Monday, January 25, 2016

Choosing an Adults Only Cancun Resort

The Cancun and Riviera Maya areas of Mexico offer a lot of options for adults only all-inclusive resorts.
Whether you are planning a fun group trip or a romantic getaway, here's a few important differences to consider when choosing an adults only vacation:

Do you want a large family resort with an adults only section? The benefit of staying in an adults only section of a larger family resort is that you may have more options for dining and entertainment.  It’s also important if you are traveling in a group with families.  For example, Finest Playa Mujeres is shaped like a U where one side is adults only including an adults only pool and beach area. 

One bed or two? 
Many adults only resorts are geared towards couples. If you are planning a girls’ trip or a guys’ getaway, you’ll want to double check the room layouts to make sure those who want to share a room don’t have to share a bed. Live Aqua in the Cancun Hotel Zone offers both king bed and two double bed options.

What kind of vibe are you seeking? 
Some resorts are quiet and zen. Other resorts offer more activities around the pool or nightly entertainment.  Blue Diamond is a small, boutique, quiet property. Hyatt Zilara offers nightly entertainment and activities by the pool plus it’s walking distance from some of the clubs and restaurants in the Cancun Hotel Zone.

Which type of resort interests you most? Would you want a quiets/zen vibe or something more lively? Does an adults only section of a family resort work for you? 

If you have questions about these resorts, feel free to email me or click here to set up a time to chat - it's free. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

What's the difference between Cancun and Riviera Maya?

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between Cancun, Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, or Playa Mujeres? I've got you covered.   

These are all areas people generally lump together as "Cancun" since that is the main airport. 

Here's what you need to know about each:

Cancun - The "Hotel Zone" is a 14 mile strip of high rise hotels with shops, clubs, and restaurants less than 15 minutes from the Cancun airport. The beaches are nice and you have a lot of variety of all-inclusive resorts. The resorts are compact and you can easily walk around to explore the area. 

Playa Mujeres is an exclusive area north of Cancun where all-inclusive resorts are beginning to develop. One of the main attractions is that the beaches are sheltered by the currents around Isla Mujeres so they experience less seaweed than other beaches. Playa Mujeres is a 30 - 45 minute ride from the Cancun airport.

Riviera Maya - This is a general term for the 88 mile stretch that begins at Puerto Moreles and stretches south to Punta Allen. The big difference between the resorts in Cancun and the resorts in Riviera Maya is that the Riviera Maya resorts tend to be more spread out with low rise buildings versus the high rise buildings in Cancun.

Within Riviera Maya, different cities have different personalities:

- Puerto Morelos is sometimes referred to as a fishing village because of its great access to water activities. The Marine Natural Park here has great tropical fish and coral. Puerto Morelos is about a 30 minute ride from the Cancun airport.

- Playa Del Carmen is a charming town. Fifth Avenue is a main pedestrian walkway offering nightlife, dining and shopping. This is one of the few areas in the Caribbean where you can stay at an all-inclusive resort on the beach and then walk into a town. Playa del Carmen is about a 45 minute - 1 hour ride from the Cancun airport.

- Tulum is a beautiful area close to some of the major Maya Ruins in Mexico. Tulum is an hour and a half ride from the Cancun airport.

Depending how long you are staying in Mexico, the type of excursions you want to experience and how important the beach is to your stay, we can narrow to the right fit for you. 

For short trips, I recommend the Cancun Hotel Zone since you don't want to lose a lot of time for the transfer. 

If you love history - I recommend heading all the way down to Tulum so you'll have easy access to the ruins. 

Looking for that mix of a resort experience and exploring a town, I recommend staying near Playa del Carmen.

Are you considering a Cancun area vacation? Planning a birthday trip in 2017 and want to see if this area is right for your friends and family? Have questions about the different areas?  Click here to set up a free 20 minute chat with me.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Heading to Disney World in March or April 2016? What You Need to Know

Going to Disney World in March or April?  Some great special events will be waiting for you. 

The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival kicks off March 2nd  and runs through May 30th. The Festival features seminars, special displays around the Park, and a concert series. 

While it's not as robust as the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, the Flower and Garden Festival also features special booths through the World Showcase with food, beer or wine to try. 

The Garden Rock Concert Series offers free concerts at the American Garden Theater inside Epcot. Here's the lineup: 
•  March 6-8: Gin Blossoms “Hey Jealousy”
•  March 13-15: Pablo Cruise “Love Will Find a Way”
•  March 20-22: En Vogue “Free Your Mind”
•  March 27-29: STARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas “We Built This City”
•  April 3-5: The Orchestra starring former members of ELO “Evil Woman”
•  April 10-12: Village People “Y.M.C.A.”
•  April 17-19: Jon Secada “Just Another Day”
•  April 24-26: The Guess Who “These Eyes”
•  May 1-3: Taylor Dayne “Tell It to My Heart”
•  May 8-10: Little River Band “Reminiscing”
•  May 15-17: Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone “I’m Henry the VIII, I Am”

Love Baseball? The Atlanta Braves Spring Training games start March 1st at ESPN Wide World of Sports 

April 14th - 17th is the Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon.  If you need a bib, email me. I may be able to help. 

New Dining: 

  • Jungle Skipper Canteen is a new table service restaurant at  Magic Kingdom® Park. 
  • Tiffins is a new signature table service restaurant rumored to open this spring at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park. 
  • The wonderful California Grill is now serving brunch

New Attractions: 
Rumor has it that the new  Frozen attraction in Epcot may open in the end of April. The new Rivers of Light show at Animal Kingdom is also scheduled to debut in Spring of 2016. Animal Kingdom will also extend hours so you can experience the Kilimanjaro Safaris at sunset. 

Kylo Ren will begin appearing at Star Wars Launch Bay in Hollywood Studios. In addition to Kylo Ren, you may also come across a garrison of First Order Stormtroopers or the heroic Wookiee, Chewbacca, holed up in a secret Resistance base. Stay for the   “Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular” fireworks show in the evening. 

Beginning Feb. 7, 2016, a new interactive experience, based on the hit Disney Channel movie “The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar,” will debut at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park at Walt Disney World® Resort. This experience will be available  through end of March.   The Lion Guard Adventure allows young Guests to become honorary members of the Lion Guard as they explore the park in search of five main characters from the popular TV movie – Kion, Bunga, Fuli, Beshte, and Ono. 

Theme Park Closures: 
Magic Kingdom: Jungle Cruise closed March 1st - 3rd 

Epcot: Soarin’ is closed through the summer 

Hollywood Studios: Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show and nearby locations around Streets of America will be closing on April 2, 2016.  Pizza Planet is closed through the end of 2016 

Animal Kingdom: Flights of Wonder and the Boneyard are closed through March 17th 

Typhoon Lagoon: Closed through March 12th 2016. 

Hotel Refurbishments 

  • Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort Bay Cove Pool is closed February 1st - March 18, 2016. 
  • Disney’s Art of Animation Schoolyard Sprayground is closed until March 11, 2016. 
  • Flying Fish Restaurant is closed through September 30, 2016. 
  • Disney’s BoardWalk Villas are undergoing renovations through Spring 2016. 
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is undergoing general construction and the East Pool is closed through Spring 2016. 
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Villas is undergoing multiple projects. Certain pathways, including the nature trail, will be unavailable. The Hidden Springs leisure pool area (the leisure pool at The Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge), resort beach, playground, Marina and Recreation fire pit will be unavailable.

If you'd like to learn more about how to Escape the Crowds at Disney World, click here to request my free guide.  

If you are ready to book a Disney vacation, click here to schedule a free 20 minute consultation.