Originally I was looking into a Hawaiian trip as we were celebrating an anniversary, graduation and birthday, but the high price and long flight got in the way. We were looking for something different and special, somewhat close by air, tropical and all inclusive as our kids are big eaters and appreciate having food and soda available around the clock. After much research, I chose to focus on Cancun as we found a direct 3 hour flight. I research all of the hotels in this area and this one seemed to fit our needs. Each hotel has + and - so it was not an easy choice, but one that I am very happy with. My family and I were very impressed with our stay at the RIU Palace Peninsula! Although, when we walked in the lobby it did smell like cat litter...our only negative impression that soon wore off. My family and I have a total of six people, and we were very upset at first because they said that our rooms would be conjoining as in "attached", but our two rooms were a few doors away. They fixed that after one night and put us in side by side rooms... 2 rooms right next to each other...this worked out as they moved us to a hallway with an outside door leading to our two rooms so we were able to open both doors and walk from room to room. We were not crazy about the narrowness of the room and the modern decor, but we rarely spent time in the room, and the beds were comfortable and the view was amazing. If you can, try to get a corner room with a larger balcony facing the ocean. You could literally be entertained from 11 m - midnight if you want, but you could also find quiet areas and plenty of privacy. We ate at all the restaurants accept for the Mexican restaurant, and we liked the steakhouse the best...the surf and turf was amazing...so was the corn! And the view here is one you will never forget!! Go here twice if you can. If you like sushi, the Japenese restaurant is delicious as well. Be sure to visit the concierge to reserve your dinner reservations 2 days in advance of each dinner or you will miss out. The breakfast was superb and the buffet had anything you could think of eating for breakfast. We hung out at the pools for the most part and the staff was doing activities all day long from about 12:00-4:00. The staff was so entertaining and very funny... it was hard not to laugh. We loved Juanito!!!! And his "applausos" reaction to everything! "Applausos to him and the entire entertaining and friendly staff!!!! We enjoyed their fun activities: pool volleyball, water aerobics, bingo, yoga, dancing, evening shows...and their evening 70's-80's evening show was hilarious and enjoyed by the entire family!!! Don't miss this!!! This is a family oriented hotel...appealing to young kids and teens as well as adults. My kids played organized sand volleyball everyday, and they loved it! The court is in plush sand, is well taken care of and is right near the pools...so cooling off was easy and close! The beach was beautiful in the pictures and from our room, but when you are actually on the beach and in the ocean it had a lot of rocks and seaweed floating around... although the staff did their best to keep it clean. My only true negative about our stary was that we could not go for a long stroll down the beach...but you can stilll get in and sit under a swaying palm tree and enjoy the gorgeous view! The color of the water is a beautiful aqua...very stunning and unique...too bad about the rocks and seaweed...once you swim past that it is gorgeous. The hotel and pool surroundings were emaculate and so beautiful...4 WARM!! beautiful pools to choose from. Each offering something special...our favorite pool was near the volleyball court and beach...the water appeared to fall into the ocean...just beautiful!!! The service and cleanliness of the entire area can not be matched. Everyone... from guest services, the front desk, the cleaning services, the wait staff, the pool entertainers was SO very friendly, helpful and full of energy...always walking around (in the very hot heat) smiling, saying hello and offering to help...we also enjoyed the free activities that were offered next door at the Riu Caribe (not as nice as the Palace, but they did have basketball hoops in their pool which our kids enjoyed)...you can take out canoes and sailboats for free and wave runners for a charge. 1/2 an hour was plenty for the 6 of us to share. We took one excursion that we would HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!! Take the organized catamaran cruise over to Isla Mujueres Island. It was the highlight of our trip!! Plan ahead and organize your trip in the middle of your week to break up acitivities. You can literally WALK to the catamaran cruise dock...it is right next door to the Rui, which is very convenient. For $139.00 a person you get to take the 50 min. chartered catamaran cruise over to the island and then back to Rui. This is great! So fun to be out on the water and to glide over the aqua waters...beautiful! You will stop at a reef to go on a guided 30 min. snorkeling trip (all equipment provided w/ trip). You will see plenty of fish!! What a memory! Then you will have about an hour to shop at the island's straw markets. The boat catamaran then will transport you to the amazing Dolphin Discovery on the other end of the island. This is a beautiful set up...a huge area set off the swim with dophins and even sharks if you want!!!!!!!! We played it safe and all swam with the playful, smiling dolphins for at least an hour. The guide was friendly, informative and fun. We each had the awesome opportunity to splash with, tickle, ride and get pushed by a dolphin! It truly was an amazing experience. The swim occurs in a fenced off ocean area...so BEWARE lots of fish hang our near the guide as he feeds his dolphin. This freaked my kids out, but they soon got used to it as they tried not to look down. :) A photographer will snap photos of your time with the dolphins and pictures are available afterwards...althought we were not prepared and did not bring enough $...$25. per photo. After your dolphin swim drinks and a full buffet is waiting...all included in the trip. There are two nice pools to cool off in, hammocks to nap in and wooden swings near a cafe to relax in. Then you can take a nap on the boat ride back to the Rui...this is an all day excursion...9:30-5:30...Another beautiful place well worth visiting!!!
Overall, this vacation was reasonably priced for all that we received for 6 people...and it was very special...if you are looking to take your family to Cancun; I would highly recommend the Rui Palace Peninsula!!!
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