What It's Like to Travel Right Now & Our Cancun Trip

by - 5:56 AM

In early July, we got invited by some friends for the experience of a lifetime with the opportunity to stay at Cancun's #1 resort for 5 days and 4 nights. At first, we declined. We weren't really sure what to think or what to do, we had no idea what travel would be like in this moment and we had been limiting all of our time outside of our home to essentials only. No dining out, no hanging with friends, no gatherings or events. We were happy with our home life of gardening, cleaning out our house, working on much needed projects that we had put off, and really adapting to it. 

But after doing more thinking and Googling, we decided to go. We figured that we could control what we can, we would wear masks and we could social distance as much as we could, both during travel and at the resort from other people. Ironically enough, now that we are back from our trip - we actually felt safer in Mexico in terms of precautions and safety being taken seriously. 

WHAT IT'S LIKE TO TRAVEL RIGHT NOW (Traveling in 2020)

All airports are requiring masks to be worn in indoor spaces. And almost all airlines require a full mask (that covers your nose and mouth) be worn during the duration of your flight, with the exception of while drinking and eating. There are some airlines that are not booking their planes to capacity in order to allow open seats and better social distancing between guests. While others, are now booking full flights. We flew with American Airlines both ways and the flights were pretty full. Most airlines are not offering beverage and snack services. American Airlines has their flight attendants greet you with a paper bag with a snack and a bottle of water inside of the bag as soon as you board the plane, before taking your seat.  

The staff does go around and check to ensure all guests are keeping their masks on at all times. They did a great job explaining everything and repeating the instructions, as there are some people who try to position their masks under their chin or beneath their nose. Failure to comply with these rules can result in you getting removed and banned from flying with the airline again. We appreciated their diligence, as it's difficult to social distance on a plane, while some others did not like the rules. If you find it hard to breath in a cloth mask, I highly recommend getting one of the blue, surgical like disposable masks. We swapped ours out for one of these (the airport provided them) on our way home and they were much more breathable than the cloth masks we brought. It's also highly recommended to change out your masks after a day's use, please dispose of masks properly in a trash receptacle. It does suck that we all have to deal with masks but it doesn't have to be a double whammy with the consequences of those who do not care to properly handle their disposables. 

For the most part, many families stuck together and people stayed somewhat 6 feet apart when it came to waiting in the security lines and customs areas. We continuously washed our hands after every flight and before eating or drinking during travel. We had an overnight layover in Dallas, so we were able to rest up and grab some awesome food outside of the airport. Most restaurants, bars, and areas like business lounges are closed in a lot of airports still. We saw it in our home base airport of Milwaukee, and also when we were in Dallas. So finding food or being able to spread out while waiting for your flight is limited. 

THE #1 ALL-INCLUSIVE RESORT IN CANCUN // WHERE WE STAYED

The #1 all-inclusive resort in Cancun, Le Blanc Resort Spa. I did a lot of reading and review scanning before our trip and I was still impressed when we arrived. The safety measures taken by the staff at Le Blanc Resort should be the industry standard. They don't allow you to handle your luggage when you arrive, instead whisking your luggage away to be sanitized before it is brought into the building. Before we walked in, we were given hand sanitizer. As soon as we walked through the front doors, we were greeted promptly with a refreshing ice cold coconut milk drink. The entire staff were wearing masks and they had everything set up perfectly to keep all customers more than 6 ft apart. 

There were staff members wiping down the pens between each guest at check-in, wiping down the surfaces, tables, chairs, lobby furniture. Everything was pristine and clean. The rooms also undergo a sanitization procedure that takes up to an hour. The cleaning staff place a sticker seal on your room door so that you can rest assured, no one has entered your room since it was sanitized. 

Each floor has a round the clock butler, who helps you with your requests, dinner reservations, excursions, and anything and everything you could need. We've never experienced this level of service before and it was amazing.

The resort offered so many dining options between a fine French restaurant, an Italian restaurant, Japanese, wood-fired grill restaurant with an outdoor patio, a Mexican restaurant, gelato shop, coffee shop, and so much more. Along with all day, everyday in room dining. 

But above all else, the level of relaxation here starts immediately when you arrive. We felt in no rush to do anything or go anywhere. And it was truly amazing. Usually, when we travel - we are more on the adventurous side. We like to plan things, we like to see it all, we like to live it up. That's traveling. But there's a huge difference between traveling and taking a vacation. And this time around, we were vacationing. This is something that I've finally realized. We needed to make time to relax and do nothing sometimes too.

The resort was practically empty for a majority of our stay, which is a nice upside to traveling during this time. When we did come across other guests, everyone politely stuck to their own spaces and the staff does a really good job of spacing out the loungers and tables so that there's a decent distance between guests. We thought traveling in general and staying in a touristy area would be much more uncomfortable but overall, we felt safe and appreciated everyone else's acceptance of the safety measures as well. 




WHICH ALL-INCLUSIVE HAS THE BEST FOOD IN CANCUN? 

