Eating, Drinking and Lesson Learned

We have dinner at Portofino, the Italian restaurant. We don’t take any pictures, but it was good. They were able to seat us all at one table, which is nice. Afterwards we go to the show. The theatre is indoor and I like the set up.

This is Tom. He’s Tami’s husband. They live in Texas.



We take pictures while we wait for the show to start.

This is me and Helen and her husband, Chris. They live in Oklahoma.


This is Tami and Steph, Dan (Steph’s husband) and Tom (again). Steph and Dan live in Oklahoma also.


I didn’t write any notes about the show. Afterwards we go to the Desires night club where the music is insanely loud. We dance. We have some drinks. We get tired of trying to shout to talk and go outside and talk. Then we call it a night.

In the morning we go for breakfast. There is a roaming mimosa cart. I like that.


I have eggs benedict, which are not bad, but clearly have been sitting there for awhile at the buffet.

I have these pictures from the lobby, so we must have gone there for something. However, I didn’t include it in my notes. I don’t think this resort os very pretty, but this chandelier in the lobby is one thing that is very pretty.


There is this cool sculpture.


This picture gives you a sense of how far away the rooms are from the lobby.


We go back to the room and guess what’s outside the door to the patio?


We go out to the beach.


We all decide to have lunch together and go to the buffet.

I have a burger and fries. The burger is better than the burgers at the Grand.


Zung has some rice dish with seafood.


Zung and Chris bond over cars during lunch. After lunch we go all go to the pool together. I have started drinking champagne and red wine, 1/2 and 1/2, over lots of ice. I get quite a few confused looks from the bartenders when I order this drink. It is nice and refreshing, but it gets me into trouble because they go down way too easy. Truth be told, I get wasted. I drank three in an hour. I might not have gotten so wasted if I had stopped drinking those refreshing drinks when I thought I should. But someone was handing me a third one without me asking and it seemed rude to refuse it. Trust me, if this happens to you, refuse it.

When it is apparent how wasted I am, Zung takes me back to the room. I try to sleep it off but I am in no shape for dinner. Everyone knows why we didn’t show up, which is mortifying to me. I am chatting online with some friends about it and they all say it has happened to them, so then I don’t feel so mortified. What I feel is hungry, so we order dinner from room service. I have come down off my wastedness enough that I order a glass of wine.


Zung calls with our order, which includes flan for him. About a half an hour later they call back and say the flan wasn’t ready and so he orders an apple tart instead. What they bring him is a hamburger instead. We have a good laugh over that. He has fish, which is ok. I have steak, which tastes good , but is very tough and I have to work hard cutting and chewing each bite. I have ordered the same delicious chocolate cake that I ordered our first night and it is just as delicious.

Our friends ate at the Mexican restaurant. Apparently they were taking bets as to whether we would show up, or whether Zung would show up without me. Nobody was surprised that I didn’t make it. They were surprised that I wasn’t hungover the next morning. Amateurs.

Posted in Bars, Drinks, Entertainment, Food/Menu Items, Restaurant, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Wine Tasting

After lunch we decide to go sit by the pool. They are doing something with the chefs. I think they are presenting the chefs from each of the restaurants.


One of them comes around with some sushi. I eat it, but it seems kind of warm and I wonder if I will regret this later. It was all good though.

The pool is nice and it really is the centerpiece of this hotel.  I am laying there, enjoying the pool and the buzz of conversation around us. Then they start playing live music, and it is loud. If that wasn’t enough, there are people near us and they keep saying the name Theo. Again and again and again. I am no longer enjoying being by the pool.

At four o’clock there is a wine tasting in the wine room, which is in the Italian restaurant, Portofino. We ask one of the activity team members where it is and he advises us to get there early because there are only 12 spots available. We do as we are told and get there early. As there only ended up being six of us, it seemed a bit amusing to be told to get there early. The wine room is very nicely done.



They have a lot of wines. I am excited about getting to taste some of them.


They have some fancy wines that I am pretty sure we will not get to taste.


There are wines everywhere!


The chairs are nice, but they didn’t do a very good job of removing the plastic from them.



