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Photos and videos don't show people in ocean water like in Mayan Riviera

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I am trying to decide between the Mayan Riviera and Punta Cana for a one week AI trip starting Dec. 17. I have been doing some research and have noticed that while the beach in Punta Cana is highly praised, photos of the hotels and even visitor photos of the beach and water very rarely show people in the water, whereas in the MR photos and videos always show people in the ocean water (even though it is described as rocky due to the coral). I am starting to worry because we would like a place to relax and soak/swim in warm, salt ocean water, walk along beaches, and read.

We are a family of 5 - parents in their 40s, and three kids - 19,21, and 23 - all in university. Everyone is stressed out with work or school and we all just want to relax in a warm place, enjoy good food, and be entertained at the evening shows. It would be great if you could recommend some AI resorts since I have just started researching; I have looked at the Barcelo Maya Tropical in MR and the Barcelo Bavaro Palace in PC, but there are sooo many more to look at, and I would appreciate some guidance.

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