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Royals Questions

femucik

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We have a trade to RI for Christmas week and have been confirmed by II to a specific unit. I have a few rather basic questions for which my "searches" either turned up nothing or some information that was several years old. Because one member of the family is special needs with MR, I try to do as much preplanning as possible in order to avoid "transition surprises". Thanks in advance for your help (and patience if this is repetitious).

1. Airport transportation to hotel - it appears there are 3 names that come up continuously. Assuming we prefer a private car to waiting for a bus to load, does anyone have any suggestions as to which service to use (or to avoid)? (Please understand my reluctance to waiting and taking a bus is solely due to the special needs son - not an attitude or whatever.)

2. If we wanted to stop at Walmart or someplace to pick up a few staples, would it be possible to get the car transport from the airport to stop on the way or should we plan on taking a cab to and from once we arrive at the hotel? As an addendum....is there any reason to stop and shop at Walmart or, can most staples...coffee for me...be purchased at the hotel store?

3. Do the pools allow floats, noodles, etc.?

4. Does the Islander have elevators in the buildings or is it all stairs?

5. II gave us a specific unit number. Is it reasonable to assume that is where we will be? I have heard stories of people who were sent to another resort (during holiday/vacation weeks) and would like to if at all possible avoid that. Again..I'm not opposed to it but it can turn into a difficult transition situation with our son. Any suggestions as to how to be sure of the unit or, is it simply luck of the draw?

6. Attire....all casual? Long pants for guys at night? Collared shirts? (never mind that...I insist on collared shirts :D )

7. Beach towels....bring or are they supplied?

8. Almost forgot...cell phones...I assume ours do not work (Verizon). What does one do to have phone service for a week?

Many thanks for your help...we are looking forward to our first Royal visit.

kim
 
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Janis

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ON Brant's site, he posts some prices for stopping at Walmart before reaching the hotel.
You can check them out at: http://www.entertainment-plus.net/


Do the pools allow floats, noodles, etc.? I think that they "officially" discourage them - but we have used them before.


4. Does the Islander have elevators in the buildings or is it all stairs? There are elevators

5. II gave us a specific unit number. Is it reasonable to assume that is where we will be? Sometimes you get the unit you are assigned, sometimes you don't

6. Attire....all casual? Long pants for guys at night? The only time we needed long pants was when we ate dinner at the Ritz...olther than that - all casual

7. Beach towels....bring or are they supplied? Supplied
 

pjrose

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1. Most, if not all, transportation is on the little white vans (10 passenger???). Prices are either fixed or very consistent, around $10 per person. The easiest is to pre-reserve transportation either through Thomas More (royalresorts.com) or Brant (entertainment-plus.net). Both services are well recommended, and should be the same price. Two advantages of Thomas More are that the fee will appear on your checkout bill from the RI so you don't need to deal with changing money in the airport, and that it'll go directly to the RI with no other resorts in between. You probably won't have more than a 10 minute wait, if that.

I'm not sure of the current status of cars - e.g. taxis - but for quite some time the vans had a monopoly and the taxis couldn't pick up at the airport (though they can drop off). That might have changed.....but I would still go for the prearranged transportation rather than waiting till I got to the airport to find out about a cab.

As you leave the airport, you WILL have to walk through a ~40' "gauntlet" of people trying to hand out literature and trying to get you to sign up for timeshare tours etc. DO NOT, repeat DO NOT, stop, talk to them, let them take your luggage, sign anything, give them money, etc. EVEN IF they helpfully say "Royal Resorts?" or "Thomas More?" DO NOT STOP. They are NOT representing Royal Resorts or Thomas More. The real Thomas More people are OUTSIDE of the airport wearing Thomas More labeled shirts. I assume the same is true for Brant's people.

