Cathy's Ireland Escapades and Cathy's Clients Memories too!

Cathy's hot tips and trip memories along with her own clients comments!


Cathy Eickhoff on her adventure in Ireland!
Just wanted to tell you all about my wonderful trip I took to IRELAND with the CIE Classic Tour recently.  It was a fabulous itinerary and trip and I got to share it all with a good friend.  CIE used Superior 1st Class Hotels, which were for the most part,  excellent.  All were centrally located and we could walk to near by pubs and
shopping, and that was the best.  This tour began in Dublin and went North up to Belfast and down the west coast making a circle of the island.
Only important thing to mention is that some hotels didn't have central air-you opened the windows to cool the room down.  If the temps were higher
I don't know how that would work out.  And, at times, road noise was present-depending on where your rooms were.
But, the excellent quality of the food over shadowed any hotel concerns.  Many on our tour commented that one couldn't buy this quality on your own-for the price.   Most breakfasts ran about $20-$25 Euro-that's like $30-$37 US.  All of our breakfasts and all dinners except the 1st night were included.  And, in the evening, we had 3 choices-ie, like a cruise, appetizer, entree and dessert!!
Also-included were the Bunratty Banquet(you eat with your fingers) and a special night out at a local venue with outstanding entertainment!!
Clients that I have sent in the past few years have driven themselves-and done the B and B route.  I feel one misses sooooo much by not hearing the history and anecdotes of this beautiful country.  We had a Driver/Guide whose knowledge and willingness to share were excellent.  His name is
Michael Keane and only does CIE'S Irish Classic Tour-it's a 12 night tour, and is composed of 2 shorter ones-Mystical Ireland and the Irish Fling.
That Irish humor and quick wit has left us with great memories!!! 
Eight people only booked the 1st part-Mystical Ireland and then we 14 were  added Fling.  So, 30 of us were on the 12 nighter.  And, most of us just loved Northern Ireland...the beauty and history never ended.  And, there really are sheep all over the place....came right up to the bus!!
And, yes, it rained.  Quite a bit toward the last few days.  And, we were rewarded with some of the most  brilliant rainbows!!
Coach was only 5 months old-state of the art.
As of 1/1/09-CIE has eliminated the Guide, and I believe just uses a Driver/Guide on all of their tours.  Michael has a Degree in Tourism and has been in this business for 30 plus years.   And, CIE doesn't sell anything additional-ie, special nights, etc., because everything is included.  So,
the only extras were for lunch, drinks and souvenirs. 
Also-important to note-Northern Ireland is on the GBP-known as the Pound Sterling, same as England, and the Irish Republic is on the Euro.
And, I am confidant that CIE is the tour Co. to use.

Comments from Cathy Eickhoff on her trip to PARIS!

 What a fantastic city!!!  Contrary to most opinions, the French people we encountered were very nice and offered to help. Restaurant tip: If the check is 10.3 Euro- leave 11 Euro and that's very accepted.  Also, when eating at these really neat little bistros which are on every corner, the prices usually increase as you move from sitting outside to inside the restaurant where prices are the highest.

The Parisians love to sit outside in the sun, even if it's only 45-50 degrees.  And, a glass of wine costs  less than a "light coke." A  coke was about 3-4 euro-about 4.50-5.20US.  We bought a 2 day pass on L'Open Tour which is the double decker bus and runs on 4 seperate routes.  It runs from 20 min-30 min, more frequently in high season.  It really covers the whole city and very easy to maneuver on.  A 2 day pass was 27Euro, and well worth it.  Also, the Metro is 1.3 Euro per segment.  And we took it and saved cab fare.  The Metro was clean, wll marked and we felt safe.
We did the 'tourist attractions''- such as The Eiffel Tower (twice ) The Louvre, Notre Dame, Versailles,  Chartres Cathedral, saw the show and  had dinner at the Moulin Rouge.  We were not able to see Giverny-Monet's home and gardens because they were not open til 4/1.  We did a package which included dinner at the Eiffel Tower and an evening  cruise on the Seine River-this was really wonderful.  At night, the Eiffel Tower goes into a twinkling mode for about 10 minutes each hour, after dark. That was really magnificent!!!!!!
I forgot the most important thing-the FOOD was just wonderful-French onion soup to die for-desserts that were better than those I had in Germany, which I thought were very good.  Everything is from scratch-or so it seemed and richer than rich!!!!!!!
And, if you need to get from either Roissy or CharlesdeGaulle to the city-the air France bus is a real bargain at 10Euro-about $13US.  Just ask Information at the airport and ask for the stop closest to their hotel, then they can hop a cab to their hotel.  We walked from the stop near the Arc de Triomphe  to our hotel about a 20 minute walk, which took us a little longer cause we got lost on the first day.  One does not need to fly Air France to use the bus-it is for everyone.
Cathy Eickhoff

Feel free to contact me with any questions. 





