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Breezes Jibacoa VS CVJ

My partner and I have been debating which of these two resorts to stay at during our proposed 2 week stay in Cuba tentatively scheduled for April 09.

We stayed at the CVJ last April and loved the place. My partner found the food a ‘tad’ lacking, despite our managing to arrange for her to have an amazing lobster dinner on evening for a few extra CUC placed in the right hands. I am not that picky an eater so the food, while a bit repetitive did not cause me any difficulty. Neither of us lost any weight while there either, though that may have been do to the Cervasa and Daiquiri’s…;).

I guess what we are asking is do people feel if the Breezes is worth the extra cost. Clearly it has more amenities and perhaps a better quality/selection of food. It does also seem to have a significantly higher density of vacationers which we are assuming may result in more lines crowding.

Any thought you all have as to the relative merits of both resorts especially as it relates to cost would be appreciated. The bottom line for us is the Breezes worth the extra, not insignificant, cost.

Thanks,

Jenn

We just got back from Breezes last night and will definitely go back again. The only line-up was the omelette bar, pasta bar and apparently on seafood night. That said, we got into the resort at 8:30 on seafood night and my husband still managed to get some lobster and we were not rushed at all. There are no children at Breezes and quite a mixture of different ages. We are considering going to CVJ next year as we are taking our daughter, son in law and granddaughter. Hope this helps, if you have any questions, feel free to pm me.

Was at Breezes in early January…loved the place and will definitely go back. Walked over to CVJ on 2 occasions to scout it out and check out their store…no comparison…you get what you pay for.

Other than the line-up on seafood night (looked like Boxing Day at Best Buy) line-ups were not bad and moved quickly. Martino’s is as good as any Italian restaurant in Toronto. Staff are amazing…it truly is a notch above!

I’ve stayed at both. Enjoyed both, but had a better time at CVJ. More amenities at BJ, for sure, and probably better food, but I preferred the layout of CVJ. For the same money, I might revisit BJ but for a significant difference in price I would opt for CVJ again. :smiley:

Since you are going for 2 weeks, how about asking your travel agent the price for a combo stay: first week at CVJ, second week at Breezes?

We just returned from the CVJ yesterday and stayed at Breezes in Nov. This is a tough question to answer as both have their pluses. The price for us to go to CVJ was 1/2 of the Breezes this time but I think if the price for 2 was only 500 more I would choose Breezes. I am not a fussy eater (and we did have lobster) but I much prefer the food at the B. I think the lack of variety at CVJ would be difficult for 2 weeks. I know it is hard to predict the weather but the Breezes offers more to do in case of cold ( which we had) the staff are both great --but I think because it is a smaller resort–the CVJ staff get to know you better–although when we went for a visit (with permission)at Breezes they recognized us and came over.
The resort was full so there was lineups at breakfast and supper and they did run out of food but it was always replenished in a few minutes. The bar lineups were minimal(and lots of fun to watch the spanish coffee making)
We also look at the fact that if you save a great deal of money you may be able to go again sooner.

We’ve been to both resorts several times, but more often to the Breezes because the Cameleon only recently became available to Canadian travelers when Nolitours (affiliated with Cameleon) decided to offer it.

We go to Jibacoa for the snorkeling/diving and for an R & R beach vacation. For our purposes, the CVJ is more than adequate and usually much less expensive than the Breezes. We aren’t picky eaters and we aren’t big boozers. We also don’t need to be “entertained” nor do we seek out other vacationers to hang around with.

Breezes has the advantage over CVJ in the food & drink department as it offers more food choices and more bars including a 24 hour lobby bar. However because Breezes has more than twice the room capacity as CVJ, it’s also more crowded, especially around the pool and on the beach. You won’t get that “I’m the only one here” feeling at the Breezes section of beach. If lots of activities are a requirement for you to consider your vacation to have been a success, then again Breezes wins over CVJ. The rooms at Breezes are also a bit larger and newer, both however are equally clean. If you love quiet and uncrowded, the CVJ wins hands down. Personally, we think the beach in front of CVJ is nicer than the section of beach in front of Breezes. CVJ offers softer sand, wider beach, less coral & rock bits in the sand, and on windy days (depending on wind direction) it’s much less windy.

We’ve been vacationing at Jibacoa annually since Dec. 2000. Our last visit was at the end of Nov. to Breezes because for the first time ever, the Breezes resort was offered at only $50 per person more than the CVJ. The price of $685+taxes for Breezes was a bargain! We’ve usually paid in the range of $1000+ per person without taxes for our one week vacations in previous years (always late Nov/early Dec). CVJ is usually on “sale” out of Vancouver for around $650+taxes. In our case, we would have been foolish not to book Breezes over CVJ and of course, we were curious to see if Breezes was as we remembered it from previous visits. In hindsight however, we found the Breezes resort full to capacity this time, so it was crowded and there were line-ups as well as a lot of groups and more boisterous guests. Things were very quiet and civilized over at the CVJ though!

The Cameleon suits our needs and fits our personalities! We can still snorkel the entire reef to our heart’s content (weather permitting) and visit our Cuban acquaintances.

