Mexican Christmas – The Need For Travel Insurance

I often get asked…”Do I really need Travel Insurance? Will anything really happen to me?” I always answer – Probably not…..BUT what if it does? Do you want to be the one worried about medical costs and getting good medical care because you DON’T have insurance? I also get asked if I always take the insurance myself. That answer is EVERY SINGLE TIME. I know and have seen first-hand the devastation that not having travel insurance can cause. The parents whose son breaks a leg and now they are out thousands of dollars, or the ear infection that keeps you from flying home and costs you even more. I have witnessed how fog and a cancelled flight result in a $1000 claim and a broken arm without a cast – basically an X-ray and a prescription can cost over $700 USD.

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Monster Waves in Puerto Vallarta

This trip – with 12 family members reminded me of how quickly the unexpected can happen. My sister’s mother in law, on her 68th birthday, was tossed around by a wave and presumably hit her head on a rock on the bottom of the ocean. She was taken off the beach by some medics in a wheelchair and assessed. In the end, they suspected a possible fractured cheekbone and a possible fractured neck as well as a concussion. The medics shuffled around, looking a bit nervous, suggesting she go to the hospital, possibly in a taxi or a van, but preferably an ambulance. Once they found out she had insurance, there was a palpable feeling of relief. They called the ambulance, arranged for her to go to a good hospital where the doctors speak English well and she could be looked after.

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Private hospital room

The ambulance driver was familiar right away with Manulife and said the front desk of the emergency room would be as well. There were a few glitches with calling the Manulife numbers, but we worked that out and they were able to call us on our cell phones to arrange for care and payment of care at the hospital. After 4 hours of emergency care, Xrays and a CT scan, it was determined she had a concussion and a severely sprained neck, but no fractures. They would keep her overnight for observation…….and a bill at that point, after four hours was over $5,000 USD.

A $200 CDN policy for her ensured that she had complete coverage and upfront payment for every penny. It would also cover things like taxi’s back to the hotel, extra meals and if needed extra hotel stays and changes to flights home. She nearly lost her prescription glasses. If she had, that also would have been covered.

So….next time you wonder if you can afford travel insurance, ask yourself if you can afford to NOT have it. If you have work or credit card insurance, ask who you call if there is an emergency and if they will pay up front or if you have to pay the bill and HOPE to be reimbursed. Do they cover only yourself, or your family as well? If changes to your trip need to be made, are those airline fees and extra costs of staying in destination covered? Are there pre-existing exclusions? Or does it cover anything unexpected?

I have to say that being the travel agent for this trip, as well as participating and knowing that the injured person had the Premium Protection Plan, meant that I never doubted for a single moment that she would have excellent coverage for all of her medical bills.

So, from sunny Puerto Vallarta, Merry Christmas and remember to make sure that travel insurance and peace of mind are part of the gift of travel this year.

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The Beautiful Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta

 

Should Your Next Vacation Include a Butler?

Why your next vacation needs a butler, seriously.

Ok I know what you’re thinking, a butler, really?  I’m here to tell you that although there are ways that a butler on vacation could be used for over the top requests there are also a lot of ways that a butler simply makes your hard earned vacation just a little bit better.

I recently enjoyed two nights at the unbelievable Paradisus Playa Del Carmen – La Perla.  La Perla is the adults only section of this resort featuring modern décor, a hefty selection of a la carte dining and interesting bars featuring craft cocktails, multiple beaches and a pool that suites any vacationer’s tastes.  The La Esmeralda section is family friendly and equally spectacular.

La Perla Junior SuiteI stayed in a Royal Service Junior Suite which was nearly as big as the apartment I share with my boyfriend and two cats.  The room is beautifully decorated with two white closets and plenty of drawers, a king bed with an aquatic themed headboard, a sitting area featuring a couch, coffee table, table and chairs and more.  The bathroom was something out of a dream with a shower big enough for a party with two rain shower heads that provided just the right amount of water pressure, a huge bathtub and more than enough space on the vanity to keep all of your necessities organized.  All of this comes standard in any junior suite at the Paradisus La Perla but since I was in Royal Service my balcony also featured a Jacuzzi.

