After Aimee and I got married…life kept moving fast…no time to slow down for the honeymoon! Other than a long weekend, we didn’t get a chance to go on a true honeymoon. A family friend of ours told us about Palace Resorts in Cancun and offered to assist in getting a reservations under their membership as our honeymoon gift… When he told us that, I thought, sure what a great idea, but when are we ever going to have time?!
We had to make time
I was finishing up some military schooling and stepping into a new position. We just moved Aimee, the kids and the dogs into our new house in Virginia. We had my daughter for the summer. School and soccer started for Jack and Abigail. We were busy, enjoying our life together, but I honestly didn’t think we would ever get a chance.
Aimee led the way! It was early August, she looked at me and said…”it’s time to honeymoon.” At that point I was so into our daily routine with work, school, soccer, it really fell off my radar. When she brought it up, I think we both realized it was now or never. We simply needed to make it happen. Whatever it takes, we needed to get away and Palace Resorts in Cancun was calling our name!
Palace Resorts here we come!
So we started doing our research! Until that point I had not heard of Palace Resorts, but as soon as I started to look at options… the excitement quickly grew! They have several different resorts in Cancun. Some are family focused and some are more intimate and for adults only. It was honestly hard to pick which one. All the reviews were glowing and the pictures all looked so incredible.
After a few weeks of checking things out, we chose Playacar Palace. How was the stay? Well let’s just say while we were there we could not stop talking about how we wanted to come back!
That gluten free life!
Aimee and I love to eat. We love tacos, sushi, and sweet treats. We are also gluten free which makes things tough sometimes, but at Playacar Palace, they were more attentive to our gluten free needs than I have ever seen. Every meal… literally every meal…they asked what allergies we had, and every meal they discussed with us and took more care than any restaurant I have seen in the states. Not only did they have tons of gluten free options, they could modify just about anything to meet our desires. Service was better than we could have ever expected!
A whole lot of nothing
People asked us before we left, “what are you going to do there?” Our answer almost in unison… “nothing!” Aimee and I do a lot everyday. We don’t get a chance to do nothing very often. All we did was sleep, eat, drink, repeat… We were on total cruise control for the week and we loved it! If you are the activity type when on vacation, there are tons of activities to do. We literally turned them all down. Some of the staff even gave us a funny look until they realized we were serious… we came there to enjoy doing nothing. No emails, no work, no soccer, no kids. Just Aimee and I enjoying our time together… and maybe a few posts for Instagram! Haha I mean come on… if you don’t document it on IG, did it even really happen?!
So yea… we laid around ALL day. Ate too much, drank too much, end enjoyed every second of it!
We chose wisely
So remember when I said there were several resorts? Well we chose Playacar Palace, and chose wisely! It is big enough for families, but by design was perfect for couples. Three restaurants we could choose, a buffet style restaurant as well, and endless room service with gigantic menu with numerous well marked gluten free options. The pool area was large with a swim up bar that served great tacos! Although it allows kids and we saw a few, by design it is a pretty chill resort and not a lot of kids activities. The demographic was mostly adults and groups of adult friends.
The service from the time we walked in the door to the time we sadly loaded our bags was the best I’ve ever seen. Everyone was beyond attentive. So friendly and willing to bend over backwards. Waiters, management, hostesses, house cleaners,… you name it, they were all so nice. From what I experienced, they really put customer service as a number one priority.
As the week went on they even anticipated our needs. Room service started to make the berry mojito a must have with every order, no need to ask.
Be careful at the airport
So this is not a Palace Resorts issue, but as soon as you get off the plane, you need to get through the gauntlet of people trying to get you to buy stuff. Best recommendation…know exactly where you are going and get there. Put on the blinders and get to the chopper!… I mean van!
How did we do it? Well our friend told us where to go so I had an idea. We stopped at one of the “official” booths and I was getting ready to walk away, but this guy’s directions were matching our friend’s so I heard him out. As soon as he tried to sell us some stuff, we politely walked away…but not before he gave us a map and decent directions.
