Colleen’s RIU Palace Mexico – Part 2

Our hotel is in the Playacar area that is about 30 mins from Cancun. We have stayed in this area before and we always love it. It is more like staying in a nice neighbourhood instead of being off the main highway. When we walk out of our hotel it’s like walking on a street at home. Every night we are able to go for a walk. There are always a lot of people out and about and there is a small shopping plaza about 2 minute walk from our hotel so you can pretty well get anything you need.

The best part about it is that you are just a 20 minute walk from Playa Del Carman so you can go into town whenever you like and to take a taxi back is 90 Pesos so about 6.00. There are also lots of bikes available if you prefer not to walk into town and a bike stand just as you enter Playa Del Carman. The area has lots of different hotels to choose from.  They also have a couple of golf courses in the area that we walk past everyday including the Hard Rock Golf Club. We love that we can leave our property without having to take a cab.

To see the full beauty of the RIU Palace Mexico check out my resort tour here https://youtu.be/Mjznc4ubGVQ.

Colleen’s RIU Palace Mexico – Part 1

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RIU Palace Mexico Beach

We have arrived in Cancun and we are staying at the RIU Palace Mexico in Playacar. This is a really great hotel and I love our room.

It is on a stunning white sand beach with enough palm trees for everyone. The best part is that there is free WiFi throughout the resort so you can bring your music with you everywhere.  No more sitting in the lobby to access the Internet! Because we are staying at the RIU Palace we are able to go to any of the other 6 RIU in Playacar so we have been visiting quite a few for drinks and to eat. You couldn’t ask for any more.

Celebrating 2016

2016 has been a year full amazing travel experiences and adventures.   We thought we would share some of our favourite personal travel moments with you.   This is such an amazing world we live in and we are so happy that we get to share it with you!

Karen’s Visit to Club Villain at Walt Disney World

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“The one thing I have learned about Disney from my past trips is to never pass up a special ticket event. My favorite that I have been to so far is Club Villain. There is themed food and cocktails. A Dj and his dancers entertained us throughout the evening. We were given an opportunity to socialize with several diva Villains. There were no lines awaiting you to meet up with Maleficent, the Queen of Hearts, Cruela De Vil and the Evil Queen.  This is an event not to miss!”

Amanda’s Jamaican Vacation

“Beautiful water and great weather.  The Jamaican people are the friendliest and most accommodating I’ve ever been around.”

Correna’s Search for Charlie Brown in Hong Kong

“My great adventure in Hong Kong began when I tried to locate this Charlie Brown Café in downtown Hong Kong.  One piece of advice, do not think you can get by with land marks in Hong Kong.  There just happens to be a Rolex store on every block!   It was well worth the search!”

Casie’s Trip to Puerto Vallarta

“It’s fabulous”

Joanne’s Blue Lagoon Plunge in Iceland

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“Iceland is the perfect destination or people looking for the unexpected.  It has something for everybody.  I was lucky enough to experience the Aurora Borealis, take in geysers and glaciers and bath in the Blue Lagoon.”

Jamie’s Family Vacation to Kauai

“Kauai Hawaii. Land of flowers, sunny beaches and Jurassic Park movies. Poipu had perfect weather and we loved the quiet, laid back feel of this Island. “

Elena’s Romantic European River Cruise

“Life on the ship is amazing.  They say food fills the soul, well your belly will be happy also.  I went on the galley tour while on board. For a kitchen so small the meals are impressive. No soup or dressings are made from powders or pre-made starters, everything is from whole natural foods, it’s evident in every bite.

The cabins are comfortable and take your breath away.  I highly recommend paying the extra to upgrade your cabin from the lead in category. You may not think you’ll spend time in your cabin but when the sun comes up around 5am or you’re leaving port then you can just draw back the curtains and doze off and on while watching the views as you sail by.  Sailing past countless Vineyards and castle is great way to start your morning if you ask me.”

Kyra’s Family Camping Trip to Banff

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“I went to the beautiful Moraine Lake and Lake Louise.  I had never been to either of those lakes before and I just fell in love with how pretty they are!”

Heather’s Destination Wedding Travels

“In 2016 I was lucky enough to travel not once but twice for amazing, beautiful destination weddings.   My brother was married in Puerto Vallarta and a dear high school friend was married in Ucluelet, British Columbia.  The first trip was another amazing family vacation but even more special.  The second a bit of a high school reunion and a road trip with two of my very best friends.”

Stephanie’s Costa Rican’ Adventure

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“Kayak and paddle boarding on Lake Arenal in Costa Rica, with beautiful views of the Arenal Volcano is one of my favorite travel memories in 2016. “

Colleen’s Bucket List trip to Newfoundland

“Ales, Whales and Newfie Tales is what is waiting for you in Newfoundland and so much more.  We went for 2 weeks but could have stayed for a month.  The people, the hiking, the music, the scenery even their own winery are just some of the things that are waiting for  you.  From Iceberg Beer which you can only get in Newfoundland to the East Coast music heard at every pub it’s a must return destination.  Oh, yes don’t forget the Puffins. “

It has certainly been a memorable year.   We can’t wait to see where 2017 takes us and hope to share it all with you along the way.    If you would like any help planning your own amazing vacation please feel free to call our office at 306-242-TRIP (8747).   We would love to help you have amazing travel experiences too.

