We stayed at The Royal Caribbean 4/17 - 4/24. I wanted to offer some random comments about our trip, but will try to save specific reviews of the resort, restaurants, etc., for the proper places.
We were a group of 10 (4 adults and 6 kids, ages 4 - 14). Arrival at the airport was pretty chaotic. We arrived at 12 noon and had to take the stairs down to the bus over to the terminal. It was the worst lines I have seen there in 3 years. Took about 2 hours to get through immigration, collect luggage and pass through customs. They had 3 of the 4 sections open in immigration - they really should have had more stations open to accomodate the large crowds!
We used USA Transfers again this year - easy and courteuous as usual. A great deal for a party of 10.
We did a day trip to Isla Mujeres using MapChick's tour suggestions. Totally missed a couple of the recommended sights, but had a good day. We spent a few hours at a beach club called Zama (recommended by MapChick) and it was perfect!!!! Will definitely write a more extensive review but that was paradise and the perfect spot to eat and cool off from the intense sun. We took the ferry to and from Puerto Juarez. It was fun to see parts of Cancun we hadn't seen before. The ferry was immaculate and we had a calm ride both ways.
Another day we hired our taxi driver (same one that took us to Puerto Juarez) and went to Crococun Zoo (a blast) then down to Puerto Morelos where we had one of the best and most authentic meals of the entire trip. We ate at La Panza es Primero - the decor was rather odd (wrestling) but a huge hit with the young boys in our group. But the food and the margaritas were simply amazing. We asked to speak to the chef personally as we were all blown away by how good the food was.
After lunch, we did a little shopping and strolled through the village - what a great place! Then, we headed off to Kin Ha a cenote way, way, way, out in the jungle. The ride was slow and bumpy as it is about 7 km off the main road on a single dirt road. It was an adventure for sure! The cenote was beautiful and the kids loved the zip line in the cenote itself.
On the way home, our taxi driver got pulled over by the police -- I won't get into that here since I already posted another thread on that subject.
The beach is gorgeous as others have stated. The ledge or drop off seems to vary along the coast. At the Tri-Royals it was about 5 feet tall, but at the Royal Sand, there didn't seem to be any ledge at all. There are shells everywhere!!!! Huge conch shells and small beautiful shells. The waves were strong most days, but we did see at least a couple of yellow flags every day.
We took the R-2 bus to Market 28 one day. Flea markets aren't really my thing, but my friends wanted to go, so I agreed to take them. People were really nice and most were pretty funny. Yes, they all want you to come in and shop - but I found their humor to be very entertaininig. Some of my favorites - "Come look at my store, it will only cost you one Mexican minute" and "Come here, I will rip you off less!" We found our way in to the market with no problem but on our way out, a gentleman offered to help us find the bus stop. Good thing he did, because crossing the streets there with so many kids was a bit of a challenge. He had a white shirt with "Tourist Information" printed on the back. Not sure if he was legit or not, but he was most helpful and seemed to genuinely appreciate the tip we gave him for helping us out.
The lines at the airport for departure were equally as bad. We were flying Delta and had to be called out of the ticketing line because we were going to miss the luggage check in cut off. We did manage to get checked in, security was not a long wait at all and our luggage made it on the flight! One thing I didn't realize was the overweight luggage fee on Delta was $154 USD!!!!!! They do have a scale at the beginning of the check in line and I highly recommend weighing your bag so you have time to move stuff around.
It was a great trip - the weather was much better than the previous week, although we did have some showers and one late afternoon/evening with downpours. I will get to the more detailed reviews soon!