The do's and Don't of the DR
The Domican Republic has a lot of interest for vacations. But there are things you should consider prior to clicking that PURCHASE button on Expedia.
“¿Habla Espanol? No, you might have a difficult time.”
This is the fourth segment from the Caribbean series.
What can I say about Dominican Republic-I guess Wikipedia can help
The Dominican Republic is the second largest island in the Caribbean, just behind Cuba. The Dominican Republic shares a border with Haiti and is one of the only Caribbean islands that has two different countries on one island.
WARNINGS FROM FRIENDS Before booking our vacation our friends warned that the location is beautiful, but the people were rude. We decided to forgo this advice and book an all inclusive vacation there anyway. Sadly the advice held up.
Where we stayed- Ehhh
We stayed at Dreams all inclusive resort in Punta Cana. We decided Punta Cana due to the best beaches and the higher end resorts in the Dominican Republic.
This was an all inclusive resort with all meals included. This resort was unique in that it had two different properties in one. On one side of the property was the adults only side.
The adjacent property included families. What I noticed while traveling is family resorts really mean vacations for adults and younger children (todlers to pre-teen).
If that fits your needs and wants then plan Family resort away, if not then look elsewhere for obvious reasons.
The OBVIOUS pitfalls of going all inclusive One of the issues with going to all inclusive resorts is that you feel trapped. Either it’s remote and you can’t leave the property for food/fun, or you spent all your vacation money on this all inclusive resort and don’t want to leave and venture off because you already spent your money on prepaid food and activities. This food/activities tend not to be of the highest or unique caliber that you want to do on a vacation. After doing this all inclusive and one other in Puerto Vallarta, MEX (even though we only stayed for dinner one night and decided to venture out the rest of the nights.)
"¿Habla Espanol? No, Perfecto!"
This was one of the few times we didn't pre-book our excursions or activities- ehhh it's all inclusive we'll use the benefits when we get there. The inclusive activities were typical "all inclusive watersports" kayak, beach umbrella, chairs, noodles etc. We bring our own snorkeling gear due to not wanting to put the mouthpieces that who knows how many people go into your mouth(especially now with all these virus' going around). So we went snorkeling everyday in their sectioned off swimming area. We did see some fish, but i'm sure an actual tour would give us a better view of the fish.
While sitting on the beach we were approached multiple times by salesmen of the resort/outside vendors seeing if we wanted to book excursions. "Sure, why not. Let's do something different than just sitting on this beach." We get kinda bored easily. So we did the booking with the salesman(apparently this is very common at this resort/area) and we signed up for a swim with turtles and going on a highspeed boat to a private island with bbq. Sounds good!
-"The tour is leaving in 2 hours, do you want an English speaking tour or is Spanish ok?" -"English is definitely needed, my dos anos de Espanol es malo." -"Perfecto!"
So as you probably guessed by now we show up and the tour is all in Spanish. Ugh. "When is the English tour?" "El tour inglés a la izquierda no sale hoy"(The English tour doesn't go out today).
OK! lets break out this "dos anos of Espanol!"... maybe I needed tres anos.
The tour was fine, turtles cool, boat fast, food bbq, it's nice but we've done better things before. Not to mention this was also around $70 per person so we wanted some of our money back, this wasn't what we paid for. What we found out on the excursion though was that most of the vacationers that go to the DR are from Spain. This makes some sense.
We go back to the salesman still selling on the beach, now lets just say a disagreement ensued. But Lewife being who she is, she was able to get half of our money back, he even offered another tour 60% off---fool me once, pass.
But this experience was what we experienced during the rest of the trip also. The people are impatient and were not hospitable (at least this is how we felt).
The pictures are real. The water REALLY is that color. But if there is something that I can pass on to others, that was tried to pass onto me... "The water is beautiful, but the people are rude." We've experienced so much other wonderful locations in the Caribbean that for us Punta Cana, in the DR is a one and done. 2/10