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An Interview With Kim Pettis
How many years have you been selling travel?
I have been selling travel for 30 + year- most of which have been with Maritime Travel!!
What are your hobbies?
Travel of course!! reading..walking..spending time with my family especially the grandchildren!
What type of resort activities do you favor? ie water sports, lounging by the pool, etc?
I love to mix things up with my travel. When travelling and I need a week away in the sun...I enjoy relaxing on the beach and pool for a week at an all inclusive. But always take the time to visit some hotels in the area and make sure to take a tour to see the surrounding countryside or local town. Lately I am favoring lots of sightseeing ......where I like to get out and walk around, take the local transportation and see and experience as much as I can. My fav is River Cruising!
What are your favorite destinations?
Where do I start!!! Too many to name......!!! I have to say my favorite all time is Italy!!......but then I just love to travel just about anywhere!! For southern destinations I love Jamaica
What languages do you speak?
Avalon Waterways, Carnival Cruise, Celebrity Cruise, Disney Cruise, Eastern Caribbean, Europe Cruise, European River Cruising, Florida, Holland America, Mexican Riviera, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Panama Canal Cruise, Princess Cruises, RCCL, River Cruising, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Southern Caribbean, Western Caribbean
Sun (Mexico, Caribbean, Florida, Hawaii)
All Inclusives, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Costa del Sol, Couples, Cuba, Disney, Dominican Republic, Florida, Hawaii, Jamaica, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Sandals, St. Lucia, Superclubs
Weddings & Honeymoons
Iberostar Ensenachos Cayo Santa Maria This resort boasts two beautiful beaches. One of the nicest beaches around! The resort is large and a great spot for families. They do offer an adults only section as well. We travelled with our granddaughter and she enjoyed the pool and kids club activities. There is nightly entertainment and we enjoyed the lobby entertainment. We spent time at both beaches. The main buffet offered a great selection of food and the a la carte dining was good as well. We enjoyed an excursion to the Dolphin aquarium for a dolphin encounter and dinner. A great family resort where kids and parents will have a great time!
In Dec 2018 I attended the Inaugural of the Celebrity Edge! what an amazing ship. The onboard experience features a Magic Carpet that reaches 13stories above sea level, a beautiful Grand Plaza and an innovative space called Eden. Dining and Entertainment is unique and excellent and we were fortunate to stay in one of the Staterooms with the Infinite Verandas...what an amazing view! I was on the ship for only a couple of days during the inaugural but from what I experienced it was fabulous!
Ft Lauderdale is a great spot for a weekend or a week. I stayed for a few days before and after a cruise inaugural and had a fabulous time. The beach was amazing. Excellent shopping for those shoppers! Lots of great restaurants for all...I especially loved the ones on the strip across from the beach. We stayed at the Pier 66 which is an older resort with great facilities. The rooms were a little older but the restaurant/lobby and pool area were great and it was a great pre cruise stop. After the Cruise we stayed at the Soneste Ft Lauderdale. This was a great location across from the beach...a newly renovated pool..nice restaurant and adding an outdoor restaurant...it was close to great dining and the shopping mall Galleria. The highlight of our trip was the famous Ft Lauderdale Water taxi..a great way to experience the area and all it has to offer!
This past fall 2017 I travelled with Trafalgar to Northern Spain. Northern Spain is a wonderful mix of history, and culture, scenery and coastal beaches. In Madrid, we visited the Prado Museum and we had a lovely first afternoon sitting in the Plaza and enjoying a lunch and wine with great friends. One of my favorite experiences with Trafalgar is their "Be my Guest"…in Oviedo we visited the Castanan family and enjoyed Cider tasting and a local meal. It was so interesting to see learn about the " way of St James and see some of the Pilgrimage sites in the area.
This spring my husband and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary at Sandals Grande St. Lucian Resort. With its beautiful beach and romantic atmosphere, it was perfect. There are many room types to choose from. The dining was amazing and the wine is Robert Mondavi! I loved Kimonos and Soy and enjoyed Bombay, the Indian Restaurant. Our Anniversary dinner was spent at Gordons on the Pier. We enjoyed a speedboat tour to visit the mud baths and view the Pitons and we also did some snorkelling. We also enjoyed a morning visit to the beach at Sandals Halcyon. It was a romantic, relaxing, fun-filled vacation spent in the sun together!
