Join Date: Jan 2008
SunshineJK's Grand Sunset Princess Trip Report
Today is Wednesday, and the start of our day 3 at the Grand Sunset Princess. So far we are having a FABULOUS TIME!!
I will start the trip report, but will not be able to add any pictures until we get back. Hubby didn't bring the USB cords to connect the camera to the computer. WHICH, by the way, I am sending this from my room, which is about a 10 minute walk from the lobby!! Like another sunset trip report says, the wifi is hit or miss. It did not work in our room last night.
PS, we are in room 3022 with a swim out room. One of the furthest buildings from the lobby, and getting wifi, so I am quite happy at this moment.
ANYWAY...Day 1, travel day....
We left Wisconsin VERY early on Monday morning, 3 AM, after only 2 hours of sleep, so we could catch our 6:05 flight out of Minneapolis. We left on time, and arrived in Cancun at about 9:30 AM. Everything went well at the airport, we landed, went through customs just fine, got our bags and headed out to find out Apple ground transfer. VERY easy, got in the van and only had one other stop before us, at the Moon Palace. Looked like a really nice hotel for any of you that may be booked there. But I have never been inside, so don't know what those rooms are like. Then, it only took a few minutes, and we were pulling into our hotel.
We were greeted by the bell hop who took our luggage while we went to check in.
The Sunset Lobby:
Since we were there so early, our room was not ready, but we got our bracelets and saw our room number. So...we went to the public bathrooms to change into swim suits and then got a couple of drinks.
Sunset Lobby Bathrooms:
Korey had a margarita, and I had a pina colada. Yummo!!
We walked around the resort to find our room, and were VERY happy that room 3022 was a swim out room like we paid for with Apple online (Delux Suite Pool). They were cleaning it at that very moment so we peeked inside, and were thrilled!!
We walked around the resort some more to get familiar with it. The hotel is BEAUTIFUL!! I can't even explain it. The pool are gorgeous, the lobby, the rooms, the beach. Everything. Here are a few hotel pics:
We went to have lunch at the buffet, and it was fabulous as well. Ate way too much, but I started with a huge salad, then had some from the main buffet and had a plate of fruit and a SMALL desert, since I was so stuffed.
We made our way to the beach. Hubby wanted to crash on a lounger, but I still was not tired, even after only having 2 hours of sleep. So, I rolled up my capris and went walking on the beach.
I thought the sand was awesome. Soft and cool on a warm Mexico day. I didn't go into the water at our beach, but from what I could see, there were scattered rocks on the bottom. I walked the length of our beach, there is an open lot next to our hotel and then another resort a bit down. THAT resort had a decent beach, but the water was ALL rocks. Here is Korey in the water that way. See how it is all rocks? (NOTE, this is NOT the Princess beach)
Nobody even swam at that beach. Or hardly even sat ON the beach. I was so thankful for the beach we have at the princess. Here are some more beach pics of the rocky beach SOUTH of us.
I walked for about a total of 30 mintues, and then it was time for our room to be done. Check-in isn't until 3 pm, and if people can't understand that, then they must not be used to traveling. Our room was ready at 3 pm sharp.
We made our way BACK to our room and found it to be beautiful. The marble floors, the swim out off our patio, the bathroom, the bed (which I found were quite comfortable, but I like a firm bed). AND the pillows are awesome. I normally bring my pillow with me because I get a stiff neck easy, but these pillows are not too thick, not to flat. AND, we get two each, for you pillow lovers. But I can only sleep on one. Also, we do have a garbage can, mosquito towelettes, working safe, and an alarm clock.
Here are some room pics:
The swim out pool is great. The water is warm. Of course it is a tad chilly when you first get in, but what pool isn't???
After taking a zillion picture of our room, we showered, unpacked, and got ready for an early dinner. For dinner, we ate at the buffet. We tried booking a couple a la cartes, but they were full for the next couple days. We are going to try again today. I would like to try the fondue, mexican, and italian restaurantes. They are starting the mexican restaurante today with NO RESERVATIONS required, so we should at least get to eat there tonight. However, I am not too worried about getting into the ala cartes, as the buffet is wonderful.
After dinner, we went back to the room and crashed, since we were up so early. I think were were snoring by 8:30. LOL.