Just returned from The Excellence Riviera yesterday.  And, yes-it still is "Excellente"!!

Same terrific service and food, for the most part.  This company is so good to it's employees-with training, English classes, etc., they don't lose too many.  Gotta believe they are very happy!  Everyone greets you from the gardeners to the maids to the concierge, etc.


Went on a site inspection of their "New 2 Story Terrace Stes."  They are brand new, since Nov, and there only 5 of them-similar to the Excellence Mujerus 2 story suites.

Upon entering room, they look similar to the Jr. Stes. , with the indoor Jacuzzi, sitting area, but have a Jacuzzi outside on the balcony, also, with a fantastic Ocean view.

THEN, you go upstairs, to the top floor, with a good sized plunge pool and shower to rinse off and another spectacular view, of course. There is a dining table and chairs.

Since there only 5-they fill very quickly.   


Also-a new restaurant, The Hindi, offering Indian food has been added.  Not my thing, but heard favorable comments from those who tried it.


Encourage clients to go to the mgr.'s party held every Wed. evening and meet the staff.  


Cathy Eickhoff



 Guess who won the National Kick Competition?

Hi Cathy,

We had a wonderful time in Florida and everything worked out really well travel wise.   

We are officially National Kick Champions after this competition so it was very exciting for us competing down in Florida!






Hi Cathy


We loved the hotel --- in fact Paul said yesterday that he is sorry we booked Jamaica for the November trip.


The hotel is a great size for us - even tho it was almost 100%bookeded we never waited for dinner or cocktails.  A nice mix of people, young and old, Amy & Kurt would book again also.


The room was very very nice - loved the soft sheets - 600 CT Linen and the assortment of pillows.  The shampoo etc was very high quality and in sealed new containers each day.  I think this was as nice as the Excellence ever was.  The staff was veraccommodatingng and friendly.  The Food was outstanding with the exception of the Seaside Grill - but it may have been an off night for them (raining and the outside buffet wacanceleded, they seemed to be ovewhelmeded with the number of dinners).  The beach was the best ever!!!! No rocks, no seaweed and you could walk out forever.....


We really enjoyed it and would book it again, in fact Paul looked at the other properties and found them very much to his liking.  Check in & out was so simple - thedidn'tnt even take a copy of our credit card.


I have to tell you the pool was fantastic -- very easy to get in and out of - warm even after 2 days rain -- the staff was friendly and couldn't do enougforfo you - lots of smiles all around.


On a sliding scale of 1-10 - we give them a 9.5 --- grins


I will give you call soon -- hope you had a nice trip up north and enjoyed the family.


Love - M





The Royal in Playa gang at Senor Frogs


Hi Cathy

We all loved The Royal in Playa del Carmen, beautiful location, great beach, pools… something for everyone…I (Maggie) personally really liked the “quiet” pool where there’s a bar and coffee house. While it wasn’t the younger crowd, it wasn’t exactly always quiet, we met several nice folks from Wisconsin and the Midwest.


Seems like our favorite drinks were the Dirty Monkey and Happy Monkey (yummy frozen drinks) esp while in the hot tub….also a fair amount of beer and some tequila was enjoyed. The service at the hotel was very impressive and everything was very clean, including the grounds, restaurants, bars and the rooms. A major complaint for 2 of the 3 guest rooms on the upper floors was NO HOT WATER in the showers. The restaurants were very good, while it may sound funny, it would have been great to have a Mexican restaurant at the hotel. It was a quick walk into Playa del Carmen to check out restaurants and more shopping which was a great convenience and a big plus of staying at this resort.


Just a note to others and no fault of yours but the Lomas tour rep at the hotel (Eligio) was not very helpful. We did take a quick trip to Cozumel one afternoon but he didn’t have the correct information on the departure which kinda changed our plans. 


