Thoughts from a first visit

Discussion in 'Cancun Info' started by nchikk, Sep 26, 2014.

  1. nchikk

    nchikk Enthusiast Registered Member

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    Moderators, please feel free to move this if I have posted in the wrong place.

    We got back a few days ago from our first trip to Cancun. Previously we’ve done cruises or domestic beach trips. I’d like to share some of my thoughts and observations. Oh, the opinions below are mine…yours may vary…and that’s fine. Sorry but this turned out just a little longer than I anticipated. Thank you and drive around.


    FLIGHT

    We had AA round-trip, and barring an almost 2-hour delay in MIA on the way down, the flights were fine, exactly what we’d expect from the greedy, money-making, bastard airlines. Flying used to be fun, but that was a long time ago. Employees at MIA I found to be quite rude.


    HOTEL

    We stayed at the Riu Caribe. We found the hotel and the grounds quite nice, and especially liked the 90-minute block of free wi-fi they offered daily. The room was on the west side (closest to the giant flag) and we had a view of the sea and the little beach belonging to the houses next door. The room was cleaned daily to our satisfaction…no negatives. We especially liked the shower…room enough to frolic and good pressure from the shower head.


    FOOD & DRINK

    I knew going in most of our meals would be at the buffet. And I knew to not expect the world from it. Good thing, too, because we did not get it. The food at the buffet was “meh” at best. There were a few items that were good, but too few. The selection never changed from day to day and really, it was only mediocre. We ate at the Asian specialty restaurant and the Steakhouse on two of the nights. I know, I know…one should not go to Mexico and expect great Asian cuisine, but sadly I have had better from the food court at my local mall. The Steakhouse was a little better, but still nothing to write home about.

    There was one day that I had a small lunch from the pool-side restaurant. I had part of a cheeseburger, fries and pasta salad. The fries were okay. The pasta salad was not very tasty…I ate only two bites. The burger (or something I put on it) was far worse. A good case of you-know-who’s revenge put me down for the next 24 hours. I spoke to a F&B manager and was told there couldn’t have been anything wrong with the food since I was the only one they knew of who got sick. Right.

    The drinks at the hotel bars were so weak that there was no chance of any kind of buzz. I was disappointed, but maybe not surprised There were bottles in the room to subsidize, though.

    The best meal we had was our last night there, at Bubba Gump’s. I know it’s a chain, but we don’t have one locally and we’ve never been to one anywhere else. Next was a beach-side restaurant in downtown Isla Mujeres before catching the ferry back…a few Sols and a plate of the best nachos either of us has ever had.

    Starbucks was Starbucks, but they had free wi-fi so we could connect to FB and email, so we went in and had something whenever we saw one…we’re not freeloaders.


    RANDOM (kinda) THOUGHTS

    I must say regarding the Cancun airport, I was quite impressed with the facilities. I’m sure I was being unfair when, going in, I expected something not as modern. I was wrong. We enjoyed a beer and a nice snack at Margaritaville before the flight back. But why can’t they post your departure gate more than a few minutes before flight time? We figured it was so you’d keep wandering around spending money.

    Wal-Mart was “interesting”, but a worthwhile trip…got most of our souvenirs there.

    Buses…for the most part, great! We quickly got the hang of it. The first one, though, the one we took to Wal-Mart, was definitely an E-ticket ride. At one point I swear the driver had the bus on two wheels.

    Timeshare people. I don’t like them. For the most part they’d leave us alone once we said “no gracias” but a few would not. The ones at the airport are horrible. One guy near Wal-Mart wouldn’t take no for an answer and about followed us onto the bus!

    The $19/pp to IM and $50 for the golf cart on IM…best money we spent on this trip! We drove from downtown to the south, all the way down, and then back up the other side, stopping wherever we felt like. Attention IM authorities…maybe put speed bump warning signs a bit BEFORE them and not right AT them? But we picked up on that soon enough.

    Mayan Museum was nice, but it would have been nice to have more signage or maybe even guides/employees who spoke English. We may have gotten more out of it. But it still was nice.

    It was hot and humid all week. Sticky hot and humid. I did not see raindrop #1 the whole time.

    We never made it to Tulum or CI. We knew that would involve a whole day out and we just weren’t up for that.

    I had thought we should change currency at some point so we’d have pesos on hand…as it turned out, there was no need. The US$ was widely accepted (at maybe not the best rate). Attention businesses in Cancun…I wish you’d accept Discover and AmEx more widely. Thankfully I had my Visa with me.
     
  2. Steve

    Steve Administrator Owner

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    Thanks for the report, glad that overall it seems like you had a good time!
     
  3. gooftroop650

    gooftroop650 Regular Registered Member

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    Food at buffets are designed to feed multiple people as a whole group,not really on a "per table"..there for,it's not as fresh as a order at table meal....I know what your saying with food not being as fresh as possible at buffets....
     
  4. MinnesotaWoman

    MinnesotaWoman Enthusiast Registered Member

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    Interesting to read your thoughts of your first Mexican trip, and first all inclusive. Would you go back to the area, and an all inclusive?

    I'm thinking that either you may not be all inclusive kinds of people OR you need a more upscale AI.

    For us, we don't go to Mexico for fine dining. We know pretty much what we are going to get at a mid range or lower AI for food --- and like you said, it's similar or worse than mall food court food, LOL. But when you're eating at the mall, you really aren't there to eat, no? You put food in because you are hungry, and you continue to shop. Now at a more upscale resort, you will get much better food -- SOME of it will be very good, but most of it will be ok to good --- better than the cheaper places, but again --- don't look for a lot of fine dining. You're supposed to be drinking heavily, LOL, and not really caring. (That's what an AI is for, in my opinion) Be like my friend, who pronounced the buffet pizza as "the best pizza she ever had" LOL. We have not stopped teasing her about that since. It is in no way true (how sad if it was) she's well traveled, and has been to NYC and many other places with much better pizza -- but she was well lit that night, and we were obviously having a good time. : )
    Anyway -- as far as the drinks -- I can understand why you might criticize the mix, or the booze quality, or just the way the drink is made --- but I can never understand this "watered down" opinion that we see about AI's, far too often. Not enough booze in it for you? Slide it back over to the bartender, and ask for more! They will be more than happy to do it, and they'll remember that you like them strong, the next time they see you. (especially if you tip, lol) Thing is -- they are always going to start out on the weak side, because they don't want to knock Aunt Martha, who hasn't had more than one or two drinks since the '80's, flat on her @zz! And other people, who can't hold their liquor - there are SEVERAL good reasons for this! As it is, there will still be plenty of people (me, on occassion) being "over served" on those "weak" drinks, LOL.
    I'm not disputing your thoughts at all -- I'm just trying to make a better trip for you in the future. I really recommend that either you try a place like VIM or Live Aqua -- OR -- stay right IN Playa del Carmen, or on Isla Mujeres, and don't go AI.
    See, my DH and I are total AI (and mid range at that) kind of people. I make no apologies for that. ; )
    Happy Travels!