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Insiders, have you taken a cruise? If not, what would make you want to set sail? CruisesOnly wants to know what floats your boat. Take our exclusive Insiders survey.

 

If you’re ready to cruise, now’s a great time to explore the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Alaska and beyond. Marriott Rewards Visa® cardmembers earn triple points on cruises booked by September 8.

 

Not a cardmember? No problem. You can earn double points on any cruise booked by August 22.

 

Take the survey now — and let us know where you want to cruise in the comments below!

Wherever you travel, it’s hard to beat a tasty scoop (or two) of ice cream. It’s National Ice Cream Day this Sunday and a perfect time to give a shout-out for your favorite flavor. Cool fact: Ronald Reagan designated National Ice Cream Day in 1984 and it still has big fans on both sides of the (frozen food) aisle.

We’re here to dish on the most popular flavors of 2017 and find out yours. Here are the Top 5 according to the International Dairy Food Association’s 2017 poll:

1.      Vanilla

2.      Chocolate

3.      Cookies ’N Cream

4.      Mint chocolate chip

5.      Cookie dough

 

Did yours make the list? If not, what’s your flavor of choice? Comment below and let the debate begin! And

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in the meantime, check out some of the ways you can make your own with the help of Marriott Rewards points.

 

 

Zoku Purple Ice Cream Maker

Gourmet ice cream, gelato, sorbet and sherbet—spoon it

out of the single-serving container in 10 minutes flat.

Get it for 17,500 points

                                   

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Cuisinart Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker

Just like on the Today show: Add the ingredients,

turn the dial, enjoy delicious ice cream in 20

minutes.

Get it for 32,500 points

 

 

 

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          Cuisinart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream & Sorbet

          Maker

          The transparent lid has a spout for pouring nuts or—more

          importantlychocolate chips.           

           Get it for 20,000 points

 

 

                                      

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Hamilton Beach 4 Quart Bucket Ice Cream Maker

No messy ice: Just pour and mix a big batch of

ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet or gelato.

Sweet.

Get it for 15,000 points

 

 

 

 

July’s the month! Use points to chill out. Shop ice cream makers now

Say hello to your new Featured Insider: pluto77!

 

Insider Since: July 27, 2010

Marriott Rewards Status: Platinum

 

I’ve been a Marriott Rewards member for about 10 years.  It’s been a really great ride, and I (genuinely) have Insiders to thank for that.  The quality of information that is generously shared here is nothing short of extraordinary and I so greatly appreciate it!

 

About Me: I am a stereotypical California girl and love being a citizen of the Golden State!  We have it all here: sunshine, beaches, mountains, a strong economy, national parks and a fascinating history.  We rock the taco and the margarita!  Similar to my Featured Insider predecessor, I stalled out of Uni half way into my 3rd year  - and joined - The Marines!  (Go big or go home!)  I traveled the Pacific Theater, where I had numerous memorable adventures while doing things that many people only dream about… While serving, I acquired the career skill set of computer programming.  Since then, I’ve worked for local government as an IT Analyst, and still enjoy writing code on occasion.  I am grateful to have experienced a rewarding career.  Retirement looms on next year’s horizon, and I’m looking forward to spending more time with my three terrific adult children and five young grandchildren (my new job will be to help them  think of all the ways they can get into mischief that they haven’t yet thought of!)

 

Interests: I love cosmology and Earth science, baseball and yacht racing, and hanging out with millennials.  I also love airplanes and to be in the sky.  If it looks like I’ll be wheels down for any length of time, I’ll think up an excuse to fly somewhere.  I’m a lifelong Francophile, but now also love Ireland (I can’t wait to go back!)  I love exploring and derive great pleasure in getting lost in any big, old European city!  My favorite American city is WDC.

 

Fun Facts: I played All Marine volleyball.  When traveling, my sister and I love to sneak in to places where we don’t belong!  We’re explorers, you see…

 

Dream Destinations: Greece – Domes of Elounda, BVI – Scrub Island, Spain – Ritz Carlton Abama, and Vietnam – JW Pho Quoc, and – Cambodia!   In the past couple of years alone, I’ve enjoyed staying at some pretty stellar Marriott properties, so it’s difficult to pick just one favorite… I’m going with Powerscourt Autograph Collection.  The property, scenery and service were incredible.

