Trip Report: Cancun from July 6th – 10th
For those who missed the email last week or who haven’t been following along on Facebook or Instagram, we had the opportunity to spend last week in Cancun and get a firsthand look at how some of the area’s most popular resorts are handling the reopening process and to give you a glimpse of what you can expect if you are ready to travel. We spent two nights at the RIU Palace Las Americas from July 6th through July 8th and then went over to the Iberostar Selection Cancun for the last two nights from July 8th through July 10th. We received some great questions the past week and wanted to re-cap them with a trip report. If you have any additional questions or comments, let us know.
Mexico is re-opening in four phases- Red, Orange, Yellow, and Green. The state of Quintana Roo, the state where Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, and Tulum are located, is currently in the Orange Phase. In the Orange Phase, hotels and resorts can reopen at 30% occupancy. The RIU Palace Las Americas occupancy level for the dates of our stay was at the maximum allowed 30%. All four RIU properties in the Cancun Hotel Zone, RIU Palace Peninsula, RIU Palace Las Americas, RIU Caribe, and RIU Cancun, have reopened and are at their maximum allowed occupancy. The main section of the Iberostar Selection Cancun has yet to officially reopen, but the adults-only Coral Level has. During our stay, the main section of the resort began welcoming guests and an official reopening is expected soon.
Arrival and departure in Cancun Airport: Arriving in Cancun and departing Cancun was very similar to how it has always been. Thermal cameras are in place after clearing immigration to check passengers’ temperatures. To expedite immigration, I recommend completing your immigration form prior to departure. You can complete this at the following web address: https://www.mexicotouristcard.com/. I was also told that a completed health questionnaire was also required when entering and exiting Mexico. This form can be completed on your mobile device (https://afac.hostingerapp.com/.) Social distancing practice was taking place while waiting in line and masks were required.
Masks: Masks are required in the Cancun Airport. At the RIU Palace Las Americas masks were required in the lobby and at the restaurants when not seated. I thought it was a very minor inconvenience. The majority of the days I spent on the beach and at the pool where masks were not required. Employees and servers at the RIU Palace Las Americas all wore masks at all times. The Iberostar Cancun was much more lenient with mask usage. Guests could choose to wear one or not. All the employees at the resort wore masks and many food handlers and servers wore shields in addition to the masks.
Restaurants: With the reduced occupancy, the RIU Palace Las Americas rotated their specialty a la carte restaurants. There are five a la carte restaurants available at the resort. Two were available each night along with the buffet. Reservations at the restaurants were not required and there was never a wait for a table. On Monday night, the Mexican and Japanese restaurants were available and on Tuesday night the Fusion and Italian restaurants were available. We left well before dinner on Wednesday, but the Steakhouse and Mexican restaurants were available. I really enjoyed dinner on Monday at the Japanese restaurant, Sakura, and on Tuesday at the Fusion restaurant, Krystal. For those who enjoy the buffet, there have been some slight changes. The same cooking and food stations are available; however, you no longer serve yourself. Each food and cooking station has a server to plate the food for you. I really enjoyed the taco station during lunch. The buffet is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Bars: Barstools have been removed from the bars to allow for social distancing. Service around the pools, beach, and lobby were excellent at both the RIU Palace Las Americas and the Iberostar. With the reduced occupancy, service really stands out. Your cup will not go dry or will not be dry for long. The swim-up bars were not being serviced at either resort at this time. Guests could sit around the swim-up bar, relax, and enjoy their beverages, but bartenders were not available and the bars were not stocked. They hope to be able to open these soon, but, with social distancing guidelines in place, they must remain closed.
Beaches: The beaches at all the resorts are open and available for tourists to use and enjoy. There were plenty of loungers and shade available at both resorts with plenty of space to allow for social distancing. The beaches at both resorts are amazing. Crystal clear blue waters and powdery soft white sand are what you can expect at both resorts’ beaches.
Spa services: All the massage services and spa services were being offered at both resorts. The manager at the Spa at Iberostar indicated to me that all services were being offered except for facials.
Overall: Again, Mexico is currently in the “Orange” phase of their four-part reopening plan. The safety and security of the resorts’ guests and employees are of the utmost importance. The resorts are doing a fantastic job to make the transition with the changes as seamless as possible. We had a great time. The service workers at the resorts are excited to be back at work and doing what they do best. The changes in place are very minor and temporary. If you are ready to travel and experience one of your favorite resorts again, there are many great deals to take advantage of. If you’re interested in booking, please contact us toll-free at 1-866-504-6180 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.