Stuff first timers should know about

Discussion in 'Temptation Cancun Reviews' started by Sultryfox, Oct 23, 2011.

  1. Sultryfox

    Sultryfox Guru Registered Member

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    We just got back home two days ago and despite some challenges we did have a fun vacation from Oct. 15-20. I posted pictures of our trip in an album on my profile.

    If we do go back to Temptation Resort, I know a lot of things I would do differently that would make it better. Here are my tips for having a great time:

    - if you are a snob when it comes to certain brands of liquor, bring what you want to the resort. Buy it at the duty free shop in the Cancun airport, or the airport you fly out of. The bars have marginal booze brands and little to no variety. It is also nice to have some drinks in the room alone, and kind of a hassle to keep going out to the bar for refills. It seems silly to bring liquor to an all-inclusive place, but if I had a mulligan I would bring a bottle of Hpnotiq, 2-3 bottles of Grey Goose, and at least one bottle of really good tequila. I brought my own sugar free mixer (powdered), can buy online at bajabobs.com. We found the cheap brands at the bar were very watered down, probably to keep people from being too hammered, but I know if I can drink 8-9 drinks and not feel a thing, it is all mix and very little alcohol!!

    - Bring your own tumbler with a lid - and having a built in straw is best. Mine didn't have the straw and it was more like a large coffee tumbler, was hard to drink iced drinks with the lid on, and regular straws were too short to reach the bottom of the cup. Having a handle is also helpful!

    - if you like good wine with dinner, bring what you want with you. Their house wine is terrible, and they have better wine that you have to pay extra for in the restaurants (but they wanted $50 for a bottle I can get at the grocery store for $5.99, and that is 50 dollars, not pesos!)

    - don't get drops of love, it is a total waste of your money. Instead, upgrade to the Temptation Suite - those rooms are much nicer and ocean front.

    - bring at least $200 in ones with you for tips, EVERYONE wants a tip for EVERYTHING - it is bordering on ridiculous at times, but you will need the ones. We went through all of our ones in 6 days ($200) plus about $200 in additional cash. Bring it with you because using the ATM will cost a fortune. My husband took out $200 from the ATM in the gift shop and the conversion fee from the bank was $42!!! We just saw that on his bank statement online yesterday and about coughed up a lung!

    - Almost everything else you do will have to be paid in cash (e.g. wave runner, parasailing, some tours, pictures, taxi/bus, and of course all the fricking tips). We thought we could use our credit card for most things other than tips, but the cute picture with the monkey, the vendors on the beach, all the fun extra stuff is mostly cash only! I highly recommend renting a wave runner - that was WAY cool! and it was $55 for 40 minutes.

    - Go to Coco Bongo if you like nightclubs. We have been to most of the cool places in Vegas and this club blows them all away! The music was a nice mix of 80s and current stuff, and even though I'm 44, I didn't feel way too old to be in that club (like I have in Vegas) - I felt very much at home! It is $55 per person to go, but that is only a third the price of most Vegas shows and it includes drinks and transportation there. Ignore the whistling chicks with the Hpnotiq shots for $5, that is a total rip off!

    - Don't worry about being judged, especially in the sexy pool. There are people of all shapes/sizes/ages and people are just doing their own thing and not too worried about passing judgment on anyone else. It is very refreshing. But also don't let anyone talk you into doing something you are not comfortable doing - go with the flow and don't worry about it - and most of all HAVE FUN!

    - I brought way too much clothing with me because I wasn't sure what would be going on and what I would need. I ended up wearing my sarong/pareo most of the time. If I were to go again, I would bring 2-3 sarongs in different patterns/colors, a few bathing suits, a couple suit cover-ups, maybe a pair of shorts/crop pants and a t-shirt, and a dress I could wear out (the kind that could be worn to a nightclub or out to eat, but not too fancy) - and a few pairs of comfortable sandals. The heat/humidity make the sarong the best choice I had, but I only brought one with me. They are easy to pack and can be a nice dress or bathing suit cover-up, whatever you need.

