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Planning My Honeymoon.. Need Help! :)


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#1 bkosh84

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 07:35 PM

Hello Cozumel Experienced peeps. I am attempting to plan me and my fiances honeymoon (February 26th - March 4th). We have decided to narrow it down to Cozumel and staying in an All Inclusive.. Only problem is that I've noticed they all have about the same ratings everywhere I go. I would like to stay somewhere that has easy beach/water access and obviously good service/food/alcohol/ect... We won't be SCUBA diving or anything.. We might snorkel.. But lets face it, what do newlyweds do on their honeymoon ;-). I have been looking into Sabor, Aura and Occidental Grand.. We are also open to other suggestions. As you can see I'm compeletly new at the whole planning a vacation thing and really have no idea what to look for, so ANY help would be appreciated whatsoever!

Thanks!
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#2 cvchief

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 09:44 PM

Here is my standard for Iberostar and Occidental Grand:

We stayed awhile back at both the Iberostar and the Occidental Grand Cozumel. Like both of them and they are REALLY close to the dive sites. This was a little thing I wrote up when someone asked:

My take on Ibero is:
Pros:
Cute rooms in smaller concrete buildings. You get a little porch outside your door.
Nice central pool with swim up bar.
Terrific beach with a beach bar, chairs and palm trees larger than grand (See cons on beach too)
Food was better than Grand, generally. It was still AI food and nothing like some choices in town, but good. Ibero had a fajita bar running fresh fajitas.
Nice star friends staff. They don't bug you but they do some cute stuff.

Cons:
Furthest south of town.
Water access from beach sucks. Rocky iron shore. No one walks into water. You have to walk out the dock and enter via a sort of stair ladder thing.
Cell service on Sprint at least was poor. I used the BB to get my email.
At the time, Wifi sucked out near the pool and beach. I think they had an equipment issues, but you had to go to the lobby. It also was pay wifi.
Personal peeve: they charge other dive ops to pick up there a monthly fee regardless of number of divers.
The layout of these little quad rooms is confusing as heck. Coming back from eating it is WAY easy to get lost wandering around on these pretty curvy paths.


That being said, my wife I think liked the grand more.

The grand has a little longer walk to the beach/breakfast area from the rooms. (Longer if you leave your computer in your room and your op says we will wait while you run to the room....)
The grand has timeshare people. They were nice really. We did the thing first time and got booze and shirts. Next stay they didn't even hit us up for it.
The grand seems a little more sedate. Now we are divers, so we turned in early. However, we could hear the party at Allegro across the jungle.
Grounds at the grand are very nice.
The beach at the grand is more a narrow strip between the wall of the pool and the water. It was fine though and the shore was not rocky so you could walking in and out which was nice.
Friends we had with us parked on the beach backed up again the back of the pool wall by the bar and the Santos handed down drinks all day. They were happy as can be. They could also watch us coming in on the boat from the lunch area.


That's my take.
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#3 scubawoman

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 10:55 PM

I would suggest staying closer into town so that you have great and romantic memories of your honeymoon. The Cozumel Resort is within walking distance of town; you can go all-inclusive or "breakfast only"; breakfast is a good deal; beach is nice and good for snorkeling; it has the biggest pool of all the hotels and plenty of space around the pool where you won't be bothered.

Eating in town is a better idea. There are many great family places that serve fresh, wholesome, complete lunches for about $6/7usd.; some have gardens where you eat outside. You never worry about the quality of the food because their neighbors eat at these restaurants, so they have to be good!
My favorites are Sabores (on Av. 5 between Calle 3 and 5); Cocina Italiana (opens at noon)
on the corner of Calle 6 and Av. 15. Great evening restaurants - Kinta, Wet Wendy's, Especias, Le Chef, etc.

To do in town - visit the Museo; wander through the streets where the vendors are; go to the Mercado (Market) on Av. 20 and Calle Rosado Salas. Sunday nights there is a band and dancing on the main square (Parque Benito Juarez). There are plenty of beach parks (Playa Mia, etc.)for water sport activity.

