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Just back from Ocean Blue - Review & Pics

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Just back from Ocean Blue - Review & Pics

Hi All,

I just returned from Ocean Blue. We stayed March 11th - 18th and wish we had booked an additional week! You are charged $10 for a tourist card upon arrival in the airport. When we arrived the airport was not crowded. We bought the transfer from the airport to the hotel through Cheap Caribbean. There was only another group of people with us so we only had to stop at one other hotel. I had read some reviews that the drivers were a little scary to drive with. Here is my take on it: I'm from Boston and people that come here freak out when they see how we drive. But we know what we're doing and we don't get killed. Same thing down there. They do drive crazy, but you never see any accidents or anything so relax and enjoy the fun! Ok, so about the resort...We arrived about 7:30 at night, there were not welcome drinks but I know that people who arrived earlier got them. No big deal. We did smell the sewer smell around the lobby area, however, about midweek it was gone and we never smelt it again. We were in Villa 3 and on the 3rd floor. We had to water issues but we heard about some with people on the 2nd and 3rd floor. Villa 3 was a little bit of a walk to the beach, but it was right near the main buffet where you have to go to get reservations in the morning, so it worked out well. I've been to Mexico 3 times so that is all I have to compare this to as far as tropical vacations. The 1st day I was a bit surprised by the service. In Mexico I had people bringing me drinks on the beach and it was as if they couldn't do enough for you. This is not the case here. In fact, service is pretty slow, but once you figure out to kick back and go with their pace, it is awesome. Everyone I spoke to said that is the way that the Dominicans are, if you look at them working, there are 5 workers - 2 are working and 3 are sitting there talking. The people are awesome. I thought the locals in Mexico were awesome (and they are) but I think the Dominicans are even friendlier - if that is possible! I went with my cousin and we are 20 & 22 so the guys loved us. They are so funny and friendly I wanted to stay forever just because of the people. The pools are huge and they are fairly warm and amazingly clean. The beach was beautiful and the water in the ocean I thought was warm also. You have to remember that you are sitting in 90 degree weather, so the water is going to feel cooler than it actually is. We went in both a lot though. There are huts right next to the resort that sell goods. We bought a lot of paintings and jewelery. You can get things for at least 1/2 of what they say to begin with. The guys will drop the price a few extra bucks if you bring them a beer or Bahama Mama. The grounds of the hotel are not up to par yet. There are many plants that look as if they've seen their last day, but I can only imagine how hard it is to grow things in that weather. They were planting additional things while we were there and had the sprinklers going in the wee hours of the morning so I'm sure that it will look beautiful soon enough. The food I thought was good for an all inclusive. As with many all inclusives, by the end of a week, you look forward to going back to your home for a good steak or something. I fould that for lunch we liked the beach buffet better than the regular. But we also spent all day on the beach so it was annoying to walk to the regular just to eat (we only did it once). The beach buffet you don't need cover-ups (although I always threw on bottoms but no top) where as the main buffet you need to be fully covered. The casino, spa and boweling alley weren't done yet but it looks as though the casino will be done soon. The internet cafe is up and working: $4 - 15 minutes; $7 - 30 minutes. The shops look as though they will be done soon. They have someone who brings around a monkey - and some other animals I think, we got pictures with the monkey. They display the pictures in the shop next to the internet cafe. They cost $8 each. The restaurants are pretty good. I did not find the service to be slow here. The Dominican is very good, if you like different kinds of food (goat, etc). I got the steak and didn't like it but my cousin got the chicken and that was great. The American is good - reminds me of Johnny Rockets. Italian was pretty good. Mexican was pretty good but they didn't have sour cream for fajitas! The Caribbean was good, but very hard to get in to. I had to get up at 6:30 and wait in line till 7 when the reservation table opened. If you want to eat on the beach, you have to request that. We didn't realize this and ended up sitting inside - you can still see the ocean but it's not on the beach. The buffet for dinner I didn't think was that great. It seems as though the male waiters at the buffets are much quicker than the woman. The language barrier is there, but it is fun. Every resort that I've stayed at, everyone can speak like 5 languages, not so here. I do think that one day they will, but as of now they can't. They do speak some English and I speak a little Spanish so we got the point across. We just basically laughed at eachother and after a bit figured out what we were saying. The coffee house is awesome. We were there every night. The sports bar I didn't go to but one night - we are in our early 20's and the crowd was either 15 year olds or couples in the 30's and 40's. We went to the casino that is like 2 minutes away and that was a lot of fun. Most nights we just hung outside and drank hot chocolate & tea and ate desserts. When we ate at the Caribbean restaurant we saw flamingos walking on the beach at night. The rock wall was open, it is pretty hard. Johnny the guy that runs it is so funny! A lot of people were playing volleyball and the trampoline was closed. They have top shelf alcohol and will but as much in you drinks as you ask for. If you are young pretty girls, no need to ask. Mama Juana - the "Dominican Viagra" as I was informed after I took a shot...is strong and pretty gross, but an experience. We did the horseback riding which was AWESOME! You do gallop so you might want to have a little experience. We also did a 1/2 day snorkeling excursion which was really fun too. Drinks are free and after snorkeling you dance on the boat and go to a deserted beach. The guys were great, I loved Papo - the bartender. I also did waterskiing, really fun to have waterskiied in the Caribbean but harder than on a lake. The banana boat was fun also, but we had crazy guys on with us and my cousin pulled a muscle in her neck. Well, I think this is about all. We had an incredible time and wish I could have stayed for a month. For the price, it was truely amazing. If you have any problems go see Sandra or Christain (he also works in her office). They are both great. We got all of our excursions for free. Here is the link of my photos:

pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/liza8402/album…

Feel free to ask questions about anything!

Newark, De
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21. Re: Just back from Ocean Blue - Review & Pics

Hi LIza,

Thaks for the info abt your trip. Sounds like you had an amazing time. Do you think the horsebackriding trip would be safe for a 10 y.o. girl? She wants to go so much after reading your review. Is it a long hike to the horses? Also can you suggest some good drinks to request from the bar? There was a drink with coco something, did you try that drink? We are leaving Fri. and are getting really excited.

Thanks for the info.

Carla

Whistler, British...
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22. Re: Just back from Ocean Blue - Review & Pics

twostirish222

Carlos isn't a big guy - maybe a medium.

Aramos...

It was very lovely, the people were wonderful and we had a great time.

Miami.Fl
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23. Re: Just back from Ocean Blue - Review & Pics

twoostirish22- like beach bum said Carlos is not a big guy, medium will be fine. Those Fruit the loon tshirt white or wallmart socks are fine too, they use that a lot, because when they do activities at the pool they have to wear that, they can be out of t-shirt.

They will love a lillte item, from .99c store, when you meet Carlos tell him : his cuban family said hello, and soon we are going.

Thanks, I hope you have a wonderful time and a very nice vacations.

aramos

Cee
Winnipeg, Manitoba...
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24. Re: Just back from Ocean Blue - Review & Pics

We did the Outback Safari tour and enjoyed it. We really liked the beach they take your boogie boarding. The waves were great. We were going to do the horseback riding but were unsure with our son. Had it been just my husband & I on this trip, we would have picked a different excursion but thought this was the best family one and I think we made a wise decision.

We thought the hotel wasn't bad. I posted a review under the below tread. We have a lot of photos that we uploaded to a site with a password that I'd love to share, however b/c my kids are in them, I don't feel comfy posting them for the world to see.

tripadvisor.com/…447758

New York City, New...
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25. Re: Just back from Ocean Blue - Review & Pics

Hi Everyone -

Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to everyone, but I was at school all day yesterday (7:30 am - 8:00 pm). Anyways, here are answers to all of your questions:

