Where is the accountability in NBC’s The Today Show news reporting?

Where is the accountability in news reporting? NBC ran a story this morning with the headline, “beating of US Student spotlights violence in Mexico.” Matt Lauer led into the story stating, “Tens of thousands of college students will be taking off for Spring Break in the coming weeks, one of the most popular destination is Mexico, but with drug related violence on the rise in Mexico the US State Department has again issued a travel warning.” The reporter was LIVE from the beach in Cancun. She started her story, “it all feels very care free, but the fact is we are not far from the ongoing violence of the Mexican Drug War. This morning one young man’s story exposes the potential dark side of what’s usually a laid back week. “The story continues with images of college students partying and drinking. Then the reporter sits down with aspiring law student Zeke Rucker, The caption below reads Spring Break Safety, Concerns for Students heading to Mexico. What happened to Zeke on Spring Break is awful. After a night at the clubs Zeke “feel asleep” on a lounge chair outside by the pool. He remembers nothing of what happened next. Zeke was found by the pool bloody unconscious with multiple skull fractures. To this day the case is unsolved. There are no suspects, and no idea what happened. Zeke’s dreams of law school were put on hold while he recovered.
Now, what happened to this kid is horrific. So, before everyone starts commenting on how I’m being insensitive please understand my heart goes out to Zeke and I’m glad he has recovered. But I’m so tired of the media reporting half-truths and spinning stories to promote fear and boost their ratings. The chances of this kid’s beating being Mexican Drug Cartel related are 1% at best and here’s why. Security at Barcelo Tucancun is good. While it is a party hotel during Spring Break it still remains a budget friendly property for families the rest of the year. You can’t come on the property without a Barceló wristband identifying you as a guest. It is likely however that Zeke got drunk, flirted with someone’s girlfriend and got beat up by jealous boyfriend. If you wanted to accurately report Zeke’s story it should have read don’t drink so much you can’t make it back to your room. Spring Break safety in Mexico is the same as it is here. Be aware of your surroundings, don’t drink so much you’re not in control, and don’t go out at night alone.
The travel advisory is not even for Quintana Roo, the state that Cancun resides in. While the reporter finally made mention that there was no such advisory in effect for the Cancun area, she then proceeded to tell us how unsafe Puerto Vallarta is because some cruise ship passengers got robbed. Never mind Puerto Vallarta is 1552 miles away from Cancun. I wonder how many people were robbed in Houston last weekend. Over 21.5 Million people safely visited Mexico last year. It’s time for the media to start reporting all facts and stop promoting propaganda.
Shame on you Today Show.- Jacque

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Royal Hideaway Playacar Review

Royal Hideaway Slideshow

Royal Hideaway Playacar is a luxury all-inclusive resort on Mexico’s Riviera Maya. It is also the first resort of its kind to receive the AAA Five-Diamond Award, and it’s easy to see why when you step onto the property. Upon arrival, champagne & relaxation begin to flow. We were greeted with a cool fresh scented hand towel and a bubbling glass of champagne. There is no registration desk. We simply were invited to sit on a couch, relax, and enjoy our champagne, while the staff checked us in. As I looked around the lobby I was reminded again why this is one of my favorite hotels. It’s full of classic ambiance, gorgeous flower arrangements, chandeliers, marble floors, and beautiful oil paintings, this not like any other hotel in Mexico.
The rooms were laid out in two-story colonial Mexican-style villas, each with a private concierge (who can assist with other services, such as dinner reservations, tours, cultural excursions, deep-sea fishing, golf, private tennis lessons, motorized water sports, spa and salon services, car rentals, laundry and dry cleaning and more.) All rooms had a complimentary beer and soda minibar, Bvlgari toiletries, double marble sinks, a separate shower stall, whirlpool tub, Bose sound systems with iPod docks, LCD flat screen TV and large walk in closets with bathrobes.
There was plenty to do, or do nothing at all at this resort; With a fitness center, basketball, bocce ball, horseshoes, tennis, SCUBA lessons, sailing and cooking classes, kayaking, boogie boarding, windsurfing and aqua aerobics in the cascading infinity pool which overlooked the beach.
The beach never felt crowded and we never had a problem securing a beach bed. Waiters catered to us like we were royalty by the pool and on the beach. The service here was spectacular. At lunch time we would dine at The Deck, a casual bar and grill located right on the ocean. The menu had a huge variety of meals but our favorite always seem to be the chicken tenders with chipotle mayonnaise. At night there were 6 gourmet restaurants to choose from. All require reservations, are a la carte and have a dress code of casual elegance. The concierge will help you with the reservation and it’s my advice to make reservations for your entire stay shortly after arrival. For the foodies the Chef’s Table experience is accompanied by fine wine pairings and takes place in a private dining room with very limited seating. While this wonderful culinary experience is not included ($150 per person), it is truly worth it for those who love food and wine. They also offer 24 hour room service, which we were very thankful for after a night out at Coco Bongo Disco just a short cab ride away.
Royal Hideaway’s attention to detail and emphasis on customer service was apparent throughout our stay. If you’re looking for an all-inclusive property that truly delivers on luxury, Royal Hideaway is the ideal choice for you. Feel free to contact me with any question you may have.
jacque@doyoutravelsmart.com
www.doyoutravelsmart.com

