Thursday, May 26, 2016

Second to Last Day

We are slow to get moving today.  After coffee and some breakfast and posting to my blog we hit the beach to our usual spot.

We have not sat around the pool at all for a few reasons.  First chair hogs are not only on ships.  Somehow even first thing there are towels laying over chairs with nothing else.  Second it is just way too hot around the pool.  There are a scattering of umbrellas but not enough and the wind is much stronger by the water which helps keep us cool.  Lastly the pool by mid day does not look good.  A visible film of yuck is noticeable and that is only what we see!

Love our PacSafe portable safe.  It comes in handy at the beach when we go for lunch.  We put items it and lock it up and attach to lounge chair knowing it is safe.

When we come back to the room our room is partially cleaned but the bathroom has not been cleaned.  We have bath towels but no face clothes no extra bar of soap, and counter and floor are dirty.  No towel animal today in fact only part of the old one is laying on it's side.  Looks like they started then someone else came and completed but missed a bunch.

Normally I could accept but our room did not get cleaned at all yesterday.  Around 10 am housekeeping did knock but we said give us ten minutes.  We spent six hours at the beach then and came back to a room not touched at all.  Of course now is not the time to clean it so we just call down for more towels and let it slide.  But today we are annoyed.  We had been tipping everyday too.  So that doesn't work.

We both say we miss the great service we get from cabin stewards on ships who clean our room twice.  But worried that could change.  Have you heard that Carnival Ships you are asked by your steward whether you want your room cleaned in the morning or evening.   Yes only once a day.

We shower and relax in the room.  We watch Michael Moore's latest movie - loved it. You can watch it for free on YouTube.

Originally we had discussed going into Bucerias for dinner but Bernie insists we head back to the Happy Lobster for dinner.

A cab there is 230 pesos and takes about a half hour.  Heavy traffic and a very talkative driver passes the time.

Once at the restaurant Bernie gets a Bernie and I get a mango Margarita.  HUGE.

Bernie gets the catfish again and I order coconut shrimp and garlic shrimp, they agree  to do half and half.  I am stuffed!

It was a great meal and wonderful experience.  Definitely glad we found this place.

We opt to walk back to the main street.  Sun is just setting and I need to walk a bit.

Sidewalks here are more like obstacle courses and with it getting darker we need to pay attention.  Oh Bernie adds the drinks and the effects of them may also be an issue.

We come across a baseball game and decide to sit and watch for about a half hour.

We walk along the main street to the Malecon and the area is busy.  We stop to watch the Papantla or flying bird men.  To learn more Here is a link.

We wander around and agree around 10 that we have had enough.  We get a cab back, but thus ride had me grabbing Benrie's hand.  Crazy driver... felt like I was back in Fort Lauderdale in a taxi.  They are crazy too.

Back at the hotel we walk around to see what is happening.  Not much except the Mexican Folklore show.  So back to the room and we crash shortly thereafter.

Lobby bar

Tomorrow is our last day.  We have mixed emotions.  We are ready to go back, we will miss Mexico.  Don't really want to go back to the day to day grind, but miss our bed.

Thanks for following.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Two Beach Days and Walk Into Bucerias

Blogging about our time here is very different than on a cruise.  Not much to report from here that is really interesting.  On a cruise there are new things daily and different port stops to report on.

Both Monday and Tuesday we woke up and hit the beach around 10 am.  We get two lounge chairs near the water, get an umbrella for the necessary shade (100 pesos to rent) and spend the day.

On Monday a beautiful wedding happened on the beach around 4 pm. The couple is from Britain and they have about 20 family and friends with them.  I took pictures and will share here when I get home.  I think a wedding like this would be a great option, but kind of odd that people are watching your wedding in their bathing suits.
Lots of new faces appear each day as guests come and go from the resort.  Seems everyone goes crazy with the sun and fries and is beet red the next day.  It is very strong the sun and I can't stress enough how important it is to wear sunscreen and keep reapplying it.  We probably do four coats in a day of 30 SPF.  So far we have been lucky no bad burns.

