Jamie’s Mayan Riviera El Cid Marina – Part 1

Having been in the travel industry for over 15 years, I find it hard to believe I have never made it to one of our most popular destinations – Cancun and the Mayan Riviera.

We flew from Saskatoon to Cancun with Westjet via Calgary.  The flights were all good, just slightly delayed due to weather. Westjet now loses satellite tv just south of the US border, but they have a few free movies you could watch. I still miss the days where they fed you a real meal on an airplane!

Anyway, the real adventure began when we hit the Cancun airport. Holy Moly, what a bunch of lineups, hundreds and hundreds of angry and frustrated people of all nationalities, clamouring and pushing and sneaking ahead of you in line. Jeepers, I was happy to say goodbye to that airport an hour and a half after we arrived!

Thankfully the El Cid is only about 20 minutes from the airport and we were soon enjoying our first margarita! 🙂 This is definitely a family friendly hotel and a good, solid four star. I’m glad we picked it.


Amazing view of the pool from our room.

The one bedroom suite is enormous and we have had our pick of chairs on the beach and by the pool. There are lots of kids for Sydney to play with and I had an awesome massage on the beach, which at $56.00 for 30 minutes wasn’t a bad rate for a resort. The food so far has been good. We are soon off to try Alcazar, one of their fine dining restaurants.

Alcazar ended up being comparable to most fine dining restaurants at home. A very enjoyable meal with great service and presentation and a very child friendly kids menu.

Now we are off to enjoy another day of the pool and beach!


The lobby bar in El Cid

Correna’s Real Destination Wedding FAM – Cancun, Mexico

June 5, 2012

Yesterday we checked out of the Royal in Cancun and made our way to Playa del Carmen to do site inspections of the Grand Porto Real and to check into the Royal Playa del Carmen.  Our transfer was with Best Day tours and we found out that the gentleman who owns the Real resorts also owns Best Day Tours, (wow wealthy man)!  Our room transfer was about an hour, it wasn’t too bad at all.

When we arrived the first thing we did was tour the Grand Porto Real, now I feel like I am really visiting Mexico!  The resort has kept with the Mexican architecture and decor; I would stay here in a heartbeat.  The beach around the Porto is gorgeous and the property is a block from 5th Avenue for the shoppers and the walkers.  Right across the street – I mean right across the street – is the Royal!  This is great if you are thinking of a destination wedding or family group.  If part of your party has children they would be able to stay at the Porto and the adults can stay at the Royal.

The Royal Playa del Carmen is a much livelier and larger resort than in Cancun.   Not every room has the great ocean view and you have more walking in Playa.  After only one night my preference is to be in Cancun, smaller quieter and not as noisy.  The Playa properties have music and games around the pool where Cancun is more relaxing.  The rooms in Playa are just about identical; the only difference is that I did find is the bathrooms are a bit smaller.  Most of our group has main floor suites and we have all found it noisier than our stay in Cancun.

Last night we had a mock wedding, reception, and dinner – such a nice treat!  After dinner a group of us decided to take a walk down 5th Avenue.  If you haven’t been to Playa before, this is your shopping and nightlife street.  There wasn’t anything that I haven’t seen before so I came back to the resort empty handed.

The “Bride and Groom”

This morning we had wedding and resort training, as well as seeing the Real Playa del Carmen.  This property is not sold in the American market as it is not on the beach and is ranked as a 3 star property.  I would stay here with no problems at all.  The walk to the beach is nothing and honestly, we all need exercise while we are on vacation!   This property reminds me of Puerto Vallarta; it has old Mexican decor and great gardens.

Our flight is around noon tomorrow with WestJet.  I do have a connection in Calgary but will be back at work on Thursday morning.




June 3, 2012

The transfer from the RIU Palace was fine, after a quick tour of the Gran Caribe Real we made our way to the Royal Cancun.

The Royal Cancun

We arrived at the Royal around one and did our check-in.  My room wasn’t going to be ready until three but they gave us bracelets and we went and had lunch at the beach restaurant called the Pelicanos, and the first thing they brought to the table was chips, salsa and guacamole yipeeeeee!  Lunch was good but sure didn’t find burgers and dogs.  I did see someone’s shrimp cocktail and the shrimp pretty much hung down past the plate, they were the biggest shrimp I have ever seen.

After lunch we hit the beach for awhile until it started clouding up.  At three I went to see if my room was ready, I was supposed to be in room 523 but I was put into room 521.  I opened my door to see a gorgeous room with a nice big king-sized bed.  This is one of the nicest resorts I have stayed in; I am nowhere near a 5 star resort girl (unlike some of my co-workers) 😉  so this all very new to me.  I did have a few interruptions in my room as having a honeymoon cake delivered to my room.  I guess the guy who changed my room number kind of screwed up and the honeymoon couple got my room – to bad for them they were in a double bedroom and I got their king!

The Royal Cancun – my room!

We had arrangements to meet the FAM group at seven pm in the lobby; this was the first time meeting everyone.  There are five agents from Canada and six from the USA.  We had a little time to introduce ourselves and then we had dinner at Maria Marie, the menu was set with Caesar salad, French pinion soup, prime rib and a chocolate dessert that was to die for. After dinner we watched some entertainment then we pretty much decided that we were not going to let the gorgeous rooms go to waste and everyone said goodnight.

June 2, 2012

Yesterday I flew to Cancun to start my Real Destination Wedding FAM!   I came in a day earlier as the flight was much better with WestJet on Friday as opposed to Saturday.

I decided to try the brand new RIU Palace Peninsula! For those of you who don’t know Cancun airport be prepared for a wait to get through customs.  While I was waiting there were two couples from the northern states right behind me complaining the whole time, remarking how it was their first and will be the only time they would be in Mexico?  What is wrong guy with people?  You just arrived in a beautiful country with the friendliest people and you have already started your vacation off on a bad foot.

While I was waiting for my transfer I started talking with another lady who is also going on the FAM and she is also staying at the RIU, I have a dinner companion and haven’t even left the airport!  The transfer that I used was with BestDay, we had a bit of a wait but nothing to serious.  OH, I forgot to mention that our flight was 41minutes early – sweet.

When I walked into the RIU my first thoughts are that I think they dropped me off in Miami or Las Vegas,  now for those of you who know me, probably saw me roll me eyes when I walked in because to me, this is NOT Mexico!  I’m not saying it is a bad hotel – just not a Correna hotel.

RIU Palace Peninsula

We had dinner at the Krystal; this is a tapas fusion restaurant.  The food was alright but the killer was NO chips and salsa, so we had to check out the buffet after dinner.  The beach is alright not huge and no palapas.  The pool has tones of loungers and umbrellas.
My room was on the fifth floor ocean view, also overlooking the pools.  The room wasn’t as large as the other RIU that I have stayed at.  The rooms looked stark and cold to me – all the walls were painted a bright white.     I would probably rate this hotel as a 4.5 star resort, the staff is great and the food was alright.  There are a few issues with some of the bars not having enough staff but this will just take some time as it is still really new.