Vacation Zen

Vacation Zen

Going on vacation can be a much-needed break from our busy lives, but it can also disrupt our regular self-care routine. If you’re looking to incorporate some mindfulness and movement into your vacation, here’s a quick 10-15 minute meditation and yoga routine that you can do almost anywhere.

Start with a 5-Minute Mindful Meditation

Find a quiet spot and take a seat. Close your eyes and listen to the sounds around you: the ocean waves, the birds, and any other natural sounds. Focus on your breath and feel it moving in and out of your body. Take a few deep breaths and as you exhale, release any tension in your body. Then, practice gratitude for being able to travel and experience new things. Take a moment to reflect on what you’re grateful for in your life right now.

Set an Intention in Child’s Pose

From the seated position, move into child’s pose. Take a few breaths here, then come up onto your hands and knees for a few rounds of Cat-Cow. Inhale and arch your back, exhale and round your spine. After 10 rounds, come back to a neutral spine and hold a plank for 10-15 seconds. Lower down to cobra for another 10-15 seconds, then move into downward dog for 10-15 seconds. Repeat this sequence 1-3 times, depending on how much time you have.

Move into Warrior Poses

From the final child’s pose, come up into mountain pose. From here, move into warrior 1, holding the pose for 10-15 seconds. Then, move into warrior 2, holding for another 10-15 seconds. Repeat this sequence on the other side. Finally, settle back into a forward fold and bring yourself into downward dog. End the routine with one final cobra and child’s pose.

The Benefits of a Quick Meditation and Yoga Routine

This routine is designed to help you create lymphatic flow, no matter where you are. This is great especially after a long flight! The mindful meditation can help you reduce stress and improve your overall mental health, while the yoga poses can help you stretch out any tension in your body and promote detoxification (which is super important when you are traveling). By setting an intention and expressing gratitude, you can start your day on a positive note and carry that energy with you throughout the rest of your vacation.

Yoga Pose Instructions

Child’s Pose:

  1. Start on your hands and knees, with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  2. Bring your big toes together and separate your knees wide apart.
  3. Lower your hips back towards your heels and stretch your arms forward, resting your forehead on the mat.
  4. Relax your entire body and take deep breaths in and out through your nose.


  1. Start on your hands and knees, with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  2. Inhale and arch your back, lifting your tailbone and head up towards the ceiling. This is Cow pose.
  3. Exhale and round your spine, tucking your tailbone under and bringing your chin towards your chest. This is Cat pose.
  4. Repeat for 10 rounds, moving smoothly between the two poses with each inhale and exhale.


  1. Start on your hands and knees, with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  2. Step your feet back one at a time, coming into a straight line from your head to your heels.
  3. Engage your core and keep your shoulders directly over your wrists.
  4. Hold for 10-15 seconds, breathing deeply.


  1. Lie on your stomach with your hands under your shoulders, elbows close to your sides, and your forehead resting on the mat.
  2. Press into your hands and lift your chest and head off the mat, keeping your shoulders down and your elbows close to your sides.
  3. Keep your legs and feet active, pressing the tops of your feet into the mat.
  4. Hold for 10-15 seconds, breathing deeply.

Downward Dog:

  1. Start on your hands and knees, with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  2. Lift your hips up and back, straightening your arms and legs and coming into an inverted V-shape.
  3. Spread your fingers wide and press your hands into the mat.
  4. Press your heels towards the floor and lengthen through your spine.
  5. Hold for 10-15 seconds, breathing deeply.

Mountain Pose:

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing forward.
  2. Spread your toes and press evenly into the soles of your feet.
  3. Lengthen through your spine and engage your core.
  4. Roll your shoulders back and down, and lift your chest.
  5. Bring your palms together in front of your heart.

