I couldn't decide if I wanted to book my 9 and 11 year olds pick of Dreams or my pick of Iberostar. Similar prices (Ibero is a little more) so we booked 3 nights at Dreams and 3 at Ibero. Here is the Dreams review. First, every trip to Cancun should avoid the buses and book round trip transfers with USA-transfer.com. Two 5 star experiences with them. $65 gets you right to your resort in the hotel zone, a little more to the southern towns. Worth it!
Dreams Cancun arrival. Pleasant enough clerk, no wait. Sent us to our dolphin and ocean view room......one king bed for 4 of us. We walked back and told him this wouldn't work, I booked two double beds. He said this was all they have. What, are you kidding? He finally said he would send up a cot, gee thanks. It actually worked out OK since we own a fishing cabin and our kids are used to, sort of, roughing it. But, this was really unacceptable when spending $410 per person per night.
By the time we got the cot and extra towel, it was past dinner and we really needed food badly, especially the kids. We waited and waited and the buffet never opened. Finally the front desk told us it was closed tonight for a special event and we would find it by going down the steps and to the right (the exact opposite of where it was). No staff member we asked seemed able to give directions. It should be noted that I had 5 years of Spanish (30 years ago) and my husband minored in it (college).
This is our 8th or ninth all inclusive and we often go with a group of adults, so consider the source. The food was blah, but not awful. We were just all (even the kids) tired of it after only 3 days. Wait staff not as outgoing as we are used to at higher end, adult only resorts except the bartender in the lobby. Best restaurant is Hamitsu, great atmosphere, but don't expect sushi like you get at in a metropolitan area in the states. I bet the chefs are good, but they are only given a limited amount to work with.Every thing was sort of a cheap California role. Sort of to be expected at a kids AI resort. But, we were told we could make a reservation if we buy a bottle of wine, so if you plan to anyway........
All restaurants are first come, first serve, no reservations.
The World Cafe is always extemely hot. It is neat to be inside with real palm trees, but the glass ceiling makes it like a terarium. They have a smoothie bar at breakfast but no menu, so no one used her. Even with my Spanish, I didn't know how/what to order.
There is an adult only restaurant at night, kids allowed at lunch. This was my husband's favorite lunch. It was called Seaside, I think. Probably would have great dinners there.
I must say that I loved our room other than the bed situation. Everyone I walked by seemed very updated. We couldn't imagine that the Club rooms were as good as ours. We loved being over the dolphins, although I don't like that they are breeding them in captivity. Poor creatures don't know any better and were very sweet and seemed to look forward to playing with the trainers and paying customers each morning. All rooms seemed to have an ocean view EXCEPT the "second floor" on the ocean view only side, which is really the main walk out level on the ocean view side of the pyramid. 1/2 of these are blocked by trees, ground or "ruins" on the walk out (2nd floor). So make sure you are on floor 3-5 of the pyramid if you want to see the ocean on the ocean view side and probably floors 2 or 3 through 5 on the dolphin/ocean side of the pyramid. I hope that makes sense. Do not fear all the old reviews about old outdated rooms, everything looked very nice and new to me.
We did have a drippy shower that I noticed at night, so we closed the door, problem solved.....and there were two cool/cold showers. Oh well. Things like that are not a BIG DEAL. I can't imagine how people complain about things like a light bulb!
The beach was really great for kids, few waves. The trampoline is not really a tramp, you don't bounce much, but kids like to hang out there some.
Water sports. We booked parasail and they ferried us out on ski-doos, but WAY too early. There were 8 people waiting on the boat so we were there well over an hour on a very windy day. Made no sense. The snorkeling was worse. I have read about this company and it is true. They make you stay together, which is fine, but why keep telling us come "over here", when "over here" is on top of sand and all the fish and over 30 feet away at the reef? Stupid, but it was only about $30.
On tipping. Depending on service, we tend to tip $1-$2 at breakfast. $2-$3 at lunch. $3-5 at dinner. We give bartenders random tips. $2-$3 for the maid. I tipped the parasail guys $5 for each of us. My husband tipped the snorkel guys a few, I wouldn't have. I saw no one else tip at this resort. There were less than 50% Americans. I don't know why, but other nationalities seemed to never tip, especially the parasail, etc. I found it odd. The bartenders were happy to see me and made my kids a hundres strawberry daquiries.
House wine, undrinkable, but the mojitos were great.
Activity leaders were really nice. The "shows" were awful, except the hypnotist that they brought in one night from Las Vegas.
Strangely, there are NO wristbands nor towel cards at Dreams. We appreciated that. I would give Dreams 3.5 stars if I could.
To wrap this up, we were happy to move to the next resort - Iberostar Cancun. I will review that next.
I also want to mention that Dreams is next to Fiesta Americana and I always wondered about it. We walked it and it was a fabulous pool. The lunch menus looked reasonable, but breakfast buffett was $32 per person! Yikes.
Took a cab to Iberostar so we could shop on the way. He took us to shops with parking lots which were not the best choices for what we wanted. Our mistake in hiring him. I will call USA transfers next time.
Skip the "club". Stay in the pyramid, floors 3-5. Ocean view only for quiet, dolphin vie...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.