Ocean Sand Golf & Beach Resort Reviews – Dominican Republic Hotels – Debbie's Caribbean Travel Resort Reviews – Ocean Sand Golf & Beach Resort

  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    Donna ~ Mount Laurel, N J

September 30 2009

Arrival: September 18th to 25th, 2009
Our flight was changed to 10:15 with a stop in Baltimore. This made us lose a whole day. By the time all the others were dropped off at their hotels we didn’t get to ours until 4:30.

Rooms:
Furniture needed to be updated due to knicks on all. Bathroom caulking around the tubs were a mess. Fixtures in the bathrooms falling off the walls. Musty smell in the rooms were disgusting. Airconditioning not working properly.

Restaurants and Bars:
Restaurants were hot. Food was good. Desserts were not all that great. Drinks at the bars were good.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Beaches were nice as were the pools and the grounds around them.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Went on a Catamaran trip which was very enjoyable. My husband went on a snorkeling excursion which he enjoyed.

Other Comments:
This hotel when viewing online looks great. However, for being 4 years old is really beat. The furniture is old, the repairs that were made looked like a child did it. For example the caulking around the tub was a mess. I was very dissatisfied.

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  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    Jit ~ Atlanta

Trip in Aug, 2009    (Visitor, Atlanta)

As I read the reviews on Debbies Dominican Travel page before heading on my trip to Ocean Blue and Sands, I thought I’d offer my experiences for the next traveler.

My wife and I booked our room thru RCI exchange – so paid the $189 exchange fee and then for the all inclusive for my wife and I.   That was $73/person/day, so just over $1000 for the week (Sat to Sat).   We found out later that folks who booked thru Apple Vacations got better rooms for about $1400/person in total for the week, from Chicago.  As we used Frequent Flyer miles, we went the route we did, as total $ was less.

The day before our trip, I called the hotel to confirm our reservation, and also inquired about transportation to the hotel.  They don’t have shuttle service, but they booked a cab for me with my name on it.  I think it was one of the wisest decisions.  Upon passing customs, I was easily able to avoid the ruckus @ the airport, with the hawkers, etc.  Cab cost $40, plus I tipped $3.   I’ll be taking a cab back to the airport at the end of trip as well.    Folks thru Apple or other had either free bus transfers or for a nominal fee ($20 RT for 2).

Airport, they make each person pay $10 to enter the country.  You get a travel card for your $10, and you’d think you’d get to keep that as a souvenir.  But no – you have to return it like 30 feet later.   Free money for them.  They did have live musicians playing for tips @ the airport as well.

Check-in:  Around 3pm on any given day is probably one of the worst times to check in as that’s the time that rooms are avail generally.  We wound up waiting for ½ hr on line, then after getting to an agent, we were told, as we were RCI members, that our check-in was across the hall.  That check-in facility was about a 5 min wait.  And nice air conditioning, free internet just there, top shelf alcohol (Johnny Walker Black, Baileys).   Found out later that premium service is for Privileged members only (and all RCI folks just checking in), so take advantage during checkin.  Also, as a member of RCI, they give you 1 dinner (for 2) at one of the non-all inclusive restaurants for 1 night.  I thought that was cool – as I felt entitled to all access @ $146/day for food/drinks! 

As RCI members, they target you for their H10 premium VIP service – time share.  I could write about what the offer was, but felt I would present a biased opinion.  We opted not to buy in as it wasn’t for us.  As a gift for listening to their 90 min presentation, they gave us 3 choices – a couples massage (value $110), a gift basket of Dominican goods, or $100 credit for excursions.  I chose the latter, but as I hadn’t booked anything yet, they wound up just given me a $100 bill.

Staff: I found them all really friendly, and engaging.  From front desk, to guest services, maitre de, bar staff, housekeeping, etc. Really nice folks.

Rooms: When I booked thru RCI, it came as a reservation of a hotel room. But when you look at the website, it only has junior, deluxe, etc suites.  BTW, you *NEED* to print out the RCI confirmation email and give to check-in person.   When I showed up to check-in, they said that the ‘hotel room’ was actually a junior suite, and as an RCI member, they automatically upgraded us to a deluxe suite.  It’s really just a nice sized hotel room – ours was 2 double beds, and had a Jacuzzi, and a small sofa.  Lots of space for 2 people.  Room amnesties come w/ a comb, unlimited free bottle water, etc; of course, I forgot my toothbrush.  They did finally get me a toothbrush, but it took several calls, they said they didn’t have one, then later said that they did, etc – but @ the end, I finally did get one.  Backup plan was to buy one at the onsite gift shop.    Villa 10 is where all the “Privileged” folks stay, so if you can score a room there, that’s would rock.   Villa 6 is next to the Ocean, so that’s also a good one. Also, you may want to request a ground floor room, as the 3 story floors don’t have elevators.

Restaurants:  Everyone asks, of all the restaurants, which is the best?  I think it comes down to personal preference.   We’ve met folks that swore by Mexican, others that swore that the Caribbean place, etc.  For us, my favorites were:  The Dominican Buffet at the El Carey restaurant, the Surf/Turf @ the El Bodegon, and the goat @ La Casa de mi Abuela.  My wife loved El Bodegon first, and the Spinach main dish @ the Italian place best.  Please note that some DO have dress codes – El Bodegon (steakhouse that’s not included in the all-inclusive), as well as 2 regular restaurants – La Casa de Mi Abuela (Dominican), and I Marcherati di Venezia.    Dress code simply means shirts with sleeves (even short sleeves), Long pants, and closed shoes.  We did see a few folks that had on shorts, so don’t know how strict they are.    Restaurant menus do not change – we wished they had a weekly plan, but same menu every day.  In general, we felt that the wait staff was quite slow.  The Mexican restaurant tended to have a 15-40 min wait, and unfortunately, only reservations can be made at the 2 not-included restaurants.  Our quoted 10-15 min wound up being 5 min, so that was cool. 

La Casa de mi Abuela – the goat dish was delicious; so was the fish in garlic.

Bucareno (seafood by the beach, non included in AI) – the soup was okay, the crab/mango dish was delicious, and dinner – my oh my – the plates were huge!!!  It was so sad that we couldn’t finish the food – all the seafood there is grilled; I had the Lobster and shrimp – and they gave like 4 lobster tails and many shrimp – I did the most damage I could, but couldn’t eat the last lobster tail.  I think I like Maine lobster better than Caribbean lobster (disliked the lobster in Cancun when I was there a few years ago).  My wife got the surf/turf – but as the lobster was cut in ½, full body, it was unappetizing to her, and I ate that ½, she barely made a dent in the other.  The steak was a bit sweet- I’m an Outback steak kind of guy, so wasn’t for me.

Mexican – we weren’t impressed w/ the food.  We get better Mexican back the states.  The open appetizer bar was nice though.  Fajitas were bland.

We did all our breakfasts/lunches at the El Carey restaurant – lots of choices in the buffet.  Omelets were great, enjoyed eating Chorizo sausage every morning, as well as melon/watermelon/peach juice, and papaya, mango pieces (unfortunately, the mango pieces tended to be a bit on the tart side).
Bar service – a few of the other reviews seemed to suggest that the service was slow – I did not have that experience- they were as fast as they could be – and each and every station.   They were friendly; some wanted to know your name, etc.  I personally, was on a quest for Mojitos, and that was a bit hard to find – no bar offered it except the lobby bar, and they made it quite good (until they ran out of mint). 

Pool/Beach:  Pool was lovely, you should consider bringing a towel and reserving a chair under an umbrella on your way to breakfast, so you have a spot to relax in.  The beach, the waves were mild during the week, the sand was fantastic, the only con was that there was more seaweed than I would have liked.

Entertainment: we went to the Showtime facility ever night – from Broadway type line dances 1 night to latino dancing another to magic show 1 night and a circus one night – they make an effort to entertain.  We saw Grease one night, Copacabana one night.  The 1 night we decided to bail due to all the MJ post-death info in the news (Michael Jackson show), we regret – we found out later that it was the best show they have, and the whole audience loved it.    Bowling- they give us a voucher for just 1 free game (per person) – they punch a hole your wristband after you finish your free game.  Extra bowling games are $15/game

Excursions:  I found that the guy in the hotel lobby offered rates a bit on the higher side.  I wound up doing the Discover Scuba excursion – resort dive where they teach you how to use the gear, and go down to a wreck.   The group I used to book was called Pelicano- they are PADI certified, and they have a facility on the resort site, on the beach, that they rent out from Ocean Blue.  They were wonderful people to work with.  As I loved to snorkel, I thought I’d try this once.  They also offer a 1 week vacation cert course where after you get certified, you can go to any resort and dive.  I had some challenges when I went to the ocean my time that I went there– my ears never quite equalized, but lots of folks had a great time. I’m going to stick to snorkeling in the future.  One thing to note – the ocean to me felt choppy – several (not just a few) folks got seasick on each of my water excursions – but the staff and other guests said that those waters were like “Club Med” – meaning, that was normal for ocean.  I guess I just wasn’t used to it.   Just to the north of the resort on the beach , there’s another excursion company that was cheaper – for example, deep sea fishing @ the Ocean Lobby was list price $119, but was giving to me for $105; Pelicano’s rate was $99, and the rate for the stall is $75.  I need to be sure to ask that they have 1 rod per person, let us use the rods (diff. rate to be just watching vs. actually fishing), etc.    I still may pay the $99 b/c I liked the Pelicano staff, went on 1 excursion w/ them already, and if I get over the choppiness of the ocean water.  http://www.pelicanosport.com
Alert: DO buy Dramamine to help reduce motion sickness – easier and cheaper to buy from the states; if you forget (as I did), you can buy them from the gift shop @ the resort – $5 for 10 pills.

Casino – on site casino is quite lame – I’m used to Vegas and AC, so it was disappointing to see just 2 Blackjack tables, several slots, roulette, and 3 card poker.  But only a handful of folks are ever playing – easy to get a seat, most tables empty.  Those that do play though lose money, as tourists don’t really know how to play BJ right.  Staff were very friendly though.  I heard from the staff that there was a bigger casino about 10 minutes away, called Princess Casino, that provides free shuttles back/forth  – I went there one night, and it was a bit larger (just 1 large room), but not to the same scale as any Casino in the US.   They did have 1 table for Texas Hold’em, and the rest of the games were the same.

After Hours:  Most of the teens go to the teen club (ends @ 1:30am nitely), and seem to have a good time.  The adults go to the After Hour Sports Bar, and hang out, drink, play pool, and just chat it up with folks from all over the world.  That closes @ 6am, and has wings, burgers, hot dogs, etc all nite. (only the wings looked really pallettable).

Internet – it’s only free WIFI in the lobby.  You can buy 1 time access for 15 min for 4 hrs, or in your room for multiple access – $25 for 25 hrs (valid 6 days), or all week for $60 unlimited access.  I thought about the $25, but wound up lugging the laptop to the lobby every other day just to check in w/ email.  That was a big flop – the ‘free wi-fi’ was unfortunately down more often than not, and the times it was up, had to walk around to get the best signal strength (found it to be the OB2 connection next to the regular reception, where the tour travel desks are, across from the restrooms.)

Bugs: not really a problem – you’ll see a random mosquito, bee, or roach.  I did get bitten a couple of times by mosquitos.

Weather:  The forecast was for rain every day this week – however, it just rained in small splotches and stopped; rained a lot in the middle of the night, so didn’t impact us much.

On the trip, I met many folks that have come back a few times, saying this was one of the best resorts on the beach, so that was good to know.  Will I come back?  If I were to come back to DR, this would be definitely up there.  I’ve also been to many places in the Caribbean thru several cruises and destination packages, and I would like to see some more new islands, before coming back.   For example, I LOVED Costa Rica, would love to go back, but would like to check out Guatamala, etc, first.    To sum it up,  Ocean Blue and Sands was great, repeat travelers come back, and was a refreshing vacation.

  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    Jennifer ~ Canada

July 2009

Arrival: May 2008
Had no problems…walking off the airplane and into the bus to take us to our resort.

Rooms:
Rooms were fine. No problems with them at all!

Restaurants and Bars:
All the restaurants we ate at were great! Didn’t get sick once!

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Beautiful beach always able to find chairs to sit in the shade and we were a group of 6. Can’t speak about the pool as we never went in it.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We did the catamaran tour to Saona island which was well worth the money…beautiful day on the water…doesn’t get better than that!

Other Comments:
I would recommend this hotel to a friend however the night life wasn’t the most active we still managed to have an amazing time!

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  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    Darlene ~ Maple Ridge, BC

June 2009

Arrival: April 19th -26th

Rooms:
We’re totally immaculate – loved the whirl pool bathtub – we overlooked the pool, palm trees blowing in the wind. Left a little treat & $1. tip every day – she seemed to enjoy that. Washed floors and made beds every day. So much room.

Restaurants and Bars:
Marguerta was our favorite – so colourful – so much spirite – the appetizers were plentiful and so tasty – then the meals were presented – so much and so tasty. The LaBrasa (restaurant by the breach) was beautiful – we had lunches and suppers there – staff was so friendly – constantly filling our glasses and the chicken, lobster and beef dishes were beyond description – yummy yummy. We also enjoyed the buffett breakfasts – such variety and so tasty – the staff was always so pleasant and helpful.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The pools were so sparkly and clean and we never had to look for a chair – so plentiful even with all those people. The swim up bars you had to watch only because they put in too much booze!! The dirty monkey was my favorite and Al loved their "Prime" rums ( all you had to do was ask and you got it!) The beach well, what can I say – the water was so clean, crystal and inviting. They were constantly cleaning the sand – I never saw a sea weed or shell in sight and the sand just sifted thru your fingers. Again, never a problem in finding a lounge chair. The vendors were all at one end – and when you chose to shop – they were there but backed off when you said you were not interested. We found articles to be so reasonable – bartering didn’t have to go too far. I was strange to have the sun set at 6:30, but by then yoiu were ready for a change of clothes and looked forward to the variety of restaurants and wonderful night life.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We went 4 x 4 ing which took us into the heart of the Punta Cana small off-beat towns. Poverty was evident yet the houses were delightfully painted a variety of colours, local art displayed, people always smiling as we drove by. The back roads were something else perfect for 4 x 4 ing.

Other Comments:
From the time we arrived until we departed we felt so blessed and treated just like royalty. Every one who worked there was always so "happy" so accommodating and it always came from the heart. I loved the "singing little rocks" that were placed through out gardens as you walked along – beautiful music – always appropriate for the time of day. We always felt safe – the only problem was – there wasn’t enough time to enjoy the moments. We will go back. Top of Page

  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    David ~ Indiana, USA

May 2009

Arrival: April 18-25
Airport is very interesting at Punta Cana. Once arriving at the airport you will be charged $10 each to enter the country. We were in the cab within 45 minutes and on our way. Cost was $38 plus $2 for each extra person. Cab driver was on it and we were at the resort in 30 minutes. Very interesting ride going through the little towns and seeing a bit of their culture. The resort entrance is beautiful. We had to wait 30 minutes for our room to be ready. The main entrance has a huge bar in the center and we spent the time waiting for our room at the bar. You can tip the bartenders a $1 once in awhile but they still don’t move any faster. Not really sure if it gains you anything.

Rooms:
Our room was very nice. The bathroom has just been upgraded and it was very nice. The room was big with a balcany. The TV had CBS, ABC and Fox stations from Atlanta, plus ESPN, CNN, etc. We spend very little time in the room, just to shower and sleep.

Restaurants and Bars:
Restaurants are great. The buffet is outstanding for a buffet. Huge varity and the breakfast was everything you would want. They also have several specialized restaurants and they are all great. Our favorite was the Margarita Restaurant. The appitizer bar was fantastic. The Italian restaurant had an entree of beef with carmalized onions that was to die for. They have an American restaurant called Route 66 that has all the burgers, chicken wings, etc. that was really good too. We didn’t try the 2 restaurant that you have to pay extra for as we heard to many comments that didn’t seem to warrant the extra charges. As far as the bars go, tipping a $1 here and their is probably the right thing to do, but don’t expect this to get you better service. The bartenders at the beach bar are really bad and so slow and unfriendly its disappointing. The ladies have a much better chance of getting the awful bartenders to wait on them. Also some of the guest you hangout at the bar are sorrow drunks smoking their cancer cigars and just be ugly. Not a place to hangout. Order 2 drinks at a time to avoid the hassel.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Beach is really nice and you can reserve chairs late at night or early in the morning. Keep your towels over night tied to your favorite lounge chair location and exchange them in the morning (0800) for clean ones. We visted the pool areas during the later afternoons and their is always some entertaining contest going on. Again the bartenders at the pool are super slow and no personalities. You can walk the beach for miles each way and just about a quarter of a mile up the beach is a bunch of shops on the beach selling the usual booze, T-shirts, etc. Its kind of fun looking at their merchandize. You should offer them about 1/3 of what their asking.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We didn’t go on any tours but our next visit we will do this. We just enjoyed the relaxing beach and the sunshine. We did not hear any negitive things about the tours with the exception of the one they are always pushing about petting the dolphins. This seemed to be not worth the cost or effert. No one really hasseled anyone about time shares or tours. Just shake your head not and they move on.

