4 girlfriends and I booked a 3 night trip to Viva Wyndham Fortuna in October 2012. I'm very fortunate in that I've been able to travel the world and stay at some of the nicest places. This of course was not one of them - but we knew that from the reviews on TripAdvisor before booking it. For the 500 pp price tag (included flights from NC & all rooms/food/drinks), we weren't expecting the greatest food or accomodations. And we got exactly that. But we still had a great time and it definitely suited our purpose which was to have a fun, quick, sunny (& affordable) girls beach getaway. Would I ever take my husband here for a romantic getaway? Never. But for 4 girls in their 30's, we had a good time. The beach & ocean were beautiful and was the highlight, and the weather was exactly what we hoped for. The drinks were plentiful and free, and there weren't too many young kids around except for in the pool. The rooms were acceptable, basic but relatively clean - we had an ocean/beach view which was very nice. I liked that we were in smaller 2-level buildings rather than a 400+ room skyrise. Coco & a night secuirty guard named Narcisso (I believe that's right?) were our favorites to talk to, and were very accomodating. Narcisso sang for us on request :) and also escorted us girls to the beach at night and back to our rooms so that we'd feel safe, which we really appreciated. Downfalls: 1) First and foremost, there was some sort of girls-gone-wild/bikini//exotic dancer contest that was being hosted at the resort at the time we arrived. That was pretty annoying, as ~30+ girls in G-strings & pasties were crawling all over the place and obviously some low-budget adult filming was taking place. When asked, they all said they were there for a "swimsuit competition" but... err, not buying it. We're pretty smart cookies. I also caught a couple of them making out with male hotel employees in the back luggage storage room, which was classy. 2) FOOD. The food at the reservation-only restaurants was pretty awful. So awful that we couldn't even eat it and sent all 4 of our dishes back in exchange for a pizza. We saw quite a few others at the tables do the same. We also tried to order & pay extra for a bottle of champagne, of which they said they didnt have any even though it's on the menu. The buffet was not great, but it was acceptable - I was able to get juice & eggs & toast & fruit for breakfast, and for lunch I generally had a big salad. We also ate at the beach hut a few times, but it got old quickly as it's primarily junk food (burgers, hotdogs, etc.). 3) ENTERTAINMENT. We weren't interested at all in the entertainment, but the shows that we did see were pretty awful. Especially the lip-synching ones. The only one that was decent was the acrobatic show. The rest, I'd just skip. 4) CHECK-IN: Was incredibly slow upon arrival. But the bright spot, is that if you arrive early, you can store your bags at the front & still get your armband etc to go eat/drink/lay on the beach, which we were very happy to do so. Wifi is also only available at the check-in desk, which was a bit frustrating. 5) The building next to us apparently had some sort of septic issue that required heavy machinery digging in the courtyard, and it smelled horrific. Fortunately, we were far enough away that it did not seep into our rooms. Overall, we had a good time. Do I feel I got my money's worth for the $500? Yes. Do I regret going? No. I had a lot of fun with my girlfriends, got a little R&R on the beach and came home with a lot of funny stories about the "bikini contestants". Will I go back? Pretty unlikely. But as long as you know what you're getting into and keep your expectations low, you'll probably have a good time. Be sure to pack yourself a large plastic cup or water bottle so that you can fill up your drinks - otherwise you'll be standing in line at the bar for most your trip. Hope that helps!