What better way to experience Disney then with family ! My 6 year old Grand daughter loved the trip! It was princesses for a week! We stayed at the newest Disney resort in Art of Animation. We enjoyed the extra room in the Lion King Suite! I wanted to experience the full Disney plan for a week...so we enjoyed the Disney Dining plan and the hopper pass for 7 days. With the use of the My Disney Experience site...some advance planning is required to take advantage of fast passes and some of the character dining. We enjoyed shorter lineups by fast passing some of the most popular rides..of course all related to Frozen! Crystal in Magic Kingdom was one of my favorite dining experiences with the Winnie the Pooh characters..and of course Coral Reef in Epcot was great food ! For those with any food allergies...they are very attentive...at the restaurants! My granddaughter had the ultimate experience of Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique..where she became a real princess..with crown and wand...I do recommend the Memory Maker Photo package as well...everyone can be in the pictures...we had over 500! so much fun! What a great family trip...so much fun to experience with the little ones..but lot of great adventure for all ages... We rented a car onsite as well with Alamo...for the day to go to Universal...we had one day only..I would recommend two...to see it all...Harry Potter was our focus and it lived up to all that they say...for the Harry Potter fans...amazing...you will need the 2 park to take the Hogwart Express...and for the little ones..Suess Landing...all your favorites by Dr Zeuss..is a great spot! cute rides and a little water spray area for cooling off! I could go on...and on....it was a memorable experience for all of us...!
A beautiful beach and tropical surroundings ! Couples Swept Away is a romantic beachfront resort with great dining options at 5 restaurants (my fav was Lemon Grass) and a friendly casual atmosphere. There are various suites available in bungalow style buildings and we enjoyed our large open balcony with oceanview. Negril has the best beach in Jamaica and it doesn't get any better than Couples Swept Away. Enjoy relaxing on the beach or taking on the available water sports. There is a spa and a fitness complex at this resort. I cant wait to go back! T
What an exciting city! Las Vegas... MGM Grand is a large hotel...it has everything one can imagine in a hotel from fine dining to entertainment. Very busy and a great location! I had the opportunity to visit a number of the top hotels during the week...Luxor/Excalibur/Monte Carlo/Aria/Vdara/Bellagio/Tropicana/Cosmopolitan/Wynn/Encore/Venetian and Treasure Island. We enjoyed the Pink Jeep tour to the Red Rock Canyon which was a great way to see the outer parts of the area. The High Roller at The Linq had a spectacular view of the city. The Rock of Ages was a great show and we also enjoyed KA...by Cirque du Soleil. We accomplished a little shopping at the local outlets . Lots of great dining experiences up and down the strip! Great buffets at the Aria and the Treasure Island. Harley Davidson Café is lots of fun! Dinner at the Trattoria Regianno at the Venitian has fabulous food. Just to name a few! The highlight for me was an evening helicopter trip down the strip...an amazing view! Lots to see and do in Las Vegas..a great idea for a short getaway for 2 or a girls getway to celebrate a special birthday...
Our tour started in Dublin. What a great city! Lots of history! great dining /pubs/music/shopping and lots of fun. We took the hop on hop off but enjoyed walking and exploring along the way. We travelled to many of the main sights of Ireland including Cashel...kissing the Blarney Stone, Cliffs of Moher and Killarney. A highlight of the tour was dining and staying overnight in the Ashford Castle..what a treat! A cruise of Loch Corrib and a stay on the shores of Galway Bay. We were fortunate to have a stop at Rathbaun Farm for afternoon tea. Insight Vacations was first class all the way and a great way to experience Ireland.
In April. I had the opportunity to experience a Trafalgar Guided Vacation in California with a few of my travel colleagues. We started in San Francisco and travelled to Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park and Monterey. We enjoyed dinner out at Pier 39 with all the markets and shops in San Francisco as well as a city tour and Chinese Banquet which was fabulous. Alcatraz was definitely a highlight excursion in the area. We travelled on thru Napa with great views of the Vineyards and experienced the Napa Valley Wine train with a gourmet lunch with wine tasting. Lake Tahoe and Yosemite Park offered the most amazing views. Our overnight stay was at the Yosemite Lodge at the Falls. All of the hotels were excellent. We drove along the famous 17 mile drive with a short stop at Pebble Beach Golf Links. One of my favorite dinners was during our Be My Guest Experience at Happy Girl in Monterey as we dined enjoying the local produce of the region.. It was great to experience the well-known attractions in the area as well as some unexpected local surprises! Our Travel Director and driver were top notch , entertaining and knowledgeable.
I had the opportunity to sail with Scenic on a River cruise in the spring. We travelled thru Germany, Holland and Belgium. Cruising the Rhine was spectacular. It is truly a 5 star cruise experience and an amazing way to tour Europe. Scenic includes all beverages/dining/tipping and excursions in their pricing. I enjoyed the balcony "scenic sun lounge" and the rooms were all comfortable and beautifully furnished and also include free Wi-Fi. The food was spectacular with so much variety. The optional excursions offer so much choice….and of course all included!!.... ranged from bicycle tours to walking tours to a canal cruise in Amsterdam and a private Medieval banquet in the Marksburg castle. Although it was difficult to pick a favorite excursion……I would say Bruges "the Venice of the North" was mine! The personal GPS system was great for daytime touring on your own..or to sit up on the deck and here about the sights as you are sailing by…one of a kind!