Other Comments: Overall we really enjoyed the vacation and would do it again.

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  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    Ben ~ Winnipeg

March 2009

Arrival
very pleasant, the front desk were professional and polite. a welcome drink were served while waiting

Rooms
rooms was clean and fridge was stocked. very spacious and nice balcony. room could of used some decorating (not one thing on the walls). room not nearly as nice to a north american 4.5 star, but it was nice enough….and we didnt go to spend a lot of time in the room!

Restaurants and Bars
the food and drinks were readily available at almost every turn. the food was great and the variety was even better. the staff were extremely friendly and made our stay that much better

Beach/Pools/Grounds
the pools were the best we have ever seen, and we have traveled to many all inclusives in mexico, dominican, jamaica, not to mention hawaii. the two pools were huge, and unbelievably clean. the white sand beach cant be beat either, you can walk for miles in either direction and take in the gorgeous blue/green caribean water. the grounds were beautifully manicured and the whole resort was incredible to look at.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
there were plenty of activities, we only went on one. a snorkeling tour through the tour group on the beach at the end of the resort…it was well worth it.

Other Comments this resort will not dissapoint you! we travelled with two small kids and they had an unreal time. the kids club had a disco every night at 8pm, and our kids absolutely loved it. the girls running the kids club were amazing!! what separates this resort from the other ones we have stayed at was it’s setup. all the restaurants, front lobby, bowling alley, shops, show stage, casino, were located in one area. it made the evenings very fun, while the rest of the resort stayed nice and quiet. the only small complaint we had was the restaurants, including the buffet only opened at 630 pm for dinner. with very small kids who start to get hungry around 5pm, it was a little challenging but we learned to get a late snack on the beach just before it closed at 5pm.(usually fruit, and a piece of pizza)…overall the resort was 5 star and we would definitely return and recommend it to others. Top of Page

  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    Joan ~ Nova Scotia

March 2009

Arrival: March 15 – 22
We arrived from Halifax at 9:00 Dominican time. We had a short ride from the airport and only had to drop off at two other resorts as the rest of the passengers on our bus were going to Ocean Sands. Our check in was quick, considering the number of people arriving at the same time. We were not able to get in to our room until 4pm, however we took advantage of the beach restaurant and packed our bathing suits in our carry on luggage. We spent a very peaceful afternoon at the pool while we waited for our room.

Rooms
We were in Villa 9 on the 2nd floor overlooking the pool area. The rooms are quite large and the king size bed was more comfortable than the one we had at the Majestic Colonial last year. The room was always clean and the fridge stocked daily, but not with Presidente, only the first day. We always had plenty of hot water and pressure.

Restaurants and Bars
All the restaurants were amazing. We had so much fun at the Mexican restaurant with Yorky our waiter. He made our night! The food tasted better at this resort than the Majestic Colonial. I ended up with stomach issues again this year, but not my husband. I still enjoyed the food though.

Beach/Pools/Grounds We are beach people, so the majority of our time was spent at the beach lounging under the canopy, swimming in the clear blue/green ocean, walking the miles and miles of beach. We did spend one day at the pool, but preferred the beach for the breezes. There were many American University students at the pool, so the beach was more quiet. The grounds were always immaculate and kept clean.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
We didn’t particpate in any activities. We always had something to do. We were supposed to go on a half day Safari trip and it ended up being cancelled due to a one day strike! Apparently workers go on strike one day a month and it happened to be the day we were scheduled for the trip. Unfortunately, we didn’t find this out until the day we were supposed to go. However, we enjoyed a day at the beach and received our money in full.

Other Comments I did encounter mosquito bites this year compared to last year. I’m glad that we took our malaria medication. I also encountered sand flee bites too. I think it’s been more wet this year compared to last and other friends of ours had flee bites and mosquito bites. This resort is quite noisy with students, especially after the disco is finished. There were many families at the resort and it was at full capacity. I think I would prefer to go to an Adults only resort from now on to escape the young crowds.

khsangster@hfx.eastlink.ca

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  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    Luc ~ Canada

March 2009

Ocean Sand Gold Resort

Arrival: March 1 – 8
Arrived March 1st, check-in was easy, a bus full of guests arrived with us and we waited only about 10 minutes, which is very good. The resort says that rooms are available after 3:00, our wasn’t ready until 4:00, we just sat at the lobby bar and enjoyed our first drinks.

Rooms This is a 4 1/2 stars, however rooms are ok but could have been cleaner, the walls were a bit dirty, I would blame previous guest rather than cleaners. We didn’t had a TV remote control, so I went to front lobby and got one immediately.

My kids 10 and 13 didn’t want to sleep together in a double bed, so splitted the sheets and one slept on the sofa/bed, the next morning, the maid to get installed new sheets on the couch without us asking for it.

Restaurants and Bars I love Dominican Republic as food is excellent, this resort did not disappoint us. Every meals, drinks we had were excellent. Presidente was cold.

There are 9 restaurants on this resorts, 2 not included in the AI. We tried them all except those we had to pay for. Bars, I am not sure how many there are but each time I was looking for a drink there was one close by. (2 swim up)

Beach/Pools/Grounds Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana is great, long strech you can walk for hours. Lots of chairs with comfortable cushions. We loved the tents like they built for shades(better than palapas).

The only negative point was that we got 4 days (out of 7) of high winds, red flags. So being on the beah meant to be sandblasted (sand flying) So we went for walks but stayed mainly around the pools. Location of the resort was also good, just beside a little marketplace.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel On site activities, shows are good, we appreciated that they put a lot of efforts to entertained the guests, the "showtime" (place where they perform) is big, they have a lot of chairs but it fills up pretty quick, so go early to get seats. Of course you could follow the entertainment team all day and get all kind of challenges/sports/drinking contest etc. Sports, you can do everything or almost, volleyball, soccer field, tennis, bikes, etc. They have a climbing wall my kids liked.

Outside activities, we took a tour, it was the Dune buggy rides. That was fun, they take you to see a private beach where you can body surf, weather not permitting, we didn’t go in the water. You see a cave, that was nice. And you ride a horse…that was more a joke, you ride a horse for about 100 yards around their property.

Other Comments
Bugs: We didn’t see bugs outside, but say a lot of mosquitos inside our room. The maid leaves the doors open when she cleans for many reasons, her security, to show where she is or to dry the fleshly cleaned floor. Well it seems that mosquitos take that time to get in, or I have no idea how they get in. Each day my son was having fun to kill them with a towel or a shoe….which also explain the dirty walls/ceiling….
On a few occasions we woke up with a few bites on our arms. We also look at other guest (they only wear bikinis) and others had bites too.

To conclude, I would recommend the place, I would go back. Kids had a blast. Would not take the dune buggy ride anymore, I did it once so I would try something else next time.

Negotiate, Negotiate, Negotiate when you shop. A bottle of Rhum, 40 years old. excellent they started at $65us, I got it for $16, then when shopping somewhere else, I saw the same bottle tagged at $12. You can even negotiate the rides, we did it and saved about 30% from advertised prices.

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  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    Sandra ~ Ontario

March 2009

Arrival: March 1 – 8
Arrived after midnight, and checking in was a breeze, just ordered some beer and waited our turn.

Rooms
Was on the third floor in Villa 9. Excellent location and rooms were fabulous. Marble bathrooms, great showers. As a chronic back pain sufferer I found the beds to be very comfortable. (a plus)

Restaurants and Bars
The food was EXCELLENT, restaurants & bars beautiful. Where else can you have caviar and champagne for breakfast?

Beach/Pools/Grounds
The grounds were amazing, I felt like I was in Disneyland, they were almost surreal. The colours of the buildings, the pool, palm trees, white, white sand and blue ocean, unbelieveable.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
No tours, didn’t need nor want to go. Just walking along the beach and swimming in the ocean is what you need to escape from a long Canadian winter. Lots to do on site, the shows were top notch, a casino, sports bar with Karoake, lobby bar with entertainment, I wasn’t leaving.

Other Comments I WILL go back to this resort and am recommending it to all. The staff were amazing, friendly, helpful, happy. A PERFECT HOLIDAY, 2 weeks next time. Top of Page

  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    Emily ~ Winnipeg, MB, Canada

March 2009

Arrival: February 23 to March 2
We flew Skyservice (Air Transat), and arrived at the hotel right at check-in time. Our room was not ready until 5:30, so we were sent off with a cocktail to the beach bar for a bite to eat. We found the reception staff to be pleasant, efficent and helpful!

Rooms
We stayed in Villa 4 with a pool-view balcony. It was a great location, halfway between the buffet and the ocean 😉 Rooms were clean, double sink, usually plenty of hot water with good water pressure, great sized balcony with comfy chairs. Room fridge stocked with water, Coke, 7-Up and Presidente beer. We left the cleaning staff $5 on the first day with a note in Spanish to please include Diet Coke, white wine and beer – the items were there the next day in great supply!

Restaurants and Bars
The buffet had lots of selection for breakfast and lunch. The omelette guys were fantastic. We only went to the buffet once for dinner. We loved the a la carte options! Italian – great antipasti, gnocchi was super! Dominican – loved the seafood soup! Mexican – appies and enchiladas were amazing! Route 66 – great atmosphere, good food! Had a great time at karaoke night at the Sports Bar. Lobby bar was awesome, live music every night, the animation staff was so good at getting everyone up and dancing. Bartenders were friendly, good service generally and bend over backwards service after tipping (this is true most places I have found) All in all, great food, lots of drink selection! Try the Mama Juana (not that you will have much choice!) Met lots of fellow Canadians, got to polish up our French with some Parisians, and heard some great stories from some ex-Marines from the US.

Beach/Pools/Grounds
Unfortunately there is a lot of "saving" spots at this resort. More so than I’ve seen in Mexico. We would hit the pool after breakfast and we’d be lucky to find a spot with an umbrella. Same thing occurred when looking for a spot on the beach with shade. In fact, one day I was at the beach at 7:30 AM and there were maybe 2 or 3 spots available. We parked there for the day and sadly, not a single person came near the spots that were reserved, presumably at dawn. It was a shame to see people trying to enjoy the beach, and knowing the spots that had been reserved earlier had been sitting empty for at least 5 hours. It just seems rude. That being said, the pool was clean – a fun atmosphere for kids and young adults. The beach was simply amazing. It did not disappoint!

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Scuba – went diving with Meg. She was helpful, funny and gave a lot of insight. Thanks Meg and Wellington for the initial intro! We decided to just hang out and relax since we were only there for a week. I’m so glad we did! I came home from Mexico last year, more exhausted than I left 🙂

Other Comments All in all, a great resort and good value for the price! Top of Page

  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    Sharon ~ Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

March 2009

Arrival: Feb 11 – 18 our arrival was excellent. Took approximately 40 mins to arrive to Ocean Blue. Check in took approx 10 mins and we were given a welcome drink.

Rooms
We were in Villa 9 on the 3rd floor. Room was spacious with 2 queen size beds, TV, double sinks in bathroom. The room was kept very clean by the maid service. We left $2.00 every day and the maid left extra towels and shampoos. Restaurants and Bars
Food was excellent. Buffet always good and lots of food. We tried Route 66 and the Italian restaurant, both were excellent Beach/Pools/Grounds
Beach was excellent. Pools were great, although you learnt fast that you had to go down and put towels on chairs to reserve them. Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
there were lots of activities going on. We went to the shows at night and found them excellent. We went on the dolphin swim at dolphin island and loved it! Other Comments This was an excellent trip and great resort. Would definetly go back again. Top of Page

  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    Joe ~ Oakville

March 2009

Arrival: February 14 – Two weeks
Arrived Feb. 14 – Arrival was fast and smooth – We arrived before noon, but had to wait until 3:00pm to get room (as expected).

Rooms
We has a ground floor room facing a vacant lot for first two nights. We requested a room switch when we got the room. On the third day we moved to the 3rd floor on the pool side (I think you can see the ocean from most rooms at the resort). We were in Building 9 which was ideally located (one building from the beach, and three buildings from the restaurants. Rooms were large, clean, and well equipped with A/C, fan, tv, safe, fridge, ironing stuff, large umbrella, two phones (one in bathroom) and large & wide tub/shower. Our second room was in a bit better shape and had newer amenities and fixtures… but both were acceptable. The showers had the best water pressure I’ve ever experienced on vacation in the caribbean… even at peak times every day for two weeks. There was one day at peak time (5-6pm) we had "cool" water, but it was only for about an hour. Restaurants and Bars
The food at the main buffet was usually fantastic. The Caribbean Grill "La Brasa" was my favourite restaurant with fantastic food and service. The Dominican and Mexican restaurants were very good as well. Mike’s Cafe was outstanding… a true caribbean gem with the best hot and cold drinks I’ve had. It has the feel of a nice Starbucks/Second Cup….but Mike’s coffees and iced drinks are better. The lobby bar was quite popular with live music nightly. Beach/Pools/Grounds
Two huge pools were nice and clean with plenty of seating. In mid-afternoon the music is usually cranked, so if you want peace and tranquility, you may want to head to the beach. There is a small kids/baby pool as well with warm water, about 15" deep and perimeter seating on one side. The beach portion in front of the resort is beautiful. We found it less wavy then in front of other resorts. It may have something to do with being on a point, and being a bit closer to the reef the breaks the waves. I noticed that being on the point you also have an excellent panorama view of the ocean. The beach had canvas covered shade structures which provided ample shade and can accommodate up to 6 chairs( but usually housed 2 to 4 chairs. We noticed some were missing canvas the first day we were there, but a day or two later staff spent half a day installing canvas on the missing structures. Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
My daughter turned 4 while she was there. We weren’t planning on having her attend the kids club, but she wanted to try it. She loved it so much, she asked to go every day. She loved the kids shows (participating and watching), and still sings the songs she learned there. The kids club staff was fantastic, but a special thanks to "Yuki", she wasn’t there the last two days so we didn’t get a chance to say goodbye, but my daughter absolutely had a great time with her, and you can tell she genuinely loves spending time with kids. The bowling complex was great – modern & clean – The kids loved it, and I had a great time too. Other Comments
Since it was my daughters birthday, the staff at the main buffet did a fantastic job of making the evening special. We let them know we wanted to do a little party for her. We took some decorations (balloons, etc.), and the staff set up the decorations, dressed the table very nicely with candles and fresh flowers, and the staff, accompanied by a musical trio, brought out a birthday cake and sang to her. They do tend to use more pesticide on the resort than I’ve seen at others. I didn’t see any insects on the resort except a few around the gym/spa area near building 7. I noticed that they fumigated on Thursdays at dusk(they start around the lobby, and make their way towards the beach). A truck drives around fogging the resort. There is no noticeable smell, but the fog lingers for 30 seconds. It phased/concerned some people, but I didn’t bother me, although I did try to avoid the areas for a few minutes until the "fog’ cleared. The entire process is about 10 minutes. Summary – This was my 3rd visit to Punta Cana (also stayed at Occidental Flamenco Bavaro & Caribe Club Princess), and I would definitely return to this resort. Great amenities, excellent food, and nice and usually calm beach portion.
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  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    Kimberly ~ Canada

February 2009

Arrival
It was wonderful. We were greeted with icy cold drinks and 5 people at the desk to ensure a leisurely and short wait (about 15 minutes) to check in.

Rooms
Although the maid service was a little slow (6 p.m. from second day forward) to clean the room & replenish fridge, etc., I was told when I called that if you call to customer services, they could schedule early cleaning. Nice time to tell me because I thought I was being "patient" waiting .. oh well, now I know. Restaurants and Bars
Couldn’t have been better – A+ (You gotta go give Mike’s Coffee a try and have a cafe Mocha with whipped cream) – mmmm Beach/Pools/Grounds
Fantastic and plenty of at the pool activities daily. The pool bar staff were friendly and very happy to see us every day and incredibly remembered what we drank. They were a riot and really made our vacation. Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
No time – para sailing which was excellent but that was from a private vendor. Other Comments All around, the resort was incredible, the staff great, the beach beautiful – I’ll be returning asap! Top of Page

  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    Helen ~ Kitchener

February 2009

Arrival: Feb 1st to 8th
Check in a bit slow, but drinks were served. We arrived at 2.30 p.m. & were sent to get something to eat as our room would be ready at 3.30 p.m.

