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Honeymoon in Punta Cana or Barbados

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Feb 10th, 2008, 05:28 PM
  #1
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Honeymoon in Punta Cana or Barbados

My fiance and I are looking for a honeymoon destination in the Caribbean for June 2008. He has only been on a cruise to the Bahamas and I have been all over Puerto Rico, including Vieques and Culebra. I have also been to the Bahamas and Turks & Caicos. Our budget is $3500 for everything. We started looking at Barbados and St. Lucia. St. Lucia was a little more than we wanted to spend and appears to be more "rocky" than big white beaches with clear water like we want. Barbados looks great, but we don't know too much about it. The resort there that we are looking at is Crystal Cove, which is all-inclusive. The only concern with it is that it doesn't look to "fancy". Then we started looking at Punta Cana. Seems to have everything there from what we have read....great resorts, easy and direct flights for us, fits out budget, beautiful beaches. We are struggling because it has everything for such a great price. Are we missing something?
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Feb 10th, 2008, 05:36 PM
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I forgot to mention that we are looking at Paradisus Palma Real in Punta Cana.
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Feb 11th, 2008, 05:56 AM
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Your money will tend to go farther in Punta Cana than in Barbados. But don't expect real luxury for that prices, even at Paradisus. I'm afraid you will be disappointed. For that price, you will get a very nice mid-range to slightly upscale resort (all-inclusive if you wish), which I think fairly describes Paradisus.

If it were me, I'd probably go for charm and romantic atmosphere, perhaps Ti Kaye in St. Lucia, but I totally get your issues with St. Lucia's beaches. There are simply no really powdery beaches there.

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Feb 11th, 2008, 07:17 AM
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If you choose St Lucia, try either Le Sport, an all-inclusive spa resort with amazing food, or by June Cap Maison should be open nearby. No to Crystal Cove in Barbados. You're correct that it isn't fancy (a bit tired) and the beach is rocky from the reef. Barbados has dozens of gorgeous beaches and if you don't choose to dine among the rich and famous, there are some fabulous local affordable restaurants. Go to BarbadosBarbados.com for places to stay and information. Punta Cana is indeed great value for money but the crime there will force you to stay within the compound. Not good if you like a change of scenery. Beaches are great.
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Feb 11th, 2008, 10:54 AM
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My advice is Barbados. "Crystal Cove "is not the fanciest, but also doesn't have the "fancy" price. We stayed at one of her sister resorts "Tamarind Cove" and were quite pleased. Just be sure to upgrade your room to get a better location. We had an oceanfront room, and it was one of the best we've stayed in.

We did all inclusive at Tamarind, and most of the meals were very good. Didn't like the Mexican Buffet night very much. But the "off the menu" nights were great and so was thw entertainment every night. The beach was outstanding.

For a small extra charge we went to "Colony Club"(another sister resort) one night, and it was excellent.

We did visit "Crystal
Cove" and met some people staying there. They spoke very highly of the resort, but also had upgraded their rooms. During they have a free boat to take you between the resorts.

We also stayed at "Paradisus" Punta Cana. One of the prettiest beaches we've been on and the resort was beautiful. Really loved it there, except for one thing--everyone got sick. We still had a great time, just had to be aware of where the bathrooms were at all times! Also, don't go outside of the resort--very scary!

In Barbados, just be sure you are on the west coast--very calm water. South coast is beautiful, but very wavy.

If you do go out one night and pay extra, try "The Cliffs"restaurant--absolutely gorgeous. You must make a reservation several days ahead of time.

Also, if you are interested, my husband loved the golf on Barbados.
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Feb 11th, 2008, 03:33 PM
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Thanks everyone for all the advice. This really helps! We are leaning towards Punta Cana, but I wanted to ask more about crime. This is the first time I have heard that crime is bad there on the island. If we go, what do we need to watch out for? I have also heard people say they got food poisoning in Punta Cana, but not at this particular place.
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Feb 11th, 2008, 06:46 PM
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Crime is not an issue in Punta Cana. First of all, if you exercise reasonable caution I think you have absolutely nothing to fear in the DR. The resorts in PC are all self-contained. So the problem in PC is not crime but rather isolation. There's nothing really close to PC, and if you want to get out much, you have to take an excursion. (I'm not sure it's worth renting a car, but you could go into Higuey, which is about an hour away, to visit the cathedral and shop in the artisan's market. Within the resorts, there is no problem with crime.