With two weeks available, I’d been inclined to book one week at Jibacoa and the second week in Varadero. Unfortunately, two resort vacations are not as cost effective as booking two weeks at only one resort. OTOH, you could easily find plenty to do if you break up your two weeks with a multi-day stay in Havana. Several tour operators offer these split destination vacations.

btw, I posted a rather lengthy review of Breezes Jibacoa in early December.

CVJ is next on our list. The price is always great out of Toronto, and from what we have read it sounds like it would be perfect for us.

Jenn - the reason I suggested checking into a “combo” vacation is because I experienced something similar a few years ago. I really wanted to go for a 2-week vacation, and I really wanted to go to the Paradisus Rio de Oro in Holguin, but even in June, I couldn’t afford 2 weeks at the Rio de Oro. So I went to the Sol Luna y Mares next door for the first week, then transferred to the Rio de Oro for the second week. The price of the combo vacation fit my budget and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience! But you definitely need to start with the lower-rated resort - if I had done the reverse, there was no way I would have left the Rio de Oro after one week!

Check into it, you might be pleasantly surprised. The only thing you will be responsible for is the transfer between the two resorts - mine cost me about 3 CUC!

IMO, there is no comparison between the two resorts. BJ offers the vacation we want and are willing to pay for. CVJ does not. For people who have been to neither resort, before making a decision you have to be very sure of what you want from a resort. If you just go by price (cheaper the better), you could end up being very disappointed. You get what you pay for. The two resorts are far from being equal. They share the same beach, period and, I don’t thing the CVJ beach is better although some staying at CVJ seem to think that beach is better. It’s a matter of opinion. :wink: If both resorts were equal, as some like to suggest, why would one be able to charge twice as much as the other and still continue to welcome guests who return year after year and, more importantly, stay in business? If they were the same, everyone would go to the cheaper resort!
Everyone has different criteria for their vacation enjoyment and, for us BJ hits all the right buttons. Would CVJ? In a word, NO! Other folks seem to really enjoy CVJ and I wish them many happy vacations there.
Personally, I’ve never been a fan of “comparing” resorts that aren’t even in the same category ??? If they were both the same * level offering the same amenities, etc, then, yes there would be merit.

I want to thank everyone for the feedback. Em and I certainly have some good info to mull over before making our decision. While I am sure we could find a better last minute deal by widening our focus beyond Jibacoa we have fallen in love with the place. We would definately miss the great snorkeling, especially the ability to do so right off the beach.

While we will have to bite our tongues and put up with flying through either Montreal or Toronto it appears, ‘dog’ willing, we will be Jibacoa bound again this spring. Perhaps next year we will again be able to get a decent price on our Cuban vacation out of Halifax.

Thanks again for the feedback everyone…:slight_smile:

Jenn

[quote=@steffiej]IMO, there is no comparison between the two resorts. BJ offers the vacation we want and are willing to pay for. CVJ does not. For people who have been to neither resort, before making a decision you have to be very sure of what you want from a resort. If you just go by price (cheaper the better), you could end up being very disappointed. You get what you pay for. The two resorts are far from being equal. They share the same beach, period and, I don’t thing the CVJ beach is better although some staying at CVJ seem to think that beach is better. It’s a matter of opinion. :wink: If both resorts were equal, as some like to suggest, why would one be able to charge twice as much as the other and still continue to welcome guests who return year after year and, more importantly, stay in business? If they were the same, everyone would go to the cheaper resort!
Everyone has different criteria for their vacation enjoyment and, for us BJ hits all the right buttons. Would CVJ? In a word, NO! Other folks seem to really enjoy CVJ and I wish them many happy vacations there.
Personally, I’ve never been a fan of “comparing” resorts that aren’t even in the same category ??? If they were both the same * level offering the same amenities, etc, then, yes there would be merit.
[/quote]I think comparing “apples & oranges” is sometimes of value for someone trying to make up his/her mind. Since different things are important to different people, it’s useful to get a read on what others got out of a resort…it’s also useful if the person making the comparison has actually stayed at both resorts, as a walk by on the beach is hardly the same thing. ::slight_smile: With that in mind, I was very interested in trying BJ after hearing so much about it, and took the opportunity last fall when I got a very good deal to go there. Although my trip was “low season”, I still think I got a reasonably good “feel” for the resort. As I mentioned in my previous response, I expect I would choose BJ if the price was the same for both resorts, but since it usually is not, I feel CVJ meets all of my requirements…which doesn’t necessarily mean it will suffice for everyone, but a careful read of the reviews and comments should keep people from making a mistake based solely on cost. :smiley: That said, there are disappointments in expecting things will be “better” based on paying a higher price. I’ve probably had more genuine fun at lower starred resorts…possibly because of the clientele…amenities are not everything. What price do you put on serenity? Smaller resorts are often quieter…and resorts that are more “spread out” give a feeling of privacy and space that is missing from the larger or more compact variety. These are the qualities that attracted me at CVJ.

If great snorkeling right off the beach is important why not consider the Holguin area? Supposedly the snorkeling is just as good and you’d have a greater variety of resorts to choose from, most with excellent reviews.
It’s further south so the weather should be a bit warmer and there isn’t any problems with jellyfish or oil spills. You also might be able to get a flight out of Halifax.

