When we arrived we were told that, in the early morning it was common to see some dolphins near the hotel.
Jet-lag made me awake around 4AM in the first days, and I took advantage of it to go and see the sunrise, waiting for the dolphins. They never showed up. And the only consolation I had was being the first to dive in the pool, on a marvelous 6AM swim.
This happens quite often in all-inclusives in the Caribbean, it just happened to me at a 5 star (so they call it), hotel in Cancun, Gran Caribe Real resort, was the best except for the checkin. I had requested a floor higher than the first for the simple reason that I had two babies and I didn't want bugs in my room, after all, it is a tropical place and the first floor is usually a no-no. When the front desk person saw my request, he took it as an opportunity to try to make me pay $500 for an upgrade, so here is what he did.. even though I had called in the day before and someone else at the front desk confirmed my room was reserved and on the second floor, he found another room for us on the first floor that had no view, was moldy and dirty, hoping that we would pay an upgrade, OR, because it was a room with 2 beds instead of one that we requested, he hoped it was too much trouble for us to move the next day when he claimed our room was ready, so we'd stay there and upgrade. Guess what? The first room was not cleaned. We found close tags and half opened bottle of beer in the room.. when we went back to the front desk, a lady claimed there was room on the 2nd floor! The other guy was busy with another couple but when he saw us he ran over and shouted at the girl, in Spanish, "Don't tell them that I just told them there isn't any and I want to make my business!" Well, well, bad move, I speak Spanish! Then I requested to speak to a manager and guess what? He called in his friend also at front desk and he pretended to be his supervisor! They gave us another room on the first floor, and the next day my son had spots all over his left arm, neck and face. We found bugs in the bed and my son is only two, he takes up half of the bed. At the bottom of the bed, we noticed big stains of blood.. that bed was used and never changed sheets! We found the bugs and put them in a bag, and it was a bed bug in the end. The maid was very professional and they helped us move and provided great service on the second floor.
I don't know what to recommend for this trap, just beware and try to show that you are knowledgeable. When your checkin takes too long, they are looking to do this. Find out the name of the manager, THEIR manager ahead of time and escalate quickly!
Unique Suggestions: Call the resort ahead and request the name of the supervisor and either email him/her or talk to him/her, make them aware that YOU are aware of this trap and what to do if you encounter it. Sometimes managers aren't present when you check in til the next day, so, that's when they get you. When you learn the name of the front desk supervisor, you can always tell them and they will feel intimidated. If all else fails, tell them you will go to the media, or contact the resort higher management headquarters.
Fun Alternatives: Sometimes if it's not an all inclusive you may get better service since they don't have your money just yet, but this wasn't an option for us.
You will notice that every gas station in Cancun and it's surroundings don't take credit cards, they take only cash. Of course, you need gas, so you can pull in and I will tell you what happened to us, beware of the price they charge you. First, ask how much is it per liter or gallon, but I think it was in liters. Then do your math, you know if you have a car, it can't be more than about 50 liters.
Unique Suggestions: Here is what you should do when you pull up at a gas station.. first, you will see many young gas attendants coming at your car fighting for your service. Then they will put gas in your car, of course, no credit cards are accepted, I tried a few. Before they put gas, ask them to SHOW you the price per liter... ON THE GAS PUMP.. then you will see something funny... they have this black plastic cover, like a small blind that goes down as if to protect it from the rain.. but really, there are two lines on the gas pump.. the line above which they cover is the total price you should pay and the line they keep visible to you is the PRICE per liter.. so here is the deal.. they will charge you the price per liter which is more.. so what we did is walk up to the pump and lift the black cover.. when I showed the guy he was trying to screw us $10US dollars, it cost us about 45 US and he said it was 55.. so we gave him 60, but by the time he was gone is when I went and lifted the cover.. I showed him and he laughed and said he was so sorry like he didn't know! Then I showed him 55$ and instead of giving me back 15$ from the 60, he tried again to confuse me and give me back 5$ US.. this guy wasn't young either, he was about late thirties to mid forties. So beware. If I go back, which I am soon, I will get out of the car and lift the cover before he starts to pump. I filled my car near the La Isla gas station. Since you know now, I'd go there.. other gas stations may have other scams as well!
Fun Alternatives: You can always take the bus in Cancun if you are on the strip only, you don't need a car, the bus is under a dollar and passes every 5 minutes, completely safe, does the trip from one end of the strip to the real local downtown Cancun.. also, if you want to go to Tulum or Playa Del Carmen or Puerto Morelos, the bus is quite good and cheap, under 5$ US and air conditioned to those places.
From the first few minutes we landed in Cancun everyone was talking to us in Spanish.
Maybe locals thought we`re Mexicans, I was flattered,who wouldn`t wanna look like a latina ;-)
I had to swear to God that I didn`t understand anything they are saying!
