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Negril vs. Riviera Maya

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!

Dallas, Texas
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61. Re: Negril vs. Riviera Maya

Caylismom, Thanks for the insight into Punta Cana!!! We've thought about it, but the "JA" Magnet keeps drawing us back!

When we left Negril last July, we'd pretty much made up our minds to either short hop from Dallas to Cancun/Cozumel/Playa or Punta Cana....Now we're feeling that old familiar tug,lol!

Happy Travels

BBB

Northwestern Ontario
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62. Re: Negril vs. Riviera Maya

Kerly, we have talked about going to Isla to do non-AI. Have you done this before? I have spent more than a few hours online reading reviews and drooling over the food and restaurant choices there!

oakville, ON
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for Oakville
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63. Re: Negril vs. Riviera Maya

Baby, we go every year for either a day trip or an over nighter. We plan on buying a place there... Have been looking for awhile. We are in love with Isla!! We just booked a fantastic two story condo right on playa Norte. It has a great rooftop terrace, and steps to hidalgo.

www.facebook.com/photo.php…

Food and drink for two can easily be done ( and very well) for under $100 a day. Less If you eat breakfast in the condo and pack a cooler of cervesas for the beach.

Northwestern Ontario
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64. Re: Negril vs. Riviera Maya

kerly, sounds lovely. We would love to check out Isla one of these trips. We only do one trip a year and it's back to Negril this time.

Dallas, Texas
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993 posts
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65. Re: Negril vs. Riviera Maya

A lot of great advice here. I can only add what I have experienced. We have been to Riviera Maya and Jamaica. We stayed at Iberostar Grand in Playa Paraiso. It was a beautiful area and the service was great. It was a very opulent place with gorgeous comfortable rooms. The beach service was simply amazing. The food although was good, but very fancy and not local at all. They had very good guacamole and chips, but not a lot of other local dishes. I wished for the beachy relaxed feel. Also (this is my experience) I became extremely ill while we were there. I was so ill I fainted. It scared my husband a lot. I am so sad that this happened because I don't think we will ever go back. It was a parasite unfortunately. I was really sick for many days after we got home.

We wanted the beachy local vibe with palm trees and tiki huts, and an amazing beach. We found all this at Couples Swept Away. It's a relaxing wear your shorts and swimsuit kind of place. You can dress up, but it is not pretentious. There are no white gloves etc. The food is great with lots of local flavor. Swept away and many of the other resorts are all about the beach. We are beach snobs (we admit it) and we really enjoy the clear calm water with soft white sand. It is really second to none. The people were very kind to us. I wished for better drink service on the beach, but you just can't have everything in one place. We loved it there and so we are making a 2nd trip soon. We are returning to Swept Away in a little over 6 weeks! We got a great deal by the way!

I suggest you look through pictures of both places. Decide what appeals to you. Read reviews carefully. Look at flights and how easy or difficult they are etc. Riviera Maya is a beautiful place with great people and I am sure you would have a great time there. Jamaica although is comfortable, naturally beautiful with a perfect beach vibe! Let us know what you decide!

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

momof3,

How did you book your trip? THrough an agent or online?

Westernport...
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67. Re: Negril vs. Riviera Maya

caylismom, my wife and I just bookd Couples Swept Away through Funjet vacations. They price match any other place, on airfare and room rates (their travel insurance is cheaper than other places) Plus all they require is a deposit and final payment due 45 days before departure if you want to do that) We used to use Apple Vacations, but they have been more expensive than Funjet and Cheap Carribean and are not usually willing to price match.

This will be our first time to Negril. We have been to Ochos Rios and Montego Bay. We have also been to Mexico 8 times. To each their own, but we find Jamaica to be much more relaxing and the food much better. I can not wait to see 7 mile beach with my own eyes. Good luck in your search and whatever you decide. (I think searching is part of the fun) LOL

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

Caylismom, I think you said you were thinking of early fall, so this may not apply, but the Playa del Carmen message board is full of stories of illness right now. Of course it can't all be food- and water-borne illness. Some of it must be flu and norovirus, etc. Just interesting that Negril gets so many international travelers as well and we aren't reading about that on here. It does make me wonder what the differences are in sanitary practices in Mexico as compared to Negril.

little rock
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100 posts
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69. Re: Negril vs. Riviera Maya

Ill put my two cents in. I have been to Secrets Capri and Secrets Maroma, Couples San Souci x2, and Couples Negril. I have a crusie booked for the RM for next month and I am returning to Couples Negril in April.

I loved Secrets Capri, would go back tomorrow. I hated Secrets Maroma, too big, opening pains but it was a great deal.

Beach: Negril wins hands down, even though Maroma is the nicest beach in Mexico.

People: Jamaica and I speak Spanish.

Rooms: Mexico's are much nicer, but the resorts are much larger and I don't like big. Couples Swept Away is too big for me.

Food: This is where I disagree with everyone else I much prefer the food in Mexico, but I speak spanish, and can tell them exactly what I want, so I have no problem eating authentic food even at an all inclusive in Mexico.(the unamericanize it for me.) I have a hard time getting food spicy for me enough in Negril.

Price: Mexico is always a 1000 a week cheaper for two for me. Flights are a 1/3 of the price.

I do my 10 day trips to Negril, and go to Mexico for 3 or 4 days at a time.

IF i had to choose only one it would be Negril.

Dallas, Texas
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70. Re: Negril vs. Riviera Maya

Caylismom - I have booked with 3 different agents. I like all of them. I love to price trips on honeymoonsinc because I think their prices are excellent. If you use them talk to Melanie. They have a website that is easy to use. I have also used Deb (referred to many times in the Negril forum). She is really great especially for couples. She uses Travel impressions I believe. The great thing about her is she can contact Couples when it appears they are booked and still get you a room most of the time. Her prices are great.

This time we used David Parker with All the Way Travel. Met some other travelers at CSA who used David. He was about $200 cheaper than everyone else. The insurance was good and cheaper than anyone else. I also like to research on Funjet because they are very competitive and it gives me a sense of about what the cost will be.

Do your research it really pays off. Look to book your trip on a Tues through Thursday (not that you need to go on a Tues through Thurs.) because flight prices drop in the middle of the week. I rarely see a good price on flight when purchased on Friday through Monday. Book early in the day also. Flights are cheaper when purchased in the morning (my experience anyway). Look at the price difference in booking separately or together. Many times it is better to book together. Kayak is also a good one to look at airline cost comparisons.

Hope that helps and that is just my experience! I never just call a travel agent without first doing research on my own.

Researching for me is half the fun of the trip!