Elaine Pepper with YYZ Travel Group

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Elaine Pepper travel specialist

My Background

 

I’ve been booking travel for 42 years. I’m a Master Cruise Consultant with CLIA, and have been on over 70 cruises myself. Primarily I work with cruisers to the Caribbean, Alaska, and Europe – although I can coordinate itineraries anywhere. 

What I want to achieve for travelers is pretty simple: I hope to deliver dreams, help clients cross items off their proverbial bucket list, and at core, I want you to come back happy. 

If you’d be interested in working together, definitely reach out. I love customizing your history and travel preferences into the perfect experience for your family. 

 

Book Your Cruise Trip with Elaine!

 

 

Elaine Pepper celebrity cruises

 

She is amazing!

By: Dee

Reviewed on: 14 Dec 2017

Elaine is a fantastic travel advisor. She is knowledgeable, practical, and helped us think through some of the details that we hadn’t considered. Our trip was flawless end to end including additional insurance we needed. I highly recommend working with Elaine! 

 

Excellent experience!

By: Bebbie

Reviewed on: 25 Nov 2017

Elaine handled every aspect of our trip like the professional she is. With her wealth of knowledge she provided us with very good advice since we’ve had no recent cruising experience. It’s very important to us that our travel advisor respond to our questions in a timely manner. Elaine exceeded our expectations in that regard, and was unfailingly pleasant and cheerful. She’s a joy to work with and we recommend her highly.

 

Cruise

By: Walksalot

Reviewed on: 24 Nov 2017

Elaine was easy to talk to and she was very helpful in making all our arrangements pre and post cruise. She worked hard as there were three of us traveling, each from a different city and one from a different province. She was able to answer our many questions.

 

Great travel agent

By: Chris

Reviewed on: 23 Nov 2017

I booked with Elaine for the first time a couple of months ago and could not be more pleased with how helpful and professional she was. She booked a cruise, flights and hotel rooms very quickly and saved me money by finding such good deals.

 

Cruising the Right Way

By: ELS

Reviewed on: 22 Oct 2017

Elaine was knowledgeable about the cruise line the ports we would visits and she provided many helpful tips. She was always available to answer questions and at appropriate times, reached out to ensure we had completed required tasks and to see if we needed any support. We will definitely call Elaine when we plan our next vacation.

 

Kona + Alaska = Iceland

By: 2 Ants In Woodland Hills

Reviewed on: 15 May 2017

Elaine found us the vacation we wanted, at the price we could afford, Elaine put together a great package for us , she was extremely knowledgeable, and really understood our needs, and wants, thank you Elaine Pepper for all that you do, and making our vacation Truly rememberable.

 

Ixtapa!

By: Marjorie

Reviewed on: 12 Mar 2017

As always Elaine did a great job and consequently our vacation was wonderful!!

 

Excellent!!

By: Deejane

Reviewed on: 24 Feb 2017

Elaine is an absolute pleasure to work with. She responds to questions and concerns pronto. Elaine is always there when you need her!! I will use Elaine whenever we plan future trips :)

 

Expert Friendly Service

By: Suzzie

Reviewed on: 28 Dec 2016

Elaine was most helpful as we were a party of 8, with 4 children. She did a wonderful job sitting us all together and answering any questions we had. I had a few questions for her before we left and within an hour or so she had given me the answers. I would totally recommend Elaine’s services to all people I know.

 

An Agent that goes far and beyond

By: Clint

Reviewed on: 28 Dec 2016

Elaine made miracles happen! My family of 8 booked a couple months ahead and I wasn’t sure I could get the time off from work. End result was I was approved for time off and booked 5 days before leaving. The flight was full and never being on a flight before I really wanted to be with my family. Elaine made this happen and it turned out to be the most fantastic vacation for all of us. To be together on the plane and close rooms on the resort. She is such an professional while dealing with her and I will certainly use her services again. Thank You Elaine for arranging the most wonderful family trip and we will all have so many memories from it.

