Trip Review! 24 Nov To 1 Dec 2022

Discussion in 'Temptation Cancun' started by Trish, Dec 5, 2022.

  1. Trish

    Trish I can choose my own title Registered Member

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    I haven’t written a trip report in about 4 years, so figured it’s worth an update now that the new resort is a couple years down the line. This was my 11th trip for 1 week stay. Every trip has been as a couple with my ever-suffering better half. We used to do 2 weeks and that was too much, then went down to 10 days and that was fine, but I feel like 7 days is the perfect amount of time since you’re pretty much partied out after that. We’re there for fun times but we’re not swingers (to give an idea of how this report is gonna go).

    Can’t remember exact figures, but in all we’ve done about 3 trips post-reno and the rest taken between 2012 and 2017 (pre-reno). I’ve mostly done late November/early December, but also visited in January, April, July and for Halloween. Out of all of those dates I still prefer the late November/early December visits. Weather is usually amazing (not too hot/not too cold/not too wet), and atmosphere at the resort feels superior at that time than any other dates I’ve done.

    Travel hell
    We visit TTR from the UK. This year the outbound flight was pretty painful. Delays at Manchester before even boarding, then waiting a long time on the tarmac before take-off. Delayed flights are still being blamed on staffing issues from the Covid fallout. Flight out was already scheduled a couple hours later than we’re used to, so not even in the air until 12 noon UK time. Landing at Cancun, there was a 2-hour wait for baggage. Not sure what’s going on with that, but the luggage carousel had 5 flights listed, so you can imagine the chaos that created. 5 planes’ worth of people all waiting in the same space!

    Through bag check with no issues, found USA Transfers and even though we were about 2 hours later than planned, they had a driver assigned to us in about 10 minutes. It was about 9pm by the time we got to TTR. That’s the latest we’ve ever arrived. Feels like such a waste. You’re paying the premium price for a full day when you’re basically enjoying the resort for an hour or two at most that first day. Seriously, next time I’m considering just booking into a cheaper airport or downtown hotel for the first night, then getting most for our money by turning up at the resort the next morning.

    Check in experience
    The only good thing about arriving so late, the check-in process was quick. Some years we’ve sat there for an hour. This time it was no more than 20 minutes. We’ve had Premier Membership since 2018, and they still insist on setting up a timeshare talk. They’re incredibly pushy, feels like it gets worse every trip. I know it’s their job to sell hard, but we got a great deal in 2018 and I’ve no interest in upgrading anything further, or getting onto the ‘resort credits’ scheme, or checking out the cruise, or hearing about Miches. We just kept repeating ‘no thanks’ about 15 times before they let us go.

    Assigned a butler who took us to the room. I say took us to the room, they took us to the staircase leading up to our room and let us find our own way up. We had our luggage with us because, again, experience has taught us that if we leave them with the bellhop it can be an hour or more for them to get around to bringing our cases. Time was pushing on and we hadn’t eaten yet so wanted to get straight in, showered and still have time for a late dinner.

    We tipped the butler $20 out of courtesy, but feels like a huge waste to me. As far as butlers are concerned, we’ve never had a great experience. That was the last we saw of ours! I know some people love the butler service, but I’ve no idea why. What frustrates me is I know from reading other reviews that we’re entitled to reserve one of those pool beds next to the bar 1x per weeks’ stay, but they never mention it. I would never use a butler to reserve us chairs at the pool. I think it’s a ridiculous elitist system, but I’d make use of the day bed reservation if ever offered it. That said, I’m not tipping the butler the $100-$200 others do for the privilege. Anyway, managed to get into buffet just as they were closing for a quick bite to eat, then watched the circus thing at Bash. Managed to make it to 11:30pm before calling it quits from travel exhaustion.

