How to write a Review: A tale told (Part 2, with humor)
So you picked your resort, say "couples" and can't wait to go and write that review!
Bewware, if your not happy with your choice then the service appears slower, the food tastes worse and you'll find others like you because "Misery loves company".
When you leave the airport to get to the couples shuttle some fast talking smiling young man will ask you to carry your bags. If you don't want anyone to touch your stuff, know ahead simply say " Thank you, Im good" if he annoys you ask him to "Respect please" . Or, bring few dollar bills and let him carry it. He won't run away. Embrace the people. Don't be a fool, they just want to make a buck. Bring some dollar bills and let a young man carry your bag. You just spent 5 grand on the trip and you worried about 3 dollars?
The bus. Your going to have a bumpy ride. YOu will see some beauty and some object poverty. If you are uncomfortable with this then don't go to Negril. If there is a holiday on the island, there will be traffic. Expect 90 min ride. Sometimes more. The driver will tell you at some point "that is where the movie "cool runnings" was filmed. Might even tell you the movie "The blue Lagoon" was also filmed in a spot. Bring $10 and tip him when you leave. He got you there in one piece and made you laugh. Its worth at least $20. Don't worry, you can put your money away for the rest of the week.
Check in. I have read about the glass of champagne and a cool towel. Good review rave about it. Bad Review rage about it. The champagne is a nice touch in theory but lets be real, its not make or break time. Your tired, you've been eating badly for hours and just downed two Red Stripe on the bus and had to listen to some guy behind you on the bus verbalize his profound knowledge on caribbean travel (it could be me in fact!) and that this is his 89th trip to Negril and your really now thirsty for bubbly champagne?
The lobby maybe crowded and your mind is trying to remember every room trick to get the mysterious illuminati phrase that obtains the secret covetedd room upgrade! You are impatient and after you took the 5 am flight from home to get on the beach by noon!!! Tip: Keep a bathing suite in a carry on with sun lotion and get to the beach/lunch and get a drink. Down side is they might give away all the best rooms and you can get obsessed by this. This is the most critical time now, make or break it time. The time where you either go into full rage mode and blow the week making it miserable and writing a bad review, or roll with the tide and find the way to enjoy every moment. Go get lunch and chill out. Chances are your room will be fine.
When you get to the room you don't need a bell person to explain it. You'll find the bathroom, its usually pretty white. The floor is beneath your feet, the ceiling above your head. Ask how the Air conditioner works if you never used one before. Don't demand your mini bar be filled with endless Grey Goose and Bombay Gin and lament about "top shelf" for the mini bar. He will smile and say he will look into it. Truth be told this is the moment where he should just tell you "No". Maybe nobody told you "no" in your life and this is why some people have too much expectation at some resorts. Top shelf booze endless in your room? You already know this won't happen cuz there is no place on earth that does this. The Ritz will do this, but the bar won't be "mini" anymore. It will be a car payment. Remember your tired, you smell bad and you know whats really happening here. Your alone now in the room with your girl and she wants to "explore and have lunch and you want her in the bed. Remember, you smell bad, your tired and its best you not forget golden rule about flowers. They bloom when they are happy. Again, its critical time now, Im gonna guess those that get "plenty of time with flowers" write the best review. Go easy here, have lunch Shower and you'll smell better. Happy flower......Happy flower.......Repeat.
Few random tips:
Remember the special restaurants are nice at the resorts but expectations need be in check. Expecting an endless meal that will blow your mind in some culinary tastebud orgasmic experience that ruin all other food for the rest of your life is not realistic. I know you have been looking forward to it all week and the air conditioning is giving you the chills on that sunburn but reality your likely in day 3 0r 4 of your dream trip and there might be some things happing that are affecting your trip, outlook on life, and that reveiw your planning to write"
1. Second guessing why you just married this women who is now eating everything in sight abusing the term "all inclusive"! A few days ago she was "glowing" but is now this "glow" is a sunburnt red blinking caution light who now looks like a burnt Corn row/Bead encrusted hair creature on an episode of Star Trek you saw while in the haze of bong smoke many years before. She also looks like her mother too! The food is not tasting good. Don't blame the resort if the smiling fish with Asparagas garnish looks miserable. Its really your reflection.
2. You've been counting down for the last 785 "Sleeps" since you booked the trip and no doubt read every work on the thread dreaming of this trip!!!! You had it in your mind it was going to be perfect. You scrimped and saved your money and even made every arrangement including having your mother in law watch your kids at your house. You look down and see the Lobster bisque has red specs in and your freaking out because in high school once you had red specs and start freaking out because you once had paprika you broke out in a rash! Don't blame the resort! What you just saw was your life in your soup and realize your husband is not Brad Pitt and the dog will throw up behind the couch and you have to clean it up when you get home. Your kids are eating pop-tarts for dinner every nite and your mother-in-law found your stash of Hershey Kiss's! Eat the bisque cuz paprika don't cause a rash. Your still gonna have one, but it will be from the desert!
Or you can do number 3....
3. After three days of wonderful fun you realize your almost at the half way of your trip and you tell her how happy you are, happy this trip of a life time is fulfiling your dreams and the rest of your lives will be just as grand. She looks at you and says the same and wants to make you the happiest man there ever was and thanks you for taking her there. Trust me, the food tastes better. Everything tastes better! The Flower is even happier and she is blooming before your eyes and your writing the Travel Advisor review in your head as the happiest man alive. Dude, Your coming back to Couples, Your never going anywhere else! Perfect!!!
