Excellent Week at The Royal Caribbean
We recently returned from Thanksgiving week at the Royal Caribbean. It was an excellent week. The positives: 2 Bedroom Unit, very clean, good quality items, full deck overlooking the ocean and pools; the pools were heated, clean, and plentiful; the staff was very friendly and helpful; the pizza from the restaurant was very good as well. The only negatives were the trees in front of the resort were damaged and missing most of their green, the beach wasn't like it used to be, but there was plenty of sand for walking, volleyball, laying in the sun, etc... We had stayed at the Royal Sands last year, and this was our first time at the Caribbean, we think we will probably head back to the Caribbean when we return. Most of the damage from the hurricane was already fixed and other than landscaping issues, the resort seems to be in excellent condition.
My friend and his family stayed at the Royal Caribbean while I stayed at the Hilton next door for a few days and then moved to the Royal Caribean after some of his family left. The differences between the two were stark. The service, food and décor of the Hilton were above and beyond, I was constantly greeted with smiles and helpfulness. They spoke English quite well, always engaged me in conversation etc. The rooms are bright and colorful and all the food I ate while somewhat expensive was pretty good.
The Royal Caribbean on the other hand had terrible food, the staff seemed always rude and confrontational many not speaking any English at all even at the outside grill where I ordered food. They had little alternatives for my vegetarian friend, she always ordered French fries instead of an entrée and many times it would take them over half an hour to bring them. I’m told the meat was terrible, the burger I had was just okay and it took forever for them to figure out how I should pay for it since we had closed out our account the day of check out. I was told I couldn’t pay in cash they had no change on hand and then told I had to pay in cash and the same waiter went to get change! The rooms are very dated, dark and kind of dismal. They seemed dirty. Very small TVs with bad sound, good channel selection though. The beds uncomfortable, my friend complained of back problems. Made service was spotty, they would come early in the morning some days and wake us up and not until night others and don’t come Sunday at all. They apparently smoked in the room while cleaning one day and we had to air out the room. The layout of the hotel is odd, you have to walk a lot up and down stairs or take the elevator. I did like the small grocery store and all the prices were very reasonable, and they had lots of activities. The pool was large, but nothing grand like that of others and the temperature varied oddly. If one is looking for a 5 star resort this is not it. Perhaps in it’s hey-day it was great, but now newer and remodeled resorts blow it away.
Royal to the Shelter and back again
Here it is the good and the bad. Arrived in cancun on Oct 15 at around 5Pm. We had left LAX @ 9AM paying two fares and using two $50.00 companion tickets earned with B of A’s Alaska Airlines Visa. Thomas Moore travel met the four of us at the airport, transported via van to the Royal Caribbean for $10.00 each. I had rented a two-bed/ bath villa from a private owner, for week 41 thru Red week for $900.00. Check-in was a breeze. We were in the D building, 8th floor overlooking the pool and facing the ocean. Lovely views and a great balcony with patio furniture. Villa was large and in great condition. Furniture was comfy and clean, stocked with all the regular toaster, blender etc. We unpacked, swam and spent a wonderful first night. Cancun or Hawaii, I said to the kids, “CANCUN they yelled. On Sunday we rented a car at the hotel and drove to the downtown Market place circle for lunch, tacos and drinks and then supplies at Walmart. Loaded up on fresh tortillas, roasted meats, beans and rice, fruits, water and juice (and kids stuff). Prices are the same as any US store. The weather was hot with some little wet flurries, just like any tropical area. Lounged on Monday went to dinner using the Brants two for one. We rode a bus to Rainforest café. The food was awful, service poor ..went for the kids, 11 year old had a 6 hour episode of Montezuma’s revenge, ordered steak, but who knows ? Tuesday, we were at the lobby at 0800AM and met by a wonderful taxi/van driver who drove the four of us to Puerto Morales for a 16 mile ATV-Snorkel-Cenote-Underground Cave-Mayan Village Shopping trip. Booked thru Brants (See forum) total cost $380.00. Arriving an hour later at a beach side budget hotel (del san jose) with restaurant, we were offered seats, coffee and breakfast. We were unaware that a restaurant was the drop off point and had already eaten. The food looked wonderful, was reasonable around $4-6 a plate. I peaked in the hotel and rooms were clean, quaint and priced at $32.00 a night with a refrigerator and