Sailing The British Isles with Ed Buchholz on Cunard’s Queen Victoria | All About Ringaskiddy

Hosted Cruise – Cunard Queen Victoria – 12 Nights
June 7 – 19, 2020
British Isles

Port of Call – Cork (tours from Ringaskiddy), Ireland – June 9

For the first time ever, the Queen Victoria will be docking in Ringaskiddy, Ireland.  Ringaskiddy is a village in County Cork, Ireland. It is located on the western side of Cork Harbour, south of Cobh, and is 15 kilometres from Cork city, so it makes a perfect jumping off point to visit Cork.

According to Lonely Planet, Ireland’s second city is first in every important respect – at least according to the locals, who cheerfully refer to it as the ‘real capital of Ireland’. It’s a liberal, youthful and cosmopolitan place that was badly hit by economic recession but is now busily reinventing itself with spruced-up streets, revitalized stretches of waterfront, and – seemingly – an artisan coffee bar on every corner. There’s a bit of a hipster scene, but the best of the city is still happily traditional – snug pubs with live-music sessions, restaurants dishing up top-quality local produce, and a genuinely proud welcome from the locals.

The compact city centre is set on an island in the River Lee, surrounded by waterways and packed with grand Georgian avenues, cramped 17th-century alleys, modern masterpieces such as the opera house, and narrow streets crammed with pubs, shops, cafes and restaurants, fed by arguably the best foodie scene in the country.

Top Attractions – Cork:

Cork City Gaol:  This imposing former prison is well worth a visit, if only to get a sense of how awful life was for prisoners a century ago. An audio tour guides you around the restored cells, which feature models of suffering prisoners and sadistic-looking guards.

image001The tour is very moving, bringing home the harshness of the 19th-century penal system. The most common crime was that of poverty; many of the inmates were sentenced to hard labour for stealing loaves of bread. The prison closed in 1923, reopening in 1927 as a radio station that operated until the 1950s. The on-site Governor’s House has been converted into a Radio Museum where, alongside collections of beautiful old radios, you can hear the story of radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi’s conquest of the airwaves.

English Market:  With its ornate vaulted ceilings, columns and polished marble fountain, scores of vendors set up colourful and photogenic displays of the region’s very best local produce, including meat, fish, fruit, cheeses and takeaway food. The envy of foodies throughout Ireland, the English Market has been around since 1788. Far from being English (it’s named for its Protestant origins), this is the place to pick up traditional specialties like drisheen and pigs’ trotters, although the 55 or so stalls also stock bread, fish, cheese and fruit and veg. The market has survived fire, civil war and an attempted name change, but it took a failed bid to replace it with a car park in the 1980s for the people of Cork to realize that their culinary capital was worth saving! Today hailed as the “best covered market in the UK and Ireland” by chef Rick Stein, the English Market is thriving.

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Elizabeth Fort:  Originally built in the 1620s, and serving as a garda (police) station from 1929 to 2013, this small star-shaped artillery fort once formed an important part of the city’s defenses. Newly opened to the public, it offers an insight into Cork’s military history, and there are good views across the city from the ramparts.

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St Fin Barre’s Cathedral:  Spiky spires, gurning gargoyles and elaborate sculpture adorn the exterior of Cork’s Protestant cathedral, an attention-grabbing mixture of French Gothic and medieval whimsy. The grandeur continues inside, with marble floor mosaics, a colourful chancel ceiling and a huge pulpit and bishop’s throne. Quirky items include a cannonball blasted into an earlier medieval spire during the Siege of Cork (1690). The cathedral sits about 500m southwest of the centre, on the spot where Cork’s 7th-century patron saint, Fin Barre, founded a monastery.

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Across the bay, is another potential tour.  Cobh (pronounced ‘cove’) is a charming waterfront town on a glittering estuary, dotted with brightly coloured houses and overlooked by a splendid cathedral. It’s popular with Corkonians looking for a spot of R&R.  It’s a far cry from the harrowing Famine years when more than 70,000 people left Ireland through the port in order to escape the ravages of starvation (from 1848 to 1950, no fewer than 2.5 million emigrants passed through). Cobh was also the final port of call for the Titanic; a poignant museum commemorates the fatal voyage’s point of departure.

