My husband and I went on our honeymoon to Melia Cayo Coco from June 12 to 19, 2005. We were very pleased to see that the people at the resort were expecting us and they had everything prepared for us. We were greeted with a glass of champagne and checked in privately as promised. They then told us about all the extras we would get as honeymooners – we didn’t even have to ask or remind them! They also told us that they gave us the best room in the whole resort and we found out that we got an even higher room upgrade than we were supposed to get.
The Room: We walked to our room and were amazed at how clean and huge our suite was. There was a kitchen area, sink with fridge underneath, another lounging area, then 3 steps up to the bedroom with a massive king-size bed, another lounging area, dressing room and bathroom, plus a big screened-in porch and a wrap-around balcony. The room was in pristine condition, it was spotless and everything worked perfectly. The first thing we did was take a shower and there was plenty of hot water and water pressure was very good. In fact, we never ran out of hot water while showering the entire time. The air conditioner worked beautifully. We actually had two separate A/C switches to control the temperature in the lower area and the bedroom area. We actually found that the A/C worked a little too well – we came back to the room on our first day and all the windows had condensation on them and the room was freezing cold! We had a bit of a laugh about that and kept the temperature more reasonable from then on.
On the first day, our fridge had bottles of water in it but no soft drinks or beer. Before leaving our room we called the number right beside the phone and asked for beer and soft drinks. We left one peso on top of the fridge and when we came back that day, the fridge was stocked with beer, more water, club soda, and soft drinks. From that day on, our fridge was replenished every day (we only left a tip the first day). If they see that you’re drinking it, they’ll re-stock it.
The Resort: The resort was simply amazing. Our first day walking around was very surreal for us. We kept saying, "Are we really here? Is this for real?" The resort has many paths, lots of vegetation and palm and coconut trees all over the resort. The flowers are beautiful and the groundskeepers work very hard to maintain everything. Walking down one of the beach paths through the trees, you can see little hermit crabs scuttling around (the big ones come out at night!) and lizards.
The people at the resort were so good to us the entire we were down there. Our first couple of days there we would give a peso the first time we were served by someone new at breakfast, lunch, and dinner as a nice gesture. This makes them happy; one peso goes a long way for these people and they rely on our tips to provide for their families back home. And when you think about it, if one peso means getting excellent service, making a new friend, and being treated like royalty, then it’s really no big deal. After we had met most of the staff, we would only tip occasionally at lunch, but we would always tip at dinner, especially at the a-la-carte’s.
Well, I’m going to have to go out on a limb here and say that I enjoyed the food at the Melia. I found there was a huge selection of food and it was quite good. During our stay, I tried foods that I had never imagined I would ever eat – my husband was so impressed! Not only that, but neither of us got sick even once the entire time we were there and we were pretty adventurous with the food we ate. Even if you don’t like cuban food or you are a picky eater, there is still pizza, lots of pastas, french fries, burgers, hot dogs, rice, and plenty of other food that we are familiar with.
The Beach/Pool: We only went to the pool once because we are beach people. But I really enjoyed the pool, the water was very refreshing and the atmosphere at the pool was very relaxing and nice. The beach was gorgeous. You can see the different shades of blue in the water as you look out. We were there somewhat off-season so it was very nice for us to hang out at the beach because it was pretty quiet. I can remember a few days, lying under our beach hut and all I could hear was birds and the ocean waves and there was no one else around. It felt like it was only us in the entire world – and after planning a wedding for a year, this de-stresser was much needed! Because the Melia is the end resort of the 8 on the island, you can walk to the right and just keep going and going and it is so nice and relaxing.
The water itself was very nice and the temperature was perfect. Nicely refreshing but not too cold – just perfect. We had a blast watching for the bone fish in the water. You can see the huge schools of bone fish in the water if you watch the water. You will suddenly see what looks like a shadow under the water. We were lucky enough to have brought our own snorkel gear (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) and we found ourselves in the middle of a school of bone fish. On our last full day there, we were swimming with thousands and thousands of them and it was truly amazing! We then saw 2 huge barricudas which were hunting the school of bone fish. I was a bit nervous but the barricudas were not interested in us at all! We followed it as it circled the school of bone fish and got to witness a real-live ocean hunting experience. It was truly amazing and I will never forget that as long as I live.