Best bet is visit the web pages of various hotels, but read between the lines. Consider taxi costs from where you are staying to get into town and back; it is not a good idea to rent a scooter unless you are an experienced driver. Get to know our wonderful island and its great people. Small hint - when in restaurants
you will not receive your bill until you ask for it. You are their guest and they want you to stay and relax and enjoy yourself. Sounds strange, eh? I've lived here over 10 years and have loved every day!
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"Friends are family we choose for ourselves!" Scubawoman

#4 Charles

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 11:19 PM

The Cozumel Palace gets ratings head and shoulders above all the other all inclusives for food, services and everything. They also have one of the few heated pools. A man made beach for sand, but decent snorkeling in front of the hotel. The Hotel Cozumel mentioned by scubawoman is a good choice, the Cozumel Palace will be more pricey, but more luxury. It depends on what you want and your budget. The distant southern hotels you mentioned ($20 dollar taxi each way on average), they are popular for cheap prices and close proximity to dive sites. If you want pampered luxury, pick the Palace. Good value and far cheaper the Hotel/Resort Cozumel, only a few blocks farther south from the Palace. It really is a shame to do all inclusive except for breakfast for convenience unless you are very heavy drinkers. So much to see and do within walking distance, personally I'd hate to be stuck out in the south end with the mosquitoes. The Palace does include transport to Playa Mia daily if you want that experience.
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#5 jcole

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 11:36 PM

Rent a condo close to town. Chances are you will have the whole place to yourself for the most part. Eat, Drink and ...... well you know. Brown Chicken Brown Cow.
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#6 mslf500

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 06:28 AM

OK, I had to google Brown Chicken.......funny!
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www.CozumelCondominium.com
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#7 bkosh84

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 06:58 AM

Oh, sorry for not including our budget.. 3,000 and under. We'll go over a couple hundred if necessary but we don't want to spend 5k or anything.

jcole: I started looking into Condos too while browsing the message board and found a lot of good deals! Is there any condos anyone here would recommend? We would want a one bedroom/1 bath size. There are some pretty neat ones on the island!
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#8 JMCADAM

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 10:14 AM

For a one bedroom condo close to town, we like Condumel. It is just north of town, small, quiet, and private. There is a nice sandy, manmade beach area and an ironshore wall. Snorkeling is great, units are large.
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#9 jenster101

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 10:21 AM

I would recommend a condo at Cantamar. Cantamar is a small complex and the units are very nice...plus it has a great pool. It is just north of Condumel.
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#10 cvchief

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 10:41 AM

I gave ya AI info because you asked, but I would agree if you are open to it, get out of the AI and into town. If you like that sort of thing, it is nice have a place close enough that you can just wander around town doing stuff and then wander home.
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#11 MarkC

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 11:25 AM

My .02 cents...

Many on here that reside here or travel here won’t agree, but we all have opinions.

I like the A/I route because when you rent a condo, you have to cook / buy groceries, etc... Personally, I want to get away from that when on vacation, so having a restaurant 3x a day included in the package is convenient and nice. I just don’t feel like cooking and cleaning on vacation.

If you want romantic, close to town won’t do it – there is nothing romantic about downtown Cozumel. For that, you need to stay away from town where it’s more secluded, just my opinion.

The Island doesn’t party as much as it used to in the 90s, but fun/wild times can be had downtown.. The food will be far better than A/I food and you shouldn’t feel bad about not eating at the resort – that food comes very cheap. My fave places in town are $$$ Pepes, $$ Palmeras, $$ Rolandis and $ Ernestos.

I would get a car, and do the pub and tshirt crawl all the way around the island. If you hustle, you can do it in one day (one drink per bar and move to the next with a tshirt you bought!)... My pub crawl included almost every beach bar on the island – Money Bar, Mr. Sanchos, San Francisco, Albertos, Coconuts, Carlos n Charlies beach bar, Paradise Bar and Grill... My fave was Coconuts by far (many do not agree with that either, but to each their own)...

Have a GREAT trip and best of luck to you.

MC
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“Corona con lima, Corona with lime... Todo el tiempo, hey all of the time... Con mucho gusto, I’m havin such a good time... Corona con lima, Corona with lime...”

#12 cvchief

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 11:47 AM

My .02 cents...

Many on here that reside here or travel here won't agree, but we all have opinions.

I like the A/I route because when you rent a condo, you have to cook / buy groceries, etc... Personally, I want to get away from that when on vacation, so having a restaurant 3x a day included in the package is convenient and nice. I just don't feel like cooking and cleaning on vacation.

If you want romantic, close to town won't do it – there is nothing romantic about downtown Cozumel. For that, you need to stay away from town where it's more secluded, just my opinion.

The Island doesn't party as much as it used to in the 90s, but fun/wild times can be had downtown.. The food will be far better than A/I food and you shouldn't feel bad about not eating at the resort – that food comes very cheap. My fave places in town are $ Pepes, $ Palmeras, $ Rolandis and $ Ernestos.

