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Old 03-27-2009, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
1,410 posts, read 3,560,598 times
Reputation: 386

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I am suprised not to see a thread dedicated to Punta Cana as i have heard it has recently surpassed Cancan as the # 1 Caribbean destination, at least for Midwesterners like myself. Anyhow, i am going down for my first Caribbean vaca, and my first all-inclusive in about a month. Staying at the Barcelo Dominican Beach. My friend just went to Punta Cana for his honeymoon and raved about it. Anyone stayed at my particular resort or any other ones and got any tips, memories, or advice?

Thanks in advance,

G Man
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Old 03-29-2009, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
7,732 posts, read 12,148,922 times
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G Man - The beaches are spectacular, the people warm and friendly - IF you are nice to them first. They don't like to be ordered around (like I witnessed from several Americans). Try to soak up some of the local music - it's fantastic.

Barcelo is a decent Spanish chain. Quick tip - even though it's an all-inclusive, tip a little anyway. It means nothing to us, and the world to them.

Have fun!

Oh, one other thing. You will be vastly outnumbered by Canadians and Europeans - which I enjoy, very much.
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Old 03-30-2009, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
1,410 posts, read 3,560,598 times
Reputation: 386
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnatl View Post
G Man - The beaches are spectacular, the people warm and friendly - IF you are nice to them first. They don't like to be ordered around (like I witnessed from several Americans). Try to soak up some of the local music - it's fantastic.

Barcelo is a decent Spanish chain. Quick tip - even though it's an all-inclusive, tip a little anyway. It means nothing to us, and the world to them.

Have fun!

Oh, one other thing. You will be vastly outnumbered by Canadians and Europeans - which I enjoy, very much.
Johnatl - Thanks for the note. A lot of what you said i have heard already so thats good. I'm picking up some basic spanish, nothing major but enough to say hello and thank you. I have always loved Latinos so i'm quite excited about the trip. Definately want to soak in the local customs, music, food, etc. Ive heard my resort is middle of the road, but i'm used to staying at the Motel 6 and the like so i'm sure it will be fine for me. Free food and drink (well already paid for) can make you overlook just about anything. I enjoy meeting people from different places so i cant wait.

G Man
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Old 03-30-2009, 01:21 PM
 
Location: When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic
1,071 posts, read 1,832,292 times
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One thing G Man - don't drink any water, taking shower (brushing teeth use bottle water) and be very carefull with all you can eat and drink stuff. I was in Punta Cana In February of 2000 and with the all precations still got sick
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Old 03-31-2009, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
1,410 posts, read 3,560,598 times
Reputation: 386
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcian View Post
One thing G Man - don't drink any water, taking shower (brushing teeth use bottle water) and be very carefull with all you can eat and drink stuff. I was in Punta Cana In February of 2000 and with the all precations still got sick
Thanks for the advice - have heard this a lot too. Some things are unavoidable. I have an iron stomach and rarely get sick so i'm hoping for the best.

G Man
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Old 03-31-2009, 10:15 AM
 
137 posts, read 433,228 times
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Dom Rep is great and beautiful. There are plenty of things to do and the people are pretty cool. The food was OK at times, but outstanding at other times. The mosquitos can be bad so take repellent and the sun is vicious. Take benadryl for allergies and immodium and ibuprophen for other things.
As for the water, be smart and don't drink it. I don't know about bottled water for teeth brushing. I lived in Central and South America and just used the tap without problems.

Here is a funny about water-- my friend's mom was visiting him in S. America and she had heard not to drink the water or use the water for teeth brushing. One morning she came out of the bathroom with tape covering her mouth. My friend asked what she was doing and she said she was keeping the water out of her mouth. That is too funny and over the top. People hear so much crazy stuff!!!

Have a great trip G Man!!!
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:20 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
7,732 posts, read 12,148,922 times
Reputation: 2774
Quote:
Originally Posted by gman5431 View Post
Johnatl - Thanks for the note. A lot of what you said i have heard already so thats good. I'm picking up some basic spanish, nothing major but enough to say hello and thank you. I have always loved Latinos so i'm quite excited about the trip. Definately want to soak in the local customs, music, food, etc. Ive heard my resort is middle of the road, but i'm used to staying at the Motel 6 and the like so i'm sure it will be fine for me. Free food and drink (well already paid for) can make you overlook just about anything. I enjoy meeting people from different places so i cant wait.