We take pictures and sit there alone, and then right before it starts two other couples show up. Ketley and Marshall on the left, and I didn’t write down the names of the couple on the right. They were from Australia though, I believe. Both couples are very nice.


The sommelier shows up and I am wondering which wines we will get to taste. He pours the house white and then the house red. He explains what you should look for when tasting wine, how it looks and smells and tastes. It was more of a “how to taste wine” as opposed to a wine tasting.

The wine tasting at the Grand is not as fancy, but they have all the included wines available to taste and there are quite a few.

I am a bit disappointed and feel like Secrets has missed an opportunity to showcase the wines that are an upcharge. If someone gets a taste of these, they are probably more likely to purchase them.

After the wine tasting we go back to our room to rest and get ready for dinner. The room has been cleaned, but they have left the dirty champagne glasses from yesterday. Unfortunately, they have not left any champagne to put in them.


The glasses, the plastic on the chairs, it may all sounds nit-picky. But it’s the attention to detail that sets a resort apart. I am not seeing attention to detail. What I am seeing are crabs, all over the place!

They are in the swim-out pool outside of our room, they are up against the sliding door out to the swim-out, they are up against people’s doors, they are on the stairs, they are everywhere. I start opening our door very carefully and looking out. One place I don’t want them is in our room.

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Posted in Drinks | 5 Comments

Breakfast, the Beach and Lunch

We wake up to a cloudy morning. We head off to breakfast. We pass the pool. You pretty much pass the pool everywhere you go. It is a huge pool. There is a crab in the pool this morning. Uh, no thank you.


The service is slow to start. Our waiter is busing other tables that have been vacated, and I want to say, hey, come take care of THIS table that is occupied. When he does finally come over I order a Mimosa and tea and ask for almond milk. He points towards the buffet for the almond milk, but he does bring me the Mimosa, even though there is a Mimosa bar that I had not noticed at first.


There is harp music, which is a nice touch.


Although it is a decent sized buffet, I cannot find much I want to eat. There are several things that need to be re-stocked, including bacon. Really? No bacon at my first breakfast here is a big fail. I try the sausage, but I don’t like the taste and texture of it. There is a Mexican section where they have these little pancake like things with meat on them. I like those a lot and go back to get more.


I can not find the almond milk. I recently discovered that cow’s milk is not my friend and have eliminated it for the most part from my diet. I had checked with the Grand to see if they had it and they do, but I forgot to check with Secrets. I go to where the milk is in the buffet and can not find almond milk. I ask one of the employees and he points in another direction, but I can’t find it there either. I ask him again and he takes me over and points at the oatmeal. Now I realize they have not understood what I am saying and as it turns out, they do not have almond milk. I ask for soy milk for my tea, which is just kind of gross, but it’s the best I can do.

Zung has an omelet, so he is happy.


At breakfast we notice there are a lot of couples with sales people getting the vacation club pitch. That is SO not how I want to spend any of my vacation time. I am glad I shut that down yesterday.

After breakfast Zung needs to find a toothbrush (how do you forget your toothbrush? He does it all the time). The first store we go into I trip over the threshold at the door. I had read about people tripping and wonder if this is what they are talking about.  It is just kind of higher that expected. And they don’t have toothbrushes. They send us to a store over by the lobby. We get a golf cart ride over. We never had to wait long for a ride.

We find the store and Zung buys his overpriced toothbrush. We walk around to see what is over here.

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It rains briefly.

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This is right by the lobby.



When we get back to our room we change into our swimsuits and go out to the beach. We find Steph and Dan and Megan and Joe.

There is an energetic group that is kayaking. I looked at the activity schedule and considered trying the yoga class that is offered in the morning. As it turns out, it never works out. We always seem to be at breakfast and I am not about to get up early on vacation to go to exercise.



The drink service is good, no complaints there. We start with a Mudslide for me and a Margharita for Zung.


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It doesn’t seem like it is long at all before we are thinking about lunch. We go to Oceana, which is the restaurant where we ate last night. I have some Sauvignon Blanc, and Zung has a beer.