Every day around the pool they set up a barbecue and you can get a variety of foods there that you can enjoy by the pool or beach.  Not much selection so we usually end up at the buffet.  Note you are not suppose to take food from the buffet to the beach.

Wind is strong and helps with the heat.  Around the pool there is not much of a wind.
The waves are fun, lots of people enjoyed using Boogie boards or body surfing in the waves, including us.

We have both are on our third books and are totally relaxed.

The evenings are still rather dull.

Monday night we walked into Bucerias along the beach.  Was interesting to see some of the sea life that has washed up along the shore.  Puffer fish, some kind of sea snake thing, crabs, and half eaten fish.  Of course I too, pictures but they are on my camera so will out up later.

The walk took about 45 minutes and was nice but difficult to walk in the sand and then there is the issue of your feet full of sand when we arrive at the main square.

We are approached by a man who introduces himself as Miguel and he has a restaurant in the square called Miguel Angel.  Funny we were approached by the same man last week when we were here to check out his restaurant.  He offers us a tap to rinse off our feet.  We take him up on his offer.

We also take a seat in his restaurant and order drinks.  There is live music and we enjoy an hour or so here.

We do notice that the change given back to us from when we pay is not correct.  We comment and the waiters says "tip".  Silly guy, it was only a difference of 40 pesos or so that he short changed us.  But we would of tipped a lot more if he would not of played the game with us.

This does happen on occasion all over the world.  As a traveler you can encounter this anywhere.  Sadly I don't think Miguel the owner who worked so hard to get us to his restaurant knows this is happening.  Because we had thought of coming back for dinner some time but now won't.

We stop and get fresh Churro from the street vendor.  Yummy and only 6 pesos.

A quick cab ride back cause walking on the beach would be hard after a few drinks.

Each morning we order room service and we enjoy it in the balcony with this amazing view.  But it is warm out there.

Tuesday night we dined at the hotel and then decided to walk to the Riu Vallarta. Being at the Palace we have privledges at all three Riu resorts.

There are three Riu hotels here, all relatively close to each other.  The lowest end is the Riu Jallisco where we were at.  Had a giggle as we walked past it as it says on its sign it is a five star.  No it is definitely not, maybe a 2 or low 3.  Good if you expect that but not if you expect five stars.

The Riu Vallarta is a bit further and isome a bit nicer (I know it was more expensive thand the Riu Jallisco but not a whole much more expensive).  The hotel layouts for every Riu is basically the same.  A large U shape building with the activities going on in the inner courtyard.

We walk around and then take a seat in the lobby bar and order drinks.  This is also a nice hotel.  The demographics seem to be a lot more families.

As we sit we discuss all our Mexican holidays and was it always like this?  You see way before we started cruising all we did was two weeks at all inclusive all over Mexico.  Now we feel this is no longer for us.  I think maybe renting a condo may be better suited to us.

One thing we have found is the drinks are so sweet.  Seems to be at each hotel too. Not sure why.  Maybe one of you know why.  They don't skimp on the alcohol but boy are they extra sweet.  I know they are inclused in the package but I think my vote goes to buying a drink and getting a better product.

We walk back and watch TV on the tablet.

We have two more days and we are happy and sad to go home.  We have even started discussing our next cruise if the dollar gets better.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Sunday Evening in Nuevo Vallarta

After a bit of a rest we shower and dress for diner. Tonight dinner is in the Japanese restaurant.  There is a dress code but it is basic and I would think should be standard but somehow I think if it was not in place people would wear almost anything.  You can't wear shorts or tank tops.

We arrive for our 2045 reservation.  As previously mentioned all the specialty restaurants have two seatings.  First is around 1915 the second usually around 2045 or 2100.  So if you are use to eating very early this could be an issue.

We wander around until our reservation.  Neither of us feels like drinking so we just walk around the pools.  The staff are scrubbing down the pool deck.  Every night they scrub the tiles around the pool.  It is always very clean.  The pools close at 1900 and they treat/clean the pool then.  It is a huge pool and I am afraid to think of what happens in it.  I do notice by mid day there is film of guck floating on the top but I am pretty sure that is sunscreen but it doesn't look good.  I don't know much about pools and what can be done here, maybe one of you knows.