This is the ultimate family resort! I travelled with my husband, Daughter and Granddaughter (4 yrs old) to this resort last winter. We had such a great time. The resort is relatively compact in size. The evening entertainment with the Sesame Street Characters was so much fun. My granddaughter loved dancing with little friends she met and the staff and characters. For all of us the dining was excellent. We enjoyed the buffet as well as the restaurants with reservations. Our room overlooked the ocean and we enjoyed a large deck which we used often. The children's pool and water slides were enjoyed by all ages. There is a larger pool with bar as well for adults and quiet family activity. My granddaughter attended some of the day camp activities and it was all well organized and very secure. The beach is small but perfect for families…..nice for swimming and playing in sand. The staff is amazing at this resort. They anticipate everyone's needs ! I would go back in a heartbeat!
What a beautiful resort! This is such a romantic spot. There are 245 suites which are all lovely. The beach is one of the best I have seen! It is definitely for the beach lover! There are watersports and 3 pools. The large pool in the centre of the resort has a swim up pool bar. There are 7 restaurants and 6 bars. The Pub is a great for evening fun and socializing. The dining options are fabulous and the service is supreme. It is a quiet resort for that special getaway anniversary or honeymoon! Also a great place for a golfing group with its championship golf course.
My husband and I travelled to the Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau,Bahamas. A beautiful and romantic resort with amazing dining and service. All inclusive of course! We stayed in a concierge suite which was spacious with a great oceanview balcony. We enjoyed the pool and the private island for relaxing in the sun. Sandals has done a renovation and added some spectacular beachfront suites to this resort. Our favorite spot was sipping wine by the outdoor fireplaces while listening to the saxophone player. If you just want to spend time together or are looking for that special anniversary getaway this resort is perfect! We travelled by bus from just outside the resort into town and took the ferry over to the Paradise Island and toured the Comfort Suites and the Atlantis. Comfort Suites is a small property for those who want to stay at a small property to save costs and then use the water facilities at the Atlantis. The Atlantis is a huge spectacular resort complete with Aqauarium/Pools and Casinso. For those who want non stop activity it is perfect…families love it as well for all that it has to offer…we toured the aquarium and enjoyed lunch at an outdoor restaurant. I had the opportunity to tour the Breezes Bahamas as well. It is a great hotel for groups. I chatted with some of the guests who had only good things to say in regard to service and their stay. Nassau makes a great holiday for those looking for the beach as well as travelling off the resorts for nightlife and activitiy.
In March, I headed to Orlando/St Petes Florida for a one week getaway . We stayed at the Clarion Lake Buena Vista. It is a basic hotel which is great for the family that wants to stay off site of the Disney property. The Lake Buena Vista area is full of shopping and restaurants and just a few minutes from Disney Entrances. I have travelled to Disney a couple times so didn’t take in the parks this time. I spent a day at Universal which is full of great shows and rides. I was able to go to both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure and had a great day. It was very busy…so with the Harry Potter attraction best to get in the park early ! The shopping in the Orlando area is fantastic. There are several outlets centres as well as the Florida Mall which is huge. I rented a car and travelled over to St Petes..for a day and one night . The beach is wide and beautiful. I stayed at a small hotel call the Marina Cove which was not on the beach but only a 10 minute drive from St Petes. It is a quaint little place with a resort feel. I drove from St Petes all the way up to Clearwater. There is an array of great hotels , restaurants,and beaches along the way…a great place to explore and just go at your own pace. Florida makes a great holiday for all !
In the spring I travelled on a one week all inclusive trip to Cuba with my teenage daughter on her March Break. We stayed at the Sol Sirenis which is a great spot for high school/university students who want to get away and celebrate with friends. It is a very large economical resort on an amazing beach with a great pool. We took a full day catamaran excursion which was lots of fun and my daughter fullfilled her dream of swimming with the dolphins. Both Excursions were reasonably priced and very safe and well organized. One travels to Cuba for the beaches, the friendly serice and kind people and the great value vacation. While I was there I toured a couple of Iberostar resorts..the Iberostar Varadero and the Iberostar Laguna Azul. The Laguna Azul is probably one of the top resorts in the area, brand new, beautifully decorated rooms, tranquil spa and expansive pool and beaches area. A large hotel with lots of activities. The Iberostar Varadero is a favorite ...great food..excellent for families or couples....beautiful beach area.
