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First trip ever! Any suggestions?

Lincoln, Nebraska...
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First trip ever! Any suggestions?

My husband and I will be taking our honeymoon to VIM June 13-20. (I also just graduated college so this is a double celebration) This is our first vacation with just the two of us and our first trip to VIM. Any simple suggestions to make our trip better? I am in my late 20's and my husband is early 30's. We basically plan on eating/drinking too much and relaxing. :) We may want to do one or two excursions but it isn't necessary. Is there anything that is a must do or must see? Thanks! (I have read a lot of other threads but still wanted to ask for more opinions)

Cave Diving in Mexico
Nature & Wildlife Tours, Other Outdoor Activities, Scuba & Snorkeling, Water Sports
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1. Re: First trip ever! Any suggestions?

Hola aenimachik44-

Your in for a treat! I would recommend visit Purto Morelos for a small townish feel, Playa del Carmen for the large town feel. A Tulum visit, maybe snorkle at Gran Cenote or one of the others. For a get away- cab or collectivo to the beach at Paamul- usually not crowded, spend a lazy day there, has restauarant on the beach. Congrats to the Newley Weds & the grad...Saludos!

Seattle, Washington
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2. Re: First trip ever! Any suggestions?

It really depends on what you want out of your vacation, what you enjoy and how much time you have as well.

My first trip to Cancun area was only for 4 nights. Arrived around 3ish on the first day. The next day was spent all day at Chichen Itza. Then had the next 2 days to do whatever. Looking back, I am glad I went to Chichen Itza but I ended up missing the pool/beach time of that day. The trip felt rushed because we "had" to see Chichen.

I just came back from 4 nights in PDC and 4 nights in Tulum. I made no concrete plans before I left and just decided to take it as it came and do what I wanted to. So I researched the heck out of everything places had to offer. When I got there I decided what I felt like doing and wasn't locked into any prearranged tours or plans. Ended up going to Akumal to snorkel with the turtles, went to Puerto Morelos to snorkel the reef and did the Tulum Monkey Sanctuary tour.

Marion, North...
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3. Re: First trip ever! Any suggestions?

I agree, research things you may want to see. If you do visit cenotes visit Cenote Azule and Gran Cenote. They are right by the highway and feel so good to cool off in. They are also very different from each other. Maybe a visit to the Tulum ruins, but go early before it gets too hot.

But, it's your honeymoon! Maybe floating together in the pool and romantic dinners for two would be better?

Save the sights for another trip, because if you've never been to the Riviera Maya you will want to return for sure!!

College Station...
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4. Re: First trip ever! Any suggestions?

My wife and I will be at the VIM the 6th – 15th and while I’m new to TA, this is not our first vacation in Mexico.

Seattleguy15 makes a great point and one we have learned is NOT to make all or any of your excursion plans final before you get there. You may find something better or decide you don’t need to do anything other than enjoy your immediate surroundings.

We have done several excursions including snorkeling in Puerto Morelos and plan to do it again (will make final decision when we get there) because we had a great time. We also plan on going deep sea fishing but want to shop around for that as well.

The final opinion (and that’s what this is) I have is that all excursions are not equal due to different companies or groups you use to book your adventure. The reason we liked snorkeling in PM so much was that not only was the reef great but the company we booked with cooked lunch on this small grill on the beach. It was the freshest, most amazing meal we had the entire trip. They supplied beverages including beer and played volleyball on the beach for about an hour after snorkeling.

Congratulations to both of you and have a great time.

Austin, Texas
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5. Re: First trip ever! Any suggestions?

Be at the Ginger at 2:50PM to reserve your space at the hibachi tables for dinner.

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6. Re: First trip ever! Any suggestions?

We went to on the Catamaran trip to Isla through the resort...........it was a torturous day that ended with food poisoning from the bad buffet at the beach club that was included. Stay away from that...lol.

