Apr 21, 2011

Cancun – Part 1: Our Arrival and the Resort

We arrived in Cancun around 11:30 AM CT, Monday, April 4. Once our luggage arrived we breezed through customs and headed for our transportation to Excellence Playa Mujeres. Not knowing exactly which vanline we were going through, one of the greeters helped us identify the vanline that worked for Expedia. Of course, he was also there to try and get us to visit another, timeshare-associated resort by enticing us with low prices on excursions during our visit.

It worked. What we paid for the four of us to go to the Mayan temple Chichen Itza and to go swimming with Dolphins, ended up being the cost it normally would have been for just two of us to go to Chichen Itza. All we had to do was spend the next morning doing the timeshare tour and listening to the presentation.

At the vanline check-in we ran into a little problem, as they didn’t have record of our reservation, and none of us had thought to print our itineraries with the reservation on them. I’d done this for my dad so he would know what time to pick us up – why hadn’t I done this for us? It didn’t matter too much. For a small fee we were able to get a private van and to the Resort. We’d just need to call Expedia to get a refund from them.

Upon our arrival we were greeted with glasses of chilled champagne and cool wash clothes scented with Plumeria. After a quick check-in process we headed for a restaurant to get some grub while we waited for our rooms to be ready. Apparently, we wandered too far away for the pager to go off. After 1 ½ hours we went back to check on our room availability only to find out they were ready. No harm though, we had nothing to do but relax. After a nice bell-hop showed us to our rooms, we quickly unpacked and changed so that we could be back poolside enjoying various tropical beverages.

The resort was amazing and breath-taking. Not too big, and not too crowded except when you were around the swim-up bar. It’s an All-Inclusive resort so there was no need to carry our wallets and everything we needed was provided pretty much at our command. The staff was very friendly and seemed happy to be working there. The restaurants offered several dining options every evening and all the places we ate were delicious. There were so many to choose from that we weren’t able to get to all of them. Cameron and I also took advantage of the 24-hour room service, waking up to breakfast in bed a couple of mornings and enjoying chili nachos before bed a couple of nights. We also always found a decent movie to watch on TV before bed.

The rooms were quite luxurious. Each had a wrap-around couch and flat-screen TV, Jacuzzi tub by the windows, balcony with a double person lounge chair and a four-posted bed. Even the shower was elegant with its two shower heads, including one of those rain shower heads. Our only gripe had to do with the toilet, and its door. The door was glass and while it did have a treatment on it so you couldn’t completely see someone in there, you still could see them enough. Not to mention, you could hear every thing going on in there and there was no fan. Other than that, we were in paradise.

The next day we headed for the time-share resort. What we were told was a 25 minute cab ride, turned into an hour. That’s when we quickly learned, Mexicans have a weird sense of time and time perception. Oh well, we were a little late, but still able to do the tour and listen to the spiel so we could get our excursions. The resort was lovely, albeit too big and busy for our tastes, not to mention, all-inclusive in a location like this is more enticing to us. But they gave a good fight and really had us considering buying in, except that we all knew we wouldn’t use it much in the next five years. Vacations like this don’t come often for us, given Cameron’s limited time off, plus with London and hopefully another kid or two in our future, we’ll be a bit limited on what we can do for a while. It’s the same story with Moe and Nicole. But we got our excursions scheduled and made the long trek back to the hotel. After a nice lunch, we were back beside the pool, enjoying more exotic beverages like the electric lemonade.

For dinner that night, we tried the Grill, where I had a delicious, perfectly cooked Filet Mignon. The Resort offered music and a themed show as entertainment each evening. This evening was the Magic show. At one point the magician asked for volunteers and Cameron somehow got me volunteered. It ended up being for a card trick, which I figured out in the middle of it. The other girl on stage with me was so flustered though that she was the best distraction for the audience and the magician pulled it off well for them. Then it was off for a good night’s sleep before our excursion to Chichen Itza the next morning.

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