Topic Wiki

Trip Reports:
Mikeoracle, Dan, JayR, lunatic, mgoldhammer18, Markus, mtag17, sam28, stooges44 (mini), Mootkim, @Yehuda, @besttaylor


General information:
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To get a grasp of where you are, Cancun is located on the edge of Mexico that wraps around the Gulf of Mexico and separates it from the Caribbean Sea. As you can see here, Cancun is fairly close to Cuba and really not that far from Florida.


                    The greater Cancun area includes the Zona Hotelera (translation not needed) in the north, which is a strip of land separated from the mainland by a lagoon and packed with hotel after hotel in a similar fashion to Miami Beach. In this thread, when people refer to Cancun, they are usually referring to this area. A ferry ride away is the island of Isla Mujeres. Below Cancun on the map, you'll see the airport in red. The area south of Cancun is known as Riviera Maya which contains many resort areas including Playa del Carmen, and within Playa is Mayakoba. A ferry ride away is the island of Cozumel.


Cancun hotels and Kosher restaurants map.

Getting there:
From NYC, award tickets have about $30 in taxes/fees on the outbound and $50 on the return. You can fly nonstop with: (cheapest way to book)

AA - Book with BA
B6 - Book with B6
DL - Book with DL
F9
UA

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

Airport security / food restrictions covered in the Kosher Food section below. Wifi at Cancun Airport Business Center - Network: businesst3 Password: businesst3.


Getting around:
Some people rent cars, others seem strongly averse to car rental due to many reports of being pulled over for speeding. Those reports often conclude with being able to give the cop ~$20 to avoid the ticket.

If you plan on only staying in Zona Hotelera, you don't need to rent a car. You can stay at the top of the strip (Hyatt Ziva, IC, Aloft) and be within walking distance to Chabad and the restaurants, or you can stay further down the strip and take the convenient bus up and down for MEX12 (currently about $0.65USD); drivers happily make change, at least from small peso bills. Reports that they will also take a $1 bill but won't give change. Taxis outside the strip to Walmart or Costco shouldn't be too expensive either. To get to/from the airport, you can book a private shuttle (see below). If you plan on going outside the Zone to activities with a tour, you can usually pay extra for transportation, but if you plan on going out on your own schedule, you'll want to rent a car.

If you plan on staying in Playa del Carmen, you'll likely want to rent a car, although it's possible to avoid it by taking the express nonstop ADO Bus which runs every 30 minutes (216 Pesos) or an airport shuttle (see below) there and staying at the Grand Hyatt which is within walking distance of Chabad and the restaurants or at the Fairmont/Andaz and having Chabad deliver food to you. Same advice for activities above applies here - go with a tour and pay for transportation or go out on your own and just rent a car.

If you plan on staying in Mayakoba, you will likely need to drive back and forth to Playa del Carmen for food/davening and taxis can get pricey so you may want to consider renting a car for the 15 minute drive each way. Most restaurants deliver to the hotels in Mayakoba for a small fee if you are just interested in staying in.

There are several companies that offer private shuttles to/from the airport and your hotel that have positive DDF reviews. Best to book in advance so you can pay with a credit card. The airport arrivals area is known to be packed with pushy taxi drivers dressed very formally to trick you into using them, but stay strong and go past them to find your ride at the pickup spot. (Prices to Zona Hotelera):

Canada Transfers: $55 RT (if you choose to pay in CAD, currently you'll only pay about $50).
USA Transfers: $55 RT for 3 people; $65 RT for 7 people.
Happy Shuttle: $53 RT. No DDF reviews, but Google reviews are positive.

Car rentals can be relatively cheap, and many hotels have free parking, but liability insurance is mandatory (you should be able to use for CC for collision insurance), and they won't allow you to use your car insurance from back home, so that can jack up the price. Make sure to have your reservation quote with you as some reported that the rental agents tried raising the price in person. And remember, keep to the speed limit.


