Puerto Morelos, MX
Mexico is one of our most favorite places to vacation. We have been multiple times since 2000 and decided to return to celebrate DH's 59th birthday. We haven't stayed in the area of Puerto Morelos, so it was like going to a new destination. Our last two International trips we flew with American Airlines, which was a huge mistake, and I swore I would never fly with them again, and to date I haven't. We can only fly AA or United, so we went with United this time. Much better experience. Actually, DH ended up with his back out and a sciatica attack by the time we left and the United personnel was so helpful getting us through Cancun, Houston and home with a wheelchair in place. Could not have asked for better service. Something AA knows absolutely nothing about.
Marina El Cid Resort & Spa - I was a little weary of booking this hotel based on the number of reviews of how family friendly the resort is. I would have preferred an adults only AI, but the only 2 in the area; Secrets Silversands and Excellence Riviera Maya, were both $1,000 more for the the same time period and I didn't think they were worth that. We also wanted a smaller resort that didn't require so much walking to get to everything, plus El Cid's pool was what we were looking for. It was a good decision. We went Monday - Friday the week before Memorial Day weekend and it was not all that crowded and not very many children on site. So the key is knowing when to go to avoid the masses.
When we checked in, I was asked if we wanted to upgrade to ocean front for an extra $50 per night. I said no. I wasn't interested in ocean front. We wanted to be close to the pool and restaurants so DH didn't have to walk too far. The upgraded services were not anything we were interested in either. We were put in Building 17, Room 1734, which was still ocean front with a side view of part of the pool. Very large room with a king bed, table and 2 chairs and a regular chair with ottoman. Nice balcony overlooking the ocean with 2 chairs and a table. Gorgeous overly large walk in shower. Stocked frig and safe in the closet. Very nice room.
After check-in, we were approached by one of the time share reps. I am used to and very good about discouraging time share people, and by the end of our conversation the poor lady was so flustered she just got up and walked away. I was not rude, but very persistent in continuing to say no until she finally gave up. DH stated she had no idea who she was dealing with. Never heard another word from them for the rest of the trip. I have to say the time share pitches on this side of Mexico are mild compared to Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta.
Dining - The food was average to good. We felt it was on par for the resort. We found things we really liked and some we didn't, which is typical. We ate at the buffet for breakfast and lunch and then ate at the Mexican, Italian and Mediterranean ala cart restaurants. This is the first time we liked the buffet over the ala carts. I don't really like resorts that require reservations for the ala cart restaurants, but we didn't have any issues making them in the morning for the night of. We have stayed at some resorts in which we stood in line for an hour or so to get a reservation, which is beyond annoying. Glad it wasn't like that here or I would have just skipped it and eaten at the buffet the entire trip. Service was quite good in all the restaurants and bars. They make a really fab Pina Coloda and Mojito.
We loved the pool and swim-up bar, which is where we spent most of our time. We didn't swim in the ocean at the resort. I read reviews about the seaweed, but we saw just a little in the area by the pool. Walking down towards the Italian restaurant and we didn't see any. Also, didn't see anyone swimming in the ocean our entire trip. We are pool people anyway, so a fab pool is more of a priority for us. My one observation about the pool is why would they tile the bottom of it with slick tile. Trying to walk across was very challenging.
We only saw one show, which was the fire show in the front of the building. It was nice. We liked that the shows didn't start so late. Since DH was having back issues, we really appreciated the bell staff in helping DH get around the resort on their golf carts when needed. Excellent customer service.
Activities- We went to the Crococun Zoo and the town of Puerto Morelos. Very nice small zoo. Would definitely recommend to see. We were the only ones there, so got a private tour of the facility. Afterward took a cab to Puerto Morelos and ate at Pelicanos for lunch. Very good shrimp cerviche. We popped in and out of the little tourist stores and bought a few things and then headed back to the resort.
We went to Ek Balam and Rio Lagartos. I had originally planned to go to Coba, but all the on-line booking agencies that I contacted didn't have enough participants to justify a trip, so will save for next visit. Glad it worked out that way because Coba would have required way more walking than Ek Balam did. We did have some issues with getting a voucher for the trip, which took about an hour to straighten out. We wanted to cancel due to DH's back, but that meant no refund, so he was very good about toughing it out. We have been to Chichen Itza and Tulum, so we were looking forward to Ek Balam. I guess I expected more at Rio Lagartos. The boat ride was fun, but we couldn't get very close to see the flamingos. If you want to take pictures, you need a really good camera with a high powered zoom. My Canon point and shoot with x10 optical zoom was OK, but I had to take like 20 pics just to get a few good ones. After seeing both areas, we went to Valladoid for dinner at 6pm; La Cosona de Valladoid for a buffet meal. This was a full day trip. We left at 7am and returned to the resort at 10pm. We were glad we did the tour, but it was so far away and way too much driving to get there and back. We would not do it again.
We also did the catamaran snorkel trip through El Cid. This was the main reason I wanted to stay in the Puerto Morelos area, so I could snorkel the reef there. Our last trip, we went to the Ka'a Sian Biosphere for snorkeling and it was really great. I have to say that the Ka'a Sian Biosphere snorkeling was better than Puerto Morelos, but the Ka'a Sian Biosphere is really far and a long day to get there and back. We had to board a smaller boat off the catamaran to get to the reefs. When we were done snorkeling, we did some sailing and they provided drinks. It would have been nice if they had provided some snacks also.
Weather - Almost perfect. I would say mid 80's and breezy with overcast. We got a couple burst of rain showers, but they came and went. No problem.
Summery - We really liked the El Cid and glad our choice was a good one. The resort is beautiful and the grounds nicely maintained. Services were very good in all areas. We would recommend to others, but again knowing when to go is the key if you want to avoid hoards of people and children. The food could have been better, but we really haven't found any food on this side of Mexico that is consistently great anyway either in an AI resort or local. If you want fab food, go to Cabo San Lucas. We have grown tired of the 5th Avenue thing in Playa, so we spent this trip just chilling at the resort and doing a few tours.
I took 384 photos including underwater snorkel photos at the reef. They can be found at:
Click "all" at the top to just go right down through all of them without clicking multiple pages.
Puerto Morelos, MX Trip Report - May, 2014
Puerto Morelos, MX
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