The guy in the “official” booth told us to go left where our friend told us to go right so I checked with another guy who told us to follow the same direction as our friend, so I felt better. Finally we got to where we thought we needed to be… our name was NOT on the “the list.” I thought we were where we needed to be. The nice lady said she would look into it. I gave her a few minutes to verify… a few minutes passed and I was going up to her to tell her we were going to walk down to the next van loading area to check… and she said BOOM!! Name was on “the list.” She found our name on another sheet. In ink, not hand written! That’s key. I looked around as well to verify there was no printer so we had to be good.
Get in the van! Bags got loaded, we hopped in the van with three other couples… first question… ”where are you guys headed?” Say it sternly, don’t ask “hey guys are you headed to Playacar Palace too?” maybe it’s just the paranoid Marine in me, but maybe they are in on ‘the job’ too and setting you up… I’m not really that paranoid, but from a protection perspective, don’t tell strangers where you are going… let them volunteer that information.
So I confirmed we were all headed to the same place… at least now if we were going down, we had some others going with us! Just kidding… We could rest easy… just 45 minutes and we were going to be in paradise!
On the negative side
So there were a few issues, but I will start with this… despite the issues, this was the best vacation I’ve ever been on. However, Aimee and I did get sick… but hear me out. We don’t think gluten got Aimee, but she was stomach sick one day. She is also supposed to avoid dairy and the night prior we had this amazing cream soup… incredible stuff, but we are pretty sure it was the dairy in the cream soup. I also got sick, but it was a bad head cold. Not food related, but it happens. So Aimee was down for one full day and my head cold kept me down with a fever for one day as well, but despite all that, it was still the best vacation ever. Not a Palace Resorts issue.
Our Venture off the resort
In the week that we were there, we only left the resort twice. The first time was to go spend the day at Moon Palace. It’s another Palace Resort. You can bounce back and forth between all their resorts when you stay with them. Moon Palace did not disappoint! I could probably write a whole blog post about our day on Moon Palace, so I’ll wait until our next trip there to do that. What I will say is Moon Palace is huge, beautiful, and will be where we take the kids next time. They have their own bakery that makes macaroon and chocolate truffles… gluten free and free of charge… all day long!
Our second trip off the resort was to walk through the shops outside Playacar Palace. If you like to shop, there is a nice mall area there just a few steps away from the resort. We went to go get a few items for the kids. BUT BEWARE: The sales people are pushy in the smaller side shops and they know you are a tourist so everyone is trying to sell you stuff. It’s nonstop. Depending on what your threshold is for bullshit, you may or may not want to walk around much.
I’m a fake fan?!?!
So on our second venture off the resort I got called a “fake fan.” Aimee and I were just walking through the shops, enjoying the weather and seeing the goods. I made the mistake of repping my Panthers swag and had my Carolina Panthers shirt on. One of the shop owners called me over and said he had a ton of Panthers stuff. So I obliged. He didn’t look busy and he seemed eager to show me his goods. He spent about 5 minutes showing me carved panthers masks, hats, and attire. When he was done, I politely thanked him for his time and said I would think about it. He turned on me quickly. He got mad… as I walked out he called me a “fake fan,” “asshole fan” etc. He was trying to push my buttons and stir something up. I just grabbed Aimee’s hand and we went on our way… OK buddy, guess I’m a “fake fan” sorry for being a Panthers fan for 25 years and being a PSL owner. You caught me… I’m a fake fan. I really just wanted to scream “KEEP POUNDING” in his face, but the last thing I need is an international incident! I can see the headlines now… “US Marine dabs on Cancun shopkeeper” Our tolerance for bullshit is low, so we headed back to the resort shortly after that.
Would we go back?
Without hesitation…YES! Even with the issues, we had a blast. Their gluten free options are on a whole different level. The location is beautiful. The drinks never end. The food just keeps coming. Our week at Playacar Palace was just the honeymoon we needed. I didn’t think it was possible because I love Aimee with every ounce of my soul, but after this trip, I love her even more! Still didn’t think it was possible! It’s hard to believe I get to spend the rest of my life with her.