I never thought I would be the person to come back with one of those really bad honeymoon stories, but hey it does make for a good story… so here it goes. The honeymoon was the first thing we booked after our engagement, we had that done before we even settled on a place for the reception, kinda backwards but it worked out great. So our original destination was an all-inclusive resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico. We had a bunch of friends that had gone there on their honeymoons and loved it, so we were pretty excited about the whole deal! As our wedding started approaching so did the swine flu “epidemic” so two weeks before our wedding our travel agent called and asked/recommended that we change our destination. After talking over it with our parents we felt ok with going ahead and rebooking. In a matter of a couple days and some stress we rebooked our honeymoon in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic at another all-inclusive resort (or so we thought).
Our flight left early the Monday, after our wedding, out of Baltimore. We ended up getting a hotel Sunday night right next to the airport and then it was a quick hop over to BWI in the morning. In Baltimore they gave us the tickets for both of our flights including our connecting flight in Puerto Rico. The flight to Puerto Rico went well, I actually don’t really remember it. We got to San Juan airport with a hour or so before our connecting flight. When we got there Matt went up to the desk to get our seat assignments for the next flight because they weren’t given to us in Baltimore. I still remember the look on the lady’s face, like the confused/ not so sure look, and I got the jist something wasn’t right. Turns out we were supposedly never booked on the flight even though we had our tickets in hand. That flight was booked with a waiting list so there was no way we were getting on that flight so they ended up giving us flight vouchers, and booked us on a flight to La Romana instead of Punta Cana. Luckily this flight was leaving just after the one we were supposed to be on so that was nice. What wasn’t nice though, was the flight over there. We were in a little puddle jumper and hit some pretty decent turbulence, and by the time we landed I was not feeling that great. We landed in the hot/humid La Romana. Because our luggage was already loaded onto the plane going to Punta Cana once we landed we had to figure out our luggage as well as find out how to get transport to our resort. American Airlines did a great job with both, we ended up in a van on an hour and a half drive through the DR to our resort. We arrived at the Gran Paradise Bavaro about 3 hours later than we should’ve and it was raining, which happened a lot that week. We got to the counter to check in and the guy we were working with spoke English but in a very heavy accent so we got about half of what he said, the part that we did get however (when he handed us the two vouchers) was the fact that even though the resort had 7 great restaurants we could only eat at them two time during out stay (hence the vouchers) the remainder of our meals were given at the main buffet, and another snack shop down by the beach. Talk about disappointing! So we stood around in the lobby for awhile waiting for the little trolley to come and take us to our room, we were stopped by a British couple who informed us that the staff here was not very good and they had a few other choice words about their stay so far. After hearing that we just decided to try and figure out where are room was by ourselves so out the in the rain we went with luggage in tow. Luckily we were just a short walk down the trail from the main building. By this time I was hot, wet, not feeling to great and about ready to cry! We got to our room which was very nice (probably the only good thing about our stay) and got settled in. That night for dinner we decided to go to the buffet and check it out. We stepped out of our room and realized the light drizzle had turned into pouring rain! The trolley came along with plastic flaps down over the sides and it was packed full of people so we somehow squeezed our way on but still got very wet! We got to the buffet and were seated by an attendant. We didn’t bring anything with us so we just got up and went to check out the food. After getting our food we come back to our table to find out they had sat someone else there! So we walked around the place with our food trying to find an empty table. That night we had to run someone down just to get water! We were hoping that this was just one bad day….
It was cloudy most of the days, and rained every evening. We learned that we got just as wet walking to the buffet as we did riding the trolley so we ended up just walking most of the times because the trolley was always packed full of people. We started alternating when we would go up to eat so we didn’t lose our table, and because of that the waiters would only serve us one drink (despite our efforts to try and explain we needed two) because only one of us was sitting at the table when they came around.
The resort for the most part was relatively empty because it was still their off season so there were only a select amount of things open! They had a couple different sections to the resort that each had their own pool and bar and couple of restaurants so we had fun exploring. The beach was really nice however there were quite a few topless women walking around so we ending up hanging out at the pool to try and avoid that!
