Puerto Morelos—where a picture of Señor Morelos will buy you a beer at the beach bar

by Dave McBride

Did you know that when you are in Puerto Morelos you can get a beer at the beach bar in exchange for a picture of Mr. Morelos, for whom the town is named?

Our Apple Vacation to the Now Jade Riviera Cancun afforded us abundant opportunities to discover new definitions of “putting one’s time to good use.” The Apple experience at the Now Jade Preferred Club afforded us time happily squandered in the ocean view balcony Jacuzzi in the company of Modelo from the mini bar; employing the free Wi-Fi to roam the internet via Kindle on a hunt for useful info, including:

  1. That when you visit Puerto Morelos you will have been there one time more often than the man the town is named for. Jose Manuel Morelos y Robles was a handsome, dashing freedom fighter in the Mexican rebellion against Spain. Between 1810 and 1815 he led the insurgent army, winning dozens of battles against the Spaniards, and when he was finally captured the Spanish Inquisition pronounced him guilty of treason and executed him by firing squad. He’s a national hero and his face is on the 50 peso bill. Which is why you can trade his picture for a cerveza at the beach bar. And get change back.


  1. That La Panza es Primera (“The Belly is First”) on the south end near the town dock is arguably the best beach bar in Puerto Morelos. Good food on the water. Its theme is masked Mexican wrestlers.


  1. That the Unico Beach Club on the north end of town is arguably the best beach bar in Puerto Morelos. It is planted on the beach with swings for barstools.


  1. That the town dock is less than two miles from the balcony Jacuzzi.


  1. That the tiny lighthouse on the beach by the dock that leans like the Pisa Tower got that way in a hurricane in 1967 and has survived two more big ones since; most recently Wilma, the same one that knocked off part of my roof 600 miles away.


  1. That you will have your picture taken holding it up.


  1. That there are two species of crocodiles lurking in the mangrove marshes surrounding the resorts. They come in three sizes: compact, mid-sized and SUV.


  1. That the city dock is named for Andres Garcia Lavin, who was a media mogul who owned newspapers and radio and TV stations in Cancun.


  1. That at the Andres Garcia Lavin dock, you can hire a boat and skipper to carry you back to the beach at the Now Jade resort for around 25 dollars US (less if you have haggling mad skills). You will be dropped off in the shallows about a dozen yards out so plan on getting wet while holding your phone and camera above your head.


  1. That YouTube has some excellent drone aerial views of Puerto Morelos beach including this one.


Veteran Newsman Dave McBride is an award-winning news radio reporter, anchor and program director and creator of fan-favorite Dave’s Raves. Dave has received the Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Writing for Radio/Large Market and the 2010 and 2011 Murrow for continuing news coverage. He was awarded the New York Festivals World Gold Medal for Best Writing for Radio. In his first year in Florida he received the Florida AP award for Best Long Light Feature in both first and second place. Dave is currently based in South Florida.

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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Destination Wedding Trends: Go Green with Your Bling

Dreams Tulum Green Wedding Beach

As told by Apple Vacations Destination Weddings Expert, Ashley Surkin

We’ve all witnessed the steps being taken towards creating a healthier environment; many of us have even participated in these efforts. If you choose reusable bags over plastic or are the ruler of the carpool trend, why shouldn’t you consider the impact your destination wedding could have on global warming, pollution, loss of animal habitats, etc.?

In fact, one of the latest trends in the bridal industry is wearing the Green Bride crown with pride. Here are a few helpful tips for having an environment-friendly wedding day!

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Now is the Time for Whale Watching in Puerto Vallarta

Boat Banner

As told by Stephanie Diehl. Follow Stephanie on Twitter at @TravelDesigned or at TravelDesigned.com.

Tic toc!

Time is wasting to visit Puerto Vallarta during whale-watching season.

While just about anytime of year is nice in Puerto Vallarta, RIGHT NOW is prime time to view the humpback whales in their natural habitat. Tours can be booked through your travel agent or with your on site Apple Vacations representative at the hotel. The humpback whales are expected to be in Puerto Vallarta this year until the latter part of March when they will move up the coast to Alaska for their summer feeding.

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When You Shop Vacations, Compare Apple’s to Apple’s

We understand that travelers are looking for the best value for their dollar when making a vacation purchase. We know, because not only are we working with package prices all day, but we compare pricing when we vacation ourselves. That’s how we know that when you compare package price to package price you are getting THE best deal!

Sometimes saving up to 40%

When you look are purchasing a “complete vacation package” from Apple Vacations, it typically includes round-trip airfare, hotel  accommodations,  transfers to and from the resort and all taxes and fees. When you package everything together you get the best price with Apple Vacations.

If you take each component of that vacation and price it individually, and add each item together, the price will be more. The value is when you put it all together in a package. When we run a sale or a special, the sale is also typically based on package pricing.

For example, I just now priced 2/15 for 7 nights from Philadelphia to Cancun at Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun. Individually pricing airfare, hotel, transfers and taxes, the rate is $4,668.00 for 2 people. However, the package (featuring the exact same date, hotel, transfer, taxes) is on sale, and it equals $3,098.00.

That’s for the same exact inclusions.

Individually pricing airfare, hotel, transfers and taxes for JFK to Cancun on 2/22 for 7 nights, the rate is $4,798.00 for 2 people at Now Sapphire Rivera Cancun. But again, the exact same date, flights, hotel, transfer, taxes is on sale at the package price of $3,198.00 — for the same exact inclusions!

Which price would you want to pay?

