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Best AI for 18 - 19 -20 year olds with parents

Fort Worth, Texas
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Best AI for 18 - 19 -20 year olds with parents

We are booking a trip over the Christmas holiday - where is the best all inclusive for our group? The "kids" want a great beach with fun people who play beach volleyball.

Houston, Texas
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328 posts
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1. Re: Best AI for 18 - 19 -20 year olds with parents

Lizziee:

Most of Cozumel's hotels do not have a true beach. The ones that do are mainly at the southern end and will require an average taxi fare of $17 if you wish to go into town. If you're renting a car, this is of no concern.

I haven't seen a big number of people play volleyball at any of the hotels, but the Iberostar and Occidental Allegro both have "fun" staff that their sole purpose is to round up individuals for fun and games on the hotel grounds (beach volleyball, pool volleyball, water aerobics, etc). I know the Allegro also has a basketball court, sports bar, both have nightly shows where the staff dresses up. They can be cheesey but I enjoy them. You will enjoy both beaches. I think they are the best resort beaches on the island.

You are also close to Chankanaab. Your kids can take a swim with the dolphins, see a sea lion show (very funny the first time), outstanding snorkling. I didn't care for the food at the Allegro. My wife and parents thought it was okay but you never should pick a hotel for the food. Restaurants in town should not be missed. I read somewhere that the Iberostar's main buffet restaurant burned down recently and they were giving coupons to eat at several restaurants in town with cab fare. One of them I believe was my favorite Italian restaurant, "Primas".

Just remember, both are about a twenty plus minute drive into town. If you don't rent a car or use taxis very often, you may feel stranded at the resort after two or three days. Additionally, even if no one is certified, you can in two hours get certified for the week to dive up to around thirty-five feet. Very safe. I did this twice before becoming certified in Houston.

The other good choice for children would be the El Cozumeleno, located four to five miles north of town. They have a good beach, nightly shows, put put golf course, "fun" staff, nice pools , etc. I've read some who say the food is poor (to be expected at any AI). I've visited this one. Never stayed there. Its rooms are ocean view where the Allegro & Iberostar are small cabanas. These cabanas can smell a little moisty, so don't be surprised. Nothing fancey about the cabanas but where pretty much only in them to sleep. The El Coz is closer into town and typically has more families, from what I've been told. Just keep in mind, if you've been to Cancun the beaches here are not the same. Coz's beaches don't have the same soft sand you see in Cancun. Its also much more laid back. Lastly, if you plan to shop, wait until the cruise ships leave. The shops raise their prices when the cruise lines are docked.

Have a great time.

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2. Re: Best AI for 18 - 19 -20 year olds with parents

We're going to Cozumel Oct 1-Oct 10 with a 1 and 4 yr old.

We're thinking about El Coz but read the bad food reviews although great beach and kiddie pool available.

Considering Melia Cozumel, Cozumel Palace and even the non-inclusive Pueblo Bonito Rose ......or Melia Cabos Real on Medano Beach or Melia San Lucas. Any thoughts?

Want swimmable beach, kiddie pool, decent food, nice rooms.

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3. Re: Best AI for 18 - 19 -20 year olds with parents

Since Cozumel may be hit by a major hurricane on Sunday, you may want to wait and see what happens to the island and the resorts you named.

Also, as I remeber from two times I went to Cozumel on cruises, there are not beaches. It is more of a place for people who dive.

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4. Re: Best AI for 18 - 19 -20 year olds with parents

Thanks for the input. That Hurricane Emily is looking like it may hit Cozumel, huh? Yikes...

Do you have any favorite places for a family vacation?

Oct 1 -10 is when we can go. Me, hubby, 1 and 4 yr old kids and if it didn't break the bank, Grammy and Aunt.

We've already been to Aruba (15 years ago....honeymoon)

Cancun, Puerto Vallarta. Went to Acapulco in high school but don't remember too much other than impressive divers.