*If you enjoyed this blog and would like to continue to follow our team as they have amazing travel experiences check out our Instagram @UniglobeCarefreeTravel
https://www.instagram.com/uniglobecarefreetravel/?hl=en

Georgia’s Cuban Cruise – Part 1

It was finally time for us to start our exciting journey to Cuba to experience the Cuba Cruise. My mom and I drove to Calgary and spent the night with my auntie. I checked both of us in online since Air Transat allows departures from Calgary to do the early check in. So at 8am we were ready to cab to the airport. We arrived 3 hours early which was a perfect time since the airport was very busy. We had to stand in line for about an hour to get through security. After we had breakfast we were able to board the plane. The Air Transat plane was newly upgraded and included the mood lighting, leather seats, larger bathrooms, and seat back entertainment. I found there wasn’t a lot of leg room and the seats weren’t very wide, but it was still comfortable. The entertainment screens had games, new and old movies, tv shows, kids stuff, even books. I was very impressed and it made a 5 hour flight feel like nothing. Our last leg of the very long first day of travel was the 2 hour bus ride between Varadero airport and Havana’s pier. I thought the transition was smooth and they gave us time at the airport before leaving to convert our Canadian dollars into CUC. Finally at about 10pm we were ready to board the ship. We checked in, got our charge cards and they took our bags while we were shown to the room. The bags were delivered shortly after and they had left a few sandwiches in our room because the restaurants were already closed. We then spent our time exploring the ship because we disembarked at 1am so we weren’t allowed off the ship.

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The second day of our cruise was a day at sea. We had breakfast at the Traviata buffet which was loaded with fresh fruits, omelets, pancakes, etc. After breakfast we went to a presentation explaining the different excursions offered and a travel agent meeting. For lunch we went to La Scala restaurant which is the main A La Carte restaurant. The tables seat 6 or 8 people so you are seated with different families which was a great way to meet new people. The menu is different every day and is 4 courses with about 5 different meal selections in each course including a new port specialty every day. We then went to the sun deck and had a relaxing afternoon. The only restaurant that offered supper included in the cruise price was the La Scala and it was the same set up as lunch. They have a casual dress code as well as open dining times. There is another restaurant on board but since there wasn’t enough people they did not open it. The evening entertainment was a variety night which included acrobats, magicians, dancers and singers and it was very, very good.

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On third day our port was Holguin where we had an excursion to Paradise Island already booked. We had to tender into the port and from there we got on the catamaran with our guide/bartender/entertainer Alberto. It was about a two hour sail but Alberto was very good at keeping us entertained! Before we arrived at the island we stopped in an area so we could snorkel. I didn’t end up going but Alberto brought a white sea urchin to the boat and we got to hold it. Once we got onto the island we had supper in an open air restaurant which is one of three buildings on the island. After a delicious lunch we went on a jeep safari inland and got really close to giraffes, buffalo, and zebras who were brought to the island years ago as gifts for Fidel Castro.

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We sailed back to the ship for 6pm and had a delicious supper at the La Scala. We didn’t go to the evening entertainment, instead I got a private salsa lesson in the Disco from two of the dancers from Havana (turns out it is harder than it looks, so I taught them how to line dance instead.)

Heather’s Punta Cana Destination Wedding Adventure

Here I am at the gorgeous Now Larimar in Punta Cana for my friend Tara’s destination Wedding.  This is a new adventure for me, since not only have I never been a part of a destination wedding, I’ve never been a part of a wedding at all.  So far, we’re having a blast just hanging out as a group and exploring the resort and the Dominican Republic.  Today most of the group went on an excursion to Sanoa Island.  This is an uninhabited island with amazing beaches.  The excursion included a looooooong bus ride to the Caribbean side of the island (Punta Cana is actually located on the North Eastern side of the Dominican Republic, so it’s in the Atlantic Ocean), then a catamaran (party boat) for a few hours out to the island, a few hours with a bbq lunch on the island, a speed boat ride back to the main land with a stop along the way at a “natural pool” to see if we could find any star fish.   Personally, I thought the excursion was a lot of fun but it did seem odd that there was no actual snorkeling included.   Because we were about 20 people we were super lucky and had a private catamaran!  That meant our party boat was soley for us!  It was a bit early for drinks at first but we had a great time soaking up the sun and dancing with the crew. Of course, because I have blue eyes and am single the men working on the boat were all trying to be my “Dominican boyfriend”.  Have you ever experienced this?  It’s something I’m quite certain most North American women go through at some point.  The men being extra flattering and flirtatious.  It’s always fun as long as you remember that it’s all for fun, you can’t take it seriously. The other parts of the tour were very enjoyable as well but the best part was the private catamaran, it felt like it was something special, just for our group.   I loved Saona Island for its laid back feeling, unfortunately they seem to have a real problem with bees there.  When we arrived on the beach we noticed a lot of bees around,  near a garbage can they had some sugar water out for them.  This was supposed to “distract” the bees from us.  Well… it’s been 22 years since I’ve been stung by a bee and let me tell you, it hurts just as much now as it did when I was a kid!  (I cried less this time around but honestly have probably whined more haha)  I’m not sure why they have so many bees but it seems like something they should work to resolve.  I still think the excursion is amazing, just maybe not something I would recomend to someone who has an allergy…

One other thing I wanted to talk about is how great it is to travel with someone who hasn’t done it before.  I’m sure I’ve talked about this before, I know I loved doing it with various members of my family.  Tonight I had supper at one of the a la cartes with some of my friends.  One who has traveled to all inclusive resorts before and two who have not.  It was so fun to see their excitement and complete wonder as their food arrived.  My one friend had outbursts like “best fish I’ve had in my life!” and “oh my god have you guys tasted these potatoes” throughout the whole meal.  I loved seeing the complete joy and excitement over things that I’ve started to see as “normal” because I’m a bit spoiled by my job.  If you tend to travel to all inclusive resorts and don’t check out the A La Carte restaurants I say reconsider for next time.  The food is generally exceptional and the atmosphere is beautiful.