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Helpful Info for forum members

In cooperation with: Visit Mexico
Liverpool, United...
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Helpful Info for forum members

Welcome to Trip Advisor (TA) and the Cancun Forum!

I have started this post because members join all the time and I think that a single post could answer a lot of questions that new members may have about Cancun. This post intends to invites suggestions that newcomers might need and answer possible questions they may have! By no means is the information provided indefinitely accurate, but merely opinions to help everyone out!

So hopefully people will add to this thread and will help any newcomers that join!

Using the forum:

On the left side of the forum are hotels which are listed for the Cancun area. These hotels have basic information about the facilities and also provide ads for regular updated rates. The rankings for these hotels are made from a culmination of different reviews from a variety of places that the TA Admin pull together to form the rating. Part of the rating is also based on the review – this review is made by members of TA who have visited the resort and want to share their experience. Looking at the hotel websites is also a good way for finding out more about your resort.

Reviews range dramatically from detailed pages to 1 or 2 liners! However, each review is subjective to each individual and should be taken with a certain level of scepticism as, “One Man’s castle is another Man’s prison” – this definitely applies to the reviews.

There is the option to send other members a private message if you want to be specific about a topic or ask in more detail about a personal experience. It is expected that you treat each member with the same respect you would want to be treated – as we are a happy bunch!! TA caters for people from around the world – good point to remember!

In order to gain an understanding of what to expect from the area, there is also a section on the right hand side that is titled “Things To Do” – this is a particularly helpful section of what there is to offer for your location, from restaurants, to tours, etc.

USEFUL HINT: On the forum page there is a search text box which allows you to search previous topics within the Cancun forum – this is very useful!

Currency:

This is a very debatable topic and as TA members come from all over the world – you will receive conflicting advice. One piece of advice I found particularly useful is, why would you want to take any other currency, than what the locals use?

Pesos are the Mexican currency and an average rate is anything between 18.5 – 19 pesos to the dollar or the pound (other currencies will vary). Some hotels do have facilities to change currencies, and there is also a bank which can change currency. Credit cards are accepted, but there has been some debate about “pre-paid” travellers’ money cards. As always, be vigilant to fraud with credit cards – anywhere you go. In particular pay attention that your charges are always correct on the bill and check to see if your CC number is not displayed in full, or that a service charge has already been added to your bill.

Weather:

Rainfall in Cancun varies over the course of the year from 47 mm to 174 mm per month.

On average most rain falls during the months of June (174mm) and October (171mm) – this is also considered “hurricane season” – although this isn’t prescriptive.

March and December are usually the driest months. (Rainfall in March 47mm and in December 59mm).

Daily average temperatures in Cancun range from 23.4°C to 29.3°C.

Peak temperatures usually occur in June (average 29.3°C) and July (average 29.2°C).

Average temperatures decline in January to 23.4°C and in December to 24.4°C

Some good weather sites are:

http://www.cancunweathertoday.com/

uk.weather.com/weather/10day-Cancun-MXQR0138

However, as always – these reports are not always accurate – as is the case everywhere – sometimes it is best to ask someone who is currently in Cancun via the forum, they will have a more accurate opinion of the weather.

Immunisations/Vaccinations:

Again – this is a very debatable topic. The best guidance to anyone from any country is to contact your GP and get advice from them. There are no essential vaccinations needed, but they are all “recommended” therefore it is at your own discretion whether or not you choose to have them.

What is generally recommended is:

- Typhoid

- Hepatitis A

- Tetanus

Some GP’s will also recommend a hepatitis B injection – but again, depends on your location and your GP’s advice. Your tetanus will depend on when the last time you received one was dated.

Hepatitis A is recommended for people who eat out a lot, regardless of where they are travelling to – as Hep A is usually transferred from unhygienic food preparation. Malaria is only required if you intend to travel towards the heavy jungle areas, or away from the main Cancun/Yucatan Peninsula – e.g. Mexico City.

However – this is general advice – so make sure you contact your GP for further advice. Most vaccinations are required 4 weeks or more before your trip.

Food & Stomach/Sanitation Issues:

People can be affected with “stomach” issues regardless of where they travel, as can some are never affected. Cancun has apparently been fitted with a water filtration system – which means that the water is purified before it can be used. This is apparently in place throughout the hotel zone.

