Moon Palace Tips

Trip Start Nov 24, 2006
Trip End Nov 30, 2006

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Friday, December 1, 2006

                                M O O N   P A L A C E    T I P S

Here they are - all tips I have relating to the Moon Palace Resort & Spa. 
This is everything you need to know if you plan to go!

I have followed the reviews for almost a year before it was finally our turn to go.

Water faucet
Watch out the "C" stands for "caldo" and means warm. And it's not just warm, but burning hot. To get lukewarm water you'll have to turn on both - hot and cold. I couldn't really get the hang of it and kept burning myself, so I changed to cold. Once in a while the cold water in the shower turns off and you get a load of boiling water pouring on your back. Just for a second but it really hurts. They try to make you aware of this and mark hot and cold with a little blue and a red dot, stupid me just didn't pay attention to it.

We did request the Bugambillas building on the Nizuc side for my brother & sister in law as well as ourselves. They honored both requests and we had a great view of the ocean and little walking to the restaurants.

We didn't even make it to half of the restaurants, but quickly agreed that we all loved the dress code ones. The food in the other places was very much alike and never tasted really "lickmyplate" tasty. This does not mean that we haven't gained weight on this vacation...

The people are out of this world friendly. I brought about $50.- in tips. I left $1.- at breakfast, lunch and dinner. I tipped the remainder during the day and it was always very much appreciated. I did not feel like I had to, I simply wanted to since I have never experienced service that compared to this (and still have to tip 15%). These people really do earn a tip.

I knew from reading the reviews that we would be greeted with champagne, knew about the timeshare tricks, the towel figures and room service. I was really surprised that I didn't get any of it. We weren't offered champagne, nor did we get a single towel figure. I was a little disappointed, but those are just little extra touches that are nice. After all I had what I wanted: A room right at the ocean - not on the bottom floor. My brother and sister in law did get different towel figures every day though, means it was just our maid and probably won't be the same for you.

Room Service:
I read that you could ask for pretty much anything to order to your room, but when I asked for a bottle of wine I was told it could not be delivered. They only deliver the four bottles from the liquor dispenser, which by the way we had in our room right beside the fridge - so good news: The liquor dispensers are back. Not that I ever used it though, OJ would have been my choice. One day we ordered breakfast to our room (they have a little thing that you hang on the door knob). It wasn't quite what we expected, the fruit plate didn't taste very good, which leaves you with the Danish - nothing else included to eat. They do offer more options for in-room breakfast, just don't use the door thing, call the extension for room service and order from the folder in your room. Our room was picked up (not cleaned) daily, except for the first night. Bundles of long blond hair (neither of us is blond) had been stuck to each side of the shower when we arrived - and has been still there when we left. Ironically I had tipped the maid $5.00 the first day. I did like her though, she was just too friendly. She came to say goodbye when she saw us leaving.

We did feel that the drinks were very watery, not just the alcoholic ones, but also juices. Try the Caribbean breeze - it's a fruity drink and very tasty. About drinking in general, be careful with refills. If you ask for a glass of wine for dinner, they'll bring out a whole bottle and leave it either on the table or somewhere close to you. Each time your glass is half empty they'll fill it up again. You might be talking to someone and not notice, but by the end of the night the bottle is empty; you'll have a major hangover and wonder "All I had was one glass of wine..."

Rental car:
We rented a car twice. We reserved it the day before, which took only about 10 minutes. Pick-up the next day took about 1 hour, because the rental car person had to fill out all the paperwork. The return took about 1 hour as well, which was a bit frustrating. The second time we reserved for 7:30 am, but nobody showed up until 08:00 am. Plan enough time for this when you make your plans. The cars were ok, but when it came to pick-up they didn't have the car we reserved, so we had to go with a more expensive one. The cars had no radio, "Oh-Oh" hand bars or the little switch to flip the mirror for night driving, nor did they have a fire extinguisher which I thought was mandatory, but they said no. We took the extra insurance for $22.00, means we weren't concerned about scratches and dents as we had $0.00 deductible. You need to return the car with the same amount of gas as it had when you received it. We had small cars and found that we could get gas in Puerto Morelos which is about 30km from the Moon Palace and not having to refill again. If you go to the gas station that the rental person suggested you take (about 8 km behind the Moon Palace towards Cancun) then you might experience some trouble. For some reason most of the gas stations are on the road towards Playa del Carmen (2 lanes in each direction) and there are not many U-turn (or left turn) opportunities. Not to mention that you'll have to be in the left lane in order to do the U-turn, driving 80km/h. If you try to slow down to take the sandy spot between the two trees you'll upset the driver behind you that is already on your bumper and he'll try to cut around you. I waited for a real turnaround opportunity and got really lost going into Cancun at night, then drove in the direction of the airport and then finally found my way back to the Moon Palace. We had the police coming up on us with flashing lights a few times, each time we pulled over just to find out that they didn't want anything from us. They just kept driving and it's not that we were holding up traffic, we were just crossing one of the many speed bumps along the way. Driving wasn't too bad, a bit aggressive, but you can just pull onto the shoulder and let the other drivers pass. I got a little more confident driving the second time we rented a car and just stuck with the flow of traffic, which means driving about 10 or 20km over the speed limit, but mainly not to break down from 100 to 40 at hotel exits. Both cars we rented were manual transmission.

I knew about the beach and actually chose the Moon Palace because of it. I bet you don't read that very often. Where else do you get miles of gorgeous beach that you can walk without passing a single other hotel? Yes, the water is not great, but farther out it still looks beautiful. We knew we were going to Xel-Ha and would enjoy the beautiful water there. I was disappointed that I got bit by so many bugs. Because of that I only did one beach walk. I did bring bug spray and used no perfume, but still for some reason I ended up with tons of bug bites that would keep me up at night.