Rooms
Beautiful, spacious, liked the double sinks Restaurants and Bars
Good food on a whole. Really liked the alacarte each night & no problem getting a table. Service was quick. Liked the family musicians who came to our table in the italian restaurant, nice touch prefered the carrabean grill the best. Didn’t like the constant time share meeting requests, enough already Beach/Pools/Grounds
Clean, clear & beautiful. Grounds where imaculate Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
We went to santa domingo. Long 4 hr bus ride, but guide roberto was great & tour destinations good too for the history or geography buff Other Comments Would definitely recommend ocean sands. I think we might take our kids next year. Great beach & plenty of miles to walk Top of Page

  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    Susan ~ Tavistock, Ont, Canada

February 2009

Arrival: Feb 7th
When we arrived check in went very fast.They gave us each a drink.What a beautiful entrence way.

Rooms
The rooms are a nice size.Jetted tub in our room,very clean,we were on the ground floor which we like. Restaurants and Bars
Excellent restaurants excelent food.The bars are good to lots to drink. Beach/Pools/Grounds
The pools and the grouds are so beautiful very weel kept. Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Activities were good to ,exept the sound in the building where the shows are you cannot hear what they are saying. we took the tour where you swim with the sharksb and the sting ray that was very nice tour. Other Comments We enjoyed our trip very much we would go back to this resort.I highly recommend this resort. Top of Page

  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    Dale ~ Kitchener, Ontario

January 2009

Arrival: Jan 18 – 25th, 2009
Arrival was very efficient,they provided us with a cold wash cloth and welcome drink. We were a group of 10 and reception made a few adjustments to ensure that we were in the same building. Nice lobby and bar area as well.

Rooms:
Spacious and well equipted My only complaint would be the shower glass door didn’t block the water very well leaving puddles on the floor. Our Balcony faced the back of the building/treed lot. Not very scenic but OK as we really didn’t spend much time in the room. Inside balconies are very nice with view of pool or beach. Restaurants and Bars:
The buffet and all restaurants were awesome! It was really nice to not have to make reservations in advance. Beach/Pools/Grounds:
You need to save your cabana area early but can easly spend the entire day at the beach. My only complaint is that several of the cabanas needed repair, if this were done more shade would have been available. Other Comments: A great resort. I would recommend it to anyone. Top of Page

  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    Chris & Susan ~ Elmira, Ontario

January 2009

Arrival: Jan 11 – 19, 2009
Left from Kitchener which is always great. Arrived at Hotel around 2am only 2 staff at reception to handle a full bus. Went to the Sports Bar, that has a late night buffet and had a quick bite to eat along with a couple of drinks

Rooms:
The room was great. Very large and clean. Bathroom had a whirlpool tub and double sinks. Nice balcony with table and chairs TV worked with lots of english channels. Nice having a fridge in the, it was always stocked with Water, Pop and Beer. Restaurants and Bars: No reservations required for the speciality restaurants!!! You just showed up and if they had tables available you were seated. They have 6 speciality restaurants all are great with a variety of menu options. Went to the Italian twice for the lamb chops. The Sports Bar was good for watching Football and Mike’s Coffee shop was great. The Coffee Shop is like a Starbucks, any type of coffee or frozen drink with lots of pastries. The Buffet had lots of variety and was setup with food stations, so no lineups.

The Bars all served

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Beach was fantastic lots of chairs. You could walk for miles in either direction. Water was warm and clean. Pool was hugh with 2 swimup bars, again lots of chairs. The grounds were spotless, lots of flowers, birds. We saw cranes and a pair of wild parrots. Other Comments: One of the best resorts we’ve ever been too. We’ve been travelling to the Caribbean for over 30 years and have been to Punta Cana dozens of times. More staff members/guest than I have ever seen. They thanked you for a tip however, they weren’t looking for tips. Service was the same. Top of Page

  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    Anne ~ PEI

January 2009

Arrival: Jan 11th to 18th, 2009
Flew with Canjet this year and had absolutely no problems. Had booked emergency exits and had tons of room. Flight took 3 hrs 55 minutes and our return only took 3 hrs 35 minutes. Arrival in Punta Cana went smoothly and our bus ride took exactly 25 minutes using a part of the new highway. Check in was long as there were many people checking in at the same time.

Rooms:
Our first room was in 5116 which was ground floor. It was extremely musty and after one hour, I returned to the desk and they immediately switched us to 4305 (third floor). This building is halfway between the beach and the lobby so very convenient. We had requested second floor but there was nothing available. Everything in the room worked ok. They are in the process of refurbishing the rooms but we still had the old furniture. Safe is free and programmable. There are 12 hangars in the closet. We were lucky to get facecloths every day but some people didn’t so bring a couple in case. We had a huge balcony around 8 by 10. You need to adjust your showerhead so as to avoid water on the floor that people are talking about. Lights are a bit on the dim side but they use energy efficient bulbs throughout the whole resort. Restaurants and Bars:
We found the food very good this time around compared to 2006. We also felt the service had improved dramatically. The beach bar not turns into the Carribean Grill at night and is very nice. We had the best beef tenderloin with mashed potatoes. By the way men need to wear long pants at the Italian and Dominican. All other restaurants let you in with nice shorts. I have to say our best night was our last night. We went to the buffet only to discover that we had to go to the kitchen to get our food. Naturally we were not impressed. We walk in and discover ice sculptures and decorations everywheres that words cannot describe. It was breathtaking. They had lobster soup, turkey with gravy and tons of great food. I think they call this Kitchen Party and it was on Saturday night. Do not miss this one. Beach/Pools/Grounds:
I was up around 7 or so every day and had no problem getting a palapa by the blue pool which is the quieter one. The yellow one has all the activities.We saw the workers cleaning the pools every day. We took walks on the beach which is lovely and even had a few dips in the ocean. The grounds at this hotel are really stunning with its beautiful folliage and flowers. There is piped in music in rocks all along the pathways during the day. Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
The lobby is a very nice place to be in the evenings where you can listen to live music. Yes the lobby is a bit small compared to some other resorts but is’s very comfortable. Other Comments: This was our second time there and we are booked to return on March 29th. We have absolutely no hesitation whatsoever in returning. If you have any specific questions, I will be glad to try to answer them. Can’t wait to return.

louanne@eastlink.ca

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  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    Dan ~ Ohio

December 2008

Arrival: 12/13/08 – 12/20/08
Arrival at the airport was without issue.

Rooms:
Rooms are nice. We had a view of the pool and we loved it. Most of our requests had to be made twice but everything was eventually taken care of. Restaurants and Bars:
All foods and drinks were great. Wide variety at the buffet. We especially enjoyed the Italian restaurant. Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Beach was awesome, we walked it every day in both directions. Swam in the ocean and laid by the pool every day also. Grounds are VERY well taken care of and there is constantly work being done. Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We did not go on any tours because we enjoyed ourselves in the resort so much and didn’t need to leave. Other Comments: We heard a few horror stories from couples staying at other resorts, but we did not have any to share regarding Ocean Blue. We had water pressure, hot water, and electricity every day. We will definitely return…I’m already looking forward to going back! Feel free to email me with any questions you may have.

daniel5742@yahoo.com

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  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    Maureen ~ Windsor, Ontario, Canada

December 2008

Arrival: Dec 12/08 until Dec 19/08
It was great trip in and the airport was so cool. We where greeded into the Punta Cana with so much love and we will go back in a heart beat. We have been to Cuba, Jamica. and other places once and have never returned. But we are looking forward to comeing back because it was a wonderful trip and place to go.

Rooms: They where clean and the bed where so nice. We both sleep like little babies.

The bathroom was very nice aswell.

Restaurants and Bars:
The restaurants and bars where great too. The workers where so so nice. Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Oh they where clean and the two pools where so big. One word ..Beauitful Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Yes all great and fun Other Comments: Only thing I can say is its worth seeing and going too. I work in a hosiptal here and meet many doctors there from other hosiptals all over the world. I will tell others about our great trip too. Top of Page

  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    Louise ~ England

December 2008

Arrival: 4th Dec- 18th Dec 2008
Arriving at the airport was great though it was a bit different to what we are normal to eveyone was very friendly and taking pictures. collecting our luggage was very quick and our transfer was also great.

Rooms:
The room we stayed in was absoultly lovely very clean and well layed out. we were very happy. Restaurants and Bars:
yet again no complaints all restuants and bars were very clean and the food was delicious, so much variety. Beach/Pools/Grounds:
the beach was stunning i dont normally walk much on the beach let alone go in the sea but i did both many times. both pools were spotless and lovely to lay around. the grounds were my favouite beautiful plants eveywhere and taken care of brilliatly. Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
unfortunatly we only went to Manati Park where we swam with dolphins, a brilliant day out. there were so many trips avalible all very well priced there was something for everyone no matter what age. Other Comments: the only complaint i have is i had to come home, i absoulty loved it and had such a lovely 2 weeks. i will be going back very soon.

louisegee10@hotmail.com

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  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    Sue ~ Abbotsford, BC, Canada

December 2008

Arrival: November 20 to 27, 2008
Was good

Rooms:
Smelled Musty and Mouldy Restaurants and Bars:
clean but service was slow Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Beach was clean….pools were cold Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
None Other Comments: Upon arrival at the Ocean Blue I smelled a musty room. I put it down to low season and the rooms closed up….Well much to my surprise and I do have a high black mould allergy I got way too sick, breathing and sinus problems. I was in full asthma attack! I also want to say that 35 of us went to that resort for my daughtrs wedding and 29 got sick with a virus….it was not a good trip at all. Money spent and waisted because not everyone could attend the weeding due to diaherra and vomitting…..Mother of the bride was sick and in bed by 8 pm.

al_sue@telus.net

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  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    Don and Lynn

November 2008

We just returned from a Punta Cana wedding at the Ocean Blue. Almost all 34 guests ended up with stomach upset which manifested itself in many forms, one of which I’m still recovering from one week since it started up. I’ve been to Dom. many times and this is a first major problem. Not only our party, but 16 in another wedding were sick as well. As to the state of the rest of the guests in the hotel, I’m not sure, as with a large party you tend to stay to yourselves. With this alone it was bad enough that I spent a large time in bed or at least in my room and not too far from the toilet. I can however say that there was a large space on the shelves where their version of Imodium usually sits.

That stuff will pass in time but get this. We were sitting at the pool when a awning made of ceramic tiles approx. 12x8ft. came crashing down on a patio belonging to a ground floor suite. Luckily no one was under it at the time!! So now I’m thinking,this hotel is not that old. But wait, that night a larger piece drops off. Approx. 20x25ft. It was an “L” shaped piece that should have been even stronger. This was up near the photo and the souvenir shop if you have ever been there, and it landed partially on a main walkway. Not enough, how about the fact that as I say, a relatively new place is repouring the large theatre floors. This all adds up to a poorly built and run resort and one that should be avoided. This is only some of the highlights. If you wish more contact me at dbrand2@cogeco.ca
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  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    Johanne and Paul ~ Oshawa, Ontario Canada

October 2008

Vacation Photos

We’d like to thank everyone at Debbie’s site who helped us and to Debbie for having this fantastic website. We stayed at Ocean Blue & Sand from October 5th to October 19th 2008. Our review is broken into sections, so you can pick what you want to read. Some sections will be for those in Canada and Western New York. The sections are as follows:

  • Executive Summary
  • Travel Agent (Canadian and Western New York residents)
  • Skyparx
  • Skyservice
  • Ocean Sand Review (includes restaurants, bowling, casino, pools, and more)
  • Personal Notes

If you have any questions after reading the review, please contact us at jandptaylor@rogers.com. Executive Summary
In short, this is a fantastic resort. This was our fourth trip to Punta Cana, and our second to Ocean Blue and Sand. It didn’t disappoint us the second time around. To get a drink at any bar was only a matter of a minute, or two. Mike’s Coffee always had a lineup when we were there, but it’s the best coffee we have ever had. Starbucks doesn’t come close, and either does Tim Horton’s. The food at the restaurants was great, and we never had a problem with a lineup, or service. Leaving Punta Cana was the only problem (which it always is). The new roads make the bus trip faster, and leaving at 7:30 in the morning, meant we were on the “milk run”. We made stops at quite a few different hotels to fill the bus up. Travel Agent (Canadian and Western New York residents)
Our hats are off to Penny at Breakaway Travel, on Taunton Road, in Oshawa. We had a choice of one week at Excellence, or two weeks at Ocean Blue and Sand. For the money, we decided on Ocean Blue and Sand. It was with Transat Holidays for Ocean Blue. We booked it with Penny five months in advance. Penny also told us that the amount shown online (for all Canadian travel websites) must comply with all other websites. Therefore, if you book online the price is the same, no matter where you go. However, if you phone, you will get a cheaper price. This is great news for all travelers. Also, for Western New York residents, you can check it out versus your own travel agent/website. You would fly out of Toronto, and with the Canadian dollar being cheaper, you will get further savings. Breakaway Travel can be found online at www.breakawayonline.ca. There is a 1-800 phone number that can help all Canadian residents from your gateway, and New York residents from Toronto. We are not trying to push Breakaway Travel, but the personal treatment we get there is the best we have found. Tickets have changed, and now it’s a piece of paper, and not the old traditional tickets we are used to. Skyparx
For parking at Toronto Airport, it’s Skyparx for us. Skyparx has the cheaper price for valet parking for 2 weeks, but was a couple of extra minutes away from the airport. The total cost for fifteen days was under $125 CDN for the valet service. All you have to do, when you return, is call them and they pick you up. It was nice, since the car was right there for us. Skyservice
We have traveled on Air Transat, Air Canada, and Skyservice to Punta Cana before. Although we booked our holiday with Transat, we flew via Skyservice. We had prebooked our seats, so we were in row 5 near the front of the plane. The food has gone downhill over the years, but it’s better than nothing. On the return trip home, Paul was able to get into the cockpit and talk with the pilot and copilot. This may have been possible, as Paul has flown a Cessna before, and the Stewart on the plane (Boeing 757) expressed this to the pilot. The movies for October, included Get Smart, and The Hulk. Ocean Blue & Sand Review Because there is so much to tell about this resort, it is also broken down into sections for ease of use. Just pick the title of what you want to read and enjoy! Reception (check-in)
The bus only had eight of us going from the airport to the hotel (25 minute drive). We thought we would have a long wait to check-in, but you don’t worry about your luggage until after you have checked-in. It was only a matter of minutes to check-in. You get your bracelet, room number, keycard, and map of the resort (that also includes your free bowling game). The reception area is air conditioned and is a welcome relief. Since we were there early (11:00 am), we had to wait until almost 3:00 pm until our room was ready. The original reception area is under construction, so it’s now on the “other side”. Hopefully by the time you go, all construction will be finished. Be warned about the people wearing the “H10 Premium” shirts are saying that they are the concierge. They are no more than time share people. The time share now owns half the hotel and has set up office in the Reception area. The mortgage for a time share (over 25 years) is at an 18% interest rate. Not worth the time. • Bell Boys
After you get your room number, you go back to get your luggage. This is where you will see the bell boys. You can’t miss them. They wear white shorts with white shirts. They have a big blue belt on, and wear hats that look like pith helmets. We thought they were going on safari. They will mark your luggage with your room number and take it to your room. • Rooms
We were in room 9319. This meant Villa 9, third floor, room 19. Our room had two queen sized beds, an 8 drawer dresser, television cabinet with fridge that included soft drinks and water. There was also a sofa and coffee table. We had a clock/radio beside the bed. There is a large closet that contains many hangers, the ironing board and iron, an umbrella, and the digital safe. The safe only requires four numbers to be entered to use it. It’s your choice of numbers too. The bathroom has two sinks and a huge Jacuzzi tub. Be warned about the Jacuzzi. You must fill it up over the holes by over 7 cm (3 inches) or else the bathroom will be soaked all over (we found this out first hand). The water pressure was great and there was plenty of hot water too. The balcony had a view of the pool and ocean (you just had to turn your head to the left for the ocean view). The balcony had two chairs and a table, where we sat at night with our cigars, champagne, and cognac. • Grounds
The grounds are beautifully well kept. People are working on them constantly. Even in the lobby, you could probably eat off the floor, it was so clean. There are fountains everywhere, as well as a small pond around the buffet restaurant. If you look closely enough, you will see fish in the pond around the buffet restaurant. There are also flamingos by the buffet restaurant and the occasional white heron will fly in to be with them. Two flamingos decided to escape one night when a big storm was approaching. If it wasn’t so dark, we are sure we would have added the picture. • Pools
There are two pools at Ocean Blue & Sand. Both seem to be the same size. One has yellow lounge chairs at it, the other has blue lounge chairs at it. Both have swim up bars and Jacuzzis. Because it was the off season, one of the swim up bars was not open and that pool was much quieter, so we spent time there. The deepest the pools are is about 5 feet, or 1.4 metres. The pool water is as warmer than the ocean water. The pools are not spaced far from each other either, so going from one to another is only seconds apart. Some women do go topless at the pools, as well as the beach. • Beach
We have been to resorts to the north and south of Ocean Blue & Sand, and found this beach to be the best there is. The beach is very wide (from the hotel to the ocean itself). In fact, we think it may be one of the widest in Punta Cana. There are plenty of lounge chairs (blue and yellow). We never had a problem getting a chair at the beach any time of the day. Please note that we like to be close to the water and we found that most people liked to be farther away from the ocean. • Ocean
We can’t say enough about the ocean. The colour of it is perfect. The waves were great to play in (only a few days were red flag days). Try the boogie boards on red flag days – we had a blast with them. We did sea kayaking for the first time in years, so it was a great experience. The water is warm as bath water. Even if it rains, stay in the ocean, it really is more fun. You will also see pelicans flying from time to time. They mainly stay closer to the boats by the LTI resort. • Beach Vendors
They are located right next door to the resort, so you won’t have far to walk (the LTI resort is on the other side). If haggling over price is the name of your game, you will have fun to get stuff “cheapy cheapy”. • Mini Market (on-site)
You can find everything in here that you want. You name it and it’ll be here. T-shirts, postcards, souvenirs, first aid medicine, inflatable toys, dresses, bathing suits, etc. We did send postcards are they were 2 for $1 US. The stamps for each postcard (international) are $2 US. • Cigar Shop (on-site)
We did purchase cigars. Paul had a field day in here. He ended up with 3 boxes of cigars by the end, and smoked most of one box during our two week stay. The one cigar that Paul wanted (for only one cigar) was $75 US. This wasn’t purchased. They also sell paintings in the store, but we never looked at the prices. • Harrison’s Jewelers (on-site)
Jo loves diamonds and this place was another paradise to her. She found a ring she liked and it was $1,500 US. We were told that the prices for the same type of ring would be cheaper in Canada, so we left without anything. • Metamorphosis Spa (on-site) We never tried it out, but got some prices for those who may be interested. Massage – $90 US and up