Top Attractions – Cobh:

Titanic Experience: The original White Star Line offices, where 123 passengers embarked on (and one lucky soul absconded from) the RMS Titanic, now house this powerful insight into the ill-fated liner’s final voyage in 1912. Admission is by tour, which is partly guided and partly interactive, with holograms, audiovisual presentations and exhibits; allow at least an hour. The technical wizardry is impressive but what’s most memorable is standing on the spot from where passengers were ferried to the waiting ship offshore, never to return.

Spike Island: This low-lying green island in Cork Harbour was once an important part of the port’s defenses, topped by an 18th-century artillery fort. In the second half of the 19th century, during the Irish War of Independence, and from 1984 to 2004 it served as a prison, gaining the nickname ‘Ireland’s Alcatraz’. Today you can enjoy a guided walking tour of the former prison buildings, then go off and explore on your own; the ferry departs from Kennedy Pier, Cobh.

The guided tour takes in the modern prison, the old punishment block, the shell store (once used as a children’s prison) and No 2 bastion with its massive 6in gun. Other highlights include the Gun Park, with a good display of mostly 20th-century artillery; the Mitchell Hall, with an exhibit on the Aud, a WWI German gun-running ship that was sunk in the entrance to Cork Harbour; and the Glacis Walk, a 1.5km trail that leads around the walls of the fortress, with great views of Cobh town and the harbour entrance. You’ll need around four hours to make the most of a visit.

Cobh, The Queenstown Story:  The howl of the storm almost knocks you off-balance, there’s a bit of fake vomit on the deck, and the people in the pictures all look pretty miserable – that’s just one room at Cobh Heritage Centre. Housed in the old train station (next to the current station), this interactive museum is way above average, chronicling Irish emigrations across the Atlantic in the wake of the Great Famine.

Other exhibits include some shocking stuff on the fate of convicts, shipped to Australia in transport ships ‘so airless that candles could not burn’. Scenes of sea travel in the 1950s, however, might actually make you nostalgic for a more gracious way of travelling the world. There’s also a genealogy centre and a cafe.

St. Coleman’s Cathedral:  Dramatically perched on a hillside terrace above Cobh, this massive French Gothic Cathedral is out of all proportion to the town. Its most exceptional feature is the 47-bell carillon, the largest in Ireland, with a range of four octaves. The biggest bell weighs a stonking 3440kg – about as much as a full-grown elephant!

image009Blarney Castle:  Built nearly six hundred years ago by one of Ireland’s greatest chieftans, Cormac MacCarthy, and has been attracting attention ever since. Over the last few hundred years, millions have flocked to Blarney making it a world landmark and one of Ireland’s greatest treasures.

Now that might have something to do with the Blarney Stone, the legendary Stone of Eloquence, found at the top of the towerKiss it and you’ll never again be lost for words.

Ready to join me on this amazing sailing experience?  You can find the full cruise details here or just call the agents at UNIGLOBE Carefree Travel at 306-242-TRIP today!

Why You Should Consider SKYXE Airport’s Valet Parking

Saskatoon SKYXE Airport – Why You Should Consider their New Valet Option

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I was travelling to Mexico very early January 1st with my husband and three young children.  We were considering several options for getting to the airport and for parking.

  • Taxi’s could be difficult due to departing early on New Years day and the New Years Eve crowd could still be tying up Taxi’s at 4am.  We were also returning late at night and taxi queues can be long for those late flights.
  • Jet Set Parking – while a good option in good weather, we weren’t keen on having to take a shuttle in the cold with the kids and there is the question of “what do we do with the winter jackets”?
  • I had a 20% off promo code for Valet parking, which brought it to within $60 or so off the regular, standard parking lot at SKYXE and within $20 or so of the preferred parking lot.  We decided to splurge and give it a try.  The Valet meant we could pull up right in front when we were departing, they would store our winter coats and our van would be warm and waiting curbside when we returned.

