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Expenses outside of all-inclusive?

Hi all,
We are leaving for Paradisus Princesa dM from Regina on the 21st with Transat, and as this will be our first time out of North America we are hoping some of you may be able to answer a few ?'s and save me reading through the 150+ pages of posts here. I did a few searches with keywords and made it through the first 5 pages but not really finding what I want.

We have been searching for our first sunny vacation since October and last week decided to book at Sandals in Varadero for the 28th as it looked like it included everything we may want for not a lot more than some of the other 4*s. Well it turned out that the day after our agent started working for us, Sunwing didn’t have anything left even though it showed up online. Yesterday, however, we found the PdM was available a week earlier & $500 pp cheaper! (& it used to be a Sandals resort) So away we go, but…

We are going mainly for the R&R and to get out of our Sask deep freeze, but would like to utilize as many of the resorts amenities as possible while we are there. This is where your help is needed.

I started by checking into the “free” round of golf that comes with this package, and found that the only free thing about it is my showing up. If my math is right and guessing exchange at $1.25 that week, this free round will cost near $200 Can after all the rental fees. I haven’t found out if this is for 9 or 18 holes yet either.

Am I off base here, or is this typical of the amenities available at all inclusive resorts? We were expecting to bring enough $ to do a tour of Havana and maybe rent a scooter to Varadero or one other day trip outside of the resort, and spend the rest of our time using the water toys at the resort. We are a little concerned that if there are extra costs, this may put these plans out of our reach.

Our agent can only advise us that there is a brochure of all activities available when we get there, but could not guarantee there would not be additional costs, time restrictions or that some things may not be available because of the weather etc.

Does anyone have specifics on any additional fees/restrictions for this resort, and further to that, the prices for things like a horseback trail ride, Catamaran snorkel trip, or a fishing trip. I’d like to keep our expenses under 1K for the week :slight_smile:

Thanks in advance for your help,
Mike

I’m sure you’ll be getting many more and better reposes than my own but I’ll chime in here:
1st, if you did “nothing” and tipped no one, the only cash you would need is the 25 CUC (each) for the airport tax when leaving.
Last year, the catamaran rides (from a different resort, but usually pricing is the same in the Varadero area) ran from about 95 to 155 CUC each, depending on what was all included in the trip (swimming with dolphins, lobster lunch, etc.).
Havana trips too vary in price: the one I enjoyed the most we bought of some guy walking the beach, not through the hotel - PAY NO MONEY UP FRONT FOR DEALS LIKE THIS. Two years ago it was about 65 CUC.
The majority of cash we go through is in tips. We don’t do much in the line of trips anymore, and have enough “souvenirs” to fill a small room.
On the resort, things like motorized watercraft and massages cost extra. You can find the list of things that are extra on the Sunwing site under your resort. http://www.sunwing.ca/hotel/showhotelDest.asp?id=VRALID&hotelname=Paradisus-Princesa-del-Mar-Resort-Spa
Hope that helps a little, as I said, I’m sure much more info is on the way. Debbie’s people are nothing if not helpful to the nth degree!
Have fun!!
(P.S. - I know this is not what you want to do, but you can get a cash advance, as well as pay for most trips, on any Canadian credit card. You may feel alright with “over indulging” once your there.)

1K for the week. Do you mean one thousand dollars spending money for two people? If so you will be bringing money home for sure I would think.

tips on the resort (probably around a hundred dollars)
but as soon as you leave the resort you pay, so any excursions away from the resort and then any food or drink.
I highly recommend the day trip to Havana, but you’ll pay probably 60 to 70 dollars each. We had a fellow at our resort recommended to us, that takes people on private tours, he rents the car and drives and knows Havana and Matanzas (sp) very well. Or you can take the bus, probably around the same price. I like the private tours because we could come and go as we please.
Cigars, souvenirs, Rum bottles, you’ll pay for them on the resort or off.
I bring about $1000 on each trip and I’ve always come home with lots left over, even when our whole family (4) went.
One of the reasons I’ve never played gold in Cuba is exactly what you mentioned. I understand that even if you take an electric cart, you still have to hire a caddy. Now that’s dumb, but while in someone else’s country, you do as they say, or you don’t play, so I don’t play.

[quote=@manpa]Hi all,

I started by checking into the “free” round of golf that comes with this package, and found that the only free thing about it is my showing up. If my math is right and guessing exchange at $1.25 that week, this free round will cost near $200 Can after all the rental fees. I haven’t found out if this is for 9 or 18 holes yet either.

