Trip Report: Feb 11-17, 2021 - Valentines and Mardi Gras

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Trip Report: Feb 11-17, 2021 - Valentines and Mardi Gras

Postby tj71903 » Wed Feb 17, 2021 7:59 pm

We just returned from our fifth trip to Pearl. Over the last seven months we've gone from yellow banded newbies to being familiar enough with the property and staff to find a level of comfort with traveling down somewhat often and, so far, never really feeling as though we're bored, or tired, or otherwise 'over it'.

And, based on our discussion on the way to the airport this morning and on the plane, it seems as though we'll remain engaged for the foreseeable future.

This trip the scenery changed, but the test remained the same. Would we want to return to the resort over other options (even if the rest of the world is being ridiculous)? And the answer is yes. We're already booked for four more trips so far (May, July, Sept, and Dec) and it wouldn't be a major upset if another snuck in somewhere along the way.

With that said, here's some of the highlights/lowlights/and red lights from the last week at Pearl.

TRAVEL

After previously traveling on American to CUN but moving to Delta for some domestic travel in the interim, I switched over to Delta for the remainder of our scheduled trips. Felt they did a very good job with cleaning the plane, blocking off seats, and other preventative measures. Plus, they're usually more on time from our little hub airport and going through Atlanta is quicker than Charlotte.

Given the concerns of COVID (exposure, potentially being stuck, etc.) we also booked the VIP arrival service at CUN in order to get fast tracked through the customs hall (i.e., not be stuck in a COVID cloud). Seemed like a good idea. Paid the fee and got a confirmation. And then nobody met us at the gate. Nobody showed up at the entrance to the customs hall. Called their office (pissed) and was told "Oh my gosh...sorry, I had you arriving tomorrow". Honest mistake, and they immediately refunded the fee. Still, it meant spending a bit in customs...luckily our line was observing the six-foot thing and the wait wasn't bad. Plus, we were offered a good faith discount for one of the upcoming trips.

Following customs, we were utilizing USA Travel for the first time as they were included with the booking. They met us outside of the terminal near Margaritaville and set us up with one of the drivers. After 15 minutes the driver arrived, and we were swept away in a big GMC/Chevy SUV. Car was clean. Driver was friendly. They 'sanitized' our bags and we were on the way. As we turned off the highway to the resort someone in front of us slammed on brakes and nearly caused a pile up. Our driver reacted quickly and though we were flung forward, he handled the situation with an adept touch. Made sure we were OK and then injected some humor. Not much more he could do, and he did the most important thing of avoiding an accident.

On our departure, USA was early to the resort and we were at the airport with time to spare. No issues and, again, very friendly gentleman who had to have gotten up when we did (around 4 AM)

COVID STUFF

We were never concerned about the virus. Nor traveling. Concerned about the potential of being stranded due to Dear Leader Biden's new mandates? Sure. But we planned for several potential outcomes and situations and left knowing we could be in Mexico for the better part of February.

Leading into the trip we tested two weeks before departure. Then tested one week for departure. Then tested three days before departure. Then again on the day of departure. We knew we were negative getting on the plane. We also took tests with us so that - if there was positive - we would have a way to verify the results with an independent lab.

When we arrived at Desire they asked when we wanted/needed to schedule our tests. We said the 15th. They scheduled it for the morning. On that morning we went in and pre-registered via the QR code provided and tracked our symptoms (none). We then proceeded to the exam room (Room 31) and were met by an administrator, a couple of CNAs, and a PA (or whatever the equivalent is in the Mexican medical system). I felt the test was closer to a PCR test than a rapid test due to the depth of the swab. Still, they were very steady handed, and the swab wasn't thick. Not comfortable, but not painful either. In and out in 10 seconds or so. Then they do the test in front of you. Results are readable very quickly. The administrator asks where you want them emailed. And you're done.

In and out in 15-20 minutes total. Painless and efficient. Once you have the results you just go to the front desk or ask the butler to assist in printing the results and the airline requisition form. Put them in the safe with the passports and forget it.

No problem at check-in at the airport. They ask to see both forms and you're good to proceed to the gate.

ARRIVAL/CHECK-IN

Nothing really new here aside from scheduling the COVID test. Walked in and got hugs-fist bumps from the staff. Checked in at Mansion lobby with Diego who guided us through the abovesaid arrangements. Within a few minutes we were told the room was ready and we headed off with Hector.

Went ahead and scheduled spa appointments, a few days’ worth of dinner and then dropped the bags and ventured out.

