Mexico or Cuba | Debbie's Caribbean Resort Reviews Forums

Just came back from my first trip to Cuba, my first choice would be to go back to Mexico Why??? ???…. We Heart Cuba (25times & Mexico 5X +) for so many reasons we keep going to Cuba …

what did you miss in Cuba that you could not get from Mexico…

We’ve only been to Mexico once but returning there in the fall. I have to agree that I find Mexico much more enticing. The only reason we return to Cuba is the very cheap price. After that, I can’t think of any rational (non emotional) reason to prefer Cuba.

Why don’t you explain what are the ‘so many reasons we keep going back to Cuba’?

Not everyone books a vacation based on how "cheap" they can get it. To infer that Cuba is a cheap destination is inaccurate: our Cuba vacations are never cheap! Why people return to a vacation spot is based on their preferences and their selection is no less rational than another’s preference for Mexico. Why people prefer one destination over another is subjective and personal and, as long as one enjoys the vacation, that’s all that really matters. I’m not quite sure why there needs to be a competition between going to Cuba versus Mexico or any other place Go to the place that makes you happy. Isn’t that what a vacation is all about?
Not everyone books a vacation based on how "cheap" they can get it. To infer that Cuba is a cheap destination is inaccurate: our Cuba vacations are never cheap! It is accurate. Cuba AI’s are way cheaper than any other Caribbean destination when you compare similar ratings & features. Sometimes Puerto Plata is close but the beach is worse than many in Ontario. If you don’t like ‘cheap price’ then substitute ‘cheaper price’

My statement is to question why someone would ‘heart’ Cuba so much more than Mexico. I didn’t start the thread but I’m sick of people saying Cuba is so much better than Mexico without any rational justification other than cheaper price.

I look at it this way: which of your children do love more? Each one has its own lovability factor. Cuba is untouched by modern advertising pollution, corporations, etc, and has many charms; the beaches, the people, the history. Oh wait, I could say the beaches, the people, the history about Mexico too.When I go to either country, I collect as much of their alcohol as I can; Mexico-only tequilas and Cuban-only rums. I don’t want anything I can buy at home.In Mexico I like the guacamole but if you go to Cuba in avocado/mango season, you can have more of these delicious fruits than you can shake a stick at.I do think Cuba is a cheaper vacation ultimately because you are not buying Mexican silver, expensive tequilas, or going out to restaurants as much. Cuba is more relaxing for me because there is no shopping involved, other than the liquor purchases at Duty Free. Both countries are wonderful places to visit. I am hoping to go to Mexico in May/June – can’t wait. Riviera Maya is beautiful and it is awe-inspiring to go to Tulum and see the ancient ruins.

I am not "either/or". I am "both!!!!" All I need now is more time and money! (Don’t we all…)


I do think Cuba is a cheaper vacation ultimately because you are not buying Mexican silver, expensive tequilas, or going out to restaurants as much.

Perfect, Eloisegirl, because your comment highlights my views on vacation price points and what some consider a cheaper destination than, for example, myself. We do spend a lot of money in Cuba. Hubby buys expensive cigars (a lot of them ) and our overnight in Havana runs up quite a bit of expense what with accommodations, trying out good restaurants, shopping, touring around, etc. So, for us, Mexico would probably be the cheaper destination as we’d save a lot of money on not buying cigars ;D

No matter the final destination, many vacationers never leave the resort and what they pay, up front, is pretty much all they spend.

Dax, sorry but we’ll just have to agree to disagree on our opinion.

Mexico is one of the most popular tourist countries in the world. Mexico has one of the world’s largest economies. Cancun is a perfect island city for a refreshing Mexican tour. Being popular for its nightlife, Cancun also hosts some of the best night clubs. Cancun is perfect for adventure lovers.

Wow, threads on this board certainly don’t move like they do on the Cuba one!So, two years and two Cuba trips later, we’ve decided on Mexico.We’ll be at the GSP (Grand Sunset Princess – not George St. Pierre!) for a week.Quite a departure for us.

If anyone cares to lend an opinion in the next 24hrs or so, I’ll lend an ear!