When you have the Royal Service upgrade, a butler is a part of your package.  I was introduced to my butler at check in (which happens in the exclusive Royal Service lobby).  He took my bags and showed me to my room, pointing out features of the building like the small fitness centre exclusive for RS guests. After the standard “here is your safe and how to use it, here is the thermostat, here is the tv remote” he asked if I was on Whatsapp and when I confirmed he asked for my phone number.  From that point on we were able to communicate via text.   The next morning as I was enjoying a gourmet breakfast at the restaurant available exclusively to Royal Service guests Fernando, my butler, texted me to see what my plans were for the day.  I told him that since it was a bit windy I would rather be by the pool than the beach and that I would go find a spot soon.  He replied almost instantly letting me know that he had a bali bed by the pool ready for me.  What a treat! I quickly realized that the major benefit of having my own butler was that I had the freedom to simply send a text from the pool or my room to arrange a la carte reservations, inquire about spa services, request late check out etc. without having to get up and wander into a lobby to chat with the front desk or a customer services desk.  I consider my time very valuable and this is a service that I genuinely appreciated.

Other services available when you have a butler on your vacation at the Paradisus La Perla are:

  • preparation of whirlpool bath in your room if you wish.  Just shoot him a text and let him know when you would like to enjoy a bath on your balcony and he’ll have everything set up for you including bubbles and towels.  If you request some sparkling wine for your bath, they’ll be happy to oblige.
  • personalized coffee service in the room
  • free ironing of up to two garments per day
  • shoe shining services
  • booking of the tennis courts and other activities
  • personalized mini-bar in the room adapted to your taste
  •  unpacking and repacking of your suitcase
  • personalized wake up calls
  • And more!

Although an upgrade to a vacation that includes a butler may not be practical for every traveller or every trip, it’s certainly something that has value and well worth considering for your next special vacation.  You absolutely won’t regret it!

To book your next vacation to Paradisus Playa Del Carmen reach out to our team!

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Heather’s Relaxing Stay At Paradisus Cancun!

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If you are seeking a vacation that is a delight for the senses then Paradisus Cancun is the place for you! From the moment you arrive the aromatherapy surrounds you creating a feeling of relaxation. The open lobby is a vine covered oasis with plenty of seating for families or groups as well as secluded spots for couples. This is a place you will want to spend your time in! Check-in is quickly handled in a welcoming plush, quiet, air conditioned room. Spacious rooms feature comfortable beds, plenty of storage, large cascading rain showers and minibars filled with soda, water, beer and snacks.

Gourmet dining is available at more than ten restaurants – there is something to suite every taste! In between meals you can enjoy a latte from the Nespresso coffee corner or grab a cold treat from the gelato shop. If you are looking for a little extra indulgence I would recommend renting a Bali Bed at Coco Beach Club where you will be treated like royalty with sparkling wine, a tray of fresh fruit, a menu full of delicious food and drink service.

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The spa features countless treatments available in a relaxing atmosphere. Guests in Royal Service rooms have complimentary access to the hydrotherapy circuit which is a refreshing treat after a hot day on the beach. Speaking of the beach, this is the highly sought after white sand and turquoise water that makes you feel like you truly are in paradise.

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Treat yourself to a little luxury on your next vacation at the Paradisus Cancun!

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Casie’s Living The Palace Life in Cancun – Part 2

Grand at Moon Palace Cancun blew my mind away! If you have kids this is the resort for your family.

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The water park was my favorite! There are three slides, a wave pool, lazy river and a water park for the young ones. In the same area is the kids center which includes bumper cars, arcade games, glow in the dark mini golf and so much more! The kids Center was perfect for a rainy day. I may have had a little too much fun but my inner child definitely came out!

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Travel tips:

In order to ride one of the water slides you must be 5’3

Bumper cars are for 5-17 year olds

Once again, Palace Resorts goes above and beyond for their clients. If you have a child celebrating their birthday while on vacation they will throw a birthday party for them. Before your arrival let them know what kind of theme or color and what kind of cake they would like. The staff will do their best to accommodate it. While I was there they were throwing one that was Paw Patrol themed. Super cool! Such a small gesture that goes a long way for the little ones.

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When you stay at the Grand you also have access to Moon Palace Cancun, transfers between resorts are complimentary. Over at the Moon Palace they have a flow rider that’s fun for kids and adults! You have the option to surf or knee board.

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Don’t worry adults they have not forgotten about you! You have the option to relax at the Adults Only Pool or treat yourself to the spa. There is also a golf resort on site! After all it is your vacation to enjoy as well!

Travel tip: don’t forget you can use your resort credits and only pay the tax on spa and golf.

Want to know more about this amazing resort?  Feel free to reach out to me here in Saskatoon at 306-955-1449 or casie@uniglobevacation.com!

