Marcia Staber, CTC, DS
Interests & Specialties
Marcia has recently returned to Central Travel after a 13-year hiatus which included a move to Seattle, WA. She was previously with us for 15 years. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from BGSU and majored in Recreation and Tourism with a focus on Commercial Tourism. She also is a Certified Travel Consultant and holds many Destination Specialist designations including Europe and The Caribbean. Marcia is located in the Sylvania office.
Marcia has cruised extensively and her favorite cruising destinations are the Mediterranean and Alaska. Having worked for Princess Cruise Lines while in Seattle, Marcia has information and tips that will make your check-in process a comfortable experience.
She has completed the Australian Destination Specialist program and experienced the 'best of the best' in Australia in 2015. She also completed the New Zealand Destination Specialist program and visited New Zealand in 2016 - one of her favorite destinations! Marcia is also a qualified Insight Tour Specialist.
She has completed the Certified Sandals Specialist Program and recently toured Sandals Emerald Bay in Great Exuma, Bahamas, Beaches Turks and Caicos, and Sandals Grande Antigua. She can fit you to the perfect all-inclusive vacation whether you are a honeymoon couple, are looking for an exciting family vacation, or desire a romantic getaway!
“My goal is to find a vacation or getaway personalized for each client. I pride myself on listening to your needs and finding that detail that makes you say: this was my best vacation ever!”
MY RECENT TRIPS
South Africa with African Travel Inc.
I spent one night in Johannesburg, two nights at Thornybush and three nights in Cape Town featuring Queen Victoria Hotel and Belmond Mount Nelson. From the time I stepped off the plane in JNB, African Travel made our group feel welcome and safe. They had greeters meet us when we got off the plane, expedited us through customs and immigration, assisted with luggage and porters and took us to our transportation. This was the case for every airport arrival and departure and they were even in JNB to meet us and assist us from our domestic flight to international flight.
The Thornybush Private Game Reserve is adjacent to Kruger Natioanal Park. They have several properties on the reserve. I stayed at Thornybush Waterside Lodge and viewed Thornybush Game Lodge, Saseka Tented Camp (both in their Premium Collection) as well as Jackalberry Lodge (Waterside and Jackalberry considered Classic Collection). The Saseka Tented Camp just opened eight months ago and has already had at least one repeat guest! This would be a great property for honeymooners or anyone that wants more privacy. There was a millennial group there while we toured and it looked like they were having a good time. The tents here were absolutely stunning.
Observations and information of my Safari Experience:
Open top vehicles used with driver and tracker. They seat nine but they will only put up to eight guests in vehicle. Very comfortable seats and plenty of room. Theatre style seating and back room is bumpiest. Please note you are out for three hours-go to the bathroom before you leave! You can take a “bush pee” if you need to go during the drive.
Tipping guidelines for your drive staff and lodge staff are in the room information booklet. In South Africa you can tip in Rand as well as USD (newer bills only). If you are not taking a bushwalk after your drive, you can where flip flops, sandals, tennis shoes. You will not go out of your vehicle except for a “Sundowner” drinks on the last night drive of your stay in the bush or a light breakfast on the last morning of your stay out in the bush. Dress in layers. I went from shorts and t shirt to wearing a blanket over my lap, jacket and scarf on one ride. They provide blankets and rain tarps.
The crafts and brand wear in the gift shops at the lodges were priced well. Please buy from the shops since they support the locals. I had no problem doing this! Get to know your trackers and drivers-they have great stories. We asked ours to have a drink with us the last night and they obliged. Also listen to their directions. They are the ones that keep you safe.
I took a Wine Country tour to Franschhoek and vicinity. This is a quaint town with great shopping. Many wineries here and we did a tasting, lunch, and a blending class. The blending class was quite fun and interesting. We were able to bottle our own blend and take with us. We also stopped at the last prison where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated and say where he did his Freedom Walk and statue. I also went down to the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Point, The Penguin Colony, and had lunch at Bertha’s in Simon’s Town-great seafood platter! This is a coastal town where I would recommend some time to stroll. I recommend booking an early morning tour, especially in busy season. The road gets quite congested by midmorning.
The Cape Town City Tour was excellent and again, I recommend a private tour: you will see beautiful views of Table Mountain, the city, and Company Garden. They also took us to a private diamond/jewelry store. Great prices and we were given a demonstration of diamond cutting. This was my first experience to Africa and I am hooked – cannot wait to go back again!
More Adventures from Marcia Staber, CTC, DS ...
My experience in Turks & Caicos was amazing with Delta Vacations! We visited Wymara Resort and Villas,The Sands at Grace Bay, The Shore Club and The Palms.
