Great Escape to Riviera Maya, Mexico

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Iberostar Paraiso Lindo (4.5 stars) or All Suites Iberostar Paraiso Maya (5 stars)


SOLD OUT!  Please sign-up for our preboarding pass for information on future trips with 96.3 Star Country.

January 25-February 1, 2014 or
January 26-February 2, 2014
(Nonstop from Milwaukee or Chicago O'Hare)

All-Inclusive Vacation with Country Music Concerts, Autograph Sessions, Radio Broadcasts and more!

It’s the 10 year anniversary of the Great Escape and we can't wait to have you join us with Country Music Stars in paradise!   

Pack up your swimsuits and sunscreen and get ready to join 96.3 Star Country's Mike Conway for some fun in the sun during our TENTH annual GREAT ESCAPE as we return to the Iberostar Paraiso Complex in Riviera Maya, Mexico.  This time we're stepping it up a notch with your choice of accommodations at the all-suite 5 star Iberostar Paraiso Maya or the 4.5 star Iberostar Paraiso Lindo.

PLUS, we'll be joined by country music artists for a private concert with an encore return of Thompson Square and rising star Brett Eldredge.  If that isn’t enough, we’re throwing a 10 year anniversary beach party and concert with 2010 alumni artists Love & Theft!  Pair these concerts with meet and greet autograph sessions, other surprise activities and one of the best swim up pool bars in Mexico and we know you're in for a unique, memorable vacation!

Broadcasting LIVE from the resorts!

We'll also have LIVE 96.3 Star Country broadcasts from the resort with Mike, and of course take part in special planned events and surprises with your hosts!


Inclusions and Highlights

  • Two Concerts!  Featuring Thompson Square, Love & Theft and Brett Eldredge including an exclusive 10 year anniversary beach party and concert!
  • Round-trip direct charter flight from Chicago O’Hare or Milwaukee to Cancun, Mexico
  • Seven night standard accommodations at the All-Inclusive Iberostar Paraiso Lindo. All rooms have 2 double beds or 1 king-size bed, air conditioning, balcony or patio, mini bar, digital safe, coffee maker, cable TV and hairdryer. Various upgrades available at an additional cost for jr. suite or to stay at the all-suite Iberostar Paraiso Maya Resort with added amenities.
  • All inclusive including the following a-la-carte restaurants: El Fogon Steakhouse, El Fogon Mediterranean, Mexican El Tapatio, Jambalaya Cajun, El Hashiru Japanese, and El Museo French Gourmet.  La Pagoda, La Laguna and Palapa Lindo buffets does not require a reservation. Resort also features a snack bar, 6 bars & lounges including a disco and ice cream parlor
  • 24 hour room service
  • Complimentary wireless Internet access
  • Round-trip airport/hotel transfers in Mexico
  • Live radio show broadcasts daily
  • Private Welcome Reception and Farewell with drinks and hors d oeuvres
  • Private group autograph sessions with a souvenir photo
  • Five pools including a lazy river, activity pool, wave pool and two main pools
  • Daily resort activities and nightly entertainment, special group activities including the popular Zumba classes with Teri!
  • All new! Line dancing lessons and sessions during the week with Norm!
  • Non-motorized water sports and fitness center
  • Travel insurance with Travel Guard is included in the cost of your vacation. For a nominal cost, you can upgrade the insurance to include trip cancellation/interruption coverage to protect you from penalties if you need to cancel prior to your departure for a covered reason. Ask your Fox World Travel vacation specialist for details.
  • Professional Vacation Managers from Fox World Travel
  • Souvenir Great Escape 2014 t-shirt and mug

See various room type options for details and upgrade opportunities.

Not Included:

Gratuities for airport porters or transfer drivers in Mexico, motorized water sports, items not part of the all-inclusive program, optional excursions, upgrades on the insurance to include trip cancellation/interruption, or any items of a personal nature.


Travel Guard insurance is included in the price of your package. For a nominal additional cost, trip cancellation/interruption coverage may be added for complete trip protection. Your Fox World Travel Vacation Specialist will provide pricing and options for these upgrades.


