Dream Destination LogoDream Destinations       Your journey begins here!
Dream Destinations Newsletter # 6
October 2012 
In This Issue
Tell Us About Your Travel Ideas
3 Special European Palaces & Castles
Feature Photo
Hank's Europe Geo Quiz # 3
Why Use Us?
Edinburgh, Scotland
The "Cruising Way" to Raise Money for Your Non-Profit Organization
Answers to Geo Quiz # 3
Hank & Anne Cron Castle Ireland
Dear Travel Friends

We hope you like our new newsletter!  For 16 years Anne & I have been proud to help our friends visit the wonderful DREAM DESTINATIONS of this world.  As you know, we specialize in cruises and European travel. Your journey begins here! 
Don't hesitate to call us for more information at 713-397-0188 (Hank) or 832-244-0215 (Anne).
We are happy to help!

Anne Schrader

 Certified Travel Consultant
 Accredited Cruise Counselor


Hank Schrader, USMA '71

Certified Western European Destination Specialist

Dream Destinations

Your journey begins here!

11911 Fountain Brook Dr
Pearland, Texas 77584

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Both Anne & Hank are  Western Europe Destinations Specialists conferred by The Travel Institute



Tell Us About Your Travel Ideas

All of us have Dream Destinations. I love to travel-especially new places, but I'm always torn to go back to places we love (there are so many). I remember an old soldier buddy once told me that the best places are often new places-what is it really like, who are the people, what do they like to eat, what can you see there? You can only answer those for yourself by going.

We have a great new feature on our website, called Tell Us About Your Travel Ideas. We have tried hard to serve your travel needs and this great new innovative feature allows you to tell us where you want to travel. We can then use this to help you find the trip you dream about when specials or other great opportunities come up. Please use this so we can help you! 

 Use this link to go to our website and fill out the information--it will only take a few minutes.


   We are European & Cruise travel experts--we can make your trip special--call on us to help you find your Dream Destinations!




3 Special European Palaces and Castles

 Sampson Fountain Peterhof

 Sampson Fountain, Perterhof,  St. Petersburg

Photo Anne Schrader 

There are a large number of great palaces and castles in Europe. We have visited many of these wonderful palaces, but for me, there are three that are so unique that they should be on everyone's bucket list.

The first is Neuschwanstein castle.   "Mad Ludwig's castle in Bavaria Germany. According to their website, this unique castle is visited by 1.3 million people a year. So why go here? This is the ultimate castle of dreams-it is truly "the castle of the fairy-tale king." This is the castle that inspired Disneyland's castle. Mad Ludwig was a recluse-he retreated to the Alps and built his fantasy castle, much of it inspired by Wagner's Operas. Even people of the time call Ludwig mad-he spent all their money creating 3 castles of his dreams, but Neuschwanstein is special. Close your eyes; imagine you could spend almost unlimited money on your dream home; and you've got Neuschwanstein-the imagination of a king who many say never grew up and created a vision of his fantasy world. Ludwig spent so much money on his castle that he bankrupted Bavaria-he was imprisoned by his people to stop the spending.   Adding to the legend was his quick death-less than 6 weeks after locking him up, he was found drown in a nearby lake. If that wasn't enough, shortly after his death, people started visit the fairy tale castle in 1866.

Click here to see a PDF slideshow on Neuschwanstein


The second is the palace of Versailles.  Every King in Europe wanted a palace like Versailles. This place is huge, opulent, furnished with the best of everything and has acres of gardens and fountains that have to be seen to be believed! It is the symbol of the absolute monarch-home to Louie XIV-the Sun King. Every morning when this guy woke up, several nobles surrounded him to wish him good morning-they waited for their king to wake up! Probably the most famous room is the Hall of Mirrors-nobles could admire themselves constantly in their elegant clothes-unheard of, as mirrors where not widely used in homes even by monarchs. It is easy to imagine what court life was like seeing this palace-a world us common people could only dream about.

Click here to see a PDF slideshow on Versailles


The third palace is Peterhoff-the Palace of Peter the Great. In many ways, it is a smaller copy of Versailles, but the key difference is that the entrance grounds are best seen when approaching from the water. This palace is the symbol of one man's will to take Russia from a backward country and his desire to make it a modern nation. Tsar Peter the Great; a huge man;  some say as tall as 7 feet, desired to make Russia a world power. He dreamed of making Russia a maritime power, but first he needed access to the sea. So, doing what great monarchs do, he fought the Ottoman Turks for access to the Black Sea in the south and Sweden for access to the Baltic Sea in the north. After defeating the Swedes in the north, he promptly started building a new city which became St. Petersburg-according to some accounts, he actually cut down logs for his first cabin. On this swamp land, he created a city and then made it the capital of Russia-the guy was on a mission to change Russia once and for all. He led a cultural revolution that replaced the traditionalist and medieval social and political system with a modern, scientific Europe-oriented system. The main palace is on a bluff-it is just as you would imagine-a show piece to the world of the imperial power of Russia. While not nearly as large as Versailles, it is still impressive. The highlight of the grounds is the Sampson fountain (see Anne's photo above). It depicts the moment when Sampson tears open the jaws of a lion, representing Russia's victory over Sweden in the Great Northern War. The water from the lion's mouth shoots 20-meters high, the highest in all of PeterhofClick here to see a PDF slideshow on Peterhof

One awesome castle and two palaces you will never forget. Call us and we'll be glad to help you visit these bucket list treasures.




