Recent posts by MacPete | Debbie's Caribbean Resort Reviews Forums

just watch your weight allowance, they might be some really expensive beverages at $10 per kilo overweight!

Great post Jethro, I read a lot of reviews on various properties here, and at other trip advisory boards…and I treat the lot the same way figure skating gets judged – you toss out the highest and lowest reviews and look for a pattern.Often you’ll see reviews contradicting each other, folks at the same resort, the same time period and the reviews are as different as chalk and cheese.Care to guess who left THE MOST important piece of holiday luggage at home? I speak of the small vial of patience you need to bring with you on vacation. Saw a woman years ago at the newest resort in the DR have a force 5 meltdown as lunch took an hour to be completed…50 feet from the stunning beach. She must have been working on a cure for some rare disease and had an experiment running at the lab…Relax, you’ll live a lot longer. I still remember her parting shot at the staff "Service was never this slow in Tokyo". No kidding. Touron indeed.Need fresh towels? "Por favor, senorita, nessicita mas (and hold up a used towel)". Don’t forget to smile, and say ‘gracias’Do your research, if you want Angus quality beef, Cuba is not the place to go. Seen a Cuban cow? Man, they’re skinny. If you want local food, cooked simply in an amazing atmosphere, plunk down your deposit today. Why DID you leave home anyway, for a cheeseburger and fries? Out of beer at the beach bar until the truck arrives later today? (I saw this guy too at the Luna y Mares, pi$$ing and moaning) Two words my thirsty friend, Cuba Libre. Or dare I say it…..Mojito?

OK I’m done, thanks for your time.

We went thru on a Wednesday afternoon recently, busy, but moving along nicely. Maybe 20 minutes. In T1 at Pearson, there is another security point on the arrivals level that often has shorter lines than the departures concourse.Remember to have any liquids in your carry-on in the ‘official’ ziplock baggie, 100ml sizes or lower. Empty your pockets, be aware of watches, keys, necklaces that may set off the detectors. Shoes/belts may need to come off.

Proper prior planning prevents positive pinging and passing thru repeatedly. Still seeing folks all blinged out like Mr T wondering why they beep when going thru the detectors.

It’s very unlikely you’ll see flight times posted any further out than maybe 2 weeks, especially if you’re on a charter.As you get closer to departure day, you’ll likely see the times posted on the Canjet website.As good as your agent might be, you’ll probably find the times before they do as they’re not checking daily.

At this point in time, its unlikely Canjet themselves have the flight times. A LOT of factors in play here.

Long pants for the gents are always nice, especially in the a la cartes. They’re a bit more relaxed at the buffet. Smart casual is how I’d describe it.
I don’t recall seeing any shows when we were there, apart from some music near the pool bar. I could be wrong…

We booked 17 a couple of years ago, knew exactly what we wanted so not a lot of work for the agent. Saved about $100 per pax over the best internet price we had found. No harm in asking.

Waaay cool, the ISS just flew over my house NW of Toronto!!No mistaking it, a bright white light I thought initially was an aircraft, but no strobes or navigation lights, and it was MOVING.

Thanks Gonzo, the site is now bookmarked.

Gunner gets it, hang onto a few CUC as souvenirs, or for the next trip. (And there WILL be a next trip) The day we got delayed before clearing customs (computers were down) and the beer vendor wouldn’t take foreign currency, the folks with CUC left over were very popular indeed.

Good day everyone, Help me understand what the panic is to get CUC the minute the aircraft door is open in Cuba…been seeing a LOT of folks that feel the burning need to get local currency as soon as they are in country.For the majority of us snowbirds, you’re getting on a prepaid coach, heading to your all inclusive piece of paradise. Nice!The beer/soda vendors at the airport will take Canadian money, Pounds, Euros, (nice clean notes please) chickens and occasionally small well-behaved children in trade for a cold bevvie or 2. You don’t have to have CUC at this point.Exchange rates are very similar, if not more favourable at the hotel, plus you’re not having to yomp the length of the airport to the departures terminal and line up with the folks who are heading home on the plane you just got off.Relax! The quicker you get on your bus, the quicker you can check out your pool, beach, lobby bar and start the holiday full on.The exchange kiosk at the hotel is a lot quieter than the airport, and you can pick your time much better than you can at the airport with a busload of your fellow travellers wondering whats taking so long.

Thanks for your time

9 people travelling? I’d be on the phones to a travel agent right quick. Lets make a deal, we KNOW what we want, what can you do for me? The challenge is often the flights, not the resorts or rooms. Find your best deal online, then see if the agent wants to try and beat it. Or book it online when the wallet says yes. There is an online place that has a price guarantee that will refund you the difference if the price drops. They SELL OFF a lot of VACATIONS, wink-wink.
…Push the button lexy.

I second that.

Luna y Mares has Hobies, and the staff have been pretty good at letting you helm, but will go with you each trip, for ‘insurance reasons’.Depending on how busy they are, you may be able to get multiple trips in a day, or have a friend book the block immediately before or after yours. We were able to do this and took a boat to Guardalavaca (several years back mind you) for a beer inventory inspection.

