Crown Paradise Golden, Puerto Vallarta

All Inclusive Adult Resort

November 1 – 26, 2014

 

 

Richard and Anita Dyck left Vernon the morning of November 1 for Kelowna first to leave our car with our good friend, Marjorie Buckham who drove us to the Kelowna International Airport.  Departing Vernon it was 6 C [43 F] and the same temperature in Kelowna.  Our first stopover was Calgary, Alberta where it was 3 C [37 F] and raining.  It was snowing and 2 C [35 F] when we departed and upon arrival in Puerto Vallarta at 8 p.m. a pleasant 29 C [84 F] but with very high humidity.

The airport process through Passport Control and baggage retrieval was swift and efficient most likely due to the fact that ours was the only flight arriving at the time.  A short taxi ride soon had us at the Resort for a quick check in.  Our room on the seventh floor faced south east, overlooked the pool as well as providing us with an ocean front view.

We then had a late dinner and returned to our room for our first night’s sleep here in Mexico.  In the restaurant we first encountered smokers and would later find them in the bars as well, none paying heed to fellow guests.  Being Canadians we’re spoiled with our non-smoking laws in public venues something that is dreadfully lacking in Mexico!

The Crown Paradise Golden All Inclusive Resort is an exclusive Paradise for adults on the spectacular shores of Banderas Bay in Puerto Vallarta, México.  It has 3 ballrooms with a maximum capacity for 300 persons in a theater set up and for a total of 450 persons in space with a surface area of 4,477.8ft² .  The Resort has 214 rooms and suites with private balconies, including 103 deluxe ocean view rooms, 59 deluxe ocean front rooms, 10 rooms with jacuzzi, 6 studios with kitchenette and living room, 3 honeymoon suites with Jacuzzi, 6 one bedroom suites, 11 two bedroom suites and two junior suites with jacuzzi.  The Crown Paradise Golden has 3 specialty restaurants – Bellavista Cafeteria [breakfast, lunch and dinner], Salvadors [A la carte gourmet cuisine] and Paradise [A la carte Mediterranean] and another, Los Gallows [A la carte Mexican cuisine] which was never open during our stay!  Dress Code for Salvadors and Paradise required men to wear long pants [no shorts] while the Bellavista allowed shorts to be worn by men.  This beachfront resort offers magnificent ocean views, and gives you the option of relaxing under one of their pretty shaded in the loungers area, or just lying on one of the loungers waiting for you.  Onsite activities include tennis, volleyball, windsurfing, spinning, water polo and water aerobics.  There also is a full gymnasium and spa.  The Grill offers snacks by the pool and 3 Bars -- The Breeze overlooking the beach, The Pub and Pool Bar round out services offered at the Resort.

Web Sites of Interest

Crown Paradise Golden Resort     http://www.crownparadise.com/puerto-vallarta/golden/en/

Temperatures here at the Resort in Puerto Vallarta were warm and most pleasant during our stay ranging daily anywhere from 28 C to 32 C [82 F to 90 F] .  As such I’ve chosen not to cite daily highs.

 

Sunday, November 2

Our first full day here offered only cloudy skies with “filtered” sunshine and plenty of warmth to spend time outdoors.

Monday, November 3

A second cloudy day and more “filtered” sunshine.  At 6 p.m. there was some rain as we walked from the Breeze Bar to dinner.  Need mention here the presence of Vendors on the beach.  They were most persistent in offering their wares while we relaxed at the Breeze Bar but could not enter the Bar facilities.  Even through our extended stay one would think they would get the message we weren’t buying … they did not and kept stopping and asking us to buy.

Tuesday, November 4

Yet still another cloudy day and there had to have been some rain overnight as at 8:30 a.m.the sandy beach was still wet as we made our way to breakfast.  More rain was encountered over the dinner hour that evening.

Wednesday, November 5

Upon waking it was all wet outside and more cloudy skies greeted us.  Walking to breakfast we saw the Holland America cruise ship, Veendam in port as the cruise ship terminal is just 2 blocks from our resort.

Thursday, November 6

We awoke to our first sunny morning of our stay.  The cruise ship, Grand Princess [Princess Cruises] was in port today.  By 9:00 a.m. the sun had disappeared behind the clouds and we were once again left with cloudy skies for the remainder of the day.  Later that evening from 9 – 11 p.m. we were subjected to listen to extremely loud music and yelling in the courtyard next to the pool, so loud we could not hear the TV at normal sound.  Later learned a group of college students had checked in for a short stay.

Friday, November 7

We awoke to partly cloudy skies and later good morning sun.  At 9:30 p.m. the skies opened up and heavy rain fell for a good half hour.

