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Breezes Jibacoa - more questions/advice needed

Stevenage, UK
Level Contributor
198 posts
7 reviews
17 helpful votes
Breezes Jibacoa - more questions/advice needed

We are going to Breezes Jibacoa for the first time on Sunday for 2 weeks. Can someone advise us of the following?

Is the dress code strictly adhered to in the restaurants - in particular closed-in shoes for ladies (no sandals)?

How many times can you use the a la carte restaurants and is it per week or per holiday?

Do you need to take footwear for the sea or is it safe to go paddling without?

Do you have to reserve the sunbeds or is it on a first come,first served basis?

Do you need to take beach towels to hang over the railings for privacy?

We have emailed guest relations to request a second floor room but have recived no response. Is that normal and our request would be noted for arrival or should we follow it up again?

How easy is it to use the local bus service or is it best to take the tours/taxis?

Any other recommendations/advice will be appreciated.

Thanks

Victoria BC
Level Contributor
960 posts
1 review
1 helpful vote
1. Re: Breezes Jibacoa - more questions/advice needed

Hi Mary,

The dress code in the a la carte's is smart casual, I've worn sandals/open toed shoes many times, never had a problem. Buffet is like any restaurant, "no shoes, no shirt, no service" most people wear a cover up over their bathing suit if going up for lunch.

You are allowed one visit per week to each a la carte, if you prefer to go on a particular day and time, for a birthday celebration or whatever, book within the first day or so of arrival.

Lots of people recommend taking water shoes as due to the extensive reef system off the beach pieces of coral and rocks are in the water in some places, other areas you won't find any. I never take water shoes. And remember, don't stand on the reef, it kills the coral...

Unfortunately the annoying habit of people heading for the beach early in the morning to put their towels on sunbeds has crept in at Jibacoa, although it's usually NEVER a problem finding a sunbed whatever time of the day you show up, you might have to drag it to where you want it on the beach, but you'll usually find one. Also, if you see loungers "reserved" with towels and there is absolutely no one around them for hours on end, I would suggest you fold up the towels and claim the loungers..it's just RUDE to reserve chairs "incase" you might want to use them at some point during the day.

Beach towels hung over railings for privacy is a good idea, we usually use the beach towels provided by the hotel. They are "open" type rails along the edges of the balconies and as dividers between the rooms.

Guest relations will try and accomodate room requests that you have made if they have it available, that's the best they can do, but they are usually pretty good.

The local bus service is not very reliable..as in running on time, not breaking down etc. You also need National Pesos to pay for the local bus...as tourists we use Convertible Pesos. Not to say that you can't do it if you have a sense of adventure and lots of time. Also please keep in mind that it is HIGHLY unlikely that the driver will speak any english at all..you might be lucky and find someone on the bus who speaks a little and can translate for you, but I wouldn't count on it. We've made the trip from Santa Cruz to Jibacoa on the "guagua" (pronounced Wawa), but that was with help on where to catch it in town. I don't think we would attempt to get to Havana on it, our spanish isn't that good...yet!

If you're not a "packaged bus tour" kind of person and want to go to Havana, find another couple who want to go and split a taxi, or ask around when you get there, there's a good chance you'll be able to arrange a private car and maybe even a guide. Transportation in Cuba is not cheap....

If you are comfortable riding a scooter I would recommend you try out some of the guided scooter tours that are offered at the hotel, they are a great way to get out in the countryside and learn a little about the cuban way of life.

Have fun!

The Great White...
Level Contributor
998 posts
38 reviews
198 helpful votes
2. Re: Breezes Jibacoa - more questions/advice needed

I would definately take footwear for swimming. I found it was very easy to be paddleing around in a sandy area and then all of a sudden you realize you are over a reef. I panicked the first time that happened to me. You will get to know exactly where the reefs are after you swim a few times. Bring a snorkle mask and you can have a look at the area you are swimming in.

Stevenage, UK
Level Contributor
198 posts
7 reviews
17 helpful votes
3. Re: Breezes Jibacoa - more questions/advice needed

Thank you karmadoc and ChillyLilly for your imformative replies. Can you get more then one beach towel each day, as when we went to Breezes Costa do Sauipe in Brazil we were only able to get one in return for our 'coupon'. We have our snorkels and masks and are looking forward to 'having a go'. After reading all of the advice from (mainly) Canadians, we also got some Thermos mugs.

We are counting down the hours now. Reading so many helpful discriptive posts has really put us in the holiday mood. The last question that I need advice on is how/where to give 'dry food goods' without causing offence or embarrassment. I expect that I'll think of more questions to ask later!