 

pluto77, can you believe you're coming up on your 7-year anniversary of being an Insider? You have shared such wonderful travel insights with the community for years now. Thank you for all your contributions - the Community Managers and your fellow Marriott Rewards members greatly appreciate it!

-The Community Managers

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Share your travel tips and stories about Florida by commenting on this post and you could earn points.

 

Travelers who have always fantasized about catching a wave, but might have been hesitant to experiment out in the ocean due to lack of skill, can now learn how to surf on Ponte Vedra Beach on the brand-new Surfstream® Wave Machine at Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Leave it to the ingenuity of designers and engineers to create an “out of ocean” surfing market where ground-breaking technology replicates ocean-like waves and ideal conditions for surfing in a safe and controlled environment.

 

The first of its kind in the continental U.S., this standing wave machine adjacent to the main pool creates up to seven different wave types for all skill levels. So you now have the opportunity to add a little more action and adventure to your visit by experiencing an authentic wave ride in up to 14 inches of water on the Surfstream®.  The SurfStream® accommodates one surfer or boogie boarder at a time, while a team of trained spotters and instructors oversee every surfer so they can fully enjoy their epic experience. Participation is booked in a 20-minute session (five minutes of instruction followed by 15 minutes of surf), with up to three people permitted to ride during each turn. Anyone who uses the machine must stand more than 42 inches tall. Riding the waves costs $20 per person for the 20-minute session and reservations for specific time slots can be made in advance. The Surfstream operates from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5:20 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, with extended summer hours to be scheduled.

 

And once you’ve perfected your surfing technique in this controlled environment, it’s an easy stroll down to the Cabana Beach Club where you can rent a surfboard and try out your new skills in the Atlantic Ocean. In fact, according to SurfForecast.com, “Ponte Vedra in North Florida is an exposed beach and reef break that has pretty consistent surf and can work at any time of the year. Waves at the beach are both lefts and rights. Best around low tide.”

 

Cowabunga dude!

 

Concierge Team

Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa

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Insiders, you’re the first to know: starting tomorrow, July 14th, Platinum and Gold Elite members receive United Signature Service for two when they book a RewardsPlus travel package ― a complimentary upgrade ― available for a limited time.

 

Get that elevated feeling in airports like Chicago O’Hare, Los Angeles International and Newark Liberty International. You’ll be the one with a personal concierge who monitors your flight and provides services such as curbside pick-up, expedited check-in and priority rebooking for any change in plans.

 

You’ll be that carefree VIP stretching out in the United Club lounge with snacks, complimentary beverages and free Wi-Fi.

 

Not a Gold or Platinum member? All members get 10% more miles when redeeming points for a RewardsPlus travel package — including a 7-night stay plus up to 132,000 MileagePlus miles to use on flights, upgrades and more.

 

Explore RewardsPlus travel packages

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Share your Insider tips and stories about travel to New York City by commenting on this post and you could earn points.

 

Courtyard Marriott Times Square puts you right in the middle of all that makes New York City great. You’re just steps away from the best in dining, theatre, and world-class entertainment. Our hotel’s iconic location, Times Square, is arguably the most famous New Year’s Eve destination in the world. But this famous address offers so much more than confetti, countdowns, and street celebrations. You can enjoy cuisine from around the world at any of the nearly 300 restaurants here. Indulge in authentic Italian dishes at Barbetta, opened in 1906 and still owned by the family that founded it, sup on classic French cuisine at Le Rivage, or enjoy classic “N’Awlins” flavor and festivities at Bourbon Street Bar + Grille. Your choices are nearly endless in this landmark neighborhood. In between meals, you can pack even more fun into your New York vacation by attending a comedy show at Caroline’s on Broadway, hobnobbing with wax celebs at Madame Tussauds, and seeing the incredible at Ripley’s Believe It or Not. And no adventure through Times Square is complete without seeing one of Broadway’s acclaimed theatre productions. Whether you’re looking for a hit musical, a classic drama, or a family-friendly blockbuster, you’ll find all this and more in this world-famous Theater District.

 

A leisurely 10-minute stroll or an even shorter subway ride brings you to one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World – The Empire State Building. This top New York City attraction, popularly known for its role in the epic King Kong films, boasts legendary 360-degree city views from its open-air observation deck, along with immersive exhibits and a variety of shops and restaurants. Even the lobby of this building is famous! Designated a historic landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the lobby showcases fantastic Art Deco inspired ceiling murals in 24-karat gold and one of the most famous images in New York City, a depiction of the building itself with beams of light radiating from the mast. You’ll want to remember your visit here with a special purchase from their extensive gift shop, as well.

