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Cancun Vacation - no comparison!

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Cancun Vacation - no comparison!

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Posts: 519
Honorable Member
Topic starter

Just got back from a week in Cancun. Really - we knew better, but my wife's younger sister (5 years chronological - 15 years behavioral) begged us to go with her and her husband (nice guy - just along for the ride). So - off we went.

We stayed at an oceanfront all-inclusive resort called the RIU Cancun. It really was a nice property and was dirt-cheap by comparison to USVI (6 nights for 2 adults totaled $1075 all-inclusive). The water was beautiful - that similar shade of blue that we're all accustomed to.

Arrived on a Thursday and were immediately signed up for the "Bar-hopping Tour" (by younger sister). Okay - I have to admit that it was pretty fun. Cancun has some extreme clubs - probably 15,000 square feet and 2-3 stories tall. Pay one price for a wrist bracelet and you have an open bar for the night. Lots of action including stage show, acrobats and the obvious continual loud mix of music. So - we did that on our first night.

Problem was - "and now what"? We love the VI for the tranquility. Sure - we like to go out, but generally it's pretty mild-mannered and we're usually hitting the pillow by midnight! Nothing really even gets started in Cancun until midnight!

The other thing that really struck me was that when we go to VI, there is always something new to see. We get to visit a different beach, Bay, or Cay each day. We can island-hop to the BVI - all within a very reasonable commute. In Cancun, we were more limited to the beach in front of the property. Sure - we could have taxied to another resort, but it's all the same beach. Same swimming pool, same beach (although it was, indeed a beautiful sight), same old-same old each day. About half-way though the trip, wife and I looked at each other and said that we're glad we came, and it really made us appreciate our yearly trek to STT/STJ even more!

We're set for our VI return Feb 3 - 11 and are even more excited this year than in the past. So - the moral to the story is that unless you are looking for the late-night action that Cancun brings, save-up your money and keep going to the VIs!

Posted : October 21, 2006 10:01 am
Posts: 91
Estimable Member

So interesting to hear from one of our USVI lovers, that the trip just didn't compare... It's always so tempting to run down to mexico from where I live in Texas, near Dallas. Deals are always cheap, cheap, cheap. I haven't gone yet, and you've pretty much convinced me that relaxing at Panni Beach drinking coconut rum and listening to the water lap on the sand is absolutely worth missing a few cheap trips so that I can save for what I really want... another week on STJ!!!

Posted : October 21, 2006 4:13 pm
Posts: 2026
Noble Member

I've also tried Cancun when a coworker was divorcing her cheating, wealthy husband and decided to cash in his FF miles to buy 4 of us (close colleagues) first class round trip tickets to Cancun + 6 nights in a suite at the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Resort. 2 of us were in our late 30s and the other 2 were in their early we all got bored with the strip after one day and decided to rent a car and drive down to Playa del Carmen, Akumal, Xpu Ha, and Soliman Bay. These places were beautiful, peaceful and totally non-touristy. The beaches were practically deserted....but soooo beautiful. The water did not seem as crystal clear as the VI, but was a deeper and prettier shade of bluish green, IMO. The little seaside villages were like nothing I had ever seen. I would like to return to Akumal for a stay. Cancun - no way!

Posted : October 24, 2006 8:36 am
Posts: 1

Amen, just go to the web cam cruz bay and you can get a fleeting moment of your fav place. I do alot and can feel that old feeling of my fav place ,

Posted : October 24, 2006 8:40 am
Posts: 117
Estimable Member

I have one of those "you shoulda seen it back when" stories about Cancun.

We went there for our honeymoon 25 yrs ago. Our travel agent tried to talk us out of going because she didnt know anything about it (last time I used a travel agent!)

When we told people where we were going, they said "Where???"

I wanted to go there after seeing and reading about it in one of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues - I think Cheryl Tieg was on the cover. They used to always try shooting those issues in new or remote locations.

Stayed at the brand new Sheraton, one of 7 hotels just built there - it was the last hotel as you moved south down the island.

Took the jitney buses for 5 pesos into the "real" town which still very small, found some cute local restaurants for some great (and cheap) seafood meals. I think newly built Carlos and Charlies was the only "chain" place there at the time on "the strip".

Took the snorkel trip over to Isla Mujueres (sp) which was very rural, and the bus trip to big Mayan ruins in the jungle.

All very nice. Sure I wouldnt recognize the place now.

Posted : October 24, 2006 9:35 am
Posts: 50
Trusted Member

Ditto everything that you said. We also stayed at Sheraton. Think it was destroyed by a hurricane some years ago. I know we would not recgonize it now. After that trip 20 yrs. ago we started going to STT. Been going there every since. STT has had some changes in 20 years also but not as much as other places. Still our favorite place.

