Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Top 10 All Inclusive Spring Break Resorts : Travel Channel

Top 10 All-Inclusive Spring Break Resorts

For some people, the term "all-inclusive" conjures images of rum-chugging college students and bland buffets. But all-inclusive resorts can be so much more: You can find top-shelf liquor, tasty cuisine, white-sand beaches and water sports in whatever atmosphere you prefer, from sophisticated and couples-oriented to party-hearty fun. Take a look at our top 10 all-inclusive picks for spring break this year.

Majestic Elegance

Dominican Republic

Opened in late 2008, the 597-room Majestic is newer, cleaner and more modern than most all-inclusive resorts in DR. Its giant pool, soft-sand beach, great beds, Jacuzzis in every room, and brand-name liquor put it a notch above the competition.

The Caves


Arguably Jamaica's most romantic escape, the Caves' 12 unique, private cottages and suites -- as well as one 4-room villa -- are tucked along lush garden paths and dramatic seaside cliffs. High-quality, locally focused cuisine, a top-shelf bar and intimate, incredibly attentive service make it Jamaica's best all-inclusive resort.

Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach

Dominican Republic

Quality food, oceanfront bungalows, free trapeze lessons, and beachside canopy beds make this 613-room resort an excellent value. The beach has some of the softest sand and clearest water in the Dominican Republic.

Rose Hall Resort & Spa


With modern features, professional service and a huge on-site water park, this beachside golf resort is more popular with families than college kids. Though the rooms are small, they feature flat-screen TVs, spa-quality bath products, great beds and a powerful Wi-Fi signal -- all rare luxuries in Jamaica.

Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa

Dominican Republic

The draws at this megaresort are the in-room Jacuzzis (except standard rooms), the clean white-sand beach, access to 4 free-form pools and 8 restaurants with some of DR's best all-inclusive fare.

Zoetry Agua Punta Cana Resort

Dominican Republic

This secluded 51-room getaway feels a million miles from Punta Cana's megaresorts and features giant rooms with gorgeous terraces, a top-notch spa and 3 high-quality restaurants.

Occidental Grand Aruba


A casino, a swim-up bar, great beach amenities, a kid’s club and nearby local activities make this hotel perfect for all types of guests, from young families to retirees.

Jamaica Inn


The Jamaica Inn offers an upscale, classy vacation that’s relaxing and quiet. It’s the perfect place to unwind, though you’ll pay more for the all-inclusive package.

Gran Bahia Principe Ambar

Dominican Republic

This adults-only resort has quality restaurants, a quiet pool, a white-sand beach, a sparkling gym, a quality spa and huge, romantic suites.

Majestic Colonial Punta Cana

Dominican Republic

With one of the biggest and best pools in Punta Cana, plenty of swim-up bars and restaurants, beautiful landscaping and lots of children’s activities, this is one of the best resorts in the Dominican Republic.

Top 10 All Inclusive Spring Break Resorts : Travel Channel

Social Media Cheat Sheet

Quick reference guide to several social media platforms, including TwitterFacebookLinkedINPinterestYoutubeGoogle +, Instagram, Tumblr, Foursquare

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Jeffrey Sanker Presents White Party Fifteen - Commemorative Promo Video

I received this video many years ago, for free and watched it countless times. I eventually loaned it out or lost it and despite my very best efforts, couldn't find it anywhere! Finally, my Google Saved Search Notifier e-mailed me because it had found the keywords I entered on eBay! I had to pay $40 to own it again but it was a small price to pay. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!

2004 marked the 15 year anniversary of White Party Palm Springs. A monumental achievement not-only for JS Enterprises but for our gay & lesbian community as well.

Thank you to our sponsors, the city of Palm Springs and to everyone that has ever attended the White Party... be it one time, five times or fifteen times! Thank you! Your continued support has given us all the opportunity to return each year and has helped create the memories that have made White Party Palm Springs what it is today... a celebration.

We now invite you to join us as we look ahead to the future and embark on a new journey of music, dance and celebration. A new vision... new venues... new technology... unlike anything you have ever seen.

Remember the past...
Then experience the evolution
White Party: Next Generation
Easter Weekend March 25-28, 2005

Sunday, March 10, 2013

HP Mocks Dell Buyout. Really, HP -- Feb. 5, 2013

HP mocks Dell buyout. Really, HP?

@CNNMoneyTech February 5, 2013: 1:15 PM ET

You know what they say about people in glass houses. But that didn't stop Hewlett-Packard from launching a big stone at Dell.
Dell (DELL, Fortune 500)finally said Tuesday that it plans to go private in a more than $24 billion deal involving private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) and company founder Michael Dell.

