from Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Submitted on 02-07-2017
First, and foremost, you DO NOT need to go to the time-share 90 minute presentation if you have booked a stay at the resort for the first time just to check it out. They will give you a "concierge" when you get off the shuttle at the hotel that will make it seem like you have to, and they pretty much hold your bags hostage until you at least listen to the "complimentary presentation" spiel. You don't have to agree to go. We didn't know that, so - we agreed, because I thought it was mandatory, a...
First, and foremost, you DO NOT need to go to the time-share 90 minute presentation if you have booked a stay at the resort for the first time just to check it out. They will give you a "concierge" when you get off the shuttle at the hotel that will make it seem like you have to, and they pretty much hold your bags hostage until you at least listen to the "complimentary presentation" spiel. You don't have to agree to go. We didn't know that, so - we agreed, because I thought it was mandatory, and I am not a fan of "surprise" charges that I need to argue about at the end of my stay. We agreed to go and enjoy the free "lunch" which was a small buffet of fruit and sandwich type items, so - if you are interested in a free small lunch and have 90 minutes - go right ahead. You will get around $100 in some type of resort credit, so it might be worth it to you. We weren't really fond of taking that time out of our vaca, so I was not thrilled, but still agreed. The following day we all boarded the "free" shuttle to a sister resort (The Sands) for the presentation, 2 adult children in tow, and prepared to just say NO for 90 minutes. To be fair - there was no need for a presentation, because if we were to buy a place in Cancun, this would be perfect for our family, and the resort is so nice, it sells itself, however, that is not in our financial plan at this time. We took the "complimentary" shuttle to the sister hotel (all shuttles to sister hotels are included by the way) and met with our sales rep, who spoke English quite well, and we just told her the truth - our friends have a condo here and we are not interested in buying at this time, but if we were, this would be the place and no presentation was going to convince us to buy more than just the perks of the hotel itself. 10 minutes later we were outside enjoying the immenities of the Sands, which are spectacular by the way. So why the Carribean over the rest? The Sands is beautiful, and elegant, but more than our family needed for a comfortable stay, and we did not want an all-inclusive package. There is a wonderful spa at the Sands, but you can book an ocean-side massage at the Carribean through them and never leave the Carribean Resort, and of course the Sands has higher end shops, so if that is your thing, than the Sands is your place. We have done all-inclusives at the Atlantis in the Bahamas (you shouldn't) and I have stayed in 5 star resorts at places like the Waldorf and GlenEagles in Scotland - a bit much for my taste. The Royal Carribean is a perfect fit for us; casual, relaxed and spacious. We originally looked at the Islander next door, which is a bit more compact. It has a much nicer swim-up bar but less area to roam around in, and both facilites are accesible to you when you stay at the Royal Resort chain, which was definitely one of the reasons we chose this hotel over so many others. The staff here is very attentive and our room was perfect for our family. We had a suite with a full balcony, which included a master bedroom and 2 fold down beds in the living room, perfect for our 2 adult children. There is a small, fully stocked kitchen with a full-sized fridge and microwave, perfect for holding beer, wine and our take-out leftovers. Definitely opt for the large patio. The couple next door to our suite have a time-share, and they mentioned they cannot even put a chair out on their ocean view "terrace". The Carribean offers a small store on the lobby level, which has everything you will ever need at such reasonable prices, you won't even believe it. A bottle of Yellow-Tail wine is approx $15 American dollars and a 2 liter bottle of soda is only $2.50. The convenience is hard to compete with. We checked out the prices at the store across the street near Captain's Cove and the price difference was less than $.50 American dollars. If you enjoy a 5 minute walk, save the $.50, but there is no need otherwise to go anywhere else. The bars are top-notch, and the Tradewinds restaurant has all of the basics. We recieved a complimentary breakfast with our stay, and it was all you would ever need. To be fair, we have had much higher caliber buffet breakfasts elsewhere, but you get what you pay for, and unless you are quite particular, this will meet your basic needs. Omelettes made to order, a variety of Mexican dishes, really good sausage - I am from WI, and we know a good breakfast sausage there - fresh squeezed juices, fresh fruit - it's a nice spread. Our friends reccomeded this restaurant for steak, and I work at one of the most famous fine dining steak houses in WI, I can tell you that these steaks are better and less expensive. $25 American will get you unlimited salad bar, soup and a tender steak and baked potato. It's hard to beat, lobster tail is also available at market cost. The nice part, is that while the menu isn't extensive, all of the options are good. Other than the excellent steak, the food is pretty standard. We had loaded nachos at the inside lobby bar that were outstanding, and we were here for Superbowl weekend and my husband is a HUGE football fan, and the game was on in every bar. The tradewinds bar, is the best. You sit poolside with a view of the ocean and the breeze here is amazing. You feel ocean side every time you dine there. There is a different ethinic cuisine at the buffet every night, and the drinks are excellent and reasonable. A bottled beer is about $3, depending on your choice. Specialty drinks are $10. There is a Sports center where you check out your beach towels with a room key at no charge, as long as you bring them back, you can also get volleyballs, life jackets, swim fins and more. Boogie boards are not available to rent, but you can purchase them in the gift shop for the price of one standard day rental, use it your whole stay and just leave it behind. The accessability to the sister resorts was a big sell for our family. While you cannot rent kayaks at the Carribean, you can shuttle to the sister resort the Royal Grand and use them for free. Make no mistake, there needs to be some planning here, as the free shuttle from the Carribean only goes to the Sands, so you need to pick up the free shuttle that goes from the Sands to the Grand. Free shuttles only run on the hour, so it might take you 2 hours to get to the Grand from the Carribean, if you are waiting for shuttles, you can shop, or eat, or swim at the resorts inbetween while you wait, just remember you will have the same time restrictions on the way back. I looked at all the online booking sites, Kayak, Expedia, etc, but called Royal Resorts direct and they got us the best deal. 6 days, 5 nights, free breakfast buffet and free transport to and from the airport for just over $1000 American dollars the first week of Feb 2017, but we booked our rooms 5 months in advance. Our suite had an ocean view and although we were originally told the 4th floor, we were so happy with our room assignment on a much higher level as the breeze and the sound of the ocean with our balcony doors open every night, were truly amazing. The best part about our room, is that it also had a view of the inland waters facing downtown Cancun, and we pulled our chairs out our front door and watched the sunset. This location overall, is hard to beat. The beach is beautiful, the sand is amazing and the grounds are impressively maintained. There are plenty of activites and at 3pm every day, we were on the beach while our son played pick-up volleyball for several hours with other guests. All skill levels and ages were welcome. Our son is 16 and in every sport in high school and the oldest player on the court was 70. Our son still felt it was fun and competitive enough to be enjoyable even with all of the age groups and skill levels and players participating. There is yoga and water aeorbics and ceramic painting and I'm sure many more things we didn't get to do. This place has a great vibe. Can't wait to reccommend it to everyone.