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Joy Hammer, CTC, DS

Contact Joy Hammer, CTC, DS

Office: 419 214-3570
Toll Free: 800 826-3930

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joy hammersignature travel expert

Interests & Specialties

Joy has been with Central Travel for 15 years, but spent her entire life traveling! In addition to a Certified Travel Counselor (CTC), Joy holds a Destination Specialist (DS) certification for Mexico, Alaska, and Spain. Joy has been everywhere from Belize to Thailand, enjoyed over a dozen trips to Europe, and has visited almost every major island in the Caribbean. Joy is located in the Promenade Shops office on Monroe Street in Sylvania, OH.

Expert Bio

Joy Hammer loves to travel and she recently became hooked on European River Cruises! She has been on four, and loves introducing new clients to how wonderful they are! As one of her clients said, “I’ve sailed on many large ocean cruises, but now that I’ve experienced a river cruise, that’s the only way I’m going to cruise from now on!”

River Cruising - what a great way to see Europe! Picture yourself relaxing in a deck chair as your floating hotel slowly passes scenic landscapes. Stroll from the ship directly into the center of medieval towns and quaint villages. Leisurely, guided walking tours are included, with plenty of time to explore on your own. Take a moment to just sit at a cafe to enjoy a Heineken, or sample a local specialty such as a Belgian waffle or "frites" (french fries) with mayonnaise.

River Cruises are offered on various rivers throughout France, Belgium, Holland, Austria, Germany, Portugal, Hungary, and other areas of Europe. They are also available in China, Egypt, and the Galapagos Islands. Ask us about themed cruises, such as Wine Cruises, Jazz Cruises, or the festive Christmas Market cruises! No matter your destination, you'll experience the very best that each location has to offer.

River cruises carry less than 200 passengers, so there are no long lines anywhere. No traffic-jammed highways. No need to pack and unpack. And, since all meals, wine at dinner, and numerous shore excursions are included, you don't need to worry about expenses adding up or currency exchange rates.

Joy is also passionate about Mexico. As a Mexico Destination Specialist, she has traveled extensively throughout México more than a dozen times, not only the numerous coastal resort areas but much of the interior as well. Spending usually a week or more at each destination, she has enjoyed the beaches of Cancun, Riviera Maya, Cozumel, Ixtapa, Puerto Vallarta, Huatulco, and Acapulco. In the past several years, Joy has spent time vacationing at Secrets Maroma and Secrets Capri (beautiful, adults-only resorts in the Riviera Maya). She attended Travel+Leisure's Yucatan & Cancun 2014 Travel Academy in November of 2014 and reports that the hotels and the beaches are better than ever!

What she really enjoys, however, are the colonial towns, such as Oaxaca, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Taxco and Campeche. Traveling throughout the states of Chiapas, Campeche, Yucatan, and Quintana Roo she spent 9 days “hacienda hopping”, and was able to see several. These haciendas are a fabulous alternative to more mainstream properties, allowing travelers to relax in historic surroundings or spend time exploring nearby quaint towns or ancient Mayan sites. Whether honeymooners looking for romance, or a family looking for adventure, this area appeals to everyone.

She has also toured numerous archaeological sites, such as Chichén Itzá, Uxmal, Tulum, Palenque, Edzná, Ek Balam, Monte Albán, Mitla, and Teotihuacán. Traveling by rental car or local bus, she has been able to explore many areas of México. Joy would love to help you find the area or resort that is perfect for your next vacation!

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MY RECENT TRIPS

Joy MoroccoMorocco has been on my bucket list for some time and I was thrilled to experience this fascinating destination!

My fixed 8-night itinerary covered a lot of ground so I could view different parts of the country. As a result, we spent a lot of time in the car several days, but it was worth it to be able to see as much as we did. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip, learned so much. Such a colorful and exotic country!

Morocco is known for being one of the most tolerant of the Arab nations. The country is relatively safe (just typical petty crime, such as scams or pickpockets). The Moroccan people are very hospitable, warm and friendly. While I generally prefer to travel independently, this is not a country I wanted to do on my own. While it is easy to get around on your own, as there is good train and bus service between towns (and taxis are plentiful in town), it was definitely preferable to have a guide.


Highlights of my trip:
• The Imperial Cities of Marrakesh, Fes, Rabat, and Meknes have all, at some point in history, been the capital of Morocco. (Rabat is now). They offer beautiful palaces and museums that provide a glimpse into Morocco’s history, which encompasses influences from the Berbers, the Roman Empire, and the French and Spanish settlers who tried to claim the country as their own. All left their influence on Morocco.
• The Sahara Desert offers camel tours, but even better, an opportunity to camp in the desert. Both were awesome experiences!
• Casablanca – often just a cruise port stop, there really isn’t much to see and do here, other than a visit to the Hassan II Mosque, the only 1 in Morocco that permits non-Muslims to enter. The 3rd largest in the world, it holds 25,000 people inside, and over 80,000 outside. Built in 1993, and overlooking the sea, with a retractable roof. Beautiful!
• Medinas – this refers to the old part of the town, typically walled, with narrow maze-like streets, fountains, mosques. Many tourists think of it as the shopping area, but that is just part of it, as the medina is where many people live. Within the medina are many “souks” (marketplace or stalls), that sell products to both locals and tourists. Two of the best are in Fez and Marrakech (both UNESCO designated World Heritage sites). The one in Fez was my favorite, car-free, but over 9000 alleys. It’s a labyrinth, you WILL get lost without a guide! GPS doesn’t readily work here, and there are very few street signs. Marrakech is also large and colorful…unfortunately, we just didn’t much free time to actually shop in either. We did have time in Casablanca, but I didn’t really care for that 1. I also would have liked more time wandering the medina in Rabat, with its pretty white and blue buildings. . Note: the lunatics on mopeds flying thru the tiny lanes (no matter what city) are extremely dangerous!
• Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou – this historic 11th fortified village site has been the site of numerous films and TV shows. Beautiful setting, nice hike up to the top.
• Stunning scenery – the spectacular canyon of Todra Gorge was a highlight, as were the colorful Atlas Mountains, including our day tour in the Imlil Valley. This area is a top trekking destination. We hiked up over 1000 feet to almost 6000 feet above sea level, over rocky terrain, part of it done by mule. The narrow paths (with naturally no guard rails) are not for the faint of heart!

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