Thanks

White Rock, Canada
Level Contributor
2,037 posts
28 reviews
61 helpful votes
4. Re: Breezes Jibacoa - more questions/advice needed

Mary,

You will get one large beach towel per person which you can exchange for a fresh towel daily at the towel hut. Towards the end of the day, they are sometimes out of fresh towels so don't leave it until right before closing time. Also make sure you return your towel coupon at check-out or you will be charged for lost towels. I believe the penalty is 15 or 20 CUC for a lost towel.

There are several families who live down the road from the resort. I'm sure they would be thrilled to receive any dry food items you bring. The walk up to the lookout offered by the animation team daily (weather permitting) will also often come back via one of the local farms.

If you plan to do one of the scooter tours karmadoc has mentioned, you might also want to bring along some of your food gifts. The most needy Cubans live in more rural areas.

Lovely resort! Enjoy your vacation! Our daughter (her 4th. visit) and her fiance will be there for one week Nov.3 onward. We'll be there for a week at the end of Nov. so leave some rum for us!

Stevenage, UK
Level Contributor
198 posts
7 reviews
17 helpful votes
5. Re: Breezes Jibacoa - more questions/advice needed

Thanks Kurtsoma for all of your advice/tips. Of course we'll leave some rum for you. I am sure that there will be enough to go round - we've heard that most Canadians are almost teetotal! We shall see next week. Hope that your daughter and fiance have a lovely time. Enjoy your holiday at the end of November.

Mary

southern ontario
Level Contributor
1,006 posts
13 reviews
25 helpful votes
6. Re: Breezes Jibacoa - more questions/advice needed

We don't use the resort beach towels anymore. We bring cheapie beach towels and make do.

It is a very common practice for guests to lose their towels and rather than pay the 10 or 20 pesos- they take your towels. It's like musical chairs, the last ones to lose their towels end up paying at the front desk. We had ours taken at BJ while our camera etc. lay untouched.

Somerset, UK
Level Contributor
48 posts
153 reviews
90 helpful votes
7. Re: Breezes Jibacoa - more questions/advice needed

Dress code is smart casual - any kind of shoe will do.

A la carte is usually once per week in each per stay. We asked for another trip to the Italian and as we were staying 10 days they didn't hesitate to offer us another visit.

Yes take footwear for paddling.

Plenty of sunbeds around the pool and the beach.

We submitted a request for a quiet room, second floor and we had no reply but we were allocated what we wanted when we got there so maybe they did go on our request.

Local buses I think would not be a good idea as they are infrequent and they cram hundreds of people in them.

We arranged a private tour via jorgeguide2004@yahoo.es who sent a driver to the hotel and we had a really interesting tour with an excellent guide called Denia - speaks brilliant English and was a great host.

We did the tour to Varadero with Virgin and that was dull. Just a small market plus a very dull small mini mall. Not worth doing.

Have a great trip.

Alberta
Level Contributor
5,141 posts
35 reviews
383 helpful votes
8. Re: Breezes Jibacoa - more questions/advice needed

The Sunwing club Extra feature offers exclusive beach chair reservation, this may be accounting for the number of chairs reserved? Not sure have not been to BJ before.

Personally this is a bonus and service that Hubby and I look forward to. We are one of those couples who take turns getting up early to mark our chairs and spot as per say, as we do like to spend hours on the beach, mind you our "spot" is not left for hours, only to have breakfast and lunch.

I have to agree it is totally unfair for anyone to mark a chair, then not bother with it for hours on end however, I would NOT recommend under any circumstances to remove or, touch anyones towel (personal property) or, interfer with their spot. I saw a couple from Montreal do this in Punta Cana and the man from Montreal just about had his head ripped off from a very angry German (I am serious here, it just about came to blows, if it was not for the young kids crying and the Germans wife pulling him back). Quite frankly I did not blame the German at all, he got up early to set up for the day for his Family (I know because I saw him many a morning on the beach setting up, as I was), it was not a case that they were gone for hours, it takes time to have breakfast. The Family from Montreal had allot of cheek doing what they did, they were just too lazy to haul out their own loungers to set up. Ironically I did not see the couple from Montreal, the wife was very upset and wanted to leave the resort. This sort of thing can put a real damper on a holiday and it is not worth going there on.

Toronto, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jibacoa
Level Contributor
3,163 posts
165 reviews
232 helpful votes
9. Re: Breezes Jibacoa - more questions/advice needed

Hi SweetMystery,

I have travelled twice to BJ with Sunwing and have never had reserved chairs. They are not staffed at the beach to do this. The majority of guests do reserve chairs. There are lots of chairs and places of shade at the beach. There is very little shade at the pool and these go very early. It's in the brochure but it doesn't happen.

Alberta
Level Contributor
5,141 posts
35 reviews
383 helpful votes
10. Re: Breezes Jibacoa - more questions/advice needed

Thank-you for taking the time to tell me this, do appreciate it. How do companies get away with false advertising like this?