The Travel Village Group’s Sarah-Nova Pattison was ‘blown away’ by how much she enjoyed Miami, as well as by Norwegian Cruise Line’s new ship, Norwegian Escape.
Q: What was the highlight of the trip?
A: The trip was packed with amazing experiences – from grand ones to simple ones. Miami had never been at the top of my bucket list, but I loved it, so since returning, I’ve been advising clients to stay there. I would recommend taking a stroll or hiring a bike and cycling along the beach boardwalk. It has amazing ocean views and lots of places to stop for lunch or shopping. I was also lucky enough to take a trip to the Sawgrass Recreation Park, where we went on airboats and saw alligators. If you visit in the morning, it’s especially peaceful. Miami ticks all the boxes for all clients.
Q: Has the experience helped you to sell more cruises?
A: I had been on a few ship visits and a short sailing before, but this was another level. It was great to feel like a paying customer and to have the same experience. Norwegian Escape was huge and modern, and had a fun vibe; you couldn’t get bored. If I was going on another cruise, I would look for fewer port days – something I would not have recommended to clients in the past. The cruise was a holiday in itself. The food was incredible and the entertainment in The Supper Club was brilliant. I also loved the open-air nightclub.
Q: What did you make of the flight?
A: The Virgin Atlantic cabin crew were efficient and everything went smoothly. There was a great choice of movies and TV shows, which is important on a flight of that length.
Q: What did you make of Eden Roc?
A: Mid-Beach, the area where Eden Roc is, was lovely and had great access to other popular areas, such as South Beach. The Eden Roc lobby was especially beautiful, with an enormous chandelier. The hotel had a striking layout, and I loved that there was a Starbucks. On the first morning, I woke up early, got a coffee and went out past the pools and down to the boardwalk. It was a lovely moment – so peaceful.
Q: What about the Simon Shopping centres?
A: There was so much choice – I got lost in some of the shops. I don’t often get to experience retail therapy to that level, and I work mostly from home, so the trendiest I get is a nice blazer. I got some fab Steve Madden gold, glittery, strappy heels. There were lots of bargains.
Q: Where was your photoshoot?
A: It was on board Norwegian Escape, in The Supper Club, which had the feel of The Great Gatsby. The photographer, Steve, made me feel relaxed. I had my hair and make-up done in the spa, with the most phenomenal view.
Q: Did the Bahamas live up to expectations?
A: It was gorgeous. But because I’m quite fair-skinned and I had my photoshoot the next day, I was conscious of not staying in the sun for too long. The Blue Lagoon was so relaxing.
Q: What made you enter Cover Stars?
A: My manager, Laura Featonby, is a previous Cover Star, and I thought being on the cover of Travel Weekly looked like an amazing opportunity. Plus, working with The Cruise Village (part of The Travel Villlage Group), it’s important to expand my knowledge of cruise.
Sarah-Nova is dressed to impress in this floor-length fitted gown and shoes from Camille La Vie. Shot in the Supper Club theatre on Norwegian Escape, Sarah steals the show in this dazzling dress, flowing blonde locks and dramatic red lips, courtesy of the onboard Mandara Spa. Sarah-Nova’s look was created at Sawgrass Mills and The Colonnade Outlets, a Simon Shopping Destinations property located 15 minutes from Fort Lauderdale airport and 30 minutes from Miami. www.simon.com
Sarah-Nova’s sales tips
About our sponsors
Travel Weekly Cover Stars 2016 is running in association with headline sponsor Norwegian Cruise Line, travel partner Virgin Atlantic and makeover partner Simon Shopping Destinations.
Sarah-Nova Pattison had not experienced downtown Miami before the Cover Stars trip, and she got a pleasant surprise.
“I didn’t know much about Miami before the trip, but I absolutely loved it,” she said.
“The shopping was great and I would advise clients to download the Simon Shopping app, which has information on its other 200 shopping malls in the US.
“This app is fab and helps you maximise your shopping trip with maps, driving directions, news, offers and opening hours.
“Ideally visitors should go first thing on a week day, picking the shops they would like to visit first to avoid the busy times.
“I would suggest The Falls mall to clients who don’t want to be cooped up inside.
“It’s a great open-air shopping experience but manages to be extremely tranquil. It has more than 100 shops and covered walkways surrounded by water and lush, tropical trees and plants.”