I think Sun Princess is the one with the big explosion a few years ago.We loved the Mayan Riviera when we were there. The Collectivo is the name for the vans that run up & down the highway that act as buses. Very cheap and a fantastic way to get to the Tulum ruins, PDC or swim with the turtles at Akumal. We did the Tulum ruins as a self tour but paid to go on the Coba tour. One of our favourites was sitting on the beach with a beer at PDC and watching the ferries come in from Cozumel. PDC itself is great if you or your wife are into shopping. 5th Ave. is the place to go.

If you have not been to the area, you will be very happy with the difference in Mexico. Some parts of the beach are not as nice as some in Cuba, depends upon how it was left after the last hurricane. The beach at Tulum ruins is one of the world’s prettiest. You have to climb the long stairs though.

I think Sun Princess is the one with the big explosion a few years ago. Yes, it was. A friend of mine was there at the time. Due to serendipity, nothing else, they were not directly affected by the blast but it was a near thing. I liked the ABR when I stayed there. Swimming with turtles was novel, and you also see a lot of rays. However, power boats on the beach don’t excite me, especially when some operators spent a good deal of time revving up their engines before heading out, thereby increasing both visual and air pollution! I agree, the Collectivos are a great way to get around!I’d go back to Mexico, possibly check out Huatulco, but for me Cuba offers a better bang for the buck.
I’d go back to Mexico, possibly check out Huatulco, but for me Cuba offers a better bang for the buck.
Agree on that, except since Christmas. Prices for Cuba are NUTS right now. The last 2 times I was in Cuba, I took my snorkel gear and got zero. Too much wind and too much sand in the water to see anything all week. I can’t swim out as far as you go, so the rough weather is more of a factor for me. My wife won’t snorkel and I am not a good swimmer so I am much more limited in where I can go safely.

I had a near drowning experience on a snorkeling excursion in Cayo Coco once and won’t trust them again. The guys seem to prefer drinking over safety.

The last 2 times I was in Cuba, I took my snorkel gear and got zero. Too much wind and too much sand in the water to see anything all week. I can’t swim out as far as you go, so the rough weather is more of a factor for me.
When the water is murky snorkelling isn’t worth the effort and IMO can be dangerous. I don’t mind rough water as long as it is deep enough. I’m very uncomfortable if it’s shallow and the water level is changing drastically with each crest and trough. In the ocean I find it is effortless to float, so the only issue really is tide and current, when you can’t make headway in the direction you wish to go….
Been to Cuba once (also at the Barceló Solymar, not really a party resort at the time, but not a 5 star either) and numerous times to Mexico. That sums it up, I think!

I wouldn’t mind going back to Cuba, but it’s not high on my priority list. To be honest with you, the only place in Mexico I’d go back to in a heartbeat is Huatulco. Although I’ve been to the Mayan twice, I wouldn’t go back. Too commercial and too ‘North American’ for my taste.

We’ve been to Cuba at least three times, and will not be going back in a hurry……."ONLY BECAUSE OF THE FOOD"…….everything tasted the same, they prepared all meals with that same oil, that same taste, smell and texture. Mexico offers food which we are used to from home. "YES" I know you go on vacation to experience different cultures and different ways of life……but for "ME", the food is a very important part, especially considering we always go for two weeks. I am not say "ALL FOOD" in Cuba is bad, but having had three bad experiences…..I feel gooder going to Mexico. The beaches, people and history of Cuba are all wonderful…..I actually like the beaches better there than Mexico (personal choice), but if I can’t eat, then I am headed back for the less nicer beaches of Mexico and of course the Tequila…..LOL!