Warrior 1:

  1. Start in mountain pose.
  2. Step your left foot back about 3-4 feet, turning it out slightly to the left.
  3. Bend your right knee, keeping it directly over your ankle.
  4. Lift your arms overhead, reaching towards the sky.
  5. Keep your hips facing forward and your back leg straight and strong.
  6. Hold for 10-15 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

Warrior 2:

  1. Start in mountain pose.
  2. Step your left foot back about 3-4 feet, turning it out to the left.
  3. Bend your right knee, keeping it directly over your ankle.
  4. Extend your arms out to the sides, parallel to the floor.
  5. Turn your head to gaze over your right hand.
  6. Keep your hips facing forward and your back leg straight and strong.
  7. Hold for 10-15 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

Forward Fold:

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing forward.
  2. Hinge forward at the hips, keeping your spine straight.
  3. Bring your hands to the floor, or rest them on your shins or thighs.
  4. Relax your neck and shoulders.
  5. Hold for a few deep breaths.

Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or a beginner, give this routine a try and see how it makes you feel. Ps. I cannot make a post about yoga without mentioning my dear friend, healer, and favorite yoga instructor, Amanda Rush! If you are in the Siouxland (Iowa) area, check her out -if not, her IG has a lot of great content about mindfulness and motherhood – give her a follow.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is for educational and informational purposes only. The author is not a licensed healthcare professional or yoga teacher, and the exercises and recommendations presented here may not be suitable for everyone. Before starting any new exercise routine, please consult with your healthcare provider or a qualified yoga instructor to ensure that it is safe and appropriate for your individual needs. The author assumes no responsibility or liability for any injuries or damages that may occur as a result of following the information provided in this blog post.

The Royalton Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa Review

The Royalton Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa Review

Photography by Royalton Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa

I have been on two separate trips to the Royalton Riviera Cancun Mexico Resort and Spa. The experience was unique each visit. My husband, Chad, and I took our first trip to this resort in April of 2018. Our second trip was in February of 2020. 

Royalton Riviera Cancun Resort

Think of a resort as a small town. Large resorts have multiple bars, restaurants, gyms, tennis courts, swimming pools, shops, and beach areas. A bad review for one area doesn’t always reflect that of the entire resort. This is one of my favorite places to go, but it’s not all sunshine and fairy tales. The Royalton Riviera is a pretty big place with a lot going on. Guests can be rude. Staff can be overworked and underpaid. The food isn’t always perfect.

An Ocean View Of The Royalton Riviera Diamond Club Section
A view of the Resort from our canoe (2020)

The Booking Process For The Royalton Riviera

In 2018, we an amazing time in the Hideaway section of the Royalton Riviera Cancun resort. We imagined there would be a certain beauty to knowing the layout. The Hideaway section was completely booked during our 2020 timeframe, so we booked a room in the Diamond Club section of the resort instead. A bulk of our travel arrangements were made through Expedia.

In 2018, we booked a luxury suite with a balcony jacuzzi. Upon arrival, we got lucky landed a room with its own rooftop terrace and large jacuzzi. We found out that when booking a suite with a balcony jacuzzi, you get the rooftop terrace when staying on the top floor.

Hideaway Diamond Club Room At The Royalton Riviera 2018.
My Birthday Balloons in Our Messy Suite (2018)

Royalton Riviera Cancun Rooftop Terrace Secret

The Royalton Resorts have a neat feature on their website – the online room selector. Once your room is booked and processed (3-5 days from booking) you are able to use this tool to choose your building, floor, and room. It cost approximately $116 USD. I happily forked over the cash to secure our rooftop! Select a top floor jacuzzi room with an ocean view. You will love it. The terrace is like having a whole other private outdoor space of your own! It’s really nice to escape from the crowds of the resort on the busy weekends.

Rooftop Terrace 2018 Royalton Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa
Our Rooftop Terrace (2018)

Cancun Airport & Amstar

We exited the doors of the airport to find our Amstar rep holding a sign with our names directing us to our private transportation to the resort. I booked private transportation independently through Amstar, because they were super reliable for our 2018 trip. We chose private transportation, because in 2018 it took 45-50 minutes to get to the Royalton. The long trip was because we had to stop at 3 other resorts to drop off other passengers.  This time was a 15-20 minute Corona filled breeze!

Arriving at The Royalton Riviera

Royalton Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa

Please brace yourself. Our 2018 arrival could spur some jealousy. It all felt like a dream.

