Snarky Brides

Decisions, Decisions....

Alright ladies, I need some input...

Spent some time at the travel agent this aft, and came up with 2 options for our January trip:

1) Punta Cana, Dominican Republic: well known resort, great beach, family friendly, 5 stars

2) Mayan Riviera, Mexico: great pool, newish resort, adults only, 5 stars

Keep in mind I work with kids and we don't have any, so a break might be nice.
Kinda worried the adults only might attract the 20ish crowd though...


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Re: Decisions, Decisions....

  • Friends of our went to Punta Cana for their HM and said it was really nice, but you are pretty much stuck on the resort for safety reasons and such.  They really weren't comfortable getting out and about or seeing much of the DR for this reason.  Family friendly can be nice, but kids are obnoxious when they're tired, over stimulated, and/or bored from being in the space for a week straight with who knows what for entertainment.

    I haven't been to that area of Mexico, but I have been to Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas, which are on the Pacific side and loved them both.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE Cabo and can't say enough about it.  In January, you probably don't have to worry too much about the 20 something crowd - they are for the most part back in college or working.  if you were going in mid-March this would be a valid concern, but for January I think you are fine.  There are always stories about drug issues and such in Mexico, but if you look into it, most (not alll, but the vast majority) of them are in the border areas with the US, or with tourists who were in areas they probably shouldn't have been wandering around in.  The resort we stay at in Cabo is about a mile from the "downtown" area and very safe to walk to and from during the day.  At night, we take a cab.  We typically breakfast and lunch at the resort (we go to the grocery store in town when we arrive and eat breakfast out of our rooms, and lunch is 50/50 rooms and pool side service) and usually go into Cabo for dinner every night.  We have the resort make recommendations (although after a few years, we have our favorite places too) and take taxi's to and from the restaurant, but as long as you stay within a block of the main drag, I feel very safe walking around downtown Cabo even in the evening time.  With the Mayan Riviera being a similar resort area, I'd expect it would be similar as far as safety is concerned.  As long as you're smart, be aware of your surroundings, and don't do anything you think is sketchy I'd think you'd be fine.
    My experience with the adult only resort in Cabo is that they are pretty quick to warn/chastise people who are being obnoxious.  There were people fighting (yelling, not hitting) in the hallway outside our room one night and it only lasted about 5-10 minutes before someone from the hotel was there settling things down and what not.  They "family friendly" resort next door (owned by the same group) had much more of a party atmosphere around their pool, many more 20-somethings (we usually go in early March so we do hit early spring breakers) and was generally much louder/rowdier whenever we walked over that way.  
    Have fun whichever you decide to do :)

  • I agree with PP.  We stayed at the Iberostar Grand Bavaro (their only adults only) and we couldn't leave the resort grounds.  It was beautiful and the best place we have EVER been to but it was also pretty boring...lots of 40's and 50's around and there wasn't a nightlife at all.  (we didn't want "clubs" but to stay up and drink or something!)

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  • We did our honeymoon in the Riviera Mayan Area, and we stayed at a great resort. There were options to go out of the resort during the day to do tourist activities (seeing ruins, snorkeling, scuba diving, jetskiing, etc) and the resort had night activities as well- karaoke, theatre, dancing... It was awesome. BUT, it was "family friendly" and there were kids in all the pool areas and on the beaches. If I could go again, I would definitely go to the same area, but pick a resort that was adults only. 
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  • I went to the Mayan a few years ago and had an amazing time. There are guided tours you can take to go see the ruins. As well a water part called Xel Ha is pretty close to the resorts and it was amazing.

    Note: Mexican water park is not the same thing as we know. It was an amazing place to snorkel in an inlet off the ocean, swim with dolphins, snuba, check out the caves, cliff jump, etc. 
  • Angel, it doesn't say where you're from, so I'm wondering if you've thought about Cuba...

    I 'took myself' to Varedero two years ago. I went by myself for a week and stayed at an AI. It was kid friendly, but honestly, there were very few there. Most families with young kids will pick resorts with attractions for them, and mine had a beach only...

    I felt very safe, and walked around town as well as the resort. There was never a time when I felt like I shouldn't be somewhere, and even on the streets of Havana (I did a day tour there - so unbelievable!) I felt comfortable.

    I've never been to either of the places you're considering, but I have friends who have been to both. One friend will only fo to Punta Cana, and another who had a blast in Riveria Maya and would go back, but it isn't her only choice.

    I wish I knew where to go for our honeymoon. The problem is that I want to go EVERYWHERE!

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  • Thanks for the input everyone, seems to be leaning towards Mexico!

    One of the resorts I'm looking at has what they all "Gourmet Inclusive" and I'm starting to think that may be the best bet. Food is super important to us.

    Jenny, We're avoiding Cuba because I have a lot of food allergies and FI is pretty picky about food and resort quality. I've always wanted to try Cuba, but I probably should have done it in my younger days when I would've been ok with mediocre food for a cheap holiday! :-)


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  • Yeah, the food in Cuba isn't the greatest. It's actually pretty bland, for the most part, on the resort buffets, but there's lots of choice (which is what saved picky ole me!)

    I can say I've been there. I'd really love to go to Turks and Caicos though. That's HIGH on my list.
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  • We stayed at couples-only, but went to the sister resort for the day that was family-friendly and DEAR GOD we could not get out of there fast enough. It actually made me dread taking future children on vacation.
  • In Response to Re: Decisions, Decisions....:
    We stayed at couples-only, but went to the sister resort for the day that was family-friendly and DEAR GOD we could not get out of there fast enough. It actually made me dread taking future children on vacation.
    Posted by cwaggoner07
    I get it Swag!  I believe that all travel should take place with no more than a 1 child: 1 adult ratio!


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