Christianne Box, DS
Interests & Specialties
Christianne (CA) has been with Central Travel since 2016 and has over 16 years of experience in the travel industry. She holds a Destination Specialist (DS) designation for the Caribbean from The Travel Institute. She is a Jamaica Specialist, Sandals Specialist, and AMResorts Master Agent. CA has also completed Karisma GI University training and Delta Vacations University. CA is located in the Central Ave office in Toledo, OH.
CA has visited numerous islands in the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America. She has sailed with Royal Caribbean International and Disney on the Wonder.
She has visited many of the National Parks including Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Bryce, Zion and the Grand Canyon.
CA enjoys working with active travelers and enjoys destinations that offer running venues, trails and races. She excels in family/multi-generational travel along with luxury custom vacation in Europe. She is looking forward to making your next vacation special!
Basel to Nuremberg Nov 2-9, 2021 - AMA Prima
We took Delta and stayed in Basel for 2 nights prior at Hotel City Inn. This is right across from the Basel train station and very easy to get to. Customs and immigration was seamless and zipped right through! Basel offers plenty of things to see. We were there on Halloween so all the little kids were walking in costumes to a festival in town with rides and various food vendors. Everyone needed their Covid certificates or cards to enter. Town is easily accessible, very clean. Felt very safe too.
We had done the Swiss COVID certificate prior and had the app so easy to access and scan. We found out after we had arrived (AMA didn’t mention in pre check in or prior to departure) that France or Germany required COVID certificates as well. Some places would accept the Swiss one and some would not. All restaurants in Switzerland, France and Germany required a mask and either Covid card or certificate for that country to enter/dine.
We boarded the ship in Strasbourg due to numerous boats not able to navigate the lower portion of The Rhine due to heavy summer rains. Deposits from sand and gravel have settled in the lower Rhine and will affect ships from moving freely until this part can be dredged. AMA bussed us from Basel to the port and we were on the ship overnight. We had a French balcony stateroom (upgraded from lower level) and nice. I looked at some of the staterooms with double balconies and this area of the balcony is bumped out. Note: with exception of the extra balcony, there was not much difference in rooms.
Tours: We chose the “active” tour option for most of the tours, so a lot of walking is involved. Guests will need to understand that the pace of the tour doesn’t mean it is reflective of handicap or mobility issues, but how quickly one will cover the area. As an active tour, literally not much stopping for pictures etc and moved along quickly. Bikes were offered for some of the tours/ports but not all. Guests were given helmets and bottled water. All tours offer local guides who met us at each port. We choose our excursions in advance, but had the freedom to change at will or even the day of. In some cases we were the only ones on the tour so it was very much customized on how much we wanted to see. Those guests not participating on the tours will stay on ship as it moves from port to port. For those on an excursion, a meeting point is determined and those guests will be bussed to next pier. There was always free time to explore after each excursion/city tour. Bathroom stops were also incorporated with each city tour.
Food: all meals were offered via menu only in the dining room. Very accommodating to my friends Gluten allergy and another guest at our table had a dairy sensitivity. Recommendations/modifications were offered for every meal. All wine, beer, soft drinks, juice, coffee were included for all meals. A red or white wine was offered for all dinner menus. Chef recommendations were provided on the menu, along with a Vegetarian and items that are always available. We asked the chef for a gluten free pizza, and they accommodated this for the next day’s lunch meal. We had a Chef’s table meal one evening which was served at the back of the boat. Approx. 25 guests are served at a time. Very nice presentation.
Entertainment: after dinner they offered a piano player each night in the lounge. Very low key and do not expect a lot of activity after dinner. Any snacks offered were extremely limited. Daily tea at 4pm with light snacks/desserts offered and “Sip-n-Sail” at 6pm each evening with a drink of the day. Select drinks offered during Sip-n-sail are included.
