Welcome Back to Reality!

 My husband and I just returned from Mexico, and what a trip it was! The sunshine, the blues of the sky and water, the lovely Spanish-speaking people, the cuisine! Nothing to complain about there! The accommodations were the best we’ve experienced anywhere, and we have travelled to Cuba and the Dominican Republic many times. The Iberostar Cancun was formerly the Hilton, with many upgrades since being taken over by the chain known as Iberostar. It was so clean that you could literally eat off the floors. No tummy aches, no one begging for tips, no criminals (none that I could identify anyway!) and certainly no fist fights or disgruntled customers! It was truly a heaven on earth kind of experience!

Each day we opened our drapes to beautiful sunny skies and hot air. After showering and dressing, we made our way to the coveted buffet, which cannot be better anywhere!  The choices of cheeses, meats, breads, jams, and so on would do anyone’s heart good. That’s if you didn’t eat too much of it! The fruit table was beautifully decorated and contained the sweetest juiciest fruit found in the region. The trick was to take your time and chew each mouthful a million times. You had to be choosy and eat only a small amount of each.  The pink grapefruit juice and fruit was wonderful and I enjoyed it each day.

Prior to eating we would browse around for the best locations to place our towels. We prefer the shaded areas so finding these was often difficult as there were earlier risers than us. We had our own towels so it was easy to find them after a trip back to our room to put on our suntan lotion, 60 SPF for me, and our swimsuits. And you know the ladies like to have one or two suits for each day, along with colorful wraps to hide what should not be there!

Walks on the beach and street marked our days, along with special drinks like the Dirty Monkey and Mohitoes. Spanish lessons at ten o’clock each day and then aerobics in the pool an hour later-how could life get much better than this? Buffet again at 1 p.m. and then more time in the pool and sun. I brought along Toys by James Patterson but didn’t read much of it. I also tried to keep a journal, and ended up writing my new spanish words in it.

So many people to speak with each day!  The Mexicans and mostly Americans more so than Canadians, were friendly and interested in learning about us and our lives in Newfoundland. I met a woman who had four children, two sons and two daughters and my husband referred to them as two perfect families in one. The husband spent a lot of time in the pool and he chatted with my husband,while enjoying many drinks in the warm water. He had had surgery on his shoulder, but he had no trouble lifting his drinks! The all-inclusive includes all food and drink so it suited us all fine. We met a doctor who deals with sleep disorders and we invited him to join us a few times for company at supper(or dinner as many people say). We enjoyed learning about his life. We had many chats with him about his life in Chicago and his travels in Mexico. One of my spanish teachers was a young man named Jesus(Hesu) who told about his girlfriend and child, and how he needs to save $1000 U.S. for his wedding with about 40 family and friends attending. It was wonderful to learn so much about the people we met. A retired teacher told about her mailman husband who spent 39 years carrying mail, and who played golf for the first time in years. She shared some of her stories about her teaching and travelling. Lill also took some of the spanish classes with me.

There were many other interesting observations and experiences going to Mexico for the second time. Free five minute massages were available and if you wanted to avail of the spa, you could get a fifty minute massage for $90. A native person drowned when he got caught up in the undertow, and the attention that was paid to this person, in doing the CPR and in maintaining calm and order after the pronouncement of death, was very sad, but at the same time very respectful. There were no flea markets on the beach as in other countries, which enabled visitors to see the beauty of the beach. The Mexican workers ate with the guests, and talked with anyone who wished to converse with them. The workers were all very friendly wherever you wandered on the resort.  Most of the guests on the resort ate in a respectful manner, taking only what they wanted to eat. Few guests got inebriated or staggered about. Taxi drivers asked if you wanted a taxi but did not pester you.  All vehicles looked to be clean and well maintained. All parts of the resort looked well cared for. I did miss not seeing the Mexican children, but hope to do some outings next time.

The nightime entertainment varied each night.  Our favorites were the Mexican Night and the Magic Show. The young men and women are very talented dancers and singers, and they are always doing their best. The costumes and variety was admirable. They change costumes for each number, and there was no noticeable downtime. A lady walks around serving drinks while the entertainment is going on, and you can go to the bar if you can’t wait. Everyone wants you to enjoy yourself, so it’s easy to see how these places become so sought after!

