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Page 34

Jul/Aug, 2002

Cancun Adventures: Four in Mexico, one in Vegas

By David C. Meyers, Greenville, MI

as one of the world’s 200 best hotels.

As I reflect on our vacation, the experience contains what I have found to be the best and worst of timeshar- ing. First the downside: sorting through the mammoth catalogs (both RCI and II) and deciding where in this beauti- ful world to spend a couple of weeks. Although we enjoy trading in new ar- eas every so often, we are drawn back to the magic of Cancun.

The second frustration continues to be the reservation process. We placed a request for our July vacation the prior November (2000). Our In- terval week was filled by February 2001. The RCI week, however, was not confirmed until May 2001. This occurred after considerable nagging and begging.

Understanding the system is diffi- cult. Some vacation counselors advise making reservations a year or two in advance. I ask, “Who has their life that well ordered?” Others advise placing a late spring request after maintenance fees are paid and deposits are made. That becomes difficult as other vaca- tion arrangements such as airfare hinge on an earlier confirmation!

Enough grumbling! We were fi- nally on our way to the Mexican Car- ibbean. Some ask if the tropical tem- peratures are oppressive in July. We have found the seaside temperatures no harsher than the American Mid- west and often more moderate. Inland is a bit steamy.

Our first week (arranged by RCI) was spent at the Melia Cancun. The very approach to this pyramid of glass, greenery, and cascading water is but a taste of the beauty that awaits. The entire interior is a tropical garden with birds and fish and flowers. One can see how it has earned the distinction

As timeshare guests, we were welcomed by the business office and received VIP treatment. It must be remembered, however, that the Melia is foremost a hotel and not a timeshare property. Therefore, our room was merely a hotel room. Clearly we traded down from the property we deposited. We did receive a discount of 10 to 40 percent in the stores and restaurants on the property. The amenities seemed expensive for the area but probably not for the caliber of hotel.

There are many and varied res- taurants in the area, all available for a five peso (50 cent) bus ride on the endemic buses which leave no one waiting for more than 30 seconds. The manager also approved of importing food (which was generally against hotel policy).

The Melia offered a full menu of activities for adults and children if one tired of enjoying the expansive pools and crystal sea. All the staff was most friendly, exercising continental man- ners, which were gracious and impres- sive. For example, when the nearby ice machine malfunctioned and was leaking on the floor, the staff was more concerned that we did not have ice then over the potential damage to the carpet. Also, my daughter left a few articles of clothing in the room when we departed. After the loss was dis- covered several days later, the hotel was notified. The staff went above the call of duty in recovering the lost ar- ticles.

During our Melia week, an old foot injury acted up. The hotel doctor gave the finest care and cured the condi- tion. After a follow-up visit, I was in- vited to correspond, as he wanted to look after his “new patient.” The medi- cation ordered was inexpensive and

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