Let me start out with the few bad things:
This was our second stay at BlueBay. I had pointed out in a couple of different emails ahead of time that this was our second visit to BBVD. Based on other reviews and comments, we expected some little acknowledgement that we were returning guests. Nothing. No welcome. No "we're so glad you came back". No extras or perks. In fact, when I mentioned to several people upon arrival that this was a return visit, the only reaction we got was from the TimeShare sellers, who slumped and realized that we would not waste our time listening to their spiel. Not the worst thing in the world, but I guess that I went there with an expectation of being treated as a returning family member. It was more the letdown than the action itself.
The next one is a big one (to me). We got a Gold Deluxe room. I had a hard time finding anything about what that means, but finally found some posts (here on tripadvisor) that listed some of the perks of Gold Deluxe -- it said that you get credit at the spa, unlimited a la carte restaurant visits, a welcome basket of fruit, and a few other goodies like that. To be fair, this was NOT written by BBVD, but by a person who had visited. The problem is, there was NOTHING given to us for paying the extra $20 per night to upgrade to Gold Deluxe. I went to the front desk and asked. The guy said that there is no spa credit, but that we do get unlimited a la carte. Ok, so I go over to Guest Services to sign up for a la carte reservations, and he says absolutely not. We get 3, just like everybody else. I ask him what Gold Deluxe means. He hems and haws, and finally says that it means we got a renovated room. Really? And what did Gold Deluxe give you before they started renovating? And what will it mean after? I don't think there is anything called Gold Deluxe. It is just a way to take more money. DO NOT PAY EXTRA FOR SILVER OR GOLD DELUXE. It is just a marketing ripoff. If we go back there (as if they would notice - see item 1 above), we will certainly not pay for Gold Deluxe.
Final criticism. Based on posts here, I emailed a few weeks ahead of time and requested a specific building and asked for top floor. I thought that 1) emailing early, 2) being a return customer and 3) paying for Gold Deluxe would help me get the room I wanted. Nope. It did not. And they didn't seem to care.
I thought about going to management to complain about 2 and 3, but decided that I wasn't going to let these things spoil our vacation. So we just went about our business.
Now for the good.
We really like the resort. Having adults only keeps out the whining kids. It keeps the kids from sticking their hands in the food at the buffet. The beach is very nice. We have been to a resort at Bayahibe in the south. It is very rocky getting into the water. If you don't have beach shoes, you will get cut. Not so at Blue Bay. The sand is plentiful and the beach is comfortable. A minor beef, but it seems common to all resorts -- there are not enough palapas. I don't know how those people lay out in the direct sun all day, but my fair skin can't. So I got up early and got to the beach by 8 every day. We just barely got a palapa at that time most days. And then there were the people who had already gotten up and reserved a palapa and chairs, then left. They usually come back about 10 or so. As I said, this seems to happen everywhere, so I can't complain about BBVD.
The food is good. Not spectacular. I didn't find the a la cartes to be much better than the buffet. It is still nice to have a more private, quiet place to sit, but the there was nothing great about them. I had heard that the asian fusion was supposed to be wonderful. We got in there one night, and again, the food was nice, but nothing remarkable. The buffet is typical. Plenty of food. Decent variety. I can see getting tired of it after a while, but it was fine for us.
The rooms were nice. We didn't spend a lot of time in them (beach from 8am to 6pm, then dinner, then the show, then bed). The beds were ok. Housekeeping did a nice job of sweeping up the sand, and keeping them clean.
The staff was great. Everyone is friendly and as helpful as they can be.
The entertainment at night is kind of cheesy, but it passes the time and is worth a laugh or two. I left early once or twice, and my wife didn't even bother going a couple of times.
I can't speak to the drinks, as we don't do alcohol (I know, I know. Why go to an All-Inclusive if you don't drink).
There seem to be lots more vendors on the beach than there were 2 years ago. Back then, there was just Cheapo Willy. Now there seem to be hundreds. They pretty much leave you alone if you tell them to. We don't mind looking at their stuff. My wife doesn't mind *buying* their stuff.
Transportation is easy. You can get a cab at the airport and it is a 15 minute ride to the resort. Cabs are also easy to find at the resort. We grabbed one to just take a ride one day. Another to get back to the airport. Excursions are easy. We set up a trip to Paradise Island at one of the booths in the Plaza. We had a great time snorkeling and sunning ourselves.
Overall, we had a good time. Spent a lot of time just relaxing at the beach. I read 3 or 4 books, and we took walks and jumped in the water once in a while. Despite the few things that disappointed us (mainly, the check in stuff where we were anticipating better), we like this place and will probably return some day, but with lesser expectations.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.