Free Cabo Arch Cruise
This is probably one of the oldest trick in the book. The general experience may vary from person to person so I don't want to give people the wrong impression. I really thought twice about writing about this experience because I'm not the biggest fan of timeshares. I know that they are a marketing scheme designed to make travelers feel like they are getting a week of cheap accomodation for x number of years. But after getting off the plane in Cabo, something (fatigue or possibly the free stuff) persuaded me to give this local agent more than 10 seconds of my time while I was looking for my car rental contact. I usually politely decline and walk away when I'm confronted by airport solicitors but that just never happened this time around.
The Sales Pitch
I was approached by a very friendly local who immediately correctly guessed where I'm from. He started talking about Pacquiao and boxing. He's really good at what he does. So I entertained him knowing I would eventually say 'no thanks' in a few minutes. Eventually, he pulled a piece of paper that listed a list of activities that I'm really not interested in.
At this point, I had just came back from a 2 week hiking trip involving 5 national parks. I convinced myself that this trip will be focused on rest and relaxation. I was thinking of spending every second of my time on the beach. At the same time, I saw an opportunity to take advantage of free activities that would normally cost about $80 per person. On top of that, I get half off all other activities after I picked the free one. Not bad right? So basically I listen to a 90 minute timeshare presentation in exchange for these freebies:
- one free activity of my choice (for 2 people)
- half off any other activity
- free breakfast at the resort
- 1 bottle of local tequila
- a Mexican blanket (which came in handy for the beach - see image below)
I went ahead and agreed to listen to the presentation feeling confident that I would never consider buying their product no matter how hard the sales agents push me.
Timeshares naturally target couples and small families. Lucky for me, I was travelling with my girlfriend Melissa. The only way for them to make sure that we are a legitimate part of their target demographic is to verify that we live in the same address. We technically did not live together yet so we got around this by showing a package receipt e-mail of one of the items Melissa bought online. She got this item shipped to my address. Problem solved. I realized that we could have also easily changed any of her info from any online account temporarily just to show them that we live together.
Grand Solmar Land's End Resort & Spa
I've been to quite a few resorts that offer timeshare. This one is one of the nicest. I have to admit, I was mentally preparing myself to protect my bank account from a day full of enticing offers. What makes me extra vulnerable is the fact that I travel a lot and it would kinda make sense for me to purchase one. So I came there a little cautious. The sales agent ate breakfast with us. Breakfast was refreshing. It was not your traditional greasy buffet breakfast from one of those all inclusive resorts. After eating, we went upstairs for the presentation. The presentation was surprisingly not stressful for me. At one point, they really did try to sell me their product but they never crossed any boundaries. I did notice a change in demeanor after they found out that I really wasn't going to pull the trigger on this one. A few Coronas later, they shook my hand and showed me how to get back my car from valet parking. By the way, throughout the presentation, Melissa was walking around the patio enjoying her free margaritas and taking photos of the ocean. I used those 90 minutes as an opportunity to learn more about their system and how I can use it to my own advantage in the future. It was actually a good learning experience.
The Extra Perks
Since we were free to escort ourselves out of the resort, we decided to stick around and explore. The resort is really nice. It has good amenities. I even considered coming back and booking a room there in the future. The thing I like the most about this property is its close proximity to the most famous landmark in the area - the Arch of Cabo San Lucas. If you look at this map below closely, the resort is conveniently located at the very edge of Land's End (the extreme southern end of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula). This means that anyone can walk to the Arch, Divorce beach, or Lover's beach in about 15 minutes or less.
The Free Activities
After hanging around the resort for a few hours, we decided to claim our free gift from the front desk. I picked the 2 least strenuous activities on the list. I wouldn't normally do this but like I said, I was still exhausted from my previous trip so I just wanted to do something chill.
The following day we boarded the Buccaneer Queen for a pirate-themed cruise of the surrounding area. This tour included photo opportunities in front of the Arch, snorkeling and a movie soundtrack guessing game. Open bar and lunch were included. The crew was very helpful and lively. The food and music were on point. We had a great overall experience.
The day after, we boarded another boat for a sunset cruise. It took a similar route to get to the Arch. The tour did not include snorkeling. The top deck was dedicated for dancing and adult games. No kids were allowed upstairs for obvious reasons. Dinner and open bar were included as well. There were plenty of sunset photo opportunities. We almost decided to skip this tour but I'm glad we didn't because we had a great time onboard.