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ease my mind please

Maine, United States
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182 posts
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ease my mind please

Hello! My husband and I are about to book our vacation in April for my birthday and our anniversary. PP has been our destination of choice for some time but tonight I stupidly started reading some hotel reviews for different hotels. Our plan is to stay at the bluebay but we saw the Grand Paradise Playa Dorado too and the things I read are bit unnerving. Prostitutes all over the area was one thing that caught my attention at the hotels and in the playa dorado complex. Are the time share people really as pushy as some people say and will the vendors on the beach make our vacation seem unrelaxing. We stopped in Freeport, Bahamas last year on a cruise and the pushiness on the beach and in the markets go so overwhelming that we just had the cab bring us back to the ship and did not enjoy the time we were there at all. So, is it really as bad as some say. Is the beach really as dirty in Puerto Playa as some say or are people just really picky. I stayed in a 5 star resort twice and felt out of place. I am a Holiday Inn type girl. Fancy is not my thing so are the bad reviews from people that go on vacation to find flaws wherever they go? Any ease of mind will be helpful in my decision to book. I have always wanted to go there and look forward to the outback safari, muddy buggies, and paradise island snorkeling. The tours are what have drawn me in the most about this country opposed to other Carribean Countries. Thanks everyone for your help in advance!!

Isaira Tours
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Dartmouth, Nova...
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260 posts
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1. Re: ease my mind please

Hi, I am also celebrating my b day and anniversary this year. We booked the Grand paradise for march 19th. Like you I am very nervous because of the reviews. If you go back in the reviews there are many more great ones. I think the time of the year makes a big difference. Who really gives it their all in the off season, when you are not at full capacity or staff. I wanted a resort on the Playa Dorada complex for the fact that everything is close, there is more to do than sit by a pool or at the beach. We have never been anywhere and I want to experience all I can. I have been reading tips on how to avoid the vendors and time share people. A great tan to begin with makes them think you have been there a while so they don't bother you as much, and I have been practicing spanish phrases to communicate better. There is also the other words or phrases that my husband is practicing. Those are not ones that I would recomend. Lol. I guess that because it is a poor country they are pushy for their income, I am pretty mellow and sociable so my best advise is that if you can't beat them, join them. I want to make a friend or two and maybe they can deter their friends. I plan to do the fiesta 151 tour and the Ocean World swim with the sharks and rays. I can't wait. I hope you will find some comfort in knowing you are not alone. Once you book just breathe and count down the days. I have been planning sice last Feb. And I have been packed since june!!! I will make the best of whatever

Ottawa, Canada
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104 posts
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2. Re: ease my mind please

I would probably consider the gran ventana if I were you, you will still be in the area but there is no timeshare at this hotel and the quality of the food is excellent. It is a great hotel, I have been there myself and a lot of people return to this hotel year after year.

There is also the Iberostar Costa Dorada(this one is my favorite) it is a little bit more luxurious but you should have a look at it, it is the best AI hotel in the area..it is a gorgeous resort well taking care of and the staff is amazing, they make you feel like home!!!

I personnally would never stay at the grand paradise because of the timeshare, the food and I went to visit the resort 2 years ago and i didnt like it.

The bluebay, I cant comment on the resort, it look very nice but there is timeshare.

Salmon Arm, Canada
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3. Re: ease my mind please

Timeshares and vendors are a big part of the Dominican economy but I very much doubt they would come close to the pushyness of a cruise ship stop. I get a kick out of it all myself. With the vendors I say a very strong No Gracias and I am left alone. If you nibble abit you might be in trouble. lol And maybe it was my tan but at our last resort I sat and talked with the guys every day and never once was asked to go to a presentation.

Mike :)

Isle of Man
Destination Expert
for Cabarete
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4. Re: ease my mind please

If you show an interest in the beach vendors wares, then they will continue to pester you until you buy something. If you do as Ekim and say "No Gracias" then look away from them and totally ignore them, they will hover for a few minutes, then leave.

