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marian wattel

Stockton, California Travel Agent
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marian wattel

marian wattel

Stockton, California Travel Agent
A Full-Service Travel Leaders Associate Agency
Years of Experience: 24
16 Reviews | 100% Recommended
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The Optimistic Tourist and a Travel Advisor, Too!

Travel has taught me to plan well and always have at least a plan B; it encouraged adaptability, patience, savoring the moment, and determination; it created The Optimistic Tourist. I have a degree in Recreation and credentials in both elementary and secondary education from the University of the Pacific. From my earliest memory, I have always loved to travel. The means of travel and the location were matched by the many things I learned along the way. Travel has educated my children and grandchildren, also. Throughout my teaching career, I never hesitated supplying materials and techniques for parents to educate while traveling. Wanting to share the joys of travel, created the travel advisor-consultant that I am today.

My Travel Specialties

The Optimistic Tourist turns Travel Consultant

Travel has taught me to plan well and always have at least a plan B; it encouraged adaptability, patience, savoring the moment, and determination; it created The Optimistic Tourist. I have a degree in Recreation and credentials in both elementary and secondary... Read more from my The Optimistic Tourist turns Travel Consultant bio.

Oahu Island Travel Agent Specialist

Hawaii has been one of my favorite vacation places even before my first adventure as a solo traveler at age 20.  Stories, movies, and tv shows could never convey the excitement of the first glimpse and smell of the islands; it never... Read more from my Oahu Island Travel Agent Specialist bio.

Moorea Travel Agent Specialist

As a child, I always loved stories about people in far away places.  One particular story was of a girl who lived on an island in the Pacific Ocean.  The descriptions were so vivid I could see them in my mind.... Read more from my Moorea Travel Agent Specialist bio.

Cruise Travel Agent Expert

I have been on many cruises, many cruise lines, and have manage to make it  around the world by ship.   I love cruises and I can help you with your cruises  to any where or to nowhere.  Yes they do exist.  Favorite... Read more from my Cruise Travel Agent Expert bio.

Eurostar Travel Agent Expert

Rail travel today from London to Europe aboard Eurostar  is comfortable, affordable,  and you can remain in contact with your family, friends, and followers along the way. Rails extend from Lille to Belgium or Paris and then Beyond to  countries and cities... Read more from my Eurostar Travel Agent Expert bio.

River Cruise Travel Agent Specialist

River cruise down the Volga
Being a boater at heart and living in the California Delta, it is always a pleasure to get  on any river boat and enjoy the relaxed pace and scenery.  Over the years, I have been fortunate to travel on the Danube,... Read more from my River Cruise Travel Agent Specialist bio.

Roatan Travel Agent Expert

Honduras has many faces and stories to tell.  Visit the ancient ruins of the Mayans at Copan, watch cigar making in Santa Rosa de Copan, and explore the bustling city of Tegucigalpa.  After exploring the mainland, catch a flight or ferry... Read more from my Roatan Travel Agent Expert bio.

United Kingdom, England Travel Agent Expert

Cornwall is the county of the most southern part of the U.K.where a lot of families  vacation here in the summer.   Fans of Martin Clunes arrive in the early spring to watch the filming of the TV show Doc Martin and sometimes become... Read more from my United Kingdom, England Travel Agent Expert bio.

Panama Travel Agent Professional

Panama is a great place to visit from the San Blas Islands to the Panama Canal. Explore the sights and sounds of Panama City; its architecture, restaurants, and activities are as varied as the population in this diverse country.   Visit the Mira... Read more from my Panama Travel Agent Professional bio.

Peru Travel Agent Professional

Like most people, the main reason I wanted to visit Peru was to see Machu Picchu. While the 15th century Incan citadel in the sky is incredible and a must-do for everyone visiting the country, I soon found out that there... Read more from my Peru Travel Agent Professional bio.

Petra Travel Agent Expert

Never in my wildest of day dreams would I ever dream  about being on a 42 day cruise, being an adventurer or being up close and personal with history.  When I watched all of the Indiana Jones movies, I thought "That's... Read more from my Petra Travel Agent Expert bio.

Morocco Travel Agent Specialist

Traveling to Morocco is a very unique experience and a wonderful place to visit. The sights,sounds, and aroma of the souks and other markets.  From exotic spices to silks to food-on-the -go, you will be mesmerized by this city.   Are you a... Read more from my Morocco Travel Agent Specialist bio.

Amtrak Travel Agent Expert

Growing up in my home town, we could hear the trains passing through many times per day.  It was the intersection of three major train lines of that time (pre-Amtrak).  Besides the 3 daily  passenger trains, we had rail riders aboard... Read more from my Amtrak Travel Agent Expert bio.

