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Fiesta Americana's AI "Crazy Deal" too good to be true?


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#1 Nitch

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 09:14 AM

Hubby and I had been looking at trips to go back to Mexico over Xmas break (he's a principle so school breaks are the only times he can go:( Some friends decided they wanted to join us so we changed our original plan of just getting a room and hanging out in town etc. to an All Inclusive of which I haven't done in years.

I came across this AI deal that stuck out like a sore thumb because it was cheaper than all the rest and I noticed a few posts about it here. Is there anyone out there that has actually done this Casita Crazy Inclusive Deal at Fiesta Americana?? I know they are changing from an optional AI to completely AI this November (at least according to their vague and error ridden website.) Now, when I booked it certainly "looked" and smelled like an all inclusive but when you look further it leaves out certain things that are included in all their other All Inclusive packages like tips, non-motorized watersports (snorkeling & Kayaks), wireless internet access, room service, in room coffee?, bottled water??? guacamole??? :blink: , lobster, salmon, shrimp and steaks??? Mind you, I only found this list after researching just about every site that has this offer- I finally found the exclusions list on BestDay.com which figures since it specializes in Mexican trips.

Now, some of this I can understand like Lobster and Steaks as those usually aren't included but tips? (not that I didn't tip above and beyond anyway) coffee for the coffee maker :angry: and snorkel gear? Again - we have our own gear that we are bringing but the family coming with us does not. I feel a bit shafted because Orbitz, who I booked through did not dislose the exclusion list just the language that certainly made it appear like an all inclusive package (Hotwire, Expedia, Book-it and Travelocity all use that same language so it's not just Orbitz. I know it's partly on me for not dissecting this deal better but when a good deal comes up and it looks and smells like a good AI deal- you jump on it because it can dissapear before your eyes. Any thoughts?
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#2 eaton53

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 11:22 AM

None of that stuff bothers me. Just go with the flow.
I'm not fussy... I just eat whatever's at the buffet. The exclusions just give me an excuse to go to town for dinner.
The place just needs to be clean, not smell bad, working A/C and please... don't poison me.
Basically as long as I got a beer, a beach and nice warm sunshine I'm pretty good.
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#3 Nitch

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 12:09 PM

Personally it doesn't bother me much either- but we're bringing another couple and this is thier first experience. I'm more irritated about the somewhat deceptive advertising.
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#4 henribos

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 12:21 PM

Well, I guess if you got a better than average deal, you might expect it to be missing some of the things that the more expensive places include. There is a scuba place in town (cozumelscubarepair.com) where you can get good snorkeling gear for the week for as much as you would pay for a days rental and as for tips, you always get better service if you're handing over cash on the spot, so that might be a good thing. Also, buying coffee and bottled water at Mega or Chedraui is cheap and an excursion to do that might be fun! No free internet would be a bummer but again, internet cafes abound in town and are very reasonable.
Looks to me like you might come out on the winning end with your deal! :)
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#5 Coz2wonder

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 12:25 PM

I'm not clear, have you booked this trip yet?

Somethings that may or may not matter to you. FA is south of town. So either your going to use a taxi, or rental car. Taxi to and from town...plan on at least $10 to 15 dollars each way. Better to rent a car.

Also, the beach is across the road. No big deal, and it is a nice beach.

You can walk to the Money Bar, which offers good snorkeling, food, and entertainment. But, that is about it south of town.

It is nice place, but if your looking for all those amenities you might need to raise your budget.

Also, I would skip the AI route...you will never find better food in the world, then what you will find on the island.

You can stop at one of the grocery stores, Mega, or Chedrui's and pick up a coffee pot for $20 bucks. When done, donate it to one of the charity groups here.
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#6 eaton53

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 12:49 PM

I'm booked and ready to go! Gotta wait 7 months though.
We'll go to dinner in town the 1st day so we can get everything we need.
BTW... thanks for the link to the list.
I found it pretty funny that guacamole was excluded. Isn't that like one of the major food groups?
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#7 Coz2wonder

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 01:37 PM

as for tipping...the wait and maid staff make MAYBE $400 bucks a month. If they provide good service, then they deserve a tip.

