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Opinions and Detailed Review Page - Club Med Cancun

Updated March 2012 This is a place for my opinions, and I tried to be relatively objective. Opinions are not wrong, but they may differ from yours. If I have mis-stated facts, please let me know. FAQ's (frequently asked questions) will be dealt with here, too. If you have comments or disagree with me, or if you have a question - Email me and I will update the site as necessary.

Tips for having a good time at Club Med

Especially if you are going as a single, but also as a kid-less couple, these points bear consideration. It isn't as easy to meet people at Club Med Cancun these days, so here are some tips for making friends so you can have a better time at Club Med.

  • Start networking when you get there. GOs are mostly 20-somethings - become friends with as many as you can. It will help you meet GMs and GOs. Don't count on dating GOs as they tend to have their own networks
  • The GO system is unique. Learn about it. Treat GOs as you would a new friend, not a servant. They are there to ensure you have a great time. They are encouraged to dine, dance, drink and play with GMs. If they like you, they will naturally spread the word
  • Dont shy away from couples or older folks. They have friends, sons, and daughters. There have been several times when I have been "adopted" by couples and ended up having a great time meeting other fun people!
  • The disco starts LATE at most CMs. Go every night. Get out on the floor and dance, don't worry about having a partner. Just have fun and get into it
  • Early in the week, go on an excursion. Even a boring-sounding half-day tour. You will be with a small group for several hours and will become friends with some. Build your network from there
  • Participate in the sports, or learn a new sport. Again, you will meet new people and increase your network and exposure. Play volleyball, it is right on the beach where everything is happening
  • At meals, request to be seated at a large table, and/or with other singles or couples. If you have a table to yourselves, ask others to join your group
  • If you went with a friend or small group and want to meet others, consider splitting up your group once in a while. You'll get better exposure and create a different vibe re meeting others
  • By early mid-week you will feel like you are in paradise and will know many new people

The main thing is to have fun by BEING fun. People who are truly having fun are irresistible to others.

To the bad reviews that you will occasionally read on Trip Advisor and other places, if you go with the right attitude and dont expect being waited on hand and foot you will have a great time at Club Med. I think the people who say they dont have a good time are typically people with either a chip on their shoulder, or they expect 5 star accommodations, or they expect the staff to constantly kiss their a** and/or be totally subservient to their every need. If you make friends with the GOs and treat them as equals, fun mates, you will be guaranteed a good time. I have been on over 20 Club Med vacations and have never had a bad one. Always fun, no matter where I go. It's a great concept, even with all the changes in the last 10 or so years.