HP (HPQ, Fortune 500) was quick to release the following statement: "Dell has a very tough road ahead. The company faces an extended period of uncertainty and transition that will not be good for its customers."

True? Yeah, maybe. But it's rich coming from HP, which is traveling its own "very tough road" and is still in the middle of its own transition.

HP shares have plummeted 66% over the past three years as the company struggles to figure out its future. And HP isn't even a year-and-a-half removed from the brief but disastrous reign of Leo Apotheker.

During Apotheker's 11-month tenure, HP cut its financial outlook three times, exited the webOS business just a little more than a year after buying it from Palm and said it would get out of the PC business entirely.

Meg Whitman took the CEO role over when Apotheker was ousted in September 2011. She quickly killed the plans to dump the PC business. But it's hardly been a turnaround fairy tale. In November, HP was forced to write down $8.8 billion of the value of Autonomy, the British software company it bought last year, after discovering that Autonomy misrepresented its finances.

HP is also struggling to generate sales growth and the key reasons for that mirror the issues at -- who else? -- Dell. The PC market is slumping, and both companies have struggled to evolve as tech trends shift. Neither Dell nor HP has been able to make major inroads in the mobile market, which is dominated by Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) and Android developer Google (GOOG, Fortune 500).

Judging by HP's sanctimonious statement on Dell, though, you'd never guess HP was also suffering.

HP derided Dell for its "significant debt load," saying its "ability to invest in new products and services will be extremely limited. Leveraged buyouts tend to leave existing customers and innovation at the curb."
The company gleefully said it "plans to take full advantage" of the opportunity to capture Dell customers "eager to explore alternatives."
But if that means HP hopes to lure Dell customers with lower prices, that might not please investors. That strategy hasn't exactly worked out.

First Published: February 5, 2013: 1:13 PM ET

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Hawaii - Six Islands of Paradise

If you are like most who have never been to Hawaii, the state's islands blend into a mass of unpronounceable vowels and indistinct images of a tropical paradise. The geography of the islands is not difficult, however, and all it takes is one trip to make visitors long to become experts. So if you have never been, or if you have only been to one island, this introduction should whet your appetite and familiarize you with the islands and their most important characteristics. Perhaps the most amazing fact you'll find is how close and reasonably priced Hawaii really is. Long thought of as a distant playground for the wealthy, Hawaii is less than 6 hours from the west coast and terrifically, wonderfully affordable.

Most do not realize that Hawaii's islands span more than 1,500 miles, creating the longest chain of islands in the world. In total, Hawaii is actually 130 separate islands if you include the atolls and coral reefs above sea level. However, the eight of these islands that cover 99% of the land area receive all of the attention, and of those, only six offer tourism opportunities (Niihau is privately owned and Kahoolawe was once a test range for the US Navy). The six major islands are Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and Hawaii's Big Island. Each island has its own identity, ambiance, climate and geological features that make it unique.

The Hawaiian Islands are volcanic, the products of millions of years of undersea eruptions; today, however, the only active volcano is on Hawaii's Big Island. Hawaii's climate is an amazing phenomenon, as well. Climatologists will tell you that the earth has 13 types of climatic conditions, and of those, 11 are represented on Hawaii - the only missing conditions are Arctic and Saharan. At sea level, summer temperatures average 80 degrees Fahrenheit and in winter, a balmy 75 degrees. Year round, the average water temperature is 74 degrees.

Getting around on the islands is a cinch. A ferry runs between Maui and Lanai and Maui and Molokai, and inter-island flights offer multi-island passes at a discount. Another small commercial carrier, Island Air, flies between the smaller airports on the islands. Most visitors relish self-drive adventures, touring the winding roads along the beaches or into the interior of the islands at their own pace. Rental options range from scooters to Ferraris, but for a classic experience, try renting a Jeep.

What's truly unique about Hawaii, though, is the sheer number of activities available in such an amazingly beautiful setting - the scenery is unmatched and unlike anything in the world. Mountains and beaches, tropical rainforests and snow. Pineapple plantations and volcanoes. Sit and do nothing, or try just a few of the built-in diversions that nature has given a home here: water sports like surfing, windsurfing, boating, sailing, snorkeling, diving, fishing and kayaking; or try golf, tennis, world-class bicycling, hiking and camping. The islands are also home to an entire health industry, with internationally recognized spas, yoga and holistic centers throughout the state. And Hawaii takes the precious gifts that nature has bestowed very seriously, so ecotourism is practiced with a particular zeal here, and many tour and local guide companies offer programs designed around the islands' flora and fauna.

