Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Back from Dominican!


Hola!  So The Boy and I just made it back from five days in the Dominican Republic and we're still dating! It was our first vacation together and we had an awesome time. If you love gorgeous beaches and fruity drinks, I highly recommend it. However, if you are looking for good food and decent service, I definitely would NOT recommend staying at Majestic Elegance

Luckily, we were just so damn excited to be on vacation that it overshadowed most of the negatives, but I thought I would do a little run down here in case anyone is looking for tropical vacation recs. 

Pros:
  • The beach. White sand and turquoise water that is crystal clear. It was BEAUTIFUL. Prettier than everywhere I've been to in Mexico- it even puts Maui to shame. Just gorgeous.
  • The rooms. Everything was very modern and well-appointed.  There was a bottle of champagne waiting in the room and a mini bar stocked with a few beers and waters that they refilled every day. No complaints here. 
  • The entertainment. Our resort had shows every night at 10pm.  Since you don't really want to leave the resort, it was nice to have something to do after dinner.  The nights we were there they did Cirque du Soleil, Michael Jackson, a magic show, and a 70's/80's show. Cirque du Soleil was good, but our favorite by far was the Michael Jackson show. 
Cons:
  • The service. Ohhhh, the service. I think that being Texans we're probably more sensitive about manners than most. People are just friendlier in Texas than in most parts of the world. But y'all. The people at the resort were RUDE. I have so many examples that I won't bore you with, but if you are looking for a resort where you get attentive service- or even service without an attitude- then Majestic Elegance is not for you. 
  • The food was hit or miss.  The restaurants that were open for dinner were all pretty decent but the breakfast and lunch spots were sub-par at best. They're also lacking in the beach bar department. They did have a waitress walking around, but no bar or casual walk-up snack bar on the beach. When we tried to go to what was considered the beach restaurant, we were sent away and told to come back with a cover up on. 
  • The bars weren't consistent. You could order a drink at one bar and order the same thing at another and get a different result. They also struggled with pretty basic drinks. Dennis realized on the second day that the whiskey and cokes that he thought tasted funny were actually scotch and cokes. I guess technically scotch is whiskey, but c'mon…. any bartender should know that you typically don't mix scotch with coke. I also tried to order a pina colada close to closing time at the pool bar and the bartender curtly responded with "No. Strawberry Daiquiri" and handed me some sort of strange rum and grenadine concoction that was not remotely close to a daiquiri. 
  • The excursions were a bit on the rustic side. See below:
Experience #1: We went parasailing on the second day. It was a lot of fun and I would definitely recommend it. However, don't expect to be picked up on a pier and gently helped onto a docked boat. They pick you up in a small boat, you wade into the ocean, and hop in. Then the small boat takes you out to the larger parasailing boat, pulls up beside it, and you have to JUMP IN WHILE BOTH BOATS ARE STILL MOVING, JAMES BOND STYLE. All the while you have three Dominican guys yelling at you to hurry because if they slow down too much, they will dunk the people that are up in the air parasailing.  I'm assuming they do this to save time and cram more people in?  Either way, it was a little intense. We had a great time though- just be warned that if you aren't very nimble, this one could be a struggle. 

Experience #2: Scuba Diving. Do not, I repeat, do NOT go scuba diving through the resort. I was told to show up at 1:30 for an afternoon dive and got update after update of "they'll be here in 15 minutes." The dive boat finally arrived at 2:30 and could only be described as a dinghy at best. It was crammed with nine other people and all the gear. They took us out in water so choppy you were flying up out of your seat with each wave. There wasn't even room to stand up in the boat, so you had to contort your body to get your gear on. To get in the water, you had to sit on the very edge of the dinghy and fall backwards into the water. The dive was fine, but afterwards is where it all went to hell in a hand basket. 

The dinghy didn't have a ladder so when we came back up, we had to take off our BCD's and then hang on to the edge of the boat for dear life while waiting to get back in. It was so choppy that while I was hanging on, my arms would go from fully extended to completely bent with the edge of the boat almost hitting me in the forehead. I literally felt like I was on that show The Deadliest Catch. They told us to hang on the edge and then kick, kick, kick with our fins on and that would propel us up out of the water and into the boat. 

Right. 

Two flimsy pieces of plastic are going to propel my 100+ (we won't discuss specifics of the "+") lb. body into this boat that is being tossed around like a toy in a hurricane? Lemme just tell ya how well that worked out: 

On my first attempt, my flipper came off. I put it back on with one hand while clinging to the boat with the other.

On my second attempt, I was successful. And by "successful" I mean that I made it into the boat with the assistance of two guys and with about the same amount of grace in which you see a walrus on the Discovery Channel attempting to launch its two ton body onto a slippery iceberg. And I was the only one who opted out of a wetsuit, so this graceful act was performed in a string bikini. Thank goodness five other people were already in the boat to witness this series of events. I have bruises all over my body from this debacle.

And then I vomited. And vomited. Annnd vomited some more.

Worst. Diving. Experience. EVER. 

Needless to say that diving boats with ladders are no longer a luxury that I will take for granted. 


***

Aaaaaaall that aside, we STILL had an amazing time!

1. Pre-flight mimosas at 4am.
2. Sunrise somewhere between Dallas and Atlanta.
3. Finally {somewhat} awake.
4. Yay, we're here!

Our first day!

 1. Hitting the beach on our first full day.
2. Me pointing out to Den that I just kicked his ass at Connect Four. ;)
3. On our way to go parasailing.
4. Up, up, and away! That round cloud looking thing in the middle is our parachute.

 1. When the entertainment committee came to the pool looking for guys to participate in the Mister Sexy contest, I volunteered my boyfriend. I thought he was going to kill me at first, but he was a good sport. And I have it aaaaall on video! Blackmail material.
2. I also made him pose under the sign. He lost the title of Mister Sexy to an old man who used his unsexiness to be funny thus winning the sexy contest. Oh the irony. He won in my book though.
3. Covered in sand. That's the last time I start a sand fight. 
4. Cheese.
5. Mimosas every morning.
6. I crafted a sand turtle while Den was boogie boarding.
7. The turtle at the exact moment the waves destroyed it.
8. Boogie boarding.
9. My new favorite picture.

 1. Testing out the panoramic camera on the iPhone.
2. At the 70's/80's show.
3. Right before I almost died on Excursion #2.
4. Dinner on our last night.
5. I got back from diving and the Tech game was on AND we were winning AND there were West Virginia fans there for me to talk trash to. Totally redeemed my afternoon.

1. Showing off the bottom of my feet which were ORANGE the day after diving.  I don't know if there was a weird chemical in the fins or what- very strange.
2. One last photo in the lobby of our hotel.
3. Sad to leave.
4. See ya Dominican!


1 comment:

The Waspy Redhead said...

Looks like yall had a blast, I've never researched tropical destinations but the Dominican is going on my list now. My thoughts in no particular order: Oh how I envy your rapunzel hair, I'm still traumatized, the boy is WAY HANDSOME, excursions sound like a lot of work and like they cut into drinking time, I need to learn how to make collages with numbers on them like a proper blogger, you are stunning, we need to chisme.