Dreaming of Dolphins – at Dreams Cancun Resort & Spa and Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort & Spa

Here at Dreams Cancun Resort & Spa and Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort & Spa, we have something that most all inclusive resorts don’t have on property – dolphins! There is something about these awesome sea creatures that we just can’t get enough of. They’re sweet (and sassy at times), smart and sensitive – some of the best qualities that mammals can have. Since our dolphins are a huge hit with our guests, we decided to interview two dolphin trainers at Dreams Cancun & Dreams Puerto Aventuras. They gave us the inside scoop on what their jobs are like!

Sandra from Delphinus Dreams Cancun at Dreams Cancun Resort & Spa!

Sandra from Delphinus Dreams Cancun at Dreams Cancun Resort & Spa!

Our featured dolphin trainer from Delphinus Dreams Cancun is Sandra Guerra Molina, a Cancun native. Sandra has been with us for the last 8 years, and she has been such a pleasure to have on board. At Dolphin Dreams in Dreams Puerto Aventuras, we chose to feature Leila Zukkour Perez from Mexico City. Leila has been at Dreams Puerto Aventuras for only 2 months, but she has been with Dolphin Dreams for the past 4 years. We asked Sandra and Leila some questions, and here is what they had to say:

Dreams: Why did you want to be a dolphin trainer?

Sandra: I love animals (especially dolphins) and I’ve always wanted to work with them and take care of them.

Leila: I love the opportunity to interact with dolphins and observe/change their behaviors.

Dreams: What is your favorite part about your position and why?

Sandra: My favorite part of my job is learning everything that there is to know about dolphins, including their natural behaviors. I also love to teach our guests about them and watch them swim together, especially with kids. I’ve shared so many special moments training dolphins, and I’ve witnessed so many of them with our guests!

Leila: My favorite part of the job is that I get to not only work with the dolphins, but also with the other trainers, photographers, and the resort staff. We are a big, happy family!

Dreams: Who is your favorite dolphin that you work with, and why?

Sandra: My favorite dolphin is Waay. He is so smart, active, and he challenges me every day.

Leila: My favorite dolphins are Aitana and Carelo, because they were the first 2 baby dolphins that I had the opportunity to train.

Dreams: Tell me one fun fact about dolphins that we may not already know.

Sandra: Dolphins produce more than 3,000 different sounds through their blow-holes! Also, they form close bonds and relationships with each other (just like us)!

Leila: Dolphins are very considerate of each other when it comes to different behaviors. For example, when dolphins are doing a foot-push together (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKyoBTMnvSU), they wait for each other to make sure that one is not left behind!

Dreams: Tell me about your best memory you’ve had working for your dolphinarium.

Sandra: I formed such a strong bond with one of the dolphins that I was training, that she became very attached to me at one point, and it felt really special for me. Also, my favorite memories are teaching little kids about the dolphins and watching them swim together – its always so cute to watch!

Leila: There was an 8-year old guest that visited once that had an allergy to salt water, but he had dreamed of swimming with the dolphins since he could remember. We made a special program just for him so that he could be in a kayak and still be able to have similar interactions with the dolphins, as if he were swimming in the water with them. It made me so happy to see this child happy!

Dreams: Why would you recommend that guests have the dolphin experience when they visit Dreams Cancun or Dreams Puerto Aventuras?

Sandra: Guests should do Delphinus when they visit, because they will learn all about these incredible mammals. They will learn awareness about protecting animals and the ecosystem as well, which I think is very important. There aren’t many places where you can actually swim with dolphins – so here’s your perfect opportunity to do so!

Leila: Not all of the hotels have a dolphinarium outside of it, where you can look outside of your room’s balcony and see these awesome creatures interact in the water. Also, you can do other things with dolphins other than just swimming, such as kayaking.

Our featured trainer, Leila, from Dolphin Dreams at Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort & Spa!

Our featured trainer, Leila, from Dolphin Dreams at Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort & Spa!

Visit the Dreams Cancun and Dreams Puerto Aventuras dolphin experience pages to learn more about the dolphinariums!

Dolphin Experience at Dreams Cancun Resort & Spa

Dolphin Experience at Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort & Spa (Don’t forget about our Free Fall, Free Swim promotion – it ends August 31st!)

Free Fall is back! Free nights, free kids, free coupons!

The Free Fall promotion is back and has great offers just for you! When you reserve your minimum three-night vacation to any Dreams Resort & Spa, you will enjoy every third night of your stay for free! Plus, up to two kids stay free, and you will be treated to up to $400 in resort coupons to use on things such as spa treatments, romantic dinners, bottles of wine and more!  For more information, head over to the Special Offers page on the Dreams website.