We’ve been to Cuba at least three times, and will not be going back in a hurry……."ONLY BECAUSE OF THE FOOD"…….everything tasted the same, I’m curious as to where you went. There is good food in Cuba……and good "resort" food……and not always where you expect to find it. Best food experience for me has been Los Galeones, a very small resort off the beaten track in Santiago de Cuba province. (which is also the best location for weather in the winter months)
We’ve been to Cuba at least three times, and will not be going back in a hurry……."ONLY BECAUSE OF THE FOOD"…….everything tasted the same, I’m curious as to where you went. There is good food in Cuba……and good "resort" food……and not always where you expect to find it. Best food experience for me has been Los Galeones, a very small resort off the beaten track in Santiago de Cuba province. (which is also the best location for weather in the winter months)
It’s not often I disagree with eeeefarm BUT ..It all depends upon how high a priority food is in your life. As Jake says,"but for "ME", the food is a very important part". The cooks in Cuba seem to be fixated in covering everything in cooking oil. I can’t comprehend why Cuba should be so awful for food when they have a Spanish tradition and all the other Caribbean islands are so fabulous for spicy food. The revolution destroyed taste. I’ve had lots of meals in Cuba that are OK and a few that were good. In Mexico, I’ve had lots of meals that were good, many that were great and a half dozen that were outstanding.Quiz for all you foodies. Winner gets a beer when we meet in Cuba – or Mexico. Identify this dish: Attachments:

When the subject gets around to food, I always want to know what the base of comparison is. Many people are happy with North American chain restaurants, which as far as I am concerned never serve an outstanding or even very good meal. If you’ve ever dined on fast food, e.g. McDonald’s, and you went back after the first experience, that tells me a lot about your taste buds. And yet people who frequent these places complain about food in Cuba. Amazing! There aren’t a whole lot of really good restaurants in Ontario, as far as I am concerned. Worthy of mention (to me) would be The Athlone Inn at Gananoque, the late, lamented Silver Spoon on Roncesvalles in Toronto, the old Granite Club on St. Clair in Toronto (the new one is nowhere near as good in the food department), Olive’s in Sarnia, a place I can’t remember the name of now in Thunder Bay…..

For what it’s worth, Los Galeones in November 2007 could have joined my list. I’ve been to Mexico, and had typical Mexican food in Arizona, and I can’t say it impressed me (except maybe for heat!)

eeeefarm: Welllll, I can eat anywhere, including McD’s but that does not mean the food is memorable – at least in a good way. I live only a few minutes away from one of the best restaurants and hotels in Canada and have never been there. www.langdonhall.ca/Awards-and-Accolades For me, part of having a memorable experience is not having to take out a loan to go there. I guess the best way to describe this is that you have a passion for snorkeling. I enjoy it, but it is far from a passion. I am quite happy to see coral and little colourful fish swim around – that would be like a McDonald’s in your view. I’m happy with an occasional peek into the underworld.I read your opinion on swimming/playing with the dolphins many years ago. It’s not my passion either so it was easy for me to change my viewpoint and understand how the dolphins are being tortured by that kind of confinement. I’ve even joined you in trying to persuade others to abstain from going there. I care enough to post on it when people ask but it’s still not a passion.Food is one of my passions. It didn’t used to be that way but old age and running a restaurant have convinced me that quality food is an important part of life. Great food is made with great ingredients and a lot of love and caring. I just don’t see that in Cuba. Buffets are particularly tough to work anywhere. I used to be in charge of the Sunday buffet. It’s a PITA to do it well. Cuba seems to cater to the bottom of the barrel. To be fair, I’ve posted a few times on how the vast majority of tourists fill their plates with junk food. I can understand why resorts are happy to oblige. It’s cheap, easy and keeps many people happy. Resorts in Cuba that I have been to appear to put food on the ‘the least we can do to keep people happy’ list. It is sad because Cuba has so much potential and it would not be a huge deal to make changes that would reverse this.I’ve seen lots of posts from people that say, "I’m happy as long as I don’t have to cook it". Uck! There have been lots of times my wife grabs my arm and pulls me away because she knows I want to get behind the grill and cook it myself. I’d absolutely LOVE to spend an afternoon teaching Cuban cooks how to do it right. It would be a waste. Then, there are a lot of people (like you ) who say "I can always find something to eat". To me, that’s like looking at a coral reef that got destroyed by people breaking off pieces to take home. The last group describe omelettes as ‘so yummy’ Have they ever eaten a really good omelette???? One that’s not dripping in oil??Sooooo, like everything else, you have your opinion, others have theirs. Some day, Cuba will have great food and I’ll be thrilled to eat there. Until then, it fills my stomach and it’s cheap.Still no takers on the photo of a plate of poo…. i thought it was easy.
Still no takers on the photo of a plate of poo…. i thought it was easy. OMG seriously? That was hubbie’s reaction when he saw the photo. His words were "I’d never eat that. Looks like a plate of sh…"I do agree with you Dax that if food is your passion, Cuba is not the right destination for you. Regardless of the embargo argument, it doesn’t have to be that way, but sadly it is.
Then, there are a lot of people (like you ) who say "I can always find something to eat". Still no takers on the photo of a plate of poo…. i thought it was easy. Oh, I think maybe you misread me somewhat, but never mind. If I want really memorable food I would go to one of the restaurants I named, or else cook it myself. (once upon a time I took a gourmet cooking course, and I’m quite inventive in the kitchen myself. We seldom go out for dinner, not wanting to spend a lot on a meal I could make better at home. Does anyone know how to do Chicken Kiev properly anymore? The herbed butter should spurt when you cut into it!)