April 2018. We step out into the Mexico heat to see tons of people with luggage standing around. A gentleman with a clipboard approaches us and asks for our names. He scans his sheet and signals someone else to come over to us. The woman that comes over says “this way please” bypassing all of the people standing in chaos and are whisked away to the far south end of the resort. We enter a beautiful air conditioned low-lit room where we are happily greeted “Welcome to the Royalton, Carriers!” Guest services hand us cold towels for our face, offer a cold drink and snacks, then seat us at a desk to discuss our check-in. There we talk about food allergies, we are shown different pillows so we could choose our preference, and we were shown menus for the different restaurants.

Our Butler

At the end of our check-in we were introduced to our private butler who escorted us to our room, where our bags were already waiting. Talk about feeling like royalty! We enter our room with our butler who shows us around and explains how everything works. She showed us the activities listed on the TV, documented our drink preferences and went above and beyond to make sure we were settled in comfortably. Later we find out that this royalty treatment is part of their “Diamond Club Hideaway” experience

Ocean View From Room 5415
Sunrise from Room 5415 February 2020

Check-In Two Years Later

I couldn’t secure a room in the Hideaway section this time and we had very specific travel dates. We were able to get a room in the Diamond Club Section. This time around the check-in-process was not so intimate. We did have a separate check-in lounge than the general check in line, but it was full of people and way less personal. Now keep in mind, there are basically 4 different types of experiences/sections at this resort: 

  • General Royalton Riviera Cancun
  • Royalton Riviera Cancun*Diamond Club (our 2020 experience)
  • The Adults-Only Hideaway at the Royalton Riviera Cancun 
  • Adults-Only Hideaway at the Royalton Riviera Cancun *Diamond Club (our 2018 experience)

Check in is quick at the Diamond Club lounge and our butler takes us to our room. No pillow talk or cold towels. He asks us if we would like to make dinner reservations and that’s it. I didn’t care that it was a little less personal than the last time, both of us were just happy to be there. We start to settle in to our room, check out the view and waited for our bags to arrive 30 min later (a little different than last time). Once our bags arrived in our room we changed into swimwear and went to the beach to check out the ocean where we notice a significant change in the upkeep from 2018. 

Royalton Diamond Club Section
Sunrise View From Royalton Riviera Diamond Club Room 5415

The Royalton Riviera Cancun Beach

In 2018, we had to step over a foot of seaweed just to put our feet in the water. We noticed this time in 2020, they made a more of an effort to up-keep the beach which seems to me is quite the battle due to the location of the resort in the Maya.

Maya Beach Outside of the Royalton Riviera in 2020
Beach February 2020

The beach conditions at The Royalton Riviera Cancun location vary from hour to hour. There were times when the water was clear, the beach was free of seaweed, and we could swim with no problem. Sometimes the seaweed was too heavy to even think about swimming in it without getting covered by it. But hey, it’s the ocean, can’t control it. 

Drinks in Our Room

We decided to go to our room one afternoon to unwind and have a drink from our stocked in-room mini-fridge. All of the drinks in it were room temperature. There are a few things I am able to tolerate at room temp, but a beer isn’t one of them. We called maintenance to tell them our refrigerator was broken. Maintenance comes (20 min later), and tells us there is nothing wrong with it. He tells us to think of it less as a refrigerator and more of a cooler. It is meant to keep drinks cool for only a while. We were like “okay, umm… can we get some new cold drinks for our cooler then?” and just laughed it off.

They brought some later that day. Whatever. Not a big deal. Just keep this in mind if you are thinking you’re going to have an ice cold drink in your room, you’re likely not. Best chance for a cold beer in your room is to grab one right after they re-stock that day. I don’t remember this being an issue on our 2018 trip.

Drinks At The Bar

The Diamond Club beach bar was by-far the worst place to get a good drink. They were so busy there that the bartenders were careless making each drink. Everything we got that was blended was extremely watery and the beer – not even close to ice-cold.

The coldest beer on the resort is served at the Sports bar, but the evening that we went there, there were some pretty loud and obnoxious people in there killing the good vibes, but Hey.. it’s a bar! What do you expect? Martini Mix, in the middle of the resort, could have great potential and the bartenders are kind, but in the evenings, they get slammed with so many orders that quality starts to go downhill fast. Your best change for a tasty Tequila Sunrise and ice-cold beer is at the Lobby Bar.

