Dominican Republic…. yes or no & why?

posted 3 years ago in Honeymoons
Post # 3
Member
2823 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

@MrsBrown13:  My DH & I got engaged in Punta Cana DR, we stayed at Dreams Palm Beach and it was fantastic! We’d definitely visit again! I suggestion checking out Trip Advisor for reviews & real traveler photos! 🙂

Post # 4
Member
5421 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2014

@MrsBrown13:  We’ve been 3 times, in 2008, 2012, and last month; we stayed at the Gran Bahia Principe Bavaro on our first visit, and the Luxury Gran Bahia Principe Esmeralda (which is an upgraded separate section within the Bahia Principe complex offering extra perks).

We absolutely love it; it offers great value for money, and it just a really relaxing holiday. It’s not however the place to go if you like to go out and about and explore; Punta Cana is basically purpose built for tourists so unless you take a trip (of which there are many) there’s not much to see.

Post # 5
Member
681 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@MrsBrown13:  Been to Punta Cana twice and we’re having our destination wedding there next year. On both our previous visits we stayed at the Bavaro Princess, for the wedding we’re going to the Majestic Colonial. I highly recommend the Bavaro area, the beach is fantastic! I second the PP’s tip to read the reviews on trip advisor and also compare the rankings of all the resorts in the Punta Cana area. I recommend a resort with 4 stars or greater and overall if the reviews are positive, then you’re good to go. Enjoy!

Post # 6
Member
1938 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

I think it depends what you are looking for. Punta Cana is a gorgeous place with amazing beaches. So if you are looking for relaxing time on the beach that is great. If you are looking to get out, shop, have some adventure, etc. I probably wouldn’t recommend Punta Cana because there isn’t a ton to do off resort.

I got married at Majestic Colonial. Can’t recommend it enough. Absoloutely beautiful resort.

Post # 7
Member
1118 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

We had our honeymoon there and it was gorgeous!  We’d go back for sure. 

Post # 8
Member
10219 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

The Dominican Republic is a CHEAP Caribbean Vacation for sure, and therefore a popular Destination.

DR offers many All-Inclusive Resorts… these types of holidays are most popular in Caribbean Islands where there are “issues” that otherwise cause Tourists not to frequent them / travel on their own.

And the Dominican Republic is no exception… as the DR is a Caribbean Island that suffers from a myriad of Political, Social, and Economic issues (common where AIs are the norm) … but the DR also has Environmental and Health issues as well.

In reality, the DR is a 3rd World Country… sharing the Island of Hispaniola with Haiti, one of the poorest countries on the planet.

So I encourage you to do your research BEFORE you book your holiday.

Travellers should consult their own Government to determine what their country sees to be issues for their citizens when travelling… known as Travel Advisories… for the US this is the US State Department for Canada it is Foreign Affairs Canada (other Countries will have their own resources)

In my estimation, the only SAFE way to experience the DR, is at an All Inclusive Resort… and staying at the Resort, not travelling elsewhere on one’s own…

Crime is HUGE in DR… and this a major spot where the Columbian Drug Trade has a foothold

If that is the type of Holiday you envision (a Paradise enclosed behind a wall… and in some locations with armed guards) then I say go for it.

BUT if you are the type of person who likes to explore on vacation, or are highly sensitive / conscious as to the plight of others, then this might not be the best destination for you.

The sad reality is… the DR has issues that need money to solve… and so the Tourist Dollars are needed… but it isn’t all that safe for a Tourist to be there, so AIs are the only solution, and how the country can find a way to separate day to day “the issues” from the Visitor.  Mr TTR & I don’t like either the reality or the experience of being a Tourist there, so we choose not to visit again.

I’d rather give my money to an Aid Organization who is working on the WHOLE country, vs an AI which is maintaining this “Disney like” atmosphere, and only truly helping out a few citizens.

All that said, I will say they do have stunning beaches… anyone who has been will tell you some of the most beautiful in the whole of the Caribbean.

BUT is the price paid (or not paid, in that the Destination is so cheap) worth it… well only you can decide that.

Hope this helps,

 

Post # 9
Member
1018 posts
Bumble bee

@MrsBrown13:  Very close friends of mine had their honeymoon in  Punta Cana (2010) and loved it!

Also I have been 3 times, not to resorts, but the actual village areas to help out. I’ve been to Hato Mayor, La Romana, and Santo Domingo. I love it, it is such a beautiful place and inexpensive too!

I have not been down since the earthquake in Haiti a few years ago though…

Post # 10
Member
1018 posts
Bumble bee

@MrsBrown13:  Oh, and while I haven’t been to any resorts myself or stayed in Punta Cana, I always arrived at the Punta Cana airport haha

Post # 11
Member
279 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@MrsBrown13:  We went to the Majestic Elegance in Punta Cana last November. It was absolutely gorgeous and an incredible experience.  We loved every second of it and are trying to figure out a way to get back as soon as possible!  

Post # 12
Member
11379 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

i’ve been to dr a lot and would say that punta cana is my favourite area.  the beaches are beautiful there.  i didn’t do anything off of the resorts, there is not a lot too offer outside the resorts other than water sports.

 

@MrsBrown13:  what resort did you find at a great deal?  keep in mind that it’s only a great deal if it’s a good resort that you would enjoy.

 

@lanibug:  @PuntaCanaBride:  i loved the majestic in punta cana.  by far my favourite resort there.  that’s the one that i would definitely go back to.

Post # 13
Member
681 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@mypinkshoes:  Yayyy…feeling good about our choice!! I’m hearing nothing but good things about Majestic Colonial, especially from those who have been married there!

Post # 14
Member
301 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I’ve been there once several years ago with a friend. I don’t know if this is still a thing, but our resort had vendors roaming the beach trying to sell things to guests. It was really annoying. So check the resort’s reviews beforehand to ensure that you won’t have to deal with that.

Post # 15
Member
3280 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I have heard Punta Cana is really nice and my dad suggested it for us to go to on our honeymoon. FI went there with our high school awhile back and said he would never return. They stayed at a 5 star AI resort, but felt very unsafe. There were barb wire and bars on the windows and tons of people hassling people to buy things, very pushy. They were warned by the resort not to wander off or go anywhere near Haiti where “they will shoot you just to steal your clothes.” I would definitely suggest staying at one of the chain resorts in Punta Cana if you want to go there. I’ve seen beautiful pictures but FI said not a chance. 

Post # 16
Member
511 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I went to DR (Punta Cana) a few months ago and there is NO WAY I would go back, especially not on a honeymoon. I left the resort a couple of times and got hassled constantly, and even on the supposedly ‘private’ resort beach there were touts trying to sell tours and such (4 times in 15 minutes when I am trying to relax!? Oh HELL no…). I was warned several times not to go off on my own, especially with a camera because crime is so common. The beaches weren’t even that nice, and quite crowded. When I tried to walk along the beach to get to a local restaurant I was also told off by random security guards because I was apparently “infringing” on other resorts’ area since each resort gets a small slice and that is it.

Apparently most of the main tourist spots are filled with touts and scammers thanks to all the poverty, so it’s really hard to enjoy any natural beauty the place has to offer. Oh yeah, and there were mosquitoes everywhere, I ended up with 40-50 bites all over my body after 3 days. Might be OK if you pick an all-inclusive upmarket private resort and never leave or do any sightseeing (not the cheap ones, those can be pretty sketchy), but that is really not the sort of holiday I like.

F- would not recommend.

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