We returned to Saskatoon at 130am, to -30 temperatures and fresh snow.  Not having to run out to start a cold car and bring in cold jackets for tired, cranky kids, was definitely worth the extra in my books and we were so thankful we had decided to give Valet a try.  I would urge you to consider adding the extra parking cost into your trip budget, especially if you have small kids, or are travelling during the cold winter months.  You spend so much time and money planning the perfect vacation, why not have it end on a high note as well, instead of being left out in the cold?


Right now VALETXE has a promotion that’s too good to pass up!

Between January 15 – February 23, 2020 get 1 day of free ValetXE parking for every 2 days purchased. Discount will be applied upon checkout at the ValetXE desk. Not valid for online bookings.


Looking for more great travel content?  Check out our website, find us on FaceBook, view our videos on YouTube or follow us on Instagram!  We can’t wait to share the world with you.

Sailing The British Isles with Ed Buchholz on Cunard’s Queen Victoria

Hosted Cruise – Cunard Queen Victoria – 12 Nights
June 7 – 19, 2020
British Isles

Welcome to the first blog for our upcoming Cunard Cruise aboard the beautiful Queen Victoria.  We will be sailing from and returning to Southampton, England.  This means you can easily add on time in the UK either before or after the cruise and return airfare will be easy to arrange from several airlines.

The purpose of this blog is to provide you with some information about the ship, Queen Victoria.  Subsequent blogs will highlight some of the wonderful ports of call we will have on this voyage.  First, here are some details:

Length294 m

Construction startedMay 12, 2006

LaunchedJanuary 15, 2007

Capacity2,081 passengers

Crew900

Retrofit: 2017

Tonnage: 90,049

So, that’s the technical data but what about Cunard and the ship experience?  Click on the link below and you will see a wonderful YouTube video about the Queen Victoria.  Check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=667AqY0b6QU

Lovely ship, isn’t it.  Since I haven’t sailed on this ship before, I thought some independent reviews might be important.  The following descriptions are courtesy of “Cruise Critic” and really give you a good idea of what to expect:

“Queen Victoria is elegance personified. In typically understated British style, the ship doesn’t do glitzy or loud, so ambience overall is modest rather than striking. Do not expect even the slightest hint of neon or glitz nor — perish the thought — rock climbing walls or bumper cars. Luxurious furnishings and eye-catching features lend an air of extravagance to the onboard atmosphere with muted colors and lots of dark wood. Architecture is in keeping with the ambiance of Cunard ocean liners of times past while the interior design offers the contemporary elegance of a modern luxury hotel.

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Cunard cashes in on its impressive heritage, sense of occasion and somewhat old-fashioned pursuits including ballroom dancing and bridge. An outdoor Games Deck harkens back to the days of the ’20s and ’30s with croquet, shuffleboard, hoopla, deck quoits and paddle tennis. No hint of brashness here. Loyal followers also totally approve of the fact that the cruise line employs a stricter dress code than that followed on other mainstream lines.

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Queen Victoria is almost a replica of her bigger sister Queen Elizabeth, at least as far as layout, cabins and enrichment programs go. One difference is that the decor throughout the ship is darker Victorian rather than Queen Elizabeth’s lighter Art Deco-inspired interiors, but the public areas of the ship are every bit as splendid with an earth tone color palette of creamy beige, chestnut brown and gold, with mahogany walls, circular hand-woven area rugs and intricately designed marble floors.

Everywhere you turn there is a treat for the eyes, from the glittering chandeliers and white gloved waiters serving scones at afternoon tea to elegant restaurants and deep, rich carpets. One of the ship’s signature features is the stunning three-tier Grand Lobby with its unique artwork, sweeping staircase and sculpted balconies. With a dramatic triple-height ceiling, the lobby serves as a majestic focal point and is the center of onboard activity. It forms the core from which the ship’s other public rooms flow. A bronzed-effect sculptural representation of the cruise ship emerging from a sun motif coordinated with a marquetry relief depicting a map of the world graces the staircase landing and is visible from nearly every part of the Grand Lobby.

