Tag Archives: Mexico

<3 Secrets Aura Cozumel #Mexico

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I recently visited Secrets Aura in Cozumel, Mexico. The resort was absolutely amazing. We felt special just walking in the front door. As we were waiting for check-in, we were greeted with friendly smiles and a cool drink along with a cool cloth. After getting our room key, we were escorted to our swim out suite on the ground floor which opened up to the lazy river wondering the property.

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There was an Apple Vacations desk where we could book our tours right there in the lobby. It was nice to not have to plan all of that in advance if you didn’t want to.

I have to say that the staff was amazing. From the second day at the resort, the staff from the bartender to the waiter knew our names and treated us like good friends. They knew our breakfast preferences and even served us cheesecake on the beach. I had a neck pillow shaped like an elephant and our room service staff even made one of our towels shaped into another elephant and sat them together on the bed when we came back to the room later that night.

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The best evening of the trip was when my fiance booked a private dinner on the pier. We had a private waiter that evening and when dessert came, he proposed. Who wouldn’t say yes in such a magical place?

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We took a day trip to see the sights like the Mayan ruins, tequila factory and the lighthouse. You could climb to the top and see for miles down the coast. It was beautiful! There was a lunch break at a cute little shanty on the beach.

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Overall, the trip was amazing and I cannot wait to return! Here are some links below for more information.

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Free Margaritas at Las Alamandas Resort in Costalegre, Mexico

Las Alamandas is located midway between Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo on over 1,500 acres of pristine tropical paradise with only seven villas (16 suites) accommodating a maximum of 42 guests. Travel time to the resort from Puerto Vallarta Airport (PVR) 2 hours and from   Manzanillo Airport (ZLO) 1.45 minutes

 

The seven-villa hideaway manages like an elegant, private estate where guests feel completely at home. The villas have high-pitched tile roofs, shaded terraces and white ceramic floors. Walkways decorated with stone Mosaic wind through lush tropical gardens.

Each room is decorated in the jewel-like colors chosen by owner/developer Isabel Goldsmith. A pleasing mix of designs, fabrics, and arts & crafts were selected from all over Mexico. Rattan sofas, upholstered in canary yellow or shocking pink, hold brightly-colored embroidered cushions on which to take a siesta. Mexican folk-art and hand-painted artifacts enliven each room.

 

Accommodations include large, hand-painted, Mexican tile baths featuring oversized tub and shower, bidet, double sinks and large open shelving, as well as private terraces and full-sized living/dining areas. Kitchens are found only in the Casa del Sol Presidential Suite and in the Casa del Domo Master Suite. All suites furnished with a mini-bar.

 

All 2015 Traveline Guests Receive:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Continental breakfast daily, for up to two in room guests
  • $100 USD Resort or Hotel credit, to be utilized during stay
    • (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Welcome Margaritas upon arrival
  • Tropical Fresh Fruit Platter Daily and Lemonades
  • Welcome bottle of wine
  • Early check-in/late check-out
    • subject to availability

Click here for more information.

Last Minute Travel Specials to the US and Mexico

Unearthed Archeological Discoveries
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Campeche, Mexico is a walled city where the forts are an outstanding example of military architecture from the XVII and XVIII centuries. Visit Calakmul – the largest Mayan city ever discovered and the first and only UNESCO Mixed World Heritage Site in Mexico. Also seek out the Mayan ruin of Edzná, for a peak into life during Mayan times. You’ll also find secluded beaches and quaint fishing villages. Contact your Virtuoso travel advisor to plan your next trip.

Charming Charleston, Upgraded
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Upgrade your stay at Belmond Charleston Place, where newly renovated suites and exclusive Club Level rooms are offered to Virtuoso guests at 20% savings. You’re offered a lovely bottle of sparkling wine upon arrival. Choose the spacious Club Level – available by private access only – and linger over snacks and drinks offered at the perfect moment throughout the day. Virtuoso rates FROM $320 per room, per night. Available until January 31, 2015.