Couples Special – half hour massage – $180 US

• Ocean Tower Casino (on-site)
We aren’t big on gambling, but we did play the slots and lost. There are lots of card tables, but hardly anyone was at them. Most were on the slots. In case you are wondering how much we lost it was $2 US – we played the twenty-five cent slots and allocated ourselves with $5 US each. • Strike (bowling and Teen Club)
You must bring socks with you to bowl. You do get a free bowling game, but this time, we didn’t play. Strike is now mainly the teen club. • Mike’s Coffee and Tea
Mike’s opens at 10 in the morning and closes at midnight. The coffee is really good here and reminds us of Starbucks. In the afternoon, when it was hot, we went here for a frozen macadamia caramel. It was fantastic. They also have international newspapers here (taken from the internet). They are a couple of days out of date, but you can find what is happening in the world. Since we missed the federal election in Canada, we found the results a couple of days later. Please note, we did vote in the advance polls prior to leaving for Punta Cana. • Overtime Sports Bar
This is more than a bar. Large televisions, if you really want to watch sports. Have a drink at the bar and enjoy. We played three games of pool here, before dinner. The table isn’t level, so it makes for great fun. • El Carey/La Tortuga Buffet Restaurant
Even through there are two names, it’s the same buffet in the middle. We ate here for all of our breakfasts, a couple lunches, and a few dinners that were fantastic. For breakfast you could get pancakes, yoghurt, French toast, cereal, croissants, omelets and even hamburgers. The waiters will come over and serve you coffee too. For lunch at this buffet, you could get almost anything going. Pasta at lunch was big on the menu. They had grouper, pork chops, steaks, chicken, ice cream, pastries and more at lunch. Once seated, you could order a drink. The dinners were Chinese food night and Dominican night. The Chinese food was actually better than you can get at some Chinese restaurants in Toronto. • La Cana Beach Restaurant (Buffet)
We ate here for most of our lunches. They had great pizza, chicken and hamburgers here. Once seated you were served a drink of your choice. This restaurant is right by the beach and always has a nice breeze blowing through it. It is the only “outdoor” restaurant where you can smoke. All other restaurants are indoor and air conditioned, so no smoking is allowed. One day they set up barbeques on the sand, so there was a choice of barbequed hamburgers, or steak. If you see Carlos here, let him know that his “papa and mama from Canada” fondly remember him. He is a great waiter. • Route 66 – American – a la carte
Imagine “Arnold’s” from Happy Days, and this is what the inside of the restaurant is like. Even Fonzie’s motorcycle is in it. We knew that the food was good here, and it was one of the first restaurants we visited. Paul had the rib eye steak with Cajun sauce for dinner. The steak was 8 ounces and took up more than half of the plate. He couldn’t believe it, but he did eat the entire steak. The sauce was nice and spicy too. Jo decided on Cajun shrimp and chicken in pasta. She loved the spicy Cajun sauce. So, if you like spicy food, this is one of the places to be. • La Casa – Dominican – a la carte
We thought that this restaurant had the best ambience of all of the a la carte restaurants. Since we knew the manager/hostess of the restaurant (Maria), she would let us in early. The head chef, Alejandro, met us before the restaurants opened. He is in charge of all the restaurants at the resort. Alejandro introduced himself to us, and made our meal one night. It was outstanding. It was very nice inside with soothing music playing. Jo had shrimp, mussels and fish with rice one night and garlic shrimp another night. Paul had garlic fish (3 fillets) and finely sliced beef in Creole sauce another night. Since Paul would wear a dress shirt, dress pants, and a jacket for dinner here, the Dominicans appreciated it. To them, it was showing respect for their culture. We would get top notch service. Maria would always come over with the mamajuana for a toast every time we would come in. • Margarita – Mexican – a la carte
Be warned if you don’t like hot spicy food. If you don’t, it may not be the place for you to be. The taco trio is one of the best samplings of Mexican food. It gives you a pork, beef, and chicken taco. • La Brasa – Caribbean – a la carte
This restaurant is the only a la carte that isn’t in the “restaurant strip”. La Cana becomes La Brasa at night. This restaurant has the best view, since you are right at the beach and ocean. For dinner we had Jamaican – shrimp with mussels and rice. • I Mascherati – Italian – a la carte
The décor in this restaurant is the best of the a la carte restaurants. All of the restaurants open at 6:30, but we would arrive at least 20 minutes prior to get in. The restaurant is always packed, and there is good reason for it. The menu is loaded with everything, from lamb chops to pasta, from beef to chicken. When we first went to this hotel in 2006, we thought that it was a bit overrated, but coming back, we thought it was one of the best. Of course dessert here is tiramisu. • Showtime – Entertainment
The shows start at 9:30 pm. This was too late for us, since we are always up before sunrise. However, the theatre is under construction and the shows are now held in the lobby. • Kids Club
This was closed while we were there. It has a play area and an enclosed building. It was probably closed, due to off season. • White Sands Golf Course
We never went golfing, but it is only a matter of minutes away. It’s a par 72 course. Personal Notes
This resort is absolutely fantastic. We can’t say enough about it. There was a friendly smile and “hola” from every staff member. Even the bartenders would shake your hand and introduce themselves. We made friends with many Dominicans and have their phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses. It really is true – the Dominican people are very friendly. We go for not only the sun, sea and sand, but the Dominican people as well. The maids, bellboys, waiters, waitresses, and bartenders would get tips. For the less fortunate, we left sewing kits, clothing, and sandals. We had 5 kilos (about 11 pounds) too much in weight going down, but due to what we left, we were fine on the return trip. Skyservice did not charge us the excess weight going down to Punta Cana. They were going to, but Paul explained what the items were for. We were told that we would have to have a letter into Skyservice at least 4 weeks prior to departure for approval. They have a daily “newspaper” at the buffet restaurant you pick up each morning. It gives you the daily activities, which restaurant will be closed that night, weather (usually wrong), and announcements. Since it was Paul’s birthday the month before, Jo had it announced. So, look for the Ocean Post. The food was fantastic at all of the restaurants. Jo mainly drank champagne down there, with each meal. Not that we are big drinkers. About 4 per day each, and that is a lot for us. We did have a problem with our safe, and within 10 minutes, the safe was fixed. We tipped the man, who came to fix it. People will come around the pool area to take pictures with animals. Depending on the day, you can get your picture taken with either a monkey; iguana; or parrots. Another woman photographer stays by the beach for pictures. You aren’t obliged to purchase the pictures, but if you do they are $8 US each. We took about 400 pictures ourselves. As for filming, we shot over 3 hours of tape. We are still adding pictures to webshots, so what you see today, may change to more in a week’s time. They advertise this as a four and a half star, but really it’s a five star hotel for Punta Cana. Please note that security at Punta Cana airport is very intense. Everyone must remove their shoes and have them x-rayed. The tourist card is exactly the same. You complete one to get in, and a new one to get out. Both are exactly the same. Now that we’ve been here twice, do we come back again, or try somewhere else?
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  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    Sandra

August 2008

Travel and Arrival:
My 15 year old son and I stayed at the Ocean Sands from August 2 – 9. We were flying Skyservice out of Toronto, Ontario, and I had paid the extra $15 per seat to choose our seats ahead of time. I didn’t want to leave it to chance that we might not get a window seat either coming or going. I also put some thought into which side of the plane I wanted chosing the right side going down and left coming home. I chose well as our view was the one where you could first see land. It was a 4:25 pm flight, landing at 8:35 pm and it was on time. Unfortunately I was the only one shown to the left counter, and was searched. A box of donations that I was taking with me was cut open, and I could no longer carry it easily. When I left the inspection I totally missed the counters that I was supposed to go to. This was because everyone else had gone through I just headed outside. Of course I had offers from some locals to drive me for free, but since I read the other reviews I knew nothing was for free. Another passenger advised me that I had to go back inside to find out what my bus number was. I went back and found out my bus number and went back outside only to find the bus was broken down. We waited close to an hour outside before a replacement bus came for us. Unlike a previous reviewer, there were no drinks on our bus, even though we went through the exact same Tour operator.

Check in:
Once again, unlike a previous reviewer, there were no drinks waiting for us. Instead we were shuttled in the reception check in and waited …. again. The check in process was very long and disorganized. Eventually I got my room key, towel cards and were told that our luggage would be up in 10 minutes and wait for the train. Since it was now past 11 PM, and it was very dark, I decided not to venture out on my own until I got to my room. Room:
Our room was 9221 on the second floor overlooking the pool. It had two queen beds, sitting area, and a large balcony with a table and two chairs (one of them reclined), TV, coffee maker, fridge, clock radio, and a large bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub. I checked the safe right away and found it broken. I had to wait until the morning to call for service (8 am) and then waited until after 9:30 before the repairman came to fix it. As a result I missed part of my orientation with my Signature Rep.The other thing that was weird was where they put the coffee maker. There was no plug visible so I moved it. After housekeeping came in, I noticed that they pulled out the dresser and plugged it in and left the dresser on an angle. I had problems with the safe the next day again and had to call for service at 8:30 pm. It didn’t get fixed again until close to 11 pm. Thank goodness I decided to pull my trip voucher for the Outback Safari out the night before the trip, because if I had waited until the morning of the trip, I wouldn’t have made it. All my money was in the safe and I wanted to buy souvenirs on the trip. Grounds:
They were very clean. I would often drink my morning coffee (with Bailey’s) and see the cleaning crew tidying up the grounds. Beach:
Very beautiful. My son did find a patch of coral close to the beach and took some pictures with the underwater camera. The waves on our beach didn’t seem as rough as it did to the right of our beach. Pool:
I spent time at both pools. One was much more active than the other. There were some tiles missing, but that’s minor. There was always an employee coming around cleaning up left over cups left around the pool. Bars:
I spent most of my time drinking at the swim up bar, although I did visit the beach bar a few times. The lobby bar had a great deal of liquor choice and there was nothing that they didn’t have that asked for. Restaurants:
I ate at the buffets for most of the meals. There was always something for me. Omelettes were awesome, so were the crepes. They had steak one day and there was a sauce that was amazing. It was so good. Mikes coffee house was great. Even my son loved it. You’ll make time for this place; in fact that was where we went first after our luggage was dropped off. We also went to the Mexican and the Italian. One of the waiters from breakfast knew it was my son’s birthday and asked us to come to the Italian. He arranged for a birthday surprise. The musicians and staff dimmed the lights and came out singing with a cake and candle. Thanks Martires! Casino, Shows or other activies
We went to one show, but couldn’t understand what was being said. It was too loud and the speakers echoed. They were doing the classic dances and it looked lovely, but too loud for me. I saw the Casino, but decided to hang onto my money. I still have my “Strike” bowling coupon. We never made it there. We did take out a kayak one day, but decided that lounging around on a raft doing nothing was much more my cup of tea. I would get myself to the buoy and anchor myself to it and just lay there. I did find that they ran out of towels quickly. One morning they didn’t have towels when we went, so we went back when the said to but they still didn’t have any. We had an early tour the next day so we had two day old towels with us. We took them back when we came back, but there were none. We ended up having them for 3 days, but somehow got an extra two towel cards out of it. I’m not exactly sure how that happened though. Other Stuff:
I didn’t get bugged by the time share people at all at this resort, but by the water sports centre is a booth for a timeshare at the resort next to H10. I found them to be very rude and asked questions that were really none of their business. I would never go to that resort because of the way they talked to me. Stay away from these people at all costs. I also saw the vendors that set up shop near the front entrance. Unless you are really good at saying NO all the time, if you see them, stay away. I actually had them pulling me towards them, and had to get away from them. The beach vendors were similar. Overall, the resort was nice. I’m not sure if I’ll be back because I’d like to try other resorts to compare it to. I’d like to give it another try though….
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  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    Christine

August 2008

We stayed from 31st July – 14th August with my children aged 13 and 10.

Flight
We flew with First Choice in standard seating and upgraded the IFE for £5 each – well worth it. You can watch films at your convenience. Service on both journeys was good. Transfer
Very good – one drop-off at Barcelo and on departure, we went straight to the airport. On arrival at the hotel, Reception directed us to a conference room where First Choice guests were given their room allocation and towel cards. Room The room was massive and certainly adequate for a family of 4.

It had 2 double beds and even the sofa bed was like a proper single bed, unlike our recent experience in Fuerteventura where the sofa bed had seen better days. Exactly what I had asked for in my email and overlooked the blue pool.