We arrive at the restaurant and we are sat at a table for two.  We are presented small glasses of sake, which was quite good.  We like sake and this one was presented perfectly.  My Japanese friends say sake should not be served hot.  People heat it up to mask the poor quality.  Don't know if this is true but this one was room temperature.

First course is shared sushi, which was presented beautifully.

The next course you pick from the menu.  I chose the spring rolls and for my entrée the tempura fish and vegetables.

The room is lovely.  Only sits 44 and it is not full.  There are two young children here (at two different tables) one is constantly banging their spoon on their plate the other right beside us is being entertained with a video with the sound up so we all get to enjoy - NOT.  Not sure why someone would bring a child to this type of restaurant they are obviously bored and there are better suited places.  But it takes away from the atmosphere.

However after finishing the sushi Bernie is suffering.  It isn't the food here that is bothering him but since we returned to the hotel today he has had wicked heart burn.  He rarely gets this, but I am guessing the three beers, salsa, chips and enchiladas at lunch had something to do with it.

He doesn't want to eat but says he will stay for me to eat.  Well I don't want that so we decide to leave.  We go to the main buffet where I grab some salad and we take it back to the room.  Bernie takes something for his heartburn and it settles down.

So it was a quiet night. We put on our pj's and watch episodes of the Big Bang Theory.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sunday Stroll on the Malecon

Oh what a day.  You know those days when you wake up and feel like you should just stay in bed.  That was our day.

We had a good sleep. Woke feeling rested.

And I was even hungry!  So we went down for breakfast around 9 am.  It was very pleasant, not too busy.  We took a seat outside and enjoyed our meal.

Now is where I start to feel myself getting bitten.  Now if something bites then I know it will bite me! In humid conditions little sand flies, or midges, or noseeums. .. they go by various names often attack me.  Happens in the Caribbean, Florida, Panama.  But usually I am limited with exposure there.

But early morning or around dusk they come out!  So back in the room I take a look and I have five bites around my ankles.  Oh don't scratch!  I drop an antihistamine and that helps but we need to get some bug spray.

Not sure what to do today.  We have had two full days on the beach and I feel like we need a day off.  So we agree to head into Puerto Vallarta for a lovely Sunday afternoon.

We walk out to the main road, about 20 minute walk, instead of waiting for the bus. Bernie makes me laugh as he says usually the bus comes around the top of the hour. Really I say, there is no schedule here!

As soon as we get to the main highway a bus is approaching.  He beeps the horn, I raise my hand and it stops.  Sure glad our system is not like that at home we would never get anywhere.  The bus system here is sort of private.  The government takes a percentage and issues paper tickets for proof of payment.  But the driver runs his own bus and runs only on bus routes where they can make money.  So you get a ton of buses on the busy areas but if you are on the outskirts forget it.  And needless to say buses fight for passengers.  Speeding to pass the bus in front so they can get more fares.

We pay 13 pesos each to ride to the Sheraton where we get off and then walk towards to the Malecon.  It is busy here, lots of people out for the day with the family.  It is lovely to see so many families here who are out together.

Oh forgot to mention as we rode in there was a fire in the field off the highway.  It was quite large.  Not sure how it started but with the dry weater, high temperature I am sure it could turn ugly quick.  Firefighters were there dealing with.

Back to the Malecon and picture taking.  We stroll for a few hours.  We are melting!

We stop for a bite to eat and a cold beverage or two.

Have to say as a woman I have been approached a few times by men whenever Bernie is away (like using the washroom) and I am waiting for him.  I handle it but really don't like it.  Feel like an object and heck this guy that was hitting on me could be my son!  Yuck.  Don't think I would felt comfortable visiting here on my own as a woman.

Then we walk around a bit more and around 430 we are ready to head back.  We decide to take a taxi back.  We go to a stand and always ask the price before getting in.  We know the price should be around 230 to 250 pesos.  Guy says $25 US, we say what in pesos and he says 500!  Wow and we walk away.  Then another guy says 250 and we say okay and get in.

