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Riviera Cancun, Mexico

Updated: Sep 23, 2023

Our itinerary

Day 1:

Thursday morning we got up bright & early to pack the last of our things, hop in the car, and head to the airport. After doing a lot of cost analysis on the cheapest days to travel as well as hotel stay + airline company, we ended up selecting the Excellence Riviera Cancun for our hotel and flying Southwest gave us the best deal over Easter weekend + I got Good Friday off so it was truly a win win all around.

Once we parked our car at the Parking Spot, we quickly hopped in a bus to transfer us to the airport. After our quick check in + security process, we were able to get to our gate with plenty of time. Unfortunately with flying Southwest we weren’t able to get a direct flight, so sadly we had to fly through Houston before heading to Cancun. However, as many of you know flying from Texas to Mexico is a relative quick flight so even with a layover we still made it to the Cancun airport by 11am.

When we landed in Mexico we had to go through Customs which seemed like it was going to be a nightmare with the amount of people + lines. However, they had a special line, Assur, that was for people traveling with no children (18+) and had an E-Passport (which is just this symbol on the front of your passport). Luckily we were able to get into that line which saved us about an hour of waiting. After about 30 minutes we finally made it to the front and were able to zip through this new Customs. All you have to do is scan your passport, then take a picture, and a piece of paper is printed off. Be sure to hold onto that though as you will need it to board your flight back to the U.S. Once outside, we quickly found our hotel sign, checked in, and got in our private car that took us directly to our resort free of charge. It was only about a 30 minute drive however the drive back to the airport is a different story.

Upon our arrival we were greeted with warm towels and champagne where we were then guided inside to check in. All of the staff was so friendly and knowledgable, which made us feel the warm welcome from the get to. Luckily when we were checking in our room had just become available, so we were able to go straight there to change and officially kick off our beach vacation.

Of course before hitting any pools, we decided to grab lunch at the Kitchen Table, which is their all day buffet. One thing we quickly learned about this resort was that it is required to be fully dressed (shirts for men, coverups for women, + shoes for both) before entering any of the restaurants, even the outdoor ones by the pools and beaches. After enjoying our tasty buffet lunches, we scoured the resort for some shaded loungers to drop our stuff and dive into the pools to cool off. Although the resort didn’t seem that crowded, it was very difficult to find open chairs mid-afternoon (we learned our lesson for our following days at the resort). Once we finally found a shaded day bed, we set our stuff down and hopped right in!

Since it was about 1 in the afternoon, the only area that was available was on their lazy river. This area is towards the back of the resort and actually surrounds the Spa so it is much quieter and peaceful. Honestly it was a great way to start our trip though. We enjoyed just floating around (on their rafts) and soaking up some Vitamin D while listening to the calming music. Around 3 we decided to head over to the main pool area to grab some drinks while playing Uno and listening to the live band by the bar. After Alec kicked my butt in Uno, we grabbed a quick snack from Las Olas before heading back to our room to get ready for our beach pictures + dinner. Las Olas was a beautiful restaurant tucked before the bar right off of the main pool overlooking the ocean. It had a stunning thatched room with the perfect breeze to allow for the most peaceful and enjoyable experience. Once we finished eating we headed back to our room for a quick power nap + to start getting ready for our evening adventures.

Around 7pm we made our way to the beach to set-up our tripod and take our surprise announcement pictures. It was such an exciting moment and unforgettable memory getting to take these baby announcement pictures together at our favorite place, the beach during sunset. Here’s how they turned out incase you missed it ;)