Highlights: Notre Dame Cathedral in Strasbourg, evening wine tasting in Rudesheim, Vineyard hike, Werthheim Castle, Wurzburg Palace, Gluhwein (mulled wine) in Wurzburg. For any wine drinkers, this region of France/Germany is known for their Rieslings and on occasion Ice Wein. I also tried smoked beir and a local dish of sausages, sauerkraut and potatoes.
Tips: countries in the EU do not have standard COVID requirements/certificates so make sure you have one for each country to be safe. You may be required to show additional proof of vaccinations so always hand carry COVID certificates and have one on phone to scan. The Swiss certificate (approx. $34 USD) was a bit tricky to get and there is no way to get refunds back for additional fees associated if the information is not correct. We obtained prior to our departure wasn’t always accepted in France. We were denied going in to the cathedral and some restaurants. Masks were required for ALL indoor facilities/museums and restaurants. Multiple types of masks may be required. During our journey, Germany’s restrictions changed that morning and we were required an N95 in public! They were selling them on the ship for 2euros each.
It was an excellent experience and I would recommend river cruising with AmaWaterways to anyone!
More Adventures from Christianne Box, DS ...
Sandals Royal Caribbean
Located in Montego Bay, Jamaica, this resort features classical Georgian architecture, rich mahogany paneling and manicured grounds that welcome guests to a place reminiscent of the grandest British manor houses. Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort transports its guests to a timeless experience of impeccable service, genteel manners and effortless sophistication, all set against the vivid aquamarine majesty of the Caribbean Sea. The property is an adults-only, Plantation Greathouse-style resort. It also features an exotic, private off-shore island with a pool and a Thai restaurant.
We stayed in the Kensington Cove Village in a Honeymoon Beachfront Club Level on the 3rd floor. Views of beach, ocean, pool and gardens were excellent. Rooms were very nice, clean and sanitized prior to our arrival. The door is sealed and broken upon you sliding your room key through it. The mini bar was stocked with drinks only – no snacks. Several bottles of liquor and wine were in the cupboard above the mini bar. Glassware, wine opener, coffee and tea makers (with a variety of teas and coffee). The bathroom area was a bit odd. The tub was older, heart shaped with darker tiles all around, shower head and a BIG step over the edge of tub to get in. Double vanity with lighted makeup mirror, separate toilet area and closet with robes, slippers, hairdryer and safe. Larger size Red Lane Spa bath amenities for guests.
We tried to get reservations at the Thai restaurant, but to no avail, we settled for The Bombay Club (Indian). I’m not a big fan of Indian cuisine, but this was exceptional.Breakfast was offered at Spices (buffet). With all the Covid restrictions, the staff serves the food that is on the buffet. They are very quick to remind those that try to serve themselves, that they will do it for you but not in a mean way. I chose to do a custom omelet which was very tasty. Not sure how long this will last but didn’t like having to be served at a buffet! We also tried Jerk Quesadillas for a snack.
Sandals continues to offer a great product and Jamaica is certainly ready for travelers!
My visit to Sandals Negril Beach Resort & Spa was wonderful and so appreciated after several months in COVID lockdown!
This adults-only, luxurious beach resort sits on the longest span of Negril's stunning 7-mile beach. True beachfront rooms open out directly to alabaster sand and swaying coconut trees. One-of-a-kind loft suites enfold guests in a gorgeous sanctuary, complete with spiral staircases and super-deluxe décor. Features include some of Jamaica's best scuba diving and snorkeling, a sports complex, 7 restaurants, and full exchange privileges at neighboring Sandals and Beaches resorts.
The COVID Protocals were thorough but non-evasive. Touchless sanitizing units are everywhere. Social distancing stickers, signage etc. are well placed and visible. All staff wore masks but didn’t really enforce it with guests. Guests did have them on when entering the resort. I did see some wear them but everything is outdoors so didn’t really feel I needed to. Sandals was quick to remind us that with the dining not much had to be adjusted as they have always “socially distanced” in their restaurants. Larger parties are split up to no more than 5 per table. The pool areas were all socially distanced as well. Honestly liked the sparseness of the pool loungers vs. one right on top of the other since the pool areas are smaller at this property.
