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90 th Birthday trip in April

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Montreal
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197 posts
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90 th Birthday trip in April

I am thinking of taking my mother away to Punta Cana for her 90 Birthday in April. My family will not be coming-just quality mother-daughter time. The challenges are my mother has early stage Alzheimer's, walks with a cane and tires easily. She enjoys swimming in the ocean provided the access is flat and easy with no sharp drop off and that there are no waves to knock her down. She also enjoys the pool-if she can hang onto a ramp to access the pool. She also enjoys sitting on a lawn chair in the shade-on the grass, not the beach. We would like some gentle entertainment and/or nice music in the evening. We are looking for a more quiet and refined setting with no loud music or screaming kids or misbehaving adults around the pool. As my mother tires easily she is unable to walk too far-especially in the heat. Either a smaller hotel or one that has frequent shuttle service to the beach and to the restaurant would be useful. We do not require alcohol, casinos and other fancy services that we will not require. Food does not need to be fancy, but it has to be appetizing, with some variety and be a place where no one gets sick from the food. I would love to hear from someone who has actually travelled with an elderly person with similar challenges and whether it was worth it. I feel that a cruise would be too overwhelming . An all- inclusive with a short direct flight from Montreal is all that I could handle. Thanks in advance for any advice.

Ottawa, Canada
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1. Re: 90 th Birthday trip in April

Wow, 90 years old. That is great.

I recommend the Punta Cana Princess. Adult only, small resort, excellent service.

Vancouver, Canada
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692 posts
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2. Re: 90 th Birthday trip in April

Nice. ., hope my kids take me, when Im 90! Nice gesture!

Toronto, Canada
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for Punta Cana
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3. Re: 90 th Birthday trip in April

Catalonia Royal Bavaro is adult only, and has calm, shallow waters.

Mark

Montreal
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197 posts
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4. Re: 90 th Birthday trip in April

Hi and thanks for your suggestion. I like the idea of a compact resort and I like the grassy section-my mom would love it. However a few TA comments worry me about quite a few people saying that in April the sea was very agitated and that there were a lot of waves. I adore surf-in fact the Crane Beach in Barbados is my favourite, but my mom is very frail-got badly knocked down by the surf in Cayo Largo, Cuba in June about 10 years ago. Maybe I need to rethink about going in April. We could travel another time-when it is cheap, calm and not too hot.Went to Barcelo Bavaro Beach(next to the Palace) Christmas time many years ago and adored the beach-it was so calm. Also one person travelling with his 88 year old grandmother was unable to obtain ground floor accommodation despite all reasonable attempts to obtain this prior to travel and while on vacation despite assurances from the front desk that a move would happen. I am very well travelled and know that it is impossible to please everybody, but this complaint seemed very legitimate. I am also concerned about a photo of the rooms with steps down to a sitting area-this could be an accident waiting to happen for an elderly person who has balance issues.

Someone else recommended Catalonia Royal Bavaro. I also read from TA comments that Catalonia has wave action in April. Years ago I visited a Catalonia property and I did not like it. It was humungous and I did not care for the crowd-very rowdy and uncouth. Is this a completely different Catalonia property?.

What about Iberostar or Paradisus? Sorry to be so picky, but I am really worried that I may be biting off more than I can chew and that I might be better off taking my mother to a lakeside resort this summer closer to home!

Edited: 19 January 2013, 18:51
Kansas City...
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5. Re: 90 th Birthday trip in April

What a wonderful journey! You Rock carefree-travels.

One point I would like to bring to your attention.....can your Mother do stairs? Punta Cana is set up where you deplane, down the stairs, and directly onto the tarmac. They do not have a jet bridge. I believe they have a lift to get disabled people on and off the plane, with prior authorization. I heard this can be a very lengthy process after landing. Just something I would research if she cannot do the steep stairs.

Montreal, Canada
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52 posts
2 reviews
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6. Re: 90 th Birthday trip in April

