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Travel Agent of 20yrs gives TIPS on the DR.........

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Eastern Canada
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Travel Agent of 20yrs gives TIPS on the DR.........

I have been hooked at this site all day today and I cannot beleive the mixed reviews about the hotels and about the island. I begin to wonder if the travel agents out there are not doing their job informing their clients properly or if toooo many people are looking for "deals" and booking online and not getting the proper info???

Anyway, I thought I would offer a few simple tips about travel to the DR to make your life more enjoyable and your expectationos more realistic about this destination. .....

1. The main language there is Spanish. So no matter what anyone tells you, you will definitely run into a language barrier at some point on the trip. Be patient, smile, and I am sure you will get more help than with aggressive behaviour.

2. In ANY COUNTRY IN THE CARIBBEAN.....taxis can be late, rooms may not be ready upon check-in, air conditioners DO break once in a while, repairs in the Caribbean are SLOW.....get the idea?? Instead of letting these incidents frustrate you, RELAX, smile, be patient (sometimes pass a small "tip" to the repairman) and you will get further ahead and enjoy your trip more. If you want to avoid these kind of things then plan on forking out big bucks on more Americanized Islands. DR might not be the right place for you.

3. YES, the are bugs in the Caribbean!!! They can be in the dining room, in the bedroom, in the bathroom. It is a warm humid climate and bugs love it!!! So do we!! hahahah Bring some bug spray for the "no see-ums" that come out near dusk. I suggest that ladies give their legs a bit of a spray before going to dinner to avoid being nibbled on. Dont leave food or any kind of drinks in your room - the bugs will have a feast. But generally bugs are not a huge problem.

4. Dominican Republic is not a totally Americanized Island. There are occassional power outages, and even less often there is no water. I have had both things happen for very brief periods. It is not generally the fault of the hotel, more often is is an island-wide outage that is corrected quickly. Again, if this is not acceptable, maybe try Disneyland instead of Dominican.

5. Dont expect that your "upgraded room" or your "honeymoon package" will be exactly as the pretty brochures state. In most instances, if the front desk clerk cant fix any problems, then patiently ask for the manager. Dominicans love a smile and HATE aggression even when they are in the wrong. And if you dont get that bottle of bubbly in the room......is it reallllllly such a big deal??? You can bet it wont be the most expensive bottle anyway so head to the beach bar and get an island drink and enjoy the sun & view! Dont get me wrong - I think you should get what you pay for. I am just giving you the reality of life in Dominican.

So, I hope I have been able to help make a few trips a bit more enjoyable by preparing you for reality. I love Dominican Republic and will be heading there again soon.

If you have any quesitons I might be able to help with just email me at anne@mcginntravel.com (not a sales pitch, just trying to help you with your trip)

Cheers~

alberta,canada
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1. Re: Travel Agent of 20yrs gives TIPS on the DR.........

I think this is a great post,most people think there going to the best hotels in the world ,far from it.this is a 3rd world country.

treat them with respect and in turn you will get it back.relax and enjoy yourselves.a mexican minute is long and iam sure it is no diff. in the dc.

have a great holiday people

Toronto, Canada
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2. Re: Travel Agent of 20yrs gives TIPS on the DR.........

I too think its a great post. There is always gonna be something wrong, doesn't matter where you go. Life is not perfect and either are people.

Getting away from responsibility is a holiday for me...heck I'd sleep on the beach if I had too.

Yes, so relax and enjoy what you have, instead of what you don't have!!!

Winnipeg
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3. Re: Travel Agent of 20yrs gives TIPS on the DR.........

Nicely put! Now can you help with my question?! I am going to Barcelo Bavaro Beach & Caribe in Feb 2005 and I just want to make sure everything is up and running, the beach is still beautiful, etc. Do you have any input about this complex? I went to Ocean Bavaro last year and I thought it was great...I heard the Barcelo was better though!

If you can give me some info I would greatly appreciate it!

Eastern Canada
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914 posts
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4. Re: Travel Agent of 20yrs gives TIPS on the DR.........

Barcelo Bavaro Beach/Caribe is a Huge hotel........over 1300 rooms so make sure you dont mind a very large property. Personally that is a bit large for me but I have heard some good things about it there. I am looking for a property update very soon from a friend - dont always count on the tour companies saying "everything is all fine & back to normal after the hurricane" because it isnt always true. I will put up a new posting with direct referral to the effects of the hurricane and the repairs as soon as my reliable contact gets back to me.

Albany,NY
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5. Re: Travel Agent of 20yrs gives TIPS on the DR.........

Great post! A few: Can you use the resturants in other resorts- of course paying-....by the same token, other resorts beach bars and casinos? What is the real truth about the casinos- worth the money?Credit cards widely used? Any point in bringing fun " glitzy dress up clothes"?

"

Eastern Canada
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6. Re: Travel Agent of 20yrs gives TIPS on the DR.........

Generally you cannot use the restaurants at other resorts - even if you pay. However, there are restaurants off the resorts that you can enjoy. If variety is important to you in dining make sure that you choose a resort that has more than one a la carte restaurant.

I havent bothered with any of the casinos personally, but what I have heard is that they are typcial of casinos - ya win some, ya loose more, hahahaha.

nobleton, ontario
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7. Re: Travel Agent of 20yrs gives TIPS on the DR.........

Jamaicasun,

Have you been to the Bavaro Princess? I here it is closed until December 4 for renovations we are scheduled to go on December 26. If for some reason it is not open on that date do you recommend another hotel. Keep in mind I'm travelling with children under 6.

Thanks.

Waterloo, ONT
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8. Re: Travel Agent of 20yrs gives TIPS on the DR.........

Ironic that all the people who agree with these suggestions are Canadian. :>

and sorry southern friends, in some countries women do go topless, what a sin!!! Guess what they can in Ontario - Yes Canada too.

Is it really that bad.

St. Louis, MO
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9. Re: Travel Agent of 20yrs gives TIPS on the DR.........

Here is a reply from someone in the U.S. I love Punta Cana. I agree there are always going to be some people who expect everything to be perfect. I have never been on a vacation that something didn't go exactly as planned, but you go with it. My group loved it so much that we are going back again, and hopefully again and again. I think Punta Cana is just perfect and really a great deal for the money. We have to remember we are tourist and the island people are just great. You can alway learn a few spanish words and if not, like someone said just smile and be patient.

Wood Ridge, New...
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10. Re: Travel Agent of 20yrs gives TIPS on the DR.........

Great advice, thanks!! I am planning my 3rd trip to D.R. in late Feb. Do you have any personal experiences with Palladium Bavaro or any feedback from people you may have sent there?? My other choice was the Bahia. In the past we have stayed at the Melia which I LOVED! And the Princess Bavaro which was OK to me, the food was disappointing and it took forever to get a drink b/c there were few bars open late, I think only 1 and the disco. Have a preference between either Bahia or the Palladuim???? Thanks in advance!