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Staying in Santa Clara before going to the resort

I hope somebody can help me with this.I am thinking of booking an AI in Melia Cayo Santa Maria,but would also like to visit friends for two days in Santa Clara ,before going to the resort.What’s the best way to do this?

I was there in Dec. and the pre-check in is done before you board the bus.I know ,I probably need to let the Rep know,that I won’t be going ,but how about the luggage?I don’t want to drag 20 kg with me to the city?Will they take it for me to the resort on the bus? (they deliver to the rooms,so that shouldn’t be a problem).

I know,it’s probably easier to go to the city from the resort,but it cost about 100CUC (x 2 return) for a taxi !! Have anyone done this before? Is it doable?After visiting my friends,is there a way to rent a private car,which I hope would be cheaper, (with a driver,I don’t drive) for the way back to the resort? Will I need to advise my travel operator in Canada about my plans?

Sorry for so many questions ??? .I hope somebody can help me or give me an advise :smiley: I would really appreciate it :slight_smile:

Check in with your Rep, hand your luggage over to them, then go visit your friends with a carry-on only.

Have your friends arrange a private driver or off duty taxi to take you to the resort a few days later. (I think 100 CUC sounds pretty high though.)

Also have them look into the Astro bus, it may go from Santa Clara to Remedios, Vergel or one of the other small towns on the coast then it would be a short(er) taxi ride to the resort. The bus would be dead cheap.

Your Cuban friends should be able to arrange something affordable and workable.

Good luck.

Thank you martian :slight_smile:
I also asked my friends if it’s possible to go (to Santa Clara from the resort) on the worker’s bus (my friends work in Melia),but they said,no tourist is allow on the staff bus.I am thinking of taking NJT bag with me,but because of the (taxi) cost,I wouldn’t be able to do it.

If the Rep OKs my plan and take my luggage,will it be safe at the resort (in my room?) until I come back?Are they responsible for it (I doubt it)?

Thank you for suggesting the bus to Remedios,that’s a good idea :slight_smile:

Truthfully, I don’t see the rep accepting to take your luggage for you. Arrival day is pretty hectic for all reps. But hey, if you don’t try, you won’t know - just be prepared for a refusal. As for the question of safety, once you relinquish your suitcase to someone, you are taking a chance - even if you put your suitcase on the bus yourself, someone else will unload it and take it to your room. Again, if you are extremely lucky, the rep will do it, but I’m highly skeptical that this is possible. However, if you were to do your check-in yourself, and then leave your locked suitcase in the closet for a couple of days, then you can consider you have taken all possible precautions.

Since Santa Clara is 90 minutes from Cayo Santa Maria, transport is indeed expensive. One thing the rep could do is help you hire a driver at a decent cost, or perhaps you can arrange to bum a ride on the bus doing the excursion to Santa Clara or even to Remedios, with a return trip on a different day. Now for that, I am sure a rep could accomodate you.

Thanks AnneM :slight_smile:

I know ,I have to plan this carefully and in advance.Since my friends are off only on the weekends,I have limited time when I can visit (I am hoping that the flight will be on Thu or Fri).Plus they will need to make the arrangements to rent a casa for me (they themselves are renting rooms in Santa Clara,so staying with them is impossible),that’s why I need to let them know,before I go to Cuba.

If I could check -in and put the luggage on the bus myself,I guess I am taking a risk,and hoping that my suitcase will be there when I got back.

Either way I probably would have to let the Rep know that I won’t be on the bus going to the resort (I remember they do a “head count” once on the bus).A friend of mine is a good friend with one of the Reps in Melia,perhaps I could ask her to let the Rep know in advance.

I just hope that this will work :slight_smile:

Maluszek:
I think you need to think about this from the rep’s perspective. He/she has lots of other people to deal with, issues to sort out - why would he/she want to go to all the extra hassle of checking you in at the resort and delivering your luggage to your room? When you book an AI group holiday, you need to go with the flow and understand that the reps can’t be catering to each individual’s personal needs.
The only way to be certain about your possessions is to look after them yourself - deposit your suitcase in your room at the resort and then figure out a way to get in to Santa Clara. It’s unfair to expect the rep to do special favours for you - he would go crazy if everyone on the trip asked for some special service.

Personally I don’t see this as a big problem if you’re going to MCSM. They usually label the bags with your room number at the airport and deliver them to your room at the hotel. Once the bag is labelled, neither you nor your rep have to do anything else. Unless there is a glitch, it will be delivered to your room. ( I don’t generally “babysit” my checked luggage when going to this resort). As long as you get your package with room key, etc. and fill out the form they give you for registration and give it to the rep, you should be “good to go”. The only thing you really need do is make sure that your rep informs the hotel that you won’t be arriving for a couple of days. Perhaps you could telephone the hotel once you arrive at your Casa and confirm with them. :smiley: (it goes without saying you don’t leave anything you can’t live without in your checked luggage…but if you are smart you do this in any case) I think it less likely anything untoward will happen to your luggage at this stage of the journey than en route. JMHO.

Thank you eeeefarm,you lifted up my spirit :slight_smile:
Of course I won’t leave anything valuable in my luggage,I will take it with me in my carry-on.And I wouldn’t bother the rep to look after my bag (anyway,he/she is not the one that deliver it to the rooms !).I just hope they pre-check- in every time on the bus (like in Dec).I know you have been in MCSM a couple of times,do they always pre-checked while you were there?
I am still working on the details (and waiting for a good deal in May ,so far the prices are outrageous!).But I have a feeling ,it will work out :slight_smile:

I was thinking to inform the resort (by e-mail) before I go to Cuba,but you have a good idea to call them ,once I am at the Casa.

Thanks again :smiley:

[quote=@maluszek]Thank you eeeefarm,you lifted up my spirit :slight_smile:
Of course I won’t leave anything valuable in my luggage,I will take it with me in my carry-on.And I wouldn’t bother the rep to look after my bag (anyway,he/she is not the one that deliver it to the rooms !).I just hope they pre-check- in every time on the bus (like in Dec).I know you have been in MCSM a couple of times,do they always pre-checked while you were there?
I am still working on the details (and waiting for a good deal in May ,so far the prices are outrageous!).But I have a feeling ,it will work out :slight_smile:

I was thinking to inform the resort (by e-mail) before I go to Cuba,but you have a good idea to call them ,once I am at the Casa.

Thanks again :D[/quote]
No, they haven’t always done the pre check in at the bus…although over the years they have most often done it this way. They didn’t used to mark your luggage at that point…things just keep improving! I was there in December as well, and I never had to think about my bags once they were on the bus. If they continue to do it this way, you should have no problem. I think it would be an excellent idea to email and let them know what you have planned…although email can be hit & miss at times. :smiley: And you’re right about the prices…people looking for a good deal this year seem to be out of luck! Hopefully things will change…glad I booked my trips ahead for once. All the prices have done is go up!

I know what you mean about the prices !I was sooo lucky when I went last time (Nov 27-Dec 04),I paid $727 (taxes in,no single supplement,since it was low season).And I bought (found) my ticket 10 days before my trip.I don’t think ,I be this lucky for May :frowning: I keep checking the prices EVERY day ! So far they WENT UP $100 in the last two weeks! Can you believe it ??!

I am not sure if it will work,since I am only going for a week ,and my friends are off only on the weekends .I am gonna see them at the resort (they work there),but we are planning to go to Sancti Spiritus for the weekend,to visit their families.And that will give me the opportunity to take NJTT bag and deliver it either to Santa Clara or Sancti Spiritus.That’s why I am hoping to find a flight (out of Toronto)on Thu or Fri.