[quote=@cubavisitor]If great snorkeling right off the beach is important why not consider the Holguin area? Supposedly the snorkeling is just as good and you’d have a greater variety of resorts to choose from, most with excellent reviews.
It’s further south so the weather should be a bit warmer and there isn’t any problems with jellyfish or oil spills. You also might be able to get a flight out of Halifax.[/quote]Cubavisitor, you hit the nail on the head. I wouldn’t say Guardalavaca has equivalent snorkelling to Jibacoa on a good day, but the prevalence of Portuguese Man 'O War at Jibacoa has definitely been influencing my decisions about going there. Once bitten, as they say…

This is the sort of thing that can spoil your whole day…or week, for that matter! If you mainly go there for the snorkelling, having a bad week can seriously affect your thinking about repeat visits…

Sorry but IMHO, you can’t possibly give a valid comparison of the two Jibacoa resorts unless you personally have actually stayed at both of them!

Sorry, but I totally disagree. I don’t have to jump out of a plane with a bit of fabric fastened to my back to know I’m not going to like it. I don’t have to climb the front of a mountain face to know I’m not going to like it. I don’t have to eat monkey brains to know I’m not going to like them. It’s called making a judgment call and we all do it all the time.
This thread has given me a great idea for a project on our upcoming trip to Breezes Jibacoa. We are being joined by my SIL, the travel agent, and she plans to do a tour of CVJ for her own critique should any of her clients ask her opinion of the resort in the future. I’m going to tag along with my brand new camcorder and record our experience. I’ll make sure we go at lunch time so that we can include the buffet during a meal. She’s very detailed oriented so she will cover all aspects of the resort for her notes. Back at Breezes Jibacoa, I’ll repeat my actions choosing similar locations, same time of day to get as accurate a take on comparing the two resorts.
Once back home, I’ll upload the videos and add links in this thread and then folks can have a visual comparison of both resorts.

[quote=@steffiej] I don’t have to jump out of a plane with a bit of fabric fastened to my back to know I’m not going to like it. I don’t have to climb the front of a mountain face to know I’m not going to like it. I don’t have to eat monkey brains to know I’m not going to like them. It’s called making a judgment call and we all do it all the time.
This thread has given me a great idea for a project on our upcoming trip to Breezes Jibacoa. We are being joined by my SIL, the travel agent, and she plans to do a tour of CVJ for her own critique should any of her clients ask her opinion of the resort in the future. I’m going to tag along with my brand new camcorder and record our experience. I’ll make sure we go at lunch time so that we can include the buffet during a meal. She’s very detailed oriented so she will cover all aspects of the resort for her notes. Back at Breezes Jibacoa, I’ll repeat my actions choosing similar locations, same time of day to get as accurate a take on comparing the two resorts.
Once back home, I’ll upload the videos and add links in this thread and then folks can have a visual comparison of both resorts. [/quote]I have a couple of comments here. First a personal anecdote. When I studied for my Amateur Radio license, I just knew I hated Morse Code and would never want to use it…but since it was a requirement I had to learn. Guess what I spent the most time enjoying as a Ham over the next 30 years?

Now, there are a lot of pictures out there of both resorts, so I expect a travelogue “video” is a trifle redundant. However, pictures (moving and otherwise) only tell you so much. A bed may look wonderful, but be uncomfortable. The scenery may be lovely, but if you aren’t there you don’t catch the smell from the nearby refinery. A crowd may seem cheerful, but you might not realize how unpleasant many of them are unless you stick around for awhile. You get my drift. IMHO, the best way to know what a place is like is to stay there. The second best is to read reviews written by people who have stayed there. If the majority are favourable (and seem to indicate it is the kind of place you are looking for), than that is much better evidence than a few pictures or videos taken on either the best or worst day of that week. :smiley:

Now I’m even more eager to do it ;D ;D ;D…redundancy, lol, we’ll see :wink:

[quote=@eeeefarm]
Now, there are a lot of pictures out there of both resorts, so I expect a travelogue “video” is a trifle redundant. However, pictures (moving and otherwise) only tell you so much. A bed may look wonderful, but be uncomfortable. The scenery may be lovely, but if you aren’t there you don’t catch the smell from the nearby refinery. A crowd may seem cheerful, but you might not realize how unpleasant many of them are unless you stick around for awhile. You get my drift. IMHO, the best way to know what a place is like is to stay there. The second best is to read reviews written by people who have stayed there. [/quote]

Agree with you 100% eeeefarm!

Perhaps a picture may be worth a thousand words but it doesn’t tell you what you really need to know about a resort. That’s what the reviews and opinions of those who have actually stayed there are for!

I have been to Cuba 10 times but every times at different resorts. We want to return to some resorts that we liked but at the time of booking we found a better deal so we opted for a new one. Every resort is different from the room to the drink, food, staff etc… My points here when you get there forget about the last resort and start enjoy your vacation. Once you compare to the previous resort that you think which was better right away you ruin your vacation.
For BJ, the resort is beautiful, the surrounding area is nice but too many red flags due to jelly fish, strong current tide.