Viva Fortuna 11/26/02
Reviewers Rating: Fair
2/2/02- Arrived at the resort. Very few people. Made reservations at the Italian place. I had lasagna, my husband had cantaloni. Both meals were bad. Lasagna noodles too thick. Cantoloni made with pizza dough. Won’t go there again except maybe for pizza. Bar is supposed to have local and Beck’s beer, no Beck’s beer in sight. Room is dumpy, broken tiles in bathroom, were supposed to get a kitchenette, but have none. Rained in the afternoon.
2/3/02- Super Bowl Day- Had the Super Bowl in the Disco, they have Budweiser beer! Unfortunately place doesn’t open until 11:00 p.m. Drinks are bad, no Kahlua, coffee brandy (but they do have coffee liquor which is no good). Great buffet at night, Prime Rib. PAT’S WON THE SUPER BOWL! YES!
2/4/02- Resorted to playing Bingo (what else can I do, bad drinks and food). Won two shirts (but do I really want to advertise this place?) Breakfast omelets were not good, how do you mess up an omelet? They found a way! Dinner—no carver’s meat. Resorted to chicken and something they called beef. Waited up so we could get a decent beer at the disco, get there and it’s not open. Front desk says opened on Wednesday. Went to bed. Someone bought a time-share here today. We are shocked, who would so such a thing? Starting to get ready, and thinking of our next vacation, Aruba on 9/8/02. Sounds so good. Been there before and love it. No carving station at the dinner buffet.
2/5/02- Breakfast-- smartened up and had two eggs over easy, were good. Had cold bacon. One side of the buffet had juice this morning, other side had coffee. Beginning to wonder why we are here and I am missing two weeks of my college classes. Cold today, in the 60’s. Were going to go shopping, but my husband wants to watch the Super Bowl parade in Boston (they have a Boston station here). Should have listened to my friend who came here in April, called it “Camp Fortuna”. She stayed one night and moved to Our Lucaya. Stayed in my room and did homework all day. We paid for this? Only 12 more days! Guess what, the disco was open tonight. NO BUD BEER! Only had it for the Super Bowl. Decided to get Bud beer tomorrow, supposed to be $30 a case, it’s worth it. Only problem is how to keep it cold (maybe leave it on the patio?) Our time-share trade said it had a mini kitchen, we don’t have one, I inquired about it and they said the office in the Dominican Republic gives room numbers and no one gets them. A kitchen would have given us a fridge. Well I want a fridge as there are no ice machines here. This is an RCI Resort of International Distinction. I think it is a Resort of International Destruction! Had the heat on today. My husband said that he is sick of pasta. I was going to do the Atkins diet while on vacation so I would not gain weight, but there is not enough good meat to eat. The people who bought the time-share think they are great because they bought one. Most of the people here (and there aren’t many) think they are crazy. Someone said if you buy a time share there is no maintenance fee and you have all-inclusive for the life of the time share, as my husband says, who cares, the drinks are bad, the food worse. Met some people who are here from Pennsylvania. They spent $2,700 for 8 nights! We spent $2,960 for 15 nights, but we’re still not getting our monies worth. We are staying the 15th night because we were supposed to leave on my husband’s birthday. He now says we should have just left a day early and been home for his 50th birthday! Even at 5 degrees, home sounds good. My husband has figured it out. We’re eating at the employee’s restaurants. He wants to know where the paying people eat. I have never been at a resort where the staff and people eat at the same place. He went to get pizza, which is pretty good by the way, at the snack table. In front of him was a male employee who took it all and left him two miniscule pieces. Seems like employees are always the first in line. Dinner was grouper in the carving station.
2/6/02- One more day down. Who ever dreams about a vacation ending? Now we do! Another cold day, but we are going to get decent beer today. Had eggs over easy today and cold bacon. We’re going on a tour of Freeport today. Yes, get me out of here! Should have known not to come to a Viva Resort, we really did not care for the one in Mexico, but the food was better. Wanted a soda at 9 a.m., no place to get one, had to buy one from the soda machine. I feel that we are going to have to get off the resort at least every other day to keep sane. It cost $11 each way to get to Port Lucaya. Got no beer today. Went to the front area to get the tour. Waited 20 minutes, and then went to front desk. He called the person who booked it, it is CANCELED! That’s it! Final straw. I went to the person who booked it and told her this is bull; she said she was never notified of the cancellation. Funny thing, the resort, not a tour company runs the tour. I told her the place sucks; the drinks are bad, and the food worse. She said since we charged the tour, we had to go to the front to get the credit. I had just come from there and they sent me to her. (They did the same thing yesterday when I booked it, sent me running all over). Had my husband deal with the front desk, as I was furious. They offered us a studio with kitchen (like we were supposed to have) in a building quite far back, or a room like we had in a building closer to the beach. We took the studio so we can go shopping and get decent food. While my husband was at the desk, the poor woman from Pennsylvania was there. He had previously seen her fighting with the clothes washer and waiting there 30 minutes to have someone fix it. She was at the front desk being held up by a security guard, crying hysterically. Another happy camper at “Camp Fortuna”. She was yelling that all she wanted was to get the “F” out of here. Haven’t seen her since. Met people from Canada, they were here for two weeks, leaving tomorrow. I told them I wish I were going with them. By the way, my husband had a ¼ of a terrible hamburger for lunch, and we figured we’d eat lunch out at the tour, with the tour canceled, we got no beer and he had no lunch. Tomorrow will be a cab trip to Port Lucaya to shop and get food. It’s nice to be in a room that we are finally supposed to be in. RCI, who we exchanged our time-share with, will be getting a copy of this. Dinner had Mahi Mahi for the carving station. Too windy for the beach today. Saw the woman from Pennsylvania. She has just had it. She went to buy more tokens for the washing machine and they said no, they were only for time-share people, when she had already bought some previously. As with me, that was the final straw for her. You just hit a breaking point at some time. It just happened to be both of us on the same day.