2008 Grand Sunset Princess Trip Report
Last edited by sunshinejk; 03-10-2008 at 10:42 PM.. Reason: Added photos
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Yesterday we started the day at 6:30 to get ready for our Tulum and Beyond Tour we booked through playa.info. We had to be at Java Joe's ata 7:20, so we basically dressed and headed to catch a taxi from the lobby. It was about a 15 minute ride to Java Joes, and the taxi cost us $14 there. We got to Java Joes, and had some Java, while we waited for the bus. They make a good Mocha and hubby had a blended iced coffe, which was awesome, too. We met the rest of our group that was on the tour and all go to know each other a bit before the bus came.
The ride to Tulum was about 45 minutes, but our guide, Eger, was fabulous. He told us some of the history of the area, and answered any questions we had. We got to Tulum and he took care of us and gave us an AWESOME tour. Here are some Tulum photos:
Some kind of mushroom at the beginning of the tour:
This one is climbing a tree. I can't flip it...
Cocoa Beans. Brown is unpealed, Black is pealed. We got to eat them. MMMMM
See the face?? VERY COOL.
Then we were off to swim in the Gran Cenote.
The Cenote was beautiful. A tad chilly when we first jumped in, but we got used to it quickly. Here are some Gran Cenote pics:
Some flowers at the cenote site:
We snorkeled for a bit, but then it started to rain. The rain only lasted about 15 minutes, though, so it wasn't bad. When the rain stopped, we were ready to head to the beach. Crap, I can't remember what it is called, though.
I got to say, this was THE BEST beach I have ever been on. The water was blue, the waves were perfect, the sand was like walking on flour. It was so soft, I can't believe it. I swam with Michelle and Steve for a bit, while Korey finished his beer.
Here is Michelle and Steve:
Then he joined us. We swam in the ocean (or should I say did some wave jumping/floating) until our lunch was ready. Here are some hippie beach photos:
We had an awesome lunch of grilled chicken, tortillas, rice, mashed potatoes, chips, salsa, guacamole, cabage, and beans. And watermelon and bananas for desert. It was all really good. We ate, drank more beer, then headed back to the water. I just couldn't get enough.
I did make one small mistake, though. I didn't put sunscreen on. It is recommended not to wear it in the cenotes, so I didn't put any on. I told Korey I didn't get fried in Tulum, so my month of fake and baking must have paid off and maybe I wouldn't need any for this vacation. WRONG!!! I started feeling my skin fry on the bus on the way back home.
After the beach, we made our way to Azul Cenote.
This one we got to jump off the cliff into the cenote. Korey was the first to jump from our group. How brave he was.
It took me about 10 minutes to work up the nerve, then I screamed the enitre way down. The water was cold. I jumped, got out, and just watched others.
The cenote was beautiful, but IMO, the tour could have stopped after the beach. It was making for a long day, and I think everyone was getting tired. Not too much swimming in that cenote for our group.
We got back into playa and it was just a bit after 5 pm. Our hotel has a free shuttle at 6, so we thought we would wait for that vs. take another taxi to the hotel. We didn't know where the pick up was, but thank goodness Eger did. What an awesome tour guide. We had about 45 minutes until pick-up. First we had to find an emergency bathroom for Korey, as he drinks 2 drops of water, and must pee. Finally found one in the mall. We made our way back to the pick-up spot and decided we wanted to do some shopping and would catch the 8 pm bus instead. First stop, the farmacia, so I could get a hair pick to brush out my wet and icky hair. Then a beach bag, as we forgot ours. I had to get a picture of the tree. It looks like a gigantic lit up penis...
We made our way up and down 5th and got a couple souvenirs for the kiddos. Such a beautiful place, Playa is. We did someshopping and just looking and made our way back to the pick-up about 7:55. We waited, and waited, and waited. Finally at 8:15 we took a taxi. Only $12 for the way back. We went to the concierge and asked about the shuttle to find it only did a 6 pm pick-up. Not sure where we figured there were two pick-ups. Maybe we thought since there were two drops (10am and 12pm) we thought there would be two pick-ups, I don't know...