Maid service was good – they worked very hard. We sometimes had loads of towels and at other times barely any, but we just asked for more as they were usually somewhere in the vicinity. Although I understand standard rooms do not get beer replaced, we did ask via a little note in Spanish, and these were left in our fridge. We felt the bathroom needed updating. Several fittings were loose or hanging off and the towel rail above the bath was quite dangerously loose. We made 3 requests to get this fixed, and finally asked the First Choice Rep to intervene, which seemed to do the trick. Food & Drink
This was the best thing about Ocean Sands. We had deliberately picked a hotel that had plenty of bars and restaurants, as we hate to do the same thing every day, and Ocean Sands certainly delivers. Buffet food was great – loads of choices – the kids preferred this, but we also ate in the Italian, Mexican and American Diner. Our favourite was the Italian. Food was top quality. Service in all 3 was excellent. Service in the buffet restaurants was a bit hit and miss, but it didn’t really worry us. Our favourite bars were Overtime (best service), the Lobby Bar (had good atmosphere) and best of all, a relaxing tea-time drink before getting ready at the Beach Bar overlooking the ocean. Entertainment
The kids didn’t participate in the organised activities. They were more than happy with the Climbing Wall and Strike and during our second week the Teen Club opened which was a real hit (its upstairs in Strike, but we didn’t see any signs indicating this, so would be easy to miss if you didn’t know). It’s called a Teen Club but it actually caters for kids from ages 7. The club rules state you need to show a membership card, but this wasn’t introduced during our stay. It has several TVs with WII consoles, pool tables, table hockey and a big plasma screen. It gets very busy at night, but is quiet during the day if the kids want to get out of the hot sun. Pools/Beach
We used both pools, but found the blue pool to be quieter, although very hot with little sea breeze. We also used the beach which was gorgeous. We’re not usually beach people but this beach was so incredible, we just couldn’t resist. Kids swam in the sea for the first time and loved it. Airport
We found Punta Cana airport chaotic on departure, and the First Choice rep was nowhere to be seen. We were directed to a queue for another flight leaving after ours and it was only when we queried it that someone came over and directed us to the correct queue. I knew from previous experience that we had to fill out a departure form and found some on a desk. We saw everyone doing this in a mad rush before going through security – a very long queue! We did notice there is a lot of building work going on, so hopefully there will be an improvement in the near future. Summary
This was the best holiday we’ve had – exactly what we’ve been looking for – we didn’t want to leave. The weather was perfect every day with thunderstorms in the early evening. Good quality, family time together. Our only criticism would be general housekeeping – if the management addressed this, I would call this hotel perfect. We will definitely return. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
christine.davies53@ntlworld.com
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  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    Valerie

August 2008

Flight We flew from Manchester to Punta Cana, we flew with Thomson. The flight was very good, more leg room than most we have been on. What can you say about an eight hour flight, except that we made it through it!!

Check in
There were 7 in our party altogether, 6 of us and one other. When we got to check in they didn’t seem to know we were coming, didn’t seem to have any record of us, they had a record of the one other person, but not our party of 6. I was a bit concerned at this as we were coming to get married, I was thinking if they didn’t know we were coming, do they know we are getting married. The member of staff that dealt with us on reception was very good, he looked a bit confused when trying to find us on the computer, as our reference number appeared to be for someone else but he dealt with it speedily and was very pleasant (I had read other reviews that stated the reception staff were unpleasant and rude, this was not the case with us). He asked us to wait while he sorted it out, he took about 10 mins came back to us and said they would give us all a room upgrade, so we weren’t disappointed. We were in Villa 6, on the third floor which was good. He gave us our room key, we went to our cases, the bell put our room number onto our cases and we went to our rooms. Our children got on the trolley first because there wasn’t any room for us. When the trolley took a while to come, we (my now husband and I) decided to walk to the villa. When we got there our bags had arrived and we went to our rooms. The rooms run on consecutive numbers i.e. 6307,08,09. So again we were please that we were all close to eachother, although 08 and 09 were on the other side of the building so our two older childre were opposite us but we had the better view of the pool and the sea!!. The Hotel
The hotel itself is lovely, rooms were very nice and we didn’t need any other bulbs in the rooms (we had read that the lights could be a bit dim, this did not seem the case to us). There was wear and tear in the rooms but again not a problem. One thing to mention once you have put all of your clothes away in the dressing table drawers, don’t open all of the drawers at the same time, it can tip up. Very stupid of us, be we managed to do this (you thinking why would you have all of the drawers open in the first place, well to be truthfull, I don’t know why we did either but we did and managed to tip it up, totally our fault, not the fault of the hotel of the furniture). We didn’t request anything speacial before hand but we got all we needed, two beds in each room as there were 3 adults in one room, two and child in one room and one in the third room. We didn’t have a single complaint about the hotel. We also found the water pressure in the showers to be okay, and was always hot enough. The Food
We pretty much used all of the a’la carte (sp) restraunts and found them all very nice, although I didn’t go to the Mexican as I don’t like spicy food but other in my party did and really enjoyed it. We didn’t go to the restraunts that you had to pay for as we didn’t feel the need. Mexican – Members of our party that liked spicy food really enjoyed this restraunt. Route 66 – We all enjoyed this restraunt, we went there three times in total and enjoyed all times, very nice, the service was good and the food was lovely. The Italian – we tried this once, it was okay but we didn’t go back there again.
Domincan Restraunt – This was where we had our wedding dinner, which we really enjoyed. We only visited here once. La Brasa – The food was okay here, the starter of chicken wings was absolutely lovely but the main wasn’t as good but we still really enjoyed it. The service here was really good. The Buffet
We had breakfast here every morning and always found something to eat (well I ate the same thing every morning). There was lots of variety and all in our party could find something to eat, even my daugher whom is very picky. The have a section where you can choose your ingridents for omlettes, which i visited every morning. There was various other things like hard boiled eggs, bacon, and the normal breakfast stuff. The had a bread counter, different breads and rolls. You could also make toast for yourself here. They also had counters with lots of sweet things, fruit, croissants so there really was something for everyone. We also never had any trouble getting a table of getting coffee in the mornings. The service here was very good. We went here a few evenings and the food was lovely, my husband seemed to especially like the chinese counter where you could choose your own food to put in it. They also had a pizza section, spaghetti section, meat sections where they carved the meat off the bone, cooked steaks and various other meats. Some of the days they had a fish sections but as i’m not a great fish eater, didn’t visit it once. The had dessert sections with ice-cream which I visisted on every vistit (I love ice-cream). They had the normal things like chips. The had a selection of cooked vegetables, cooked potatos. They had fresh fruit section at every meal. I’ve probaly left some things out but you get the picture, I felt they had lots of variety. Snack Bar/Restraunt by the Beach
We tended to go here most lunch times as it was closest to our villa, the beach and the pool we tended to use. It was very nice. It had a selection of food, rice, chips, pizza, chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers, salad, fish and again ice-cream, which I had every time I went in there. Really enjoyed the food her as well. The possible only complaint that I may have had was that my niece that came with us is vegetarian and they didn’t have as much choice but saying that she never went hungry and enjoyed what she did eat, she would have just like a bit more variety. Mikes coffee shop was also very good. It has a variety of tea and coffee and lots of cake to eat with your tea and coffee. A nice place for just relaxing out of the wonderful heat. We went in here a few times and enjoyed it very much. Excursions
We only went on two excursions, the Monster Truck Safari, which we all enjoyed. I would recommend this excursion to anyone, this is the 4th time we have been on it (we have visited the Dominican Repulic a few times previously). We also went horseriding which we really enjoyed. This was only a two hour excursion (although from start to finish, this took about 4 hrs). Things to do
There was a bowling alley, which had table football and pool also. They had a climbing wall, trampolines, archery, tennis, bikes. We went to the bowling alley and my daughter tried the climbing wall. They didn’t try the rest as they like the pool too much. On the whole we had a wonderful time, really enjoyed our holiday/wedding and would be happy to return here. Review of the Wedding
Once we had checked in, I waited until the next morning after breakfast to see if the wedding co-ordinator had been in touch. As there was so much confusion at check in, I thought it would be best to go to guest services to find her. They managed to track her down on the phone and I spoke to her, she had an appointment booked with us for 2pm that day, so i breathed a sigh of relief, they knew we were here. I was thinking that if they didn’t know we were coming at check, they might not know we were here for a wedding (paranoid I know but…………) We had the meeting with Massiel (I think that was her name, I don’t think Julissa is doing weddings any more). She has all of our e-mails printed out (although there wasn’t that many, we were only having a small one). She also had our translated documents from WEDO, which I heave a great sigh of relief. I knew they would be there, but as I hadn’t had any confirmation from WEDO that they had sent them or the hotel that the hotel had recieved them, you do tend to look for hicups when there are none. Any way, we sorted out the flowers, the trio, where we were having our wedding dinner. We did originally want Labrassa, but someone had already hired it out as a private reception so we could’nt let us have it there so we had it in the Dominican Restraunt, the wedding co-ordinator suggested this to us as she said out of all of the restraunts, this one was the more elegant looking, so we went with her suggestion. For the flowers you have to pay before they are delivered as it it is cash on delivery, so we dropped the money off the next day. We also found out that our wedding was now at 3pm instead of 2pm, which we were pleased about also. We asked about the photographer and she said we had to deal direct with the photo shop, so after finishing with her we went there. We opted to have the silver option, you get 2 photographers, 100 photos – photos taken before, during and after the ceremony. We also booked to have it videod. Once we had been there, we went to the spa, I wanted to have the bride package. I booked that. So upto that point everthing was sorted. The Wedding Day
On the day of the wedding, at the spa I had a manicure, pedicure, hair and make-up done. I was very pleased with the hair and make-up. I also booked for my three children to have their hair done, but wasn’t very impressed with what they did, I could have done better myself. Once that was done, I went back to the room to wait for my other two girls to finish at the spa. Husband to be went to the best man’s room to get ready. The only real hitch on the day was that when my daughter went to get into her dress, the zip broke. So, while my other daugher was doing the ties on my dress, my other daughter was in front of me so I could sew her into her dress. That was about the worst thing that happened, so really the day went perfectly. The photographer came around 2:30ish to take pictures of me in my room and around the hotel. The other photographer went to the best man’s room to take pictures of the groom. At about 2.55pm, massille came to take us down to the beach, we finishe doing the photos around the hotel and got on the golf cart. The beach wasn’t far, I probably could have walked there. Once we got the the beach, we walked to where the ceremony was going to take place. Whilst walking past the beach restraunt, I heard loads of cheers from everyone around, that was really nice. We had the ceremony, it took around 15 mins, we had the champagne and then we took lots of photos on the beach. Once we had finished with the beach, we took photos in the grounds of the hotel. We probably finished all of the photos by about 4:30pm. The photographers that we had were great, especially Diana, she tooks lots of lovely photos. Once all of the photos were taken, we went back to our rooms for a little while, just to cool down. As we were having our meal around 7:30pm, we decided to go bowling. So around 5:30 we went to the bowling alley and played until our dinner. Its was great fun, we don’t have any professional photos of this but the ones we have, I think are wonderful. We had to have two lanes, I won on the lane I was on and the best man won on the other lane. We finsished this just before 7:30, so went straight to the restraunt for our dinner. I actually can’t remember what it was that I ate, but I did enjoy it, and so did everyone else. We originally want to go the La Brassa, but everyone agreed, with hindsight, that we were glade where we went. We didn’t find anything wrong with La Brassa, but we did prefer the Dominican Restraunt. After we had eaten, we came out and had to have a few photos done on the swinging seats, so we did. We then went over to the bar near the reception to have a drink, but we were all really tired and didn’t stay there long. We went back to our rooms. This was probably about 10pm. We had had a wonderful day, I couldn’t have asked for a better wedding, exactly how we wanted it. You can see photos at:
http://www.whocares100.vivaciti.net/photostore/Toby/weddingalbum/index.html If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in contact
Valerie@whocares100.freeserve.co.uk
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  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    mimail ~ USA

July 2008

We stayed from July 4 – July 11th and had an awesome time. It is a lovely resort and I would recommend it to everyone.

Check in went very smooth. We’ve been to many all inclusive resorts so I pretty much know the routine, but didn’t think much about the lack of information until later for someone that has never been. They took our luggage off the bus and left it up front with the bellboy. I was shocked at the number of bags sitting there yet to be delivered to the rooms. In the past we were given a card to hand the bellboy so he would know what bags went to what rooms. The front desk didn’t say a thing to us. We just went back and pointed out our bags and had the guys write our room number on the luggage tags already attached from the flight. They also didn’t bother to tell us where the room was located, but again we just figured it out on our own. Not to worry I’m on vacation and had 7 days to find it. Luckily it only took about 10 mins. Our bags found their way to our room by the time we took our own little tour around the resort and had a bite to eat. As we were leaving the check in area someone ran up behind us saying wait, wait please come sit and let me tell you all about the resort and invite you to a special breakfast. Thank goodness I read up on the forums before going because I knew to avoid this timeshare sales pitch at all cost. I just turned and smiled and told him we were headed to the bar to get a drink and we’ll see him later. He said he would wait for us. Well he waited a long time because we didn’t go back. I actually saw several poor souls sitting at breakfast and walking around the resort area giving up there vacation time getting stuck in the sales pitch thing. We stayed in Bldg 4, room 4126 which was on the end, bottom floor. Each of the buildings are shaped liked rectangles with a courtyard cut through the center. Our room was on the back side facing LTI resort (behind the trees). I was a little disappointed about that at first but later was glad because it was so quite and I could sit out back in the mornings drinking my coffee in my gown with no one looking back at me. We didn’t have ANY water pressure. When I say ANY I mean ANY. We really should have asked for another room, but I really liked our location as it was in the center halfway to the lobby and restaurants and halfway to the beach. As I said before we’ve been to lots of all inclusives so I just dealt with it and didn’t get upset. I didn’t hear of anyone else having the water problem so it’s not like that everywhere. We just got unlucky on the water part. And, it wasn’t because of the early evening showers; it never changed even at 11:00 at night. The resort has two really large pools, The first one has yellow umbrellas all around and another, just as large has blue umbrellas all around. The blue pool is the closest to the beach. Both have swim up bars. It seems that the blue pool is the loudest and most activity. This is where the volleyball net was set up. The yellow was less crowded and quieter. The front of the resort is the lobby with a small lake right behind it and a walkway going through it. As you go over the walkway there is a row of restaurants. The steakhouse (which you must pay for), the Italian, Route 66 (set up like a 50s/60s American diner), The Sports bar, Mike’s Coffee, The Mexican, followed by The Dominican restaurant. On the right of the lake is the Casino and on the left of the lake is Strike, the bowling alley. Right beside the lobby is the theatre. There are tables and chairs set up outside on Restaurant row. In the evenings this is where all the activity was. There is live music in the lobby every evening and it stops when the show in the theatre is on and starts back again once that is over. Oh yeah I forgot to mention on the right of the lobby is also The Wave which is the disco. There is a sign out front that says no one under 16 allowed. My 15 year old went in a few times with no problem at all. She didn’t say long because most of the people in there were 17 – 20s age group and she felt to funny being there. Strike in the early evening was full of younger kids around 6 -9 age. They would play on one of the 2 pools table, the ping pong table or the fooseball table. It was very hard to ever get to one of these. In the sportsbar was another pool table. It was my understanding that in 2 weeks the upstairs part of Strike was going to open. It was for the mid teens, with more pool tables, video games etc. This would have been perfect for us as we have a 13 and 15 year old. We mainly ate in the buffet which was behind all of the restaurants and also in Route 66. The steak was wonderful, but don’t order it med rare. My daughter did this even though I told her not to and she ended up sick that evening. It only lasted that evening thank goodness. Mike’s coffee is a MUST. You’ll love it if you like Starbucks. The beach was very nice. It was a bit wavy on some days and flatter water on others. All depends on the weather out at sea. There was a little seaweed, but who cares it is the ocean where else is it suppose to be? I would say the resort does need to use all the money it is taking in for building repairs. There were missing tiles in the pool as I’ve seen others write about. But again so what, it didn’t bother us at all. All in all I would say it was a wonderful resort and we had a great time. For all you lucky ones that are planning for your upcoming vacation I hope you have a blast!
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  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    The Clark ~ Lancashire UK

July 2008

Arrival and Flight
We flew with Thomas Cook from Manchester which wasn’t great. We had long queues at check in and on the flight our seat back TV wasn’t working correctly and we wasn’t the only people on the flight with this problem. This made the 9 hour flight seem a bit longer but no worries we were on our way. We landed at Punta Cana on time but had to wait on the runway for half an hour as the airport was busy so no where to park up. Baggage claim was Dominican time so another hour wait until we had our baggage and off onto the coach to take us to resort. We dropped off at 5 hotels before we reached the Ocean Blue which took around another hour. Check in was quick without any problems They try to send you to another table on the way out saying these guys will let you know everything about the resort but these are reps from H10 who are really trying to get you to buy into other resorts and want you to go to a presentation promising you all sorts. We just walked past saying no thanks. We heard about this on previous reviews so was prepared it’s the last thing you want after a total of 16 hours travelling.

