Congratulations on your amazing accomplishments! It must have felt great to have done so much by your wedding day; your picture is beautiful. I am always looking for success stories to help me stay motivated on my own journey--yours is definitely inspirational! 560 days ago
We didn't really do much. It was total relaxation and it was awesome. We stayed at the Royal Suites Turquesa by Palladium. All-inclusive, no kids. Ah-maz-ing.
1. If you're drinkers (I used mine for water, actually!), purchase some BUBBAs before you go. They'll fill them up at the bar. Your drink stays cool and you don't have to flag the bar staff every 10 minutes.
2. Take X amount of cash for tips and other things. We did not find that it was worth converting to their money system. Every booth has a different ratio, and you can't convert the money back. Blah. A buck or two at a restaurant will make the wait-staff very, very happy.
3. Have transportation set up BEFORE you go, to and from the airport. They will swoop down on you as soon as you step into the "airport." You will understand the quotations when you land. We did everything through Vacation Express. Their rates were phenomenal!
4. Part of your money set-aside should be for a "tourist pass," aka "rip off." We had to pay $10/person to get in the airport to receive a ticket that we ended up literally turning around and handing to another man right there. Biggest joke. Sadly, the joke was on us. We were told we would have to pay $20/person to leave but ended up not having to. Be prepared for this. It might be cash only.
5. We did end up doing ONE thing-- we toured in dune buggies! It was hilarious! BRING BANDANAS AND SUNGLASSES. Their bandanas are $5. Bring them from home if you want to do this!
This excursion is referred to as "boogies." We went through our Vacation Express people for this, too. We were warned away from the beach people selling these trips. If you're up for a roll of the dice, the beach combers tend to have better prices, but then you risk them just running away with your money. And not getting a trip. At all. We felt it safer to go with V.E. because we knew we could track them down.
The ride is so much fun! You visit Macao Beach (so beautiful, so, so beautiful!), drive through mud, visit a plantation for coffee, chocolate, and cigars, and then an underwater cave. Be sure to bring clothes you don't mind mucking up!
6. Know Spanish. Buy a little translation book. People do know English, but this is not Mexico. They do not expect their patrons to be English-speaking. At least, they didn't at our resort. We knew next-to-no Spanish and we did... okay. Knowing Spanish would have helped.
7. Prices can be negotiated. This is not America. Talk 'em down!
8. If you are confused, find an English-speaking person and ask questions. We stopped just about every American couple we could find to figure out how our resort worked. Embarrassment can take a backseat. You want to enjoy your honeymoon!
Not sure what else I can share. If you have any questions, let me know. I'll do my best to answer.