Where to stay:
Cancun
Westin Lagunamar - Cat. 6 Marriott. (low season/high season) for a studio room. Studios can be booked with points online but one-bedroom suites require PUTPAC. Seems you can get 1BR suite for 1.5K more SPG 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 (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 and dishwasher (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.
Hyatt Zilara - 25K Hyatt (all inclusive, adults only). Lots of rave reviews in the thread.
Hyatt Ziva - 25K Hyatt (all inclusive, family friendly, 1 tower is adults only). Beautiful resort hotel+spa, excellent service, great for adults and kids, right next to Red Heifer restaurant and Ember Grill and 5 minute walk to Chabad and Dag Dag restaurant, separate water playground by kids club zone, next to ferry to Isla Mujeres, has water sports and dolphins on premises.
Ritz Carlton - Cat. 6 Marriott.
JW Marriott - Cat. 6 Marriott. Great service, beautiful hotel, pool and beach.
Marriott - 30-40K Marriott (Cat 5).
Intercontinental Presidente - 25-30K IHG. Derived from shiframeir - Great location for Shabbos, close to Chabad, nice big lobby to chill in the afternoon, lots of first floor rooms (no steps needed), decent pools (one adults only, one family, felt a little cool might not be heated), really great service.
Aloft - Cat. 3 Marriott. shiframeir - pretty lousy though very cheap and close to Chabad and Dag Dag, pool on roof is small and not heated, rooms are 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, but a great location. Not a luxurious place to hangout, but if you're going to be out and about, it's good value.[/i] Cheapest option for 1 night.
Westin - 30-40K Marriott (Cat 5).. Mixed reviews, general opinion is not as nice as Lagunamar, but not a bad option. (Old will rumor to be torn down soon...)
Canopy by Hilton - 60-70K Hilton.

Playa del Carmen
Grand Hyatt - 25K Hyatt.
Hilton All Inclusive - 60-70K Hilton.
The Fives (Curio Collection) - 25-35K Hilton. Very nice rooftop pool with great views of the city and the ocean.
Hotel La Semilla - 30-40K Marriott (Cat 5).
Thompson Main House - 12K Hyatt. Right on the corner of 5th and easy walking distance to all Kosher restaurants and Chabad's. Full access to facilities at nearby Beach House too.
Thompson Beach House - 20K Hyatt. On the beach is the draw here. I would personally stay in Main house and just walk over here 5 minutes to use the beach.

Mayakoba
Fairmont - Covered in Dan's TR (top of wiki).
Andaz - 25K Hyatt.
Rosewood - Non-points hotel considered to be the most luxurious in the area.
Banyan Tree - Non-points hotel with all rooms being private villas with private pool. Many travel agents can get you an upgrade. "Chef Chaya" special hotel.

Cozumel
InterContinental Presidente - 40K IHG.
Westin - 30-40K Marriott (Cat 5).

Kosher Food/Restaurants:
WARNING: Lots of food gets confiscated at airport security. Meat, random cheeses (some make it through, some don't) and un-packaged foods are not allowed. Snacks are okay. You will be asked to push a button, if the light turns red, they will go through all your bags for food; if it turns green, you can officially go free, but there are enough reports of being pulled to the side anyway and searched for food - hypothesized due to "looking Jewish", but plenty who look Jewish have reported getting green and going free as well.

Cancun
Chabad Kosher Cancun - fleishig takeout food with a very timely delivery option run by the Rabbi Mendel Druk and family. They also offer Shabbos meals on premises for $25 a meal ($15 kids) or delivered to your hotel. There is supposedly a sit-down restaurant coming soon. Reports are that the food is really good and restaurant quality and comes with very timely delivery. Detailed review here. There is an additional menu for Yeshiva week here.
Falafel stand - located right outside Chabad and under their supervision. 
Kosher Luxus/Red Heifer - fleishig, Israeli-style restaurant under the supervision of Rav Yosef Maleh and the only real eat-in restaurant with delivery also available and a nice outdoor eating area overlooking the lagoon. People seem to either love or hate this place, very mixed reviews. You can eat Shabbos meals here or get delivery to your hotel with a hot plate. Some reviews and pics on GKRF, suggest getting apps/drinks/desserts over steaks and to always call before going to see whats available/what they ran out of. Be sure to confirm that the meat is from Mexico City and not a local supplier. (Source that this is an issue?) As of Aug 2018 they don't take AMEX - Closed as of December 2020.
Garden Beach - milchig, breakfast section of Red Heifer open 8am-2pm. - Closed as of December 2020.
Dag Dag - homey, milchig and fish restaurant, covered in Dan's TR, zow - fish and chips were very good, as was the pizza, but also has mixed reviews in taste, long wait times and randomly being closed. The owner is a little eccentric, but nice, and if you order in advance, it's not too bad. Was/Is (?) under supervision of Rabbi Mendel Druk of Chabad of Cancun.
Ember Grill - Meat restaurant down the block from Hyatt Ziva and across from Red Heifer. Very quick service and pretty good food.