One thing that makes me sad but really isn’t a deal breaker: As I sit in this Midwest severe cold weather I visualize myself on a beach in Mexico with a cold Corona in my hand. You think you would be able to get a Corona in Mexico, right? Wrong. The Royalton Riviera Cancun does not serve Corona, and even 4 out of 5 bars on 5th Ave. in Playa Del Carmen do not serve Corona. One of the bar owners claimed that it was hard to come by because it all gets shipped to the US. Who knew?

My Solution To The Problem

My overall recommendation about drinks: Definitely bring your own Yeti or whatever brand of Hot/Cold cup you have with a reusable straw. Here is a link to a straw and lid for a Yeti that we bought for ours (The great thing about my blog is that I only share links to products I actually use). Head to the lobby bar for your first drink of the day, have them put it in your cup, and go on your way to the pool or the beach. The lobby bar will make it so delicious and strong that you won’t care as much about quality for the rest of the day. Try and stick to the drink of the day (quality).

There are absolutely no disposable straws at the resort, which my husband and I support 100%, but mixed drinks can get tricky with no straw so either bring your own metal straw, cup with a straw, or purchase one for $2.99 USD at their gift shop. 

Attn Midwest US folks: they do not understand what a red beer is at this resort. No matter how many times I tried to explain. Here’s what you have to do: order a beer, a glass of tomato juice, and a third cup. Make your own. 

Coffee at The Royalton Riviera

If you are the kind of person that needs a cup of coffee before you can function, put some thought into this before you travel here. The Hideaway Section of the resort, is the furthest from the main lobby area. This is where you will find a coffee shop that a lot of people really like. It may help you to appreciate my coffee review if you understand that I own a coffee business and half of my life has revolved around finding the perfect cup. Here are some coffee options for you: 

Morning Coffee In The Diamond Club section of Royalton Riviera Cancun.

Take a hike: The coffee shop on this resort is designed for pumping out large quantities of coffee for over 2,000 people. It is cheap syrup for the lattes and overall cheap coffee but it satisfies the masses. Some guests rave over this coffee… so you may like it. Keep in mind it could be quite the walk from your room depending on which area of the resort you are staying in. 

Bring your own setup: If you are a connoisseur like me, bring a bag of your favorite coffee, an aero press, and a kettle. Make your own coffee in your room, and watch the sunset come up over the ocean from your balcony.

Room Service Coffee: My husband’s preference is much different than mine and he enjoyed the coffee that room service delivered each morning at 7:30am. You can order from your TV or set this up with your butler.  

The Pool Situation

Aw man, I’m going to open myself up to a gigantic can of worms here, because I think we all come from different viewpoints on this, so just try to make it through this section without hating me, okay? 

Infinity Pool at the Royalton Riviera
Infinity Pool -10:00am

I’ll begin in 2018 with one afternoon at the hideaway pool. We messed around the resort for most of the morning shopping and booking an excursion. My husband and I showed up to the hideaway pool at around 11:30am. After finding a couple chairs, we put down some towels, secured our bags, and got in the pool. Everyone was partying and having a blast! Delicious drinks made in coconuts were being served at the pool bar. The ambiance was social enough to make a few friend. It was here that I found my new love of pool volleyball. Boy, is it tough after a few drinks.

Taking a break from the pool, we enjoyed some sushi that was being served all day just on the other side of the pool bar. I later spotted a couple looking for somewhere to sit, so we got out and moved our things from the chairs because we weren’t using them. A deal was made between us, that they could lay-out in our chairs if we could keep our bag there. They promised to keep it safe and they did. Later that evening we went to dinner on the beach with the some couples we had met in the pool. 

Infinity Pool Fiasco

So now it’s 2020. We’re not in the Hideaway anymore, Dorothy. One morning, we decided to go hang out at the infinity pool. We head over there (9:30am) to find that all of the chairs had the resort towels on them. Not a soul was there. We assumed that at this pool, perhaps the staff placed fresh towels on all of the chairs. Noticing that some had people’s things like magazines or flip flops to “reserve” their spots, we chose two chairs with nothing on them. I was confronted 30 minutes later by a couple that said these were “their chairs.” I was annoyed by the fact that they said they had reserved basically 6 spaces by the pool, did not leave bags or anything on them, and demanded that we leave.