 Call us now, so we can help you find the perfect Europe Trip for YOU! 

Irish Door Dublin  
  Feature Photo
Beautiful Door, Dublin Ireland
Photo Anne Schrader


Hank's Europe Geo Quiz #3

I am a former high school world geography and AP human geography teacher. Ok, class is in session--Good Luck!

1)      My father fought in the Battle of the Bulge in World War II. Most of the key fighting took part in the dense forest of Wallonia in Belgium. What is the name of this forest region? (Hint-it is also the US military official name for the battle)

2)      Sometimes the name of a place can tell you what you might expect to see or do at that place. One our favorite German Cities is "Baden Baden". So what does "Baden" mean? (I'll accept one of two answers here-and it's not the famous casino!)

3)      Europe is a continent of peninsulas (a peninsula has water on 3 sides)-it has 5. The Jutland Peninsula is the smallest. Can you name the country that occupies most of this peninsula? (Hint-a lot of Vikings came from this country)

4)      What mountain range separates France from the Iberian Peninsula? (Hint-the tiny country of Andorra is in this mountain range-one of what I call the Little European Treasures).

5)      One of the islands of Scotland is famous for a small breed of horses-they are often called ponies. It is also known for a special breed of herding dogs-the slang name for these dogs is also a great hint to the name of this island. Can you name this northern most island of Scotland?


Each question is worth 20 points. In question #3 if you correctly name the other country, you earn 10 points. In question  #5 if you correctly name the dog or pony, add 10 points to your score.


90-100    You are a smart Europe Geo genius!

70-85      You know a lot!

60 or less  You spent too much time in the     Pub with Hank, but this quiz will boost your Geo IQ!


Answers are at the bottom of this newsletter!



Why Use Us?
Anne & Hank on the Celebrity Silhouette 2011
The value we add to our customers:
1. It costs you nothing for us to plan your travel.
2. We have 16 years experience--we help you get the best value for your dollar --saves you time & money!
3.  Book it yourself & you are on your own--we can help you avoid problems & help resolve disputes.
4.  We are small enough to give you personalized service, yet big & experienced enough to get you the right trip.
5.  We are honest, hard working with one goal--to serve you--we will do what is best for you not us.


  An Update on On-Board Upgrades for Ocean Cruise Ships


One of the hottest trends in cruising is the inclusion of brand names to enhance the cruising experience on board. The best thing about cruising, in my opinion, is that it combines both going to great places and getting a great experience onboard. So, let's look at some of the top brands and other features that are on-board.


Royal Caribbean    Food Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream; Johnny Rockets; 150 Central Park, featuring James Beard Award winning Chef Michael Schwartz; Starbucks Shows "Hairspray;" "Chicago;" and "Saturday Night Fever".


Norwegian    Shows  & Entertainment "Rock of Ages," Blue Man Group, Cirque Dreams and Dinner, and Second City.


Carnival         Food Guy Feiri Burgers and brews its own beer in its Red Frog Pubs Shows George Lopez comedians Shopping Hasbro


Oceania     Food Chef Jacques Pepin's signature restaurant


Celebrity     Food Lawn Club Grill (ever had lobster mac, your own pizza & a steak or seafood in the same meal?), QSine the most innovative food presentation you will ever see

Makes you want to take a cruise, doesn't it?





The "Cruising Way" to Raise Money for Your Non Profit Organization


Want to raise money for your 501 (c) (3) Non Profit Organization? Want to go on a fun cruise vacation? Want to do both? We are your resource to make this happen! We are currently helping the West Point Society of Greater Houston raise money for this non-profit organization. Many cruise lines allow us to mark up (increase) the price of a group cruise and the donated money goes back to the organization. The advantage of this is that you do not have to handle any money during the fundraising campaign-it makes the process a lot easier. Along with this member contribution, some cruise lines will also provide additional funds. This is the ultimate win-win. Your charity raises needed funds with a unique and exciting event. Your participating members enjoy a vacation and feel great about supporting the organization. The final thing is that it is almost risk free-most cruise lines protect the group rate as long as a minimum cabins, often as few as 5, are sold. Finally, Dream Destinations handles the reservations, negotiates the group cruise rates, and handles most of the details. The organization just helps by promoting the fundraising cruise to its members. Fundraising cruises are a great way to raise awareness of the good things your Non-profit organization does.

We would be glad to help you-give us a call!


Answers to Hank's Geo Quiz # 3
  1. Ardennes.
  2. Bath or Spa.
  3. Denmark. A very small part of the peninsula is part of Germany.
  4. The Pyrenees Mountains.
  5. The Shetland Islands-home of the Shetland ponies and "shelties" or Shetland Sheepdogs



90-100        You are a smart Europe genius!

70-85          You know a lot!

60 or less   You spent too much time in the Pub with Hank, but this quiz will boost your Geo IQ!


A Travel


Anyone who books a trip  with us before November 30, 2012, has their choice of one of 2 great gifts.  One gift is the Richard Solo Smart Back up Battery for iPhones or iPods (certain models).  The second gift is the WineHug, a protective travel case for a wine bottle.  These gifts will be provided to our clients upon final  non-refundable payment for their trip.  This is just one way Dream Destinations goes the extra mile just for you!
Offer Expires: November 30, 2012 while supplies last