August 1st to the 7th. Cabo, or the two towns of San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas. We’re staying at the Hilton, which was booked as Casa Dorada Spa and Resort, which is damn confusing because there’s another property named Casa Dorada about 20km from us. Then, because we were arriving in a place we didn’t know about, parents wanted to have a shuttle pick us up. Cheaper option to go by bus, but fine.
But. Before I actually get into Cabo adventures, let’s talk about this United flight in. I’ve flown American and Virgin for our domestic carriers, so flying United would make that a 3/5 (other two being Delta and Southwest) for seeing how these all stack up. I’ve heard less than great things about United, so I was bracing for trouble. And when we checked in (24 hrs before, etc), the seats we booked were no longer showing. Uhh. Get to the airport, check kiosk and talk to attendant, both have no info/updates. Get to gate, and am told people who know won’t show until an hr before the flight. And it looks like half the flight had unassigned seats. Err. Eventually, it looked like the flight attendants were playing the “fill in the seats” game, and we had a seat, but not the ones we chose (wanted 2×2, but ended up being 3 and 1, w/ the mother sent off by herself). The rest of us 3 were upgraded to United economy plus seats. Which meant we got more leg room! Cool! But other than that, the flight was normal, which was good, because my American flight experience was subpar, so, yeah.
Got to SJD, and immigration, baggage pickup (checked 2 of our carryons for free at the gate), and customs went by smoothly. First things first, no one told me Cabo was humid. I mean, I guess that makes sense, since it’s closer to the equator, but still. And having Mexico be a little less developed than Asia means fewer mega malls and fewer chances for AC. Boo.
Anyway. Leaving customs. We read our shuttle confirmation ticket and it says walk directly to the pickup area. Do not stop. Do not talk to the timeshare people. And what do we do? We stop and talk to the timeshare people. To be fair, they asked who our shuttle operator was, we said xyz, and they said person abc will take care of you. And then we placed tickets for 3 different things and had agreed to go to a sales presentation the following morning (for only 90 minutes, s’posedly), but would be given bfast there as well. Oops.
Quick interlude. Arrival and night at Hilton = pretty awesome. Great view of the ocean, they’ve got a private beach, and they’ve got 2 identical pools looking out at the ocean as well. Problem is they just reopened in July because they’re still recovering (and so is the rest of Cabo) from being bit badly by a hurricane a few years back. And they don’t have free WiFi. And they’re located in the middle of no where. (well, they’re located along what’s known as the Corridor, and that’s the highway between the two towns here, but it’s hard to get anywhere without a car really. So we rented a car.) Back to the timeshare story.
Picked up, was driven to the TS location, given bfast and met with a rep. This shady scam is working so well, because we saw so many tourists suckered in (us as well, obvs), and our rep was just on her 2nd day of the job. It showed, as she didn’t know where things were (to showcase for us) and her social/sales skills were lacking. (parents have to sit through sales presentations occasionally w/ our TS back home). Eventually, get manager came over, they went over the s’posed 90 min allocation, and we were sent on our way to the ride back. Err, nope. Onto a 2nd sales attempt. Wtf. So I shot the guy down quickly (counter all his points, booyeah) and we finally got to leave. And had wasted our entire morning there.
But, the TS (Pueblo Bonita at Sunset Beach) offers some really pretty digs, w/ some condos at 3 bed 5 bath and a private pool. But you only get partial membership. And we were told you could rent out your membership for 10k a wk. Which was false because I found some for $500 a wk on ebay. Lol. And the place is really raking in tourist money, as they’re currently building their 3rd phase of land, and have development plans for like a huge swath of land they own (we saw a model design in one of the rooms). Fascinating.
And one more informative paragraph before I end this (haven’t even got through my day 1 yet). T-Mobile recently announced a talk, text, and data plan that works the same across Canada, USA, y Mexico (yes, y, and not and. Haha). We were having issues, and some of the things we had to fix/check/uncheck included data roaming and int’l data roaming. Apparently those can be separate settings, and I had to enter a code to get mine working (#766# in dialer). Then, even though our phones connected to a cellular network, it didn’t connect to the best network available (movistar vs TELCEL). When we were on TELCEL, we were finally able to make calls and use data (at like 1-2 Mbps down, which is still better than 128 Kbps you normally get as free int’l 2G). And this is free for T-Mobile customers (if you’re on their new Simple Choice North America plan, or if you added a $10 add-on because your lines have some grandfathered deal like ours does). Oh, and we also had to remove a int’l call blocking “feature” from our accounts as well. Yeah. We kinda spent a lot of time w/ T-Mobile via dialing 611 to figure all this out today.
That’s it for now. Pictures (and actual stuff about day 1) to come mas tarde (later).