Mike & Barbara - September, 2008 Wet, Wild, and Wicked®, Desire Cancun

Sept. 5 to 13, 2009   Desire Riviera Maya-  our  Trip #13

                As we have said before each Desire trip is different. Each one is special and notable in its own way and we can truthfully say we have never had a bad one. Overall we have to rate this trip as a very good one and we thought we would share some of the details for those of you who weren’t lucky enough to be there.

                Arrival & checkin:  Even though our flight from Detroit to Dallas was cancelled- and we didn’t know about it till we arrived at the airport- we were lucky enough to get put on a flight to Chicago (AA) and then on to Cancun (Mexicana) that got us there within a half hour of our original schedule. Plaudits to American Air for working that out so efficiently.  Customs was quick and painless and 20 minutes after landing we were at the taxi stand. We were a little shocked to find that the new rate from the airport to Desire was $65 (return rate was about $30) and next time we’ll go back to arranging a private shuttle for about $70. But we did get to Desire very quickly where Arcos and Rafael greeted us out front with smiles and hugs. We had done the advance check-in online, we got the room we requested (we always give them 2 or 3 options) and we had keys in less than 5 minutes. Then our check in guy (who we had not seen before) says: “now I am going to introduce you to my partner who will explain to you about the changes and improvements since your last stay.”  We recognized that as being step one of a membership pitch and politely declined. Unfortunately many others were sucked in and the biggest complaint we heard all week were from the many couples who felt they were conned into listening to the membership pitch. Note to management:  take this membership deal out into the open. Print a brochure and give it to people when they arrive. Offer them the free massage or whatever to listen to the program pitch- but make sure that they understand that it is a sales presentation up front. A classy resort like Desire shouldn’t risk alienating people by tricking them.

                Facilities & Grounds:  On arrival everything was just beautiful. The grounds and building were clean & bright. Green everywhere- tropical paradise. The room was in great shape and everything everywhere worked. The new fitted towels on the pool area loungers that are changed daily are a nice new touch.  As Wayne had mentioned in an earlier report the beach looked better than it had in years because of new sand deposited by a storm earlier in the summer.   However, during the last 3 days of our stay, the extreme fringes of the hurricane caused some 30-40 mph winds that tended to mess things up some. Nothing serious but things got blown around- bits of flora in the pool and hot tub and etc. But even worse, the ocean water level rose several feet and by the time we left the beach had eroded again to a point that it looked as bad as it had a year and a half ago. Nothing could have been done to prevent it though, and hopefully it will improve again soon.

                Weather & Insects:  Might seem to be an odd combination but they were very much related. The first 4 days/nights it was very hot with very light winds. Mostly sunny with only a couple stray-quick-showers. Neither of us had a single insect bite. But then the little effects from the storm kicked in. There was more rain on and off (still rained for only a small part of any day) and the high winds seemed to bring every bug in the area to shelter. So every  tree, hallway, or anything with a roof became  a bite danger zone and with the winds the resort couldn’t spray effectively. It was quite a sight one afternoon near the pool and building #10 watching a huge swarm of dragonflys buzzing around the trees and the building eating mosquitos as we silently cheered them on. We did get quite a few bites. Overall though we were once again very lucky. Our 5th September in a row at Desire and still never any serious disruption to our vacation from any storm !

                Service:  In a word- FANTASTIC !  Its obvious that the problem of over eager servers competing for customers that some had reported had been addressed. While they would politely invite you to set in their section when you arrived at a restaurant, it was done tastefully. And we can say that at almost every meal including lunch at the poolside restaurant the service was outstanding. Our old friends Leo, Memo, Aaron, Silvia, and  Daniel were up to their usual high standards.  Edgar, Carlos, and CC were great as always tending bar and remembering our drinks and refilling them without being asked.There were several newer employees who did a great job too (we’ll remember and mention their names if they stay around for our next trip). There were only a couple of occasions where service was slow at bars during very busy periods (hot tub in the afternoons and lobby bar after dinner.) It does seem that maybe there could be some better shuffling of personnel  to the “hot” areas during those times. Still overall we’ll give the service an A this trip and congratulate Mario and the other management on their efforts.

