The Top Family Vacation Spots For 2016

Summer vacation is right around the corner. Your kids are ready. Are you? Give yourself and your family a much needed break this year: no lunches to prepare, dishes to watch, clothes to clean, or beds to make. Just fun in the sun with your spouse and children. (P.S. These resorts have kid’s clubs so you can enjoy some alone time with your husband or wife).


Riviera Maya     Jamaica     Punta Cana     Bahamas

Riviera Maya, Mexico

Riviera Maya beach

South of Riviera Cancun, Riviera Maya is home to many of Mexico’s best hotels and all-inclusive resorts. Stretching 100 miles, the area offers endless white sand beaches, lush jungles and ancient Mayan cities.

Where To Stay

Grand Sunset Princess All Suite Resort

Grand Sunset Princess All Suite Resort

Complemented by natural surroundings of fascinating beauty, this impressive resort is located along a pristine white sand beach in Playa del Carmen and offers an unforgettable 24-hour all-inclusive vacation experience. The resort offers 7 a la carte restaurants including Mexican, Italian, Asian, and seafood. There are 12 pools including eight main pools and four kids’ pools. Kids also have their very own mini-club, and the teen club provides fun from 4pm until 11pm.

What To Do


Xcaret Park is an expansive eco-complex situated just off the gorgeous Caribbean Sea. Swim in underground rivers, snorkel in protected inlets, observe exotic animals in natural habitats and visit a cool coral reef aquarium in this fabulous park!


Runaway Bay, Jamaica

Boats in Jamaica

Nothing is a problem on this island paradise, where the sounds of soft reggae harmonize with the lapping waves on soft shores. The theme of every vacation, regardless of which corner of the island, is relaxation to the max.

Where To Stay

Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica

Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica

bahia logo

This spectacular Victorian-style resort is located on the beachfront in Runaway Bay. Both adults and children alike will enjoy the three interconnecting lake-style pools that surround the main building that includes two children’s sections and three Jacuzzis. Also included are free non-motorized watersports and a Mini-Club for kids 4-12.

What To Do

Dunn’s River Falls

The setting is truly breathtaking, and the incredible cascading falls challenge, refresh and delight visitors of all ages. Enjoy everyone’s favorite activity, which is climbing up the falls. This is relatively easy. But if you prefer, you can take a swim or walk alongside the river all the way to the top and appreciate the beauty of the tropical vegetation.


Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Punta Cana

Known best for its endless stretches of white sand beaches, Punta Cana is often referred to as the Coconut Coast. No resort in Punta Cana is higher than the highest palm tree, and there is no shortage of palms on the 40 miles of white sand beaches.

Where To Stay

Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe

Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe

At Barceló Bavaro Palace Deluxe, family is always first, with a full day’s activities awaiting your crew. Take the kids to the Barcy’s Kids’ Club where they will take part in games, movies, arts and crafts, and more. Come and practice your swing on the 18-hole miniature golf course, enjoy 4 swimming pools for all types of entertainment, and watch your children play on castles, water slides, and waterfalls at Barcy Water Park!

What To Do

Marinarium Tour

Set off in a glass bottom boat to the Marinarium Marine Park for a Punta Cana snorkeling adventure. After some time exploring the reef and underwater marine life of the Caribbean Sea, you’ll be given the opportunity to swim with nurse sharks and stingrays. But don’t worry! This shark and stingray excursion is completely safe!


Paradise Island, Bahamas


By far, sparkling turquoise waters and white sandy beaches stretching for miles have always been one of the most alluring features of The Bahamas. The ocean ranges from absolutely clear and colorless turquoise to all imaginable shades of blues.

Where To Stay


The Atlantis

Unleash a world of magic and wonder as you discover Atlantis, Paradise Island. World-class restaurants, luxury shopping, the Caribbean’s largest casino, fantastic water sports, thrilling slides and rides, Dolphin Cay, hundreds of species of sea animals at the Marine Habitat, and so much more, all ready to discover, right at your fingertips.

What To Do

Aquaventure at Atlantis

Atlantis Paradise Island’s water park is a one-of-a-kind 141-acre waterscape. This non-stop aquatic thrill ride features over twenty million gallons of water, incredible Atlantean-themed towers, thrilling high-speed water slides, a mile-long river ride with rolling rapids and wave surges, 20 swimming areas, a spectacular kids water-play fort and 11 unique and refreshing swimming pools.




I have a Secret … well lots of them. And no, it is not that I am happy it is back to school time! OK … maybe a little. It’s actually Secret’s Resorts & Spas. The newest resort is opening this fall – WELCOME SECRETS AKUMAL RIVIERA MAYA.

Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya opens November 1, 2015 and it makes the perfect vacation if you are looking for an adult escape! The resort is located in the heart of the Riviera Maya along those beautiful white sand beaches and calm, clear waters of Akumal.