It’s now 10 am, there is still hardly no one at this pool, and we are being confronted. I turn and glance at the sign (ironically 4 feet away from us) that says “Guests shall not leave personal items on lounges to reserve spots, if you do items will be removed by staff” My husband and I laughed, made a few comments, and decided to leave the situation.

The “reserving” of chairs by the pool at this resort has gotten ridiculous, and maybe it’s like this everywhere – I really don’t know. We observed the situation over the the next few days and came to this conclusion. 

Our Pool Observation & Recommendation

Someone from a group will head down to the pool around 7:00 am to save chairs for the day. Those chairs will sit with no one at them, usually until around 10:00 am and on some occasions the group never even shows up which really sucks. Apparently this is not supposed to happen, but the staff does not enforce the pool rules here. If you want a spot, I guess send someone down to save it at the crack of dawn. If you can’t beat ’em, join em!

After finding it difficult to find a spot by the main pools, we headed back to the diamond club section, where we found 1 chair to share for about 30 minutes. It started pouring rain – we secretly hoped the assholes that confronted us over the pool chairs were getting poured on while we headed off shopping in Playa Del Carmen!

Rooftop Terrace After The Rain

Later that same (pool fiasco) evening, I went to hang out up on our private rooftop terrace, and it was beyond buggy. The bugs were attracted to the wet artificial turf. Other than that, we never had a problem with bugs or mosquitos! One afternoon we both took a nap up there. It was so nice.  

Royalton Spa Experience

The Royalton Riviera Diamond Club experience includes 1 hour of Hydrotherapy per day at the Spa (based on availability). Our butler told us that there were only two available days (out of our 7) that were available at 9am. We booked those dates; however, we had a spur of the moment excursion come up, so we headed to the spa the night before to see if we could move our time. Their schedule was wide open and they were able to move us to 8am. I’m not sure where the disconnect was between our butler and the spa schedule but they seemed to have many available times to choose from when we went there in person.


Our hydro-therapy session was really neat, and we both loved it. It does take more than an hour though, so for planning purposes – allow yourself 1.5 hours. As our session began, the men and women were separated and taken to opposite sides of the spa where we were given our own lockers for our things and slippers to wear. We were taken to a steam room where we were offered an exfoliating scrub, then taken to a shower, a sauna, then a hot jacuzzi. This was a fun opportunity to connect with the other women enjoying the same treatment.

From the jacuzzi, we were then taken to a common area where spouses were re-connected with each other to enjoy a variety of hydrotherapy in a large room-temp pool. After exiting the large pool, we were taken together to a cold-water shower (think: “ice bucket challenge”) from there, we were taken to a hot water jacuzzi and a cold-water plunge pool. The session was needed by being escorted to a comfy lounge chair where we were offered clove water and enjoyed a head and shoulder massage. 

There were a few activities in the large pool that we didn’t care for, but overall, we would both recommend a hydrotherapy session. We had no idea this was included in Diamond Club during our 2018 visit. 

In the spa, I noticed that they do offer hair braiding, waxing, massage, nails, hair styling, facials, and much more. If you have any interest, it may be worth a shot to check it out the spa is by far the most Zen and clean space at the entire resort. 

Water Activities & Snorkeling

The resort has paddle boards, canoes, and two-person catamarans available first come first serve. You do have to pay a $5 Reef Fee, but this is good for your entire stay. We had fun in the canoe and my husband gave a paddle board a go. It was really windy most days and tough to paddle board with the waves. The water activities can be found right at the Nexus stand on the far north end of the beach.

Jess & Chad Carrier Canoeing In The Maya

At this stand we were able to book a snorkeling trip for $60 USD each that picked us up right from the beach. We had so much fun on this trip and got to spend a lot of time snorkeling the Mayan Reef. This was both of our first experience snorkeling in Mexico. A small boat picks you up from the beach, escorts you to a large catamaran where you are served drinks and a snack, taken to Puerto Morelos, and put back on the small boat to travel to the reef for snorkeling. 