This was certainly a trip of a lifetime and I would go back in a heartbeat. Many people are wary of travelling to Mexico, but there are certain places you need to avoid and then you have no trouble whatsoever. The Mexican people were helpful when we went into the city center, and although I was wearing my wired shoulder bag, we had no trouble. I would be careful where I ate in the city, where I went alone and what time of day I travelled, but for the most part, it was not much different than Cuba or the Dominican Republic.

Suggestions For Going To A Resort:

1. Learn some Spanish before you go to Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican. Speak respectfully by learning por fabor, please and gracias, thank you.  The people really recognize your effort and your manners.

2. Be generous with your tipping. Having a number of dollar bills makes it easy for you to tip those who bring you drinks and serve you food. Those who clean your room and replace water and liquor also deserve some tips.

3 Bring along facecloths(in Cuba and DR), first aid medicines for allergies, constipation, diahrehea, sinus infection, pain etc.  It’s a lot easier to have your own rather than finding drug stores etc. These usually cost a lot more in foreign countries.

4. Suntan lotion is a necessity with the heat of the sun. The UV rays can cause a lot of skin damage and skin cancer. It is best to wear the suntan lotion all day long, and spray or rub it on immediately after swimming. Get your tan slowly, if it’s a tan you’re after. 

5. Make your evening reservations the first morning of your stay at the resort, choosing the a la carte restaurants you like.  You usually get 3 per week.  Some resorts have more restaurants and therefore more choices. Ask questions prior to making the reservations.

6. Do your research about the excursions before you leave home. You can make a better decision when you have time to check out the sights and prices in your spare time. For example, when I travelled to Chichen Itza last year, I found it too hot and there was no shelter out of the sun during the hours of standing near the ruins. I had worn a hat and a long cover up. I had also carried suntan lotion. We were given a bottle of water, which did not help with the heat.  I was also bitten by a spider when we sat close to a booth. There was no consideration of this when we booked the excursion.

7. If the room safe is not free, pay the extra money. We have never paid more than $15. You have peace of mind when you can leave most of your money, credit cards and passports behind when you go to the pool, beach or on excursions. It is worth every cent to place your valuables there prior to leaving your room.

8. Make a copy of your passport first pages, with your photo and number on it. You can carry this with you, and if you lose it, you still have your original back in the safe.

9. Keep your Visitor’s Pass in your passport and do not lose it, as you usually have to pay $50 to have it replaced. Some countries require a fee upon entering or leaving the country so find out that amount and keep it with your passport, as you cannot use your credit card to pay for it.

10. Carry some packages of tissues, if you are going off the resort.  Some bathrooms on your excursion do not have good toilet facilities and you need to pay for toilet paper. You may need to use a bucket and be happy to do so!

11. Wear a hat to protect your head. I purchased a Tilley hat many years ago, and it comes in handy.  I put my room card and dollar bills in the top pocket and can go in the pool at any time. There is nothing to leave with your towel, and no need to be watching at all time.

12. Bring treats for the room attendant and other native people you meet. I like to bring nail files, clippers, hair elastics, toothbrushes etc. It is nice to leave clothing you no longer will wear, or are new but not suitable for you.  Perhaps you have items that were gifted to you, and these were doubles or unwanted, so you have a chance to share with others.

If you have other suggestions, please feel free to tell us about your experiences and suggestions.

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About Newfoundland Traveller

I'm a Newfoundlander with a love of reading, writing and travelling. I've travelled around our province and lived in four provinces of Canada. I love a good book and a good blog. My family means the world to me, and some day I hope to travel to many countries of the world with my husband and sons' families.
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4 Responses to Welcome Back to Reality!

  1. Darlene says:

    So glad you had a great time! I have always enjoyed my trips to Mexico as well. The people are so warm and friendly. Hope you have pictures to share with us.

  2. Very interesting, Pauline. I felt like I was there.

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