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All Inclusive Travel to Cancun: Happy New Year From Mexico!

After our super long day and late night the day of arrival & Usher concert, we decided to bum around the resort for our second day. We enjoyed sleeping in, eating, napping on the beach in the VIP lounge (definitely worth it – it’s away from the crowd, quieter, great beach-side service and nicer lounge chairs), eating, napping in our room, and eating dinner at the Brazilian Steakhouse at Nizurc, one of the 3 towers of Moon Palace (we are in Sunrise).

We also discovered the ultimate fat move: the buffet provides guests with to-go boxes. For a midnight snack, we nabbed one and filled it with Mexican food, which we brought back to our room and, since the table was crammed with our luggage, we ate in the jacuzzi.

Another way NOT to use your in-room Jacuzzi
Another way NOT to use your in-room Jacuzzi

So, the day wasn’t super eventful, but it was exactly what a vacation should be: sleeping and eating and relaxing.

Moon Palace Pools
Moon Palace Pools

On New Year’s Eve, we toured three properties that I have worked with a good bit: Zoetry Paraiso de la Bonita, Grand Velas, and Royal Hideaway Playacar. I’ll go further into detail on each of these properties when I get back, I’d like to dedicate a blog post to each one, but for now here’s everything in a nutshell:

– Zoetry: smallest of the three toured today, friendliest staff, very boutique feel with personalized touches, biggest rooms, bird conservatory with a parrot that has her own Facebook page

– Grand Velas: largest of the three toured today, best for sophisticated families, amazing spa

– Royal Hideaway: coolest surrounding community, prettiest beach, happy medium between the three

What they all had in common: all inclusive, 5 diamond accreditation, 4 diamond accredited restaurants, gourmet-intensive and service oriented properties. In other words: you can’t go wrong with any of them, but I’ll flesh out each of the experiences when I’m home next week.

I’m very grateful to Olympus Tours for taking us around to each site, they provided excellent and timely service and I’m glad to call them a partner for my clients traveling to Cancun and the surrounding area.  Along the way, our driver, Juan, pointed out some of the various resorts and quirks of the area.

As we passed by a resort called Desire, which I’d never heard of, Juan pointed to it and said, “They do not, how you say, use their swimming pool for swimming.”

“Are they a nude resort?!” Kayla and I asked at the same time, which Juan confirmed. Even though I’m fully aware nude resorts exist,  I haven’t had any personal connections with any and I kind of giggle like a little kid when I hear about them. It’s a mixed intrigue: kind of curious but also aware that I’m much better off not knowing what goes on in one.

After a long morning of site inspections, we were pretty beat. Kayla especially:

This is not how you lay in a hammock.
This is not how you lay in a hammock.

We lounged on the beach and napped in our room until dinner time, at which point we made our way to Moon Palace’s New Year’s Eve celebration. We had a blast at the event, which was tastefully decorated and featured a magic show that repeated the “girl mysteriously disappears in a box and swords are placed through the box but she suddenly reappears out of nowhere with no sword wounds” trick three times. We also had great table mates, the Williams family, who adopted us into their New Year’s festivities.

These New Year’s festivities included about 3 hours worth of dancing, which Kayla and I graciously indulged in. Somehow I knew the words (or my own interpretation of the words) to almost EVERY Latin song they played – thank goodness for my extensive Zumba background.

The clock struck midnight!

We did experience that awkward moment when you’re the only ones on the dance floor with a salary and insurance (okay, Kayla experienced that. I have neither of those things). The crowd was a little young and a little wastedface, so we had to create our own bubble and dance by ourselves within the crowd. At one point, a teenage ginger burst into our bubble and did the running man in between us. I thought this was absolutely HILARIOUS (seriously, when does this happen?!) until the boy running-manned into me and knocked me onto the floor, which was coated in a layer of confetti and puddles of vodka or some other spilled drinks. Ugh. Happy freaking New Year.

Pre-ginger takedown
Pre-ginger takedown

Back at our table, we were a little confused by the party favors – a bag of grapes. As shallow Americans, we thought, WHAT kind of party favor is this?! We, of course, would’ve preferred chocolate. It felt like trick or treating to a health nut’s house where they give out apples and granola bars instead of Skittles & Hershey Bars. No bueno. However, it took us about 12 hours to discover that maybe the grapes meant something – and they do! It’s a Mexican tradition to eat one at each of the clock’s 12 chimes before midnight and make a wish with each one.

Confused about grapes?
Confused about grapes.

Unfortunately, we missed out on this because we were not enlightened about the tradition. However, had we been, here are some of our wishes:

1. I wish this was a bag of chocolates, not grapes

2. I wish Justin Bieber had made an appearance at the Usher concert

3. I wish I could wear sparkly dresses every day of my life

4. I wish sparkly dresses didn’t hurt to dance in after 3 hours

5. I wish that ginger had not knocked me onto the vodka-infused confetti floor

6. I wish we hadn’t been the oldest people on the dance floor

7. I wish I had a salary and insurance

8. I wish my home town had an awesome Discotheque

9. I wish it was easier to come up with 12 whole wishes – I mean, Aladdin only got 3

10. I wish 2013 would bring me a multi-billionaire husband who owns a hotel chain, flies private jets, is a master chef, and only has time to travel the world with me

11. I wish I wasn’t 100% serious about number 10.

12. I wish you a Happy New Year and wonderful 2013, dear readers!

Kisses to all and to all a Happy 2013!
Kisses to all and to all a Happy 2013!
Lindsey Epperly

My name is Lindsey Epperly and I’m a travel consultant and owner of Epperly Travel, a national affiliate of Century Travel. I’m most passionate about building lifelong relationships with my clients and suppliers, discovering the globe in a way that makes me a better agent, and celebrating with my team when we reach a new milestone. One of our core values at Epperly Travel is to create fun and celebrate constantly – and I’m fortunate to be in a career that allows me to do just that. I’m proud to announce my recent achievements: landing a spot on Wendy Perrin’s WOW List as their Caribbean expert, being nominated for Virtuoso’s Rising Star Award and receiving a place on Jezebel Magazine’s Trailblazing Ten list.

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