Why is this? It could be for many reasons. A hotel may offer a “special rate” that only applies to packages. The airline could be doing the same. And when they both do it at the same time, you really save!

The value is in the package price! So when you are making your vacation purchase, do yourself a favor and price the entire package together. Make your hard-earned dollar go further and get the BEST vacation you possibly can.

Contact your favorite travel agent or visit www.applevacations.com and pick out your vacation package right now!

  • Prices sampled were per person, based on double occupancy and available on 1/28/14 via Apple Vacations leisure flights. Cancun flight from Philadelphia was on Frontier Airlines 1/15. JFK was on JetBlue Airways 1/22.  Prices included government taxes and fees. 

Weddings Complimentary* – Breezes Resort Bahamas

Miles away from everyday life, but only minutes from the airport, the Super-Inclusive Breezes Resort Bahamas is located on a breathtaking stretch of the powder white sands of Cable Beach. Crystal clear waters gently lap the shore as everyday worries drift away. Just a short stroll along the beach takes you to the excitement of Nassau’s glittering casinos and bustling nightlife. Located just five miles from downtown and within walking distance of the Crystal Palace Casino, this high energy resort accommodates guests 14 and older.

Breezes Bahamas

Breezes Resort Bahamas features casual, energetic fun all day and all night. Grab a bite anytime at the 24-hour Snack Attack. Test your skill on the flying trapeze at the Circus School or grab awindsurf board and set sail on an unforgettable journey across the magnificent crystal waters. Challenge yourself by scaling the daring rock climbing wall and enjoy some incredible views from 30 feet high! Be sure to get out there and snorkel right off the shore where the beautiful Bahamian water boasts visibility up to 100 feet down. Then get a massage or a rejuvenating body treatment at the full service Blue Mahoe Spa and rest up because when the sun goes down, things heat up!

Every night is an extravaganza of fun with Reggae Dance Contests, comedy night, a live cabaret, oldies night, toga night, and a pajama party. Swing by the piano bar for laid-back entertainment or show off your singing at karaoke.

At Breezes Resort Bahamas, it’s almost impossible to be hungry or thirsty. Premium cocktails and exotic tropical concoctions flow endlessly from bars located throughout the grounds. And there’s always a quick snack sizzling on the outdoor grills. The buffets abound with tropical surprises and traditional favorites. Or make reservations for an unforgettable evening at one of the casually elegant restaurants. Dinner is also served in casual elegance at Martino’s Italian Restaurant. Or indulge at the romantic Garden of Eden, where you’ll experience a five course meal set in a tropical garden. Snacks are available throughout the day at The Pool Grill. Try everything, and feel free to come back for more. It’s all included.

Weddings at Breezes Bahamas

Weddings at Breezes Bahamas

Thinking about a destination wedding? You’re in luck! Free Weddings in Bahamas

A Dream Wedding Planner, wise in the ways of love and master in the art of matrimonial bliss, will attend to every detail of your Dream Wedding. And just like virtually everything else at Breezes, it’s included.

Endless Love Wedding Package >

Selling Price: Complimentary!

Package Inclusions*:

  • Personal pre-planning consultant
  • Dream Wedding Planner
  • Minster or marriage official
  • Music
  • Organza draped wedding location in aqua, navy and blue
  • 2 tall glass vases with sand, blue glass pebbles and white shell decor
  • Navy chair sashes
  • Bridal bouquet & boutonniere
  • Classic wedding cake
  • Sparkling wine for the reception
  • Navy reception table covers and navy chair sashes
  • 2 glass vase centerpieces with sand, blue glass pebbles, candle and white shell accents
  • Blue and white paper lanterns
  • Marriage license
  • Framed 5×7 photo
  • 4 ceremony passes
  • Online bridal registry website
  • Just married T-shirts

*Government & administrative fees are not included. Ask your Dream Wedding Planner about dinner menus, hors d’oeuvres, wine, open bar, additional flower arrangements, decor and more. All available at an additional charge.. Table setting with cake and sparkling wine (or Champagne if included) for the bridal couple and up to ten guests. ❖Replaces item from preceding package.


Capital-V for Vacation

as told by Liz Bondelid, E-Commerce Merchandising Coordinator

Turquoise waters, all-inclusive, tropical gardens, palm-studded beaches…  Being brand new to the Apple Vacations Marketing team, I’ve been swooning over these spectacular terms all week.  I was lucky enough to be invited to join the team after an internship during my last semester of college.  But the perks of the Apple Vacations internship weren’t limited to coming out of college with a full-time job; I’ve also come into the job having already accrued a three-night vacation to the destination of my choice.

Being a bit Europe obsessed (understatement), my vacation time and money has never gone towards relaxation on a beach.  My first instinct was to pick a destination where I could rent a car and explore local sites.  Then I realized I’ve never had a relaxed vacation.  Maybe it’s the “go go go” complex we Americans tend to have, but how often do you just unwind completely and soak in the world around you?

After four years of books and studying and constant movement, I decided I was due for a capital-V Vacation—four days of lying on a beach, margarita in hand, soaking up some warm golden rays.  But with so many options before me, how on earth does one narrow down the options?

After pouring over the brochures I brought home, and going starry-eyed in presentations on destinations, I’ve decided that for my first real Vacation, I want total peace and relaxation, warm cerulean water, and great food.  Based on those criteria, the hotel that’s recommended to me over and over is Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun.  Impeccable service, stunning beach, and beauty every way you look.


Secrets Maroma Resort & Spa

Secrets Maroma Resort & Spa


What do you think, my new friends?  Where do you go to relax completely?  What hotels are you dying to see?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!