Cathy, thanks for everything in planning the logistics, we appreciate your tips and suggestions. It was a great vacation and next time I think we’ll plan to stay a few days longer!

Thank you….

Heidi, Kevin, Maggie, Mike, Shannon and Taunya



The Mukwonago Varsity Dance Team, and their Coach-Kristi Hogan 

National Champs

Hi Cathy,

Here are three pictures of the team while we were down in Florida.  Let me know what you would like as a caption? 

For any stats you may want--

1st Place Kick Wisconsin State and National Champions
1st Place Military at Nationals
2nd Place Pom at Nationals
12th overall out of 26 teams at Nationals

 Mukwonago Varsity Dance Team Winners

We had a great time down in Florida and enjoyed the weather each day.  Traveling with 65 people was so easy at the airport and we really appreciated all the time and effort put into pre-planning our trip with you so that it could run as smoothly as it did!  Thank so much!  We had the best time down in Florida this season!





We just back 2 weeks ago-we love LAS!!!!  Have you heard of TIX-4-Less??  Sort of a 1/2 price ticket place???  There are 7 or 8 right on the strip, with great deals!!  Tix may not be 1/2, but you do save
depending on the show.   And, we've used them for restaurants, they offer.  What a great deal!
We've seen Jersey Boys twice, loved that, and Phantom, if you  like Broadway.  This past time, we saw the new Elvis/Cirque show at Aria, it was fantastic, and then also saw an EXCELLENT group called Human Nature sings Motown!!!  They're from Australia and knocked themselves out!!  They're at Imperial Palace!!   And finally, we saw Terry Fator at Mirage, he was outstanding!!!
Cathy Eickhoff


PH: 262.938.9913



Your referral is the highest compliment you could offer.
Thank you for your confidence!



Hi Cathy!!!
I'm SO sorry for my delayed response! Just trying to get into the groove of things back at work this week!! :) Before I forget, I owe you pictures! The links are all to pictures on my facebook page: first one is from our honeymoon, then the next two links are from Branda's wedding at Dreams Tulum-Riviera Maya this past April, and the final link is from Nicole's wedding back in April 2009 at the Grand Palladium-Riviera Maya. (maui honeymoon Oct-Nov 2009)
The trip to Maui was amazing!! We loved the Sheraton Maui--in fact, it was our favorite of all of them on Kannapali Beach. Our service there was top notch! Only a little rain on our snorkel trip day and that was it! Beautiful weather. The flights were great-on the way home, our transfer to LAX was cancelled, but they quickly moved us to a plane going to SanFran and then rearranged our flight into O'Hare (only a 2 1/2 hour delay overall) and luckily it happened on the way home and no problems on our way there at all! And even better, we got upgraded to business class on our last leg into O'Hare on 11/6--and a $150 credit from the airline for a future flight for the inconvenience and breakfast vouchers in SanFran. It worked out just fine! The convertible was so much fun! The activities we ended up doing (we did so much in one week! haha): Road to Hana (on our own), Snorkel Adventure trip through Safari (all of these booked through the concierge at the Sheraton, she had the best ideas!), the Feast de LeLe luau on the Lahaina Harbor, The sunrise summit tour to the top of the crater at Haleakala and then the mountain bike ride down that volcano through Maui Downhill (just amazing!!), and we flew into Ohau for a day trip to see Pearl Harbor, a city cruise of Honolulu, and toured the Pacific Aviation museum!
Thank you SO much for coordinating our travels! We just had a blast (as you'll see in the pictures!). Also, the chocolates and the card from you was a very nice touch and SO nice! Thank you SO much!! Let me know if you want to know anything else--I'm more than happy to share with you!

 The Larson family was golfing while staying at The Kapalua Villas in Maui!




To: Cathy

Golfing in Maui.  We had a wonderful time in Kapalua where our 16 year was able to perfect is golf game on both the Plantation and Bay Courses.  Golfing there was fantastic … wonderful courses and very picturesque!   The Kapalua Villa's were wonderful.  Very spacious, right on the ocean, nice beach and other amenities.  Thank you Cathy once again for helping us plan a fantastic spring break! 

