Norwegian Cruise Line
Jamie is from the Chicago suburbs where she lives with her husband of 21 years and their three teenagers. She has been planning vacations for almost 10 years and also works as an oncology nurse. With two jobs, there isn’t much downtime, so she enjoys any time that she gets with her family – dinners, family movie nights, and of course, vacations! Believe it or not, teens will still go to Walt Disney World or sit on the pool deck of a Disney Cruise ship and watch a movie on Funnelvision. She is looking forward to a few fun vacations in 2022 (on the list is Disney Cruise Line, Walt Disney World and Disneyland!) and helping even more families plan their magical vacations!
Hi, Jamie! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi! I’m Jamie and I live in Chicago suburbs with my husband of 21 years and our three teenagers! She have been planning vacations for almost 10 years and also work as an oncology nurse. With two jobs, there isn’t much downtime, so I enjoy any time that I get with my family – dinners, family movie nights, and of course, vacations!
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
On my bucket list is an over-the-water bungalow in Bora Bora, an Adventures By Disney trip to Italy or Costa Rica, and visiting the Sandals resort in Barbados. I love relaxation, but also a little adventure! Maybe I’ll get to all of these things by the time I retire!
Why did you become a travel planner?
I started planning vacations in 2012. I realized that I had been to Walt Disney World so many times that I was basically planning trips for my friends and coworkers. Over the years, I’ve been able to visit many new destinations, as well as stay at almost EVERY resort hotel at Walt Disney World and sailed on all 4 Disney Cruise Line ships. All of this helps me to help YOUR family plan your most magical vacation!
How has your travel planning evolved over time?
When I first went to Walt Disney World, I was in the 4th grade. I then went two more times before I got married when we honeymooned in Walt Disney World. We stayed at Dixie Landings – which is now Port Orleans Riverside! Since then, we have taken our kids from the time they were very little (the youngest was 12 weeks old on his first visit!)… and now they are teenagers! We’ve gone from waking up early and rope dropping every day to sleeping in and staying out late – teenagers don’t like to wake up early! I really thought that as the kids got older, they would not want to vacation with us and that has not been the case. They are theme park junkies who are always up for an adventure… but they also love to chill out on the pool deck and watch a Disney movie on Funnelvision.
What is your favorite non-theme park destination and why?
I LOVE the Margaritaville Resort in Hollywood Beach, FL. This resort has everything! Comfortable rooms, 3 pools (one is adult only), and a beach! It is located on a boardwalk that has so many local restaurants and shops… you do not even need to rent a car. There is always great music playing all over the resort, but there is also live music on the boardwalk almost every night. It’s my favorite place for a quick get-a-way! For something a little longer, I love the Sandals Resorts – you just cannot find better service at an all inclusive. The staff takes the time to get to know you, so when you return, you feel like they are family. The food is amazing – 5 star restaurants??? Yes, please! There’s something for everyone – plenty to do if you want to meet people and go out at night and also plenty to do if you want something quiet and like to keep to yourself! Clearly I have a problem committing to just one answer here.
What is your favorite place to eat in the parks?
Do I have to pick just one?? I always go to Liberty Tree Tavern for the Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake (duh!), but the beer cheese soup, pretzel bread, poutine, and steak is the BEST MEAL at Le Cellier. We always have to get BBQ at least once and that’s when we go to the Polite Pig or the Regal Eagle Smokehouse. When I need pizza, Via Napoli is the place to go! For the best theme, Sci Fi Dine-in makes you feel like you are in a real drive-in movie theater. My new favorite character meal is the breakfast at Topolino’s Terrace – the food here is SO GOOD and the characters are fun. The Riviera is also my absolute favorite Disney resort, so I may be a little biased here!