There are several box stores / groceries with Kosher items:
Costco - cheese (large cream cheese box "Raskas Queso Crema" is Cholov Stam, Natural and Kosher is Cholov Yisroe), hummus, salmon spread, lox, PB and J, bread (Star K), milk (both shelf stable "La La" brand, as well as Kirkland brand - not sure which Hechscher) and mantequilla/butter (OU).
Sam's Club - breads ("New York Deli and Bagel") and other essentials.
Walmart - cereal, milk, eggs, avocados, drinks and many other things you need like pans and spatulas.
Chedraui Selecto - near Chabad, has frozen bagels, cereals, tuna, one Kosher meat product and many other products.
Minimart in Westin Lagunamar - bunch of imported Kosher items (La LA milk is under KA Kosher), but sometimes runs out. They have beer at about $1/bottle.
Erupea - has 1 or 2 Kosher wines.
Soriana - many Kosher items.
Random stores - many have OU snacks from America.

Playa
Chabad of Playa del Carmen - fleishig food delivery run by Rabbi Mendel Goldberg, a DDF member, that's really good, restaurant quality. Contact them for an updated menu with more choices than listed on website. They also host Shabbos meals for free, but ask for donations (they say it costs them $40/$20 adult/kid per meal).
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. They have a Hebrew website.
Hotel 770 - fleishig restaurant, grocery and hotel under Rabbi Chaim Brod's supervision. Calle 10 Norte Bis. - Closed as of December 2020.
Menfis - Israeli restaurant, review, under Rabbi Chaim Brod's supervision. Calle 14 Norte, Entre 5a y 10. - Closed as of December 2020.
Mas Pan - dairy restaurant serving pizza, sandwiches and paninis, under ??? supervision.
Yummy Kosher - Calle 6 Norte S/N entre 5ta Avenida y calle 10, Centro, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico - Is this place closed?
Moshe Cube - Israeli/Sfardi food - highly recommend, accepted credit card which is very convenient. Avenida Constituyentes lote 01, mz 079
Platinum Grill - Israeli food - better than most Israeli places I've tried in NYC, "Mercado de la 10", calle 6 y Av 15, Centro 77710. It's located as part of a small strip mall/shopping center.
The Green Village Eco Boutique Hotel - Calle 20 #145, between Avenida 10 and Avenida 15, Playa Del Carmen, Quintana Roo, 77720, Mexico.
Yala - Calle 10 Nte Mz 30, Centro, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico. - Closed as of December 2020.

Cozumel
Jerusalem - Nice fleshig place with good food and quick service, under Chabad of Cozumel - R. David Caplin and R. Shalom Peleg (yellow flag). Calle 10 North and Av. and General Rafeal, second floor.
Cafe Rimon - milchig restaurant also under Chabad of Cozumel (yellow flag). Calle 4 North and Av. and General Rafeal.
Chocolatte - milchig cafe under ???.
Falafel Sombrero - falafel place under Chabad of Cozumel (yellow flag).

