Tag Archives for Virtuoso.

Experiences Sometimes Matter More – Paying for a Hotel When I Have Plenty of Points

The Scenario – MrsMJ and I are cruising from San Juan, Puerto Rico this December. We are arriving in San Juan two days prior to our cruise. I immediately booked a two night stay at the Marriott San Juan using Marriott Rewards points. I’ve stayed at the hotel before. I like it. I like the staff. I like the live music in the evenings. I like the beach. It’s free. MrsMJ wishes to stay at the Hotel El Convento, a hotel rich in history, and definitely not free. The Result – We are staying at the Hotel El Convento. Sometimes it really is about the experience. Obviously, miles and points are made for aspirational experiences, but in this case I…

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Hotel Review – Hotel Arts Barcelona

I recently completed a 2-night stay at the fabulous Hotel Arts Barcelona (Marina 19-21, 08005 Barcelona, Spain). This was my first visit to Barcelona, and my first stay at a Ritz-Carlton Hotel! No, I’m not making that up. My love of W Hotels aside, no one ever called me Mr. Fancy Pants when it comes to hotels. Basically, I want a bed, a TV, and wi-fi, and I’m happy. That said, the Hotel Arts was our first stop after a fabulous 14-night cruise which we were taking to celebrate MrsMJ’s (ahem) 29th birthday, and I wanted something nice. I contacted our wonderful travel agent, Michelle Bemis, at McCabe World Travel in McLean, Virginia for advice. She recommended the Hotel Arts, which was…

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Celebrity Reflection – Kusadasi, Turkey and the Ancient City of Ephesus

There simply are no words to describe it. Our second visit to the ancient city of Ephesus was every bit as awe inspiring as the first, and I expect our next visit to be the same. I could spend days here, but an awesome way to get a taste of the history of this fascinating place when visiting on a cruise is to book a private tour, which I arranged through our travel agent. We booked a private tour last time we were here, and enjoyed such a positive experience that we even requested the same guide. We were very excited to learn that our requested guide, Tuba, who works with Sea Song Tours, was available. On arrival at the…

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My Day in Tuscany

MrsMJ and I have just returned from a wonderful day touring some great parts of Tuscany. Specifically, we visited San Gimignano and Siena. Enjoyed lunch in Siena, and capped our day with a wine tasting. I arranged this tour a few months ago through our travel agent, Michelle Bemis, at McCabe World Travel in McLean, Virginia. McCabe is a Virtuoso agency and has contacts throughout the world to help you arrange special experiences. Today’s tour was truly special, and also my birthday present to MrsMJ. Our day began at 9:30am with a pickup by our driver and guide for the day, Matteo. As we drove through Florence, enroute to San Gimignano, Matteo took the time to explain all the sites…

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