Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Cancun Day 1: Fiesta Americana Condesa & USA Transfers

Was planning a guys trip with all my buddies. Plans didn't go through, jobs and life happened. Ended up just being two of us that ended up going to Cancun. What started off as a guys trip ended up as a Bro-cation .

Booked in early January for a March trip. Ended up booking the room and flights separate. Got the whole package for $710 each, flight and room with all inclusive. 3 nights 4 days.

It will be my first time visiting Cancun, did a bit of research on Tripadvisor regarding transportation and currency exchange. My main concern was getting currency. I was planning to use an ATM machine there, but after reading articles about ATM machine skimming, I was reluctant to do so. If you have to use an ATM machine they do recommend using one that is located at a bank. I have heard that the stand alone ATM machine can potentially be compromised. I wanted to have pesos on had so that I can tip the staff, so I ended up finding out that certain branches of my bank have currency on hand for exchange. So I just exchanged some money before my trip. Linh and I ended up exchanging $200 usd each and that was plenty for our entire trip.

Arrived at SFO around 6:30 am.

I took a break from drinking for about a month and half for this trip. The first thing I wanted to do was to grab a cocktail. Unfortunately the bar doesn't open until 9 am. Our flight was at 8:55 am.

So we decided to purchase some alcohol from the Duty Free Shop, unfortunately they don't let you take your purchase at that very moment. They deliver your purchase to your gate when you board the plane. So that idea was totally foiled.

When Linh and I checked in, for some reason our pre-selected seats were moved and we were sitting in separate rows, but at the last minute Linh saw an open row and we were lucky enough to get moved to that row with no one between us.

Finally got our Duty Free alcohol.

I always forget to bring a pen with me when I fly out of the country. Got all this time on the flight to fill out the customs form, but no pen.

This is a stroopwafel. I was informed by a tripadvisor member CurlylauralMontreal that it's a dutch treat. You would usually eat this with coffee. You place the cookie over your coffee cup and the heat from the coffee would soften the caramel center.

It was my first time having one, so I bit into it. It was still delicious. I want more.

Took them a while before they started serving us drinks, but better now than never.

Black Label and Coke, Baileys and coffee.

We started to descend.

We finally arrived to Cancun.

Xplor is the excursion we plan to do tomorrow.

I pre-booked transportation for us with Entertainment Plus  we paid $55 usd for a round trip, private ride directly to our hotel and back. Received email confirmation from USA Transfers and instructions on how to find them. You make the reservation online, but you pay the driver when you arrive.

Found our transportation host easily, but a car wasn't available, so we had to wait about 5 minutes.

Our driver was Alfredo.Really nice guy.

Alfredo offered us some beer, but had to get off airport property first before he can give us some. Talk about great service :)

We finally arrived at our hotel. It was a short 15-20 minute direct car ride.

We chose to stay at the Fiesta Americana Condesa Cancun, it's an all inclusive resort. My brother stayed here a few months ago and had a blast. So we took his recommendation. I have stayed at an all inclusive resort before, but it was in Cabo, so I was somewhat familiar with it, but this was Linh's first time being at an all inclusive resort

If you never been, pretty much all the food, beverages, and alcohol is included in the price. They just give you a wrist band and you can order whatever you want, but there are a few premium items that can be upgraded for a price, like a lobster dinner or premium alcohol. It all depends on the resort. Each one differs.

The weather was a gorgeous 81* F. Couldn't have asked for better weather.

We arrived around 6 pm EST.

Went to check in, but they were having issues locating our reservation. Linh even printed out the confirmation copy for them, but they were still unable to locate it. We booked with Hoteling.com. We didn't know at the time, but after our trip and speaking with some other members on the forums, many people have had issues with Hoteling.com so I wouldn't recommend using them and if you do I would check with the hotel directly to make sure they have your reservation.

The front desk recommended that we give them a call, unfortunately the number on the confirmation print out was not working, so I tried to look up the number on Hoteling's website using the hotel's wi-fi, but everything was in spanish. So luckily I was able to google the customer service number, and we were able to get a hold of an agent and they were quick to get it resolved. He said he would contact the hotel immediately and get things sorted out.

After quite a bit of waiting, the reservation was still not showing up. The bellhop recommended that I take a seat and he'll bring me some water.

Things still weren't going through, so the front desk gave us our wrist bands and told us to enjoy ourselves and to check back later.

It was around 7:15 pm. Excursion booking ended at 7:30 pm. so we wanted to lock that down for the next morning before it closed. We wanted to check out Xplor. Booking at the resort cost us $152 usd each person with transportation, but you can book on their website and save a bit of money in advance.

We haven't eaten a thing besides the cookie they gave us on our flight. Linh had a mission of eating 100 tacos on this trip. Good luck with that.

We saw a small taco restaurant, so that was our first stop. They were making fresh tortillas.

They were serving tacos and quesadillas.

Chicken Quesadilla.

Asada (beef) and Chorizo (sausage) tacos.

My favorite is Al Pastor (marinated pork) topped with onions, cilantro, fresh pineapple and salsa. The tacos were delicious.

After our light snack, we checked back with the front desk, I guess the issues they were having was Hoteling.com uses a third party company to book, which is located in Europe, and at that time the business was closed. They asked if we could put up one of our credit cards for collateral and they would get everything sorted out the next morning when the business opens. Hoteling.com emailed Linh and informed him of the same issue. So Linh put up his card for temporary, but due to all the hassle they upgraded us from garden view to ocean view.

The view from our room.

We didn't realize that our table art was made of rice.

After settling in, we headed downstairs to look for some more food.

Found the sushi corner, located by the main bar.

Had the California roll and I forget what the second roll was called, but they were both mediocre.

After sushi we grabbed a drink at the bar and head off to explore the property.

Everything outside seemed to be closed.

They have a table set up on the beach for a romantic couples dinner.

We looked at the entertainment schedule and for Monday night, they had a magic show, so we headed there to check it out.

Bars are everywhere.

The magic show wasn't too great, so we left early to get some more food.

We walked into the buffet, and for tonight the theme was Asian cuisines.

Green curry fish, beef something, and I forget what the chicken was, with some fried rice. It was not appetizing.

Desert was also so so. At this point the only thing that was really good were the tacos. Linh and I were feeling quite disappointed.

Alcoholic drinks were okay also. I would recommend getting doubles, because they do use jiggers to measure the shots. So in a tall glass you get a lot of filler. If you think your drink is weak just ask for more alcohol, it's all inclusive anyways.

We decided to call it a night around 10 pm. Our Xplor excursion tomorrow will be from 7 am to 7 pm. So we had a long day ahead of us.

The room service menu looked better than anything that we had today.

Linh got a burrito which he said was surprisingly good.

and I had the club sandwich was was great.

Room service is available 24 hrs. My brother recommended that we order breakfast the night before to be delivered to us in the morning so that we can wake up and eat while we get ready for our excursion. So we ordered breakfast to be delivered at 6 am. That's it for day one.

Tomorrow we're off to Xplor and you don't want to miss the pics and videos from that.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Subscribe by Email