We found out that when you ask for a glass of milk you get goat milk. Personally I don't like goat milk, but didn't have a problem with it as they serve regular cream for your coffee.

Isla Mujeres tour:
Do yourself a favor and put on your swim clothes in the morning as it gets very hectic once you arrive on the island. By the time I had gotten my towel, locker and snorkel gear (different lines) they were already doing a second call for the snorkel tour and I was one of the last ones to get there, though I had wasted no time. Changing in bathrooms with wet floors felt a little gross. We left I think about 09:00 am and drove with a bus to the boat dock in Cancun. The bus ride took about half an hour. Once on the boat we drove 45 min to Isla Mujeres. During that they tell you about the programs you can choose from on the island (extra charges: Snorkeling $20.00, Scuba diving, Tour around the island, swimming with dolphins). Once on the island we had about 20 minutes to get ready and then headed out onto the ocean. The ride went by quickly and the snorkeling itself was probably about 45min. Once back on the island we had lunch and had to be back at the dock around 02:00 pm. From there we went to the southern end of the island, which took about 30 minutes. Upon arrival we had 1 hour to shop, which we started as a group. They take you to their preferred shops, which I didn't like. It felt very crowded and I want to shop freely. So I gave it up right away and went on a picture taking tour.

Other Palace hotels:
We did stop by the Xpu-Ha, Aventura Spa and Playacar Palace. I was surprised how easy it was to find them and would definitely recommend going there for a day. The Aventura Spa Palace is gorgeous.

We had a very positive experience and miss the Moon Palace. It was beautiful, the people so much fun - a perfect vacation! We were king & queen for a week. Can't wait to go back.

                                                   T E S T I M O N I A L S

Moon Palace Airport & Transportation Prices (roundtrip 2 people airport/hotel):
Chaza Travel $ 40.00
Entertainment Plus $ 52.00
Cancun Valet $ 75.00
Best Day $ 34.00
Cancun Vans $ 45.00
GetDita $
Cancun Shuttle $
Grayline Taxi $

"When you get into the airport lobby don't give anyone your bags or stop to talk to the people there to "help" you. Just look for a taxi or look for the sign for your airport transportation. You will be bombarded by hundreds of people."

"We used Best Day Travel for our transportation to and from the airport as we booked via Expedia and had no problems with them whatsoever. They drove us to and from the hotel with no problems or delays. I read some people had to wait for a while for their shuttle service to leave, but we did not experience that problem at all with Best Day Travel. By the way - Best Day tells you that you need to go see them on the day you arrive to let them know your departure information. This is not true as a rep is onsite every day. However, be warned that there is only one rep and she only handles one person or couple at a time. Moreover, she is trying to book you on trips so she can get her commission, but they are OK if you just say no. The frustrating part is if she has people there that are trying to book excursions and you just want to get your departure handled, you will wait at least 20 minutes, so be prepared."

"Before you arrive if you have prearranged transfers to the hotel from a tour company or travel agency you need to find out exactly who you are meeting and what uniform they will be wearing. We booked our transfers with Lomas Travel, an excellent well trusted travel agency in Mexico. We knew that we were not to talk to or give our bags to anyone that said they were Lomas Travel or with the Moon Palace, we were looking for the guys with the turquoise shirts and white ties. This is the real Lomas Travel. Funjet, our tour operator, explained this very well. When we got through customs that is when the race starts. There are people in uniforms that look like airport employees, very official, lining the walkway out of the airport. They are asking you where you are staying. They look very helpful and official, ignore them!! They want to take you aside to a desk and get you signed up for a timeshare or tour. We just told them Lomas Travel. Then when we exited the airport Men in denim shirts holding signs saying Lomas Travel tried to get us to go with them, it can be a little overwhelming if you weren't prepared for this. But on the horizon there they were, the trusted turquoise ready to pull us out of the timeshare hustle and put us on a van out of the heat with a corona, while we wait to be taken safely to our hotel without the mention of a timeshare. You need to find out who you are looking for and don't wait until you get there to get help from people in the airport."

"We used Entertainment Plus and they told us exactly what to do, who is waiting for us, where they wait and how they look. The timeshare people at the airport look very official with badges and so forth, they even tried to take my confirmation letter out of my hands, running towards us asking where we're going, who we are with, like they were there to help you. Very confusing, but we straight marched through to where Entertainment plus was waiting for us holding a sign with our name on it."

"Once we checked in, I was headed back out to the lobby when I saw the bellhop with our bags. He told me how to get to our room and gave me a map (I wish the front desk had done this) and told me he would meet me there"

"Since the guy at the check-in was less than helpful, we found the activities desks are right behind check-in."

"When we arrived we were greeted with a glass of champagne & cold towels, fantastic after the 11 hr flight."

"Guest check in was good and the staff was friendly. They provide you with a cool drink and towel upon arrival and then escort you to your room by via golf cart. A nice touch."

"Checking in was smooth, and champagne was provided as you waited in line."

Time Share:
"Only downside is time share pushing. Upon arrival they call your room to say you need to pick up a "welcome package". This is only a lure to give you the time-share info. Just say no thank you and they leave you alone. Same thing with the transport to the airport: The drivers tell you, you must check in immediately in order to arrange for your ride back to the airport. This too is just to get you in their office so that they can book tours. We took a cab back to airport with absolutely no problems."

