(Closed) Not going to Mexico…where else should we go???

posted 12 years ago in Honeymoons
Post # 3
142 posts
Blushing bee

If you’re waiting for the last minute anyway, you could always just play it by ear! Decide that you’re going somewhere in the Caribbean, say, and then just take the best last minute deal – there are always SUCH inexpensive trips, especially for last minute deals to all-inclusive resorts. And I bet with the economy the way it is, you’ll be able to find some great deals.

I have lived in Mexico for a year, just outside of Mexico City, and never had any problems. And I’ve heard so many good reports from the Cancun/Riviera Maya area, I would not feel nervous about travelling there.

My parents just got back from Puerto Rico and said it was one of their favorite places down south. I know tons of people who have LOVED Cuba (but I don’t know if people from the US are allowed to go there?), Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic.  

Post # 4
732 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2010 - The Tower Club

I LOVE Puerto Rico, but it’s reportedly very rainy in May. 

I went to PV as a solo traveler for a week and *loved* it. I felt very safe at all times, and I wasn’t even in a resort, I rented an apartment. An AI resort in an area such as Puerto Vallarta is most likely very safe. 

If not Mexico, what type of vacation are you hoping for? Do you want to hang out at the beach and see beautiful sunsets (ie., Hawaii)? Are you okay going somewhere stateside (New York, Monterey CA, some other beach/vacation town) or do you want some nature & adventure (Costa Rica)? 

Post # 5
45 posts
  • Wedding: June 2010

I adore the Riviera Maya area.  I stayed at a resort there (princess) with my family and enjoyed it.  For a big resort, it was certainly well-planned and didn’t feel overcrowded.

What is most important to you in a resort?  Food, amenities, proximity to interesting places, beach/pool, entertainment? 

I’m not really an expert but I have been to a resort a year for the past 7 years or so.  My mom is kind of obsessed with them.  The only places we found disappointing food-wise were our resort in Varadero, Cuba and the Holiday Inn in Montego Bay, Jamaica.  The bands at that Holiday Inn were amazing and more than made up for the food.  I’ve never enjoyed entertainment at a resort as much as I did there.

I love Negril in Jamaica.  It’s on the west coast so the sunsets are spectacular.  Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic was also quite beautiful.

The only thing I hate in a resort is when one is way too big and poorly laid out to the point where it’s all noisy and crowded.   The one we stayed at in Punta Cana definitely fit that description.  The beaches were stunning, though.  

Post # 7
45 posts
  • Wedding: June 2010

 Have you checked out tripadvisor.com?  You can look up most resorts there. 

 If you like to go out at night, I would recommend the Riviera Maya.  Our resort (the princess) had several families who were return visitors, so I think that is a good sign. In addition to two main pools where they had games/sports, the pool was this huge moat that went around the whole resort.  People on the bottom floor with swim-up rooms could walk into the pool from their balconies.   It also had several restaurants in addition to the buffets, which brought more variety into our eating options.  It had a shuttle into town so we could hit the clubs there as well.  Even though we could drink for free at the resort, the drinks at clubs were quite cheap and it was nice to have the change of scenery being at the same resort all week.  The discos at resorts are usually kind of tame (or full of kids, heh).  Of course you can have fun anywhere under the right conditions and the all-inclusive drinking helps with that 🙂

Montego Bay also had a few clubs the resort provided a shuttle for.  I’ve heard it can be sketchy at night in town, but that wasn’t my experience at all.   There are also excursions available to Dunns River Falls (a waterfall you can climb).   The Reggae band the Holiday Inn brought in on the weekends was AMAZING.

We went to Cuba but I’m not sure if Americans can go there without flying to Mexico or another third country first. 

Another Mexico destination we loved was Huatulco, way south on the Pacfic coast (far from PV, Manzanillo, Mazatlan, etc).  It is a cruise ship stop with gorgeous beaches and really cute little towns.  My grandparents renewed their vows on their 50th wedding anniversary in a beautiful church in town.  We stayed at the Barcelo.  Best food ever, seriously.  They made a huge Paella on the beach every afternoon, and if you timed your eating right you could live off of freshly-BBQ’d meat and fish and avoid the buffet completely. 

The Occidental Grand Papagayo in Costa Rica was breathtakingly beautiful.  If you walked down the beach for 15 minutes, you could see cute spider monkeys.  There were also big monkeys in the trees in town.  We did a zipline tour, a mud bath/hotsprings trip, and horseback riding.  My grandparents did a river tour of the jungle and saw all kinds of cool birds.  I would suggest bringing lots of bug repellent for those trips.  We spent the nights partying at our resort, which was full of people our age that week.  Fun times!

I was younger on our trips to the Dominican Republic, so I didn’t go out at night.  The beaches at both Puerto Plata and Punta Cana were AMAZING. Seriously, you could walk for hours on the coastline.  The Coral Marien is where we stayed in Puerto Plata, and the Breezes is where we stayed in Punta Cana.  Breezes was too crowded and noisy for my mom’s liking.  They did have a lot to do, though.  They even had this skating rink made out of plastic that you could "ice" skate on with hockey skates on the beach.  Made for fun pictures…  I think they also threw in a free banana boat ride or maybe it was a free power boat activity, so maybe this might help with your parasailing plans?

To be honest, all the resorts are kind of the same to me.  We pick our holidays based on who is offering the best value in the 4-star range.  The staff is always great, the drinks are consistent, the grounds are beautifully maintained with cool tropical plants, the entertainment is always a bit hit or miss (except for the musicians, who are usually great), the food is ok (but you always get a little tired of it by the end of your week or two) and they’re usually close to other resorts and a town where you can do the kind of shopping you want to do.  I never had problems with bugs at any of them, except for all the bites I got in the jungle on excursions.   I think all of them have parasailing, too.  I remember seeing it everywhere!

Post # 8
310 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2008

A cruise is always an option. I would recommend Royal Caribbean, Princess or Norweigan Cruise Lines. Check vactionstogo.com for good deals.

If you do go to Mexico I would stay at Riu Vallarta which is next door to Jallico and is MUCH nicer 🙂

Post # 9
360 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2009 - Westwind YWCA camp

FYI – you CAN travel to cuba, you just have to fly there via another country.  As in, you’d have to fly to Mexico City (for example) for a stop-over, and then fly from Mexico City to Cuba.  likewise you can fly from Canada.

Have you thought of Puerto Rico?  It’s just a technicality shy of being another US state! (pretty safe!) 

Post # 10
50 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

We were planning on going to the Riviera Maya but the same travel alert made us change our minds. Really, we were pretty much set on the Hotel Marina el Cid until that alert came out. We research and figured out we were really in a danger area but we decided we didn’t want to be in a country where there WERE large danger areas lol.

So, we have decided on Punta Cana. Our all-inclusive resort, the Catalonia Royal Bavaro (http://www.hoteles-catalonia.com/hc/hotel.do?opcio=detalle&id=111), looks great! TripAdvisor has almost all positive reviews aside from the few people that simply cannot have a good vacation wherever they go (http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g147293-d611703-Reviews-Catalonia_Royal_Bavaro-Punta_Cana_Dominican_Republic.html). The CRB is actually attached or part of the Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Casion and Golf Resort but our side is the adults-only side with "royal" ammenities lol. We are very much looking forward to our honeymoon!! It was only $1950 for 5 nights and airfare (from Detroit)!

Post # 11
101 posts
Blushing bee

teris…where did you find your info on PC?  We are looking at the same thing…we had planned on PV as well but arent so sure about it now…thanks for info

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