It is frustrating, and Mexico is not unique to this either we have this happen in the Caribbean too.  But you always feel like you need to know the fare and you have a hard time trusting people.  Just wish they had the fares posted and that is it!

Back at the hotel we try and nap but there is too much noise coming from around us with people coming and going.

Tonight we dine at the Asian restaurant and I am looking forward to it.

Hard to believe we have only a few days left, but honestly I am ready to go home.  I miss home.  But I know once I get there I will miss Mexico.

Beach and Two Specialty Restaurants

It has been two days since I have written a blog post.  Main reason for not writing is not much exciting has happened.  This whole trip was about relaxing and enjoying the beach and sun.

This is exactly what we have done.

Every day we wake and put on our swimsuits, lather on the sunscreen, grab some beach towels and head to the beach where we either situate ourselves under a palm tree or get an umbrella.

We have lunch at the buffet and then back to the beach.

A few drinks.  And playing in the water.

Back to the room for a shower and usually a short nap.  A day lounging at the beach is tiring.

Dress for dinner and eat, wander around the resort, sometimeso watch the show.  But the shows are the same each week so we have seen them all.

Usually back to the he room by 11, even by 10 and watch some TV or movie from our tablet and then sleep.

The food here is higher quality and selection than the last resort.  The servers also have smaller sections so they are on top of things when it comes to beverages and clearing plates.

We dined the last two nights in the specialty restaurants.  First it was Krystal which is a fusion restaurant.

You can't wear shorts here and everyone looks nice here in their dresses and nice shirts.

The restaurant is not large and not every table is filled.  We are given a glasses of sparkling wine as soon as we enter.

Then when we sit we are offered wine, or beer.

A trio of appetizers comes out and it is just the right size.

For my starter I get a mushroom ragout served over a potato mash and a poached egg.  Very good and filing.

My entrée is a lobster risotto.  Beautiful dish, but the dish was way too salty and could only manage a few bites.  Actually I have found many items here to be overly salty.  It is a personal taste so others may find it fine.

Dessert was a chocolate cake with a cream sauce poured on it.  It was just okay, rather dry, the sauce helped but not enough.  Left half of it.

Last night we ate at the steakhouse.  If you remember we dined at the steakhouse at the Riu Jallisco and we ended up leaving early.

Tonight we again are offered a drink upon arriving.  Sat at a table for two and service is very good.  There are two servers, two assistants and the hostess helping out.

No waits for drinks or clearing plates.  These meals do feel special here.

Theyou serve a lovely Caesar salad with warm rolls.  Then comes a trio of ceviche of varying spices.  One octopus, one scallops, and one shrimp.

I get the sirloin steak and it is cooked perfectlyrics and very flavourful.  It is served with stacked vegetables, potato wedges and three side sauces.

For dessert a plate comes out with pastries to share.  A fudge brownie, tartlet, a chocolate truffle and a glass of hazelnut liqueur.

We really enjoyed the meal.  I can't get over how different the specialty meals are here compared to the Riu Jallisco.  There it was packed, noisy and service felt rushed and disjointed.

After dinner both nights we tend to wander around hand in hand for a short stroll. The resort isn't large so we can't go very far.  This is where I wish the resort was closer to some action so we could walk there.  Just to get out and stroll, see others and other scenery.

Both nights we are back in the room early.  We watch a movie - The Danish Girl that I put on  my tablet earlier.  We also watch the news from home and YouTube videos. We can also watch some of our favorite TV shows thru our cable providers app and TV on demand.

This has been our saving grace in the evening and thankfully this resort has free wifi so we can do this.

The resort is busier as it is the weekend but even when full it doesn't feel crazy. There are a few families here and it is lovely to see the kids.  Times sure have changed.  My parents never could afford to take us to a place like this.

It is Sunday morning when I am writing this.  We have just come back from breakfast.

