CANCUN - PLAYA TRIP REPORT DAY 8 Like all good things, our vacation must come to an end. We had a wake up call for 6:15 a.m. We had time for one last breakfast at the Spices restaurant. Norb had eggs and bacon, and I had yogurt and fruit. We went back to our room for the final packing, and called for a bellboy. Checking out ... Please don't take away the beautiful blue bracelets, and the never ending supply of delicious food and drinks ... Darn it! They insisted on cutting off our bracelets! :evil: Goodbye beautiful pool at the Royal Porto Real ... Goodbye beautiful beach at the RPR ... If you're interested in the RPR, here's an update, the name is changing soon ... "The 459-suite, adults-only Royal Porto Real Playa del Carmen will be renamed the Royal Playa del Carmen this month and receive a number of enhancements, including an online check-in option." Our van arrived right at 8 a.m. There was one couple in the van going to the airport with us. Coincidentally, they live about 15 minutes from us, so we had a nice chat during the ride. We were surprised that the lines for check-in and security were not long at all. Our luggage was not opened. Our flight left on time. We were served a corned beef sandwich and a coke. The movie was awful, so we opted to nap. We landed in Cincinnatti, and had to go through immigration, then re-check our bags. Just had enough time to grab a cup of coffee. We got back on the plane, and had an uneventful flight home. We landed safely in Pittsburgh, where it was 67 degrees on November 30th. What bizarre weather! :sunny: :sunny: :sunny: It wouldn't really be fair to compare the Omni to the Royal Porto Real. The RPR just opened a year or so ago, while the Omni is a much older property. I know there are some Omni fans out there, and some of my complaints may be trivial, but please keep in mind that these are OUR OPINIONS, and please don't send me hate mail :lol: :lol: :lol: The Omni has so many steps, up to the front of the hotel, and down to the beach in the back of the hotel, that it's really not "accessible friendly" to older travelers. Not giving our friends the upgrade for joining the Omni Select Guest Program was not right. The Omni website states, "The Rewards Begin the Moment You Sign Up". Obviously, that's not true! :evil: The man checking us in would not budge, he absolutely refused to honor the Select Guest Membership to give Sheila and Mike an upgrade. BUT he was happy to charge ME $25.00 per night for an oceanview upgrade though. And there was no way the hotel was at full capacity! One of my amigos just returned from the Omni, and he said he had a welcome back letter and a bottle of wine in his room, I thought, "geez, we were returning guests, and we got nada!" We find the "signing for every little thing" at the Omni annoying. Even if you just want a bottle of water, you have to find a waiter, ask for water, wait until he brings it, then wait for the check, and sign for it ... it's annoying! Charging guests $25.00 to use a beach bed ... c'mon! :evil: Charging $5.50 for using the internet for 20 minutes ... yikes! :evil: I used the internet cafes in Playa for the same amount of time for $1.00! The cards for beach towels with the threat of charging you if you lose them ... I know most of the hotels do this, but the more upscale hotels just hand you beach towels. At the Omni the mini bar is not included in the all-inclusive, at most other hotels it is included. One can of coke in the mini bar ... 35 pesos! Yikes! :shock: And if you're at the Omni on the European Plan, the prices are quite high. Breakfast buffet for two at LaPaloma with 2 bottles of water ... $44.62 ... Yikes! :shock: In the evenings we could not sit in the lobby bar for any length of time due to the smoke. The area is so small that when there are several people smoking, it becomes unbearable for nonsmokers. Millions of dollars in renovations, you'd think they would have improved the ventilation system. And the Omni offers no real entertainment in the evenings. They did have a duet in the lobby bar while we were there, but no shows like the other hotels. But most of the all-inclusives in Cancun WANT you to go out in the evening, so you're not hanging around, drinking their alcohol. The four of us agreed the food was, overall, mediocre at the Omni. A few things were good ... the breakfast at Pina Colada was very good, and the shrimp cocktail was very good. We don't need 7 pillows on the bed ... we would rather have better food. Even DaVinci's, while nice, just didn't seem as good as our last trip. Plus they seem pretty strict on how many times you can eat there. I did ask the concierge if they are flexible on that rule, and he said you have to talk to the manager, and blah, blah, blah ... We're on vacation ... we don't want to have to talk to a manager and ask permission to eat dinner in one of the hotel's restaurants! As a comparison, Secrets Capri and the Royal Porto Real have a "no reservation" policy ... you just eat WHERE and WHEN you want, including the specialty restaurants. We didn't like the cement bench on the balcony, the old chairs were more comfortable. The Omni has two things going for it ... 1. The staff is wonderful! 2. And it is the only hotel with the jacuzzi bar. For a moderately priced hotel the Omni is nice, but it could be so much better. With the gazillion dollar remodeling job after the hurricane, I just didn't feel the WOW factor that I was hoping for. Just for the heck of it, when we got home I asked our travel agent for a price comparison for the Omni and Secrets Capri and the Royal Porto Real. I just picked a random week in the spring, the prices are from Pittsburgh, flying USA 3000, and it's for All-Inclusive, and it includes all taxes and travel insurance, TOTAL per person: Secrets Capri $2007.47pp Royal Porto Real $1676.47pp Omni Cancun $1572.47pp For the small price difference would we recommend the ROYAL PORTO REAL? ABSOLUTELY!!! Did we have a GREAT VACATION? ABSOLUTELY!!! Mike, Sheila, me and Norb ... Sheila and Mike LOVED Cancun, and they are already planning another trip when school's out. Mike's studying on the beach paid off, he got one B and the rest A's on all of his finals! Are Norb and I planning on going back to Mexico? ABSOLUTELY!!!