Today is the 20th Anniversary of our Mayan World Journey. I call it Mayan World because we have been owners of most of the levels of ownership that they have.

Our journey began in Acapulco. We were flying from Kansas City to Acapulco with a flight change in Chicago. While in Chicago, they requested volunteers to go on a later flight and they would fly you to Acapulco 1st Class, plus $500 each in Travel Credit. We volunteered and then told they did not need us, so we got on the plane and before long, they called our names. The Flight Attendant said that they did need our seats after-all. So, we got off the plane and were met by the Gate Attendant. She sat us down and seemed somewhat flustered. She said that the Pilots had just gone on strike! There would be no more flights that day! She did give us $1000 each in travel vouchers and said that we could fly the next day 1st class. They were sure the strike would be over by the end of the day. We told her that had flown in from KC and our bags were on the plane. (She said they would put them in a lock-up area and we could claim them.) She immediately gave us a voucher for food and lodging at the Hilton on O’Hare grounds and an international phone card to call our resort in Acapulco. We took the train into downtown and had a nice day visiting the Miracle Mile area. Stayed at the Hilton and flew 1st Class on Sunday morning to Acapulco.

When we arrived at our resort, it was the worst one we had ever been to! We had exchanged our 1-bedroom Hawaii unit for a beachfront studio in Acapulco. The room had really old vinyl furniture (basically a daybed with sloped vinyl backs) and the bathroom had room deodorizers that caused me to have problems breathing. I literally slept with a wet washcloth on my face. The next morning my husband went down and told them we must change rooms. In the late afternoon, they moved us to another unit that was about the same – still smelled. We had scheduled a City tour on Monday, so we were out while they were finding us a different unit. On Tuesday, we walked to the Walmart and were snagged by a timeshare guy. We agreed to go the next day – something to do to get out of our dump!

We went to the Mayan Palace and it was so beautiful and clean! We debated about buying, but when we assured that we could pay prorated MF and move over that day – we bought a 2-bedroom Sea Garden (resale) that would allow us to use a 1 bedroom Mayan Palace. We plopped down our CC, signed all of the papers and hopped in a taxi. We had the taxi driver wait while we ran upstairs and grabbed our stuff. We checked into the Mayan Palace and had a wonderful remainder of our vacation.

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In November 1999, we went to Puerto Vallarta for Thanksgiving week with one son and one brother – we were staying on an exchange at Paradise Village. While in Bucerias at a restaurant, the owner convinced us to do the MP tour. We knew what it would be, but wanted to see the MP properties in the area. The gifts were nice too – we got a snorkel tour and a full day of all-inclusive at the Bucerias restaurant. Bottom line, we upgraded to the 2-bedroom Mayan Palace.

Full disclosure – hubby retired in April 1999 and after our November 1999 upgrade, he asked what you had to do to become a MP salesperson. They told him who to talk to and in January 2000, he went down and to try. I was surprised that he wanted to do this, because he had never done sales. But, he believed in the product. Well, he did not do very well at sales and was moved to the end of the line where they sell the exit packages. He came home at the end of 3 months, but I did have two nice PV vacations in January and February. He had rented a place in NV on a monthly basis.

Beginning in 2000, our family decided that they wanted to do Thanksgiving each year together somewhere. We had two timeshares and the MP did have the Vacation Fair week so we could get 3 units. But, we also liked to take February vacations too, so I bought other timeshare units on eBay for next to nothing. Some were MP and some were Buganvilias and a couple of others. We had enough weeks to vacation 6-8 weeks each year and did that for many years using RCI and II.

In 2004, I read on TUG or the Mayan Palace Yahoo Group that if you had spent a certain amount of money at Mayan Resorts, you got special status. Therefore, I began a quest to get there. I sold the properties that were not Buganvilias or Mayan Palace on eBay to eliminate the MF for them. Then I started buying MP weeks on eBay. This was before they changed the transfer fees from one MF to a % or multiple MF. In 2005, we used the resale properties to upgrade to two 2-bedroom GM units and received the Profile A status where we could book 12 months out and get good units. We still had our original unit and a couple of other units that we used for vacations with friends and family.

In 2006, I read in the Mayan Sun Magazine from Mayan about Senior Certificates and when we were in Riviera Maya in February 2007, we signed up for those. We received the Senior Certificates for all of our properties, plus the no pay unless you go on all of our other contracts! We were pleasantly surprised. We are getting really close to being able to use the Senior Certificates – hubby will be 75 in 2020.

We used our weeks quite a lot until 2010. Then it was getting harder for the family to go on vacation at the same time. One lost a job, one was going to grad school, grandson was into sports, etc. So by 2013 when we were in NV at the Grand Bliss (on an about to expire RCI exchange), we figured up all the 5 year renewal fees that we were obligated for before the 25 renewals came up. When we went to the update, we knew our number. We explained that we no longer needed so many weeks. They offered us two Grand Luxxe 2-bedroom units with all kinds of bells and whistles for about $2000 more than our number. They also kept our Senior Certificates for both the Registry weeks and Residence weeks. So, we became Grand Luxxe owners. We have only gone there once, but will start again soon.

We love the resorts and have been to them all. We generally stay 2 or 3 weeks and often use more than one unit each week so that friends and family can join us and have their own space.

• We have seen Acapulco completely redone with all new buildings and one extra Mayan Palace complex along the golf course built since 1999. The beach in Acapulco is awesome – our favorite. We have been there 6 times.
• Nuevo Vallarta had 2 buildings in 1999 and added more, then tore most of them down to add Grand Mayan, Grand Bliss, and Grand Luxxe. It is now a Mega property and a family favorite. We have been there 6 times.
• Puerto Vallarta by the Marina is a great resort for location. There is a bus stop just outside so you can go into town, to a grocery or change buses to go to the towns around the north side of the Bay. You can take a short walk to the Marina area that has lots of restaurants & bars. This has just Mayan Palace, but there was a sign that they were planning to build a Grand Bliss where the Sea Garden used to be. We have been there 3 times.
• Puerto Penasco Mayan Palace has been built since we bought and added onto and now has a Grand Mayan. We have been there 6 times. It was a great place for spring and fall breaks with our grandson.
• Riviera Maya has also been built since we bought and added Grand Mayan, Grand Bliss, and Grand Luxxe. We were there within 3 weeks of a major hurricane in 2005. The employees were awesome. We have been there 4 times.
• Cabo Grand Mayan was built after we bought and then rebuilt after a major hurricane. We loved that it was close to the Cabo San Jose Town Square. We went once and were hoping to go again, but the resort now has a day club that plays loud music and I have read many complaints, so it is off our list.
• We have been to Mazatlán. The Mayan Palace was just opening in 2008. It is on the Sea Garden property and it is very crowded with an extremely small beach. Hubs called it “Seal Beach” – like in San Francisco. The MP is right up by the main road and no views whatsoever. It is not on our return to list.

BTW – I still have my original contracts in a notebook starting with 1999 and that is how I can look up information about them. Actually, all are almost the same – the names Vidafel, Mayan Palace, Vida, and Vidanta are on various ones and the transfer fees and amount that they can raise the MF change, but the basics are still there.