Go Green with These Eco-Friendly Resorts

Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun

Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun

For many, “Eco-Friendly” is an empty buzzword.

For these 33 resorts, Eco-Friendly is a lifestyle in preservation. It’s protecting the fragile ecosystems of the beautiful jungles, beaches and oceans that millions enjoy and the local cultures thrive on.

It’s an extra effort with future generations in mind.

But what does Eco-Friendly actually mean? Here’s a taste of what some resorts are doing to #GoGreen.

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Escape the Chill with Apple Vacations Spring SuperSale

Want to save up to 40% on you next vacation to Mexico or The Caribbean? Well you are in luck, because Apple Vacations Spring SuperSale is on!

We have all “chilled out” enough this winter and more snow is in the forecast for many states this week. There is no better time to head south to the warm and sunny beaches of Mexico & The Caribbean and start the spring thaw.

Apple Vacations is offering some great pricing to Mexico & The Caribbean. Here are 5 helpful hints to help you navigate the sale and get the best deal possible during our Spring SuperSale.

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Escape the Polar Vortex Sale

#SolarVortex Sale

Enough is enough! You are tired of the salt, snow and brutal wind chill this winter. And you’ve had more than enough of the Polar Vortex.

To counter the cold and in an attempt to regain your sanity — meet Apple Vacation’s #SolarVortex 72-hour sale!

For the next three days (book by Jan. 30, 2014), Apple Vacations has great deals on all-inclusive trips to Jamaica, Riviera Maya, Punta Cana, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and Cozumel. From three nights to seven, prices start at $579 and offer something for everyone.

From Mexico to the Caribbean, here’s some of the “Escape from the Polar Vortex” offers:

Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa – $799
Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun – $809
Grand Bahia Principe Punta Cana – $879
Marival Resort & Suites – $699
Riu Santa Fe – $579 (or 7 nights, $899)
Secrets Aura Cozumel – $799

To book any of these (much needed) vacations, contact your favorite travel agent or click here – http://applev.ac/171vDLc

Cancun’s Now Sapphire Brings Together Comfort, Great Service

As told by Kasey Minnick, Marketing Specialist.

When I stepped off the plane at Cancun International Airport for my five-day adventure in Mexico, the warmth of the Caribbean instantly caused me to forget the frigid temperatures and polar vortex I left back in Pennsylvania.

At 27-years old, I had never been to Cancun before, but felt comfortable right away in my new “home away from home.”

As my van pulled into the resort, I felt safe in its surroundings and ready to explore. The service staff was quick and insistent in carrying my bags, making sure that from the second I reached the resort to the time I left, I wouldn’t need to lift a finger.

Although the sun spent most of my trip only peeking out from behind the clouds, it still reflected beautifully off of the resort’s well-manicured fountains and pool. As I easily navigated through the open-air walkways, I could hear music. That, along with the constant “holas” from the Now Sapphire employees, made me feel comfortable in my new surroundings.

Entering the building where my room was located, my bags were already waiting for me at the door. I could not wait to swipe my key card and see what was inside. The room was absolutely immaculate down to the resort’s robe and slippers placed perfectly on the canopy bed. The spacious area gave way to balcony seats, where a beautiful, beach breeze refreshed the already freshened suite.

When I left my room to venture for the day, I would make a pit stop back to my Suite to freshen up, and my fridge would be stocked with cold beverages, including Coca-Cola made with REAL sugar. The towels in my bathroom were crisp, clean, and hung just right.

I was nervous that the water in my shower would take ages to heat, but it was not any different from my shower in the states, except that Now’s shower was larger.

Being out in the common areas, it was comfortable. It was as if you had traveled to this location with these same vacationers multiple times before. They were considerate, friendly and genuinely looked pleased to be at the resort. Not only were the other vacationers welcoming to new friends but the employees made us their number-one priority. Whether it was to serve you a cocktail from their expansive drink menu, clear your buffet dinner plate or make up your room every morning, they always did it with urgency and with a smile.