$350.00 per person plus cost of insurance upgrade if chosen

Final payment:

Due no later than December 3, 2013

Cancellation Penalties:

Initial deposit is non-refundable
52 to 32 days prior to travel (12/4/13 – 12/24/13)........ 50% of total trip cost
31 to 0 days prior to travel (12/25/13 - 0)................................... No refund

Revision Fees:

For any changes or revisions, the following fees apply:

Time of deposit to 91 days prior to departure (10/26/13)..................... $100.00* per person
90 to 0 days prior to departure (10/27/13-0)......................................... $200.00* per person

*These fees are in addition to any vendor fees that may apply.


Starting at only $1929.99 per person!

Above price is per person double occupancy in standard category room at the Lindo and economy class charter flights from Chicago via Frontier Airlines or Milwaukee via AirTran Airways and include current taxes and fees of $270.00, subject to change.

See online booking tool for all options, rates for single, triple, quad, and children and upgraded flights and room categories. First class flights available for an additional $200.00 per person roundtrip from Milwaukee and Funjet to the Front available from Chicago for only $80.00 additional roundtrip. Funjet to the front is economy class seating 3-3 at the front of the plane including a snack box and two adult beverage coupons. All seat assignments are done at check in at the airport.

Flight Schedules:

Many Flights Sold Out!  Select departures still available.  We have various flight schedules to choose from, departing both Milwaukee and Chicago O'Hare.


Click Here to Book Online and/or View Flights. Need air from a different city? Land only options available or call 1-866-463-6946 for flight assistance!


Park and Fly Rates:

Special Fox World Travel negotiated park and fly rates in both Milwaukee (Clarion $116.69) and Chicago (Holiday Inn-$126.00) hotels are available. Easy option to reserve a room at the same time when booking your Great Escape! Stay the night before, park securely and take the free hotel shuttle to the airport.

*Flight schedules are subject to change. FWT has no control over flight changes, delays or cancellations.

Iberostar Resort Accommodation Options

The Iberostar Paraiso Lindo (4.5 stars) and the All Suite Iberostar Paraiso Maya (5 stars) are located right next to each other in the Iberostar Complex and both have something for every taste. They share many of the same facilities, including the only Wave Pool in Riviera Maya, but you'll enjoy upgraded All Suite resort accommodations and more restaurant options when staying at the Iberostar Paraiso Maya.  Fronting the white sands of Playa Paraiso and the bright blue waters of the Mexican Caribbean, guests of the Iberostar Paraiso Lindo and Maya will have the option to enjoy extensive spa services, romantic honeymoon and wedding options, a convenient shopping center and unique facilities including a wave pool and lazy river, a variety of international restaurants and an ice cream parlor. Designed to replicate an authentic Mexican village, guests can wander down cobblestone paths and manicured gardens, relax beneath swaying palm trees, sample delicious cuisine at a selection of dynamic restaurants and indulge with complete pampering during stays at this inviting Mexican resort.

  • Colonial style decor. Both resorts will leave you speechless from the first moment you step into the lobby, which resembles an ancient monastery with touches of gold leaf. The resort is decorated in traditional colonial style down to the smallest details, from its beautiful patios, its stoned paths to the room lamps that decorate the yellow walls.
  • Irresistible Cuisine. These All-Inclusive hotels offer exquisite dishes in their a la carte restaurants and huge international buffet. Its varied food choices offer hundreds of flavors and textures. Vol-au-vent stuffed with shrimp and lobster cream or beef medallions and chicken rolls with almonds are just some examples that will delight even the most discriminating palates.
  • Excellent facilities for couples and families. Designed to entertain the whole family. Adults can enjoy a cocktail at any of the hotel bars and clubs, while teens have fun with nightly live entertainment.

View Discounted Iberostar Playa Paraiso Golf Club Rates!


