Weekly Neighborhood News from MCGC Neighbors

MCGC Neighbors Weekly News Blast

Let's Go Cruising!!

Our Guest Writers this week are Annette and Sal Martorano, who are Certified Travel Specialists.  They have lived here in Murphy Creek for 7 years, have 2 children and 2 grandkids, and have a total of over 30 years of travel experience all over the world.  They have provided domestic & international leisure travel, group and family travel planning, and personalized one-on-one service.  They are a great source for the insights provided below.

Cruising is a great way of vacationing, but it can be very frustrating and confusing, especially for those new to cruising, when it comes to cost, destinations, size of ships, room selection, ocean or river cruising, shore excursions, dress requirements, etc., etc., etc.  So, don't give up on a cruising experience because of these frustrations - check with a reputable travel consultant to get you on the right ship for you!  Just keep in mind the following key points:

  • Generally, the first consideration is your Budget.  You need to decide on the maximum amount you want to spend including transportation to and from the departure port; spending money on board for gifts, alcohol, etc.; cost of the excursions - if any; and pocket money while on shore at your various ports of call.  Most cruises include your food and entertainment, so this is not a factor.
  • Next is Destination. There are cruise ships throughout the world.  Keep in mind that the further you travel from home, the more expensive the airfare will be.  For example, the airfare for a river cruise on the Mississippi River can be relatively inexpensive (several hundred dollars) where as the airfare on a river cruise on the Yangtze River in China can be one to two thousand dollars per person.  Try to select your destination based on your "Bucket List" and keeping in mind your budget.
  • Ship Size.  Ocean cruise ships can range from several hundred passengers to several thousand passengers.  River cruise ships generally hold a maximum of 200 passengers.  Check with your travel consultant for the many advantages and disadvantages of the various ship sizes.
  • Ocean vs River Cruising.  River cruising has became one of the more popular cruising choices today.  There are several rivers within the USA to cruise and many rivers in Europe and Asia.  One of the advantages of river cruising are the local excursions which bring you closer to the local cultures of that region.  Three meals a day are included on all cruise lines, with some river cruise lines including wine or beer for dinner.  However, if you enjoy top line nightly entertainment, casinos, more food choices, and (generally) larger staterooms, ocean cruising is for you.  Also a 7 night river cruise is more expensive than a 7 night ocean cruise,  depending on destinations.
  • Room Selection.  On either ocean or river cruising, rooms with balconies will be the most expensive.  Your next choice would be rooms with an ocean or river view, and for the more budget minded, inside rooms would be your choice.  Keep in mind, all rooms will get you to the exact same destinations - budget is the only consideration.

There are many other questions you need to get answered prior to packing, such as:  What do I wear on & off the ship? Can I bring my pet KoKo on board? How much & who should I tip on the ship? How much are excursions and which ones should I take? What should I buy, if anything, while cruising?  All of these questions and many more can be answered with the selection of a travel consultant who has the experience and knowledge to book your vacation dreams.  While you may be tempted to use an internet travel site, don’t.  Choose to receive the personalized service, insight and cruising experience that a Certified Travel Consultant can provide - and at no additional cost to you.

Our thanks to Sal and Annette for contributing to this week’s News Blast.  Check out their ad in the right column to email them and to see that they are MCGC Neighbors Membership Partners.  If you are a paid MCGC Neighbors member and are thinking about a vacation, let Sal and Annette work with you. (And you can take advantage of the travel voucher membership benefit.)

Denver Dog Show

Pause for Paws

If you are a “dog person”, don’t miss the 18th Annual Rocky Mountain Cluster Dog Show on Feb. 12-15 at the National Western Complex, 4655 Humboldt St. in Denver.  There will be 3000 dogs representing 184 breeds from Colorado and beyond competing with their owners/handlers in a wide array of events. 

You’ll see the traditional showing and judging of dogs vying for best in breed, class, or best in show.  There will be Agility and Obedience competitions.  You’ll see well trained dogs run challenging courses competing for fastest time with no penalties.

You will be able to walk around and see the dogs up close, and with permission, may be able to pet a few. There will be vendors with pet accessories as well as food trucks when you get hungry. 

If you love dogs, you’ll love attending this dog show.  Click for more details as to times and events.

Calendar at a Glance

Calendar at a Glance

Feb 11 (Wed) – Special Oil & Gas Committee Meeting - Aurora Municipal Center - Aspen Room, 2nd floor - 3PM - 4:30PM

Feb 12-15 (Thurs-Sun) – Rocky Mountain Cluster Dog Show - Click for events and times

Feb 14 (Sat) – Valentine's Day Dinner - the
Tavern - Call 303-361-7310 for reservations and times

Feb 16 & 18 (Mon & Wed) – Poker - the Tavern - Register by 6:00PM - plays begins at 7:00PM

Feb 21 (Sat) – Chinese New Year Celebration - Aurora History Museum - begins  at 2PM

Feb 21 (Sat) – Fundraiser Texas Hold 'Em Poker Tournament - the Tavern - Call 303-361-7310 for details


Chinese Year of the Sheep

Celebrate the Year of the Ram

Explore the traditional Chinese culture on Saturday, Feb. 21 at 2:00 p.m. by participating in Aurora’s annual Chinese New Year Celebration. 

It is being coordinated in cooperation with the Denver Chinese Cultural Center at the Aurora History Museum, 15051 E. Alameda Pkwy. To celebrate the Year of the Ram, there will be demonstrations, stories, and crafts.

Participants will learn about traditional Chinese food by practicing the shaping of Chinese dumplings; see a demonstration of Chinese calligraphy; listen to stories; and learn riddles from Chinese history.

Families can make folded Chinese currency, and other crafts on the theme of the "Ram". Each participant will receive a red envelope for good luck with a special treat inside.

The cost of the afternoon of fun is $5, or $4 if you live in Aurora. Seating at the demonstrations and storytelling is limited and available first-come, first-served. This is a great family event, so put it on your calendars.

Valentine's Day Dinner at the Tavern

Valentine's Day

Don't forget the special Valentine's Day dinner at the Tavern.

Details and menu here.

(Note - the Valentine's Day dinner is excluded from the MCGC Neighbors discount.)

St. Pius X
Jennifer Oldham - Your Neighborhood Realtor
Annette Martorano - Travel Leaders

MCGC Membership Partner - discounts for MCGC members!
Murphy Creek Tavern
MCGC Membership Partner - discounts for MCGC members!
Plains Conservation Center
MCGC Membership Partner - discounts for MCGC members!
Copyright © 2015 MCGC Neighbors, Inc., All rights reserved.

MCGC Neighbors strives to make the information contained in this newsletter as timely and accurate as possible, but makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the contents of  this newsletter, and expressly disclaims liability for errors and omissions in the contents of this newsletter. Reference in this newsletter to any specific commercial product, process, or service, or the use of any trade, firm or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public, and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by MCGC Neighbors.

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