microwave. The pool was small but clean and situated on a nice beach, maybe next time. Anyways, we sat there for over an hour before someone arrived from the tour.. Ahhh mexico time I reminded my husband. It seems the ATV’s were missing keys or something and so we went snorkeling first. Our guide apologized over and over. It was all good. A small clean sturdy 24 ft boat with an outboard and shade cover picked up and off we went to the reef. The water was a bit choppy but visibility was good. We snorkeled for one and half hours. Then back to the beach and more waiting for the keys to the ATV‘s. We sat in the sun and smiled, it was fine. Another hour later, our guide returned in a private car and waved us into the car. I was uncomfortable with the private car deal but kept smiling. He drove us about 30 minutes into the densely thicketed bush along a dirt road. Upon arriving, there was only two ATV‘s. We had rented three ATV’s and planned to ride the 11 year old behind her DAD. After 30-45 minutes waiting.. Two more ATV’s arrived. Our guide took one and we had to double up on two. Once seated, the ATV ran well and the trails were great fun. Our first stop was to a very small underground cave with lights and cold water to swim in. A couple other tours were there and we visited, staying about 30-45 minutes. We then jumped on the ATV’s an rode a short way to a large cenote with zip line. It was a blast and the water felt so good. Several other tours joined us there. We were there about 45minutes, could have stayed all day. We then headed out on the ATV’s. … back to the private car and return to the waiting taxi. It was still a great time, but there wasn’t a 16 mile ride, one less ATV than we paid for and no shopping trip. I’m faithful Brant will take care us. By Weds, Oct 19 it was with great certainty that Hurricane Wilma was on her way. I called Alaska airlines and changed our flight to the soonest one available, Thursday At 5PM. So on Weds, squeezing fun out of what was left, We rented jet skis and rode around the lagoon, and later in the eve window-shopped at the mall across from the Sheraton. We talked with a man staying at Ritz Carlton, who told us the Ritz had sent a letter on Wed morning to each guest about the hurricane situation and what may happen. Thursday came with more worries, and by 3:00 pm the airport was closed by the government. The Royal Caribbean never made a direct announcement that I heard (or Talked to someone that heard),no letter,rumors started and circulated, front desk people tried to give answers. At about 9:30 PM a neighbor knocked at our door, telling us HE got a phone call to get one blanket & pillow, change of clothes and meet in the lobby for evacuation. We knocked on the next neighbors door, and so on. Prior to leaving the villa, I filled up every pan, pot, sink, glass full with water. We took our passports, Motrin, dry food, water in a back pack. Three large buses were waiting at the lobby drive up. We were only told that we are going, “a safe government sanctioned place.” The buses took us downtown and got lost twice. Hotel employee Fernado Chan (like Jackie, he said with a karate pose) accompanied us on the bus. He said we were going to his house! We finally turned into a primary school “Cieclo” located in a typical downtown neighborhood. We unloaded and made our way to one of the little classrooms with wood shutters (wood shutters- I thought I‘m goin DIE). There were windows above the shutters and a piece of glass was missing from front to back. 16 of us met up in 6a. We quickly formed a tribe, no whining or complainants, Shared the candles, played cards and started our periods together, (mother nature is cruel.) Placed our blankets on the cold tile floor and tried to sleep. The next four days are kinda a blur, but those dam wood shutters held tight like a ship in water. The winds roared and howled, torrential rain poured thru the foundation at the first deepening of night. The guys took turns sweeping it right back out, often commenting; if I only had.. Something ..back home in their garage. Plastic bags containing water, canned tuna, crackers, candies, spam etc were awarded to the shelter guests. A lovely BBQ occurred the last day featuring toasty spam. A posse went out during daylight hours and found diapers and milk for the babies. Local children offered us other tasty tidbits probably from ill gotten gains. The three bathrooms were cleaned with bleach and water, flushed with buckets of rain water by local folks, and a woman offered us dry clothes that smelled so fresh (what is the launder soap they use?) I was touched and filled with gratitude. A large donation was collected for the five employees who weathered the storm with us, and they in turn gave it all to the two families staying in the shelter, who’s houses blew away. On the fourth day a RC bus arrived to collect us and back to the hotel we went. The villa had a broken slider and mold growing on walls, but the bed that was hard four days ago