THE ROOM

We stayed in Room 62 which is a penthouse near the mansion. There's probably a building name or theme, but I never paid attention to it. Anyway, the room itself is actually smaller (I felt) than some of the Master Suites we've stayed in. The benefit is the huge bathtub and the heated plunge pool outside on a terrace that's huge. You could easily accommodate three or four dinner tables out there with room to spare.

The pool is heated and was warm at all times (day and night). It's got jets as it seems it used to be a hot tub, but they aren' hooked up so no bubbles, just continually heated water flowing through the basin to provide a nice place to soak up. We watched the sunset most nights over the ocean. And we did some pre-breakfast and post volleyball/activity before dinner time dipping as well.

View was very nice. I can see why a number of mansion level members prefer to stay in the penthouse rather than their membership namesake. Better views, not as isolated, etc.

Drawbacks would be the second bathroom is just a half-bath so when you are getting ready for dinner (or waiting for the wife to get dolled up for same) it can add to the timing waiting for the one shower, etc. Also the television was locked for changing the input source. I was able to figure out a way around one of them (living room), but the bedroom wouldn't budge and so we couldn't use our fire stick in there. Not a big deal, and it was nice to have Netflix available.

I did like the closet better in this one compared to the others - open air instead of in a wardrobe pass through like in the Master Suites. Probably a bit more room which was nice as we unpacked the costumes, etc.

SPECIAL DAYS AND CELEBRATIONS

We originally booked through the 15th to celebrate Valentine’s Day. However, after looking at the calendar and realizing that Mardi Gras was going to be two days after V-Day, we extended for a few nights to take in that celebration as well. Plus, my birthday was the 16th and wife thought I'd enjoy celebrating there. So, we did.

With two special events, there were a lot of different experiences available as extras. We did a few of them - some planned by me, some planned by the wife for my benefit - the details of which were apparently some sort of state secret).

Valentine's Dinner

For Valentine's Day we signed up for the Couple's Dinner which was held at Suki. There were probably 20 tables arranged. They had red lights, special table linens, and the menu allowed you either lobster or rack of lamb as a main course. Outside one of the playmakers (Cesar) handed each lady a rose as they walked up the stairs. Yuni was performing a routine on the pole outside as well. They also set up a mini playroom of sorts off to the side, though we didn't explore that. Food was good and they had a violinist playing amongst the tables. Nice atmosphere, but pretty crowded we thought. We were in and out within an hour and enjoyed the unique atmosphere.

Valentine's & Mardi Gras Day Activities

Was mostly the same as other days though there were a few activities at the pool (kinky darts, etc). Nothing really out of the ordinary other than the playmakers being in costumes. Same was true of Mardi Gras. Some decorations at the lunch stations near the pizza oven. Again, it was a nice back drop, but was more thematic than substantive.

The other special events we did weren't tied to the holiday/celebrations, but to my birthday and were planned by my wife. Accordingly, my review is limited to my experience and then seeing the bill at checkout.

Champagne Shower Dinner

Through the butler staff and whomever else, she arranged for us to have dinner in the Disco. We walked in and the lights were themed with some music in the background. In the middle of the dance floor there was a table for two set up. We're met by the sommelier, Miguel, who takes us to the couches in the playroom. We are treated to him discussing wine, the role of the sommelier, the history of the profession, and many topics related to same. He is very knowledgeable and relays the information about the various wines you're tasting in an effective and entertaining manner. We tasted red and whites and were treating to instruction and dissertation of how best to test and sample each. He spoke for 30-40 minutes as we tasted and, honestly, I could have listened to him for another hour at least.

Being Desire, he concluded the last tasting, turned off the lights, walked out of the playroom to "allow the lady to work out for a bit". I laughed. A bit later we emerged and were treated to dinner. The menu was superb. Watermelon appetizer dish, then grilled pear salad, fresh French onion soup (could have stopped there), then main course of tomahawk steak and lobster tail with grilled vegetables. As I'm feeling as though I'm going to burst, Miguel asks if we are ready for dessert. I say there's no way I have room for anything further. Response: "Lady"....

For context here, we're dressed up (for a resort, anyway - slacks, shirt for me and she's in a dinner dress). Next think I know Miguel brings in bottles of champaign and wife walks over to the bathtub which was sitting off to the side and drops the dress. Miguel hands me a bottle and asks me to shower her in bubbly. As the corks begin to pop the song " Champagne Showers" comes on, the lights start strobing, and the smoke goes...and the wife proceeds to take one. Miguel helped along the way with the pour.