Snorkeling The Mayan Reef

Restaurants & Snacks

Not much has changed at the restaurants from 2018 to 2020, so I will generalize here.

Hideaway Pool Sushi Bar

I believe they opened the sushi bar around 11am each day. It was fantastic, and there are tables and chairs in-case you’re not hanging out by the pool that day in a lounger. 

Hideaway Pool Grill

I happen to notice one day that they were cooking burgers by the hideaway pool about 12. We wished at that time we would have known because we spent the morning in the pool then got dressed and went to a restaurant for lunch. 

Diamond Club Grill By The Beach

I can’t remember what they called this little stand, but we ate at it twice. Starting at 11am, they serve burgers, quesadillas, nachos, and hotdogs with plenty of topping options. It made a pretty good snack/lunch for a day on the beach. Ps. Your waiter at the beach will bring you stuff from this stand if you ask for a food menu! 

Grazie (Italian Cuisine)

We were told the wait time would be 30 minutes with no reservation. We took the wait time to walk around the pool outside of the restaurant. This is the area where all of the kid’s slides are. They also have a shop for pool toys and such in this area. 20 minutes later and they were ready to seat us. The food tasted amazing. We eat a lot of Italian food and this restaurant was at the top of our list. When you order appetizers, keep in mind they are appetizers for one. Everyone should order their own appetizer and don’t be afraid to order as much food as you want. It is very small portions here. 

Caribbean Grill

We had lunch here one day, and it was excellent food! I had some sort of grilled chicken taco and my husband had some nachos. We were both really happy with our choices and the quality of the food.  

TAJ (Indian Cuisine)

We made a reservation for this one. I can’t say much about this, because we discovered either a. we don’t like the flavor or b. it’s not that good. It was our first go at Indian food and Unfortunately, probably our last try. 

SCORE Sports Bar

They have done an excellent job on décor in this place. As I mentioned before, it is one of the best places to get the coldest drink – including water. For us, the drinks here were ice cold, so was our food. Nobody likes cold chicken wings unless it’s 2am, you’ve had a lot to drink, and they are left-over from BWW. We’re not in the business of sending food back to the kitchen so we just ordered room service that night. 

Gourmet Marche (The Main International Buffet)

The staff here did a great job keeping everything clean, switching out food, and enforcing the use of hand sanitizer before entering. I must say that out of all of the food at the resort the buffet here remains our favorite. There is such a variety, and even a kid’s section for those picky eaters! 

Agave (Mexican Cuisine)

We had breakfast here on our last day at the resort. It was good quality. Typical bacon, eggs, hash browns, pastries, a cereal bar, and pancakes were served as a small buffet. We never made it over to this one for Mexican dinner, but a lot of people we met said it was really good.

Hunter Steak House

We waited a long time (during our 2018 trip) for a table with a reservation. The food was decent for a resort attempting to feed thousands of people, but it wasn’t phenomenal like some guests claim. Listen, if you want good steak, come to Iowa. Perhaps this is a biased opinion from a mid-westerner who has endless access to good steak? Maybe, if we were there for two weeks or longer, we would have eaten here again for some variety. If you live in a big city where the steak is overpriced and very tiny, you may love this place. 

Zen (Japanese Cuisine)

On both occasions we dined at Zen with no reservations. For our first trip we were walk-ins and got seated at a two-person table right away. We enjoyed tons of good sushi and salmon dinner. On our second trip we didn’t make a reservation either, and we were asked if we wanted to do the dinner show. They had two more spots available at a table. We were seated right away. The dinner show is basically your typical Japanese restaurant show where the food is cooked in front of you by a very entertaining chef.

Zen Japanese Restaurant at the Royalton.
One Of Many Sushi Plates – 2018

Dinner Show At Zen

We loved the experience at the Zen dinner show, but missed out on all of the good sushi the restaurant has to offer. The food you are served is all part of the show and you’re not offered a menu. You are served 3 pieces of sushi as an appetizer, but not of your choice. If you are with more than two people, I would recommend making a reservation. It is also worth going to Zen twice in one trip for both experiences. Visit once for the show. Go a second time just to indulge at the sushi bar.

