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  • Stack Up Your Savings Towards A Future Cruise

    10/27/2023 10:19:18 AM Link 0 comments | Add comment


    Get Free $$$ With CruiseFirst


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  • Explore the Spooky Side of One of the Country's Most Haunted Cities

    10/20/2023 6:27:38 PM Link 0 comments | Add comment


    New Orleans is full of spooky spots just waiting to be explored in and around the French Quarter. Why not grab a go-cup and take a stroll? Here are 15 of the most haunted places in New Orleans.



    Muriel’s Jackson Square picture by Justen Williams


    Muriel’s Jackson Square


    After losing this house in a poker game, Pierre Antoine Lepardi Jourdan committed suicide upstairs in 1814. His ghost doesn't appear human, but as a glimmer of sparkly light. There’s even a séance room that guests can visit that honors Jourdan’s spirit.


    Le Petit Theatre


    Here you might bump into an actress from the 1930s named Caroline who accidentally tumbled over the railing to her death in the courtyard below, dressed in a white wedding gown for the play that night. You might also run into the captain who watches plays from his balcony seat, hoping for a glimpse of an actress he was sweet on.



    Pere Antoine’s Ally picture by Paul Broussard


    Pere Antoine’s Alley


    Pere Antoine was a beloved priest who worked tirelessly for the poor. Visitors to the alley that runs alongside St. Louis Cathedral say you can see Pere Antoine’s ghost in the early morning hours, clad in Capuchin black and sandals. He’s also been seen inside the Cathedral.


    Site of the Old French Opera House


    This site is said to be haunted by Marguerite, the ghost of an aging Storyville madam. Spurned by her young lover, she committed suicide more than 100 years ago after leaving a note that read, “I will return, and kill those that have hurt me!”



    Faulkner House Books picture by Paul Broussard


    Faulkner House Books


    William Faulkner wrote his first novel while staying in this house in the 1920s. People swear they’ve seen his ghost sitting at the writing desk inside and they say you can smell his pipe.


    Ursuline Convent


    In the 1700s, the Catholic Diocese sent young girls from the French convents to New Orleans to find husbands. They carried their belongings in coffin-shaped chests and became known as “the Casket Girls.” Some say the caskets really held vampires from the old country.



    St. Louis Cathedral picture by Justen Williams


    St. Louis Cathedral


    St. Louis Cathedral is believed to be haunted by Pere Dagobert, pastor of St. Louis Cathedral in the mid-1700s. After worship, people have seen Dagobert’s spirit walking with his head lowered through the aisles.



    Old Absinthe House photo by Rebecca Todd


    Old Absinthe House


    This 200-year-old bar is haunted by famous customers who used to imbibe there. You might pull up a stool next to General Andrew Jackson, voodoo queen Marie Laveau, or the pirate Jean Lafitte. Doors open and close on their own while bottles, glasses, and chairs have been seen moving around the bar.


    The Bourbon Orleans


    The Bourbon Orleans was home to the famous Quadroon Balls. Today a lonely ghost can be seen dancing beneath a crystal chandelier. The hotel is also home to a ghost nun who slapped a man working on a stairwell for swearing.



    Antoine’s Restaurant photo by Rebecca Todd


    Antoine’s Restaurant


    It’s said that Antoine Alciator, the founder of this famous family-owned restaurant, returns to check up on his ancestors. Other spirits in 19th century clothing peer from mirrors in the washrooms.


    Hermann-Grima House


    Built in 1831 for prosperous Creoles, this house is said to be alive with pleasant, friendly Southern ghosts who scatter scented rose and lavender around the rooms and light the fireplaces to make it cozy.



    Napoleon House photo by Justen Williams


    Napoleon House


    This now-eatery and bar has had a few different roles during since it was built around 1800, which has led to a variety of different specters haunting the site. Because it served as a hospital during the Civil War, the ghost of a Confederate soldier can be spotted walking the second-floor balcony. Other common ghostly phenomena are from the 20th century – the figure of a little old lady sweeping the balcony and the mysterious reappearance of glasses on the bar once everything has been cleaned and put away for the night.