Rail Travel Agent Expert for Adventures in Italy

Italy by rail is efficient, economical, and scenic beyond expectation.  You may arrive by rail in Italy from another country or board at the airport or your cruise ship arrival port; no matter how you get to Italy, there will be... Read more from my Rail Travel Agent Expert for Adventures in Italy bio.

CERTIFICATES & AWARDS

Super Agent
Certified ASTA Travel Agent
Hawaii Destination Expert Certification
Kaua'i , Maui, Oahu Specialist
Los Cabos Specialist
Royal Caribbean Specialist (certified)

My Travel Stories

Adventures with the Optimistic Tourist
A little bit of French Polynesia
Hawaii with the Optimistic Tourist & Old Salt
Doc Martin''s Surgery on the left.
Visiting Cornwall in the Steps of Doc Martin
Mississippi River, American duchess at landing
Rollin' On The River--Mississippi, that is.
Canal observation and Lake Gutan
Panama

See the USA: On water and land

Watching old movies depicting early travel, you might have seen adventurers covered in soot, on hard wooden benches of wagons or steam trains. Others portray,  small raft type boats being picked up and pitch by the current hurling down stream. Or you might see a majestic riverboat's paddlewheel churning while  well-dressed  gentry enjoy... Read more from my See the USA: On water and land story.

Multi-Generational Adventures made Easy

Multi-generational vacations and holidays are no longer reserved for the family cabin or camping trip.  Multi-generational  holidays have evolved to expand to almost every conceivable  means.  If you can think of something you would like to do, there is usually a place for the whole family.  

Cruise ships have been designed to... Read more from my Multi-Generational Adventures made Easy story.

50+ Travelers Move by Water: What floats the boat?

Grandma, Grandpa, and Great Aunt Lucy are no longer staying in the neighborhood.  Today's seniors are an active, inquisitive bunch.  They are taking adventure, cultural, culunary, and inspirational trips around the world.  All of those places that there was limited or no access as they grew up are accessible now--mostly.  

China was... Read more from my 50+ Travelers Move by Water: What floats the boat? story.

My Reviews

Rating: 5 16 Reviews | 100% Recommended

Education and Adventure on the Mississippi

Reviewed By Delta Mis - nashville, Tenn | Traveled to Mississippi ~ USA
Marian was easy to work with for planning our riverboat cruise. Her experience in traveling and travel planning was evident. She was able to make suggestions of things that would make our understanding of the Mississippi and history of the area more complete. Her compassionate way of managing our introduction to history was exceptional. We learned so much on this adventure and thank Marian for helping to educate us.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
marian wattel responded:
It is always great when my clients enjoy the adventures I help plan. I am hoping we can plan another river adventure soon.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful
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upcoming trip

Reviewed By Rob - Los Angeles, California | Traveled to Barcelona ~ Spain ~ Europe
Marian is both knowledgeable and enthusiastic. She also thinks of things I never would. Which is way you would use a travel agent.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
marian wattel responded:
Thank you, Robert. It has been delightful organizing your adventure in Barcelona. Planning this adventure has helped me learn about the many cultural offerings available. Eager to hear about the trip and see your pictures. Mew
6 of 8 people found this review helpful
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The most unbelievable trip!

Reviewed By Nelson James - San Jose California | Traveled to Italy ~ Europe
Anything less than amazing would be an understatement without Marian my trip wouldn’t have been as productive and organized. With Marian’s help I got to see the most stunning places of Italy. Marian was so easy to work with and was very flexible with time there wasn’t a moment she wasn’t available seriously. I am so grateful that I got to work with Marian and I will not go anywhere else for a travel agent!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
marian wattel responded:
Thank you Nelson! It was such a pleasure working with you. Thank you for keeping in touch with me throughout your adventure. It was fun to experience your enjoyment of Italy and travel. Looking forward to working with you in the future. Marian, The Optimistic Tourist
4 of 6 people found this review helpful
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Spectacular Family Cruise

Reviewed By JT - California | Traveled to Caribbean Sea ~ At Sea ~ At Sea
Marian made our travel arrangements to take our children on a Caribbean cruise. She picked the correct ship for our 3 children and us. When we needed a little adult time, there were clubs for the children to attend. We are adventuresome, and that was the vibe of our ship. Bravo, Marian, for assessing our needs and matching us up so well.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
marian wattel responded:
Thank you for the opportunity to assist in making your family adventure a success. I really knew we had a fit but needed to have a work through. You made my hunch become a reality. I know there will be other family adventures to follow.
5 of 8 people found this review helpful
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Moving to a new country with a pet