One thing that is driving ,experience crazy are these small bugs.  I believe they are called midges or no seums that bite early in the day or at night.  They love me!  I must have 20 bites throughout my body.  I have antihistamines so I have been taking them to help with the itch and swelling, plus it is helping where I got stung by the bee.  Gee this trip is the trio of Vickie being eaten alive.

We are very relaxed and not sure what we will do today.  Not sure if we are back to the beach or not.  Maybe we should head out today and explore.  Stay tuned.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Relaxation at it's Best

I have to catch up here.  Have not blogged for two days!

Our Wednesday was spent at the beach.  At first we went around the pool but a smoker sat beside us so we thought let's head back to the beach where there is a good breeze and good shade.

Really smokers have not been a big issue here.  You can not smoke in the hotel or outdoor venues like dining areas or theater.  You can smoke at the pool, beach and outside garden.  So most smokers congregate at the stairs and smoke there.  They have been very courteous and have followed the rules.

We get two lounge chairs ato beach and get an umbrella (100 pesos) to give us full shade when needed.  I should add we have gone thru 2 and a half containers of sunscreen already.  The sun is strong and I don't want to ruin my holiday with a burn.  Trust me there are a few lobsters walking around.

We really did not do much except read (we are both almost finished our second book), swim, drink, and chat with others.

We met a few couples from Britain.  We immediately thought of Roy and Sandra Bennett and how much they would like this place.  Thompson comes here from England.

For our evening we decided to stay here as it is Mexican Night and they have Mexican themed entertainment.

It starts with a tequilla station set up in the lobby.  Pick a flavoured Margarita or a shot of flavoured tequilla.  I try the pear tequilla, Bernie gets strawberry.  Wow strong, I can not drink it all.  Remember  I am not 25 anymore.

We have a great dinner.  The buffet here is very nice.  A little higher end than the Riu Jallisco with more expensive offerings.  The biggest difference is it is not crazy packed where you have to watch everywhere so you don't bump into others.

Also the wait staff have smaller sections and can tend to all your needs quickly.  There is no wait for drinks or clearing plates.

Tonight's show is the Mariachi band for one hour and then the Mexican Folklore.  It is lovely cause it is shown in their theater and it is enclosed and air conditioned and it is like a bar.  Nice tables and chairs and great bar service.

We both get martinis but boy are they sweet here, more like a desser.  They don't skimp on the booze either.  But I prefer the bars on ships where I can get a full array of drinks that are better made.  But here they are included in the price.

Oh I should add they often have a featured drink at the buffet too.  In the mornings it is Bloody Mary's tonight it is Mexican Coffee and they have a pretty station with the fixing and a bottle of booze!

It was a great day and wonderful night.

Thursday was a day away from the beach.  We need to do a few errands.  First thing is wash.  We brought only clothes for one week and with the high heat we are going thru clothes fast.  The hotel has cleaning service and it is reasonable for a few items but we have a big load or two small ones.  At the hotel they charge 20 pesos for a pair of underwear.  Well we have 10 so that alone wold be 200 pesos.

After breakfast we gather our clothes and head to the laundry mat at Paradise Village Mall that is about 8 miles away.  We hop a cab there for 100 pesos as the bus does not go in that direction, but we can take it back.

We drop off the laundry at Rositta's laundry.  For 110 pesos per load she will do it for us.  So for 220 total it is done in 2.5 hours.  Now that is a deal.

We do wander around the area of Nuevo Vallarta at Paradise Village but you really can't go far except along the road.  You can't walk along the Marina, or hotels as it is all private.  A lot of North Americas are here and they cater to them.  But I don't really care for it.

Plus there are a lot of time share people.  Funny they say oh we are not time share we are vacation clubs.  Really!  Same thing and we don't want anything to do with them, they are not for us.  And they just don't give up and you can't seem to walk 100 feet without someone approaching you.

Once we have our laundry we go out to the bus stop and wait for the Riu bus heading to Flamingos area.  It costs 8 pesos each to ride.  But after a few minutes a taxi shows up and says he will take us for 50 pesos.  I think he dropped a fare off here and doesn't want to go back emptyard as taxis have their designated areas that they must work.  Technically he should not be picking up fares here.  We take him up on the offer.