2. I think a stop can be pre-arranged with Brant's service, but not Thomas More. Whether there is a need depends on how much you plan to cook. The mini-markets at the Royals are well stocked with staples, coffee, bread, soups, fruit, milk, sodas.....really the only major thing missing is fresh meat. However there is frozen chicken, shrimp, and skirt steak. If you plan to do real home-cooking, then you would probably find it easier to take a bus or cab to WalMart after you check in - maybe the next day - and then a cab back. Note that the Royals also have a great take-out with excellent ribs, good roast chicken, soups, salads, desserts, rice, pizza....all can be taken out from the Royal Caribbean (connected to the RI via walkway) or free delivery to your villa. We do just fine with the mini-markets and take-out. WalMart is interesting, but I don't think it's worth a half-day of vacation.

3. Technically no, but we've rarely seen this enforced. Maybe once in 20 years when someone had an inflatable boat.....
Bring your own inflatable rafts, inner tubes, spring-floats, and borrow the noodles at no charge from the sports desk, and keep them for the week.

4. Yes, there are elevators throughout the resort. You may be able to see the locations on the maps at royalresorts.com or mexicondo.com.

5. It would be highly unlikely for you to be at any other resort. It is POSSIBLE you may be at the RC or RM; I've heard of it happening, but it's very unlikely. If so, it won't be a problem - all three Tri-royals are lovely. As far as having the same unit as on your II confirmation, that's somewhat of a toss-up. Usually the front desk sticks with II's assignment, but sometimes if there's a maintenance issue or if someone who checked in earlier than you complained and got switched....then you might end up in a different unit. If you are concerned about this, you could call or fax the front desk (check contact us on Royalresorts.com) and point out your concerns. I really wouldn't worry about it, though - after all, you didn't have a location choice in your II trade either!

6. collared shirt? what's that? All you need is shorts, tee-shirts, and optional long skirts/khakis/collared shirts (and of course bathing suits). If you're planning to be out on the town checking out the clubs by all means bring dressy stuff and heels....otherwise, not to worry.

7. supplied. do not bring any towels, sheets, etc.

8. I see a lot of people using cell phones, but I have no idea what services they use. You can buy phone cards at the mini-marts for the occasional call home from the phone in your room (if you use the card they sell at the resort, there will not be a big surcharge on top of the card's cost). You can use Skype from your laptop (free wireless in and around the restaurant).

9. Please post back or PM me with any more questions!
 
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femucik

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Thanks so much for the thorough answers Janis and Pam; they are really helpful. I did send you a message Pam.

No need to cook and no need for anything but casual attire....sounds like an ideal week.

kim
 

luvacation

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Our last trip to Cancun was January, 2007. We have Verizon for our cell phone provider. We made and recieved calls without any problem. The cost was reasonable, but I don't remember the exact rate. Call them and they can give you the info.
 

Jwerking

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Pam:

Just take a cab from the airport to the Royals - with 3 or more people this will not cost you much more than the Thomas Moore Vans - which is priced per person. After you walk thru the gauntlet with all the timeshare sharks,etc - there is usually a booth or dispatcher that assigns you a taxi ( I think they give you some piece of paper - can't remember for sure). The cabs were right there by the curb - very easy. The Thomas Moore Vans typically wait until they have a relatively fair number of people before they depart for the Royals - so sometimes you may have to wait 15 to 20 min. Under your circumstances, just take the cab - it is not that many more $$. FOr sure, take a cab back to the airport from the Royals - it is cheaper on the way back because they do not have to pay some type of airport departure fee.

We have been to the Royals 4 or 5 times over the Xmas and/or New Years weeks and have always been assigned the unit on the II or RCI exchange - never had a problem.

