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Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( #144386
09/23/2017 06:40 PM
09/23/2017 06:40 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,099
Maryland/DC Metro
BeachKitten Offline OP
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BeachKitten  Offline OP
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Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,099
Maryland/DC Metro
It appears other Caribbean islands and the Keys are out this year. Too much hurricane damage.

Mexico has never particularly appealed to us, though perhaps I should give it another look. I just don't want over commercialized and overbuilt like Cancun. Cheap or spring break type vibe is out as well.

Is there anyplace on either coast (must be a beach) that has a chill perhaps upscale vibe? Not looking for cheap (possibly tainted according to the news) alcohol. I like beach chair service, and GOOD FOOD. Activities and perhaps a tour or two nearby. Shopping is ALWAYS a plus. wink

Is there a locale in Mexico that fits this bill? I explored Costa Rico, but RCI didn't have anything near the beach. Closest was a 2 hour drive.

Thank you!


"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" wink
Sponsors
Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: BeachKitten] #144387
09/23/2017 10:18 PM
09/23/2017 10:18 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 11,746
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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pat  Offline
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Brookfield, CT.
Leona,

We stayed for a week at the Club Regina in Puerto Vallarta a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. We had an upper unit overlooking the beach with our own hot tub on the balcony. Did not rent a car and used the local taxi services. Booked a few tours through the hotel concierge desk and they were all fun. Did one day if shopping in town which was way too much for me. It was a fun week but nothing that we would rate over St. Maarten, unless SXM wasn't available. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/duh.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/duh.gif" alt="" />


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: BeachKitten] #144388
09/24/2017 09:29 AM
09/24/2017 09:29 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 954
Virginia
SMC_Irish_68 Offline
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Posts: 954
Virginia

I recommend staying on Isla Mujeres which is just off of Cancun. Here's some reasons why:
- Safe!
- It's easy to reach via air-conditioned ferry. We book a private airport to ferry transport online (very reasonable price).
- Lodging options are excellent: condos right on North Beach; luxury resorts; casas that can be rented from homeaway.com or vrbo.com; small boutique hotel like Casa de los Suenos, etc.
- No rental cars: visitors use the inexpensive taxis or rent golf carts by the day or the week (we rented by the week)
- Restaurants and shopping: Excellent!
- Day trips: You can book day trips for snorkeling, diving, etc.

There are also numerous large resorts all along the Maya Riviera which extends from Cancun to Tulum if you prefer the resort atmosphere. If you did decide to stay at one, I recommend booking a day trip to one of the Mayan ruins and also to a cenote.

Karen

Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: BeachKitten] #144389
09/24/2017 04:37 PM
09/24/2017 04:37 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 357
Central Coast, CA
C
cruzer Offline
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cruzer  Offline
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C
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 357
Central Coast, CA
Having gone through what you're trying to do, I settled on Isla Holbox, off the northern Yucatan Peninsula, about a 2 1/2 hour ride away from CUN, and also requiring a ferry crossing, and golf cart taxi to your hotel. Ironically, it'll take us as long to get from the left coast to either here or SXM, because of the 3rd leg via car service.

This place seems really laid back, and any activity off the island is a good 2 hours away by car. Looks to have many fine restaurants, and rooms run the gamut from $20 well over $500. Plenty of nice accommodations. Seems most people go for the few activities--especially whale shark trips, but the season is now over--reading, swimming, sunning, eating, and drinking

No building is over 3 stories tall, and the roads are hard packed sand. If you really want to kick back, this just might be the place.

I did have to spend many hours a day for 3 days to finally convince myself I really wanted this island as my SXM alternative.

Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: pat] #144390
09/30/2017 03:37 PM
09/30/2017 03:37 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,099
Maryland/DC Metro
BeachKitten Offline OP
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BeachKitten  Offline OP
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Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,099
Maryland/DC Metro
Thanks for the suggestions!

We are ending up going to Mazatlan. Spectacular sunsets, and supposedly good food choices. The "Pearl of the Pacific" and looking forward to exploring the Golden Zone.

