Cancun Honeymoon: Learning Curve.

What a crazy week it has been… I can’t believe how long it has taken me to get around to this post. I have had some other major tasks to take care of! Anyways, let’s get on to the story..

This trip was so bittersweet. It was a major lesson in do’s and don’ts.

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Long story short: I thought we were going to Disneyland, but at my Rehearsal Dinner, my adorable husband surprised me with a trip to Cancun.  He learned real quick, that you just don’t spring things like this on a girl. I found out my mom & sister had drove to Tucson (the wedding was in Scottsdale) to pack my suitcase, and I started to have a panic attack. People were telling me that I should be excited and that I shouldn’t be upset. These were both things that I knew, and I eventually was excited, but the issue was that I am a planner & an over-preparer. I didn’t know what to expect. I like to have a plan, know the details, and just be in the know. It sounds funny now, but that one move on Brad’s part made me question whether or not marrying him was a mistake.  (It wasn’t- he is the best, and I was just being an idiot.)

I found out that Brad had booked the trip through US Airways’ (now American Airlines) travel promotional sight. We were scheduled to stay in Mexico for almost a week, and we were booked at the all-inclusive Hotel Marina El Cid Spa & Beach Resort.

We arrived at the airport & had a long car ride to our resort.  We got there in the evening & were greeted & given all the details of the resort. It’s not your typical hotel experience. We found out that they want you to sign up for a timeshare. We were talked to several times about it, but we aren’t the type of people who want to be tied to a specific location for years.

Once we listened to that arrival schpeel, we were off to our room and then were able to grab a quick bite to eat. Because we got there that day, we were unable to make a reservation at the “good restaurants” and so we were left with the option of the buffet or the Mexican buffet. Since we were in Mexico, we went with Mexican. It was worse than taco bell. As an Arizonan & a foodie, I have a strong opinion on the quality of Mexican food, & this just didn’t have it. It was flavorless queso, bland refried beans, and guacamole that was basically just smashed avocado. My dreams about the street tacos & the limey guacamole that my mom told me about (granted she stayed at the Ritz) were going to be just that, dreams.  I should have taken the food as an omen.

1426454_10103167592476181_843126427_nThis trip was just not all we hoped it would be, and the
fault pretty much falls on the hotel. First, It wasn’t even in Cancun. It was outside of Cancun in the Riviera Maya, hence the long car ride. The resort is owned by a Mexican company, and despite the property being well maintained and  very clean, the mattress we had to sleep on was so poorly made that you could feel the springs. I barely slept the entire trip, and what little sleep I did get allowed me to wake up with an incredibly sore back. 1441214_10103167589497151_390037208_n The toilet in our room did not flush well & the door to the toilet was delightful glass. It greatly reduced the magic within our first week of marriage. They have fun areas to walk through, with enclosed cocodrilos (crocodiles) and they have large iguanas throughout the property. We are the type that love to swim in the ocean, but our hotel didn’t allow for an easy walk into the water. Our beach was so rocky, it was unbearable, not to mention, it seemed that there was quite a bit of trash as well. …Also, there was no night life (we watched netflix in our room every night because we had nothing better to do), and every day in the pool they had activities going on for the kids & water aerobics for the older folks. It wasn’t peaceful.  …oh, and I almost forgot, wifi isn’t free.

But back to the food…. The food was bland and the buffet got old real fast. The themed restaurants didn’t live up to the hype, and as a foodie, I was so disappointed.  Mexican brand ice cream kept us going, but it still was only fair. It had an odd flavor to it, that I couldn’t pin point. Every night when we were walking throughout the hotel the air wreaked of frying grease, and not the good kind. Sadly, it smelled like most the fried foods that were in the buffets as well… The squash tasted like the outside air (aka grease). It was truly “de-appetizing”. I’ll never get over it. I think I’m scarred for life.

1476271_10103167592890351_406708530_nYou have to be thinking that I am complaining way too much, so let me share some good…. The rooms were clean. We had a nice view from our balcony where we got to enjoy watching some awesome thunderstorms roll through.  Kayaking was available which we did the  first day, and to swim all we had to do was walk close to 1/2 a mile to the next resort over to wade into the ocean and play in the waves where the beach was clear, fairly rock free, and the water was refreshing.  We also, had a great snorkeling adventure & a day trip to Chichen-Itza (sounds like chicken pizza -jk kidding).

If you do decide to stay in this area (after all, we are all entitled to our own preferences) go snorkel or dive! The boat ride to our snorkeling location was incredible. The water was emerald green! I had never seen anything like it.

I will never forget our first snorkelling adventure in Mexico. We saw sea turtles, loads of fish, and the best part was at the very end when we were literally getting ready to get back in the boat & had the rare opportunity of seeing a huge Spotted Eagle Ray. ( One thing that you will find out through out this blog is how much my husband & I love getting to interact & just see wildlife.)

Honeymoon & Ebay 040.JPGOkay, so, Chichen Itza…. What an incredible place to visit! This is the company, Xcaret Experiences,  we did our tour with.  Our guide was great, he was humorous & very knowledgeable. We had alot of fun that day. We had complimentary beer on the bus & they provided a snack box at some point.

But, anyways, my husband is on the frugal side, so we didn’t want do anything outrageous, so we picked what seemed like the best option for us which happened to be the Chichen Itza tour.  It included the tour of Chicken Itza, which was a beautiful Mayan city (now mostly ruins), the lovely sinkhole Cenote Azul, and a fun buffet lunch at a local restaurant.