The dining experience every single day at Le Blanc Resort Spa is world class. There was something for everyone, and no matter what your dietary needs or preferences, it was done extremely well and with beautiful presentation. Meat options, seafood options, vegan and vegetarian options, gluten free, and more. I'll admit, this was actually my first all-inclusive resort experience but the rest of our group had many all-inclusives stays under their belt, from all over the world. They all agreed, Le Blanc is most superior. 

On our first night, we opted for in-room dining. We were so tired from travel that we didn't want to get dressed up to head to dinner. We ordered the teriyaki salmon with rice medley, marinated Mexican-style chicken with rice, bell peppers, and potatoes, Caprese salad, shrimp cocktail, and two desserts: a strawberry tart and a chocolate creme brûlée cake. 


On our second night, we dined at Yama, the Japanese restaurant. We had a ton of nigiri, an assortment of their special rolls, the pork bao bun as an appetizer, seafood udon, and a side of fried rice. We loved the entire experience. You cannot go wrong with all you can eat sushi, entrees, appetizers and desserts, and the quality level was that of a high end Japanese restaurant you'd find stateside. 


We enjoyed having a midday refresher from the gelato shop. They had a large selection of flavors, I tried Strawberry Cheesecake and Pistachio. They also have ice cream sandwiches that you could choose from or create, using fresh cookies and your choice of gelato. I didn't get the chance to try those so I've concluded, I need to go back! Around 3pm everyday, the staff at the resort come out of the kitchen juggling plates of gourmet snacks for all the guests on the property. It was a nice surprise and a very appreciated gesture. We would be sitting out by the pool or having a drink on the beach, and a server would come right around 3pm every day we were out there and present us with the Snack of the Day. The first day it was a delicious and authentic empanada with pickled onions, the next pool day it was a seafood fritter with a spicy aioli sauce. 

The poolside menu was also impressive. We had lunch pool side twice as well and both times, we ordered different things ranging from ceviche to tacos; chips and guac; to fish and chips, quesadillas,  sandwiches and boneless wings. Everything was well made, portion sizes were perfect, and the flavors were all there. 

Dinner at the Italian restaurant, Bella, was even better than Yama. Which was difficult for us to wrap our heads around because our experience was so wonderful. The menu at Bella truly encompassed all of the Italian classics and they were done extremely well with precision and craft. We were spoiled with course after course of freshly sliced, aged prosciutto; freshly baked cheese breads, authentic Italian breadsticks, soups and salads. For our main courses, we ordered the Saffron Risotto, Truffle Butter Pasta, Pork Milanese, and Salmon dishes. All were amazing, portion sizes were generous and we were in awe. Also, get the Tiramisu for dessert. It's spectacular and most likely the best executed tiramisu you will ever have.

Our last and most epic meal took place at Lumière, the resort's French fine dining restaurant. Again, we thought nothing could top the dinner that took place the previous night at Bella. The service and food still continued to exceed all of our expectations. We've dined at Chicago's Michelin starred, Alinea. The courses served at Lumière were absolutely up there in style, flavors, technique and execution. A level that we rarely ever get to encounter. And definitely not expected from a resort's restaurant.

We missed having a dinner at Blanc, the Mexican restaurant on site but we did dine at Blanc for both lunch and breakfast. Both are highly recommended. We've captured all that we've eaten and the entire experience on our YouTube channel. Check out our room tour and all the hotel details here, we also took part in the resort's sea turtle conservation program in the second episode, and in the final episode we cover a lot of what we've eaten at the resort.


Al Pastor Pizza, from Terrazza - Le Blanc Resort Spa's wood-fire grill restaurant with outdoor patio
Softshell Crab Sandwich, La Terrazza - Le Blanc Resort and Spa

Fine chocolates and macarons from Le Blanc Resport Spa's coffee shop, K'akau

Cochinita Pibil Tacos, Jackfruit Vegan Tacos, Chips and Guacamole -
Poolside lunch service at Le Blanc Resort Spa, Cancun

WHAT WE LOVED

  • The level of service and hospitality. Every single employee encountered during our stay was on top of anticipating your needs before you even know what you want. The entire team is well trained, we often saw them having team meetings early in the mornings. Do you know how difficult it must be for staff to keep everything is organized and professional, clean and sanitized all while masked the entire time in 90 degree weather, while still not missing the beat on the friendliness scale and warm expressions? They deserve all the awards and recognition. 
  • The food options. See all the ravings above about the food quality, options and service. 
  • The comfort menu. This is included in your stay, you have access to a pillow menu where you can order different types of pillows, an aromatherapy menu where you can choose different scents to help energize or relax you, and a jacuzzi menu with options for different essential oils, bath salts, and bubbles along with rose petals. 
  • The room amenities. We do a full video on our YouTube Channel of our room and everything that's all included in your stay. There's SO many goodies and a really cool freebie that you can take home. 

Let us know about your favorite all-inclusives or places that are on your list! We'd love to hear some recommendations and stories about other places to add to our bucket list. We hope to come back to Le Blanc Resort Spa some day and are so grateful for the experience. And we will remember the difference between traveling and vacationing going forward. The reset that occurs mentally when you allow yourself real rest and relaxation, great food and a genuine appreciation for the every day things is one that we shouldn't take for granted.

Happy (and safe) travels!

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