But my point was that yes, there is good food in Cuba……Los Galeones being a prime example…..and that I wasn’t particularly impressed with the Mexican food I have eaten. I agree, a lot of the buffets in Cuba serve less than stellar offerings, which as you acknowledge is pretty much the case for buffets many places. Buffets are challenging, and yes, for the most part, at the grill stations Cubans are heavy on oil, the omelets aren’t great, and don’t get me started on pancakes……which nobody in North America seems to know how to make properly anymore, either (all from a box, these days, horrible!) But again, I have had the occasional excellent offering at Cuban a la cartes, sometimes in the most unexpected places, e.g. an amazing fish at Los Corales, where the food was otherwise pretty abysmal.

Suffice it to say I don’t think we are that far apart on food (except that I simply cannot stomach Canadian fast food, but can manage to eat at a Cuban AI for a week without making myself want to vomit)

Lastly, the "poo" plate reminds me of a joke. A bunch of cowboys out on the range. Nobody wants to cook. Finally one says, I will do it, as long as there are no complaints. Whoever complains gets to be cook. So he proceeds to cook the worst possible meals he can think of, but nobody says a word. Tired of cooking, in desperation he fries up some cow patties for dinner. One of the hands takes one bite and exclaims "This tastes like sh*t!". The cook looks at him in triumph, and the cowboy, realizing his mistake, adds "but good sh*t".

The preference goes to Cuba. Really can’t stand the arrival/departure areas with the overcrowds of people at the Cancun airport. They need to expand this airport considering the huge amount of gringos that go to the Riviera Maya and surrounding areas. Timeshare and storekeepers just cause an overwhelming negative experience. Products are a lot more expensive than in Cuba. The resorts, beach, historical sites and the people are the positive.

Dax, I appreciate your comparison about food and snorkeling, I can see where you’re coming from. Both my husband and I are not passionate about food (or snorkeling for that matter), so it’s not that important to us if the food is outstanding or not. As long as we find something decent to eat, it’s all good.It makes me think though, why I like Mexico better than Cuba(besides the fact that I caught salmonella in Cuba, which was very unlucky, but I realize it could have happened anywhere).

It was the whole atmostphere, I think. After all it’s still a communist country and I found it a bit depressing.

From a safety perspective, the choice is definitely Cuba. Even the Canadian government thinks so.

Cuba: Exercise normal security precautions

Mexico: Exercise a high degree of caution; see also regional advisories.

Advisories

It was the whole atmostphere, I think. After all it’s still a communist country and I found it a bit depressing.

Have you never been through a US TSA nude scanner, been forced to walk around a US airport shoe-less that’s depressing, give me a "communist" country anyday!

Have you never been through a US TSA nude scanner, been forced to walk around a US airport shoe-less that’s depressing, give me a "communist" country anyday! Actually, we had the pleasure- NOT- of going through the US Homeland Security body scanners, shoeless and then being frisked again on our way back from Hawaii a couple of weeks ago. They give you no option! My heart went out to the pregnant woman who they treated like a criminal because she insisted she didn’t want to go through the full body scanner and was there another option.Being in the former East Germany had some scary moments for sure and we have been stopped and interrogated by Cuban officials from time to time but I’ll take those experiences over US Homeland security any day. Even makes the often crowded Cancun airport with its timeshare hounds seem like a cake walk.

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