 

A quick 5-minute ride on the subway from the Courtyard New York Manhattan/Times Square puts you right in the center of the action at Madison Square Garden. Known as the world’s most famous arena, this legendary venue, commonly referred to as The Garden, is home to the New York Rangers, the New York Knicks, and the New York Liberty. The Garden not only hosts more sporting events than any other NY venue, it is the premier destination for high-profile concerts and entertainment spectaculars. Exclusive VIP tours are available, offering a birds-eye view of the arena and the chance to get the inside scoop on your favorite players in the Knicks and Rangers locker rooms. For high-profile sports and entertainment, The Garden is the place to be while in NYC.

 

With so many entertainment options right outside its doors, Courtyard Marriott Times Square is the perfect choice for the most comfortable and convenient accommodations while visiting the Big Apple. We hope to see you here!

 

Denise M.

Courtyard Marriott Times Square

 

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Share your Insider travel tips and stories about Madrid by commenting on this post and you could earn points.

 

As busy as a big city like Madrid, Spain can be, going to run outside may sound intimidating. However, we have various places where outdoor running fanatics can escape this chaos and indulge in their hobby peacefully. Here are some recommendations for places to visit, run and enjoy the city:

 

  • El Retiro Park is one of the best options, where you can run for four kilometres straight. El Retiro is a beautiful park where while running you have wonderful views of trees and of El Estanque del Retiro, a lake for rowing boats. You’ll also see El Palacio de Cristal, a beautiful architecture with everything made by glass. For the more professional runners, there is a straight line perfect for sprinting.
  • Madrid Río has an incredible view of the Manzanares River. You can run 5km, and if you’re feeling extra motivated you can double back for twice the distance. Don’t worry if you forget to take your water bottle or you simply don’t feel like carrying one, because every 60 meters there’s a water fountain where you can take a break and cool off a little.
  • Parque Juan Carlos I is a very pleasant area where you can cover a 3km-route. Brimming with an incredible atmosphere and surrounded by vegetation, it’s great for summertime as you can find shade easily from all the trees and from the 19 sculptures.
  • Templo de Debod is also a must. The perfect time to go to the Temple of Debod is at sunset when the Ancient Egyptian architecture lights up and the sky dims. No one can say “no” to such a fascinating view while getting in some exercise.

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At the Madrid Marriott Auditorium Hotel & Conference Center we also have a 24/7 gym and an expansive fitness center with new equipment and machines, along with a sauna and a swimming pool that is accessible in both winter and summer. Please stay with us and discover these amazing running paths of Madrid.

 

Sergio G.

Madrid Marriott Auditorium Hotel & Conference Center

Hey Insiders! Check out these great exclusive offers:

 

Member Exclusive Rates — Historic St. Augustine: Save 15% at a golf resort

Recharge at the World Golf Village Renaissance St. Augustine Resort, with 2 championship courses, award-winning dining and more.

 

Bonus Points/Miles — San Juan Miramar: Soak up the sun + 5,000 points

Plan your autumn stay at the Courtyard by Marriott San Juan Miramar, near the airport, business district, Old San Juan, Condado Beach, premier shopping and more.

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Share your Insider travel adventures to Yerevan by commenting on this post and you could earn points.

 

Yerevan is the capital and largest city of Armenia, with history dating back to the 8th century BC. Most of the popular visitor attractions are concentrated in the center of the city, which is easily walkable and has endless dining and entertainment options. The Armenia Marriott Hotel Yerevan is the only hotel on the Republic Square, the most centrally located square in Yerevan; its rooms offer amazing balcony views of the square, and from here you can walk to visit museums, shopping areas, bars, restaurants, and clubs.

 

Yerevan is one of the easiest places in the world to meet people and make connections. It’s a small city and Armenians are extremely hospitable. In summer, join the locals as they take to the streets every night, claiming tables at the city's many outdoor cafes, sauntering along its tree-filled boulevards and congregating around the much-loved musical fountain in Republic Square. In winter, freezing temperatures will encourage you to stay off the streets and enjoy the many pandoks (taverns) around town, where khoravats (barbecue meats), oghee (fruit vodka) and traditional music can be enjoyed with gusto.