Romancing the Riviera Maya: 25% Off Suites
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A truly authentic Mexican escape, Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa is tucked away between acres of lush jungle and an expanse of white-sand beach in the Riviera Maya. Savor a welcome Margarita Maroma, 25% off your suite accommodations, breakfast daily and use of the fitness center. Virtuoso guests also receive a half-hour massage for two. Virtuoso rates FROM $499 per room, per night. Available until December 18, 2014.

Take a Step Back
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The Florida Keys is known for warm water, endless sunshine and a laid back attitude. But with everything from world-class fishing and diving, a thriving art and music scene and an incredible variety of bars and restaurants, you’ll have to learn to pace yourself. Contact your Virtuoso travel advisor to plan your next trip.

Return Virtuoso Guests Save in Kauai
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Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa is recognizing Ho‘okupa‘a (loyal) return guests with a special 20% discount off lunch at Ilima Terrace each day, 20% discount off a spa treatment for two, plus Virtuoso amenities! Virtuoso travelers enjoy a room upgrade, early check-in and late checkout, if available; breakfast for two daily; an evening appetizer at Seaview Terrace and more. Contact your Virtuoso travel advisor for rates. Available until December 31, 2014.

Say Hello to Sunny in Greater Fort Lauderdale
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Start planning your sunny escape today with Greater Fort Lauderdale’s free digital Vacation Playbook. Make sure to stay at one of the region’s finest resorts,The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale, during your visit. Contact your Virtuoso travel advisor for information and offers on hotels, attractions, dining, shopping and sports.

New York Nights: Stay Longer and Save
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With gorgeous suites boasting balconies, up to four bedrooms and sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline, the Hotel Plaza Athenee is ideally located off Madison Avenue. When you stay longer, you’ll save more – up to 15% off when staying four or more nights. Virtuoso guests also receive a room upgrade, early check-in and late checkout, if available; breakfast daily; and a $100 dining credit. Virtuoso rates FROM $591 per room, per night. Available until March 31, 2015.

Paradise in Palm Springs
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Golf, spa and respite from everyday worries and cares – it’s all part of the promise at Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa, a long-time Palm Springs favorite. Virtuoso guests are gifted with a $100 resort credit, breakfast daily and a room upgrade, early check-in and late checkout, if available, here in this family-friendly oasis in an iconic desert setting. Virtuoso rates FROM $199 per room, per night. Available throughout 2014 and 2015.

The Big Apple for Savvy Family Travelers
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Langham Place, Fifth Avenue welcomes familial gatherings, young and old, with engaging accommodations, breakfast daily, complimentary rollaway beds in your suite, valet parking and a $50 credit at Measure Lounge. Also included free WiFi, Nespresso in-room coffee, water and soft drinks and more. Here, you’re steps from Midtown attractions and the art, fashion and culture of Fifth Avenue. Virtuoso rates FROM $805 per room, per night. Available until January 26, 2015.

Playing Nice in Naples, with $125 Resort Credit
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Your exclusive resort credit is increased to $125 when you reserve your stay at LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort through your Virtuoso travel advisor. Put it to use for golf on the Robert Cupp-designed course or spa treatments at SpaTerre. As a Virtuoso guest, receive a room upgrade, early check-in and late checkout, if available; and breakfast for two daily. Virtuoso rates FROM $309 per room, per night. Available until April 30, 2015; book by December 31, 2014.

2015 Rose Bowl as a Virtuoso VIP
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A must for any sports-lover, the “Granddaddy of Them All,” the 2015 Tournament of Roses, is made legendary with this three-day package from PrimeSport. Travel to sunny California for one of two semifinal games, complete with a luxury hotel stay, VIP pregame hospitality, official Rose Parade tickets and more. Call today to experience the Rose Bowl. Virtuoso rates FROM $1,885 per person. Available December 30, 2014; book by December 5, 2014.

Sun, Shop & Spa in SoCal
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Whether you’re dreaming of regional dining and refreshing spa experiences or cutting-edge fashion houses and trendsetting boutiques, sunny Southern California is the antidote for gloomy, wintery days. In Greater Palm Springs, enjoy a variety of shopping districts with delectable dining experiences. Over in West Hollywood, dine on healthy morsels at Urth Caffe on Melrose, then head to Sunset Plaza for shopping. Contact your Virtuoso travel advisor to plan your trip.

