November 2008 ... I booked our 24th trip to Mexico back in May, it was a looong wait til our much needed vacation. I chose the Gran Porto Real for the first part of this trip. We were booked there in May 2007, but when we arrived we were asked if we wanted to go across the street to the sister resort, the Royal PDC, which we did, happily. So maybe we'll be offered an upgrade again? If not, the Gran Porto Real is very nice, and we'll be in Playa! We are staying for 10 glorious days this time! We are flying on USA3000 on Thanksgiving day. This is our 4th Thanksgiving spent in Mexico, it sure beats stuffing that bird! It's finally here ... Turkey Day! Up at 2 a.m., dress, quick cup of coffee, do we have everything? At 3:15 we are off to the Pittsburgh airport for our 6 a.m. flight on USA3000. We drop our car at the park n ride, and off we go on the shuttle. Get to the airport, and no one is in line at the check in counter. Breeze through security, too. The airport is pretty empty at 4:30 a.m.! Mitzy and Ditzy want a pumpkin muffin and coffee at Au Bon Pain ... Then Mitzy insists on a People magazine to read on the plane ... We flew to Cincinnati to pick up some stinkin' Bengal fans, then on to Cancun. Got through immigration and customs quickly, and out the door into the sunshine. Our USA transport was waiting for us with a smile. He was very happy to see Mitzy again! Our driver, Sharon, arrived in a Grand Marquis, and we were off to Playa! We had reservations for the first 5 days of our vacation at the Gran Porto Real. We went to the check in desk, and immediately the desk clerk said since we were Real Resort returning guests we could upgrade to the ROYAL for $40.00 a night. She asked if we were interested. Let me think about it ... in a nano-second I said,"YES!!!!!!!!" :clap: The same thing happened to us last year, we were booked at the Gran Porto Real, and we upgraded to the Royal for $40.00 per night. The ROYAL is adults only, better beach, better food ... of course we want to be upgraded! The bellboy got our luggage, and off we go across the street to the fabulous Royal. We were offered champagne upon arriving in the lobby. The desk clerk at the Royal gave us a choice of 3 rooms ... one on the 3rd floor, one on the 2nd, and one on the first. I picked the first floor, it will be less walking for Norb. The room wasn't ready, it was still morning, but in the meantime we got our bracelets, and headed to the buffet at Spices. I had scallops, shrimp and fruit ... rum and coke, and the first of many plates of guacamole and chips ... YUM! Mitzy and Ditzy wanted to go to the 24 hour All Inclusive room, with the pool tables, ping pong table, food, drinks, t.v. ... if you've read my previous trip reports you've seen the pictures of this room. If you haven't read my previous trip reports, well ... SHAME ON YOU! Norb wanted to sample the cookies, while I went to see if our room was ready ... Our room was ready!!! The bellboy got our luggage, and took us to room 134 ... the jacuzzi ... our very own liquor cabinet ... the mini bar ... everything is included, you don't pay extra for the mini bar or alcohol in the room ... the t.v. ... The room had everything you could want, coffee maker, iron, electronic safe, lots of big fluffy towels, 7 pillows on each bed, candles ... luxury! The closet and dressing area ... Shower ... Norb's lounge chair ... And the view from our patio ... Oh, that blue sky! Our large patio with a hammock, 2 chairs and a table ... After we unpacked, and got cleaned up we went to the Lobby Bar, where Manuel made us Mojitos with Havana Club rum, my new favorite drink! (I seriously considered smuggling that Havana Club rum home, but I chickened out!) I had asked the concierge about dinner reservations for one of the specialty restaurants, Maria Marie, but the only available time was 10 p.m. Since we were up at 2 a.m. today I knew we would not be awake at 10, so we decided to go to the buffet restaurant, and we were glad we did! There were turkeys on the buffet, coated with something, and decorated ... We had roast turkey, and it was good! Also, a sweet potato casserole dish was pretty good. The stuffing was terrible, nothing like mom used to make! They also had ham, pork, pasta, and a beautiful shrimp display ... I don't remember what we ordered to drink, but I'm sure it had alcohol in it. and, of course, desserts! We definitely had plenty to eat. After dinner we started to take a walk down 5th Avenue, but we pooped out, and went back to the hotel in time for the evening show. Tonight was the Mayan show. Norb with some of the girls ... Some more of the entertainers ... At 10:15 we went back to our room, we had turndown service. Mitzy and Ditzy were happy to see that the maid left chocolates on the bed ... We were ready for lights out ... it's been a very long day, but we were so happy to be back at the ROYAL in PLAYA!