Dining was fun at. Kimono’s (hibachi) & Barefoot By the Beach (seafood), then Italian and Sundowner (Jamaican). We ate at Bayside (breakfast/lunch during day and becomes French for dinner) Beach Bistro (lunch). Bella Napoli (pizzeria). Robert Mondavi wines with dinner are great and a nice variety of both reds and whites were offered. Snorkeling and glass bottom boats included. Hobie Kats and paddle boarding, but all subject to water conditions.. Reservations need to be made with Club concierge. We stayed in a Club Level Premium room – Paradise Building and these rooms Oceanview with private balcony or patio. These room categories do not have elevators.
Sandals pre-arranged the COVID-19 testing for re-entry to the US. We were given antigen tests (nasal) and it took no more than 15 min, including getting results. Must have your passport as proof if ID for testing. The process was well organized.
AIRPORT COVID testing/protocols in Detroit – I fell into the time frame for those traveling at the between March 1-10. So I had my test done on the 10 day mark (Feb 26th) and was ok to use. Be sure to have print copies of Negative COVID test results AND Travel Authorization Form readily available with Passport. You will have to show it again to the gate agent to verify before you get on the plane in Detroit.
Airport COVID protocols in Jamaica – limited entrances are open for departing flights. All passengers must sanitize with touchless units prior to entering the airport. There were 2 airport security checking this before you walked in. At check in, all COVID test results and Attestation forms are checked prior to getting in line for baggage drop and check in. I printed my form out prior and signed it in person, handed it to the agent. You will need to show your forms, boarding pass AND passport a minimum of 3-4 times prior to getting on the plane, including Club MoBay, security lines and gate areas.
My recent stay at El Dorado Seaside Suites by Karisma, Adults only all-inclusive was excellent.
Long recognized as one of Mexico’s premier resorts, the AAA Four Diamond El Dorado Seaside Suites, by Karisma is an oasis of luxury that is divided into two distinct sections, each providing a unique, authentic Mexican experience. Enjoy beachside bliss with lush vegetation and the coconut plantations of the Palms. Or, choose to stay in the all-oceanfront Infinity section, featuring swim-up suites that connect to the main pool. Discover balcony pools on every floor, exquisite a la carte restaurants, the largest spa in the Riviera Maya, and a spacious, beachfront, open-air Sky terrace that is perfect for weddings or private events.
I was originally booked on the Palms side and was upgraded to the swim out suites on the Infinity side. The Palms side was closed while we were there in October and has been taken over by TUI and will be renamed TUI Blue.
The lobby for the resort was vacant but most of the restaurants were open. The beach side grill was only open for breakfast and lunch. The beach access was better on Palms side with a long stretch of white sand beach. The beach on Infinity side is small and rocky with more waves. Due to COVID, the capacity was about 50% at best.2020
The main pool was active and swim up pool bar busy. Anyone with rooms on the first 3-4 floors (swim out) will be right in with all the pool guests, the only privacy is on floors 2 and above.
The restaurant served breakfast and lunch daily, only ala carte, no buffets and used QR scan to read menus. Most restaurants were open for dinner and reservations are suggested. All staff wore at minimum a mask, food servers wore mask, face shield and some wore eye shields too. Sanitizer was offered at every eating venue. Staff was very friendly and helpful. Food was good and all activities were held outdoors.
We had a lovely vacation and would not hesitate to stay at this resort again!
My sailing with Celebrity onboard the Constellation was amazing!
