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Shannon@BarrheadTravel last won the day on January 16

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About Shannon@BarrheadTravel

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  1. Caribbean Islands Update

    When the Caribbean took a double hit last year from Hurricanes Irma and Maria it looked like it would take a miracle for some islands to bounce back. The good news is many islands were untouched by Irma or Maria and many that took sustained minimal damage and are welcoming visitors with open arms. The bad news, of course, is that islands that sustained heavy damage are in the midst of recovery operations and with many people are trying to beat the January blues by looking at and booking the 2018 holidays you might be feeling a little unsure. So to restore your faith in your 2018 dream holiday we have given a little rundown on what hotels are and will be available in 2018. ANGUILLA - Hotels already re-opened: o Belmond Cap Juluca o Quintessence - Hotels opening in February: o The Zemi Beach House Hotel & Spa is scheduled to open 15th Feb 18. - Hotels Opening in March: o Four Seasons Resort & Residences to open 23rd March18 BARBUDA As Barbuda was hit devastatingly bad by hurricane Irma many homes have yet to be restored with electricity although water and electricity has been restored to government buildings, the police station, the hospital and post office in the capital of Codrington. Many hotels will remain closed throughout 2018. BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS - Hotels opening in February: o Anegada Beach Club - Hotels opening in March: o Oil Nut Bay on Virgin Gorda. o Scrub Island Resort - Hotels opening in April: o Cooper Island Beach Club o The Sugar Mill Hotel & Restaurant DOMINICA - Hotels open: o Secret Bay o Fort Young Hotel o Around 22 small properties have accommodations for visitors, although some amenities are limited. PUERTO RICO According to the Puerto Rico Tourism Co., 122 hotel operating across the island. - Hotels opening in February: o Hacienda El Jabarito o Howard Johnson Hotel Ponce - Hotels opening in March: o Cofresi Beach Resort o Serafina Beach Hotel - Hotels opening in April: o Verdanza Hotel o El Conquistador-A Waldorf Astoria Resort o Embassy Suites Dorado del Mar Beach & Golf Resort o Embassy Suites Hotel & Casino - Hotels opening in May: o Comfort Inn San Juan o El San Juan Hotel-Curio Collection by Hilton o Las Casitas Village-A Waldorf Astoria Resort o El Canario By The Lagoon Hotel - Hotels opening in June: o Holiday Inn Express San Juan Condado Hotel - Hotels opening in July: o Condado Plaza Hilton o Condado Lagoon Villas at Caribe Hilton o Caribe Hilton - Hotels opening in August: o Hotel St. Regis at Bahia Beach Resort - Hotels opening in October: o Ritz-Carlton San Juan o Dorado Beach - Hotels opening in November: o Melia Coco Beach Puerto Rico ST. BARTS Oetker Collection's Eden Rock will reopen this summer, and its Villa Rental program, which includes 80 properties, is currently open for business. - Hotels opening in February o Hotel Christopher St. Barth - Hotels opening in March: o Hotel Le Mouettes o Villa Marie Saint-Barth - Hotels opening in April: o Le Manapany, April - Hotels opening in October: o Hotel Le Toiny ST. MAARTEN Hotels opening in February: - Hotels opening in March: o Belair Beach Hotel - Hotels opening in April: o Sea Palace Resort ST. MARTIN - Hotels opening in April: o La Plantation Hotels opening in June: Esmeralda Resort - Hotels opening In September o Grand Case Beach Club U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS - Hotels already open: o Hotel on the Cay reopened o Emerald Beach Resort is open with limited amenities o Villa Viento - Hotels opening in April: o Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort & Spa - Hotels to open in May: o Divi Carina Bay Resort & Casino - Hotel to open in June: o In St. Thomas, Bolongo Bay Beach Resort o BAHAMAS Bahamas' major tourism centres were minimally impacted and are operating as usual. CUBA Airport is operating, the resorts in Varadero are welcoming guests and ports are open in Havana, Cienfuego and Santiago de Cuba. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC All hotels and airports open. GUADELOUPE Hotels are up and running and suffered only minor damage ST. KITTS & NEVIS Nevis suffered only minor damage TURKS AND CAICOS Turks and Caicos suffered only minor damage The following islands were outside the paths of Irma and Maria and suffered little or no damage from the storms: Aruba - Barbados - Belize - Bonaire - The Cayman Islands - Curacao - Guyana - Grenada - Haiti - Jamaica - Martinique - Saba - St. Eustatius - St. Lucia - St. Vincent and the Grenadines - Suriname - Trinidad and Tobago
  2. Cruise and Stay Holidays

