Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Cruise Ships for 2011

Recently, MSNBC posted an article about the brand new cruise ships taking their inaugural sail in 2011.  We found it very intriguing as there are so many new cruise ships this year!  Several more are planned for 2012 as cruising becomes many traveler’s preferred method of travel!

Fwd_exterior_MarinaOne of our favorites, Marina, is actually mentioned 2nd in this article and is the newest ship in Oceania Cruises fleet.  As we anxiously await this ships completion, Cindy and Linda are preparing to attend the inaugural ceremony on February 5th!  We are even more excited about having travelers join us twice this year onboard Marina for the Baltic Treasures sailing as well as the Grecian Glory sailing.  Let us know if you want to join us on one of these fabulous sailings.  After all, how could you not be excited about seeing this?!OwnersSuite_Bedroom_Marina

Grand Dining Room_Marina

Also within this article, we are thrilled to see the Seabourn Quest debut!Seabourn Odyssey

Seabourn really does have a service in a league of their own, as Cindy and Linda have experienced first hand.  Now, with Quest, Odyssey and Sojourn in their fleet, they have new yacht-like ships that look like the service they provide.  Quest accommodates just 450 passengers creating a smaller cruise experience, however Seabourn does not incorporate “small” in anything the provide.  You want for nothing when you sail with Seabourn.

We are thoroughly looking forward to taking our travelers aboard both of these ships.  In 2012, we also anxiously await the debut of Oceania’s Riviera!

Take the hassle out of group travel; call us to plan your next group trip or join ours!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Last Minute Christmas Gift Baltic Treasures

1-Baltic TreasuresGive the gift of travel this holiday season!  Still have someone you haven’t purchased a gift for?  Not to worry!  We can get you taken care of before Christmas and put your special someone on a cruise through the Baltic Sea.  This fabulous sailing makes ports of call at:
Fabulous itinerary, right?!  ***Well, as if that wasn’t enough, we are thrilled to have Giuliano Hazan onboard with us for this cruise!  Hazan, the only son of Marcella Hazan, began working as an assistant at his mother’s renowned School of Classic Italian Cooking at 17.  Now, Giuliano is an author, teacher, entrepreneur, and one of the foremost authorities on Italian cooking.(***Those who board this cruise with us will have the opportunity to take an onboard culinary class from THE Giuliano Hazan himself in the ALL NEW Culinary Center aboard Marina (taking her inaugural cruise February 2011).Bon Appetit Culinary Center
***This private course with Giuliano is exclusive to travelers with Beyond Group Travel.
I’m sure we’ve provided enough reasons to board this cruise, but there’s more!  You’ll sail this fabulous cruise onboard Oceania’s newest ship, MarinaThis brand new ship is ultra luxurious, built with fabulous cuisine in mind, and more spacious than her sister ships.GrandStairs_Marina
Above: Marina’s Grand Staircase accented with Lalique Crystal.
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Above: Marina’s NEW restaurant, Red Ginger.OwnersSuite_Bedroom_Marina
Above: A view of the Owner’s Suite bedroom.
There are several staterooms available to join us for this cruise, so contact us today to ask your questions and make your reservation.
We have other sailings with space still available, as well.  Join us for one of the following:
Take the hassle out of group travel; call us to plan your next group trip or join ours!

***As of 1/11/11, Giuliano and Lael Hazan will no longer be joining us on this cruise.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Thanksgiving in New York 2010

Thanksgiving 2010 007Wow!  What a fabulous trip we had hosting the Traveling Aggies, Georgia Tech Alumni Travel, and Emory Alumni Travel Program in New York City November 24-28, 2010 for our signature Thanksgiving in New York Program featuring the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  After arriving via Continental Airlines, accommodations were at the fabulous New York Sheraton hotel which provided amazing views of the parade, excellent staff, and scrumptious buffets.  We were able to provide a memorable trip for families and friends that joined us for this terrific trip.  Porter Garner, President and C.E.O. of the Association of Former Students, joined Jennifer Bohac, Director of Travel Programs at the Association of Former Students of Texas A&M University, in hosting the Aggies this year; they each did a terrific job in ensuring a magical trip for all of the Aggies involved.  Don Chapman continued his talented service as host for the Georgia Tech Alumni.  This was Emory Alumni Travel’s introductory year traveling with us, and appreciated their involvement in the educational component of the World Trade Center site during our Manhattan tour.