Isla Mujeres
Cafe Maya - [Currently closed for renovations] milchig restaurant, under some Chabad (R Druk of Cancun vouches apparently), cash only, but bring pesos as it's much cheaper here than USD. Food is excellent and prices here are very reasonable, so long as you pay in pesos. Family of 5 can feast on paninis, pasta and pizza, with soft drinks/coffees, easily under $50USD. Pictures of store and food (scroll down). Directions: two blocks straight ahead (5 min walk) when you exit the ferry terminal (Calle Bravo?), then 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. Reviews on yelp, TripAdvisor.
Chabad downstairs - falafel and pizza
Chabad upstairs - meat restaurant

Hechsherim: (Beneath each logo is the site that recommends them.)
   
CRC                    CRC & KosherQuest
   
KosherQuest & Chabad of Cancun          KosherQuest

Chabad of Cancun             

KosherQuest & Chabad of Cancun

Via email to @Yehuda, Rabbi Eidlitz from KosherQuest recommended Rabbi Mendel Druk of Chabad of Cancun.

Shabbos and Minyanim:
Chabad - has Minyanim during busy seasons, but check with them to confirm (they are really great, give a nice donation!). They also offer meals, see Kosher section.
Kosher Luxus / Red Heifer - offers meals, see Kosher section, and may have Minyanim, check with them.
Westin Lagunamar - check with the Chabad Rabbi whether there has been a Minyan recently, but enough Jews have timeshares at Lagunamar and come for winter break that they seem to have a Minyan during 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).


Activities:
Ferry to Isla Mujeres - small island off the coast near Cancun, rent a golf cart to go around the island - can get carts by walking left or right for a few minutes after you exit the port and get a decent rate; shiframeir got 2 fast carts for afternoon for $70 total going left (right has mixed reviews on speed), get some Kosher food, visit Garaffon Reef Park, Turtle Farm, Playa Norte, Dolphin Discovery, Shark Beach.
Xplor - 5 activity course / theme park of swimming and kayaking in a cave, jeeping in the jungle, ziplining high in the air over trees, and ziplining on a hammock into water; highly recommend, night version is cheaper and offers ziplining through ring of fire. Can save money by booking online a couple of weeks in advance.
Xel Ha - theme park (for older kids and adults)
Xcaret - theme park, one reviewer spoke to people that went who said it was waste of time & very costly.
Boka del Puma - theme park, cheaper option to Xplor.
Selvatica - ziplining and biking, Alma's LDS tour includes this and Mayan ruins.
Emotions Jungle Night - another theme park.
Jungle Tour - motor boat tour through lagoon to an area where you snorkel, recommended.
Mayan Ruins - Chichen Itza - most famous, Tulum, Coba - only one you can still climb.
Cenotes - natural pools/caves to go swimming in; Ik Kil - near Chichen Itza, Sistema dos Ojos.
BOB - Breathing Observation Bubble, underwater scuba-like contraption, highly recommended.
Ferry to Cozumel - larger island off the coast of Playa del Carmen, with an Intercontinental and Kosher food.
La Isla Mall - has an aquarium, dolphin show and Haagen Dazs.
Mayakoba Lagoon - boat tour and biking, hotels in Mayakoba provide this.
Swim with Whale Sharks - June, July and August, one company with high review is Whale Shark Daddy.
Cancun Underwater Museum
Zoo Crococun
5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen - shopping street.
Wet and Wild
Scuba Diving - one company with a high review is Squalodivers.
Hummer Tours - fun way to see more of Mexico.
Isla Contoy - small island north of Isla Mujeres.
Secret Beach/Pool - found by Suave, location here.


Random:
Electricity - US plugs and voltage
« Last edited by yuds70 on April 29, 2021, 12:32:06 AM »

Author Topic: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread  (Read 539989 times)

Offline David1

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Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #3280 on: January 23, 2021, 11:42:13 PM »
Any custom or immigration forms I need to fill out online before landing in Mexico?

Offline flaggie

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Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #3281 on: January 23, 2021, 11:46:54 PM »
Don’t waste your time doing it online unless you will print it. You need the paper copy and they give it out on the flight.( maybe bring a pack of pens because nobody on flight ever has a pen) However on the flight they told us 1 form per family but at customs they made everyone fill out a form.

Offline flaggie

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Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #3282 on: January 23, 2021, 11:48:41 PM »
Anybody have any bad experience taking a taxi? Planning to take one tomorrow from hotel zone to putero Juárez to get the early boat to Isla Mujeres... or any other ideas how to get there?