The AI, with water toys and lots of stuff included would be the the Wyndham or Sabor http://www.wyndham.c.../CZMRC/main.wnt

As for using rental/free snorkel gear...that's like using a strangers tooth brush to me... Bring it down, or get it at the grocery store...it will be good enough.
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#8 Nitch

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 01:43 PM

We're already booked. It's not really a "better than average deal" now that they will need to rent snorkel gear, kayaks, pay for the coffee for their room, tip at every turn and pay for bottled water and guac, shrimp or salmon if they want it. We could have gotten a true AI experience at the El Cozumelino which I've been to before for a couple hundred more and may have been worth it for the convenience aspect- I just don't know (that's why I posted.) They (our friends) don't plan on venturing out much at all which was why the all inclusive was critical. I hear your "get over it" messages loud and clear and there is nothing I can do now, I'll sill have a blast and "go with the flow" - I was moreso just wondering if anyone had experienced this particular deal yet, how it went and how they felt about it vs. a regular AI. This isn't my first rodeo so when I see AI, I expect AI- not AI with a load of exclusions buried somewhere else entirely.
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#9 Coz2wonder

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 01:53 PM

then you should do fine. Your experienced, your going to be their best tour guide for Cozumel anybody can find.

Christmas will be a quite time, except for Sundays in the square...

There is also a tradition here,(which after 8 years of living here, I still don't get) and only if your in town where children will carry a branch, and sing Christmas carols to you. You then "donate" to their fund.

It is quite delightful.
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#10 eaton53

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 02:23 PM

As for me, except for buying some bottled water and some XX to drink before 10am :) I don't think this is going to cost me any extra.
I don't like guacamole anyway and it sounds like if you go down to the restaurant you can get coffee. Heck, I had to do that when we stayed at Caribe Blu.
I always tip because the staff doesn't make squat and will go into town no matter where I stay. And my wife owns her snorkling gear.

A few years ago I stayed at one of the cheap hotels in town, used the public beach and walked everywhere. A lot of walkin'.
And I still spent 1700 bucks, as much as this! It's a dirt cheap deal.

Here's the actual list:

Included:
A la carte breakfast from 7:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Lunch (entree, main course and dessert) or buffet from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. hrs.
Dinner a la carte or buffet from 4:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner must be eaten at the restaurant. They don’t want you grabbing grub and headin' east.

Unlimited in house domestic drinks from 10:00 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. at the bars and restaurants.
Unlimited draft beer from 10:00 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. at the bars and restaurants. No worries… there are poolside bars.

Not Included:
Telephone calls and laundry.
Premium Brands such as: Absolut, Tanqueray, Beefeater, Herradura Reposado, Herradura Blanco, and more.
Guacamole. (Heh.)
Bottled water and canned beer.
Lobster, salmon, shrimps and steaks.
Room service.
Minibar or candy basket.
Coffee kit.
Box lunch.
Internet access.
Snorkel and kayaks.
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#11 Coz2wonder

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 02:40 PM

if your bringing your computer, bring Magic Jack and call everybody you need to. Bet they have WiFi.

Did FA even have Snorkel and kayaks? Never seen them there.

Lobster, Salmon, Shrimp and Steak...Unless the steak was imported, I wouldn't eat it. Salmon is imported from Chili and very good, and pretty cheap...Lobster...well that's a whole other game plan.

Shrimp, don't know what you consider expensive? You get all of this stuff at Ched's or Mega to make up your own cocktails.

But, you need to bring your own horseradish...they only sell it at Pac's in a very big container.

Buy a cooler from OXXO, and limes...make your own Guacamole and chips.