Opinions about this Club Med

  1. OVERALL. This is my 5th time (March 2010 ) to this fully renovated village and I like the "new" CM Cancun - even with kids. Gone - or at least toned down considerably - is the risque' adult nature that has helped make past Club Med vacations fun. However, there is a lot going on here - and Club Med Cancun is STILL the place for a fun, worry-free, adult (or family) vacation in my view. This is a more sophisticated place compared to pre-2006 - which is in many ways sad, yet a fact of life. The place now has a different ambience - but I still like it and will return as often as I can afford.
  2. PERSPECTIVE. This review was based on my perspective - as a single male and frequent Club Medder. I have heard from other singles who were bored because they found it difficult to meet people - unless you were dedicated to a particular sport (like I was).
  3. SINGLES. During my visits to the new family CM Cancun, there were seemingly few singles, and even less 'hooking up' going on. No adult games, picnics, etc., that I knew about. But, I spent most of my daytime at waterski and sailing so I'm pretty boring during the day. I may have missed out on activities that could have afforded me 'opportunities', had I been looking for them - but my focus is sports, sun and drinking (and eating), so I don't come here to 'hook up'. Singles should avoid major holidays like Christmas - unless you don't mind a lot of kids.
  4. KIDS. I would rather it had remained as adult only. But, you cannot argue with the revenue generated by a full village. Kids were present, but were rarely if ever distracting - the GOs keep them very occupied and they were well behaved. There were adult things going on that were relatively kid-free. I heard of a few teen-pranks, but didnt witness any. I also heard instances where kids were left to fend for themselves while their parents partied. Generally, I thought things went as well as possible mixing kids, teens and adults at the same village. Not ideal, but it could have been a lot worse. This is such a huge village, there are always secluded places available.
  5. GO TEAM. The GO team has always been great here. More GOs now that it's a family village, by probably 20%. Most of the extra GOs were dedicated to keeping the kids occupied and happy (and they did a great job). GOs were very friendly and social - most of them. The exceptions aren't worth noting.
  6. CDV. Olivier is current Chef de Village. Eyal was the CDV during my 3 previous visits here. The CDV typically wanders around a lot making sure everyone is happy - and he was EVERYWHERE. Always mingling and talking with guests, and taking care of business. If you had a problem and mentioned it (tactfully), he would go to work on it.
  7. GATORADE. This is my biggest complaint - no sports drinks, even for sale in the boutique. One CDV told me it was because of the drink squirters in the bar (not enough nozzles?) - but he had no answer to the lack of bottled sports drinks. I actually think this is a safety issue since I have been treated for dehydration on two occasions at this village and the Dr.'s prescription was always the same - drink Gatorade, at least a liter per day. Tennis players should have something to say about this as well. My solution in the future will be to bring powdered Gatorade (available at grocery stores).
  8. ROOMS. The (renovated) room treatment/ambiance is nothing super special - about on par with a 3-star hotel. However, bedding and pillows have been upgraded several notches, which is very welcome. They did a lot with paint scheme design, but the rooms are substantially unchanged. Shower is great with the double heads. Towels are much plusher. Flat panel TVs - which I never used. Each room has its own safe, iron/board, refrigerator, coffee machine - along with shampoo, lotion, conditioner and body wash. Virtually every room has a balcony or patio.
  9. BOOZE, WINE and BEER. The all-inclusive brands of booze were mid level. Absolut was the bar vodka. Decent Tequila's are available - ask the bartender (usually someone from Mexic) which one he likes. The beer concession is no longer Modelo/Corona - now Dos Equis and Tecate. I practically live on Tecate Light from 10 am until sundown. Wines were Club Med typical, nothing special, yet definitely drinkable (however, the white was not very good in March 2010). There is an extra-charge premium wine list available. No bottled beers, but the beaches were becomming littered with broken bottle-glass anyway.
  10. WATER. I am certain they installed a new water processing system after hurricane Wilma - because the tap water was actually not bad tasting. It used to be horrible. Every room gets 2 one-liter water bottles every day.
  11. TOPLESSNESS is alive and well, thank you very much. There were a number of topless females sunbathing (illegal in Mexico on public beaches). High up on the main beach, on the snorkel beach, and sailing beach - not so much around the pool (kid influence?).
  12. FOOD. Best quality food ever at any Club Med (except Ixtapa and maybe one time at Columbus). The selection/variety was good. There were plenty of prepared salads, and salad fixings. Each night at the main restaurant there are 2 featured entree's - and these were usually excellent, sometimes outstanding. This village has had the same executive chef now for over 3 years. The two additional restaurants are both very good.
  13. COFFEE. Bulk coffee (in the jugs at tables) is decent, but then I'm from Seattle and a confirmed coffee snob. I was somewhat satisfied with the self-serve espresso machines in the restaurants where I could make my own triple cappuccino to get the day started, then later hit one of the bars for a double espresso (now using Lavazza Coffee in the bars). Bar-made espresso's were excellent.
  14. DISCO action. Different every night depending on the crowd. Doesn't really get going until around 1:00 am, and it closes around 2:00 am - no longer open until the last guest leaves. La Chispa is the venue, due to noise complaints from the Westin when it was held at La Pergola. Lot's of GOs partying with GMs. The quality of DJ, music and bands were excellent.
  15. SPORTS. All equipment is top-notch and well-maintained. At waterski, if you wanted a special ski, you need to ask if they have it (I bring my own ski). Sports GOs were all very knowledgeable and lessons were readily available. Sports variety and quality is one thing that separates Club Med from its competition. Club Med is designed for active, sports minded people.
  16. PEOPLE. I met some cool people. Some with kids, some without. Adults with kids seemed to have time to socialize since their kids were into being with their little buddies and not with mommie or daddie. There are less big dinner tables and impromptu groups, but once you meet a few people after a couple days then the meals become a little more sociable.
  17. CROWDEDNESS. Even when this Club Med is full, it seems relatively empty except for meal hours, the show, and around the pool. My theory is that they have created many places to simply go get lost. It was great. Other than around the pool it was always EASY to find a lounge chair. Sometimes you need to stake out a spot early in the new public square area between main bar and pool.
  18. LANGUAGE. Most announcements are in English, French and Spanish. They definitely know their weekly demographic, and the predominant language is adjusted to suit. I met some really cool French, and French Canadian people as these tend to be serious skiiers. At least one French language show took place, and it was in the Snack Bar at the same time as the regular show. The regular shows are typically done in English.
  19. CRAZY SIGNS. Alive and well, including my favorite, Hands Up! Loved it. Sun dance was not regular, but most days they did it.
  20. COMMUNITY TABLES. The part I miss the most is community tables at meals with other couples and singles from all over the world. Hostesses should always ask singles or couples if they want a community table - however, if you ask, they will still seat you as requested. With families wanting privacy and family time, many of the seating arrangements cater to the family unit. There was less opportunity to meet people - although Club Med has re-instituted having GOs seat dinner guests in the main restaurant, so it's still very possible to sit with and meet other people. More likely, you had to meet them at your sport, or the bar, etc. It is a good idea to take a quick walk through the restaurant to spot familiar people and then ask to be seated with them.
  21. CONCLUSION. I still love Club Med and will return to this one, mainly for the variety - and especially the waterskiing and sailing. There is no other place I know of with this formula - and the GOs (and concentration on sports) are instrumental in making Club Med what it is. I hope that part never changes. Perhaps with skiing being a dedicated sport and specialty at this village, this club will continue to attract serious skiiers who occasionally seek variety and social environment that they could not get at Ski Paradise or one of the Florida training schools.