I just got back from 10 days of traveling to Cancun.
I had to see what it’s really like – after the press had Mexico circling the bowl for a year.
Here is my take after staying at 7 resorts in 10 days.
- The Airports
- I had a few stops in the US before I got to Cancun< - I was in Spokane/Denver/Salt Lake City/Dallas Ft Worth/Hartford/Phoenix
- ALL were busy. And there were very few parking spaces.
- People are traveling. Guess they don’t have a TV.
- The Flights
- So I was on like 7 flights total. At different times of the day including a red-eye
- The flights are PACKED.
- The airlines don’t have lots of planes, extra flights, or open seats lying around.
- This means that if your plane has a mechanical you are screwed. It happened to me.
- They are VERY serious about wearing your approved mask. No bandanas or stretchy things you pull up.
- Bring breath mints. Being in a mask for 6 hours after Linguini a la garlic is worse than water torture.
- And download the Airline App for whichever airline you’re on. It’s a time saver and gives you free stuff like movies.
- Arriving at CUN airport
- Since Canada and the EU are not dropping 747’s full of speedo-stretching man-buns, my arrival was a breeze.
- Short lines, happy airport staff. They want tourists.
- Transferring to the Hotel
- This is where it gets sketchy.
- Be sure you choose a reputable transfer company. Think Lomas/USA/Amstar.
- The tourist infrastructure was down for a year. They are gearing up fast, but things are not like 2019
- Cabs are hard to find at the airport. At least that was what I was told when my transfer company did not show up.
- The Hotels
- The name of this website is ‘Best All-Inclusive’, not Cheap All-Inclusive – so your experience may vary.
- Every hotel I was at ( Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morales, Hotel Zone & Playa-Costa Mujeres) was very concerned about health and safety.
- Guests were not wearing masks around the pools/beach/walkways.
- But they are worn in the restaurants when you’re around the food – and in the lobby area.
- Staff ALL wore masks……They cannot afford to be out of work after a year of scrounging. They are VERY diligent about their masks.
- BTW – get used to using QR codes. They don’t pass out menus or property maps because they don’t want to touch them.
- Most resorts have their own app, be sure to download it. It’s the best way to get info without looking like a Luddite.
- Also, food was good. Not all restaurants are open every day and room service took longer than usual. But things are improving day by day.
- Cabbing it between hotels
- Very smooth and expensive. It cost me $15 to take a cab a bit less than a mile.
- Cabbies have this little chart with microscopic print that gives you the rates (if you can see them).
- Uber works great for about 25% of the price, but they cannot come on the property. You have to meet them outside the gates.
- Antigen Test
- Each resort has a daily antigen test available for people departing in 72 hours.
- The tests were free in the resorts I stayed in.
- If you’re staying in an AirBNB or VRBO then the cost is about $35 for Antigen and $100 for PCR.
- Hospiten is the company most resorts use, and is who did my test. They were efficient and emailed me my results in 20 minutes.
- Everyone I spoke with had no trouble getting the test (other than prying themselves off the swim-up bar for an hour)
- YOU HAVE TO GET THIS TEST. No amount of wailing or gnashing your teeth will get you on a return flight to the US without it.
- The airlines are drop-dead serious about this.
- Return transfer to the CUN Airport
- Make sure you reconfirm your transfers back to the airport.
- As I said, transfers were the only sketchy part of my trip.
- Leaving Cancun Airport
- Ok….this is where it gets weird
- There are 2 things they want you to do. Pay a VisitTax and fill out a ‘Questionaire of Certification of Risk Factors in Travelers’
- No, I am not day drinking….that is what they call the questionnaire.
- Let’s take these one at a time:
- The VisitTax is an $11 tax you pay for leaving the airport. When you come to the escalators there is a person with a big sign that has a QR code on it. You are supposed to scan the QR code and pay money.
- My ‘Friends in Low Places’ told me to blow it off and act all “No Habla” if questioned about it.
- So that is what I did and no one asked me for anything or bugged me about it. Your experience may vary.
- The next is the Questionnaire of blah, blah ,blah. You can scan a QR code and fill it out online – or they give you a small piece of paper with .0001 font that no one could read
- It asks you if you have been in contact with farm animals, and for your airline and flight number. I filled that out but no one asked me for it.
- So…..when I got to the person who checks passports/boarding passes etc before you get strip-searched, I slid right through.
- BTW…at the Cancun airport, you don’t have to take your shoes off. Just in case you are wearing any after draining your minibar before leaving.
- The flight back to the US
- Uneventful this time. Having flown on American, United, Southwest, and Delta……I found the Southwest and Delta flight attendants were the happiest.
- Not that it is important since everyone wears a mask and is lubed up with GermX.
- Tip for blowing through Customs ……get the Mobile Passport app. It’s free and you have a special line at Customs. I found it to be faster than the Global Passport that costs $85.
So, that’s how it looked from the Back Seat.
I can tell you people are traveling (to Cancun and elsewhere!) like crazy.
There are some scorching deals out there.
5 star resorts going for prices that I have never seen before – and the resort staff are so happy to be working again.
Hope this info helps.
Saludos mi travelito’s
P.S. I have to give a shout out to Majestic Costa Mujeres. Costa Mujeres is the new hot spot. No seaweed that I saw and the beach is the best in Quintana Roo. You can walk for miles on firm, flat, white sand. They are building a ton of new resorts out there. You will begin to hear about it if you haven’t already. Way better than Akumal or Tulum IMHO.