The 4,000 square foot Royal Arcade on Deck 3, inspired by the Royal and Burlington Arcades in London, features a grand staircase at the forward end. Light wood paneling contrasts with green marble and gold and white stone textures. The centerpiece of this area is a custom-built, chiming pillar clock by English clockmaker Dent & Co., clockmaker to Queen Victoria and whose most famous work is Big Ben in London. The clock housing is black with gold-leaf lettering and backlit dials are opal acrylic with black Roman numerals.

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The 830-seat, three-deck Royal Court Theatre on Deck 3 was designed to emulate the grandeur and luxury of the spectacular designs of architect Frank Matcham, whose dramatic multi-tiered theatres made him one of the most prolific theatre designers, with over 80 venues to his name. The ambience is similar to a 19th-century theatre with lots of rich brocade fabric, deep red velvet curtains and murals framing the walls.

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However, while all of this may sound very posh, this ship is not just the preserve of the wealthy. During the day you can relax and unwind in the Royal Spa while at night there are live theatre shows, music and dancing in the bars and lounges. The ship has enough classy, small to midsize public rooms and various nooks and crannies for guests to relax, read or enjoy a drink and a chat.

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Like the other Cunard ships, Queen Victoria operates a class system in which the cabin grade you choose dictates where you eat. This means for those who want to splash the cash, the Queens Grill and Princess Grill provide top notch accommodations and more upmarket dining options. Having said that, around 80 percent of passengers are happily ensconced in Britannia-grade cabins and dine in the stylish Britannia Restaurant.

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Passengers’ peace is not disturbed by multiple announcements either — there is just one announcement a day — at noon, by the captain, telling of the ship’s progress.

To sum up, Queen Victoria is a comfortable, graceful cruise ship best suited to couples, single travelers and mature cruisers.

For first-timer cruisers, Queen Victoria is a good choice. It isn’t one of the huge cruise ships so has a more intimate, friendly feel. Also a plus point for those new-to-cruising is that they won’t get lost trying to find their way around. Cruisers — especially those who enjoy dressing up for dinner — can expect an elegant experience on this well laid out ship.

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We hope you will consider joining us on the amazing voyage.  For additional information, please contact UNIGLOBE Carefree Travel at 306-242-TRIP (8747) or if you are out of town 1-800-565-6562.  Watch for the next blog, focusing on one of the many interesting ports!

You can find out more about this sailing by clicking here.  

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Jamie’s Ixtapa Island Excursion

Prior to travelling to Ixtapa, we had several people recommend Ixtapa Island as a good excursions for families.  We tend to stick close to the resorts with the kids when we travel as they are quite happy enjoying the pools and activities that the all inclusive resorts have to offer.  However, by mid week away, we thought the kids would be up for a change of scenery and started looking at option for a trip out to Ixtapa Island.  There were 13 of us all together, 6 adults, 7 kids aged 4-11.

Option1:  We discussed the excursion with our Westjet Vacations rep.  The cost was going to be $28USD per child and $40USD per adult (reduced from $45 USD if we paid cash and because we were a group).  For my family of 5, that would be just over $200 CDN.

Option 2:  Online booking is an option, but when checking Viator and Expedia they were a similar price of around $200 CDN for my family of 5.

Option 3:  We could go on our own.  The $200 CDN included transportation from our hotel to the water taxi, Roundtrip ferry/water taxi to the Island, lunch, one drink and reserved chairs.  We were pretty sure we could do this on our own for quite a bit less and Ixtapa is a pretty quiet place that we were comfortable exploring on our own.  The Taxi (15 minute drive) to the Ferry was $160 Pesos each way.  The Ferry (10 minutes each way) roundtrip was $50 pesos per person.  The restaurants will give you chairs/loungers/palapas for free if you are ordering food and drinks from them.  We were there for about 5 hours and lunch and a drink worked out to be roughly $200 – $250 pesos per person.  This was about $125 CDN for our family of 5 – almost half price of taking the tour.

