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Just got back from Grand Mayan - WOW!!! Can't wait to go...

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Just got back from Grand Mayan - WOW!!! Can't wait to go...

We just got back from a week at the Grand Mayan. Actually, we were supposed to be staying at the Sea Garden, and just like everybody said, they check you in and immediately go to the desk to see Eloise to pressure you into signing up for a Timeshare. We said no thank you! They didn't charge my credit card, but put a hold of $200.00 on it, which was voided at the end of the week. I tried to get an ocean view room, which I had asked for when confirming my room 72 hours before, and they said it was based on availability. We got there at 4:45 p.m. and check in wasn't until 5:00. Hmmmmm... Anyway, even with extra cash in hand, we still didn't get an ocean view room. Here's the deal -

the room stunk like urine, the bathroom was so tiny, the bedroom was ugly with tattered lamp shades, and just dark and dingy! The kitchen was tiny, eating area very small. Basically, I've stayed in better Best Western motels, and this was supposed to be a Gold Crown Resort???

Before they even hardly had a chance to bring up our luggage, I went over to the Grand Mayan, and booked the most gorgeous room overlooking the golf courses, we could see the bay, and the MP. ( No problem At All switching over! ) Nice size balcony with the little pool on it, nice size kitchen w/ brand new appliances, kitchen bar, dining room table, lots of cupboard space, 2 nice size pullout beds which my 2 big sons slept very comfortable in, and the bathroom! Ladies, this was wonderful - a shower for 2, separate toilet area, marble floors, 2 sinks, an extra sink area near the family room, 2 closets, a separate sitting area in the master bedroom - room to spare, oh and the bathtub (big enough for 2, including candle and bubble bath!) All I can say is WOW!!! Service was fantastic! I left little notes in spanish with little gifts and tip of $3.00. She said it wasn't necessary, but was very appreciative! Everybody spoke english. I tried to speak my little bit of spanish, and they would answer in english!

The grounds were absolutely gorgeous - we loved the lazy river, and all the pools, the wave pools, the water slide, the pool bar, the restaurants, clean bathrooms, great service, a true paradise!

And the best part - we didn't listen to a single timeshare!! Now, we did pay an extra fee, averaging $100/day, but it beat wasting a vacation day and high pressure, and we went on the excursions we liked. (And no maintenance fees!!...) All in all, it was one of the best vacations I've ever been on. This was our first time to Mexico, and I only booked it because my hotel in the bahamas was destroyed by the hurricanes last year (which I didn't find out until way after I booked my airline tickets.... but ) so for a very short 2 1/2 hr. flight, we had the best time, and can't wait to go back!!!

We just couldn't fit everything in that I wanted to do as far as excursions, but we did the Canopy Tour, Mud Rats ATV (A great day!!!) went to the Pirate ship for the dinner and show, and did the Yelapa, Majahuitas Beach tour on the catamaran.

We really wanted to take a day and just enjoy the hotel amenities, sleep in, walk the beach, & parasail, eat, Relax!

One weird thing on our beach though, was the shore line, on Sunday, was full of these little blue jellyfish things. I mean ALL over the shoreline, like you couldn't walk in the water!! Then we went on the snorkeling trip on Friday and the guide said they were Portugese Man-o-war and extremely dangerous!!!So much so, that we had to go aways from Majahuitas beach because there were so many of these in the water, and they were concerned for our safety!!

Also, next time we go, we will definitely rent a car. Traffic was absolutely no big deal, and we ended up taking the taxi which was $17.00/one way to town. And we were squished in the car! My husband is 6'6", and the 2 guys are 6"4" and 6"3" - A tight ride!!

The only other thing was it is beginning its rainy season, and every day we only had an hour or two of sunshine a day, and Thursday, it rained. Light sprinkles in the early morning, and cloudy starting about 2:00 - just warm and tropical.

The posts I've been reading the last couple months have been a tremendous help!!! My family and I thank all who gave helpful suggestions. The best ones were: Beware of timeshare shark at the airport desk, and restaurant tips, a bringing your own floating tubes, and bringing along little gifts and leaving spanish notes for the maid! We didn't even need thermal mugs as the bar personnel made sure your every need was met! Didn't need the pepto or immodium either - not a single stomach upset, and we ate at a couple way out of the way restaurants in the jungle - ice and all! I guess they are very careful as far as using bottled water for guests. Taxi info was great. For us, we didn't need to go to Walmart. I brought a smaller suitcase filled with snacks, Starbucks coffee, cereal, chex mix, beef jerky, granola bars, and for anything else, we just went to the Sea Garden Market. I didn't think the prices were that bad. For my time, to go to the Walmart, the bus, the waiting and all, the sea market was just fine! One day I bought two half gallons of milk, 1 box of orange juice, bacon, eggs, avacado, tomatos, pears, 4 cans of soda, 4 'penguiinos' (like Hostess cupcakes), all for $2100 pesos. Thought it was pretty good (course I'm used to California prices)

Wow, I think I've said enough - didn't mean to go on and on.... but we just had the best best time, and are looking forward to going back very soon!! Grand Mayan - we'll be back!!!!