    Takeover days and room changes
    So we booked knowing our first 2 days overlapped with the Canadian Lifestyle Takeover. We didn’t have any issues. It was interesting watching these guys party hard our first 2 days. Seemed like a fun group, but worth bearing in mind we arrived the last 2 days, so it’s difficult to integrate with a group that’s already been partying together for nearly a week. We watched from the side-lines, and appreciated the music and atmosphere the group brought with them. They had their grand finale party on the roof on our second night, and I assumed that meant Bash would be dead. It was pretty quiet the first hour, but by 11pm it felt busy as ever down at Bash.

    The only complication we had being there during the takeover, our contract is for a Tower Room (I adore the tower rooms and nobody can change my mind about that). Since the towers were block-booked to the takeover, we were booked into a garden room 2 days and rest in the tower. That meant ‘checking out’ at 11am 2 days into our stay, then ‘checking in’ again at 3pm into the new room. The process went smoothly, but I saw no point unpacking everything to only have to put it all away again, so we lived out of the cases for the first 2 days and that was a pain. I also just dislike the garden rooms. To me they’re dark and dingy, with a tiny bathroom. The walls are paper-thin, the view is rubbish. It just doesn’t feel right when you’re used to the tower rooms. Changing over to our usual tower room felt like I was finally home.

    Food and drink
    Food feels about the same quality as it always has. It’s fine. I always find something I can eat. We ate at the buffet, Sutra, Flame and Romanza this time. Also used the Caffeine coffee place frequently. That is probably my favourite. Sutra is always good. Romanza was good but service takes a while there. We ate mostly with other people in groups of 6-8 in the evenings and it was never a problem. Grabbed burgers occasionally at the pool and Bash and I had no problem with the quality. Read here that the product has changed recently. Maybe it’s all the alcohol but I didn’t notice a difference!

    Drinks-wise I tend to stick to shots of tequila, red wine (house red), and vodka with orange/pineapple juice. Had no issue with quality of drinks asides from 1 occasion when one of my vodkas served at the beach party (sunset to sunrise – I’ll get into that later) tasted like pool water. Simply changed it out and was all good again. Drink strength was fine, not too strong, not too weak.

    Party atmosphere / music (get ready for a sort-of rant)
    Here’s the deal. I’ve been coming to TTR for over 10 years now. I dearly miss the night parties of days gone by. There was a time where I’d be up dancing 11pm to 2am with very little down time. Then we’d stick around a few more hours talking and laughing till 4am on the regular. The music of old was my idea of a good night out. Now it’s heavily focused on Urban Latin (e.g. Bad Bunny), with a tiny bit of modern R&B (e.g. Cardi B) thrown in for good measure. I simply can’t get into this. Damn I’m getting old! The Latin beat from this genre sounds like a remix of the same song played over and over for 3 hours straight. I can’t dance to this. It gives me a headache, and just drags my mood down so bad. All I can do is admit defeat and head to bed early.

    Instead of complaining, this is where my expectations have changed. I’ve switched from partying late into the night, to calling it quits around 12am, earlier if the mood takes me. This brings the advantage of being up and at the pool much earlier each day, so enjoying a good swim in the sexy pool when it opens at 9am before it gets too crowded to do lengths in the pool. Added advantage, I’m getting my daily exercise in too. I love the sexy pool. I know others have an issue with how big it is, and depth of the water. For me that’s a benefit and a big reason I continue returning to TTR. There’s room to spread, the water doesn’t get that ‘scum’ top-coat that used to surface around 3pm every day when it was the smaller size.

    Anyway, partying in the day is the way forward for me. I have fond memories of the night parties at TTR, but it’s just not there for me anymore. On the few nights where I did stay up late (as in 12:30am late haha), to be fair, the dance floor was generally full, and the people up there looked like they were having a good time. My idea of bad music doesn’t mean this is everyone’s idea of bad music. They’re catering to an international audience, with many people coming in that do enjoy the Latin playlist. For some this is still a great party, it’s just not for me.

    An aside point on this, I was in bed early pretty much every night. I had no problem getting to sleep over the music blasting out in Bash below. The tower rooms have great soundproofing. Over the sound of the air conditioning you barely hear the party going on below.

