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  #1  
Old 08-10-2010, 06:16 PM
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Default Mayan Riviera vs Dominican

We are planning a vacation for April 2011, there will be my husband (49) myself (47) my daughter and her friend (24) going to celebrate daughters University graduation.
We are undecided between going to Mayan Riviera or Dominican. This past december we went on a Caribbean Cruise and loved it, going to Ocho Rios, Jamiaca, Cozumel Mexico and Grand Cayman Island. So this time we decided to try and all inclusive vacation.
What I would like to know if some of you can give me your insight on both places. In the Mayan we are looking at staying at the Gran Bahia Principe Akumal and in the Dominican either the Grand Oasis Punta Cana or Grand Palladium Bavaro.
Also I was wondering how we book excursion trips to go snorkeling or going to Tulum if in Mayan, or fishing or zip lining etc. Is there places to book those kinds of things once we are there, not like with a cruise we could book them ahead of time before sailing.
Thanks for any info I can get
Angie
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  #2  
Old 08-10-2010, 09:19 PM
RandyP RandyP is offline
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We've been to both and if you want a more active vacation, the Mayan Riviera will provide more opportunities. If you enjoy ruins, making the trek out to Chichen Itza is well worth it. Xcaret is also lots of fun - its like an historic water park on steroids. The area really has endless activities within 50 miles.

The DR will is beautiful, but a bit more quiet with fewer activities. You also have to be mindful that certain areas have rough surf, making swimming more challenging.

You can book most tours through your resort upon arrival (they likely will be more expensive) or go on your own. Once you narrow your search, I'd be happy to point you in the right direction.
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  #3  
Old 08-11-2010, 03:34 PM
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We've been to both and if you want a more active vacation, the Mayan Riviera will provide more opportunities. If you enjoy ruins, making the trek out to Chichen Itza is well worth it. Xcaret is also lots of fun - its like an historic water park on steroids. The area really has endless activities within 50 miles.

The DR will is beautiful, but a bit more quiet with fewer activities. You also have to be mindful that certain areas have rough surf, making swimming more challenging.

You can book most tours through your resort upon arrival (they likely will be more expensive) or go on your own. Once you narrow your search, I'd be happy to point you in the right direction.
Thank you Randy for your quick response. It sounds for sure like Mayan Riviera sounds more for us as we enjoy exploring etc. My daughter really wants to go to the Ruins. I have never heard of Xcaret, will have to check it out. So what resort did you stay in at the Mayan? Are any that I mentioned a good choice?
Angie
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  #4  
Old 08-11-2010, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Fregin's View Post
We are planning a vacation for April 2011, there will be my husband (49) myself (47) my daughter and her friend (24) going to celebrate daughters University graduation.
We are undecided between going to Mayan Riviera or Dominican. This past december we went on a Caribbean Cruise and loved it, going to Ocho Rios, Jamiaca, Cozumel Mexico and Grand Cayman Island. So this time we decided to try and all inclusive vacation.
What I would like to know if some of you can give me your insight on both places. In the Mayan we are looking at staying at the Gran Bahia Principe Akumal and in the Dominican either the Grand Oasis Punta Cana or Grand Palladium Bavaro.
Also I was wondering how we book excursion trips to go snorkeling or going to Tulum if in Mayan, or fishing or zip lining etc. Is there places to book those kinds of things once we are there, not like with a cruise we could book them ahead of time before sailing.
Thanks for any info I can get
Angie
I personally love the AI resort. "It's put your wallet away and forget about it..." If I had a choice of places to go I would go to Playa Del Carmen, it's close to the Ruins, Mayan Riviera, and a 45 minute ferry ride to Cozumel. Playa is laid back, but still has a great night life and shopping. There is also a shuttle More like Grey Hound bus that will take you to Cancun for the evening or Mayan Riviera. It's close to just about everything you want to do, and the best part it still has that old feel of Mexico, it's not full of star bucks, chili's and all the chain restaurants.
So if you are looking for a place that offers a lot for every one of all ages, would look into staying at Ruin Palace in Playa. Itís a BEAUTIFUL AI resort.

As for excursion I always go through the hotel concierge they do a great job, and I never have felt like I was getting taken advantage off and given great advice on what excursion offered the most.

Also one more tip since you will be flying in when you get off the plan do not stop go directly to your taxi or shuttle service, do not stop no matter what or you are going to end up being hustled into buying an over priced excursion, condo, or time share.

