Your Adventure Starts At Miami

The best part of being your own pilot is the freedom it offers. The world seems to open up as you take to the sky. Your biggest problem just may be where to go next. Your next dream vacation could just be a short flight from home and that is never more true than for those lucky enough to live in Miami.

Miami is a private pilot’s dream. From Miami, you can take short trips into the Everglades for a wildlife adventure or fishing excursion or up the U.S. coast to neighboring states and new beaches. But maybe one of the best trips for any private pilot based in Miami is south, island hoping through the Caribbean. Just the sound of the Caribbean is enough to bring up childhood dreams of long ago pirates, ancient explorers, tropical remote islands, and some of today’s most luxurious getaways. Commercial flights do make daily trips to any one of these island paradises, but as everyone knows, nowadays commercial flights are getting more expensive and the hassles associated with international airports can be a nightmare. But, if you are one of the lucky few with a plane and sense of adventure here are some of the regions best island destinations.

The Bahamas

The Bahamas should be on everyone’s list of places to visit at least once and probably more than once. Pilot getaways dedicated a whole article on this destination for private pilots. Every international flight begins with good planning and preparation. For any international excursion, be sure have your passports. You will always need all your standard aircraft and pilot documents required for any flight. Be sure you have your pilot certificate, any medical paperwork, air worthiness and registration papers, and be sure to have your radiotelephone operator’s license for yourself and your plane.

You may need special insurance for the island, so be sure to check beforehand. Then just stock up on any gear your plane might need. An ecommerce aviation shop for pilots can offer you a variety of useful accessories for your trip.

Once you arrive at MYAF airport, get ready to enjoy all the island has to offer. Small Hope Bay Lodge, owned and operated, by a pilot is a must. The owner, Jeff Birch, has a wealth of knowledge and can help you plan for any journey to any of the other Caribbean islands. He also runs a dive shop so for those interested in scuba, not a problem, you can jump right in and enjoy some of the world’s clearest and life-rich seas.

Turks and Caicos

Your next stop should be the Turks and Caicos, so fly into the local airport, MBPV. Be sure to fuel up there as there are no other fuel stations around. Once settled in be sure to check out Grace Bay. It is an amazing beach and houses some of the nicest resorts you can imagine. If you’re looking for a pilot friendly experience, stay the Allegro Resort. The owner is very pilot friendly, offering special rates on stays including drinks and food, not to mention she is a great local to know. This might not be a place to stay for too long unless you are looking for the Club Med poolside experience but before you go, book a trip to a near by island teeming with large lizards and some amazing reefs. Talk to Silver Deep Catamaran–they will set you up.

Dominican Republic

From there you will most likely want to fly into the Dominican Republic. Be sure to have some cash on hand, at least $500 dollar for fuel and fees as this airport will not take credit. The Dominican Republic is big and populated. But filled with history and a wild nightlife. The capital will offer anything you need and if you have never been go for sure. There are two choices of airports in the Dominican Republic the MDSD and FBO, and if the weather is bad your best choice is MDSD.

Puerto Rico

You can always stop at Puerto Rico next, and If you have never been you should go once and soon. It is a part of the U.S. and as such western culture is starting to make an impact. Fast food restaurants and expats are becoming ubiquitous. It’s worth a stop but most seeking an exotic adventure will most likely not want to stay too long.  The main airport, TJIG, is just like any in the states with long customs hassles and long walks, so be prepared.

Virgin Islands and Back

From there you can visit the U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, St. Martin and St. Maarten, then back to Key West and next home. Miami can be one of the best place in the world to start your own “Fly yourself” adventure.  With enough time and money it can be a trip of your life time. There is so much more to mention and so much more to do, but discovery is part of the adventure so if your based in Miami, or can make it your base, do it, fly south and live life.

Carnival Celebrates 3 Million Facebook Fans by Giving Away 10 Cruises!

Carnival Cruise Lines, which is not only the world’s most popular cruise line on the sea but also online, will celebrate having reached the 3 million Facebook fans mark by conducting a 24-hour Fun-A-Thon prize giveaway beginning Wednesday, Nov. 19! The online extravaganza will feature three prize giveaways every three hours, including free Carnival cruise vacations and more!

That’s right. I said that Carnival Cruise Lines is giving away CRUISES!!!! 

The Carnival Cruise Lines Facebook giveaway can be found on facebook.com/carnival and will begin at 12 noon EST on Nov. 19, which is the estimated date on which the cruise line will hit the 3 million fans milestone!

Carnival Facebook Celebration

Carnival Facebook Celebration Giveaway

Ten Carnival cruises will be awarded during the 24-hour period and will range in length from three to eight days featuring itineraries that visit a wide variety of exciting Bahamian, Caribbean and Mexican ports of call.  Other prizes will include $100 MasterCard gift cards and a mix of fun items such as Carnival-branded tote bags, jackets, backpacks and glassware.

How to Participate

Anyone who “likes” the Carnival Facebook page can participate over the course of the 24-hour giveaway period.  To enter, fans simply respond with a comment to the posts from Carnival that will occur once every three hours and ask fans a new question.  All fan comments posted during each three-hour period will go into a random drawing to determine three prize winners for that period.

