This is my first real “travel” post with the blog because this was our FIRST FAMILY VACATION. Waahooo!!! We were nervous about a lot of things…the flight, the room, the food and how baby B would adjust to all of this as a full on walking/running toddler. I’m going to cover it all and more, so sit tight.
The Flight: We flew United and let me just say, I’m still dealing with the annoying and poor customer service. We had ordered the in flight videos via direct tv, were charged and they didn’t work on the entire flight- the stewardess said we had to just call customer service and get it refunded. 30 min after a chat with customer service, it’s still not refunded and not even given a “sorry”. This was the flight there so we were still in good spirits because we were headed to MEXICO!! Bastian was great on the flight overall, no meltdowns. Fidgety but good. My arms were KILLING. This made us realize that at this point he needs his own seat, space etc for future flights, it’s just better for everyone. On the way home we were at the airport 4 hours early bc in Mexico they recently changed their time zone to EASTERN, yes- and United didn’t feel like updating or letting us know on our online boarding information. I also talked to a rep about this, and how annoying it was not having updated info via email or something when traveling internationally with an infant- again, nothing just “oh wow that sucks”. I hate United. Jet Blue, where are you. I miss you. Virgin, you goddess, I will never stray again. PS- side note, one time my tv didn’t work on Jetblue and they comped my WHOLE ticket. Take notes United– you be trashy not classy.
The Stay: Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort located just 10 min from the airport, was a beautiful oasis. We stayed in the Moon Palace Grand section which is located on one of the far ends of the resort. There are a total of 3 sections; Nizuc, Sunrise and Grand. We explored each of them, and found the Nizuc was very “Vegas” in style in the lobby and pool areas with people crowded around having fun day and night. The Sunrise section which is on the other far end of the resort had the best Kiddie Pool, and seemed to be the loudest. They were all amazing though. Grand was by far the nicest and most spacious, quiet, with older couples, and newlyweds to small families with new babies(like us)! We never had a problem getting a spot by the pool at Grand, service or towels (which can be a bit of an issue at the larger sections which is to be expected because they are 20 times bigger in size).
There is an amazing waterslide at the Nizuc section of the pool, which we spent a day at, and is neatly located right next to one of the indoor play yards for kids. You can drop off your child 4 and up or stay with them and play if they are younger. We loved this option right before dinner because it would give B some time to get his energy out so he would be more mellow at dinner. They are open till 10pm and have nightly activities for the kids as well. There are 2 of these at the resort first at Nizuc(where we went) and another larger one is located at Sunrise but we didn’t see that one first hand.
Our trip was short, only 3 nights, so we were trying to cram everything in as fast as possible. I would suggest staying at least a week to really relax and take it all in, the resort itself is so huge, you can spend the first 2 full days just exploring and discovering the grounds.
The Room: We stayed in one of the larger suites which included a dinning room, living room, bedroom, 2 bathrooms, 2 walk-in closets, a bar area w/ another fridge and microwave, spa shower, jacuzzi off the balcony and a beautiful balcony overlooking the below aqua suites. The suite was huge, like bigger then our NY apartment huge. We miss it. The design was spacious and really just allowed for you to expand and take over the space. This was ideal for us because with Bastian, he was able to sleep in the crib, which they provide, in another room. He slept AMAZING there. 3hr morning naps, 4hr nightly naps and waking him up at 830/9am so we could start our day. The space is perfect for a family. I think the living room couch folds out as well, but I’m not sure, so this would be great for maybe a sitter, or grandma traveling with you to help ;0). Next time.
The products in the room are all Chi hair and body products…Including a flatiron and hairdryer. They were great. Love Chi. 2 robes, 2 slippers, a fully stocked mini bar with Absolut Vodka, Captain Morgan, Bacardi, and Jack. Then there were plenty of mixers, like OJ, Cranberry, different Canada Dry Seltzers, Coke and Sprite- you name it. They also have fresh fruit displayed with bottles of Champagne, wine, nuts and crackers on the dinning room table upon arrival.
The Beach: The beach is not the reason you come to Moon Palace to be honest. It’s still a beach, and beautiful, but the water isn’t what you expect for Cancun. It’s location is more rough causing more turning of the sand and seaweed to wash up on shore. They rake it several times a day, but it doesn’t really help. The water is much like the east coast in the US so just go in expecting that. However, looking out there are patches of the crystal clear blue water that is beautiful, and some folks down by the Sunrise section can actually swim out to those clear spots and it’s shallow enough for kids too…you just have to wade through the murk to get there. I’m a chicken and couldn’t do it. At the Grand section, there is a fantastic VIP area for those with Black, White and Grey wristbands. The daybeds are so comfy, with towels nicely displayed and ready to sit on, with fantastic service right to the side. Perfect.
The Bracelets: So when you arrive you are given your colored bracelet for the All Inclusive access to everything. They are grouped by colors so the staff can identify why you are there. From honeymooners, Groups, Travel Agent Listing, Specials, VIP, Reviewers, Residents or Founders- whatever there are a lot of colors. We had Black Bands which was VIP and pretty much same as the White and Grey bands- that allows you to access private sections of the beach, have driver transports to different sections for dinners, 24 hr room service, top shelf liquor and I think some other perks like a free massage or special seating at the nightclubs. We didn’t do much other than just layout and eat.
The Staff: I have never been so impressed by staff members at a resort or hotel. People who genuinely want to help you and make sure you have a good time. Our concierge Gerado was amazing. He was so sweet, to making sure Bastian had a crib setup in our room, from setting all our dinner reservations and travel to the different units. He was great. Everyone tries to greet you by name when they see you. Gerado always greeted me by my name every time we passed each other. It really makes you feel welcomed. Everyone was like this. They are also the most understanding and helpful with babies- they get it. When we have to pickup and leave asap at dinner, they get it and wrap it up asap..they are always offering different types of food or kid friendly options to keep them happy. I was really just blown away by how sweet everyone was- maybe bc I’m from NY and most hosts, and servers hate babies. Ha. Here they were happy to accommodate us with our BIG a@# Stroller and a highchair. Very cool.
The Food: I’ve been to all inclusive resorts before in Jamaica where all I ate for a week was French Fries and Bread. No joke. The food here was a HUGE step above any other cruise, or all inclusive place I have ever been to. Now, it’s not the top NYC restaurant(my husband the food snob), but I have to say it was all very good. Some of the buffet items may need a little salt or salsa to spice it up, but other than that, the quality and taste was all really good. I love the juice bar for breakfast and the made to order eggs is by far the way to go. We took advantage of the room service to save on time our first breakfast and it was great, but the buffet is just as good if not better. For dinner the best spot was the Mayan place on the golf course- about a 5min golf cart ride from Grand. Riviera Maya– you have to have a reservation and they are not joking about this- we had a slight hiccup but they managed to accommodate us and it was worth the wait, the food was the best we had in Mexico at the resort. I would get the seafood or ask your server what they recommend. The Pobalno soup was also amazing. Yum. For lunch by the pool at Grand- check out Los Tacos– best tacos I had, and they are made to order. Super spicy and so freaking tasty. Los Caporales– the Mexican spot located in Nizuc was also amazing- fresh guac and chips, with an amazing shrimp dinner. I was beyond stuffed. I loved this place.
I miss it and can’t wait for our next adventure. I was beyond impressed by Palace Resorts as a whole and another special shoutout to Cessie and Gerado, who really took care of us. Mexico and Moon Grand we miss you!! Thanks for an amazing winter getaway!!! xoxoxoxoxox The Ruhlin/Margolies Clan