A Suite Weekend in NYC
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Need a fast getaway? Check in to The Benjamin this winter, where you’ll stay longer and save more, while taking in the wow-worthy results of a three-year, $10 million dollar restoration project. Save 15% when staying two nights, 20% when staying three or more evenings. As a Virtuoso guest, enjoy a room upgrade, a $100 spa services credit and more. Contact your Virtuoso travel advisor for rates. Available until March 15, 2015 (Thursday – Sunday stays only).

Stay Longer, Play Longer
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Families everywhere will celebrate an extended stay at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, within easy reach of the area’s world-famous attractions. Stay three nights and receive 30% savings on your stay as well as a number of exclusive Virtuoso benefits– a fantastic excuse to chase the sun for a fall family getaway or holiday gathering. Contact your Virtuoso advisor for rates. Available until December 15, 2014 on Gardenview, Lakeview and Lakefront rooms.

Gilded Age Mountainside Manor, 4th Night Free in Aspen
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Stay longer and savor more of that invigorating alpine air at The St. Regis Aspen Resort. Your stay includes your fourth night free and a $100 dining credit for use at Trecento Quindici Decano, overseen by acclaimed Chef David Viviano. Virtuoso guests also enjoy a room upgrade, early check-in and late checkout, if available; and breakfast for two daily. Contact your Virtuoso advisor for rates. Available until January 31, 2015.

$100 Spa Bonus and Complimentary Breakfast in Acapulco
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Escape to Acapulco with Travel Impressions and enjoy exquisite accommodations, world-class services plus luxurious amenities. Virtuoso guests are treated to a $100 spa credit, a Pearl Golf View room at The Fairmont Acapulco Princess, roundtrip resort transfers, breakfast daily and early check-in, if available. Bask in the privacy of Revolcardero Beach. Virtuoso rates FROM $682 per person for a five-night stay. Book by December 19, 2014.

10% Off Just About Everything in Miami
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When you book your stay at Turnberry Isle Miami through your Virtuoso travel advisor, you’ll receive a 10% discount off dining, golf and spa treatments – plus a 50% savings off your resort fee. Plus Virtuoso-exclusive amenities: a room upgrade, early check-in and late checkout, if available; breakfast daily; and $100 resort credit. Virtuoso rates FROM $199 per room, per night. Available until January 11, 2015; book by December 4, 2014.

Click here for more information or contact us at 1-888-700-8747.

Cruising on the Caribbean Princess

Caribbean Princess

The great customer service began during the boarding procedure in the Port Everglades. Even though you go through long and winding lines, the Princess staff kept the line quickly moving & someone was always available for questions. If your bags are small enough (carry on sized) to go through the x-ray machines they will let you carry them on board yourself. If your bags are the standard size they take them before you enter the building to check-in and board. Never fear, they have your bags to your room in about 20 minutes. This is where those bag tags they provide on the princess.com Cruise Personalizer really come in handy.

 

The balcony stateroom was very nice! They really did a great job at maximizing the space. The balcony itself was roomy with 2 chairs and a table. The queen bed was split into 2 twins as requested, and each bed had a night stand. The bedding & curtains were new and classy looking. There was a desk with chair in one corner by the balcony, and then an entertainment center containing the fridge, mini-bar, and flat screen TV in the other corner. The hanging closet was open and had plenty of space. They stateroom safe is contained in the closet with shelves and was easy to use. The restroom was very small requiring a step up and then down when entering or leaving, but it served its purpose. The sink had storage space underneath and then shelving to the left of the mirror. The shower had a nifty little retractable clothes line inside so you could hang your swimsuits to dry. The window and inside staterooms were similar in setup. Your mini-suites and suite staterooms are in some cases double in size from the standard staterooms. I only got a glimpse of the one of these. These mini-suite and suite rooms are located on various decks.

