> Destinations > Cuba > Trip Reports > Trip Report
My boyfriend and I stayed from April 3 to April 10 2004 at Breezes and had an absolutely fantastic time.
FLIGHT: Jetso. Never again. Left late on both ends, unfortunately I got sick from the meal--cold chicken breast with cold pasta salad. Sadly I was sick from the moment the plane landed until the next day. Thanks alot JETSGO!!!!!
ARRIVAL: Chaos. Holguin airport was crowded--3 planes arrived soon after or before ours. It took us about an hour and a half to get through immigration and security. You're standing the whole time in a queue, it was late at night, and no one there moves quickly at all. Once through security, if you can believe it, our baggage wasnt even available yet! We waited about another 20mins for the baggage to come down the chutes.
BUS: The buses for the resorts are all lined up outside the airport. You have to find your tour company rep (ours was Sunwing) and he/she will give you your bus number which you then have to go find. There were people everywhere, pushing, grabbing, budding in line. When we found our bus I jumped onboard to save 2 seats and my boyfriend had the pleasure of loading the suitcases under the bus. They put too many people on the bus, there wasnt enough seats, they had to take some people off, then remove their luggage from under the bus. The bus ride is an hour long. It was midnight so unfortunately we didnt get to see any sights along the way.
ARRIVAL AT BREEZES: There were a few buses arriving at the hotel when we pulled up. The line up was out the door and there were 2 people working the front desk. I think we waiting about 45 mins to check in. Standing in line the whole time. It was after 1am at this point and the only saving grace for our patience was the fact that the lobby bar is open 24 hours. They had set up some food for our arrival, since Jetsco's food had already done me in I didnt get a chance to try any of the food.
OUR ROOM: We had the BEST ROOM in the resort, in my humble opinion. Room 1518. Although we had requested an upper floor room we were given a ground floor room, but it was about 20 steps from the pool, and right near the buffet and the 2 a la carte restaurants. It was large, clean, and we had lots of towels, face clothes, soaps, shampoos, conditioner, extra pillows (5 in total), one king size bed, a table with 2 chairs and a desk. There was lots of storage room, a dresser in the large closet with lots of hangers. The safety deposit box is free, which is nice, and its in the closet. You use your room key to open and lock it by swiping the card, which is nicer than having to carry an actual key around all day with you. (good thing too since i lost our safety deposit key last year in Varadero!!) We only saw a few bugs over the week in the room. Ants were always present in the bathroom sick and shower area. One night when we got in there was a big daddy long leg spider in the bathroom, a grasshopper and another spider in the bedroom, they were all given a new home elsewhere. The only problem we had with the room was how damp it was from mid week on. Possibly due to the airconditioner?? We didnt even turn the a/c on our first few days, since the room was always cool enough. After we got burnt good and proper though we started feeling it was warm in there and would leave the a/c on overnight and sometimes during the day. NOTHING would dry in the room, towels, bathing suits, water drops, NOTHING. We got to the point where we would leave our pool towels and bathing suits on the patio chairs overnight to dry, and we were quite pleased that not once was anything taken from our patio. Especially considering how full view it all was. By the time we had to pack on our last day every single piece of clothing, worn or not, was damp, our suitcases weighed twice as much going home!
POOL & BEACH: The pool is large, and very nice. Last year in Varadero at Beaches we never even stepped foot in the pool because we wanted to spend every moment on the beach. This time around we started out at the beach, but ended up really enjoying the pool also. Surprisingly the pool is quite cold. But when its 35 degrees out, a nice refreshing pool is just fine. I found it difficult to sit at the POOL BAR though, since you are shaded there. But that was me, there were always lots of people enjoying the swim up pool bar! The beach is nice, i think Varadero beach is nicer though. Here it is quite a bit more narrow and you have to be careful of the coral in the shallow areas of the water. The snorkling is wonderful though. You can snorkle right off the beach, and swim for quite a long time and see tons of fish. We brought banana's with us and they would all gather around us, many different varieties, and eat right from our hands practically. We didnt bring beach shoes and never felt a need for them. The beach is beautiful, don't get me wrong, you just have to be observant where you're walking when in the shallow areas of the water. There were always enough beach chairs and pool chairs around. We never really had to look too long for one if we already hadnt grabbed one up in the morning. We had no problems leaving our towels unattended on a chair, or any of our belongings either. There is a beach bar a short walk from the beach area, the line ups there were usually a few people deep, but just relax and take in the beautiful views while waiting.
