The 5 things I LOVED about Dreams Puerto Aventuras

Tulum, Mexico

As told by Liz Bondelid, Apple Vacations E-Commerce Merchandising Coordinator

When March rolls around, it seems like it’s time for the brutal cold to start letting up. Philadelphia had other plans, with snow days and wind chills in the first week of March this year. Leaving my coat behind as I left for the airport, I wondered what it felt like to be warm again. By the end of the day, I had sand in my toes, saltwater in my hair, and a margarita in hand.

From beginning to end, I was blown away by everything I encountered at Dreams Puerto Aventuras – and no, I never mentioned to anyone that I work for Apple! If I have to narrow it down, let me give you a taste of my favorite things there.

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TRAVEL TIPS TO ENJOY YOUR APPLE VACATION TO CANCUN!

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I cannot count the number of times I have been on an Apple Vacation. Each one has been unique and memorable. I can’t wait to add my trip to Riviera Maya this January to the list.  I will be on an Apple Vacation to Now Sapphire Rivera Cancun for the Phancation!

If you have never been to Cancun, here are my top 10 tips to have a successful trip.

1 – Get to the airport early.  For international flights, you should be there at least 2 hours prior to departure. I am always one of the first people to check-in.  You are never sorry you arrived early, but you could be sorry if you arrive late and miss the flight!

2 – Don’t forget your VALID passport.  Also, it must be valid for 6 months from the date of travel.  You will be denied boarding if you do not present this at check-in.

3 – Don’t forget the sunscreen. This is not the Jersey shore and the sun is STRONG! Apply frequently.  Missing a day of vacation because you are stuck in the room nursing sunburn is just not fun!

4 – Pack wisely.   Don’t pack too much and make sure you pack a carry on or easily accessible bag so you can hit the ground running and start your vacation! Most hotels have a check-in time of 3:00PM. However, flights usually arrive in the morning.  Expect that your room will NOT be ready when you arrive. Have a bag ready with a swimsuit or something to change into, so you can start your vacation right away.  Changing-rooms will be available and the bell man will hold your bags. Also, restaurants will be open for lunch. Resort maps will be available so you can explore and enjoy the property.

5 – Pack valuables such as jewelry, electronics and important medications in your carry on.   Then, leave them in the in-room safe when you arrive in resort.

6 – U.S. currency is widely accepted in Mexico. I, however, always do bring small bills in the form of $1’s and $5’s. This is beneficial when you make a purchase so you are not receiving too much change in pesos. Also, when you want to tip, you have small bills available. Tipping is included in the package price, but if I receive exceptional service, I tend to tip the waiters or drivers when appropriate.

7 – Don’t eat anything on vacation that would make you sick at home.  Whenever and wherever you travel, your system may react to new foods or drinks introduced.  To prevent any problems, I tend to be pro-active rather than re-active. I eat yogurt (Activia) the week before I travel.  I also make sure I have any over the counter medications with me in case I need them.

8 – Stay hydrated. Bottled water is readily available at the resort and included.

9 – Wear appropriate footwear. Hotels in Mexico & The Caribbean do not have carpet. Because of the climate, they are marble and tiled.  Be careful when near the pool or in the lobby or your room especially if there has been rain!

10 – Turn your Smart phone data off (to airplane mode) and make sure you check with your carrier on any charges you could incur if you use your phone in Mexico. Texting is usually very expensive.  My carrier has a minimal charge to use my iPhone in resort, but I have to sign up for it before I leave (and turn it off when I get back).  When I am in resort, I tend to use my iPad and communicate with family via the computer for FREE.

Dream Wedding

When you picture your dream wedding, what do you envision? Do images of crystal clear waters, soft white sand, and a tropical paradise come to mind? If so, then Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort and Spa is perfect for your special day! One of Apple Vacations Destination Weddings’ most revered resorts and November’s “Destination of the Month,” Dreams Riviera has it all.

Photo Credit: Dreams Riviera Cancun

Photo Credit: Dreams Riviera Cancun

Nestled in the secluded Riviera Maya, Dreams Riviera incorporates the best of both worlds. Its prime location makes it especially attractive for both younger couples and families. Half an hour away from Cancun yet minutes away from Playa del Carmen, this resort is within close proximity of the area’s best attractions and landmarks. Tropical gardens, a beach setting suitable for a photo shoot, and limitless activities combine to create a truly unique and magical destination wedding experience. Looking for a quiet evening with your new spouse? Take a walk to the on-site spa for ultimate relaxation. Want to head out for a night on the town? Enjoy the many authentic waterfront restaurants, bars, and shops. Theme parties, live entertainment, nightclubs, euro-bungee jumping, an ocean trampoline, yoga, cooking and dance lessons, Spanish lessons, bocce ball, ocean kayaking, and tennis are just a few of the activities at your fingertips when staying at Dreams Riviera.

Photo Credit: Dreams Riviera Cancun

Photo Credit: Dreams Riviera Cancun

When it comes to reciting your vows, Dreams Riviera has it covered. Whether you want to gaze into your lover’s eyes and say “I do” on the beach at sunset or in a lavishly decorated and extravagant indoor venue, your wedding is sure to be memorable. Make a statement and provide your guests with a vacation and wedding they are never going to forget.

Your day is special—Apple Vacations Destination Weddings and the Dreams Riviera Cancun resort are here to make sure your wedding runs smoothly and stress-free. Book with us today!