Baby Stegall you have no idea how much you are already so incredibly loved <3

Once we finished taking as many shots as we could before loosing the sun, we headed to the main area of the resort where they have live music every night starting at 7pm. After listening for a little while and just soaking in the moment, we decided to put our names on the list to eat at The Grill. Originally they told us it would be a 30-45 minute wait but after 15 minutes they came and got us and told us our table was ready. This was definitely a slower style meal so if you are starving or have additional evening plans I would look into another restaurant. Lucky for us we didn’t and we love getting to truly take our time when dining + it added to the extra special evening. For starters we both had the Cesar salad and then I had to XX while Alec enjoyed the XX with a side of mashed potatoes. For dessert we had the most incredible banana caramel cheesecake of our lives which truly topped off the entire day! Since we had had such a long day of travel + busy evening, we were pretty exhausted after dinner. We decided to head back to the room and call it a night early so we could get a good night’s sleep + have plenty of energy for the rest of our long weekend vacation. Day 2:

Friday morning we got up around 9am and both felt so refreshed! Throughout my whole pregnancy I have been pretty fortunate to not have been sick however I just require a lot of extra sleep + rest. So the 10 hours of sleep was much needed compared to the 5 the night before. Once we were ready to be up and at ‘em, we got dressed for the day and headed to the pool to find chairs. Unfortunately we were still a little too late to get covered spots by the main pool, however we were able to get some just around the corner with a gorgeous covered daybed. After we dropped our things off, we walked over to the Kitchen Table to enjoy the buffet breakfast. We both got a little bit of everything, as you do when dining at a buffet.

Once we were finished eating, we decided to take a stroll along the beach before heading to our spot at the pool. In the morning it is just the right temp to walk along the shoreline and let the waves crash on your feet while enjoying the morning rays. After walking up and down without ever venturing too far from our resort, we headed back to the pool to dip in and cool off. It was so nice to just spend the day swimming, playing cards, listening to music, drinking Pina coladas (virgin of course), and soaking in every second with each other in paradise. Around lunchtime we ordered personal pizzas from our server which hit the spot! Then around 4pm we headed over to the main pool to just people watch + listen to the live trumpest play. It was such a romantic afternoon, one that we will never forget!

After he was finished playing and the sun was starting to go down, we decided to head back to our room to freshen up and get ready for dinner. Of course that was a while for me to go without eating, so we ordered a little room service to enjoy while getting ready. Another thing about my pregnancy so far, is I can eat, a lot and have to do it often lol. So I just listen to my body and ensure that I am doing what is best for both me and baby S.

When we were finally ready to go, we headed down to the main area again to enjoy the Mexican Fiesta. The staff had set up a beautiful outdoor buffet for all of the guests to enjoy with a performance + live music throughout. It was such a beautiful show + the most tasty and authentic food, we had a blast! After dinner, we hung around for a little bit of the Mariachi band performance that took place at the stage before going back to our room to call it a night. Day 3:

Saturday morning Alec woke up before me and went to claim our spots by the pool bright and early. When he came back to the room, we decided to go ahead and get up for the day to enjoy our last full day in Mexico.

We wanted to try another/new breakfast spot this morning so we decided to eat at the Lobster House. Luckily since we arrived pretty early in the morning we were seated right away at a gorgeous table overlooking both the pool and ocean. It was the perfect shady spot with just enough breeze to keep us cool and comfortable. Honestly, we could have sat there all day enjoying the views + each other's company. Once our waiter came by, I order the Vitamin C juice and so did Alec but he added a splash of champagne to his! To eat Alec had the French toast + migas while I enjoyed the banana & peanut butter pancakes with extra crispy bacon. Everything was so tasty + the service was incredible. After we finished eating, we headed to our reserved seats by the pool and soaked up as much sun as we could throughout the day. We did over do it a little and got slightly sunburnt but overall we had the best day. The main pool has tons of activities throughout the day including live music, volleyball, bingo, blackjack, and so much more. It was really fun being around all the action and getting to swim around + people watch. Of course throughout the day we enjoyed many Pina coladas (virgin for me), pizzas, and tons of water. Since the main pool is also much closer to their ocean access, we spent some time going back and forth between walking on the shore, jumping in the ocean, and swimming in the pool. All in all it was an unforgettable + relaxing day!

