No Food for Thought

A Week at Club Med Cancun - Technically not so Greatly Organized

admin Sunday October 14, 2018

I took a week of vacation and on a friend's suggestion, decided to spend it at Club Med's village in Cancun, Mexico. I had never tried Club Med, but I needed to relax and thought that by paying for quality, I would take a break from bugs, as well as from problems in general.


Short version

I saw surprisingly few biological bugs in the village. A lot less than I expected. Unfortunately, I stayed in familiar ground as for computer bugs. At least 2 major bugs before my stay, at least 2 issues during my stay, and 1 bug after. I wish I was looking for an IT Manager job.

Long version

Even before I confirmed my choice, I hit a major bug in Club Med's website - the booking calendar was showing me the wrong prices (I believe it ignored my departure city). I still found the booking procedure impressive and tried to create an account. I hit another major bug right there, unable to create an account for days! I had to call an agent to book.


Before you book, Club Med advertises the following:

clubmed.ca wrote:

What's included in your stay
Children Clubs for ages 4-17 + All-day gourmet dining & open bar + Unlimited water & land sports + Day & Night Entertainment + Wi-Fi & Gratuities = all inclusive

After you booked though, the formula gets more complicated:

Final voucher wrote:
As of November 1, 2016 basic WIFI access is included in your Club Med package. Premium WIFI is also available at an additional cost and can be purchased on site. Subject to change.

Of course, there is no useful description of each access type. So since I wasn't travelling for business, I didn't purchase premium WiFi.

The reception staff told me to install the Club Med Villages app on my cellphone. Over 24 hours after my arrival, and despite multiple attempts, I still hadn't managed to download the ~ 70 MB application on my cellphone. Plus, network was really bad on my laptop. So I went back to the reception, asked if that was normal, and since I couldn't get a useful answer, I gave in despite the feeling of deception and paid for the damn Premium WiFi access. I then tried to setup the Premium access on the cellphone - and was greeted by a DNS error. 2 young employees at the reception failed to help. After rebooting and multiple attempts, I gave up.

Over 2 days after my arrival, after I had given up, I noticed the installation had finally ended. I then tried to access my village, but that turned out even harder. A scrollbar stayed stuck at 100%. I gave up on that too a day later. Only after I came back home did I realize that the application was finally usable.

Salvaging the Unsalvageable?

Nevertheless, I liked many aspects of Club Med and felt compelled to help them improve. I was disappointed that no one asked me how my stay went when I left (probably because I left early). So when I saw an email asking for feedback, I decided to set aside my reluctance to waste time with surveys and took at least 20 minutes to fill it. Here's what I wrote at the last step:

Unexpected technical difficulties; 2 important issues booking (wrong prices, prolonged failure to create account), big issues with standard wifi even without trying to view any video, inability to use premium wifi on cellphone. Unable to use Club Med app on fresh cellphone during whole stay. Lost at least 4 hours due to technical issues overall. Made me wonder if I chose the right brand for a worry-free vacation, and would hesitate to recommend consequently

Exceptional welcome videos; poor TV

Sunday cocktail is a great idea

Great resort location, great architecture, great choice of activities

Great buffet

Was expecting to have bicycles for rent. Disappointed that reception staff couldn't even tell me where to go to rent one

I was 98% into the survey then. I hit Next... and all I got was an image. No confirmation that my feedback was submitted. I tried to go back, but the document had expired.
Gah - apparently half an hour more wasted. All of that on my main desktop, with Mozilla Firefox 60 (ESR).

Other types of bugs, other life forms and Beyond

Other than technical issues, there is wildlife at Club Med, as my photos show.

This was my first time at Club Med, but I learned that it was bought by a Chinese company. Does Club Med still offer the best all inclusive resorts in the concept it created, or is there now a better option for those looking for real quality? I don't mind paying some more (my whole week was around 1800 CAD, direct flight from Quebec City included).

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