Rooms
The rooms were fine maybe not 5 star but were spacious and had everything you needed for your stay. Big bathroom with Shower over Jacuzzi tub and two hand basins with a big mirror and hair drier. The maid service was a bit hit and miss but they have so much to do. We had to ask for beer, water and Pepsi every few days and they missed bringing us towels one day but we still tipped every other day and they were pleasant enough so no big deal. Just a couple of minor problems with the safe not working when we arrived but it was fixed within half an hour and we had a leak in our bathroom roof which again was fixed promptly. We sat out on the balcony a few times having a drink which had a table and two chairs. Initially we wasn’t too happy about our room being at the back of villa 8 with no real view because we wanted a pool view but it turned out better really because at night time it was a lot quieter at the back as everybody coming home later on wasn’t walking past your room and heard from people at the front that it was a lot noisier there Restaurants
We found the food amazing!!!!! We heard people complaining about some of the food and couldn’t understand it. The buffet was great with an incredible choice of food, Any choice of meat, Chicken, Beef, Pork, Steak, Kangaroo,Rabbit you name it they had it. A Fish cooking station, Pizza, Burger,Pasta, Chinese, anything you wanted. They also had a massive choice of desserts Cakes, Jelly, Ice cream etc. We also visited some of the speciality restaurants but our favourite was the Mexican, we loved it and went back four times. We also went to the Caribbean grill on the beach twice which did a really nice steak. The other restaurant we visited was the American Route 66 which was ok without being spectacular but did have a very nice Pork ribs one night. We didn’t try the Italian or Dominican restaurants because you had to wear long trousers and shoes and I didn’t take any so if you want to go to these make sure you pack some. Bars
Our favourite was the Lobby bar which had live music on every night and was generally good fun with all the staff having a good laugh and entertaining everybody. The swim up bars were ok a bit hit and miss with service as was the pool bar. The sports bar was also very good with excellent service and was nice and cool as well. Drinks were very good but if you want premium spirits you must ask or they will just give you the local stuff but they do have Absolute Vodka, Bacardi Rum and Jack Daniels etc just ask and they will happily oblige. They also have Budweiser at the Lobby and Sports bar but again you have to ask however the Presidente Beer is also fine. Beach and Pools
Absolutely spectacular!!!!! what can I say the beach was like a post card and the best beach area out of all the hotels on that strip. The two pools are huge and are cleaned all the time. The blue pool was the quiet pool and the yellow pool the activity pool so a bit noisier. Both pools have swim up bars. The blue pool did close for one day for cleaning and this does happen most weeks where one of the pools will close for cleaning. We thought this was a good thing as at least you know it’s being looked after and that the water is clean and safe. One of the best things was the amount of sun beds both around the pool and on the beach, they were always available no matter what time of day so no need for the towel game yet amazingly people would still go and reserve them early on then not come back for hours!!!!!!!!!! there really was no need. Grounds
The grounds were immaculate with people working on them throughout the day it was non-stop and they do a really good job. Activities and Entertainment
We only went to the evening entertainment once and it wasn’t for us. They do work very hard but we preferred the Lobby bar with a nice cold beer and a chat with everyone we had met. The daytime activities looked good if you like that sort of thing but again we preferred to chill by the pool or on the beach. There was also kids clubs for Teens and I think 4 years to 8 years and 9 years to 12 years. Tours
We went on two tours which were the Bavaro Splash and the Tropical Storm both were excellent and the tour guides were brilliant and really made every effort to make sure you had a good time. Departure and Check Out
No problems with either. Conclusion There was only one thing that could potentially have spoilt our stay we called this the invasion of the **********!!! This happened on a Friday lunch time when around 350 of them arrived until Sunday lunch time when they left. Oh my god you have never seen people drink so much alcohol in your life and have total disregard for anyone else on the complex. It was a bit like what we call in England a club 18-30 break or maybe Spring break????? rolled in to 48 hours!!!!!!!!! I’m not saying it was everyone of them as a lot of the ********** were shaking their heads in disgust too but a large proportion. There behaviour was shocking which I won’t go in to but many people complained and they did bring security out on a number of occasions but they knew they was only there for a couple of days so turned a blind eye really. I believe this sometimes happens on occasions when the hotel is not at full capacity but it wasn’t fair to all the other guests who were impeccably behaved the whole two weeks we were there. Anyway all the Brits, Americans and Canadians just let it pass and by Sunday afternoon all was perfect again. However on the whole we had our best Holiday ever and would definitely recommend it to Families and couples alike we really can’t complain about the things you go on holiday for i.e.: Hotel, food, beaches and the people who were all so friendly. I forgot about the weather which was also fantastic, out of our 14 days there we had 13 days of unbroken sunshine with temperatures of 90+ every day. A great place to go you must try it you won’t be disappointed. Top of Page

  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    Meghan & Jill ~ Gander, Newfoundland, Canada

June 2008

We are two sisters (age 22 and 28) who visited Ocean Blue from April 28 – May 5, 2008. This was our first trip to Punta Cana but our second time visiting the country; we stayed at SuperClubs Breezes in Puerto Plata several years ago.

Location/Arrival
We booked through selloffvacations.com and flew Air Transat out of St. John’s, Newfoundland. When they recommend you arrive 3 hours early, they really mean it! We showed up roughly 3 hours early and a long lineup had already formed. We did not, however, have any trouble getting two seats together. The seats were pretty small and we were lucky that no one else sat in our row of 3 seats or else the flight might have been much more uncomfortable (as it was on the way home!). Despite the cramped quarters the flight was fine and time passed fairly quickly. The service was good as well and we were served a hot meal of Chinese food – a delicious surprise! Upon arrival at the Punta Cana airport, we got through customs and collected our luggage fairly quickly and with no trouble. Then we headed outside where a row of buses were lined up to take the passengers to their respective resorts. The bus was air-conditioned which was much appreciated. Check-In
Check-in went quite smoothly as well, we were given bracelets, two room keys, two towel cards and a map of the resort along with information about the bars and restaurants. The resort’s shuttle then picked us up at the reception area and brought us to our villa. We stayed in villa number 3, which was well positioned about halfway from the lobby and the beach. We requested poolside but were given a room on the opposite side of the building facing the resort next door. However the view was fine and we did not mind, as we didn’t spend much time in the room anyway. Grounds
This resort is absolutely beautiful! The grounds are very well maintained and there are flowers and trees all over. On the main walkway from the buffet to the pool area there are rock-shaped speakers that play music, which we thought was a nice touch. The layout of the resort is also excellent. All of the restaurants except the two beach restaurants are arranged in a row like a little town near the lobby. The shops are also nearby, as are the theatre, bowling alley and spa. The pools are centrally located, and there is a main walkway that you can take from one end of the resort to the other. This made it very easy to get around and remember where everything is. We also loved the décor of the entire resort, it was all very modern and stylish which made the resort feel very high-class. The walk from the lobby to the beach is about 10 minutes, and the shuttle goes by fairly often to transport guests all around the resort. Beach/Pools
The beach at Ocean Blue, as with most beaches in Punta Cana, was spectacular, featuring white sand, palm trees and beautiful turquoise water. Unlike the usual straw palapas found at most resorts, Ocean Blue has shelters constructed of wooden posts with a covering over them. These are interesting for a change and we found they provided adequate shade, though probably not as much as the straw palapas. It is still probably a good idea to make sure you have on lots of sunscreen when lounging under these shelters. We swam in the ocean several times which was wonderful. The water was not too rough, and on most days it was nearly as calm as a swimming pool. On one day though we did have fun playing in the waves. Like the beach, the pools at this resort were also fabulous!! Both pools (blue and yellow) are huge, and each has a swim-up bar. We found that the blue pool was normally less full and was nice for relaxing and lounging in our inflatable chairs, while the yellow pool had a better view of the poolside entertainment and was much more lively. We used both pools a lot. The poolside entertainment was usually pretty good and featured lots of little competitions like ring-toss, a dance competition, and some other games. There is also a kid’s pool and a hot tub. We liked the hot tub because it was very large and could fit lots of people at a time, which is nice because sometimes with smaller hot tubs it is hard to get to use them because they are always full of people. A note about saving chairs: we are pretty easy-going people and didn’t bother with saving chairs at the pool or the beach. We found that we never had a problem getting two seats together at either pool or at the beach, even in the shade. The only way we thought that saving a chair would be useful would be if you want a spot on the beach with nobody in front of you. Weather/Bugs
Weather of course was beautiful! There was some rain on a couple of days, and one day there was thunder and lightning. The rain was usually short-lived, although one evening we got stuck in a restaurant for a while during the rain. Luckily the sports bar was next door so we quickly ran over there to wait it out. The only bugs we noticed during the whole week were some ants on our balcony that did not bother us. Rooms
Just like everything else on our vacation we loved our room! It was huge, and featured two (very comfortable) queen-sized beds plus a sitting area with a couch that was the size of a twin-size bed. The room was tastefully decorated with nice art on the wall. There was a TV, fridge (stocked with pop, water and when we arrived there were two beers in our fridge that did not get replaced when we drank them), clock radio, coffee maker, hairdryer, electronic safe, and umbrella. The air-conditioning was excellent – so efficient that we were actually cold at some points! The balcony was large and had two chairs and a table. The closet was fairly large and the room also had a full-length mirror. The bathroom was also beautiful, with double sinks and a huge whirlpool tub. We always had enough towels and face cloths. Our only complaints about the room were that the clock radio and coffee maker did not work. This was not a problem, however, as we had brought our own alarm clock and we preferred to get coffee with breakfast or at Mike’s. Bars/Drinks
This place is full of bars! We spent most of our time at the lobby bar and the sports bar. Staff at both of these bars was very friendly and helpful. The lobby bar is where most of the activity is at night and it can take a while to get a drink there. There was live music most nights we were there, which was really nice. The sports bar is a 24-hour snack bar with hot dogs, hamburgers, sandwiches, chicken wings etc. We had much-appreciated hot dogs there the night we arrived. We mostly drank Presidente (delicious), but also experimented with some of the cocktails. We enjoyed the strawberry daiquiri, pina colada and dirty monkey. We discovered that at Route 66 they have cranberry juice so you can get cosmopolitans, vodka cranberry, etc. We once asked for cranberry at the lobby bar and were told they did not have any, but didn’t check at any of the other bars. Ocean Blue has TONS of premium brands. You can get Budweiser beer and lots of name-brand liquors such as Bacardi, Malibu, Kahlua, Baileys, Canadian Club, Absolut, Tanqueray and many more. Drinks are also included at the disco, which was very lively and sometimes featured theme nights. We had lots of fun dancing there! Mike’s Coffee was one of the best parts of this resort. This is just like a coffee shop you would find at home, and serves all sorts of coffee drinks, smoothies, teas and pastries. We found the drinks excellent, just as good as anything you would find at a place like Starbucks. The teas served there are actually the Tazo brand served at Starbucks. We tried cafe latte, cafe mocha, and the frozen drinks which were all excellent. The frozen coffees were nice to enjoy by the pool. Any coffee lover should definitely consider a trip to Ocean Blue! Restaurants
We ate at the main buffet most days for breakfast, where you can get almost anything you could possibly want – omelettes, bacon, eggs, sausage, toast, pastries, pancakes, crepes, fruit, yogurt, etc. We discovered they had nutella spread which goes nicely on crepes. There are a few different types of juice as well as champagne if you feel so inclined. A couple of days we were late for breakfast so we got continental breakfast at the beach, which was not as impressive but still hit the spot. We ate lunch nearly every day at the beach buffet. They serve delicious pizza there, as well as hot dogs, hamburgers, fries, pasta, salads, sandwiches, soup etc. We liked the pizza, fries, and hot dogs the best. There is also dessert and ice cream at this buffet. At each of the buffets there is a station with different types of breads and rolls, and there is olive oil, balsamic vinegar and different flavored sauces you can use to dip the bread in. For dinner we ate twice at Route 66 which serves American food. Steak is good there, as were the ribs. Something nice we noticed at Route 66 were brand-name condiments – Kraft barbecue sauce, A1 steak sauce, Tabasco, and Heinz ketchup and mustard. The Heinz was also available at all the buffets, as was Hellmans mayonnaise and Kraft salad dressings. We also visited the Mexican restaurant twice and enjoyed it, especially the chicken tacos. We went to the Italian restaurant once and – you guessed it – it was quite good. The chicken dish was particularly good, and featured red pepper and asparagus sauces over chicken breast, topped with melted cheese. One night we dined at the buffet which was also pretty good. We did not visit the Dominican restaurant, and the beach restaurant was closed most nights due to weddings and other functions. We did not visit either of the two restaurants that charge an extra fee. Entertainment
As mentioned above the poolside entertainment was usually pretty good, and we went to a few of the shows at night as well. The theatre where these take place is beautiful and the shows themselves were also good. We saw the Chicago show – an abbreviated form of the musical, the Copacabana show, and the magic show. The magic show was very impressive! You can tell the entertainment staff practice a lot and their costumes are very good. Something unique about Ocean Blue is that it includes a bowling alley. Our package included one game which we used and had lots of fun! The game is ten-pin and the system is computerized so you don’t need to know how to score the game. Make sure you bring socks as you need to wear them with your bowling shoes. Our shoes were very clean and appeared to be fairly new. In addition to bowling, this facility also houses table tennis, air hockey and pool tables. The décor was very cool and retro. This is a fun way to spend a night! Internet
Ocean Blue has an Internet café which charges $4 for 15 minutes, $7 for 30 minutes, or $12 for an hour. We found this quite pricy compared to when we visited Puerto Plata, but we still found it to be the most cost-effective means of keeping in touch with our loved ones. Casino
We visited the casino one night and spent $20 on the slot machines, which we lost pretty quickly. However, someone near us won a fairly large prize while we were there. We are not big gamblers so that was our only experience in the casino, but it was fun while it lasted. Shopping
On the resort there are a few shops including a cigar shop, a jewelry shop, one that we did not visit that appeared to sell mostly clothing (here you can get things with the Ocean Blue logo on them), and a gift-shop type store that sells sunscreen, snacks, souvenirs etc. Our Transat rep told us that this is the best place to get vanilla, rum, and coffee since they are authentic and the prices are the best you will find anywhere. Indeed, we checked and the prices were very low for all of these items. However, this trend does not carry over to other items such as snacks, which are quite expensive. The store takes pesos as well as US and Canadian dollars. Just off the resort there are a few stalls selling t-shirts, paintings, cigars etc. We visited these stalls once to buy a painting. The vendors are as pushy as they are anywhere else, but we had no trouble bartering with them. We also found the vendors spoke very good English. One night, some vendors were allowed to set up tables at the resort. We had planned on visiting their tables, but when they were setting up a couple of them spoke to us and were extremely pushy, tying necklaces on us, asking for kisses etc. This was too much for us and they were not selling anything of interest to us so we avoided these vendors for the rest of the evening. ATM
There is an ATM on the resort near where all the reps for the travel companies are found. Our rep told us that it is better to use the ATM than to get money exchanged, as the ATM gives a better exchange rate. Checkout
Checkout was just as smooth as check-in for us. Our flight left early in the morning, so we had to check out around 5am and leave the resort around 7am. Since the buffet does not open until 6:30am, we did not have time to get breakfast before we left the resort. Then upon arrival at the airport there was not much food to buy, so we were quite hungry. If your flight leaves early in the morning, you might want to bring some food back to your room the day before departure to make sure you have something to eat in the morning. When we arrived at the airport there was another long lineup, but everything went very smoothly with security. The airport staff told us that absolutely no liquids are allowed on the plane, so we put all our liquids in our checked baggage. However, we did see people with lip-gloss and other items on the flight so security does not seem to enforce that rule too strictly. Summary Ocean Blue was absolutely perfect. We were hard pressed to come up with any criticisms, and when we did they were fairly insignificant issues. We were not approached by any salesmen, although we did hear of people who were. We would not hesitate to visit this resort again and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a wonderful place to vacation! Top of Page

  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    Andrea and Kevin ~ Brampton, Ontario, Canada

