Joy Hammer, CTC, DS

Contact Joy Hammer, CTC, DS

Office: 419 214-3570
Text: 419 292-4124
Toll Free: 800 826-3930


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!



Secrets Akumal night viewSECRETS AKUMAL, Riviera Maya
I absolutely loved this property! I’ve stayed at or toured dozens of resorts in Mexico/Caribbean over the years, and this is now my favorite (more than any of the other four Secrets in Mexico I’ve stayed in, or any Couples or Sandals, etc.). My primary reason is the overall layout, and the gorgeous, lush vegetation, palm trees, etc. While the property is somewhat spread out, the greenery made it seem smaller and more private. There were numerous walkways between buildings and restaurants, many that were “covered” with branches and vines. The three pools were all large and surrounded by palm trees, so much more attractive than massive expanses of concrete, as is so often the case. Although I’m more of a beach than pool person, I really liked the Quiet Pool, which had soft background music playing, plus the way it was configured, curving around trees, etc., again made it seem more private.

BEACH: this was another plus for me. While not nearly as long as Maroma, it was long enough to have a nice stroll, under a mile long, and the sand is nice and firm, so you don’t sink in with each step. I also enjoyed seeing the local fishing/snorkeling boats and a few families (since Mexico beaches are not private). The best part is that you can snorkel right off the beach, and there is an area of coral that attracts numerous fish. Some guests saw turtles feeding in the grassy areas off shore, but unfortunately we did not (possibly due to hurricane stirring everything up). If clients are avid snorkelers, I recommend Yal-Ku Lagoon, right down the road. Don’t know the entrance fee options, as we didn’t visit this time.

DINING: Unless you have a Preferred Club Room, the only breakfast option is the Market Café (buffet). It was nice and offered everything you could possibly want, although not quite as impressive as others I’ve been to. Note: no helping yourself, a staff member dishes up what you want. This was also open for lunch, as was the Seaside Grill, the coffee shop, and a pop-up grill option at the Main Pool. We dined at 5 of the 6 dinner options, and thought all were excellent. No reservations taken, and even with fewer tables available due to spacing requirements, never had much of a wait, unless preferred an outside table (since only 3 or 4 available). Long pants are required for men at 4 of the restaurants, at least if you wanted to sit inside.

Client Reviews

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