WARNING: Do NOT Go To American Spring Break In Cancun
American Spring break at Oasis Cancun is one of the worst places to be during the worst time, better go sightseeing and explore the gorgeous country side and surrounding islands.
Ooh boy, where do I start. This trip to Mexico has truly been one of the most messed up stories out of my travel adventures yet.
It honestly, in my opinion was either a very bad day or a day of faith. Everything pretty much went wrong from the moment I woke up in my apartment in Mississauga, Canada.
- In the morning my friend & colleague Luciano offered me a ride to the office since I wanted to take a taxi from the office to the airport thus leaving my car at home. I almost ended up forgetting me backpack with all my important gear (keep this in mind because it must have been deja-vu)
- At the office I grabbed a taxi to the airport. Once at the airport I checked-in for the flight. I needed PESOS, around $200 CAD into PESOS ($2150) which has an easy conversion rate (divided by ten) (just like the YEN (divided by 100) it makes calculating a whole lot easier than working with percentages.
- After I went through the line-up at the gate all of a sudden I realized that I left my phone somewhere. I ran back to every possible place I could have been and finally found it at the Exchange Office. The nice lady smiled and told me a nice gentleman spotted it laying next to the desk.
- The flight was delayed 3 hours due to the captain being ill that afternoon. Luckily the flight was under 4 hours which is a pleasant flying time comparing it to flying to Tokyo (13 hours) or Amsterdam (8 hours).
- Finally in Mexico, I picked up my bag and walked to the exit, immigration went very smooth, just the way I like it. Security at the airport was tight, guards were walking around with machine-guns, holy f***ing sh**.
- Once outside I noticed many people trying to offer me rides, a couple of guys talked to me pretending they were Nolitours and were willing to help arrange a taxi. Afterward I had no idea that the ride from the airport to the hotel was included in my package.
- Due to very bad management on Nolitours side, I ended up with some scammers at the airport pretending to be Nolitours. Nolitours should warn their customers about airport scammers.
- The scammers were asking me for the Hotel Voucher, I told them I didn’t have one, while thinking I forgot to print the voucher at home. (UPDATE: Nolitours did not inform me that the Voucher was giving at a special bus at the airport).
- The scammers told me it was $70 US to the hotel. (UPDATE: it should have been around $25 US)
- NOW FOR THE BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER: At the hotel I walked to the counter, tired as hell, ready to fall asleep... then it hit me... I left my backpack in the taxi van... how stupid could I have been.
- My backpack contained my laptop, important documents, keys (including my suitcase key, thus couldn’t open my suitcase, it was useless) and my VIP passes.
- I was flipping out (internally) and people around me looked at me like I just saw a ghost.
- A fantastic senorita at the check-in counter realized my problem and wanted to help out, after realizing that I didn't travel with the tour operator she became worried as well. If it was Nolitours, the backpack should have been easy to backtrack.
- Thank god I kept the receipt... but the receipt did not state a company name, an address or phone number, thus I was even in a deeper hole, realizing I was scammed.
A very difficult situation but thank god I did have my booking papers, passport (most important), wallet, tic-tac’s, camera and my phone, thus faith had giving me the tools to continue.
What do you do in such a situation? I considered my options:
- Its Mexico, your backpack is gone Matt, especially since the receipt looked very suspicious. Throw the towel in the ring, call the tour operator that I lost my backpack, I can't continue my trip and would like to fly home.
- Salvage the trip, go to Cancun city the next day, buy tools to break my suitcase lock, buy device charges, forget about the serious parties, buy a new laptop in order to do work or support clients and replace all my keys for Canada upon departure.
- Go back to the airport and try to trace down the taxi company (which seems nearly impossible).
The girl at the hotel truly wanted to help and called her boyfriend who spoke pretty good English. They were both offering to help out and offered me a ride to the airport after her shift (11pm). There was a dead silence at the airport, my flight was delayed thus we landed very late. My new friends offered to help ask around in order to track the taxi company and my backpack.
The Mexican police at the airport were very kind and told me, they could track the company down by looking at the video surveillance. Of course everything was in Spanish but my friends helped out.
After a lot of calling and asking around the van was finally traced, the girl smiled at me while her boyfriend was talking on the phone as an indication that they found my backpack.
Everything was going to be alright. My gratitude was great, humongous. What a crazy story to start of the trip with. Unfortunately I ended up with a cold in Mexico and had to stay in bed for at least half the trip which was very difficult while staying at OASIS CANCUN which transforms into a SPRING BREAK ZOO during the months of February and March.
This Reformatt adventure wasn’t the most perfect but definitely an interesting learning experience.