Hello, I just booked my vacation to the Melia Cayo Santa Maria, leaving in two weeks!
This is my very first all inclusive resort vacation. My only similar experiences have been a cruise, a non-AI resort, and a great trip to old Havana. I've done lots of research but would love to have input from those more knowledgable than I to ensure I haven't left anything out.
1) I booked a non-oceanview room. Can I still request via email a 2nd floor room, or are they only for oceanview-guests? I'd like this due to less musty smell, and less chance of bugs entering my room.
2) Can I reserve a la carte ahead of time via email? I have 3 reservations, any suggestions? I'm completely open to using them all at a single restaurant or not at all (if buffet is that good!).
3) For buffet and a la carte, any suggested times of day where it's the least traffic? For breakfast/lunch/dinner
4) How's the room service? (food that is, say compared to the buffet)
5) When I was in Havana I tipped using CUC but am thinking of bringing gifts this time. What's more useful to them, CUC or gifts? I read that disposable razors are valued to them and I have tons and tons of these (3, 4, and 5 blade models!). Would this be an ok gift for a housekeeping lady, or should I only give it to male staff? I have lots of old clothes, but they vary from too small to too big, and trashy tshirts to cheap suits/formal-wear. Would they be open to all of this clothing or only certain things? Would it be weird if I gave a waiter/bartender razors as tip/gift, or should I stick with giving them CUC?
6) Any medication I should pack? I prefer non-liquid (ie. pill) so that there's no chance of it exploding in my luggage.
7) Do I need water shoes for the beach/ocean?
8) Anything else I should ask or request from the resort when I email them?
Thank you for any and all advice! Please let me know if there's anything I didn't ask but should be aware of.