Am I off base here, or is this typical of the amenities available at all inclusive resorts? We were expecting to bring enough $ to do a tour of Havana and maybe rent a scooter to Varadero or one other day trip outside of the resort, and spend the rest of our time using the water toys at the resort. We are a little concerned that if there are extra costs, this may put these plans out of our reach.

Our agent can only advise us that there is a brochure of all activities available when we get there, but could not guarantee there would not be additional costs, time restrictions or that some things may not be available because of the weather etc.
Mike[/quote]

Hi Mike and welcome.
I can’t help you on your golf question but here’s what is offered in the all inclusive portion of your trip (from Sunwing’s site) and these will be “free” as in included in the price you have paid for your vacation:

3 Meals daily plus snacks • All drinks (domestic beer & cocktails, select international brands, house wine with meals) • Daily activities • Nightly entertainment • Sailing • Windsurfing • Kayaking • Pedal boats • Snorkeling • Waterskiing • Banana boat rides • SCUBA diving • Volleyball • tennis courts• games room

(I’m curious about the SCUBA diving. Normally resorts have a limit such as 1 free per week for certified divers so I wonder if the above comes with limits ???)

Extra costs will be utilizing the following:
medical centre ($) • internet access ($) • spa ($) • beauty salon ($) • meeting facilities ($) • golf (nearby $) • laundry ($)
(and, of course, off resort tours)

I would recommend taking one of the Havana tours offered out of the resort. It’s a shame to go to Cuba and not get a look at Old Havana. Your tour rep, at the resort, will have brochures showing all the tours available. Make sure you attend the get together with your rep. You will be advised time and place upon arrival. This will be a very informative meeting for you and will help you with your stay. Your rep will be able to answer any questions you may have.We loved the Rio Canimar river cruise but were not so fussy about the Catamaran day tour to Cayo Blanco but others love it. The best part of this tour is the sail out and back :sunglasses: I’ve heard rave reviews regarding the Jeep Safari and we are considering doing it on our upcoming trip. I find tour prices, in Cuba, very reasonable for what you get. With a budget of $1k for one week, you’ll be able to really enjoy yourselves and still come home with money :smiley:

Have a great time. You’ll gets lots of help with your questions from folks who’ve been there, done that ;D

Thanks for the question Mike! I was looking for answers to the same questions you have and it’s all here for me! So thanks for asking! It’s going to be hard to choose which day trips to take! Havana sounds like a must for sure! But I’m thinking more than 3 or 4 and we won’t have time to really enjoy the resort! And we were also thinking of taking about $1000 cash for spending money and it sounds like that’ll be enough!

Here are a few links that may help both of you out :slight_smile:

http://debbiesreviews.proboards88.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=Cuba&thread=6954&page=1

http://debbiesreviews.proboards88.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=Cuba&thread=5584&page=1

http://debbiesreviews.proboards88.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=Cuba&thread=3956&page=1

http://debbiesreviews.proboards88.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=Cuba&thread=2132&page=1

I should mention that any of the tours we have taken (catamaran, Rio Canamar) include meal and drinks in the price.

Nice to chat with a fellow Saskatchewanian! Manpa, take my advice… when we went last year, my wife and I tried to cram in as much as possible in a week… and next thing we know, it was time to leave! This year, we are taking it slow. We want to explore Varadero, and just soak up the ocean and beach… Take the Havana day trip, 70 CUCs gets you a comfortable bus ride, lunch, and a fantastic tour of the city. Definitely rent a scooter for a day! I took $1K last year, and came home with $400, again, most of my expenditures were tips! Resort food does tend to taste the same after a couple of days… venture out to some restaurants, its very affordable! As you say… R & R!

:slight_smile: I would definitely do the “free” round of golf. It’s one of the most beautiful and well kept courses we’ve played. It would be the main reason we would return to Varadero.

We always played after 1:00 and had the course to ourselves. Yes, we had to rent the carts (it was about $33.00) but didn’t have to have a caddy. We could go at our pace, which was nice. Take extra balls with you. We did but didn’t need to as we also took our ball-retriever and ended up bringing more balls home than we brought.

Have a great trip!

Oh, and it would be for 18 holes.:-*

:slight_smile: Oh, and I should mention - don’t forget to leave some time for some plain old R&R. :-*

Thanks everyone!

We’ll let you know in a few weeks how the trip went.

Mike