The Larson Family



Cathy got this couple a fabulous rate at the Excellence Riviera!!  This was their 2nd trip and are returning next year for 10 days.  Cathy says she stayed and visited these properties first hand so she knew for sure how well they would love it! first hand!!!


Good Morning Cathy:


I just wanted to let you know that we just loved our vacation at the Excellence this past week.  As you are aware this was our second trip in two years to this resort and truly found ourselves "welcomed home".  We are already planning our 2010 return for the same week, although we are planning on making it a 10 day trip.


The resort is beautiful, the service beyond compare, the people attentive and friendly, not to mention how wonderful the food at the restaurants is, even the buffet's (available at breakfast and lunch), you know I am not a buffet girl.  We enjoyed the entertainment that was offered nightly.  This trip we even made use of the spa facilities, a delightful way to spend a couple of hours.


The treated us like treasured family, champagne in the room, basket of fruit to welcome us.  A special deal for couples at the spa we couldn't pass up and then they sent at gift package, a cap, a polo shirt and a beach bag.


We also wanted to mention that we do use the private service to get us to the resorts, and this year, a delightful young man named Eric picked us up for the return trip to the airport, and he made even that sad trip enjoyable.  This gentleman was the best ambassador for Funjet that we have come across in all of our years traveling.


As always thank you for taking care of the all details, for making our time away perfect.


Mary B Briggs

New Berlin



Cathy's clients were not happy with the Adventura Palace Resort in the Riviera Maya


I just had a couple at The Aventura Spa Palace-booked in a concierge room.  They were checking hotel out for their daughter's wedding next year.  It's not going to be there!!!
Very, very small rooms...had 1 sink.  Compared it to an older H.I., with the sink outside the toilet area.  Mike said it was at least 25 years old and just felt old, due to the small size.  Was kept clean!!!
However, food and drink and service was excellent, UNTIL, the group of 900 showed up.  Service went right down hill!!!.  Not enough staff on ,and it took forever to get waited on.  Also-there were no beach actiivtesdue to the very small beach!!!
They had a free shuttle into Playadelcarmen, I believe to use the beach at the Palace there.  It left @ 8AM-4:30PM returned.  So, all in all, any place with a Convention Center won't work for them.
Also-smaller groups also were there over their 9 day stay, and basically the same thing happened
They are looking at the Excellence Riviera and the Eldorado Seaside Suites.  His son's wedding was at The Grand Palladium Riviera, and it went very smooth!!  The daughter wanted a different resort!!
Thank You! Thank You!
We had the most amazing time in Vegas! I have never flown Southwest Airlines and the experience was great. Everyone was so customer service orientated and very friendly. The queuing up for seating was really smooth. We ended up with A assignments for both flights and on our return flight we sat in the fourth row which was nice for disembarking. The seats were leather and 3 across on both sides.
The Venetian was luxurious to say the least. Our room was opulent with a very large bathroom with a separate commode room, a shower, a tub and a double sink. The suite was also spacious with a king bed (very comfortable) and a step down into a sitting area with a TV, table and chairs, and a desk with a fax machine. We stayed on the 26th floor and had a picturesque view of the mountains.  The virtual tour of the suite is exactly what you get. We opted not to spend the extra $45/nite for the view of the strip. Instead we ventured out at night to catch the water/light show at the Mirage and the volcano show too.
Thank you so much for figuring out the details. We all had a great time and enjoyed our trip.
Roxanne & Bill Nowak
Melanie & Mike Romas


 Excellence Punta Cana

Hi Cathy!!!
First and foremost, I am SO sorry it has taken me so long to reply to you about our fabulous trip to Punta Cana! I have received your emails, just crazy busy, and I really do apologize!!
The Punta Cana Excellence was a great break from reality and the weather was just fab--only 20 minutes of a short rain shower the entire week we were there!! Just a couple things to mention when recommending this resort to others (and keep in mind Kevin and I have now been to several all-inclusive resorts as you know and we tend to be a bit "snobbish" with some things! haha). But as always, as an agent, I know you want to be accurate with travelers' reviews!!!

The resort was beautiful--the beaches were just as I remembered when I traveled in college with my family. We received a free 30 min. horse back ride with our package--great perk and Kevin's first horseback ride!!! The room was so-so, a bit weathered--but we got the top floor per your request, so THANK YOU!! We got high ceilings, so that helped. The air conditioning never got quite cool enough--but most nights we were just too tired to worry :) We happened to travel in October when we knew it would be extra hot, so that was definitely ok. The maid service was great--and I should have used my Spanish more than I did! Kevin tried to encourage me too!!!

