There are a few things about our resort that I have gleaned from my reading so far.
One is that the food will not be amazingly fabulous (if you've been on a cruise ship before, don't expect that standard). Cuba is a poor country and cannot bring food in from the US, so the variety can suffer a little bit. That being said, there should be enough variety that even a picky eater won't starve, and some simple but tasty dishes.
Apparently getting to the buffet early helps if you like your food piping hot. (I imagine this is true of many buffets!) Also, in addition to the buffet, there is a few restaurants at the resort, which you must reserve to get into. Depending on how busy the resort is, it may be a good idea to do this right away once you get in! There is also a grill with burgers and hotdogs by the main pool and a bar there.
One thing to be aware of is that there is no bar close to the beach. A lot of people have said that they find it helpful to bring large plastic mugs or vacuum mugs, because the resort uses relatively small plastic glasses to give you your drinks. Filling a larger mug will keep you from running back and forth between the beach and the bar.
One thing that will keep you running back and forth is the fact that there are no bathrooms close to the beach, unfortunately. The closest bathrooms are back in the main building, so leave yourself enough time to get back there!
The resort rents out beach towels to guests; it's a $15 US deposit at the beginning of your stay and you can exchange your towel daily.
Here is a map of the resort someone has graciously scanned and provided to one of my favorite travel sites. The legend is hard to read, but the important things are:
- (A) Reception
- (G) Tourism Desk (book your tours)
- (I) Internet, which I am going to try to avoid the entire time (BWAhahaha, I crack myself up)
- (5) Buffet restaurant
- (6) Gym - sauna, massage (costs extra), aerobics
- (9) "Las Brisas" restaurant (need reservations)
- (10) Nightly entertainment area (yes, outdoors)
- (13) Beach grill and (14) Beach bar - I'll be spending a lot of time at the beach, I think, so these are important
- (13) "La Caleta" restaurant (the Beach Grill turns into a restaurant at night and you need reservations)
- (16) Mini-golf (yes, I am a mini-golf nut)
- (17) Water sport center - borrow kayaks or other water equipment here (need to make reservations)
- (18) Pools and jacuzzis
- (20) and (21) Outdoor and Indoor games areas - I'm assuming one of these is where the promised shuffleboard is ;)
- (22) Snack bar - I think this is the 24-hour one
- (23) "Fantasia" restaurant (need reservations)
- (24) Medical services
As a side note, I've heard the massages are brutal and now I'm scared to try them.
Our resort includes two excursions, but these can fill up fast. Our travel agent can book one in advance for us, but it's probably best to go sign up for the other not too long after arriving (much like the restaurants).
Several reviews mention that there is not a lot of lighting at night; it might be a good idea to bring a small flashlight.
One last thing - tipping. Now, I know it's supposed to be an all-inclusive resort, but tipping now and then can go a long way. It's totally up to you, of course. Besides cash, people appreciate things they can't readily get in Cuba - soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, kid's geometry sets and clothing, candy.
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