The tour bus picked us up bright & early at our hotel. We had a long drive to Chichen Itza where we probably spent close to 3 hours wandering the grounds. The pyramid was really incredible & there was alot to take in and learn. Such as: Did you know they had observatories back then!?! They did!!!!

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There is a lot of time to be spent wandering the grounds, and what’s nice is that they give you plenty of free time to wander on your own too! It was an interesting place, with beautiful structures, and you can’t help but wonder how an ancient civilization could know so much & then vanish, taking with them so much knowledge & wisdom of the working of the universe.

On a lighter note, it was fun to walk down the ancient roads & see all of the colorful souvenirs you can bring home…. Including toys that allow you to sound like a jaguar.

Honeymoon & Ebay 035.JPGOnce our time was up, we headed back onto our bus & thank goodness. Because constantly approached by the street vendors constantly overwhelms me a little bit… Especially when it is hot & humid.  {TIP: If you decide to do this day trip or any of the others. Be ready. Be ready. Be ready!. Expect intense humidity & heat. Pack & prepare for it. Natural fibers are best. Cottons & Linens. Loose is great… and don’t pack jeans. You’ll just decide it was a waste of suitcase space. (Although, I did wear mine on the beack at night because of mosquitos.)} 

Honeymoon & Ebay 110.JPGIt was time for lunch. We were starving, and we knew one thing…. It was happening soon.  Lunch was truly exciting because it was truly exciting because it was AUTHENTIC!!! So, it was different than northern mexico Mexican food, but it was good. It was way better than what we had at the hotel, that was for certain. The buffet at lots of options packed with flavor. One thing that my husband & I noticed is that in that region it doesn’t seem like they have or make flour tortillas – just corn. It’s a little disappointing to me because I love a good flour tortilla, but none the less, corn works & is still delicious!

honeymoon-ebay-113honeymoon-ebay-134The options were fairly endless. You could have your rice and beans, they had guacamole, they had a variety of meat dish… and let’s not forget the chips & salsa. One thing this restaurant did not lack, CHARM! It was absolutely beautiful through & through. From the festive masks on the wall, to the tucked away garden with the stunning mosaic fountain. This was a place that you could spend quite a bit of time relaxing & enjoying life on Mexico time. Once we finished lunch we were able to wander through the small town for a bit, which was fun! There were several gift shops & a beautiful small Cathedral to see. {TIP: One thing to keep in mind, should you visit. This is Mexico. It is not a 1st world country, not everyone speaks english… Watch your wallet & valuables, don’t wander to far from the group. Listen to your guide!} Outside the cathedral was a horse & carriage. I will never forget this sight because the horse was wearing a straw hat with red ribbon. It was one of the funniest and most adorable things I have ever seen! (Sadly, I don’t remember the name of the town we visit or the restaurant we at.)

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Honeymoon & Ebay 152.JPGWe came, we saw, we conquered lunch, and it was time to move on! We had one stop left for the day & we were pretty excited. It was the Cenote Azul, which is located in Ik Kil. This is the giant sink hole that you can walk around and apparently swim in if you come prepared. This was one of the most interesting things, I have seen & would love to experience more of. Apparently, there are several of these swimming havens throughout the Yucatan. FACT: Sinkholes are crazy. I’m always terrified to be that person who randomly disappears into a giant hole that magically appears.

 

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Honeymoon & Ebay 155.JPGThis place was interesting though, you enter at one point, and you walk in from above ground and slowly make your way down and around. You slowly shuffle your way through, walking for wet areas so that you don’t accidentally slip, and make way for the cliff jumpers who are looking for a little adrenaline and to cool off.

Honeymoon & Ebay 159.JPGThis place was neat, but it doesn’t make it onto the “do before you die list” It’s a fairly quick walkthrough, and I don’t know how easy it is to get through.

Really, not much more happened on this trip. We were definitely ready to go home. On the last day, Brad wasn’t willing to eat anything else from the buffet except a yogurt. Yes, it was truly that bad. A 25 year old male, refused to eat anything, but yogurt… …and no, he wasn’t sick… well, just sick of bad food.

It’s safe to say that our first Cancun trip was a little but rocky, but it was great bonding time. …and we were forced outside of our box. We had some adventures, and we have memories that we will never forget.

At least now we can find the humor in how bad certain aspects were, like that we had to walk 1/2 a mile to go to another resorts beach, or the water aerobics, or that greasy goodnight smell that filled the damp evening air…. Keep in mind, this was our honeymoon. They are typically suppose to be flawless vacations.

LESSONS LEARNED:

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Fun Fact: This was the first time Brad got to use his passport!

1) Always research your hotel thoroughly. Read reviews &   map it out.

2) Research activities ahead of time, that way you can make the most of your time while you are there.

3) Pick your destination/hotel  based on what you are looking for: relaxation, adventure, family vacation… etc.

4) If you are married to or marrying someone with Type-A   tendencies, don’t just spring things on them last minute.We know it’s thoughtful, but sometimes it’s just stressful, or at least give them clues as to what to pack

5) Appreciate the good, laugh about the bad

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The Compulsive Traveler

out to see the world, and snap beautiful photos while doing so.

One thought on “Cancun Honeymoon: Learning Curve.”

  1. Pingback: Cancun Redo.

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