They even had an Anniversary banner on our room's door the entire week--very nice touch. Since we were there in the off-season, all 8 restaurants were not always open--about 2 per night were closed--so we just had to pay attention to the schedule left in our room each day after they cleaned. However, with our "anniversary" package a "romantic" dinner was included, so we chose a place and reserved it for our last night there--and unfortunately held out on going there until that night--well, that morning, I noticed that the specific restaurant chosen was to be closed that evening for dinner--I went to talk to the concierge and she confirmed. Apparently, they were going to call us later that day (when we most likely wouldn't have been in our room) to let us know. Anyway, we decided to forget that dinner and just went to one of our choice; I think we only missed out on a bottle of champagne and some rose petals on a table; it wasn't a dinner on the beach as that would have been an additional charge. But it was ALL good!!!! :)
The food was mostly good--we definitely did not like the Lobster at the Lobster House--but when we came back I remembered seeing reviews about that and we should have avoided it as there were so many other places to pick from! The room service was quick, but the food was never very good--much better to go to the restaurant itself.
We didn't do any adventures--there weren't any that struck our fancy :) and we very much enjoyed the beach and the pool!!!
Overall, a very good trip and just fun to be with my husband!!!! :) :)
I hope that was helpful! And again, I'm so sorry it took me so long!!! Happy Thanksgiving to you too!!!!
Take Care,
Jocelyn (& Kevin)

 Also, one more thing! The nightly entertainment there was just wonderful!!! And we got to see a Michael Jackson impersonator one night and it "blew our socks off!!!" :) Best entertainment of all resorts I've ever been to. Also, it was SUCH a coincidence--we ran into a high school friend of mine who was there with his new wife on their honeymoon--they had just gotten married! SMALL world!!! And they were having the time of their lives! :)


Hi Cathy,
The trip was tremendous!  All of the arrangements were 1st class.  The limo ride was a great way to get to O'Hare.  Sure saved time (and $) vs. going to Mitchell Field 1st.   Budapest was loverly!  We had views of the Danube, 2 bridges, churches and government buildings on bluffs.  All were illuminated (as Europeans say) at night!   Gorgeous!. 
The Avalon River Boat was great-- rooms, food, captain, tour director, Isobel, etc.   The cruise and tours were  organized and interesting. 
  Rather hard to tell ahead of time (or we forgot to ask) how long and difficult the walking would be.   Our captain got us thru on the river when other boats were stuck!  The river view thru the Wachau (SP?) Valley of vineyards and quaint towns was splendid.  Vienna and the Strauss Concert really superb . 
Prague and hotel were also very nice.  It would have been nice if our hotel rooms (both hotels) had been close together and on the same floor.  The concentration camp outside of Prague was sobering, but a "must see". 
The British Air seats were comfortable and made the flight much better than prior flights in the "cattle car".  Worth the extra cost. 
Thanks for your detailed coordination.  Thanks, too for the fun Bon Voyage Basket of goodies.  I especially loved  the delicious trail mix.
Thank you for arranging such a great trip for us! 


  Mother and daughter trip to San Diego stayed at The Loew's Coronado Bay Resort




Trip was outstanding-lots of great memories made.  The hotel was A-1-clean, great staff, wonderful layout.  There was a huge Latino Association convention at the site, but we never felt neglected.  At first we thought site was too far away from  city of Coronado and San Diego, but with the help of the staff, found ways to get to the city sites using hotel shuttle service-free and a local van service that was very reasonable.  Used the Trolley twice and that allowed us to get around and see the sites- great trolley drivers-worth the cost of the fare.

Weather was perfect-food good-wonderful mother-daughter time. Southwest is a great airline- everything went smooth as you promised.  Did hit some bad weather coming home, so got to see what lightening looks like bouncing off an airplane.
Thanks again for all your help.
Attached a picture that sums up the trip.
Kiki and Kris



 Spend the Holidays in the Bahamas like this family did!  The Riu Palace in Nassau was where they spent Christmas!  It was truly a success for Marie, Shannon and Jim! 