    If you’re new to the cruising world it can be a little daunting trying to find the right ship that caters for all the family’s needs that also goes to the right destinations. So we can imagine wondering if you should add in a land stay before or after your cruise might add more pressure. That being said we’re her to help you with information and pros of why a cruise and stay holiday might be for your family. What is a Cruise & Stay Holiday? The Caribbean is one of the most popular places to cruise. With itineraries mainly starting in ports such as Miami or Florida many people miss out in seeing these ports as they are just the “starting point”. Cruise and Stay holidays eliminate that issue. Example: 3 nights pre cruise will allow you to see your port destination, explore the area, do some tours then board your cruise for your Caribbean itinerary. The Benefits of Cruise and Stay There are 1001 reasons that cruise and stay holidays are so popular however we’ll keep it brief and list you our top 3 reasons. 1. You get two holidays in one. You get to have your fast paced/slow paced break before where you can explore the city/town at your leisure followed by your multi destination cruise. 2. You can add as many nights are you like before or after your cruise. (A popular one with families is 7 nights in Orlando followed by a 7 night cruise) 3. Bespoke packages just for you – you choose when you cruise and when you stay.
  3. Twin Centre Holidays

    Twin-Centre holidays have always been fairly popular but it seems to be the holiday type of choice even more now. Instead of heading to one place for two or three weeks, why not come up with an itinerary that takes in the many sides of a country. You don’t have to settle for just one type of experience you can roll them all into one trip. History one day, breath-taking scenery the next a day or two lazing by the pool thrown in for good measure. My perfect bucket list would be combing LA and Las Vegas. Mainly because I think for me a 4 nights in Vegas would be a maximum amount of nights but to travel all the way there for such a short time is a waste. So adding on a another few nights LA would bulk up my trip, I get to tick off another bucket list destination and of I was really feeling greedy I could add on another 7 nights in somewhere like Hawaii from LA. Has anyone got a multi-centre trip coming up or have you found a flaw in booking multi-centres?
  4. No Added Booking Fees at Barrhead Travel

    Barrhead Travel is pleased to confirm that we will not be introducing any booking fees or additional charges following the new ban on credit card fees that came into place on Saturday 13th January. We continue to ensure that our holidays are of the highest quality and offer best value for money.
  5. Shaq is Carnival's New CFO

    You’ve heard of Shaquille O’Neal - NBA Hall of Famer and TNT commentator right? And I know you’ve heard of Carnival Cruise lines, but have you heard them both in the same magical sentence? We bet no until now. Shaquille – also known as “Shaq” – announced on last night’s TNT Inside the NBA broadcast that he has been given a new title, joining Carnival Cruise Line as their newly appointed “CFO.” The announcement of Carnivals new “Chief Fun Officer” was made with in a video that features Shaq and Carnival President Christine Duffy to coincide with the cruise line’s newest brand campaign, “Choose Fun”. “We are very excited to have Shaq as part of the Carnival team! He will serve as a great partner ensuring everyone knows all about our one-of-a-kind brand of fun,” said Duffy. “We’re confident that his embodiment of our brand values will inspire America to Choose Fun and discover the authentic, participatory and social atmosphere that Carnival offers.” “In today’s world, it’s more important than ever to choose fun, especially when everyone is busy with work, family, and life in general,” says O’Neal. “So, I’m honoured to be appointed the Chief Fun Officer at Carnival – a company that lives and breathes fun.”
  6. Greece Introduce New Holiday Tax