 

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Cascade complex is well known among tourists and is considered to be the number 1 “Must See” while you are visiting Yerevan. The complex was originally conceived with the desire to connect the northern and central parts of the city—the historic residential and cultural centers of the city—with a vast green area of waterfalls and gardens, cascading down one of the city’s highest promontories. It is just a 5-minute walk from the Armenia Marriott to “Cascade”. While exploring Yerevan we hope you will stay with us in the heart of the city center at the Armenia Marriott Hotel Yerevan.

 

Jasmin H.

Armenia Marriott Hotel Yerevan

 

The holiday weekend’s almost here — so you deserve a moment to play. Which outdoor games can you match with the fun facts at right? Leave a comment with your guess below.

 

 

1. Giant Yard Dice – Get it for 12,500 points

 

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a. Originally called “Garbage Can Frisbee”

2. Spikeball – Get it for 20,000 points

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b. Manet and Norman Rockwell painted it

3. KanJam – Get it for 15,000 points

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c. Pro league launched this week

4. NinjaLine – Get it for 32,500 points

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d. Original name was “Horsey Golf”

5. Flag football – Get it for 17,500 points

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e. New version of prehistoric game

6. Pitching machine – Get it for 15,000 points

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f. Featured on ABC’s “Shark Tank”

7. Croquet – Get it for 20,000 points

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g. Invented by a Princeton math professor

8. Ladder ball – Get it for 17,500 points

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h.  Inspired by a TV series

 

 

Watch for a comment from the CommunityManagers on July 5 with the answers! Then at your next get-together, family reunion or camping trip, you can show off your skill before the games even begin.

Want to bring a game to get the action going? See all outdoor games and sports sets

 

Experiences Marketplace is now Moments. Celebrate the launch with our exclusive Moments Master Class Series—a special collaboration from Marriott Rewards and SPG.

 

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New name. Fresh look. Enhanced access. We’re so excited to announce Marriott Rewards® Moments. To celebrate, Marriott Rewards and SPG® teamed up to bring you members-only Moments Master Classes—hands-on experiences with the biggest names in sports, dining, adventure travel and beyond. Shoot hoops with basketball star, Dwyane Wade, play golf with hall of famer Annika Sörenstam, savor a meal with Chef Paco Pérez from the 2 Michelin Star restaurant, Enoteca and so much more.

 

Check out the new Moments site to get even more members-only access to exclusive sports, culinary, lifestyle and entertainment experiences worldwide. We’ve also added more ways for you to find your perfect experience —all driven by what you love to do.

 

Plus, you can transfer points and use them for SPG® Moments, like suite seats at Cubs® games, once-in-a-lifetime adventures and tons of other amazing experiences.

 

Find your perfect Moments Master Class and explore the whole new site now.

ENTRY_balloon-fiesta.jpgShare your Insider travel adventures to Albuquerque by commenting on this post and you could earn points.

 

Since 1972 Albuquerque, New Mexico has been the home of the world-famous International Balloon Fiesta, a wondrous spectacle for young and old alike. Come visit during the beginning of our beautiful October weather and you’ll find yourself entranced by the soaring colors of the hot air balloons, whether you rise early for the Mass Ascension or stay out late for the awe-inspiring nighttime Balloon Glow, fireworks, and laser show. If you’re interested in the history of the fiesta, you can also visit the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum, which celebrates the history of all types of lighter-than-air flight. The museum was named for Ben Abruzzo and Maxie Anderson, two Albuquerque natives known for their love of hot air ballooning and unprecedented achievements in crossing oceans and continents with their captivating hobby.

 

The balloons drifting magically across our unforgettable skyline are not the only reason to visit, as the fiesta also attracts world class musical acts to delight and entertain during the course of the nine-day event. The Residence Inn Albuquerque Airport is conveniently located near a Fiesta Park & Ride service during the event, in addition to being close by the Sunport International Airport. Nearby you can also explore our Historic Old Town, downtown, and Nob Hill neighborhoods, each with New Mexico’s distinctive Southwestern variety of boutique and curio shops, museums, and local restaurants featuring our renowned Hatch Green Chile and the little-known diversity of our local cuisine and rapidly emerging microbrew scene. Our newly renovated hotel is sure to provide you the creature comforts of home when you return to rest up from a long day of ballooning, dining, and fun. You can also celebrate our own distinct piece of American nostalgia by visiting Historic Route 66. Come for a visit, let us cast a spell, and learn why New Mexico truly is the Land of Enchantment!

 

Abram D.

