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Trip Reports: Mikeoracle, Dan, JayR, lunatic, mgoldhammer18, Markus, mtag17

Where to stay:
-Aloft Cancun - 4,000 starpoints 
    shiframeir - pretty lousy though very cheap and close to chabad/fish restaurant. pool on roof small and not heated, rooms interesting but a bit dingy, bathroom uses glass sliding door without much sound protection :)
    zow-I'm not as negative about it as shiframeir. It is very cheap, great location. Not a luxurious place to hangout, but if you're going to be out and about, it's good value.
-Westin resort & spa -7,000 starpoints  (Old will rumor to be torn down soon...)
-Westin Lagunamar -  starpoints indicated as low season/high season: studio is currently 12,000/16000 but going up to 20,000/25,000 effective 3/1/16. 
    Studios can be booked with points online but one-BR suites require PUTPAC. 
    Seems that you can get 1BR suite for 1,500 more starpoints per night.  Some have been able to get complimentary upgrade from studio to 1BR without difficulty, but YMMV. 
    There is no recorded history of anyone getting upgrade from 1BR to 2BR villa, as a 2BR is really a 1BR connected to a studio villa (essentially 2 paying rooms, so hotel won't do that). 
    The 1BR suite is ~1,000 SF, so almost twice the size of the studio, and has expanded kitchen, with  full-size fridge, full-size cook-top, microwave oven and DW. (but no oven)) 
    The 1BR suites have W/D (not sure about the studios.
    Shiframeir - Best value, huge resort with lots of heated pools during winter and big slide, lots to do and good kids club. (went up in category)
-Hyatt Zilara (all inclusive) 25,000 hyatt points.
-JW- 40k marriott points. Great service. Beautiful hotel, pool & beach. Across at from kosher luxus.
    Rosewood- playa de Carmen, considered the most luxurious in the area.
-hyatt ziva brand new hotel (all inclusive) beautiful resort hotel+spa excellent service right next to red heifer and 5 minutes walk to chabad, great for adults and kids.
    (seperate water playground by kids club zone), next to ferry and water sports, getting dolphins on premises (end February)
-Intercontinental Presidente (IHG) (Derived from Shiframeir) Great location for Shabbos.  Nearby to Chabad. Nice big lobby to chill in the afternoon, and lots of first floor rooms (no steps needed).
    Decent pools (one adults only one family, felt a little cool not sure if heated). Really great service.


Ground transportation
Some people rent cars, others seem strongly averse to car rental.
For traveling outside Cancun's Zona Hotelera, e.g., to visit Mayan ruins or if you're staying in Playa del Carmen, rental car makes sense.
If planning on staying only in Zona Hotelera, taking the bus up and down the strip makes the most sense. Bus costs MEX10.50 (currently about $0.60USD); drivers happily make change, at least from small peso bills.
If not renting a car, others have arranged airport-to-hotel via shuttle,private car service, or limo :)
best to book online before arrival
Canada Transfers:  $55 RT airport to hotel zone. On time and reliable.
peeps also like http://usa-transfers.com/ 55 for 3, 65 for 7 rountrip


Activities:
Ferry to isla mujeres + golf cart is probably #1 - can get carts walking left or right from the port either way a few minutes and get a decent rate (shiframeir got 2 fast carts for afternoon for $70 total going left (right has mixed reviews on speed))
Xel Ha (for older kids and adults)
Xcaret - spoke to ppl that went said was waste of time & very costly.
Xplore- did the night version, highly recommend. Zip-lining. Caving & atving.
Jungle tour- snorkel motor boat tour recomended
BOB- underwater scuba-like contraption highly recommended.
Ferry to Cozumel
Swim with Whale Sharks - June, July and August
Isla Mujeres - Turtle Farm, Playa Norte,dolphin discovery

