Author Topic: A 6 day COVID vacation to Cancún Jan 21  (Read 1808 times)

Offline besttaylor

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A 6 day COVID vacation to Cancún Jan 21
« on: February 07, 2021, 03:12:46 PM »
We made a lot of pre-trip preparations and research to work out our stay before we left. Thanks to Dan & DDF we got all the necessary to make this amazing trip happen  :-*. We booked our car rental, the attractions and made an itinerary before we left, so that we should have the least hiccups possible.




« Last Edit: February 07, 2021, 04:05:17 PM by besttaylor »

Offline besttaylor

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Re: A 6 day COVID vacation to Cancún Jan 21
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2021, 03:57:46 PM »
Tuesday:

We left early Tuesday morning, and hoped to find free parking on the streets near Newark airport (had done that before), but everywhere there was alternate side parking, so we went to Jiffy and pre-paid a few minutes before $60 for 6 days.

Wanted to surprise my DW with business class, but ended up with frustrated United employees  :'( fussing over the overweight luggage (would advise to just go direct to premium check-in). At security we saw a couple people being stopped as they had left their thermos with coffee in the hand luggage. They were told they could either go back to the beginning of the line to drink it or the thermos with the coffee would be thrown out…  We saw an officer who was sanitizing his gloves between handling people’s hand luggages……  ;D :D

United flight 1052 almost always arrives 30 mins early, but by us it arrived almost an hour early, at around 1:30PM. We hoped to use our Immigration Form which was filled out online in advance, but the officer did not want to accept it and we had to go out of line to fill it out then  :(. We had filled out the health questionnaire but nobody looked at it.

We arrived at Terminal 3 but we did not see any red light or green light to let us go through, despite being nervous about that (we did see an article that they are going to stop with this).

Most people went out at the suitcase screening section. We went to the other side where 2 officers approached us right away (Jew Police?) and asked us if we have any food. We said yes. We asked them if they want to see all the suitcases or just the suitcase with food. We had packed the more “legal” foods in one small suitcase and spread out the less “legal” stuff amongst the clothes etc. They said just the suitcase with food so they looked through the packaged goods and got excited when they found tuna cans and homemade meringues. But, they didn’t take anything away and did not look through the other suitcases, so we had milk, yogurt, jerky, dried fruit and salami, as well as crackers and bread etc.  After all the stories we had read this in itself made us feel like it was worth travelling!  ;D :)

We waited around 15 minutes, in the heat with all the Mexicans asking us if we needed a taxi  ::), until the shuttle came to take us to Sixt car rental.  2 employees loaded on the luggage and it took less than 5 minutes to get to their base. They gave us cold water bottles, my DW was waiting outside, and there was 2 stray dogs there which scared her a little  :-X. They took a $1000 security deposit (returned at car return). They took plenty of photos of the car (as did we). We got a red Nissan Versa.

It was a 30 minute drive to the Hyatt Ziva, (we got a little lost the first few exits until we got used to the roads and the car. DW kept me in check with the speed as I didn’t want any experiences with the Mexican police. She asked me if she could keep the job in the USA too, lol ;).

We arrived at the Hyatt to the most gorgeous views! The bell boys took the luggage and gave us a tag to take to the check-in. Currently there is no valet parking so DW had to wait until I had parked the car. Throughout our stay upon entering and exiting the parking garage we had to wait several minutes for an attendant to open the barrier.

Our room was in the Ocean Sky Room in Turquoize Tower. (A swim-up Suite wasn’t available due to renovations). The room was prepared with anniversary decorations (banner on door and heart shaped balloons above the bed, and fresh fruit and wine(not kosher)).  One additional time during our stay they brought more balloons. It isn’t possible to describe in words how absolutely stunning the views were from all angles in the hotel.  ;) ;)

After we unpacked we went immediately to the ballroom to register for our COVID test. It was the only place we had to wear a mask. The process took around 15 minutes and we then went to check out the SuperChedraui supermarket. There were very few products with kosher certification and we bought mostly fresh produce.

