First Trip of the Year

I’m back school is over and we are traveling again.  Our first trip this year was to the Dominican Republic.  We decided to fly to Punta Cana.  The flight looked good the night before but in the morning it was oversold in coach but open in first class.  This means that people have to upgrade to first class in order for the coach seats to open up.  So we took a chance and drove to the airport.  Arriving there in time.  Well I can see the seats closing out in first class and then closing out in coach.  The flight after the one we were booked on had cancelled and that explained why so many people were on the flight.  Needless to say the flight took off without us.  When the gate agent asked us if we wanted to be pushed to the next flight, I told her we would drive. The next flight would not have gotten us to Miami in time for the flight to Punta Cana.  So we decided to see if we could drive to Miami from Jacksonville in 5 1/2 hours.  As we were driving we decided to check and see if there were any flights leaving from Orlando.  There was actually a flight leaving at 10:15 and it was 7:30pm we had to get to Orlando, park, go through security and get to the gate.  Man we needed to drive quickly.  Plus we were low on gas and would not make it all the way without some gas for the car.  In my opinion we had to be at the airport at 9:30am.  We booked ourselves on the flight and decided to go for it.  We took the toll roads (which we never do) and made it there around 9:35 found a parking and had to get through security.  We printed our boarding passes and thankfully we both have Global Entry which come with Pre check and made it to the flight with 10 minutes to spare.  Whew, neither of us could believe we made the flight.  We then landed in Miami early but there was not a gate open so we had to wait on the tarmac until 11:44am and the flight to Punta Cana took off at 12:30pm.  Needless to say we made it to that flight just as it had started boarding. Man this was a just barely make it type of day.  We sat back and enjoyed the flight.

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As we were flying to the caribbean I looked out the window and saw beautiful looking islands.  I had to pull out my good camera to get this shot.

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The Dominican Republic is on the same island as Haiti and and flying overhead it appears as if the island is desolate.  When we landed in Punta Cana I was surprised as to how many different airlines there were landed there.  We made our way to the outside of the airport and hand ordered transportation through the booking agent we used.  The van was there waiting for us and as we were driving to the resort it reminded me of the drive to the resort in Freeport.  My husband was looking at the dashboard of the van and told me that every light on the dashboard was lit, from the check engine to the oil light.  When we arrived at the Dreams Punta Cana Resort they took our luggage and led us to the front desk.  We proceeded to sign in and they asked us if we wanted and upgrade.  We declined their upgrade as we had already upgraded to our tropical room.  They brought over a glass of champagne as we were signing in and when we were done the bell boy put our luggage in a cart and walked us to our room.  The resort itself looked amazing as we were going to our room.

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The room was pretty nice but smelled a little musky when we first entered.  They have incense in the rooms but we don’t like that smell so we didn’t light it.

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The view out the back which was supposed to be a tropical view was really the back gate and hedges and palm trees.  I would not recommend paying for the upgrade.  We went right out to the pool and the beach on the first day and of course we stopped for a drink.  Included in our upgrade were $200 worth of coupons, we didn’t use any of these so that was a waste of money.  This is from the first day on the beach.

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One of the many complaints I read on was that there was a lot seaweed on the beach. This was true but for the time of year I believe expected and when we walked down the beach all of the resorts had seaweed on their beaches.  If you don’t like seaweed then the pool below was great and it even had a swim up bar.

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Dinner was great and I only took photos of the desert.  We did the main dining the first night.  There were several restaurants on the property.  The good thing is you don’t need a wrist band for the property.

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Here is the swim up bar and day two.  The weather was perfect not to hot and not to cold.  The pool water was a little cold at first as was the ocean but we still got in.

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We then went for a walk on the beach passing many other resorts.  We did take a catamaran out for about an hour and sailed back and forth in front of the beach.

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While walking down the beach there were several vendors selling artwork and various things.

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There were palm trees that were cut down and fallen all over the beach.  Lots of great photo opportunities.

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My husband took this photo of me with the shadow of the tree on the beach.

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This is what the resort property looked like on the beach side.  There were plenty of seat for everyone.

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We are not big drinkers but one of the best drinks we had on the resort was called Me and You.  I have searched the internet and cannot find the recipe so if anyone goes there find out what goes in there and let me go they were great.

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One of the best things about the resort is the staff.  They try and keep you entertained and they are very into their jobs and take care of you to the best of their ability.

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For the second night we went to the French Restaurant for dinner.  Most of the meal was good but the Lobster Bisque was horrible.  To fishy and very salty.  Also, the French restaurant has a very musky moldy smell.  We had drinks in the lobby and danced at the beach disco.

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We listened to Spanish Guitar on our final night and ate back in the main dining room.  I also got a massage at the spa which was great.  We did go out to the shopping area that was near by on the final day and didn’t have much cash.  Mind you this is a poor country and everyone wants you to go in their shop and we even had one kid beg us to buy something.  I felt really bad as we didn’t bring much cash with us.  One other thing about the resort that is a bit of a disappointment is the cell phone data.  I have T mobile which has free data so I figured I didn’t need to buy theirs.  Well it appears as if the entire resort is blocked.  Facebook posts would only go late at night or when you were practically in the water.  I did ask them once how much the data was (I knew it wasn’t free) it was $40 for one device and I’m assuming that is per day.  The cell service was pretty spotty also.  I mention this because when we left the resort on the final day as soon as we were away from the row of resorts all my post went very quickly.  Other than that we had a great time in Punta Cana though I would not go back to the same resort we might go back to the island again.  I am finishing this post up in March of 2015 and can tell you we went to Amsterdam twice in February and we are looking at going to Miami in March so more to come.  My goal this year is to go one place each month lets see how I do.

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