Amy and Marcus Honeymooned at the The Riu Palace on Paradise Island in the Bahamas!!


Amy and Marcus


Hi Cathy!!


The hotel was great and the service was amazing!! Everybody was so nice. We loved all of the restaurants and choices we had. The all day buffets were perfect since there were a few days when we were so tired from the excursions that we just took food up to our room and relaxed. Everything was so convenient.


We ended up doing the Dolphin Encounter, a deep sea fishing excursion, and the Sandy Toes Rose Island half day excursion. It was so nice to just be able to book these  right from the lobby of our hotel. We LOVED the view from our junior oceanview suite! We got great pictures of the ocean and beach.


We thank you so much for your help! You were very fast and efficient, helping us plan our whole honeymoon in just one week!! You made it so simple for us to just hop on a plane and not have to worry about anything else. Hopefully we'll be working on another trip with you in the future!

Paradise Island Beach at the RiuRiu Paradise Island in Bahamas



Mark and Peggy in Puerto Vallarta

Hi, Cathy!


Dreams gave us an upgrade to an ocean-view room--I believe it was due to their less-than-capacity status--not sure, but what a great view!  The staff was the most genuinely cordial and caring group--by far the best of the other 5 resorts we have been to.  One whole side of the complex is private condos--that's why it looks large, but has only 200+ actual hotel rooms.  The food--flavor and presentation were very good.  We enjoyed meals at the Portofino Italian, Oceana seafood, and the El Patio gourmet Mexican food!  No reservations were required which was especially nice.  The only negative to the resort was that we did not have hot water for 2 nights--such a bummer after a day on the sandy beach! :(  Some heard that this happened to other guests during previous weeks. The rooms were very new (3 years), modern, and European--very nice.


The spa was great--we had a couples' massage--very nice.  And we would strongly recommend the "OceanFriendly" Whale Watching tour which I found on line and booked it prior to our trip.  The tour is lead by Oskar who is an oceanographer and his smallish boat with a captain and birder was extremely infomational and fun--only 10 of us on board.  Those that had attended a "Vallarta Adventure" type tour said that OceanFriendly was 500x better.


The weather was cloudy almost all week and actually rained one day.  The people at the resort couldn't believe the long unprecedented stretch of bad weather--too bad since I love the sun!  The beaches were the best we have ever seen and we could walk 2 miles in either direction without hitting a major obstacle.


Thank you for helping us with the coordination.  We said that we would go back, but when it comes right down to it, we usually like to try somewhere new!  We'll see!


Take care,


Peggy and Mark



Honeymooners Lara and Ken enjoyed the Ocean Maya Royale 

Lara and Ken's honeymoon fun!



We had a FABULOUS trip.  The hotel was very well kept, beautiful, wonderful location, amazing staff...  We relaxed and enjoyed the all inclusive food and drinks to the fullest.  We are very glad we upgraded to Privilege; our room was beautiful, we had access to a private part of the beach, wireless in our room and a private business center.  I would recommend Ocean Maya Royale for anyone who is looking for a romantic, relaxing trip!  They do have entertainment but it's very much a couples resort.  While we were there we booked a photo shoot and had some amazing honeymoon photos taken, some of which I've included.  They took pictures on the resort and walked us down the beach past several other resorts (whose beaches were not as nice; washing away) to a lagoon.  BEAUTIFUL!!


Honeymoon 1 was taken on the grounds, 2 on the hammocks by the ocean, 3 on the hotel beach (at night they hang a light and you can eat there on the beach), 4 is the hotel's pier, 5-7 are at the lagoon.  You can see how shallow it was, the water was turqouise, the sand white!!!

Lara and Ken


Thank you again for your help, we will definitely use your services again in the near future!!  Any recommendations for the caribbean?  : )




Celebrity’s Silhouette in the Med from Rome to Venice

Colosseum in the cenetre city of Rome Italy

The trip was unbelievable!  We tried to have a favorite, but it was hard to pick.  We really like the Greek islands and of course Rome.  The ship was awesome.  Food, service, accommodates, entertainment etc.  We will never travel anything else.  Also, going by cruise worked out perfect.  We were able to see so much.  Malta was also beautiful.  Not sure if you have been there.    

Cruise the med on Celebrity like this family did!