Offline Joel

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Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #3283 on: January 23, 2021, 11:50:40 PM »
Don’t waste your time doing it online unless you will print it. You need the paper copy and they give it out on the flight.( maybe bring a pack of pens because nobody on flight ever has a pen) However on the flight they told us 1 form per family but at customs they made everyone fill out a form.
I did mine online and printed it out 1 PP much easier then doing it on the plane

Offline moka

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Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #3284 on: January 24, 2021, 12:02:50 AM »
Is there also a health form that has to be filled out? Is that per person or one for family is good?

Offline flaggie

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Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #3285 on: January 24, 2021, 12:23:03 AM »
No health form as far as I know.

Offline itreu001

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Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #3286 on: January 24, 2021, 12:47:05 AM »
We had “dinner” by ember tonight and it was an experience. They ran out of food, claimed there were no managers and charged fullprice when they didn’t give sides because “they ran out”.(we were only told that they ran out of items after we ordered and were waiting for an hour).  They also provided no menu and gave no prices. We asked to speak with managers and were given the run around by numerous waiters and the person who swiped the credit cards. It was a memorable evening. We definitely would never return.

They had two large parties that they were taking care of and that was their priority. We’ve never been to a restaurant before that claimed there was nobody in charge and there was nobody to speak with.

We paid our bill and will not contest it because we feel bad for the waiters. A party before us was so fed up they contested their entire bill and left without paying. Another party waited for food to go. When they received it they only got half their order, and when they complained the person said “sorry we are out of what you ordered.” 🤷‍♂️

Buyer beware. You can’t rely on them.

Offline moka

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Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #3287 on: January 24, 2021, 10:40:53 AM »
We had “dinner” by ember tonight and it was an experience. They ran out of food, claimed there were no managers and charged fullprice when they didn’t give sides because “they ran out”.(we were only told that they ran out of items after we ordered and were waiting for an hour).  They also provided no menu and gave no prices. We asked to speak with managers and were given the run around by numerous waiters and the person who swiped the credit cards. It was a memorable evening. We definitely would never return.

They had two large parties that they were taking care of and that was their priority. We’ve never been to a restaurant before that claimed there was nobody in charge and there was nobody to speak with.

We paid our bill and will not contest it because we feel bad for the waiters. A party before us was so fed up they contested their entire bill and left without paying. Another party waited for food to go. When they received it they only got half their order, and when they complained the person said “sorry we are out of what you ordered.” 🤷‍♂️

Buyer beware. You can’t rely on them.
Not to justify anything, Are you aware that this is their busiest week of the year?

Offline YoelFried

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Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #3288 on: January 24, 2021, 11:17:54 AM »
We had “dinner” by ember tonight and it was an experience. They ran out of food, claimed there were no managers and charged fullprice when they didn’t give sides because “they ran out”.(we were only told that they ran out of items after we ordered and were waiting for an hour).  They also provided no menu and gave no prices. We asked to speak with managers and were given the run around by numerous waiters and the person who swiped the credit cards. It was a memorable evening. We definitely would never return.

They had two large parties that they were taking care of and that was their priority. We’ve never been to a restaurant before that claimed there was nobody in charge and there was nobody to speak with.

We paid our bill and will not contest it because we feel bad for the waiters. A party before us was so fed up they contested their entire bill and left without paying. Another party waited for food to go. When they received it they only got half their order, and when they complained the person said “sorry we are out of what you ordered.”

Buyer beware. You can’t rely on them.
I was there in December, service was excellent.