I would get a car, and do the pub and tshirt crawl all the way around the island. If you hustle, you can do it in one day (one drink per bar and move to the next with a tshirt you bought!)... My pub crawl included almost every beach bar on the island – Money Bar, Mr. Sanchos, San Francisco, Albertos, Coconuts, Carlos n Charlies beach bar, Paradise Bar and Grill... My fave was Coconuts by far (many do not agree with that either, but to each their own)...

Have a GREAT trip and best of luck to you.

MC


MC,
I gotta take you to task on condo living::angry:

1. You DO NOT have to cook. We have owned a condo for a year and I don't know that our stove/oven even works. I imagine it does....:P
2. Cleaning: You DO NOT have to clean. Rent my place and you get a maid everyday.
2. Groceries: Yes we go. Mostly for beer. Our fridge is much like a college dorm room, whatever we see on the way to and from the beer isle is in there.B)
3. Downtown Cozumel IS romantic: We leave the condo and take a pleasant little romantic stroll down towards the water and the plaza. Walk to different restaurants and such and walk home holding hands and all that cr*p.:rolleyes:
4. You can be secluded downtown. The only disturbance we have is the kids exercising at the elementary school. (And I like that...) Last time we stayed at the Grand I could clearly hear the loud party at the Allegro across the jungle. :o
5. As for partying downtown, I can't tell you. We run on the diver schedule, so nappy comes early... If you have a tolerence for alcohol and want to get blitzed every night, maybe AI is the better deal? :blink:

Me personally, I would like a honeymoon memory of doing our own thing in Coz and making our own memories. Some might prefer not choosing anything and spending the whole time within an AI resort. I have a good friend who is ALL about the staying the AI resort and never leaving. It really is all about what you want, either way.
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#13 Kandy

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 12:01 PM

Mark, I have to disagree with your take on renting a condo. You don't HAVE to cook/buy groceries. We rented condos and villas for years before moving here and never once cooked a meal. There were too many great restaurants to go to, and we took advantage of it.

I'm a little biased, but the place we stayed most often was El Cantil condominiums. They are perfectly located on Melgar between 13th & 15th. Directly across the street is one of the main grocery stores, Chedraui. Every morning, my husband would go across the street and pick up some freshly baked pastries or croissants and we would sit out on the terrace overlooking the ocean and watch the cruise ships come in and dive ops pick up their divers. A great way to wake up. It's only about 7 or 8 blocks to downtown, an easy walk. All kinds of shopping along the way and the Parque Benito Juarez downtown is fabulous on Sunday nights as someone already mentioned. There are also a ton of great restaurants within walking distance. Most of the units that are rentals at El Cantil also include a free breakfast package at Prima, which is on the top floor of the north tower there. Finally, the pool is heated and the ocean easily accessible using the ladder on the private dock. Snorkeling isn't bad right there and to the south a little bit, and boats will pick you up there if you want to go out on a tour.

I checked on prices (www.elcantilcondos.com). There is a 1-BR honeymoon unit that looks incredible and is up on the 7th floor (Villa Luna de Miel, $1550 for the week), and a couple of 2-BR units on the lobby level so you can walk right out the the manmade beach areas and pool (Casa del Sol y Luna & Casa de las Abejas, both $1850 for the week).

Whatever you decide, do get out and enjoy the island. It's beautiful and the people of the island are very welcoming. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!
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#14 MarkC

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 12:06 PM

Hehe – chief – that’s why it was strictly my opinion, and I had disclaimers. I wasn’t trying to start a debate, just my opinions. I live in a huge city and I find nothing romantic about it – city life and romance do not cross paths to me.

I also am on the divers clock, however, I am not on the same divers clock as I used to be – 10 days in CZ this season and I did boat diving only 4 days, and did 2 shore dives – a total of 10 dives. That left me for 6 days days where I could sleep in and be lazy, do the beach bar crawl, relax by the pool / beach etc.

I laughed about the fridge / beer – that’s my kind of fridge! I think what I was more getting at was that having the food n drink included in the package reduces worries about expenses, getting there, timing, etc. When we went to the island, in the 9 nights, I think we ate breakfast and lunches @ the resort and had maybe 3 dinners there – the rest of the dinners were in town.

I think you must have been there @ peak season to hear the allegro partying, b/c I swear it felt like we owned the place – we hardly saw anyone there... What was so funny was, we were keeping to ourselves mostly & people kept coming up to meet us – very friendly.