 

The ship has 19 decks and only 2 elevators reach the upper decks above 15.  The bottom deck 4 is your Medical Center only. The nurses informed me it is located there since that is the area of the ship that moves the least. Anything below Deck 4 was for staff only.

 

Your lower decks 5-15 are where the staterooms are located. Deck 5 has the larger Island dining room for Anytime Dining, the Art Gallery, the Internet Café/Library, the International Café, Vines Bar, and the Lobby Bar. This is the lower level of and the Piazza. The Piazza itself is 2 stories tall, and seems to be the hub of indoor activity: there are games in atrium & people just lounge in there to enjoy the view of the beautiful chandelier and elevator sculpture. Fair warning- It can get a little busy in this area around dinner time, and when there is a special shopping experience taking place.

 

Deck 6 part of the Piazza houses the Passenger Services Desk and the only 2 Princess Kiosks on board. The Excursion, Future Cruise, and Circle desks were located behind the Passenger Services desk. The Princess Theatre is very stunning and located forward of the Passenger Services desk just past the coolest of the indoor smoking lounges- the Churchill Lounge aka the Cigar Bar. The Crowne Grill was one of the specialty dining rooms on-board available for an additional cost per meal, but it was nice that they made this into a British pub on at seas days. The Coral & Palm dining rooms used for the Traditional dining were also located on this level.

 

Deck 7 contained several bars, Club Fusion, the photo gallery, one store, Sabatini’s specialty Italian restaurant (additional cost item), the upper level of the Princess Theatre, and most notably the Casino. There was also a nice Promenade Deck that wrapped around 3 of the 4 sides of the ship. You had to go up a flight of stairs to walk across the bow of the ship. This was the place to go to have a nice walk.

 

Your upper decks 15-19 were more casual. There were several pools and hot tubs on the 15th level, as well as the buffet dining, and a bar at each end. The fantastic Pizzeria, Burger & Hot Dog Grill, Ice Cream Bar, Café Caribe, Horizon Court (buffet), and Bayou Café & Steakhouse were also on this level. The only outdoor smoking lounge was on the 16th level and could only be reached by the stairs located near one of the bars on deck 15.  From deck 15 you can walk out through the buffet dining room to reach the Horizon Terrace. This was the hidden gem of an adults only pool. A very nice older couple turned me on to this destination. There is lots of shade in this area as well for lounging on the deck. Once you hit deck 15 everyone walks around in their swimsuit. Cover-ups seemed optional. People would even eat in the buffet room in their swimsuits. Deck 15 was the lowest deck you could sit on to watch Movies Under the Stars.

 

Levels 16-19 were various sun decks with bars, the fitness area, the centers for children of various ages, and the private Lotus Spa and Sanctuary. I never did figure out how to venture onto deck 18 & 19.

 

beachPrincess had a special sale in the dining room on both of the at days at sea, and those were very popular: $10 Only Sale & Clearance Sale. They also had a couple informational seminars/presentations on what to buy in the Caribbean and gem stone/silver quality.  There were also various shows in the Princess Theatre. They also had various games they involved the passengers in. One was throwing paper planes from the stair case in the Piazza through a hula-hoop hung above the baby grande piano. It was fun to watch the people enjoying themselves. There were also 2 art auctions in the art gallery. The makeup store offered a free 5 minute make over. Every day the Lotus Spa staff would be out selling specially priced packages, etc. They really tied to keep everyone involved in something.

 

Eating on-board was a learning experience. You have to figure out where and when… there are so many options you just have to find the best bet for you. Each traveler has an assigned type of dining based on what they chose using their Cruise Personalizer-  Anytime dining 5:30-10 with new companions each night & Traditional dining at a set time with the same companions. Above and beyond this there were places like the Café Caribe, the Trident Grill, the Prego Pizza Bar, the International Café (some items), and the and Horizons Buffet where you could eat any time they were open without incurring an additional cost. The only two true 24 hour places to dine were room service and in the International Café. The best food was by far found at the Anytime & Traditional dinners. They offered multiple courses to choose from & great service. I wish I would have skipped the buffet for this every night instead of just 2 nights. People actually dressed for dinner and it was nice to mingle with new people. Also I totally agree with the “best pizza on the sea” from the pizza bar & the hamburger grill was yummy! They made your burgers fresh to order, but you would also get hot dogs, brats, and chicken. It seemed like most people openly took food and drinks back to their room from all the places except the Anytime and Traditional dining rooms. I really wanted to try the Café Caribe, but it never seemed to be open every time I tried.