They bring us chips, guac and sauces. The chips are nice and fresh, and the guac and sauces are good.


The view is nice.


I have a light lunch, starting with some ceviche, which is pretty good.


Next, I have a salad, which is pretty, but kind of bland.


Zung starts with a shrimp cocktail, which he says is too sweet.


I have some gazpacho. I love gazpacho, but this is kind of bland too.


Zung has jambalaya, which he says is kind of bland as well.


The view is still nice and they keep my wine glass filled.


Dessert for me knocked it out of the park with this cucumber granita. It is delicous.


Zung has some ice cream, which is fine.


The option of a sit-down restaurant for lunch is nice, and the options on the menu are appealing. They didn’t quite follow through however with the food. I would have to say that the food has been a mixed bag so far.

Posted in Drinks, Food/Menu Items, Restaurant | 2 Comments

Room and Food at Secrets Playa Mujeres

It is a nice room. There is a nice sitting area. I like this better than the funky chaise they have at the Grand.

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The outside has a table and a couple of chairs and an ocean view.


I’m not sure swim-out is the right term for this room. When I hear that term, I think of being able to swim out TO something. This is just a common pool for about five or six rooms. Our room is one end. We never actually go into the water though. There are a lot of tiny, little leaves that fall into the water, and then there are the crabs (more on them later). The balcony/porch area definitely goes to the Grand.

The bathroom looks nice. There is a double sink. It ends up being very dysfunctional though. The water splashes up at us because it hits the stopper thingy. If you turn it down so it doesn’t do that, it’s little more than a trickle.The sinks are cool looking, but they are pretty high  and I have to stand on tip toe to use them.


There is a large, lovely looking jetted tub that I wanted to try, but never got around to it.You can open it up to the rest of the room if you want.


There is a nice, large, separate shower that I did not take a picture of, and a water closet. I have to say, overall, I prefer the bathroom at the Grand.

I have received a message from Tami that dinner is at Oceana at 7. Zung naps and I take notes for this blog. I get dressed for dinner. In all the “activity” of trying to get into our room. I have forgotten my very important ritual. I finally perform the Ceremonial Removal of the Watch.


Earlier, when we were taking our first golf cart ride to the our room, the driver commented that it was crab season. As we walked to Oceana for dinner we saw them, everywhere!

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At first it was interesting. Then there were so many, it felt a little freakish, like a Hitchcock movie or something.


We did get to see the sunset, which we don’t get to see at the Grand.


We arrived at the restaurant. Our group was seated at two tables next to each other. I can’t remember what we ate, but it was quite good. Point for Secrets!

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There are all kinds of bars here. After dinner we go to the sports bar. We sit at the bar and are given drinks. Helen thinks her Sauvignon Blanc doesn’t taste right so I make the bartender open a new bottle. She says it still tastes different. But the bartender never asks if we want refills, even though we sit there for a while with empty glasses. Someone makes me dance. I think it was Stephanie.

We go back to the room. I am hungry and we order room service. Zung gets flan, I get chocolate cake and wine. The chocolate cake is really good.

Our first day is over. The whole room thing has not left me with a good impression. The service is mediocre, some good, some not so much. The food however has been really good.

We are looking forward to hanging out at the beach tomorrow.

Posted in Bars, Check-in/Upgrades, Food/Menu Items | 7 Comments

Secrets Mujeres – a cluster

This is me before we board.


This is us after we board.


We take our seats and are in row two. They are new seats. They are shorter. The button to recline is underneath and we don’t even know that until we are talking to Dave later on in the flight. He tells us the only seats that recline anymore are the first three rows and row thirteen (which I have no idea why). Before we figure out about the reclining thing my back is killing me. And we have only been on the flight an hour.  There are no TV’s either. Boo!

However, Dave is awesome and takes good care of us. He says hello to everyone who boards. Most of the flight attendants do not do this. After we are in the air, he comes by to say hello and we chat and catch up. During drink service he sees that I have brought my own rum. This decision was not to save money (although it does). It was because the rum they serve is awful. However, he tells me he “can’t” see my rum I brought, so I put it away.


This is Zung’s beverage of choice.

