Saturday, April 2, 2016

Spring Break 2016: Cancun, Mexico

Cancun was... AMAZING!

I love the water.  I grew up a water baby and I've successfully turned Max into one too.  

For the past year I've been trying to find the best time to take a family trip to the beach.  November looked promising but the abundance of seaweed and the fact that Jesse wasn't yet mobile made it a less than ideal time to visit the Caribbean.

As we headed into 2016, spring break was approaching fast.  Last time we kept the kids home for the week it broke us, so a trip somewhere was definitely in the picture.

After spending days researching hotels, making lists and reading trip forums, I narrowed it down to a handful of hotels in the Cancun and Playa del Carmen area that were geared toward kids: Iberostar Cancun, Iberostar Paraiso Lindo, Iberostar Paraiso Maya, Paradisus Playa del Carmen, Royal Solaris Cancun, Barcelo Maya Palace Delux, Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda, Hotel Ziva, Sando Playacar.  

Update: I also just found out about the Barcelo Maya Caribe from a friend and I think we may check out that resort next year. 

We finally settled on the Iberostar Cancun.  The main reasons for this choice were:

1) kids water playground out by the main pool and activity area 

    (read: not tucked in the back of the property)
2) beautiful beach steps away from the pool and visible from the pool 
3) really nice big pool and gardens with swim up bar, of course
4) decent reviews of the food
5) all inclusive

While we typically aren't 'all inclusive' type of people, for this trip it was definitely the way to go.  At first I was very nervous about spending 3 1/2 days just lounging by the pool and playing in the sand, but it turns out that the time flew by and we could have easily stayed a few more days.  The kids kept us active between the big pool, kid water playground, and the beach.

We didn't even get a chance to leave the resort to visit Tulum or Chichen Itza or go down to the water park Xcaret.  Perhaps on the next trip.  

As for food, we did get to try out all the resort restaurants, as I was able to reserve our dinner time as soon as I booked the room.  This was key since they were booked out at least two days in advance.  Of course there was always the buffet option, but being the planner that I am, I always had a special restaurant booked for dinner.  We enjoyed the steak house and Mexican restaurant the best, but the hibachi was good too and Max seemed to enjoy the show.  The snack bar had some really good burgers for lunch and one day they even did paella by the beach.

Some highlights from the trip include:

 - Being able to push the second bed into the corner so Max and Jesse could sleep together and thusly Mommy and Daddy could share a bed.  

- Jesse sleeping incredibly well in the big bed with Max.

- Max waking up, rolling over to Jesse and signing "good morning Jesse"  

(it's a song we wrote and sing to Max or Jesse when we need to wake them up.  As adorable as it is, it's also not so great when Max wakes up Jesse, loving or not.  It's too cute to stop, but come on kid, give us a break.)

- Daily naps for the kids by the pool.  Yep, max would crash out on a padded lounge chair for about 2 hours each day pool side.  It was great.  Poolside naps are, in a single word, awesome.  

- Family nap time poolside on day 3.  Did I mention that we got both kids napping at the same time!

- Sand castles on the beach.  The sand was so nice.

- Getting drinks from the swim up bar!  Max loved his blended fruit drinks.

- Pina Coladas! 

- Being lazy and doing nothing for 3 1/2 days.  

- Fun Frozen show Wednesday night.  Max loved it. 

Overall I'm really glad we choose to come to Cancun and this resort, we had such a great time. 

Check out the full set of pictures HERE.