I have been pushing off writing about our first family vacation to Cayo Largo for a few reasons.
- I’m lazy
- I have been waiting to hear back from Sunwing but still have yet to hear
- I have been waiting to get our luggage back
Let’s start off with maybe it wasn’t the best idea to book a trip 4 hours before the flight. Originally we had planned to go to Mexico and wanted to book last minute to see if the prices would go down. After hours and hours (literally hours) spent at Flight Centre trying to find a vacation under $800 the only place we were able to go was Cayo Largo where we stayed at Sol Cayo Largo.
After quickly stress packing and buying Jade all new clothes for the trip we headed off to Toronto Pearson Airport where we waited for our flight to a much-needed family vacation. Checking in our baggage was the biggest headache. The man that had checked us in was a moron who had no idea what he was doing and we later found out how much we truly got screwed over by him. He even charged my dad $75 just to bring his fishing rods which he has brought everywhere with him and has never had to pay this absurd fee.
While waiting for the flight my anxiety was through the roof. Heart pumping, palms sweating, the whole bit. My mind raced with “How will jade do on the plane?” “What if she cries the entire time?” “Are we going to be “those” people with the crying baby on the plane?” my mind continued to go full speed ahead imagining every scenario that could happen. Luckily we were the last people to board the plane so that we didn’t have to sit as long. We took our seats and just as the plane was taking off the best thing that could possibly happen at that moment happened. Jade fell asleep. I felt a huge weight fly right off my shoulders (or maybe it was the air pressure change). After 40 minutes in the air, Jade woke up and was great the entire flight, we barely had to distract her with the 500 snacks and toys I crammed into our carry on.
After landing around 10:30pm we got to skip all the lines through customs (baby privileges) and were the first people to get through. Quinn, Jade and I were waiting for my dad and his girlfriend to get through customs while we watched all the baggage come off of the conveyer belt. Quinn and I kept taking turns watching Jade while the other would search through the bags trying to find ours. Time passed and my dad still wasn’t through customs so I began to worry, his girlfriend had ripped the declaration and he was being held back. Cuba being the strict country it is I thought for sure they weren’t going to let him in and send him back to Canada. After a little while talking to the airport officials I was able to get them to go get my dad but he still ended up having to pay $90 for the ripped declaration. After that fiasco, we sat watching everyone grab their bags until there was none left. Of course, out of everyone on the plane, they lose the people with the baby. I would understand more if they lost one of our bags but nope they lost mine which had Jade’s stuff in it, Quinns, my dads, and his girlfriends. That is when the nightmare truly began.
Soon after filling out a ton of lost baggage forms we grabbed our bus ride to the hotel which thank god was only fifteen minutes away. While we were checking in they told us that we were not able to get a crib for the room that night and the gift shop does have diapers we can buy but it doesn’t open until tomorrow morning, luckily I had enough diapers in the diaper bag to last us until the next day. Finally, after this long stressful day, I was so ready to jump into bed and pass out but as soon as we walked into our room what do I see stuck to the wall? a lizard! No way was I about to sleep in a room with a lizard, all I could think was it crawling in my mouth or up my nose as I slept. We ended up switching rooms with my dad and his girlfriend so that I could sleep in peace. We arrive at our new room, clothes the blinds, take our clothes off and get ready for a much needed good nights sleep at last, but of course, that didn’t happen. Jade was pumped full of energy and was crawling back and forth across the bed until 2:00am!
After a long night, we were excited to at least be waking up in a warm tropical paradise. WRONG! We woke up to pouring rain, ants all over our bathroom and our room flooded with water! Now the only pants I had were sopping wet. I ended up having to walk around the resort in Quinn’s boxers and to make it worse they were Montreal Canadian boxers.
We left our room to go on the hunt for necessities and try and switch rooms. The hotel gave us a room switch but of course, something had to go wrong, the AC was broken. No, we were torn between sweating to death or a room full of water so we decided to stay in the water room until they fixed the AC. As we hunted for things we didn’t get much luck. Cayo Largo is strictly a tourist Island which means the best we could buy was key chain maracas. The Cuban diapers were such awful quality that it gave poor Jade rashes and she even pooped through them onto the stroller not once but twice. We went through the trip with no sunscreen which means no sitting out in the sun, no bug spray so no going to the shows at night, no clothes, no hairbrush, no beach toys for Jade, no swimsuits and so much more. Turns out the no swimsuits wasn’t too big of a deal since we were surrounded by nudist beaches but we still couldn’t bring ourselves to go nude.
This vacation was just a mess with our lost luggage, below average food (this was expected this is my 5th time in Cuba), crappy weather the first few days and our lizard filled, flooded, broken AC, ant-filled and no water pressure rooms we still made the best of it. It was great waking up together and spending every second together as a family and despite this mess, we really enjoyed our family time. This trip was a huge eye-opener struggling to live without everyday things that we are so used to and just goes to show how lucky we are. The workers on the resort were unbelivebly kind. They make 40 pesos and month and were offering us stuff and bringing stuff from our homes for us to have. These people have nothing and they were giving us stuff! Such a pure and kind gesture it warmed my heart.
After returning home from our trip our luggage was still M I A. Weeks passed and they finally tracked down our luggage and we got it a month after we returned from our trip. Throughout this duration of time, we had been contacting Sunwing and they were useless and no help. The worst airline I have ever flown and I highly suggest never flying with them. We were so excited to get our luggage back finally and Quinn opens his to find his charger and two most expensive pair on underwear was gone, my dad opens his to find his expensive fishing reels gone, his girlfriend opens hers to find her charger and medication gone and finally the most important bag I open mine to find all my clothes and makeup and everything I own rotted with mold! Yes, mold! It smelled horrendous. After many calls to Sunwing they send me to a link where I send them everything that had been damaged or stolen only to get an email back saying they will get back to me in 30 days, how ridiculous. I have spent so much of my own money trying to replace my things since nothing was able to be salvaged. Now, all we can do is sit back and wait and hope that we get reimbursed for our stuff and our vacation from hell.