After we got all the sun we could handle, we headed back to the room to start getting ready for our dinner reservation. There are only 2 restaurants on property that require reservations, Spice (if you want the Hibachi style meal) and Chez Isabelle (the French restaurant). When Alec got up early that morning he stopped by the concierges desk to see if they had any openings for Saturday evening. At the time they didn't but they put our names on the list and luckily they called us later that day to let us know we made the cut. It is a very intimate dining experience in Spice's backroom with only 6 seats total. When we arrived both of the other couples were already seated and super friendly. We all enjoyed our classic hibachi style dinner with all the classics you can expect. After dinner, Alec and I walked back down to the beach and laid in a hammock together swinging back and forth listening to the ocean waves crash on the shore. It was such a sweet and romantic moment just laying under the stars and soaking up every second left of our trip but our time as a family of two before baby joins us in the fall. It was truly a day + night I will never forget!

Day 4:

Sunday morning we wanted to get up early so we could make the most of our last day. Unfortunately the one road that takes you from all of the resorts back to the airport is under construction so Excellence recommends leaving 4 hours before your flight as the traffic can sometimes be really bad. All that to be said, we got up around 7am to pack the last of our things before making our way down to breakfast. Since we enjoyed our breakfast the day before so much, we decided to eat at the Lobster House again. Yet again, we got another beautiful table overlooking the pool + ocean, which was the perfect send off! To no surprise I got the same exact breakfast (just pregnant things, once you eat something you like, you want it all the time), but Alec enjoyed the chilaquiles + French toast of course. Once we were finished eating, we decided to walk down to the beach and lay under a covered daybed to just soak up our final few minutes before heading back home and to reality. Around 10am the bellhop came by to grab our bags and we said goodbye to our beautiful room + resort.

Definitely a beautiful trip that we will never forget! And after much deliberation, we think that the Exellance all inclusive resorts might be our favorites of all the three we have stayed out before. So if you are looking for a relaxing, beautiful all inclusive vacation, this is the place for you!


Where to stay


In regards to tipping it is not necessary but we would bring cash down to the pool each day to tip the servers who would bring us food & drinks throughout the day. As well as tipping the shuttle drivers, room service deliverers, and the waiters after our meals. Activities & Shows: Throughout the day there were also tons of activities to participate in including water aerobics, live music, bingo, blackjack, etc. We participated in some of these throughout the weekend & always had the best time. The staff was so fun & made everyone feel included.

Every night there was some sort of activity or show (be sure to check the schedule board in the lobby for all the info) but most nights we were so tired we didn’t attend. We did however watch the Mariachi band perform on Fiesta Friday one night & it was amazing.


During this short, weekend trip we didn't go any excursions but they do have a hut on property where you can book snorkeling, kayaking, and tons of other water activities off property for an additional charge.

Packages: Since we were celebrating our 4 year wedding anniversary we received the Anniversary package which was absolutely free. Basically it just gets you a couple of sweet, romantic perks + a cute welcome sign on your hotel room door & makes your stay even more special. Be sure to check out this page for all of their Honeymoon & Anniversary perks! The vibe: This hotel + chain gives off a very romantic, relaxing vibe fit for all couples who are looking for a quiet and peaceful getaway. Of all of the all inclusive resorts we have stayed at, Alec and I think this has actually been our favorite one yet. It was the perfect mix of modern + authentic with incredible staff, beautiful greenery, and breathtaking views!

Other places


Where to eat

All restaurants on the resort

Lobster House (B, L, & D)

Oregano (L & D)

Agave (D)

Spice (D)

Sports Bar (HH & D)




What to do

Excellence Experiences


What to save

If you are planning to travel to Cancun during the springs, you should expect to spend anywhere from $3,000-$3,500 (travel & stay included).

Hotel: $1,800 (3 nights, 4 days)

Flights: $1,400

Food, Drinks, & Activities: all included in the cost to stay at the resort


the stegalls

Be sure to check out my Instagram reel with all the outfits we packed for this special, anniversary weekend getaway!

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