As honeymooners, we got several upgrades and extras. Our room was upgraded tremendously. We only paid for a standard room and wound up with the best room in the resort. We also got a vase of flowers one day with a bottle of champagne in our fridge. We then got a 1.4L bottle of white rum. We also got an invitation for a romantic dinner for 2 with a special menu. It was a very nice dinner. We also received a music CD with some romantic cuban music on it. Another really nice thing was that they had a cuban wedding for us. All the newlyweds were invited to Casa Cubana to attend a second wedding ceremony. We signed a certificate and even had to kiss in front of everyone again!
We didn’t get to go swimming with the dolphins because it was fully booked – so if you want to go swimming with the dolphins book it right away or you’ll be out of luck! However we did do 3 other excursions:
This is a half day trip. We got to drive our own speed boat through the mangroves (very fun!!!) and then docked to snorkel through the mangroves. It was very, very fun and the fish were great. Definitely be prepared and bring bread and bananas with you from the breakfast buffet.
Trip to Moron: This was a very interesting trip which started out with a boat ride through the mangroves of a fresh water lake. We then came back and had a typical cuban meal – deep-fried Talapia (fish) which was delicious and our choice of drink (beer for us!). We then travelled to the city of Moron. It was interesting to see all the houses and farms along the way. It was so different and we could definitely tell that we were in a country much more different from Canada. At times it felt like we had gone back 50 years in time. When we got to Moron we went on a buggy ride through the streets. Our tour guide had warned us that when we got to Moron, we would have kids come up to us begging for money, etc. We expected to see cute little kids. Well, these "kids" turned out to be guys who were teenagers and early-mid 20’s. They followed the buggy on their bicycles or ran along-side it and gave me and the other woman flowers – but they wanted money from us! They were very polite though, calling us "miss and ma’am" and calling our husbands "sir".
We then had free time in Moron and our tour guide took us to a friend of his’ house where they make and sell cuban souvenirs. The prices were very cheap and we bought some gorgeous souvenirs – all hand made and put together very well. Our tour guide then left the four of us on our own to do some sightseeing and shopping. To be honest, we were pretty nervous about this. The locals were walking beside us asking us for pesos (money) and one guy asked me if he could have my gold earrings. I told him "no", so he asked if I could give him one and he could have the other one. I had to say no again. While this was going on, another guy was asking my husband for his shirt! Then they tried to sell us things but we had to keep saying no to them. It was a bit frightening for us, but I don’t regret going to Moron at all. It was the real Cuba and I got to see how these people live and what their lives are like. It was sad too, but it also gave me a deeper appreciation for the life that I have back at home. I recommend this trip to all first-timers vacationing in Cuba – it’s a real eye-opener that everyone should experience.
Our third excursion was probably my favourite. We took a bus to Cayo Guillermo (approx. 45 mins) where Pilar Beach is. We then took a catamaran to an island and got our snorkelling gear. We snorkelled off the island and it was amazing! There were so many tropical fish all around us. We saw "Dory" fish (from Finding Nemo) and lots of other tropical fish that I had only ever seen before on TV. We then had lunch on the island (the chicken is delicious!) and went back to Playa Pilar (Pilar Beach). I had heard that Pilar Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and I have to agree with that. It’s like something out of a movie or a magazine and you actually get to experience it for real! Words cannot describe what Pilar Beach is like. You have to experience it to truly understand the serenity and beauty of it. I recommend this to everyone. —
Conclusion: So that about wraps up our honeymoon to Melia Cayo Coco. It was the best experience I have ever had in my life and I will never forget it. For the rest of our lives we will remember what a fantastic honeymoon we had and we’ll always think back to it and smile.
We’re going back next Spring – but for 2 weeks this time – one week was not long enough!