An alternative strategy, and perhaps a better one for a 'first trip' is to one of the vendors and promise to buy from him a day before you go home. Have a chat with 'José' or whoever and make a note of his name. For the rest of your holiday, as other vendors approach, you simply say 'no thank you, I am buying from José next Wednesday (or whenever)'. 'José' will greet you daily and probably have a half-hearted 'look today?' but you won't be pestered and because you are referring to another vendor by name, the other sellers will be less inclined to push you and 'José' will be protective of 'his client'.

But if you use the second approach, make sure you do buy some trinkets from José as promised! Don't be miserable and use him, then avoid him on the last day! The trinkets are cheap but it is an incredibly hard life for these guys, wandering the beach trying to scrape a living. Buying some jewelry before you leave will literally put food in his kids belly that evening.

Sosua, Dominican...
Destination Expert
for Puerto Plata, Sosua, Dominican Republic
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5. Re: ease my mind please

Inga,

In one word...tranquillo (or relax). If you are staying at the hotel complex (playa dorada or Costa Dorado) you will have to look very long and hard to find a "working girl" . If you are adventerous and go to Sosua or Cabarete for a day/evening you will see them, but they will leave you alone as they are looking for single men who are looking for them..

As to the time share sharks and vendors a simple NO Gracias will usually keep them at bay. By the second day they will recognize you and leave you alone. DO NOT say no thank you maybe later or if they ask "maybe tomorrow" don't respond as maybe but again "no, not tomorrow or any day" and that will do. If you say maybe they will be a back tomorrow.

It really is not a big deal and they will not ruin your vacation.

BObK

Maine, United States
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182 posts
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6. Re: ease my mind please

Thank you everyone for easing my mind. I so want to see Puerto Plata and there was a toss up between there and Cozumel. Puerto Plata being my top choice of course and you have all helped very much. :)

Ottawa, Canada
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7. Re: ease my mind please

Inga, I would choose Puerto Plata over Cozumel any day. When we were in Cozumel (the town) the timeshare folks were around us like flies. I dreaded going into town.

My husband and I like BlueBay in the Playa Dorada Complex. It is a small adult only resort and the staff is fantastic. Yes, there are folks selling the Vacation Club Packages but a firm "No Thank You" should do it to keep them at bay. If they persist tell the manager you don't wish to be bothered and that should help. You've been given good advice on how to deflect the sellers on the beach.

Winter Garden...
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8. Re: ease my mind please

Hello,

I was in the same boat as you are now. I read and read and read about destinations we travel. We travel often I have learned go with an open mind and you will not be dissatisfied. With that being said, yes I have been to PP and stayed in the Playa Dorada Complex at the Gran Ventana. We loved the resort and our stay in PP. Yes there are vendors on the beach, but just say no thank you, they were not pushy, the sand there is what they call amber, was not dirty and we loved the reef right off the beach to snorkel. Safety, I never felt threaten and we walked to a casino one night. For what it is worth the complex is gated with guards at the front gate. You will have a great time. We are staying this year at Lifestyle Tropical due to the great offer in May.

collingwood, ont,
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507 posts
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9. Re: ease my mind please

Bob I wouldnt go as far as saying hard pressed to find hookers in the Playa Dorada complex, as last time there were quite a few around the bars there. I mean not a lot but they are there. Now with that being said the OP is going with her boyfriend , so she shouldnt even worry about them............:)

As for the vendors , yes there are a lot of them , as others have already stated, but I find them very amusing and gee, just take a few minutes and chat with some of them, often they just like to have a chat. And you will learn a lot from them. I just got back from Samana, and it was a fantastic destination...........the area is absolutely beautiful and so much to do........but..........when it was beach time, there were not vendors, and I can honestly say I missed it, And I dont buy anything from them, I just love to have a chat with them, or watch them try to get others to buy from them. It is what you make of a situation.........they are there......they are not going to go away, so chat with a few, buy from a few if you are planning to buy stuff, and they will leave you alone or just drop by once in awhile for a visit.

10. Re: ease my mind please

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