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Hotel Cascada Waterpark and Living Social Review Part 2

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We had an interesting experience with Hotel Cascada in Albuquerque, New Mexico and with the deal site Living Social. I will be doing this review in 2 parts so it’s not as long. This portion covers our experience with Living Social and Part 2 covers our experience with Hotel Cascada. You can find Part 2 about our problematic Living Social experience here: Hotel Cascada Waterpark and Living Social Review Part 1.

That Thursday we had set up to go to the Waterpark. Their hours for that day were from 4pm-9pm. We arrived before 4pm and could not figure out where to park. Their signs for the Waterpark were pointing to an area where people staying in the hotel park, and their was no entrance for the Waterpark on that side. We ended up driving around until I finally went back out front and parked in their front lot. We didn’t know how to get to the Waterpark so when I called I was told just to go in the front of the hotel and ask for help. The woman at the front desk, blonde with a slightly foreign accent, told us to go straight, turn, go to the second floor, and go across the walkway. She was not very friendly or helpful. We missed where we were supposed to turn, went back, and did end up finding it. There are no signs posted as to where you go to pay for passes or pick things up. We ended up going downstairs and asking at the lifeguard station, only to be told to go back upstairs to the snack bar to pay. I think that should have been clearly displayed on a sign.

We had to wait in a long line, and when we finally got our turn, the girl said there were no passes for us! They said they would try to track down Patrick and in the mean time we got to stand around even more. I finally got tired of waiting and called the front desk. Luck would have it that I got the SAME unpleasant front desk woman who talked to me like I was an idiot. While trying to explain to her who I was trying to locate and why, a man walking by turned around and said he was the one who was going to help us. I hung up on our front desk friend, and he told me that Patrick had told him to arrange the passes and he forgot. He got our passes for us without us having to stand in line again thankfully! He also gave us a few locker tokens as well, which was very nice since we didn’t ask for him to do so. He gave us a small tour since I told him we had never been before, and showed us where things were. He wasn’t my idea of super outgoing but he was nice enough and accommodating.

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The Waterpark is all indoors except for half of the hot tub which is indoors and outdoors. The activities are limited to a few things: a kiddie area with playground type of equipment and two slides,  a pool type area with two basketball hoops and a climbing area, a large lazy river, a hot tub, and two tall water slides. This may seem like a lot until you’re there for more than an hour and have already done everything. For me, it didn’t offer a lot but my daughter really loved it and had a great time! Kids seem to be entertained with a lot less than us adults which is really nice sometimes.

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They provide life jackets for kids who can’t swim which was a great thing to offer. When I had called I was told not to bring anything, that they provide everything. However, we saw many people who had brought their own floaties and inner tubes. The life jackets were too big for my daughter and floated up under her chin rubbing it raw even when we changed to a smaller size. Their inner tubes are HUGE and fit an adult well, but small kids not so much. If we ever go back, we will be taking her floaties and small inner tube.

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They have two types of water slides: one you go down on your own and one you go down in an inner tube. Since my daughter is so small I wanted us to go down together in the double inner tube with two tubes attached. We got to do that only once because they only had two of the double tubes available. I think they need to have a lot more of them for guests because the place was full of people and I’m sure many wanted to ride together. We had to go down the rest of the times in separate tubes, but my kiddo still enjoyed it. The water slides go through the outside of the building and then shoot you back into a pool inside of the building that is connected to the lazy river. When you go through the parts outside the tubes are super hot and humid! We skipped the slide you go down without a tube because my daughter couldn’t take a life jacket and she can’t swim well enough to be without one.

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The lazy river was my daughter’s favorite part. We went through many, many times, so many that I lost count! She even made a couple friends there and had fun going through with them over and over. We went through so many times that we knew exactly how to go through without getting as soaked! They have areas with water spraying at you from different directions, areas where water drops on you like rain and feels a bit like hail when it hits you, areas where water dumps on you from the top, and areas where you get pushed through the water by what feels like small waves. I recommend going through with an inner tube to make it easier to navigate and easier to hide from falling and spraying water.