    - The pillows are not very soft and both my husband and I were struggling with that. I would bring my own pillow next time for sure!

    - Don't come to the resort expecting food any better than going to Applebee's for dinner and you won't be disappointed. No one is coming there for the food, trust me on that, it is about the ambiance and party, and the flexibility for adult fun. If you are super picky about what you eat, and are a restaurant snob, you'll need to get over that or it will be a problem. We are used to very good restaurants when we go out (e.g. Morton's, Ruth Chris), but we can still have fun going out and stop at McDonalds or a Denny's - that's how you need to look at this place!

    - If you are like me and LOVE steak, but like it medium (pink and a little red) then order it medium rare - ordering medium gives you well-done steak. Also, if you have any food allergies or dislike certain foods, you need to ask if they are in the dish you are ordering. I was unpleasantly surprised by bacon-wrapped filet mignon, and there was no mention of bacon on the menu (I hate bacon!). The salads will have stuff in them that is not listed in the menu either. My husband had a severe reaction to something in the white sauce in the seafood restaurant, he was violently sick but he has some food allergies. We just know now to ask. Also, I ordered the prime rib served medium for our in-room dinner for drops of love, and it was very well done (I've never seen prime rib cooked so much). This place is not about the food, you can eat if you are hungry, but having high expectations will only disappoint.

    - On the bright side, if you like salsa you will like the tex-mex place. If you like really spicy salsa, ask for the habanero salsa (you have to ask, they won't just give it to you) - it is awesome! Their other salsas are quite good as well.

    - For breakfast, the room service is just toast, yogurt, and fruit (very limited selection). If you want a real breakfast, you have to go to the buffet. My suggestion is to have them make you eggs cooked to order, don't eat from the buffet!

    - Understand that if you book the trip in Sept. or Oct. the risk of tropical weather is great, and it comes out of nowhere! 2 of our 5 days were lost completely due to horrible weather, the place literally was on lockdown, our room flooded, open areas were boarded up, it was so slippery that it was risking major harm to walk the halls, food wasn't available like normal, and the wind/rain made anything in the pool or outside impossible. If I go again, it would not be in Oct.

    - If we went to TTR again, we would go with a group of like-minded friends and not by ourselves. For a romantic time, we would prefer a more luxurious hotel with room service, concierge-level VIP service, a pristine beach, and high-end restaurants and beverage choices. To hang out with friends and have a fun, sexy, casual wild time, that is more why we would go to TTR. We met people when we were there, but because of the bad weather the first few days it was harder to hang out, so we really only had a few days before we had to leave - just when we started to get to know a few people from this forum, we had to leave. It seems like it would be a better place for groups, unless you are the type of couple who makes friends instantly wherever you go. We are more reserved at first, and tend to do more by ourselves, so for us bringing friends with us would have been better.

    - I cannot stress this enough, I now know to expect Applebee's and Courtyard by Marriott accommodations - this is not a Morton's in a Ritz Carlton type of place. We would go to Dreams or ME by ourselves in a do-over for romance, we would go TTR to have adult fun with a group of friends and be casual.

    - If you have a connecting flight on the way home to the USA, give yourself more than 2 hours in a layover. We barely made our connecting flight in 2 hours because we had to go through immigration, pick up our checked bags, go through customs, and then recheck our bags, go through security, and get to our connecting gate. This was in Houston - and we had 5 minutes to spare (enough time to grab a hamburger at Wendy's before a 5 hour flight). The line for immigration wasn't even half of capacity, and the security line wasn't very long, so I know it can be much worse.

    - I am so glad I went to the tanning bed for a few weeks before the trip. We didn't know there would hardly be any sun while we were there, but if there had it would have been a problem. Even with the limited sun, I saw a few people who got VERY sun burned and they seemed miserable. It was nice to show up with a tan and not worry about tan lines either!