Our last trip, one week was redflagged completely due to very high winds, the second week, the rides were probably 25-35 minutes duration, then in to allow for turnaround. Get the reservation done first thing each morning, they fill up fast, and if a boat is out for repairs, really limits the number of spaces.

50 cigars per person is allowed in duty free.
You can bring in as many as you can carry, but will pay duty on anything over 50 sticks.

There are irons and boards in the rooms. Most if not all the a la cartes require gents to wear long pants and a collared shirt at dinner. I went khakis and a golf shirt, or light short sleeve dress shirt, never an eyebrow raised. I think its more for the idiots arriving in swimmers and an undershirt at the Romantico for example.
Buffets, shorts were fine if I recall.

In a word, they’re fierce. We spent a week in Placencia in March, and when we arrived in Caye Caulker for our second week, a local asked me how I enjoyed the "Placencia Mosquito Reserve".I had been gnawed on pretty well.

The mozzies are only outdone by the no-see-ums.

Sunny, you didn’t mention if you are on a cruise ship, or doing your own thing.There is good snorkling just off the beach at the Aquarium Restaurant and its a pretty spot with good food.

Alternately, Google "Grenada Explorer" there are some ideas on that site as well.

Hi Ellejay, we did some of the tours you are considering. My thoughts…the Maya tour (El Salvador version) was very good, stopping at 4 different sites in ES. We decided this one as the bus ride to Guatemala was around 4-5 hours one way. Guided with an English speaking guide, it was worth the cost, which I think was about $60 pp. The other we did was called arts & crafts, and I think it was $40 – 50 pp. Despite the name, is an interesting trip. Stopping at 3 or 4 villages and towns, you get a sense of life outside the resort. There are lots of opportunity for souvenir purchases if that what you’re looking for. Prices are negotable, politely haggle see if you can save a few dollars.We spoke to a guy who did the volcano climb, and he described it as a gut-buster. He’s an avid runner in pretty good shape and found the climb very challenging. The view is stellar, but its a tough slog to get to the summit. Remember its hot and humid, pack lots of bottled water.Security in San Salvador is a concern – each tour we took came with an armed tourist police officer who watched us closely while out and about in the towns. Not intrusive, but you knew he was there. I don’t think I’d be doing my own tour in San Salvador, and I speak Spanish.Fantastic resort, impeccably kept we wish we had done 2 weeks as from Canada its a full day in and out.

Have fun!

We swim at night regularly at the Sol Luna y Mares, after spending some time at the disco. Security is pretty tolerant provided you keep the noise to a minimum. We seen tourons, well lubricated, tossing the loungers into the pool in the wee hours at full volume. The security fellows put a very quick stop to that.

Every time I go to a place in Cuba, I have the best time. No chicken? Okay, I’ll have the pork. Out of mint for mojitos? I’ll have a Cubata, and maybe there will be mint tomorrow. No palapas? I’ll sit under the sea grape then. eloisegirl gets it – as do many who frequent the boards. In your carry-on, pack a small bag of patience, it goes a looong way. Many, MANY folks are disappointed by their resort, because its not like home. Easy fix – STAY HOME. I’ve been to the MCSM and yes we read some negative reviews. But I’m flexible, like eloisegirl mentions. No Havana Club rum? Well Santiago de Cuba is pretty darn good as well. Was our trip perfect? Nope, but the positives far outweigh the very minor annoyances. Do me a favour – head out to the beach, turn right and take a nice walk with your hubby. Guaranteed 20 minutes into the walk, you’ll know exactly why you chose the resort – the beach is beyond words and goes on forever.

Its a great resort, have a blast. The reviews are like figure skating scores – toss the highest and lowest ratings and read into the rest.

Both sides have elevators, small, and slow, but functional.
And both have internet cafes, you buy a ticket from reception in 30 minutes or 60 minutes a go. quite reasonable, definitely cheaper than the telephone but certianly not highspeed.

I’m with Hollydog, we get it stamped because we can. The only comment I had from US Customs a WEEK after I got back was a curt "lucky bastage" when he saw the stamp.

Great choice of resort catty,yes there are shampoo and soap in the rooms as well as a hairdryer.We’ve preferred to bring our own shampoo/conditioner 2 in 1 with us, and leave it behind for the maid. Up to you…

If you bring a hairdryer from home, you’ll need to pack a converter, Cuba is on 220v.

Sorry you experienced service at its worst. Delays happen, parts fail, crews are regulated on how much they can work or fly.The real shame here is that yet another airline decides that no news is better news. "If we tell them the truth, they’ll freak out" mentality.Message to the airlines: We can take it. If its going to be 6 hours, tell us, we’ll plan for a 6 hour delay. We’ll settle the kids, get a snack, hunker down and make the best of it. If its less, hey we got to go early. But the constant dribble of information is unacceptable. If you don’t know at the time, then tell us that, then get someone out of bed who DOES know and communicate to the passengers. Thats all we want, to be in the loop.

Stuff happens, but Sunwing, its all about the recovery. After what your pax went through, and the lack of information, do you really expect them to fly with you again? Exactly.

In Dec 2008, both beach bars were up and running. They were still working on the palapas, about 1/2 had been repaired from wind damage.

Yes there are a few adjoining rooms

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