Our trip to Punta Cana – Dominican Republic was meant to be! I had planned on taking the kids to Cancun Mexico because i found such a great deal for 8 people for a 6 night stay. It was a steal, but i had to cancel that a month before and i decided to do Punta Cana instead because of all the negative media at the time about all the crime with cartels and i just didn’t feel safe taking my whole family to Mexico. Plus i felt very pressured by family members to cancel it and so i said what the heck I don’t need this stress so i cancelled. I have been to Mexico many times and i love it there and i still plan on taking my kids to Cancun soon but off we went to Punta Cana on June 30th, 2018.
Our Trip To Punta Cana – Dominican Republic
By the way this trip and blog post was not sponsored so all content and opinion are my own based on my personal experience. I never planned on writing a blog on this so don’t have the best images of everything i will be talking about. I wish i thought this through i would have focused on better content for you guys but since this was a trip for my kids and not work related i will make do with some of the iphone pics i have handy.
What we did and where we stayed during our trip to Punta Cana:
Where we stayed in Punta Cana
After endless research about the all inclusive resorts in Punta Cana, i decided to go with Paradisus Palma Real. Even though there were many other nice resorts i got convinced somehow to go with this resort maybe it was the reviews that sold me or the proximity to the beach. Regardless i was happy with my choice.
The resort is very beautiful. As soon as you enter the lobby you will know what i am talking about. It overlooks the courtyard, pool and ocean. Breathtaking! I have a little picture of it below. It doesn’t do it any justice though.
We mostly used the one main large pool. But i do believe there are about 4 or 5 other smaller ones you can use. They also have an all adult pool/section. I didn’t learn more about this like i said my intention wasn’t to blog about this and our stay was not by any means sponsored.
There are many a la carte restaurants you can eat at that require reservations and the one thing i didn’t like was how hard it was to get reservations into these restaurants so i suggest you plan your dinners ahead of time and book a day or 2 ahead. The only restaurant we ate at the night before we left was called Bana. It was Hibachi style and the food was amazing. My kids ate so much they couldn’t stop talking about it the following day. I preferred eating at the buffet most of the time because i found it easier to control my kids and i was more relaxed and not worried about how they behaved.
Thoughts on the Buffet:
The food at the buffet was average. They had a huge variety of different ethnic foods. Some days were better than others but overall i would rate the buffet 6 out of 10. They did have different varieties of desserts daily so you have many options there.
Lets talk about the fruits! When i went to Punta Cana i really was hoping to eat a lot of tropical fruits. I didn’t want to see apples, pears, watermelons and so on. They served pretty much the same fruits every single day but i was happy i got to eat so many Guava, Passion fruit and Papaya. The Guava and Papaya were so sweet and delicious. The passion fruit was very sour but that didn’t stop me from eating it daily lol. Sorry i have no pics of fruits to share because i wasn’t thinking of blogging about this.
For those asking about activities, the resort we stayed at had them daily every 9pm. Different themes each night. If you watched my stories on instagram you probably saw most of it. There is just no room to get bored until you are just too exhausted and want to get to your bed!
This is also available for those who need it. They have loads of fun things and activities for kids. Especially at their sister resort next door. We didn’t use the kids club because honestly i didn’t want to drop my kids off to play all day without me. I love spending time with them and swimming with them. Basically i went to create memories with them.
I am sure your kids might love some of these entertainments. So look into this if you like.
I have to admit that when i booked Our Trip To Punta Cana – Dominican Republic, i expected the beach to be crystal clear and white sandy beaches. You know what i mean? Its the Caribbean! I wasn’t expecting brown sea and load and loads of seaweed! I guess you cant stop mother nature from running its coarse.
Time Of Year?
It might have been the time of year? My sister in law told me when they went to Punta Cana in January the ocean was clear blue and beautiful. So I am just assuming it must be the time of year? Does anyone know more about this? I would like to go back to Punta Cana but i would prefer to go During a time when the beach is beautiful and swimmable.
The Good and Bad-
Lets talk about the minor things from Our Trip To Punta Cana that no one considers but they do matter when its time to experience it first hand. Whether they are good or bad. Just a few little things that i would like to share.
Even though we stayed at an all inclusive resort we had to pay $5 each for these coconuts. My kids love it and they just wont share so we had to get 4-6 of these daily. Its worth it though so i am not complaining. Just saying. The only thing i wasn’t happy about was the fact that after you are done with the coconut juice they don’t open it up for you to eat the inside of it. They did that for me in Mexico! So yeah i was really bummed. I kept thinking to myself “what a waste”
We loved the bubbles they did a day before we left. The kids had a blast with this one. Even i had a blast swimming in bubbles. I was just happy to see my kids so happy and having fun. Thats all that mattered.