G Man
You are very welcome!

I checked out your hotel, just wanted to let you know a couple of things (all good).

You are in the Bavaro area, which is the livliest concentration of development in Punta Cana. This is a good thing, in case you want to wander off-property. The beaches are beautiful, and there are a couple of small casinos - including one in your resort complex.

You will be in a huge complex containing different "brands" of Barcelo resorts. This is a good thing in that your options expand greatly, from dining to bars to activities. You will need to sign-up to enjoy the a la carte restaurants - do it, you won't regret it. The only thing is that they ususally make you do so pretty early in the a.m., and there are usually lines - but still worth it. The buffets are fine, but can get a little boring after a while.

If you're drinkers, tip the bartenders. I know I mentioned this already. I usually give them a $1 per drink order - it will make a HUGE difference when it's busy. Sit back and observe when you arrive, and it's obvious.

Check out the evening entertainment offerings - you may be pleasantly surprised at what you find.

One other thing I wanted to mention, and this is something we always do:

If you are so inclined, stop by a Dollar Store before you depart and get a bag full of magic markers, pens/pencils, coloring books, cosmetics, candy, etc. All of these are very much luxury items to the resort workers there, and are simply unobtainable to them. Each day, we leave an item or two on the dresser for the maid with a simple note saying "gracias." It spreads so much good will, and it directly impacts the lives of the workers.

On our last trip, the maid came in while I was still in bed. She actually sat on the edge of my bed and hugged me while she cried. She said "my nino's you have given early Christmas!"

I absolutely love it down there, and you will too just by reading your post.

Wait till you see the airport - very cool.

Have a great trip, G Man!
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
1,410 posts, read 3,560,598 times
Reputation: 386
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnatl View Post
You are very welcome!

I checked out your hotel, just wanted to let you know a couple of things (all good).

You are in the Bavaro area, which is the livliest concentration of development in Punta Cana. This is a good thing, in case you want to wander off-property. The beaches are beautiful, and there are a couple of small casinos - including one in your resort complex.

You will be in a huge complex containing different "brands" of Barcelo resorts. This is a good thing in that your options expand greatly, from dining to bars to activities. You will need to sign-up to enjoy the a la carte restaurants - do it, you won't regret it. The only thing is that they ususally make you do so pretty early in the a.m., and there are usually lines - but still worth it. The buffets are fine, but can get a little boring after a while.

If you're drinkers, tip the bartenders. I know I mentioned this already. I usually give them a $1 per drink order - it will make a HUGE difference when it's busy. Sit back and observe when you arrive, and it's obvious.

Check out the evening entertainment offerings - you may be pleasantly surprised at what you find.

One other thing I wanted to mention, and this is something we always do:

If you are so inclined, stop by a Dollar Store before you depart and get a bag full of magic markers, pens/pencils, coloring books, cosmetics, candy, etc. All of these are very much luxury items to the resort workers there, and are simply unobtainable to them. Each day, we leave an item or two on the dresser for the maid with a simple note saying "gracias." It spreads so much good will, and it directly impacts the lives of the workers.

On our last trip, the maid came in while I was still in bed. She actually sat on the edge of my bed and hugged me while she cried. She said "my nino's you have given early Christmas!"

I absolutely love it down there, and you will too just by reading your post.

Wait till you see the airport - very cool.

Have a great trip, G Man!
Thank you once again. You have gotten me even more excited for the trip than i was before. Never heard the advice of bringing items like pens and candy to give to the workers, just money, so thats a good point you brought up. I'm quite the explorer so i'm sure i will venture of the island at some point. Also plan on making it to the al la carte resturants when possible as eating the same thing over and over can def get boring. Thanks again.

G Man
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Old 03-31-2009, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
7,732 posts, read 12,148,922 times
Reputation: 2774
^You're welcome - enjoy your trip!
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Old 03-31-2009, 06:55 PM
 
Location: SW MO
1,238 posts, read 4,039,367 times
Reputation: 986
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnatl View Post
^You're welcome - enjoy your trip!
I am considering a trip to the Boca Chica region next year with my extended family. Is this a fairly safe area for exploring the town and taking excursions off the resort? Some family members are well traveled, others have never been out of the country. I don't want to feel tied to a gated resort with armed guards. I much prefer to be closer to the locals.
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