    Marie Laveau's House


    Voodoo queen Marie Laveau lived on this site (now 1020 St. Ann St.) between 1839 and 1895. Her spirit is said to still conduct wild voodoo ceremonies here.



    Hotel Monteleone photo by Paul Broussard


    Hotel Monteleone


    A stay at Hotel Monteleone comes with a dose of haunted history. Legend has it, the 14th floor (actually the 13th floor) of Hotel Monteleone is home to some paranormal activity. Guests have reported hearing the footsteps of Maurice Begere, the young ghost child who haunts the hotel.


    Sultan’s Palace


    The Gardette-LePretre House, also known as the Sultan’s Palace, was leased by a brother of the Turkish Sultan in the late 1790s. One stormy night, assassins brutally murdered everyone they found in the house. Ghostly forms have been seen there for many years.


    Andrew Jackson Hotel


    The ghosts at the Andrew Jackson Hotel are some of the more interactive specters encountered in the city. Back during the building’s tenure as a boys’ boarding school, five students died in a fire, but they have spent their afterlives playing and causing a bit of childlike mischief, and their laughter and footsteps are often heard throughout the hotel and courtyard. The spirits of the boys, along with one believed to be a former housekeeper, will move personal items and furniture around guests’ rooms – the boys hiding items as a joke and the housekeeper fluffing pillows and straightening towels.


  • Things Go Bump in the Night at These Haunted US Hotels

    10/13/2023 3:34:38 PM Link 0 comments | Add comment


    From cryptids and hauntings to legends and lore, the USA can be a seriously spooky place. So why should its hotels be any different? Whether they find the thought of the paranormal to be downright scary or if they’re more skeptical by nature, guests who spend the night at these six haunted U.S. hotels might find themselves leaving a believer.


    Mizpah Hotel, Tonopah, NV


    Situated along Neveda’s Extraterrestrial Highway, little green men aren’t the only strange thing visitors might encounter when they choose to spend the night at the haunted Mizpah Hotel. Charming with its plush velvet furnishings, ornate golden chandeliers and moody downstairs lobby and bar, the Mizpah Hotel, aka “The Jewel of the Desert,” is a historic spot dating back to 1907. However, with all those years under its belt, it’s no surprise the Mizpah has found itself with a few guests who have never checked out.



    The Mizpah Hotel in Tonopah, Nevada (Photo courtesy of The Mizpah Hotel)


    Enter the Lady in Red, Nevada’s most famous ghost, and the Mizpah Hotel’s most notorious resident. A former working girl, the Lady in Red practiced the world’s oldest profession out of a suite on the hotel’s fifth floor. While her identity was lost to history, the boudoir she worked in was transformed into three rooms — 502, 503 and 504 — with room 502 being the most active regarding paranormal activity. However, guests can also encounter the Lady in Red when they ride the Mizpah’s old-timey elevator, a place where several people have reported hearing a female voice whisper sweet nothings into their ears.


    Bonus Haunt: While they’re in the area, travelers can bop over to the world-famous, and super haunted, Clown Motel which is just a minute down the road.


    Pfister Hotel, Milwaukee, WI


    Home to many haunted bars, bizarre lore, spooky cemeteries and even its own cryptid — hello, Beast of Bray Road —, Wisconsin is no stranger to the strange. But to explore one of the state’s creepiest lodging options, travelers will want to set their sights on Milwaukee, a fantastic city on the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan. Known for its beer, festivals and sports teams like the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks, it’s those same professional athletes who often come face to face with the unknown when they stay at the luxurious, yet eerie Pfister Hotel.



    The ornate ceiling mural in the Pfister Hotel's lobby (Photo by Jenna Buege)


    Yes, you read that right, the paranormal activity at this Milwaukee locale has caused such a stir that The Pfister made headlines on the Major League Baseball (MLB) organization’s website in 2021 in an article titled “Scary stories from baseball’s haunted hotel.” And it’s not just baseball players who are getting the heebie-jeebies, in 2021, entertainer Megan Thee Stallion had a run-in with some ghouls reporting poltergeist activity in her room not once, but twice. In addition to objects moving, disappearing and reappearing on their own, guests at this lovely establishment commonly experience disembodied voices, strange sounds and even full-body apparitions.