    - Most of the staff speak very limited English - they pretend to understand you but anything complex is impossible to discuss. I would try to learn some Spanish before going again, especially about specific things I know I might have a problem with (e.g. food allergies, dislikes, asking for services).

    - If you go to the seafood restaurant, ask for Alex as your server, he is a total sweetheart and gave us the best service of any staff in the entire place. We tipped him $20 and he about died - but we didn't tip a few people because of such horrible service. You will need to tip the maids, bartenders, servers, and any random person who does anything for you.

    - don't waste your money on taxis, they are a total rip off. The city bus is nicer than any bus I have been on in America - they even have a flat screen TV, A/C, and they are clean - I couldn't believe it! For $1 you can get anywhere one-way (it was $15 in a taxi to get back from Coco Bongo because my husband didn't want to ride the bus at 3am - and that is about a 5 minute drive - rip off! and they wanted $25, Michael talked them down to $12 + a $3 tip).

    - The time share people will leave you alone if you ignore them. The airport was shocking because they act like they are your long lost best friend, just walk by and say no thanks - don't look at them at all! The guys at the hotel stopped asking us after the 2nd day.

    - If you go to a Mexican flea market, you will have sales people like swarms of bees suffocate you asking to buy this or that. You can't window shop in peace, the second you look at something 2 guys are bugging you to buy it and trying to sell you 15 other things - the jewelry people are the worst! Bring cash because very few places accept debit or credit cards. For those places, it is actually better to have pesos, but get dollars exchanged somewhere for the real rate, some places would only give 10-11 pesos for a dollar, when the exchange rate was 12-14 that week. The hotel will only give you 11. Also, if you pay for something in dollars, you will get pesos as change, so carry small bills so you don't get stuck with a lot of pesos, unless you want them. I only had a $20 and needed some aspirin, got $17 worth of pesos back in change, and I never know if it is right. Dollars are fine for tips, they love the American money.

    - If you are a sugar free Rock Star junkie like I am, you won't find them for sale anywhere in Cancun - trust me, I looked hard! They only sell the sugar free Red Bull (which I dislike), and the sugary Red Bull or Monster drinks. I would have brought some with me if I had known. Also, the coffee is terrible, seriously awful! Bring your own and make it in the room - and bring your own creamer and sugar because they don't have any in the room (just the coffee maker). You could get some cream/sugar at the buffet and bring it to your room, but I highly recommend avoiding the coffee if you are a coffee snob (like those of us from Seattle!)

    - If we had a do-over, we would have gone on the pirate party booze cruise at night one of the nights we were there. We saw that boat with all the lights from our patio and could hear the party - sounded like it was a lot of fun!

    - Come to TTR with the right expectations and you won't be disappointed. We had to come down a few notches with our expectations and then were able to enjoy our time, the first few days of violated expectations were difficult. Now we know what it is and what to do for our enjoyment. Honestly, if I had brought the liquor I like for the room, brought my own coffee/Rock Star drinks, not ordered drops of love, brought wine we like for dinners, brought my own pillow, and expected that we would be eating at Applebee's or TGIFridays every night, the first few days would have been better.

    I hope this helps!!
     
  2. icecube88

    icecube88 I can choose my own title Registered Member

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    Great run down on things to know! It will help alot of first-timers!! :xyxthumbs:
     
  3. kristinanddoug

    kristinanddoug Cancun Party Expert Registered Member

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    It's too bad about the weather, but you guys had one hell of a room, that is a nice suite right on the beach!
     
  4. MelnReg

    MelnReg I can choose my own title Registered Member

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    Maybe you should have stayed at the Ritz? Struggling with pillows that are too soft? Seriously. We've been to Cancun and TTR several times and have never had the bad experiences you're speeking of. And I'm sure 99% of the people who are repeaters on this forum feel the same. The staff DO NOT expect tips. They work very hard and are genuinely giving exceptional service and far too often are treated like servants and don't get a dime from anyone. We've never had a problem communicating with any staff in english. People forget that this is still a 3rd world country? Not the United States of America! and don't get insulted by me saying that because I'm from Canada cause I was born in the US.:icon_rolleyes::bowdown:
     
  5. Canadian Dos Equis fan

    Canadian Dos Equis fan Cancuncare's Most Interesting Man Registered Member

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    I have to admit I had some similar thoughts myself, but and his is a big BUT, we do need to remember that traveling is a different experience for everyone. Myself I'm happy as long as the food and booze is plentiful. I'm single so quaint and romantic isn't my bag.