We just returned from the Viva Wyndham in Freeport. In an age when almost all manner of research and information is available online, we decided to book with Cheap Caribbean and the Viva Wyndham. Our trip was the last week of July ’12 for 5 days, 4 nights. I will give you positive, negative, and indifferences of the trip: The positive: the cost is fantastic for the flight and upgraded room, and all-inclusive food with drinks. The activities on the property are more than plentiful, even for those adverse to exercise. It includes water aerobics, yoga, tennis lessons, dive/snorkeling lessons, wind surfing, weight room, sailing, volleyball, darts, dance, and archery lessons-to name just a few. At check in, we were provided a list of activities by subject matter and times. The Viva Café at night for true Italian style pizza, cooked fresh for you. Beware; this is like true Italian style pizza from Italy, not the major chain or frozen dinner style pizza. The drinks and food were free flowing all over. The grounds were free of debris like cups and plates. The Caribbean water was clear, although seaweed from the reef at high tide is there. Rooms are cleaned every day, towels are provided poolside/beachside.-although you are required to return the towel at checkout, otherwise there is a $10 service charge per towel. There are plenty of chairs all over the beach. However, you may not always get under one of the trees, coconut palms, or hut casitas. The food was in abundance, but it is buffet style, with a different main course every night. I included one of the seafood pictures from one night on this blog. If you plan it accordingly, have eclectic tastes, and are there for less than a week, you should not get too bored with the food choices. There are also two restaurants on the premises, an Italian Restaurant and a fusion Asian restaurant called Bamboo. Make reservations when you get there, they have dinner seating’s from 1730 to 2130. Additionally, you can get fresh cooked breakfast and lunch items i.e.: eggs, breakfast burritos, burgers, and pastas. There is also a Cheap Caribean VIP seating area. Be sure to sit close to one of the many windows to get the breeze, as this area is not air conditioned. The shows are interesting, but it is not Broadway. Do not expect it; you are not paying for it. When you see the people in the shows, working hard, and you see them from sunrise to almost midnight every night, you can appreciate what it is they are trying to do. This is a private beach, which is patrolled by a security guard. This prevents most of the hawkers and “pretty girl” braids people from coming up to you on the beach. However, the "hawkers" are walking along the water line, so you can always go to the edge of the property to pick up trinkets. Negatives: The front desk staff is less than helpful. There is always some reason that something cannot be done. My biggest conundrum was trying to make sure I was getting my Wyndham Rewards points. I was told repeatedly that it was “OK”, only to learn at check out that they do not give a receipt if booked through a travel agent. They are less than friendly, and unfortunately, do not represent the United States Wyndham property name very well. However, they live up to the European Standard perfectly. As a side note, this is an Italian Property; expect to interact with a great number of languages and cultures from Western Europe and Latin America. The breakfast meats are mostly pork, with only one ground beef product. It would be nice to have a non-pork alternative. However, there is plenty of fresh fruit. There is seaweed that is constantly being deposited on the beach from the tide. I know there is not much that can be done with that, but it is there. The sweeper truck does clean the beach of this and is good for a day or so. There is a general shortage of masks, fins, and snorkels. The pool NEEDS to be cleaned! There was a constant layer of oil on the pool. Indifferent: Taxis are always available; the cost from the Airport to hotel was only $15. Cab fares in the Bahamas are regulated. You can get Frequent Flyer miles, although the hotel points are still in discussion. Many flowers were in bloom all over the property. There is some dancing in the evening at the bar, do not expect a nightclub theme. The European Animate staff, i.e.: trapeze artists, pool helpers, dive instructors, tennis instructors, dance instructors, etc. are all very friendly and seem like they want to make the guests happy. KUDOS to them. I believe that if you do not get the upgraded certain room, you may be stuck with a marginal view of the beach, or no view at all. The property is showing some signs of aging, but they are remodeling and fixing up the property. We were booked in the Bimini One Building; I included a picture from the room here as well. Overall: I would book again, I would make sure I upgraded to the Superior View room again and I would bring plenty of sunscreen.
My boyfriend and I returned Sunday 1/27 from a 4 day/3 night stay. After booking the trip and reading less than stellar reviews by what i consider now to b either miserable/high maintenance/needy people, we were both nervous about heading down. Upon arrival we checked in early and headed to the buffet for lunch (which had a nice selection for everyone) and headed to the beach. Every review that i read that had anything negative to say i discredited from the get go. The staff was friendly and helpful, the room we stayed in overlooked the beach and had a balcony (what we paid for), and the overall appearance/decor of the entire resort was fairly updated and modernized. i'm not sure what people expect when you are paying such low fares to stay at an all inclusive- you are not eating at a 5 star resort and paying for a 3 star one. Expect to get what you paid for. I found this to be a great weekend getaway and will definitely recommend to friends/family in the future.