                Food:  During some Desire trips food isn’t as important to us as it is during others. This was one time when it wasn’t. We were having such a good time socializing and “etc” that most nights we simply wanted to eat something fairly quick after finally leaving the hot tub and

be ready for the evening’s entertainment. So we ended up eating 4 nights at Tentazione, 3 at the buffet at El Arricife, and 1 at Suki.  The food at Suki was excellent and had we wanted to have more leisurely dining we would have eaten there again. The buffets in El Arricife were great each of the three nites. A very good selection and always great selections available on the grill. Had this buffet been open every night we would have eaten there 7 nights. But instead were were forced to Tentazione if we wanted a quick meal. Simply put, this choice is something we would rather avoid . The menu is tired- we knew it by heart before we arrived- and the food is just ok. In the past Tentazione always offered a limited buffet in addition to the menu (specifically for those of us who did not want to make an event of dinner) so that you could get in and out quickly without fuss. But on three of the 4 nights there was no buffet offering at all. Even though the service was fast and efficient on 2 of those 3 nights it was still disappointing to have to order and wait. We would much prefer to see the main buffet in El Arricife open every night  but if that can’t be there has to be a quick and easy dining option available.   The late night pizza and sandwiches at the lobby bar were great (mostly responsible for the 5-lb weight gain for the week I’d guess). We never made it to  La Piacere but others said the food and service were both very good. 

                Even though we are normally pool people and don’t spend much time on the beach, we do highly recommend you spend some time at the beach bar that’s been added in the past year. It’s a great place to spend an hour or two in the afternoons. Has that funky beach joint feel with great service and “interesting” conversations.

                Activities & Entertainment:  Even though the entertainment staff was short a person or two (two new young ladies should be starting about now) they did a good job both during the day around the pool and with the disco contests at night.  There were some very funny moments and pretty good participation. This staff is very good- they just need to keep more young ladies in the mix- they tend to be able to get people involved more than the guys can.

The early night time entertainment in the lobby bar area seems to get better all the time. Something every night now- often live music. It’s very much appreciated- we just wish it went on for an hour or so later than it does.

We were very apprehensive about the disco before this trip- both because the music selection had been so bad for our past 3 trips and because of the recent reports of mold and smells.  but we ended up pleasantly surprised. Neither we or anyone we asked noticed any odors. The music selection was soooo much better than it has been and requests were not only accepted but they were actively asking for them. The place was cranked up for at least a while every nite. Lots of dancing, onery behavior, and just a great sexy atmosphere that is a good way to build….excitement . We have to admit though the place is looking pretty worn and dated and some updating is overdue. Maybe they could incorporate the empty room next door that was once touted as the soon to be piano bar ?

                People & Atmosphere:   Enough rambling about the secondary stuff. Even though all the things we talk about above do have an effect on our vacation enjoyment, they are not what makes Desire special. Desire is really all about the people you meet and about an attitude you adopt as soon as you walk in the door.  We were part of the Dennyp WWW group for this trip as we have been for many others. Denny’s group is usually a diverse bunch and this trip was no exception. Veterans, newbies, crazies, and free spirits of all kinds.  As usual, everyone quickly fell under the Desire spell. No judgements, forget the inhibitions, drop the pretenses, explore the possibilities, and just let it all hang out. That’s what Desire is really all about and this crowd was into it ! The hot tub was busy and “interesting” every afternoon and late night. Plenty of activities and socializing for everyone (special thanks to A & Y for introducing us to the “glove”). The disco was well attended and in general things got a little crazy once in a while- exactly the way it should be. We were very lucky to have the chance to spend time with good old friends (thanks Russ & Cheryl) and to get to know some other people- who we had met before- a whole lot better. And of course we made some new friends who will undoubtedly be a lot of fun to run into again on future trips. What’s better than that ?

                P.S.:  Even though she is not part of Desire, no Desire trip report could be complete for us without a word or two about Claudia. Claudia’s sensual massage is a big part of every Desire trip for us . Without getting all “deep” and mystical about it, we would just like to say that if you haven’t tried Claudia’s massage you owe it to yourself to see her on your next trip. The experience is different than anything you have ever had before and truly unforgettable. Perhaps the best thing is that it just keeps getting better every time ! Sweet lady- we’ll see you next May !


                                                        Mike & Barbara