First Day in the Mayan Riviera
We arrived at the Cancun airport in the late afternoon, and although the weather was hot, we left the plane with frozen feet and hands. The flight was booked through Delta, which offered us thin, disposable red blankets to combat the freezing temperatures inside the plane. The flight was long, and difficult with our two kids. But we were happy that we arrived safely.
I watched the landscape passing by through the plane window, and the closer we got to the Mayan coast, the more beautiful it became.
By the time we arrived at the Cancun airport, my mouth was open with awe. It was simply gorgeous. The green landscape expanded outward as far as the eye could see, and there were beautiful trees and lush, thick foliage everywhere! The whole area is a mass of beautiful forests (more on that later).
We rented a car through Hertz at the airport, which unfortunately, was a horrible experience. We made the original reservation through our American Express Travel account, which was easy enough. Then we arrived in Cancun and went through customs. Right outside the customs area is the rental car area. We went to the counter and they said we had to go to the office. A man directed us to a marked shuttle, which drove us to the rental location along with our bags. All of that was fine, and the shuttle operator was friendly and talkative. The Hertz office is just outside the main airport terminal, but still within the airport grounds.
The trouble started when we got to the rental office.
The representatives at Hertz were SO AGGRESSIVE about everything. Get an upgrade! Get insurance! When my husband declined the insurance (it's included with our Amex Platinum membership, and one of the main reasons why we have an Amex account), the counter employee became very irate, arguing with him about all the horrible things that could happen.
During this time., the lines in the office were huge, snaking to the door. We were hot and uncomfortable, and even though we kept saying no, no, no! They wouldn't stop trying to sell us upgrades.
The counter employee threatened to charge our card $1,600 american dollars "as a deposit, just in case of an accident." I told her to go ahead and do it, because at that point, we were fed up. In the end, we had to initial a long contract saying we would be responsible for damage, which we would have been happy to do at the beginning, but without all the additional threats.
Then, the worst of it, they said to "complete our reservation" we had to talk to another woman outside, in the rental bay. The woman was dressed like a Hertz employee, so we just expected this to be the final step in the reservation process (which had already taken over an hour).
We went outside, expecting the car to finally be pulled up. My husband spoke with the woman, who was evasive and talking strangely. He kept asking about the car, and she kept saying that we needed to get some "free tickets" to breakfast, but the tickets were "through Hertz." She had a bunch of official-looking paperwork. After several minutes, we figured it out. They were pushing a timeshare scam. At the rental car office!
The "timeshare girl" was so incredibly aggressive (even more than the girl at the counter) that she chased after us in the rental car bay, screaming, "What? You don't like free stuff?!?!"
It was unbelievable. But, as you'll see from my posts, it was the only genuinely negative experience we had on the trip.
Tomorrow, on to Playa Del Carmen!
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Just a middle-class dad and mom with three young kids, looking to escape the rat race. This is our journey!
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