Cheryl and Pat's Excellent Adventure

Upon our arrival in the sunny Dominican Republic, we made a very quick 10 minute transfer to our home away from home, Dreams Palm Beach.  We had a delicious lunch at the buffet, which had numerous choices for us.  With our bellies full, we went to the Marinarium that is practically next door to the Dreams resort.  One of the popular excursions is the Snorkel with the Sharks and Manatees.

We climbed aboard a catamaran and headed for our wildlife encounter.  After our snorkel adventure, our boat headed along the coast and we were able to enjoy the scenic beaches that Punta Cana is known for, before heading back.

Some highlights of our resort visits are as follows:

DREAMS PALM BEACH

No reservations are needed for the many a la carte restaurants at the resort.

The resort has a Preferred Club section with private check in, private pool, club lounge with free internet and daily afternoon snacks.

IFA VILLAS

This is a very large resort, but Apple Vacations only sells the section that is close to the beach and most of the restaurants.  The rooms in this area only have French Balconies.  This resort is good for families traveling on a budget.

MELIA CARIBE TROPICALE

The Melia is next to the new shopping mall for anyone that is a shopaholic.

The size of the resort may be a little intimidating, but it is a lovely vacation spot.  A 7 night stay includes 2 rounds of golf per room.  There are Royal Service Suites with many extra amenities.  The Melia has a children’s park area with much to do.

BARCELOS

The 3 Barcelo resorts have undergone renovations, and with Apple, the renovated rooms are available. At the Barcelo Dominican the pool bar is open until midnight.  They all have a great children’s program called the Barcy Kids Club, and the Barcelo Punta Cana has a great kid’s pool.  The Barcelo Palace has a special kid’s buffet area.  These resorts are perfect for a family getaway.  The Palace’s beautifully refurbished deluxe rooms are junior suites with a separate check in.

GRAND OASIS PUNTA CANA

There are 2 sides to this resort, and when staying at the Bavaro side, all of the restaurants are included with no extra cost.  All rooms have a charge for the safe in the rooms.  There is a restaurant that is open 24 hours.  This resort is a good value.

DREAMS PUNTA CANA

This is a beautiful resort, with the only drawback being that it is an hour away from the airport and most excursions.  No reservations are needed for the a la carte restaurants.

IBEROSTAR RESORTS

The Iberostar Grand is a brand new adults only resort that is spectacular.  There is a concierge on every floor.  Even the buffet restaurant was outstanding.  Many of the rooms have an ocean view. Great for a romantic getaway. 

The Iberostar Punta Cana has been recently renovated.  The balconies all have couches for relaxing and taking in the views.  With 7 night stay, 3 a la carte dinners are guaranteed, and if there is availability, more nights can be requested.

RIU RESORTS

The Riu Palace is fairly new, and is the high end resort of the Rius which is reflected in the quality of the restaurants, and the services offered.  There is 24 hour room service available.

The Riu Bambu is a fun resort with all of the great qualities that the Rius are known for.  The pool bar is open 24 hours.  The rooms are in the process of being renovated, and when the bungalows are finished they will have a much needed new look.

OCEAN BLUE   

This is a great family resort.  Apple clients will stay in the rooms that are closest to the beach.  It has many activities, including a bowling alley.  There are no reservations required for dinner.   There are some rooms that will accommodate a family of 5.  They offer a special Privilege Club category of rooms with many extra amenities.

GRAND PARADISE

This is a moderately priced resort that has a beach section of renovated rooms exclusively for Apple guests.  The room safe is available at a cost of $20 per week.  There is a miniature golf course on property.

MAJESTIC ELEGANCE

This is a new resort that offers an exclusive adults only section with extra amenities.   It is a lovely resort that caters to people desiring that extra special relaxing vacation.  All rooms have jacuzzis.  This would be a great resort for romance.  The children’s club and casino are located at the sister property the Majestic Colonial.

BAVARO PRINCESS

This is an all suite resort that is about to undergo renovations.  It is a moderate property, but they do offer a Platinum Club with extra amenities.