Stay tuned for my final blog all about celebrating dia de los muertos in Mexico!

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Casie’s Living The Palace Life in Cancun – Part 1

Living the Palace Life

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If you want to feel like a prince or princess the Grand at Moon Palace is the place to be!

From being greeted with a welcome drink and flower upon arrival to the service everyday throughout the resort you will not be disappointed!

Ladies, Palace resorts make your life so much easier when it comes to packing. They provide Chi products including shampoo, conditioner, blow drier, straightener and even bubble bath for the jetted tub! There is also an amenities box in the bathroom and if you forgot anything I’m sure they have you covered.

Speaking of the ladies, check out the beautiful ladies washroom at the main lobby.  I imagine this is what it feels like to be a princess!

Palace resorts didn’t forget about the little ones either! The Awe Spa offers special “Awe Princess” services for 4-12 year olds. Services include manicures, pedicures and hair creations like braids or up-does.

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The service at the restaurants is outstanding! They greet you with a friendly smile and make sure to ask if you have any allergies. If you do, they are accommodating and make it a hassle free experience. If you don’t feel like leaving your room, room service is only a button away! Available 24/7 for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Need to be somewhere early in the morning and not sure if you’ll have time for breakfast? Just order room service the night before and tell them what time you’d like it.

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Life is so easy at the Palace!

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El Dorado Royale – Amanda’s Riviera Maya Adventure Part 3

Well friends, I’m sad to say goodbye to this lively place. I have done some fun activities and ate at some new restaurants at the resort, along with meeting some great new employees.

I took some fun Salsa and Meringue lessons led by the entertainment team. It’s always good to learn some new steps and meet new people. Spanish music always makes people feel like dancing. I also had a try at archery. I did pretty well for my first time.

We used some bicycles from our resort and took our own tour along the beach. We went all the way from the end of our resort, went by the Casitas resort and ended at the Generations resort. These are all very pretty Karisma resorts. It was good to see what they were like.

We ate at a restaurant called La Pizzeria and had some fresh oven baked pizza, with some nachos and guacamole. I love the health bar onsite for yummy smoothies and tasty treats. Our last meal was at the Kampau restaurant at the Casita resort. It was highly recommended by people we spoke to. There was really great Oriental food with lots of selection. There are even options for those who don’t prefer sushi or seafood.

The evening shows are all really great. Since my previous post we have seen amazing fire dancers, more acrobats, and ended the last night with Golden stars. There were singers and dancers performing songs by ABBA, Rihanna, Madonna, just to name a few. They were all amazing to watch. 20171217_222309

I must say the resort was relaxing and quiet, but also had some fun activities and entertainment if you choose to participate. There are many options depending on your vacation preferences. The customer service there is phenomenal and they always say “it’s a pleasure”.

Thanks for tuning in and feel free to contact me about a vacation at a Karisma property or anywhere else you may want to go.   You can reach me at 306-934-3400 or amanda@uniglobevacation.comGracias.

 

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Czarina’s Huatulco Holiday – Part 3

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Tangolunda Bay

Our last days were quickly approaching so we thought it was time to visit one of the small towns nearby.  The town of La Crucecita is a quick 5 minute drive/$5USD cab ride from Dreams Huatulco.  It’s the closest resort town near the Huatulco hotel zone.

We arrived around 6pm to the main square on the weekend.  At first it was a little intimidating since there are lots of people walking around this smaller square area.  After a couple of minutes, the small bits of worry were gone when we saw all the neat stores and restaurants.

If you are looking for good deals on trinkets this is your “jam”.  I didn’t even have to barter back in forth with the sales people.  Everything is so darn cheap!    I love it!  Though I have loads of junk at home, we always bring back small gifts for those back home.  This year everyone will receive a magnet… J

No visit to La Crucecita is complete without a stop at La Crema Bar!  It’s a pizza joint run 25139283_10159643156795024_1444285742_oby some local hippies.  It was some of the best pizza I’ve ever had and I’ve been a pizza connoisseur since the 80s.  An extra large Hawaiian pizza with 3 large lime margaritas and 1 chocolate milk cost us an even $24USD.  Not bad at all for a great meal!

I’ve fallen in love with Huatulco and will definitely return again to experience this lovely destination!

If you are interested in visiting Huatulco or have any questions about this amazing part of Mexico please feel free to reach out to me at 306-934-3400 or czarina@uniglobevacation.com. 

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