Best. Dessert. Ever.

My regret is that I didn't have a way to film it. Though I'm also pretty sure that I'll be on my death bed (hopefully in many many years from now) and that image will be just as clear as it was that night. And still is.

Following the shower, I got her dressed to some degree and headed back to the room. Where they sent up dessert (chocolate strawberries and such).

The No-Show Experience

The above shower dinner took place on the 15th (availability). On the 16th I was told we were having a special dinner and then an experience. This was also planned by the wife and the staff and though they seemed to know the plan...nobody would give me hints. Which, given my natural wall flower nature, terrified me.

Dinner was in the mansion and was delicious. Grilled snapper and some sort of apple pie thing. She had shrimp with pasta and a grilled pear salad. The staff (server and bar tender) were friendly as always and joked with us about the previous night. I guess when they've seen what they've seen, there's a certain familiarity that's lent to the relationship. Which was welcomed and enjoyable.

Following dinner, we go up to the room. Walk in and there's rose petals from the door through the living room and into the bedroom where there's a sex chair and the lights are all red. Wife tells me that we have a stripper fantasy experience forthcoming, and she should be here within a few minutes.

But...she no showed. Was supposed to be there at 8. At 8:40 wife called and was told "we're not sure where she is". 10 minutes later we call again and are told "there was a traffic delay and it's been rescheduled to 9:30". No, no it was not. This was our last night and we wanted to be at the Disco for the show and to have a final evening of dancing, etc. So, we told them to forget it. Front desk attendant said we'd forfeit the cost of the show to which we responded, "no sir, that is incorrect". We then headed to the lobby for the band and dancing. (FYI, after speaking with the resort management the attendant was, in fact, proven incorrect).

SPA TREATMENTS

We did three massages during our trip. The couple’s bondage massage, the five senses massage, and a deep tissue/pedicure.

The bondage massage was the favorite for the fairer sex. We had two female technicians with Itza being assigned to the wife. I'm told that going forward Itza will be on the request sheet. As usual the treatment itself is fun. "Bondage" is probably too strong a word. You get restrained but if you want out, you can get out without much issue. The wife probably had both technicians working her for 20 minutes off and on but at least I wasn't restrained. The end of the treatment is better with two females as well as they are far lighter in touch and presence.

My initial takeaway for the five senses treatment is save your money. It's a neat concept but we were uncomfortable at times. It starts with you being blindfolded and then teased with feathers, light touch, etc. You are led to a couch where they feed you and it's not a tasting size. You start with salty stuff which included some sort of lobster role (HUGE portion) and then they gave us a salmon ball (the size of a golf ball). Neither of us prefer salmon and the mood is kind of challenged when you and your wife are blindfolded, holding hands, and both silently dry heaving from having that amount of fish in your mouth.

After choking that down we finished with chocolates of varying sweetness before going to the massage tables. From there it's your basic sensual massage complete with the table move at the end. Problem was we both spent a while trying to swish and clean our teeth of the salmon.

Hot.

As far as the deep tissue and pedicure go, they were included with our booking or else I'd have avoided the pedicure part. However, wife wanted to try it and so we did. I had Itza for the deep tissue and I'm amazed. This little lady has hands with the strength of a cyborg. She'd find a knot in my back and would not stop attacking it until it surrendered. Persistence and unrelenting. A couple of times I considered tapping out, but I'm no quitter...also there was no air in my lungs as my body tried to figure out how to counter this assault. Bottom line it hurt (good), but after a few minutes I felt a ton better. Which is the mark of a very good deep tissue massage.

The pedicure was very good, and my metro side was very pleased.

NIGHT LIFE

The theme nights were fun. We had Glow, Tropical, Bunny, Valentines, ABC, and Mardi Gras and had costumes for each. My favorite is Glow followed by Bunny. We both agreed that we're not big on the ABC night (maybe it's a lack of creativity, but just not our thing and the costumes are cumbersome and not conducive to dancing due to bulk and their very nature and purpose).

Wife enjoys the dancing (a lot) and I'm happy to be her prop, escort, drink caddy, etc. (Unrelated: I have no rhythm nor ability to acquire any and so she generally dances enough for the both of us). That continued again this time and she had a blast on the dance floor. We stayed for the pre-shows each night then the Disco show (the Mrs. got invited up to dance with the Latin themed show which was fun....but the star of the show was a gentleman who had danced professionally...when they called him up they had no idea what they were getting into as this guy brought down the house with his moves and the look on the female dancer who called him up's face when he started was priceless) then the dance party. On another night there was the couples show and then two strippers on another night. Most nights we left after 1 or so and would head to the hot tub.