    A firm favourite amongst UK holidaymakers, Greece remains one of the most popular destinations of 2018. However, as of 1st January 2018, the Greek Ministry of Tourism have introduced mandatory Overnight Stay Tax which all tourists must pay on arrival at their hotel. This isn’t an uncommon tax; many countries already have local taxes in place –travellers to mainland Europe and beyond will have already experienced this in plenty of destinations. If you’re heading to Greece this summer or are thinking of booking up, read on to find out what you need to know: What will the tax be used for? It’s a government tax which increases its state revenue and is out with the control of travel agents and tour operators. Who has to pay it? All tourists visiting Greece will have to pay the tax when they check in to their accommodation – you can pay cash or card. How much will I have to pay? You’ll pay between 0.5 and 4 euros per night, depending on your type of accommodation – we’ve included a handy table below which lets you know what charges you will have to pay.
  7. Silverburn Holiday Show

    Don’t miss our in-store Silverburn Holiday Show on Saturday 17th February from 11am – 7pm. Speak to our team of travel experts, enjoy complimentary refreshments and save money on your next holiday with our exclusive event only offers. PLUS enter our exciting prize draw to win two flights to the Med! This is an event not to be missed…
  8. The Ritz-Carlton Lays Keel

    At the Hijos De J. Barreras Shipyard in Vigo, Spain The Ritz-Carlton have laid keel for their first ever yacht collection which is set to debut in 2019. “We are delighted to commemorate this milestone as we embark on our journey to bring The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection to life,” said Lisa Holladay, Global Brand Leader, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. “The keel laying marks the realization of a longstanding dream for The Ritz-Carlton brand as we bring our guest experience and service ethos to the seas through these highly unique luxury vessels and one-of-a-kind on-board amenities and experiences.” Also in attendance was Anthony Capuano, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Development Officer for Marriott International, alongside The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection executive team and members of investor group Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. “The keel laying is a significant moment in the ship building process and signals that we are well on our way to redefining luxury at sea with The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection,” said Prothero. “The intimate size of our ships and compelling itineraries will give our guests the opportunity to explore unexpected destinations, all while enjoying the legendary Ritz-Carlton service. This is an exciting new venture and we look forward to celebrating the many more milestones to come.” “The opportunity to design The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection has been extremely exciting as we have been able to start from a blank piece of paper and create a whole new brand from scratch. Our guiding principles for all aspects of the yacht's design have been spacious privacy and personal comfort” said Johansson. “The keel laying celebrates how far we have already come in the design process, and in creating the most exclusive and serene experience possible at sea.”
  9. Star Princess Gets a makeover!

    She’s back!! The Star Princess took two weeks out of service to give herself a make-over which included being given some of the latest Princess enhancements. "Star Princess now offers many of the signature product innovations our guests have come to love, including the Princess Luxury Bed, Camp Discovery Youth & Teen Center and revamped Sabatini's," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruise’s president. "These enhancements continue our $450 million multi-year ship renovation campaign, 'Come Back New Promise', enhancing our onboard guest experience." Among her many upgrades Star Princess’ Sabatini's Italian Trattoria received new decor and a new menu developed in collaboration with Chef Angelo Auriana, Executive Chef and partner at the authentic Italian restaurants, The Factory Kitchen and Officine BRERA, in Los Angeles. She was also give new luxury beds along with a youth centre makeover.
  10. Viking Name Their Sixth Ship