I found myself eating mostly at the buffet, which always had vacant seating throughout the day. Having a flexible buffet schedule is nice because you don’t have to feel rushed to get there or rushed to finish the plate in front of you.

I did take advantage of one reserved seating restaurant — Fresco, and it was the best meal of the trip. What I learned immediately is that you have to go to these resorts with an open-mind, willing to try new and exciting foods. Whether you are a vegetarian, meat and potatoes, Italian, or seafood type of eater, it was all there for you to indulge in.

The beach, unlike those I have been to on the East Coast, have a fine sand, which doesn’t get hot to the touch. The beach at Now Sapphire had a plethora of lounge chairs, and space to relax on your own away from any crowds. There were always games of beach volleyball going on, so if you wanted to join, you easily could.

Even though the rain kept me out of the pool, I was able to stay out of the drizzle sitting underneath the coverage of the pool bar. This was one of the most relaxing afternoons I had while on the trip. I met so many people, whom loved to talk about their past and present vacations and share their drink recipes they learned from the Now Sapphire bartenders. Hands down, the best cocktail I had all vacation was called the Iceberg, which was a frozen Margarita sitting atop a Corona.

While depressing, check-out was a breeze and my private transfer safely took me back to the airport. With good vacation memories (and the thought of pool bar Icebergs) fresh in my mind, I wasn’t quite over the Caribbean Sea yet before actively wondering when I could make my return.

To book Now Sapphire, contact your travel agent or click here – http://applev.ac/1bdMUCf

Beach Chair 3   Fountain 2Food Frozen Corona Beach Pool

SuperSale!!

Apple Vacations SuperSale starts today! It’s our (and should be your) favorite time of year if you are planning an Apple Vacation!  Excuse the sales pitch for a moment, but this is really one of our biggest sales of the year!

Book during Apple Vacations’ SuperSale and you can save up to 40% on your next Apple Vacation to Mexico & the Caribbean.

Apple Vacations has sharpened our rates and is featuring some great deals including … save up to 40% at Dreams Palm Beach in Punta Cana, The Dominican Republic . Or, look for an Apple Vacation to Cancun, Riviera Maya, Jamaica, Cabo, Puerto Vallarta… there are big savings in so many destinations. Click here to see all of Apple Vacations SuperSale deals.

White sandy beaches, blue turquoise waters, tropical beverages and palm trees as far as the eye can see… will all be calling your name this winter. So stop dreaming about it and start planning!  Log on to applevacations.com or call your travel agent today to pick out your next Apple Vacation! Hurry, the best dates and hotels will sell out quickly.

 

 

‘Dia de los Muertos’ is a grand celebration of life itself!

The Day of the Dead is otherwise known as ‘Dia de los Muertos’ or ‘All Soul’s Day’ and can be traced back for thousands of years. This day is held to honor and remember family members and relatives who have passed away. During the day on November 1st and 2nd, people gather together to pray for lost loved ones. Altars are created to honor the dead and gifts are taken to the graves of the departed. The essence of this beautiful ritual is to lovingly and happily remember the dead relatives, their life, and in this way, give meaning and continuity to human existence. Here are some great places in Mexico that really embrace the Day of the Dead tradition:

Mural from Secrets Hualtuco Photo Credit: Stephanie Diehl, Travel Designed

Mural from Secrets Hualtuco Photo Credit: Stephanie Diehl, Travel Designed

1. Huatulco

Huatulco is one of Mexico’s newest and very unique tourism development areas. The state of Oaxaca has a rich cultural history and guests of Huatulco can take full advantage of interesting opportunities to experience some of Mexico’s charm. Although the Day of the Dead is celebrated throughout Mexico, Oaxaca has become known for the ornately richness of its celebrations.  The festivities begin a week before November 1st with the commencement of the “Plaza de los Muertos”, an elaborate initiation held in each city market, and a contest is held to judge the best of the city’s ofrendas.

