I AM TOTALLY LOST ON WHERE TO START

Jun 19th, 2009, 11:34 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2009
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I AM TOTALLY LOST ON WHERE TO START

i want to go the Dominican republic in October but I am not sure if I should contact a Travel Agent or just book online? I am also lost on should I do a resort or just fly in and wing it? HELP!!!!!!!!!

I am a 38 year old woman and I will be traveling with my best friend from Charlotte NC and we want to go to Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic. Not sure where to start. Or which location would be best.
Russellmama is offline  
Jun 20th, 2009, 03:22 AM
  #2  
 
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I think you'd have a better opportunity winging it in PR than in DR. DR is mostly all inclusive resorts, while PR is big resort hotels and smaller boutique hotels.

The best place to start is list your priorities for a great getaway and then research each location to see which one meets the most criteria!

Peace, Greenie
greenie is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2009, 08:50 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
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Russellmama,

You've come to the right place to get started. I'm not saying don't use a travel agent, but I think you can do this yourself. And sometimes that's half the fun. Sometimes travel agents have never been to the places they send people, and your best sources are going to be people who have actually been there.

First, read what people on Fodor's have to say about PR and DR, what hotels are preferred, etc. Then take a look at those hotels mentioned to see if they are in your price range and include what you're looking for. Tell people what you're looking for in the way of price, what you want to do while there, etc. Keep asking more questions and reading the answers and, eventually, you'll get an idea of what is a good fit for you. Do a Net search and you'll locate some other Caribbean message boards. And check out tripadvisor.com. Just keep digging. If you read something is good time and time again, it probably is. If something keeps getting bad or very mixed reviews, proceed with caution!

Definitely don't fly either place without a place to stay, however.

I'm not too big on all-inclusives. They are so limiting, and if the quality is not there, you're kind of stuck. However, if the two of you don't feel comfortable doing a lot of exploring and driving on the island, you might very well want to consider the all-inclusive. It's all a matter of what you want to do. Hang at the resort all day or mix it up a bit and get out and experience the local flavor? An all-inclusive isn't a good deal if you feel stuck on the resort of spend a week eating lousy food.

Also, check to see if there are any deals offered for either of those destinations.

Hope this helped a little bit. It takes a lot of time to do research, but I have done it with every Carribean trip (about 7 times now) and have never been disappointed. People on these boards are very helpful, and I've never felt like I've been steered wrong. Good luck!
waggie1218 is offline  
Jun 25th, 2009, 04:05 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
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We went to the Dominican years ago. Loved every minute of it. It was so relaxing and enjoyable.
BarbSG is offline  
Jun 26th, 2009, 11:10 AM
  #5  
 
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I have been to both places many times. They are both totally different. The Dominican Republic (DR) is great if you want to lay on the beach and stay and eat at an all inclusive resort. Punta Cana's Bavaro Beach is the best beach. There is not a lot of sightseeing in the DR. In the DR you will most likely eat at your hotel since you have paid for all your meals up front at the all inclusive. I usually stay at the Melia Caribe Hotel in the DR.

On the other hand Puerto Rico (PR) has great beaches, great food, shopping, sightseeing, and great nightlife. If you like to explore different restaurants, it is better to go to PR. I perfer the hotels and beaches in Isle Verde. The beaches on the Condado are pretty rocky although the Marriott is not as rocky. The Condado is the area most frequented by tourist. The hotels in Isle Verde are more upscale. I perfer either the Intercontinental San Juan or the Ritz Carlton. Both of these hotels are in Isle Verde. You can visit Old San Juan, The Rum Factory, and the Rain Forest.

I like both the DR and PR. They are nice places to visit. If you want a totally laid back vacation, visit DR. If you want a laid back vacation with a little excitement on the side visit PR. Either way, I wish you an enjoyable vacation.
JASMYM is offline  
Jul 24th, 2009, 01:40 PM
  #6  
 
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Jasym, when you say Marriott - do you mean the San Juan Marriott and Stellaris Casino? Cheapcaribbean.com is offering a deal; $299 for 4 nights/pp to include air. Have you stayed here before?
job816_2 is offline  
Jul 28th, 2009, 01:05 PM
  #7  
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To everyone i want to thank you for your time in answering my cries for help. You guys are awesome and I hope to see you there one of these days.
Russellmama is offline  
Aug 19th, 2009, 07:15 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
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I'm new in this forum!
But trust me: Dominican Republic. I live in Sosua, between Puerto Plata and Cabarete!

You can come just with a flight and rent a condo with your friend and be free to do what you want!

You can contact me, I will help you without problem.

Send me a private message and I will give you my private e-mail or telephone.
Bye
nathy1973 is offline  
Aug 19th, 2009, 08:00 AM
  #9  
 
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unless you are very experienced in caribbean travel i would not advise "winging it" on any island. it's not like you'll be driving along and find a holiday inn or other chain hotel that you can expect to know what you're going to get, or have much ability to plan how much money you'll be spending.
if you are both new to carib travel i would definetly suggest puerto rico. fairly safe, lots to do/see/tour. also large enough that if you're going for 2 weeks you could plan to change hotels midway and be in an entirely different environment. maybe a week in san juan and then fly/drive down to ponce.
virginia is offline  
Aug 19th, 2009, 10:12 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
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I will just tell that I can't do any advise of any condos. hotels,... For that I suggested to contact me directly.
I respect the privacity of this forum!

Nathy1973
nathy1973 is offline  
Aug 25th, 2009, 02:59 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
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I thought when you arrive on most Islands it asks where you are staying on the "entrance forms"...I don't think you can land and just wing it! Just my thoughts!
Caribzack is offline  
Aug 26th, 2009, 07:18 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
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I met a lot of tourists who came without address to give, because they traveled with baggages on their back, and wanted to visite the island. Thay come on the city and ask for some hotels, and than reserve on it! It' s easy. But if you want to prepare your stay here just ask me if you want for cabarete, Sosua and Puerto Plata. i will help. But everything is possible, believe me!
See you soon!
Nathy1973
nathy1973 is offline  
Aug 26th, 2009, 10:55 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Wow, people saying that there's nothing to see in the DR, but just laying on the beach!!

The Dominican Republic is NOT just Punta Cana!! If you say that of Punta Cana, I have to agree. But look at a map and you'll see, that PC is just a tiny point in the island.

Other wonderful destination in the DR, Las Terrenas, Las Galeras, both in the Samana Peninsula. Puerto Plata, Playa Dorada All Inclusives, Cofresi (close to Puerto Plata), Sosua and Cabarete (very few AIs, many boutique hotels, as well as luxury condos and budget hotels), this is just to name a few in the north coast. Check out Juan Dolio, Bayahibe, La Romana, south coast.
expatdr is offline  
Aug 27th, 2009, 06:26 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
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Dominican Republic is a treasure of different landscapes! This is not beautiful beaches... I'm totally agreed with you expatdr! PC is not the real Dominican Republic!
Mountains and countryside are a large part of this island! Go to jarabacoa or Constanza and you don't feel like in a caribbean island!
nathy1973 is offline  
Aug 27th, 2009, 01:17 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
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I would check out Punta Cana if I were you. USAir flies direct, and it looks like flights in Oct (departing Sat Oct 17, returning the following Sunday) will only set you back $234pp. I am here right now and I spent close to $1200 on two tickets from DC. Blech. Anyway, we are currently at Tortuga Bay in Punta Cana, DR, and it is WONDERFUL. I would highly recommend it over an all-inclusive megaresort if you are looking for a relaxing vacation in beautiful surroundings. Check out tripadvisor....
sk8cch is offline  

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