Wymara Resort and Villas has 91 Suites on property and five Villas (seven will be completed by 2020) about five minutes away. Wymara Resort has studio, one, two , and three bedroom. I had the Luxury Ocean Front Studio which looks directly on the ocean.
Wymara Villas is located on the other side of the island-no beach but walk out decks in to the ocean. Villa guests have full use of the resort (can go for breakfast but not included) and there is a shuttle for use between the two properties. Continental breakfast delivered to villas starting in December and is included. They have small gym but awesome views. All unites are made of reclaimed limestone from area and hand cut-gorgeous
The Wymara has a very laid back, intimate setting-if someone wants a lot of activity and hype, this is not the place for them. I would consider this for honeymooners and couples that want privacy and upscale atmosphere. They have an extensive beach area with plenty of umbrellas and chairs-won’t seem busy even in season
The Villas are out of this world! They are individually owned (about 5 mil per unit, 8500 a month for HOA fees-but no property tax) but the onsite builder and management take care of them. They are cleaned every two days when no one is in them and twice a day when guest are onsite. These are great for multi gen, girlfriends or men’s getaways, or life celebrations.
The Pink Bar is great bar for Sunset Cocktails-the Signature Pink Cocktail with gin was delicious!
My recent Iceland Experience exceeded my expectations!
I worked with a Signature Travel Network Specialist called Iceland Travel. Their escorted group size is usually 10+ passengers, but we can also do a private tour for 1-10 guests. And for the adventurous they also have a luxury product called Nine Worlds that includes private jets, helicopters, meet & greet, gifts, etc. The Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Natura was my hotel which is located about 10 minutes from the city center. The onsite restaurant, Satt, has an excellent breakfast buffet (included in rates with Iceland Travel). With only 220 rooms the property is very nice with great views. Outside of Reykjavik in the summer there is limited availability for hotels - book early.
The Golden Circle Tour is a 'must do.' This is the most popular tour from Reykjavik and you can do add-ons to a spa, tomato greenhouse, etc. The basic includes Geysir, Gullfoss Falls, and Thingvellir National Park. This tour does have a lot of walking and was about eight hours. We also went out to Reykjanes Peninsula where I saw The Blue Lagoon (a must for any traveler wanting to get in the hot springs) as well as the Brimketill Lava Pools, and the bridge between two continents-where the North American Plate and the Eurasian Plate meet. Don’t miss the large Lutheran Church, Hallgrimskirkja, in town.
*No mosquitos in Iceland
*90% of the whale watching is up north
*24 hours of effective daylight starting the end of April
*There are over 65 golf courses in Iceland and “Midnight Golf” is very popular.
*Outside of Reykjavik in the summer amounts has limited availability for hotels-book early.
*For self-drives, you now receive a tablet when you pick up car. You type in your booking number and it gives you a step by step itinerary and restaurants and sights to see along your way.
*Northern Lights is best to see around a new moon from September to March.
I love Iceland! The people are incredible and there is so much to see.
As one of Central Travel’s top producers for Delta Vacations, I was part of an incentive award trip this January to the Riviera Maya. We did site inspections at Ocean Riviera Paradise, Hotel Xcaret, Unico 20° 87°, Zoetry Paraiso De La Bonita, Generations Riviera Maya, by Karisma and our host resort was the beautiful Grand Velas Riviera Maya. All resorts were 4.5 – 5 Star properties and we saw all room categories in each resort. There is certainly something for everyone in the Riviera Maya!
I found the Unico 20° 87° resort to be rather unique. The property is owned by Hard Rock and is considered a luxury hotel in Riviera Maya. Located in a bay with a private beach flanked by El Dorado Seaside Suites and The Palladium resorts, the hotel is set in a horseshoe and 90% of their rooms are Ocean View. The resort is adults only.
Alcoba is the name of the lead in the category and is a swim up room on the first floor and not Ocean view. If you have an ocean view or ocean front Alcoba room, it is not a swim up but has a tub on the terrace, however, the tub does not have a privacy curtain. The Estancia Suites are one bedroom, 1.5 baths and either tropical view (palm trees in way of the ocean) or Ocean view. These are located on floors two and above with large living area and terrace.
The resort has a laid back atmosphere-they have no scheduled entertainment but always something going on. Three pools including one quiet pool. Palmera is open Wednesday through Saturday until 2:00 am with music, but if you want a “club” atmosphere they have a $10.00 excursion that takes you to the Hard Rock Club-Heaven from 10:00 pm-2:00 am.
Restaurants-you can make a reservation or do first/come first served. Best take away-casual dress code in every restaurant. Unico does not expect you to come to Riviera Maya and have to dress up for dinner. Inez Café opens from 6:00am-2:00am-great for early morning flights if you want to have a breakfast take away.