Plus, play our Drop & Win game on any Dreams Facebook page where you will be entered to win a three-night stay or you may possibly be the lucky, instant winner of a five-night stay!

Dreams Cancun Resort & Spa Facebook Page

Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa Facebook Page

Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort & Spa Facebook Page

Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa Facebook Page

Dreams Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa Facebook Page

Dreams Villamagna Nuevo Vallarta Facebook Page

Dreams Los Cabos Suites Golf & Spa Resort Facebook Page

Dreams Huatulco Resort & Spa Facebook Page

Dreams Punta Cana Resort & Spa Facebook Page

Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana Facebook Page

Free Fall by AMResorts®

Free Fall by AMResorts®

Make it at Home: Paella

Guests at Dreams Resorts & Spas will experience all kinds of global cuisine at our restaurants. Today, we would like to share a delicious Paella recipe for you to make once you return home. It’s a one-dish meal consisting of rice, beans, vegetables, meat or seafood and plenty of spices.  The Paella recipe we are sharing today is a favorite combining seafood and meat, making a true taste sensation. This recipe is great for family dinner – it’s a balanced meal all in one pot! It’s so delicious and is sure to become a dinnertime favorite.

Executive at Dreams Cancun Resort & Spa, Chef Mario Hernandez cooking a deliciuos Paella.

Executive Chef at Dreams Cancun Resort & Spa, Mario Hernandez cooking a delicious Paella.

Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • Spice Mix for chicken, recipe follows
  • 1 (3-pound) frying chicken, cut into 10 pieces
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Spanish chorizo sausages, thickly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Spanish onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Bunch flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped, reserve some for garnish
  • 1 (15-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained and hand-crushed
  • 4 cups short grain Spanish rice
  • 6 cups water, warm
  • Generous pinch saffron threads
  • 1 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • 2 lobster tails
  • 1/2 cup sweet peas, frozen and thawed
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  • Special equipment:
  • Large paella pan or wide shallow skillet

Directions:

  1.  Make spice mix for chicken by combining 1 tablespoon sweet paprika, 2 teaspoons dried oregano, Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
  2. Rub the spice mix all over the chicken and marinate chicken for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
  3. Heat oil in a paella pan over medium-high heat. Sauté the chorizo until browned, remove and reserve. Add chicken skin-side down and brown on all sides, turning with tongs. Add salt and freshly ground pepper. Remove from pan and reserve.
  4. In the same pan, make a sofrito by sautéing the onions, garlic, and parsley. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes on medium heat. Then, add tomatoes and cook until the mixture caramelizes a bit and the flavors meld. Fold in the rice and stir-fry to coat the grains. Pour in water and simmer for 10 minutes, gently moving the pan around so the rice cooks evenly and absorbs the liquid. Add chicken, chorizo, and saffron. Add the clams and shrimp, tucking them into the rice. The shrimp will take about 8 minutes to cook. Give the paella a good shake and let it simmer, without stirring, until the rice is al dente, for about 15 minutes. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, when the rice is filling the pan, add the lobster tails. When the paella is cooked and the rice looks fluffy and moist, turn the heat up for 40 seconds until you can smell the rice toast at the bottom, then it’s perfect. (Cook’s note: The ideal paella has a toasted rice bottom called socarrat.)
  5. Remove from heat and rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with peas, parsley and lemon wedges.

Recipe from http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/the-ultimate-paella-recipe/index.html

Wedding Wednesday: Dreams Cancun Hosts a Traditional Sikh Wedding

Dreams Resorts & Spas hosts hundreds of weddings every year.  While most are traditional beach weddings, from time to time, we have the honor to host a unique ceremony that brings all kinds of cultures together at our resorts.  We recently hosted a traditional Sikh wedding at Dreams Cancun Resort & Spa.

Founded more than 500 years ago, the Sikh religion today has a following of more than 20 million people worldwide and is ranked as the world’s 5th largest religion. The recent Sikh wedding at Dreams Cancun was a beautiful ceremony lasting more than three days long.  The day before the wedding, the bride’s parents fed their daughter traditional foods and painted her hands with henna.  All of the guests were given a bracelet that they should keep on until it comes off by itself thus giving years of happiness to the couple.

PicMonkey Collage.jpgWhat was the most unique wedding you’ve attended?  Happy Wedding Wednesday!
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Dreams Cancun Named “Best All-Inclusive Resort for Family Vacations”

Dreams Cancun Resort & Spa was recently named as one of the “Best All-Inclusive Resorts for Family Vacations” by Caribbean Travel Magazine.  The Unlimited-Luxury® resort was named as one of 10 best resorts in the Caribbean for it’s family-friendly amenities.  If you are planning your next family vacation, here a few reasons to book at Dreams!

