Secrets Royal Beach Resort & Spa – Punta Cana

We have the cure for your Spring Fever! For those of you suffering from unpleasant cold weather, constant wind and snowfall and dreary days, your distress is over. Start thinking of warm weather, pristine beaches, unlimited gourmet cuisine and endless top-shelf spirits.


Read about a recent review of Secrets Royal Beach Resort & Spa, located in Punta Cana. As told by Apple Vacations own Kathleen Kroos, who recently vacationed there.

We left Philadelphia on a cold early January morning.  We left our coats in the car and boarded the airport shuttle for what was to be the most relaxing trip we had ever taken.   Even the plane ride over was restful!  Frontier Airlines seated us with plenty of leg room and the cabin crew was very pleasant.  We loved the quaint thatched roofed on the Punta Cana airport and were amazed by the efficiency of the airport staff.  All accompanied by the music of a local band.  We then met the Amstar rep., in his red and blue flowered shirt, who then showed us to our mini-bus for the ride to the hotel.

We were the second stop for the bus.  It was a pleasant comfortable ride. Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana had a beautiful exterior.  It’s in a park-like setting with a pretty little lake running through it. The hotel porters had already taken our bags and we went into the lovely lobby to register and be taken to our room.  Our room was sumptuous!  The king-sized bed was very comfortable and every evening it was decorated with rose petals.  Our balcony had a lovely view of the courtyard and lazy river below.  The bathroom was very convenient and beautifully decorated.  It had a room for the toilet and a vanity with double sink and a beautiful walk in shower.  My husband is an amputee and they had included a chair for him to sit in while showering.  Every one of our needs were taken care of by the hotel staff!



After looking at the room we put on our bathing suits and strolled around the pool, the lazy river and then down to the beautiful beach for a delicious snack, a stroll along the waterand an opportunity to sit a stare at our beautiful surroundings.  Other than the occasional waiter taking our drink orders we relaxed to the sound of the waves, and the far off sounds of other happy travelers enjoying their day.

The first night we chose the Oceana seafood restaurant for dinner (good food and service) and later went to the entertainment in the courtyard just outside the hotel.  We listened to beautiful music and laughed at comedians.  We were pretty tired after our trip and went to bed early that night.

We had a great breakfast the next morning at the buffet and took our mimosas out to the beach to sit in the lounge chairs and enjoy the view.  After we’d been there about an hour, a man came up and invited us to a dance class.  He was gorgeous!  I took the class right on the beach just to watch this guy!  So did a large number of other women.  The rest of that day and the next are just one relaxing blur of relaxation, great food and friendly people all having a wonderful time!

Located amidst palm trees, lush vegetation and manicured gardens on an expansive sugar-white beach, this colorful Caribbean resort offers adults a seaside escape to romance, relaxation and Unlimited-Luxury®.


Apple Vacations Spring SuperSale – Don’t delay, book today!


Even seasoned travel professionals don’t always listen to their own advice, yes even me. I have been waiting for a sale to book flights for my summer vacation. Every day for the past few months the first thing I do each morning is check airfare. For the dates and location I wanted, they were high. Then they were higher, higher, went down a little, still high. Then BAM…a sale! The rates were really good. I grabbed my credit card, then asked myself, were they great? Was this the best I could do? If I waited will they go down even more? Where is my crystal ball when I needed it! I waited a day – ONE DAY -  and went to book, and the rates TRIPLED! And have remained high since. I know better. I should have booked and now I am kicking myself!

So my lesson of the day to share with you is – if you see a great price, book it! It may not be there tomorrow.  Hotels and airlines typically offer a dedicated number of seats and rooms when they offer a special class, room category or sale rate. Once that is gone, it is gone.

We are currently in the middle of Apple Vacations Spring SuperSale. There are great prices available to some top notch name brand resorts. If you are teetering on booking, just like I was, don’t delay. The sale is over March 14, but rooms and seats to Mexico and the Caribbean are going fast – especially Punta Cana. So don’t’ delay, book it today. Apple Vacations Spring SuperSale – Don’t delay, book today!


It’s Apple Vacations Spring SuperSale!


 If you have been procrastinating, or just waiting for the perfect deal, then now is your time to book an Apple Vacation!

We have many hotels to offer in Mexico, The Caribbean and Hawaii in this sale.  Two of my personal FAVORITES are featured in this sale – Secrets Resorts and Spas and Iberostar Hotels & Resorts.

You will see Apple Vacations SuperSale advertised starting tomorrow and it will run through mid–March.  We have affordable deals for families, great values for friends’ getaways, luxury for couples and relaxing vacations just for you.

Check out one of our (Philadelphia) TV ads here:

Here are some tips on how to navigate the advertised pricing: Look to Secrets Royal Beach, Secrets Capri, Iberostar Paraiso del Mar, Iberostar Punta Cana or Dominicana for some of the best vacation offers within those hotel chains.

Here is a “sneak peak” of our ad that will go out tomorrow that lists the pricing and departure dates for these hotels.   Click here for Iberostar. Click here for Secrets.

