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Vaca w/ our best friends in May, 2 couples, No kids, Dominican Republic?

Vaca w/ our best friends in May, 2 couples, No kids, Dominican Republic?

Old Jan 8th, 2012, 09:43 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1
Vaca w/ our best friends in May, 2 couples, No kids, Dominican Republic?

We have never been to the Caribbean and we do want the AI experience. We are all in our early 30's and plan to relax and have cocktails on the beach daily. We like some nightlife. My husband is in the military, so Mexico is out.... Not allowed to travel there right now.

We have heard good things from 2 sets of friends who recently honeymooned in DR (Secrets and Excellence). But I am seeing very mixed reviews on DR online.
We would like:

1. Under $4300.00 total per couple (incl airfare)
2. 8 hours or less total travel time to our destination (from Arkansas)
3. Luxurious, updated AI accomodations
4. Adults only
5. Excursions available (guys will want to rent a boat or jeep or something probably)
6. Beautiful beaches (Isn't this a given in the Caribbean?)

** I am worried about the mosquitoes in DR in May. I hate mosquitoes and really want to be able to sit on the beach or our patio at night. We can handle some mosquitoes, but some of the reviews I've read said mosquitoes ruined their trip!
**I read that Aruba was really the only island w/ no mosquitoes. But the winds there are fierce. That doesn't sound good either.

Any help/advice is appreciated!

Thanks for your help in advance!!!!!
TimeToVaca is offline  
Old Jan 9th, 2012, 05:39 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 8,282
With your budget the DR and Mexico would be your best bet. I didn't know that military was not allowing their people to visit Mexico!!
Both Secrets and Excellence are great resorts.
The problem with the DR is there is not as much to do off the resorts as there is in Mexico. There would be fishing trips, snorkeling excursions, etc they could do.
schmerl is offline  
Old Jan 9th, 2012, 06:04 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
luxurylink.comHard RockExcellence puntaqcana.com
spirit.com cheap flights down.You are right
mozzies at night can be an issues especiaally in
rainy season.Arubua a desert island so less still
an issue.

Least for me konaweb.com stayhawaii.com Kohala Coast
priceline.com good Hapuna Prince packages for me
from $1K pp in past.Lessthan 1 inch of rain per month
aound Kona so very few bugs.

Happy Hunting!
qwovadis is offline  
Old Jan 9th, 2012, 06:18 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,128
The beaches in DR were always full of Sea weed when I was there. I didn't find them to be so beautiful. You can not really leave the resorts the town is far away and you would have to do a tour to visit there. The only nightlife will be at the resort and they will have some kind of show nightly and bars etc. Explose other options. Antigua has gorgeous beaches, St. Lucia does not have the white sand, more of a tropical island but very pretty. I have been to Aruba 3 times, and the wind is a blessing most of the time. You will never feel hot, no bugs, no seaweed, and most all other islands have people selling there wares on the beach. This is not so in Aruba. I don't believe it is allowed and I like that aspect. I did not know military were not allowed in Mexico either. That would have been a great choice. Lots to do.
diann24 is offline  
Old Jan 9th, 2012, 12:15 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 8,282
I do love Aruba, but be aware....you will not get the true Caribbean experience since Aruba is an arid, desert island. Not lush like you expect in the Caribbean.
schmerl is offline  
Old Jan 9th, 2012, 01:33 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,077
Your not going to find good AI/adult only hotels in Aruba. Aruba has hundreds of dining options that are quite easy to get to. One of the draws to Aruba is going to as many restaurants and bars as you can while there. The AI options that do exist in Aruba are going to be twice the price than what Mexico, DR or Jamaica offers, and it is not a wise purchase.

The DR will not have great excursions off property. That is why most of their resorts are huge AI mega complexes with activities scheduled.

Look at Jamaica. It will have the second best options for what you stated you are looking for. However, there is no off road jeep tours or boating. I would highly recommend using a well known tour operator or hiring a well recommended driver for off property excursions. You won't find many lux affordable resorts like you will in Mexico.

What you are looking for is actually Mexico. Too bad you excluded the best option for what you stated you are looking for. I don't understand your comment either about the military.
KVR is offline  
Old Jan 9th, 2012, 04:28 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 8,282
Hmmm...of you can't go to Mexico (which would be perfect for what you want), look into Costa Rica.
schmerl is offline  
Old Jan 9th, 2012, 04:43 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,128
KVR when we went to DR the resort had a tour to there city. It was an all day tour on a bus. An Apple rep ran the tour. It included lunch, shopping and quite a bit of history. We went to a fort. This was quite a few years ago, 11 I believe. Perhaps it is not offered anymore.

A true Caribbean experience is often not lush islands. A volcanic island such as St. Lucia would be but the whiter the sand, and the azure water is often on scruffy islands. Turks and Caicos has the most beautiful water I have ever seen but the island is not pretty. Nor is Antigua.
diann24 is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2012, 04:39 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1
I have been to both Aruba and Domincan Republic. You are right about Aruba, it can be windy, but don't let that prevent you from going, it's not so windy that sand will be whipping in your face. In fact, because it can be hot, the trade winds are really nice and we noticed the last time we were there (May 2011) it wasn't as windy as the time before (May 2008). Aruba is awesome if you just want to lounge on the beach all day and then go out at night and there are plenty of excursions you can do atv tours, jeep tours, dinner/sunset cruises, etc... It is not a lush tropical island though if that is what you are looking for. The Dominican has much more vegetation.

Now the Dominican, we were there in the months of June and February before. We loved the time we went in June, to the Secrets Excellence in Punta Cana. We didn't have a problem with mosquitos in Punta Cana, I don't know if it was the time of year or the location but we were fine, when we went to Puerto Vallarta, I got bitten to death there, but honestly I would still go back someday.
ShabbieChicBaker is offline  
Old Jan 25th, 2012, 01:47 PM
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 43
Dominican Republic is definitely the way to go for a great vacation. I have been to many of the islands such as the Bahamas, St. Croix, Martinique, St. Martin, Jamaica, the DR and Turks & Caicos but the most beautiful hotel I have been to was Casa Colonial in Playa Dorada.
The beach, pool and spa treatments are absolutely exquisite and the restaurants on site are delicious. They are not an AI but they do have great packages.
They currently have a package that you will have breakfast served on your terrace along with a private candle lit dinner on the beach and 50- min massage in the beach front gazebo.
They have golf for the men and spa relaxation for the ladies!
The hotel will also be able to offer plenty of great deals for excursions through Marysol Tours.
There excursions include; Paradise Island, Jeep Safari, Catamaran, River Rafting, Horses, City Tours & Cable Car and many more.
SaraFmiami is offline  
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