Here we go...traveling during Covid. Some of you aren't ready and we totally respect that. Some of you, like us are ready to get out of here. Still others are undecided. I've decided to document our travel experience from last week to let you know what to expect when traveling to Los Cabos, Mexico during Covid.
We arrive at the DFW airport at 4:30 am for our 7:00 am flight with no waiting or lines. Normally the airlines recommend arriving at least 3 hours for an international flight, but looking at the practically empty airport, we are clearly going to be fine. The security checkpoint officer has us pull down our masks to verify our identity against our passports and waves us through. We still need to pull electronics out of our bags to go through security, but we don't have to remove our shoes or go through the full body scanner thanks to TSA precheck, a benefit of global entry status. We recommend it highly! The airport is eerily quiet at first, but things start to pick up after an hour or so. Travelers shuffle in and out with masks on, while avoiding sitting next to each other at the gate's waiting area. Stores and restaurants begin to open and Jeff starts to creep towards Popeye's, his favorite fast food chicken restaurant. I give him the stink eye. "Wait for the tacos," I say.
The plane is supposed to be half full according to others, and we find out soon enough. We do know that the maximum occupancy for resorts during this period is set to 30%, so we expect that it will be much easier to social distance there. For someone that has been home-bound for months, we're grateful to get out. My vitamin D level has been so low, I'm ready to get the sunshine and break we both need.
As we board, we quickly realize this is going to be a full flight... middle seats included. Everyone is required to wear masks for the duration of the flight, and no one makes a fuss. You can tell that everyone is very cautious of giving others space while ensuring their space is maintained. One thing I notice about flying during this time is that it is very quick boarding the plane. No one is shoving, or hitting the aisle people with bags. Our flight leaves early, so we are ahead of schedule. Because there are no beverage services, flight attendants offer us a small gift bag with the AA logo, containing water, pretzels, and a sanitizer wipe. I've been on what seems like a million flights and this plane is the cleanest I've ever experiences. Seat back pockets are clear and the floors appear freshly vacuumed. The bathroom is also surprisingly available when you need it. So far so good! I feel fortunate that our middle seat partner is a smaller young lady, and very polite. She wipes down her seat using the sanitizing wipes she brought and offers us both one. You can guess who uses it, and who doesn't. It's the same at home, so no surprise. The flight is a short one and we are thankful; just a little under 2.5 hours from DFW.
The drive to the resort is pleasant, and the driver is masked the entire drive. He makes small chit chat and I try to converse with my broken Spanish. We both laugh and end up talking about tacos and salsa. When we arrive at the hotel, the valet is all smiles and we are greeted warmly! Mexico always feels like our home away from home and we are excited to be here! I almost cry when I get out of the car.
Hard Rock is taking extra measures when it comes to COVID and safety. Luggage is sanitized before entering the hotel, and even our shoes are sanitized as we walk through a chemical mat between velvet ropes before entering. We check in with the front desk who are behind plexiglass, and receive our colored bracelet that double as convenient room keys. When we arrive to our room, we notice the safety seal on the door. Hard Rock has their own certified cleaning protocol and everything is neat and tidy. The valet brings our luggage to the room, but is unable to enter our room, so he drops off the bags and lets us know to call the operator for anything we need.
We've noticed they removed some of the regular items from the room for sanitary reasons like the bed sash, decorative pillows, beverages, and clothes steamer. It isn't an issue, as we call the resort operator to let them know what we need. I order a box of tissue, and some items for our minibar. Jeff and I aren't big drinkers, so we ask for 8 bottles of water and some diet Pepsi. Maid service is every other day, but if you need your room refreshed, you only need to make a quick call down and it is taken care of expediently. Everything is freshly stocked and sanitary for peace of mind.
It's funny, after we arrived, I kept thinking it was lunch time! Turns out we were an hour behind, and it was still time for breakfast. If you know us, you know we're all about the Mexican food! We head down to the restaurant to get some food. The first thing we notice is a sign at the entrance to the restaurant that has a QR code for the menu, which helps avoid sharing menus. The staff are so thankful you are here and they let you know it! They are on top of service and anticipate your every need! We had the tasty sopes with a side of habanero salsa, and of course the famous chilaquiles because this is the place to order 2 or even 3 dishes if you feel like it!
