I think that the less than stellar weather affected many people’s impressions of the resort. We had some high winds and rain, so not a good beach day for many. Although they have a rainy day activities schedule, some people probably felt there should have been more done to keep them entertained. The resort was noisier and more active than we’ve experienced previously. Pool volleyballers made it difficult for others to enjoy a decent swim and some guests were annoyed by the ever present music at the pool.
The fact that the resort was filled to capacity this time played a big factor as well. Line-ups, especially at dinner in the buffet were very, very long! The manner in which people lined themselves up to access the food stations made it difficult for others to get near the soup or salad section. Lineups were also common at the bars and there were several days when certain drinks- like Jibacoa coffee- were unavailable because they had run out of some necessary ingredients.
Red flag days at a resort known for great snorkeling don’t make for happy guests. There was again an oil issue one day and it appears that ships using the harbour in Matanzes are illegally emptying their bilges/ballasts near Jibacoa so blobs of oil appeared on the beach. Staff cleaned it up quickly though. Jellyfish problems due to high winds put a damper on snorkeling for the last couple of days as well.
The resort was not the quiet, relaxing place we’ve experienced in previous visits. We adjusted our schedule/activities accordingly and had a great week. I think the resort has become a “victim” of it’s own popularity.
I’d read some complaints about staff favouring returnees, and ignoring others. Most staff treated everyone equally, whether you tipped or not, however I can understand the negative comments. Some of the returning guests behaved as though they “own” the place and we did see a couple of staff favour returnees who came carrying a bag full of gifts. It was especially interesting to see how a few staff, who did recognize you from previous visits, reacted when they saw you but realized that you were not bringing them a bag of goodies this time.
One thing I did find odd was that staff were often unnecessarily apologetic and I surmised it was because they have been dealing with too many impatient guests lately. I expect to have to wait my turn at the currency exchange counter and besides, I’m on vacation so what’s a few extra minutes of my time. No unsolicited apology from any staff should be necessary, even when a resort is full.
Pack a few cooler weather clothing items like a long sleeve shirt and extra sweater because you’ll probably need it.