FOOD: We didnt have any problems finding something to eat at Jimmy's buffet. We only made it for 2 or 3 breakfasts there, we usually either slept too late or just werent hungry in the morning. For lunch we usually ate at Lucy's grill. They serve up hamburgers, hotdogs, pizza, fries and sandwhiches there. Slow service, but we tried not to go at peak times. The 24 hour bar in the lobby also will serve up grilled cheese and ham sandwhiches all day long. Make sure you book your a la carte dinners the first day you arrive. They book them at the front desk and its first come first served. We wanted all late dinners (9pm since we were at the beach nightly until 7pm!) and lucked out getting 4 bookings instead of the usual 3.
1. JAPANESE RESTAURANT- by far the best of the 3 a la carte. Shrimp, beef, chicken, and fish all grilled on the tables. Quite the show, alot of fun. We didnt get to try the sushi unfortunately, since its one or the other and although we LOVE sushi we thought we'd pass on Cuban sushi.
2. ITALIAN RESTAURANT- i had "mushroom rissoto" and it was bascially white sticky minute rice with canned mushrooms. But I ate it all, i love rice and can live on rice. My boyfriend had the beef, it was chewy, but good. The smoked salmon appetizer is EXCELLENT. The bread is also excellent.
3. CUBAN RESTAURANT- we lucked out apparently, and didnt get eaten alive by mosquitoes when we were there. Other people we spoke to said they couldnt finish their meal because the bugs were so bad. We had no problem at all. Bring bug spray i guess. It was nice, we ordered the lobster, it isnt on the menu but we had read in other reviews to ask for it. I thought others had said there was an extra charge for it, but we didnt have to pay ?? The lobster was the best at this restaurant, they also served it at Lucy's BBQ Grill and Jimmy's on Seaford night. It was the best at the Cuban Restaurant though. We ate anything and everything we wanted. My stomach was off a few days in the week, but I truely believe it was more so from being in the sun all day long (we were outside from 10am to 7pm daily) rather than from the food. We were also brushing our teeth with the tapwater from the sink. We brought immodium and there was only one day I took one and that was the day after getting sick from the Jetsgo chicken!
NIGHTLY ENTERTAINMENT: We never once made it to one of the shows they put on nightly since they start at 9pm and thats when our dinner reservations were. We went to the disco one night and quite enjoyed the sillyness that was going on in there. They will play anything you want if they have it. Most nights we enjoyed just sitting in the lobby bar area listening to the piano, and if we were lucky there would be some cheese-ball grabbing the microphone for kareoke. Yes it was BAD, but good for a laugh. I'll never forget the older gentlemen sitting near us one night who started howling like a dog along with one of the kareoke fools.I forgot to mention that our hairdryer was broken upon arrival, and although we told the front desk, and left messages daily for the maid, it didnt actually get fixed until our 3rd or 4th night there. The next morning we received a parcel at our door at 8am, two breezes golf shirts and a letter thanking us for staying at breezes again (! this was our first visit!). The letter also said since we were return guests they were offerring us a complimentary late check out on our last day. (5pm) This was perfect since our bus was leaving at 530pm for the airport and the room check out for everyone is noon. Your key actually will not work after noon if you do not have a late check out pre-planned. We think this was their way of apologizing for the hairdryer inconvienence, and we were quite thankful even though we never once made a big stink about it to begin with.
DEPARTURE: The bus left the resort at 530pm, our flight wasnt until 955pm. We were at the airport by 630pm. Same thing as arrival, there are about 3 planes leaving on or around the same time, everyone is like cattle inside the airport and the line ups are incredible. We had taken one other reviewers TIP and had arranged through our SUNWING Rep prior to leaving the hotel to have VIP at the airport. This is absolutely the BEST thing to do. It's offered on a limited basis, only a few spots are reserved, DO IT!! You pay $20 USD per person and they put you at the front of the line for check in, for security, for customs, and then take you up to a VIP only lounge on the 2nd floor. It was air conditioned, open bar, and they had free sandwhiches also. This was the best $20 we had spent the whole week. They then come up and get you prior to boarding and you are taken in AHEAD of everyone else waiting to line up. I could just feel the eyes burning on me and they ushered us by the crowd stating "VIP ONLY PLEASE". We are so thankful that other reviewers shared that little bit of info with us, and everything else for that matter.
Breezes is a beautiful resort, well worth the money and a good time will be had. We probably would not return however, only because there are too many other places we would like to visit!
Thanks to Sue & Todd (Toronto) for this trip report ...