I Love Hearing about the Vacations I’ve helped to Create!

One of the main reasons I got into the travel business was to share my love of travel and to inspire that love of travel in others.  By reading my blog posts, it is probably no secret that I have a fondness for the Caribbean.  I have fellow agent-friends who have a similar fondness for Italy or France or England.  I so enjoy talking with others who love travel as much as I do, and that is the reason that most of us travel professionals do what we do.

When I have the opportunity to hear about a vacation that I helped plan and book for clients it makes this “job” seem even less like a job.  I get to go on vacation with every one of my clients, even if it is only in the planning stages.  But when I get to hear about and see pictures from that vacation, that extends the experience even more!

Recently, I had a client contact me about booking he and his wife for an adult-only vacation to some place warm.  Having been friends with them for quite a few years, I was fairly confident that I knew their traveling style and what they might have in mind.  After combing through many possibilities, I sent them a few options and they finally settled on Secrets Aura in Cozumel, Mexico.

They are both avid participants in the blogging community, and I was quite certain I would see a post on their vacation from at least one of them.  Sure enough, Mandy did not disappoint.  I wanted to share her post here for you all to read as well.  As I said previously, I love hearing about the vacations I help to create.  I hope you enjoy reading about it almost as much as I do.

Our Adult-Only Vacation to Cozumel

Voyager of the Seas: Day 6, Cozumel

My boys in Cozumel

The dawn of day 6 marks the last of our ports stops for this cruise, and on this day we would be stopping in Cozumel, Mexico.  I have grown to love Mexico, especially the Yucatan Peninsula over the years as we have traveled there.  We have never gone with a tour in Cozumel.  We have always just gone to one of the beaches like San Francisco Beach, Paradise Beach, or Mr. Sanchos.  Once we even went over to the “wild side” to Chen Rio.  This time we chose to go to Passion Island and I booked it through Jaital, the same company I booked our zipline excursion with in Jamaica.  Jaital is only the booking company, and they book you with the staff of Passion Island who take care of getting you to the island.  We were very excited about seeing a different part of Cozumel and relaxing on this very private and secluded beach.

According to the reservation we were suppose to meet in front of Carlos ‘n Charles’  half an hour before the tour start time, which was 9:30.  After our normal morning trip to the buffet we grabbed our beach bags and headed for the pier.  Because we were docked at the International pier we had to take a cab to the Punta Langosta shopping center where Carlos ‘n Charles’ was located.  We arrived right at 9:00 and did not see anyone yet so we hung out for a while thinking they were just running a little behind.  By 9:20 I was starting to get a little worried and thinking maybe I should call someone.  I had the number for Jaital, but that was for their office in the US.  I was really starting to panic when at 9:30 Fatima with Passion Island came around the corner.  Phew! Disaster avoided.  She took our voucher for the tour and said we would take a taxi out to the dock where we would meet the boat, and there we would pay our balance of $160.  I asked to make sure we could put it on our Visa and she said, “No, only cash.”

Now here is where I have to back up a little.  When we were deciding about how much money to bring with us off the ship we knew the tour voucher said we could pay our balance with cash or credit card. Passion Island is an all-inclusive beach club so we knew we wouldn’t need much money there, only cash for tips.  We decided to pay our balance with the card so we weren’t carry around a lot of money.

I showed Fatima on our voucher where it said we could pay with a credit card and that is how we needed to do it because we did not have enough cash with us thinking we would be able to do it with our card.  She told us there was no way to charge the card and if I needed to get more cash I could use the cash machine located just behind us.

Okay, so I was already irritated that we stood there for  half an hour when apparently that was not necessary.  Now I was starting to get irate.  I told her I was not going to get cash out of the machine with my credit card because that would cost a fee, and I would essentially be paying more for the tour than originally agreed upon, so she needed to figure out how to charge my card.  Looking back on it, I realize it was not her or Passion Island’s fault, but rather Jaital’s fault for the miscommunication, and I maybe could have handled it a bit differently, although I’m not sure how.  At this point, she got on her phone and we started rummaging through our bags to see how much money we could come up with.  She came back from her phone call with the same answer…. cash only.  About that time we discovered my 10-year-old son had brought his wallet along.  Believe it or not, the money in his wallet combined with the little we brought off the ship was enough to pay our balance and ensure we had enough cab fare to get back to the ship, but nobody was going to be getting any tips.

Our first steps on Passion Island

Once that formality was finally taken care of, we were on our way.  We rode in a cab down a very bumpy road to meet the boat that took us on the 10-minute ride to the island.  I was quite ready for a cocktail at this point so once we reached the island and were greeted and told all about the amenities, we headed to the beach, found our spot and ordered drinks.  We all took some time to relax and enjoy the beach for a while before venturing out.  It was not crowded at all.  It almost felt deserted, which added to the relaxation of the day.

There were many things to enjoy on Passion Island.  My sons and husband played soccer on the beach with a couple of guys that worked on the island.   They also had a volleyball court set up.  When we arrived, the activity staff had some sort of game they were playing with our fellow beach goers, and they did that periodically throughout the day.  For the shoppers, there were a few little shops with all kinds of wares to suit your fancy.  When it was time for lunch there was a buffet of Mahi Mahi, chicken, rice, beans, and much more.  It was not the best I’ve had, but it was enough to hit the spot that afternoon.  The thing we enjoyed the most was the water trampolines and icebergs.  We played on those until it was time to head back across the water and toward the ship.

   

Derek Lewis from the Pig and Whistle had given us coupons for free margaritas from Margaritaville so we stopped there for a couple of drinks before getting back on the ship.  They also had toys in the water to play on so I had to give those a try as well.  But, alas our time in Cozumel was coming to an end, so we made our way back to the pier and back on to the ship.

Braden and I teeter-totering.

Back on board, we dropped our stuff at our room and headed up to the pool deck to soak up a bit more of that Mexican sun.  There was a DJ playing at the pool and before we knew it we were dancing and splashing around the pool as we sailed away from Cozumel.

Bustin’ some moves!

That night’s dinner was the second and last formal night so we headed down to get ready for dinner.  Tonight we eat lobster!!  We chatted with our table mates about their day of snorkeling and all the exciting stuff we all did.  The after-dinner show started late that evening and I knew I wouldn’t make it through the whole thing, so we headed out to have a drink before turning in for the night.  We wanted to listen to the piano player in the Schooner bar but he was off that night, so we ended up where we usually did, laughing at Derek Lewis’s antics in the pub.

The last formal night of the cruise.

The next day was our last and it would be a sea day.  I love ending a cruise with a good, sunny, warm sea day; this one did not disappoint!

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