I did NOT want all-inclusive, so where we are staying has a kitchen and the option of AI. Now hope we can find a grocery store! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/dine.gif" alt="" />


"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" wink
Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: BeachKitten] #144391
11/25/2017 01:07 PM
11/25/2017 01:07 PM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 429
Lancaster County, PA
bugambilias Offline
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bugambilias  Offline
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Posts: 429
Lancaster County, PA
I can tell you that is sure crowded here in Playa del Carmen and the rates are way up too!
It's not even High Season yet.

Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: bugambilias] #144392
11/25/2017 01:30 PM
11/25/2017 01:30 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,099
Maryland/DC Metro
BeachKitten Offline OP
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BeachKitten  Offline OP
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Posts: 2,099
Maryland/DC Metro
We had a wonderful time in Mazatlan! Sunsets were gorgeous, food was good. Everything was so inexpensive!

Dia de los Muertos parade was FUN! We were in the middle of it all, getting ice cold beer served down to us and the other revelers.

The resorts gardens were spectacular. Swans and flamingos. Fountains, floral arrangements. Three swimming pools, one of which was adults only....yay, no screaming kids! Golf cart shuttles as the property was so large. Free bus to their sister resort, and complete access to their amenities as well. 24 hour room service if we got too lazy to cook or get dressed! lol

Beaches and shopping very different than SXM, but it's a place we would go back to. Awesome staff, and made friends with one of our pulmonia drivers. Spent a great day with him in the countryside. Dancing horses, tequila farm, leather shop, authentic meal.

If Photo Bucket hadn't gone all $$ on us, I would have loved to share the pictures. frown


"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" wink
Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: BeachKitten] #144393
11/25/2017 04:02 PM
11/25/2017 04:02 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 65,961
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 65,961
Central Florida!
Would love to see those pictures too! Again, you can upload pictures here to the SXM or General photo forum. Or talk to Beerman or TomB about other options..


Carol Hill
Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: Carol_Hill] #144394
11/25/2017 08:48 PM
11/25/2017 08:48 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,099
Maryland/DC Metro
BeachKitten Offline OP
Traveler
BeachKitten  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,099
Maryland/DC Metro


"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" wink
Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: bugambilias] #144395
11/25/2017 10:12 PM
11/25/2017 10:12 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,142
Somewhere out there
kneafseym Offline
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kneafseym  Offline
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Posts: 3,142
Somewhere out there
Bug... interesting that rates are up. We head to CUN Dec 8 at Ocean Coral and turquesa at $135/night with $300 air fare from Tulsa. We go to a different place every year and have yet to be disappointed, the Mexican's understand customer service. So much better than DR or Cuba. You don't get the awesome beaches, but after working in the Caribbean for years I just want a cheap place to chill. On Dec 23rd the rate goes to $474/night.


Mike
Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: BeachKitten] #144396
11/26/2017 09:28 AM
11/26/2017 09:28 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 65,961
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 65,961
Central Florida!
Says 'video not available'. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/cry.gif" alt="" />


Carol Hill
Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: Carol_Hill] #144397
11/26/2017 12:42 PM
11/26/2017 12:42 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,099
Maryland/DC Metro
BeachKitten Offline OP
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BeachKitten  Offline OP
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Posts: 2,099
Maryland/DC Metro
Quote
Carol_Hill said:
Says 'video not available'. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/cry.gif" alt="" />


Drat, I had it set to Private I think. Try this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTr3aXQBP2U


"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" wink
Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: BeachKitten] #144398
11/26/2017 01:00 PM
11/26/2017 01:00 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 65,961
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
Traveler
Carol_Hill  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 65,961
Central Florida!
Paso Fino horses? Really lovely.


Carol Hill
Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: BeachKitten] #144399
11/26/2017 01:29 PM
11/26/2017 01:29 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,099
Maryland/DC Metro
BeachKitten Offline OP
Traveler
BeachKitten  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,099
Maryland/DC Metro
[Linked Image]

Yay!! I think I have figured out how to get pictures into posts! Stay tuned as I pull things together!
This is the Mazatlan Airport. Was very old-timey.