Food poisoning is not really a problem at most DR resorts, but tainted water is, and you must pay particular attention that you do not use any tap water to brush your teeth or to drink (ice, which is made from purified water within the resorts, is fine, as are salads). If you do this and practice good hygiene by washing your hands before meals, you should have no problems. I certainly never have. Sunburn is a much greater risk than anything else.
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Feb 12th, 2008, 10:49 AM
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I must disagree about the lack of crime comment in or outside Punta Cana. The airport is without question a tense experience. While the commentor is correct that PC is more of an isolation issue and that by taking reasonable precaution for your personal safety you "should" be OK, you will be advised by staff NOT to leave the general resort area---there is an underlying reason for that. And the admonition to "watch what water you drink" speaks for itself. Barbados is going to be more expensive but it is night and day re the crime issue. Barbados is also known for the purity of its tap water which even the Queen herself drinks. Of course one of the smaller islands--Bequia, Grenada come to mind---will also offer a safe holiday. Good luck!
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Feb 12th, 2008, 12:27 PM
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If you are thinking Punta Cana, look into Excellence Punta Cana. We were there when it was still Secrets Excellence. It's an adults only allinclusive with wonderful service, great food, fantastic pools and beach.
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Feb 12th, 2008, 07:35 PM
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West coach beaches in Barbados are calm and sandy...and still and buggy in the summer. As you go around the south end and towards the east they get a little more rocky and windy and choppy. There's something for everyone if you're willing to rent a car and brave the bad roads. Take beach shoes and try the east coast beaches for fun in the waves. Snorkel on the west coast beaches.
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Feb 13th, 2008, 04:50 AM
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I agree with Doug on the crime in Punta Cana. Its not an issue. More of the issue is there is nothing in Punta Cana except resorts. And if you dont speak the language it's hard to find anything local. I disagree with him on the Palma Real. I have friends in the travel business who've been several times and highly recommend.

When I went to PC we stayed at the Melia Caribe Tropicale. It was great, had 7 restaurants, and a beautiful pool and beach. I would go back!

The beaches in Punta Cana are really glorious. They stretch for miles with Palm trees fringing. Gorgeous.

As far as Barbados. I love Bds and have been many times. The St Lawrence Gap area has many affordable hotels with great beaches...Southern Palms and Bouganvillia are two that I've stayed at and would recommend. The Southern Palms is very reasonably priced and on wonderful Dover Beach. The water is a little wavy, but we love to play in the waves.

I wouldn't do all-inclusive in Bds. Too many wonderful restaurants all over the place. In St Lawrence Gap area you can walk to a dozen or so. The west coast areas like Holetown have even more.

Also, the Bds Tourism board runs the "Best of Barbados" program every year where you get an airline discount, free breakfast, and free nights at participating hotels. That's always a good deal. You could keep an eye out for that. Your TA should know about it or you can do a web search.

Peace, Greenie
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Sep 17th, 2013, 12:06 PM
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My family and I just got back from Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.

Doug_Stallings is right, you have to be very careful of tainted water there. It sounds easy to do, but it can be hard to remember to use bottled water to brush your teeth and to keep your mouth closed in the shower.

Still after you've had travellers diarrhea once you probably won't forget again. It's pretty nasty. We're still not sure if it was that or food poisoning that got us, but it hit half of the Dreams Resort at the same time as it hit us.

There was a wedding party of 40 people in Punta Cana while we were there and more than half of them were sick with travellers diarrhea. A friend had his wedding at The Majestic Elegance in Punta Cana one month after we came back and he and half of his party got sick too.

I blogged about our whole Punta Cana food poisoning experience here http://davidmichaelchristopher.com/b...g-and-iarrhea/ if you want the details.

Once you're sick you can barely eat or drink anything, so it really puts a dampener on the whole all inclusive thing.
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Sep 17th, 2013, 02:21 PM
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I think it bears repeating that when you have a mass sickness event like this, it's just as often NOT food poisoning ... it's often norovirus. That is, unless everyone gets sick at exactly the same moment. That's how you can tell if it's a food poisoning issue or a norovirus issue. But noroviruses are quite prevalent at big resorts and hotels ... more so, I would argue, than they are on cruise ships.
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Sep 17th, 2013, 03:02 PM
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Punta Cana has never interested me personally because it's one of those fake "built" places. There was nothing there, then they developed a bunch of resorts for tourists.

People stay only on their resort property. I'd rather go someplace where you can go out and enjoy the town and surrounding local areas.

I was twice to the DR many years ago and stayed once in Puerto Plata and the other time in Sosua. Those were great but too long ago to comment about now.
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Sep 18th, 2013, 07:11 AM
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I often never mention this on here but my DH and I were there in 2000 and my husband got deathly ill--he was so sick with a stomach virus not sure what it was--or what caused it. My DIL and husband went for a long weekend. Her husband ended up in an emergency ward upon coming home he was so sick. it passed of course and my DIL was also sick. not as bad as himself. I have avoided this place ever since. My DH is very healthy I might add. I was told not to eat the fish over there. I did not and he did--I was never sick at all but we would not return. Just a bad reminder and as said not something one forgets---
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Sep 18th, 2013, 09:09 AM
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diann, You are not alone. If anyone does some reading up on various internet travel forums, this comes up far too often about Punta Cana. I can't think of anywhere else I regularly read about tourists getting sick at resorts.
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Sep 21st, 2013, 02:22 PM
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This post is so old; i'm sure the OP has gone and enjoyed their trip regardless of where they went.

Peace, Greenie
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Sep 21st, 2013, 04:06 PM
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I know right--they are probably taking there first child to kindergarten all ready--LOL.
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Sep 22nd, 2013, 09:24 AM
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Oh, didn't notice the date. May still provide good information for other people reading here though.
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Sep 22nd, 2013, 05:37 PM
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Suze oh for sure-I noticed the date but it is still a useful subject in and of itself. It always comes up on here about the DR.I thought perhaps the DR had worked out there issues by now, but it seems to still be a problem with some people.(the sickness issue.)
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