 

Wonderful vacation for R & R

By: SheJoe

Reviewed on: 18 Dec 2016

The hotel was beautiful with warm weather and sun for most of the vacation. The only problems were with construction of new rooms going up and the maids not cleaning the room before 2 every day even when reception is advised that the customer wants the room cleaned before noon. The staff was friendly but the cleaning staff spoke no English and as we were told we should learn Spanish. The grounds were nicely kept and during our stay they put up the Christmas decorations giving it a more festive feel. The room was comfortable with a queen size bed and a large shower stall. The food was varied and one day they had Peking Duck and the next day lobster. We always ate at the buffet so we got to pick a large variety of food. They always had something Caribbean on the buffet for the more adventurous types. We never went hungry. There was also a small snack bar opened for most of the day for sandwiches, desserts or snacks. All in all it was a great vacation.

 

Perfect Service!

By: G B

Reviewed on: 13 Dec 2016

Elaine went over and above with little time to do so. Helpful, professional and was able to provide everything we requested. My go to for the next vacation :)

 

Always a pleasure!

By: Sammie

Reviewed on: 03 Nov 2016

We have booked with Elaine several times now. She is “on the ball” and on top of things. We appreciate how she is available anytime we email or phone her. Having a travel agent that works 7 days a week is unusual and very much appreciated. Makes us feel very special.

 

Great professional service

By: Mare

Reviewed on: 23 Sep 2016

We loved the property, food, service & people of Punta Cans. Especially clean, well taken care of property

 

Organized, reliable friendly service

By: MD123

Reviewed on: 26 May 2016

We had a wonderful trip-no glitches. Elaine provided flawless arrangements so at everything went smoothly. She reminded us our visas need time to complete and she was so so right.

 

Simply a pleasure to work with!

By: Eliza16

Reviewed on: 19 May 2016

Several years ago, I had a bad experience with travel agent. So, for a long time, I handled everything myself. What a pain it is to look up hotels and flights trying to find the best deals only to lose it because you did not book fast enough. A friend referred me to Elaine Pepper and I’m so happy I found her. What a pleasure to have someone take care of the details for you. I did not have to think about my trip at all and everything went smoothly. She is experienced and well-traveled so she has probably been where you want to go. I trust her suggestions and advice. She is a “highly recommend!”

 

Extremely professional!

By: 2 Ant in Woodland Hills

Reviewed on: 18 May 2016

My wife and I have booked several trips with Elaine Pepper, and she never lets us down, She is our #1 travel expert!

 

Excellent Service

By: sammie

Reviewed on: 05 May 2016

We have booked several cruises with Elaine. She is on top of everything and keeps us totally up to date. She responds to any questions or concerns very quickly. Other TA’s we have used in the past we have some times had to wait days before they answered us which, in my opinion, makes me feel we are not a valued client. With Elaine we feel valued and is one of the many reasons we continue booking with her. I would highly recommend Elaine. Wish we had found her earlier!

 

Very friendly staff

By: Anne

Reviewed on: 12 Mar 2016

We both enjoyed our ports of call, but there were somethings we we disappointed in such as the food in the main dining room. A lot of the meats were dry and some were quite tough. We were expecting more food to be from the area we were travelling in, but it wasn’t anything different than what we would get in the Caribbean. The orchestra for the performances were so loud, you couldn’t really hear the performers, so after one musical, we didn’t go back if it was a musical production. The staff was very friendly and our cabin steward and assistant were amazing. The food in the specialty restaurants was incredible. And the staff there exceptional as well.

 

Great Trip to Ixtapa

By: Marjorie

Reviewed on: 12 Mar 2016

As always Elaine answered all our questions about the trip VERY quickly. We had a wonderful vacation.

 

Excellent travel prof

By: Cab

Reviewed on: 04 Mar 2016

Elaine is wonderful, works to assist you with the best upgrades. She is wonderful!

 

Prompt and Professional

By: phillychick

Reviewed on: 10 Feb 2016

Elaine provided prompt and professional service. She answered all of our questions and sought out any information she did not have immediately at hand. Elaine was very responsive to our requests and understood what we wanted from our vacation. She also followed up with us to welcome us home.

