We set the alarm for 5.30am New Orleans time and were downstairs packed and ready 20 minutes later.We had a brief discussion with the front desk staff around the status of our bill. We had prepaid via Expedia but she claimed we had to pay. It was never an argument that she was going to win against Darlene. A few minutes later we were in our taxi on our way to the airport.
We checked in via a machine and printed our boarding passes to Dallas and on to Cancun. Apparently we missed the option to print boarding passes so we waited in a short line for customer service to do the bag tags. We dropped off the cases at a separate counter and headed for security. The line was long. It took around 20 minutes to get through. For some reason, unknown to us we have this thing called TSA Pre-check printed on our boarding passes. We had it for earlier American Airlines flights too. It means we don't need to take off our shoes and belts and speeds the security check. By the time we got through we only had a few minutes to board. we had not had breakfast and there was no food available on the flight to Dallas so we found a stall with tubs of yoghurt, fruit and granola and that was breakfast.
Mercifully, the flight left on time and arrived early. It extended our tight transit time in Dallas of just one hour by 15 minutes. Dallas is a major transit hub for USA and is brilliantly set up for people changing flights to go on to other destinations. The skyrail is a driverless monorail that connects the terminals running above them is great. The other thing they do well is look at passenger list, see where people are transiting to and tell you when you land as you are taxiing which gate to go to when you leave the plane. One hour would have been tight but the extra few minutes made it comfortable.
We were soon on our way to Cancun. The flight was a little bumpy and they didn't serve lunch as we had expected. All we got was a drink and some dry snacks. We filled out the customs and immigration forms in flight and just as well as there was an inspector at the exit to the aerobridge stopping people who hadn't filled them in. We had no problem with customs or immigration and were through quickly enough. Next problem was to find out how to get to the HBO Terminal where we had to go to catch our next flight over to Cozumel.
We asked a few people as we exited the terminal and eventually found a company that would take us to the other terminal. There was also a shuttle but it ran every 20 minutes and we didn't have a lot of time to spare. To get to the HBO terminal we had to exit the airport and re-enter at a new location. We checked in and were slugged 417 pesos (a bit under A$40) for excess baggage. We had a short wait and then were led out onto the tarmac to board the Dornier 19 seat plane for the 20 minute flight.
There was no cabin door to the cockpit. Once we got moving the airconditioning kicked in and as well as cold air they blew out a sort of fog that wafted around the cabin. The flight followed the coast at a fairly low altitude and I had a view of the resorts hugging the coast. Then we headed out over the water and a few minutes later were in sight of land again. We flew straight in (not a busy airport) and were escorted across the tarmac to the terminal. The bags were right behind us and the porter followed us out, waited while we bought shuttle tickets and took them to the van for us.
There was an agitated American woman who was annoyed she had to share the ride with us. She got off and had her and her husband's bags removed so they could get on another shuttle and have the private transfer she was expecting. Not a good image of Americans abroad but not the first time we have seen it. Another couple from our flight replaced them and we headed off. It dropped them and shortly after brought us to Villas El Encanto.
The Gate to the office was locked. Another guest happened by and kindly went back inside but was unable to find the host. We saw someone enter a side gate and after some deliberation we followed. It turned out it was the residence of the person who maintained the grounds. I left Darlene inside the gate and followed the sound of voices and found the girls sitting in a gazebo by the pool. They explained our error took us out and in the right way. We sat by the pool with wine and nibbles. I had a swim. Bronwyn and Brett eventually went out for Pizza. That was tea. After a long day I was tired and crashed around 9.30