Either way, I have never had a bad time in CZ. I have stayed @ 3 different hotels in CZ over 6 or 7 trips over the last 22 years – casa del mar, el cid/la cieba and allegro. Out of the 3, I did not care for la cieba – hated the tiny hot elevators and the stairs were worse and unsafe.

I have wanted to do the condo thing as well, but at the end of the day, for only 2 people, the condo always comes out for a lot more money than a resort.

MC
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“Corona con lima, Corona with lime... Todo el tiempo, hey all of the time... Con mucho gusto, I’m havin such a good time... Corona con lima, Corona with lime...”

#15 cvchief

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 02:23 PM

Mark,

Well dont live in a large city and I don't find large cities romantic. That being said, strolling down a block to Melgar and walking to the square along the water can be romantic. Having been in big cities, though, I have to say San Miguel doesn't seem that 'way' down in El Centro. Maybe on 30 it seems more city-ee.....

Tell me "Strolling on the Malecón" doesn't sound romantic?

As for Allegro, I was always left left with the feeling that Allegro was more party-ish than the Grand. Nothing wrong with either, I am sure. I am glad to have done the AI thing to check it and if it matched someone's vacay profile, I would recommend them.

As for pricing, it can be a really. really good deal sometimes. I got some GREAT deals at Ibero and the Grand.
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El Jefe

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#16 MarkC

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 03:06 PM

Yeah, the melecon can be, i guess i prefer seclusion to obtain the romantic thing when/if i feel sappy lol

we spent ~$2100 for 10/9 @ Allegro Labor Day week 2011. Airfare from my city (DFW) ranges roughly 505 to 550 [a-la-carte]... that's 1010 to 1100 for 2. $900 for the hotel all food n drinks, entertainment, transfers and trip insurance beats the private condo deals price wise by a pretty big margin.

one thing i LOVED about the south end tho - was the short boat rides to scuba...

its all about personal preference at the end of the day...

MC

PS - i need a fish sandwich and a margarita from coconuts nowwwwwwwwwwwwww!
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“Corona con lima, Corona with lime... Todo el tiempo, hey all of the time... Con mucho gusto, I’m havin such a good time... Corona con lima, Corona with lime...”

#17 bkosh84

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 03:21 PM

Thanks for the well wishes guys! Also, looks like we have a friendly debate going on about whether AI or Condos are better and I like that! Thanks for the input.. We have lots of decisions to make obviously here. FYI, me and the bride to be aren't full out "let's get trashed!" type of people. We're "social" drinkers I guess you could call us, haha.

Anyway, we would like to explore the island while we're there too, but not making it our top priority to do that EVERY day or anything. You guys have a lot of great opinions on where to stay. Again, this is a BIG help to me. If you have any more ideas/suggestions, keep them coming!
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#18 MarkC

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 03:48 PM

Correct me if i'm wrong, but AIs can turn us all into alcoholics LOL
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“Corona con lima, Corona with lime... Todo el tiempo, hey all of the time... Con mucho gusto, I’m havin such a good time... Corona con lima, Corona with lime...”

#19 jcole

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 03:55 PM

BKOSH We stayed at Palmas Reales this year and loved it. It is north of town. Too far for me to walk to town but a taxi ride is not that much. We ended up renting a car from Isis for the week anyway. Unit 6A is a 4 bedroom 4.5 bath unit. They rent it out per bedroom but you have the whole place to yourself. So it was just the 2 of us in a 4 bedroom condo. The price we got was cheaper than alot of the 1 bedroom condos I looked at.

We stayed at El Coz in 2008. I did enjoy the ease of just walking down to get a beer or a snack but after day 2 we were tired of the food. Staying at a condo we will get bread, eggs, cheese and bacon for breakfast. we will also get some chips and ham incase we eat lunch at the condo. The rest of the shopping list looks like this. beer, beer, beer, limes. a coke for the next morning. Donuts, a pineapple because they are so good and cheap. oh and a bag of ice. thats about it.

Dishes can be left in the sink for the maid. towels are left on the floor of you want them washed. and the best part is if you throw your clothes in with the towels they will be washed, dried and folded when you return.

If you are interested I can email you some pics that I took and contact info for the person I rented from.
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#20 bkosh84

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 04:29 PM

jcole: That would be wonderful!

My email is: bryan dot kosh at gmail.com

Thanks man!
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