But there is so much more that we have to offer! Make sure you check out our home page tomorrow to see all of the great SuperSale deals.


Punta Cana & La Romana – Closer than you think!


Amstar dmc greeting us upon arrival in Punta Cana

Recently, I was able to enjoy firsthand the Dominican Republic’s stunning new Coral Highway (a.k.a the Autopista Del Coral) via Amstar DMC.  The highly anticipated Coral Highway just opened this past summer and more importantly connects the famous resorts of eco-rich La Romana to the lux beaches and resorts in Punta Cana.

It’s sort of random, because to me highways = traffic, but in the Dominican Republic, this four-lane highway brings the country so much closer together, culturally & economically.

Travel Tip: One of the best features of the new highway is that it cuts the drive from Punta Cana International Airport to La Romana down to about 40 minutes. This alone crushes the previous 2 hour drive and gives travelers more options when choosing a destination or airport in the Dominican Republic. I myself chose the Punta Cana airport and a La Romana resort … stay tuned for my next blog about Dreams La Romana.


Autopista del Coral


Coral Highway Facts:

  • The “Autopista Del Coral” highway has 3 bridges, which cross over the Chavón, Santa Clara and Duey rivers.
  • The highway begins just outside of La Romana, after the main entrance to Casa de Campo, but before the La Romana – Casa de Campo airport and ends at the Punta Cana International Airport.
  • Exits on and off of the new highway are located at La Romana, the La Romana – Casa de Campo airport, the entrance to Bayahibe – Dominicus, near to Higuey and at the Punta Cana International Airport.
  • 2 tolls along the road; the first at KM 18, just after Bayahibe and the second at KM 58, close to the Punta Cana International airport.
  • The “Autopista Del Coral” highway will have 4 lanes of traffic and is designed for cars travelling at a maximum speed of 110km/h or 70 mph.


My case in point – Getting from Punta Cana to La Romana Has Never Been Easier!

For more information about transfers while you’re in the Dominican Republic check out AmstarDMC

Nuptials at NOW Larimar Punta Cana

as told by Dani Laverty, Destination Wedding Specialist 

Couple: Kari and Neale

Wedding date: November 7, 2012


When the Kari’s mother, Christina (Chris), initially contacted me in March 2012 to assist her with planning her daughter’s destination wedding in Punta Cana, little did I know it would mark the beginning of a wonderful journey of not only planning the travel details for the wedding party of 16, but also what feels like a lifelong friendship.

Kari and Neale had already decided on the resort to host their special day by the time Chris reached out to me to begin the travel planning process.   I reached out to Now Larimar’s wedding coordinator, Cristina, in order to verify the resort’s availability.  Although there were a few minor hiccups when securing the ceremony date with the Punta Cana judge, as he is a very busy man with quite the jam-packed schedule, once the date and time was set, it was smooth sailing from there on out.

Over the 8 months of planning, the mother of the bride and I formed somewhat of a bond as we discussed travel and wedding-related details leading up to the big event.  From the purchase of Kari’s gorgeous wedding gown to the pre-wedding celebration party at home, Chris always kept me in the loop and shared wonderful pictures and stories that made me feel truly involved and connected to my bride and groom.  Fast forward a few months and it was time for Kari, Neale, and their closest family and friends to pack their bags and jet off to Paradise!  I anxiously awaited their return home mid-November so I could hear all about their trip.

Upon their return to reality, Chris shared all of the fabulous tales of their journey and described how the wedding and entire trip was nothing less than perfect.  Kari and Chris adored their wedding coordinator, Francina, who seemed to make everything happen just the way Kari and Neale requested without hesitation.  They met with Francina on Monday, two days before the ceremony, to confirm all of the final details of their ceremony and reception.  Francina arranged a rehearsal dinner the evening before the ceremony at “Capers,” Now Larimar’s delightful Italian restaurant, complete with personalized menus for the entire wedding group.  The wedding day came along with the sunshine, as every destination wedding couple hopes for.  Their quaint and simple ceremony was held on Now Larimar’s white sand beach, overlooking the rolling waves of the turquoise-blue Caribbean Sea.  Following the “I do’s,” the festivities continued with a seated lovely reception dinner on Now Larimar’s Quiet Pool Deck.  Although it was a warm evening, the group kept their cool by standing with their feet in shallow end of the pool.  A highlight of the reception was when the groom’s brother, Neale, caught the bouquet!

Along with any wedding, especially one planned in another country, there are sure to be a few glitches and delays along the way.  But, even though the beautiful bride happened to spill her mimosa on her dress just hours before the ceremony, there were no “bridezilla” moments; the crises was averted, the gown was salvaged (and looked flawless), and everyone got a good laugh!  The wedding photographer even complimented Kari and Chris for not having a bridal “meltdown” in the midst of the debacle.  Chris commented that the photographer the resort provided was “outstandingly talented, climbed all over the sand and everything else in sight, was very personable and very professional,” and that she would highly recommend his services for any destination wedding in Punta Cana.