Reviewed By Damon - Flagstaff, Arizona | Traveled to Costa Rica ~ Central America
I had never used a travel agent before, but I became overwhelmed with the logistics of moving to a new country (Costa Rica) with a large dog to start a new job. I sought out Marian's help to find an airline that would check our dog and could take a large crate. After covid, most airlines have stopped checking dogs, and require shipping by cargo, which costs thousands of dollars. She worked with her airline ticket agent to get me a flight that will work at a reasonable cost. Have not made the trip yet, but I feel more confident now that it will go smoothly. Marian was super nice and great to work with, and didn't even charge for her services.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
marian wattel responded:
Thank you Damon for the lovely review. I am so happy that we were able to make the transportation work for you, Stephanie, and puppy. My personal fee was my gift to you to fulfil your dreams in a new adventure. It has been a pleasure working with you. I know we will be planning trips back to the USA and other throughout the world.
6 of 10 people found this review helpful
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Points &Timeshare Treasure

Reviewed By Villager Two - The Villages, FL | Traveled to USA
When i told Marian that we wanted to use our timeshare and points, too, for our trip she said,
“No problem”. Marian helped us stay within our budget and still have an upscale holiday. With
her help, we learned where to trim and where to spend wisely. Marian guided us through the
planning process and has become our “go to” person for travel needs, big or small. We made
a new friend while planning our vacation. Memories made.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
marian wattel responded:
I totally understand wanting to make the most our of your timeshare dollars spent and point/miles accumulated. Admit I have enjoyed many a trip that way. The Trick is to know when and how to put all of the elements together for your best experience. Adding a pinch here and a spice there makes for a delightful adventure. So glad I could help join it all together. Until you travel again.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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First trip out of the country

Reviewed By Atc95 - Denton, Maryland | Traveled to Guatemala ~ Central America
This was my first trip ever out of the country and at first is was skeptical because I have never been anywhere out of the country but she made it happen. I had a specific place where I wanted to go ( los amates) and it seemed like an impossible task especially to me, but some how she was able to book the hotel and set up drivers for me. Where I went was definitely not a tourist destination but would highly recommend if you want to see and experience the every day life. The hotel Santa Monica was great it has ac/ pool and a restaurant to eat. The rooms were also very nice as well as the staff, I had no issues. They even asked me when they seen me passing through if I wanted me room cleaned throughout my stay. Now when she had set up the driver I was a little worried at first but after my experience with Davis the driver she had set me up with I couldn’t ask for a better driver. Davis was friendly and welcoming, he is the only driver I want when I plan my trip again in 6 months!thanks M
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
marian wattel responded:
Thank you, A.C., for the wonderful review. Knowing it was your first out-of-country trip, safety as well as meeting your criteria was my major concern. Everything needed to flow seamlessly. Your itinerary was a bit of a quilt to assemble, but once the pieces started to fall into place it turned out very well. Thank you for sharing the pictures. Your smiling faces and the beautiful backgrounds made my day. Looking forward to assisting with your future travels. Optimistically, Marian
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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Multi-Generational Mexico adventure

Reviewed By Marvella - Alaska | Traveled to Puerto Vallarta ~ Jalisco ~ Mexico
Marian did a great job in arranging a resort stay for our family of 11 in Mexico. We had 3 generations of people ranging from 87 to 3months.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
marian wattel responded:
It was a pleasure matching you and your family needs with the ideal destination and accommodations. Please do call again when you are ready for another family vacation.
6 of 11 people found this review helpful
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2022 Europe Trip

Reviewed By Bill & Traci - Tacoma, Washington | Traveled to London ~ England ~ Europe
Marian was a pleasure to work with. She has first hand knowledge of Europe train networks prompt, professional with a positive attitude and fun to deal with.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
marian wattel responded:
Thank you for your great review. I must admit, I looked forward to our Saturday morning booking sessions. Sharing my love of train travel and your enthusiasm were a perfect match. Flying would have been cheaper and more expedient, but you will see things most of the world misses today. My only regret is I cannot be with the two of you enjoying UK/Europe by train. Eager to assist in planning your next adventures. Mew
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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Great Experience

Reviewed By Daniel Rey - Aurora, CO | Traveled to Roatan ~ Honduras ~ Central America
Marian is very knowledgeable about Roatan and made our trip easier. She arranged our activities, rental and flights and made it so I didn’t have to worry about anything. Highly recommend
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
marian wattel responded:
Thank you, Daniel. It makes me happy that you and your family enjoyed Roatan, a place I hold near and dear. What a great birthday gift you chose for your wife! Looking forward to assisting with the next adventure.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful
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Bucket list items covered

Reviewed By don - las vegas | Traveled to Venice ~ Italy ~ Europe
Marian was able to combine several of my bucket list items in one trip. I traveled from Rome to Venice by train, rode on gondolas, water taxis and speed boats in Venice, and experienced many historic and culinary adventures. It was a great trip. Thank you, Marian.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
marian wattel responded:
Delighted you enjoyed your adventures in Italy. I'm waiting to see the pictures.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful
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Our Hawaii together @ Christmas & New Years

Reviewed By bev - NM | Traveled to Kona, Hawaii ~ Hawaii ~ USA
Excellent in arranging and coordinating our extended family holiday. She was able to get all four units in one building so we did not have to travel far for our dinners and other group events. Being multi-generational and from several extended family branches, this was a BIG event to manage! Congrats, to Marian. You are the Best!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
marian wattel responded:
Thank you working as a team to create your adventure. I would love to have pictures but wont share without your permission. I am looking forward to assistant in creating your family's next adventure.
4 of 8 people found this review helpful
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Adventure at a wonderful price.

