re a friend and part of the family; the Nomadic Star Family! From the onset (booking, reservations) to culmination (departures, return), the trip was well organized, planned, and executed. Jim and Brenda are committed to their clients having a good time, their comfort, safety, and ensuring that your needs are met! They go above and beyond…From Artist to Entreprenuer, I can’t begin to tell you the people I’ve met while traveling with them and places I’ve experienced. Nomadic Star Travel is always my first travel choice!!! They provide that personal touch of elegance and luxury; service above and beyond.”S. Bymun (Chicago, IL)
“Awesome Smooth Jazz Cruise in January 2014. Wonderful group hosted by our friends, Jim and Brenda, owners of Nomadic Star Travel (NST). Delightful company, great music, fantastic food (group treated to specialty restaurant by owners one night while onboard), and superb service by NST. We were notified of all required actions from documentation, payment status, check-in status, and lodging accommodations prior to the cruise ~ kept abreast of every thing! If you have not traveled and want an agency that will provide personal attention to your travel needs, I highly recommend Nomadic Star Travel … they are true professionals! Your experience(s) will be memorable.”Oscar & Irene L. (Baltimore, MD)
“The services provided by Nomadic Star were personable, professional, efficient and all details were covered. Brenda is thoughtful and communicates everything needed for a successful trip. On a scale of 1 – 10 with 10 being the highest, I rate customer service for the company a 10. Thanks Brenda and James!”Jacqueline E. (New Jersey)
“Fantastic, outstanding, fun-filled nonstop entertainment on Smooth Jazz Cruise 2014. Dinner sponsored by Nomadic Star Travel owners for group was outstanding. Service impeccable!”Dallas & Pat P. (Port Orange, FL)
“Brenda expertly arranged everything for a seamless vacation! We greatly appreciate her attention to detail and her availability by text, email, phone, and in person to meet our needs. Brenda took the stress out of planning a vacation so we could relax and have a wonderful time together. Thank you so much Brenda.”
Dr. L. Surles (Greenville, NC)
“Nomadic Star Travel Agency provided their excellent services for my group trip to the Bahamas via Carnival Cruise lines. With their services we were able to obtain flexible payment plans, conveniently have our staterooms located near each other, and a hassle free planning experience. Not only did we use their travel services they most importantly built a wonderful relationships with us! Nomadic Star Travel Agency is the way to go! We will be using their expertise in traveling in the near future!”D. Day (Arlington, VA)
“Nomadic Star Travel provided us with outstanding TLC in the planning of our cruise on the Oceania cruise ship, Marina. For almost one year before the cruise, we were contacted about upgrades and other information relevant to making our travel experience including the flights and cruise to Greece, Italy, France, and Spain, a carefree one. Congratulations and thanks to Brenda and James Fairfax, owners, for an excellent travel experience.”Glen & Betty S. (Yeadon, PA)
“I used Nomadic Star Travel on my last trip. The service I received was outstanding. I got prompt service, competitive pricing, and staff went the extra step to ensure my total satisfaction and enjoyment while traveling.”K. Greaves (Alexandria, VA)
“Nomadic Star Travel guided our school through the entire planning process. They were essential in providing a great educational trip at an affordable cost.”S. Jones (Greenville, NC)
“I travel to Poland every 6 months for several years. Since I started getting very friendly help from Nomadic Star Travel all my problems with making reservations disappeared. Thank you.”M.S. (Greenville, NC)
“We were very happy with Nomadic Star Travel. Brenda knew which cruise would be perfect for us and made all the arrangements. All we had to do was show up. Brenda went above and beyond to be sure all our questions were answered and expectations were met. She even checked in with us while we were on the cruise to be sure we were having a good time. We had a fabulous time and look forward to the next cruise booked through Nomadic Star Travel. P.S. If you like smooth jazz music, have Brenda sign you up for the Smooth Jazz Cruise. Amazing!”L. Gies & C. Finfrock (Tucson, AZ)
“I really did not know what to expect, but I can tell you I was never caught off guard or lost sight of important developments during the booking process. … The cruise was wonderful and I have Nomadic Star Travel to thank!”Barby J. (Alexandria, VA)
“Nomadic Star Travel took care of my airline reservations promptly. All I had to do was provide the payment information … all was handled with ease. I will certainly use NST again … courteous, professional personnel.”Carolyn J. (Montclair, NJ)
“Nomadic Star Travel booked several cabins on the 2010 Smooth Jazz Cruise for me. Rest assured, NST personnel will keep you updated. [They] displayed exceptional energy and drive. I will not hesitate to contact in the future for future cruises.”Norma J. (Ft. Washington, MD)
“Our last minute travel plans to the all-inclusive Runaway Breezes Resort in Jamaica were made so quickly with Nomadic Star. Service was superb! Definitely plan to contact them for future travel needs.”Franklin M. ( Alexandria, VA)