People we met there went on the Akumal/ Cenote snorkel trip and they really enjoyed it.

Lincoln, Nebraska...
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7. Re: First trip ever! Any suggestions?

Thanks everyone! We are more the type of people that 'fly by the seat of our pants' when it comes to activities so we will def not set in stone any excursions until we get there.

Thanks for the Ginger suggestion. We are really looking forward to that restaurant!

Denver, CO
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8. Re: First trip ever! Any suggestions?

You probably know this because you've read the reviews but here are some of the best features of VIM.

The grounds are gorgeous. Just walking around is a treat although you may find yourself lost in the beginning of the trip. We like to take a walk on the access road each day in the morning. It's about 1 mile each way the the road is landscaped. We also see people running the area in the morning.

There are three areas to the beach. The main beach is nice as it has a swimming area, a beach bar, and lots of palapas for shade. It is also close to Terra and Mar the outdoor restaurants and close to their restrooms. The next beach down to the south of the main beach is what we call the quiet beach. Only 15 palapas on a fairly large beach. It has its own bar, but the closest restroom is by the main beach. The entry in the the water is rocky. Finally going further south you have the deserted beach. 7 palapas which are almost always empty. No bar, no restrooms. These are more reasonable if you are in Building 9 or 10.

We really like the French Restaurant. The food to us is very good and we love the atmosphere. Each night they are open they have a piano player from 7 pm to 9 pm. They also have baked Alaska as one of the desert choices which is a fun and tasty way to end a meal. Other restaurants we really like are the Indonesian, the Asian (both the Teppenyaki and the regular menu), and the Italian. We aren't crazy about the Mexican or either of the outdoor restaurants.

If you want quiet by a pool try the pool by the golden suites (buildings 6-8). It's quiet and you can always find some shade.

The Plaza is a great spot in the evening. You can also go to the sports bar for a little more laid back fun.

Be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and insect repellant. Plan at least $140 for a week for tipping (get $5s and $1s). Going into PDC is fun and you can get a relatively inexpensive massage there (compared to the resort). Try the mango/tango, the chocolate martini, and any other drinks you tend to like. There is a nice bar outside by the Main Hall where you check in that opens at 10 AM.

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9. Re: First trip ever! Any suggestions?

Congrats on your upcoming marriage & college graduation, sounds like a very exciting time for you!

Others here have given great advice, playing things by ear makes for our most memorable vacations. If you have plans to explore downtown Playa Del Carmen (or Cozumel, Isla Mujeres, etc.) I can highly suggest MapChick maps. We honeymooned in Playa for 9 nights back in 2008 and just kind of wandered around, we're going back to the same resort we previously stayed at but this time I've done ample research of the options to explore in town and I've never been this excited. We've found several beach bars that have live music, fire shows, pig roasts, etc. right on the beach...all things we feel like will be amazing experiences & the MapChick maps give tons of great advice.

Don't forget to remind servers, etc. that you're celebrating 2 major milestones, it's not guaranteed but some will go out of their way to help make it special. Also, make sure you spend a few evenings unwinding at the Don Miguel bar. We didn't really notice this bar much on our 1st trip but the last 2 trips we've spent several evenings there and it was always great time.

On some nights VIM brings in vendors so you can walk around The Plaza area and shop, we've always really enjoyed that on the shorter trips so we don't feel as pressured to take a cab into PDC to shop.

You may already have one but I highly suggest getting a waterproof digital camera if you can. The VIM pools & beach are amazing, we broke down and bought a Canon D10 last year and walked away with some amazing pictures that we'll cherish forever.

Speaking of pictures, we've never done this but have been told you can schedule a photo session with the resort photographer while you're there & only pay for the pictures you want to keep. That might be a fun keepsake, looking back I wish we would have done this on our trips.

Either way, hope you have a great honeymoon/celebratory vacation! VIM is an amazing place!

10. Re: First trip ever! Any suggestions?

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