2/7/02- 10 days left! Taxi to Port Lucaya, fare $11.40. Not what I expected. Everything was the same and not much to my liking. Ate at Zorba’s, a Greek restaurant. It was cheap and good. Bud beer, $3. a bottle. Took a bus ($1. per person) to the International Bazaar. The two places I really wanted to shop in were closed. The place is dumpy, scary actually. Went to the casino, which is next door, played a few slots. Took the bus to Winn Dixie ($1. per person). Bought food to supplement the trash fed here. Unfortunately we couldn’t buy much because we have a dorm type fridge in the room, very small freezer. Had to buy a very expensive skillet, $15.00, for a $2-$5. skillet at home, because our room has none. Also no steak knives or towels for drying your dishes in your room. Was not impressed with either Port Lucaya or the International Bazaar. I should mention that at Subway Sub Shop in Port Lucaya, you had to ring the buzzer to get in after 6 p.m., to me that means it must be pretty dangerous. I wouldn’t walk in the International place after nightfall, to tell you the truth, I wouldn’t walk in there alone during the day. My husband was asked twice if he wanted “to party” and when he said no, the guys were shocked. The store by the Winn Dixie, where we got our $38.00/case beer, had a sign no prostituting. Don’t think I’ll be coming back to this island soon, with any luck, never. Too windy for the beach today. Ham for the carving station for dinner.
2/8/02- Another cloudy, windy day. The weather is now really starting to get to us. Lamb at the carving station for dinner. We go out and buy food, and the food here starts to get better. My husband said they must have also changed the keg because the beer is better too. Lots more people came in today. Had a Tequila party tonight. Had everyone doing shots. Don’t see how the people around the pool do it. They work about 9-12 then 3-5, then do the show at 9:30 p.m., then got out and get trashed. Never saw a resort that allowed their employees to drink with the people staying there.
2/9/02- Surprise! Another cloudy day!
2/10/02- 2/13/02- All sunny days. The same meals at the carving stations for dinner. It definitely makes the place seem better when it is sunny.
2/14/02- Cloudy and rainy today. Lots more people came in today. Every female got a rose or carnation tonight where they had a man singing. Some people did the karaoke too. The singer seemed very good tonight. They had Beck’s beer today, but all the beer was flat, CO2 is probably out. My husband went out bottom fishing today. We booked the trip through a bartender last night, but I asked him about deep-sea fishing, not bottom fishing. He ended up paying $20. an hour for it, the same it would have been for deep sea. I was quite upset, but he said he at least caught fish. Every time we go on vacation, he goes deep-sea fishing.
2/15/02- Cloudy again today. Glad we got a few days of sun. Planning on going to the Casino our last night, tomorrow. It’s my husband’s 50th birthday and that’s what he wanted to do. Decided to do the casino tonight. The area around the casino is scary. My husband again was asked if he wanted to “party” while I was in a store. Ate at Zorba’s again. Met a few people who were checking in that were not happy with the place.
2/16/02- The worst day of weather. Poured! And we were in the Cays, a long walk to anywhere in the resort. I should mention, also no water view, just a pond. The end is finally coming.
2/17/02- Checking out took 45 minutes. I had booked an extra day and they said I never paid. I showed them the e-mail and they said that was only a confirmation, not that I had paid it. Believe it or not, yes I do travel a lot, I had a copy of my charge bill for the room charge from last April that proved I paid. They said they couldn’t take it. They finally did. We said that we wanted a copy of our bill showing a $0.00 balance; they said they could not because we did not pay them directly for the room. We left; glad to get out of there. They say they do not have our charge number; they do because we had to pay the all-inclusive when we arrived.
***** TO BE NOTED****************** My husband told me as we were leaving (Thank God he waited), that he saw many staff in the public bathroom and they never washed their hands! I am talking bartenders, wait staff, and cooks! Glad to be home!
Ratings by some companies-
American Airlines Vacations- 2
Apple Vacations- 2
BJ’s Vacations- 3
Should also mention, there should be shuttles to the casino and Port Lucaya. They have vans, which we saw there, but we never figured out who they took. Everyone we met had to pay for a taxi.
Rating- 1/4 Star. Why so high? It's a place to sleep.
Linda & Ken
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