Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Spotlight on: Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort& Offshore Island

I love this resort because it is so close to the United States plus the resort is only 15 minutes from the international airport and 20 minutes from downtown Nassau. 

The resort was voted “Top Spa Resort” by readers of Conde Nast Traveler.  Sandals Royal Bahamian is an elegant resort. You can see in the photos that the indoor spaces have an European elegance. 

Plus it's really two resorts in one as the resort offers an offshore Island just minutes away with two secluded coastlines, a chic beach club, signature pool with swim-up bar, the exquisite Red Lane Spa*, and the region’s best seafood house. 

Why Choose This Resort?
Sandals says, "If you're looking for a regal retreat that gives you two vacations in one: a sophisticated European resort that is steeped in history, and the adventure of an exotic offshore island that includes every amenity imaginable, Sandals Royal Bahamian is for you." 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Packing Tip

Packing tip: Lay your clothes out as outfits and then roll them up together or fold together and place in a ziploc bag. This is especially helpful if you have multiple destinations so you don't have to pack and unpack in each location.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Traveler Review: Secrets Capri Riviera Maya

Allison and Ryan wanted a couples only vacation for a week in June. They enjoy all-inclusive resorts on a beach with a good mix of activities. We narrowed it down to a few good choices and they just couldn't decide so I booked them an Apple Square Deal. They knew they were going to an adults only all-inclusive resort in Riviera Maya, but they didn't find out which one until 4 pm on the day before they left. We were both very excited when we learned Secrets Capri had been chosen. Here's her review: 

"Thank you!  We are always glad to book through you.  We had a wonderful time and would definitely recommend this resort to others looking to go to Riviera Maya.

Secrets Capri was beautiful and amazing.  I think it’s probably the nicest resort we have ever stayed at.  The rooms were gorgeous (I attached some pics for you).  
Secrets Capri, Riviera Maya 

Secrets Capri Riviera Maya

Secrets Capri Riviera Maya

Secrets Capri Riviera MAya

The exterior and the pool were very pretty too.  I think this is the only vacation spot I have been to where even the pool restrooms smelled good!   It wasn’t your usual musty smell with cement floors and walls- everything was tiled and they had a nice smell that was consistent throughout the resort.  (That probably sounds strange, but it really did make it nice.  I think I read a review where someone talked about the smell too.)

I thought the staff was lovely- everyone was very friendly and helpful.  They tried to get everyone involved in activities but were not too pushy about it either, if you didn’t want to.  They had plenty of activities, from crazy games to archery to kayaking.  They didn’t give prizes for the games like some of the other resorts I had been too, but that didn’t really matter.    

The waiters/waitresses were prompt and efficient.  The food was delicious (except for the steak, which I probably wouldn’t expect to be as good in Mexico as in the US).  I thought there was good variety too- we weren’t really eating the same thing until maybe the last night. 

The entertainment was definitely the best that I have seen at a resort.  They had a fire show that was really cool, but the best was the water show where they had a Cirque du Soleil type performance.  Just when I thought they couldn’t come up with any other unique ideas, another performer would come out with something completely different that would just blow your mind. 

The only things that I didn’t like (which are few and far between) were that they didn’t seem to air condition the workout room.  It wasn’t stinky like you would expect, but it is definitely super hot in there when you are running on the treadmill.  Also, the refrigerators in the rooms, workout room, etc. didn’t seem to really chill the drinks much at all.  Another thing that I am sure is really difficult for the hotel to control is that people go crazy over the pool chairs and pool floats.  They hoard them and hold onto them when they are not using them just so other people can’t use them.  We noticed that sometimes the workers would take towels off of the chairs that people hadn’t been sitting in for a long time and would throw rafts back in the pool when people took them up to their pool chairs, and I thought that was great.  Those are nit-picky things because I can’t really think of anything else negative to say. 

I read some reviews about the beach not being very nice at this resort.  I just wanted to make a point to say that Ryan and I both liked it.  It wasn’t the largest beach, but the sand was really white and fine and clean.  The workers really put a lot of effort into keeping the seaweed away.  I ran on the beach a few times, and you could go several miles past several other resorts (so you aren’t really confined to just the Secrets Capri Beach).  The water was also a beautiful blue color.  They have to keep sandbags near the shore to keep the sand from all drifting away, but I thought Secrets had them laid out in a way that looked much nicer than some of the neighboring properties that I saw.

We did an excursion through Alltournative while we were there, and I would really recommend it as well.  We visited Tulum (Mayan ruins) and then went to Jungla Maya and did repelling, zip lining, snorkeling, etc.  I thought it was a lot of fun and was reasonably priced.  They took pics throughout since you couldn’t really have your camera on those sorts of things, and they sold us the entire CD for $40, which I thought was fair. 

Overall, everything went perfectly and we had an amazing time.  Thank you so much!"

To book your own fantastic vacation - email me at tripswithangie@gmail.com

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Travel Tip: Make it easy to describe your luggage

Anytime you put your luggage into someone else's care-  a checked bag at an airline, a bellman at the hotel, or handing it to a cruise porter - there's a chance it can be lost. 

The first thing people will ask is what does it look like. Since many people have similar, you will want to know how to distinguish your bag. A picture can help as can having a distinctive luggage tag, strap or ribbon tied to the handle. You should also add these distinctive features to your carry on baggage to lower the risk of someone taking your bag by mistake. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Suite Ships of Avalon Waterways

River Cruising is a great way to see Europe and Asia. You have the chance to get off the beaten path while enjoying the benefits of a cruise. This video by Avalon Waterways does a terrific job highlighting river cruise accommodations. 

Please email me at tripswithangie@gmail.com to start planning your dream river cruise. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Friday, June 13, 2014

Fantastic Deal on Azamara Cruises Book by June 17th

The 5-day 2014 Sale Around the World is here. Sale. It’s a word you don’t hear from Amazara often, because savings like this don’t come along every day. Just for the next five.
Book one of ten carefully selected voyages between June 12-17, 2014
to receive sale prices as well as a

Oct 47Corsica, Tuscany & the French Riviera$1,399
Oct 117Riviera, Corsica & Provence$1,399
Oct 189Across the Western Mediterranean$1,599
Oct 2710Amalfi Coast, Sicily, Malta & Corsica$1,999
Nov 610Mediterranean Favorites$1,299
Nov 1611Islands in the Sun, Madeira & the Canaries$1,699
Dec 139Best of Brazil, Uruguay & Argentina$1,499
Oct 1212Holy Lands & Journey of St. Paul$1,999
Nov 19History of the Aegean$1,499
Dec 913The Spice Route II & Myanmar$1,999
The Spa TreatmentPlus, you can use your FREE $500 ONBOARD SPENDING CREDITtoward relaxing spa treatments, shopping onboard, a beverage package upgrade, or even an activity not onboard. The credit is good toward our signature Land Discoveries® shore excursions, including our new Insider AccessSM tours, which will take you behind the scenes of local destinations, or our Nights and Cool PlacesSM tours, which offer an industry-first after-dinner experience.
Complimentary AzAmazing EveningsSM event (on most voyages)
Select standard spirits, international beers and wines
Bottled water, soft drinks, specialty coffees and teas
English butler service for suite guests
Self-service laundry
Shuttle service to and from port communities, where available
Concierge services for personal guidance and reservations
Destination Immersion®, meaning longer stays, more overnights, and night touringSM, will take your clients into the heart of the Mediterranean, Asia, or South America and provide plenty of time and opportunities to fully experience the culture, architecture, scenery, and people. Email me today at tripswithangie@gmail.com