Reviewed By Lynne - Winters, California | Traveled to Roatan ~ Honduras ~ Central America
Marian was incredibly detail oriented. She made sure I had everything I needed at each point in the trip from seat choice to covid test to transportation. She checked in many times to insure there was no further information I needed. She gave good ideas on where to visit in Roatnan She worked with me to make sure I could return at a time when transportation home was available.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
marian wattel responded:
Thank you for the wonderful review. It was a pleasure helping you enjoy Roatan as much as I have over the many years. It was like sending you to my hometown. I am looking forward to your next adventure.
6 of 12 people found this review helpful
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our adventure

Reviewed By LW - CA | Traveled to Europe
Thank you, Marian, for our diverse, detailed adventure. Having us meet fellow cruisers prior to the cruise was brilliant. We are particularly grateful for the door to door care. Our fears of not getting to the right place were eased when we saw our greeter and our names on his sign.
The Glacier Express and our stay in Zermet far exceeded our expectations. We loved arriving in San Moritz and staying in our castle-like hotel. The Bernina Express was more great scenery and so uplifting. Enjoyed exploring the Milan train station completing our loop.
Flying to Edinburgh, exploring the castles, streets, and lunching on the royal yacht made our short stay fly by.
The train to London was a peaceful, pleasant end to our side adventure and way to ease into our week's stay in London. At King's Cross station our greeter whisked off to our lodgings via a real London taxi.
Loved the theaters, royal mews, and Keys ceremony. So much to see; so little time.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
marian wattel responded:
This plan was expanded so much from the original cruise and quite exciting to be a part of the planning. I am so glad you chose to ride the trains in such varied terrains. Such a delight to work with you. Thank you for choosing me.
5 of 10 people found this review helpful
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We LOVED Panama!

Reviewed By Abby - Park City, Utah | Traveled to Panama ~ Central America
I enjoyed working with Marian. She asked a lot of questions and really got to know me and my family's interests. She was as excited about our trip as we were!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
marian wattel responded:
It was a pleasure working with you, Abby, and your family. Thank you for sharing your pictures during your adventure. The gift of travel is such a learning experience for children and adults alike. Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of your adventure. Mew, the optimistic tourist
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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86th birthday bash

Reviewed By ML - Stockton, CA | Traveled to Cambridge ~ England ~ Europe
Two weeks before my 86th birthday, I decided I wanted to go to a WWII airshow in Duxford, UK.
Marian was able to get last minute premium Economy seats on British Airways from San Jose, CA to London Heathrow. The flight crew was given a goodie bag , a bio of my military career, and the purpose of my trip. The lead flight attendant said he would treat me like I was in the very front of the plane and he did. I received outstanding service and delightful amenities throughout my flight. Upon landing, I even got a tour of the cockpit!
Marian arranged a hotel along the river in Cambridge with easy access to the downtown. I could watch the punters and other activities easily. My tickets for the airshow were VIP and included transportation, food, and special seating. My trip to the countryside for the airshow was a great success.
I highly recommend Marian for planning your holiday needs. She makes things happen smoothly door to door.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
marian wattel responded:
It was a delight to help you celebrate your 86th birthday. Marian
7 of 16 people found this review helpful
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My Travel Experience

Places I’ve personally traveled to or destinations I’ve booked for my clients.

Customer Testimonials

Trains, Boats, and Planes Adventure Abounds

Thank you, Marian, for our diverse, detailed adventure. Having us meet fellow cruisers prior to the cruise was brilliant. We are particularly grateful for the door to door care. Our fears of not getting to the right place were eased when we saw our greeter and our names on his sign. The Glacier Express and our stay in Zermet far exceeded our expectations. We loved arriving in San Moritz and staying in our castle-like hotel. The Bernina Express was more great scenery and so uplifting. Enjoyed exploring the Milan train station completing our loop. Flying to Edinburgh, exploring the castles, streets, and lunching on the royal yacht made our short stay fly by. The train to London was a peaceful, pleasant end to our side adventure and way to ease into our week's stay in London. At King's Cross station our greeter whisked off to our lodgings via a real London taxi. Loved the theaters, royal mews, and Keys ceremony. So much to see; so little time.

Provided by L.W.