Cancun---To All Incl. or not ?

Old Jun 2nd, 2002, 09:53 PM
  #1  
Isabella
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Cancun---To All Incl. or not ?

I would like to know your opinion on all inclusives vs. European Plans in Cancun. I hear that there are a lot of restaurants in Cancun. Thanks!!!
 
Old Jun 3rd, 2002, 04:16 AM
  #2  
George
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We have done EP 1 time and that was enough! It is way too expensive, yes there are a lot of restaurants in Cancun but they are all Americanized, if that is what you want than go for it, drinks are $5.00 per drink, sometimes more, a dinner for 2 will be well over $70.00, add that to breakfast and lunch everyday, you will be spending around $150-$170 on food alone per day, not including soft drinks, or mixed drinks. So you figure on top of your hotel and airfare, you will spend over $1000.00 on drinks, food and souviners.

We stayed at the Moon Palace last time and we paid $1392.50 per person, that included hotel for 7 nights, airfare, and all drinks, food, taxes, tips, we even got 2 free tours each, plus spa services, and the best part we were able to make full use of all 8 Palace Resorts, talk about a lot of choices for dinner.

Go all inclusive, but make sure you stay somewhere that offers many restaurants like the Palace Resorts, so you won't get bored with the food.

www.palaceresortsmexico.com
 
Old Jun 3rd, 2002, 04:46 AM
  #3  
Nancy
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Hi Isabella,
I must disagree with George.
There are a lot of excellent restaurants in Cancun, and many places that are authentic Mexican dining experiences (as well as other types of food.)
You would truly miss out on some very fine dining if you went AI.
Some of my favorites:
La Habichuela
El Pescador
Maria Bonita
Yes, they are more expensive than AI, but if eating well is an important part of your vacation, then I would not suggest AI's. If it does not matter so much to you, then the cost savings can be substantial.
 
Old Jun 3rd, 2002, 05:31 AM
  #4  
dan woodlief
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I agree. You can easily eat very well for dinner, and authentically, on $30 and less per couple. You can find great spots especially downtown, which is easily reached by bus. Eat breakfast and lunch where most convenient and reserve a few evenings for dinner in downtown spots.
 
Old Jun 3rd, 2002, 06:05 AM
  #5  
a
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I also agree - only go all-inclusive if quantity is more important than quality. It is really a personal decision based on your eating habits and preferences. I like to eat one small meal around 11:00 am, do not drink during the day and like to have a fabulous meal at night. AI does not fit my personal eating habits and food preferences.
 
Old Jun 3rd, 2002, 07:11 AM
  #6  
me
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Now see, I disagree. Because you've gone all inclusive doesn't mean you HAVE to eat all of your meals there. You aren't a prisoner of the place. You're allowed to go elsewhere for a meal. I mean, you don't stay glued to the hotel for every single activity, why do it for the food, even if you've paid for it? I think that the all inclusive thing wins out in the long run because the option (to eat or not to eat) is yours.
 
Old Jun 3rd, 2002, 07:17 AM
  #7  
Diane
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Isabella, I know you didn't ask but you obviously haven't booked your trip yet so I'm going to make other suggestions in case you've never been to Cancun and haven't been told these things. First, Cancun is very much like Las Vegas on the ocean....very much concrete, very little palm trees (especially in beach areas). This isn't my idea of paradise. Cancun tends to draw mainly the college/very young crowd because it's loaded with bars/restaurants/night clubs. If you want a more tropical paradise type vacation, have you considered the Mayan Riviera? It's the entire area south of Cancun all the way to Tulum. In this area, you'll find many beautiful resorts that still have wonderful gardens/palm trees/tropical feel. Cancun does not. There are still many very pleasant towns along the way that you can enjoy shopping/restaurants, etc. I particularly enjoy Playa Del Carmen area and all resorts within 30 minutes of it. When we went to Cancun, I'd have to say that George is more accurate in his description of what you'll pay. Cancun is EXTREMELY expensive and to find those cheap restaurants mentioned by others requires a great deal of work/travel/investigating. We've done the All Inclusive route and, if you pick the right resort, the food can be absolutely OUTSTANDING!!!! We've had wonderful dinners and the best part is that you can eat and drink as much of the food/drinks that you LIKE as you want. If you take something you don't enjoy...just don't eat it and go back to try something else. We have NEVER had a totally bad meal in an all inclusive. Usually the variety is outstanding! Do you really want to not drink all day (just a pop/soda is about $4.00 in Cancun). Our friends made a trip to Cancun the same year we did. They did not do all inclusive and spent roughtly twice what we did at the all inclusive. They tried to economize but do you really want to go to the beach, have to leave to dress for lunch to go find a restaurant that's reasonably priced, go back to dress for the beach, leave the beach....etc., etc. That's not a vacation, that's a torture test!! You have to decide what's important to you. If you are travelling alone or with your partner only, then maybe you want what Cancun has to offer. If you want to really just relax without having to carry your wallet everywhere you go, try the all inclusives. My personal first choice would NEVER be Cancun itself. I want paradise, not concrete!! I don't want to be constantly taking my wallet out either! Try the Mayan Riviera....I think you'll find it to be as lovely as paradise can be!!
 