Features at Both Hotels

  • 18-hole Championship Golf Course
  • 2 Discos (1 for Adults and 1 for teens)
  • All Inclusive
  • Convention center
  • Hotel with Activities and Accommodations for Families
  • Lazy River, Wave pool, plus 2 Lake Swimming Pools, 1 Activity Pool, 3 private pools and Water Park
  • Located on the beach of Playa Paraíso 15 minutes from the Cancún International Airport
  • Lucy's Kids Club (Ages 4-12)
  • PADI Certified Scuba Center
  • Shopping Plaza
  • Spa: 32,000 Square-Foot

Room Category Descriptions

Iberostar Paraiso Lindo Room Categories


Standard Room

Rooms with 2 double beds or 1 king-size bed + balcony with garden/jungle/pool view

Other amenities: Air Conditioning, Mini bar, Ceiling fan, Coffee service, Bathroom w/ shower and bathtub, Telephone, Hairdryer, magnifying mirror, Digital safe, Color TV with cable, remote control, Iron / ironing board


Junior Suite

Larger rooms with choice of 2 double beds or 1 king-size bed + balcony with garden/jungle/pool view.  A decorative arch separates the lounge and bedroom.

Also includes sofa-bed + armchair, flowers and bathrobes.

Other amenities: Sofa-bed + armchair, flowers, bathrobes, Air Conditioning, Mini bar, Ceiling fan, Coffee service, Bathroom w/ shower and bathtub, Telephone, Hairdryer, magnifying mirror, Digital safe, Color TV with cable, remote control, Iron / ironing board


All Suite Iberostar Paraiso Maya Room Categories


Junior Suite

Larger than a standard suite | Rooms with 2 double beds or 1 king-size bed + balcony with garden/jungle/pool view.  Bathrooms have hydromassage bath and a shower

Other Amenities: Air Conditioning, Mini bar, Ceiling fan, Coffee service, Bathroom w/ shower and bathtub, Telephone, Hairdryer, magnifying mirror, Digital safe, Color TV with cable, remote control, Iron / ironing board.


Superior Junior Suite

More spacious than Junior Suites | Rooms with 2 double beds or 1 king-size bed + balcony with garden/jungle/pool view.  Includes a sofa bed.

Other Amenities: Air Conditioning, Mini bar, Ceiling fan, Coffee service, Bathroom w/ shower and bathtub, Telephone, Hairdryer, magnifying mirror, Digital safe, Color TV with cable, DVD and CD Player, remote control, Iron / ironing board.

Iberostar Paraiso Lindo (4.5 Stars) Dining

For guests staying at Iberostar Playa Paraiso Lindo, dinner reservations can be made at the following a-la-carte restaurants: El Fogon Steakhouse, El Fogon Mediterranean, Mexican El Tapatio, Jambalaya Cajun, El Hashiru Japanese, and El Museo French Gourmet.  La Pagoda, La Laguna and Palapa Lindo buffets does not require a reservation and offers a casual environment.

Reservations are required for specialty restaurants.

Cajun Restaurant "Jambalaya"

At this a la carte specialty restaurant you can enjoy real top quality and unique New Orleans-style Creole cuisine. Open from 6:30pm to 10:00pm, by reservation. Gentlemen over 18 must wear long pants and shirt with sleeves.

Gourmet Restaurant "El Museo"

This restaurant is a favorite of fans of French cuisine. Open from 6:30pm to 10:00pm.by reservation. Gentlemen over 18 must wear long pants and shirt with sleeves. Furthermore, this restaurant is exclusively for those over 12 years of age, which allows couples to enjoy a tranquil dinner.

Italian Restaurant "El Fogon"

Italian food lovers can enjoy a variety of pastas and carpaccios among other dishes of traditional Mediterranean cuisine. Open from 6:30pm to 10:00pm, by reservation. Gentlemen over 18 must wear long pants and shirt with sleeves.

Buffet Restaurant "Laguna Pagoda"

This is the hotel’s main buffet and offers a variety of international dishes. During the week there are theme dinners (Asian, Spanish, Mexican ...). Open from 06:00am to 10:00am for breakfast, from 1:00pm to 3:00pm for lunch and from 6:30pm to 10:00pm for dinner. And for night owls, it is also open from 11:00pm to 1:00am with a range of snacks. Casual-elegant dress is required.