They had dogs inspecting passengers and luggage upon arrival. We had eaten chicken wraps and carrots on the plane, and had a few bones and carrots left. The dog followed us at the luggage carousel! lol
They Mexican government takes protecting their agriculture and crops VERY seriously. You cannot enter with fruits, veggies, etc.

[Linked Image]


"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" wink
Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: BeachKitten] #144400
11/26/2017 02:09 PM
11/26/2017 02:09 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 65,961
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 65,961
Central Florida!
Great! Looking forward to seeing more!


Carol Hill
Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: Carol_Hill] #144401
11/26/2017 05:50 PM
11/26/2017 05:50 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,099
Maryland/DC Metro
BeachKitten Offline OP
Traveler
BeachKitten  Offline OP
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Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,099
Maryland/DC Metro
Quote
Carol_Hill said:
Paso Fino horses? Really lovely.


And Friesians.
[Linked Image]

This one is owned by a singer, and he rides it in parades.


"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" wink
Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: BeachKitten] #144402
11/26/2017 06:01 PM
11/26/2017 06:01 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,099
Maryland/DC Metro
BeachKitten Offline OP
Traveler
BeachKitten  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,099
Maryland/DC Metro
First afternoon at the pool. Time for a snack of quesadillas and ceviche!

[Linked Image]

Every night there is a themed buffet in addition to an ala carte menu. The dessert display is amazing.

[Linked Image]

Funky beach side restaurant for breakfast. Looney Beans
[Linked Image]

Delicious huevos divorciados! (but not as good as Ernest & Fidels)

[Linked Image]

Another day of lunch by the pool. Burger and shrimp cocktail

[Linked Image]

Sunset
[Linked Image]


"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" wink
Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: BeachKitten] #144403
11/26/2017 06:12 PM
11/26/2017 06:12 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,099
Maryland/DC Metro
BeachKitten Offline OP
Traveler
BeachKitten  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,099
Maryland/DC Metro
Swim up pool bar at the sister resort

[Linked Image]

Birthday lunch. Filet mignon, seafood linguine (shrimp, scallops, calamari)

[Linked Image]

Surprise from the waiters!

[Linked Image]

The grounds and gardens were beautiful!

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

towel swan at the towel exchange station

[Linked Image]


"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" wink
Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: BeachKitten] #144404
11/26/2017 06:31 PM
11/26/2017 06:31 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,099
Maryland/DC Metro
BeachKitten Offline OP
Traveler
BeachKitten  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,099
Maryland/DC Metro
Breakfast buffet was TO DIE FOR! (and if I ate like this daily it WOULD kill me! Lol) Everything you could possible think of. Omelet station, quesadilla station, pancakes, waffles, cereals, etc. All of that, all you can eat, for the dollar equivalent of $6.25 per person.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]



So many fresh juices!
[Linked Image]

My favorite!
[Linked Image]

Fruits and salads
[Linked Image]


Yogurt and oatmeal toppings
[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

The coconut marmelade….I thought I’d gone to heaven!

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Last edited by BeachKitten; 11/26/2017 06:52 PM.

"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" wink
Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: BeachKitten] #144405
11/26/2017 07:34 PM
11/26/2017 07:34 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 65,961
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 65,961
Central Florida!
Thanks for the pics! Great stuff!


Carol Hill
Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: Carol_Hill] #144406
11/26/2017 08:45 PM
11/26/2017 08:45 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,099
Maryland/DC Metro
BeachKitten Offline OP
Traveler
BeachKitten  Offline OP
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Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,099
Maryland/DC Metro
Thank you! More to come. It takes a bit of time with this new method I've figured out. Maybe I can go back and do a July report of SXM now...very sad though.

Next up....Parade of Dia de los Muertos, FOOD porn. More pics. wink


"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" wink
Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: BeachKitten] #144407
11/26/2017 08:51 PM
11/26/2017 08:51 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 65,961
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 65,961
Central Florida!
Regardless would appreciate seeing 'pre' pictures of SXM... <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/cry.gif" alt="" />


Carol Hill
Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: Carol_Hill] #144408
11/27/2017 06:00 PM
11/27/2017 06:00 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,099
Maryland/DC Metro
BeachKitten Offline OP
Traveler
BeachKitten  Offline OP
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Posts: 2,099
Maryland/DC Metro
I should just email the rest of this Mazatlan trips pics to you Carol, I think you’re the only one who cares! Lol

Otherwise, it’s too much work if there’s no interest.