Old Jun 3rd, 2002, 07:27 AM
  #8  
a
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I do not want to pay for meals I am not going to eat. I would rather stay at a truly luxurious hotel like the Ritz and then pick and choose the places I want to eat at. Food for me is a total experience and I like thinking about what restaurant I am going to eat at. I don't consider it a hassle at all. I was so glad the last time we were in Jamaica that we did not go all-inclusive even though people thought we were crazy. Plus, we live in NYC - $5.00 for a drink is a bargain. I still say it is a very personalized decision and anyone who tells you one is objectively better than the other is missing the point. Some people are very happy at AI resorts and some are not. I depends on what your expectations are.
 
Old Jun 3rd, 2002, 08:39 AM
  #9  
Nancy
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You got it right "a!"
When you make finding the perfect dining spot (whether it's $10. or $100.) an activity, it is so rewarding to go somewhere that is a cultural and culinary adventure.
Before we go on vacation somewhere, I do extensive research (and actually make a LIST!) into the places to eat. That way, I don't have to waste valuable vacation time figuring out where to go.
If cruiseship buffet style is one's thing, (not that there's anything wrong with that) the AI's win hands down for value. I went to three AI's before I realized there was so much more out there. I'd never go back to one no matter how luxurious - too limiting for me...
btw, I don't think anyone who has done any research into Cancun would call it a tropical paradise, but it has a lot to offer someone looking for a vibrant nightlife, excellent dining and widely varied shopping. (Not to mention some of the most beautiful water views to be found anywhere in Mexico/the Caribbean.)
 
Old Jun 3rd, 2002, 09:15 AM
  #10  
Joyce
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Don't ever go to Mexico and NOT go all inclusive, unless you want to puke your guts up all week from non purified water, everyone knows to eat only at the resorts that have and cook with purified water!I even had some friends go with us to all inclusive resorts, and they chose to go explore a few different restaurants outside of the resort, and they spent the rest of the trip in the bathroom!
 
Old Jun 3rd, 2002, 09:49 AM
  #11  
Nancy
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I'm only the first to respond to Joyce's post, but will no doubt not be the last...
I have been to Mexico every year for 10+ years - sometimes twice or three times per year and rarely eat at the resorts. Out of 100+ days, with 300+ meals, ONE dinner made me sick for about 12 hours.
In many cases, people who over-indulge all the way around with too much cerveza, sol y tequila (beer, sun and tequila) blame their upset systems on "something they ate." I'm sure some people do get/have gotten sick from the food they ate, but I have found that common sense when selecting a place to eat and not going wild with alcohol consumption have worked for me...
Besides, you can get sick anywhere - not just Mexico.
 
Old Jun 3rd, 2002, 10:36 AM
  #12  
never an A-I
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Joyce's got it backwards! I have heard far more horrible experiences concerning food (from poorly refrigerated, handled, perpared, served) at A-I's than anyone who has the sense to find decent restaurants on their own.

I have been to Puerto Vallarta 1-2 times a year for a dozen years now. I would never set foot in a "resort" ~ not for a room and definitely not for their restaurants!!

You buy bottled water to drink. Again, it is poor quality &/or handling of food that most often makes people sick, nothing to do with cooking water.
 
