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Need lots of advice for a 20th wedding anniversary trip....

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Need lots of advice for a 20th wedding anniversary trip....

Old Jul 22nd, 2009, 05:23 AM
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Need lots of advice for a 20th wedding anniversary trip....

Hi. My husband and I are looking to go on a much needed vacation without our 4 children. I "think" I have narrowed down 2 AI resorts but need some questions answered.
We are looking at the Valentin Imperial Maya and the Gran Bahia Principe Ambar (Punta cana). Here are my questions:

1. We are planning a trip in October, how is the weather usually in these places that time of year?

2. I am considering using Apple Vacations, Cheapbaribbean, or Hotels.com. Are these all reliable?

3.Are there any other web sites I should take a look at for booking this trip? These web sites seemed to have the best deals. Or, should I use someone different all together?

4. Hotels.com gave me a price of 1800.00 for 7 nights includes airfare and taxes....are there any hidden fees that I should know about?

5. When the AI says drinks are included, does this also mean any mixed drinks?

6. How will we know when we are there what is included in our AI package (as far as food and beverage) when we order?

7. Is room service (including the food itself) included in the AI price?

I know this is a lot of questions but we have never done this before. We rarely get to travel without our children so this is a big deal to us. Any advice or information would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much.
4miracles is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2009, 07:44 AM
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Hi! Sounds like a great get away! We've used Apple for a few trips and have had no problems. I think the advantage to them would be that you have a rep at your resort to book excursions. But any of the booking sites you mentioned would be fine - I'd probably go with the best price. All of the resorts will have onsite people to book excursions anyway.

When they say everything is included - yes they do mean EVERYTHING! Sometimes at dinner bottles of wine may be extra if it's not the house wine. But all mixed drinks are included and all tips are as well. Some times motorized beach activities are extra depending on the property. Any off site excursions will be additional as well.

You won't have to pay for anything additional unless you choose to. It will be clear what is extra, if anything.

Usually room service, if offered is included, but the menu is usually limited.

I would check out trip advisor for reviews of both properties.

I've been to Valantin Imperial and liked it a lot. I'm a big fan of Mexico and would go back. But I'm not familiar with Punta Cana at all.

Have a great vacation!!!
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Old Jul 22nd, 2009, 09:25 AM
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ShellD,
Thanks for your reply. What about transportation to and from the airport? We don't plan to rend a car. Any advice on this?
4miracles is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2009, 10:18 AM
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When you purchase your "package" it will state if "transfers" are included in the price. We have travelled with Apple Vacations numerous times and "transfers" have always been included and was so stated. When you are comparing prices keep this in mind. Usually, once you arrive at the AI of your choice you will be asked to wear a plastic bracelet. This bracelet will allow you to eat and drink on the hotel property. Checkout recent reviews on www.tripadvisor.com and see if the beach, room, food and drink sound like it is what I am looking for. Some have more ala carte restaurants than others, some have premium liquor, some have only "house brands." Some are kid-friendly and some are "adults-only." Since you are celebrating your 20th, you may want an "adult-only." Room service at an all-inclusive is usually very slow and very limited. We have found you are better off walking to the restaurants. I hope this helps.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2009, 12:57 PM
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shirleyk, Thanks for the info. You were right..checked the fine print and they do include transport.

Thanks so much.
4miracles is offline  
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