Drinking bottled water is advisable at all times, and a lot of travelers have reported drinking with ice and not encountering any stomach problems but everyone is different. It is often thought that poor hygiene is often the cause of stomach upsets, but it is wise to consider that it may be the case that the change of diet, rich foods, new spices/flavours can also attribute to stomach upsets.

People on here have advised to drink pro-biotic drinks and bio yoghurt to help your stomach before you travel. This has been advised about a month before travel, and continued through the trip if possible.

So using your individual judgement is best for this issue, and follow usual practises when abroad.

Sea Lice/thimble jellyfish:

Prevalent in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and along both the east and west coasts of the United States during the summer months

Sea lice are actually the microscopic larvae of jellyfish and other ocean stingers which contain the same nematocysts (stinging cells) as mommy and daddy. In many areas of the Gulf and Caribbean the primary culprit causing "sea lice" infestations is the larvae of the thimble jellyfish. These larvae, sometimes half a millimeter in length or smaller, can become trapped between the bathing suit and skin or in crevices like the armpit and compressed, causing the stinging cells to fire.

Sea lice "season" generally runs from April through August although they may appear at any time of year.

There are some products such as “Sea Safe” which are effective in preventing such stings.

The following is a good website for information:

http://www.buysafesea.com/sea_lice.php

Airport & Customs:

The airport is apparently swarming with time share representatives who will try and grab you to listen to the presentations. Again, most people advise you to not make eye contact and politely refuse the presentations. However, some people find incentives such as free trips, restaurant vouchers, etc. as an incentive to go – so again this is personal preference, but is worth knowing that they are there in abundance.

Customs involves a “traffic light” system, in which all passengers go through security, but a button is triggered to a supposedly random lighting system. Basically if the button causes a green light you go straight through – if you get a red light you are “randomly” searched.

Some travellers have never encountered a red light, and some are hit every time. This is nothing to be concerned about, and is merely luck of the draw.

From past reports customs are very keen to search many cases – therefore you may want to put potentially “embarrassing” items in your hand luggage or in something non-descript as everything will be rummaged through and will be visible to the remaining queue.

Case locks again are a debatable topic. Most travellers’ advise to buy industry standard locks – but this “standard” will vary from country to country, but the most common brand is a TSA recommended lock. However, if you put a regular lock on your case it has been reported that they may be cut off – so again, use your own discretion on this one.

Cancun Maps:

There are many maps available on the web of Cancun which gives great information from all the hotels on the hotel front or “7” shaped strip of the land.

There is a regular TA member who also has an online business which sells maps. Again, this is personal preference, but the website is:

www.mapchicks.com

It may be worthwhile enquiring if anyone on TA would want to exchange their maps? Again please be careful with personal details etc.

Clubs and Nightlife:

Cancun hosts some wonderful restaurants and bars and clubs. Again these can be found in the “Things to Do” section. Most popularly known are: Coco Bongos, Daddy O’s, Senor Frogs, Hard Rock Café, Margaritaville, Pat O’Briens, and The City. Again doing a general search in the forum will bring up different previous threads regarding these clubs.

Everyone has their own preference to restaurants, and a lot of people will eat all inclusive (AI) in their hotels anyway. Some frequently mentioned restaurants are Lorenzillos, Laguna Grill, La Habicheula. Again, a search will produce different reviews of these places, and are based on personal preference.

Malls and Shopping:

Listed in the “Things to do” is a list of where to go shopping. There are a few malls/shopping centres such as La Isla Mall which combine open and canopied complexes. There are also flea markets such as Market 28 – in where it is debatable you can get some bargains, but be prepared to be hassled big time and to haggle as much as you can!

There is also the Wal-Mart in downtown Cancun which can provide you with basic grocery needs.

Transport:

Most posters on here will say that both taxis and buses are safe to use at any time of day or night. Again, apply common sense at all time – don’t travel alone, don’t split from your group, and always be aware of your surroundings.

Buses have been reported to be fast and therefore holding on is necessary! You can travel for 6.5 pesos anywhere you go or if you insist on using dollars, $1 can be used, but don’t expect any change. Buses are thought to be safe at night running very frequently. Again, be vigilant, and there has been a rare occurrence of pick pockets – but again, this can occur anywhere.