 

The beverages were rather expensive. If you’re a drinker opt for the drink package. It was $49.99 per day for drinks up to $10 unlimited. I did love the Paradise Punch, but once you paid the tip and 15% concession fee it was over $11 a drink. This would be why I only drank 3 drinks the entire voyage 😉 There was a soda package as well for $9.99. This would let you avoid paying $2.50 for a can of pop. Unfortunately none of the beverage packages included bottled water. (I did see some travelers bring cases of bottled water on-board however) With breakfast juice and coffee was free. The rest of the day poured water, lemonade, and unsweetened brewed iced tea was available free of charge.

 

Now let’s talk service. WOW!! You know learning about the CRUISE standard and seeing it in practice are two completely different things. Every single crew member was polite and kind to everyone. I didn’t witness one instance of a crew member ignoring someone or being rude. In fact it was like Bizzaro Land… they all stopped & said hi to wish you a nice day. Your room steward is very visible throughout the whole journey. Our room was cleaned 3 times a day including the turn down service. My steward was so amazing he worked around our schedules and it mainly because of him I felt so pampered. I would hands down recommend sailing on Princess to anyone. And you know the best little personal touch with crew members is their country is listed on their name badges. It makes it easier to start a conversation & to remember them individually.

 

atvShopping in the Port was nice. We did excursions outside of Princess (yep I ATV’d through the jungle, got to hold some cool animals, and snorkeled at a private beach J), but found out firsthand the port prices were the same if not cheaper than the street vendors. There are 3 reasons I would suggest someone only shop in port in Cozumel: Cost, the fact Princess backs your in-port purchases for 60 days, and doing so avoids the harassment from the locals trying to sell you items. The harassment can get out of hand. When someone is grabbing you trying to drag you into their tent that’s too much!!

 

In closing, I can also inform that their medical staff is very well trained and they go above and beyond as well. No one warned me the boat rocks constantly and seasickness is a most likely scenario J My roommate and I spent the first night in our cabin ill. I missed the welcome reception and everything which was disappointing. However kudos to the nurse who was nice enough to call us after his shift. He even called back later in the evening to check on us. When we showed up first thing the next morning he was like “Ahh yes, I was expecting you.” Anyone who cruises should take enough Dramamine to last the voyage just to be safe. The trick is to keep up on it and not let the effect lapse.

To experience Princess Cruises for yourself,

please contact Traveline at

1-888-700-8747 or vacation@traveline.com

Up to 35% off and $1,800 Limitless Resort Credit at Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya

Book your holiday at Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya today for 3 nights or more and receive up to 35%  off and $1,800 Limitless Resort Credit*.

This is the 1,264-room Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya. And this is where luxury meets satisfaction on a stage of stunning tropical views , a private white sand beach , and exclusive saltwater snorkeling areas . It’s all capped off with an inviting traditional design, legendary Hard Rock hospitality, and undeniable excess at every turn.

Live large at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya and enjoy the very best of paradise for all. Or, pack your appetite for opulence and hit Heaven — an elevated and exclusive retreat for adult guests only featuring a private adult beach, superlative amenities, and dining at its finest.

$1,800 Limitless Resort Credit

Booking Window: January 2014 – December 15, 2014
Travel Window:Throughout December 23, 2015

Limitless Resort Credit can be used towards selected tours, golf, spa and beauty salon services, romantic and special dinner events, upgraded wine selection at restaurants, photo packages at rock shots®, selected take away products, The Colin Cowie Weddings Collection™. Service Fee applies.

 

Click here for more information

or contact Traveline at 1-888-700-8747