SPRING BREAK CANCUN TIPS—Underwater Camera and Watch Review
Just add water!
Expensive electronics such as digital cameras and dressy wristwatches don’t usually get along too well with wet places. And we were going to a resort with 4 swimming pools, a sister resort with another three pools and about a half a mile of beach along the Caribbean. Was this a recipe for disaster? Oh come on. I’m not only a professional bloggers but a smart one too! So we were prepared. My husband had been asking for a “vacation” watch that he could wear to the pool or beach without fear of it becoming a soggy, foggy, non-functional bracelet. So I made sure that under our Christmas tree last year was a gift to get the job done. I got him an Invicta Grand Diver wrist watch. It’s got a stainless steel band with rich royal blue face and dial. It’s big, heavy and manly. And it’s actually pretty stylish. My husband has to keep up a minimum standard to be seen with me after all! A couple features I like are that there’s no battery, it runs by being wound up when you wear it and move around, and of course the main thing we wanted was that it could get wet and still let us know when the next buffet was ready! And it does that great. It’s actually rated to go as deep as 300 meters or 1000 feet! Neither my husband nor I are scuba divers so this is way more than we’ll probably ever go. Of course you can find similar function in many makes and price ranges but I liked the look of the Invicta.
As you can probably see from my last several posts, we took a LOT of photos on our trip. For my main post pictures we use our Sony α6000 camera which I LOVE! I will be doing a post review on that wonderful camera soon. It does a great job of bringing out the best in me but it doesn’t float too well, and would certainly be in bad shape if it ever decided to make a splash. We wanted to be able to get a bit closer to the waves and still get some pictures so that meant we needed to supplement our camera collection. Just before we went on our vacation we bought a FujiFilm Finepix XP70 camera. This bright yellow little pocket size point and shoot is both water proof and shock resistant. Not rated to go as deep as the wristwatch it will still survive a dunking of down to 10 meters or 33 feet. Again it should be more than enough for whatever we will do with it. The shock part says you can also drop it from a height of 1.5 meters or about 5 feet. We did not try that part out but were very happy with the way it worked in both the pool and at the beach. This little camera is FUN! We carried it everywhere with us to use just in case. And as a bonus it actually takes pretty darned good pictures and videos.
Here are some pictures and videos we took by using this camera:
The watch and camera were each about $100 more or less. But we figured they would be good investments as we will hopefully be able to use them for many vacations to come. We looked at all kinds of camera options including waterproof cases or bags for our iPhones but I was a bit nervous with trusting my much more expensive phone to a case that relied on me to make sure it was closed and sealed correctly! So once we got to our suite at our resort the phones got locked in the safe and we grabbed the XP70. It was just a lot less hassle and stress and if worse came to worst and it did spring a leak we would only be out a bit over $100 and some pictures of fish! Anyway, I’m happy to report that both the Invicta watch and FujiFilm camera performed as advertised and we are very happy with both. Now if some mermaid or merman that I’m videoing wants to know the correct local time to make sure they aren’t late for their clam bake, we have them covered!
SHOP MY LOOK:
Yellow bikini @Justfab
Yellow sunglasses @Dior
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Wait, there’re HOW many pools?
In yesterday’s post I told how we had gotten to our resort, the Grand Bahia Principe Coba several hours before we could get into our room. We walked around a bit, ate a couple meals and used up our daily internet allowance while we were waiting. Then promptly at 3pm we were ready to go. These places are usually spread out. You don’t stay in a big building with hundreds of rooms. Instead you will be in one of dozens of similar looking smaller structures they call Villas. At our resort these had 3 floors and maybe 10 or 12 suites on each floor. As it turned out there had been a problem with the room they originally told us we’d be in and we were moved all the way over to Villa 1. This happened to be just across the street from where we had been sitting in the main lobby so our ride to our Villa took all of about 15 seconds! We were on the ground floor which made my husband happy. He doesn’t much like stairs. I think his legs are still sore from when we first met and he would visit me in my 8th floor walkup apartment! It seems that a lot of Americans have gotten a little too used to elevators! So anyway, off the golf cart and into our room we went. Not bad! We had a small entry hallway with a pretty good sized closet. On the opposite wall was a door into our bathroom. Here was a whirlpool tub with shower, a large vanity and the porcelain chair. Moving on, the room opened out into the sleeping section with a king size bed, two bedside tables and a large dresser opposite the foot of the bed. The dresser held the TV and all important mi ni-bar. Through a columned archway was a sitting area with a couch, chairs and a small table. Next was a glass wall with a sliding door that went onto our private fenced in patio. Oh well, if I had to suffer for a week in a tropical paradise, this seemed as good a place as any for it.
One thing I really like, but have trouble finding in almost any hotel, is enough light! And this was probably my biggest complaint about our room. Our patio faced the sunrise so I wound up taking my hand mirror to that area to do my final makeup touches. The bathroom just didn’t get bright enough for me to work my magic! But it seemed the sun always shines in Cancun or at least did on our trip so this worked out pretty well. Other than that fairly minor nag, we thought our room was quite spacious and comfortable. And our Villa was in a perfect location we found out. We were very near the lobby as I mentioned. Here was the lobby bar, a breakfast buffet that transformed into a nice restaurant in the evening and nightly entertainment of some variety. There were also some souvenir shops attached and this was a good place to catch one of the frequent shuttles to take you to the beach or the nearby sister resort. We were only a 10 minute walk from yet another lobby with more restaurants, a theater and casino where we generously donated to the local economy. Two of the 4 pools in our resort were almost within sight of our Villa and the other 2 were also in that 10 minute walk zone.
Another really cool thing about the Bahia Principe Coba was the animal life. And I don’t mean at happy hour! There were iguanas everywhere, sunning themselves on sidewalks and rocks. There were so many I almost stepped on one several times. They also had other wildlife running around, usually when the hottest part of the day was winding down. The resort did a great job of offering as much or as little as you wanted to do. They had exercise sessions, Spanish lessons, kid’s activities, karaoke nights and all kinds of other choices. If you wanted you never had to leave the grounds and you could keep busy all day long. The nice thing about this part of Mexico is, there were also a lot of choices for cultural or leisure activities if you were interested. For example, my husband and I took a day trip to visit some Mayan ruins that you’ll see in a future post!
So what did I think? Well my real job is teaching so here’s the report card!
The room was an A-. It would’ve been a solid A if they had a bit more light output!
The food was an easy A. The better we got at understanding the buffet layout the more we liked the food.
The drinks were a solid A and were available everywhere.
Swimming pools were an A-. They were actually a bit too warm sometimes, although I know it was from the tropical sun.
Beach was a B. Actually a C on the first two days with some unusual seaweed accumulation. But after that they got it cleaned up enough to bring the average up. It is nature after all!
Service was top notch so I’m giving it my highest A+
General atmosphere was another good A. We had a great time and I think I actually relaxed more than any previous vacation. It was just great walking along the beach or around the resort.
Overall grade was an A-. Would I go back? Yes! Would I recommend it? Yes!
Based on this trip I would have no hesitation going back to any Bahia Principe location.
Coming up next? Let’s make a splash!
SHOP MY LOOK:
Floppy hat @Rue 21
One piece swimsuit @TJ Maxx
Sandals @TJ Maxx
Bracelet @My shopping bag @Express
Green earrings @Neiman Marcus
Necklace @New York & Company
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