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Cancun TR JAN 2019 My wife and I decided we wanted to go somewhere warm for a weekend during the New York winter, we looked around a bit and settled on Cancun, the main reason being that its close by and there is kosher food.
We decided on the last weekend in Jan (1/31-2/3), which also happens to work out perfectly as it turn out its the week after Yeshiva week! :)

I did a quick check for flights for thursday to sunday evening, they were roughly $500-$600 RT pp for direct (this is 6 weeks before). BA was not showing availability… So I went ahead and booked Jetblue for 24,300 trueblue points RT pp.

As for a hotel, I was conflicted as to whether I should book an all inclusive resort like the hyatt Ziva or Zilara or go with one of the SPG options. We decided on the Ritz Carlton for 50k spg points a night, total 150 for 3 nights (we booked after spg and marriott joined) and we were happy we did! Its a great property to stay at.

Our flight was Jan 31 from JFK (happens to be it was one of the coldest days this year, so we got lucky there), dropped our car off at Smart Park JFK and took their shuttle to the terminal.
Check-in and the flight went without a hitch, although when I got my boarding pass I noticed I didn’t have TSA Pre-Check, so I had to take off my shoes etc
After a little digging online during the flight thanks to Jetblue’s free wifi, I realized my Global Entry membership had expired on 1/18. Crazy that it’s already been 5 years since I signed up.

We landed in Cancun around 3pm, deplaned and got our bags. The customs lines were long! At least 45 min long. They were heavily understaffed and only had 5-6 agents working.
They had the machines, but would not allow any of us to use them.
We got the green light and headed outside to where a rep from Canada Transfers was waiting for us with a sign with our name on it. I booked in advance $55 RT. They had cool fresh towels to wipe our face and cold water for the 25 min ride to the hotel.

We arrived at the Ritz and were greeted with a cold cucumber drink and then showed to our room on the 5th floor. Room was spacious and nice, nothing particularly special…. Bathroom was big, we had a balcony with an ocean view. We also requested a fridge to store the few yogurts and snacks we brought along with us, they waived the $25 per day fee which was kind of nice.

We headed down to the hotel’s main pool area to enjoy the warm weather and watch the sunset and ordered drinks. The drinks at the ritz are top quality and they use good liquor… one of the advantages over an all inclusive resort.
Chabad delivered our Shnitzel salad, tacos and fries. All really delicious.. The pulled beef tacos particularly.

The Ritz’s massages and spa were super expensive, so we found Arenas Spa & Lounge highly recommended place on trip advisor that was a 5 min walk from the ritz and paid for 2 massages what it would of cost for one at the Ritz.

For dinner thursday night we decided to try the new kosher restaurant Ember Kosher. We weren't that hungry, so we decided to start with apps and go from there.
The place was empty, one other family was seated. But they had a full wait staff.Our server told us that friday night they were expecting a big crowd and then the following week would be full opening.
The menu for us was very limited, a few apps and steak and the burger for the mains.We got some beef empanadas, beef chili tacos and fries.
The fries were solid. the empanadas and tacos were not bad, but they were missing the kick.... meaning, it didn’t taste bad but it didn’t have a good taste that i’d come back for it.
being that we were kind of disappointed and not that hungry we decided to call it a night. we were hoping for dessert, but all they had was plain chocolate cake.

Side note, they do shabbos food delivery and provide a hot plate to keep your food warm.
I spoke to someone that ordered this, they told me the delivery arrived to their hotel well after shabbos started and all the food was packed in Styrofoam. so even if they would have been able to plug in the hotplate, they wouldn't have been able to keep the food warm

We didn’t plan any trips or excursions, our plan was to sit an relax in the resort until our flight on sunday afternoon. We loved every minute at the Ritz and wished we could’ve stayed longer. Their service was fantastic! And everyone was very helpful and friendly.

About an hour before shabbos we had our shabbos food from chabad delivered to our room by room service. Salmon, shnitzel, salad, chummus, grilled vegetables, challah and a bottle of wine. All very tasty if I may add. Portions of salmon and shnitzel were quite large, we had extra..

We discovered that at the end of the hallway (far right of the floor… possibly on the other side as well. I did not venture to that side), they have a normal staircase all the way up/down the hotel. A aice, climate controlled not the dark and hot staircases we are used to walking up and down in many hotels... This was going to work out great for shabbos.

The hotel staff seemed to know a lot about shabbos, what is allowed and what isn’t. They were very accommodating. Whenever we needed to get into out room we stopped at the front desk and they sent someone upstairs with us. Funny that they never wanted to take the elevator and meet us, they insisted on walking up the stairs with us.
We scheduled turn down service for later friday evening so that we could leave our lights on until we were ready to go to sleep.
We had our friday night meal on our balcony, but just note there are no lights outside… we left all the lights on in the room and with the shades wide open it was still very dark.
The bar and cafe all knew about shabbos and that we could not sign for anything.
The weather was gorgeous during our stay, about 80 degrees and sunny. It didn’t rain at all.

Shabbos day they came around the pool area and offered free drinks and invited us to a mojito class and gave us all free mojitos… even though I didn’t attend the class.

Motzei shabbos we hit the gym, pretty standard hotel gym… during the day you have a really nice view of the ocean. There is also a dry and wet sauna in the bathroom/locker room.
We then headed out to Dag Dag for some food. We thought we were lost until we finally found it hidden around the corner…
We had called on friday and they told us to make a reservation which we booked though OpenTable. When we got there there were a few people there already and it didn’t seem like they cared about reservations at all.. I’m not sure how they would have handled it either way because it was a bit of a balagan.. We ordered, food was really tasty. However it took FOREVER for the food to be ready.
We had regular pizza, nachos and fries. Im told the fish and chips are really good too.
Relaxed experience might be an understatement 🤣 service was a serious melava Malka (no pun intended) 🙈

We scheduled our canada Transfer pickup for 2pm for a 4pm flight, so we requested late checkout which they confirmed with us on sat night.
I ordered food from chabad to take with us on our trip back to New York which was delivered hot and online for our departure. Shnitzel pitas and fries and of course pulled beef tacos… because they are just so good :)

Return flight was uneventful, TV coverage on Jetble was on just in time to watch the Super Bowl.

Happy to answer any questions, let me know

Hotel Notes
Really good drinks at the bar outside by the pool
The cafe charges a whopping 90 pesos for hot coffee, but u get free refills all day
Main elevator takes forever, the ones on at the end of the hallways are a lot faster

February 05, 2019, 01:03:57 PM
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