Lindo Palapa Restaurant

This restaurant-snack bar offers breakfast (from 07:00am to 11:30am) and lunch (noon to 4:30) in the pool and beach area. Casual dress is required.

Iberostar Paraiso Maya All Suite Upgrade (5 Stars) Dining

Guests staying at Iberostar Playa Paraiso Maya have four exclusive a-la-carte restaurants: La Geisha Japanese, El Rancho Steakhouse, La Marina Seafood, and L`Etoile French Gourmet.  Please note that the French gourmet restaurants are exclusive for adults and children over the age of 12 years. Long pants are required for gentlemen (18 and over) at the Gourmet restaurants, for the rest of restaurants Bermudas (long shorts or Capri pants) and collar shirts are mandatory. Short pants and flip flops are not allowed.


Restaurant Buffet La Pagoda

The best in international cuisine is served at the hotel’s huge buffet which offers a culinary variety of fruits and vegetables at their freshest, meat dishes, seafood and the most tempting desserts. Open from 7:00am to 10:00am, 1:00pm to 3:00pm and 6:30pm to 10:00pm. Gentlemen over 18 are required to wear a shirt with sleeves. Dress and bermuda shorts are acceptable.


Restaurante Bufet El Fogón

Buffet and snacks in the pool area. Open from 7:00am to 11:45am with a buffet breakfast, from noon to 4:30pm with a lunch buffet and 6:30pm to 10:00pm as an Italian specialty restaurant.


Restaurant La Marina

Open from 6:00am to 7:00am with a continental breakfast and from 7:00am to 10:00am with an a la carte breakfast. It’s open from 6:30pm to 10:00pm for dinner specializing in fresh fish.


Gourmet Museum Restaurant

Delicious international gourmet food. Open from 6:30pm to 10:00pm. It welcomes children over 12 years.

El Rancho Restaurant Steakhouse

Open from 6:30pm to 10:00pm.

El Tapatio Restaurant

Dishes of the highest quality and real Mexican flavor. Open from 6:00pm to 10:00pm with reservation. Gentlemen over 18 are required to wear a shirt with sleeves.

Jambalaya Restaurant

With a warm atmosphere inspired by jazz, this a la carte restaurant offers a wide variety of Cajun dishes. Open from 6:30pm to 10:00pm.

La Geisha Restaurant

Specializing in Japanese cuisine, it has 5 tepanyakis grills. Open from 6:30pm to 10:00pm.

L'Etoile Restaurant

French and international gourmet cuisine. Open from 6:30pm to 10:00pm. This restaurant is exclusively for those over 12 years.



Country Music Artists

Thompson Square

In the world of entertainment, music arguably demands the most personal investment from its artists, and it doesn't get any more intimate than Thompson Square. While most celebrities go to tremendous lengths and expense to carve out personal space in a Twitter-manic, paparazzi-fueled culture, husband and wife Keifer and Shawna Thompson veil no aspects of their relationship. In fact, they put their 13-year marriage on display in each song and, night after night, on tour. Hence, their sophomore album Just Feels Good is a compelling view of a relationship that offers no distinction between the personal and the professional.

"Much more than the first record, Just Feels Good explains exactly who we are," Shawna says. "This is a very personal record." Adds her husband, "It’s a stronger, more accurate representation of who we are and where we’re at right now in our life and our music career ... " and, she finishes, "who we are as artists, who we are as individuals and who we are as a married couple, as well."

Far from the crassness of all-is-bared reality television, a romanticized version of their relationship or a campy veneer, Thompson Square’s music reveals a profound level of honesty for which there may be no precedent. In that light, Just Feels Good might just as accurately be titled "Just Feels Real."