It was very easy to manage on our own.  Taxi’s are plentiful, as are the water taxis.  There are several restaurants on the three main beaches and this way we were able to choose when we left and when we returned and we were more on our own schedule, which worked well for us.  We went to Varadero Beach, which was great for little guys wanting to swim.  It was very shallow and calm and the not quite as hot as the snorkeling beach as the sun took a bit longer to come around to that side.  From Varadero Beach, you can walk about 500 feet, through the restaurant to the snorkeling beach.  This beach wasn’t good for little guys to swim, but had tons of fish and great snorkeling for the older ones.  The location was good here, being able to easily go back and forth.  They had an outdoor shower and bathroom facilities and the food and drinks were good.  We were at the Lili Cipriani restaurant.

Coconut Shrimp

We really enjoyed our time at Ixtapa Island and being able to swim in the ocean as the shore break was quite rough on the main beach of Ixtapa and made it hard for kids (and some adults) to go in swimming.  I would definitely recommend spending a day of your vacation on Ixtapa Island.

Ixtapa Island fun

Ixtapa Island Beach

Sunscape Dorado Pacifico: The importance of setting your vacation expectations

My family and I were looking for a good value vacation over the Christmas and New Year school holidays.  Our goals were:

*Something family friendly

*Must accommodate a family of 5 (easier said than done)

*Good flight times

*A reasonable budget (again easier said than done during peak holiday times)

*My husband also insisted that it must have a kids waterpark

My mission was clear, but I wasn’t sure I would be able to find something that fit all of our needs.  I will be the first to admit I am quite spoiled when it comes to hotels.  I have stayed at some of the nicest resorts and my expectations are quite high.  I knew I may have to lower my expectations a bit for this holiday.

After looking at options for a few weeks, I came across a great price with Westjet Vacations to Ixtapa, staying at the Sunscape Dorado Pacifico.  I hadn’t been to Ixtapa before and I love trying something new, so that was one point in favour.  The price was right, it accommodated a family of 5 in guaranteed connecting rooms and the hotel had a newer waterpark for kids.  It seemed to check off all of our boxes.  The only thing I wasn’t sure of, was whether it would meet my higher standards.

I have stayed at a few Secrets resorts in the past, which are part of the AM resort chain that also owns the Sunscape Resorts.  Where Secrets are their higher end, adults only resorts; Sunscape is their family friendly, good value brand.  There was some peace of mind, being familiar with the AM chain and the quality they bring.  We decided to give it a try and talked a few friends and family into joining us.

Prior to travelling, I carefully looked through reviews, the hotel website, other social media posts and blogs about this resort.  I wanted to be well prepared and go with realistic expectations of food, service, facilities, etc.  I always find it’s good to arrive with realistic/lower expectations and be pleasantly surprised.  I was expecting a family friendly property with ok food, service and rooms and I’m happy to report my expectations were exceeded in most areas.  Here is more information on the good, the bad and the ugly for the Sunscape Dorado Pacifico.

The Good:

*The rooms were very clean and the views of the ocean were amazing.  The extra space we had with two connecting rooms was very welcome for a family of 5.  We had 2 double beds in one room, 1 king in the other, 2 balconies and 2 full bathrooms.  The housekeepers work very hard here and are deserving of some extra tips!

*The entire hotel was very well maintained and very clean.  The public bathrooms were kept cleaner at the Sunscape than some other 5 star hotels I have stayed at.  This is important to anyone with little kids who touch everything!

*The beach in front of the hotel is very long.  The Sunscape is in the middle and you can easily walk 20-30 minutes in either direction on a flat, wide beach with nice sand.

*The kids waterpark was very functional with lots of little slides and spray features.  The kids loved it – all the kids (aged 4-11).

