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Old 02-18-2010, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Maine
502 posts, read 1,568,187 times
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hi all

I am planning a surprise 20th anniversary surprise for my wife. I am thinking Riviera Maya Mexico staying at the Aventura Spa Palace. We want sunshine, beaches, relaxing, few kids, some day trips to shopping and local tourist traps, perhaps some dancing at night. I am leaning toward this resort as day trips are included in price and it is all inclusive.

Any thoughts on this location as a vacation spot for the above activities?

Any thoughts on the resort I have selected?

What is the best way to book a trip like this? through an agent ( i am currently talking to AAA and they plan/organize everything )? Do myself through internet?

I am thinking either mid April ( school vacation as I am a teacher ) or late June. - Which is better?

This will be my first time traveling outside the US as our usual vacation destination is either theme parks or motorcycle trips. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

thanks in advance
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Old 02-18-2010, 09:50 PM
 
Location: Beautiful New England
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You might get more info at this board at Cruisecritic.com
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Old 02-19-2010, 09:29 AM
 
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You'd probably have better luck in mid-april

I was booked to the Aventura Spa Palace for my honeymoon in Mid-July ..... the night before our flight a hurricane rolled through and caused some havoc

despite all that was going on down there they shifted our dates by 4 days and rebooked us at the Moon Palace

I was very happy with the resort - friendly service, a lot of activities and an ability to pretty much do your own thing

aside from the excursions they offer, there are also sales people buried out of the way in the resort where you can book additional activities

although both aventura and xpu-ha were closed when I was down there, I do have to point out that there really isn't much of a beach at the property

it's more of a lagoon with a bit of a rocky coast - they do run shuttles between the other resorts where you have full access - the beaches at their cancun properties are phenominal and it was fun having a t-bone grilled on the beach for us

there are people who are there to help you out at pretty much any time and a wide variety of bars & restaurants on the property

some things I'd look into at that location:

ask for the schedule times of their shuttle to and from cancun - even though ours had some it wasn't constant or anything like that and aventura is a little further south and the moon palace was .... this is especially important if you want to go out at night in cancun as a cab between aventura and the city could get spendy if there is no late shuttle ...... although now thinking of it you'd probably be closer to playa del carmen & cozumel (they didn't have those resorts when I went)

moon palace had a little nightclub in it and i'm sure aventura will as well

ask for the schedule of their excursions - it can give you an idea of what is out there .... i believe we took a trip to Isla Mujeres with them (if you do this trip they take you to their beach at first and then release you - IMO, leave the beach as soon as you can, rent a moped and explore the island) ...... we also took the trip to Chichen Itza - it was a long bus ride, but as comfortable as can be expected on a bus - we stopped on the way for food & shopping which wasn't bad - the ruins and site themselves were impressive .... i think tulum was also an option and wouldn't be that far from aventura

you should definitely be able to accomplish what you are looking for with them - my wife and I had an absolute blast
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Old 02-19-2010, 08:32 PM
 
Location: SW MO
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Definitely go for April, end of June will be miserably hot. Riviera Maya is a great locale for families, esp. if it is your first trip out of the country. I highly recommend a day trip to Playa del Carmen, which is easily accessible by taxi, for shopping. Also, Xel-Ha is a must-do the whole day, not a half-day Tulum, half-day Xel-Ha trip. Kind of expensive, but it is a natural bay with snorkeling, hammocks, dolphins, shopping, restaurants, tubing down a gentle river, parrots and beaching. One of my favorite places.
I recommend going through an agent. It may cost a little more, but if something happens and your flight gets cancelled or the hotel denies your reservation, contact your agent and they can fix it. Otherwise, you are on your own..
Just south of Playa del Carmen is a marina called Puerto Aventuras. Here you can shop, see dolphins, sea lions, and other animals, eat, and if you time it right, watch the chartered fishing boats come in and see the days catch. Also has a couple bars near the water with live music and dancing.
And PLEASE, get out and try some local food! All-inclusives are great for families but the food is usually mediocre. Eat at least a couple meals away from the hotel!
I am in charge of the FAMILY VACATION in 2011 and this area is my #1 choice. Lots to see and do, or do nothing if that is your preference.
XelHa | Natural Wonder - Home
Puerto Aventuras :: Riviera Maya Information and Reservations!
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Old 02-19-2010, 10:58 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
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We're going to a wedding here at Riviera Maya next October. I understand it's a very nice place, and the prices are reasonable.
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Old 02-21-2010, 05:41 AM
 
Location: Maine
502 posts, read 1,568,187 times
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Thanks everyone for the great ideas.
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