June 2008

Pictures:
http://travel.webshots.com/album/563652660wLyNeQ?vhost=travel

Travel and Arrival:
My boyfriend and I stayed at the Ocean Sands from May 8-15. We had pre-booked our seats so we didn’t have to arrive at the airport within the three hour recommended timeframe but a bit later. We were flying Skyservice out of Toronto, Ontario and it departed on time at 2:30 PM. The flight down was uneventful but excellent and we arrived in Punta Cana at 6:40pm. Customs and Immigrations went smoothly and retrieving our luggage was quick. Once out of the terminal we went to find our Signature Tour Rep to see what bus we were on and then went to get two cold Presidente for the ride to the resort. The transfer to the hotel was about 40 minutes with one stop at another resort. Checkin:
We were greeted with a welcome drink called, "Ocean Blue" when we arrived and then proceeded to the reception check in. Here we were given our room keys, towel cards and a map of the resort. Everything went real quick. A bell boy was located to take out luggage to the room and we walked instead to our room so we could take a look at our new home for the week. Room:
Our room was in building 9 on the second floor overlooking the pool. It was a great room with a king size bed, small living area, large balcony with a table and two chairs, satellite TV, coffee maker, fridge (stocked with pop, water and beer) large bathroom with double sink and a Jacuzzi tub. The maids kept the room very clean and stocked. Tipping always helps. Grounds:
The grounds were kept immaculate. Beach:
Well kept and clean. Breathe taking. Pool:
There are two pools at the resort which are side by side in the middle of the Ocean Blue and Ocean Sands accommodation section. Both pools were always clean and well kept. There was never a problem getting a chair no matter what time you went. Bars:
All the bars had great service and drinks. For the fancier drinks the lobby bar (La Cana) is the best but we really enjoyed the beach bar the most since this is where we spent most of our time and got to know the bartenders well there. They always served us quick and that was even before we tipped them. Restaurants:
We ate at the main buffet every day for breakfast and twice at night and at the beach restaurant for lunch every day. The rest of the times for dinner we did the a la carte restaurants (Mexican, Italian, Dominican and Route 55). We particularly enjoyed the Dominican restaurant (La Casa). Overall we enjoyed all the food. Mike’s Coffee House:
This place deserves its own review. If you love coffee and any type, this is the place to go. Opens at 10:00am. It’s a must on this trip. Shows:
We made it to one show on our last night (Copacabana) and it was excellent. Wish we had seen more. Conclusion: This is a great resort with lots to do and I will definitely be going back. Top of Page

  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    Toni

May 2008

A group of 18 adults stayed at Oceans Sand H10. This is our second time at this resort. We were in Villa 9. Great location. The food was very good. Last year 38 adults stayed at this resort and had a great vacation. It was clean. This year we found that the pool was dirty (very dirty). They allowed the children (DR children, lots of them) to throw plastic cups, utensils, plates and even chicken bones into the pool. Everyday we would be stepping on some type of debris. The bartenders could not speak English even a little, so they just kept saying "Sorry". The sax player only played once in the lobby (last year played at least 4 times). I have personally found that this resort has gone down and is now only should be rated 4 Star.
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  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    Angie ~ USA

April 2008

We had 30 of us on the trip together. There were 15 kids (ages 8-16) and 15 adults. We flew direct flight from Cincinnati on USA 3000. The flight left 15 minutes early and arrived about 20 minutes early. It was a very good flight. When we arrived in the Dominican Republic we were sent straight to the line to buy our tourist cards ($10 per person) The line was very fast moving and there was music playing to enjoy. Once we got to the baggage claim we started pulling our bags off and 2 guys came with carts and started stacking our luggage up. This was a big help but we did have to make sure that they didn’t leave with our bags until all 42 bags were accounted for. They kept wanting to take them to the bus but we were able to hold them off until we got all the bags and golf bags. We followed them straight to our bus and got on and were greeted by an Apple Rep. Our bus was full of people going to Ocean Blue so we didn’t have to make any stops on the way there and it took about 30 minutes.

At the resort we were directed to make sure all our bags were there and then go to the check in. We did not upgrade to the elite but our check in was very very fast. We were greeted with drinks from servers that were very yummy. It was the ocean blue drink. Then we went to the lobby bar. After that we went straight to our rooms and waited about 20 minutes for our luggage to get there. The room was great. Yes it did smell a little musty but in that climate what do you expect. I never did see a bug in our room all week. The only one that I saw the whole week was on our last night on the floor in the casino. I don’t know what the difference is between the rooms for the elite and the junior suite but I thought that ours was just fine. There is a little wear and tear but nothing that you can’t live with. We were very concerned about having the time share guys bug us but I can honestly say they never did. On the first day they invited us to their talk for the next day and we told them we would let them know and we never went. That was all we heard from them. The beach vendors all had the same stuff. We did buy some stuff from them but they were very pushy with the younger girls. The grounds were beautiful!!!! There were always people working on them. While we were there we saw 3 weddings. The last wedding we saw they were taking pictures right outside our balcony and the grounds keepers really groomed the flower and trees right before the pictures but they didn’t really need it. They were trimming the palm trees every day. It was a good walk from the beach to the lobby but if you didn’t want to walk it the tram ran all day long. The kids liked riding it around and at first the driver was getting annoyed at them for riding but we gave him a few dollars tip and he was fine. He never did say anything to them about riding but you could tell he was a little annoyed at first. The food was good. We enjoyed the Mexican the most. The best way for all of us to eat together was to go as soon as they opened at 6:30. We never had a problem eating together and there were always at least 20 of us eating together. THe kids liked the buffet the best. Breakfast was really good. The omlets and the french toast were our favorites. We didn’t eat at either of the resturants that cost extra. We were down at the beach a couple of nights right by the lobster one and the only time we saw anyone eat from there was on one of the wedding nights. We never saw anyone eating on the beach. We really didn’t like the Route 66. For our whole group Mike’s Coffeehouse was hit at least 2 times daily by everyone. It was really good. THe kids had enough frozen coffees to last them a life time. The kids loved the bowling alley. THey only bowled one time but they were there a lot to play pool. That was there time to get out of the sun and their evening activity. While they were at Strike the adults were the lobby bar. We were there every night before and after dinner. It was a great place to hang out. The two pools were huge and clean. We were always in the yellow pool. We each took turns getting up at 6:00 a.m. to get chairs since there were so many of us. We saved about 20 chairs a day and we would just go down and put towles of shoes on them and nobody bothered them. We loved Victor the bartender at the yellow pool poolbar. He was great and would make whatever you like. He was gone on our last two days and it was not the same without him. There were always activites somewhere around the pool. We went on the Bavaro Zipline Adventure . It was awesome. They were very safe and nice. Our guide that rode the bus with us to the Zip line place was named Stevenson. He gave lots of information and helped reassure the little ones that were going on the zip line that it was very safe. Be sure to take lots of $1 bills. We had great service at the whole resort. I don’t know if it is because we tipped so good at the beginning but it that it why it is totally worth it. Bartenders will remember you and the maids took really good care of our room. We left our maid anywhere from $3-$5 a day and she always made sure we had towels and everything. On the first day we left her a note with her tip for 2 more pillows and extra water and when we got back from the pool it was all there. Then on about day 4 our hairdryer stopped working so we left it on the bed with a note saying it was broken and when we got back we had a new one. I would say the 3-5 dollars a day was worth it. On our last day before we left 6 of the ladies decided to get a massage. If we paid for 5 we could get a 6th one free. We had ours done outside cause it was $15 cheaper than if we did it in the spa. Plus it was nice being in the open air and listening to the ocean. With us all spliting the cost of the 6 massages it cost about $63 each. It was a 55 minute deep tissue massage and it was great. All in all this was a fabulous trip and we would all go again in a heartbeat. With our group being so large we were a bit concerned but it was great. I would recommend this resort to anyone.
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  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    Shelley ~ Wasaga Beach, Ontario

March 2008

Four of us (2 adults and 2 teenagers) flew Club Class with Air Transat. Terrific service and lots of elbow/leg room. Also our bags were first off the flight coming and going, so getting through Customs was faster. No lineups at the ticket counters either. Definitely the way to fly!

At the resort we had the Elite Club upgrade. After checking in we were driven right to our villa in a little tram and our bags were carried up to our room. Large room with pool view and since it was an end unit we had two balconies – one with view of pool and the other with view of ocean. We were in Villa 10 on the 2nd floor. Gorgeous. Wonderful maid service. The upgrade came with 24 hour room service (used it twice), half hour massage at the spa (wonderful!!) that my daughter and I used. The other "freebies" included we did not use, so I don’t think I would upgrade to Elite again. Only difference between Junior Suite and Junior Deluxe (Elite) rooms is the size, and since we were only in our room at night, I don’t think I would pay the extra for the Elite again. We had heard bad things about time share guys but we only saw 2 the whole time we were there, and they did not bother us at all. Both of them said "hello, how are you, where are you from", and that was about it. No pressure at all. Same thing with the beach vendors. They are funny and polite, and if you say you are only looking, or you have no money, they smile and leave you alone. Lots of fun bartering. Many of them speak good English. The grounds were beautiful and immaculate. I don’t know how they manage to look after this huge property, but somehow it always looks amazing. It’s a longish walk from the beach to the restaurants, but there is a trolley that runs constantly and all you have to do is wave at the driver and he will pick you up and drop you off wherever you want. It’s fun and efficient. Food was plentiful and varied. There is definitely something for everyone and lots of it! Our Elite package included dinner at one of the "extra" restaurants and we chose the El Bodegon. Disappointing to say the least. It had been highly recommended, but our meat was not edible. Service was terrific though. Mike’s Coffeehouse lived up to its reputation. The Frappacinos were the best, and the cakes and goodies were as good as anything back home. The two pools were clean and large. We used mostly the yellow pool because our room looked out directly over it. The blue pool is quieter if that’s what you prefer, but the yellow pool has the better swim up bar and is right next to the beach. The yellow pool is also very convenient to the beach restaurant where you can eat in your swim suit, and there are also public washrooms nearby. Lots of poolside chairs, but it’s a good idea to stake out your chair with a beach towel by 8:30 or 9:00am. Once you have your towel on the chair, nobody takes it for the rest of the day. Beware of the hot sun by mid day. It’s nice to have an umbrella. Lots of beach activities, but we did not use any. The bungie trampoline looked like fun. Beach was clean and had lots of loungers and sun shades. Always seemed to be a place to sit. There is a disco every night that starts at 11pm. My daughter went twice and had a blast both times. The lobby has a small jazz combo 2 or 3 evenings a week, and it’s a nice spot to sit and relax at the end of the day. Really good bar service also. The staff put on live theatre performances each night in the outdoor theatre starting around 9:30pm. We saw the Lion King, Copacabana, and Chicago. Pretty good entertainment, especially for amateur performers. There is a Casino and a bowling alley, neither of which we used. There is also a gift shop (not much to see or buy there), photo shop, jewellry store and clothing store all in the lobby area. We did two excursions. The Bavaro Runners Safari Adventure was absolutely top notch and we would go again in a minute! Our guide was Eddie and he made the day. Excellent English. Very funny, knowledgeable and entertaining. If you only do one excursion, make sure it’s the jungle trip. We also did the Marinarium trip which inlcuded snorkelling with sharks and stingrays. Also very fun. Take lots of US $1 bills for tipping and small purchases. We took $150 in one dollar bills, $50 in five dollar bills and $100 in twenties. Even after tipping the maid $2 daily and other incidental tips for the bellhop, bartenders, excursion guides, etc., and purchasing souveniers, we still came home with about $50. If you go through Air Transat there is NO DEPARTURE TAX. With Air Transat the $20 departure tax is included in the cost of your trip. In short, this was a wonderful trip and we are already planning to go again next year. I have nothing but good things to say about the Ocean Blue Resort.
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  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    Laurie ~ Kingston, ON

March 2008

Arrival – Flight was late leaving London due to a fuel shortage on the returning flight. The pilot told us they only got enough fuel to go to Nassau and had to stop and refuel. As a result, we didn’t leave London until after 5:30 pm and arrived in Punta Cana around 11:30 pm. Ride to the resort was interesting to say the least, pitch dark and more pot holes than I’ve ever seen! Had to stop for the cows on the road. Arrived at the resort after midnight. Check in was very quick. The clerk advised us that the only place to grab something to eat was at the Sportsbar.

Rooms – We had asked if we could upgrade to the Elite club but nothing was available. Our room was OK, beginning to show signs of wear and tear. The furniture was old and beat up and the bottom drawer in the dresser was broken. The room was very musty smelling but with the humidity there, I wasn’t surprised. Towels always felt damp. We tipped the maid $4 each day (3 women in the room) and she always cleaned it well and left extra towels and water. Restaurants – We tried the Italian, Mexican (twice), Dominican, Caribbean Grill and the Buffet. All food was very good. Only bad thing was the Italian white wine – horrible! The Buffet is huge with salad bar, hot section, dessert. For breakfast, they had an omelet section, french toast section, pancakes and crepes, juice bar. Lunch had hamburgers, cooked meat sliced by the chef (beef, pork, turkey), pasta section. Never left hungry, always went back for seconds! Bars – The beach bar was very difficult to get served. A lot of people at the bar . The bartenders would ask what you want and then forget due to number of other drinks being asked for. Favourite bar was the one in the lobby. Bartenders were friendly and made great Ceasers – they call them Bloody Ceasers – I think they were made with tomato juice, not clamato juice, but they still went down pretty good! One person in our group kept drinking the house drink – Ocean Blue. Had Blue Curacao, Triple Sec, Rum (of course) and lime juice. Beach and Pools – Two pools, we stayed in Villa 5 so went to the Blue pool. As with other reviews, stake out your spot early. Try to get a spot with an umbrella, you will need it later in the day. Grounds – In a word – immaculate. Very clean and tidy. Even the ashtrays are cleaned and have a stamp in the sand of a big O. The lounge chairs are all over the place at the end of the day and during the night, the chair fairies come out and in the morning, they are all lined up again. Beach was clean, a little garbage at the end of the day but cleaned by the next morning. Activities – Didn’t do any of the activities. Did go to the spa fpr a coconut treatment – for $105 US we got the following – 10 minutes in a sauna, 10 minutes in a jacuzzi, coconut exfoliation and a 40 minute massage with coconut extracts. Couple of things to note – they wanted us to go out to the jacuzzi with nothing on – when we went outside, there was a maintenance man out there. Good thing we had our bathing suits on! For the exfoliation and massage, they gave us a thong to put on. Skin felt amazing afterwards and the exfoliation helps to give an even tan. Tours – We went on two tours – Bavaro Runners and Marinarium snorkeling tour. On the Bavaro Runners Safari Adventuretour, we saw a typical school, sugar cane plantation, coffee and chocoate plantation, typical Dominican home, went horseback riding (just around a trail) and swimming at a nice beach. Beware of the ‘bus’ ride. The roads are awful – more potholes than I have ever seen. I sat at the back and my butt was sore for 2 days afterwards. Our guide was Pepo and he was a riot. English wasn’t bad. They certainly keep the beer and vitamin R (rum) flowing. The marinarium snorkeling was amazing. I had never snorkeled before but it wasn’t difficult – only once did I go a little deep and get a mouthful of salt water. The fish you see out in the open are yellow and purple. Nothing like you see around here. In the cage where the nurse sharks and stingrays are, it isn’t that big. Problem was that these are nocturnal and they aren’t real active during the day. There was 1 nurse shark that was swimming around, the others were under the coral resting. We also say a couple of huge stingrays (barbs removed) swimming around. After snorkeling, they took us on the ride down the coast to a shallow area where we could get out and wade around and drink! They also like to give out the drinks on this tour. Each tour was about $85 US. Conclusion – If you go on a Transat tour, make sure you go to the morning meeting after you arrive. Stephanie is the Transat rep and gives you an overview of the different things offer, inlcuding inside tips. Coffee and vanilla is cheapest in the Hotel gift shop. She also recommended the two tours we went on. Stephanie also recommended a shop to buy jewerlly where they arranged for a cab to pick you up and bring you back – free of charge. Bought 2 silver rings, 2 amber necklaces and a larimar pendant for about $150. Stuff on the beach is either fake or very cheap. I would go back to this resort, but would get the upgraded rooms to Elite Club.
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  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    Marion ~ Havre de Grace, MD

February 2008

Rooms – The rooms were nice no complaints except there was a bug in my drawer that kind of freaked me out. Only bug I saw thought. We tipped the maid a dollar or two each day and they really appreciated it.

Restaurants – Be prepared for some long waits. It pays to be ready for dinner at 6:30 Go and put your name in right at 6:30. We ate at the italian restaurant twice. The chicken breast dinner on the menu was very good. All the food was better than I have had at other all inclusives, especially Can Cun. If we were really hungry we would put our names in, hit the buffet for a small apatizer plate to curb our hunger and then get a drink and go back to wait for our reservation. That seemed to work pretty well. If you like coffee go to Mikes Coffee house it is way better than the buffet coffee, also the almond cookies are addictive, really good, and only at Mikes. Bars – Without a doubt go to the swim up bar and ask for the Hoolio(sp?) Special. Hoolio is one of the bar tenders and made the most refreshing frozen drink. I dont think the Absolute vodka is really Absolute, but the Jack Daniel’s is real. Beach and Pools – Go before 8:30 if you want a chair with a pad and to be under cover if you get hot. Also get to the gym early no later than 8:30 or nine if you like to run on the treadmill. There are only 2 and there is a 30 min maximum on the tredmills. I made sure I got off after my half an hour was up and there was always someone wanting on it. Unfortunatly other guests were very inconsiderate and would ignore the rule of a half an hour hog the treadmill and make you wait. So go early and please be considerate of the other gym goers it is not your personal treadmill and should be shared in a considerate manor. Tours – I prefered the snorkel tour we signed up for that was offered at the beach water sport location more than the apple tour desk snorkeling excursion. The apple one was way to many snorkelers in the water. The one we booked from the beach was better. The ride to the reef was kind of anoying we kept getting sprayed with water in the face but once we got there he gave us food to feed the fish and it wasnt crowded. Conclusion – The beach was very beautiful and I would go back in a heartbeat.
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  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    Mark

February 2008

Flight Out
Detroit Metro on USA 3000 with Apple Vacations. Flight was at 6:00 AM, we arrived at Berry Terminal at 3:30 and already there were 75 to 100 people in line. Apple Rep was there and kept everything went smooth and was checked in around 35 minutes. Flight was about 30 minutes late leaving and other than some turbulence everything was fine. Meals will cost $5.00 on the flight.