I would be happy to assist you with your next Riviera Maya vacation!
I have recently returned from Tahiti and French Polynesia and have a new favorite destination in the world!
My trip was sponsored by The Tahiti Travel Exchange and I stayed or visited several properties. In Tahiti, I stayed at the Tahiti Pearl Beach Resort and the Intercontinental Resort. In Bora Bora, I visited the Conrad Bora Bora Nui, the Le Meridien Bora Bora and the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort which was an amazing property and perfect for weddings. On Rangiroa, I stayed at the Hotel Kia Ora Resort & Spa, one of two hotels on the island and definitely the nicest. Rangiroa is an atoll and is known as a diver’s paradise. This would be great for divers or honeymooners that want privacy. Over-water bungalows have a nice deck and large interior.
Tahiti and French Polynesia are rather expensive – I would suggest taking a Paul Gaugin cruise (which is all-inclusive) then staying a couple of nights in an overwater bungalow – makes a perfect combination.
Since I have personally visited several properties I can recommend what’s best for you depending on your personal interests and would be happy to create a French Polynesia vacation with memories for a lifetime!
I have recently returned from a wonderful trip from Paris to Barcelona on the MSC Fantasia!
Our hotel in Paris was the Paris Marriott Ambassador Opera Hotel which provided great views of the Eiffel Tower in the executive lounge. The hotel is close to the Opera, walking distance to Moulin Rouge, Galeries Lafayette, and the start of hop on hop off tour.
The Jules Verne Restaurant-on second floor of Eiffel Tower serves lunch and dinner. You can make reservations online only starting about 90 days prior. The food was amazing and well worth the price. Make sure you get there early since you do have to go through a security check to get on to the grounds. A private elevator takes you up to the restaurant and only six people at a time fit in the elevator.
In Barcelona, we stayed at the Cotton House Hotel, Autograph Collection by Marriott. I highly recommend this hotel: great location, service was five star, and there is a small pool and sunning deck on the top floor. You can see La Sagrada Familia from the rooftop. Definitely book a bed and breakfast rate here. We were in the Madras room that gave us a balcony with a courtyard view.
Our MSC Fantasia cruise was a 12-day Western Mediterranean itinerary in a Yacht Club Suite. This was my first experience with MSC and I was pleasantly surprised. However, we were in the Yacht Club section of the ship which has only 69 suites and TONS of amenities; private check-in area, private elevator, butler service, reserved seats on all shore excursion vehicles, private dining room (with any time dining) for Yacht Club members, etc. MSC is an Italian company and still caters to the European market. Although we met other US Citizens, we were definitely the minority. I loved the diversity. The buffet restaurant was average at best. Service was spotty and you need to get your own coffee and water. There are several bars and lounges to sit in relax, listen to music, etc. Needless to say, we kept to the Yacht Club most of the time. Top notch service, never crowded and had everything we needed. If you are considering the MSC Fantasia the Yacht Club is the only way to sail!
In 2016 I had the opportunity to explore New Zealand with Travel2 and it was amazing. Absolutely, positively my favorite destination to date! I arrived in Auckland and immediately headed to Hobbiton-a must see for anyone, but especially all the “Lord of the Rings” fans.
Queenstown was my favorite city, located on the South Island and a favorite ski destination. It was the beginning of ski season, but still not crowded. Many hikes and trails start right in the city; anywhere from 45 minutes to 4 hours, and offer breathtaking views from every angle. I did two river excursions in Queenstown: Shotover River and Dart River. I highly recommend both. The Shotover is great if you do not have a lot of time: Shotover is 10 minutes from town and about a half hour ride. The Dart River is about an hour ride from Queenstown where you begin at the quaint town of Glenorchy, and you have several tours to choose from. The Dart includes a 30 minute forest walk where they show you where many movies filmed their outdoor scenes.
I visited several resorts on both the North and South island and know where to stay, dine and what to do. Please call me to assist with your New Zealand adventure - you'll love it!
Cancun Omni Cancun Resort and Villas
Beautiful beaches, breathtaking sunsets, spectacular views and Five Star accommodations combine to create an unparalleled getaway experience in beautiful Cancun. I could not be more pleased with this all-inclusive resort. On a great stretch of beach, all rooms have either a lagoon view or sea view, so water view either side. Rooms are good size with mini bar (beer, soda, and water) and a coffee maker. This is a smaller resort, but the service is outstanding. Poolside service, we never had an empty drink!
Hotel RIU Palace Riviera Maya
What a difference a resort makes! Leaving the Omni and walking into the grandeur and opulence of the RIU we realized we would have a totally different experience here. Although the service was not as special as the Omni, we enjoyed the vibrance of the resort, the ability to have access to the other RIU’s, and the beach.
