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Vacation Help! (I'm sooo bad at this...)

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Cheylana, May 25, 2010.

  1. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

    I think someone was trying to decide on a vacation a few weeks ago, and everyone was so helpful, I thought I would beg you guys for help:

    A girlfriend and I want a few days of fun in the sun, chilling on a beach, maybe seeing a sight or two if time permits. We basically have 4 days over the July 4 weekend. I think we have it narrowed down to Bahamas or Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. But that's where I'm stuck - there are so many hotels/resorts to pick from, that I'm sort of frozen with indecision and fear of screwing this up! What if I end up picking some roach or mold-infested place? So I ask?

    1) Which island is better - more entertaining, better bang for our buck? I really don't know that much about either island, although Bahamas seems to get more tourist traffic.

    2) Anyone have recommendations on a hotel, or a particular part of the island we should stay in (or stay away from)? My friend is a member of some travel/timeshare club, which has "excess inventory" rooms at Hacienda Resorts in DR. I don't really trust timeshare companies - the company had contacted my friend telling her that she won a free cruise, but she could only claim it if she listed to some timeshare presentation, and before she knew it she ended up with a timeshare and no cruise, due to their 7 trillion stipulations. Nevertheless, I'm happy to go there if it's clean and nice...

    3) Is there anything else I should keep in mind?

    I don't know why planning trips freaks me out but it does... Any suggestions/advice would be greatly appreciated!
  2. Matryeshka

    Matryeshka Well-Known Member

    I've never been to any of those places :wuzrobbed . However, as cheesy and cliched, stereotypical middle-class North American/European as it is, I've heard nothing but great things about Sandals Resorts in Bahamas.

    It's all inclusive and provides transportation to and from the airport, which I've heard can be a hassle. If the planning aspect freaks you out, then I'd *definitely* suggest one of those places like Sandals that does it all for you.

    OTOH, the one downside is if you do it that way, it's just a nice beach but you might as well be in a nice beach in Florida--you see nothing of the little culture that's not been played with to suit foreign tastes. But if the purpose is just to relax and hang out, then you could do that next time. Have fun! :)
    Cheylana and (deleted member) like this.
  3. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

    Thank you! I'm going to check that website out!!!
  4. Ozzisk8tr

    Ozzisk8tr Well-Known Member

    Try Trip Adviser, great reviews from real people for just about every place.
  5. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

    Cheylana --

    When you get back, will you post a review here of wherever you went? We might want to try this next year, and I'd be interested in knowing your thoughts.
  6. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

    Thank you!

    Sure, will do! Although it is starting to look like we may do Miami instead :lol:
  7. purple skates

    purple skates Shadow Dancing

    We really enjoyed Jamaica a few months ago. There was a huge reservation mix-up at the resort that we were supposed to stay at, which was the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton all-inclusive, so they ended up transferring us to the Franklyn D Resort all-inclusive. The Franklyn D is a great place if you have small children, because each room comes with a nanny, but I wouldn't recommend it for young singles.

    However, while at the resort, we met several other couples who were transplanted from the Grand Palladium. Several were repeat customers who raved about it. Because of the reservation snafu, we are getting a free stay at the Grand Palladium next year and we are really looking forward to returning to Jamaica.

    The Jamaican people were, for the most part, very nice, friendly and extremely hard working. Life is a lot slower moving there than it is in the US, so if you are the type to get frustrated when you have to wait for service Jamaica is not the place for you. Please understand, though, that we were only in tourist areas on the northern coast of the island. I understand that Kingston and some of the interior of the island isn't as pleasant to US tourists.

    I also liked the water much better than either the Atlantic or the Gulf of Mexico. I haven't been in Florida south of Daytona Beach, so I don't know what it's like there, but in Jamaica the colors are fantastic and there were no jellyfish that I saw. I hate jellyfish. Lots of sea urchins, but those are easy to see and avoid in the clear water. Snorkling was awesome.

    If you want to stay stateside, I would recommend Tybee Island Georgia. Beautiful beaches, we swam with the dolphins - they just came up along the shore and were playing around - and it is close to Savannah, which is a charming city with a lot to do.

    Anyway, good luck. Remember the Carribean (and Florida and Georgia, for that matter) can be extremely humid in the summer. You definitely want a hotel/room on the beach.
    Last edited: May 25, 2010
  8. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

    Hi, so I promised I would provide an update on my vacation. My friend and I wound up going to Miami Beach - South Beach, to be specific. We booked into the South Seas Hotel, and all I can say is that was a big mistake. It was a good location (on the beach) and cheaper than the other beachfront properties, but the hotel was old and had a musty/moldy smell. Bad deal. After 2 nights we couldn't take it anymore, so we switched to the Hotel Victor - a bit more expensive but a huge improvement, and we stayed there the last 2 nights. It rained every single day :rolleyes: and the one afternoon it was hot we both got sunburned! Still, we managed to squeeze quite a bit of fun in. So... that's my story! :)
  9. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    Glad you enjoyed your vacation. But where are the juicy details? Enquiry minds want to know. ;)
  10. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

    LOL... Sadly, there are no juicy details! We wanted to go in the Versace Mansion but apparently it's closed for the off-season. Hmmm... umm... We went to a nice Haitian restaurant called Tap Tap. I would recommend it to anyone!