Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Why is Cancun the ideal Spring Break destination?

Ever since I’ve started college, I have been constantly hearing about how Cancun is the ideal spring break destination. But why? Why is this small Mexican city the place to spend your one week vacation off from hectic college life? I needed to experience this craze over Cancun so a group of five of my closest friends and I decided to go last year during our spring break. Many of whom have experienced a week at this costal city also recommended us to stay at Oasis Cancun, the hotel where MTV aired their spring break specials in past years. Even though there were many things to do and many things to see, over all, this hyped-up city did not seem all so pleasing.

Cost: We had been planning this trip for quite some time, trying to find the best possible deals. We tried dozens of websites, such as Expedia, Trip Advisor, Priceline, but the prices and airfare were not within our budget. Many recommended speaking to a travel agency, but their prices were not any different. We ended up finding the best deal on Cheap Caribbean.com; a 7 day, 6 night, all-inclusive stay at Oasis Cancun with round-trip airfare from Boston for $800. With the Mexican peso being worth less than the dollar, Cancun was one of the cheapest trips I have every taken.

Hotel: Oasis Cancun is a 3-start hotel, located in the heart of the Hotel Zone, on a beautiful white sand beach. The town’s center, where many of the night clubs were located, was only a 10-minute drive away. It wasn’t necessary to rent a car even, for the hotel provided us with transportation to and from the clubs, as long as we bought our admission tickets in advance from the front lobby.

When we first arrived at the hotel, we were surprised to see how many college students roamed the lobby area. We didn’t even get to check-in yet and were surrounded by dozens of men, trying to force us to drink from their half empty beer cans. Since we purchased the all-inclusive package, we were all given purple plastic bracelets, which we were supposed to wear for our entire stay. This bracelet gave us access to the cafeteria and all day free booze. The all-inclusive package was very useful, for we didn’t need to carry a great deal of money on us because everything was included in our package price.

After we were handed our keys, we began to walk towards the elevators, and noticed a long wait. There were only 2 small elevators, and about 10 people in front of us. The hotel did have stairs, but our rooms were on the 4th floor and we all had our luggage. As we were waiting for the elevators, I realized that the majority of the people staying at this hotel were college students. The hotel lobby seemed like a complete zoo. College students, who were obviously intoxicated, were fooling around and being completely obnoxious. On your left, you had students screaming and running around like madmen, while others were sliding down the railings. On the right, you had students splashing around in the fountain, while some poor soul was vomiting at the other end. And then you had your typical, X-rated material; women flashing their bosoms to the entire lobby while riding down the glass elevators.

I had inquired on having our rooms next to each other, and luckily, Cheap Caribbean was able to successfully put in our request. As we walked through our door, our bathroom was on our left, which had a large vanity with two sinks, a bathtub and a toilet. The bathroom seemed sanitary, without any unpleasant smells. Luckily our AC was in full force, and our view from the balcony was breathless.

Hotel Pool & Beach: Our hotel had a beautiful, lushly landscape, with peacocks and iguanas roaming freely. The hotel’s pool is said to be one of South America’s largest swimming pools that includes 3 swim up bars, and comfortable water temperature. The only dilemma with the pool area, especially during the day, was the impossible task of reserving lounge chairs. Also, there were empty plastic cups floating everywhere in the pool, along with the inebriated, deafening spring breakers, most of them being men. We might have been there on a spring break vacation looking to have a good time, but we weren’t looking to get trampled on inside the pool.

We decided to spend our days at the beach, which indeed did have soft, white sand, but not enough room to lie out. The sand area was very small, and some parts were rocky. If we showed up too late, it was difficult to find a nice comfortable, rock-free area. We tried to get some lounge chairs, but the hotel staff did not allow it. The beach was very clean and had a stunning shade of blue, but there were too many waves, which made it quite difficult to swim, and even caused a few bikinis to fall off.

The only positive thing was the easy access to the beach bar, which had blaring music and provided us with free drinks all day long. You even had men dressed in ponchos and sombreros walking around, offering free shots of tequila. After a few drinks, it didn’t matter where we laid out. The blazing sun and hot temperatures caused an instant siesta.

Cafeteria & Food: The hotel provided us with free breakfast, lunch and dinner, each served at specific times. The cafeteria was this enormous room, with three separate dining areas and buffet style serving. The food was not the best you could possibly eat, but it satisfied us. Since we were always waking up late, it was impossible to make it to breakfast, but the lunch menu had the typical America food; hamburgers, pizza and fries. The dinner menu had a variety of different selections; from fish, to meat, to chicken, to pasta and anything else you could think of. They even had a dessert table with a great selection of sweets, ice cream, coffee and soda.

Clubs: Cancun is filled with many different clubs. The ones we visited were the clubs that our hotel had deals for on that particular night. Some of the clubs we went to were Bull Dog, Basic, Daddy’O, The City and Cocobongos. We usually got a good deal from our hotel that included transportation, admission, and free drinks all night, for about $40-$50 each. This surprised us, for a night out in Boston; $40 is good to get you through the door and one drink. In Cancun though, we were being fed free drinks all night, as though they wanted us to get wasted, and which they productively did. The only downside to the clubs were the drunk ones, who couldn’t even stand without falling, and eventually took you down with them. But I guess that is what you get when there is an endless amount of alcohol.

My favorite club would be Basic. Besides the loud, and hip music it played, the whole dance floor bounced up and down, and then sprinklers would get turned on every once in a while, which that caused one wet-wild show.

Booze Cruise: My friends and I decided to do a one-day booze cruise. We signed up at our hotel, and we were provided with free transportation to and from the port. The cost was $75 per person, but it included lunch, alcohol, snorkeling and water sport rides. We also got to visit Isle de Mujeres, a small island off the coast of Cancun that had one-of-kind Mexican food and great shopping. The crew on the boat recommended us to a specific store for souvenir shopping, but to our surprise, they were completely overpriced. We all wanted to buy sombreros, and the clerk was asking us each for $60. As we continued to walk around the island, we ended buying sombreros for only $10.

On our way back from Isle de Mujeres, the crew members made the “chicas in sombreros” dance the Macarena and take tequila shots. I highly recommend the booze cruise, but I would ease off on the alcohol. Sometimes alcohol, heat and boat motion do not mix well.

Overall, Cancun, Mexico was infested with drunk, unbearable, untamed college students, who are looking for a cheap place to party and have a good time. Even though it was a memorable experience, it is not a place I would visit again, especially during the valuable one week off from college where much relaxation is needed.

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