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Let’s start off by saying, we travel a lot and I know what to expect from small third world countries that cater to tourists in resorts. I know everything is not going to be perfect, nor do I expect it to be. In saying that: there are some things that cannot be overlooked.

Let’s start with the hotel room. We decided to get the honeymoon suite for the extra space and the upgrades. When we got to the room, we noticed that the air was not working. We attempted to switch rooms, but supposedly none were available. The ceiling fans in the room were on motion sensors, so when you laid down at night to rest-your only means of cool air would shut off. You would have to wake up and either wave your hands or walk around to get the air flowing again. When you left the room, the fans would shut off; so your room wouldn’t cool down for you while you were gone. Not good when you are coming in from the pool hot and sun burned. Also, the frig in the room is also not cold. It’s basically cool –so that means hot beer and soda. The juice in there was not OJ, but some orange drink knock off.

The pool was very nice and very clean. There was plenty of chairs pool side and covered. The pool was the best part of the whole week.

All-inclusive bars: yeah well if you are ok drinking very cheap liquor then its great. There is only one type of Dominican beer on tap and it’s not cold. Its room temperature. They have top-shelf liquor on display, but most of the claim to either be out; or when they do have it to pour –it’s watered down and they won’t give you much of it. Any drinks you request made with fruit juice; fruit or anything fancy is out of the question.

Restaurants: Again- nothing that is normally served hot is hot- and nothing that is normally served cold is cold. Everything is room temp. This was when I realized that the week would not turn out ok. I arrived on a Sunday and by Tuesday; I had extreme stomach pain from the food. I spoke with several people at the resort to see if this was an isolated incident, but it was not. There were others in the same shape. I was not able to get out of bed for one full day due to stomach pain, nausea, and dizziness. Basically if you wanted cereal the milk was room temp. Anything on the buffet was also not on warmers. The safest thing to eat was bread and potatoes. Stay away from anything on the salad bar and that contained milk or cream bases.

Also, in the restaurants with waiters; it will take you at least 45 minutes to get a table. They are understaffed. There were plenty of tables available but no one to wait on you.

Picture Scam: The photography crew takes pics of the guests with several different animals from the local zoo. (monkey, parrot, lizard) and then you have to go the photo counter to see if you want to purchase, etc. The price is $15 per pic which I find pretty steep- but it was vacation so we purchased a few. However, when it came time to get our pictures the next day- the barely English speaking girl behind the counter, claimed they were not ready yet. After several days of checking and being told they were not ready, we finally got very frustrated. She kept claiming that the pictures had to be sent off to be printed. This was not true, we had just seen another staff person print someone’s pictures from the below the counter. We told her that we were leaving that day and that we wanted our pictures. She still said the same line- not ready. We then asked for our money back. At that moment, she turned around, flipped thru some folders and miraculously pulled out our folder of pictures that were ready. Nice. The clincher is: The 5x7 you think you are getting is actually a 6x8. Upon noticing this error-and letting them know that was not ordered because you cannot get that size in the states; they will kindly tell you that you can purchase 6x8 frames at the desk for $25 dollars.

Grass hats- make sure you do not purchase these. They will be confiscated at the airport because they are considered “plants” and cannot be taken out of the country.

Make sure you do not forget sunscreen. The cheapest, smallest bottle in the resort is $22.

Also, the night vendors will start off with ridiculous prices on everything. I tried to by a silver and coconut necklace and they wanted $300 for it. By the time I was walking away suddenly it $20. So, be careful.

The spa- oh yeah- we tried this too. The massage was great! However, the aqua spa which is $35 for an hour- half of the showers and saunas were broken; so you couldn’t do the circuit training anyways.

The beach- directly in front of the resort- you cannot enter the water due to rocks and seaweed. However if you walk past the resort in either direction- its great. You just have to be careful that you are not on other resort properties-cause they will make you leave.

At the end of the week, we couldn’t even get the front desk to answer the phone to come get our luggage. At this point I was ready to fill out a comment card or say something. So, after bringing my luggage down three flights of stairs and to the front desk, I was told that I could not fill out a comment card.

Not a great week. We had fun as a group amongst ourselves for entertainment and in the pool, but the rest of it was not fun on any scale. I am very disappointed to see that this was a 6 apple (star) resort according to Apple Vacations. I would hate to see what a lower star resort had. I paid $3900 for this vacation; I certainly don’t feel like it was worth it.

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Timberlea, Alberta, Canada #1023257

Similar to our experience at the Dreams Las Mareas - Costa Rica.

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