    Bonus Haunt: For a spooky night on the town, visitors won’t want to miss a stop at Shaker’s Cigar Bar, a haunted bar with guided ghost tours and delicious absinthe.


    The Marshall House, Savannah, GA


    We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, Savannah is crawling with ghosts. And with the region’s dark history of bloody battles, gruesome murders, tragic fires and connection to slavery, it isn’t hard to see why so many spirits have struggled to find rest. From historic homes and old saloons to breweries and more, according to Ghost City Tours, a tour company based out of Savannah, it’s almost impossible to find a historic building that doesn’t have a few phantom friends. And of those buildings, one of the most haunted is The Marshall House, a stunning hotel dating back to 1851.



    An exterior shot of The Marshall House in Savannah, GA (Photo courtesy of The Marshall House)


    While The Marshall House of today oozes Southern charm with its cozy color palettes, rustic hardwood floors, colorful furnishings and ornate tilework, that wasn’t always the case. In fact, from the early 1850s through the 19th century, this historic property acted as a hospital, first for Union soldiers during the Civil War and later during two separate bouts of Yellow Fever. The Marshall House is familiar with pain and suffering, and it seems that energy has transformed into something much more mysterious. Travelers who dare to spend the night at this place — which was ranked the best haunted hotel in the U.S. — might encounter apparitions in the hallways, experience strange activities like faucets turning on and doors closing on their own or hear unaccounted-for footsteps.


    Bonus Haunt: Just a hop, skip and a jump from the historic Marshall House is Moon River Brewing Company, one of the nation’s spookiest places to grab a drink.


    1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa, Eureka Springs, AR


    Since 1997, the owners of the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa in Eureka Springs, Arkansas have leaned into the building’s haunted nature. With a former life as an experimental cancer hospital, this historic building has a painful story to tell, and the hotel staff is doing their best to tell it. In addition to being featured on countless paranormal reality TV shows like “Ghost Adventures” and “Ghost Hunters,” the Crescent Hotel’s owners have worked to unearth the property’s otherworldly qualities with the help of mediums and guests who recall their strange experiences.



    With such an iconic reputation among purveyors of the unexplained, the Crescent Hotel & Spa attracts over 35,000 thrill-seekers each year, many of whom attend the hotel’s nightly guided ghost tours in hopes of having a paranormal experience of their own. On the tour, guests learn about the property’s most famous spirits like Michael the Irish stonemason, Theodora the nurse and an unnamed specter who hangs out in the onsite morgue. As for what ghost hunters often experience, visitors might want to keep their blood sugar up as several tour-goers have suddenly gone pale, and a few have even lost consciousness.


    Congress Plaza Hotel, Chicago, IL


    Known for its striking architecture, world-class museums, delicious deep-dish pizza and beautiful river walk, Chicago is an iconic destination with equally iconic haunts. As far as haunted hotels go, Michigan Avenue’s Congress Plaza Hotel takes the cake with reports of phantom children, TV channels that change on their own, ghouls that don Victorian clothing, peculiar shadow figures, strange footsteps, disembodied voices and more.



    Chicago's Congress Plaza Hotel at night (Photo courtesy of the Congress Plaza Hotel)


    Perhaps it’s the Congress Plaza Hotel’s connection to Al Capone — the mobster reportedly played cards at the establishment every Friday — or the series of gruesome deaths that took place at the establishment throughout the years, but something seriously spooky is happening behind these walls. To up their chances of seeing something odd, guests can book room 441 in the South Tower, the hotel’s most haunted room where a female apparition has reportedly hovered above, stood next to, pushed and tugged the covers off of unsuspecting guests.


    Bonus Haunt: In the nearby Theater District, visitors can set foot on the same site of the 1903 Iroquois Theatre fire, a tragic event that took the lives of around 600 people. The alley, which still exists as an alley today, acted as a temporary morgue on that fateful day.