I have recently returned from an exciting trip to Australia in August and am pleased to let everyone know I am an Australian Destination Specialist! I have completed course and webinars online and now, with my first trip to Australia under my belt, I can assist you with your plans to Australia with confidence.
I toured Sydney, Hunter Valley, and Blue Mountains in New South Wales and did an extensive trek to the Outback with stops at Uluru, (Ayer’s Rock) King’s Canyon, Alice Springs, and Glen Helen. I stayed in five star accommodations as well as a Homestead stay in Glen Helen.
I would love to talk to you about my experiences: The Sydney Bridge Climb, Sydney Harbour Cruise, Sunrise and Sunset at Uluru, Camel Camp, King’s Canyon Rim Walk, Gorge Hikes-just to name a few-and then find you the perfect South Pacific vacation to suit your needs. Please give me a call to set up an appointment today!
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
I loved my visit to Punta Cana where I visited several resorts; Chic-very impressed with this hotel - used to be a French “Club” hotel, Hard Rock-feels like a cruise ship on land, Iberostar Bavaro Suites-felt a bit commune like, but good choice for families, RIU Macao-adults only very West Indies feel and again, laid-back atmosphere, and the Grand Palladium – one of my favorites.
Right on the shore of Bávaro Beach, where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean, you find the Grand Palladium Punta Cana to be a lovely property. Thanks to this idyllic setting, you'll enjoy your vacations under the warm Caribbean sun walking along a one kilometer long beach with fine white sand. The waves of a transparent turquoise sea sing a soothing lullaby in the midst of lush tropical vegetation. Whether you travel as a couple or with your family, you can choose from a wide variety of cuisines, pamper yourself with relaxing massages in the Spa or practice your favorite water sport!
Rocky Mountaineer Canadian Rockies Adventure
Since 1990, Rocky Mountaineer has had the extreme good fortune to carry guests from the world over into the heart of the famed Canadian Rockies. Now I know why Rocky Mountaineer has won eight World Travel Awards, hailed as the Academy Awards of the tourism industry!
I have recently returned from a fantastic experience traveling from Calgary to Lake Louise and Banff via motorcoach then to Kamloops and Vancouver via train. Truly a luxury train experience, Rocky Mountaineer lets you travel during the day through the Canadian Rockies and overnight along the way at luxury hotels. There are several train itineraries and you can customize your vacation by adding on motorcoach tours as well as independent travel.
The Fairmont hotel is normally your home in the evenings. I experienced the Fairmont Palliser in Calgary, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, and the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. Ask me about the Summit Helicopter Tour in Calgary - certainly, a must do.
The Rocky Mountaineer Train experience was phenomenal! Service accommodations and dining were excellent. This is definitely the best way to see the Canadian Rockies.
Loved Sandals Emerald Bay in Great Exuma, Bahamas, Beaches Turks and Caicos, and Sandals Grande Antigua!
Sandals Grande Antigua is situated in the most beautiful and longest white-sand beach in Antigua and is only 15 minutes from the airport (UVF). This property consists of really two distinct sections. There is the original Caribbean Village section where the style and feel are just what it sounds, the Caribbean like and the rooms are closest to the beach and gardens. The Red Lane Spa and Red Lane Fitness center are both located in this area and also the first original Rondovals for Sandals. Many rooms have been newly refurbished and all have the mahogany furnishing.
Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma Bahamas sits on a mile of white-sand beach on one side and a marina on the other. It has an 18 hole, 7,000 yard, par 72 Greg Norman-designed golf course with 6 holes on the oceanfront peninsula. This resort felt intimate and not too overwhelming. The rooms are all pretty close to the beach and pools so you don't have to walk a mile from your room or anywhere to swim. It is a very sports active resort with 6 tennis courts and a 2.6-mile jogging trail through the golf course and along the Emerald Bay. They have unlimited scuba diving for certified divers and Discover Scuba for beginners. The pools here were great and they have the Caribbean's largest zero entry pool with a central fire pit, really cool. They have added a brick oven down by the beach where they make all kinds of different fresh breads daily.
Beaches Turks and Caicos, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos is a large resort and has an excellent beach. Broken down into four areas: French, Italian, Caribbean, and Key West. The French are furthest from the beach. The Caribbean is in the main area, Italian between the Caribbean and Key West. Key West was another resort and you can clearly feel the difference. Although the beachfront villas are amazing, the bathrooms are basic. Great maybe for families, but did not impress me. The pools in this area are also small.
Restaurants abound here (19 places to eat) and two of them are beachside. The kids' area is fabulous: Sesame Street daycare area, waterpark area with slide and lazy river and their own swim up “bar.”