During this stage the resort is set to 30% max occupancy which really does makes social distancing much easier. All employees are required to wear masks at all times. Guests are required to wear masks in lobby and indoor public areas. However, for pool and beach areas, eating and drinking, masks are not required. There is hand sanitizer everywhere, and staff is constantly cleaning and sanitizing. We also notice that elevators allow 4 persons max; one at each corner. It's crazy to say that although there are so many extra precautions, we feel more comfortable here than we do back home.
A look at one of the amazing smoked cocktails you can order...The hardworking staff is so welcoming and attentive, it's hard not to smile and each day I feel more and more grateful to be able to take this trip. I'm also feeling better than I have in months as we spend more time outdoors. Heck maybe it's the cocktails.
Did I tell you how good the food is? Let's look at some of the amazing dishes throughout the week!
There are no buffets for breakfast during this time of Covid, but they do have 2 restaurants open where everything is cooked to order. Today we're having the sopes and chilaquiles again because why not?? and then we're headed to the Legendary pool for relaxation and reading.
Normally there is a swim up bar here, but no worries, very attentive servers are here to anticipate your every need. The Legendary pool is reserved for Rock Royalty guests, VIPs, and Legendary ( Vacation Club Timeshare) members. It's a quieter pool with a multitude of Bali beds and very cool fire pits. The music here is more of the relaxing type and the mudslides are definitely refreshing. Keep in mind this pool does allow the children of those listed above, so YMMV.
Jeff says, "Haven't seen any Corona this trip, but do see lots of Modelo...Cheers!"
After dinner Jeff and I love to play pool! It is very relaxing. We aren't good by any means, so if you end up playing us, expect to win and enjoy the thrill of victory. 🤣
There is a free arcade on level 1, with air hockey, pool tables, and loads of video games. It is open to all ages. Everything is free, so no quarters are needed. There are also pool tables and shuffleboard at lobby level behind the Sunlight bar. There is also a 4 lane bowling alley on the ground floor of the Moonlight bar if you are so inclined. Make sure to bring a pair of socks!($)
No swim up bar? No Problem!
When the swim up bar is closed... the show must go on. The dedication from the wait staff here is incredible. This is Picasso, one of the friendly wait staff going above and beyond to ensure you get your drinks and have the time of your lives!
Speaking of fabulous Staff members - This is Angel, the amazing guy from the Cafetto that makes my iced mint tea each day and gives me a scoop of ice cream to take back to my room every night. He also is responsible for what I am sure is a 10 pound vacation weight gain when he tells me me they have gluten free vanilla/cranberry cookies, and brownies in the back if you ask.
Insider Tip: Get 5 cookies and try to space them out for the day. 🙄Pretend you only have 2 when asked, smile sweetly and share. 😄 Yeah, those cookies didn't have a chance! 🥰🥰🥰
I don't care what anyone says...You are never too old for a waterslide! -- Tequila
Shhhh don't tell Jeff I had another cookie when he wasn't looking. 😁 Remember, I only have two!✌🍪🍪
Besides working our travel business out of our mobile office and having some fun in the sun, we do take time out to visit some of our favorite people here at the resort. This includes a few members from the the hard working wedding team. Here is Jesus and Joss who has taken care of many of our wedding couples; Jose Luis from Vacation Makers, who is over the Activities and Tours team; as well as our delightful friend Eddie from Concierge, who knows how to take care of business and is a close personal friend of ours!
It's been a whole week, and it's finally time to say goodbye. From the picture it appears we've gotten a very good dose of sun, and we are ready to get back. The airport process again goes very quick with no wait. We have to show proof of our air tickets today to enter the airport by their security, so be aware if you don't already have your boarding pass printed, you should at least have a copy of your airline reservation in case they ask. A mobile boarding pass will not work at the SJD airport for your return, so have something on paper like your reservation and you can print your boarding pass from the kiosk. The flight home is quick and the plane is a little less full this time with plenty of middle seats open. As i sit on the plane, I start to think about our next trip, and can't wait!
Ready to get out of the funk and get your own dose of Vitamin Sea? For more information about booking your trip to Mexico with our award winning agency, please contact Romantics Travel at 817-386-0701 or set up a time to chat with us at www.romanticstravel.com/appointments