Why is Carnival Giving Away Prizes?

“What better way to celebrate having reached the 3 million followers mark than by showering our fantastic legion of Facebook fans with free cruises and other great prize giveaways,” said Jim Berra, chief marketing officer for Carnival Cruise Lines.  “Our fans are fun and engaging – both aboard ship and online – and we view this occasion as more than worthy of a special celebration to thank our Facebook followers for their support,” he added.

To learn more about Carnival’s 24-hour Fun-A-Thon giveaway on Facebook, visit Carnival’s Facebook page at facebook.com/carnival.

Carnival can also be found on:

Twitter: www.twitter.com/carnivalcruise

YouTube:  www.youtube.com/carnival

AOL Launches “Laughs on Deck” With Carnival Cruise Lines

AOL today announced the launch of “Laughs on Deck,” a new branded series in partnership with Carnival Cruise Lines starring George Lopez who serves as the cruise line’s curator of comedy. The first two episodes of the new AOL series are now available, with four additional episodes slated to go live in the coming weeks. “Laughs on Deck” marks an expansion of Carnival Cruise Lines’ current relationship with AOL, having signed on as the brand sponsor for AOL Original “Laugh Lessons with Kevin Nealon.”

laughs on deck

In this new AOL series, comedian George Lopez boarded three Carnival Cruise Lines ships to provide guests and fans with truly unforgettable on-board experiences, going undercover and taking on the jobs of various crew members. Lopez interacted with unsuspecting guests as he served as a sushi chef at Bonsai Sushi, worked the line at Guy’s Burger Joint,   made overstuffed burritos at BlueIguana Cantina, crafted custom cocktails at Alchemy Bar,  and served as a recreation director, assisting guests at SkyCourse, a suspended ropes course. He also led the Seuss-a-Palooza Parade, part of the line’s popular fleetwide Seuss at Sea program.

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“Creating this series with AOL has taken my existing relationship with Carnival Cruise Lines to the next level,” said George Lopez. “When I started as creative director of comedy for Carnival’s Punchliner Comedy Clubs, the goal was to showcase the most hilarious comedians at sea to guests on board. ‘Laughs on Deck’ takes that a step beyond by bringing laughs straight to the vacationers. I jump at the chance to interact directly with my fans and getting to do it in such an inventive way was a blast.”

Jim McCue

“With the company’s vast network and diverse audience, AOL is the perfect partner to expand our digital marketing,” said Jim Berra, chief marketing officer at Carnival Cruise Lines. “George is such a fantastic partner and this AOL Original show highlights why he is the perfect person to curate our comedy clubs across our fleet.  We’re excited to reach new audiences and give them a chance to see what makes Carnival the most popular cruise line in the world.”

“As digital video continues to rise as the preferred medium and blends with the traditional idea of television, brands need to arm themselves with robust content strategies,” said Nate Hayden, VP of originals and branded entertainment at AOL. “Carnival Cruise Lines has both a compelling story and a brand that consumers know and love. Those key elements, combined with the comic genius of George Lopez, make the ideal candidate for a branded series.”

Viewers can find “Laughs on Deck” on AOL On by visiting: http://www.on.aol.com/laughsondeck

Top 5 Restaurants in Curacao

Visitors to the island of Curacao often like to wander about the island taking part in recreational activities or perhaps visit the local market. While out and about they often get hungry and rather than head back to the hotel, visit some of the local restaurants to taste some homemade local fare. Here is a list of the top 5 restaurants in Curacao.

Top 5 Restaurants in Curacao

Top 5 Restaurants in Curacao 

The Wine Cellar – the Wine Cellar is ranked at number 1 out of 125 restaurants located in Curacao. The Wine Cellar is located in Willemstad, Curacao and is the perfect place for lunch or even a romantic dinner. It serves up delicious food with a French-Caribbean flavor in which you can dine on everything from appetizers to full course meals. There are many fine wines for you to choose from to accompany your meal, followed by coffee and dessert to complete your meal.

Trio Penotti - The Trio Penotti is located on Savonet 79 and features European and International cuisine. It is a reasonably priced family-owned and operated restaurant that serves a wide assortment of dishes. Excellent customer service in a friendly setting. It ranks in at number 2 out of 125 restaurants in Curacao.

Landhuis Misje - Landhuis Misje ranks in at number 3 for the best dining experience in Curacao. Here you can enjoy everything from appetizers to full course meals. Many different food items ensure that there is something to suit all palates. They are known for their enormous servings of Grouper Ceviche, Tiger Shrimp Pasta, as well as their Chicken Curry. Staff is very friendly and accommodating. You can dine in the restaurant or outside on their patio.

Sol Food - Sol Food is located in Westpunt and features salads, pizza, Lionfish and more. The place is friendly, the service excellent and the view is divine. Scenic views of the ocean while you are dining only add to the beauty of the establishment. It ranks in at number 4 for top restaurants in Curacao.

Mangos – Mangos rates top the last in the top 5 restaurants in Curacao. This fine establishment features International and Bistro dishes for your enjoyment. Mangos serves up great food and has a super-friendly atmosphere. Definitely a five star establishment.