We decided it would be most convenient to order from Kosher Cancun (Chabad). We had beef tacos, schnitzel sandwich, burger and fries. Food was okay, but by the time we came to get it in the hotel lobby it was cool. We ate at the fire pits which was not a good idea as the wind kept blowing the fire into our faces.

We had a WhatsApp group with our personal butlers and we could request whatever we wanted. We got the butler this night (and every night) to prepare the jacuzzi with bubbles on the porch. If it’s a windy day and you don’t get in immediately there will be no bubbles left after a short time. Throughout our stay we wanted to experience the full butler service, so he polished my shoes and ironed 2 shirts lekovod shabbat. We got a variety of pillows, aromatherapy, coffee in the morning (much faster than room service).
« Last Edit: February 07, 2021, 04:05:06 PM by besttaylor »

Offline besttaylor

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Re: A 6 day COVID vacation to Cancún Jan 21
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2021, 03:59:07 PM »
Wednesday:

The following day we went to AquaWorld which was a ten minute drive from the Hyatt. We had a day pass and we did the AquaTwister, SubSee, JetSkis, Jungle Tour and SkyRider, in this order.  When we arrived we were told that half the rides were cancelled due to weather, but at the end it was a gorgeous day and we got to do everything. Each ride was a wonderful experience in and of itself.  The AquaTwister was wet, sit at the back for the wettest experience. SubSee was first a boat ride to the submarine which was beautiful and the viewing of the corals was amazing (but the boat was nauseating). The Jungle Tour included snorkelling at the reefs and we found that extra time on the SkyRider wasn’t worth it.

Back at the hotel, we went to the El Mercado Buffet and the chef made us fish and vegetables (he knew all about the kosher requirements). He told us we can bring any ingredients and he will make it for us. So we made fish several times and bread with ketchup and melted cheese (we gave him the bread and cheese, and signed some consent forms). 

Offline besttaylor

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Re: A 6 day COVID vacation to Cancún Jan 21
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2021, 04:00:20 PM »
Thursday

On Thursday we made breakfast at the hotel in our room. We left the heating appliance on the surface when we left for our trip and room service confiscated it  :-\, and told us we will get it back by checkout.
 
We travelled an hour to Xplor park where we enjoyed a set of 7 ZipLines, Subterranean Exploration and fun waterslide, Hammock Splash and ATV vehicles. Although there is more than one track for ziplines and ATVs, only one was open due to COVID (they sanitize one every other day). But it was enough for us and we got back to the hotel midafternoon and were able to relax a bit. We had booked tickets before we left and got a 20% discount with an AMEX card.

We took advantage of the adults-only pool and bar exclusive to the Turquioze Tower (it was empty most times we were there). Unfortunately, fresh coconuts are an extra $10 charge!  DW went to the flea market and came home with some souvenirs and gifts. She said that it’s not an experience for the faint-hearted as all the vendors swarm over you.  You have to bargain hard to get a good price… That evening, we were also mortified to find out that no TV in the Hyatt can be used together with an HDMI wire, meaning you can’t have your own entertainment on their screens  :o. It’s across all systems at the hotel

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Re: A 6 day COVID vacation to Cancún Jan 21
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2021, 04:01:13 PM »
Friday:

On Friday we did sunrise at the Eastern beach. We went first in the hot tub and then walked on the beach, but we should have done it the other way around, because we're a bit cold and wet. We then went to do our COVID test were the tester was wrapped about 3 times over and we had to wear our masks again…

We enjoyed some spa services out of the hotel which was about a quarter of the price, but you definitely get what you pay for…  Rabbi Druk sold me fresh pitas and offered me CY milk and orange juice.

We did some laundry at the hotel per kg, and it worked out at a decent price and smelled fresh and good. Each item was wrapped separately in plastic (not very eco-friendly), but nice.

We prepared for shabbat. Maintenance deactivated the AC sensors, and removed the fridge light. We walked to Chabad (6 minutes), and we saw Jews coming from every direction. All in all there was about 170 people at Chabad. Davening was very beautiful with lots of singing Carlebach style.