It was a 9-day Mediterranean and Dalmation Coast itinerary. We stopped in the ports of Monte Carlo, Nice (Villefrance), Rome, Sicily (Messinia/Taormina), Corfu, Montenegro (could not get into this port due to high winds), Croatia (Zadar) and finished in Venice. We flew into Barcelona for a pre-cruise stay and did a couple interesting walking tours with one of our preferred suppliers called Walks who specializes in immersive, small group, walking tours, day trips, and food tours. One of the Walks tours was a Paella making at The Paella Club near Las Ramblas. This culinary experience was truly one of the highlights of the trip. I would highly recommend this to anyone wanting a fully immersive and authentic cooking experience. We met the owners and they are very excited about this concept!
The Constellation has not undergone the Revolution renovation and scheduled for dry dock in April or May. We were able to see what the rooms, main areas and dining will look like after she has been renovated. The ship will have a much brighter, airy feel with modern yet sophisticated details in all areas of the ship. We took advantage of the Canyon Ranch Spa which was excellent. We also enjoyed the Specialty Dining venue called Qsine’s Le Petit Chef which was adorable and interactive. They have a set menu they offer and it changes about half way thru sailing. Ours included lobster and filet. All the food in the dining room was themed based on the port we had called on that day.
We arranged private tours in every port except Corfu. Private shore excursions are well worth the money and in most cases, we received more value for our investment and only had 6-8 people on each private tour. I also booked our Croatia tour with a “Walks By Locals” and included our transportation. Our guide was local as the tour mentions and she was very informative.
The pros of this cruise was a port intensive sailing and adequate time in all ports to take advantage of doing a private tour vs cruise tour excursion. We definitely received value for the dollars spent and had plenty of time in every port to shop, eat and site see as well as allow for any unforeseen circumstances like the weather. Shopping discounts were offered in every port due to the end of season. Spa service and gym were well appointed and utilized to our advantage and the beverage package was a great value and I highly recommend it. I would love to assist you with your next cruise adventure!
My two week South Africa adventure was amazing! We began in Johannesburg and visited Lesedi Cultural Village which represents four of the five tribes in S. Africa. The Lion and Cheetah Park is located just five 5 min from Lesedi where we could hold and pet lion cubs in a large fenced area! The Rosebank Mall was great for shopping and food venues of all kinds, African Market (bartering a must!!!). A visit to Soweto & Apartheid Museum ( Nelson Mandela’s home after being imprisoned on Robbin Island) is not to be missed. The Apartheid Museum was humbling in every way - I can only compare it to the Holocaust Museum but that doesn’t begin to express it properly.
Our safari experience was in Pilanesberg – just a couple hours from Johannesburg and quite close to Sun City. The two night stay included lodging in a large tent with electricity – lights and fan. Each tent was equipped with two single beds with clean bedding, a warm Duve, night light, night stand, oscillating fan, towel for showering and extra fleece type blanket, two camp chairs outside tent on a small patio area. We did two safaris per day – early morning (6a – 9a) and late afternoon (3:30-630). We saw most of the Big 5 – with exception to the Hippo (heads only) and the Cheetahs. There was an abundance of Giraffe, Zebra, Wildebeest, Warthog, Impala, White Rhino, Kudu other small antelope type deer and Elephants of all sizes. Various birds, Hyenas and Jackal dotted the park from time to time. No Leopards but spotted a large pride of lions and cubs (3 months old) on our last day! That was the highlight.
The final leg of our itinerary was Capetown. This booming city is quite diverse. So many different cultures and races represented. We enjoyed Camps Bay, similar to a coastal beach town, with very expensive Cliffside homes, luxury cars and fabulous restaurants. We toured both Franschoek (famous wine tram) and Stellenbosch area wineries in this region! We hired a private driver who was from Zimbabwe but now a native Capetonian - very knowledgeable. We stayed in a private home on the cliffs of Camps Bay, east of Capetown. Located at the base of Table Mountain and the 12 Apostles (mountain ridges), with Lions Head behind us to our right. We did the cable car tour of Table Mountain (approx. $10 per adult). Robbin Island (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned) is a short 45 min ferry ride you pick up down in Harbor Town (marina area). Be sure to get the tickets in advance - sells out quickly. We were not able to get tickets until the day we left!