The assertion that Just Feels Good is actually a more intimate introduction into the psyche of Thompson Square than their self-titled debut is a big statement considering that album's history-making in-roads. Powered by a trio of hit singles including the No. 1 double-platinum-selling "Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not" as well as "I Got You" and "Glass," Thompson Square swept the 2012 Vocal Duo awards (CMA, ACM, CMT, ACA). "Kiss" was the most-heard song at country radio in 2011 (Mediabase), and secured multiple-week runs atop the sales and ringtone charts as well as two GRAMMY nominations. Major media (Leno, Kimmel, Conan and more) and major tours (Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Luke Bryan) put them in front of tens of millions of viewers and two million concert goers. Thompson Square is also the only established married duo to ever receive CMA Vocal Duo of the Year honors. Keifer and Shawna Thompson’s hot streak continued when they won the ACM Vocal Duo of the Year honors for the 2nd consecutive year in April 2013.

And despite the promotional pounding and a grueling 250-date-per-year schedule, they managed to create a more grounded and cohesive collection of songs as they went. "This album evolved on its own in a way we weren't even aware of," Keifer says. "That's one of the coolest things about writing, finding songs, recording and going through a process like this. The music takes on a life of its own. When we got done I called Shawna over to look at the list of songs, because it hit me that they actually tell a bigger story about our journey to Nashville, finding each other, making it work, life on the road and everything else. We didn't actually sequence the album that way, but you could. It's us. And it was completely by accident."

That bigger story, which they've told often, is one of Nashville's best-known 10-year overnight successes. Arriving in Music City the same week – Keifer from Miami, Oklahoma, Shawna from Chatom, Alabama – they met almost immediately at a singing competition and have been inseparable since. Realizing their solo aspirations weren't getting any traction, they finally closed the second ring in their marriage-and-music connection. Thompson Square signed as the flagship artist on Stoney Creek Records, and the rest is history.

"Ever since we’ve been married, we’ve always worked together," Shawna says, trying to explain their multilayered success. "I don’t know that the other way would work." Keifer adds, "We actually tried it at the very beginning, and it didn’t. Obviously we fight like everybody else and, when we do, we do it really well. But if we had a choice between being together all the time and not being together, we'd choose the former."

That sense of unity, and the natural struggle implicit in any committed relationship, gives Just Feels Good a deeper well of experience upon which to draw, particularly when writing. "As a married couple duo, you’re a little gun shy about doing certain things, because you don’t want to be coined as the boring married couple," Keifer admits. "And that's just not our lifestyle at all – it’s actually quite the opposite. We grew up in very rural small towns where it's redneck and people like to party. So we stretched the reins with our writing to keep from being painted into a corner."

Shawna and Keifer have credits on six of the album's 13 songs, including the first single "If I Didn't Have You," already their fastest selling AND rising to date. That song's message of a big, even universal, love is echoed in postcard-picture "Maybe It's You" and the rhythmic, who-out-kicked-who debate of "For The Life Of Me."

More playful themes are found in the rollicking romantic interplay of "Everything I Shouldn't Be Thinking About," the fast-paced, recurring relationship saga of "Here We Go Again," the aquatic-romantic metaphor of "Testing The Water” (which even features a rap by Shawna Thompson), the unbridled, glass-raising party anthem "Here's To Being Here" and the sunny-day stroll of the title track. The dramatic, surging power ballad "I Can't Out Run You" and never-say-die "Run" offer divergent takes on that verb. And the deeply personal rises again in the autobiographical "That's So Me And You," an erstwhile mantra for their relationship, the Springsteen-esque "You Don't Get Lucky" and the hypnotically smooth closer "Home Is You."

For the production of Just Feels Good, Keifer and Shawna once again teamed with New Voice, the four man collective behind their first album. "We intentionally went outside the box a little bit and stretched the Thompson Square sound," Keifer says. Shawna agrees, "We used some different loops and approaches to get what we wanted. And it's very diverse. We were listening the other night and there are a couple of songs that sound really country – more so than a lot of the first album. And then there are songs that sound a little more edgy."

Expanding sonically while drawing close to their core in writing and song selection, Thompson Square have taken the next bold step in one of the most thriving young careers in country music. Having done that while also sustaining one of the most thriving marriages in country music is truly astounding – or maybe it's just their secret ingredient.