 

2. Cancun & Riviera Maya

Marketing department at Apple Vacations

Traditional Day of the Dead Face Painting – Photo Credit: Jeff Farinosi

Xcaret is normally a hybrid action-eco-archeological-adventure park about an hour south of Cancun. From October 31-November 2, it transforms into an all out Day of the Dead celebration a.k.a. the Xcaret, “Life and Death Traditions Festival”. For those that really want to embrace the culture, complimentary face painting stands are set up through the park.

 

3. Los Cabos

Encompassing the two towns of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose Lose Cabo, The Day of the Dead Festival is a key festival in Los Cabos throughout the Mexico. Families and loved ones pay their respects by creating spectacular altars that are elaborately decorated with photos, candles and food offerings. The altars are then displayed in the towns main square of Plaza Amelia Wilkes, where the best decorated alter is granted a prize.

 

Dia de Los Muertos skulls - Photo Credit: Travel Designed, Stephanie Dieh

Dia de Los Muertos skulls – Photo Credit: Travel Designed, Stephanie Diehl

4. Puerto Vallarta

There’s plenty to do in Puerto Vallarta to feed your adventurous spirit. Often called the “crown jewel” of the Riviera Nayarit, Sayulita, a small fishing town located just 35 miles north of Puerto Vallarta, has become a popular destination. The roots of Mexican culture are deep and complex, as is evident even in a place seemingly as simple as Sayulita: once a fishing and farming pueblo, now a magical, compelling tourist destination. Sayulitans set up alters around town to honor the deceased and there are lovely masses held in the cemetery.

 

5. Ixtapa Zihuatanejo

A varierty of learning opportunities await you in and around Ixtapa for those who enjoy experiencing the real destination behind the resort.  Ixtapa Zihuatanejo hosts a complete festival with lectures about the tradition, photographic exhibitions, traditional dance and music.  Building “altars” with flowers and tokens of the deceased is part of the tradition.  Local vendors will compete for the “Best Altar.” Activities start at the Zihuatanejo Bay with lighting of the area.

Have you visited Mexico for Day of the Dead? Where did you stay?  Feel free to share your comments and stories about your experiences with Day of the Dead traditions in the comments. Or continue this conversation on our facebook page!

Special Thanks to Travel Designed by Stephanie for letting us use her great photographs!

With Apple Vacations – It’s Summer Fun for Everyone!

 

No cooking, no cleaning, no laundry, no food shopping – you get the picture!  This summer, take an Apple Vacation the whole family will enjoy.  This summer make it Summer Fun for Everyone to the white sandy beaches and blue turquoise waters of Mexico or The Caribbean!

It’s time to book that summer family vacation while the rates are good and the best flights and top hotels are still available.

You think it sounds expensive to take the whole family away? Well, do the research, it is really not. And, starting tomorrow, it is even less! I want to let you in on a secret that will really help families afford an Apple Vacation to Mexico or The Caribbean this summer. Starting tomorrow, many hotels will offer Kids Stay, Play, and Eat FREE all summer long! That’s right, they just pay airfare and taxes.

Starting tomorrow (March 29, 2013) for bookings through April 25, 2013 – Kids will Stay, Play, and Eat Free at specific resorts.

Here are some of the featured hotels and the specifics: Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun and Dreams Punta CanaUp to 2 kids free with the purchase of a paying adult. 1 paying adult = 1 child free, 2 paying adults = 2 children free. Booking Window: 3/29/13 – 4/25/13. Travel Window: 5/1/13 – 8/23/13.

Grand Palladium Bavaro. Up to 2 kids free with the purchase of a paying adult. 1 paying adult = 1 child free, 2 paying adults = 2 children free. In a Junior Suite. Booking Window: 3/29/13 to 4/30/13 for travel 5/1/13-8/24/13.

For more details and more hotel choices for you, check out Summer Fun for Everyone!

And check out our TV ad here!

Visit us online or call your travel agent today!