Punta Cana Airport
Check in was fast and efficient. After leaving terminal and hanging a quick right the Apple Rep is there and directs you to the numbered bus in that will take you too your resort. We waited at least 30 minutes for 2 people we were dropping off at Princess Bavaro. We were the fourth and last stop. 40-minute trip to the resort. Ocean Blue Room Observation
We had requested poolside, second floor and got neither. My travel agent had requested and I had e-mailed them twice with no response. Check in was fast and the room was ready when we arrived # 5126, All Apple clients are in Villa 5 except the Elite rooms are Villa 6. Now I wish I would have upgraded. The elite rooms are nicer by far. I’d compare the rooms to a Quality Inn in Villa 5 and a Marriott in Villa 6. Our room was showing signs of wear and tear but decided not to press the issue and change rooms. My thought was I saw enough of Americans being rude that I’d keep to the room we were given. Our maid did a nice job and I left her cash each day. Ocean Blue Staff
Exceptional service except for the people in Check In/Check Out. Everyone seemed happy and pleasant to help you. Time Share guys were very pushy and I finally went to all costs to avoid them. Be aware that after check in they take you to a table and start hounding you right away. I sat through a 10-minute talk and let them think I was going to the Monday morning Breakfast. We blew them off and never went. They will call your room to remind you. Food
Average and neither of us got sick so all was good. Really liked the La Casa De Mi Abuela, Dominican Restaurant and the I Maracherati,Italian Restaurant. Breakfast was by far the best and Beach Restaurant was very convenient. Again the food was average but you won’t go hungry . Pools and Beach
Very nice beach just like 7 Mile Beach on Grand Cayman and the beach at Gulf Shores Alabama. No complaints at all on the beach. The Yellow pool is the party pool and other some Americans getting drunk and acting like fools one day they were fine. When at the pools we staked out a spot at the Blue Pool, Plenty of umbrellas but you way want to take a long nail to keep the umbrella up. Plenty of chairs at both the beach and pool all week. Day Trip
Did the full day on Bavaro Runners Safari Adventure. Had a great time with a super host and the folks along on the trip were great. If you are at all going on a day trip, please take school supplies to drop off. They love anything you can spare. When we got there the kids were sharing pencils. I took two bags of supplies for them to distribute. Return flight My only note of caution is to pay attention to both messages being announced and the boards. It is very loud in the airport and sometimes they don’t post all information so you need to ask at the gate. Top of Page

  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    Renée and Phil ~ Sudbury, Ontario

January 2008

Arrival – Just returned from a one week stay at this resort on Saturday, Jan 26. On departure, our flight was delayed from Pearson Airport by 4 hours. Skyservice plane seating was very very cramped but the booze was free, we watched the bourne ultimatum. The "meal" was a turkey sandwich. We arrived in Punta Cana at 1:15am. Lovely air conditioned bus. On the drive to the resort you will see that this is a third world country, there is a lot of garbage lining the streets. A real eye opener, to make you appreciate the luxury of the resort and back home too. Arrived at Resort at 3am. Check in was fine.

Rooms – We stayed in villa 2, on the ground floor. Room was nice, two beds (comfy), couch, had a hard time locating the fridge (inside cupboards lol)! Bathroom shower stall had a half a glass door so water went everywhere. Marble bathroom, was quite lovely. Had a jacuzzi tub (took an hour and a half to fill!) and a balcony overlooking the grounds. Bring a travel alarm clock because the wake up calls didn’t seem to come through. Be sure to keep your money, jewellery, and things of value in the safe – one lady in our group got a necklace stolen from her room. We tipped a dollar per day plus a little gift for the housekeeper. Leave tips/gifts on the pillow for the maid to take it, they won’t take gifts that are placed anywhere else. Restaurants – The buffet "La Torenga" was awesome – HUGE – lots of selection and very good food. A vegetarian in our group was very pleased as well. They have a "diet" section too. Table service was great. We were with a group of 26 and it was never too much trouble to put the tables together for us. We ate at the Italian a la carte restaurant and had chicken – there were only about ten things to choose from on the menu. The chicken was awesome. Appetizer bar was great. House wine is included (popular with our group), but you pay for wine from the wine list. Bars – Lots of bars to choose from! My favourite was the swim up bar. Try the Sammy Sosa or Miami Vice – mmmm. Sports bar is open til 6am. We tipped about 3 dollars per night and the service was really good. At one fo the bars, we got there and the bartender was "back in 15 minutes" – guests were behind the bar making their own drinks – you wouldn’t see that in Canada! Beach and Pools – There are two pools – yellow and blue – because the resort wasn’t too full, the blue pool was the only one open. The pool was very nice. The beach was awesome. Easy to find a shady place to sit. Coming down the beach on the left side, there was about 30 vendors’ huts. So shopping is close. The vendors won’t bother you when you’re relaxing on the beach. Grounds – Beautiful, well kept, always staff working at sweeping/scrubbing/cutting vegetation/etc.. Beautiful flamingos. Some of the walkways are uneven, one of the guests in our group stumbled and broke her arm. Watch your step at all times! The concrete is slippery after the rain. Activities – Animation staff was excellent! Aerobics, dancing, activities in the pool, drinking competitions, every day. There’s a nice broadway show type theatre, we saw "Chicago" and "CopaCobana". Lots of fun. The animation staff did a great job and keeping the guests pumped up and having fun. Especially at the disco. What a great job. Tours – Took the " Outback Jungle Safari " tour with "Monchy" as our guide – he was graet – very funny and knowledgeable. If you book with them, ask for Monchy, he won’t let you down! We saw a typical Dominican Republic house, a school (where we were able to drop off gifts/school supplies-bring balloons!!), we learned about cocoa, sugarcane, coffee, etc. Was very interesting. On the way there, we saw where they dry out the coffee beans, with the men standing on the beans spreading them out – kind of funny to think they’re standing on your coffee!
Went boogie boarding on a secluded beach where the Carribean meets the Atlantic – the colours of the water were spectacular. We went on the Santo Domingo tour – the Capital of the Dominican Republic – was a four and a half hour drive from the resort. We stopped in La Romana on the way for "toilets" at a gift shop – by toilets I mean holes in the ground. The tour guide was awful, we couldn’t seem to understand any of the languages she was trying to speak (English, Spanish and French – we are fluent in English and French). The history and culture of the city was interesting – be prepared to walk though! Eat before you go because there is no breakfast and lunch is at 2pm. Would I recommend this tour? For a history buff, yes. For a 20-something party animal, no. Conclusion – In conclusion, I recommend this resort to anybody, real friendly staff, always with an "hola" for you. I would go back in a heartbeat!!
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  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    S

January 2008

Spent Dec 17 to 24 07, here with my friend and her 30 year old daughter. Great experience! Resort is well laid out — although it is a long way from the beach to the buffet restaurant, the layout of the villas means you can walk in shade almost all the way. And lunch in the beach restaurant had good variety and quantity. Staff exceptionally friendly. Also lots of staff in buffet and other restaurants.

Good food in the main buffet. A la cartes were mixed (Dominican, American, Mexican) but Caribbean was best. Really appreciated the “no reservations needed” policy and had no trouble getting a table when we wanted to eat. A few bugs. We were in the Ocean Sand side, facing the bush. A pair of roosters provided special wake-up calls most mornings around 8 a.m. At least one review suggested that the “morning briefing” was to try to sell time-shares. This was not our experience with Signature Tours – our rep gave a number of tips and described several excursions. However, timeshare reps lurked near the buffet and, as another writer reported, seemed quite aggressive. Unlike most other resorts I have visted, internet access here meant taking the time when you paid for it, i.e., if you pay for an hour, you have to use it right away, not 15 min today, 10 min tomorrow, etc. Suggestions: –if you want to read in your room, bring a light bulb. –like all resorts, bring an insulated cup or bottle for your drinks – saves on disposables, gives you a bigger drink (fewer trips to the bar), and stays cold and sand-free! –the almond cookies are amazing. If you have a craving for them, try Mike’s – often had them when the buffet did not. However, these cookies were best when fresh – the humidity made them soggy instead of crisp. Top of Page

  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    csaag

January 2008

ARRIVAL
Arrived at Punta Cana 12/28/07 for a weeks stay. The locals are quite eager to grab you luggage and lead you thru the airport. One of them took out luggage and walked us literally just 50 feet to the Apple rep, who was around the corner. They pointed us to the Apple Bus and at least he took out luggage to the bus also. The Apple bus stopped at 4 hotels, with the Ocean Blue being the last stop. Took about 40 minutes. If you’ve never been to a 3rd world country before, the bus ride thru ‘town’ is an eye opening experience.

Check in at the Ocean Blue was very quick, due to a very early arrival, and being in the Elite Club – which has it’s own private check in. The put us on a cart & drove us to our room ROOMS
Due to being a family of 5 with older kids, we needed 2 rooms. We were in Villa 10 (all Elite club rooms) which is closest to the beach. The Villas are on opposite sides of the 2 pools. Villa 6 is closest to the beach on the other side of the pools. One of our rooms was 2nd closest to the beach end – which made for a 30 second walk to the beach. Our room was at the back end of the Villa. Rooms on the front end have their patio facing the pool area. Rooms on the back end have their patios facing the back of the resort, in our case a 6 foot high chain link fence wrapped in barbed wire. Our Elite Club room had 2 Queen size beds, a larger TV than in the non-Elite Club rooms. It came with 2 bathrobes, beach towels. It had a safety deposit box, a large bathroom with a jacuzzi tub & shower. Double sink, Phone & hair dryer in the bathroom also. Had a stocked mini fridge and liquor. Room was clean, no problems with bugs or leaks. Maids did a great job keeping it clean. Had a fruit dish each day also. The safety deposit boxes make a distictive tone for each key pressed, so you may want to make sure no one is listening when you open/close it. Note that as soon as you walk in, you see a card key in a small box on the wall. If the power goes out pulling & reinserting this card is how you reset the breakers. Happened once on our trip. RESTAURANTS
Overall I rated the food as average with some disappointments. Worst was New Years Eve dinner where it really looked like they recycled the Salmon. Buffets were decent. Main buffet restaurants served breakfast, lunch & dinner. Beach buffet had lunch – plus you could walk in wearing just a bathing suit. Buffets had standard menu. Plenty of fresh fruits & breads. Breakfast had eggs, pancakes, bacon etc. Some of the a la cart restaraunts require long pants for the men (not the kids) Liked the Italian one the best. Dominican had good soups, OK for the main course. Didn’t care for the Route 66 place at all. The Elite Club comes with 1 free dinner/person at one of the 2 pay restaraunts. We chose the steak place & it was the best food of the trip – excellent. Mike’s Cafe is praised in every review I’ve ever read- and rightly so. Elite Club comes with conceirge service. They made mistakes in our dinner reservations every time. We were always able to get it straightend out. BARS
They have a ‘sports’ bar, which is really just a regular bar with several TV’s, a pool table (the only level one) and a few sports items. They served food late at night. Watched the season finale of the Pats vs Giants there in a packed house. There is smoking in this place so be ready for that if you go in. Each pool has a swim up bar. The main lobby has a bar which was a very nice tiem at night. They have 1 or 2 people playing live music. There’s a bar on the beach and another one adjoining the beach buffet. Most of the beer is el Presidente on tap. They ran out of bottled beer rather quickly. BEACH/POOL
2 huge pools. The Blue one is closer to the beach. There’s a jacuzzi pool inbetween the 2 large ones, but it wasn’t that much warmer than the regular pools (which are unheated). The pools have a large wade in area (like walking into the ocean) a pool volleyball area and a swim up bar. Pool needs a few more chairs in busy season as they all get claimed by 8am. Pools are covered by 1 inch tile squares. There are several spot swhere tiles are missing, but not a big deal. Pool was kept clean very well. Beach has fine sand and that gorgeous blue-green water. The swimming area is roped off. The swimming area extends out to about where the water is 6ft deep or so. Beach is very long. The water activites use the area just outside the ropes. It gets a little rocky by the water activities station; this is also where you exchange beach towels. But exchange them early; in busy season they’re out of fresh towels by mid-afternoon. There was also a trampoline/bungy jumping station ($7) They could use a few more trash cans on the beach and have the existing ones emptied more often. A lot of people simply left their trash by their beach loung chairs rather than walk to a trash can. The beach loung chairs are also snapped up by 8am in busy season. So get up early & drop off a towel/book on whatever chairs you want. Between the beach & pool is an area set off by palm trees & bushes, covered by sand, where the kids can play beach soccer/football. GROUNDS
The non beach grounds were kept extremely clean. The resort is very new looking. Along the main walkway they pipe in Caribbean music thru speakers that look like rocks. Most of the restaraunt adjoin one another in the main lobby square which also contains the theatre, the casino, the small disco club, & the Strike bowling complex. ACTIVITIES
The Strike Bowling complex is a 6 lane bowling alley with sometimes malfunctioning automatic scoring. You can set up bumpers in the alley for the little ones. It also has 2 air hockey tables, but the puck is in sad shape & the airflow is poor. It has 1 pingpong table with very poor conditioned paddles. The upstarirs has 4 unlevel pool tables. They really need to address the equipment in here. The kids enjoyed themselves anyway. They have plenty of water activities that you can sign up for at the station at the end of the resorts beach. Kayaks (free), catamarans, banana boats, parasailing, windsurfing. You can sign up for excursions there also. They have a ‘Kids Club’ where you drop your kids off and 1 or 2 memebers of the staff keep them engaged all day long at various venues & activities. When we were there we ran across them several times, although we never dropped of our kids there. They had about 20 kids, ranging in ages from 7 to 13 or so. While they 1 or 2 staff members looked to be doing their best to keep the kids engaged, it certainly looked like any kid could wander off whenever they wanted too. If you use it, make sure your child can handle gettign seperate from the group and knows where to catch up with you. Didn’t try the Casino. Looked in once at the Disco club. Not that big & was rather empty. Mike’s cafe is fabulous. The main lobby bar was a great time too. Great place to meet new people & talk over drinks. The Theatre had what I would call cheesy dance shows. They had some good crowds in there when we poked our heads in. TOURS
Did one snorkling tour only. There’s plenty of excursions if you want to sign up. There’s also 2 dozen or so tents just outdie the resort on the beach that are run by local merchants if you want to shop & haggle. You will also, especially if you’re in the Elite Club, get hounded by the resorts vacation club representatives (aka timeshares). They pretended to be Apple reps to get our attention. TO be honest, while we ended up spending an hour listening to the ‘pitch’ ; they didn’t pressure us when I got up to leave and even ended up giving us a $100 voucher towards an excursion. They shouldn’t push so hard to set up meetings and be waaaay more upfront about it. CONCLUSION Overall we had a 3.5 out of 5 star time. Weather was very good. Mainly minor annoyances that you hope you don’t get in a suppossed 5 start resort, but nothing that ruined the vacation. Top of Page

  Ocean Sand/Ocean Blue Golf & Beach Resort    Sandra ~ Ontario, Canada

January 2008

Just got back from Ocean Sand Beach Resort (Punta Cana) Jan 3rd, 2008

I read the reviews and just want to put in my 2 cents worth. We went with a group of 10 adults and 1 teenager. We just loved the resort. Food was fantastic, the beach awesome and resort very clean. The only negative is we all found the entertainment in the Showtime building very weak, We were not impressed at all. The time share guys you can just say no and keep walking. No biggie. I would recommend this resort to anyone. Everything was wonderful and we had a great time. The resort has very hard working staff and they were exceptional !!!
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