  • Explorer’s Club for Kids– Created for youngsters 3-12 years old, the Explorer’s Club at all Dreams Resorts are professionally supervised activities great for kids of all ages.  Kids get the chance to interact with other children, participate in activities like treasure hunts, sand castle competitions, arts & crafts and more!

    Explorer’s Club

  • Delphinus Dolphin Experience*– One of the more exotic adventures at Dreams Cancun, the Dolphin Experience allows a limited number of guests to swim and play with live dolphins in our sea water lagoon.  Guests can partake in the activity or simply watch this fascinating experience.

    Delphinus Dolphin Experience

  • Daily Activities for the entire family!
    • Biking
    • Snorkeling
    • Ocean trampoline
    • Kayaking
    • Swimming
    • And more!

What are you waiting for? Book your next family vacation with one of the best family resorts today!

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Do It Yourself Body Scrub (Just Like at Your Favorite Dreams Resort & Spa!)

Anyone who has visited the Dreams Spa by Pevonia at any Dreams Resort & Spa can tell you that body scrub contributes to the enjoyable spa experience. Now, you can make body scrub at home courtesy of Dreams Cancun Resort & Spa!

Typically a cream or essential oil combined with salt or sugar, body scrubs cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize the skin. Scrubs have also been attributed to improving skin tone and blood circulation, reducing cellulite, stimulating the metabolism and increasing the body’s ability to rid itself of toxins. Apply the scrub to the body in circular strokes to get natural, smooth and soft skin!

Recipe

1. You’ll need 1 cup of salt and ½ cup of oil (essential and olive oils work well.)
2. Mix together until oil and salt are fully combined.
3. Apply with circular movements around 2-3 minutes. Use a loofa sponge for extra exfoliation.
4. Take a damp cloth and wipe the scrub off gently until all the mixture is off, apply honey on the skin for fifteen minutes.
5. Then remove the honey with warm water.
6. Apply body lotion to replenish the skin cell with moisture.
7. Enjoy your smooth skin!

Exfoliate weekly for optimum results


You can modify this recipe to customize the perfect scrub for you. Below are different ingredients you can use to give your scrub a little boost!

Salt and essential oil: The most basic and popular type of scrub. Use sea or mineral salt and your choice of essential oils to restore skin to its full beauty.

Sugar: Instead of using salt, use small-grain sugar, which works well with both creams and oils.

Plants: Medicinal plants (lavender, aloe vera, rosemary) are increasingly used in body scrubs because they work well with sensitive skin types and their scents help relax and re-energize you.

Food: The powers of food have won permanent place in many spas, not only for aromatic and sensory experience they provide, but also for their moisturizing and nourishing properties. Innovate and delight in a scrub made with chocolate, coffee, lemon, orange, seeds, olive oil, oatmeal, honey and milk.

First-Hand Encounter of Swimming with Whale Sharks

The season of snorkeling with whale sharks is here and we are excited to share a recent first-hand experience with you! Guests of Dreams Cancun Resort and Spa just have a short walk to the beach to Solo Buceo dive center located on the property. After an hour boat ride offshore where the gentle giants hang out snorkelers dive in and swim with the whale sharks! This is a once in a lifetime experience that you don’t want to miss.

Read about how Gringation’s blogger Laura Winfree and her husband Jorge enjoyed the excursion with Nadia, Dreams Cancun’s e-concierge:

 “When Jorge, my friend Nadia and I decided to swim with whale sharks this weekend, I was so excited but mostly nervous! I’d never snorkeled in more than 10 feet of water before, much less in the middle of the ocean with no land in sight. Or swimming alongside a 30-foot fish.

At 7 am Sunday morning, we made our way to the Solo Buceo dive center located at the beautiful Dreams Cancun Resort and Spa in the Hotel Zone. Our early-morning boat ride was much bumpier than I’d anticipated, and I realized it was my first time being so far away from shore! It was a scary but fascinating feeling.”   

Check out the photos below taken by Laura and read more about their day on her blog post.

Gringation’s Whale Shark Tour Tips:

  1. Put on sunscreen before you leave the house, or bring bio sunscreen. I was too lazy to put sunscreen on before leaving the house, and our guide told us that once you’re on the boat, it’s bio sunscreen only. And today I’m paying the price. So much sunburn. Ow.
  2. Bring an underwater camera. In a way I was glad I didn’t have one because it was one less thing to worry about while I was swimming, but trust me, you’ll want those underwater photos.
  3. The boat ride is bumpy and uncomfortable (but worth it), so I wouldn’t recommend this tour unless you’re in decent physical condition.
  4. Sunglasses!
  5. Dramamine!

For additional information about snorkeling with whale sharks please contact our e-concierge, Nadia at Econcierge.drecu@dreamsresorts.com. Since she has experienced snorkeling with whale sharks she can share even more tips with you!