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Jamaica or Punta Cana?

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Jamaica or Punta Cana?

We're going on our honeymoon in January and we are having a very difficult time deciding between Sandals Whitehouse (Jamaica) and Iberostar Bavaro All Suites (Dominican Republic), any advice on either or both resort would be greatly appreciated!

niagara falls
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1. Re: Jamaica or Punta Cana?

well if you go to punta cana, go to excellence, it is a great place for a honeymooon!!! i was there with my wife in april for 2 weeks and we loved it.... we are going to sandal whitehouse at the end of aug, i'll let you know they which one we like best .....but excellence was very good....

niagara falls
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2. Re: Jamaica or Punta Cana?

well if you go to punta cana, go to excellence, it is a great place for a honeymooon!!! i was there with my wife in april for 2 weeks and we loved it.... we are going to sandal whitehouse at the end of aug, i'll let you know which one we like best .....but excellence was very good....

New York City, New...
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3. Re: Jamaica or Punta Cana?


I would pick Whitehouse.

Don't get me wrong Punta Cana is my favorite island I have been there so many times, and for the first time I went to Jamaica and stayed at Sandals Whitehouse in Jan. It is one AMAZING resort.

All the rooms are oceanfront, the restaurant are so good, the people are friendly and not to mention the sunset is to die for.

It will probably be a little bit more pricey but well worth it.

Nashville, Tennessee
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4. Re: Jamaica or Punta Cana?

Glad to see you made it over here, Madison.

Although I didn't say it in my replies to you in the PC forum, I would highly recommend Sandals for your honeymoon. We honeymooned at Sandals Antigua, and loved it. Adults-only really is the way to go for a honeymoon, and the Sandals resorts are designed for romance. We had some friends who honeymooned as SWH last year and loved it. And since they are running the 50% off sale for SWH, we just booked our 5yr anniversary trip to SWH for next August. I think that sale lasts now through Aug 14th, so if you want to book SWH, I'd recommend that you book soon in order to take advantage of that deal (I had been looking at SWH for the last 2 years for a vacation, but it was just out of my price-range until the 50% off sale, so I jumped on it while I could).

However, if you really want to go to Punta Cana, I too would recommend the Excellence resort. I know you listed IBB, but Excellence is also adults only, and caters mainly to couples, so would likely be an awesome honeymoon spot. We stayed at the Secrets Excellence (now just Excellence) in Cancun last year, and it was fabulous. Truely a 5+ star resort.

Did you find Cheryl's travel forum? Best source of info for Sandals Whitehouse, and provides a forum for Sandals-only discussion.

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5. Re: Jamaica or Punta Cana?

We were at Sandals Whitehouse last year and just loved it. Although we were celebrating 26 years together it would be ideal for a honeymoon. There are 3 pools to choose from as well as longing anywhere along the beach. The beach is great for long walks as well.

It is adult couples only which is another bonus. You can be as busy or as lazy as you want. None of the staff push you to be involved and we found most to be helpful and friendly.

You don't have to reserve any of the restaurants to eat. If you have concierge they will book a time, otherwise if one restaurant is busy you can wait for an opening or go to any of the others. We never had any problems at all. Also at lunch there are two beach restaurants to choose from and both have great food.

We found the food to be so good that we didn't mind a 15 or 20 minute walk from the French area to the restaurants. We walked along the beach most of the time for the needed exercise after eating so well. Plus it's neat to see the starfish, crabs and in the early morning the occasional sting ray close to shore. The only pain at times was getting stung by the jelly fish but I don't know if they are there all year round or not.

The only con I can think of is if you want to do any day trips it is a long day but if all you want is a lazy holiday then it can't be beat. Also there isn't a language problem which might be important for some people. We loved it and wouldn't hesitate to go back. Also Sandals has a hurricane guarantee so that is an added bonus especially if one happens to go through.

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6. Re: Jamaica or Punta Cana?

Madison, you should choose Jamaica for one simple reason: many people get sick in the Dominican, especially Punta Cana. Last year, before going to Jamaica for the first time I did extensive reasearch on both. It had been about 10 years since our last trip to Dominican Republic, Puerto Plata. The sickness is discussed in many forums. Many of the Punta Cana "Homers" wont make a big deal about it, many will say that they didnt get sick. Its like how none of the Cozumel Homers will really acknowledge the sand flea problem. But check out lots of threads, you'll see. I refuse to risk half of my hard earned vacation in the bathroom.

The water in Jamaica is great. Our family of 4 had zero issues with illness and I never heard of anyone getting it either.

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7. Re: Jamaica or Punta Cana?

I would pick Jamaica over Punta Cana. You can drink the water and Jamaicans speak english. I have been to Jamaica numerous times and to Punta Cana twice. Jamaica is better. Sandals Whitehouse is supposed to be very nice, upscale, great beach and all oceanfront rooms.

Denholme, United...
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8. Re: Jamaica or Punta Cana?

Having been to both, punta cana twice and montego bay once, i find it hard to choose. I loved the soroundings more in punta cana then montego bay , the beaches were much better in punta cana, but like mentioned before english speaking and you can drink the water in jamaica.

I'd say the people in the dom rep are as freindly as the jamaicans.

I was never sick in punta cana but have heard more people been sick there then in jamaica. Think its more down to the water you just have to me more careful.

Would i return to punta cana, yes, would i return to Montego Bay , No i would go to negril as from what i have heard thats more like punta cana.

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9. Re: Jamaica or Punta Cana?

I was at the Bavaro PC in June of 05 If you click on my name you can read my review. I liked it but hated the fact you had to be so careful about the water. My hubby & I both got ill there after eating in the sea food restaurant. I would go back, I really would, he won't he hated the weather to humid for him, for me it was not a problem. The beaches in PC I feel are much nicer. And it is a lot less expensive. Language can be a problem. I speak a little Spanish so I was at least okay. One lady just arrived came up to the bar could not get the bartender to understand what she wanted, I ordered for her in Spanish and he understood so I guess I did okay. Now for Sandals: I was at a Sandals in Ja but the SGOR so I can not say much about Whitehouse but the Sandals we stayed at was very nice. Also have a review posted on Sandals. We love Ja and it is our destination of choice. There are no water problems or language problems. The people are much more friendly in JA. We were on a bus tour in PC and had people along the road yelling Americans go home. In Ja I personally prefer staying in a villa. I like the privacy. If you have any other questions I would be happy to try and answer.

Toronto, Canada
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10. Re: Jamaica or Punta Cana?

Clare i agree, you can't compare PC with Mo Bay. Two completely different kind of places.

Negril is closer.

Being form Jamaica makes me prejudice, but I do have to agree that I love the beach in PC with those nice big palm trees.

As far as culture, food etc... goes however, Jamaica gets my vote every time.