Spring 2018 magazine


Ultimate Family Vacations Spring 2018



DEPARTMENTS Kid’s Corner Latest travel gear for kids

What will your family remember?


When I was 14, my lifelong ambition was to see a grizzly in the wild. Some girls my age ached to meet Britney Spears, or pierce their navels, but not me. I was all about bears. It was thrilling, then, on a summer road trip to the Rocky Mountains, when my family and I found ourselves gawping at a full-grown Ursus arctos foraging in a meadow some 200 yards away. My photographer mother was at the wheel, and her second-in-command was overcome by the jubilant hysterics of a teenage girl realizing her dream, so it was down to my father to document the moment with our video camera. Upon arriving home, the first thing I wanted to do was see that video, to relive the best five minutes of our two-week trip and my own short life. But when we played the tape, Dad had floundered: it was 15 seconds of shaking and blur, scored by my own frenzied shrieks of “It’s a bear! It’s a real bear!” The memory of that frenzied moment on the side of the road – and the resulting failure of a video, lives on in our family, employed as a final climactic twist in moments when we’re all together, reliving our favourite family vacations. That’s sort of the thing about family trips, isn’t it? You can plan and plan, like our writer Candace Derickx for her blended family’s trip to Holland (pg. 12), but when it comes to making memories, you can’t predict what will stick. Perhaps it’ll be something wildly unexpected, like when Michele Peterson’s grandson learned the facts of life from an iguana in Panama (pg. 18). Or, maybe it will be something as simple as a day with your teens on a beach in Mexico, which created a moment of motherly triumph for Claudia Laroye (pg. 34). In the end, it’s not the trip specifics, but the silly moments, the disasters that are only funny in hindsight, and the memories of time spent together that are revisited years later as our families grow up and away and on. So don’t get hung up on the details of your next big getaway – that’s what your travel advisor is for. Instead, make the experience about connection and quality time – from the planning stages to the return trip home. Don’t knowwhere to start? Sit back, relax with the kids, and let our stories of real families who transformed while abroad be the inspiration for your own 2018 travels. Happy reading,

30 Cruise News

FEATURES 12 Holland, History and Hysteria 16 How to Wow Your Kids in Barcelona 18 Life Lessons in Panama


22 Off the Beaten Path in Orlando 26 Tackling Japan with Your Teens 34 Bond Voyage - Cruising the Mexican Riviera CONTENTS CREDITS PUBLISHER Ensemble Travel® Group EDITOR Britney Hope CONTRIBUTORS


PRODUCTION SERVICES Andy Thomas TURN KEY Marketing Solutions Inc. DISTRIBUTION Envoy ENSEMBLE TRAVEL ® GROUP CO-PRESIDENT Lindsay N. Pearlman VICE PRESIDENT MARKETING Carl Schmitt DIRECTOR OF MARKETING Franca Iuele ENSEMBLE TRAVEL ® GROUP 69 Yonge Street, Suite 1403 Toronto, ON M5E 1K3 (416) 367-3660 Registration Numbers: vary by agency; see back cover Publication mail agreement: No. 40005027 Printed in Canada. Cover image ©Getty Images Photos by Getty unless stated otherwise.

Claudia Laroye Charlotte New Candace Derickx Jeff Bogle Michele Peterson Vawn Himmelsbach Heather Greenwood Davis CREATIVE MANAGER Liz Scull CREATIVE DESIGNER Cherry Ann Valles FOXX Advertising & Design Inc. PRODUCTION MANAGERS Joe Viecili, Dalia Shamkhani FOXX Advertising & Design Inc. ADMINISTRATION Ingrid Lopez



Britney Hope Editor bhope@ensembletravel.ca

© Ensemble Travel Group. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reprinted or otherwise duplicated without written permission of the publisher. Ensemble's Ultimate Family Vacations is published two per year on behalf of Ensemble Travel ® Group member agencies.



Ultimate Family Vacations | SPRING 2018

SPRING 2018 | Ultimate Family Vacations

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