*The food pleasantly surprised me.  Where it might be lacking in the number of options available, there was always food we enjoyed and some meals I would even rate as very good.  All of us loved the food truck with burgers, hot dogs, nachos and pizza.  It was a great option for lunch or late afternoon snacks and very easy and relaxed.  They had three outdoor buffet/entertainment nights (80’s band one night, Mexican Fiesta night, Carnival night).  The first two had very good Buffet options and lots for the kids to choose from as well.  We skipped the Mexican A la Carte as it was rarely open and had no kids menu.  The Italian a la carte is adults only, so also got a miss.  We tried the Bluewater Grill for dinner twice.  The first time it was exceptional in both food and service, the second time was just ok, but still enjoyable.

*Smaller hotel and never any waits at the buffet and no reservations needed at any of the restaurants

*The gym was small, but clean and had good equipment

*Complimentary bicycle tours twice a day

*The staff overall were excellent.  We needed our safe opened and our connecting doors unlocked and maintenance was very quick to come up.  We needed a doctor called for my daughter, who had an ear infection, and the doctor was in our room in less than an hour thanks to the hotel operator.  The restaurant staff was very good.

 

The bad:

*The service around the pool for drinks was spotty.  The servers that were there were good, but there were not enough of them.  We often had to go to the bar to get our own drinks.

*The waterpark was only open 11am-6pm.  It would have been nice if it opened by 10am.  We were usually in the pool by 9 or 930am.

*The rooms could use a refresh with newer beds and patio furniture.

*The rooms were showing wear – some rust spots on the mirrors and nicks in the furniture, etc

*Front desk staff were a bit slow and never seemed to have English daily activity schedules printed.  There was always a wait to talk to someone.

*The main buffet is small.  There were always options that we liked and the ladies cooking up eggs and French toast and pancakes in the mornings were great, but it was a very small selection for a buffet.

*The food at the Carnival buffet night with entertainment was a miss.  Of the three events they had, the food this night wasn’t anywhere near as good as the other two nights…take a pass and go to the a la cartes that night.

*The kids club could use more activities for the older kids.  It was good for the younger ones, but the 9 and 11 year old had very little that appealed to them at the kids club and the teen club is only for 13 and older (video games and other options there for teenagers).  There was a trampoline clinic and a rock climbing wall, but there was never any staff working at those activities.

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The ugly:

*The pillows were terrible and very lumpy.  If you are a picky pillow person, you should bring your own.

*The resort at night was very loud.  While it was nice to have live music options in the lobby and at the outdoor Starlight Lounge, the music was VERY loud and went until around 12am-2am, depending on the night.  If anyone is a light sleeper, you would definitely want to bring ear plugs.  Even with all the doors closed and the A/C on, it felt like the entertainment was right outside your door.

Overall, the Sunscape Dorado Pacifico is a very good value, family friendly resort and if you go with those expectations, I think you will enjoy your stay very much.  We did and we would definitely consider returning in the future.


Ready to start planning your own vacation?  Reach out to our team here in Saskatoon!

SUTHERLAND
306-955-1449

CIRCLE DRIVE
306-934-3400

https://www.uniglobecarefreetravel.com/

Jamie’s Bleisure Moment at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit

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The hot topic in travel these days is “Bleisure”…the desire of business travellers to add on some personal or leisure time to enhance a business trip. I was attending a conference at the Grand Velas Resort in Puerto Vallarta and when looking into flight times, it worked out that I would have several free hours before the start of the conference. I decided to have my own “Bleisure” moment and plan something fun. I have been to Puerto Vallarta a few times before and I gave some thought to going into Old Town, maybe doing some shopping or finding a great restaurant, but I decided to play it by ear and see what I felt like, once I arrived. I realized very quickly after my arrival, where I wanted to spend my free time.

When you first pull into the lobby of the Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, you are asked to take a seat in a comfortable chair and you are given a refreshing, chilled pineapple drink. Then the concierge asks the magic question “Would you like a Spa Representative to give you a little head and shoulder massage while we check you in?”…….Ummm – YES, please!

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After a long day of airports and travelling, this lovely woman from the spa appears and over the next 10 minutes, she gave me the best shoulder massage I have ever had. These folks at the Grand Velas know how to sell a product! When she asked if I would like to make an appointment at the Spa, it was impossible to say no.