IMG_1912 The pilots come out, one at a time, to use the restrooms. They are both young. One has sunglasses on his forehead. This is a young, hip thing to do. I don’t like my pilots to be young and hip. I like them to have gray hair. And have LOTS of experience.

Dave does such a good job. In addition to greeting everyone, he explains the immigrations and customs forms. He is just awesome. He is just a good person.


There are hugs when we leave. He won’t be on our flight when we go home.  He made it so much better when we were going home after the heart attack trip. He is so nice and attentive. We are going to miss him, big time. This is probably the last time we will fly Frontier. Several reasons, but the bottom line is that they just don’t make it worth it to be loyal to them any more.

It is a super short immigration line. We wait for our bags. Both bags come out together. We get a green light for customs. I put on my new shades and we walk through the gauntlet. Nobody messes with me. I look badass.

Outside someone asks me which transfer company we are looking for. I say Canada Transfers and he takes us to them. They don’t have us on their list. I show him the confirmation email and he tells me that is from Cancun transfers. Oops. My bad. I’m a little embarassed. He points us to the company we have actually booked with and we get our ride to the resort, Secrets Playa Mujeres.

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It is pretty as you drive through the Playa Mujeres area and we pass other hotels.

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Finally, we arrive at Secrets Playa Mujeres.


And then there is a bit of a cluster.

We get out of the van. Nobody greets us. Okay, I’m comparing to the Grand. There they open the car door and always greet us. Here our driver takes out our bags. A bellboy comes up with cold washcloths and says welcome home, but it doesn’t feel like it’s meaningful, but rather something he is just supposed to say. There is a woman standing there with glasses of champagne. It feels like they just are checking these things off their list. Nobody tells us where to go. We ask and they just point inside. We go to the wrong desk and they point us to the desk on the other side of the room. We sit down and check in. I like sitting down to check in. At the Grand you have to stand at a counter.

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We are told that we are being upgraded to a swim-out suite. That sounds good, but it won’t be ready for 30 minutes. It is 4:30 pm. I am surprised the room isn’t ready, but say it is fine, we will just go have a drink. The check-in dude hands us off to a woman who is waiting and says she will tell us about our “special gift.”

Uh oh. I feel a time share or vacation club thing coming on. She takes us to another desk and says we get $200 in resort credits. But, it’s a little here and a little there and not really anything significant anywhere, and she wants to book us for the full presentation tomorrow morning at breakfast. I say we are not interested. She asks WHY? I say we are just not. She presses, with WHY? After going back and forth a couple of times I say we are loyal Iberostar guests and the only reason we are here is to vacation with friends. Then she wants to know what is so great about Iberostar and I say the people. She seems to “get” that. She passes us off to our driver who will take us to our room. The resort is in two sections, the lobby, and several of the restaurants and the spa and then the rooms and pool and bars and some more of the restaurants. There are golf carts that transport you from one section to the other.

Our driver does a great job of pointing out where everything is. Then he takes us to our room, where the maid has just arrived to clean it. Oops. I can tell he is very embarassed. He takes us to the Preferred club lounge to wait. This is a special lounge for people who have upgraded their reservations and they get extra stuff, like this lounge. We are served champagne and there is food to eat while we wait. Most of the food is good, although there are little ants crawling on one of the serving utensils. We skip that one. We arrive at the lounge at 5pm and although the snacks and service are good, we just want to get to our room. We have been  told it will be 40 minutes. We should have just said, give us a regular room and do it now please. There are some people who complain at the Grand, when they arrive hours earlier than check-in time, that they can’t have their room. I wonder what they would say if they stayed here at Secrets?

A woman who rode with us on the golf cart comes in and sees us and asks why we are there. We say we are waiting for our room. (I don’t say that my husband is getting aggravated that it is 5 pm and our room is still not ready). She checks and tells us it will be 15 minutes. We are finally taken to a (different) room and the key doesn’t work. Seriously? At last, we get into the room. The mini bar is locked. We are staying here four nights before we go to the Grand. It is starting to sound like a very long time.

Posted in Check-in/Upgrades | 1 Comment