    The Hollywood Roosevelt, Los Angeles, CA


    Situated along Hollywood Boulevard, The Hollywood Roosevelt has witnessed countless premieres and the glitz and glamour accompanying them. From movie stars and TV personalities to rockers and politicians, everybody who’s anybody has visited this iconic stretch of road. And, when it comes to lodging at these iconic events, many turn to The Hollywood Roosevelt. However, as they mix and mingle among the property’s perfectly broken-in leather sofas, dramatic iron chandeliers and colorful fountains, visitors might find that this iconic hotel plays host to a few famous friends who never checked out.



    The Hollywood Roosevelt hotel in Los Angeles (Photo courtesy of The Hollywood Roosevelt)


    The most famous of the hotel’s otherworldly guests is La La Land’s very own Marilyn Monroe. Rumored to manifest in room 1200, it is said this suite was Monroe's favorite when she was among the living, and she still seems to favor it today. Before it was moved to a nearby hallway, guests reported seeing the actress in the room’s full-length mirror. However, that isn’t the only place she appears, Monroe has also been spotted in the Blossom Ballroom, busting her best moves from beyond the grave. Another commonly reported spirit is that of Montgomery Clift, a three-time Academy Award nominee who was a friend of Elizabeth Taylor. Montgomery is said to haunt room 928 where he has reportedly touched, watched and even evoked episodes of sleep paralysis in unfortunate guests.


    Bonus Haunt(s): The Roosevelt Hotel isn’t Hollywood Boulevard’s only haunt; the TLC Chinese Theatre and Pantages Theatre are home to high strangeness too.


  • Tips for Planning a Hawaii Vacation

    10/6/2023 4:16:19 PM Link 0 comments | Add comment


    The Hawaiian Islands continue to attract all types of travelers. Whether it’s a couple looking for a romantic getaway or a family or group interested in an adventurous vacation, this destination has it all. And with pleasant temps all year long, any month is a great month to visit. If you’re thinking of visiting Hawaii for your next vacation, here are a few tips to keep in mind.


    Check Out the Free Travel Guide


    Instead of sifting through pages and pages of information on Google, take a look at the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau’s free statewide travel planner. Here you’ll find maps, activities, accommodation and much more – all in one place. Just click on the islands you’re interested in exploring under the Table of Contents.


    Download the Official Hawaii Visitors App


    If Savvy is your middle name, then a travel planning companion you won’t want to leave home without is the GoHawaii App, the official mobile app for visitors. Features include a calendar of events (including festivals, markets and cultural experiences), travel tips and an interactive map, among other things. Travelers can either visit gohawaii.com, download the GoHawaii App or look at the GoHawaii digital kiosks upon arrival at key visitor locations.



    Use a Travel Advisor


    It’s rare that a vacation gets to its fullest potential without the help of a travel advisor. Consider reaching out to your local advisor, or one who specializes in Hawaii, when you’re ready to book your trip. Advisors have an unmatched knowledge and understanding of tourist destinations, and they can help ensure the trip is exactly what you’re looking for. From finding a hotel and securing restaurant reservations to suggesting unique attractions and booking flights, advisors can do it all.


    Malama Hawaii


    Malama means to care for, protect and give back, and this is exactly what travelers should keep in mind when they’re planning a trip to Hawaii. Through the Malama Hawaii Program, visitors can find organizations that have opportunities to participate in volunteer activities such as cleaning up a beach area or planting native trees. This is a great addition to any vacation.


    Stay Up to Date


    As Hawaii continues to recover from the Maui wildfires, the destination encourages travelers to continue supporting Maui and the rest of the islands mindfully. While Lahaina remains closed until further notice, other areas on the island are welcoming visitors.


    “The response from residents statewide and by people around the world to support Maui’s recovery has been incredible and inspiring,” said Daniel Naho‘opi‘i, chief administrative officer of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority. “Now is the time for people everywhere to show their support for Maui by booking trips, making restaurant reservations, and frequenting Maui’s retail stores and attractions that support workers and their families.”


    Travelers can visit hawaiitourismauthority.org/maui-recovery to stay up to date. To book your Hawaii vacation visit https://bit.ly/3ENMM3q or call 866-547-5362.


  
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