Twostirish222: About the free stuff...this is how we got it. Our shower in our room was draining very slowly. I mean by the end of a shower, water was up to our calves. I asked for a different room (at reception) and was told it would be ready by 1. 1 came and they said it would be ready at 3. I checked back at 3 and it still wasn't ready so that is when I went to see Sandra. This was the only time on the trip that I was actually upset with the resort (and it was the 1st day, so I tend to forget about it). Sandra got us a room - but it was on the 2nd floor and we had requested a 3rd floor. We ended up staying in our room and they came and fixed our drain. It was very simple actually. They just had to unscrew a part of the plug so that it would be higher and therefore water could drain quicker. While in there I had told Sandra that I e-mailed the hotel prior to my booking asking what would be open by March 11th and they said everything. Well, nothing but the theater was open so I asked if we received a discount on other things. She said she'd give us a free massage by the pool and 1 hour of motorized watersports daily plus banana boat. The vouchers were supposed to be delivered to our room. The next day we still didn't have the vouchers so I went to see her again. She was embarassed that they hadn't been delivered so she sent us on the snorkeling trip. When the vouchers finally arrived we found out all that there was for motorized water sports was waterskiing or wakeboarding. My cousin doesn't do either so I asked if we could exchange it for horseback riding and this nice man named Christain (we dealt with him for this because Sandra was in a meeting) gave us the horseback riding and said we could keep the other vouchers also. So that is how we ended up with everything. Both were awesome to deal with but be patient...there are only 2 of them for the entire resort! I was lucky I guess...

Dewy89: About the TV selection. I honestly probably wouldn't have even turned on the TV but my cousin watched it while getting ready. I know that they do have MTV and also Showtime (or maybe HBO - it is one of those premium movie channels). Other than that, I'm sorry to say I can't help you!

Stinkybuddy: Yes, I would say that the horseback riding should be fine for a 10-year old. There was actually like a 2 year old on our trip that rode with one of the leaders. His brother, probably 6 years old, rode with his father. When you get to the ranch they seperate you into 2 groups, those that haven't ridden before and those that have. I think they give calmer horses to those that haven't. Just as long as you know a few things about horseback riding (pull on reins to stop, pull right to turn right, left to turn left and if you can't get in the rythem while riding, just stand in your stirrups) you'll be fine. The worst case is that you'll be a little sore the next day. It was about a 30-40 minute drive to the ranch, but it was worth it. The bus looks a little scary, but it is part of the adventure! Drinks at bar - honestly I'm a beer girl, but the Bahama Mama's were GREAT!!! Since we were 20 year old girls the bartenders like to get us tipsy so we didn't have a problem, but if they aren't putting enough alcohol in your drink, ask them for more and they'll glady do it. Didn't have an alcoholic drink with coco, but at the pastry place at night I had hot chocolate with whipped cream...very good! This is so sad talking about it, I wish I was there!!! If I don't hear from you before Friday, have an awesome trip!!

New York City, New...
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26. Re: Just back from Ocean Blue - Review & Pics

Cee-

Glad that you had a good trip for the most part. I understand about the pictures. I'd probably feel the same way!

Liza

Newark, De
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27. Re: Just back from Ocean Blue - Review & Pics

Thanks Liza for all the news abt your trip and for answering all my questions. Wish you could be on vacation again too. Good luck with all your school work.

Adios,

Stinky

28. Re: Just back from Ocean Blue - Review & Pics

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New York City, New...
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29. Re: Just back from Ocean Blue - Review & Pics

Stinky: Just remembered... I did think of another drink that was really good. I think that it was called a "blue fin". The only place I got it was at the swim up bar in the pool that is closest to the main buffet (the one that is usually not very crowded). I asked for it at the beach bar, but they didn't know what it was.

Llee: I was very surprised at how much free stuff we got. I wasn't one of the people that b*t*hed to Sandra, I actually didn't even expect to get anything free but she was VERY generous. There were some people who were less than nice to her, but everytime I went to see her I began with "I'm not mad with you but I just want to let you know what is going on" ... I think that she was releived to see me everytime I went because she knew I was one of the "nicer" people... Some people were quite nasty with her. I actually didn't know that we had a conceirge either until probably our 4th or 5th day there...and he was very unhelpful. Actually I don't even know his name! Sorry we missed you drunk folks! We went to bed pretty early our last night, I was up at 5:40 AM on our departure to get the sunrise!