Saturday, September 29, 2018

Ocean Maya Royale for the 10th Time! Playa del Carmen, Mexico ~ July 2018

Can you believe it's been 10 times?! 

Well, 10 for me and 8 for Steve. While I've been to the Riviera Maya 13 times, I've been to this little gem 10 times over the past 6 years and 3 times in 2018. We continue to love this place and only wish we had the vacation time to go more often. This trip was just as awesome as we expected. We spent time with great friends and had a very relaxing and indulgent two weeks.

If you're a fellow traveler looking for more information, follow these links to my previous 9 visits to OMR. May 2018, January 2018, July 2017, January 2017, July 2016, May 2016, July 2015, July 2014, July 2013

We started out with our non-stop flight from CLE. As many of you know, we have spoiled ourselves with first class seats over the past 7 years. This trip was no different and we upgraded our seats in advance. After all, we would be celebrating my 39th birthday and our 12th wedding anniversary. What better excuse do you need?!

As soon as we stepped onto the resort we knew we were home again. The smiles, hugs and greetings from just about everyone we encountered has become natural for us. 

Ron and Jean arrived later that afternoon and were were ready to enjoy the next two weeks in paradise.

Food, drinks, naps, laughter and lots and lots of fun were on the agenda for 14 straight days...sounds exhausting!

My birthday was fun and memorable. Our room was decorated and we had a special meal at Blue Moon where we were treated like royalty by the lovely Carolina.

A bottle of my favorite champagne was in order. While we paid a pretty penny for this glorious bottle of bubbly, it's always worth it.

The staff sang happy birthday and Carolina even had a very special person FaceTime with us. He will truly be missed more than we can express...


That cake though...OMG that cake was incredible. We still talk about it. Thanks to Miguel and Rodrigo for going the extra mile.

During our stay, our friends Tanya and Darcy arrived. We had met them 5 years earlier at OMR after Darcy read this very blog! We've kept in touch via Facebook and have caught up a few times at OMR. We happily enjoyed dinner together on two occasions.

We even reserved some chairs for them at the pool :) Steve got these shirts at the Cavs playoff game in Toronto. We had been saving them for this exact moment!

Our double anniversary celebration with Ron & Jean was very nice. Ron and Jean were celebrating their 6th anniversary and we were celebrating our 12th. We actually met them on their honeymoon (we were celebrating our 6th anniversary) at another resort in Cancun.

We had a four course meal and another bottle of champagne was on the menu (of course).

The icing on the cake (I mean pie...) was a custom key lime pie made possible by Rodrigo.

Besides celebrating with friends we filled our days with food, drinks, pool time, naps and fun!

Blue Moon and La Dolce Vita are always our favorite restaurants at OMR. You can't go wrong at either. 

Jorge and La Dolce will go above and beyond to accommodate us and always has our table ready...always.

 We enjoyed a variety of items from the menu including the salad, beef carpaccio, salmon, lasagna, chicken, steak and pasta. 

We ate at Blue Moon every other night! Carolina is the sweetest and we've adored her since we first met. Once again, she goes out of her way to make us feel extra special. 

At Blue Moon we enjoyed the clam chowder and saffron pasta every single time! 


We also tried every appetizer on the menu in addition to the salmon, steak, cornish hen and short ribs for our main course. 

We also tried every dessert, another bottle of champagne and a flaming Mexican coffee!


 We stopped at El Charro for a drink and a ceviche appetizer. We like to choose one night where we do a progressive dinner and this is where we like to have an appetizer. The ceviche is refreshing and small enough for each of us to enjoy our own. 

Similarly, we don't typically eat at the buffet, but they have a themed menu for dinner and we often popped in at breakfast, lunch and dinner to see what was on display. 

They even had cute cupcake toppers for the World Cup! 

One night I hosted a wine and cheese pairing for our group of four. While "give me one bottle of all of your wines" didn't translate well, our server quickly learned and gave us a taste of every wine they had available. I paired them each with a cheese, charcuterie and fruit from the buffet. I even brought my own crackers from home! I had been wanting to do this for years, but always forgot the crackers...not this time :)

It was funny. We were so "sophisticated" and the envy of many :)

The privilege lounge is the biggest treat for breakfast and lunch. It's a beautiful and relaxing reprieve. 

Breakfast is a la carte and Steve and I often chose something small like fruit or yogurt. Occasionally we ordered a more traditional breakfast.

The four of us ate lunch every day in the Privilege lounge. It's pretty awesome and there are so many things to choose from...guacamole, sliders, chicken fingers, panini, prawns, chicken club. I will say we did love grabbing some cheese sauce from the outdoor pool grill to dip our French fries :) We even ordered the occasional dessert. Manuel provides the best service and always leaves us with a hug and a parting gift to take home with us. He is such a great guy.


A new addition to Privilege in January was Liquor 43. While Ron & Jean drink this stuff like it's water, Steve and I most enjoyed it over vanilla ice cream. 

We also enjoyed dinner at Privilege a few times. When it was a little too hot to eat at La Dolce, we enjoyed dinner here and ordered off of the La Dolce menu. 

Because we're a bunch of crazy kids (and we can...) we did a few liquor taste tests in the Privilege lounge. The bottles and bottles of top shelf liquor are self-serve so we had a little fun.

We always try to make it to the Manager's Reception during our stay. We enjoy seeing the people in the front and back of the house. It occurs once every two weeks and each of the chefs presents a few appetizers for guests to enjoy. 

We spend the majority of time at the quiet pool (vs. the party pool) approximately 8 hours per day. Yikes! It's so hot in July and it's really challenging to be elsewhere during the day. We don't complain! Jean and I bring rafts and we float all day long. It's awesome.

Occasionally, we'll walk along the boardwalk in the morning to watch the sun rise, or walk out onto the pier during the day. 


There are two small beaches at OMR as well. During the winter and spring we like to take walks down the beach, but in July we just like to talk about walks on the beach :)

After breakfast, lunch and a long day in the pool, we always took a nap (usually around 3-4 pm). This gave us some time to wind down, relax and get some rest before dinner and evening activities. 

This year Jean brought these cute little cards and we each read one before heading out to dinner. They were little reminders of just how good we really have it. Happy to the core.

Before dinner, we always went "up top" to the lobby bar for a pre-dinner cocktail and after dinner we enjoyed the late-night show in the courtyard. 

Yovanetti, Tila and Ana are the highlight of the evening as they take care of us with speed, kindness and always a smile on their face. We have a mutual adoration and we look forward to seeing them during every visit.

As always, the staff went above and beyond to make us feel like family. Me, Steve, Ron, Jean, Tanya and Darcy have been to OMR a combined 38 times, so as far as I'm concerned, we are family! 

Miguel, Rodrigo, Carolina, Jorge, Manuel, Yovanetti, Tila, Ana, Victor, Dafne, Azusena, Mario, Aranza, Minerva, Adrian, Eber, Jonny, Miguel (pool bar) and the rest of my OMR crew are like our second family. Thank you for all you do to make us feel right at home!

The highlight of our trip was Carolina's picture of us going up on the "Wall of Fame" at Blue Moon. We're right there next to Humphrey Bogart. Sending hugs to Carolina!

That's it! Another incredible trip is in the books! 

Steve and I departed CUN on our 12th anniversary and had such a great time looking back at all of the fun and great food we had over the past two weeks. We're always dreaming about the next time...