Working with wonderful brides, grooms, and their families, like Kari and Chris, is what makes my job so fun. I can’t even begin to describe the joy I experience when, after months and months of planning, I have  the opportunity to hear all about the beautiful details of the destination wedding, learn about the wonderful memories made, and see the gorgeous pictures when my brides and grooms return home.


Christine, Mother of the Bride’s, comments:

Describe the experience with your destination wedding specialist:

“Dani was like a gift from heaven. We felt so overwhelmed until we met her.  We feel like have made a friend for life!”

What was the most memorable moment of your destination wedding?

“Seeing all the relaxed smiles on my families’ faces as my son walked my daughter down the aisle” .



All I Want for Christmas is an Apple Vacation


Do The Holidays have you in a panic? Don’t stress this year and do something different! Take the family on an Apple Vacation to Mexico or The Caribbean. Seriously, it will cost less than you expect. Say no to the shopping list, in-laws, cleaning the house and all that cooking!

Ok, reality check I’m a family person and LOVE The Holidays and seeing my family but I do dream of sitting on a white sandy beach under a palm tree relaxing for once on my vacation instead of the hustle and bustle. The way the Holidays fall this year there are basically two weeks where many people have off of school and can be flexible with work. It’s a great opportunity to add an Apple Vacation in to your Holiday plans.


Apple Vacations – Dreams Puerto Aventuras Beach


Look to Dreams Puerto Aventuras Riviera Maya – A stunning resort. Depart Thursday December 20 for example out of Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Philadelphia from just $1299 per person. That includes roundtrip airfare (over a holiday!), unlimited luxury with the finest accommodations for 7 nights, 24-hour room service, gourmet dining, unlimited top-shelf spirits, activities and much more.


Apple Vacations – Melia Caribe Tropical


Do you prefer Punta Cana? Then check out Melia Caribe Tropical, a 5 Golden Apple Resort. The property features 13 restaurants, 13 bars, nightly entertainment, a casino, five pools (including one of the largest in Punta Cana), eight lit tennis courts and two Spa with full array of treatments. You can stay for 7 nights out of Pittsburgh, Cleveland for $1359 per person leaving on on 12/21/12.

Many other departures cities, dates and hotels are available. Go ahead and pick out your Holiday Apple Vacation and be assured of the best air and hotel availability, at the best rates. Holiday space sells out fast, so don’t miss out. Reserve your Holiday in the Sun today!

Legal: Price listed is per person, based on double occupancy, includes roundtrip airfare via Frontier Airlines and U.S. and foreign taxes including September 11th Security fee. Restrictions and checked bag fees may apply.

Family Vacation in Punta Cana

It’s that time of year again for our annual family vacation.  I have vacationed in Punta Cana before and completely fell in love with the people and the culture in the Dominican Republic. Warm smiles friendly attitudes and a care free environment are the staples of Punta Cana and I was not going to chance losing that going elsewhere. The hardest part about planning an all-inclusive vacation with a family of 10, is choosing the right resort.  It’s a bit of a task finding a place that caters an age disparity that ranges 10 to 65 years old.

Set on the easternmost tip of the Dominican Republic in Punta Cana, this resort offers 13 different outdoor pools with gorgeous views of the Caribbean Sea and a secluded lagoon.

With activities that range from arcades to casinos, The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino was really a ‘no-brainer.’  The moment we stepped off the Apple Vacations van and set foot on the property the whole family was blown away by the aesthetics of the place. Flashy, yet controlled; spacious yet completely decorated in rock memorabilia, the Hard Rock is really a sight to behold. All the rooms are full blown suites equipped with Jacuzzis, personal balconies and stunning views. It really has a way of making you feel like a rock star. Something tells me that’s exactly what they were going for.



The Hard Rock features luxurious accommodations, fine dining at nine restaurants, seven bars, thirteen pool with four swim-up bars, casino and spa.


The resort also offers a magnificent state of the art Spa and an elegant full service Casino. And when you're hungry, you'll have a choice of 9 different restaurants, wireless Internet service, a sports bar, 24-hour room service and much more.

The resort is home to 9 restaurants, 3 deli/snack bars, 15 bars, 15 pools, lounges/nightclubs, arcades, a spa, a casino, and a variety of shops.  Plenty to keep a large family like mine completely entertained. There are also a plethora of excursions available through the Apple representative on site.


When the sun goes down, Hard Rock knows how to rock. The fun has just begun. You can go check out a rock show, or bet against lady luck at the casino. Perhaps you want to test your own rock and roll voice at the Karaoke, dance the night away at the club, or sit, relax and have a drink at one of the many lounges. The possibilities are endless and so is the fun.


The majestic Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana brings the Palace brand of uncompromising, all-inclusive luxury to its newest destination - one of the most beautiful beachfront locations in the Caribbean.


This vacation reminded me why I love Punta Cana so much and why its growing in popularity as the years pass. With great people, great food, spectacular service, beautiful scenery and incredible beaches its not hard to see why Punta Cana is becoming THE place to vacation.  Don’t overlook this destination next time you are in need of a great vacation!

Happy travels…