The flight was so short (just over two hours) I didn’t get a chance to update the Blog while I was on the plane so I guess paying $8 for internet was only marginally worth it. United charged something like $12 for internet the last time I flew with them. Not worth it to me. If they would charge $5 many more people would use it. I suppose that would bog it down to a crawl. Trade offs to everything.
They give you Mexican immigration forms on the plane, one for each person. Fairly straight forward if you have glasses to read the small print English instructions. The customs form is also handed out one to a family. It is conveniently only written in Spanish. Ruth filled it out by comparing the questions to the immigration form which had instructions in both English and Spanish. Good thinking Ruthie! I knew she was more than just a pretty face!
I had reserved a car through Rentalcars.com before we left. The price seemed competitive to the other sites. I reserved a BMW and it said “Meet and Greet at the Airport.” I pictured a guy in a Beemer roaring up to the curb outside the terminal and handing us the keys. Instead, we found a guy with a sign saying “America Car Rental” (The Meet and Greeter) standing in a sea of guys with signs saying who they were greeting for. He said someone would be there for us in about ten minutes. About fifteen to twenty minutes later a small bus showed up and we were ushered aboard. (Okay, go with the flow. None of the rental car companies have their cars at the Cancun Airport.
We rode the bus about five miles toward Cancun city (as opposed to Cancun Hotel Row) and about a block down a side street to the America Car Rental office. Humm, I hope the GPS I ordered has this programmed in to get us back at the end of the trip. After a short wait in line I got to the counter to get the car. Then came the insurance spiel. Okay, I’m not taking any chances in a foreign country so add on the $350 of complete coverage. Ouch! That doubled the price I already paid on-line. I now noticed my papers say the GPS is to be paid for here in Cancun. That’s going to be another $120, but they don’t have any so is that good or bad? I don’t know, but it IS going to be an adventure! The guy at the next counter is pointing to his paperwork and shouting at the agent. Suddenly, I realize the paperwork I printed at home says: “BMW or equivalent.” Now I am picturing a stinky, beat up Ford Fiesta with poor air conditioning. After the paperwork was finished we went to another counter to get our map and car. The “map” turned out to be the “Welcome to Cancun” greeting magazine turned to a tiny map with no detail. Does no one ever rent cars and drive out of Cancun?
Things got a little better when a shiny, clean BMW X-1 with only one small dent came driving up to the door. (Be sure they note all the dents on your paperwork. They will give you a copy of the paperwork with a diagram of the car and all dents and scratches noted. So off we go using cellphone GPS. Good thing I activated international calling and data before I left. Wonder how much THAT bill will be? So far international travel on the cheap hasn’t been very cheap. I chose the car for the trip to Holbox Island because the round trip for two from Cancun was about the same price. Now I have doubled the price of the car and it will just be parked for a daily fee in the town of Chiquila close to the ferry dock while we are on Holbox Island. Maybe the blog should be titled: “Mistakes I have made trying to Travel on the Cheap.” Naw, too long.