In a couple of days, James and I are heading off to sunnier shores of Playa Del Carmen Mexico. We're leaving the rain and wind behind to join some friends on their wedding day, which is sure to be a fantastic time.
While I'm really looking forward to this vacation (our first out of country vacation since Costa Rica in 2011), I have some trepidation about the nature of the vacation. You see, it's at an all inclusive hotel.
And I am SO not an all inclusive girl, or at least that's my mindset before heading off. I'd MUCH rather be telling you that we've rented an apartment, but since the wedding is at the resort, we figure we should probably stay there...or they won't let us on the property. Also, this is where our friends will be, so regardless of all the things I am about to list that concern me, we will no doubt have a great time.
My one other experience at an all inclusive was in the Bahamas in 2006. It was part of my former company's bonus program, and I was so excited to visit my first tropical location. They flew both myself and James down there for 4 days and 3 nights fully paid, with the option of extending the trip on your own dime. We chose not to because we were getting married later that year and heading to Hawaii for our honeymoon, and I was SO glad we didn't in the end. Because that experience was not something I would have wanted to pay for.
What a whiner, hey? Well, listen. I work hard for my money and my vacation time is limited. There is a reason we've never gone back to an all inclusive, choosing to do more independent and "real" vacations. But maybe I'm just biased. Maybe I've got it ALL wrong!
Maybe.....but it seems pertinent and reporterly to refresh you on WHY I embark on this vacation with just the slightest amount of trepidation.
My main concerns with all inclusive's are the following:
1. The Food: I LOVE food. And while I am not particularly picky, food is a huge part of travel for me, and when I go on vacation, I want to eat the local cuisine. I DON'T want shitty hamburgers and hotdogs and french fries. I want tacos. I would happily eat tacos every meal, every day. But something tells me that getting an authentic taco on the resort is going to be mucho dificil. If it was anything like the garbage they served us in the Bahamas, I'll be likely to lose weight. Also, I don't want to stand in line to eat. I'd rather cook my own meals, and eat in local restaurants than be ushered through a mediocre buffet line up.
2. The Drink: I am not an all day long, every day drinker. But if I AM going to drink, I want it to be quality. And I fear that the quality is going to be lacking. And I also fear the lack of self control some members of our party may exhibit when it comes to the open bar aspect of our vacation. Nor do I enjoy the drunken, disrespectful antics of other vacationers who can't hold their drink and might puke in any one of the 47 pools on the resort.
3. The Other: Other people, that is. I'm not sure I want to share my precious vacation with a bunch of dickheads from North America, who think that everything should be as it is "at home". THESE people make me crazy. Why go on vacation if you want it to be like home? I cannot handle loudmouthed disrespectful douche bags who treat resort staff like their own personal punching bags, or have zero respect for the people around them. My nemesis, if you will.
4. The Thieving: I've read that this resort has a theft problem. I don't know if that's common in Mexico, but it makes me a bit blue that I might not be able to leave my valuables IN THE SAFE without it being broken into. As a result, I'm leaving my nice camera at home, and that's a bit sad. I hope the few pesos that I am bringing for tips are safe.
5. The Danger: This resort had a huge explosion a few years ago. It was carnage. People died. I'm not a fan of dying on vacation. Also, Mexico seems to be getting sketchier and sketchier. I know that it's mostly border towns that have cartel problems, and that resort towns are generally safe, but I am totally just not cool with feeling skeeved out on my vacation.
I'm an avid reader of Trip Advisor, and this resort has had hundreds of amazing reviews and a few really terrible reviews and everything in between. I'll be back in a week or so to report on my own findings on each of the categories I listed above, and more.
All I know is that in a few days time, regardless of any of the above, I'll be floating around the Caribbean sea, drink in hand, hopefully getting a little sunshine on this white bod of mine. And we'll be having an amazing time, despite my hesitations about going this route!