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I could sum up our trip report in one sentence: Everything at the resort was amazing. The end. But that wouldn't be much fun! Seriously, though, the food was awesome, the place was immaculate, everyone was friendly and helpful....the whole week was dreamy!
We were pretty boring compared to the adventures many other people have chronicled. We stayed at the resort the whole time, except for one trip to Tulum. So, I'll just type the highlights here in this report. If you are interested in a longer, day-by-day account with more details, I put all my notes into a blog on our shutterfly site here: http://crowenmonster.shutterfly.com/blog
Top 3 things I learned ahead of time from this site that were really useful:
--After you come out of security at the Cancun airport, ignore everything and everyone until you are outside the airport and looking for your shuttle.
--If you can swing it, get the Royal section. We actually made that decision before I knew about the PA site, but all the info here about what you get with the upgrade was very helpful. And as someone on the cart told us on that first day: those grey wristbands are worth more than just about anything!
--The saltwater pool is lovely. We went there early in our trip to practice snorkeling. After that practice, I felt much more secure with snorkeling off the beach and out in the open water.
Top 3 mistakes we made (that we should have known from reading PA before our trip :)):
--I didn't get a bubba keg mug because (a) we don't drink much, and (b) I didn't want to have to carry it with me all day. Big mistake. The cups they use at the bars are about 8 ounces, and waiting in line over and over got old, fast. For pete's sake, take the mug!
--If you want to go to a Friday beach bbq, it requires a reservation. By the time I realized that fact, it was full.
--Things get canceled. We sat around waiting for a show that never happened. The white party didn't happen. If you are planning something for the evening, ask earlier in the day at the front desk if something is still scheduled to happen or not. Otherwise, you waste your time.
--And a bonus mistake #4: If you find a day at the beach with yellow flags, take advantage of it. Use every minute to snorkel, swim, etc. Because you never know if all the rest of your days will end up being red flag/bigger waves days.
And my Top 3 other random discoveries/suggestions:
--Go to the Brazilian restaurant and try all the meat you might not normally eat. The rabbit was delicious!
--I don't know how they make the oatmeal at breakfast, but if anyone has a recipe for how they make that creamy, yummy goodness, please share it!! I would have liked someone to bring me a bowl of it each night at bedtime .
--The Royal beach area is terrific. And that end of the beach generally seemed to offer more part shade/sun, less crowd and close access to a beach bar, so even if you don't stay in the Royal section, check out the north end of the beach.
Our pictures are all here: http://crowenmonster.shutterfly.com/. I took a few short videos, too - I'll add them to that same site soon.