When my wife and I got married, we made the commitment to always travel abroad for our anniversary, preferably to a place neither of us had been before. So far, it’s been a GREAT way to spend a week away from the cold, Canadian, Februarys, and this trip was no exception.
The majority of our travels in February have led us to the Carribean and South America, because we typically only take 7 days for these vacations, and we don’t want to spend a huge amount of that time in flights and lay-overs. When we looked at our options this time, we both mentioned the Dominican Republic. It’s a popular winter destination for a lot of people, and we heard a lot of good things from people who’d been there.
My travel-agent-wife immediately set about researching locations, accommodations, and packages. Ever the travel-shopper with an eye for quality, Tina quickly narrowed down the location to Punta Cana, and then began looking at accommodations. We were going to be meeting a friend from Western Canada this time, and his only request that the resort be ‘adults only’ narrowed the field of search even further. And so it was that we booked a package deal through Sunwing for a 7 day, all-inclusive, at Riu Republica, Punta Cana.
A few years back when we started travelling together, we had agreed that our travels would take on a couple of different styles. We have our “adventure” type journeys where we try to take in a lot of historical sites and cultural experiences. Visit natural attractions and generally try to see and experience as much about our destination as we can in the time that we have. The other type of travel that we do is what we call “re-charge trips”. These almost, but not always, involve staying at an all-inclusive resort, where we tend to do nothing but divide our time between the beach, the pool, the buffet, and our room. We literally just want to re-charge the batteries.
In this instance, it was indeed a re-charge trip, and for the first time, we thought that our friend’s request for adult only would be a great new experience for us. The Riu Republica is a huge resort, and the adult-only property is relatively new, but the entire complex is very modern and very beautiful. Upon checking in, I couldn’t wait to catch up with my BFF and allow the re-charging to begin!
Now….this being my first adult-only resort experience, I had expected that I’d eliminated all trace of screaming and crying children everywhere, particularly on the beach, and around the pools. Adult-only to me meant no kids, and perhaps some haphazard mild nudity.
What I apparently failed to understand was that adult-only means no kids ergo no need to be a responsible adult. It was a new experience to be awakened at 7:00 AM by the sound of drunken revellers careening down the halls or already in the pool, working on their karaoke routine for later in the day. What I also didn’t take into account was that the resort had 1500 rooms and was at 98% occupancy. There would be no escape.
The beach! The beach was beautiful! A gorgeous white sand beach that stretched for miles in either direction, with some beautiful turquoise waves to splash in when you want to cool off……and loaded with inebriated young “adults” yelling and screaming like 13-year-olds. Also very distracting are the “entertainment guides” who I would equate more with barkers at the county fair. Constantly calling for participants for their games and events via megaphone on the beach or loudspeaker at the pool, their spiels only to be drowned out by the volume of the constantly pumping party music.
Don’t get me wrong. This beautiful resort has a lot to offer! The nightly theatre entertainment is top-notch. The food was great with many different offerings. The staff were professional and gracious. The rooms and grounds were stunning. There are so many good things to say about Riu Republica, I don’t want to deter anyone from visiting and enjoying their stay.
What I WOULD say is that if you’re a cranky old curmudgeon like me who’s looking for some peacefull R&R where he can recharge his batteries, this may not be your best option. On the plus side of this anniversary vacation, we got to catch up with our best buddy and spend some great quality time together. Punta Cana is a beautiful place to visit with some great people and amazing beaches.
P.S. I didn’t see any haphazard nudity. 😦