Don't bother with the Walmart. I went there the first few times and it is not worth the time and effort - truly unless you want to really COOK - you can buy what you need for breakfast and lunch at the Royal stores. While their prices are more than Walmart - they are not exorbitant and you would incur the additional costs in the taxi fare to get to and from the Walmart. It is in downtown Cancun - a long way from the Royal ISlander. The only thing I miss in the Royal stores is the lack of much produce. Our family enjoys the daily brunch buffet at the Royal restaurants and oftentimes we just chow down and make it both breakfast and lunch. Do give it at least a try one day - the made to order banana and coconut pancakes or waffles are to die for - or how about the cheese, chorizo, and mushroom quesidillas. Also, they have waiters that serve food and drinks both at the pool and on the beach - my girls thought they had died and gone to heaven when they could sit in their beach chairs and get served.

BTW - the Royals use to have a grocery service from their stores - where you could pre-order items from their store online and it would be in your unit upon arrival.

Only heads up - it can be a mad scramble for beach chairs/umbrellas and pool chairs. You will have no problem if you are an early riser, but will definitely have issues if you wonder down later - 9 and for sure at 10.

Treat yourself, Pam, and go to the SPA at the Royal Sands. It is great - very relaxing and nice ambience. I love it there. Wish I were going - I love the Royals - but we are off to the Grand Mayan in Nuevo Vallarta for NEw years week. The water is not as beautiful on the Pacific Coast as it is in Cancun - but I am looking forward to the awesome pool area there. Always looking for new places and new resorts to visit.

Enjoy!

Joyce
 

pjrose

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Just take a cab from the airport to the Royals - with 3 or more people this will not cost you much more than the Thomas Moore Vans - which is priced per person. After you walk thru the gauntlet with all the timeshare sharks,etc - there is usually a booth or dispatcher that assigns you a taxi ( I think they give you some piece of paper - can't remember for sure). The cabs were right there by the curb - very easy. The Thomas Moore Vans typically wait until they have a relatively fair number of people before they depart for the Royals - so sometimes you may have to wait 15 to 20 min. Under your circumstances, just take the cab - it is not that many more $$. FOr sure, take a cab back to the airport from the Royals - it is cheaper on the way back because they do not have to pay some type of airport departure fee.
Joyce,

Are you positive about the cabs? Ages ago we were told that the van services had a monopoly FROM the airport and cabs were not allowed. I had heard that might have changed, but I don't recall ever actually seeing a cab.

I agree with taking the cab BACK to the airport. Not only is it less expensive than the van, it's also faster. The vans pick up from the Royals way earlier than necessary, and can take awhile to load up everyone's stuff. Cabs wait outside the Royals 24/7, and the bellman will get one for you in a minute, they load right away, and off you go.

You mentioned the pool/beach food service - Isn't it great, and it doesn't cost anything extra (add a tip of course).

You also mentioned pre-ordering groceries. You can find this on the royalresorts.com site. Look for kitchen starter. You can check off whatever you want, and you can also send a separate email if you want to specify something else. No extra charge, and very convenient. Two warnings, though - sometimes if an exchanger gets assigned to a different unit they get the unit mixed up (it's happened to us - just call the store and ask them to re-deliver), and translation errors do occur - for example we got apples instead of avocados. It's a real convenience, but not perfect!

You're right about the Spa at the Sands - it's lovely, and they've just done quite a bit of remodeling/updating. You can also book a massage at the Tri-Royals, under little cabanas on the sundecks. You don't have the wonderful variety of treatments as at the Spa, but it is convenient and less expensive (the price can go down later in the week if they're trying to fill time slots).
 
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geoffb

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Ages ago we were told that the van services had a monopoly FROM the airport and cabs were not allowed.
This is correct. Taxis can drop off but can not pick up. I would suggest pre-booking a reservation for a shared or private van.
 

Enrico

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Our last three trips to the Cancun area we used Cancun Valet. $65 one way private van, up to 10 people. Very reliable service.
 

maja651

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Our last three trips to the Cancun area we used Cancun Valet. $65 one way private van, up to 10 people. Very reliable service.
I second the reccomendation for Cancun Valet. We have been using them for years with always greta service!