    Other points / special events
    There was 1 ‘special event’ happened during our stay – sunset to sunrise party – on our last night. I was determined to make it through the whole party, just to say I did. I made it, but barely! Sunset party on the beach was awesome. Great entertainment, good atmosphere. The party at Bash afterwards was same as it always is (not my taste) so I really struggled to power through that bit. Final part was a foam party up on the rooftop bar starting at 3am. I perked right up for that, enjoyed an hour or so splashing around in the foam. My advice for anyone wanting to do this all night party, go to the beach one, then take a tactical nap and set an alarm to start over up on the roof at 3.

    Another event we paid for, first time ever, we hired the Member’s Yacht for an afternoon. $400 for 4 hours (1pm to 5pm), and accommodates up to 10 people. This was worth every penny. They take you across to Isla Mujeres, cruise the ocean for a bit, stop for swimming at Playa Norte, then cruise a bit more and back to TTR. You can set up your own playlist, they provide drinks and snacks (no issue with the quality of these). The staff were extremely polite, conscientious, friendly, made sure everyone we took was safe, and had a good time. I would highly recommend doing this if you have the option as a Premier Member (will be stated in your contract). We certainly plan on checking every trip now if it’s available to hire.

    Other stuff that is cropping up recently like additional room charges, we didn’t get any charges, but I was careful to not leave anything overly messy in the room. I brought my own beach towels this year (worked out great), and had 2 of my own washcloths for stuff like removing glow paint/makeup each night. We brought 2 friends this year on a referral, and clarified at check-in what that entitled them to, including whether they’d get charged for room service. Was assured room service was free, but checking on the TV each day there was a couple occasions they’d had a charge applied for room service. A couple of times they were charged for room service they hadn’t even ordered. So I would highly recommend people get in the habit of checking the TV each day to see if any hidden charges have been applied.

    All in all, it was a fun trip. We met loads of people – new and repeaters. Everyone was friendly, engaging, wanting to chat and share fun times. Staff is always excellent, cannot fault any of them (butler issues aside). Out of 11 trips, this was the first time I was 100% comfortable being topless at the pool. I think that’s more to do with my attitude, getting older, but also I’ve lost a heap of weight this last year and been working out, so feeling more confident in myself. I also quit alcohol earlier this year, so although I wasn’t tee-total over our stay, I definitely drank a lot less than I have previous trips, so there was no ‘messy pool day’ or epic hangovers this trip for me. Definitely a welcome change, and it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the resort at all, in fact it made the whole experience better. My friend (this was her first visit) commented how she expected to see more people ‘fall-down drunk’. It seems many people don’t really party this way anymore, and I think it’s a good change for the resort.

    Something else I noticed, there’s definitely less Brits visit these days. I’m assuming that’s because the major travel agencies no longer hold TTR on their books. It doesn’t bother me. As Premier Members we’ve been booking via the resort and booking flights separately for a couple years now. It’s an interesting conversation starter at the pool when there’s only a handful of you from UK!

    I did get a stomach bug about half way through. This happens to me every trip, and I doubt it’s anything to do with the food quality. I used to blame the alcohol over-consumption, but can’t use that excuse this trip. I think it’s just a change in gut bacteria or something that affects me. You just have to get on with it, drink a Gatorade and hope it passes quickly.

    I also unfortunately contracted Covid in the last days, as did the two friends we brought with us. They were feeling a little off the last couple of days (I didn’t feel unwell until I got back home). We all did a test when we got home, and all positive. This is my second round with Covid, and it’s definitely more like a mild cold than anything serious, so I wouldn’t let that put anyone off visiting. I think it’s inevitable this happens and we need to see it as a given risk visiting anywhere in the world. Close quarters with lots of people, circulated air on long flights etc. The resort is spotless, an amazing feat considering how many people are everywhere all times of day.

    Safe to say I will certainly be back for trip No.12, likely early December next year. I'll be avoiding the Canadian Lifestyle Takeover next time, not because of any specific reason other than I want my Tower Room from the outset.
     
