We just got back from our vacation and of course I’m reflecting on the trip. Mainly, all the fun we had in the sun. But, I’m also considering what could have made our travel experience even better.
With the internet being such a great tool to help people consider travel plans via online reviews these days I thought I would share my thoughts about our Funjet all inclusive vacation package to Mexico. In fact, my wife spent a good amount of time reading reviews when considering our vacation.
Overall, I must say we had a relaxing vacation at the Barceló Maya Beach resort in Mexico. I considered the trip a nice vacation investment for us. It allowed us to get rested and refreshed for what can be a busy and fast-paced life.
While we enjoyed our vacation, it wasn’t without some hiccups along the way. This is common for most vacations, but we kept positive attitudes, went with the flow as much as possible and didn’t let minor issues negatively impact our time away.
How did we find our trip?
My wife searched long and hard for a few months on the internet trying to find an all inclusive package to Mexico that would fit within our budget. We’ve taken vacations using all inclusive packages to Mexico twice in the past and have generally been pleased with the price for the transportation, accommodations, food and beautiful beaches. I also like the all inclusive package deals because everything is paid for up-front. I can relax and not be concerned with a daily budget or over-spending during the vacation.
After searching on several of the popular travel websites my wife found a special on Funjet.com for a trip to the Riviera Maya area in Mexico. We flew AeroMexico and stayed at the Barceló Maya Beach resort. Lomas Travel provided the ground transportation to and from the airport to our hotel.
We had little interaction with Funjet after we booked the travel online through their website. My wife visited Funjet.com several times over a couple months looking for specials. Her persistence paid off as we found a deal we couldn’t refuse. If you’re looking for travel deals make sure you return to websites often as we found deals change and new deals become available quite often.
Overall, Funjet puts a pretty good package together. They arrange for air, airport transportation, accommodations and food. It truly means all inclusive as taxes and tips are covered in the price as well. We’ve found the trips we’ve taken with Funjet to be good and worth the price.
We did find out you can pay a little bit extra to take a private shuttle to and from the airport in Mexico. For us this was worth it as the standard buses and shuttles make trips to several hotels dropping off and picking up guests. Unless you’re the first Hotel visited, your trip from the airport to your hotel could take a lot of extra time. It also means you’ll leave early from your hotel when going back to the airport.
Contact FunJet and inquire about private transportation. Ask how long it will take to get to your destination if you use the standard services versus upgrading to private transportation. Determine if it’s worth paying the extra price to upgrade.
The most disappointing part of our trip was the services provided by Lomas Travel. FunJet passes the baton to Lomas Travel when you’re in Mexico. Lomas travel provides the airport transportation and a representative on-site at the Hotel for questions and other needs. The representative can also arrange for additional activities such as fishing trips, snorkeling, etc. if you desire them.
Lomas Travel: Airport to Hotel Experience
We were disappointed with the disorganization of their services after locating Lomas Travel at the airport upon our arrival. Our names were found on one list, but we were redirected to someone else who didn’t have our names or reservation listed.
It was all quite weird and unprofessional. We waited for about 30 minutes while they tried to figure out our transportation situation. Even though we had private transportation arranged through FunJet they tried to put us on a large tour bus before getting things sorted out.
Lomas Travel: Hotel to Airport Experience
I visited the Lomas Travel agent at our hotel on the last day of our stay because we never received a message stating what time our private transportation was suppose to pick us up at the Hotel and take us back to the airport.
I found out the Lomas Travel agent had no record of our stay at the hotel and no transportation was arranged. Why? We didn’t attend an orientation session with the agent upon arriving at our Hotel the first day. I’m not quite sure why they just didn’t schedule the transportation given our reservation through FunJet, but again, there approach seemed a bit disorganized.
When we got on our private shuttle going to the Hotel my wife was handed a bunch of advertisements and entertainment pamphlets by the driver which we never read (we weren’t interested in excursions on this trip). Within them was a separate advertisement which included a Lomas Travel form we were supposed to fill out and give to the agent during the orientation we never attended. We don’t think this was ever explained, but we could have missed the instructions given the language barrier.
After much discussion and confusion our agent at the Hotel called and arranged for private transportation back to the airport. We traveled back to the airport in a nice SUV which was much more comfortable (and faster) than the van. The representative at the airport provided extremely good service by walking us to the check-out counter, helping us with our bags and insuring we got to the right security check-in for our departure. His services helped make up for the challenges described above, but overall, you might opt for another service if given the option.