Kosher Food/Restaurants: WARNING, do not bring nonpackaged simple foods (i.e. other than cookies, chips etc) or u have a good chance of them taking them away, esp if you look jewish.
Cancun
1. Chabad Kosher Cancun (food was really good restaurant quality), detailed review here
Delivery and pickup available. Falafel stand located right outside chabad shul. New sit-down restaurant coming soon. http://www.koshercancun.com/
Chabad also has an additional menu for yeshiva week here.
Supervision by Rabbi Mendel Druk of Chabad of Cancun.
2. Kosher Luxus/Red Heifer fleishig restaurant: http://www.kosherluxus.com, Israeli style food. Delivery and eat-in.very nicely served but not so tasty Be sure to confirm that the meat is from Mexico City and not a local supplier. Supervision by Rabb Simantov Nigri of Cancun. some reviews and pics on GKRF here, suggest getting apps/drinks/desserts over steaks, and always call before going to see whats available/what they ran out of https://www.facebook.com/groups/gkrfoodies/search/?query=red%20heifer
NOTE: The Kosher Luxus/Red Heifer is now in a different location than when Dan did his Trip Notes in 1/2015. Current location is very near the Chabad and Aloft.
People seem to either love or hate this place, very mixed reviews.
3. Dag Dag: This homey restaurant, described and photographed in Dan's Trip Notes, had been closed from late 2015 through mid 2016. However, as of December 2016, they were open!  Very much as Dan described. Fish and chips were very good, as was the pizza.  The owner is a little eccentric. Food did take a long time (zow).  Prior notes: food isn't great and takes a long time, but they are nice people and if you order in advance its not too bad. http://www.koshercancunrestaurant.com/  Prior supervision was by Rabbi Mendel Druk of Chabad of Cancun.
* Costco sells cheese (large cream cheese box "Raskas Queso Crema" is cholov stam) cholov yisroel natural and kosher. Costco also has kosher hummus, kosher salmon spread, kosher lox, kosher PB and J, kosher bread (star K), kosher milk (both shelf stable "La La" brand, as well as Kirkland brand, but I'm not sure about the hechscher on the latter.) They have OU mantequilla.  They had PAM spray but I didn't see the usual hechsher on it, so didn't buy.
* Sams Club - Breads ("New York Deli and Bagel") can be found at Sam's club and other essentials
* Walmart - tons of things you need including pans and spatula's to eggs and Avocado drinks etc.
* Minimart in Westin Lagunamar has a bunch of imported kosher items (Lala milk is KA), but sometimes runs out.  They have beer at about $1/bottle (but you can also get it for $2/can at the Westin Lagunamar minimart).
allot of stores carry ou snacks

Playa
4. Chabad of Playa del Carmen is run by Rabbi Mendel Goldberg, a DDF member, and has food available for delivery (food was really good restaurant quality ),.  Contact them for an updated menu with more choices than listed on website. http://www.jewishplaya.com/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/1336731/jewish/Kosher-Food-Delivery-Service.htm
5. The alternate Chabad of Playa (AKA Bootleg yellow flag version...) is run by Rabbi Chaim Brod and has an in-house restaurant located at avenida 20, entre Calle 6B y Calle 8, 
6. Hotel 770 has a restaurant and grocery in Playa: http://hotel770.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/hotel770-menu1.jpg http://hotel770.com/facilties/ Under Rabbi Chaim Brod's supervision. Calle 10 Norte Bis, Playa del Carmen
7. Menfis is an Israeli restaurant in Playa: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g150812-d6989791-Reviews-MENFIS-Playa_del_Carmen_Yucatan_Peninsula.html Under Rabbi Chaim Brod's supervision. Calle 14 Norte, Entre 5a y 10, Playa del Carmen
8. Mas Pan Pizza, sandwiches, paninis.

Cozumel
9. Jerusalem Nice fleshig place with good food and quick service. Under Chabad of Cozumel (yellow flag). Calle 10 North and Av. and General Rafeal, Second floor
10. Cafe RimonDairy restaurant also under Chabad of Cozumel (yellow flag). Calle 4 North and Av. and General Rafeal
11. Chocolatte Dairy Cafe also under ?????.
12. Falafel


Isla Mujeres
13. Cafe Maya kosher milchig restaurant Cafe Maya, apparently under some chabad (R Druk of Cancun vouches apparently) only cash BRING PESOS!!! Food is excellent and prices here are very reasonable, so long as you pay in pesos. As of 2/22/2016, they offered to take USD at an exchange rate of 13 pesos/USD (compared with, say, 16-18 pesos/USD elsewhere). Family of 5 can feast on paninis, pasta and pizza, with soft drinks/coffees, easily under $50USD.
14. Chabad downstairs: Felafel
15. Chabad downstairs: Meat restaurant

... can rent a golf cart to zip around the island and have a nice lunch too! it's two blocks straight ahead (5 min walk nice shops around) when you exit the ferry terminal (Calle Bravo?), make a left when you hit the end (on Av Guerrero) go another block and it's a few stores down the next block on the left side. (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=1451.msg1335366#msg1335366
http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=1451.msg1197322;topicseen#msg1197322
http://www.yelp.com/biz/kosher-maya-cafe-isla-mujeres
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g150810-d7100368-Reviews-Maya_Cafe-Isla_Mujeres_Yucatan_Peninsula.html#REVIEWS
website says hours 9am-11pm sun-thurs http://rivierakosher.com/kosher-maya-restaurant-isla-mujeres/