Posted : October 24, 2006 11:36 am
Posts: 31
Eminent Member

My DH and I have been to Cancun twice and the Riviera Maya once. Cancun has a entirely different feeling to it than the Riveria Maya, which is more secluded and laid back in some areas. If they continue to build so many hotels down there, someday, they are all going to run together. I personally liked the atmosphere of the Riviera Maya better than the hustle and bustle of Cancun. One year, we went twice within 6 months and we were shocked at how much had changed in that short amount of time.

I was working for a financial planner in the late 80's and he went to Cancun for a vacation. I had never heard of it before and when he came back, he told me how wonderful it was and not touristy at all. I would have loved to have seen it then.

Personally I enjoy the Caribbean islands much more than I do Mexico. Our very first trip to St Thomas and St John on Friday. We are looking forward to it very much.

Posted : October 24, 2006 3:41 pm
Posts: 165
Reputable Member

AMEN to STT over Cancun! Our 1st trip there was with BF's and 3 teen agers we call that the trip from Hell ! Both of us sick for a week after getting home, swore we'd never go back, then our nephew decided to get married there so we made it a family trip for one week, took our then college student son, our daughter and son-in-law, when we went to check out our son and the 16 year old nephew, who had shared a room, had a $500.00 room service bill. My husband and brother-in-law spent the whole trip back trying to figure it out!

My husband (Digger) is a funeral director and he always tells people traveling to Mexico that if someone in their party (well not really A party) dies, to get them on a plane, kind of like "Week-end at Bernies' Just prop them up and get out of there! It is a real mess trying to get them back, they basically hold them hostage .

Posted : October 24, 2006 7:47 pm
Posts: 1

Went to Cancun for the first time in 1980. It was wonderful. The Sheraton was the last of the hotel on the beach. Everything south of it was beautiful open beach. Went back in'81 and it had changed somewhat. Went back again in 1990 and did not even recognize it as the same place. I enjoyed all of the visits but once we began going to the "islands" I was ruined. We went to the Riviera Maya in 2000 and drove thru Cancun on the way. WOW !! Not for me. As a side note, on our trip in '81 we went to Tulum and stopped in Playa del Carmen. The only thing there was a pier, one restaurant alongside the pier and a bunch of small huts selling some food and a few souvenirs. On the trip in 2000, it was larger that Cancun was on our first trip. I was a big fan of Mexico until I got island fever. St. Croix is our favorite. Planning our 11th trip for June of '07. Can't wait.

Posted : October 25, 2006 4:37 pm
Posts: 159
Estimable Member

have you all beat on early visits to cancun. i had unusal surgery fall 1976 that i thought i wouldn't get over. well i did and me and 3 buddies went on a "we're glad you're alive cuise" in feb 1977 on, of all things, a russian cruise ship, the Odessa. we left from new orleans stopped at cozumel, anchored in channel and ferried in and at playa de carman (anchored and ferried). it was nothing but a fishing village. took a bus tour to new resort up the road "cancun". place was deserted, maybe 4 or 5 hotels on beach, but it was beautiful! had a hour in the village to see????. back to cascun for next time in jan 01, what a change, might as well be at miami beach or wikiki.

but then my ist trip to stj was in spring 1980 via crewed sail boat charter out of stt. we anchored (yes dropped anchor, no bouys) couple nights at honeymoon and caneel, took dinghy in to cruz bay, all very basic. while stj has also developed in last 25 years, unlike cancun, so much of stj is national park, so still undeveloped. while the developers may eventually fully develope all the private land at stj, unless uncle sam sells out on the national park lands a large part of stj will stay pristine. don't believe you can say that for cancun and riveria maya.

my fear is that some how STJ WILL GET ALL F**KED UP by the the developers. but until they do the total, i'm going down every chance me (and the bride) get. that's my 2 cents.


Posted : October 25, 2006 8:32 pm
Posts: 37
Eminent Member

Amen Pap...totally agree...Went to Cancun about 15 years ago...thought back then it was a CONCRETE Jungle...Never went back...Tried Mayan Riveria last year...Loved it, however I've never seen ongoing construction like it is there. OVERWHELMING, 5X the rate that Maui is being chewed up and spit out. (JUST got back last week). Mexico is putting an airport down about 2 hours south of Cancun...Just imagine the building that is going to start even further on down...mind blowing thought.

Guess that fact that my two favorite islands are national parks says something. St john and Mt Desert Island. Rockefeller was onto something...Come to think of it...visited the 7 falls area in East Maui...Rockefeller was smart to buy that and donate it to the National Park Service for preservation of the many generations to come.

Wish all the billionaires out there were so generous....

Posted : October 27, 2006 12:40 am
Posts: 159
Estimable Member


you brought a smile with your mention of mt desert island. she's our other favorite. her beauty of the contrasts between mountains and water are equal to stj. mt d also has the beautiful fall follage if only the water were warmer and the sea filled with coral reefs. plan to return late next spring while the air is still crisp. if we get back probably do daytrip to mohegan is. and stay at our favorite "inn", bar harbor inn. the blue nose is a little too for us ga folks.


Posted : October 27, 2006 8:20 am

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