Hello: We are from Montreal also. This holiday we went to the Barcelo Bavaro Palace. It was beautiful. We are seasoned travellers having been anywhere from Europe to the Carribean Islands. My father is 83 so I as well was a little concerned. We stayed in two Junior Deluxe Suites. My Father was in Room 4125 which was adapted for elderly. Bars on the sides of the Toilet, Bars and Seat in the shower. All floor level so he did not have to cross over to get in the Shower. We stayed in Room 4124 which was adjoining. Once our reservations were made I emailed the Hotel with my special requests and they honored them even during High Season being Christmas and New Years. I love the Barcelo complexes. We also travelled to the one in Riviera Maya and they were also very accomodating. We took a Direct Flight as well. It was great. Ask for wheel chair assistance as it is a long walk in the Airport. We as well stayed at the Paradisus Punta Cana in the Reserve Section with Family Concierge Service. Preferred the Barcelo, enjoyed the Food and Shows more. We also stayed at the Majestic Colonial but again preferred the Barcelo Palace. It is all a matter of opinion and I am sure there will be many. We preferred the Barcelo because of the location of the Room. Easy access to Pool and Beach and Restaurants from Building 4, great place. If you can choose Club Premium they will handle alot for you. When my Mother was ill we took her to the Half Moon in Jamaica because she required on Site Medical Assistance as well Dialysis. They were affiliated with the Sunshine Dialysis Clinic. We had a Private Driver to take her their every two days that followed. I am positive you will love the Barcelo Palace. And with Club Premium it is Free Room Service if you want to use the Service. I would say the Iberostar is a very large complex. If you need any Private Information do not hesitate to email me. You can also get Private Transfers to and from the Airport to avoid the high stairs of the Bus. We are blessed to have these memories and will continue to make more. I would tend to say less walking than a Lakeside Resort at an All Inclusive. Have a very great time.

Pat

Edited: 19 January 2013, 19:32
Montreal
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197 posts
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7. Re: 90 th Birthday trip in April

thank you Pat for your very detailed and thoughtful reply. About 15 years ago, my husband and I and our then one year old baby stayed at the Barcelo Bavaro right next to the Palace. We just loved it and had an ocean front unit close to the sea. We adored the sea and the beach was one of the most beautiful we have ever seen (and we have travelled all over the Caribbean, Hawaii, thailand etc so that is saying a lot for the beach. I was concerned about going back as it is such a huge property. However I guess it would be worth it to pay extra to stay at the Palace now that I know which room number to request. She will not really use the shower but the grab bars are definitely useful. Just hope she won't have to walk for over 10 minutes to get to a restaurant. I guess we could always get room service for breakfast.Thanks so much for the tip about private transfers. Mom can do stairs, but steepness might be an issue now.

Montreal, Canada
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52 posts
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8. Re: 90 th Birthday trip in April

Hello again: I am just running out as we are going up North, but I will Post again tomorrow giving you more details. It is my pleasure if I can be helpful. That is why we liked the Complexe so much. It was easy for my Father to get around. Restaurants were very close. Theatre was very close. Great Location in Building 4. Newer Building are 5 and 6. Location is great in 4 though. I would say about a 3 to 4 minute walk at slow pace to get to Restaurants. My Father would leave earlier and sit down along the way if he was tired, but in all honesty. He would sit down when he arrived at the Restaurant as we were always late :) I am positive you will not regret and your mom will love the idea. My mother had lost her short term memory due to all the Chemotherapy she had received but she remember me saying let's go away to Jamaica..... We are blessed. I will be back to your tomorrow with people that you could contact.

Pat

Toronto, Canada
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9. Re: 90 th Birthday trip in April

If I'm not mistaken, 15 years ago, the Barcelo Bavaro complex was different. I believe what is now called Barcelo Bavaro Beach was the Palace, and what is now Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe was more than one resort, which included Bavaro Beach. Back then, Barcelo Bavaro Beach was not adult only. Now it is. Back then, the Palace was the top resort in the complex, and you had access to all of the other sections. Now you don't. But if you stay at Barcelo Bavaro Beach, you have access to the Palace.

The Bavaro Beach area typically has calmer waters. Other, not so large options are Paradisus Palma Real, and Secrets Royal Beach.

I don't know about April, but Catalonia Royal Bavaro is known for having calm waters. And it's a quiet resort, with 250 rooms or so. There's another Catalonia next door which is larger.

Mark

Montreal
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197 posts
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10. Re: 90 th Birthday trip in April

thank you Mark. Yes, we did have access to the Palace-we could use all of the facilities except for the restaurants. Our complex also had a "sister resort" with a Casino and the Golf resort (which we visited and hated-they were not ocean front and there was no comparison!). The water was so calm-not a ripple and the palm trees that provided natural shade were really dreamy. While our resort was not adult only, at the time it was frequented by quiet guests. The Palace back then was typically for honeymooners. It seems that now I would have to stay at the Palace if I need to go the route of grab bars in the bathroom. Not an absolute must, but she already has this at her residence. Can't be too careful, you know!