Richard did venture outside the Resort early in the stay for his morning walk.  He found the surrounding streets to be all cobblestone and the sidewalks largely cracked, uneven and missing numerous bricks … none of which led to safe walking conditions.  Accordingly he did his daily walking within the Resort and on the beach.

We had easily established a daily routine early in our stay.  Taking advantage of the morning sun [when available] because it’s not so hot, Richard would suntan after breakfast and his morning walk while Anita remained in the shade working on her crafts and / or reading.  Richard then would read after his second shower of the day.  At 11:30 a.m. we adjourned to the Breeze Bar to enjoy the beach and water activities and enjoy a cool one before lunch at 1 p.m.  After lunch more reading and craft work this time in the shade prior to returning to the Breeze Bar at 4:30 p.m. for Happy Hour drinks and to watch the wind down of beach and water activities.  Sunset occurred at 6:30 p.m. upon arrival and 6:10 p.m. by the time we left.  Of course we enjoyed numerous gorgeous sunsets on the beach!  At 6:30 p.m. we had dinner then it was back to our room for perhaps more reading and some TV before 10 p.m. when lights were out.  Very limited TV with only the 3 network channels and KTLA from Los Angeles available in English.

Our evening meals varied amongst the 3 restaurants available at the Resort.  Menu choices were varied and both of us sampled Mexican as well as American cuisine.  The Bellavista Cafeteria offered a buffet most nights and menu service was a constant.  Food was most plentiful and varied and no one went away hungry.

Saturday, November 8

This morning fully overcast skies and low cloud that later gave way by 11 a.m. to sunshine that lasted for the balance of the day.

We did walk over to the Crown Paradise Vallarta Resort one block away from ours.  This resort is affiliated with ours, Crown Paradise Golden and caters to both adults and children.  This is a much larger resort than ours and newer.  We had reciprocal dining rights at the Crown Paradise Vallarta but did not partake due to conflicting reports we heard on the service and the food.  Many that did dine there were most pleased while some were unhappy with their experience.

Sunday, November 9

We awoke to find high thin cloud and then later the day was a nice mixture of sun and high cloud.

 At about 3:30 p.m. Anita suffered a fall on her way to the Breeze Bar that overlooks the beach.  I was not with her and she said she moved aside on the narrow walkway so as to allow a waiter carrying a large food tray to pass.  Her move aside caused her to step off the walkway onto the soft grass where she lost her balance and fell.  A number of other guests were on hand and did assist her in getting up.This incident affected mainly her right leg and for two days after she was moving extremely slow and in a great deal of pain.  On Wednesday morning she had me obtain a wheelchair for her which she used all that day and at breakfast the following morning.  Recovery has been slow and to me it seems that all the good done by her recent stem cell knee injections has now been undone.

Within days of returning home Anita visited her Doctor and Dr. Pagdin told us that she had suffered a MCL sprain to her right knee and indicated that all had not been lost with the stem cell injections she had received in August and October.  He had her go for an X-Ray and we're awaiting the results.  As well he told Anita she needed to have Physiotherapy and recommended a Physio here in Vernon.  Anita will be making contact and arranging treatment in the immediate future.  A follow up appointment with Dr. Pagdin is set for Jan 9, 2015 prior to our Panama Cruise.

Monday, November 10

We awoke to heavy rain and extremely low cloud.  By breakfast time the clouds had lifted some but a light rain remained.  The rain lasted until noon and then a heavy downpour between 4 and 5:30 p.m.  We did not witness the arrival of the Princess cruise ship Star Princess around 11:30 a.m.  With the steady rain today there was wet beach sand and no beach activity – so different from all the prior days.

 

Tuesday, November 11

It was overcast with a light rainshower upon waking.  This became steady rain which continued all day until 4 p.m. when there was a brief break followed by more rain until 6 p.m. when it finally stopped.  Temperature reached only 22 C [72 F] for the high but seemed cooler with all the dampness.  This was the first time ever for the both of us when there were no Remembrance Day ceremonies observed as Mexico does not observe this day.

Wednesday, November 12

There was a mixture of sun and cloud this morning as we awoke.  We spotted 2 cruise ships in port, Carnival’s Miracle and Holland America’s Veendam .  At 6 p.m. next to the Breeze Bar a wedding took place on the beach and we watched the Veendam depart

Thursday, November 13

We enjoyed sunny skies as we made our way to breakfast this morning – one of the best days so far! 

Friday, November 14

Clear skies for a second day upon waking and remained so for an enjoyable day all around.  Need mention that from the Breeze Bar we watched the beach and water activities and each day noticed a large number of children on the beach and in the water – why were they not in school we wondered.  For the second time during our stay there was a party in the courtyard near the pool that evening with 2 hours [9 -11 p.m.] of loud music.

