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We're back from our Site Visit/Vacation!

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Hi, (I'll be posting this a little at a time because it will be long)


We made it back and boy was it an experience! We stood 7 days and we can't wait to go back next November. We had a wonderful time! We were there a week and went to RIU Jalisco, RIU Vallarta, Paradise Village and Grand Mayan. We also had some cake and the "world famous brownies" at Pie in the Sky Bakery. Keep in mind, my fiance and I were there with our two kids ages 9 and almost 2 years - so with kids in tow, we were off on our Puerto Vallarta adventure!


Customs - on our arrival, I was overwhelmed by the humidity and heat. We are from Denver, and I have never been anywhere humid, so it was about 87 degrees when we got there. I thought we walked under a heat vent, my fiance Shawn said, "no honey - that's the heat!" Right then I knew I was in for a treat so ladies, bring your ponytail holders or clips! Going through customs was fine. One of the main things that occurred to me a lot when we were there was everyone speaking Spanish to me. I am Mexican, and the locals thought I spoke Spanish, and I don't. During our trip, I even had one lady VERY RUDELY ask me why I didn't speak Spanish. I said, "Because I live in America". Anyhow, at customs we hadn't completely filled out our form they give you on the plane so when I asked the customs guy what we needed to do, all I said was, "Senor"...and he rattled off a bunch of stuff in Spanish. I had NO idea what he said. Luckily my fiance speaks some Spanish and he got the jist of things.


We got our luggage okay. Since we were traveling as a family, we took all of our luggage and hauled it over to this stop sign looking thing and push a button and it either turns green or red to decide if you get your bags looked through or not. Our luck was red. So off we went to the table to get all of our bags searched. Of course we had the usual vacation bags and we went through okay.


After going through the customs doors, we went into the airport. They tell you to about the time share people - but it was a VERY RUDE AWAKENING! The timeshare people are like sharks! They were brutal! We were supposed to meet our Apple Vacation representative to get our cab to the hotel, but first we went through these doors with counters on the side which were very misleading as they had signs that had the hotel names so you think they are friendly counters to help you get your taxi, shuttles, etc. That was not the case. They all just want you to sign up for time shares. Unfortunately, after going through customs, all we wanted was to get out and get to the hotel. Well, we got suckered into a timeshare counter. The lady there knew I was mad about it because I knew what it was. My fiance didn't realize what was happening. After she asked him for a A$30 deposit, he said "No thanks" and we walked away. She came chasing us out the door asking us to come back. She offered us breakfast, a taxi ride, half price on our tours, etc. We just walked away as soon as we could. We went into the main lobby of the airport and there were all of these people behind this barracade with Apple Vacation signs, taxi signs, hotel signs - it was VERY overwhelming. I just wanted out of the airport because I needed to get my bearings.


We got out of the crazy airport and stood there a minute and figured out that we needed to find our Apple Representative. We found a guy in a white shirt who looked like a security guard and told him we needed an Apple Rep and he went and got one and they had us on their list and he got us into our air conditioned cab and we got loaded in and took us to Paradise Village in Nuevo Vallarta. If you are traveling with Apple Vacations, you need to look for the people in the red Hawaiian type shirts. They have a badge on that says Apple Vacations. Their shirts will stand out. DO NOT stop at those counters to ask for help! The lobby where the time share counters is has wall and ceiling decor that look like the front doors of a Mexican village. DO NOT STOP THERE!


Later on my fiance told me that at the airport, you are supposed to buy a ticket in the airport for your taxi. I'm not sure how or where you buy the tickets, but getting through the airport and to a taxi was BRUTAL!


I'll write more later!



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Sounds hectic!! The timeshare people can be difficult, you are right--I wish I realized just how bad they had become nowadays (I hadn't been to PV in about two years) and given my guests more direction on proceeding immediately through to the exit of the airport and not stopping until they get there. That's what's tricky--you think they are the cabs or other airport shuttle people and they'll tell you that they can take you to your hotel, but they totally misrepresent themselves. We got hassled, and I kept walking for a few seconds, but lost my fiance and bridesmaids to them until I realized they weren't behind me--so I had to pull them out of the sales pitches. I speak spanish and so do my immediate family and we were totally fine, but I felt so bad thinking about my in-laws who had never visited before.


My only guidance to future visitors is proceed all the way through the airport until you can see the outside through the glass doors, and go to the signs that say taxi. If you go too far, and actually go outside of the airport, you can always go back in and find the taxi stand immediately inside. Just keep walking : )

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Oh gosh that reminds me how brutal those time share people are... it's like a mad rush to get to the outside world in PV. I like jamies description of it. haha


Looking forward to hearing what you thought of the jalisco and vallarta.

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