Offline MosheMonsey

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Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #3289 on: January 24, 2021, 11:43:15 AM »
This if my first post here but thought I’ll share my car rental experience in Cancun. I was there last week from Sunday to Thursday in banyan tree for the week. Before leaving I was advised not to rent a car at the airport for good reasons, so I did some research. I found online a local car rental company located in Cozumel, name of the company is fiesta car rental, WhatsApp number +52 987 871 1143. I can honestly say I had better experience renting from them then any car rental company in the US (kind of a bold statement). They brought me the car to the airport and when returning they waited for me at the airport I just gave back the keys and headed into the terminal, and most importantly they were very honest. I paid $57 a day, that included everything no other fees. It might not be the cheapest but totally worth it. If you are going to rent out a car in Cancun I would highly recommended them

Offline flaggie

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Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #3290 on: January 24, 2021, 12:56:44 PM »
I showed up Erev shabbos and they had my shabbos food ready in 25 min. ( not pre ordered) saved my shabbos as most of our food got taken away at customs

Offline itreu001

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Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #3291 on: January 24, 2021, 01:19:08 PM »
Lots of understanding that it’s yeshiva week. It was much later in the evening and the restaurant was about 3/4 full. Nobody was in charge. I’ve never had experience where during the meal we were told that 1/3 of the order wasn’t coming and basically too bad so sad and we are still charging. When we and others asked to speak to a manager nobody could point us who to speak with.. We were not looking to reduce our bill. We just wanted to speak with someone to figure this all out. Each person gave a different story and in fact the person in charge of the monies pretended that nobody was in charge. Hopefully by posting this the restaurant will fix up it’s act or people will act accordingly.

Offline RebTuvia

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Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #3292 on: January 24, 2021, 08:16:25 PM »
Email Marisol Garcia (Rooms Controller) marisol.garcia@hyatt.com ask for a upgrade if you have any special occasion make sure to mention it ;)
Can this work for any Hyatt in general? Or only for this specific Hyatt Ziva in Cancun?

Offline Joel

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Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #3293 on: January 24, 2021, 10:19:00 PM »
Can this work for any Hyatt in general? Or only for this specific Hyatt Ziva in Cancun?
The method can work in any hotel if you find out the right contact person.
This contact is only for the Hyatt Ziva Cancun.

Offline shopcomputer

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Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #3294 on: January 25, 2021, 02:18:32 PM »
I  returned last Monday from a short trip to Cancun over the weekend. I flew with Delta from JFK Thursday at noon. The flight was just over four hours with no checked in luggage. I filled out Mexican passport and customs forms online however the customs form was never collected.  They went through my bags at customs and only seized an open package of cheese. I used https://www.cancun-airport.net for transfer from airport $24. They had someone waiting outside the terminal with my name, however had us wait for the driver 5-10 minutes for a driver. He then took us to a Suburban that drove us to the hotel. Driver had a good English with almost no trace of an accent.  When asked how he spoke such a good English, he replied that he lived in the US for a few years as a teen until immigration sent him back. We checked in to the Hyatt Ziva.  They upgraded us to the Turquoise Tower (adult only) on the eighth floor, but we requested a lower floor for Shabbos. They were able to change us to the fifth floor. We had to wait approximately fifteen minutes for a butler to take us to our room and show us around. I was rushing her as I wanted to make the 6:10 mincha at Chabad. As soon as I was done with check in and settled into the room I ran to Chabad, however I missed the minyan. I did buy a bottle (cardboard box) of Cholov Yisroel milk from Chabad, davened and returned to the hotel which is just a seven minute walk away. At 7:30 we went to The Ember for Dinner, then went to the Supermarket to buy a few things the TSA seized from us.