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1. Re: Just got back from Grand Mayan - WOW!!! Can't wait to go...

Glad to hear you had such a great time! I am scheduled for a week at MP in July and just wanted to clarify some things with you...

1. What was the $200 hold on your credit card for?

2. You say you switched over to GM with no problem at all, but you paid an extra $100/day? Was this a timeshare exchange? Or was this something you arranged on your own that's why the extra cost?

Can't wait for our week. I'm still debating whether to try and upgrade to GM.

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2. Re: Just got back from Grand Mayan - WOW!!! Can't wait to go...

Regarding the $200 hold - the Sea Garden told me that it was a credit for any charges that might incur during our visit, like restaurant charges, or pool bar, drinks ect. When I checked out I at the end of the week at GM I didn't see the $200 credit on my bill and they said it was just 'pending' and that no charges or credits were applied. I think it was just to see if you had credit on your card, anyway, nothing was charged or voided on my visa. I've already checked. So, it was no big deal. Actually, we did have charges on our check-out bill - restaurants, snack bar, pool bar and drinks, and took care of that the last day.

As far as the switch? We did it all on our own. No timeshare presentation! I think they may have taken the diference between maybe what my point value/$$ value was at Sea Garden, and the GM, and the difference was under $750.00 which I paid at time of check-in. It didn't matter how much - this was our once-a-year family vacation, and I wanted it to be the best with no regrets, and fantastic memories! Which we did! The Mayan Palace was beautiful too, huge pool, beautiful gardens right on the beach, the ATM and travel agency, and rent-a-car was there, they jet ski and parasail guys are right there on the beach, too, everyday till 2:00.

For us, though, the Grand Mayan was soooooo worth it! The rooms, and balcony, as I said earlier were gorgeous and spacious. I would definitely bring your own floatie rafts or tubes - the cost to rent them was $3.00/day. I don't know it at the MP you can use the GM pools, and lazy river, and all. They do check wrist bracelets there.

You'll have a great time, when are you going? The rainy season is starting - bring a windbreaker jacket, or throw in an umbrella....

Any other questions, please ask! Adios!!!

Minneapolis, MN
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3. Re: Just got back from Grand Mayan - WOW!!! Can't wait to go...

Hi, thanks for the info. My fiance and I are going on July 3 to the Grand Mayan (it's our honeymoon!). In your first post I noticed that you did some of the day excursions. Where they worth the money? Which ones would you most recommend? We don't want to waste a day on an excursion that isn't that great. Thank you so much for your help!


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4. Re: Just got back from Grand Mayan - WOW!!! Can't wait to go...

Hi Emily!

Congratulations on your upcoming honeymoon! This is a super place for a honeymoon! The rooms are so nice - the little dipping/wading pool on your balcony will be nice, and so will the bedroom suite and bathroom! Did you ask for an ocean view room? If not, the other rooms face the golf courses, and it was very very nice too!

As far as excursions - depends on what you like? Party ships? Extreme outdoor stuff? Snorkeling, horseback riding? We had a really hard time deciding. There are several canopy tours - we did the Canopy Tours de los Veranos. Highly recommend it - it was so great! A really romantic thing is "Rythym of the Night", we didn't do that because it is an hour long boat ride there and back, plus the ride back to the hotel. but I hear it's very romantic. Then there's Las Caletas, Marietas Islands, horsebackriding to the waterfalls, the Sierra Madre tour. Best thing to do is to go to Puertavallarta.net and go through what kinds of things you guys like to do. Of course, enjoying the amenities at the hotel as well is very relaxing. I think the Mayan Palace does massages on the beach.

Whatever you do, don't do a timeshare thing, because I heard it takes 4-6 hours. Beware, beware at the airport - before you even get out the door, they'll try to rope you into a presentation by showing you a map, offering you a free ride, etc. - don't do it. You can book your excursions at the hotel with no problem either with the travel agent there (Jairo - nice guy!) or with the hotel concierge.

I have a bunch of brochures if you want me to mail them to you. My E-mail address is crsherman@webcomet.com if you want to leave your address. But definitely go on-line and check out the website. It's fun!!

Whatever you do, you'll have a great time! Congratulations again!!!