"As for the timeshare traps, we were only contacted once via telephone but what they said to us was a bit deceptive, so please be aware. They left a voice mail telling us they had a message to deliver to us. That was all that was said. When I called to get the message, all they said was that it was from my family and that I would have to come down to the desks in the front of the hotel and see a representative to retrieve the message. I knew this was a timeshare trap for two reasons. One, we had our cell phones with us that were activated for use in Mexico as well as our lap tops, and all of our family knew exactly what our cell numbers were and that we were checking email daily. Secondly, I had the seen the desks that we were told to go to and they were clearly labeled for timeshares."

"I was told I was invited to a special 10:30 champagne breakfast.... no champagne ever materialized and it was a sales pitch..."

"The most unpleasant aspect of the trip was having to go to Guest Services to activate your "Passport" for your tours if that is what your package included. It's a "hook" to get you to go on a tour for their vacation club. It's about a 90 minute tour that takes you from a short introduction and then tour of the rooms included in the vacation package and then a ride to the Golf Course to meet with two other "heavy" sellers for their final pitch."

"The room was very nice, well maintained and well stocked and whilst we didn't have different towel sculptures every day, we did look forward to seeing what was coming next. We only managed to find time to use the Jacuzzi in the room twice! Personally we felt the Jacuzzi took up a little too much of the room space and would have preferred a bigger balcony. This of course is no criticism of the room, just a personal observation."

"Not on Ground Floor, Ocean view, King size bed, non-smoker, close to pool"

"We had a 2nd floor room in the Cocodrillo building which is one of the ones directly on and facing the ocean"

"There are no elevators to the second or third floor"

"If you stay on the Nizuc side, I would recommend requesting either the Cocodrillo or Bugambillo(sp?) Buildings. They are the 1st buildings to either side of the pool that are completely facing the ocean. Do not get rooms by the tennis court - sewer smell"

"The liquor dispenser was not available in our room. The bellman said that they were all taken down after the hurricane. This dispenser was supposed to hold four bottles of liquor for easy dispensing (Tequila, rum, scotch and brandy). Before we could be disappointed, the bellman told us we just needed to dial the service department and have them send up any of the four types of alcohol two at a time. We wondered how long this might take. Just FYI... less than fifteen minutes. We never even finished the two bottles they sent up the week we were there. You're surrounded by bars and restaurants, so there's no shortage of alcohol. And in case you were worried they'd send up cheap alcohol, the tequila was Jose Cuervo and the rum was Bacardi. The refrigerator in our room was restocked every day with bottled water, sodas and beer."

"You are given a new toothbrush and toothpaste (every day) mouthwash, little shaver and pot of shaving cream for the men (every day) cotton buds, cotton wool, shoe shine kit, sewing kit. You also get lovely Biosilk shampoo, conditioner and hair serum (which according to the Americans is expensive) it is really nice. You also get bubble bath for your Jacuzzi. A word of warning your hair straighteners will not work, even with a "Worldwide" adaptor - our rep sold Mexican adaptors for 15 US dollars."

"We stayed in the Pi˝ata building which while a short walk to the pool was pretty quiet at night" "We had four large bath towels and two hand towels each day in our room, the chambermaid returned each evening with extra towels and left flowers maybe these little touches were due to the fact that we had left $5 each day - well worth it. The double Jacuzzi bath was lovely as was the hammock on the balcony. Toothbrushes, toothpaste, shaving kit, shoe polish etc are all supplied along Shampoo, conditioner and Body lotion all the Spa brand and of great quality."

"Before we arrived at the Moon Palace, we emailed a request for a specific building to stay in, the Crocodile, on the Nizuc side which was facing the ocean and right next to the swimming pool with a swim up bar. They honored our request; we had a great view of the ocean."

"During our stay at Moon Palace, they were installing large screen LCD televisions in all of the rooms."

"I have to agree with others that the bed was really, really hard, but we did manage to sleep."

"The maid service was great, they were to our rooms twice a day, first time to clean and then again in the evening to give more towels and close our curtains, it was really nice not to have to ever call for towels."

"Rooms are perfect and no smells (well, the beds were a bit hard)"

Room Service:
"There is also room service included in the package so you can have anything from Club Sandwich to Steak delivered to your rooms"

"ROOM SERVICE: Take full advantage of this. You can order anything on the menu, and I found lots more NOT on the menu if you ask! It usually arrives within 30 minutes and you receive a call checking everything is satisfactory afterwards."

"The staff is outstanding, except for the front desk."

"Do remember to take money for tips, etc. The guides and the entertainers work really hard and are knowledgeable, enthusiastic and entertaining"

"No begging for tips just smiles and friendship everywhere you go."

"I brought $30 in singles down there, and left $1 for breakfast and lunch and $2 for dinner."

"STAFF: You've heard it before, but the staff are truly wonderful.... absolutely AMAZING!! They cannot do enough for you and if this means trekking to another restaurant to pick up fries to go with your dinner because they're not on the menu - they'll do it! Nothing is too big, or too small a job, and every thank you is met with "It's my pleasure." Not enough can be said about these people. The staff really make your holiday at the Moon Palace!"

"The best part of the resort was the staff. They are great people who work hard. Our room maid, Magdalina treated us like her family."

