Salsa making has never been so much fun!

Posts tagged “Tripadvisor

Get ready Cozumel, because we’re heeeeeere!

 

Wow! I can’t believe it’s taken me THIS long to write to you all about Cozumel!! Things have been a flurry of packing, unpacking, training, uniforms, new people, new friends, great new location, a new dancing chef partner and more!

I want to share all these moments with you all!

Since my departure from Mazatlan, I’ve gone through a whirlwind of changes in my life. From getting  married in Vegas (more on that in a later post!), to packing up all my belongings in Mazatlan, to moving    into a new place in Cozumel, to starting Salsa and Salsa in a brand new location…not bad for 4 weeks ! 

Cozumel is a magical place. I arrived late in the afternoon, after leaving Mazatlan at 5am (yep, that’s a 3am alarm clock!) with a stop-over in Mexico City and then Cancun. We caught a 10 minute taxi ride from the airport to our new home, a one bedroom apartment smack-bang in the centre of town, right on the ocean!

We dropped our bags off and went straight to the restaurant downstairs. Italian Cuisine has always been my favorite, so I was pleased to learn we had a fine-dining Italian place right below us!

Dinner and a bottle of wine…ahhhhh…..Cozumel. 

 

The following day was straight to it, meeting with Cruise people, hotel people and so much more! Our new dancing chef Judy was right there with me, and you’ll all get to meet her soon enough…she’ll also be writing here from time to time 😉

Dancing Chefs Judy and Pamela

Training for the new Salsa Team was to begin the very next day, so I got right into OLE Mode, with Manuals, Questionaires and more. Training was a hoot! I want to share some pics with you from our training sessions.  Our new Salsa Team are a fun, energetic and young team, that have proven to be quick learners and have all the enthusiasm we have looked for in our Dancing Chef culture.

Cozumel Team Training

 

I knew these guys were the “ones” when I rang that little bell for the first time and a roar of “OLE!” came from their smiling faces.

With training complete, we dared to invite hotel guests and friends to a “training show”, so our new team could practise and make perfect. A total success! I’m pleased to share with you the fact that we had nothing but good things said about the training show. Our guests left happy, yelling OLE and smiling and dancing down the stairs.

In the same week, Cozumel was filled with exciting events. Revolution Day (Nov 20th, 2010) surprised us with a glorious parade of young and old alike. We have a cute balcony overlooking the main street in Cozumel, so we happily sat there and watched the kids in their costumes. Here are a few pics of that day. So much color, so much music, and so much happiness – it’s all just so contagious, I love it!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IronMan Cozumel from my balcony

 

Iron Man Cozumel 2010 was also upon us here that week, so again, we spent time on the balcony cheering on men and woman who had already gone for the swim and bike portion of the race. The running was the last leg and their run was on the main street of town. I spent 1 hour on the computer and 1 hour on the balcony yelling words of encouragement “Keep on going!”, “Don’t give up!” and to the ladies “YOU GO GIRL!” (I got a few giggles from a few for that one!).

Thursday was our first official show, and we have seen a total of nearly 60 people in 3 days…not bad for a new tour 😉 We know that in a matter of a few weeks, word will spread and the popularity we are so blessed to have in Mazatlan, will quickly follow us here. We’re humbled by all the comments and words of encouragement we receive from guests and friends alike, thank you all.

This has been a challenge…a life changing, exciting and glorious challenge. But we’ve done it!

We’ll have Lela here too – for the first 3 months in Cozumel, Lela will be collecting donations to help build a Blood Bank here on the Island. There is no Blood Bank and locals are required to catch the ferry to Playa del Carmen, then bus it to Cancun…a trip and expense that most locals are unable to afford. With a Blood Bank here on the island, we can hopefully save some lives and make a difference to those who need a helping hand.

Keep an eye on those Lela pictures and reports…it’s going to be exciting to see what she will accomplish here!