Lastly I have heard wonder things about Punta Cana, but I also hear that it's one of those places where you stay on the resort property because the near by towns are not safe for tourist.

Now I have never been there, so I can not say that this is a fact but I have spoken to more then a few couples who all say the same thing. It's beautiful i would go back, but you stay at the resort the whole time you are there. For me I like to experience the culture and having to stay on the resort property only is a bit of a turn off for me.

I hope that helps you out.
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  #5  
Old 08-12-2010, 09:49 AM
RandyP RandyP is offline
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Originally Posted by Fregin's View Post
Thank you Randy for your quick response. It sounds for sure like Mayan Riviera sounds more for us as we enjoy exploring etc. My daughter really wants to go to the Ruins. I have never heard of Xcaret, will have to check it out. So what resort did you stay in at the Mayan? Are any that I mentioned a good choice?
Angie
We stayed at the Aventura Palace, which is a couples-only resort (before we had kids). There are lots of great resorts in the area, so I would scour reviews over at TripAdvisor before making any reservation.
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  #6  
Old 08-14-2010, 01:22 AM
KiwiLover KiwiLover is offline
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Originally Posted by RandyP View Post
We've been to both and if you want a more active vacation, the Mayan Riviera will provide more opportunities. If you enjoy ruins, making the trek out to Chichen Itza is well worth it. Xcaret is also lots of fun - its like an historic water park on steroids. The area really has endless activities within 50 miles.

The DR will is beautiful, but a bit more quiet with fewer activities. You also have to be mindful that certain areas have rough surf, making swimming more challenging.

You can book most tours through your resort upon arrival (they likely will be more expensive) or go on your own. Once you narrow your search, I'd be happy to point you in the right direction.
Depending on how you book your trip, you might be able to add sightseeing tours to your booking in advance through whoever you book your trip with. There are also some companies that you can book sightseeing excursions through as well. And as Randy pointed out, you can also book once you arrive at your resort.

My husband is a bit of a Mayan Ruin nut ... we loved Tulum (it was a full day tour), Chichen Itza, Kohunlich and Dzibanche. We would recommend any or all of them, if you are interested in ruins.

April shouldn't be too stiffling hot yet at the ruins (we did 3 of the 4 above mentioned ruins in mid-May and it was almost too hot/humid at that point).
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Old 08-15-2010, 08:15 PM
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Depending on how you book your trip, you might be able to add sightseeing tours to your booking in advance through whoever you book your trip with. There are also some companies that you can book sightseeing excursions through as well. And as Randy pointed out, you can also book once you arrive at your resort.

My husband is a bit of a Mayan Ruin nut ... we loved Tulum (it was a full day tour), Chichen Itza, Kohunlich and Dzibanche. We would recommend any or all of them, if you are interested in ruins.

April shouldn't be too stiffling hot yet at the ruins (we did 3 of the 4 above mentioned ruins in mid-May and it was almost too hot/humid at that point).
The Ruins is the pretty much the one thing we haven't done on our trips to Mayan R. only because it is full day and we always seem to go to Mexico in May and it is hot. One of these trips we are going to make it though. On my last trip to Playa I did hear the the ruins has started a new evening tour, I don't know much more then that but it might be something to consider since it might be cooler.
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Old 08-15-2010, 08:21 PM
KiwiLover KiwiLover is offline
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The Ruins is the pretty much the one thing we haven't done on our trips to Mayan R. only because it is full day and we always seem to go to Mexico in May and it is hot. One of these trips we are going to make it though. On my last trip to Playa I did hear the the ruins has started a new evening tour, I don't know much more then that but it might be something to consider since it might be cooler.
Hubby wants to go back in March, June, September and/or December ... and visit certain ruins at certain times of day on the Equinox or Solstice (different ruins have special appeal on different days). Of course the problem is accessing the ruins pre-dawn or just before sunset ... not always open to the public at those times, and if it is possible to get in with a private tour it isn't going to be cheap or easy.
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  #9  
Old 08-19-2010, 08:02 PM
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Hubby wants to go back in March, June, September and/or December ... and visit certain ruins at certain times of day on the Equinox or Solstice (different ruins have special appeal on different days). Of course the problem is accessing the ruins pre-dawn or just before sunset ... not always open to the public at those times, and if it is possible to get in with a private tour it isn't going to be cheap or easy.
I think a private tour of the ruins and certain times during a Solstice would be unbelievably cool... I would never have thought of doing something like that...
thanks for the suggestion... next trip I am doing the ruins... I love that stuff.
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