Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Mayan Riviera Travel Blog--Day One

My husband and I are going to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico for ten days. It’s in the Mayan Riviera, 40 minutes from Cancun and 10 minutes from Playa del Carmen. It’s a dream come true. For so many years when we were too poor to travel, I would see Club Med commercials during the winter, and I’d wonder if it would ever be possible for us to go to such a place. Now, here we are, we’ve gone through security at the airport, it’s 4 a.m. and my husband is searching for a Tim Horton’s for our last taste of home.
We’re flying Sky Service to Cancun. I remember, in the 80’s, being at the airport for some reason other than personal travel, and seeing listings of flights to Cancun. Back then, I didn’t even know where Cancun was, since it was just beginning to be built up as a tourist destination. But I knew it was hot, and I wanted to be there. I wore jeans, and a few layers, and a neon green spring jacket for our early morning taxi ride to the airport. I didn’t want to carry around a heavy coat. One man in line ahead of us was already in shorts, flip flops, and a straw hat. I guess he’s getting into the tropical mindset already. He reminds me of Mark R., who never wore a winter coat while he lived in Canada. Now he’s in Texas where he’s dressed for the weather.
I don’t care for flying, especially landing. I would have taken some gravol before we left, but I couldn’t find any. I don’t get sick, I just wanted the side effect of drowsiness so I could avoid the thought that I’m in a chair, in the sky, 38,000 feet above the ground. Give me a submarine ride any day.
The flight was good. They showed the new James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace. They didn’t even charge us for the headphones. They served breakfast, which was good, for airplane food; except the coffee wasn’t great. They even offered champagne for breakfast. I guess they wanted us to get into vacation mode, or relax the nervous flyers.
Cancun airport is very clean and modern. I guess the airport benefitted from the big tourist bucks. As we cleared security, they make you press a big red button, which lights up, and then you can go. We haven’t figured out the purpose of that yet.
Next, we dodged Timeshare salespeople who pose as your group’s representatives. It’s good that they warned us about that on the plane. We had a comfortable shuttle bus ride to the resort, and were given other useful travel information by the driver.
The resort was better than we expected. A few days earlier we signed up on line for a reward program on the resort. As a result, we had our room upgraded to a deluxe suite, with a king sized bed and an in-room Jacuzzi. The good thing about a king sized bed is that you can sleep all night and never touch anyone. And the bad thing about a king sized bed is that you can sleep all night and never touch anyone.
We read some reviews of the resort, after we had already paid. Some of the reviews were poor, so I wondered what we were getting into. I’m pleased to say that I don’t agree with the negative reviews. There is much to do, and the food and restaurant choices were excellent. It’s kind of like a cruise, on land. You feel less confined than on a ship, the accommodations are better, you have the beach and pools, instead of just pools, but the food on a cruise is the ultimate. It’s all about the food on a cruise. There are also a lot of hidden costs on a cruise, and other than the food, it’s not all inclusive, and you’re handed a bill at the end of it. Each way of vacationing has their pros and cons, but we wanted to try out a resort to see if we liked it. Yep, we do.
Today we ate lunch at La Laguna, the international buffet restaurant. It has a good variety of food. The wine was watered down, but otherwise, no complaints. All the food is washed with bottled water, so we don’t worry about getting sick. My husband had the vaccine before we left; I took my chances and brought Imodium.
Next we sat by the pool. Gary read while I tanned. Then we went back to our room for a nap. The lack of sleep last night when we travelled caught up with us.
After washing up, we had an Italian buffet, which was delicious, again, except for the coffee, but I’ve got to have something to miss from home.
The service is very good, considering they don’t get tips, and the Mexican people are very friendly. I’m glad to see that people, generally treat the staff with respect. We feel comfortable here, already. We’ve taken a walk around the resort and have familiarized ourselves with the layout.
Unfortunately, our room is on the third floor, and there is no elevator. There is also a lot of walking to get to the beach and pool, so my husband found he would need to use his cane if he didn’t want to overdo it or have pain.
The resort is set up as a small village of three story buildings, which are painted in pastel colours. The accommodations and grounds are well kept.
They were attentive to our needs, changing a broken shower head as soon as we informed them, and bringing us an iron, which was not in the room. Tonight, we’re watching t.v. and going to bed early. I know, we don’t sound like a lot of fun, but we’re here for ten days, and we’ll get into resort life tomorrow. The good thing about a ten day vacation is that you don’t have to rush to do anything. Seven days would be too short, and fourteen would be too long. It takes my husband a few days to finally leave all thoughts of work behind him and relax.

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