"Did I tip, let me first say this,...this is an ALL-INCLUSIVE vacation. Tips and gratuities are included in the price you pay. They do not work for tips. If they work for tips, they will let you know like on shuttles from the airport or on tours. The whole concept of an all-inclusive resort is not to have to leave tips at dinner, etc. Not to have to even bring money if you don't want to. To pre pay your vacation ahead of time, no hidden or unexpected cost. That is why you pay more per night to stay there. If everyone starts tipping at every meal and for every drink, you really are ruining the whole concept. If you don't want an all-inclusive atmosphere, then stay at the Marriott and tip to your hearts' content. With that in mind, I am not so heartless as to not recognize outstanding service. Sandals and SuperClubs never let you tip. The employees wear badges that say "no tipping allowed", but they let you turn in a pre-printed thank you note for employees that really went above and beyond and they get an employee incentive. You could do that, turn in a nice note including the names of the people who really made your stay worth while. Or you could include a tip for them, with the note, at the end of your stay. But I saw people tipping at every single meal etc. and they really think they got better service than someone who didn't. That is just not true and is really a slap in the face to these professionals who do their job so well. Did I give anything monetary to any workers, that is my business, and I don't think I need to brag about it here. But if I did, I never felt I needed to, or was ashamed if I didn't, or that they expected it."

Tips from other travelers:
"Get a list of activities from the front desk. This will tell you what is going on and also lists the restaurants and their hours of operation."
"Smoke a Cuban cigar (from the gift shop). Try not to fall down too much. Learn to speak fluent Spanish (or just learn to say hola & gracias). Smile too much, tip too heavy and always remember YOU'RE NOT FAT!" "In Old Cancun visit La Casa Habana, for a taste of a real CIGAR...."
"The steam room in the gym was great as were the locker room facilities."
"Don't forget to get a daily activities itinerary in the main lobby."
"Palace resorts use only purified water and bottled water. In 6 trips, we've never had any problem with ice, salad, brushing teeth, etc."
"They have classes at the gym that you can take. They just got a shipment in when we left so they gym has more machines and they are brand new."
"The place had 10 TVs and Xboxes. Well, wouldn't you know it; they had bags of popcorn at the snack table! It was a small thing, but it shows that they try to please their guests, and I guess that sums up how I feel about this resort."
"The Moon Palace Golf Course is very pricy but perfect. Go for a twilight tee time only $160"
"If you are staying at Moon Palace they offer bus transportation to Cancun at no cost but that runs only during the day. It fills up very quickly so plan on being out front to board at least a half hour in advance."
"Don't turn the Jacuzzi jets on before it has filled up.....otherwise you will end up mopping the floor"
"We didn't have any bad smells in our room and we were on the older side, but I always travel with candles in case I should encounter any bad smells, plus it is nice ambiance."
"The one thing I would look out for is charges being applied to your room that you were not responsible for. When guests visit the gift shops, they can simply give a room number for their charges to be applied (this used to be more highly scrutinized with a bracelet number to match)."
"Be prepared for the high humidity. Oh yeah, watch out for the fire ants. Ouch!"
"We took 8 apples down to the stables each morning and fed the horses."

"I have to admit to being very apprehensive staying "All Inclusive", since we generally don't usually eat an awful lot on holiday and like to take a stroll in the evenings, choose a nice restaurant and then eventually eat. This we were still able to do. We typically had a healthy breakfast around 9 o'clock-ish, a light lunch mid day, afternoon tea in the lobby area late afternoon, then finally a leisurely walk to whichever restaurant we had decided to eat in. We had 11 nights, ate in 2 restaurants twice each and still could have chosen from another four restaurants to eat in. We never tired of the food on offer and were always pleased with our choices, although we all much preferred the "a la carte" restaurants in the evening as opposed to the "buffet" style restaurants. Only on a few of occasions did we have to wait to be seated and all these occasions we were told it might be an "hour's" wait, it never was!
We took the opportunity to relax and have a walk or a drink in the bar areas. The staff and service in the restaurants was always excellent and the staff couldn't do enough to please! I would highly recommend the "All Inclusive" you really can eat or drink "as much or as little" as you please and no one raises an eyebrow."

"The entertainment was a little lame, but we had fun with it." "This place was great! Has 2 sections...Nizuc and Sunrise...ask for Sunrise! From the marble columns and floors to the champagne brought to you at check-in, my husband and I had a great time!" Pool: WOW, we have never seen the likes of the size of the pool areas, they are HUGH and kept scrupulously clean, with at least 2 swim up bars in each side (Nizuc and Sunrise). The water at best is only about chest height deep. One thing that did annoy us a little was by 10.30, there is no shaded areas left and very few beds available around the pool area, more often than not we would see beds reserved with towels and no one using them for at least 3 hours or more, on one day we didn't see anyone using lounger's that were "reserved" all day!!!!!! On the beach however, there was always plenty of loungers and shaded areas, with the sand being soft, cool and clean. There was always plenty of entertainment going on around the pool area, beach and bar areas, which you could choose to join in with or not. "We found the pool at the Sunrise side much larger than the Nizuc - no problem; just make your way over each morning. You will also see the 3 resident Iguana's, which live, next to the pool, (near the swing bar). Of course there are other Iguana's around but not as big as the "main man" who loves crawling around under your sun loungers whilst you sunbathe."

"The pool area is immense; it is one big huge pool that goes around the resort. The water is only about 5 feet so you can walk it."

"The pool is nice and big. It was a little too warm but we couldn't help that."

"The pool is not heated"

"People show up early and throw towels on chairs in shade and sun both. Then they might show up for an hour late in the day. Chairs are always taken in the shade. If you want one, go down early."

"There were no queues for any of the restaurants and pool loungers were always available, even in the afternoons."

"The pool was great, you have to be early for a sun bed in the shade but there are lots of sun beds to go around and the pool water is so refreshing."