Thank you so much for the bottles of wine.  We really enjoyed them.  Sarah turns 21 this week and was concerned she wasn't going to be able to drink (all the Celebrity literature said you had to be 21).  However, they allow drinking at age 18, probably in line with Europe standards.  She, of course, was very happy!!

When in Rome, we opted to go the Coliseum and forum on Sunday.  We'll, very crowed because the Vatican was closed.  We were approached by a tour company to do a skip line.  I was skeptical at first but then as we got more information, we decided to do it.  What a great option.  We had to wait about 20 minutes and they had a tour guide and a group of about 10 people (including us).  The lines were about 2 hours long and we were able to get right in.  The tour guide was great as well.  They close the street in front of the Coliseum that day so walking around was really nice.  Might be something to recommend to future clients. 

For the most part our transfers were great.  When we arrived in Rome, our driver was a little late and the place was very overwhelming (not to mention, we were all tired and crabby), but once he found us, it was smooth sailing.  The transfer to the ship was late but I had the hotel desk clerk call the company and they arrived within about 10 minutes.  The trip to the Venice airport was a bit strange.  He dropped us off at the bottom of a entry driveway and we had to walk up to departures.  It was very strange.  Not sure if that is their protocol but we made it.  One thing to note.  We had a 7 am pick-up for a 10:50 flight.  Delta does not open until 3 hours before their first flight.  This was their first so we did have to wait a bit at the airport.  I will say, though, that we were first in line and it took them forever to check people in.  Also, the ship had us scheduled for a 7:50 departure group.  Not sure if they get our travel arrangements.  I went to guest relations and they moved us to the 6:30 group to make our 7 am pick up.


The Hotel in Rome was The Visconti Palace, and they just loved it. 

The hotel in Rome was great.  Very nice and they had a good breakfast.  The location was central and we were able to walk many places.  I would definitely stay there again.  We were also able to find a place to do laundry ... that was quite an experience!

Mykonos Greece was amazing!


Our Vatican tour (skip the line) was very good.  It was super crowded that day as well.  I would say it was a bit long but not sure if there is any other way to go about it. We saw it all there. 


So overall OUTSTANDING!!  You did an awesome job with all the arrangements.  This was definitely a way to take kids to Europe.  We didn't have to worry about much except making sure we got up in time for our tour and to get to the dining room on time!  Thanks for all your hard work in helping us plan this! 

 Larson Family, from Minneapolis, with the Gordy’s



Alaska Bear Group

Hi Cathy!
Still acclimating to being home, the time change etc.  The overnight flights are always a killer.  We had to be out of our room in fairbanks at 1100 Am then had 8 hours to "kill" waiting for our flight pick up, then of course the overnight flight etc.  All went well,no travel problems or delays.  The weather in fairbanks was beautiful so steve and I walked all over and just enjoyed the day.  I didnt want to wait any longer to thank you for the wonderful welcome gifts on the ship.  The strawberries and wine were wonderful and we enjoyed them.  We all took turns taking our wine to dinner.  The shipboard credits you gave us were enjoyed as well.  That was such a surprise!!  Thank you so much.  Our trip was flawless thanks to you and we all had a great time.  The biggest disappointment was the rain in ketchikan....not so much that it was raining as we expected that but the cloud ceiling was so low that we had our flight excursion cancelled.....we were all devasted by that....  The scenery was just gorgeous thru out and surprising to me Steve has said he loves cruising...ha ha I never expected that!!    The biggest problem was that we just couldnt see and do everything!!  I guess that is why people go back.....

Alaska flights for this group

The cabins were wonderful!!  I will never not have a balcony cabin again.  we loved having that instant access to "outside" and our views were always great.  Loved being able to see coming into port and when we got tired out on deck on the glacier days it was still a wonderful view in our cabin and we could hear the commentary on our TV.  Liked our location too... slightly to the front of the ship from the middle.....  I do wonder how a "bigger" person can maneuver in the shower tho...ha ha.  we had a comedian one night that made great jokes about that....
certainly is worth thinking about the mediterranean...those are the ports I want to see....and we love being stationery and unpacking.  our land tour days were quite hectic...made me miss the leisure of being at sea.

I think debbie and jim and patti and ken  all had fun as well.  debbie was really a trooper with her knee and she did very well. 
thank you again for the fun surprises on board..............LuAnn




UNIWORLD CRUISE- Comments on their U adventure!

