We woke up early Saturday morning October 13th to embark on what would become a very memorable family vacation. We would be leaving the country again for the second time this year, our first trip being to Russia.
Our adventures took us to Mexico this time. To Cancun Mexico to be exact. This was my wife and I’s second trip to Cancun, and our daughters’ first trip. We stayed at the exact same all-inclusive resort, so we knew exactly what to expect from this trip, so it made it easy for us to know how to show a good time to our girls.
It all started Saturday morning when my alarm went off at 5:00am and I had the privilege of waking up everyone else in the family. The girls were easy to get up, I wish it was this easy when getting them up for school. We got up, packed our last few items, loaded the suitcases in the car, and we left at 6:15am to the Salt Lake City Airport. Our goal was to arrive there 3 hours before our flight. Normally we like to arrive 2 hours early, but since this was an international flight, we wanted to give ourselves 3 hours.
We dropped off our car at Diamond Parking and took a shuttle to the Delta Airlines Terminal. We arrived at check in at about 7:00am, our flight was scheduled to leave at 9:50am. We checked in, showed our passports, and received our boarding passes. We headed upstairs to departures and went through TSA. We were hating ourselves again for not having signed up for TSA Pre-check!
Once we got through TSA, we headed over to the Delta Skymiles Lounge. We did things a little bit differently on this flight, we spent just a little bit more money and we were able to book first class seats on our way to Mexico, so because of these, we were able to enter the Skymiles Lounge for FREE! There is a notable difference between buying food from the restaurants out in the terminal vs getting into the lounge and eating the food there. The quality of the food in the lounge is amazing. Some of the food is organic, all the food is fresh, and you just feel better after eating a satisfying meal from the lounge versus eating a processed Egg McMuffin from the McDonalds Express in the terminal.
Direct Flight to Cancun on Delta
Our time in the lounge ran its course and it was time to head to our gate. We arrived to our gate just as they were pre-boarding. Shortly after they finished with pre-boarding, they called First-Class boarding and we got in line. We quickly boarded the plane because there was no backlog of people as there would be if we’d have flown Main Cabin. We sat down in the 4th and last row of first class. Our two girls sat by the window on either side of the plane while my wife and I took aisle seats. The girls were amazed at the size of the seats and the extra leg room. This would be my wife and I’s second time flying first class and our kids’ first time.
After we were seated they immediately began the first class services and they got us a drink of our choice. I took Tomato Juice with no ice. They gave us the drinks in actual glasses instead of disposable plastic cups. Shortly after they served us, the main cabin clients began boarding. As passengers started walking past us to the main cabin, we saw two familiar faces. Some family friends of ours we’ve known for a couple decades entered the plane and greeted us. We were shocked to see each other, especially on an international flight.
We had a completely full plane on our Boeing 737-800 and once everyone was seated, we pushed back from the gate and made our way to the runway. We took off pretty quickly and our 4.5 hour flight to Cancun had begun. Our airplane has IFE in the form of sat back TVs and Wi-Fi. I was too tired to watch any full movies and I ended up sleeping during the beginning of the flight.
First Class Service on Delta
If there is one draw back to sitting in first class, they take such good care of you, that you don’t have time to sleep. Shortly after we reached cruising altitude, our flight attendant came out and took our orders for breakfast. The choice was either a quiche or quinoa oatmeal. Since I’m not a big fan of quiche, I chose the quinoa oatmeal. They brought out the food on a tray and we got to eat on real plates with real silverware, not the plastic ware and disposable microwave dinners they serve in Main Cabin. The food was good, and the service was amazing. Throughout the rest of the flight, we were served drinks and other refreshments. The service in First Class was amazing during the entire flight.
If you believe First Class is only reserved for the wealthy, think again! Did you know that the majority of people who fly first class are middle class? Most people get first class seats because of free upgrades due to Medallion Status with their airline mileage program and/or mileage credit card? Others buy first class seats because they go on sale and do not cost much more than a main cabin sat. Next time you book your airline tickets, scroll through the first class choices and see if you can squeeze out a little extra money for a much better flying experience, or apply for the airline credit card and see what you need to do to get to elite status.
Arrival in Cancun
Before we knew it, the plane began powering down the engines and we began to descend. We looked out the window and could see land after flying over the Gulf of Mexico for an hour or so.We descended over the trees and jungle toward the runway at Cancun International Airport (CUN). We touched down after a very bumpy decent and we were welcomed to Cancun by the flight attendants. Our plane parked at the gate and being that we were in first class, we got to exit the plane first. We made our way to what I call the Passport Control Tunnel at Cancun Airport. It’s a tunnel that runs along the side of the airport and takes you to passport control. We talked to passport control, and there was no line, so we pretty much just walked up to have our passports checked. Unlike many other countries, Immigration Officers in Cancun are very friendly and helpful.
After going through passport control, we picked up our luggage at baggage claim and made our way outside to catch our shuttle to the hotel.
Arrival to our Hotel and the Beach
After the often exhausting process of flying and going through passport control, it is always nice to arrival to your long-awaited paradise!