Our holiday proved to be not only enjoyable, but also a very useful learning curve for novices (as we were) in the world of all inclusive holidays.
Firstly, my husband and I had decided to sleep on the sofa bed in our apartment and let the kids have the bedroom so that we wouldn’t disturb them when were sitting out on the balcony after they had gone to bed.
After the first week, my husband complained to some friends that we had met that his bed was uncomfortable as he was on a pull out that slid under the sofa that I slept on. (He couldn’t swap with me because it had a wooden bedhead and footstead so he couldn’t stretch out).
Through their laughter, our friends informed us that the pull out had spring loaded legs underneath to make it the same height as the sofa to create a double bed. We thought they were joking at first; turns out they weren’t. For SEVEN NIGHTS I’d been trying not to roll off on him in the middle of the night and he’d been basically sleeping on the floor.
I also learned that there’s an etiquette for queueing up to book your kids into Kids’ Club, and I was clearly NOT following the rules:
1) Wait nonchalantly, studying your nails or notice boards and smiling politely at anyone you make eye contact with.
2) When a specific member of staff arrives, stroll casually over (never look too keen) to start queueing, whilst making certain that no-one is pushing in. (The secret is to note the exact order in which people arrive and be determined that no-one is going to take your place…without looking like that’s what you’re doing).
3) If someone does push in (with or without realising) and then apologises when they see your look of dismay, laugh it off as though you haven’t noticed and wave them in front anyway, saying, ‘No, no, you go first’, even though you’re silently resenting them because your beer is getting warm whilst you queue.
DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT, do what I did which was to naively walk up to the first member of staff you spot and just ask them outright, without noticing that people are waiting. (I know, crazy, huh? Who the hell did I think I was, with my direct approach? I could almost hear the gasps and snorts of derision.) I didn’t do it twice, though (I got my husband to go for the rest of the holiday).
I also decided, after a couple of slight hangovers when I didn’t think I had had a lot to drink, that they DO NOT measure spirits in all inclusive hotels…well, not this one, anyway.
Please don’t read this as a complaint; it just meant I had to work harder on my tolerance levels from that point onwards.
In future, I will also be hiding in the toilets when they are getting children to drag parents up on the stage…especially when the task is to remember the first line of a song and then SING it without hesitating. Hmm, singing and a memory game; I was SO destined to fail miserably.
I also learnt the most important lesson of all if we’re ever to go on an all inclusive Thomson holiday again – how to keep a straight face and find suitable topics (Cats? Fleas? Chewing? Chasing cars?) for twenty minutes of discussion with a person who can’t talk back and happens to be dressed up as a large, cuddly, floppy eared dog wearing a Hawaiian shirt, because the children are too in awe and therefore lost for words. Awwwkward! 🙂