This resort was run down and dangerous. We were supposed to be upgraded but they did not have available. Fine. We get to our room and our neighbor in the adjoining room (that we did not ask for mind you) were shaking the door and trying to get in. The headboard of the bed was on a hinge not attached to anything. There was chewed gum inside one of the cabinets. The dresser drawers would not close. THERE WAS A WIRE EXPOSED IN THE SHOWER! The toilet would not flush. The vent fan did not work and there was constant construction. Here's the kicker: another girl who came with the group we were with had already complained about all of the above and been moved then when we got in later, they re booked us in there. AWFUL! Now let's move on to the beach. The beach was filthy. There were bottles, cans and trash everywhere. We had the pleasure as well of pulling a tire out of ocean. Yes a full sized car tire. We lost power at a couple different times. Ridiculous. Finally after two days we did get moved to another room. I went to step outside on our "deck" and when I opened the door, the screen door fell of the hinges. Our phone in that room never worked. We were supposed to be with a group and we were at the opposite end of the complex. The staff yelled at us at one point for using the wrong towel. We did try some of the activities listed on the website. Snorkeling was fun. May have given two of us bronchitis from improper sanitation but hey. The trapeze was only up two days the entire week we were there. Other things they claimed to offer were just locals sitting just off property selling stuff. One man kept walking the beach, trying to sell everyone marijuana. One of the bartenders was gross. He would tell you last call early in the night and if you did not "flash" him, he would not give you any more. They also ran out of alcohol. The front desk staff was incredibly rude and unhelpful. All of these complaints were brought up to the staff at the resort but nothing was ever done about it. I was very disappointed with the whole experience and will never go there again. It seriously has me reconsidering going to the Bahamas ever again.
My husband and I just got back from six nights at the Viva Wyndham. We both agreed that this was the best vacation we have ever had. Cheap Caribbean took care of all the details at a wonderful price, and we didnt have to do anything but sit back and enjoy. We met some wonderful people there. You can do as much or as little as you like. We took part in most of the activities, which made for lots of laughter. There was enough of a variety of food to keep us happy, and the entertainment staff worked tirelessly to keep all ages involved. The rooms we found met all our needs, and the staff was very helpful. I would, and have already recommended this hotel to many people, and told them Cheap Caribbean is the way to go. I dont know that I would go on another vacation that was not all inclusive. We found this part of the vacation great also. Knowing that you dont have to worry about a food or drink budget is a great deal. Thank you Cheap Caribbean.
We arrived on a saturday and from the beginning noticed the room had a great view of the beach but didn't seem like it was cleaned very well. The dining places are very bad! Nothing that was offered was very tasty and most of the time was cold. The staff walking around did a great job providing activities and were very nice. Our room was located right by the main bar, not a problem but for some reason at 9 am for three days they decided it was a good idea to perform construction upgrades to the room next to us and jack hammer concrete in the storage room two doors down. I asked the customer service desk why they were doing that at that time and if I could change rooms. They did nothing! Told me a manager would come and speak to me. Nothing ever happened they never came. I kept asking for something to be done and no one could help me. It got to the point when the guest services desk called to see how the room was I brought up the concerns of the jack hammering. He said "but there is nothing wrong with the room though" I couldn't believe he didn't care at all. I stated that I was not happy with the room and would like to change and he said he would look into it. Overall the room had a great view and the beach is very nice. They have plenty of activities to offer for everyone. I recommend the snorkeling for sure it is beautiful. The Food offered was terrible, everytihng was made out of hotdogs! Not kidding from breakfast to dinner most of the meals consisted of hotdogs. The place is run by kids so be prepared for that. Oh yeah the bartenders are awesome there. They were always having a good time and very good with the patrons.
