We recently had flights booked to Fort Lauderdale to celebrate our 14 year anniversary. We had not taken a trip together since our our 10 year and we really just needed a couple of nights away after the past year. We were booked to fly out on Friday and finally found time the Tuesday night before to look at hotels on where to stay. If you know us, we are pretty last minute at planning things! We are the family who traveled around Europe for 3 months like choose your own adventure with each city!
Anyway after looking at hotel options and only seeing over priced options thanks to Spring Break, Jason jokingly said we could go to Cozumel for half the price and stay somewhere all-inclusive. I laughed and continued to look at options. After realizing my only option was staying a mile away from the beach or staying at a 2 star motel near the beach I began to get frustrated and ask if he was serious.
So here’s the thing, I have a companion pass, so anywhere Jason flies on Southwest, I fly FREE! We’ve had this for the past 5 years and it’s been a money saver! We had booked flights to Fort Lauderdale for about 27,000 points round trip, which is actually higher than normal, but again, Spring Break! So we looked at flying from Nashville to Cozumel in 3 days totally prepared for flights to be outrageous. Surprisingly it was only 30,000 points round trip to fly directly into Cozumel! Yes we had to connect in Houston but we could leave Nashville at 8 am and be in Mexico by 2pm!
We had planned on using AMEX points to book our hotel, so for the same amount of points to stay 2 nights in Fort Lauderdale, we could stay 3 nights in Cozumel and ALL-INCLUSIVE!
Again, I have not been the one to ever jump on board for a trip to Mexico especially with all the world events going on. I think I had been to Mexico once in college with my parents, but that’s it. And I’m not the biggest fan of anything All-Inclusive…remember I’m a foodie!
We found the Explorean and after reading hundreds of reviews on trip advisor decided to detour our entire vacation.
We had an easy flight down on Friday and arrived to the Explorean around 3 that afternoon. Side note, when you land there are many shuttle/taxis to choose from. We were first going to wait on a shuttle for $7 per person, but after learning it was going to be about a 20 minute wait for everyone we decided to take a private taxi for $20 and just get to the resort. This also saved time to check in because if you take a shuttle with 2-3 other families checking in, you may have to wait on them to check in as well. We were able to check in and be in our room before the group shuttle ever arrived.
When we arrived at the Explorean we were given wrist bands and our activity schedule. The Explorean also includes an activity every day, from a bike riding tour, Jeep excursion, snorkeling, and more. We were assigned the bike tour for Saturday and the Jeep excursion for Sunday. I’ll be honest, after running kids so much, I just wanted to sit on the beach, and not move! So we skipped the bike excursion but went on the Jeep excursion. The Jeep tour was fun, with a few exceptions. It was great to see the island and a few different beaches, but keep in mind you are leaving an all inclusive resort with good food, to go to a beach club and pay for food that honestly was not the greatest! The best part of the tour was the tequila farm, and I don’t even drink tequila. However it was fun to learn how it’s made and how to distinguish good tequila!
The Explorean is the more secluded branch of the Fiesta Americana. Guest at the Explorean can use the Fiesta Americana but guests at the Fiesta Americana cannot use the Explorean section. While the Fiesta Americana does overlook the ocean and pool, I will say the rooms in the Explorean are so secluded in bungalows overlooking what feels like a jungle makes you feel like you are miles away.
The food around the resort was great! My favorite was at Cevicheria for lunch, where you could enjoy fresh ceviche and the best fish tacos! We loved dinner at Rosato overlooking the pool with a sunset ocean view and a special anniversary steak dinner on the beach.
The staff was so helpful and made us feel like family. My heart truly goes out to these workers who work so hard, especially after struggling this past year, so be sure to tip!
We managed to book this entire trip with points and only came out of pocket with a few taxi fees, tipping and souvenirs for the kids!
The Explorian also does a great job with Covid resrictions, offering hand sanitizer everywehre you go and before you enter a restaurant. They also offer free Covid tests before your departure to re enter the US. Just a heads up, you can pay $4 for insurance, in case your tests does come back positive and you can stay at the property for $10/day. I think Jason was secretly hoping his would return positive so he could stay!
Overall I highly recommend visiting The Explorian in Cozumel!