"The pool at the moon palace without a doubt is the best in Cancun. It is HUGE and that's an understatement. It completely makes up for the nasty beach. The best pool I have ever been in. It is sooooo clean and big and wonderful."

"My husband and I did the "Private Pleasures" golden experience at the Golf Spa. Expensive, but boy was it worth it!! Afterwards my husband said, "it was the best, relaxing and most enjoyable experience" that he had ever had and I couldn't agree more. We all also had a full body massage and facial with my daughter also having a manicure at the Nizuc beauty salon, again very worthwhile."

"For $72 we both got 1/2 back massages and 1 hour of hydrotherapy, trust me, it is sooooo worth it!"

"Order 2 or three drinks at once (waiter might take a lot of orders and it can take up till 20 minutes)"

"...Warm water fish can be difficult for those who have sensitive tummies"

"Make sure and wear closed toed sandals if you want to wear sandals to dinner. Dockers and a polo shirt would be fine for yourself."

"Get a Mayan Coffee at Los Corporales in the early evening. It is a beautiful performance. Don't ask for one too late in the evening because it does take the lady awhile to make it and it would take away from her serving other tables. We gave her a $5.00 tip because it takes about 15 minutes for them to make the coffee. It is a whole performance, a must if you like coffee."

"I also enjoyed lunch in the Palapa Fragata where they cook fresh seafood in front of you. I can also recommend the ribs and burgers from here. If you do not want to eat in just get a polystyrene container and take it back to your sun lounger. In fact all the buffet restaurants had these containers, some people came down at breakfast and filled the tray up and took them back to their rooms."

"They serve afternoon tea also at the Nizuc (due to the fact that probably most of the Brits are in the Nizuc). They have lovely little cakes and serve tea in nice china cups."

"Do go to the Italian restaurant up at the Golf course, a golf buggy takes you up there up a path lit by little lights. You give your name in and the reception and they give you a little slip with your name on, when your table is ready they come to find you. You sit outside on huge white couches and it is quite elegant. Don't be put off by the wait - we went here twice, the second time they told us the wait was 5 minutes to 1 hour!! Don't know how they worked that one out! We only waited about 10 mins. The restaurant itself is lovely you feel you are in a top class restaurant - however, do not expect Italian food as we know it (no garlic bread) I wouldn't say that this restaurant is actually Italian, the food is not terrific but nicely presented and worth it for the ambience."

"If there is any suggestion to give, it is to go to the Brazilian Restaurant on the Nizuc side. For dinner they bring you about 8 different types of meat on a skewer and slice everyone a piece, which becomes very fulfilling after about the 5th meat is served. Another good suggestion is drink the Miami Vices at the pool bar. They hit the spot and taste great."

"Restaurants at Country Club are the best (the wait outside on veranda overlooking the course, seated on white couches, watching a very hip music video, being served cheese/ crackers and wine is amazing)"

"The Brazilian Restaurant at the Nizuc had a bunch of meat presented to you on swords, it was bit dry, but edible. Make sure to order the flaming coffee drink after dinner, this made the meal!"

"The Steak restaurant outside the Sunrise has great steaks and seafood, the Calamari was excellent. The restaurants by the pools also had good food and the fresh seafood was excellent (Tuna, Calamari, Grouper, Octopus, ...) I highly recommend this!"

"They have take out boxes so you can get food and eat it out by the pool or in the lobby area"

"La Trattoria and the Bambu restaurants at the Golf course (one Italian and one Asian) are the best in the whole hotel complex - Plan on up one-hour waits during peak times/seasons. The golf cart shuttle from the main road to the clubhouse where the restaurants are housed is a nice ride through the golf course area, particularly for the no golfers who would otherwise not get to see this part of the resort. We particularly enjoyed the roving violinist at these restaurants."

"We felt slightly restricted on the food front as most of the restaurants are buffet style and we like to eat a la carte when we're away. The best 2 places to eat are at the golf club. The Oriental restaurant has the same menu as the one in the Sunrise however the food is better and the atmosphere more pleasant. The Italian is good too, with great food and service to match. There is also a lovely terrace at the club to enjoy pre/post dinner drinks."

"The flaming coffees at the Mexican Rest. were fabulous."

"I think long trousers & a shirt with sleeves & closed towed shows for men were required at both MoMoNoHaNa and Los Caporales but shorts seemed to be fine everywhere else."

"The Palace Resort web site listed MoMoNoHaNa and Los Caporales as requiring "Casual elegance". The other restaurants listed the dress code as just "Casual"."

What to bring suggested by other travelers:
 Play Cards
 Earplugs
 Socks (floors in room are marble)
 Slippers for ocean (sea grass)
 Bath essentials are all provided except dental floss.
 Bring shaving cream (they provide a razor but the shaving cream, if you can call it that, was not good for me).  Long pants (or smart pants, closed towed shoes and a collared shirt for men) to get into a la cart restaurants
 Air freshener
 Tea lights for Jacuzzi

"The money is quite confusing, I took half Pesos and half US dollars, but really you only need to take US dollars. The $ sign is the same for Pesos and Dollars, so for us Brits you find yourself converting from Peso's to Dollar's to Pounds. Also they sometimes give you change for Pesos in either Pesos or dollars - very confusing."