Only a short flight from Halifax direct and you can be sitting ont he pink beaches of Bermuda looking out at the turquoise water. I had the opportunity to return to Bermuda. A Beautiful Island, which can be travelled by moped,bus and ferry. I used the bus system to make my way to the various sites. it is efficient and easy and quite economical. there are many types of hotels and resorts to stay at. Most are not all inclusive. I stayed at a small apartment style hotel convenient to Hamilton called the Rosemont Guest Apartments which is basic but perfect for a long or short stay. I visited my favorite resorts Southhampton and Hamilton Princess resorts while I was there. Both are larger with many facitilites as well as golf. many clients have the impression that Bermuda is expensive. This is due to the lack of inclusive resorts. There are many places to dine form pubs to fine dining and small cafes. A golfer's paradise.
Flavors of Burgundy and Provence River Cruise aboard the Scenery. Fantastic itinerary in France. Avalon River Cruising is a great way to see Europe. Small intimate ships with gourmet dining at its best with International food and wine. Local walking tour excursion included in each port.
I had the opportunity last August to experience the Royal Plantation resort in Ocho Rios Jamaica. This is a boutique resort with beautiful suites all with an oceanview. I sipped champagne while waiting to check in and gazed out at the ocean as I had breakfast in my room. I felt like I was in paradise. There is a lovely little beach with butler service. The dining is truly amazing.....it is fine dining all the way....with wines which are selected by the resort Somolier to compliment your choice of dinner. It is a small resort...private...where you can relax. 5 star luxury..impeccable service...
We travelled to Disney as a family. Our resort was the Disney Port Orleans. This was a great hotel for family. It was a great location with access by disney bus to the parks and ferry to Downtown Disney. While in Florida we visited all the Disney parks as well as Universal and Seaworld. With a little shopping on the side of course at the outlets and malls in the area. Disney is great for kids of all ages!!
Hotels Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo....excellent hotel......amazing service...the check in was exceptional....the rooms were very modern...spacious...all ammenities....very expensive of course......excellent location near the train station restaurants in the hotel very expensive but food was great....buffet breakfast was plentiful and lots of variety. Rihga Royal Kyoto...nice hotel....good location near train station...lots of things to walk to in area...or close to transportation for getting out and around... rooms smaller but we did have a larger upgraded room for 1 night which was great..nice bakery for picking up snacks or lunch... Hotel Granvia Hiroshima very nice hotel as well...good location....clean, good size rooms...All of the hotels were great....in good locations which made transportation to and from the sightseeing and train stations very easy...service was excellent...people in the hotels couldnt do enough for us.... Sightseeing... Disney Tokyo... we did a little side trip on our own....Disneyland and Disney Sea.....Disneyland very similar to the others...however Disney Sea very different....amazing parade on the water at the Sea...the attractions are quite spectacular..... Tokyo Morning Tour.... JTB Sunrise Highlights 3 days...Mt Fuji Kyoto NaraGreat tour..Mt Fuji....Raining during days at Mt Fuji but nice Japanese lunch...would be very nice in better weather but excellent experience Cableway way as well would be better experience in better weather. Train system excellent..trains fast and comfortable.. Kyoto and Nara- my favorite....the Kinkakuji temple and Nijo Castle very interesting The gardens in the area were beautiful...good centre for souvenirs at Handy Craft Centre and great lunch Todajiji temple, Budha and Kasuga shrine and deer park..well worth the visit Hiroshima ....very emotional....Peace Memorial and Museum a memorable experience Miyajimaisi - Itsukushima Shrine is very scenic....enjoyed the tour of this island....beautiful pictures.....good food... This was an amazing trip and so glad to have the opportunity to take this tour. The Japanese people are very friendly everywhere we went.The transportation was excellent. Great experience to go out and explore and very safe. There are lots of nice restaurants for every budget. Great Markets for finding good prices for food. Shopping Malls had designer shops...but for souvenirs...most people buying Sake, wooden dolls, komonos.
I just loved Italy. Th 9 day Cosmos tour was just perfect. Where else does so much of the past and present join in harmony. Our tour began at the "Capital of Faith and Culture", the city of Rome. We explored the Forum,Coliseum, the Basilica of St. Paul and of course, Vatican City. Next we travelled thru the Tuscan area with its vineyards and olive groves to Florence. Along the way, our group had lunch and a glass of wine at a small outdoor cafe in one of the many tiny towns.I had to pinch myself to see if I was dreaming. After a tour and wine tasting at a wine-growing estate we arrived in Florence.A perfect city for a walking tour! and then a visit to view some of the amazing art at one of the most famous Galleries in the world, The Uffizi Gallery.Lastly , we visited the romantic city of Venice. Travelling by water taxi to the centre of Venice we arrived for a walking tour to see St. Mark's Basilica and the Bridge of Sighs and yes, a gondola ride thru the canals.To top it all off we toured one of the nearby islands named Burano. What more can I say. Ciao Bella!
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