Speaking of the hot tub...this time it was actually HOT. That wasn't the case in December, but this time the water was warm, and the bubbles were all working. Crowds were representative of the resort's capacity most nights. Probably around 25-30% of the couples would make an appearance throughout the night. Some were happy to sit and chat, some sat at the bar, others remained on the perimeter, and others made use of the beds, etc. The level of participation/attendance ranged from subdued to applauding and curtseys and everything in between. We had a good time each night.

Other nightly stop-ins/quick peeks included the two playrooms, walking on the beach, and midnight (until 3) tacos and pizzas in the lobby.

RESORT CAPACITY

For Valentine's Day (+/- 1) it was around 75 to 80 percent we were told. By the time we left on the morning of the 17th it was down to around 20-25 percent though I was told more couples were in route.

During our trip we asked what the impact of Canada's PM's latest folly and were told it's noticeable on the bottom line. Still, I think they are really ramping up the promotions in the States and getting some good results. We weren't scheduled to come back until mid-summer but were able to book four nights in May for an insanely good rate. We'll probably continue to watch for more for down and backs.

A good illustration of this - at least from what I saw - was the number of yellow bands I saw over the last few days. Went into the disco on the 15th and there must have been 35-40 percent of the couples decked out in that color band. It was fun to watch and remember how things appeared on our first visit. The spectrum of the first timers ranged from having a blast to "oh shit, I've seen a ghost". Some calmed down, while others seemed to isolate. Understandable and we've all been there. Hopefully they adjusted or will adjust later in their trips.

Overall, we enjoyed out interactions with most everyone as most were friendly and at ease with everything. Certainly the resort can push boundaries, but it's also one of the most relaxing and freeing environments we've encountered. Anyway, we had a lot of fun meeting new people and enjoying catching up with a few familiar faces as well.

MISCELLANEOUS THOUGHTS

- Aside from the above highlights, I had fun watching the pool activities on the 16th which included an exotic dance where ladies went up to the front and were then shown how to do a routine...by their male counterparts. Better half ended up being the guinea pig with Ceasar demonstrating for the other gents how to perform each move. Interesting display and also saved me from having to attempt to have rhythm.

- Really enjoyed casino night in the mansion. They brought in blackjack dealers from a local casino and we played for about an hour or so. I don't know the certification requirements in Mexico, but having an actual buy-in game once a week would probably gather some interest.

- Playmakers were fantastic as always. This was the first time Sergio was on hand (at least while we were there) and he was really fun. Nice twist to the normal.

- Another night the resort had the violinist in who played everything from current Top 40 melodies to classics. Great way to spend and hour with a drink, a pretty lady, and some great music.

- The butlers (Hector and Irving) remain terrific. You could ask them for leprechaun gold and I think they'd be able to make it happen. They are responsive, efficient, but at the same time they only seem to appear when you need them. Neat trick.

- In general the staff as a whole is what keeps us coming back to Pearl. The resort itself is nice, but even the mansion is - at most four stars. There are some architectural quirks that are charming and endearing. There are some mechanical issues here and there (example is the shower...get it right and it's pleasant, bump that handle a millimeter and you'll melt your skin) but those are almost rites of passage to figure out. End of the day, it's easy to be laid back about those things when you deal with a resort staff like this. They learn your name, they learn your preferences, and they all seem to have a wonderful and engaging manner that makes you feel at ease.
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tj71903
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Re: Trip Report: Feb 11-17, 2021 - Valentines and Mardi Gras

Postby Lkncouple » Thu Feb 18, 2021 10:35 am

Awesome Trip report. Thanks. We have been to RM 5 times, but have never made it to Pearl After this report, we may have to give it a try.
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Re: Trip Report: Feb 11-17, 2021 - Valentines and Mardi Gras

Postby glennuw » Thu Feb 18, 2021 3:36 pm

Hi,
What VIP service did you use in Cancun? We arrive April 2
Glenn & Maiken
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Re: Trip Report: Feb 11-17, 2021 - Valentines and Mardi Gras

Postby tj71903 » Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:30 pm

glennuw wrote:Hi,
What VIP service did you use in Cancun? We arrive April 2
Glenn & Maiken


USVIP Services
Office: 1(800)980-8738
info@usvipservices.com
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Re: Trip Report: Feb 11-17, 2021 - Valentines and Mardi Gras

Postby BandT3115 » Thu Feb 18, 2021 8:34 pm

I would love to talk to your wife more about what she planned for your birthday- my husbands birthday will be over our trip and that whole experience sounded SO sexy!
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Re: Trip Report: Feb 11-17, 2021 - Valentines and Mardi Gras

Postby tj71903 » Thu Feb 18, 2021 9:39 pm

BandT3115 wrote:I would love to talk to your wife more about what she planned for your birthday- my husbands birthday will be over our trip and that whole experience sounded SO sexy!