Taxis can be expensive for the distance you travel – so always, always negotiate a price before you get in. I have been told that taxi drivers will sometimes offer you drinks and drugs – again this is down to personal preference – but you are in a foreign country and the police will not take lightly to tourists using drugs, being aggressive, etc. so if you don’t want to spend your vacation in a cell then don’t dabble in illegal activities!

For longer distances, most travellers advise getting a bus to downtown and then transferring onto an ADO bus – as these are air conditioned, and better quality vehicles.

Most tours include transport in their packages, but always make sure that you receive a receipt and have confirmation of your purchase. Transport from the airport to your resort again is debatable – a quick search on the forum will supply you with many providers.

Forum Abbreviations:

Most users will use abbreviations on here, some you may know, some you may never have heard, so to enlighten:

JMHO – Just My Honest/Humble Opinion

JMO – Just My Opinion

Bump – this is used to take a topic to the front page and get attention

DH – reference often to husbands or the other half

This is generally the advice I believe most newcomers will need! I hope this helps everyone, and I also hope people add to this to help improve it and it will be a source of great information to people!

Here are some other useful links:

http://www.buysafesea.com/sea_lice.php

http://www.travelyucatan.com/cancun_bus.php

www.cancunfirstclass.com/cancun-map-eng.asp

http://www.cancun.bz/

http://www.wayakbus.com/cancun.html

www.cancuntips.com.mx/maps/default.asp…

http://www.cancuntraveler.com/

http://www.cancuncare.com/

http://cancun.travel/en/#

http://cancun.travel/en/#

http://www.cancunstore.com/aboutus.asp

http://www.gonetomexico.com/

www.isla-mujeres.com.mx/english/gallery.htm

http://www.lagunagrill.com.mx/

nathnac.org/ds/c_pages/country_page_MX.htm

dolphindiscovery.com/cancun-islamujeres/canc…

www.cancunweathertoday.com/advisories.php

http://www.cancuntips.com.mx./

www.cancun-discounts.com/cancun-coupons.htm

I hope this will help people, and I hope others will contribute to this post!!

Have fun planning your vacations!!

Happy Travels!!

:0) Mango

Liverpool, United...
Level Contributor
1,732 posts
16 reviews
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1. Re: Helpful Info for forum members

I hope everyone will find this useful and I hope you will contribute where you feel necessary!!

Happy Travels!!!

:0) Mango

Chester, United...
Level Contributor
62,676 posts
77 reviews
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2. Re: Helpful Info for forum members

Great work Mango - I think it should be turned into a Sticky

Edmond, Oklahoma
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1,376 posts
31 reviews
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3. Re: Helpful Info for forum members

How bout....LMAO!

Liverpool, United...
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1,732 posts
16 reviews
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4. Re: Helpful Info for forum members

Why lmao jackjack???

When I was new I asked all of the above questions and I mythered so many people.

Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
750 posts
3 reviews
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5. Re: Helpful Info for forum members

Very impressive...where were you when I joined??? You need to research & do this on all the other forums. Mango still love the pic!!

Springfield...
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9,502 posts
17 reviews
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6. Re: Helpful Info for forum members

good info but you have a typo. Mapchick.com not mapchicks.com! :-) (don't want to confuse people)

Liverpool, United...
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1,732 posts
16 reviews
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7. Re: Helpful Info for forum members

juliegolda - lol!! Cheers! I'm atill aiming for that image but its still unobtainable!!!

Thanks for pointing out the typo error - there is another link further down for it though!

I just thought people were asking the same questions over and over because they were new - so wouldn't it be useful to have something that covers a load in one go?

And surprisingly it didn't take that long at all to write!

Hope it helps!!!

:0) Mango

Cancun, Mexico
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2,834 posts
11 reviews
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8. Re: Helpful Info for forum members

Nice post Mango! You should add it to the Cancun Travel Guide here on TA as well.

Liverpool, United...
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1,732 posts
16 reviews
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9. Re: Helpful Info for forum members

Thank you to everyone who has found this post useful!

It is now in the "Before You Go" Section on the left hand side of the page!

Cheers!!! :0) Mango

Des Moines, Iowa
Destination Expert
for Isla Mujeres
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6,063 posts
10 reviews
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10. Re: Helpful Info for forum members

one little correction, it is mapchick.com - no "s"