I woke up this morning a lot more pink than when I went to bed. Too much sun, not enough sunscreen, on Isla Mujeres. So what to do today?
The timeshare presentation.
After all, it's only 90 minutes, and who (my age) doesn't like seeing fancy hotel rooms and imagining staying there?
Oh, before I go on, it was not a timeshare presentation. It was a private membership club, or something like that. I'm still iffy on the difference between that and a timeshare. I think it's just the name.
That 90 minutes, though, morphed into 4 mostly-air-conditioned hours. The numbers started at over $80,000 (plus hundreds for the week I would stay at the facility!!!) and got down to $3,000 (plus a couple hundred each week I stay) for 25 weeks over the next 10 years. The last one wasn't bad on a per-week basis, even after adding in the per-week cost, but I don't know that I'm going to come to Costa Maya 25 times in the next 10 years. I might almost feel bad, too, because the last deal comes courtesy of a fellow Californian who, because of the mortgage fiasco back home, needs to sell the remainder of his membership blah blah blah....
After touring the facilities (yes, plural), my "guide" and I went into a room filled with people either selling or potentially buying. There must have been 25 tables in there, with a sales presentation occurring at each one. It was very comical to me. One would raise a hand, and a "manager", or perhaps a "developer's representative", would come over and apply a little harder sell. Sometimes they'd even sweeten the pot, lowering the price here, the interest rate there, offering a studio instead of the two-room package.
This is the second timeshare presentation I've attended in the last decade, and I've watched others from a distance. They all share several qualities, but the one that interests me most is this: is there some school where timeshare salespeople go to learn to write jibberish-y numbers, figures, and words randomly on a page? If you've ever been to one of these presentations you know what I'm talking about. What, exactly, is the point of that, to confuse you? No, it couldn't be, because they only want to make sure I get the best vacation package for my money. They're concerned about me. There must be some other explanation for this disorganized jumble.
I toured two of their facilities here in Cancun, and they're building one on Isla Mujeres =) I must admit, the rooms were exceptional, perhaps extravagant by my standards, but my room here at the Holiday Inn Express more than meets my needs. I even have wireless internet access in my room here--I didn't think to ask if their resorts had such amenities!
It wasn't a waste of 4 hours, though. At the first facility I got a strawberry daquiri. I kid you not, I watched the bartender spoon strawberry Smucker's jelly into the blender, but at least I have the satisfaction of knowing the rum wasn't watered down when I saw him open a new bottle and start pouring.
From there we took a boat ride across the lagoon to get to the second, bigger facility. A nice lunch and a couple banana daquiris welcomed me there. But let there be no doubt, the place was grand.
And for attending this personalized presentation, I received a voucher for a "jungle tour", which normally run from $50-60 depending on where you purchase them. The tour involves taking a 2-person boat through the Laguna de Nichupte and the mangrove forest (the "jungle") and going out into the Caribbean, where a half hour of snorkling over a reef awaits. I go on the jungle tour tomorrow.
So, all in all, not a bad way to spend the midday recuperating from a slight sunburn.
I'm doing the siesta thing right now, and will head towards the action in another hour or so.