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Punta Cana Comparison

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Rochester NY
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252 posts
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Punta Cana Comparison

We have been to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic 5 times in the last 12 years. And absolutely loved the Iberostar Bavaro and Majestic Elegance. This year we are thinking about Negril Jamaica as a change of pace for our 30 year anniversary. We are thinking about Couples Negril, or Couples Swept Away. Anybody out there that have been to both Negril And Punta Cana have a opinion on our plan, and what our expectations should be?

New Jersey
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1. Re: Punta Cana Comparison

We went to Punta Cana with the family 7 years ago, to Paradisus. We have been to Couples Swept Away, twice and visited CN while staying at CSA. While we thought that the beach and water in the Dominican Republic was really nice and the resort was nice enough (we like buildings that are not tall) we have not yet considered a return. We have been to Jamaica 5 times since DR. We love Negril. Liked CSA's location on Long Bay better than CN's on Bloody Bay. I think for a first time trip to Negril, and enjoying AI in DR, you cannot go wrong with CSA. We found the food was not great in DR. The system for dining was not very user friendly. The entertainment kind of hokey. The language barrier was not ideal. We enjoy the music in Jamaica more than that of DR.

We loved the set up at CSA. The beach is fabulous. The water gorgeous. The shade terrific. The ability to walk forever just what we like to do. And the ability to head right at the water, pass one resort and then have the chance to stroll along a desserted public beach nice. Turn to the left and walk past low lying resorts, shops, restaurants and bars making the stroll ever changing and interesting. The food was very good for an AI. Like being in a nice restaurant. No cattle call here. Choices are varied and we never had a problem with getting a reservation.

There are tons of activities. Each night they had great bands as a back drop to our cocktails at the martini bar before and after dinner. Some follks love the piano bar, not my thing. There is a disco that we did go to one night when they had a jazz band which was great. They have a beach party one night, did not go. They have a singer that folks rave about at the bon fire. The catamaran cruise is included and a great way to see the rest of Negril from the water.

Jamaice is a very friendly place. We absolutely love it. When we stayed at CSA we hailed a cab to the cliffs for lunch at Xtabi one time and for dinner at the Rockhouse another. Both meals were great. Jamaican food is fabulous. CSA has a trip to Rick's Cafe which we did not do, but you could do that and get to see the cliffs for free.

This last time we went non AI and had a great trip. We spent less than half of the cost of CSA. We'll be traveling that way from now on. But I don't think you can go wrong with Couples. If you stay put on a resort and enjoy a great pool you can't go wrong with CN. Couples has a message board on their website and you can get lots of info there to help you with your decison. Happy Anniversary. Couples is a great place to celebrate.

Edgewater Park, New...
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126 posts
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2. Re: Punta Cana Comparison

Been to both , the only good thing about PC is the beach. Jamaica hands down, any day, and twice on sunday.

Ottawa, Canada
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3. Re: Punta Cana Comparison

As well been to both. Bloody Bay from a beach comparison is similar. 7 mile is very nice but a different flavour.

We preferred Jamaica to PC.

America, The...
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68 reviews
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4. Re: Punta Cana Comparison

We have been to PC and stayed at the IB Grand and have stayed at CSA 3 times. We liked the IB Grand, but prefer Negril and CSA. Here are some broad comparisons we have noted about the resorts and the areas. First, the beaches are both beautiful, but the water is clearer and calmer in Negril. The Dominicans are extremely friendly and very solicitous. Jamaicans are a bit more reserved at first, but warm up a great deal as they get to know that you are interested in them and their culture and that you respect them. Again, this is just broad strokes and varies by person, of course. The food is better in Negril and the water is safe to drink. There is much less of a risk of food or water-bourne illness. The resorts are less glitzy and flashy in Negril, and more in keeping with their natural environment.

CSA itself has a lot more to do than the IB Grand. There were many more inclusions as far as fitness, waterskiing, catamaran cruises, and so forth, with private instruction for fitness and tennis. There are no "star friends" getting you involved in beach or pool games at CSA. Guests are left to choose what they will participate in or not. The restaurants have better food. No worries about undercooked lobster or hamburgers like we encountered at the IB Grand, even though they tried very hard there and did a very good job overall. Golf is probably better at the Grand and is right onsite. If you stayed at the IB Bavaro and not the Grand, we did go over there for dinner one night and found it far inferior to the Grand. So, if that is the case, I think you would be very pleased with the restaurants at CSA because I think they are better than both. If the service at the IB Bavaro is like at the Grand, you might find the service at the Couples resorts a little less over the top. Remember, no tips are allowed, and it is not quite as much of a fall all over the guest to help you sort of atmosphere. Still lovely service. Just a bit more reserved. Again, it's a different culture---think British vs. Spanish colony. I've written reviews of both our stays if you want to read them.

Seattle
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14 reviews
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5. Re: Punta Cana Comparison

Punta Cana is completely man-made built from nothing as a tourist destination of a bunch of all-inclusive resorts.

Negril grew naturally over many decades of slowing developing a tourist infrastructure.

Besides both having a beach, I can't think of two more different places.

suze

florida
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318 posts
22 reviews
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6. Re: Punta Cana Comparison

Have been to both as well. CSA is soooooooo much better:) They do not have 24 hr room service, just continental breakfast and the rooms are laid back tropical. The beach is incredible and so is the food and staff!!!

Washington DC...
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490 posts
24 reviews
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7. Re: Punta Cana Comparison

I second what "4wheels" said!

America, The...
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68 reviews
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8. Re: Punta Cana Comparison

CCK42--Since you are on the Negril forum, you are clearly going to get folks who favor Negril. I just want to say that I too enjoyed PC and can understand why you would have wanted to return all those times. Bavaro Beach is beautiful. We just enjoy the Caribbean over the Atlantic. Dominicans are lovely and warm. PC may have been man-made and built from nothing, but the people are authentic and wonderful. While there, we left the resort area and spent a day on a "PC Mike" tour getting to see more how people lived outside PC. We would not rule out returning. I saw more good in PC beyond just the beach.

Still, I would choose Negril, and Couples in particular for the reasons I said above.

Rockport...
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9. Re: Punta Cana Comparison

Both have lovely climates and beautiful beaches but prefer Jamica for three reasons.... You can drink the water, there is no language barrier, and the Jamican people so friendly.

ny
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284 posts
26 reviews
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10. Re: Punta Cana Comparison

Punta Cana can have more of a "luxurious" feeling. But Negil has more of a tropical down-to-earth feeling. The water is much rougher in Punta Cana and you can't really snorkel there. In Negril, there are nice fish to see in calmer waters.