Mexican Vacation: The Details

So you’ve gotten all the fun parts of my vacation out of the way, let’s get down to the dirty details.

Funjet

We chose to book our trip to Excellence Playa Mujeres through Funjet Vacations. Here’s the process I went through:

  1. Price the trip by pretending to book through Excellence Resorts. I paid close attention to the airline they booked me on- Aeromexico. Hmmm…
  2. Do a price comparison through my usual booking sites, CheapCaribbean, Apple Vacations, and Funjet.
  3. Compare, compare, compare!

Apple Vacations didn’t have my location available so they were off the list. CheapCaribbean had an option but I couldn’t get a direct flight and all the airlines they had required baggage fees so I wasn’t too fond of 16 hours of travel and paying more. Then came in Funjet with their direct flight on that Aeromexico again. They were within $30 of the price Excellence had quoted me and I could add on excursions if I wanted to or even private transportation to and from the hotel. I was almost sold but I needed some convincing Aeromexico was legit enough so I researched them (more on that below) and decided to take the plunge.

Almost immediately I got an email with my confirmation number, all my travel details, and my total. It also let me know when to expect my e-travel documents: in about 3 days. I had never booked with Funjet or a similar company so I nervously awaited my documents but the next day it hit my inbox. This email included all my detailed travel plans, contact information for the company and airlines, and information on terminals and security procedures at the airports. It also included several Cancun area coupons and parking discounts for St. Louis.

10 days before our trip we got another reminder email listing out boarding procedures and which documents we would need to bring with us. This ended up being extremely helpful as 2 days later the St. Louis airport was hit with a tornado. I was able to contact everyone I needed using those documents. More on that below.

(Note: In the future Funjet will be flying people out through Vision Airlines, coming soon to St. Louis)

Aeromexico

Aeromexico

Boarding the Aeromexico flight from our shuttle

Aeromexico is a popular airline in Mexico and one of 2 companies offering direct flights from St. Louis to Cancun. When I researched them I discovered not only were they legitimate, but they didn’t charge baggage fees, they fed you, and they had free alcohol on their flights. I was sold instantly.

When the tornado hit St. Louis, I knew it was the main terminal that was damaged and that we were set to depart the East terminal. The Lambert airport had resumed some flights Sunday but their website was only being updated sporadically due to the damage. I waited until the Monday after the storm before contacting Aeromexico. They confirmed they had indeed resumed flights and one had taken off just that morning. By midday the Lambert airport reflected that all flights were indeed taking off as scheduled so our vacation was still on.

Unfortunately, just before our trip Aeromexico notified Funjet that our flight was being delayed 4 hours. I was glad for the early notice and Funjet contacted us immediately and sent 2 ($100) travel vouchers our way. Checking in at Lambert was easy. We ended up using the parking coupon on the earlier documents to pay for covered parking out of fear of more storms. We had the shuttle drop us off at the East terminal and we headed for the entrance that said “Charter flights” and right in front of us was the Funjet/Aeromexico counter. We just showed them our passports and e-travel document and they printed out tickets for us and took our luggage. From there we went through security and awaited our flight. Unfortunately, it departed nearly an hour late due to the Cancun airport scheduling too many arrivals at the same time. When we reached the Cancun airport we had to be taken from the plane by shuttle back to the main airport. This ended up being the same way when we departed Cancun; a shuttle took us from Terminal 2 to our plane but at least we departed on time. Food on both flights was a sandwich and chips which worked for me.

Lomas Travel

Luis from Lomas travel

Lomas travel representative in the identifying uniform, flickr user ElmoFromock

Lomas Travel is Funjet’s counterpart in Mexico. After we made it through customs in Cancun, we went outside. Make sure to walk past anyone and everyone trying to get your attention and selling timeshares. Once outside, look for someone wearing an aqua shirt, white pants and ties, and the word Lomas. They’ll direct you to whatever travel option you booked. In our case, we opted for the private transfer to and from the hotel so we were taken to a second check-in and then escorted to our vehicle in due time. The drive to the resort took about 30-40 minutes. You can buy beverages inside the vehicle and there’s a video to watch but we just relaxed in the air conditioning until we arrived. These drivers work for tips so bring some $5 for them.

After we checked into our hotel, we were directed to contact our Funjet representative to ensure our return service pickup time. If you take this trip, Erica is located in the main building behind the staircase. She’ll give you a presentation on excursions but it was low pressure and she confirmed our vehicle would pick us up about 2 1/2 hours before our flight home.

Before departure day, Erica followed up with us to remind us of our departure time. When we got to the lobby about 20 minutes before our transfer was due, we found it waiting for us. They had a nice Lincoln Navigator waiting to take us to the airport and the driver made excellent time. He took us directly to Terminal 2 in front of the entrance and line. Lomas had a nice automated line guide to speed everyone along and before we knew it we were through security and on our way home.

Pricing

I know most people don’t like to talk money all the time but I do want to be honest about my experience. When we booked our trip, we ended up paying $160 for the private transfers to and from our hotel but currently many packages through Funjet are offering free private transfers. Many of the current packages also do not provide direct flights to and from the resort and as a result of seasonal changes and transportation changes, prices have seen some drops. I don’t regret what we paid, but theoretically if we had waited we could have saved $155- not worth it to me.

Our grand total for the trip was $4090.22. We could have saved an arm and a leg (between $900 and $1000) if we hadn’t booked the rooftop pools but in the end we realized they were a huge part of the reason we chose this resort and since we are private people we knew we would use it a lot. The trip came out to $2045.11 per person and $681.70 per night. We had some frank budget talks before this trip but in the end we knew we could afford it and it was a question of priorities. In the end, we made this decision based around minimizing our next trip to a mini-vacation/road trip and waiting on big travel until we take our 5 year wedding anniversary trip in 2012 (which will be awesome, of course). But now that Funjet sent us those travel vouchers for $200, we might just be able to afford a slightly upgraded vacation in the next year and when I book it, you’ll be the first to know.

Don’t miss a post! Check out my reviews of the room, the resort, the food, and Cinco de Mayo.

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Author:julie

I’m Julie, I love to travel, I’m very hyper and I like to “hype” things and from that, TravelHyper was born.

I’m a Missouri native and I cover St. Louis travel ideas as well as my own travels. I also like to focus on places I want to visit and budget travel ideas by creating trip plans. There’s so much world out there and I hope you’ll find that it’s worth seeing and that vacation doesn’t have to be out of reach to you.

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  • Shay30580

    I am really glad to have found this blog. I randomly for funjet today looking for an inexpensive all inclusive trip to MX for my family of 4…the deals here I thought were really reasonable…but I didn’t know much about the company. Thanks for your honesty and help! PS Congrats on your 5th anniverssary!