Back to the hotel about 8:30. We stopped in the buffet and had dinner. It was yummo once again. They had Ribeye, pork, tamales, and some of the more general stuff. After chowing, it was back to the hotel and a SHOWER. I had so much sand in my suit from the beach, I am surprised it didn't fall out with each step I took. After the shower, I relaxed with my book for a while and then hit the hay!
Today is day three, and I will post todays activites after they happen. I am off to breakfast.
Last edited by sunshinejk; 03-10-2008 at 10:57 PM.. Reason: Added photos
Join Date: Sep 2007
Thanks so much for all the info. We have a swim up room in June, and you are getting me more anxious with every word you type! Can't wait to hear more! Hope everything keeps getting better and better for you - ENJOY!
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Windsor Hts. Iowa
Join Date: Jan 2008
Great Trip Report
Thanks so much for the great report! Two days and I will experience it myself. We are not taking a laptop, but I do appreciate those who did and took the time to get back to all of us as we take our breaks while shoveling snow!
Join Date: Jan 2008
Wednesday was a great day. It was pretty much overcast all day, but still a nice day. We didn't get rain at all where we were, but we heard that it did sprinkle off and on in certain places. We slept in a bit on Wednesday and made our way to the breakfast buffet when we woke up. MMMMMM, I do have to say, There is the main buffet by the lobby that is for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In the AM and the afternoon, they open up the two restaurants closest to the beach for buffet as well. That is really nice, as Las Olas was just a hop skip and a jump from our room, and we didn't have to take the almost 10 minute walk to the front of the lobby.
After breakfast, we made our way to the concierge and made reservations for an ala carte restaurante. We are eating at Miso on Saturday and will have Tempanyaki. One nice thing, is Friday, La Hacienda (Mexican Restaurant) will no longer require reservations and Saturday, Mama Mia will not need reservations as well. So that really helps, as reservations seemed really hard to get. I am thinking that maybe their staffing is improving, so they are able to do this??? Not sure...We had to stand in line for almost an hour to make the one reservation, but we met a really nice couple in front of us and chatted with them, so it made the time go really fast.
After that, we made our way back to the room to get ready for our day in Playa. We caught the 12:00 bus to Playa, from the hotel. This was supposed to be our Guinnea Pig Self Guided Tour day, but dang it!!! I forgot the guide at the hotel. So we didn't get to do it since it would have been another taxi cab ride to and from the hotel...So, we found Babe's right away, and I got my blueberry margarita and Korey got a mango margarita.
NUMMMM!!! We were not going to eat there, as we really wanted to order Taco's somewhere, but it smelled and looked so good that we did. I had Chicken Teriyaki and Korey had Thai Chicken. We had the half plate and that was PERFECT for us.
I almost forgot!!! I got my picture taken with a MONKEY!!!
I wanted to walk down by the other resorts right IN Playa, so we went down to the beach and walked it until we got to The Royal. I wanted to see what their beaches were like in case we wanted to stay in one of those some day. I have to say, I don't know why people were complaining about the Grand Princess beach, as it was VERY comparable, if not better than some of the ones we saw. I thought the Royal had way too many palapas and they looked like they were packed in like sardines. But that is just my opinion. I have never stayed there, and one of my co-workers has, and she REALLY enjoyed the Royal.
We did LOTS of shopping and it started getting REALLY chilly. Word of advice, when going somewhere all day, away from your hotel, BRING YOUR SWEATER OR JACKET. It got really cool, and I was shivering so much in my shorts and tank top, I started looking for a sweatshirt. They are kind of hard to come by, especially since I don't care for hoodies. BUT, at the end of 5th Ave. near the shopping mall area, we found a little shop that had really soft ponchos for women. It was a little spendy. He asked 650 pesos for it (about $65), but I was able to get him down to $400 pesos. It was still more than I wanted to pay, but it was really soft and pretty. I think if I would have offered less, I probably could have gotten it for less. But I am not much of a haggler, so I was happy geting him down 250 pesos.
After that, it was time to meet up at Manne's Biergarten for the peep meet.
We got there and saw Dan and Mickey
Kathy and Ross,
Terry and Sheryl.