    The good thing is an honest review like this helps to let people who are more accustomed to 5-star service know not to expect it at TTR or book elsewhere leaving the debauchery to us party animals. It's too bad that Sultryfox and her hubby didn't get what they wanted though.

    For me give me happy fun people put a drink in my hand maybe feed me once or twice a day and I'm in heaven!
     
  6. tere

    tere Guru Registered Member

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    An interesting trip report! And right on about a few things..like the coffee and the wine. Both are not very good. You should definitely bring your own supplies if you are a person with definite likes! All-inclusive resorts typcally never serve the gourmet styple cuisine that SultryFox had expected, but I've had some very nice meals at TR.
    I remember my first trip and I was very pleasantly surprised about the resort in general for the price paid. The staff tries hard to please (with or without tips) and would have brought some other pillows.
    The areas around the resort are very slick even when it is not really raining. And yes, the resort is more casual than I thought it would be.
    If someone has food allergies, it is best to print out a card (in the language of the country) listing exactly what you need to watch out for and present it at every meal to avoid problems. It is better than trying to speak a foreign language about what might be a serious problem. A friend of mine does this even in the US.
    The part I really sympathize about is the room service for all meals. It is very misleading. I would not have thought that there would be a personal butler tending to getting in-room drinks 24/7 though. So all in all, a very informative report for first-timers
     
  7. MelnReg

    MelnReg I can choose my own title Registered Member

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    :aktion033:Well said my friend!
     
  8. Sultryfox

    Sultryfox Guru Registered Member

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    I actually said the pillows were really hard, not too soft :)

    If we would have gotten what was promised with Drops of Love, that would have been enough for us - the combo of excellent service/pampering along with sexy fun - that is what we wanted. But we did have fun, and the hotel did reimburse us for 2 days credit on the Drops of Love package.

    The tips issue was more global and not just TTR, I was talking about going all over Cancun - and tips are "appreciated" at places you wouldn't think should get tips (like at convenience stores or gift stores in restaurants, they have a tip jar - really??!).

    Housekeeping services were great, and we tipped them very well - they took care of us and brought us extra water when we asked. The bartenders that would actually give us Cuervo or Smirnoff got tipped well, but when we asked for the name brand and saw them pour the sh*t, well, not so much ...

    I just wanted to provide some information from my perspective, both good and not so good, because that is what I wish I would have known before I went. We would go again for sure, but with far different expectations.

    The money stuff I talked about is really important - using an ATM there is a very bad idea if you are from the US. Bring what you need with you or you get boned in fees!

    The other thing I didn't mention was smart phone stuff. Turn off your data plan before entering Mexico or you will get whacked with fees that you can't believe. My daughter works for Verizon customer service and she told us what to do before we left because people call all the time with a $2K phone bill after international travel and are livid - but they let their phone search for email and other push data messages the entire time and that adds up quickly!

    You have to pay for Wifi at TTR, and it really only works in the lobby (sometimes by the sexy pool it will work, and in Paty O's, but not much further out). I talked them into giving me wifi for free because of not getting the room service we were promised, but it was a bummer not to have it in the room. I was happy I could use wifi for Facebook, especially because I could send messages to my teenage kids who were home alone without a problem! But, TTR should get with the 21st century and offer wifi everywhere like most places (even in Cancun, most of the hotels said they had wifi in the rooms and many had it free).