Saturday, November 15

Clear skies and sunshine once again upon waking – this is what we came for!  We’re here at the resort for an extended stay and have noticed that all others come for shorter stays – 7 days or 14 days and some for shorter than 7 days.  Hard to form associations with people as you no sooner make contact then they’re gone.

We found that most Canadians came from the 3 western Provinces – BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan while the Americans were mostly from the Pacific Northwest – Washington, Oregon and Idaho.  The farthest east we encountered were folks from Kansas City, Missouri.  Canadians we found came from Nanaimo, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Swift Current – no one else from the Okanagan Valley, like us.

Sunday, November 16

This morning clear skies with just a few clouds.  Two more cruise ships in port today, Celebrity’s Infinity and once again Grand Princess of the Princess line.  We did not see the Celebrity Line ship depart but at 5 p.m. did see the Grand Princess leave port.

Temperatures here at the Resort in Puerto Vallarta were warm and most pleasant during our stay ranging daily anywhere from 28 C to 32 C [82 F to 90 F] .  As such I’ve chosen not to cite daily highs.

 

 

Monday, November 17

We awoke to clear skies and sunshine.  Mexicans observe Revolution Day on the third Monday in November.  November 20 is the actual Day.  Revolution Day commemorates the start of the Mexican Revolution by Francisco I. Madero in 1910.  Plenty of fireworks this evening and each night thereafter for 6 days. 

Tuesday, November 18

There was high cloud upon waking with only “filtered” sunshine during the day.

 

Wednesday, November 19

Once again high cloud in the morning with not as much sunshine as we had on Tuesday.  Carnival’s Miracle was in port as we walked to breakfast.  The cruise ship departed late in the evening sometime around 9 p.m.

Thursday, November 20

Clear skies and brilliant sunshine this morning.  At 10:30 a.m. the cruise ship, Star Princess [Princess Cruises] arrived in port and at 8 p.m. that evening departed.  Another wedding on the beach next to the Breeze Bar took place at 4:30 p.m. – the second day in a row for afternoon weddings as one had been held the previous day using the nearby gazebo.  At 8 p.m. we watched a huge fireworks display.

Friday, November 21

A mixture of sun and cloud first thing in the morning and it turned out to be a grand day.  An influx of Mexican teachers [total of 180] all on convention checked into the resort today.  One noticed that they did not wear “holiday” dress – shorts, sandals and such but presented themselves men in long pants and long sleeved shirts with women in long dresses.  Most likely normal attire for Mexicans.

Saturday, November 22

Clear skies with just a few clouds today.  Need to mention the water sports we enjoyed while relaxing at the Breeze Bar … what Richard calls paragliding [may not be the right term] where a speed boat pulls a rider and huge kite high up in the sky; sea doos; kayaks; and paddle boards just to name a few.  We also enjoyed seeing numerous sail boats and large yachts leave and return to the nearby harbour.  Interesting in that there was more boat activity on weekdays than weekends when there was little or no boat activity.  The Celebrity cruise ship, Infinity arrived in port mid-morning and at 9 p.m. departed.

Sunday, November 23

High cloud in the early morning before the sun appeared to make for a good day.  Clouds did return in the late afternoon.  Most of the teachers checked out today.

 

 

Monday, November 24

The day started out cloudy then changed to a mixture of sun and cloud followed by the return of cloudy skies in the late afternoon.  This was the quietest day to date at the resort with little or no activity poolside, on the water or on the beach.

Tuesday, November 25

High cloud once again this morning.  This was our last full day before returning home on Wednesday.  It was an enjoyable day as the high cloud gave way to a mixture of sun and cloud until late afternoon.  Mid-morning saw the arrival of the Princess Cruise ship Crown Princess remaining in port until 6:30 p.m. when it departed.  There was one last late afternoon wedding next to the Breeze Bar that we witnessed as well as one last sunset before dinner.

 

Wednesday, November 26

Departure day for us and on our last morning, clear skies and sunshine.  Walking to breakfast we noticed the Carnival cruise ship Miracle in port.  Leaving Puerto Vallarta in clear sunshine the temperature was 29 C [84 F] and upon arrival in Calgary it was -2 C [28 F] then 2 C [36 F] in Kelowna where Marjorie was waiting for us.  The previous day, Tuesday, Kelowna had received 6 inches of snow.  Following a late dinner we spent the night at Marjorie’s then drove back to Vernon on Thursday morning and encountered bare but wet roads.

Conclusions

A holiday at an all-inclusive Resort may not appeal to everyone.  We chose this as a change from cruising and found it most enjoyable.  Ours was an extended time line [25 nights] which may seem long to most people but we opted for the longer time to enjoy the fine weather.  Sure, we could have done more, take day trips and such but Anita’s unfortunate fall did factor into us choosing to just enjoy the Resort and all it offered.  Speaking personally I would choose this type of holiday again.