"The prices in the shops are more or less the same as in Cancun so you may as well buy from the Moon Palace. (The shop on the Sunrise side is larger than Nizuc) but both have a huge choice. They run a bus every day into the shopping mall Kulkuhan - (it's free). You stand outside of the lobby and the bus leaves the Nizuc side at 12 noon and picks up again at the shopping mall at 3.45 or 4.45 (can't remember exactly). However, you need to be outside of the lobby at least half an hour before as it's first come, first served. Don't be put off by the fact they call this a "shopping tour" one young man and his girlfriend nearly didn't get on it as he thought he was going to be escorted round the shops! When they drop you off at the Kalkuhan Mall, its indoors so a welcome relief from the hot sun. This Mall is pretty new and they are still completing it, however it is not that big and you can easily do the shops in 1 - 2 hours if that. After shopping they pick you up on the steps of the Mall where they drop you off. If you stand on the steps and to your right walk down the road (past the Police station) you will come to Las Isla's (the outdoor shopping with the bridges and streams). It is only 5 mins walk down the road and La Isla's is on the left hand side - be careful when you cross the road as the traffic is bad and there are no crossings. For some reason they do not tell you about La Isla's (I don't know why) but it literally is only a 5 min walk. You can easily do both malls in the time slot and to be honest there is nothing else around so therefore there is no reason to linger. These malls are also a long way from downtown Cancun so you would have to get a taxi if you wanted to explore more of Cancun."

"There is a free shuttle everyday to the Hotel Zone 12-4 and 2-5. Please, Please go to the lobby and ask where the line is early. We got there 1/2 hour early and it was already half full. They give you a number and when all numbers are gone the bus is then filled. People getting there 10 min before did not get to go. So plan early. The shuttle does not take you to Market 28. I have been to Market 28 on another visit and it is no different than Black Coral. The bus drops you off at KuKulcan Mall and our driver asked if anyone wanted to go to Black Coral another flee market and he actually dropped us off there. We took a city bus back to KuKulcan Mall it was $2.00 for three of us. You can go to Market 28 but it is another 30-40 min from the mall so if you really feel you have to visit it I would strongly suggest going the 12-4 because 2-5 will not be long enough to get there."

"Vendors inside Chichen Itza (locals) are very cheap, our guide discouraged us buying from them but their prices couldn't be beat. Also as far as shopping it's hard to believe but the resort had very good prices (most markets couldn't compete)."

Stay at one - play in all of them
"Yes unfortunately Sun, Beach and Cancun Palaces are closed until December 24, 2006 so obviously you won't be able to use their facilities. However, you have exchange privileges at the Aventura Palace and the Playacar Palace. When you arrive at the Moon, you will be given a wristband that will identify you as a Moon Palace guest. If you want to go down to one of the other Palace properties, just hop on one of the buses or take a taxi down. My understanding is there is a transfer service that will take you to the other Palace properties but I've also been told they discontinued that until the other 3 are back up and running. I am not exactly sure how far. If I remember correctly the Aventura is about 40min. Xpu Ha is right down the road from Aventura. They do have a schedule and be careful not to miss the bus on the way back. We did and it was not cheap to get back. Now I know that we could have taken a collectivo for a lot cheaper, but took a taxi. Be aware that Aventura Spa is adults only. You have to be 18 to use or visit that resort. Another lovely option for you might be Cozumel Palace. You would have to get to Playa del Carmen and take the ferry over ($20 round trip,) then you could walk down to the Coz Palace and spend a lovely day there. Playacar Palace is also right by the ferry pier and you could pop in there for some refreshments"

It is actually beyond the current grounds, beyond a fence/ barriers, and is basically "off-campus" next door. This would be adjacent to the Nizuc side. The resort is spread out enough, that the only buildings that *MIGHT be affected by this would be southern-most "Animal" buildings in Nizuc, namely the Venado, Tucan, Tortuga, Quetzal, and Pez buildings. (That's five of the 35 buildings on the Nizuc side.) I am certain from the lobby/pool areas there would be NO indication that construction was going on. Only the five adjacent buildings.

"All reviews of the beach are correct. It is terrible, but the pool and resort more than make up for it. If you are going for a great beach go to the hotel zone. Keep in mind that the waves when I went in 2002 were so strong that I got out of the water in about 10 minutes."

"This place is beautiful upon checking in, but has a horrid beach and no blue water. We were really disappointed that the water was not even remotely beautiful. it looked like lake Michigan at home. No aquamarine water here, just sea weed and dark water."

"Now everyone is right about the seaweed, but some really overreact. There is seaweed yes but as you get past that little bit it's clear but only for a little way. I actually loved the beach more than the pool. i loved just sitting it in for a while and i was never "bombarded" with a whole bunch of seaweed."

"Please believe the reviews about the beach. It is horrible. They use a small bulldozer on a daily basis to remove the seaweed that washes ashore. They use a large bulldozer and dump truck to remove the piles from the beach resort. This is a daily event and takes a good portion of the day."

"The huge private beach was wonderful, plenty of chairs, but no lifeguard and jet skis going back and forth all day!!!! Some round buoys marked off an area for swimmers, but really, there was so much seaweed which was not raked out of the water and disposed of, which would have made a great deal of difference, because the water was so unclear, you couldn't see what you were walking into....ugh!!!!! Miles down the beach, it was much clearer and more what I had anticipated from the Caribbean. We only went in was wonderfully warm, but yucky."

"The sand was awesome. Baby powder white and soft"

"The beach was superb the sand was like flour and you don't burn your feet"

"The beach was clean and lovely but the water was full of sea weed. We had read the reviews so we weren't disappointed."

