Safe Travel – Punta Cana Dominican Republic

I had my doubts about going to the Dominican Republic but just got back from an all-inclusive stay at the Dreams Resort Palm Beach in Punta Cana.  I didn’t go by myself:  my cousin went with me so we were two women alone.  We just had a good ol’ time!

We arrived later than planned since there was a 3-hour delay on our fight from Houston.  But after a whirlwind trip through the airport ( some guy just grabbed our bags and said he would take us where we needed to go (and he did)) we caught up to our driver to take us to the resort.  You have to be careful, though, and make sure that you are going with the driver from your resort and not some strange outfit that promises to get you there.  Your travel agent (always, always use an agent) should have arranged for your transfer to the resort.  We were instructed that our driver would be in a blue flowered shirt.  Sure enough – after a winding around and around we arrived at Dreams Palm Beach.

We were greeted in a beautiful open air lobby

Dreams Palm Beach Lobby

Dreams Palm Beach Lobby

and promptly taken to our spacious room.  We had requested two beds:  when we saw there was only a king size bed, they fixed it right away.  Rather than move us to another room, the staff just brought in another bed.  I am so glad they didn’t move us because the view from our third floor balcony was beautiful!  Tons of swaying palm trees and marvelous pools.

Balcony View Dreams Palm Beach

Balcony View Dreams Palm Beach

We had difficulty adjusting to the time.  I haven’t figured out why but we thought it was much later than it was so we hurried to dinner at the Seaside Grill and ate a fantastic rib-eye for dinner.  This is an all-inclusive resort so dinner and drinks were included and very nice.  Of course, we had to take a little walk along the beach even though it was dark.  After all, the beach is the reason we came to Dreams Palm Beach in the first place.  We just had to hear the ocean and see the water in the moonlight.

Our first full day was rainy, wouldn’t you know it?  We didn’t let that detour us from exploring and sitting beside the pool under an umbrella.  There are plenty of chairs, umbrellas and thatched sun shelters on the beach.  Be aware that even if the sun is not shining you can still burn badly.  Use your sunscreen!  In between rain showers we took a walk on the beach.  Right now, in the Caribbean, they are having a problem with seaweed washing up on the beach.  There was quite a lot of it the first couple of days but the staff was diligently trying to keep up with removal of the seaweed.  By the third day, the seaweed was gone and you were able to get into the water if you wanted.  We didn’t have a problem with seaweed the rest of the trip.  But the white sand beach and beautiful blue water were fantastic

Dreams Palm Beach View

Dreams Palm Beach View

On the third day we took a day-long excursion into Santo Domingo to see some of the old city at the place Columbus discovered the new world.  We had an incredible guide, Munchie, who was fluent in three languages – English, French, and Spanish.  We had to be ready to leave at 7 am and didn’t return until around 6 pm.  It’s about a two hour drive to Santo Domingo from Punta Cana but the time was not wasted as our guide explained a lot of the history.  We even passed over the jungle river used in the filming of Apocalypse Now.  We saw the old city, Columbus Light House, the castle of Columbus’ grandson, Panteón Nacional, First Cathedral of the New World, and clock square

Alcazar De Colon

Alcazar De Colon

Panteón Nacional

Panteón Nacional

Panteón Nacional Eternal Flame

Panteón Nacional Eternal Flame

First Cathedral of the New World

First Cathedral of the New World

I would highly recommend this excursion as shopping and lunch are included.

The remainder of our 7-day stay was just relaxing – moving from poolside to beach and back again.  The resort has plenty of activities if lying around in the sun is not your thing.  There are aerobics, dance lessons, free scuba lessons, tennis lessons, spa sessions (which we never quite found the time for), watching the many weddings, shows and parties at night.  We went to a show called Studio 54 which featured disco music and dancing.  I am in awe of people who can dance like that!  You can walk out of the resort a few blocks and have some great local shopping.

Shopping in Dominican Republic

Shopping in Dominican Republic

We did one more excursion:  deep sea fishing.  What an experience that was!  I did everything I know to prevent sea sickness but it didn’t work on that small boat on 7-8 foot seas.  Everyone on the excursion but my cousin and a Russian guy got sick.  But a couple of nice mahi-mahi were caught and I would go again.

Deep Sea Fishing in Punta Cana

Deep Sea Fishing in Punta Cana

There are 5 specialty restaurants at the resort:  Sea Side Grill, Portofino (Italian), Bordeaux (French cuisine), El Patio (Mexican) and Himitsu (Asian).  We were excited to be able to try new food but to be honest, we were pretty disappointed.  We tried the Italian (calamari were rubber and spaghetti had way to many olives) and Asian.  They were not good at all so we didn’t venture to two of the others.  We had the best food at Sea Side Grill and the World Cafe which is an international buffet-style restaurant.  The resort has 5 bars scattered around:  drinks were generous and well made.  There were plenty of wait staff poolside and on the beach.

So – overall our trip was fantastic and I would recommend Dreams Palm Beach.  We will more than likely return for another tremendous vacation.  Next time it will be for longer than 7 days!  Our travel agent was wonderful and set us up on a great trip.  And last but not least:  the cost is very reasonable.

 

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