My twins kept making so much mess with the bubbles the people sitting behind them were going to pretty much push them in and tell them to stay in. Then my boy Sam decided to “pretend” take a shower. No it was not soap.
What we did on our trip in Punta Cana:
Ok so i really messed up here! Don’t do the same mistake i did. The following day after we arrived we decided to go parasailing. Somehow i got convinced by the locals on the beach that offer these to do this with them. No offense to anyone or the locals. Its just that i thought it would have been better doing this through the resort. It looked safe and fun. Nothing happened thank God and i am not trying to say they were bad people. But after i learned 2 hours later that you can do this through the hotel i regretted it. It would have been much safer for my family to book this through the hotel. A bit more money but its worth it!
The next day i booked our snorkeling through the hotel. The “pirates” (someone at the resort referred to them as such ) on the beach offered us 2 hours adventure for 8 for $200 and i got it through the hotel for $275 for 3 hours.
Where it is:
We took a 15 mins car ride to the boat area where they take us snorkeling. I got to see the area more, the locals and the market. It was all very beautiful and i thought “wow this country is so beautiful”, it reminded me of my own home in Africa where i was born. It felt like i was home.
This was the beach they took us to for our snorkeling, Sort of away from the resorts. The beach was so pretty here with very little seaweed.
That pirate ship was also another adventure you can go on. They were also snorkeling and the water was so pretty, crystal clear and just wow.
Our little Snorkeling Disappointment:
Here is the thing. We have little issues with my son Sam throughout the whole trip. A little bit personal to discuss but he is somewhat defiant and argues a lot with me. So guess what happened? Everyone went in the water a good 20 mins before me and my kids finally put our life jackets on and went in. By the time Sam agreed to put his goggles on and finished arguing with me, they called us back to the boat. He didn’t get to look in the water and neither did I. But my other kids did and they said it was so much fun and beautiful.
Swimming with Dolphins in Punta Cana-
For those who get offended by these pictures with dolphins i am sorry. I do recognize animal rights and i do agree that these beautiful animals belong in the sea and deserve to be free. I wish there was something I COULD DO to make a difference but unfortunately this isn’t a battle i can fight.
That being said, this was the funnest for my kids. They loved being able to touch them and swim with the dolphins. It was an exhilarating experience for us all.
Marc was too scared to swim with the dolphins but he got to hug and kiss it. He is only 5 and it is kind of scary for a kid his age to hold on to dolphin fins and hang on. Again this breaks my heart to see them in captivity.
I love this family picture of us. I forgot this guys name but he was a dolphin trainer and he wanted to walk down with me to get a “tip”. He asked me if i was happy withe everything and i said yes and he goes “well you live me tip? i walk you down” lol.
Our Photo Shoot:
Day 3 into our stay i realized how hard it was to get my kids to cooperate and take some pics. It was super hard to get them to pose for a family pic. So i said to myself thats it, i am going to hire a photographer from the resort to get some nice pictures of me and the kids. The boys tend to mostly listen under pressure from strangers.
Here are a few of the many pictures we got from our shoot. These did end up costing me quite a bit because i got an album as well. Its worth it though.
Considering a photoshoot?
If you are even considering to hire someone to take some pictures try to pack accordingly. I didn’t think about this ahead so i didn’t take any matching outfits. This was the best “matching” i could come up with. Next time i would probably do like an all white shirt/top or something like that.
Airport in Punta Cana:
We went through PUJ, Punta Cana International Airport. The airport itself was nice and clean. The line was very long to go through customs. Make sure you grab their white custom papers and fill it out while you are in line. They gave us some custom papers to fill out on the plane but it wasn’t just that form that was required. We all had to wait on the side to fill of 8 of them for all of us that went together. And of course i find this out right when i reached the beginning of the line. This should save you some time.
Custom/ Tourist Fee:
Before heading out on our trip to Punta Cana, I read online about a $10 tourist fee per person and to take exact change. You could say i was prepared for this and i didn’t get to pay it. I was even worried about it after we exited the airport thinking that i messed up somehow. I figured on the way back they will get me to pay it. We didn’t! I was in a panic for a few minutes. I hate getting in trouble for the silliest things. So while i waited to board our flight back, i got into my email and checked the tickets i got through Delta and go figure i had already paid this fee through delta. I was very relieved.
Check your tickets to see if you paid this fee, if not then expect to pay this at the airport.
You also need to fill out more immigration forms while leaving the Dominican Republic. So as soon as you get inside to check your bags in grab those forms. Its very busy while leaving the DO so try to arrive early and give yourself enough time. I went 3 hours ahead.
Coming back home:
As much as we loved our trip to Our Trip To Punta Cana – Dominican Republic, we just wanted to come back home. This kids missed their beds and their “normal” food. Anyone feel like this? I could have stayed another week but my kids truly felt the meaning of “there’s no place like home”.