This year we've traveled to many hotels and resorts along with taking a wonderful cruise. I love being able to experience both types of vacations. From amazing fine dining to luxurious accommodations and exciting ocean adventures, here are my favorite 10 top picks from our 2016 travels. Click the links or pictures to explore and they may just become your new favorite 2017 travel destinations!
Experience Luminae on Celebrity Reflection
After cruising on many Celebrity Cruises ships, we went back on Celebrity Reflection for a second time this year and experienced the "suite" life. Luminae, the restaurant for suite guests, is absolutely wonderful and exceeds many five-star restaurants even on land. If you have the opportunity to cruise in a suite with Celebrity Cruises, it's definitely a treat to dine in Luminae.
Royal Sonesta, Harbor Court, Baltimore, Maryland
The view...what a view! Not only is this a stunning and elegant hotel but it's only a quick walk to many of Baltimore Inner Harbor's attractions.
Kimpton's Hotel Monaco, Baltimore, Maryland
Gorgeous and luxurious, the Hotel Monaco is extremely comfortable for families (and their pets!) visiting Baltimore. With a gracious staff and fantastic location right in the downtown area, you'll also find numerous amenities to enjoy. The xbox in their room with bunkbeds was my boys favorite.
Sir Francis Drake, A Kimpton Hotel, San Francisco, California
The Sir Francis Drake is in a fantastic location right in the heart of Union Square in San Francisco. The staff will make your feel like you've come home the minute you arrive. Plus, they have wonderful and delicious Scala's Bistro which quickly became one of my favorite restaurants!
Lago Mar Resort and Club, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
A family owned hidden gem, this is a top pick for service, dining and activities for families when visiting Fort Lauderdale. You can't beat the beachfront location and casual elegant ambiance.
B&O Brasserie, Hotel Monaco, Baltimore, Maryland
Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it's a wonderful restaurant for the guests of Kimpton's Hotel Monaco, as well as for locals looking for a great place to have a delicous meal or drink.
Arcadia, San Jose, California
A highlight of Michael Mina's culinary genius, Arcadia is a one of a kind restaurant located right in the San Jose Marriott. The food is not only delicious but plated like artwork.
LB Speakeasy, Lord Baltimore Hotel, Baltimore, Maryland
This made my list not only for the unique cocktails and delicious pre-dinner delights, but the history of how it was recently rediscovered is fascinating. It's a perfect spot for adults to relax by a cozy fireplace and feel like you are part of a bygone era.
LB Bakery, Lord Baltimore Hotel, Baltimore, Maryland
Absolutely amazing and delicious bakery! With an award winning pastry chef, the variety of culinary choices are unbelieveable.
Aquarium of the Bay, San Francisco, CA
Fantastic aquarium located right on Pier 39 in the heart of beautiful San Francisco. Walk through glass tunnels and experience sharks, fish, and other numerous ocean life swimming all around you.
I hope to be able to revisit many of these destinations again in 2017 as well as explore many more. Let me know if you plan to visit any and I'm happy to give you specific tips and suggestions to make it the best year for your luxury family travel on land and sea ever!
My Virtual Vacations Blog
About the Author
Thanks for cruising by! Along with creating this website and blog, I work in an office full-time and as a mom to two energetic teenage boys. With our family's busy work and school schedule, we look forward to traveling during holidays. Although it seems that our family can never agree on anything, we do when it comes to vacations. We typically travel on cruises or stay at luxury hotels. We enjoy upscale dining, beautiful decor, excellent service, and spacious accommodations. However, we still need family friendly and comfortable. When we are not traveling, I enjoy dining out locally, as well as cooking and baking in my own kitchen.
Virtually escape and start planning your next luxurious cruise vacation on land or sea with My Virtual Vacations. Contact me for any specific questions or recommendations. And don't forget to keep checking back for the latest blog posts and information. There are always more family vacations in our future!
You'll also find me on Cruise Critic boards as SunnyAJ. Let's connect!
About the Photos
Our beautiful photographs are creatively captured by my talented freelance husband/photographer located in Baltimore, MD. Click here to explore more of his work.
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There is no stopping us! Even though travel has come to a halt, I'm rescheduling, planning, and preparing for the next phase of cruise and travel. Plus, I'm working on my website to add even more cruise and travel resources.
Meanwhile, we are anxiously awaiting our cruise to the ABC (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao) islands with Celebrity Cruises over the holidays in 2021. As many of you, this is our 3rd reschedule and really hoping it's the last!
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