"There's growth in terms of the production, we've grown as songwriters and we're more focused," Keifer says. "These last couple years, we've really honed in on what Thompson Square is and how we want to communicate that. It's a fun record, a bit of a roller coaster ride, and there are a lot of emotional turns." Shawna punctuates the statement: "Much like our lives."

Love and Theft

Love and Theft may be celebrating the release of their second studio album, but to the ACM-nominated country duo, the self-titled release might as well be their first.  View their latest single "If You Ever Get Lonely" and hit "Angel Eyes"

And in a way, it is. Love and Theft is Stephen Barker Liles and Eric Gunderson’s first album since joining RCA Nashville, the home to many of their musical inspirations. “We feel like people will be hearing us for the first time,” says Eric. Stephen agrees and credits the label’s storied history with helping to reenergize the band. “The history of RCA Records is incredible. Just knowing that we are on the same label as some of our biggest influences, like Elvis Presley, is an awesome feeling.”

That excitement is palpable throughout the 11 songs that comprise the album, a fluid mix of country melodies and sing-along choruses, all driven by Eric’s earthy voice and Stephen’s high-altitude tenor. The guys share lead vocals, harmonize like a church choir, and bolster their songs with their own guitar playing. “We sound like brothers when we sing,” says Eric. “Stephen and I have always been on the same page as far as the vision for the band, and we feel like we have made the record we’ve always wanted to make.”

Produced by Josh Leo (Alabama, Nitty Gritty Dirty Band), Love and Theft is a nod to the duo’s varied influences. “She’s Amazing” evokes the brilliant harmonies of the Eagles. The seductive “Amen” channels all the yearning of Roy Orbison. And the rollicking first single “Angel Eyes”—which scored the twosome their first CMT Music Awards nomination for Duo Video of the Year—brings to mind Elvis Presley’s “(You’re the) Devil in Disguise.”

Coincidentally, both Stephen and Eric—who didn’t meet until they were in their early 20s—were practically raised in church. Stephen’s father is a pastor and Eric’s father is a worship pastor. Their respective fathers fed them a steady diet of gospel, oldies and country. “Our parents didn’t want us listening to secular music that much. But they’d let us listen to Elvis, Roy, and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. It was cool to grow up that way, and that’s still my favorite kind of music,” explains Eric, who says he and Stephen worked hard to capture a more organic, country sound for this album. “We’re both from the South and we’re very much in favor of embracing our country roots. I feel like we’ve done that here.”

Stephen and Eric’s experiences growing up in the Bible Belt help inform the new album, especially on the wild-child single “Angel Eyes,” which Eric co-wrote with Eric Paslay and Jeff Coplan. “Preacher’s kids seem to have the most rebellious side and get in trouble more,” Eric admits with a laugh. “That was kind of the inspiration for that. We wrote it from a personal place.”

“Town Drunk,” written by Natalie Hemby and Daniel Tashian, is equally personal to the guys. The heart-wrenching ballad chronicles in stark detail the effects of a father’s alcoholism on his daughter. “When they played it for us, I started crying about halfway through because it reminded me of my mom’s dad, my grandfather,” Stephen says. “He died an alcoholic and I never really had a relationship with him. It hit close to home for me.”

“It was a no-brainer as soon as we heard it,” Eric adds. “That song had to be on the album.”

The pair is equally enthusiastic about “Runnin’ Out of Air,” a tune they describe as “Maroon 5 meets the Eagles,” and “Thinking of You (and Me),” which explores the gray area in a guy-and-girl friendship. “Some of my first girlfriends started out as friends,” Eric recalls. “You didn’t want to cross that line and risk hurting someone’s feelings. But if I didn’t take that chance, I never would have fallen in love with them.”

The album’s sleeper hit, however, just might be “Girls Look Hot in Trucks.” Stephen and Eric have been floored by the response the song has generated in concert. Co-written with The Warren Brothers, the lyrics are a laundry list of issues up for debate: Fords or Chevys, Earnhardt or Petty, hunting or fishing? “We may never agree on baseball teams or what NASCAR driver we like, but we all know that girls look great in a pickup,” says Eric. “When we play it live and we get to the hook, the crowd just goes nuts.”