    The storm was a bummer, and totally not anyone's fault. We did have a major flood in our room the first night/morning, and they were able to move us to another room that ended up being better than the first suite we had. It was right next door to the one they use for the demo for the premier membership.

    If we had brought a few brand bottles of liquor for our room, a nice bottle of wine, expectations of a $80-$100 per night hotel in the US (without room service :-/), and food expectations of the buffet being like Circus Circus in Vegas and the "nice" restaurants being of the quality of Applebee's, then other issues would have been able to taken more in stride.

    You get what you pay for, always - nothing is free. All-inclusive hotels are trying to earn profit like any other business and corners will be cut when it is all you can eat/drink. This resort costs less than other Cancun all-inclusives and that does say something about what to expect with food/liquor/accommodations. Everything is a compromise, and for people like us who enjoy the pampering of luxury hotels, that is what we compromise when we want the ambiance and sexy parties at TTR. I just wish I would have known more of the details of what we would be compromising before we left - and that is what I'm trying to help with here in case there are others like us looking into staying there for the first time.
     
  9. sparkyles

    sparkyles Enthusiast Registered Member

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    Thanks for taking some considerable time to give out this information im sure it will be very helpfull to our holiday on 30th nov 2011 les and valerie england
     
  10. Beck

    Beck I can choose my own title Registered Member

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    Couldn't agree more, especially on the tips! I'm from England a country known for being tight when it comes to tipping lol but Cliff and I go through at least $400 in 6 days and still feel
    the staff deserve more! They work their arses off and some people treat them like crap! Try working as hard as they do in the heat and humidity and still keep a smile on your face!
     
  11. Sultryfox

    Sultryfox Guru Registered Member

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    Yes, the reason I said the stuff about the tips is that the information on the hotel says tips are included in the cost of the room. Some people may not realize that they need to pad that room cost with tips, just out of basic humanity!
     
  12. Steve

    Steve Administrator Owner

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    Some good info here, thanks for taking the time to write it.

    A few comments:

    ATM's - make sure you use a "bank branded" ATM to avoid excessive charges. Closest one is out of the lobby turn left, pass the parking lot and you'll see a convenience store the ATM is on the other side of the store (out of view as you approach).

    I don't know about the States but certainly in the UK and Mexico, pretty much anyone can set up a private ATM as a franchise and set the transaction fees which they keep most of themselves. You'll typically find these in hotel lobby's convenience stores etc.

    I use ATM's regularly for International withdrawals from the UK and the bank branded ATM's charge 29 pesos for a 5000 peso withdrawal. Bank Branded ATM's to look for include Banamex, HSBC, Banorte, Santander.

    Taxis: Better to use the bus, but when you need a taxi don't get one from a taxi rank (sitio) these are the taxis parked outside clubs and restaurants and waiting in hotel car parks. Walk to the road and you'll find taxis pass by literally every few seconds. Flag one down offer a price, if he doesn't accept it, send him away and flag the next. $15 from Coco Bongo is far too much, price should be more like $7 or $8. You dont need to tip taxi drivers - they have already gouged you enough usually already.

    Weak Drinks: If your drink is too weak simply ask them to top it up with more alcohol. The staff will be happy to oblige.

    Tips: Asking for tips is an annoying epidemic in Cancun. I agree you should tip the guys at the hotel well, but they shouldn't be asking for tips they're not supposed to. Away from the hotel, my simple rule of thumb is if you ask for a tip you aint getting one.
     
  13. Jeff & Beth

    Jeff & Beth Regular Registered Member

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    To me it really depends on how much you paid. I've paid over $200 for a dinner for my wife and I at Ruth's Chris. Our upcoming 7-day trip to TTR will cost us less than $1000 each including airfare, hotel, transfers, and taxes. Would I expect the overall quality level of Ruth's Chris at TTR @ $1000? No. If I wanted 5-star+ quality at an AI resort I'd expect to pay double what I pay for TTR.

    Just my thoughts.
     