"The beach is lovely and always has loungers free too, now a lot of people moan that there is seaweed every were well I will tell you its not seaweed its sea grass and yes there is a difference.....seaweed wraps all round you and feels disgusting, sea grass just floats there and it is just like strands of grass it is easily ignored. I and my boyfriend went to the beach quite a few times and we swam in the sea without any problems"

"The beach itself is nice. I am a beach person, and I thought the beach was fine. Plenty of chairs and shade huts. The sea grass is picked up often, but keeps coming back. Go out in the water anyway, it was fine and refreshing. Just don't expect beautiful waters that you would expect in the Gulf, you won't get that here."

"THE BEACH ok yes is not great (The problem is the sea grass, people keep saying seaweed but is not seaweed it is sea grass so is not hard to walk on it. The water is not the typical turquoise blue that we see or expect to see in Mexico; however they really do their best to clean it. The sand is white and soft like flour. So, to take a nice walk it is VERY NICE!!!"

"BEACH: The water is amazingly warm, clear, and beautiful. The sand is white. Gorgeous all around, a paradise on earth."

"From the pool you cannot see the water's edge only out further and the water about 10 feet out is beautiful. Great drink service on the beach. And lots of palapas to sit under. I still felt like I was at the beach and had that experience even though I didn't go in the water at Moon Palace. And was happy to read my book and look out at the ocean."

"Yes, the beach is not what I expected. The water is not clear and there is the seaweed. The best way to enjoy the water is to take the free Sunfish or Hobie Cat sailboats out to the clear water towards the reef. The water is beautiful out there in the green sections where there is no seaweed on the bottom. As far a shade goes, we never had trouble finding a covered lounge chair. The beach palapas were usually deserted. I guess it depends on how many people are at the resort."

Drinking water:
"I always recommend to people not to worry because the ice and water in the Hotel Zone is purified. That being said, you are going to ingest at some time or another, micro-organisms which are foreign to your system. The best way I have found to stay digestion healthy for the duration of any trip is to take an all natural product known as Acidophilus. This product does for the body what yogurt does, it replaces the good bacteria into your system which your body needs to digest food. Acidophilus can be found at most health food stores and comes in pill form."

Tours not included:
"I highly recommend the romantic Lobster Dinner Cruise, regardless of where you stay in Cancun. It's a sunset or moonlight couples only cruise on the Cancun lagoon on a wooden galleon. Great food, nice atmosphere, open bar, and a jazz saxophone player."

"If you want some great snorkeling I would get to Puerto Morelos and go off the coast there. You can see lots of amazing fish and reef formations out there. There are a few companies that can take you and you stop at 2 different reefs. I think it runs about 20-25 dollars pp."

"Sky riding ($49.00 each)"

"Tulum and XelHa - Snorkeling great at XelHa - would go there for a full day next time"
"Xel-Ha - Wednesday (all day trip). This was awesome. You have to check out the fish by the floating bridge. They are gigantic. We also saw a barracuda when we were standing on one of the little islands. It had to be 6 feet long. We jumped off the cliffs, which was a blast and overall just had a great time here. Make sure you do the all day excursion. We didn't even get to do half of what was available because time ran out. This place is a "must do" trip."

"We thought the all-inclusive was a good deal, the food was good, it includes alcohol, and it's easier. But if you don't, want to pack your own, and just want to snorkel it's a good deal too. I don't think you can do the whole lagoon in a day much less the rest of the park and forget Tulum too! We didn't do half the park. There were a good variety of things to do to satisfy just about everyone. We drove and were there on May 17, which is an "off" week and it wasn't that busy, but morning was better. Maybe because it wasn't busy or we were not in a tour group that we were not hassled about our sunscreen. We made sure to put a lot on before we went in too. There were lots of private spots along the shore, and coves. The park looked nice and the workers seemed happy. We did not have bad experiences with photo ops. Check out their website."

"The snorkeling was great, there are lots of fish, you have all day, you feel safer in a lagoon, and its a protected area if its windy. The rock islands are eroded underwater with caves you can swim thru. There are caves along the shore too. There was free fish food at the bridges. You can put it in a clear container and snorkel with it. We also tied on rafting shoes so we could get out wherever we wanted. The water is a mix of freshwater over salt. The fresh is colder and if there are turbulences it can mix the water and blur your vision. We experienced some murky water later in the day upriver and other places probably from activity."

"Xel-Ha - We like the all inclusive option. It includes all of your snorkel gear, towel, locker, and all you care to eat or drink. It was great to just lock our money up in the locker for the day and not have to worry about it until it was time to leave. I lost count on how many bottles of water we drank. Kids loved the ice cream too." "I was surprised to hear so many went to Yal-Ku. I thought we were special! :) It's at KM255 to Akumal, bare left and go until you see blue signs. It's a small neighborhood snorkel park with limited parking (not crowded), equipment rental, snack shack, and not much shade. Be sure to stop by La Buena Vida - a local "sand" bar you passed on the way. It's a little worn but fun and you can snorkel there too."

"Use the Moon's bus to get you to the hotel zone then use the public bus system or take a taxi. Playa Delfines is one of the finest beaches you can find though they do not have a restaurant or bar nearby. The beach behind The City is great and is now being serviced by the Corona Bar so you can get food and drinks and use their bathrooms if need be. Both of these have the wonderful waves on the east side of the island."

"If you are looking for calmer waters, try Playa Caracol, between the Riu's and the Fiesta Americana. There is a restaurant right there called Mocambo and a beach bar. You can rent chairs and an umbrella and there are washroom facilities and showers. You can also hit the beach behind Fat Tuesday for a more party type atmosphere and calm waters."