Feel free to send us a message and we can pass along the info we have.
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Re: Trip Report: Feb 11-17, 2021 - Valentines and Mardi Gras

Postby ContentTwo » Sat Feb 20, 2021 8:13 pm

tj71903 wrote:
glennuw wrote:Hi,
What VIP service did you use in Cancun? We arrive April 2
Glenn & Maiken


USVIP Services
Office: 1(800)980-8738
info@usvipservices.com


I’m curious. What exactly is this company supposed to do for you? CUN is a fairly easy airport to navigate. The immigration line always moves quickly. The customs delay is almost non-existent in Terminal 4 and it’s a low percentage delay in Terminal 3. USA Transfers is always right there waiting. How does US VIP Services make this easier?

And to be clear, I don’t mean to sound insulting. I am seriously curious. If there is a measurable benefit I would probably be interested in hiring them.
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Re: Trip Report: Feb 11-17, 2021 - Valentines and Mardi Gras

Postby tj71903 » Sat Feb 20, 2021 8:58 pm

ContentTwo wrote:
tj71903 wrote:
glennuw wrote:Hi,
What VIP service did you use in Cancun? We arrive April 2
Glenn & Maiken


USVIP Services
Office: 1(800)980-8738
info@usvipservices.com


I’m curious. What exactly is this company supposed to do for you? CUN is a fairly easy airport to navigate. The immigration line always moves quickly. The customs delay is almost non-existent in Terminal 4 and it’s a low percentage delay in Terminal 3. USA Transfers is always right there waiting. How does US VIP Services make this easier?

And to be clear, I don’t mean to sound insulting. I am seriously curious. If there is a measurable benefit I would probably be interested in hiring them.


No, it's a fair question.

Fast tracking through customs, mainly (skip the lines more/less). Agree CUN isn't bad. Hell of a lot better than Madrid (where you apparently land in Portugal and then have navigate from there) and several US hubs.

When we were there at New Years (arrived Dec 27) the line for customs started about 20 feet from the gate (several planes arriving at the same time, delays, etc) - down the escalator, through the rat maze, etc. Took 2 freaking hours to get out. After enduring that I decided that a few hundred bucks is worth it to avoid being stuck in a crowd of people if I can avoid it as my general rule is I like persons, but people (i.e. crowds) suck and are generally to be avoided. Especially these days.

We've used a similar service in Montego Bay which was useful for our purposes. Figured this would work as well. It didn't, but they've offered me a mea culpa for the next trip(s) and we'll probably try it again - especially for heavy travel dates.

As for USA, they were waiting and then we waited for the driver. Was a new experience, but it's free so hard to complain too much.
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Re: Trip Report: Feb 11-17, 2021 - Valentines and Mardi Gras

Postby FeelingSwirly » Mon Feb 22, 2021 5:25 pm

Great report and well written. We agree with all your comments. We were in Room 57 for the 10th to 14th. I am sure we crossed paths a time or two.
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Re: Trip Report: Feb 11-17, 2021 - Valentines and Mardi Gras

Postby h.papo » Mon Apr 05, 2021 10:39 am

..but the star of the show was a gentleman who had danced professionally...when they called him up they had no idea what they were getting into as this guy brought down the house with his moves and the look on the female dancer who called him up's face when he started was priceless) then the dance party


I was that guy, :D Thank you so much for bring this up. My wife and I had a blast! We are hoping to go back in July.
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Re: Trip Report: Feb 11-17, 2021 - Valentines and Mardi Gras

Postby tj71903 » Mon Apr 05, 2021 11:22 am

h.papo wrote:
..but the star of the show was a gentleman who had danced professionally...when they called him up they had no idea what they were getting into as this guy brought down the house with his moves and the look on the female dancer who called him up's face when he started was priceless) then the dance party


I was that guy, :D Thank you so much for bring this up. My wife and I had a blast! We are hoping to go back in July.


Bravo again.
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