We ate at Ember. The challah was fresh and good (we asked for a second basket), but the rest of the food was underwhelming. Fish was dry and not very flavorful, soup was simple but nice, meat was not served with couscous but was soft and good and dessert was a flavored piece of margarine… Heard from others afterwards that they farbrengt after the meal at Chabad and the atmosphere was beautiful.

Enjoyed the hotel grounds and sipped some lechaim before calling it a night.

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Re: A 6 day COVID vacation to Cancún Jan 21
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2021, 04:01:54 PM »
Shabbat:

Shabbat morning was a nice shachris with some enthusiastic short speeches. Aliyos were sold to help finish the Mikvah. We then ate there at Chabad where the food was served buffet style. Nothing fancy but there was plenty to eat. Cold cuts and schnitzel, many different salads and pitas. They also brought out some cholent in bowls.  We heard an inspiring story from Don Ghermezian, his message was that there are no coincidences. Followed by Mincha. We then had a quiet rest of shabbat and nap in our room. Havdala was prompt at Chabad, as we left, we saw many people coming who had missed it.

Offline besttaylor

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Re: A 6 day COVID vacation to Cancún Jan 21
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2021, 04:02:35 PM »
Sunday:

Sunday we went to the spa (as part of Turquoize tower package) where they have several types of pools, saunas and showers that we enjoyed. We would have used it more had we known how nice it was before!  We then enjoyed the hotel grounds some more, packed and got late checkout to leave the hotel at around 1:45PM.

We returned our rental car with no issues bh. When we checked in at the airport electronically, the agent had to come and check our COVID test results which she did with half an eye. Most flights to NY were cancelled due to the weather, but thankfully we had a packed flight to Newark. We arrived to a heavy snowstorm!

And, that’s a wrap of our amazing trip to Cancun!

Offline besttaylor

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Re: A 6 day COVID vacation to Cancún Jan 21
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2021, 04:03:13 PM »
Tips:

And here some tips, from our own experience YMMV:
1. Make sure to follow the law to the letter, if deciding to rent a car.
2. Pay more for a reliable Car rental
3. Planning to spend time in the sun, don’t be lazy, always make sure to put Sunscreen, you will regret the after effects.
4. Rather less activities more days, and relaxing part of the day, than whole days of activities and nothing in the rest.
5. A Betty Crocker is a useful tool, especially on vacation. (Remember hiding it)
6. Watching Sunrise at the beach is a beautiful experience.
7. If staying at the Turquoize tower, read upon arrival all butler services you can enjoy
Say any celebration for a nice romantic decoration
8. Fill out all forms in advance (Health questionnaire has to be on day of travel), but be ready to do it again if told
9. ‘Saasil Bar’ next to the general hotel entrance, and ‘Punta Vista’ on the Turquoize pool floor are the best bars and most Kosher knowledgeable IMO.
10. There is a staircase in the Turquoize tower leading to the tennis court on the 3rd floor, where you can exit from the parking garage, good for Shabbat and no temp checking etc.
11. One more: A Money belt, and waterproof phone case are very useful!


Online YitzyS

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Re: A 6 day COVID vacation to Cancún Jan 21
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2021, 04:15:18 PM »
Nice!
Monkeys don't fly unless you put them on airplanes

Offline iluv2travel

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Re: A 6 day COVID vacation to Cancún Jan 21
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2021, 10:51:40 PM »
Thanks!

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Re: A 6 day COVID vacation to Cancún Jan 21
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2021, 11:04:25 PM »
And here some Pictures:

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Dips & Sips


what drink is this? I saw everyone drinking it but I couldn’t figure out how it was kosher?

Offline besttaylor

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Re: A 6 day COVID vacation to Cancún Jan 21
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2021, 10:24:59 AM »
what drink is this? I saw everyone drinking it but I couldn’t figure out how it was kosher?
It was some Berries and other fruit blended together, with Vodka and some Orange juice. (Wasn’t in particularly good, but was our creation ;))