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Holiday Trip Report 12/2020

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Holiday Trip Report 12/2020

Post by cactusrose »

This report was submitted by Sheri Kratochvil Fioresi:

Trip Report 12/31-1/5

"First time at the GPRM. All in all- we had a great trip! I'll start with the very last evening downer- my 20 year old daughter was walking (with Keens) in the surf and managed to get stung by a sting ray! The screams, the blood, the pain, was unbelievable. A doctor from our hometown (and has friends in this group!) was there helping us immediately- got the bleeding under control and was able to speak to the lifeguards and security to avoid being sent to the hospital. If anyone in your group is reading this- please know that I am forever grateful for Dr. M and all the help she gave us- even stopped by our room later to check my daughter's wound. There are good people in this world!!
Now for the resort- our group had four rooms booked at Kantenah (basic). Prior to arriving- I had emailed staff about room placement in White Sands- and they emailed back saying yes we would be in white sands- but cannot guarantee building/floor. We arrived to find we were placed in the standard Colonial suites, building 8. Bummer- but it is close to what we booked. Building 8 and 9 Colonial had just been opened- we were the first to stay there- rather musty and not that great.The AC automatically goes off when we left the room which made coming back not fun. But housekeeping was great and we were not in the room much.
Dining- this was a mess. When we arrived we were told to hit the sea restaurant (Las Olas) but once walked there they were too busy to seat us or put us on wait-so we walked all the way back to La Dalia. I think the resort needs another option to feed the hungry lunch crowd hanging at the pools and beach. Our friends arrived an hour later- waited 30 minutes to be seated at Las Olas- and did not get food for another 1.5 hours. So not the greatest start. The reservations part for the evening fare was quite erratic. You can only reserve the day before- and three days in a row I arrived at guest services by 8:05 (opened at 8) and was unable to seat my family of 6 for anytime between 5:30 and 9:00PM. I was told the TRS upgrade was able to book first, and smaller groups. The app never worked for us for reservations- so that was out. The good news is with the later times we were able to be seated with the other family we were travelling with so they were fine with tables of 11. But even with a 9pm reservation we still waited 30 minutes two of the nights. Tip- if you plan to eat at Poseiden (open air by the sea) BRING bug spray!!! We were eaten alive. And if you don't care for raccoons- skip this one. They were bold and trying to climb tables with people sitting at them!
The food itself I thought was mostly very good. Presentation, taste, amount, etc- no problem. We did room service the last night that my daughter could not walk and it arrived in one hour and was yummy. 10$ cost. Buffets were good too- the staff served you so people not touching the serving utensils.
Bars- drinks were plentiful- tastes hit or miss, wait times during afternoon at Las Olas were a bit long- but they were working like crazy. Only the white sands pool swim up was open while we were there. Lobby bars were great. Really enjoyed the food at the sports bar- but during the Bears game they were overworked so we waited a long time:)
Resort itself- truly beautiful. Pools were clean, beach by Kantenah was gorgeous. Swim there- there is a very clear area. Most of the resort is very rocky and unswimmable. This resort is HUGE- be prepared to walk lots! Although the carts did come around often if we needed rides. My kids and husband played volleyball and ping pong everyday. Played bingo too.
We did visit Xplor one day- everyone loved that! Took the colectivo outside the resort and a taxi back. No problem.
Talking with staff- it seems only the very senior staff was invited back at this time. They are under the impression more will be invited back in March- which is when the plan is to open more of the resort (Kantenah is still 100% closed)
Final thoughts are that patience is needed if traveling during the pandemic. The resort was very crowded and understaffed our first few days. But the staff really worked very hard and we did appreciate that. I truly never felt unsafe until after the sting ray sting!"

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