 Friday morning, I davened at Chabad at 8:30, picked up my wife from our room and then went to the hotel restaurant for breakfast. They gave us paper cups and plastic cutlery. We asked for whole fruits and vegetables and we cut them up ourselves. We then went to the beach, but we were unable to find a quiet area, so we rented a cabana for the day on a side for $89 and had our privacy (except for all the salespeople coming around offering spa packages, photos, jet skis, etc.) We went back to our room about an hour before Shabbos to get ready; Gartel on door, set lights, etc (maintenance removed fridge light). We then headed to Chabad, lit candles, mincha, Kabalas Shabbos followed by Seuda. Rabbi Druk and his assistants are amazing. He does his best to make everyone feel at home, entertains with speeches and songs the entire meal, his 9-year-old daughter got up and said a dvar torah too. Food was very good however not what I am accustomed to.  There was no white tablecloth, gefilta fish only, no soup. We returned to hotel where we found a staircase in a parking garage going straight up to the tower, no need to have anyone open doors for us. Shabbos morning 9:45 davened at Chabad, followed by day meal. Once again good food however not what I am used to, no challah or fish. Basically, buffet style, with pita breads and many salads, cold cuts, etc. About 20 minutes later they brought out large pot of chulent. After the meal we davened Mincha and returned to hotel. We stayed on the balcony (which had a couch) and room for most of the afternoon. There is no eiruv so we could not carry. About an hour or so before the zman went for a walk exploring the property. Then we headed to Chabad for Maariv and Havdalah. On Motzei Shabbos, we went to check out the famous Dag Dag, which took a while to find. When we arrived, there were at least 20 people there already.  We waited about an hour for our pizza, however we had a lot of fun talking to the owner and to all the visitors from around the world. By the time we left there were at least 40 to 50 people, including a group of 20 that were waiting for food. The owner said this is not normal, next time he will be ready for it. We took the pizza back to the hotel as there was no tables available and ate at a firepit near the beach.

Sunday morning found me davening at Chabad followed by a swim in the adult only pool which is located in a quiet area on the roof of the lobby.  We then checked out. We used Vladimir mentioned above to transfer us to the Banyan Tree.  He wanted $10 more than USA transfers however he was willing to match the price. He sent a large Sprinter for us two people.  He came to meet me at the hotel where I paid him.  He waited with us until the driver arrived. We checked in to Banyan Tree where they upgraded us to a Villa with a hot-tub and separate dining room. They explained their kosher food options and took us with a buggy to our Villa. It started raining however we could not resist checking out the pool, then we took a buggy to the beach. The rain got really heavy and everyone started leaving the beach. There was a line of people waiting for a buggy, so they decided to take us back by boat. I joined the Chabad WhatsApp group and dared to ask about minyan at the Banyan Tree. Someone was kind enough to direct me to the Banyan Tree WhatsApp group. I davened Mincha at the Banyan Tree Gazebo with approximately 15 others.  When I returned to my villa, I was informed that my dinner ordered from Chabad had arrived.  However, it took another thirty minutes and three calls to reception until it was delivered cold to my villa. Food was good however arrived cold. $88 for two portions of chicken nuggets, one mashed potatoes, one rice and seven asparagus spears. We then stayed in for the rest of the rainy night. In the morning I went to daven at the Gazebo at 8:15, Abraham +525569177852 who runs a local car service was gracious enough to bring a sefer torah from the unofficial Chabad.  He collected a few donations for the unofficial Chabad too. He disclosed that the two Chabads don’t get along very well.  After Shachris I went back to the Villa ate breakfast and used our private pool. At noon we checked out and then joined the hotel’s echo tour forty-five-minute boat ride. We then spent a few hours at the beach.  At 2pm we returned to the lobby where  https://www.cancun-airport.net was waiting for us to take us back to the airport. At the airport they were very strict about filling out a COVID-19 form, they don’t let you in to the secure area without it, however it was never collected. Security opened all our bags as we forgot some liquids in them. We made sure to keep the passport exit card based on previous warnings, so we had no problem with that, we did see several people have issues with that. We boarded the 5:40 Delta 3-hour flight back to JFK and took a taxi home.

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Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #3295 on: January 25, 2021, 03:49:43 PM »
Nice TR thanks for posting! My favorite part is the lack of white table cloths that you are accustomed to....

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Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #3296 on: January 25, 2021, 04:06:22 PM »
I did buy a bottle (cardboard box) of Cholov Yisroel milk from Chabad
Nice TR! the Ziva has kosher milk for free

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Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #3297 on: January 25, 2021, 04:14:12 PM »
Nice TR! the Ziva has kosher milk for free
CY?

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Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #3298 on: January 25, 2021, 04:55:22 PM »
CY?
Yes IIRC
The milk at the zilara had a hechsher as did all the coffe flavor pumps. Just ask then to see the container.

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Re: Cancun, Mexico Master Thread
« Reply #3299 on: January 25, 2021, 05:11:23 PM »