 

Very well knowledgeable and prompt response

By: rtameer

Reviewed on: 06 Jan 2016

We had a great holiday, Elaine helped us to put two families package together, she made it easy for us. We gave her our budget and she was able to recommend few places, We will use her again Thanks Elaine

 

Superior experience!

By: 2 Ants in Woodland Hills

Reviewed on: 01 Jan 2016

Elaine Pepper took personal interest, and really understood our requirements, Got us a great price, and made the whole process super easy, Just referred Elaine to my sister in law, and you guessed it, another satisfied customer. Thanks Elaine!

 

Celebrity Cruise

By: Amos Tin

Reviewed on: 30 Dec 2015

Elaine not only recommended one of the best cruises for us, my wife and I, but she also helped us prepare for the trip and provided us numerous recommendations on both things to do and suggested actives during the trip. She understands well our expectation and what we want from our vacation. Her excellent follow-up and guidance made our cruise very easy and enjoyable. She is probably the best agent that I worked with in cruise and other overseas travel planning. I would certainly recommend Elaine to all my friends help them to plan their vacations and cruises.

 

Amazing trip!

By: Becca

Reviewed on: 30 Dec 2015

Loved half moon! What a beautiful resort. Elaine planned the most amazing trip for us. Thank you so much!

 

Great Job as Always

By: M&M

Reviewed on: 17 Dec 2015

As always Elaine did a great job. She is very efficient and helpful. We only use her now to book our vacations.

Elaine Pepper travel advisor

Elaine Pepper  

|  31 Dec 2015

Always a pleasure helping you and Mark plan your getaways. When you work so hard and need that down time, there is nothing like a wonderful holiday! Cannot wait to help you again!
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New Year in Havana: Chasing the Winter Sun

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The New Year approaches inexorably. If you still don’t know where best to celebrate the holiday, think about celebrating New Years in Cuba. Crystal white beaches are undoubtedly pleasant, and blue waters seem more inspiring than snowdrifts outside the window.

Just imagine warm waves of the Caribbean gently caressing your body, and bright sunlight warming you on a beautiful beach. You will feel nothing but relaxation and joy when celebrating your New Year holidays like that. Add grandiose festivals, lively parties, and friendly locals – and you get a dream New Year Holiday!

New Year in Havana: Classic old car on streets of Havana, Cuba

New Year in Havana

If you have decided to celebrate New Year’s in Cuba, you should visit the most beautiful city of the New World – Havana. Here you can visit old monuments of architecture of the colonial period. Enjoy a colorful show made on New Year’s Eve in Havana at the main city Square – which will definitely not leave you uninspired. During the New Year celebration, huge tables with improbable amounts of food and drink are laid on the square.

January 1 is not only New Year’s holiday but also commemorates a very important event for all Cubans – Day of Liberation. The warm Caribbean Sea, a general atmosphere of fun, Cuban rum, and Havana cigars are a great combination for festive mood and a  magical night!

New Year in Havana: Vintage american oldtimer car parked on a beach in Cuba

New Year in Cuba will surely be remembered for its beauty, and unforgettable impressions will remain in memory for the rest of your life.

How to celebrate New Year in Cuba?

According to tradition, New Year in Cuba is not celebrated with a Christmas tree, but with a coniferous tree called an araucaria, or a room fir-tree. This low tree reminds one of a fir-tree with very rigid branches and prickly needles.

Before the day New Years is celebrated – Cubans fill jugs, buckets, and bowls with water. When midnight comes, all the water is poured out of windows. So they see off the old year, wishing to start the next one being clear like water.

New Year in Havana: fireworks over Havana, Cuba

While celebrating the Cuban New Year, it is necessary to remember as the clock clicks down to eat 12 grapes, making a wish on each one. Only in that case will you be accompanied by joy, success, and prosperity in the New Year. By the way, on New Year’s Eve clocks in Cuba strike not 12 blows as in other countries, but only 11. Cubans consider that the twelfth blow already falls on the New Year, and this holiday should be a rest for everyone, including the clocks.   