I visited 15 resorts in Cancun!
Site visits included: Royalton Riviera Cancun & Hideaway, El Dorado Maroma, Grand Velas, the Palladium complex (Kantaneah, Colonial, White Sands and TRS Yucatan), UNICO 20 87, El Dorado Seaside Suites, Hard Rock Riviera Maya, Panama Jack Playa del Carmen, The ROYAL Playa del Carmen, Live Aqua and Hotel Xcaret.
One of my favorites was Grand Velas (located next to Ocean Riviera Paradise, Viceroy and Princess Hotels). The grounds very lush and tropical with a large open air lobby. The resort was quiet and serene even with 539 rooms. There are 254 rooms on Zen side (family) and 285 for Ambassador side (adults only section). The all-suite property offer two kids programs and the rooms on Ambassador side are 90% Oceanview. There is no beach access on Zen side, you need to use Ambassador side and transportation is provided.
Suggested time for any spa treatment is to allow for 1.5 hours prior to treatment to enjoy the spa experience. We saw a Grand Class Suite – ground floor - very spacious with a separate bedroom from LR/kitchen area that overlooked ocean, plunge pool, patio bed and hammocks.
All ala carte restaurants have a strict dress code for men! A huge fitness center will not disappoint active clients and the kids and teen areas are well appointed and thought out. Beach and Infinity pool on Ambassador side is very nice. Smaller, thinner beach, but very nice.
** This resort certainly did not disappoint in any way. The rooms on the Ambassador side have so many areas with great attention to detail and well appointed. Biggest negative- Zen guests do not have immediate access to beach and must use hotel shuttles to go to beach.
I have recently returned from a Jamaica “Feel The Vibe” Fam tour hosted by the Jamaica Tourist Board.
My host hotel was Hyatt Ziva/Zilara and we visited a total of five resorts; Hyatt Ziva/Zilara, Iberostar Rose Hall Suites (Beach, Suites, and Grand), Sandals Montego Bay, Royalton Negril (Hideaway and Grand Lido) and Sunset at The Palms. We also made stops at Ricks Café (jumped off the cliff), a new water/beach park called Grand Luxe Beach Park in Negril, Pier 1 and Margaretville and Hard Rock Cafe.
I must say the Hyatt Ziva/Zilara was my favorite! Great resort with ample pool space, rooms were very spacious and not too much of a chain hotel feel. Each floor was decorated slightly different. Zilara’s lobby was enclosed and with high ceilings and warm, comfy couches as you enter the lobby where Ziva’s was open air, vaulted ceilings and the view from the lobby to pool. There is a hallway that is guarded between the Ziva and Zilara for guests near the Spa. Pre-check in available at the airport.
This resort provides several activities for the active traveler, two gyms with ample equipment, spin classes, yoga classes on the beach and all 24/7. The beach area is quite nice and beaches are smaller and more intimate with beach chairs, Palapas and Bali beds and pool cabanas. Rock Gettys prevent the surf from coming into the beach. The food was really good everywhere and they also offer a Cigar bar, Bakery with sweets, ice cream and pastries, coffee bar and Jerk Hut. And the restaurants do not require reservations.
I would love to assist you with your Jamaican adventure!
In November of 2017, I visited Cabo San Lucas and stayed at the Riu Palace Cabo and Sante Fe during the Cabo Ironman. A friend was competing in the Aquathon (bike and swim) and while there I did site inspections at Breathless Cabo San Lucas, Barceló Gran Faro Los Cabos, Sandos Finisterra Los Cabo and Secrets Puerto Los Cabos.
