Arrival: March 9 – 16:
Nice airport in Cancun. Flew Signature Vacations/Skyservice on a 757; very cold flight for some reason. Were told blankets were $5.00. Food on plane was horrible microwaved disaster. Oh well, we paid only $1600 ea CDN. But our hopes were high…. Transfer in Cancun was painless. No timeshare vultures or delays. Out to the bus in only 20 mins. Bus ride was just 2.0 hours; nice bus guide/comedian; cold beer on bus was welcome morning eye opener.
Arrival at Royal Suites was seamless. Check-in took 15 mins; room was ready before noon. Out to the pool bar located mere 150′ from room by 12:30. Room was clean, large, cool, comfy. Plasma TV with DVD/CD; jacuzzi on terrace overlooking lagoon; sitting area; mini bar stocked with premium liquor and beer. No complaints at all about the room. There was a "pillow menu"; butler service; free 24 hr. room service; turn down service; laundry; everything you could want. Nothing we ever requested was not done as soon as possible. Staff were top notch, friendly, smiling, attentive, gregarious, intelligent, and respectful of guests’ privacy.
Restaurants and Bars: 13 bars and as many restaurants. A la carte restaurants included really good Brasilian, steak, Italian, Mediterranean, and Japanese. We were very pleased with meals and service that would fairly cost $100 for 2 in Kingston. We were glad that premium wines were offered at a fair additional price in these good restaurants. For example, Berringer Estates Cab. Sauv. was about $23 CDN, about the same as at the LCBO. A good alternative to the rather thin house red. The food was good to excellent. The BBQ meats were especially tasty. Service was earnest, quick, and with a smile. Waiters were eager to please if not completely fluent: Is the soup made with cream? It is fish. Does it have cream in it? Yes, it is shrimp. Is it creamy? It is soup, yes.
That kind of service was a welcome change from some surly and arrogant Canadian "Im too good to be a waiter and this is not my genuine career choice" kind of disdainful attitude I’m too used too in some restaurants up here in Canada.
Grounds were beautiful jungle mangrove with lots of wildlife. Lots of trails and walkways; you can walk for miles around the large complex. Pools were A1; cool, not crowded, lots of loungers, plenty of shade. Beach was large but swimming area was my only complaint. Too many rocks, and beaches such as Cayo Guillermo in Cuba make it pale in comparison. Plenty of sailing, jet skis, snorkelling available.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Tulum ruins were spectacular. Taxis were great, clean and cheap (if only taxis in Canada were this good; really, they could run a taxi clinic). Resort was soooooooooo good, we were loath to leave it.
Royal Suites at Grand Palladium was a great experience. Worth the discounted price we paid and then some. The Spa was incredible. Tennis and sports facilities were A+++++. This vacation was so much better than the Sol Club in Cubs which was a bargain at $1000 5 years ago. I really have no complaints other than the airplane ride (cramped, cold/hot, food sucked). You can literally drink the reverse osmosis tap water at this resort. My stomach never had the least twinge, despite raw sushi, carpacchio, lettuce, ice, water, fruit etc. eaten for 7 days. My wife and I are so pleased AND WOULD GO BACK FOR 2 WEEKS NEXT YEAR!!!!!