Residence Inn Albuquerque Airport

Hi Insiders!  Check out these great summer offers:

 

Incredible Bonus Points - Atlantis, Paradise Island Special

  • From July 16 - September 30, 2017 - stay a minimum of 3 nights and receive up to 10,000 Bonus Points when staying at Atlantis, Paradise Island.

 

Bonus Points/Miles — New Orleans: Get 2,500 points a day at 14 hotels

  • From June 8 - August 31, 2017, earn 2,500 Marriott Rewards bonus points per night, up to 10,000 bonus points for every stay.  So, let the good times roll and book your New Orleans adventure now.

 

Bonus Points/Miles — Mumbai: Enjoy breakfast + points + hotel credits

  • From May 18 - July 31, 2017, stay any night and our offer includes complimentary buffet breakfast, 3,000 Marriott Rewards bonus points per stay and more!

You can comment on this post once you're signed in.

Not an Insider yet?

Sign in with your Marriott Rewards account to comment

or join Marriott Rewards

 

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Elite Insiders,

 

Explore more of the world with the new Marriott Mobile App — where your Elite benefits travel with you on every adventure. At the café, in the taxi and anywhere else, you can see confirmation of your upgrade, request late checkout and more.

 

We’ve heard from Insiders who did a test-drive before the new app launched — such as droma who commented on the look and feel, trevfour who liked the account activity screen and seatexan who gave a thumbs up to the user-friendly map. So what’s your take? Leave your comment below.

 

Did You Know?

The new Marriott Mobile App pairs beautiful images with a sleek experience:

  • Easy Booking – tap to choose places, see hotel photos and reserve on the run
  • Mobile Check-In and Checkout – no waiting, no lines, just touch and go
  • Mobile Requests – start a chat to get just-for-me arrangements
  • Mobile Key – open the door with your iPhone or Apple Watch at select hotels

 

Access Your Elite Benefits

If you’re an Elite member, use mobile check-in to take advantage of Platinum Elite and Gold Elite perks on your phone:

  • Priority Upgrades – when available, receive confirmation that your upgraded room is waiting
  • Guaranteed Late Checkout – request a time to sleep late, relax or go exploring

 

Learn more about the app.

 

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Win Points!

1. Just comment on this post for your chance to win 20,000 points.

Not sure what to comment? Here are some ideas:

  • Do you use the Marriott Mobile App when you travel? What feature do you use (or like) the most?
  • In how many cities (or countries) have you used the app so far?
  • Tell how using the app made a trip more enjoyable – maybe it helped you start your experience early or access a favorite benefit.
  • Have you used the mobile requests feature? What for?
  • Have any tips on using the app? Share them with other Insiders.

 

Everyone who comments by July 16, 2017 has a chance to win a prize of 20,000 Marriott Rewards points. The winner will be announced July 24, 2017.

 

2. In our next post, we’ll also feature a few member quotes.

If yours is chosen, you’ll get 1,000 points as a thank-you.

 

 

 

Curious about more ways to Live Elite? Click the Live Elite tag below.

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Share your Insider travel adventures to Waterloo, Ontario by commenting on this post and you could earn points.

 

We invite you to begin your experience of Mennonite Country by staying with us at the Courtyard by Marriott Waterloo St Jacobs, just down the street from Canada's largest and best known farmers market. Start your adventure in the Village of St Jacobs at the Mennonite Telling Story visitor center where you can learn about the Mennonite faith, beliefs and ways of life. From there, use the self-guided Mennonite Country tour booklet that takes you on an exploration of the back-country roads of the area. You’ll pass by Old Order Mennonite Farms where the fields are still cultivated by horse and plough. Discover one-room Mennonite schools and Mennonite churches with their five entrances. Drive through Ontario's only covered bridge in West Montrose.

 

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Along the way, you can dine at Mennonite restaurants such as At the Crossroads, where I highly recommend you have 2 pieces of pie. Visit the Mennonite General Store in Wallenstien and Lost Acres General Store in West Montrose where you can enjoy more delicious baking. As you continue, you’ll find it amazing to share the road with Old Order Mennonites traveling with their horses and buggies. Stop along the way at the numerous honor stands that sell vegetables, flowers and jams which were grown and made at the farm just down the lane. After a day of exploring Mennonite Country, return to the Courtyard by Marriott Waterloo St Jacobs to relax and reflect on the day!

 

Marjorie W.

Courtyard Waterloo St. Jacobs

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