I also took time to visit The Resort at Pedregal. Located up on a hill in a private community this resort is very serene and spread out. It’s a great option for both families and adults only. There are separate pool areas, restaurants and all room categories are suites with an Ocean view and terrace. Infinity pools and all views of the Pacific are abundant. The spa and gym area well appointed. This is truly a magnificent resort. If you are going to Cabo and staying at a different resort I would highly recommend going here for dinner at either Don Manuel’s or El Farallon – exquisite food and spectacular views.
If Cabo San Lucas is on your vacation list I’d be happy to assist in creating a perfect experience!
In 2017 I spent time out west and was blown away by the beauty.
We flew to Bozeman and did a self-drive to Phoenix. We stayed on a lovely ranch in Big Sky called 320 Guest Ranch. 320 is a historical Montana guest ranch founded in 1898. Situated between Yellowstone Park and Big Sky Ski Resort on more than 320 acres of pristine Montana nature, 320 Guest Ranch is every outdoor enthusiasts dream come true!
We toured Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, stayed in Jackson Hole, toured Zion and Bryce Natl parks then stayed at a Ski Lodge in Brian Head, UT. We also made stops in Sedona and Scottsdale and finished the in Grand Canyon National Park.
The National Parks are an awesome experience and I can assist with a custom trip just for you. Depending on your time frame, I can create a wonderful experience in just a week. Please contact me for your National Park adventure!
In 2017 I participated in an AMResorts Destination Wedding educational trip. I was able to visit several resorts including; Now Onyx, Dreams Punta Cana, Breathless Punta Cana, Secrets Cap Cana, and Zoetry Agua Punta Cana.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Zoetry property. A very Zen “retreat”, you can indulge yourself in The Art of Life® at Zoëtry Agua Punta Cana, an exquisite escape combining Endless Privileges® with tranquility, romance, gourmet dining, Bvlgari® bath amenities and more. There are 96 luxurious, cane-thatched suites with hardwood floors and natural stone accents located on a palm-studded white sand beach with crystal clear waters just an hour from the Punta Cana International Airport. Definitely upscale and for the discerning clientele who prefers quality over quantity.
Destination Wedding notes: The AMResorts allow for a unique destination wedding experience. They offer a very competent staff and vendors available for all types of weddings, including Shaddi, Mayan, S Asian, and much more. So many options and vacation ideas to share – I would love to assist planning your destination wedding!
I recently experienced the beautiful Cheeca Lodge and Spa in Islamorada. Located in the Sportfishing Capital of the World, Cheeca Lodge is a premier destination forserious anglers. Charter a boat and find over 500 species of fish within minutes from shore. The casual fisherman can cast a line from the end of our 525-foot pier – the longest in the Keys. A host of other activities can also be found at this luxury resort, including snorkeling, sea kayaking, bicycling, and scuba diving. Between activities, enjoy first-class dining at one of their three restaurants: Atlantic’s Edge, Limoncello, or Nikai Sushi.
With 214 spacious rooms and suites and 27 acres of lush gardens offering Adult and family pools, there is something for everyone at this lovely resort!
In 2013 I stayed at Azul Beach Resort The Fives in the Mayan Riveria and toured most of the Karisma properties in the area. Located just 30 minutes south of Cancun on the Yucatan Peninsula’s east coast, Riviera Maya is a world unto itself. Far more than just a collection of pristine beaches, Riviera Maya offers everything from bustling nightlife in Playa Del Carmen to ancient Mayan ruins in Tulum. You can zip line through tropical rainforests, swim in a natural underwater cave, land a trophy on a deep-sea fishing expedition or snorkel the reefs just offshore. Wherever you go, the authentic warmth of the Mexican people will stay with you forever.
Whoever said youth is wasted on the young has never experienced Azul Beach Resort The Fives Playa del Carmen, by Karisma. This Gourmet Inclusive® playground will bring out the playful side in everyone. At the same time, Azul Beach Resort The Fives Playa del Carmen’ luxury accommodations and impeccable service will satisfy the most discriminating adult tastes.