The resort is one hour south of the Cancun airport and will open with 434 elegant suites, many with stunning ocean views.

This brand new resort offers adults a charming, picturesque vacation, complete with an exceptional Unlimited-Luxury® experience.


Welcome cocktail and cool towel

Full breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks each day

Unlimited premium alcoholic beverages

Complimentary mini-bar refreshed daily

24-hour room and concierge services

Pool and beach wait service

Non-motorized water sports

Open-air theatre

Fitness center

Complimentary greens fees at nearby Riviera Maya Golf Club

Internet access

Expansive oceanfront infinity pool and outdoor Jacuzzi

All taxes and gratuities

So if the kids are heading back to school (or already there), or if you are looking for a romantic couples vacation, girls getaway or relaxing time at the spa; make sure you look to the new Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya. We all deserve a little “me” time and this is the perfect place.

For more details click here –>


akumal blog pic

National Tequila Day

Last week was National Tequila Day. Did you know Americans drink 50 million liters of tequila annually? This is actually more tequila than consumed in Mexico! This is according to the Today Show.

Of course tequila is good when included in a refreshing beverage, but it can also be used as an ingredient when cooking spectacular recipes. Here is a recipe for “Spicy Tequila Chicken”. I am going to try this one myself.

Spicy Tequila Chicken

Step 1:

Cut 6 chicken breasts into long strips.

 Step 2:


1/2 cup of clear tequila

Juice from 6 limes

1 generous tablespoon of chili powder

2 jalapeno peppers finely chopped

1 tablespoon of minced garlic

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of black pepper

 Step 3:

Combine chicken breasts and marinade.

Let ingredients sit for at least one hour in refrigerator.

 Step 4:

Grill Chicken until it is nicely browned.

 Step 5:

Sprinkle your favorite queso on top.

Serve atop your favorite tortilla or rice.

Tell us, how do you like your tequila?

Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders film in Mexico!

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Apple Vacations and Iberostar Hotels and Resorts were delighted to host the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders and staff this month for the making of their 2015/2016 swimsuit calendar.

Iberostar Paraiso Del Mar provided a picture perfect backdrop. Palm trees, crystal blue water, white sandy beaches and the beauty of Mexico  shined throughout the shoot.

When not filming, the cheerleaders also participated in games and events with the resort guests.  We can’t wait to see the completed calendar. Meanwhile, here are some sneak peaks of the shoot and some behind the scenes photos.

Go Eagles!

Say Hello to Summer with Dreams Tulum & Apple Vacations

Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa

Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa

OK parents…it’s final exam time…then field day…then IT is coming…the inevitable last day of school! I am actually looking forward to it! I’m planning our summer fun, including our summer family vacation!

Like many, I have narrowed down a week and am deciding on location. Last year we went on a great vacation to Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa with friends and family. We were going for a little bit longer of a stay, so we decided to venture down further in the Riviera Maya corridor to Tulum.

I stayed at Dreams Tulum many years ago, when it first opened, and wow — it’s great and perfect for groups and families!

Dreams Tulum does not require wristbands, dining reservations or towel cards, like other AMResorts. I’ve mentioned before how that makes life easier when travelling with a family. You don’t have to be on a dining schedule or worry about losing extra items.

Here are some of my favorite things about the resort:

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Family Vacation to Now Resorts & Spas

Now Jade Resort & Spa

Now Jade Resort & Spa

Many families are in the process of booking their summer getaways and are deciding where to go. Over the next few weeks we will feature some of our favorite family vacation resorts, to help you make your decision.

One of my favorite resorts my family visits over and over is Now Jade Riviera Cancun (if you read the blog often, you may already know this). My family loves Mexico for the white sandy beaches, turquoise blue waters, history, culture and charm. I am a creature of habit and we tend to go back to Mexico often.

As I write this, I’m dreaming of sitting under a palapa with my toes in the sand.

Here are my top 5 reasons why Now Jade Riviera Cancun makes a great family vacation (which you can’t necessarily find in a brochure or on a website):

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WJRZ New Jersey Broadcast Live in Riviera Maya

Matt Knight and Debbie DuHaime broadcasted from Grand Palladium Colonial Resort and Spa

Matt Knight and Debbie DuHaime broadcast from Grand Palladium Colonial Resort and Spa

Apple Vacations partnered with 100.1 WJRZ for a live broadcast in Riviera Maya from May 18-22! Matt Knight and Debbie DuHaime broadcasted from Grand Palladium Colonial Resort and Spa and promoted the resort and its amenities throughout the week.

Five lucky listeners won a trip of their own to Grand Palladium Colonial! A big thanks to Palladium and Amstar for making the trip possible.

Listen to hear the Morning Show’s interview with Amstar Rep, James McGraw!