Party for two?
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#12 Nitch

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 02:57 PM

I've already warned them to bring their own snorkelling stuff or be prepared to buy some because even if they did have it at FA you typically can only check it out for a short time and you can't take it off the property so you can't take it to any of the other areas. I am really torn about renting a car the whole time though. I know it's out there with nothing much nearby and normally I wouldn't hesistate but the per day rate is so darn expensive. If we only grab a taxi to go into town 3-4 times we're looking at $120 max right? I don't think I can get a car for a week for $120 fully insured. Thinking or renting a Jeep for a day or two to tool around the Isla and then taxi it the rest of the time. Do the busses run out by FA? I don't mind riding the buses or using the Collectivos...what do the workers use?
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#13 Coz2wonder

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 03:57 PM

no bus service, and the workers are provided transportation as part of their compensation. Tourist are not allowed to ride on the employee bus.


There is a little stand right at FA where you can rent a car for a day...or just stay at the hotel.


Have you pre-purchased transportation to your hotel if you are landing in Cozumel, or are you taking the ferry from Playa? You will have to pay for your transport, if not included.
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#14 eaton53

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 04:25 PM

4 taxi rides should cost 80 bucks max.

I only rent cars to go east. Anyone know if the stand has decent prices?
Pretty sure ISIS brings cars out there if they don't. Their cars come with insurance, too.

I also bring a collapsible cooler that I got the year I did all the walking.
There always seems to be a need to keep something cold.
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#15 Kandy

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 04:49 PM

I know it's been a long time, but about 9 years ago, we rented a car at that stand at FA. It cost us over $70 for a single day. Contact Isis $35/day or Less Pay $25/day. Both prices include insurance.
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#16 Guest_pecosgirl_*

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 08:07 PM

Granted Isis and others have excellent rental prices for cars...but I don't think they'd bring it to FA. You'd have to pay for a cab ride to town to get it. I just rent a car for 2 days...or maybe 3. Why do people always want to rent JEEPS? I don't get it.
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#17 eaton53

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 08:57 PM

Even if I had to take a cab it'd be less than 70 bucks.
That would be a good day to eat in town, too... I already gotta get a cab and I wouldn't have to try to find a place to park.
I just rent cheap wheels too. No Jeeps, usually a compact Chevy or VW.
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#18 Nitch

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 08:32 AM

I'm a Jeep Wrangler owner and I was hoping to rent one to try to head North East and get to Castillo Real- not sure it's possible or allowed either. Still need to look into it. I've taken a little VW down the road to Punta Allen on the mainland several times- it's better to have the clearance of a Jeep and 4X4 on roads like that.

Coz2wonder- flying into Cozumel & need to pay for shuttle unless we decide to rent a car for the whole time- still haven't decided.

Collapsible cooler- check
Cheap blow up lounge for the pool - check (we usually donate it to some kid we see at the beach the last day)
Oversized insulated coffe mug- check (so my drinks stay cold and I can remain lazy)
Ibuprofin- check

Is it December yet?
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#19 Coz2wonder

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 08:55 AM

Jeep rental here disable the 4 wheel drive. Limited access, and sometimes no access down the sand road to Castillo Real...you can walk down the beach however.

But, Jeeps are still fun. You are up a little higher on the road and who doesn't like the wind, and sun in your face (except when it rains).

some suggestions of some other things that might be helpful to bring along (if you haven't already through about it)

You might want a light jacket
Bug stray is always good to bring (you can get it here)
Cold drink koozies
Water shoes (nylon on top, rubber on the bottom)
Phone charger/camera charger

Have fun, enjoy, and happy holidays!
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#20 Nitch

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 09:12 AM

Posted Image
What about one of these- are these 4WD??

I always over pack- but I won't forget the essentials. I am REALLY going to try to limit what I bring...problem is, I LOVE SHOES. I seriously end up bringing like 6 or 7 pairs. I'm shooting for 3 total including water shoes.
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