Shabbos: Chabad has minyanim during busy seasons, but check with them (they are really great, and give a nice donation!: http://www.koshercancun.com/visitor-info.html 

Minyan at Westin Lagunamar: check with Chabad Rabbi, but enough jews have timeshares at Lagunamar that they seem to have a minyan every winter break outside by the BBQs (Fuego) all the way on the south of the hotel (by the last pool to the right coming out of lobby towards fountains)). minyan was like 715 each morning, then mincha/maariv around shkiah.
- UPDATE - perhaps depends on timing for timesharers, currently minyanim are shachris at 8am and mincha at 630pm in the lobby a couple doors from main entrance going left when facing front desk.
Mid-Feb 2016: no minyan at Westin Lagunamar this week, and Rabbi Druk said its occurrence has been very sporadic as of late.

WiFi Password at Cancun Airport Business Center:  network businesst3 password businesst3

Airport Lounges at CUN
Mera Lounge - Accessible with Priority Pass except between 12:30 and 16:30.(not nice lounge)
Aeromexico Lounge

Electricity
US plugs and voltage
« Last edited by mtag17 on December 08, 2017, 11:48:05 AM »

Author Topic: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread  (Read 185612 times)

Offline robi

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Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #90 on: July 16, 2013, 11:38:15 PM »
Am I allowed to bring raw chicken and beef into CUN?
"I'd rather be hated for who I am, then loved for who I'm not"

Offline Moishebatchy

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Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #91 on: July 17, 2013, 12:15:59 AM »
Am I allowed to bring raw chicken and beef into CUN?

+1

For that matter, am I allowed to bring any food into Cancun?

Offline Ephcc90

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Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #92 on: July 17, 2013, 12:34:35 AM »
The Westin Resort and Spa? Not the Lagunamar? From when to when are you going?
From the reviews it seemed that the resort and spa was a little more secluded which is what I want. I'm flying Mia to cancun on the 21st and flying back to Mia early on the 26th.

Offline Ephcc90

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Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #93 on: July 17, 2013, 12:35:58 AM »
+1

For that matter, am I allowed to bring any food into Cancun?
I certainly hope so!

Offline elikay

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Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #94 on: July 17, 2013, 12:51:46 AM »
Am I allowed to bring raw chicken and beef into CUN?
Assuming its the same as MEX the answer would be no. Rules are pretty much the same as into the US they've got a website, not at my computer now.

Offline robi

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Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #95 on: July 17, 2013, 01:07:38 AM »
would appear that chicken with a USDA seal is ok to bring
"I'd rather be hated for who I am, then loved for who I'm not"

Offline elikay

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Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #96 on: July 17, 2013, 08:58:44 AM »
would appear that chicken with a USDA seal is ok to bring
Link?

Offline robi

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Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #97 on: July 17, 2013, 09:00:34 AM »
Link?
don't have a specific link, that's what I gathered from reading online and asking around, hence  "would appear"
"I'd rather be hated for who I am, then loved for who I'm not"

Offline elikay

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Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #98 on: July 17, 2013, 09:37:27 AM »
don't have a specific link, that's what I gathered from reading online and asking around, hence  "would appear"
I'll try to fish up a link when I have a chance

Offline schneury

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Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #99 on: July 17, 2013, 12:20:39 PM »
You can't bring raw meat or chicken in to mexico we brought fish that we BBQ and cheese with a sandwich maker

Offline elikay

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Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #100 on: July 17, 2013, 04:50:30 PM »

Offline Moishebatchy

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Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #101 on: July 18, 2013, 03:42:14 PM »
From the Chabad website:

Customs will allow food to be brought into Mexico Providing that you are not entering with any beef products or produce.

Chicken most be labeled and sealed in order to pass customs.


Any truth to that?

Offline Club2000

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Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #102 on: July 21, 2013, 03:48:43 AM »
Any dry food is ok
Any meat it's a no no

Frozen chicken it's at your own risk and it depend on their mood

Vacuumed turkey  and poultry it's ok

Cheese and yogurt ok if frozen and made in the USA



From the Chabad website:

Customs will allow food to be brought into Mexico Providing that you are not entering with any beef products or produce.

Chicken most be labeled and sealed in order to pass customs.


Any truth to that?

Offline Club2000

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Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #103 on: July 21, 2013, 03:51:41 AM »
You. An get good kosher  food in the riviera maya and playa del Carmen

Kosher restaurant at the Chabad of Playa del Carmen 
JewishPlaya.com/KosherPlaya

kosher room service
JewishPlaya.com/kosherFood

Offline Ephcc90

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Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #104 on: July 24, 2013, 12:03:04 PM »
Anybody know of any good activities here?