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4 Day/5 Nights- Debating AI vs. non-AI + food questions!

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Albany, New York
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4 Day/5 Nights- Debating AI vs. non-AI + food questions!

Hi there,

So the GF and I are planning a short budget trip to Cancun in October. This will be our first trip to Cancun but unfortunately, we are only able to get away for 4 days/5 nights as we took a larger trip earlier this year.... We are in our mid-late 20s.

Originally, I was looking at the Riu Cancun or Riu Palace Las Americas (due to both its proximity to nightlife and good reviews of course). But then I got to thinking about the non-AI route....

I am guessing that we will want to relax by the resort for a few days but given that it is our first trip, I know we will also want to explore some as well. I've read that Isla Mujeres is a good day trip, and I'd probably want to do one other trip (Playa Del Carmen maybe? Tulum perhaps? Xcaret? Itza is a bit far given we only have four days in Cancun). For at least two of the four days, I am assuming we will be having the majority of my food outside of the resort (at least lunch and dinner)... which got me thinking whether or not the AI route would be worth it or not.

If we go the non-AI route, we would be leaning towards the Marriott Casa Magna, which in total is about $400 cheaper than Riu Cancun. For such a short trip, I'd be interested to hear opinions on which route (AI or non-AI) would be more appealing and experiences that you Cancun experts have had....

Also, if we go the non-AI route, I was wondering whether people who have also done the same, found it a pain to find good food in Cancun and if they felt that hampered your ability to relax and enjoy the day when you were lounging beach/poolside. Any recommendations of course on food would be greatly appreciated.

Lastly, I was wondering if anyone has stayed at the Marriott Casa Magna and found the location inconvenient. I know there is a bus, but part of the appeal of Riu Cancun was its close walking proximity to both food and nightlife.

Thanks in advance!

Houston, Texas
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31. Re: 4 Day/5 Nights- Debating AI vs. non-AI + food questions!

Friends and I just returned from an AI vacation in Cancun. We left the resort to go to Isla, to go shop, to go to dinner at Carlos n.' Charlies, to go to Coco Bongos. I say go AI. If you are hungry, eat. If you are thirsty, drink. No need to go out looking for something and opening up your wallet. I do not eat and drink a lot but even I found that AI was the way to go for me.

I am currently looking at returning to Cancun and am looking at some of the same resorts you are so I am finding this thread helpful. Wherever you end up, enjoy and have fun!!

Orange County...
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32. Re: 4 Day/5 Nights- Debating AI vs. non-AI + food questions!

Go for the Marriott. Vs. the Riu Cancun, it's a no brainer.

Albany, New York
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33. Re: 4 Day/5 Nights- Debating AI vs. non-AI + food questions!

Glad to hear it is helping more than me haha. Where did you guys stay on your trip and how long were you there ?

Any things you would recommend visiting or any new for a first timer ? Hope you enjoyed yourself there !!!

Sioux City, Iowa
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34. Re: 4 Day/5 Nights- Debating AI vs. non-AI + food questions!

We have actually stayed at both the RIU Cancun and the Marriott Casa. The RIU Cancun is alot of fun and will more than likely have more people your age. The Marriott although very nice, was a little boring for us. (We also noticed the prices have gone up alot in Cancun....A Bag of chips and a cookie in the little store at the Marriott was $15 and that was 5 years ago) Many restaurants have also gone up a tad, So depending on if you plan on having drinks and a few meals at your resort, the All Inclusive may be worth it. We still did Coco Bongo, etc... For an all inclusive the Riu Cancun was alot of fun. And we were early 40s and early 50s at the time. We started going to ISLA on day trips many years ago and on now all of our time is spent on ISLA Mujeres when vacationing in that area and we just love it, love the people, the vibe and just everything it has to offer. So many great restaurants and bars that we do not do the all inclusive when we stay there. When you have more time to spend, definitely try a few overnights on the Island to see if it is for you. I hope this is helpful, I by no means want to discourage you from either place. We had friends go to Marriott and love it, it just depends on what you are looking for! Regardless of what you chose you will have fun. We did many years of Cancun, than Playa del Carmen, and now Isla. :)

Burlington, Canada
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35. Re: 4 Day/5 Nights- Debating AI vs. non-AI + food questions!

Hello a 4 star in NYC is not the same as a 4 star in cancun. You best look at the 5 stars to avoid a shock

Houston, Texas
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36. Re: 4 Day/5 Nights- Debating AI vs. non-AI + food questions!

JP-Where did you decide to stay for your upcoming trip in October? I am just getting to look at the Trip Advisor boards as work has started back up for me.

When my friends and I went, we stayed at the Royal Sunset and were there for 7 nights I loved Carlos n'Charlies but did not like Coco Bongos. Would go to CnC again. We booked that night through our hotel and it was worth it.

To go to Isla, we just took the ferry from Playa Tortugas. Took the 9am ferry from Cancun and returned on the 3:30 ferry from Isla. I was sitting poolside by 4:15 at the hotel.

The buses are the best way to get around! $1 American one way. If you are staying at a resort close enough, you can walk just about anywhere, depending where you are.

I am looking at going back in December, and am having a hard time choosing where to stay. I am thinking I am going with Riu Cancun.

Keep us posted and happy travels!!

Albany, New York
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37. Re: 4 Day/5 Nights- Debating AI vs. non-AI + food questions!

Still debating... Leaning towards palace Las America's nown

Orange County...
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38. Re: 4 Day/5 Nights- Debating AI vs. non-AI + food questions!

have you read lots and lots of reviews? That way you'll get a really good idea of the resorts.

If I were to stay ai, I'd never stay at Riu Cancun, but would be happy to stay at Marriott. I really think they're different caliber resorts...

Minnesota
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39. Re: 4 Day/5 Nights- Debating AI vs. non-AI + food questions!

blossom is right. We just stayed at Riu Palace de las Americas. For an all inclusive it's nice. It's very pretty, staff is reasonably helpful, food is good. Not great. Not wonderful. But good. You won't starve. Huge buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Specialty restaurants (by reservation only) are okay. We ate at the steakhouse twice (because hubby likes steak). Just not my thing. Steak was tough, thin. Appetizer, salad are set. Sides are set. Dessert options limited. Entrees are limited and just really okay.

All in all I'd go for the Marriott hands down. Especially if I could get the one with breakfast included. Their breakfast is wonderful. We've stayed there several times and it's fabulous.

We'll be trying the Omni for the first time since it went all inclusive in a few weeks and will report back. We've stayed there many times over the years when it wasn't.

All inclusives and EPs are very different resorts and really different vacations. If you want fun, included party people, entertainment - go all inclusives. If you want good food, going out to different restaurants, tours, relaxing - go EP.

Cheryl

U.S.
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40. Re: 4 Day/5 Nights- Debating AI vs. non-AI + food questions!

You said you were thinking about the Royal Solaris. Well we stayed at the GR Solaris because it came recommended by some friends that we had met at the Live Aqua and we ended up loving it. It was a great price and the food ended up being one of the best we have had for all inclusive. My teens thought so too. Also for the price you can get the GR Solaris for then you don't feel bad if you do want to go out to eat off the resort a few times or do a couple expensive outings. It had a nice huge beach. We have been to Mexico over 10 times so I have a lot to compare to. Price it out, read my review, see what you think!