Back at the resort we put away our clothes and head down for lunch but just as we are about to sit down I feel a shining on the inside of my arm.  I flicked away something and see there is a stinger in my arm.  It must of been a bee.  Ouch! I have only been stung twice now in my life and both times while on vacation.

The waiters gets me some ice to put on it. I see it swelled and redness spreads.  I do have a reaction to it but not life threatening.  In the end it grows the length of my arm, aches like a bruise but thankfully I have antihistamines and that helps a lot.

After lunch we head out to catch the bus to the port area across from the shopping mall.  We have a few things we need to pick up.

The bus stop is to the left of the hotel.  But while we wait a guy comes up and starts talking he is from the resort beside us.  At first it is friendly chit chat then the real purpose comes out.  Time share oh sorry vacation club.... come check out our resort, we will give you a free excursion, want to see Rhythms of the Night? We will give it to you for free.  Check our place out.  We are polite and say no thanks, not interested. But they don't give up.

I am losing patience and finally just cross the street to the meridian to stand I. The shade.  After a few minutes his buddy comes over and tries too.  He says "OH miss why are you mad at us?"  Bernie can tell I am at my watts end.  He steps in and says "we said no thank you many times, what part of no do you not understand".  Thankfully the bus arrives.  But I find timeshare sales people to be the worst in Mexico and one of the downsides of coming here.  Usually we just say no and walk away but this guy had a captive audience.  Next time we will catch the bus away from that resort.

We get off the bus near the cruise port and head into Sorianas for sunscreen, my favorite Mexican soap to bring home and we are looking for a new cheap watch for Bernie to wear at the beach aso he dropped his Citizen on the tile floor and broke the crystal watch face.

We end up going to the mall too and still no watch.  Hard to find a cheap watch all we find are nice higher education do watches.

We catch the bus to the Mega store on the main highway and check there and find a watch!

We walk in from the highway to the resort.  It is only a 20-25 min walk and it was faster than catching the Nuevo Vallarta bus which goes the slow route.

Back at the hotel we head to the sports bar, which is really nice here.  Place is getting busy with people watching the soccer  matches.  We sit and enjoy two cold drinks. We earned them we logged over 20,000 steps today.  I look at my feet in my sandals and wonder is that dirt or a tan?  Ended up being more dirt than tan.

Back in the room we both are exhausted and crash for an hour.

We shower and head down for dinner around 830. I meet up with Bernie in the sports bar where he is watching hockey.  The place is packed!  Lots of games on. Numerous TV show show various sports.

Dinner was great again.  But we both find we haven't been eating that much here as we fill up after just a few bites.

The show tonight is Vegas themed show but we are not really interested so instead we walk around the pool and sit in a lounge chair and enjoy the views.

We do get bitten by mosquitoes argh... something we don't get when walking the open decks on ships while at sea.

Back in the room we watch some youtube  --- so nice to have free wifi.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Tuesday Evening - Dinner Celebration

After a short nap we shower and dress and head out.  Have to say I am enjoying the break from dressing up for dinner on this vacation.  It is a nice change.

We head down to the lobby and get a cab (85 pesos) to Bucerias the town just North of here.

See how ornate the lobby is.  Even the check in desk is fancy.

We walk around a bit.  I love this town.  Nothing fancy, you won't find a Senor Frogs here, Hard Rock.  This is more authentic.  People here are hard working locals. Friendly and approachable and eager for your business.

Tonight  we head back to Meson on the Bay.  If you are enjoying in Bucerias head over the foot bridge and the restaurant is on your right.  You have to walk in to it as it is right on the water.  This is the signew you should see at the road, you can't miss it.  We were here a few years ago with friends from the Star Princess.  Read about it here

We get a table right at the water and the sun is coming down - stunning.  Tonight we are celebrating Bernie'slept God Daughter's birthday.  Happy Birthday Erin!

I get a cucumber Margarita 

The meal is amazing.  We start with an appetizer and share an entrée.

We are stuffed, but still have room for after dinner drink.  Bernie gets a Spanish Coffee, I get a Damiana over ice.