Unique Suggestions: I started replaying in Arabic!!!!hehehe,,now they`re convinced :-P:-P
Downtown Cancun was perhaps the most lacklustre, dreary place I saw on my entire holiday. There was a couple of markets (more on those shortly), some mega supermarkets, lots of lost looking tourists and a whole lot of massive swathes of highway cutting through otherwise desolate surrounds.
The markets were dour. Row after row of stands selling horrible, horrible souvenirs. Every second stall owner offered us drugs. Lots of the tourist agencies labeled these markets as 'authentic Mexican shopping experience', however they were clearly just a massive tourist trap. The vendors have little interest in bargaining, and all they sell is row after row of tacky Cancun fridge magnets or tacky joke aprons.
Unique Suggestions: Poke around, but don't feel obliged to buy. The vendors can often be a bit pushy but if that's the case, don't feel as though you can't just walk away.
Fun Alternatives: If it's decent market shopping you're after, or just want some fun souvenirs, take the bus to Merida about three or four hours up the road.
Alternatively, we found a couple of bargain souvenir shops in the larger malls on the hotel strip that offered fair prices and had some more interesting items for sale. They didn't look very permanent, but keep your eyes open for them. We haggled for some good prices on interesting little bits and pieces in these places and got reasonable prices.
At the Isla Mujer shopping mall we encountered a really nice guy giving out information on a new hotel. He mentioned that he could get anything you might want or need be aware they get a commision on every service they sell on behalf of hotels, car rental agencies, tours, ect.
Unique Suggestions: Go to a reputable agency for tours, car rental ect.
You will not be experiencing a "typical" Mexican bull fight here but it IS a real bull fight and the bull does die so be aware. Bull fights have the crowd very interactive but when this bull began to bleed there was silence and even a few (very rude) boos.
Unique Suggestions: Get into it and cheer the Matador. Our crowd seemed shocked at the first sight of blood and appauled that they would kill the bull. It is their tradition not ours so go with an open mind or don't go at all.
i visited in around 2000. i don't know if they still do it but we had loads of little kids running up to us and trying to tie bracelets round our wrists, once they're on the expect money for them. best advice is to keep your eyes open and if nessicary walk around with your hands on the air!!
The first time i made a long flight i really liked the monitors in the plane. Not only for the movies they played but also the times that the flight is lasting. But when you go a second time....
Unique Suggestions: you know whats on those monitors...and there is one bad thing about it....they show you the time that it still needs to arrive at your final destination.
Even worse is it when you have a stop in the middle of you flight. On the first half is this time not included in the arrivaltime. So when you get borred on the flight and you have a look at the monitor and see you have an other 8 hours to go...you better take a sleeping pil !
Fun Alternatives: Take with you a good book, a gameboy or a laptop. Have a nice conversation with somebody you dont know or... like i said....take a nap.
Another apparent trap which we were warned about and therefore did not participate in: the booze cruise. A friend told us that it's expensive, the lines for booze are incredibly long, and you're stuck on the vessel for the 3 hours or so I floats about.
Fun Alternatives: Much better to go to one of the touristy bars or downtown.
When you see the dancers and local bands they will always pass a hat for you to put money on. They were a bit pushy with this and I did not like what they said when I did not put any money in the hat. (I had no money with me).
Unique Suggestions: Take a few coins with you if you want.
There are lots of companies selling tours and excursions in Cancun but the best person to approach to book yours, is your holiday rep. They will ensure that you're not ripped off and more importantly - they'll make sure booking with them is safe and legal.
If you do use a local tour company, make sure it's reputable and there are no 'hidden costs' involved for your trip that they don't tell you about.
Also, at certain bars and clubs, you will be easily persuaded to pay a fixed price in advance for 'unlimited drinks'. Whilst this may seem the cheaper option, you will find that this unlimited option 'is' limited to certain drinks and cocktails only.
This trip to Cancun found the city overrun with high-school students attending their Sr. Class trips. Imagine thousands of teenagers; no chaperones, no drinking age, with raging hormones. Drunken brawls, sick kids, and poor judgement ruled the day. Not my idea of a great vacation destination! My advice is to avoid this area from mid-May through mid-June.
I don't want to rain on anybody's parade, but Cancun itself is a tourist trap, and the bars and clubs are definitely so. Places like Senor Frogs and La Boom are packed to the gills with plastered American college students. Now, I'm no stranger to being a plastered American college student, but when I'm abroad, I like to feel like I've left America behind. You don't get that feeling in Cancun. I will say this, though. They make a MEAN jello shot.
Our travel agent told described the accomdations here as luxury but they were a bit less impressive...more
I believe that most everyone that posted positivie comments either on this site or Trip Advisor had...more
The hotel is great and everything went fine on my stay. The staff is friendly, the rooms are...more