It was either day two or three that we thought we would check out the extra curricular stuff they had and decided to do a speed boating trip. We were really excited about it! So the next morning we woke up early, got some breakfast and headed down to the beach. They had the two speed boats out near the water already, one for us and one for the guy we would be following. The tutorial was about 5 seconds long. Our guide who speaks very little English grabs the throttle in our boat pushes it up says “fast” pushes it back says “slow” and the waves his arm and says “follow me” We are pushed out into the ocean and off we go. It was a semi cloudy day but it was still gorgeous as we were flying along the cost weaving through boats, kayaks, people parasailing, etc. Matt had never driven a boat before so that was somewhat challenging and we soon found out that when you turn the steering wheel the whole way to the left or right it would get stuck so you’d have to yank it back. The same thing also happened to the throttle when you put it at full speed it would get stuck! So what started out being a really cool relaxing ride turned out to be the most stressful ½ hour of our trip. I seriously thought we were going to hit some people a couple times but Matt did a good job and working with what we had. We both sighed with relief when we made it back to shore! After that we decided to scrap the extra circulars and stick to hanging out on the resort.
We saved our two restaurant vouchers for the last two nights we were there, hoping to end on a good note, which we did, food-wise, but the maids were another thing.
We only had a card lock on our door, which the maids all had a master of. They would give us two brief knocks before coming in, and having already barged in once at 8:30 in the morning and another at 8:30 at night (to do a beach towel inventory?!) we were on edge most of the time. (Not to mention the fact that they seemed to be doing work on the room above us so we would wake up to hammers and construction noises) They for some reason got in the habit of cleaning our room in the late afternoon which is just about the time we got back to our room, after hanging out on the beach in the morning, to relax and then shower and get ready for dinner. We told them to go away a couple times but then decided our room probably needed cleaned so we went out on our deck while they cleaned! This happened almost every day!
The last full day we were there, there was a huge thunderstorm that lasted pretty much all day, the power went out in our room probably about 5 times. We ended up playing cards with Matt’s headlight on. We then noticed that there was water dripping down through one of the spotlights into our Jacuzzi so we called the front desk but I don’t think the lady understood what we were saying because her response was “ok,thanks”… click and no-one ever came! Lets just say we were ready to leave by Wednesday but we stayed until Sunday.
Sunday morning we woke up and it was absolutely gorgeous outside the sun was out full strength (this didn’t happen at all during the week) it was a beautiful day! But no, we had to leave, everything was packed and we got on the bus to head to the airport!
The funny thing is we met an older couple at the airport while we were waiting in line to get our tickets and they had been another resort right in our area (there were three or four right next to us) and they were saying what an amazing time they had! We must’ve just picked the wrong one! Ugh! Most of the time I just try to not think about our honeymoon, it makes me sad.
Oh and one last note to make things all the better I got mildly sick while we were there! So we spent one afternoon in the small doctors clinic they had there trying to figure out insurance stuff and filling out paperwork before I could get some antibiotics!
Here are some pics for you to enjoy!
Walking around the resort the first day. Notice the nice dark clouds :)
Stairs to our room
Our room had two double beds, pretty sweet! That is the door that led to our deck
If you were sitting on the beds this is what you saw the walk in shower and toilet were on the left.
Thats our room!
By the pool
The second one was our deck
This was the main buffet, after eating the same thing all week it was nice to go to the two restaurants at the end.
The breakfast before our speed boat ride
Little did we know...
Just after we got in the water... everything was good!
At the halfway point were we turned around... our guide was nice to get some pictures for us... at this point it was just nice to have a short break and relax the nerves a little
the main lobby, it was really pretty
going for dinner the one night
It was raining as usual
This was on our way to our Steak dinner! whoohoo our first good meal of the week! The halo on the picture must have been from the humidity it was crazy humid that night, but thankfully not raining yet!
Playing cards in the dark while it was thunderstorming.
our flight home! Finally!
Our bathroom was full of balloons that spilled out into the hallway... I felt bad for our neighbors it was about 1am when we got home and the balloons were so full they were just randomly popping.