We shared a table with them, had lots of fun, and drank lots of Margaritas. I started with a Pina Colada, and had two Margaritas after. They make them good, that is for sure!! Here are some tequila shooter pictures:
I got a few pics of everyone, but then my camera died, so I didn't get as many as I wanted. And Terry, sorry I was too mellow for you. I am just a mellow kinda gal and that was "loosening up" for me. I maybe would have gotten more roundy if I had another drink or two, but I knew I had an early morning with the F1 Tour the next day, and didn't want to be the chick puking off the side of the boat.
Dinner at Manne's was AWESOME! Manne and Susie did an awesome job with the ribs and everything else. We also had saurkraut, red cabbage, spaetzle, potatoes and bread.
They definitly have a good thing going on, so stop in there if you are ever in Playa. Thanks to all who were involved in setting this up!! Here is a pic. of the whole gang:
We also hung out with John and Sheryl.
They are at the Grand Princess, too, so we were able to share a cab with them on the way back. THANKS YOU GUYS!! John and Sheryl are awesome, too. When we got back to the hotel, Korey and I went to the sportsbar and brought a plate of chips/salsa/cheese back to our room. I needed something to soak up the booze. After chowing and chugging water, it was time to pass out and sleep up for an early morning on Thursday.
Last edited by sunshinejk; 03-10-2008 at 11:08 PM.. Reason: Added photos
Join Date: Jan 2008
Well, today isn't over yet, it is only about 4:15, but we just got back from our F1 tour and need a break, so I am typing more of the trip report. Not only for you, but for ME, because I have a terrible memory and need to do this as it goes. LOL.
Today we woke up at 6 AM to get ready for our tour. The bus was picking us up at 7:45AM in our hotel lobby. 6 AM came too early after drinking at Manny's last night. I kept thanking myself for NOT drinking the shots that Mickey and Karen were drinking last night. I had the spins enough this morning. LOL. But, I didn't barf, so I was happy about that!! No headache, either!!
We got ready and headed to the breakfast buffet. VERY happy that the sun was shining. It was still a tad bit cool, though. So...breakfast it was, then to the lobby for the pick-up. We got on the van and had two other stops. One at the Real (next to the Royal) and picked up a group of 8 from Holland. It was very interesting listening to them talk. It was two families (not there together), each with two kids. Ages about 11, 14, and twin girls of 16 years. Then we stopped at Xcaret and picked up another couple.
Once we got to Puerto Adventuras, we had our briefing from our Guide Diego, and got on the boat. We had a quick, calm ride to a beautiful little bay to get used to snorkeling. Very shallow there, sandy, a couple of ruins there. It was hilarious listening to the kids screaming through their snorkels when they saw the fish in the water.
Ooooh la la, so sexy in snorkel gear. NOT!!!
Next we had a quick, wet ride to Akumal to snorkel there. We had about 1/2 hour in the water and saw a few turtles, stingray and fish. The turtles were not as abundant as I thought they would be, but it was still cool seeing the few that we did.
This angel fish was the size of a basketball.
The F1 Boat
If any moderators know how to turn my sideway photoes, please feel free to do so.
Then we went up on the beach for a lunch. I thought it was great that they gave us a choice either Quesadillas with quacamole, Chicken Taquitos with rice and beans, or Chicken fingers w fries. Can you guess what the kids chose? LOL. Lunch was delicious, then it was back onto the boat to head out for our last stop.
We had a REALLY wet ride to the reef. Just a word of advice...when you do this tour, WEAR YOUR SNORKEL MASK DURING THE BOAT RIDE. This way you can enjoy the ride more, and not have to constantly wipe salt water out of your eyes. We even put the snorkel in our mouth, so we could breath without drinking the salty ocean water.
The reef we stopped at was beautiful. I had never seen one so close before, as whenever we had snorkeled in the past, it was always way down below. The reef was not all that deep, and in some spots even touched our stomachs as we swam over it. That freaked me out a bit.
Then it was back to the Puerto Adventuras marina and back to our hotel. I will catch you up on the rest of our day tomorrow, after it happens. I am thinking we will catch a nap in our room. My sunburn is still so sore, that I had to take Excederine Migrane this AM to even be able to stand my swim suit straps on it, so no napping on the beach or by the pool for me today.
Last edited by sunshinejk; 03-11-2008 at 06:45 PM..