Here they are, careful and kind Cubans. Before the holiday, Cuban children write letters, but not to Santa or Father Frost. They compose wishes for kind wizards – Baltasar, Melchor and Gaspar. In their letters Cuban children describe their most desired wishes. If you are interested in Cuban tours for New Year’s, you are advised to go to well-known Havana – the capital of the country, or to a popular resort with snow-white beaches and azure coast like Varadero, Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo, and Cayo Largo’s exotic islands.

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Amazing Mexico: a True Paradise

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Mexico is an amazing country to travel in. The capital, Mexico City, is considered one of the top world capitals, ranking fourth in population.

Amazing Mexico

Nearly 20 million people live there. One of the most picturesque corners of the planet is a favorite place for fans of night clubs who prefer an incendiary rhythm of music and for judges of beach rest on the shore of an enticing, caressing sea.

Mexico is also a cradle of ancient civilizations, Maya and the Indian tribe of Aztecs, who disappeared leaving many secrets behind.

Amazing Mexico

This amazing and beautiful country is vibrant with mystery and greatness.

Its amazing beaches, bewitching blueness of the cleanest ocean, and snow-white sands shine like diamonds.

Flora and fauna are rich with variety, a riot of colors and exoticism.

Amazing Mexico. Beautiful panorama all natural Image of Cloud formations and rocky Mountains near the Border of New Mexico and mexico

Having arrived here, it is worth paying attention to the best resorts of Mexico: Cancun, Maya Riviera or Puerto-Morelos, Playa de Carmen and Los Cabos; also to diversify the trip, travel around different corners of this amazing country.

Mexico has rich history, a variety of archaeological monuments, and a diverse mixture of cultures and tastes. It is capable of revitalizing with life energy.

But don’t forget about the one and only, the greatest city in the country – Mexico City. It is the heart and the capital of the country.

Amazing Mexico. Aerial view of Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City was founded in 1325 by Aztec Indians. At first the city was called Tenochtitlan, which in translation from a local dialect meant “the home of cactaceous rock.”

Mexico City is not only about monuments and history. It has bright carnivals, colorful dance festivals, and a set of other holidays that fill the city with cheerful people and festive mood.

 

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Reasons to Go on a Cruise Trip

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  1. You will see many places, and unpack a suitcase only once

On a cruise you unpack only once, and then your floating hotel brings you from one city to the other, from one land to another. You don’t need to worry about train or ferry schedules, and you don’t have to drag a heavy suitcase along paved streets. Every morning you wake up in a new place.

Not able to decide between Saint Lucia and Barbados, or between Italy and Spain? There is no need to make a choice! Decide on a direction and visit all the cities you want to see.

 Reasons to Go on a Cruise Trip

  1. Cruising is a wonderful family experience

Cruises are an exciting adventure for people of all ages, from kids to teenagers, from grandmothers and grandfathers to grandsons. If you want to go on leave that will be pleasant for your 5-10 year-old child as well as the teenager, but in which there will also be entertainment for you – know that cruise liners organize leisure activities for all generations.

Reasons to Go on a Cruise Trip. Family experience.

  1. You can choose the ship that suits you best

For one person, a cruise vessel could be a huge ocean liner with a rock climbing wall and a movie theater under an open sky, while another prefers a small cozy ship and a third dreams of swimming on a sailing vessel. All of them will be able to pick a cruise that takes their wishes into account.

You can choose entertainment paradises like Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean with thousands of passengers onboard. If you want to travel in style and elegance, choose Seabourn Odyssey; if you are drawn towards minimalism, shop Paul Gaugin Cruises.

Reasons to Go on a Cruise Trip. Entertainment paradises.

  1. The ships are floating cities

If you worry that you will be thrown in the middle of the ocean – relax. Cruise liners are rather similar to big cities; they are equipped with all possible hi tech equipment such as Wi-Fi, cellular communications, and satellite television. While cruising on a ship, you can stay in touch with the entire world.

In the shops onboard you will be able to buy all the accessories you forgot to put in your suitcase.

Reasons to Go on a Cruise Trip. Entertainment paradises.

If you need the help of a doctor, modern medical centers are at your service. You will even be able to wash clothes in the ship’s laundries so you won’t need to take too many things with you.

Onboard a cruise liner you will certainly find fitness centers, restaurants, movie theaters, spas, pools, stage shows and discos. You should also not be afraid of emergency situations since there are numerous safety and security devices on board.