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Barcelo Maya Palace Review

The grounds at Barceló Maya Palace are lush and beautiful; everywhere you look you can see the attention to detail that has been taken. Barceló is a very large complex but I feel like it’s much easier to get around at Barceló Maya Palace than it is at other hotels. You can walk or take the train around the resorts, and in the middle of the complex is the shopping center. It’s a huge market of shops that carries any souvenir you could possibly want. There is also a disco shared by all the hotels in the Barceló complex.
Barceló Maya has nice big pools with swim up bar and fantastic waterpark for the kids. There’s also an adults only (18+ years old) pool for my clients looking for a little more peace and quiet. For kids aged 4-12, there is a wonderful thing called Barcy Club. Parents can sign up their kids for an hour or even all day and the activity staff do various activities with them. There is also a playground and mini-golf on the resort.
The beach at the Maya is a little rocky but it’s great for snorkeling. Remember to bring your water shoes. Just a short scroll down the beach is a perfect swimmable beach. The rooms are beyond wonderful; they are spacious, comfortable, have great security and very good maid service.
I love the variety of food at Barceló Maya Palace. Buffets were excellent in selection and quality of food is good. I always prefer to eat at the al carte restaurants and think the French and Mexican are my favorites. A note on dining — Guests staying 3 nights or less are allowed one a la carte dining experience, staying 4-6 nights are allowed 4 a la carte and staying 7+ nights are allowed 6 a la carte. Make their reservations as soon as you arrive. The a la carte restaurants can fill up quickly.
I have stayed here three times and always upgrade to Premium Club. It allows me WIFI, Premium brand liquor and unlimited access to all the restaurants in the complex. Love the disco and live entertainment in the bar. This hotel is great for families and large groups or destination weddings. Couples on a honeymoon might be better suited at a different hotel. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the resort. Jacque@doyoutravelsmart.com. Here’s a link to more information on Barcel Maya Palace. http://doyoutravelsmart.com/Barcelo_Maya_Palace_Deluxe.html

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Travel Smart announces golf getaway with 1560AM The Game’s John Granato

Travel Smart announced today the 1st Annual Golf Getaway with 1560AM The Game and John Granato. This golf getaway will be held June 21 – 24, 2012. More information to follow.

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About Travel Smart

Travel Smart was founded in 1992. Offices are located at 2630 FountainView Suite 340B, Houston, Texas 77057. We are a member of the FunJet 500 Club; certified specialist for Air Jamaica Vacations, Sandals, Super Clubs, GoGo Tours and many wholesalers. Everybody’s idea of a great vacation is different. That’s why we’re proud to give you a variety of options to choose from. This way you can custom-design the vacation you’ve always wanted at a price you can afford.If you’re planning a Wedding, looking for Adventure, Relaxation, or spending time with your family, Travel Smart has a vacation that’s sure to satisfy your interest.

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