AeroMexico was the airline for our trip. We decided on a 7 AM departure out of Dallas Ft. Worth International to arrive at our destination as early as possible on the first day. Unfortunately, our flight was delayed by two hours because of a mechanical issue. Obviously, this happens and we have no complaints on delaying the plane to insure it’s in good condition to fly.
I will point out a few nice benefits in traveling AeroMexico: 1) they do not charge for drinks or refreshments on board the plane. 2) There are no charges for checking baggage. It was nice that we didn’t have to pay this extra expense that so many airlines ding you with today.
One point of concern for me was the security while flying. I know I’m probably over paranoid, but I noticed the cockpit door opening 2-3 times during the return flight when pilots were taking restroom breaks. Fine, but the cockpit door stayed open and wasn’t locked behind the pilots. In fact, I don’t think it was lockable. This left me wondering if AeroMexico flies by the same safety standards as seen with some of the other larger airlines today.
I’ll also note our return flight was delayed about an hour. This seemed to be related to airport traffic, but it’s worth noting to help set your expectation if you’re flying into or out of Cancun’s airport which seemed quite busy.
Barceló Maya Beach Hotel
If you’re looking for a beautiful resort on the Caribbean coast, you’ll find it with the Barceló Maya beach resorts. In all there are 5 hotels (Beach, Caribe, Colonial, Tropical and Palace) located next to each other on the coast. All are within a short walk from each other and there is a shuttle that runs between them every 10 minutes or so. We were looking for a place to lie on the beach and relax for a few days and we definitely found it.
The Barceló Maya Beach is the oldest hotel on the resort and was remodeled a few years ago. I would imagine that’s it’s also the cheapest in price. Overall, our room was clean. There was nothing elaborate about it, but we found it to be a nice place to stay for 4 nights. The pool, beach and grounds were all well kept. We felt the food was good. There were three beach buffet style restaurants for lunch and snacks. We also had access to a buffet style restaurant for breakfast at our hotel and the Caribe Beach hotel. We had access to more upscale Spanish (at the Caribe Beach) and Mexican restaurants for dinner (although, we only dined at the Mexican for one night).
We decided to upgrade our dinners and eat at the Palace restaurants located on the beach two of our nights. We ate a Caribbean and Brazilian restaurant that were both exceptional. The atmosphere and food were well worth the extra price to upgrade. I highly recommend paying for the upgrade if you’re looking for a wonderful dining experience near the beach. The upgrade isn’t required if you’re staying at the Palace (not sure about the other Hotels).
Out of all the hotels The Palace is by far the nicest and newest. Towards the middle of the week we found ourselves migrating down towards the beach near the Palace. It seemed to be a much quieter and relaxing environment. The Maya Beach Hotel seemed to attract more partying around the pool bar area. They also played a lot of loud dance music (I know, I sound old). Given our goal of relaxation we found the Palace, Colonial and Tropical Beach Hotel grounds and beach more suitable for us.
Areas for Improvement
- Watch out when dining out as glasses of wine and a bottle of wine from the menu cost extra. Remember, this is supposed to be all inclusive. This wasn’t exactly communicated well by our waiter who couldn’t speak English very well. As a result we paid almost $50 for what would be about a $15 bottle of wine in the states.
- Customer service is not a strong point at the Maya Beach Hotel. I asked for some assistance in understanding additional charges in dollars verses pesos when checking out (I like to double check the bill). The response: I don’t have time to help you because we have all these other people checking in. Let’s just say I didn’t exactly feel like a special guest after that comment.
- The air conditioning in the room at night wasn’t very good. For some reason our air just wouldn’t cool very well. I did see a review on Trip Advisor after our trip reporting the same. Shame on me for not saying anything, but my focus was on relaxing and not complaining.
We would stay at the Barceló Maya resort again. However, next time we will definitely choose the Colonial, Tropical or the Palace.
I hope you found these reviews helpful if you’re traveling to Mexico for an all inclusive trip that involves Funjet, Lomas Travel, Barceló Maya Beach Resort or AeroMexico. My goal in writing them was to provide honest information and not just complain. As I mentioned in the introduction, overall we were very pleased with our trip through FunJet. While there were some hiccups along the way, it’s to be expected in travel. Perhaps this information will help you avoid them. We also recognize we learned a lot on our trip know we could avoid some of the hiccups next time given our experience.
Have you had experience with any of these companies? Please share your thoughts and reviews to help others.