Geologists say that Kauai is the oldest island of the six tourist islands. The rugged coast boasts more miles of beach and hiking trails than all the other islands. This is the island serving as a backdrop to many films, including Jurassic Park. Its primitive, tropical beauty evokes the Garden of Eden - it is an island of mountains and valleys, waterfalls and beautiful beaches. On the Northwest side of the island, 3,000 foot cliffs line the Na Pali Coast, much of it inaccessible except by boat or hikes on foot. The island is circular in shape, offering five areas developed for tourism. This well-rounded destination appeals to commercial shoppers, fine diners, and eco-tourists alike.

Oahu is the most commercial of the islands, and home to Waikiki and Honolulu. But do not let that fool you: Oahu mesmerizes visitors with rainforests, mountains, valleys, and spectacular ocean waves. A great suggestion for any island newcomer is to rent a car (an open top is ideal) and drive the perimeter of the island - you may well be awed by how undeveloped and quaint much of the island remains.

Honolulu, on the southern tip of Oahu and bordered by both mountains and ocean, is actually one of the largest cities in the United States and home to near 80% of the Hawaiian population. Waikiki is famous the world over, where urban culture and the distinct Polynesian flavor of Hawaii co-exist in perfect harmony. Diamond Head, a mountainous volcanic crater, is a famous and easily recognizable landmark.
Words most often associated with the island of Molokai are peace and tranquility. Molokai is home to many of the ecological and adventure-oriented activities found in Hawaii. The eastern side of the island is very green and tropical, and the western side, in contrast, offers dry grasslands and beaches. To the north, tall sea cliffs rising more than 3,500 feet above sea level look out over the ocean and create Hawaii's tallest waterfall. The Kalaupapa Peninsula is considered one of the state's most beautiful areas and is ironically the former home of the island's famous leper colony, bordered by high, sheltering cliffs on one side. The main "urban" area is Kaunakakai, a town with no traffic lights.

Lanai is a largely rural island, sheltered from the leeward winds by Maui, some nine miles away. There are only 32 miles of pavement on the island, and much of it is given over to luxury resorts, golfing, and activities for adventurous personalities, and it is oft-considered the Hawaii's best snorkeling and scuba diving spot. Lanai was at one time a giant pineapple plantation and is home to some of Hawaii's most famous beaches, such as Hulopoe Bay. The only town on the island is Lanai City, a quaint town filled with small shops and artist studios. Lanai entertains many visitors with large luxury resorts and their attendant championship golf properties.

The island of Maui has something for everyone. The dormant Haleakala volcano (though officially classified as "active") and Kahalawai volcano watch over Hawaii's second largest island and shape the island's mountains, valleys and waterfalls. Visitors to Maui are surprised by how undeveloped most of the island feels, and yet how much it offers in terms of dining, resorts and nightlife. Maui is also the whale watching center for the islands (the humpback whale is the state animal). Driving to the top of Haleakala to watch the sunrise is a Maui visitor ritual (many opt to bike back down from the top), as is a drive around the island's perimeter on the 50 mile Hana Highway. Another attraction is the small village of Lahaina, full of great shops and restaurants.

The Big Island is the home to the Kilauea volcano: the still active, currently erupting volcano is the most active volcano in the world, with a continual lava flow pouring into the ocean since 1983, creating approximately 40 new acres of island every year. The Big Island is as large as all of the other islands combined, with more than 260 miles of coast.

During the winter, it can actually snow on the island's tallest mountain, Mauna Kea, and you can snow ski on its 13,796 foot altitudes, weather permitting. The Kona-Kohala Coast on the Big Island hosts several luxury resorts and golf facilities along with its white-sand beaches. Here, too, is the town of Hilo, displaying its tropical, quintessential Hawaiian culture.

Again, this overview is just a start at describing the amazing destination of Hawaii. Its cultural and environmental significance can only be fully understood through a visit in person - to see is to believe. Once you are there, consider leaving the beaten path to explore the lush outdoors of America's 50th state.

Getting There:
Your best bet for finding real values to Hawaii is through your travel professional, who has access to a full range of Hawaii accommodations, transportation, activities, and packages. A vacation arranged through a travel agent is often air-inclusive and better priced than individual components booked separately. Contact Vacation Side @ 855-822-8747 or submit a quote request!