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Negril vs. Riviera Maya

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Scranton...
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Negril vs. Riviera Maya

I asked this in the Riviera forum, but maybe I will get different opinions here.

I was all set on Negril until I talked to my travel agent. She wants me to also consider Riviera Maya. Pros/cons of each?

The trip is for my husband's 40th b-day. We won't really need to go off the resort since we will stay in an all-inclusive. It's a trip to relax and unwind with good food and drink!! Any help would be appreciated!

Scranton...
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41. Re: Negril vs. Riviera Maya

NorwegianMama,

My travel date will be the first week in December 12/1. I certainly don't want 70 degree weather. I want 80+ with lots of sunshine!

Does Negril tend to be warmer? We were in Punta Cana last November, and it was perfect! 80-85 everyday. It got real hot, but we just jumped in the pool or ocean when it got too warm!

Illinois
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42. Re: Negril vs. Riviera Maya

Average temp for Playa del carmen is 75 degrees in December, and 6 hours of sunshine ( average temps at night are in the 60's) . Average temp for Negril is 84 degrees with average of 8 hour of sunshine ( with nighttime averages in the mid 70's).

When we visited Playa Del carmen in beginning of January one year it was low 70's and upper 60's during the day , too cool for me ( yes warmer then home, but still not great for wearing a swimming suite imo) . Negril has excellent weather year round , averages in the 80's and 90's.

In December, weather much better in Jamaica, especially Negril.

For me, November, December and January is not the time of year to visit Riviera Maya.

Athens, Greece
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43. Re: Negril vs. Riviera Maya

I have been to Playa del Carmen in December......never again, we got there it was warm and bikini weather, 2 days later a front came through and I needed at sweatshirt, bikinis stayed dry, lol. We do Mexico in June and Jamaica/Punta Cana in December.

Northwestern Ontario
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44. Re: Negril vs. Riviera Maya

January in Playa Mujeres were wearing our bathrobes (and I had a towel wrapped around my legs) to sit by the pool it was so cold - and we are not cold wimps. It was windy and unpleasant for five days. January in Negril was perfection.

Edited: 21 January 2013, 21:07
Virginia
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45. Re: Negril vs. Riviera Maya

December in Cancun is not nearly as consistently warm as Jamaica. We spent a VERY chilly week at Club Med Cancun years ago before we started vacationing in Jamaica.

Atlanta, Georgia
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46. Re: Negril vs. Riviera Maya

Agree about Cancun in winter. Unless the pools are heated, you may be in for a shock!!!

America, The...
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47. Re: Negril vs. Riviera Maya

Caylismom,

We were in PDC in Dec and Just returned from Negril this evening. A few thoughts for you. We greatly preferred our trip to CSA over our trip to El Dorado Maroma. As for the Excellence properties in RM, neither is on a great beach, and EPM's beach is terrible. We also thought the food there was awful. It was great at CSA.

PDC was in the low 70's for our trip with evenings in the high 50's. It was terribly windy. Better than home but far from ideal. Negril was in the 80's during the day and 70's in the evening.

I disagree about experienced travelers never using a travel agent. If you are booking the resorts you are looking at, a travel agent who does large volume/low commission business will often get you the best rate. I do a lot of my own price comparing and then either book with the lowest priced agent or ask them to match the lowest price I have found. I don't book through online sites. If you have a local agent you like, just do some of your own shopping and then ask him/her to match the lowest you find. Deb at couples resort experts is often the lowest for CSA. She is always lower than online sites.

Please don't feel belittled or pushed into going off-resort on your first trip to Negril if that is where you decide to go. If you need a trip there to get the lay of the land before you venture out, that's your prerogative. We just returned from CSA and were not hassled in the slightest way by anyone trying to sell us drugs. There were also fewer vendors on the beach than previous visits and they only approach you at CSA if you want them to. Otherwise, security keeps them at water's edge. Mostly there were musicians on the beach, which we loved.

I also disagree with the idea that it makes no difference which country you go to if you don't leave the resort. In fact, that is one thing we prefer about Negril over Mexico. In Mexico, they tend to dilute their culture at their resorts. You can barely even get a Mexican meal. At CSA, I ate curried goat yesterday at lunch, ackee another day, and Jamaican dishes were available at every meal. Their culture is infused into most every aspect of the resort instead of sanitized out of it.

You will spend longer getting to your resort in Negril from the airport, but I love the ride through all the little towns.

Make sure that, if you do decide to book CSA, your travel agent will adjust your price if it goes down before your trip. Then sign up for Couples' weekly escape emails and there will be a good chance there might be a deal for the first week of December.

Cocoa Beach, Florida
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48. Re: Negril vs. Riviera Maya

"As for the Excellence properties in RM, neither is on a great beach, and EPM's beach is terrible. We also thought the food there was awful. It was great at CSA. "

"In fact, that is one thing we prefer about Negril over Mexico. In Mexico, they tend to dilute their culture at their resorts. You can barely even get a Mexican meal. At CSA, I ate curried goat yesterday at lunch, ackee another day, and Jamaican dishes were available at every meal. Their culture is infused into most every aspect of the resort instead of sanitized out of it."

Ditto to all of that.

We would not return to an Excellence resort after staying at EPM. Food was bad, wine was bad, beach was bad, entertainment was cheesy.

There are other resort in the RM we do enjoy but I would choose CSA over any of them when we really want a beach vacation.

We do enjoy MX but for totally reasons than we enjoy JA. JA is about the beach, food, culture, vibe, music and natural beauty.

MX is about convenience, price, short flight and very pretty resorts that are great for a weekend of R&R.

oakville, ON
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49. Re: Negril vs. Riviera Maya

Baby momma, we spent over a grand more to stay at CSA over EPM.

caviar girl, yes, agreed the beach is not comparable to CSA at EPM, but hardly described as terrible. Soft white sand and clear calm water.

I know you visited EPM when first opened, and I am sure you experienced Wful food, but the food at EPM for me has been excellent and varied. The addition of the new Indian restaurant is very welcomed. Overall, I preferred the food at EPM. While the quality at CsA was good, there was not much variety, although I did love all the Jamaican specialties at CSA.

I did prefer the evenings at CSA... The piano bar was my favourite. Follows closely by the beach bonfire.

To the OP asking whether ERC or EPM, I would choose EPM, but for the rooms, the seclusion and the grounds.

Oh, and I would spend December to FebruRy in Jamaica rather than Mexico. Much warmer, although this past December the temps have been HOT!

Edited: 22 January 2013, 12:37
America, The...
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50. Re: Negril vs. Riviera Maya

Kerly, when I was at EPM, no one spent their day on the beach because it just wasn't very nice. The pools were lovely, so it was a pool-centered resort and that is totally great for some folks. I'm not sure if this has changed? I would choose El Dorado Maroma in RM over it because the beach is more important to me. I would still choose CSA over both and save up longer if I needed to or go at a lower rate time...that's just me. Also, to be fair, I was the one who stayed at EPM when it first opened and the food was terrible, so my judgement may not be current. I think CG was there more recently. Food is very subjective, though. I have yet to stay at a resort in Mexico, and I have stayed at many, that has food that was as consistently good as it was on this recent trip to CSA where we didn't have a single bad meal or dish.