was soft as a baby’s butt! Unbelievably, the housekeep arrived, miss Lucia, I gave her ten bucks, a hug and tided up the villa myself. The RC handled the storm well, the inside ceiling of the lobby was gone, windows broken, the timeshare room and store, a stinky mess, eves gone, the pool green,. There was about three feet of beach and some waves flowed right under the beach front building villas. When a line formed you just got in it. Food was a hit and miss, two feedings, twice a day. Eggs with French frys, a fish tail with chunks of lobster, pieces of fruit. The portions were small and most people gracious. A small generator was available the second day to charge cell phones. By weds we were ready to make a break for it. A taxi for 13 dollars was negotiated by the door man to the La Salle University. Thousands of people lined the street, vendors were selling “I survived Wilma t-shirts“, not yet I thought...The mood was grim. Immediately exiting the cab we spotted an Alaska airlines rep calling her flock to her. I helped her carry the ticketing machine and would have carried her also. Travel/ Charter agents swooped in and some serious negotiating was going on. Lists of people were passed around. An American Embassy rep, Judith said a few words to the group and everyone disappeared but the Alaska Reps and her sheep. A voucher to Aero-mexico and on to mexico city was soon ours. I asked where were the planes for Alaska? not coming she said, but Aero-mex will land on dirt. Like a scavenger hunt we had to trade the voucher for a boarding pass at areo-mex office. Leavin the area we headed for the taxi’s. $100.00 they said, shove it said I walking away. Farther from the crowd was a true taxi man with his windows broken and seats damp he offered $8.00 for the fare. We gave him blessings for his family, $20.00 and a gallon of water. At aero-mex, the staff were dressed in suits and ties, offered umbrellas to shade us from the heat and handed four boarding passes for the 5pm to Mexico City!! There was no ugliness in this line, Americans on their best behavior. We sat under a tree for three hours waiting for the bus. Upon entering the bus we passed two bottles of water to the man assisting us into the bus, don’t forget us, he whispered.. Never … the drinks poured large and free on aero-mex. Alaska met us in Mexico City with a voucher for the a hotel and dinner. On Oct 28, 9:30 am we arrived in LAX. Its been a week now, and we are nursing bronchitis and intermittent Montezuma’s revenge. Bless the good folks of cancun and I’ll be going back.
This was my first trip to Mexico and I was truly looking forward to having a relaxing and enjoyable time in a beautiful paradise. Everything was as planned and my vacation was going wonderfully until all of my dreams of Cancun were shattered in a single night.
On Monday January 2nd My lover and I were having a great time by the pool of the Royal Caribbean. On our way back to our room, he fell on the very slippery tiles, which surround the pool and resort. Unfortunately, he was left with a huge gash on his head, which was in need of stitches. We decided it would be best to go to the treatment center for medical attention. When we got to the resorts medical facility we requested something in writing that stated the resort's slippery tiles were the cause of the fall and that they would assume responsibility. A note was signed admitting him into their service and commenting that the fall was a result of the resorts negligence and that they would assume responsibility and cost of any medical treatment needed.
Soon after a member of the management team was called into the office and began asking questions. Upon learning that I had possession of this note that admitted their responsibility for the accident, I was asked to speak to the doctor in a private room. After I was asked a few more questions, the doctor asked where this note was, at which time I produced the note for her. Suddenly she snatched it from my hands and ran behind her desk screaming something in Spanish. Immediately three men, including the manager rushed into the room and threw me to the ground. I was punched in the face by the manager, had my hands held behind my back and was dragged out of the office.
Several minutes later we were both hand cuffed and taken to the Cancun police station in the back of a pickup truck on the premise that I had assaulted the doctor with a pen. Only after paying a $600 USD fine to a judge who was at the station we were released.
This was one of the most frightening experiences of my life. For the next two days I laid in bed with pain all through out my body and a busted lip. Other injuries included a cracked tooth, bruises in the shape of a hand print around my neck and a fractured thumb. It was all I could do just to lay in bed and cry as I was too afraid to leave our room. I am writing this review in hopes that others who have shared a similar experience while on vacation will see it and know that they are not alone.