The following morning, I found myself arriving at the spa. There is nothing better than walking into a peaceful spa area, full of the scent of lemongrass and instantly relaxing. The very helpful and gracious spa concierge led me to the changing area, followed by the different water therapy areas, which are included with any spa service. It started with a dry sauna that is infused with cinnamon, followed by a stay in the Eucalyptus steam room. Then you get a cold ice rub, guaranteed to help with your metabolism and circulation, before popping into a sensory shower. Next up a jacuzzi, then hot and cold pools. Throughout the steps, they give you special drinks for energy and well being. All of this took place in a women’s only lounge area filled with natural light, plants, waterfalls and soft music.

The 80 minute therapeutic massage combined aromatherapy, reflexology, acupressure and traditional deep tissue massage. At the end of the massage experience, you can spend as long as you like in the water therapy area, or relax on a lounger with some warm spiced tea.

The spa is fully equipped with everything you may need, from full shower facilities, to toothpaste and mouthwash, brushes, combs and hair products. It was so easy and peaceful and they truly have thought of everything. Two and a half hours after I walked into the spa, I walked out feeling like an entirely new person. It was time well spent and I was now refreshed, relaxed and ready for a few days of meetings and networking. A perfect combination of business and leisure.

Are you ready to start planning your own bleisure getaway?  Our team of leisure and corporate agents are ready to help with whatever it is you’re dreaming of.

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Paradisus Playa del Carmen is Perfect For Everyone

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Paradisus Playa del Carmen is split into two resorts. There is the adults only side, Paradisus La Perla and the family side, La Esmeralda. Having two resorts in one is a huge benefit when traveling as adults only, families and groups and here is why:

Adults:

As an adult you have free range of most pools, restaurants, bars and other public areas in both resorts. An upgrade to the Royal Service on the La Perla side or Family Concierge on the La Esmeralda will give you full access to all areas including the pools, beaches and restaurants that are exclusive to these special room categories. As an adult you will have exclusive adult only spaces and restaurants. Even if you book on the family side you will be able to access these spaces but your kids cannot join you. This will expand your choices for restaurants, pool areas and beach sections. It is great to have the extra options. The rooms on the adult side are designed for romance. Be sure to take advantage of the bathtub that’s big enough for two!

Families:

The family side, La Esmeralda, still has many restaurant, beach and pool options. They also have some great inclusions for families. The water park is a great area for families to hang out. They have a large splash park that caters to both older and younger kids. There are plenty of beach chairs and umbrellas so everyone in the family can enjoy themselves and hangout in the same area. Parents can take advantage of the baby, kids and teen clubs offered at this resort. There is a daily schedule of activities that the kids can enjoy to give the parents a break. Even at the main pool area they have a pirate ship play structure. No matter which area you would like to hang out for the day there will be something for the kids to be entertained. If your family upgrades to the Family Concierge your room will have upgraded kids amenities (such as mini robes and slippers), plus your family will have exclusive access to the Family Concierge beach section.

Groups:

If you are planning a group trip or a destination wedding then this resort is perfect for you! Booking into either resort, you will be able to set up private events. Only two wedding can be scheduled in one day and they have a minimum of three hours between them. With both outdoor and indoor venues, your wedding will go off without a hitch, even if Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate. The wedding gazebo on the beach is my personal favorite. The bride can also look into booking the bridal suite. This is an exclusive area to get ready for her big day! Romance by Paradisus also specializes in same sex ceremonies. The wedding packages are diverse and have many inclusions depending of what kind of ceremony you are looking for.

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Where You Want To Be Married

As you can see, no matter what type of holiday you are planning the Paradisus Playa del Carmen is a diverse resort and would make an amazing vacation option!

If you have any questions about the Paradisus Playa Del Carmen, Paradisus Cancun or Melia Cozumel please feel free to contact me at 306-955-1449 or cordell@uniglobeyxe.com.  I’m ready to help you experience paradise.