Reasons to Go on a Cruise Trip. Entertainment paradises.

YYZ Travel Group, TICO:#04332359. 7851 Dufferin Street, Suite 100. Thornhill, Ontario L4J 3M4.

Published: 20/12/2017

To Book Your Trip
Contact our Travel Advisors:1.877.999.4768

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Cape Town Calling

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If you’re looking to get wild, “South Africa offers all the wildlife you’d hope to see,” says Myrna Arroyo, a Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based Virtuoso travel advisor who recently visited the country on a group tour led by National Geographic Journeys with G Adventures. “But I also love that you can combine a safari with all the attractions in Cape Town.”

With a confluence of cultural, cosmopolitan, and natural draws, the “Mother City” provides a perfect easing-in point for any South Africa vacation. Here are a few must-do urban adventures before you set out for the bush.

To Great Heights

For a city overview, start with an ascent of Table Mountain, Cape Town’s iconic plateau-topped peak. A five-minute ride in a rotating cable car leads to the 3,500-foot-high summit and panoramas of the City Bowl, Table Bay, and nearby Robben Island.

Cape Town Calling
The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway (Photo: Joel Centano)

Historical Perspective

During South Africa’s apartheid era, its government imprisoned more than 3,000 dissidents on Robben Island. The most famous, Nelson Mandela, commenced his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, there before becoming the nation’s first democratically elected president. Former captives lead tours of the prison, now a museum and UNESCO World Heritage site.

State of the Art

Opened in September 2017, the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) is now the world’s largest cultural repository dedicated solely to modern African art. More than 100 galleries showcase works from across the continent and as far away as the UK and United States.

Cape Town Calling
Zeitz MOCAA exterior (Photo: Iwan Baan)

Local Flavor

Located in a church within Greenmarket Square, Heaven Coffee serves excellent espresso from South African-origin beans. “You’re also likely to meet its young owner who came from the countryside to make his mark in the city,” says Theresa Jackson, a Virtuoso advisor from Allendale, New Jersey. In lieu of tips, guests can make a donation toward a coffee for a homeless person.

Cape Town Calling
Heaven Coffee owner Mondli Mahamba (Photo: Joel Centano)

In the Neighborhood

Cape Town’s multicultural history is on vivid display in the Bo-Kaap neighborhood, rooted in a mix of Asian and African influences. Its cobblestoned streets wend past spice shops, historic mosques, and a kaleidoscope of pastel-painted houses.

Cape Town Calling
Strolling through the Bo-Kaap neighborhood (Photo: Joel Centano)

Wine & Dine

On the menu at Groot Constantia, South Africa’s oldest wine estate: cellar tours, tastings (try the Grand Constance, a blend of red and white muscat favored by Napoleon Bonaparte), and alfresco meals overlooking its vineyards. Jonkershuis restaurant’s Estate Tasting Plate offers a sampling of traditional Cape Malay dishes, including oven-baked bobotie (curried mincemeat topped with custard), Karoo lamb, and chicken curry.

Cape Town Calling
Groot Constantia (Photo: Groot Constantia)

Garden Variety

More than 7,000 species of indigenous plants thrive at the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. Linger-worthy stops in the 1,300-acre estate include the fragrance and protea gardens, the latter to honor South Africa’s national flower. Look for the medicinal pepper-bark tree planted by Nelson Mandela in 1996.

Cape Town Calling
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden (Photo: Joel Centano)

Talking Shop

“For a special souvenir, Prins & Prins in the city center is a wonderful stop,” says advisor Myrna Arroyo. “The jewelry store manufactures all of its pieces in-house, and its rings based on South African flowers (set with precious gems) are stunning.”

Chic Stay

Located on the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, the new 28-room Silo Hotel (one of seven centrally located Cape Town properties in the Virtuoso network) occupies six floors of a historic grain silo complex that also houses Zeitz MOCAA. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily and a 50-minute massage.

Cape Town Calling
A Luxury Room at The Silo Hotel (Photo: The Silo Hotel)

Adapted from: www.blog.virtuoso.com

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