 

Lela Cozumel

Lela Cozumel

Lela Cozumel

Lela Cozumel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, I think you are up to date now with Cozumel. We are waiting on Tripadvisor to list us in Cozumel to start our new challenge…we want to get to #1 in Cozumel too! Hehehe. 169 things to do in Cozumel…we may start at the bottom, but by-golly, we’ll get to the top, just you wait and see 😉

Head Chef Leonique made a cameo appearance this week at the Cozumel show…needless to say, we got a good injection of new energy there! Stay tuned for more fun Cozumel news! 

Head Chef Leonique does the Conga in Cozumel!

Hope you all visit us in Cozumel soon!

xoxo

Pamela


Salsa and Salsa (Mazatlan) has a new home

Who said word of mouth no longer works??!!  Not us!  Thanks to all your rave reviews on TripAdvisor, your photos on Facebook, your comments to your shore excursion representatives and last month’s article on msn.com naming us one of the best shore excursions in the world, we have grown in popularity and have found a newer and bigger location to accommodate the growing numbers!

Royal Villas Resort is now the new home of Salsa and Salsa, with stunning views, an undercover seating area, a large pool with a water slide, direct access to the beach, a games room, a fully stocked bar with some of the best Pina Colada’s in town and only minutes from the main shopping district.
We had our first show there with a record number of guests and the whole thing was just spectacular!

Nearly 150 guests from Carnival Splendor joined us this Thursday, all with the energy and anticipation we needed for our first show in our new home.  What a blast we had!  Free-pouring Margaritas, lots of mushing, plenty of laughter and lots of smiles…couldn’t have asked for a better group of people!  Families, teenagers, couples, birthday girls and boys, and even a group of 21 “singles” joined us today.  We even had a couple who had been married for 34 years (awww).

Here is a panoramic of the seating area just before we got started… a beautiful new setting for our salsa class, with  a
giant stone wall, agave and cactus plants, enormous ceilings with great big pillars and of course, the hustle and bustle of
our new staff, which truly made today possible.

A big thanks to all those involved in making today a great success and we look forward to making Salsa and Salsa’s new home a welcoming venue to all our guests (past, present and future!).  Be sure to see more pictures on our website and Facebook page.

Side Note : We’re totally stoked that we have reached 1,000 views on

our blog!!  Keep coming back and be sure to comment on the posts

you like 🙂


MSN.COM names Salsa and Salsa one of the world’s best tours!

It’s official – msn.com has named Salsa and Salsa one of the world’s top ten shore excursions! In an article that was published today, msn.com (well, Bing.com, an affiliate of msn.com) listed the world’s top 14 shore excursions, and Salsa and Salsa is number 3!

http://www.bing.com/travel/content/search?q=World%27s+Best+Shore+Excursions:+Mazatlan,+Mexico&FORM=RQTRAV
Named one of the best tours in the world

We’ve been pushing for the top ranking on Tripadvisor.com since Nov 2009, and only last week, reached #2, but with today’s announcement, we’re sure to secure our place on top (where we belong hahaha).

We’d like to thank all our guests, past, present and future, for their support and encouragement.  Being voted in the top ten is a humbling experience, but it makes us realize that we are a part of something much  bigger than just having a good time.  From our newsletter to our facebook page, we hear from guests who have salsa parties at home, to guests who never had cooked before the tour and now are enjoying the art of cooking with their partner, their children and other family and friends.

That’s what we aim for at Salsa and Salsa, we want you to leave us with not only the urge to cook when you get back home, but to experiment and try new things in the kitchen.

Well, just wanted to share the fantastic news with you all, keep on sending in your photos and comments – we love receiving them!

Good times!   Pamela


Old Fashioned Skills – who still has them?

We are slowly but surely, venturing into unknown territory when it comes to the world wide web.  Like most people, we too find it hard to keep up with all the new gadgets, social networking sites, uploading, downloading, stats, news, and everything online!