The hot tub was nice for me during the times I got cold. I’d sit in the 2 foot deep kiddie pool/play area while my daughter played for a while, and then we’d make a stop at the hot tub to warm me up. It’s nice that it has an opening to go outside so you can sit in the hot water and feel the sun on your skin. My daughter got a mouthful of their water several times in several areas, which is not surprising. but she said it tasted a lot better than the pool water at our complex, so that’s a plus! The climbing area connected to the basketball hoops consisted of large foam shapes that my daughter said looked like jewels, and a net above. The foam jewels are connected to the bottom of the pool by a rope so it’s hard to keep your balance on them even holding onto the net. It was fun for her to try to go across without falling off and she did it quite a few times!

They closed the water slides down about 8:30-8:40. They closed the whole Waterpark down at 8:50. If the hours say till 9pm, they shouldn’t close anything until then. They do provide towels there as well which is handy so you don’t have to lug around your own. They don’t allow outside food or drinks though, which is a hassle, but we took a water bottle with us anyway. Mostly we had a good time and enjoyed it. There were a few problems and things I felt they could have done better, and I did get tired with the limited activities there, but for my little girl it was an awesome time – and in the end that’s what really matters! She told me she had a fantastic time and she didn’t want to leave. She loved being there and only left the play area once in the 4/12 hours of playing… but only to go to the bathroom!. I am disappointed they wouldn’t work with our vouchers and that we had to endure weeks of hassle just to get to go, but it was a fun night for her and that was my goal!

If you are staying in Albuquerque, New Mexico (and I’m not sure why you would want to…) this would be a fun place to stay so the kids can get a Waterpark trip in as well. I don’t know their hotel prices as we were just there for the Waterpark, but you can check them out and see if it’s worth it. Do beware of possible lacking customer service though! If you do have problems with them make sure you contact someone in charge and skip the non-in charge staff.

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Hotel Cascada Waterpark and Living Social Review Part 1

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We had an interesting experience with Hotel Cascada in Albuquerque, New Mexico and with the deal site Living Social. I will be doing this review in 2 parts so it’s not as long. This portion covers our experience with Living Social and Part 2 covers our experience with Hotel Cascada. You can find Part 2 here: Hotel Cascada and Living Social Review Part 2.

We love using Groupon to find great deals on local events, activities, restaurants, and on goods! I have had mostly good experiences with them so I figured I’d give the site Living Social a try since they seemed to have different deals. I happened to see a deal for the Hotel Cascada Waterpark listed a while back. I purchased 2 tickets – one for myself and one for my little girl. With Groupon we always get reminders when our deals are getting close to expiring so I expected the same with Living Social. I came to find out that they do not send reminders, or if they do I didn’t get mine for the Waterpark deal.

By chance I went on to Living Social to look for something and realized our Waterpark vouchers were expiring that same week. I had been working A LOT and rarely had a day off, but I did have a Wednesday off that week. I checked the Hotel Cascada Waterpark website only to find that they are open really random times and days. And of course, they were not open on Wednesdays. That was the last day we could use our vouchers. I called and spoke to a customer service woman and explained the situation. I asked if we could come in on Thursday, just one day after they expired, and use them. I was told no, and that we would have to pay full price. Now with other companies, they will often accept your voucher if it has just expired recently. The reason is because they are awesome companies who really care about the customers and want them to enjoy their experience. Hotel Cascada seemed to only care about the money.

I called back and ask to speak to someone in charge. I was transferred to his line and got his voicemail. I left a message that was never returned… His name is Josh. I then went on their Facebook page and left a review in a post. I received a reply comment from them asking me to message them. I did that the Friday of that week. I didn’t hear back from them for days until I left another comment stating that I hadn’t gotten a reply. I was told they were “trying to figure it out with their staff” and that they would get back to me. They never did… I called back again and finally got someone who seemed to care named Patrick. He told me my vouchers could not be used but he would let us come in free. We set up a day, he apologized repeatedly, and he told me our passes would be available when we went in. I thought things would go more smoothly now! Wrong.

I called Living Social to ask for a refund. I paid my hard earned money for the vouchers and if I couldn’t use them I wanted a refund. The first woman I talked to was awful. She kept telling me there was nothing she could do. She called and talked to Patrick who repeated what he and I discussed, and she told me that because he and I worked something out that I didn’t need a refund. Really?! After all I went through with them and the fact that Living Social failed to notify me of the vouchers coming close to expiring were good enough reasons for me. These sites give “Satisfaction Guarantees” and yet she didn’t want to honor that. At one point she put me on hold and then hung up on me! I called back again and got a much nicer woman, who told me money back to my card was impossible, but getting Deal Bucks (like credit to use on future deals) was possible. I was put on hold while she got approval, and then she took care of it. I was refunded the full amount in Deal Bucks which wasn’t my first choice, but it was still a better resolution than getting nothing!