Dinner Show At Zen – 2020

Resort Entertainment & Activities

We were unable to locate daily activities on a few occasions. Planning to attend the latin dance lesson, we went to the main pool to find nothing happening. We had the same thing happen with a language lesson activity too. 


On one of our trips, the day we were leaving, I seen the Yoga instructor setting up class next to the main lobby area. That was the single time I actually found the yoga class. I may be missing something important. There were so many occasions where I couldn’t find the morning yoga. I quit trying to find the class and just did my yoga on my rooftop terrace. Sometimes the schedule would say “by the main pool” and I would go, and no one was there. 

Nightly Entertainment

The main entertainment starts at 9pm and goes until about 11pm every night. On this resort, we have seen the shows with American star look-a-likes such as Justin Bieber and Beyoncé. We have seen their Michael Jackson show twice (Both Trips). One night we were entertained by a light & fire show. Friday night (the All In White Party) they had a pretty decent DJ and a lot of dancing. Most nights (after waking early for the sunrise and spending the day in the sun swimming and drinking cocktails) we were simply too tired to enjoy the fun like we wanted to. Here are some of the outfits we have worn to the All In White Party:

I took a chance and ordered our clothes online. Both outfits fit true-to-size and were great quality. My dress was a little see-through in certain lighting, so I would recommend a white tank top underneath.

White Outfits at Royalton's Friday Night Party

This particular dress will need steamed, because it creases easily during travel. I didn’t know the resort provided steamers, so I brought my own. My husband’s outfit did not need steamed at the resort. It held up through travel quite well.

Wearing white to this party is not a requirement, but for me it was really fun! Some people will just wear light colored clothes, and some just wear regular clothes. If anything else, the outfits provided a few great photos.

The shoes I ordered were very comfortable and they went with all of my dress outfits that I brought. I also plan to wear these white shoes to two more events this summer. I spent a little more for the Dr. Scholls brand, because the resort is big. No one wants to be miserable during vacation.

Mexican Fiesta & Market

One afternoon we took a cab into Cancun for some shopping. When we returned, we found that night, they were setting up a Mexican market at the resort with all of the exact same stuff we had just seen in the city. Watch your calendars when you are there. It’s the same market, but on the resort, you will be safer. They had a mariachi band playing. Guests (that probably found the Latin dance classes earlier that day) were showing off their moves! It was a really cool night at the resort. 

My Entertainment Recommendation: Plan a nap between your daily activities and the evening activities and you will have a blast! Don’t plan on snoozing before 11pm. Music is playing throughout the resort.

Will There Be A Third Trip To Royalton Riviera Cancun?

I know I had a few negative things to say; however, it’s so nice to go somewhere knowing exactly what to expect. After two trips, I feel like we really know the ins and outs of this place. Overall the Royalton provided two very fun trips! If we stay without kids at his resort, from now on it will only be in the Hideaway section, The guests are far more relaxed and friendly and the staff is more attentive. Chances are, we ARE going to go back with our kids!

Royalton Riviera Excursions

It is easy to book an excursion at the Royalton Riviera. There is an office with several reps, along with 2 Nexus Tours locations on the resort. One is located in the main lobby, and the other is on the beach. Don’t let yourself get roped into a “Free trip” to a jewelry factory. I hear its not great. Read about our 2018 excursion to Isla Mujeres.

Sailing To Isla Mujeres


I am not being paid for mentioning Royalton, Amstar, Nexus, Yeti, or Expedia in this post. This post is my own personal opinion about our trip. I have included a few affiliate links on Amazon to products that could make your stay more enjoyable, so I may earn a small commission from those when you make a purchase through links on my site at no additional cost to you. I ONLY SHARE LINKS TO PRODUCTS I LOVE AND OWN. This helps fund my work and research. Thank you for your support! 

Isla Mujeres 2018 | An Enchanting Day

Isla Mujeres 2018 | An Enchanting Day

It was time to break free from luxury resort life to experience the culture of Mexico!

We were having a great time at our Cancun resort, but my husband was getting bored sitting on the beach. Snorkeling happened to be on my bucket list, so we booked a snorkeling, sailing, and shopping excursion to Isla Mujeres with Cancun Adventures.