Michelle
 

jasm

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We have used Brant for several years to transport us effortlessly from the airport to the Royal Sands. I don't know what your son's special need requirements are, but I can tell you that after a day of travel and airports, etc., even if you did not have to accommodate your son's needs, it is just a tremendous help (& relief!) to walk out from the zoo that is the Cancun airport and see Brant's representative holding up a sign with your name on it, waiting to get your family and luggage into your private, air conditioned van. No matter if the flight is late, or the immigration and baggage lines long, they are ALWAYS waiting for us. There is no stopping at other resorts for other guests. Polite, helpful drivers that get you to the Royals smoothly and without any hassle. The same thing on the return trip....they are waiting for you as scheduled at the Royals for a quick trip back to the airport.

A couple of tips....on arrival at the airport as you leave the baggage area, porters will offer to take your luggage. You should not worry about using them if you need to..they work for tips, and you won't be ripped off by a fee. When you are dropped off at the airport to go home, a porter will usually approach the van to help you with your luggage. Take advantage of the service...again for a tip....because the departure area on Saturdays is mobbed, and the porter will get you straight through to your airline counter.

I also agree with some other posters here....if you are not doing any heavy-duty cooking during your trip, then the store at the Royal Islander will be more than enough. Whatever you think you may save dollar-wise will be eaten up by the extra fee to have the van driver take you there first (a really tiring proposition on arrival day!), or a taxi to take you and your groceries back to the Islander. I also agree that if you do decide to make the trip into town for groceries, that you do it the next day, after you've had a chance to settle in and see what the on-site store has to offer.
 

Janis

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quesadillas?

JWerking - you said that the buffet has cheese, chorizo, and mushroom quesidillas. How have I missed these?????

I have been going to the Royals for 10 years and I never saw them! I'm guessing you can have a quesadilla instead of an omelette - is that right?

We're going in two weeks - and I'm already anxious for that b'fast buffet. Especially with the poblanos con crema to go alongside that quesadilla....
 

pjrose

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JWerking - you said that the buffet has cheese, chorizo, and mushroom quesidillas. How have I missed these?????

I have been going to the Royals for 10 years and I never saw them! I'm guessing you can have a quesadilla instead of an omelette - is that right?

We're going in two weeks - and I'm already anxious for that b'fast buffet. Especially with the poblanos con crema to go alongside that quesadilla....
I've never seen those either, though the Sands does have some choices that I haven't noticed at the Tri Royals. You can often special order; is that where the quesadillas come from? I always order tortillas.

We don't do the brunch buffet as much anymore, since our kids are no longer kid-price and we tend to overeat at buffets. But I still love it when I do it!
 
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femucik

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I want to thank all of you for your ideas and help. Our son has MR and severe anxiety/panic disorder (Fragile X Syndrome) so I think a private car/van is the best answer.

I'll preorder food, visit the spa and think of all of you and your help as I sit by the pool and sip whatever.....

Thanks and happy holidays to all of you.

kim
 

ragtop

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One other thing to keep in mind is that it can be showery in December, so be prepared to get wet -- you might try to remember a light rain jacket.
 

Enrico

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I want to thank all of you for your ideas and help. Our son has MR and severe anxiety/panic disorder (Fragile X Syndrome) so I think a private car/van is the best answer.

I'll preorder food, visit the spa and think of all of you and your help as I sit by the pool and sip whatever.....

Thanks and happy holidays to all of you.

kim
You will be glad that you selected the private van service....when you get to transporting 3-4+ persons it is a "no brainer".

Pre-ordering food is a good idea too, but a trip to Wal-Mart or other grocery store can be really fun ("a trip"). It is easy from the RI also...hop the bus to downtown ($1 tops), take a cab back ($12 or so). Stock up on the basics, maybe a couple of planned meals, supplement with the very adequate RI marketplace. Round trip in 1.5 - 2.5 hours.

Sounds like you have the rest of it nailed (Spa, cocktail, etc.). Enjoy it.
 
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