Monday, October 31, 2011

Hotel Amenities and wrist band blues

Even though it was a long day of flying, my lovely bride -who shall heretofore be known as Nightingale -- arranged our flight times so that we would arrive at the resort in time to actually make some use of it. We arrived late afternoon which gave us enough time to get a late lunch, take a swim in the pool and enjoy many a tropical drink.  Our only other option would be to arrive so late that we really would just have enough time to grab whatever grub we could scrounge up and then pass out for the night.

The downside to this was having to fly Spirit, an airline that charges for bags whether you check them or carry them on. In hindsight we should have checked them since the difference was $4 per bag, but Nightingale was afraid the airline would lose our bags and we'd have to go a few days without a change of underwear.  While the reflex might be to think: This is a problem on your honeymoon how? The truth is, it is a major pain to be without luggage when you are thousands of miles away from home.

When we got to the hotel, among the orientation info they gave us was something about sand mites. Nightingale panicked and wanted to buy all the bug spray in site. Of course bug spray and sun block are jacked up at the hotel store.

We opted to buy the bug spray but hold off on the sunscreen since Nightingale had some small tubes that didn't get confiscated at security -- remember the not checking our bags because we feared losing them? We thought we'd make it to the Kmart on the first or second night.

Wednesday we tried to book some activities but the ones we were interested in did not have enough other people interested so it wasn't worth the vendor's time to do them. We decided to go into town instead. We did find a shop that sold pearl bracelets at a ridiculously low price, at least according to Nightingale so I think we got some xmas shopping done. We failed to go to the Kmart or the duty free shop at this juncture.

We did go to the fancy restaurant at the resort, which was included in our all-inclusive package. It did not live up to its hype. We believe the service lacked because we were wearing those blue bracelets that said "we are part of the all-inclusive package."  Our waiter took our order and brought our food but never really checked up on us. We wanted more wine but got the impression that would require an order from the governor. 

After talking to other guests and putting two and two together, we figured out that there were several factors working against us.  First, it was off season, which means that there isn't a full staff to bring all the drunks their drinks in a timely manner and as such, you do risk becoming sober while waiting for the next round to arrive.

Second, the all inclusive package requires everyone to wear these wrist bands which apparently labeled us as non-tippers.  The thing about this is it is a self-fulfilling prophecy: you give bad service, you won't get a tip, and vice versa.  A real chicken and egg whocamefirst. 

To give you an example of how bad it was, Nightingale asked for some coffee with dessert.  Most places I've been to, be it a fancy bestro or a greasy spoon diner, the server will ask the other people at the table if they want coffee as well.  Because it takes just that much effort to bring two cups of coffee as one.  I thought about asking for one once he brought Nightingale hers but opted to behave myself this time.

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