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Pictured left to right outside the new store are: Paul Hardwick, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents Director of Retail; Emma Bailey, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents; Tutti Taylor, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents; Councillor Candy Vaughan, Mayor of Eastbourne; Trevor Ridler, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents Business Development Manager; and Shirley Waters, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents..

Mexico Memories

Lucy Peacock is the Assistant Manager of our travel agents in Norwich within Jarrold's and she recently travelled to Mexico for a trip lasting six nights. These are the highlights from her visit...

Destination: Mexico
Operator/Host: Virgin
(Hotel names/Ship name): 
Paradisus Cancun, Moon Palace Resort, Secrets Silversands, Occidental Grand Xcaret
Airline: Virgin
Duration: 6 Nights


We flew with Virgin and most of us were in economy as the flight was at full capacity. The seating was comfortable and the aircraft was clean, with in-seat, touchscreen entertainment. This was very good and had an excellent choice in up-to-date movies, music and games.

The staff on board were helpful and polite, although I feel they could have been more attentive in the cabin.

The food, however, was not up to standard for such an airline with such a good reputation. They ran out of all meal choices other than one, so it was 'take it or leave it'. The meal tray itself was extremely budget and basic.

The return flight also had about an hour’s delay, with no communication from staff within the airport at all.


The Paradisus Cancun was a large establishment within a busy area for hotels. The lobby was grand and the staff were very welcoming. The best things about this accommodation were the Beach front location and lovely views from the balcony in our room.

The Moon Palace was another large establishment, but in a much more secluded area and about 20 minutes from Cancun. The hotel consists of three separate areas, all with their own restaurants, receptions, bars and facilities.

The Secrets Silversands had much more of an adult only/couples feels and in brand with the other hotels within their chain. There was a lovely relaxed atmosphere with calm and tranquillity running throughout the hotel, which was very modern in appearance.

Our final hotel, the Grand Xcaret, had a natural feel to it and was surrounded by trees, water and nature. There was a family feel to the hotel, although it was still a big complex.


Our trip included hotel visits at the Barcelo Tucancun, Hard Rock Cancun, Dreams Riviera Cancun , Secrets Maroma, Grand Velas, Royal Hideaway Playacar and Grand Bahia Principe, as well as activities such as a catamaran trip, swimming with dolphins, sea lions, sting rays, sharks and manatees at Dolphin Discovery and a visit to the CoCo Bongo Club.

Trip highlights

I must say that this may have been one of the best trips I have been on. We had a good mix of hotel visits along with free time to actually experience the destination and hotels which we were staying in, rather than just walking around looking at them.

Of course swimming with Dolphins was a massive highlight of the trip. Along with all the hosted dinners, which were lovely, with a good atmosphere, lovely food and a brilliant group of people.

Possible Improvements

Nothing, all the organisation by our Virgin host was fantastic.


 Chichen Itza

I would most certainly recommend Mexico as a destination as it offers so much. You can relax by the pool or beach, drinking cocktails and experiencing lovely food, but if you want to venture out, you can swim with dolphins, jump aboard a catamaran, zip line through the sky and party until the early hours. For history and culture, you can take excursions over to Cozumel as well as visiting Chichen Itza (a wonder of the world), Tulum and Xcaret.

As a destination, it really does offer everything and now there are many direct flight options from the UK.

Must see? Chichen Itza
Must do? Swim with dolphins
Must try? Some real tequila

Written by Lucy Peacock

Mexico is a great destination for those looking for a bit of winter sun during the colder months. We can help you plan your trip and find the best deals for you and your family. Just pop into one of our travel stores at one of seven different locations in East Anglia, or fill in a contact form with the details of your desired holiday and we will get back to you with some great options.