Here we are back from our vacation and I thought it would be a good time note some items to remember for our next trip.
The first thing I think we should do the next time we are planning/booking one of these trips it to make sure we get a first class fight. I know in some cases it will be quite a bit more expensive, but the comfort level achieved by doing this will be well worth it. I am 6’4” and the coach seating on the way there was not comfortable at all, and it was not any different on the way back. We had the opportunity to upgrade on the first leg of the flight and the first class seats on that flight were wonderful.
As far as the resort I don’t think you can go wrong with an all inclusive package, which for this trip is the way we went and I must say it has worked out rather well. All of your meals and drinks are included, and at this place it included the restocking of the mini bar. The only thing I was not fond of with this package was the need to make reservations at certain restaurants here. We found out that they were booked at least 4 days out, so you need to be on the ball and make your reservations as soon as you get here. Other than that the food/drink situation was pretty good and available whenever you were hungry or thirsty.
Once you get to your desired resort make sure you check the room. This was advice given to us and we did not think it would be a problem until we got there. Smoking versus non-smoking is not a room option and our room smelled like a cigar testing facility. In our case there were no rooms available that day, but the next day they moved us to a room that had a normal smell and even had a better view (a view of the ocean makes a big difference). Don’t forget this is a resort and they want to do everything they can to make you happy, and it’s your vacation so you want to be as happy and as comfortable as possible.
One thing that I think is supper important if you are going somewhere that takes you closer to the equator is that the sun is stronger and you will burn if you are not careful. This happened to me and it only took an hour under the sun with no sun block. It was not pretty was not a pleasant experience. I had no idea it would happen so fast, but it can and it did. Make sure you take plenty of sun block and listen to the natives when they tell you “the sun is different here”.
The other thing that is probably just as important as the sun item is the water situation. Do not drink the water. The tour guide person that we talked to the second day we were here told us this and she was not joking. The water was only to be used for bathing and was not to be consumed under any circumstances. Bottled water is provided and its best to use that, even for making tea or coffee. I used it to rinse my mouth the first day after brushing my teeth and she scolded me for doing that. I should have known better from my time in the Navy, but you think that when you are going to such a nice resort the water will be safe. That is not the case and I now know resort or not the water is off limits.
Over all I must say it was a great vacation and I am already looking forward to the next one. The resort we stayed at was the Majestic in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and the package was the Elegance all inclusive package. My lovely wife really enjoyed the beach and I really enjoyed just not having to do anything and I got to sit and read a book which is something I have not been able to do in a long time. The menu choices at the restaurants were somewhat limited, but the buffet was always open and the choices there made it impossible to leave hungry. The Elegance package puts you close to the beach but a ways away from the restaurants so comfy shoes are a must. The service was so good it was almost hard to take as they want to do everything they can to make you as comfortable as possible. You are assigned a butler and he calls your room once a day to see how you are doing and there is a separate concierge service that is there for whatever else you need. All of this made it extremely difficult to go home, but really excited about the next trip. Here are a couple more pics….