Love and Theft certainly have a knack for crafting sharp hooks. Whether they’re writing for themselves or for other artists, Stephen and Eric are well-versed in the ingredients necessary for a hit.

“We want to cut the best songs we can find, but we also love to write too. Sometimes, though, those songs don’t fit our music and may be better suited for someone like Martina McBride,” says Stephen, who co-wrote her hit “Wrong Baby Wrong.”

Proud of their writing credits, and rightfully so, Stephen and Eric are also reinvigorated by the recording process they established with Josh Leo. Every track on Love and Theft was cut live in the studio, with a full band falling into a solid groove. “We love performing” Stephen says. “The way we are recording now is the way our influences made records: live with a band.”

“You get the warmth and the emotion of the players vibing together in the room,” says Eric of the back-to-basics approach. “There are some things you just can’t do in a little room on a laptop.”

And the release of Love and Theft is proof of that. With a renewed emphasis on organic sounds, the album has brought Love and Theft closer to what it set out to be: a band that writes, records and performs honest, soulful country music.

“This record represents the way we sound live,” says Stephen, before—like the musical brothers they are—Eric completes the thought. “It shows a more mature, evolved Love and Theft but the core is still the same,” he says. “Our sound will always be driven by harmonies.”


Brett Eldredge

View Brett's Latest Album - Including his hits "Don't Ya" and "Raymond"

Country up-and-comer Brett Eldredge has always been attracted to singers, a fact that should come as no surprise to anyone who’s heard the Illinois native’s soulful, distinctive baritone. “I always gravitated towards big voices, because as a kid I had this big voice coming out of me,” says Eldredge. “I was hooked on the story that somebody would be telling through their voice.” With his debut album slated to be released in 2013 on Atlantic Records and new single “Don’t Ya” at radio now, Eldredge is finally getting the chance to share a story of his own.

Although distant cousin Terry Eldredge is a member of seminal bluegrass outfit the Grascals, closer to home, Brett’s musical talent was the exception. The little kid with the big voice grew up listening to records from Ray Charles, Ronnie Dunn, and, of course, the greatest of them all: Frank Sinatra. His parents bought a guitar and a small sound system for Eldredge when he was a teen, and while he didn’t immediately take to the instrument – “I never could sit still long enough to learn it,” he admits – the sound system and its wireless microphone became a cornerstone of his early musical training. By age 15, Eldredge was a performer in demand for local functions. “I really grew to love the feel of the crowd,” he says.

Eldredge says there was no question that his passion for performance would carry him to Nashville, but his move to Music City after college made one thing clear: He was going to have to pick up that abandoned guitar. “I saw people on stage playing these songwriter nights, just them and a guitar,” he says. So Eldredge locked himself in a room to practice, and eventually started writing songs of his own. “It took me a while to finally get a hold of the guitar, but once I did I was hooked,” he says. “I think being a student of singers works to my advantage, because it taught me how to phrase things. I had melodies all over the place in my head.”

He has since moved on to writing with some of Nashville’s greats, including the legendary “Whispering” Bill Anderson, who taught him that one of the tricks to being a great songwriter is to “just keep writing,” Eldredge says. Two singles he’s released so far certainly prove his range: His 2010 debut, “Raymond,” was inspired in part by Eldredge’s own grandmother and her struggle with Alzheimer’s. Current single “Don’t Ya” hits the opposite end of the spectrum, an up-tempo flirtation that ponders the mystery of romantic relations, and showcases the sexy baritone in Eldredge’s voice. And during his own high-energy live shows, just like that kid with the wireless mic, Eldredge goes out of his way to connect with every member of the crowd. “That’s the place I feel more alive than anywhere,” he says. “Everything it takes to get to wherever I’m going to play – every airplane and car I ride in – is so worth it once I’m able to get up on that stage. I want everybody in the crowd to feel the energy that I’m feeling from them.”