"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" wink
Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: BeachKitten] #144409
12/16/2017 12:48 AM
12/16/2017 12:48 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,618
Virginia wishing STJ
TomB Offline
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TomB  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,618
Virginia wishing STJ
I care!
Thanks for the PM heads up - I honestly missed them.

When I get a second I will shoot you a PM on how to size within the blog so they all come out the same size when you post them on TTOL.

Now it is midnight and I am hungry from looking at some of those shots.

<img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/dine.gif" alt="" />


Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: BeachKitten] #144410
12/17/2017 11:11 AM
12/17/2017 11:11 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 954
Virginia
SMC_Irish_68 Offline
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SMC_Irish_68  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 954
Virginia
Keep posting photos! I'm loving them!

Karen <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Clapping.gif" alt="" />

Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: BeachKitten] #144411
12/17/2017 12:27 PM
12/17/2017 12:27 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 316
Maine
SXMbeacher Online content
Traveler
SXMbeacher  Online Content
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Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 316
Maine
Great pics. Please post more! We have replaced our SXM trip with our first ever trip to Tulum Mexico. I know it's no where near where you vacationed, but we're trying to get a feel for Mexico! Thanks BeachKitten!


Life's a beach!


[Linked Image]


Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: cruzer] #151981
01/10/2018 10:25 PM
01/10/2018 10:25 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 32
Western NY
H
HappyNude Offline
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HappyNude  Offline
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H
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 32
Western NY
We have booked 4 nights in Isla Holbox at Beachfront Hotel La Palapa and then 4 nights at Hidden Beach, the last week of February. Isla Holbox looks awesome from the YouTube videos I watched.

Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: BeachKitten] #155695
02/27/2018 05:23 PM
02/27/2018 05:23 PM
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 3,907
Toledo, OH, USA
Orange_Burst Offline
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Orange_Burst  Offline
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Originally Posted by BeachKitten
We had a wonderful time in Mazatlan! Sunsets were gorgeous, food was good. Everything was so inexpensive!

Dia de los Muertos parade was FUN! We were in the middle of it all, getting ice cold beer served down to us and the other revelers.

The resorts gardens were spectacular. Swans and flamingos. Fountains, floral arrangements. Three swimming pools, one of which was adults only....yay, no screaming kids! Golf cart shuttles as the property was so large. Free bus to their sister resort, and complete access to their amenities as well. 24 hour room service if we got too lazy to cook or get dressed! lol

Beaches and shopping very different than SXM, but it's a place we would go back to. Awesome staff, and made friends with one of our pulmonia drivers. Spent a great day with him in the countryside. Dancing horses, tequila farm, leather shop, authentic meal.

If Photo Bucket hadn't gone all $$ on us, I would have loved to share the pictures. frown


I must be missing it, can you tell me the name of the resort? Thanks


Colleen

[Linked Image]

Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: Orange_Burst] #155696
02/27/2018 05:30 PM
02/27/2018 05:30 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 65,961
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 65,961
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BeachKitten--since you're the 'expert' regarding the photo gallery, you could post those additional pictures now! grin


Carol Hill
Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: Orange_Burst] #156575
03/11/2018 03:50 PM
03/11/2018 03:50 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,099
Maryland/DC Metro
BeachKitten Offline OP
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BeachKitten  Offline OP
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Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,099
Maryland/DC Metro
Sorry Orange Burst...just now seeing your post. Only a few weeks late! lol

The resort was Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay in Mazatlan...a bit North of the Golden Zone.


"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" wink
Re: Seeking alternative to St Maarten this year :( [Re: BeachKitten] #156586
03/11/2018 07:52 PM
03/11/2018 07:52 PM
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 3,907
Toledo, OH, USA
Orange_Burst Offline
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Thank you!


Colleen

[Linked Image]


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