    We are big fans if Viking Cruises at Barrhead Travel so we were excited to hear they have officially names their sixth ocean ship Viking Jupiter Viking Jupiter who will set sail in February 2019 has been designed as a sister to Viking Sky, Viking Sea, Viking Star, Viking Sun and the yet-to-be-launched Viking Orion. Four additional ships are also on order for delivery starting in 2021, which will bring Viking’s ocean fleet to 10 ships by 2023. The luxurious Viking Jupiter will accommodate 930-guest and will sail in Northern Europe and the Med along with a South America – Southern Atlantic Crossing and South America & the Chilean Fjords from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Santiago, Chile. Viking’s chairman Torstein Hagen said: “We have always been a travel company that focuses on exploration and cultural immersion,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “In the last two decades we have led the industry in river cruising, and as we become the leading small ship ocean cruise line we have an opportunity to introduce many new travellers to the Viking way of exploration. Our new ‘Did You Know?’ campaign is aimed at inspiring people who may not yet know what makes us so different in the industry, why we are the most award-winning cruise line and how we can provide more included value than any other cruise company.”
  11. We are always excited when we know our customers can get to more destinations with ease so hearing that BA are introducing their biggest summer schedule departing from Gatwick in 10 years was music to our ears. With weekly increases in flights to Malaga, Alicante Tenerife and Madeira its set to be a busy summers at the Sussex based hub. Alex Cruz, British Airways’ chairman and CEO, said: “We are delighted to be able to further grow our presence at Gatwick by adding extra frequencies and improving our timetable. We are also introducing several new destinations to the Gatwick programme, including Palma (Majorca), Mahon (Menorca) and Gibraltar. These exciting new routes give our customers even more choice of destinations at competitively low prices. “Over the last five years our operation at Gatwick has seen 40 per cent more customers travelling, with passenger numbers increasing from 4.4 million to 6.2 million. According to CAA figures we are the most punctual of the three big short-haul carriers flying from London: at the 15-minute level and at Gatwick we outperformed easyJet’s punctuality by 13 percentage points and Ryanair’s by nine percentage points in 2017. “We’ve also increased the number of routes we serve by more than 50 per cent; in 2012 we flew to 48 different destinations, whereas now we serve 74. This undoubtedly highlights our commitment and focus to growing our Gatwick operation.”
  12. Barrhead Travel Contiki Event

    Barrhead Travel have teamed up with Contiki, specialists in quick getaways and epic journeys for 18-35 year old travellers. Come along to our exclusive Contiki in-store event to find out more about our fast paced and affordable adventures designed with young travellers in mind. With over 300 trips spanning over 6 continents to choose from, as well as our Barrhead Travel specialists on hand who have a wealth of knowledge in all destinations, you’ll be sure to find the perfect trip of a lifetime. Join us on the 22nd March from 10am - 9pm at The Gyle Shopping Centre where you can meet the experts, enter our exciting prize draw, enjoy exclusive event only offers and even enjoy complimentary cocktails! Sign up here
  13. easyJet Celebrates 40th Edinburgh Route

    EasyJet are celebrating officially having their 40th Edinburgh route adding two new summer destinations. From March 2018 customers can take off from Edinburgh to Seville and from Edinburgh to Jersey with both new route operating twice weekly through the summer season. Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Country Manager commented: “We’re really pleased to be adding even more routes to our Edinburgh network and to be putting flights on sale today, allowing our customers to book early and take advantage of our lowest fares for both leisure and business travel. “easyJet is the largest airline in Scotland and we have been committed to Edinburgh for over 22 years. We are proud to have carried more than over 41 million passengers in that time. “We’re committed to expansion at Edinburgh and the addition of new routes will help us to deliver long term, sustainable growth, providing passengers with a greater range of destinations, all with low fares and great service.”
  14. Seabourn Turns Thirty!

    Seabourn turns thirty and the cruise line are celebrating in style with a series of unique events and amenities created just for the occasion for guests, Seabourn team members and travel professional partners to enjoy around the world. "Our 30th Anniversary is a wonderful occasion to celebrate the reputation we've earned as the world's finest ultra-luxury cruise line by providing guests with opportunities to experience the most intriguing destinations around the globe on the most desirable ships at sea," said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. "As we continue to grow, those opportunities will grow as well. For now, though, we invite guests to sit back and soak up the ultra-luxury innovations we've pioneered and special touches we've created in celebration of our third decade at sea." During the celebrations Seabourn will expand its fleet from four ships to five with the addition of Seabourn Ovation, launching in spring 2018. Happy Birthday Seabourn! Here's to 30 More Years!