This was our second stay at a Royal Resort. In 1992 we stayed at the Royal Mayan and now we just returned from the Royal Carribean. We used Interval International to trade and were thrilled to return to this 5 star resort. We've been trading timeshares for 15 years and this is by far the best resort we've stayed at with the most ammenities. I believe that every villa has a good view of either the ocean or the pool complex, the villas have very nice balconies and very inviting rooms that are cleaned daily. The restaurants and ethnic shows sponsored by Royal Resorts are wonderful. The staff aims to please and the Spa services are fantastic at the Sands. The shuttle service between the resorts is a real bonus. The only thing that I might be able to complain about is the sales pitch to buy a timeshare. They were somewhat relentless even though we said no thanks. We already own two timeshares and even though we loved our stay and their resorts, we contnually strive to see new places.
awesome! Best Vacation ever
I traded into the royal carribean. Everyone kept telling us that we were lucky to get the room and week. When we arrived we knew why. The staff was first class all the way. I can't say enough about the CUSTOMER SERVICE. Every hotel should take lessons from the Royals. We were treated as owners and not unwelcomed guests. The faclities were wonderful. We took a tour of the sands and loved it so much that we bought it. If you are looking for a fun and relaxing vacation take it with the Royal family. Can't wait to return next year.
The Royal Carribean Resort
"The Royal Carribean Resort"
We exchanged our Timeshare to stay at this resort. It was a beautiful resort and part of the Royal Resorts in Cancun (The Royal Mayan, Royal Islander, etc). The Royal Mayan is right next to our resort and if you stay at 1 Royal resort you can actually also go to any of their other resorts in the area.
"View from our balcony"
We arrived Cancun at night so our first glimpse of Cancun and our resort is the beautiful pool area from our balcony. Ahhhh if it looks this good at night wonder how this place looks in the morning?
We got a 1 bedroom and it was huge! Nice Living and Dinning room with everything that you need!
I was so excited to see Cancun in the morning I couldnt sleep!!! I was up at around 7am (never happens when I'm not on vacation!) and whooaaa!!!! Look at this view! I can see the ocean from our balcony!
I couldnt wait... tried waking up Dan but he was still sleeping and wouldnt get up, our next activity wasnt till 10am... he can sleep... but I'm going to explore... Wow this place is awesome. Too bad we didnt really enjoy most of its amenities coz we were always out! Thats our balcony just above my head.
I walked towards the beach, its so close. I turned around and wow this resort really is huge!
"Ocean view from the Royal Carribean"
Oh my Gawwwd! Look at that! I didnt know ocean waters can look that green or blue... and this is the first time I've ever seen white sand in my whole life!!!! Just breathtaking!
Ooooooooooohhh... I love Cancun!
RichASF1960's new Mexico Page
Have only been to Puerto Vallerta twice, the most recent time in October 2000, but had a great time and would really love to see a whole lot more of Mexico.
I have recently been on a Cruise with Royal Caribbean And had the pleasure of stopping in Couzemel and Costa Maya. Had a great time and want to see more of the Eastern Caribbean.
Celebrity's Mercury Part II
"Life on Board"
Celebrity Lines calls this "Playa Deck." Everyone else refers to it as the Lido. Anyway, here is the swimming pool.
There is also an indoor pool.
Here I am standing in the shade on laya Deck. It was just too darn hot.
On another day, it was colder. (This was on the trip home.) Irwin is always cold anyway.
He is getting ready to go to lunch inside.
The buffet here is not very alluring. The food is adequate. The salads are good. But the hot dishes leave a lot to be desired. Can't compare with Holland America's buffet.
By the way, they call it a buffet. We call it a cafeteria.
Mercury's Casino had more action than on any other ship that we have cruised on. This shows only one small section of the casino. There are rows and rows of slot machines and several gaming tables. There is also an ATM in the casino.
I took this photo while in port. That is why it is empty. Casinos cannot operate while the ship is in port.
The library on board the Mercury is not very good. It cannot compare with Holland America's or with Royal Caribbean ships.
Unlike other cruise lines that we have sailed on, Celebrity does not have an Internet Café. Throughout the ship there are banks of computers for your use.
There is no instructor, and no one in charge. The fee for use of the computers is $.50 a minute.
Go to Mercury Part III
Royal Caribbean ship sailing at Cozumel Mexico
The Royal Carribean
the beach front of Royal Carribean
Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort
Has anyone been to the Sandals Royal Caribbean resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica? Need advice on the resort and traveling to Jamiaca