We head back to the resort and head to the theater.  Even this theater is better at this hotel, more club like.  We watch the Rock show.  It was cute, nothing fancy but I give the dancers credit better than I could do.

What a perfect night.  So glad we changed hotels.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Older and Wiser - Hotel Change Is Necessary

That was a bust of a night.  Neither of us slept much.  Even with the new room we were waken throughout the night with sounds of partiers.  A group of young women screaming up and down the halls was the last straw.

In the morning we see our neighbors, a young family with two babies, for whom we heard not a peep from.  They too commented on all the noise.

I am up at 6 am, frustrated on how to remedy the situation.  I head to the lobby lounge with a coffee and write up my blogs from the previous days and wait for the Sunwing Rep. David to arrive at nine.

When he arrives I sit down and explain the problem.  He shows concerns and wants to fix the situation.  I ask if it is possible to change hotels.  I ask for the Riu Pacific Palace.  You see there are three Riu hotels here, all relatively close by.  The one we are at is the lowest and cheapest.  The Riu Vallarta is a bit higher up but we already know we don't want it from visiting it yesterday in the evening. Then there is the Riu Pacific Palace which is their most expensive and more stars.

He checks and there is availability and all we have to do is pay the difference.  So for $1,000 Canadian we can move for the next ten nights.  Done!  One thing we have learned is if we are not happy we have to fix it.

I don't really blame the hotel.  We did get a steal for the flight and hotel for two weeks for only  $1,500 plus tax for both of us.  That is all inclusive too.  We got what we paid for and I see why young people would come here cause a week was only around $500 plus tax.

While talking with the Sunwing Rep a family talking to the other rep also wants to move.  Hmm this could be a trend.

I compare the hotel to a week on a Carnival ship during spring break!  It is a good product for some but not for this couple.  I would not recommend it to friends my age either.

So it was key to fix it and thankfully we could.

We had to check out at 11 and the front desk was surprised we were leaving.  But when we stated all the partiers she noded and understood.  We got in a cab to the Palace which is only two blocks away (50 pesos).

Right away we see and feel the difference.  This hotel is very opulent.  Sort of feels Italian.  Very ornate.  Not really my style but heck for ten days it will do quite nicely.

We are handed a beverage and we check in.  They assign us a room on the second floor and we request something higher if possible.  They check and we are given a room on the sixth floor.... I believe there are only 8 floors here.  With a partial ocean view.  However the room won't be ready till 3 ish.

No problem they put our bracelets on and we are free to use the services till the room is ready.

We have our bathing suits on under our shorts so we grab some towels and head to the beach.

The demographics are very different here.  Mainly couples, some families, Canadians, Mexicans and some Americans, varying ages.  But no groups of 20 somethings or large families of 20!

The pool area is large and there is no blaring music coming from the speakers around it.  The beach is quieter and more space to spread out.

Here they even come around and take your drink orders.

We relax here for almost three hours and then head to the lunch buffet for a small snack.

Big buffet, similar food but a bit higher end.  Certainly not as crazy with the crowds. When we sit down we are asked if we would like a drink.  They bring us a bottle of beer instead of beer from a tap.  I get a whole bottle of Pepsi instead of a glass.

We wander around and look at all the venues.  Here there are four al la carte restaurants too and the menus certainly have higher end options.  We will try them out and report back.

Here is a link to the hotel

We head to the room and we are pleased with the view.

The room is large with a separate seating area.

Nicer finishes throughout the room.

Big bathroom with double sinks and jacuzzi tub.  A tub! That is rare in Mexico and I know as soon as I unpack I am getting into a bath.  Nice toiletries are provided where other resort had none.

Again stocked bar is provided.  Also coffee maker in the room.  We also get 24 hours room service too.  And there is free WiFi throughout the hotel including our room. Other hotel it was only free (unless you paid a premium) in hotel lobby.

Overall we are much happier with the room.  Oh and it is very quiet!

We will nap before heading out tonight for dinner in Bucerias.  Bernie has planned a nice evening out.