As he continues to work hard at the craft of songwriting, there’s no question his talent will grow along with his audience. “You can create something from nothing, and that’s the coolest thing in the world to me,” Eldredge says. “This new music is me, and it’s taken every song I’ve written up to this point to get to where I am. I feel better about my music now than I ever have felt, and I can’t wait for people to hear it.”


*Note: All bios are from the artists' own websites.

About Riviera Maya, Mexico

Just south of Cancun is the beautiful Riviera Maya and the town of Playa del Carmen. This area is a remote oasis away from the active city. Rising no more than three stories high, most resorts along the lush Riviera Maya are All-Inclusive with a wider variety of restaurants and bars than their Cancun counterparts. This area is better for travelers who prefer to stay right at the resort for dining and nightlife during the majority of their stay. The pristine beaches offer opportunities for relaxing or trying various water sports. You will also find more historical parks and ancient ruins in the Riviera Maya.

Key areas of interest:
  • Relax all day on at remote resorts in a hammock beside the Caribbean Sea or walk the powder-white sand beaches that stay cool as they reflect the heat of the tropical sun.
  • Visit the nearby town of Playa del Carmen, with shops featuring local art and handicrafts, where you can take the ferry across to the island of Cozumel.
  • Uncover the ancient culture of the Mayans and visit ruins that reveal their lives and beliefs. Afterwards, cool off with a swim in a cenote, a freshwater pool bringing water from underground limestone caverns to the surface.

View 2013 Trip Photos
THE Royal Playa Del Carmen in Riviera Maya, Mexico

With Thompson Square, Jerrod Niemann, Edens Edge and Jana Kramer!

View 2012 Trip Photos 
Aventura Spa Palace Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico
With Neal McCoy, Phil Vassar and Jason Michael Carroll

View 2011 Trip Photos 
Iberostar Paraiso Beach Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico
With Little Big Town and Josh Thompson

Fox World Travel Terms and Conditions: RESPONSIBILITY: Fox World Travel (hereinafter referred to as “FWT”) and other sponsoring organizations act only as agent for the client in arranging accommodations, transportation and sightseeing. The client acknowledges that “FWT” is not responsible for acts and omissions of the suppliers used and agrees to hold “FWT” harmless from claims arising out of the supplier’s acts or omissions. “FWT” is not responsible for losses or damages arising from physical or emotional injury, property or other economic damage caused by such factors beyond our control. “FWT” is not responsible for any consequential damages or monetary losses due to flight delays or other unforeseen circumstances. They do not assume responsibility for loss or damage of luggage. “FWT” reserves the right to make any changes in the itinerary deemed necessary, and also the right to decline or retain any person as a member of the vacation. If you choose to arrange your own transportation for any portion of a trip, “FWT” is not responsible for any arrangements or associated costs should there be a change in date that requires changes or cancellation to transportation arranged by you. “FWT” is not responsible should there be any changes with vacation hosts, tour managers or entertainment. I authorize “FWT” to use my photo or image and that of my child, if applicable in any promotional materials both print and online. Your paid deposit is acceptance of these conditions. See applicable Tour Operator's Fair Trade Agreement. “FWT” will make reasonable attempts to accommodate the special needs of disabled travelers, but is not responsible in the event it is unable to do so nor is it responsible for any denial of services by carriers, hotels, restaurants, or other independent suppliers. The American with Disabilities Act is only applicable within the United States and facilities for disabled individuals are limited outside its borders. Most transportation services, including a touring motorcoach, are not equipped with wheelchair ramps. We regret we cannot provide individual assistance to a vacation participant for walking, dining, getting on and off motorcoaches and other vehicles, or other personal needs. A qualified and physically able companion must accompany travelers who need such assistance and must assume full responsibility for their well being. Motorized scooters are unsuitable for most vacations.

NOTE: The itinerary you have chosen may be subject to insecticide spraying prior to the flight or while you are on the aircraft. Federal law requires that you be referred to DOT website at: http://airconsumer.dot.gov/spray.htm