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Just back - some random thoughts

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Connecticut
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1,420 posts
155 reviews
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Just back - some random thoughts

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!

Birmingham, Alabama
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1. Re: Just back - some random thoughts

Great post. How early does one need to get to the airport? I am flying Delta too.

Upstate New York
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2. Re: Just back - some random thoughts

We (15) are scheduled to go to Playa Del Carmen IN June. We are wondering if you heard or saw anything about the violence in Mexico. It has been going on for a while but some of our party are getting nervous. How are things in Cancun and surrounding area?

Mexico
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3. Re: Just back - some random thoughts

^Tell your friends to learn their geography……

thetruthaboutmexico.com/2009/…

Minnesota
Destination Expert
for Cancun
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12 reviews
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4. Re: Just back - some random thoughts

Asur runs the Cancun airport. It is recommended to arrive at the airport 3 hours early for international flights.

asur.com.mx/asur/…travel_Tips.asp

Some days you will breeze right through, others not.

Cheryl

Connecticut
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155 reviews
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5. Re: Just back - some random thoughts

3 hours would have been good. We relied on our transfer company (USA Transfers) to set our pick up time and I think we cut it a bit too close. We've used USA Transfers to the last 2 years with no problems but I forgot we flew first class those years so we got the premier check in line - that makes a huge difference! More than an hour waiting in line for coach. Next time, I will ask USA Transfers to pick us up an hour earlier. I would rather get through the lines quickly and sit down for one last drink at Margaritaville waiting for my flight to board!!!!!

Chicago
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6. Re: Just back - some random thoughts

How did you arrange the trip to Kin Ha? Who took you from Puerto Morales?Sounds like fun. Did you arrange your return taxi trip, or are you able to get a taxi from Puerto Morales easily?

Connecticut
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155 reviews
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7. Re: Just back - some random thoughts

We had our resort call us a taxi to take us to Puerto Jarez and had them ask the driver to give us his number so we could call him for the return trip. There were taxis available when we returned to Puerto Juarez, but not any vans that could seat 10 of us. We called our driver as we were getting on the ferry and he was there waiting for us when we walked off the dock.

The same driver told us to call him if we wanted to hire him for the day or for any other trips, so we called him to take us around to Puerto Morelos, Kin Ha, etc. He picked us up at 9 am and brought us back around 6:30.

Ask your resort for some recommendations --- they should be able to help you.

Bowmanville, Canada
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8. Re: Just back - some random thoughts

Sorry for your problems, we stayed at the Riu Palace same dates as you except we arrived at 10 in the morning. Four other flights at the same time and we breezed through customs and were at our hotel by 11:30.

Connecticut
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1,420 posts
155 reviews
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9. Re: Just back - some random thoughts

It happens, I know. Last year, we took the same flight and breezed through immigration as well. The difference this time is we didn't have a gate so we had to take the bus to the terminal which seemed to put us behind what seemed like 20 other flights!

You win some, you lose some! It didn't put a damper on our vacation, but it can feel like forever when you're trying to start your vacation!

Upstate New York
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10. Re: Just back - some random thoughts

to LTL Cancun - I was asking Hangdog about his experiences in Cancun since he just returned this week. We know our geography, just wondering if things were spreading south. If you think people are stupid - dont reply to their posts.