Monday May 16

We wake to a good night's sleep.  We both agree we need a break from the beach today and the sun.  We decide to head into Puerto Vallarta today by bus.

The local bus runs around every 15 min.  Transit here is not like at home.  There are no schedules, cost seems to be fluid depending on distance, driver, type of bus, and well possibly the moon.  So go with the flow.  The bus is an experience and you need to have an open mind.  Plus the cost is cheap no matter what.  A taxi to town is reasonable around 200 to 250 pesos.  But the bus is around 23 pesos each.  Sure it will take longer but make sure to try it at least once.

We cross the street to catch the bus.  Here the bus runs in a clockwise direction.  From town north to Nuevo Vallarta, circling around and then further north up to Flamingos area where the three Riu hotels are then back out to the highway and then south to the Walmart and then Sheraton.

We just missed a bus so we wait for around 20 min for the next one.  Fare was 15 pesos each (could be different tomorrow). We get off near the marina and catch the Centro bus from there which was 7.5 pesos each.

While waiting for the bus we meet Jose who is on his way to work.  We chat with him the whole way.  I laugh and remember all day the story he told me about having bought property and that it is cheap here.  He pays for water but taps into the electricity as many of his neighbors do, for free.  No one says anything.  He says a few months back the electric workers came by and cut them all off.  But all the women in the neighborhood got angry and came out and screamed and threatened them because no one interferes with their Mexican soap operas. And they reattached them and haven't been back since.  Hilarious!

We get off right at the main square and visit the tourist office.  We gather some info about walking tours.  Which are held on Tuesday  and Wednesday.  We then walk along the Malecon across the river to the Romantic Zone where we stop and enjoy an iced coffee.

The new pier is done now.  Still remember them building this pier when we were here while on the Star Princess.  It sure is a beautiful pier.

Lots of lovely restaurants, bars and places to enjoy the beach here. 

But we are more interested in exploring and we spend the next two hours walking and seeing some areas we have seen before and some new areas.  Some things have really changed some things have not.

For lunch we head to the Langosta Feliz or Happy Lobster.  This place was recommended by some friends from our cruising world.   Big shout out to Bruce and Sharon for the recommendation.

We enjoy an amazing meal!  And quite reasonable. 

We walk away stuffed!  A short walk downhill to the main drag (note sidewalks here are not like at home, you need to pay attention) to the Sheraton hotel where we walk to the Mega store to pick up a few items. 

We board the bus to the Walmart terminal and then wait for the bus to Nuevo Vallarta.  The ride back seems to take forever and I am falling asleep.

Back at the resort I am hot and sticky and need a shower and nap in that order.

However the resort seems to have some new guests around us.  As we try and nap all we hear are people outside on their balconies partying.  Hooting, screaming  to their friends.  All of a sudden I feel like it is Springs break here.  Doesn't help that the resort is a U shape with the courtyard sounds bouncing off the buildings enhancing the sounds. 

Here is a shot of the swim up bar and trust me this is quiet.

After trying to nap for two hours we give up.  Sure I can tolerate day to day sounds but this is crazy.  There is even someone blaring their music on their balcony. 

We discuss our options and decide to see the front desk about changing rooms to an outside facing room on the south side. We move to a room on the third floor that faces out to an open field.  View isn't the pretty manicured lawn but it is much quieter.  Sure we still need to deal with the noise from the corridors but usually that is temporary.

After moving and unpacking (thankfully we don't have much stuff), we head to the lobby bar for a drink.  Both of us need it.

Dinner is down in the buffet around 9 pm.  The place is busy!  We have a problem getting a table and sit finally and enjoy dinner.  Again the buffet has many options and it is good and meets our needs but it is crazy busy.

As we sit outside enjoying dinner we can look up to the third floor near where our old room was and see some guys that have just arrived.  All young men who are jumping up and down screaming to each other on their balconies, smoking, doing shots (this is where the liquor dispensers in the room could be a problem).  I am glad we moved.  But we both note the dynamics of this place have changed considerably and we are not sure what to do.

I comment we got this amazing deal and I guess we got what we paid for.