We paid for a beach front room, which we did not get until the second night and we were told that it’s up to us to get the refund from Cheap Caribbean. The Viva Wyndham Fortuna Resort WOULD NOT NOTIFY Cheap Caribbean that the ungraded room was not unavailable and that we did not get the what we paid for until the second night. The room we were give the first night was in very poor condition. As for the upgrade beach front room, it was much nicer, however, the beds were very uncomfortable; it was difficult to adjust the shower temperature; we had to call every day to get towels and wash cloths delivered and it took 2 days, 4 phone calls and 2 trips to the front desk to get the wash cloths. The first 2 days, we were constantly pressured to attend the 90 minute sales presentation to buy into their timeshare. It was not until we got upset with the lady that was hounding us to go, that she finally left us alone. As for the buffet, you can pretty much count on it being the same for every meal. The pasta was always way undercooked, the meats were very tough and chewy, the soda and water machines did not work well, and the vegetables were either overcooked or tasteless. However, the lady that prepared the omelets every day did awesome job. She only had canned ham, canned or jarred mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, cheese and jalapeños (1 day only) but she did a great job with what she had and she would fry the eggs if asked. The little building on the beach that offered the beverages (alcohol and non-alcohol), burgers and hot dogs, had it's good and bad parts. The drinks and food were great. The staff that prepared the drinks were fun and upbeat but the staff that prepared the burgers were anything but pleasant. I will say that about 50% of the staff was cheerful and greeted you with a smile and asked how you day was but the other half, could care less and DID NOT want to be bothered. We also, paid for 4 excursions but were only able to get to go on 2 of them. The resort put the blame on Cheap Caribbean for offering excursions that were not always available. The first one was the dinner cruise, which we were told that there were not enough people to go. However, we talked to a lot of people that paid or try to set it up to go and were also told they did not have enough people to go. The other excursion was the SeaWorld Explorer, which we were told that they did not know if it would be going out and we would need to check with the desk at 9 a.m. the morning of the trip and the lady at the desk did make several calls to see if was going out but they would not answer the phone. We were told that we would have to contact Cheap Caribbean to get refunds. The resort did not give us anything to be able to show that we did not get to go on excursions. My husband and I spoke with several people who have enjoyed trips through Cheap Caribbean but also said they would never go back to this resort again. As for my husband and I, this was our 40th anniversary and it’s not a memory we can say was a good one!
My wife and I just returned from the Wyndam Fortuna Resort in Freeport, Bahamas. We were there for four nights, five days. We didn't go on any excursions- since we had a short stay. We did use the Kyacks and sailboats, which were fun! The weather was a little cooler than expected, and there weren't too many people in the water, though there were always a few brave soles. The beach and water are beautiful. White, fine sand, well maintianed, the water is a beautiful green, clear, and the vistas are gorgeous. Our room was in the back of he resort, which turned out to be a good thing, since the rooms that are oceanfront are also going to hear music and noise until 2 AM- at least. Our visit straddled two Spring Break groups so we had 2 nights of non SBers and then the last 2 nights we had hundreds of SBers in the resort- which is not all bad. They bring a lot of energy and fun to the resort- but they are loud and the bar lilnes get very long! The food was good to very good. I enjoyed both specialty restaurants, the Italian and the Asian (Bamboo) restaurant. The buffet was always there. The bar tenders were very obliging. They will fill what ever cups you hand them and the drinks I thought were good. The rooms are very basic, but there is a medium flat screen TV, and all of our plumbing worked. Every room in the resort is close to the beach so we ended up likiing our room location. The staff overall was quite good. There were a couple of interactions I observed where the staff seemed less than excited about their work, but I think this was exception- most tried hard to be very obliging. Over all I would reocmmend the resort and would be willing to return. The physical resort is not as beautiful as some I've been to, but then again, it also cost less too. The beach is as good or better than the ones I've seen. I don't think you 'll be dissappointed.