I now have $25 in Living Social Deal Bucks to use in the next year. The experience definitely left a bitter taste in my mouth about this company. I plan to use their site only if I can’t find the deal somewhere else and it’s an EXTREMELY good bargain. Once my $25 is spent, I am unsure if we will continue using them. They do have benefits, such as knocking a couple bucks off of deals randomly. But the customer service I experienced and the hassle they put me through was a big turn off. If they start to get their act together and treat customers better, maybe I’ll see them in a better light.

Don’t forget to read the second part of this review on the Hotel Cascada Waterpark!

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Rio Kids Movie $2.99 + Free Shipping On Amazon Today!

Today on Amazon you can get Rio the kids movie for only $2.99 plus free shipping! The prices on Amazon can change so get it fast! 🙂

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Free and Cheap Kindle Books Facebook Page

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If you are anything like me, you enjoy free and cheap things. I love saving money and knowing I am getting a killer deal. I own a Kindle Keyboard e-reader that I love – you can see it in the picture above. It holds 3,500 books which I think is fabulous. I have almost 400 right now and almost all of them were free! I enjoy this version of the Kindle because the screen looks like a book. It doesn’t have any glare like a tablet and it isn’t as bad on the eyes. It looks just like a page in a book. I like that. I don’t want to lose the book feel when I read. It’s lightweight, I can take it anywhere easily, the battery lasts a long time, and I can even add some games to it.

If I owned every book I want in print I would have to live in HUGE home filled only with books. I really like books. More and more I am interested in books, while less and less I am interested in TV and movies. I find myself not even wanting to turn on the TV even when I know a show I enjoy is on. Unless it’s PBS and the program is something interesting, educational and exciting – I leave the TV off. I’m even skipping on the detective shows I’ve enjoyed so much. There is only one show I am watching weekly right now. When the fall seasons start up we’ll see if I even watch any.

Because I am reading so much, and my 7 year old is reading so much, I’m always on the lookout for free Kindle books. There used to be a great Facebook page that listed 20 or more free books a day, but they stopped posting. I only have one website left that actually shares free Kindle books, but it’s around 10 a day or less, and it’s not even every day. I started looking for free books and found hundreds of them! I posted some on the local deal group page I’m on and the local homeschool group page I run, but it got to be too many books to post there. I didn’t want to fill the feed with just free Kindle books.

Then I got the idea to create Free and Cheap Kindle Books, which is a page just for posting free and cheap Kindle books. This way I have one place to post them that is focused ONLY on that. If the feed is full of free books – great! That’s how it should be. I posted around 50 books alone tonight and I had tons more that I will put up tomorrow. It’s been great to share all these free books with folks who are interested! The best part about finding great deals is sharing them with others.

I’m always finding great free books in lots of different genres. I’m hoping to post a variety each day or every other day. I am a busy woman after, and I do have a lot in my schedule. Surprisingly it’s actually a good way for me to unwind. After my long day came to an end I started searching for free books and created the group. I got to do some research, share my great finds, and find a solution as to where to list them all. I’m feeling pretty productive! 🙂

If you enjoy free and cheap Kindle books, definitely check it out! I’m trying to keep all the books under $5.00 but so far most that I’m posting are free or under $1. The Kindle App is free to download to your smartphone, tablet or computer so you can read Kindle books even if you don’t have a Kindle. So download it today and start adding your free Kindle books!

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Free Kindle eBooks!

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Lately I have been super busy and my free time has been spent catching up on sleep, running errands and doing some reading. For this reason I haven’t been posting as often. I’m hoping I can grab some time to post more frequently soon! In the mean time here is a post with a bunch of free Kindle eBooks. 🙂 You can download the Kindle app to your phone or tablet as well as on your computer in case you don’t have a Kindle eReader. It is a free download. I haven’t read or previewed most of these books so I do not know the content other than what is posted on the description.

KINDLE PRICES CHANGE DAILY SO MAKE SURE TO GET THESE RIGHT AWAY BEFORE THE PRICES GO UP!

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