We booked our flight on Alaska Airlines and had a great flight down but would recommend getting aisle seats on a flight this long. They charge $5 for a cheeseburger snack basket that isn't very filling so we take sandwiches and snacks in our carry-ons. They also charge for a video deck to watch either TV shows or several movies which are preloaded, not a big selection, so we brought our ipods and laptop to watch a dvd. Their baggage charges aren't as bad as most now but they do charge $25 for a second checked bag. I would recommend getting a carry-on of the largest size allowed and remember, laptop bags and purses don't count against your carry-on so you can get a little more room out of different styles of these. When we arrived at the Cancun airport, we had a very easy transition through customs and to the lobby filled with timeshare promoters, and I mean filled. It is quite a feat to get through them unstopped. If you have transfers already booked, definitely the easiest way to go, you can procede right through to the staging area outside where different transfer agents are already waiting. They were all very helpful in letting us know what agent would be assisting us by merely showing them our transfer paperwork. After arriving at our hotel and checking in we went down to La Paloma Restaurant and caught the end of the Carribean Dance show. For a free show at the hotel it was quite good, very colorful exotic outfits and excellent dancing. After the show we decided to try riding the bus to party central and see how we liked it, not knowing the schedule and how crowded it would be. Turns out there is a bus about every 15 minutes that goes all the way up and down the hotel strip. It was only 6 1/2 Pesos and wasn't very crowded at all, very clean. I highly recommend it. Try to have your money ready, and as far as I can tell watch for the R-1 or R-2, also marked on the front as Hotel Zone to Market 28 or Hotel Zone to WalMart. If you tell the driver where you want to get off at they usually understand enough to be able to tell you if you have the right bus or not. We just said Dady O's and he knew right where we were going. We used our 2 for 1 card which we got through Cancun Travel for $15 for dinner at Carlos and Charlies. You have to buy 1 entree and 1 appetizer or 1 dessert and you get your second entree for free. They had very good food and we enjoyed people watching from there. Dady O's was just across the street and was alot of fun. The dancing doesn't really get going till almost midnight. That may have been partially because they were late opening up and it wasn't near as crowded as I thought it would be. Also be very careful of the steps once inside. None of them are lit up and its very easy to trip going up or down to the dance floor. They had an interesting acrobatic show as part of their interlude performances. It was fun to watch, they are very talented. I'm sure they had other interlude performances through the night but we left at around 2:30, still pretty tired from the flight.
Kathy got up and went on her ritual breakfast and sun down by the beach while I slept in a little longer. When I got up I went across the street to the bank and cashed some dollars for pesos. Its always a good idea to exchange your money for pesos as the exchange rate at the bank is much better than the vendors will give you. Some of them will even try to exchange at even, 1 dollar for 10 pesos. At the bank the exchange when we went was 1 dollar for 13.4 pesos. Also while across the street I picked up a couple of half sandwiches at Subway and went back in time for the trivia again poolside. Did really terrible at the trivia, couldn't even guess any right answers this time. Kathy and I had our sandwiches at the bar along with a couple of bloody mary's and decided to head off for shopping again. We ended up going to Plaza Caracol this time and walked all through there. There was several time share operators here trying to get you to come in and offering you all sorts of tours or activities for free. They make it really difficult for you to walk on by but make sure you do. We've gotten stuck with one of these before and they are really hard sell. They don't take no for an answer very well and usually take what they tell you is a 45 minute presentation and turn it into 3 hours. I suggest if you do anything like this you look at your watch right up front and tell them in 45 minutes you're done and be rude if you have to in order to end it because they can be rude too.
Oh boy, the morning after Coco Bongo's. Oh yeah, I'm sleeping in late, real late. Kathy's headed down to breakfast. Yeah, the Pina Colada Grill again, we're creatures of habit. I did make it up in time for trivia at the pool bar and then we went shopping in town at Mercado 28. This is a must do shopping experience and the deals here are much better than at any of the plazas along the Hotel Zone. There's tons and tons of shops here and I finally found someone to deal on boots. Found a pair I liked, leather stamped to look like ostriche, and a size that fit fairly well, a little tight but they stretch. Make sure you know what you're looking for. You'll see some boots that don't have a lining, and with poorly cut heels and soles. I always look for boots with pigskin lining.