The trip includes an hour of sailing in the Caribbean, 30 minutes of snorkeling, open bar, lunch, and two hours of shopping on the island. 

Cancun Adventures Catamaran

All Aboard The Catamaran

Guests arriving at the marina are escorted directly to their Catamaran. Aboard the boat, you are met with upbeat music and a high energy crew. The boats facilities are kept clean and the staff is accomodating. On our trip, the staff announced immediately that the winds were going to be too high for snorkeling. When this happens, passengers are given the option to stay and enjoy sailing with longer shopping time on the island. If not, they are offered a refund. We were already enjoying the vibes, so we happily stayed aboard to enjoy the sailing. When we were pulling out of the marina, each catamaran crew had a competition to see who’s passengers could cheer the loudest. This set the stage for a high energy saving trip.

Sailing To Isla Mujeres
No Photoshop – Legit The Color Of The Water Here

Approaching The Island

I will be forever grateful that we opted to continue the excursion, because Isla Mujeres is the most beautiful place. The chef aboard the catamaran provides passengers with a delicious meal before arriving at the marina. The staff tells a brief history of Isla Mujeres and some folklore about a fertility structure found on the island.

Isla Mujeres means Island Of Woman and according to the catamaran crew, the name was given by a Spanish expedition. The crew of this 1517 expedition found female-shaped images representing The Mayan Goddess of Childbirth and Fertility – Ixchel.

Be sure to notice the beautiful Mexican homes as you approach Isla Mujeres. We found later, that the homes on the island each have unique names posted outside (I forgot to take a photo).

The crew gives great reccomendations on where to go. They recommended to go snorkel independently in a lagoon, shop locally, or tour the island via golf cart. They also told us about a place to rent bicycles. We skipped the snorkeling and rented a golf cart to tour the island. The cost of the golf carts are $40 USD for two hours. The owner will hold your driver’s license until you return to ensure the safe return of the cart.

The Most Beautiful Sight

I highly recommend renting a golf cart! Cruise down to the most southern point of the island, Punta Sur. Maps are available in most of the shops and provided by the golf cart rental store. At the south end of the island, you will find a park with vibrant artwork and a walking path that leads to the most eastern point of Mexico.

Punta Sur features mayan ruins and the Cliff of The Dawn.  We spotted a large iguana, unique metal art, and took our photo next to a few remaining mayan structures including the remains of the small Mayan temple – Ixchel. I tried to get close to the iguana, but my husband freaked out! Chicken. (before you assume.. no, I wasn’t going to disturb it – just wanted a better photo.)

I also recommend slow-cruising from the south to the north end of the island because you will enjoy the view of beautiful beach scenery, neat-looking homes, and the breath-taking turquoise water. Sometimes, there are coconut stands and taco carts on the side of the road. I wish we would have stopped at one, but traffic was backed up so we kept moving along.

Isla Mujeres Shopping

There is a small public beach, but it can felt crowded. There weren’t many options for swimming beaches. The water was clear compared to our resort. We got in the water, but we didn’t stay long. Shopping, walking, visiting with locals, and experiencing the culture is a refreshing break from the resorts on the main land. I am in love with this island because of the laid back atmosphere and the beauty of the ocean. We didn’t find any sea shells (one of my favorite things to do). One of the local beach peddlers found the quickest way to my wallet. He told me I had great ankles and this anklet would look lovely on me. Sold. One of my future goals is to secure an Air BNB and visit again with a group of my closest pals so they can experience it too!

I Secretly Wished For More Time Here

I could spend a week on this island relaxing; however, my husband might get a little stir crazy because he doesn’t like to sit still. I plan to research some activities so he can stay busy while I’m snoozing in a hammock. We only got to visit Isla Mujeres for three hours, so there is still more for us to see, experience, and write about. I cannot wait to return to the tranquil Isla Mujeres. If you know of a fabulous Air BNB for a group. Send the recommendation my way!

This is an honest review of our excursion. I am not being paid to mention any part of Isla Mujeres, Golf Cart Rentals, Cancun Adventures, Air BNB, or The Royalton Riviera Resort.