Photo Credit: Dreams Riviera Cancun

Photo Credit: Dreams Riviera Cancun

Unlimited Luxury for All

As told by Jeff Farinosi, Senior Graphic Designer

I have a SECRET to tell you NOW (whispering): you can call me AMResorts’ #1 groupie. The past 5 trips I’ve taken were all at Secrets and NOW Resorts if that tells you something! During my travels I’ve been in relationships and have also been FREE (happily divorced) in others! Besides my relationship status changing, my love for AMResorts has not.secretsbanner

Most people would throw a label on Secrets Resorts as being mostly catered for couples and romance. That is far from the truth. They are wide open and friendly to any type of human being or group of people. Whether a Dolce & Gabbana cologne-doused metrosexual or a gun-rack-in-the-back-of-your-pick-up-truck redneck, you’ll see all sorts or personalities sharing and enjoying the public areas together, whether it’s the lobby or the swim-up bar. I ought to know since I accompanied the metrosexual, the redneck and his wife on a few of my trips! At the end of the trip, all of them wanted more with no complaints.

So when selling the Secrets brand, I say go for it and describe that the resorts cater to all and not just the ones deeply in love. There are plenty of opportunities to get romantic and the resorts are overall quiet when compared to the kid-friendly resorts. But there’s never a feeling of being a “third wheel” when staying at a Secrets Resort & Spa.

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Phillies Baseball Phans, are you ready for an All-Inclusive Phancation?

philliesLogoApple Vacations, a proud sponsor of the Philadelphia Phillies, invites you on an all-inclusive Phancation to Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun hosted by Scott Palmer, the Phillie Phanatic and some of your favorite Phillies VIPs and players this Winter. Take off with Apple Vacations and the Philadelphia Phillies for some – Phun in the Sun – in Cancun’s Riviera Maya. Spend a week enjoying the sunshine, sugar-white sand beaches and the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.

With Apple Vacations Phun in the Sun Phancation, It’s ALL included!

Prices start at $1499 per person for a full week including:

- Non- stop, round-trip flight on the Phillies Express to Cancun
- Deluxe unlimited luxury hotel accommodations at Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun
- ALL meals, drinks, tips and transfers in resort.
- Phancation group photo, gift, private beach parties and games with the Phillies players and VIPs and more!

That’s right, for one affordable price – it’s all included on Apple Vacations’ Phancation!

What could be more fun than a week in the sun in the winter with your favorite Phillies players?

For more details, log on to applevacations.com/phillies. Space is limited!

*Based on double occupancy, includes gov’t taxes & fees. Price is per person from Philadelphia International on Frontier Airlines. 7 nights depart January 5, 2014. Price will vary for other departure cities. Phillies Players and VIP’s are subject to change.

Apple Vacations Live Radio Broadcast from Sandos Caracol Eco Resort

 

Our Friends from WJRZ recently got back from a week-long live broadcast at Sandos Caracol Eco Resort, which is one of the Eco-Friendly Resorts we are featured in April for Earth Day.

Glenn Kalina, who has been a radio fixture in the Philadelphia and New Jersey region for many years, travelled with The Magic Morning Show & Diane De Oliviera to Riviera Maya. They broadcasted live each morning from Sandos Caracol Eco Resort. They did an amazing job while they were there, transporting their listening audience practically in to resort with them.  Here are some photos of the broadcast.

If you are looking for an Eco-Friendly resort or a family friendly resort for your next Apple Vacation, make sure you check out Sandos Caracol Eco Resort.

 

Stay at Secrets Resorts & Spas

 One of our employees, Nina M. Scimenes, blogged about her trip to Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun.  We wanted to share her blog with our Juice readers!

Secrets Resorts & Spas is included in Apple Vacations’ Summer Fun for Everyone sale , and it is appropriate because a stay at one of the adults-only beachfront properties is beyond ‘fun’!  You can expect a spectacular beach vacation with the inclusions of Unlimited-Luxury® with spacious accommodations, unlimited top-shelf spirits, gourmet dining without reservations, 24-hour room service, nightly entertainment and more.  What’s not to love?

View of infinity pools at Secrets SIlversands

View of infinity pools at Secrets SIlversands

 

This past July I soaked up the sun for three days at Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun with my best friend.  I loved every second of our getaway.  The resort is very modern and chic and you feel it as soon as you enter the main lobby and see the sculpture of silver fish.  We received a warm welcome from the staff with a cold hand towel and glass of champagne!

 

It was the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. From peaceful pampering at the Secrets Spa by Pevonia, to an exciting bike ride into Puerto Morelos, we enjoyed the best of both worlds. Most of our time was spent lounging poolside near Manatees and sipping on refreshing cocktails at the swim up-bar.   When the sun goes down the party continues with lively entertainment.  One night we enjoyed a captivating performance at ShowTime Theater, Secrets Idol, presented by Secrets Entertainment Team.  Guests competed in a singing competition and the judges were also guests.  The music selection got us on our feet dancing.

Lobby Bar at night

Lobby Bar at night

Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun offered a variety of dining options.  Each morning I enjoyed a hearty breakfast at World Café complete with a Mimosa and Bloody Mary bar! The ceviche at Oceana was one of my favorite meals and it is served al fresco overlooking the main pool.  El Patio is my favorite restaurant at the resort, not just because it serves authentic Mexican cuisine, but the warm ambiance is very inviting and just down right adorable. As soon as you enter the restaurant, there is a tree with blown glass hearts dangling, making the perfect photo opportunity. At least one Mexican meal is a must when in Mexico! I highly recommend the delicious guacamole and El Paster pork tacos. And of course, while we were there, we just had to order 24-hour room service one night for a midnight snack! There is truly something for everyone.

 

With 12 stunning Secrets Resorts & Spas to choose from, there is defiantly a perfect resort for you. Recently, SecretsResorts.com added a resort finder to their newly revamped website. http://www.secretsresorts.com/resort-finder. How clever! By answering a series of questions about what you expect from a vacation, you can find the Secrets Resort that is perfect for you. Sun, sand and special moments are waiting for you. Enjoy your getaway.