The Viva Wyndham in the Bahamas was our first all-inclusive trip, so I really don't have anything to compare it to. The entire trip was a great success with one major downfall...the music at night. I booked a superior ocean-front room because I wanted to make sure we were beachfront. We received an updated room which was very comfortable and clean. The shower was all tile and the sink sat on top of the counter. The king size bed was very comfortable and there was a full length mirror. The room had a flat screen television, but not many channels. (Who's there to watch it anyway?) Our plane arrived early on Wednesday and we were allowed to keep our luggage in a secluded/secure area. We spent the entire day outside until 3:00 when we went to get our room. We stayed in the Abaco 1 building, which is next to the pool and main bar area. The food selection in the restaurant is great. There were many different choices, and we felt as though we had great service. Everyone was willing to help and they were very friendly. We ate at the Italian restaurant the last night we were there. It was delicious. The beach bar had cheeseburgers, hotdogs, or chicken nuggets with fries all day. We took advantage of many activities. We snorkled twice, played archery, tennis, bocce ball, water polo, used the gym, fooseball, and took sailing lessons on the catamaran. I would suggest water shoes for the ocean...very rocky and a lot of coral. Great snorkeling though!! The market downtown has some good stores, mainly a lot of harrassment from the merchants (as expected in almost any tourist area). Cool marina with huge boats...good photo ops. Okay, now the downfall. EVERY night there is music until 2 a.m. The first night we were exhausted because we had to be at the airport at 6:15 a.m. By the time 9:00 p.m. got there we were ready to go to bed. At 10:00 p.m. the music began. I called around 11:00 p.m. to see when it would stop. They said 2 a.m.! I slept with earplugs and a pillow over my head. The next day I went to guest services and talked to someone there. She said she would ask them to turn it down or try and get us another room. The music was turned down around 11:00 p.m. Fortunately. Our last night there there was a beach party, so I assumed the music would not be as loud. I fell asleep around 9:00 p.m. and was woken up because of the constant techno beating. Finally, around 2:15 a.m. I called and asked when it would be over. She said it should have been already and called security to the beach. The music stopped. We had to be at the airport at 7:30 that morning. Overall, we had a great time on the trip. If we return, I will ask for an upgraded room beachfront AWAY from the pool area.
They have the property rated as a 3 star. It is well below that. It has Viva Whndham on the marquee, but keep in mind that Viva Wyndham just acquired the property, and renovations will not start until September 2010. There is no air conditioning in ANY public area. The restaurant (if that's what you want to call it) is at least 90 degrees where the food is. You will not eat without breaking a sweat. The windows are kept open, without screens in many cases, so there are flies on the food, especially the melons, when available. The food was all very good, and there was a nice variety of options, but restaurant is only open for 3 hours durng breakfast, 2 hours during lunch, and 2 hours during dinner. In between dining times the only choice of food is fried foods on the beach, and the wait time is extensive. Pizza is offered after 10:30 pm and I must say it is some of the best pizza I have ever had.The highlight of our stay. We were unfortunate enough to have it storm our first day there, and activities are so limited that everyone piled into the un-air conditioned recreation room. There was nowhere to sit, and nothing to do. One pool table and two ping pong tables for 100+ people. It was an absolute nightmare! They claim to have wi-fi in the public areas but they use a simple linksys router that they keep in back offices so finding a signal is like participating in a scavenger hunt. It was funny to watch the other guests hold thier phones in the air looking for the right postion. Most of the other guests are Italian, and dont speak english, Their rudeness is only surpassed by 70 percent of the hotel staff. It was like being in New York on a bad day. Very few people smile and say hello. The security on the property was excellent. I never felt uncomfortable, and there was always a uniformed security officer patrolling the property. The dive shop was beyond excellent. I had a wonderful shark dive, and the service and equipment was as good as I have seen at other places, and the cost was unbelievable. The dive shop would be the ONLY reason I would return until renovations are complete. They have a funny policy about towels. Housekeeping gets noticably irritataed if you ask for fresh towels more often than every 3 days. Apparantly they want to save the environment. Whats ironic is that when you want to take a shower you have to run the water for AT LEAST 5 minutes before its warm enough to step in. I cant imagine how many gallons of water are wasted daily. The only other thing that prospective guests should be aware of is that the property is about an 8 minute taxi ride into Port Lucaya, which is a very nice little area with shoppong, bars and restaurants, but the cab ride is 21 dollars for a family of 4. One way. I spent over 200 dollars going into town beacuse of the limited choices and the overall atmosphere of the hotel. Words really cant describe how disappointed I was in my selection of this hotel. I was in tears when I saw it. I have alot of pictures to share with the Viva people and Cheap Cribbean but none on this computer. I wish I did...