Salsa and Salsa on Facebook

Thankfully, I love it all!  I can’t get enough of Facebook – my personal page allows certain games (Bejeweled, Lexulous, Geo Challenge and a few others) and I dare anyone to try and beat my scores hahaha! Our facebook page for Salsa and Salsa tends to stick to just Salsa and Salsa, with photos, videos (well, one for now, but I encourage you guys to send us your videos of the tour, so we can post and share it with other Facebookers!) as well as lots of fun comments.

Review us on Tripadvisor

Tripadvisor is another forum which grabs a lot of my attention.  As most of you know, we have been trying hard to reach #1 on Tripadvisor and we are just about there…this week we reached #2, we were stuck on #4 for months!!  What a relief to jump from 4 to 3, then 3 to 2.

Now we’re knocking on #1’s door, ready to kick it down and take it off it’s hinges! hahaha.  It’s all about the reviews on that site, so if you haven’t reviewed us, go ahead and take a second to do so, it might just be the review that gets us to #1!

Our blog, of course, is always enjoyable to write and we love reading the comments from our readers.  The blog world is truly new to us both, and I myself (and I’m sure I can speak for Leonique) am amazed at how one person’s thoughts can reach another person who may just be on the other side of the world!  Awesome.

To Twitter or not to Twitter?

We have yet to venture into Twitterland…so many guests on the tour have said “NOOOO! Don’t do it!” – I’d like to hear from you guys – should we Twitter or should we not?!  What’s the biggest difference between Twitter and Facebook – aren’t they the same thing?  My understanding is that Twitter is simply just status updates.  No photos, no videos, no comments, just status reports… so if this is correct, what’s the point?  But I am willing to hear you Twitterers out (ok, I just made that name up, I wonder what the real term is), I am certainly opened to hearing from you and being swayed to the dark side…

How did you hear about us?

Cruise Critic is another forum which we have yet to join, although I know A LOT of cruisers frequent there.  Should we join Cruise Critic too?  How did you hear about us?

Sometimes I feel it’s all too much – all the technology – but truth is, where would we be without it?  I have yet to get an iPhone, although I had my eye on it months before its release, I am fighting the urge to just spring for it – I mean, who doesn’t need a gadget that can identify a song from simply holding the phone up in the air?  Or want to see if your table is wonky, hold the iPhone up and use the Spirit Level app that comes with the phone  (that one made me laugh!)  I was actually out with a friend at a restaurant when she pulled it out, checked the level of the table, and called the waiter over to let him know (I’m not joking, the funniest part of the story is the waiter just looked at her and said “ok, thanks?” hahaha)

With that in mind, I take a step back and think where would we be without all this technology?

Skype Me!

Skype helps me communicate with friends and family overseas, for free (if you haven’t heard of Skype, check it out – show your phone company that you have had enough of their ridiculous prices! and add the words “Skype Me” to your web talk repertoire).  I have to really rack my brain to think of items I can do without these days… I can certainly do without a car.  Even living in Mexico, I can find my way around easily, cheaply and without the added cost of gas, insurance, license costs, highway tolls and all the other costs that are inflicted on drivers.  I have been here for six years and have had no need (or desire) to buy a car.  On top of that, I feel very proud of the fact that I am doing my part in not contributing to the world’s pollution problem.

Computer – gotta have it.  No question about it – I could go without all the other things, but gotta have my laptop!

What can you go without?  More importantly, what can’t you go without?  Most of you will realize that it is hard to come up with the go without list…but try, it’s a good test on coming to terms with the fact that most of us surround ourselves with things we don’t really need.  We are all very lucky to live in a world that allows us to buy buy buy, all in the name of keeping up with technology.  I mean, I’ve fallen a victim to it – but I try hard to make up for it by giving back to the environment, spending time in nature (in other words, stepping away from the computer and getting outside!) and occasionally reverting back to the old fashioned ways, like riding a bike, drawing a picture (rather than taking a picture), whipping cream or eggs with a whisk (lol) and using a molcajete instead of a hand blender (double lol).

Food for thought…what old fashioned skills do you posses?

Till next time,

Pamela