Linda has hosted this trip for many years and is excited that this trip has continued so successfully with its first year under Beyond Group Travel!  This year, we were able to do:

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  • performance of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular
  • Football Game Watching parties for the Texas A&M vs. UT game as well as the Georgia Tech vs. Georgia game
  • a cocktail reception and Thanksgiving dinner at Maloney and Porcelli.
  • a Private NYC Manhattan tourThanksgiving 2010 090
  • a Circle Line cruise viewing Manhattan from the Hudson and East Rivers as well as an up close view of the Statue of Liberty.
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We’ve received many gracious and thoughtful compliments thus far which really warms our hearts; it makes us proud to do what we do!  We are thoroughly looking forward to hosting the Flying Longhorns and Alabama next year for Thanksgiving in New York 2011!

Take the hassle out of group travel; call us to plan your next group trip or join ours!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Signature Spa Experiences announced for Marina’s Canyon Ranch SpaClub

Canyon Ranch SpaClub_Marina

Have a look at this article from Breaking Travel News on the fabulous treatments Canyon Ranch Spa will be offering on Oceania’s Marina!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Aggie Christmas Match-Up - Maggie Dixon Classic

Join the Traveling Aggies and Aggie Women's Hoops at the Maggie Dixon Classic in New York City!  We have extended the deadline to November 2, 2010 and would love to have you join us.


  • Three night’s accommodations at Hilton Times Square – Soaring 44 stories above Manhattan, The Hilton Times Square offers over-sized guest rooms with spectacular, panoramic views, surrounded by Broadway theatres, shopping and fine New York restaurants.NYCTSHF_Hilton_Times_Square_home_left
  • Attend the Basketball Games in Madison Square Garden – on Sunday, December 19th, watch our Big 12 Champions Texas A&M Women take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Noon for the 5th Annual Maggie Dixon Classic! Immediately following, watch the 2010 National Champion UCONN Huskies take on Ohio logo
  • Radio City Spectacular starring the world-famous Rockettesenjoy the flawless precision of the Radio City Rockettes as they perform legendary numbers such as the “Parade of Wooden Soldiers”. Marvel at the re-enactment of the first Christmas in the “Living Nativity”.

Land Only Package Includes:

  • Accommodations for three nights at the Team hotel
  • Hotel Taxes
  • Reserved ticket for Maggie Dixon Classic games to see 4 Top-15 ranked teams, including our Aggie Women on Sunday, December 19th
  • Orchestra ticket for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular with the Team on Saturday December 18th at 4:30pm
  • Porterage for one bag upon arrival at hotel
  • Trip is escorted by Beyond Group Travel, Inc.

Click here to access and print the brochure.  Contact us for further details or contact the Traveling Aggies with questions.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Passport Applications and Renewals

It is always a good idea to ensure that your passport is current and up to date.  In fact, should you need to travel with a passport, Beyond Group Travel, Inc. recommends that your passport be valid for at least 6 months after your departure date.  In other words, should your trip leave on November 1, 2010, we suggest your expiration date not proceed May 1, 2011.  If your passport will expire soon, please look into to the Renew Passport page on  There you will find the proper procedure for renewing your passport.

Has your name changed since your last passport (issued over 1 year ago)?  If this is the case and you have proof of the name change, you will be following the renewal steps as well that are linked above.  Documents that you provide to prove your name change (if submitting by mail) will be returned to you, though they might come in a separate package from your new passport.

If you do not currently have a passport and are planning to travel internationally, it's urgent that you apply nowRoutine service is taking anywhere from 4-6 weeks, at the current time, per the Department of State website.  It it definitely possible to have your passport expedited, just be advised that you can expect an extra $60 charge for the expedition of your passport application.

What happens if you lose your passport on your trip?  Beyond Group Travel, Inc. hopes this never happens to you, of course, but it's always a possibility.  Lissa Harnish Poirot gives some great tips on

"Contact the local embassy, which you will have to do in order to receive an emergency passport. These will be granted on a limited basis and can get you home; once home you'll have to apply for a new passport. However, in order to receive an emergency passport, you will need:
  • Three passport photos for every person applying for an emergency passport
  • A photo ID
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship
  • Airline ticket, booking confirmation or itinerary
  • A police report, if your passport was stolen
  • $100 (U.S. dollars) passport application fee"
She goes on to discuss how beneficial an emergency passport kit, with the above items, could be when kept in another piece of luggage.  Should all of your things/luggage not be lost or stolen, you'd likely have this emergency passport kit to save you in a sticky situation.

Further information on checking the status of your passport, changing or correcting a passport, or lost or stolen passports can be found on the Passport Services website of the Department of State.

Also, be sure to check out how you can reserve your spot for one of our upcoming trips!