Since “U” is a totally different product than a regular River cruise, only 2 meals a day, 2 excursions, and no Liquor Drinks included.  Cathy Eickhoff's guests were all concerned that they’d be too old, for this, are early 50’s, but the price was right, about ½ of a regular river cruise!



Now keep in mind that we don’t have anything to compare to ... this was our first river boat cruise.


It was great!  The boat was very nice but simple.  Our room was nice but very small (u warned me).  Nice size bathroom and great view. 


Food was very good.  Brunch and dinner every day.  All meals were buffet with a chef station (omelets, pasta, carved pork).  Great salad bar, awesome desserts.  


Service overall was excellent.  You could tell that they emphasize this.  We had booked two tours in Amsterdam based on the itinerary.  We found out on the first day that they changed the first first two days and so we couldn’t use our tickets.  The host bent over backwards trying to find us another option.  In the end for one, they couldn’t and so uniworld gave us a credit for the value ... they didn’t have to do that.  We were able to convince the Van Gogh museum to accept our tickets that were for another day.  They did a good job of knowing our names.

They had two hosts (young) that did all our excursions and city tours.  The city tours were great.  Good orientation and then we got to do what we wanted.  My only complaint was they they could have had more options for excursions.  We did two excursions on the same day. 


On our 4th day, they started in cologne.  The ship then went to Bonn and let off people that wanted to bike.  They biked to Remagen, got back on boat and went to koblenz.  Glenn and I opted to train between cologne and koblenz.  We stopped in 4 cities along the way with very little problem and then met the ship.  Worked great and gave us some variety.  We didn’t want to be on the ship for a good chunk of the day.  


Loved the Rhine gorge!!  Sat on top of ship all morning as we went thru it.  And, we loved Germany.  Rudeshiem was the highlight! 


There were 60 passengers on the boat ... capacity was 120.  That made it great.  About 40% of the people were our age or older and we believe the rest were 30 or younger.  But a good crowd.  For the most part we all got along and got to know each other.  There were some late night activities on the ship that we for the most part did not do.  Which was just fine.  Wasnt too noisy or rowdy for us old people.  Mostly Americans but some Australians and britts.  


Definitely didn’t need a drink package.  Our bar bill was small (becuz we drank a lot of beer in town and brought so wine and whiskey on the boat with no issues).


They used an app on our phone to communicate everything.  Worked great.  But u really have to have cell service.  Our carrier charges $10/day per phone in most countries so it was fine for us.  We would have been lost without our phones on this trip.  Free WiFi on the boat!


Over all, very good.  We think we would definitely pick them again.  The hotel manager told us that they are going to try to keep pricing where we got it.  They think that is important to get the younger crowd.  


Oh...we did have a hard time finding our transportation when we arrived.  We called the number provided  and they then showed.  Was a private driver in a black car.  Not bad...


Thanks Cathy!!




Cathy's client cruised on NCL's NEW Ship THE EPIC and talks about her experiences on The HAVEN 



My very wonderful clients just returned from a sailing  on the Norwegian Epic.


She put several bids in on upgraded cabins and really wanted a Haven, and received it a few days prior to sailing!!!

Cathy feels her client is very accurate on her reviews and this might encourage others to try for these upgrades…..


Below are her words:


We LOVED the Haven especially on this ship since it is so big.  I am not sure we will travel with standard accommodations in the future.  It was like being on a ship within a ship.  We never waited to get a drink, get a chair in the sun, dinner or to exit the ship.  Our cabin was great.  Large and the balcony on the aft facing was awesome.  We were a distance from the actual Haven area but managed just fine.  Because we were on Deck 13, we just walked the length of the ship and up two floors.  We hardly ever took an elevator.  Got our steps in everyday.  


My only comment on the less positive side was that the menu in the Haven restaurant did not change all week.  A little more variety would have been welcome.  We did have dinners In cagneys (great and because we were Haven we got a preferred seat), the habachi place (also great), and the Italian (just okay).  We ate all other meals in the Haven - food was great, excellent service!  


All in all - extremely satisfied.  Although a lot pricier than a standard cabin, I think it is with it.  


Thanks again Cathy for another travel adventure!!!





If you would like to contact Cathy for your special vacation, honeymoon or anniversary trip please email or call her at:



PH: 262.938.9913