"The Jungle Tour snorkeling trip was also great. For $65/person (transportation and national park tax incl.) you get to drive a two-man boat with a Honda outboard for about 45 minutes each way, through the mangrove swamp, out into the ocean and to the reef. You snorkel for about 45 minutes. We saw some beautiful tropical fish as well as a couple of Nurse sharks. There were not as many fish as I would have liked and no turtles but overall it was a fun day and the water is very warm and clear. Keep in mind if you are prone to seasickness to take some pills before you go. Here you are driving your own boat for at least 1-1/2 hours and where else will you see a Mexican baptism under the overpass on the way out. Your guide will expect a tip afterwards"

"The night time - Many things are open for you, and take advantage of them all. Every night, the hotel goes to some bar/club in Cancun, but they do have a kickin' club (andromedan), starts getting good around 10. Do know when you go into Cancun, you are taken care of, no waiting in lines, open bar at the club, special service and special areas. Do know where you are going, some places are dancing, they are shows."

"The other excursion was a trip to one of the giant night clubs by the resort activities staff. We went to Coco Bongo. While this trip is not for everyone, especially if you do not like smoke and noise, we had a blast. The show that the club performs nightly was well worth the money and the crowd. It made for a very late night, but it was FUN!"

"They have tours to Cozumel, but when I saw the price I came up with what I think is a much better plan than paying their exorbitant rate, getting up at the crack of dawn to catch the tour bus, eating breakfast at some place on the way, and catching the tour bus back when they tell you it's time. Instead, get up whenever you feel like it, eat breakfast for free at the hotel, take a taxi to Playa del Carmen (tell your taxi driver to drop you off at the ferry), take the ferry to Cozumel, walk or take a taxi to Cozumel Palace, where you can eat and drink all day for free! The snorkeling is great right in front of the resort, and the color of the water is the most beautiful aqua blue!" Also, go to the city PUERTO AVENTURAS and go to the hotel near the Dolphin Discovery. Get a day pass for $25 and you get a towel, $20 credit for food and the bar and you can use their pool and amazing bar on the most gorgeous hidden snorkel beach. Just like a corona commercial. After the hurricane ruined the old palapa bar on the beach they re built this amazing beach bar. Just steps to the sand. Great little shops in the area too. GREAT DAY TRIP! Bring a lot of one-dollar bills and the staff will keep your drinks a flowin'

Tours included:
"We did the free inclusive CHICHEN-ITZ┴ LIGHT & SOUND tour (beware it's a long hot day), ISLA MUJERES trip (fun, fun, fun day) and the Wet'n'Wild (water park) day which we would all thoroughly recommend. We were going to do more tours, but really didn't feel the need or want to leave Moon Palace, why would we when we had everything we could ask for on tap!!! "

"Do Kitchen tour - the tour is on Tuesday & Friday afternoons"

"The kitchen tour is a must. It is on Tues and Fri at 5:00, go to guest services and sign up as they take only so many. You will love the apron and hat you get."

"Did not get a chance for the Kitchen Tour, the week filled up in 1 day!" "If you get the chance, I strongly, strongly recommend that you do the kayaking. It's included so don't worry about paying for it. It's right down on the beach and you sign up and off you go. They have double and single kayaks. Me and my brother did it every day since we loved it so much. We went out about 2 miles and it was crystal clear throughout the whole time. We saw this huge starfish down on the bottom. It was so fun! They don't have the paddleboats, like they say when we went. They had little sailboats you can use too which are also included. They also have jet skiing, parasailing but they aren't included, they cost extra"

Swimming with dolphins:
"Myself and my girlfriend went to wet and wild last year and did the trainer for the day it was superb instead of getting all 20 - 30 minutes with the dolphins you get all day with them. You get to teach them tricks swim with them numerous times and you get all your food and drink included. If I remember rightly, we paid about 240 dollars for the both of us. But it was well worth it. We spoke to a lot of people while we where there and in most places u only get at the most 45mins in the water with the dolphins and then there is about 10- 20 other people in there with you, whilst when we did this there was one other couple with us all day so u get a lot of quality time with the dolphins. I would truly recommend this as it was a great experience, u also get photos and t-shirts included in the price. We'll definitely be going back in July. PS: to get the best price don't book with your hotel the little market opposite the Riu Cancun is the cheapest."
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tip on

I think tipping the staff is not an insult. The Palace Resort owners make the "big bucks" and the service staff makes less than two dollars an hour in US currency. Sure it's their job, but from what I've read, the service is excellent and that deserves compensation. When you have dine out at home, don't you tip? Your meal is "all-inclusive" and tipping is optional. When staying at a US resort or hotel, don't you tip the staff? Whether the bill is paid upfront or as services are used, it's still "all-inclusive" and optional. US hospitality employees used to make $2.13 /hr, now it's a bit over $3/hr. TIP=TO INSURE PROMPT SERVICE. Go to your neighborhood bar, order a drink, pay for it, and don't tip....then see how long you wait for the bartender to make your second and the change in attitude. They are providing hospitality not they are not are servants. Guests that tip will get better service (money talks, bs walks). Tipping is not an insult. Leaving them a "job well done" note is, they are at work not grade school. Tipping does not mess up the balance of order at the resort. Those that disagree and upset are just ashamed because they know they should have been tipping all along.

Jun on

I have always wanted to take a summer trip to Mexico for an exotic change in my seasonal trip ritual. I had heard about the Moon Palace from a few friends of mine who have been there before. They seemingly enjoyed their stay so I was considering it and after reading your review I have made a decision. So thank you for sharing this!.

schlossie on

I'm glad you decided to go. I'm sure you'll enjoy your trip. If you've read your way through all this then you're thoroughly prepared. You've heard the good and the bad (as of 2006).

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