  14. Sultryfox

    Sultryfox Guru Registered Member

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    I totally hear you on that, and did not expect them to serve the same food as Ruth's Chris for the price we paid for AI. However, when they say "gourmet" to describe their restaurants, that is a bit of a stretch.

    I have been to hundreds of restaurants all through the spectrum from crap to the best and I was describing the level of "gourmet" that I felt would be the most accurate description to someone wondering about the quality. I tried to use a place that most people would recognize as a benchmark. From my perspective, the food was more of the Applebee's/TGI Fridays level. There is nothing wrong with that, but it is not what I would call "fine dining" or "gourmet" at all, so for a newbie reading the website, this needs to be clarified with reality.

    The buffet reminded me of Circus Circus in Las Vegas, and there, just like everywhere else, you get what you pay for. At Circus Circus, it is a 99 cent breakfast and worth every bit of that 99 cents. The food in the TTR buffet that was not cooked to order was every bit as good as the buffet at Circus Circus, and that is not a compliment! :wuerg011: I think they can and should do better there!

    The tex-mex place was the best, and I think they should do more of a nicer Mexican restaurant for dinners - even leaving that place open for dinner would be terrific. They certainly can make great salsa, and the steak burrito there was delicious. The pizza wasn't bad, and much better than anything in the buffet!

    They are in Mexico, go with the strength of that - Mexican food is not expensive and most people love it - I was actually hoping for more opportunities to eat a wide variety of Mexican food since there are no good Mexican restaurants in Seattle (I'm from So Calif. and miss the Mexican restaurants there SO much!!).
     
  15. Donald

    Donald Devil's advocate Registered Member

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    Not singling out this trip report which I think is an honest one ,especially about the ''Butler service'', but has anyone noticed that most negative trip reports begin with ,
    '' The weather was bad''.
    Been there many times and have never felt I had to tip, hope this is not a new thing. I,ve noticed food quality changes every time I go , sometimes bad sometimes good, was even excellent once(Xmas 2009).
    Thanks for the report . Don't know were I.m going to stick my 2 pillows?
    ;)
     
  16. Sultryfox

    Sultryfox Guru Registered Member

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    We would have been fine with the weather if we had a butler to fetch us drinks and room service for every meal. That is the only reason we booked the trip when there was a risk of tropical storms.

    I am a total weather geek and always wondered what a tropical storm would be like - it was actually kind of exciting for me to experience that. I don't blame the resort for the weather, and the results of the weather (like our room flooding, etc.) - not at all.

    If you look at what I said were the problems, it wasn't having to do with the weather, it was having to do with promising services that were impossible for them to deliver, and them being utterly difficult about our complaining about their broken promises.

    They did right by us to switch our room with the flood, but they gave us the run around on so many other things that it is hard to give them any credit for service. To get a refund for 2 days of drops of love required 2 hours of telling the same story to 3 levels of employees, and the frustration of massive language barriers until we got to the third management level. Later on Sunday night the real manager sent us the bottle of vodka and apologized for poor service, but that was after about 30 hours of compounding violated expectations.

    I just cannot believe they have room service for every meal on their website and promotional materials and have no way to accommodate that promise - and then are completely unapologetic about it - like shame on us for even asking - OMFG!:bash:
     
  17. summerbum

    summerbum I can choose my own title Registered Member

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    It was honest trip reports like this that helped me go to TTR with exactly the right expectations. I appreciate the time you took to detail everything!

    I would like to address the the tips, though--we never felt pressured to tip at all, and after we got home, my husband said, "Wait? We were supposed to tip housekeeping and the bartenders??? I feel bad now!" And even with that, when I went back the second time, staff remembered me, greeted me by name, and treated me warmly--not like that chick who stiffed 'em the first time!
     
  18. Donald

    Donald Devil's advocate Registered Member

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    I just cannot believe they have room service for every meal on their website and promotional materials and have no way to accommodate that promise - and then are completely unapologetic about it - like shame on us for even asking - OMFG!:bash:[/QUOTE]


    I was agreeing with you on that part :)