Move to water sports:
Kayaking is not easy if the water is not smooth. Nobody shares this secret. I do. Don't blame the resort if you get a sports hernia.
If you can't swim 8 laps in the scuba pool for the mini PADI dive, don't blame the staff. Blame your parents.
There are things in the ocean like Jelly fish that sting. They are not in the pool. There is a bar in the pool. Be happy!
The shade moves. Its not a conspiracy.
Nude beaches: Nudies are the happiest people. They never write bad review! We might want to rethink this. If nature did not endow us with proud Nudie body parts don't blame the resort. This too is on your parents.
Service at the bar.
Booze is important and every bad review has bad exerience as part of this. Im not here to judge or suggest treatment.
Bartenders are like waiters but they mix and serve drinks. To some, the very nature if this creates a illusion of trust. We become dependant on the bartender as the go to person for the trip. We trust them, they provide the nector of happiness, the milk of joy and we get confused and love our bartender. UNTIL THEY IGNORE US AND WE ARE SCORNED! Lets get a few things straight. Learning few Patois words don't make drunk patrons endearing to the bartender. Finding their names novel and speaking it as if the word itself brings joy and happiness is not cool. They are service professionals who serve all patrons and should do it fairly. So if one has made you feel special thats a good job done. Don't ask him if he is related to Bob Marley either! Ask him what is the best drink he makes? Ask him what do most people like to drink? See if he has something interesting to say. Ask him if he likes soccer, Leborn James, and don't mention Patrick Ewing. If he is ignoring you, wait a minute, then ask again. Maybe ask if this is the end of his shift? Is he ok? Is he tired? He might just be being difficult but he is not ruining your trip is he? One can also ask if there is "a problem". Not Joe Pecci in "Goodfellas" kind of "Problem" but you know, one human being to another! Maybe the next day you see him and ask if he ok today, that he looked "sad" yesterday. He will either make you the best drink of your life or kill you. Either way, its "Irie"!
What to do in the event of a tropical depression (sometimes called a hurricane!)
1. Double check your insurance policy BEFORE YOU LEAVE. If there is weather clause it in it, then enjoy yourself. If not, think long and hard about this next time.
2. You can expect service to get reduced. Power might be lost for time. Did you remember to set the DVR at home to record Homeland? Remember the staff are actually people who have homes, children and lives. In a bad storm they might lose their home or have a grandmother who is missing. Remember this while your complaining the limited breakfast did not include the "Banana Stuffed French toast" or "Franklin" forgot your bloody mary"!!! Travel with a flash light, this way you can read a bit at nite. Maybe read that insurance policy!
3. I think its safe to say the Wifi won't work. It might not work for a year.
4. Wait it out. Think how romantic the moment is. Get drunk, and remember the turn down service is not coming. Hold the flower in your arms and tell her you love her, tell her everything is ok and no matter how bad the storm of life is you'll be together! The flower is now happy again likey in bloom. Imagine how great a flower in bloom during a storm is. Now you got a memory. Or, you can complain about how bored you are and tell her to pull your finger and see what happens. Its what you make of it.
When you leave:
You have a choice. You can wake up early take the flower for sunrise swim and walk. Tell the flower how wonderful the week was, how wonderful she looks having had the sun kiss her pedals all week! The happy flower might just want to bloom one more time and what a glorious way to end the week! Have a light and refreshing breakfast and discuss what gift you can buy at the airport!
Or, You want to squeeze in one more hour to tan and make your cousin Mary more envious. If you were both up doing "bob marley" shots and could swear the bartender was telling you he was his "Cousin", your both mean, and might want to make a deal to not speak for two hours. You want to eat one more sausage and cheese omelette with all the trimmings and you shouldn't!
Really, this is a time to celebrate and look forward to your next trip. Your missing the kids, or looking forward to the next chapter of your life!!!! You got a good book? Hopefully you'll finish it on the plane!!!
Few tips. Take any early swim and move around a bit. Have the bags packed be showered and then go eat. Make sure you have your woven (why the "F" did I get this thing!) hat on so you let everyone else on the plane feel better about the one they own. You now have the trip back to the airport on the bus. This is not going to be the best 90 min you will ever have have. You want to sleep. You can't. You want to use the bathroom. You can't. You want an annullment. You can't. You smell bad again, and she wants you to be Brad Pitt. You can't.
Be happy when you get to the airport. Why? You're not on the bus anymore! Don't tip the bus driver unless you were rendered unconcious and woke up in Miami. THen mail him $50 tip. It was worth it.
Your on the bus. Got Mr and Mrs. Happy Flower on one side and Mr and Mrs. Lobster Pitt. The Flowers have Club Mobay and not worried their non stop flight to Hawaii (yeah, they live there!) while the Pitts have no club Mobay and have a two stop flight to Hell!
So the moral of the story? Go into the trip with humor and expectation that not everything will be perfect but the perfect trip is created from how you prepared for the trip and delt with imperfections. Romance need be allowed to happen and not orchestrated. You always take the weather with you so control what kind you bring. Why? If you bring good weather, you'll have great time even whe it rains!