We are looking for pool, beach, relaxing and maybe a day trip or two. No great shakes....just relaxing. Any thoughts?

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baltimore, MD
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5. Re: Best AI for 18 - 19 -20 year olds with parents

We went to the Allegro from 6/27-7/2

We had a great time. I have a 3 and a 5 year old. The beach is Big, sandy and wonderful! The iberostar beach is VERY rocky. you need water shoes. At the allegro the water is calm and sandy. Fish come right to you as you walk in (probably b/c kids have cereal from breakfast and feed them.)

Allegro has it's problems. But, in the grand scheme of things it is a good value. Be smart in what you eat, remember that any AI has OK food. Ask for a renovated room ( we tipped the guy $10 at the front desk). We tipped the bartender at the pool bar $20 the first day - we never waited in line. He remembered what we were drinking, and whenever he saw us, had a fresh drink ready. They have fun "kid drinks" - power ranger, etc.

They have a kids club, where if you want you can leave your kids - we did not. There is a cute playgroud.

Older kids enjoyed the constant activities - pool vollyball, beach vollyball, and more. All organized by the staff.

Good luck.

If you choose the allegro I went to www. occidentalhotels.com

and booked my flight and hotel directly through them.

Poconos...
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6. Re: Best AI for 18 - 19 -20 year olds with parents

MDgirl,

Thanks for the help. Does the Allegro have a kids pool (shallow pool) or a part of the big pool sectioned off with a shallow end?

What was your room like? Ocean view balcony?

I've read the rooms are small. What did you think about the rooms, food, etc.

I can live with "ok" food. Snacks available for the kids? Room service? I don't know too much about the Allegro and am happy to hear the beach is apparently swimmable. I don't want to go somewhere where the kids aren't even allowed to play on the edge in the waves.

I appreciate any input you have. Thanks. Liz

Atlanta, Georgia
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7. Re: Best AI for 18 - 19 -20 year olds with parents

The pool at the El Coz was amazing. Several parts of the pool were shallow, or kiddie size. There is also a small kiddie pool with a mushroom (sprinkling water down) in the smaller pool area.

Best of luck with your decision. I don't think you can go wrong!

Poconos...
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8. Re: Best AI for 18 - 19 -20 year olds with parents

PTC Thanks.

At El Coz, could the kids go in beach? How were the rooms, balcony? food? (I can live with OK food) Snacks available also for kids? Did you stay in "older" section of rooms or "newer" section. I heard rooms are huge in older part but nice in new part although smaller. Any help is appreciated.

Thanks!

Atlanta, Georgia
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233 posts
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9. Re: Best AI for 18 - 19 -20 year olds with parents

At El Coz, could the kids go in beach? How were the rooms, balcony? food? (I can live with OK food) Snacks available also for kids? Did you stay in "older" section of rooms or "newer" section. I heard rooms are huge in older part but nice in new part although smaller. Any help is appreciated.

Yes, the beach was very, very calm, so absolutely no problem there. The activity guides take folks out to feed the fish every day at 11, and that is an awesome experience. They take the kids through the kids club, and they sit on a dock and feed the fish, while the older kids and adults snorkle in the water.

There are balconies in the rooms, but I would think the little folks would have a hard time unlocking them, once you locked them. There aren't a lot of snacks for the kids, but there are kid friendly foods to eat. French fries/hot dogs/hamburgers every day at the pool bar. Pizza in the reservations only restaurant, and cereal/fruits for breakfast. The best thing was the self serve ice cream. it opened every day around lunch time, and my kids would sit and wait until they opened it. It was really good ice cream!

WE stayed in the newer section, third floor (and still had great views), connecting rooms. The rooms were very clean, housekeeping was timely and courteous (little swans made out of towels, and roses made from tissue paper). The rooms were plenty roomy enough for two to three people, or two adults, three kids. WE weren't in our rooms much, except at night.