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Trip Report Club Med Cancun All Inclusive -- Trip Report -- Travel with kids

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Our plans changed and we booked this trip last minute for our family of 5 -- three children ages 8,6, and 4. We had never been to an All Inclusive and we were not sure what to expect. Also, from reading reviews we were a little skeptical about the whole "GO" and "GM" thing at Club Med and also the fact that some of the "GO's" might come and eat with you at a meal, etc. We pretty much go on vacation for family time and aren't looking to make friends with the staff. The joke was on us, though -- by the end of our fabulous vacation, we had enjoyed almost every activity offered at the all inclusive and we were saying goodbye to staff friends we knew by first names.

I'll get the CONS out of the way first so I can move on to the bragging:

--Club Med really needs its own shuttle service, a nice, visible one, so that guests don't have to fight through those salespeople at the airport.

--We paid $60 for wi-fi service that we couldn't really use. There is NO service in the rooms, and extremely limited service on the property, even at the business center it didn't work well. Obviously we did not come on vacation to use our internet but we did have some important business to attend to at least once or twice, and even checking in for flights was a headache with such limited access.

--Shuttle service to other areas would be nice too. We did venture off property a couple of times and the Club Med shuttle could have taken us if there had been one.

--Las Cazuelas is a long walk in the pitch black dark. Please add more light to those sidewalks!

--Our room was so humid, even with the air going constantly, that when I would set out my kids dry clothes for the next day, in the morning, they were wet! Everything was so wet in that room. Nothing dried out, ever.

--There were teeny tiny bugs that liked paper and water in our room. Even in the safe. Maybe this is just Mexico?

--We received no information at check-in. Mansuelos (August's employee of the month) was delightful and met us with wet towels and tea and walked us to our room and gave us a lovely property tour. However, he forgot (I guess?) to give us activated key cards, and we did not receive the pamphlet about dinner and activity schedule. We stayed very confused for a couple of days until we figured out we were missing some information.

--I would have liked to use the spa, but it seemed very busy and booked (during low season?!) and they could not accomodate a single time for me and my two daughters to get a pedicure together while we were there. Also we made reservations for the restaurants upon receiving the information pamphlet, but it would be nice to make these reservations before arrival, online.

With that out of the way, the PROS!!!

--The Club Med village is charming and lovely. We enjoyed the atmosphere and the way everything was laid out. We were grateful to be in the 3000 building which was conveniently located and very quiet. The beach has seaweed every morning but the staff bags it up and carries it off.

--There are so many things to do here it is amazing. Each area is just tucked off in its own little part of the village. It took us all week but we did just about everything: snorkeling, sailing, trapeze, beach, pool, every restaurant, etc. We also took an excursion (the ladies there were helpful with our decision) to Coba, a Mexican ruin, and to swim in a cenota. Great day! We also went deep sea fishing one day, and one day we took a cab to a local Mexican market. Later we realized we didn't have to do that, as the resort brought a market to us one evening and it wasn't a whole lot different from the one we visited in town. Also the resort brought a Mariachi band one night and our kids got to do a pinata, Mexican style. Every single member of our family took away a different memorable experience from this trip.

--The security was amazing. I have never stayed anywhere that I felt so secure and safe. This was especially important as we had our children with us.

--The lifeguards were plentiful and kept a watchful eye on the waters. I appreciated that!

--The grounds were well kept and clean. The housekeeping staff worked hard to make sure everything was clean, all the time. It seems like everywhere we go now, the housekeeping staff is more and more slack, but not at Club Med. And they were so cheerful, too, always friendly and smiling.

--In fact every staff member was friendly and smiling. We never really figured out the whole GO/GM lingo, but it wasn't that important. What we did realize is that Club Med hires an awesome staff. Francisco became our friend at snorkeling and our children loved looking at fish pictures with him. Casey taught my husband to sail so well that he and my son placed 2nd in the regatta that afternoon! Casey and Gerry totally cracked us up, and we enjoyed mingling with them, playing dominos, eating lunch and watching them interact with each other and the guests. Mad Max made Trapeze exciting.

--My children have never enjoyed doing hotel kids club activities. They even went on a Disney Cruise last year and would not stay in the kids club after the 1st 30 minutes. At Club Med, however, they LOVED IT! (And therefore, this made my vacation even better!) The flexibility of being able to sign them in and out gave them the ability to be with us some and be with other children some, which was a perfect balance. Julie especially truly loved on our children like they belonged to her. She was so sweet to them and patient with them! (I also appreciated her making sure they ate a good dinner.) Houde and Mathieu were fun for them too -- even when my son got frustrated because he could not understand (slight language barrier) the directions to a game. Mao had the situation under control at all times -- he was great with the kids but we knew they were in good hands. The kids would BEG to go back to kids club when we were done with a family activity and they saw a little free time coming up. I also liked the way they planned things out to go with the flow of the day. (Mexican crafts were used later for the Pinata, etc.) This was a total home-run for us!

--The food selection was amazing. There was something for everyone. Some of the food was better than others, but you could always find something you liked, and I got to try a lot of new things too. I appreciated the variety.

Some things to be aware of:

--We were there during the "low season" and therefore had the run of the entire place. I wonder what it would have been like if it had been another month? We never waited in line for a drink, there were plenty of towels at the towel service, the buffet was always plentiful and plates were freshly stacked. Restaurants seemed low on tables being served, so the servers did not appear to be stressed. We never waited to use any boats, snorkel gear, or any amenity. Maybe during high season, there are (even more) staff to attend to the increase in guests? There were surely a lot of staff there now, so I don't know, but it sure felt awesome to have the whole place to ourselves (plus a few other people).

--Club Med is very family oriented, but there were other types of guests there too. One lady sunbathed topless on the beach right next to our family. All other guests were dressed. There were many couples there and some singles. None appeared to be solely "there to party" although there was surely a party to be had in the later evenings (after my children would have been in bed). It truly seemed there was something for everyone.

--The hotel website says there is no ATM on property but there was one in the lobby. However we never used it. We had brought a few pesos and a few dollars with us and that was plenty for the extras we paid for.

--Don't think you are going to practice your Spanish much. Almost all the staff knows at least a little bit of English and they use it if they think you speak English. They really won't let you speak much Spanish at all if it isn't your native language. I felt so spoiled! We found this to be true throughout the other places we visited in Cancun as well.

--There are a few things you can pay extra for at Club Med: excursions, professional photos, souvenirs (of course), and the like. But they really aren't pushing you every five minutes to buy something else. All the drinks and food are included. If you want something extra you will really have to look for it because they aren't going to be constantly telling you "for an upcharge you can have such-and-such." It really IS all included. All of it.

I'm glad our plans changed at the last minute. Next time we might have time to plan ahead and I would consider returning to a Club Med again, and maybe even this particular one!

Room Tip: The 3000 building is conveniently located near the pool and beach.

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