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departing 25th July...

Wolverhampton
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5 posts
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departing 25th July...

We are a gay female couple in our 20's travelling to the Dominican Republic 25th July for a week. We are staying at BlueBay Villas Doradas in Puerto Plata.

We are hoping that we wont be met by any homophobia and really don't want to have to spend the week pretending to be friends, so if anyone could tell us of their experience that would be great!

We are not overtly affectionate in public anyway because there is a time and a place, nobody wants to see a couple all over each other - but subtle gestures such as holding hands etc we are hoping wont cause a fuss???

We are looking at doing around 3 excursions and after checking out reviews on here are looking at

- paradise island

- puerto plata city tour (mountain cable car)

-outback safari

we are aware that buying them from people on the beach/outside the hotel will cost a lot less than from the rep, but again any advise or recommendations to do another trips or reasons not to do these particular trips would be gratefully received!

One last note, we are travelling from the UK - we were planning on exchanging our money for pesos for the majority of spending and american dollars for tips... is this the best way to do it and what is the tipping system, what are you expected to tip for and how much??

thanks to everyone who takes the time to reply we really appreciate it :o)

Isaira Tours
Sightseeing Tours, Taxis & Shuttles, 4WD, ATV & Off-Road Tours, City Tours
Diwa Dominicana
Sightseeing Tours
Runners Adventures
Sightseeing Tours, Nature & Wildlife Tours
Buffalo, NY
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152 posts
29 reviews
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1. Re: departing 25th July...

Hi! I am sure you both will enjoy BlueBay. I stayed there in April and encountered many friendly travelers- whether they were straight, gay, and even some single guests. I do not think you will have a problem. My thinking is as long as a couple loves, respects, and treats each other well, thats all that matters. Go- have a great time- you'll be fine.

Derbyshire
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702 posts
4 reviews
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2. Re: departing 25th July...

Hi there,

I think you should be fine, we have been to the DR several times and met alot of couples and they have never had a problem. Sure there may be one or two homophobic people there but just ignore them, its there problem for being narrow minded, not yours, You go and have a fab time !!!!

Have done the paradise island trip, is good especially if you like snorkelling, swimming etc. Havent done the other trip.

Pesos or dollars are fine for tipping, we always take dollars, but alot on here have said take pesos because the exchange rate from dollars to pesos takes a bit more money off.

Hope you have a great holiday, Enjoy !!!

newcastle, uk
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157 posts
11 reviews
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3. Re: departing 25th July...

Hi there,

Just got back from the DR at the week end, whilst there we went on the puerto plata half day trip it cost the wife and i £55 or $78 booked through fran the TC rep. It was well worth it lots of things included in the trip including rum factory tour,amber museum,central park cathedral ( stunning inside ), san felipe fortress and of course the cable car ride up to the top of mount isabella de torres which gives you fantastic views for miles around. All in all a well worth the money trip. Hope this helps.

newcastle, uk
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157 posts
11 reviews
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4. Re: departing 25th July...

Hi again,

Just a little tip with regaurds taking money to the DR, dont take sterling unless it is for paying for trips. The local banks WILL NOT change them into pesos or dollars and the local exchange booths will rip you off big style.

cheers.

Wolverhampton
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5 posts
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5. Re: departing 25th July...

thank you for the information everybody we really appreciate your help!!

Thanks a lot!! :-)

Edited: 09 July 2010, 00:25
Derbyshire
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702 posts
4 reviews
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6. Re: departing 25th July...

You are very welcome, Enjoy your hols :-)

Isle of Man
Destination Expert
for Cabarete
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1,197 posts
30 reviews
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7. Re: departing 25th July...

Just to contradict Kev, while you may have to be careful where you exchange, the cambios (exchange booths) are fine. In Cabarete 'Wally's Exchange' generally offers a better exchange than Marks & Spencers in the UK (and the rest of the cambios in town are the same or within one peso of his rates)

For daily rates:

wallycabarete.com/html/wally_cambio_en.php

…marksandspencer.com/travel/…

Today they show:

M&S RD$ 51.41 to the pound

Wally RD$ 54 to the pound

Don't exchange 'directly' on the street (ie with someone who has a fist full of notes) but there are cambios that you can use and save money. Regular cambios will have the rates displayed outside the booth. There is a bank in the plaza so you can split larger peso notes down into notes that you can tip with. If you tip in dollars, then the staff have to exchange them before they can spend them, so why not give them what they spend directly? Apart from entry & exit taxes I never take any US dollars.

If you are reasonably sensible, you can easily do the city tour yourself. The gua-gua from Playa Dorada in to the city centre is cheep and generally 'sedate'. In the opposite direction, towards Cabarete & Sosua it can be quite fast and at times, scary if you get two gua-guas racing each other for customers, but to Puerto Plata I've never known that because it's built up. Speak with a waiter/waitress at your hotel and ask how much it should be. If you do venture out alone, ask at the desk if they will cut the band off for the day. The band not only marks you out as a 'tourist' (not that most of us need it) but also identifies which hotel. If you venture out alone, dress down (jeans/skirt & plain t-shirt). If you dress 'loud' you will attract every street vendor in town, if you dress like a 'seasoned traveller' instead of a 'tourist', then you'll be approached but not 'followed'.

The Dominican Republic is reasonably 'gay friendly', especially in the resort areas, public displays of affection are still considered inappropriate (and I'm talking more than holding hands). Obviously how other guests respond will be the luck of the draw depending upon the type of people you have there at the same time as you but in general, I'd be surprised if you had a problem. Imagine how you would act if you were in the English Lake District when you are off the resort and you won't be far off!

For trips, also consider Monster Safari. You may need to book directly with them:

monstertrucksafari.com/monster-truck-en/main…

Outback Safari is fun, but I think Monster Safari is better. Do both and let us know which you preferred!

There is a place in the plaza where you can book trips much cheaper than with the reps.

newcastle, uk
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157 posts
11 reviews
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8. Re: departing 25th July...

Hi iom-keith,

The exchange booths in the shopping complex when we were there were only offering $60 in exchange for £50 , i thought that was a very poor rate, we got much better at our local travel agent before we went on hols. Cheers

cheers.

Isle of Man
Destination Expert
for Cabarete
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1,197 posts
30 reviews
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9. Re: departing 25th July...

Kev, so you were exchanging pounds in to dollars? In that case, yes, I agree, you will get an awful exchange rate. But pounds in to pesos will probably be reasonable or even better than in the UK. Exchange booths inside the complex are likely to be less favourable than those outside, but obviously, more convenient. It would be interesting to know what rate they are offering in the complex at the moment, if anyone who is there right now reads this!

10. Re: departing 25th July...

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