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  2. MandEOntario

    MandEOntario Addict Registered Member

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    Trish, thank you for your wonderfully well-written, detailed Trip Report! Special congrats on your weight loss and letting the girls out! xo
     
  3. Steve

    Steve Administrator Owner

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    Thanks for the report Trish, glad you and Russ had a good time.

    Yeah very few Brits these days. On the rare occasion we meet any they usually end up being expats living somewhere like Florida, California or Canada :)
     
  4. FandS

    FandS Enthusiast Registered Member

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    What a detailed report and well written! I actually read it out to my wife in the gym as she was finishing up her training and she enjoyed it too.

    If I recall correctly, I think we met you through gifts of fireball jello shots on the BC back in 2014. Thank you for those and this excellent trip review!
     
  5. Trish

    Trish I can choose my own title Registered Member

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    That's a blast from the past! We made those boiling water in the coffee-maker in the room and hoping they'd set in the fridge...jeez they tasted awful!! Kinda wish I'd just brought the Fireball and saved the trouble. I guess bad decisions still lead to memorable stories!
     
  6. MikeandHeather

    MikeandHeather Guru Registered Member

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    Great report. Though we never met (I don’t think??), we always follow your comments and appreciate your thoughts!
     
  7. mexico24

    mexico24 Guru Registered Member

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    Great Review! Agreed about the Butlers, courtesy tip, but we definitely don't need them. Let me rant.

    "Hello, I'm XXX and I'll be your butler this week, let me know if you need anything" OK... sounds good, give a decent tip, but know that I'll never need him.

    The next day (sometimes the same day) another dude.. "Hello, I'm XXX and I'll be your butler this week", give a tip again.

    By about the fourth or fifth butler that comes by I am done with it. Unplugging the phone is the first step (also stops the ... "do you have a few minutes to talk about our new member benefits" calls).

    Desire is about the same, very nice guys and seem genuine, probably make most of their income on tips, but all I need is for them to talk to Danny at the pool so I don't have to get up at 6:30 to get a decent bed by the pool. But I don't want to be a cheapskate.

    Since we became members, seems like each trip is a few hundred dollars more by tipping butlers that we don't use. On a split trip (TTR/DRM) it adds up fast. I like the concierge system better, where you call someone if you need something and give an appropriate tip for the assistance.
     
  8. Trish

    Trish I can choose my own title Registered Member

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    So something I didn't mention in the original review (figured it was long enough already). With the butlers, somewhere during our room change on Day 2 I managed to miss my FitBit charger that was plugged into the wall. I'm the type of person that can't live without a watch, and the charge was never going to last rest of the week. Tried 'lost & found', no joy. Asked around if anyone else had one I could borrow, but appears most people with smart watches now have Apple. Looked online, and it seems like it's something you can pick up relatively easy at any electronics store (we could see they had the watches online), so my husband ventured out to the mall in the hotel zone for a new one. He tried 4 different stores, but the language barrier trying to explain we needed just the charger, not a FitBit, was too difficult. He texted the butler to see if he could help. Now, that to me, is what I would call 'going above and beyond'. Had they managed to to help us source a charger, we would've tipped very well for that, because it's something that would've been a genuine help to us in that 'let me know if you need anything' way. Of course they couldn't help. The 'let me know if you need anything' really means 'let me know if you want me to reserve a restaurant or sun loungers for you'.
     
  9. ScubaSteve

    ScubaSteve CCC's The Dude Registered Member

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    Thanks for taking the time to write the report Trish! Glad you guys had a great time.
     
  10. MikeandHeather

    MikeandHeather Guru Registered Member

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    Just FYI-there is an entire black market for phone chargers/cords in Mexico. Hotel service people find them and sell them to street vendors. They then resell and will be at red lights or side shops wherever people are (I know because I have left enough of them in hotel rooms and have probably bought my own charger back!!)
     
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