*used to be a trip to Isla Mujeres, but the hotel on Isla is still not open*
XMAS 2005

Tuesday – 12/20
Well, we arrived at the Cancun airport, made it through immigration/customs without any problem – yay! Our one problem is that we stopped to talk to someone in the area before you leave the airport. He asked if we were looking for something, and I made the mistake of answering with anything other than no. After quite a while, and lots of no thank you’s, we were out the door. Our transportation was waiting for us – no problem! Our flight got in around 4:35, and by the time we left the airport it was after 5:30 and dusk. We so wanted to see our surroundings, but instead drove to the BPT in darkness.

Our reservations were for the Tulum property. When we arrived, we found that we had been moved to Coba. Coba was beautiful (as was the entire resort) but about as far away from the beach as one could possibly be. We had requested an ocean view – instead of wave noise we heard highway traffic with no ocean in sight. Disappointment. I thought of trying to see if we could be moved, but decided it was not worth it and we would have fun no matter what.

Our first night consisted of eating dinner at Kukulcan (Coba’s buffet), and walking around trying to explore. The property is HUGE.

Wednesday, 12-21
We decided that this day would be spent just exploring the resort and hanging out. We booked our ala carte’s restaurants (Le Gourmet; Tequilla; and tried for Oriental but booked; ended up with the Italian restaurant). We wandered around, hung out at the beach (big winds that day) and thoroughly enjoyed dinner at Le Gourmet.

Thursday, 12-22
Chitchen Itza Day – great day and a trip not to be missed!

Friday, 12/23
Tulum Ruins – we did this on our own; easy and fun. Get there early prior to the cruise ship excursions! It got very crowded… Dinner at Tequilla – I’d have to say it was OK (nothing special though).

Saturday, 12/24
Took the shuttle to Playa del Carmen. Shuttle runs leaves at 9, and you must be back to the bus at 1:00. Very fun, wished we had a little more time there to explore.

The xmas dinner experience was WAY TOO CROWDED for us. Buffet’s are not our favorite anyway, but then only have 2 seatings making the crowds all come at the same time…and converge on the buffet room at the same time. They were running out of food, the lines for the prime rib, turkey etc were too long, not enjoyable. You had to wade through people just to see what was available. The employees were working very hard to keep up, but with the way it was arranged (everyone coming at a set time) it just was not conducive to a buffet. The decorations and ice sculptures were lovely, and as I said the employees were working their very hardest to make it a special night for all!

Sunday, 12/25
Xel-Ha: What a great place! We all had a wonderful time and loved floating down the river. We got there early, and stayed until closing. Very fun! Dinner at Don Pablo – quite nice.

Monday, 12/26
Already time to leave… Our van was scheduled to arrive at 2:30 to pick us up. We spent the day shopping at the Hacienda, and hanging out on the beach. As we were waiting for the van, the employee at the front desk came and asked if I had stayed in a certain room number. I said that I had, at which point she said that there seemed to be a problem with the room. Perhaps I had accidentally packed the alarm clock in my bags! I was pretty surprised, and assured her that when we had come there was no alarm clock in the room and that we had used our own little travel clock since one was not in the room. I certainly had not taken the clock.

*Employees are so friendly, nice and eager to please
*Resort is maintained well
*Rooms were nice
*Pools were beautiful
*Le Gourmet was wonderful

*Very crowded and huge
*Buffet food got old and we only stayed 6 days
*The organization of the excursions was very poor – they need a system in place to organize the tours
*Mini-bar was not stocked daily (and we left tips inside); I was told at one point we were only allowed to be restocked 2 times which I had never heard before
*Being placed in Coba – it was as far away from the beach as it could possibly have been
*Hearing highway noise

Did we have a good time? Absolutely!!! Would we go back? Probably not – however, not because of the resort, but because we just like smaller facilities. We decided that we just shouldn’t try another all inclusive. Part of the fun of travel for us is eating at new places and seeing new sights. We are used to small Caribbean islands, and I had thought I prepared myself that this would not be the same… People on TTOL said to NOT expect the BVI - and they were very right. We were actually all shocked when we walked out onto the beach the first time at the number of people on this lovely beach.

It was a great trip, we got some sunshine (which coming from Alaska is always a plus) and we had a wonderful family Christmas!