Old Jun 3rd, 2002, 11:28 AM
  #13  
Isabella
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WOW!!! What a myriad of responses! It was amazing to see so many different viewpoints. Thanks for all the input.
Isabella
 
Old Jun 3rd, 2002, 12:40 PM
  #14  
Kenneth
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This question is a can of worms. I've crunched the numbers and you save nothing staying EP over AI. Especcially if your tendency is to gravitate to the Ritz or Le Meridian in the assumption that you will save money going EP. Cancun hotels are simply far too competative to allow any great disparity in prices. There are some great restaurants in Cancun that you should not miss. There are far more lousy ones. Be warned though, a good dinner for two at the Plantation House, although superb, will run you $150 without a bottle of wine. Good AI resorts all have fine ala carte restaurants but you will get bored eating at the hotel and want to get out. Palace Resort food is excellent and sumptuous. There's much to be said for catching breakfast on your way to the beach and eating lunch whenever the mood strikes you. Okay, it's a beautiful day on the beach or by the pool, it's 12:00 and you get hungry. You have to go to your room, clean up, change your clothes, get money, go to the bus stop and what, catch a bus downtown to get a decent lunch? This won't happen too often. You'll find yourself at Domino's or Taco Bell because it's cheap, close, and you don't want to loose your lounge chair by the pool. Or you'll wind up eating at the hotel restaurant-like it or not-because they've got you by the throat and they know it. My advice is to take the route where you leave your wallet in your room (unless YOU choose to take it) rather than on the beach where you have to beg people to "watch my stuff".
Just my humble opinion.
 
Old Jun 3rd, 2002, 01:12 PM
  #15  
a
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I just wanted to add that I was certainly not claiming that you can save money going EP over AI but only that I don't like paying for 3 meals a day that I am not eating and unlimited beverages that I am not drinking. The only place in Mexico I ever got sick was in Acapulco after eating one too many bowls of fresh guacamole (I blame myself, not Mexico).

As a side note, I stayed at Moon Palace and personally thought the food was not very good. Not bad, just nothing special. There was certainly plenty of it but just nothing that I was excited about eating. We ended up going out for several meals which only added to our vacation cost. I am like Nancy - I research an area using boards like this and reviews and go armed with a list of restaurants I want to go to.
 
Old Jun 4th, 2002, 04:11 AM
  #16  
dougout
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WOW what a topic! Excellent advice by a variety of tastes. I come down on the side of EP knowing it's going to cost more generally. Six trips to Cancun for us and no sickness from food or water.
 
Old Jun 4th, 2002, 01:05 PM
  #17  
Patty
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Another vote for EP. For us, part of the fun of traveling is trying different restaurants.
 
Old Jun 5th, 2002, 05:19 AM
  #18  
me
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Hmm. I still am not quite sure why you'd need to eat at the hotel for all of your meals if you're doing all inclusive. I mean, the price difference is often nominal, and it's not like they've a gun to your head. "You MUST EAT THIS BUFFET!" I think that part of what's nice about AI is that it's something you don't have to think about. If you want to eat, you eat. If you want a drink, well, there it is!
 
Old Jun 5th, 2002, 10:34 AM
  #19  
dan woodlief
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Another major factor is what you will be doing with your time. Sure, you don't have to eat at the AI all the time, but how often do you think you will? Will you be spending all your time on the beach at the resort or seeing the sights in and around Cancun. We spent 11 days with a hotel in Cancun but only really spent under four days in Cancun (most evenings we were back in town). The rest ranged from Merida to Cozumel and almost everything in between. For my plans, an AI wouldn't have served much purpose except some dinners. That was one reason we didn't even get a place on the beach but stayed downtown - close to the bus station for out-of-town trips and a bus stop out front for going down to Cancun's hotel zone. So consider how much moving around you will do.
 
Old Jun 5th, 2002, 08:27 PM
  #20  
ann
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Now I'm really confused! Am planning a trip to Cancun in August, have tentative reservations at the JW Marriott, and call me a "snob", but I don't like the idea of an allinclusive after reading many reviews of food...it reminds me of cruises and I HATE Cruises!!! But what bothers me is what people have posted about Cancun -- is it really that ugly and That expensive? Should I be heading south to Playa del Carmen? So many questions!!!
 

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