Your Arrival: Arriving in PC: Extremely painless (although 3+ hours later than originally planned), I think we were having our first Presidente about 35 minutes after landing. Line up was basically non-existent for paying our $10 US each tourist card. We were the second last group to board the bus (2 of us) so we were immediately on our way. Had a few stops at various hotels before arriving “home”.
Check in: Arrived around 3:30pm. We had booked ocean view, upper level, however upon arrival they assigned a main floor room, no ocean view at all. I requested again an upper level with OV but he said it would cost us another $55 US per night. I pointed out that this had been paid for ahead of time. No problem, Karen the manager came out and said we could use the original room until one was ready for us. Dumped off our cases and headed to the beach for a quick snack and some libations, went to the room, changed and headed for dinner.
Room: Around 7:30 we were heading to our new room top floor, building 5. After unpacking we were pretty tired so we had a drink on the balcony, a can of Presidente, (thank you for getting rid of the Soberanna) The room itself was perfect, only saw one creepy crawly on the shower curtain and a gigantic moth in the closet (did I ever mention I am terrified of moths?). No biggie, hubby got rid of them in short order. AC worked great, beds comfortable, constant hot water. Only once did the shower head fall off and hubby fixed it (seems it only has 1.1/2 turns so if the maid moves it, then you do to get in the shower, its loose, so make sure it is securely fastened. We had a wonderful turn down maid and she looked after us like royalty. Day maid was so so. Gifts, $$$’s etc., never seemed to make a difference. In our 2 weeks stay, the place was dusted once or twice, I could actually draw pictures on the dust on the TV and stand (which I did).
Restaurants and Bars: Food and Beverages: All was OK but I still find everything way too salty in the food department (hubby likes his salt and some dishes were too salty even for him). We spoke to Raul (the food and beverage Manager) and told him that salt is a preferred taste, as in, add to taste) and a lot of people are not allowed that much salt in their diet, hopefully they will address this problem as the manager himself said he didn’t like salty food either. The Christmas Eve buffet was well organized and food was lovely as was service and company. If you like your Caesars they don’t have the mix but you can now buy it in the little store for $2 US, we purchased a few and brought to the bar for our late morning libation. The only thing I wasn’t really impressed with (but worked around) was down by Mare Nostrum, in the covered areas where there are cloth seats they have now allowed people to sit there with sodden bathing suits to eat. This is the first year since building the extension that food or wet clothing has been allowed in these areas which is not good if you are dry or dressed for the evening. Funny thing is, the staff are right there to remove all the chair covers the minute there is a sprinkle of rain.
Always looked after promptly at any bar with great, friendly service.
Beach/Pools/Grounds: I think in the first week we managed to find a place to sit around the pool once as we don’t reserve seats until we are ready to park it, however, we never had a problem the second week there as it was pretty quiet, even after lunch. Things picked up a little our last few days so that is good.
Beach, as always is beautiful as are the grounds.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Animation was pretty good, they are a great bunch of kids and kudos to Michelle for sitting with us to take us through playing bingo (we have never played that game believe it or not) and hubby won a t-shirt (which fits me, ha, ha). We aren’t into all the sports activites so hubby was asked once to play water polo and he said "no thanks, I’m on vacation, you play for me", after that they came by and said "I know, you’re on vacation and I have to play for you" and left us alone. Night time entertainment at the PCP is in the lobby and is basically tourist participation, which can be quite funny. The major shows are over at the sister resort.
Other Comments: Departure from Toronto: We were booked on Sunwing departing at 6:10am via Jamaica. Because of customs they wouldn’t let us off the plane while they cleaned, refueled etc. We sat (or rather partied) on the plane and had a barrel of laughs with the Jamaican cleaning crew. Really wasn’t too big of a deal as they left the AC on and we were allowed to use the washrooms. About 2 hours later, after boarding everyone in Montego Bay as they were heading back to TO via Punta Cana, we were on our way. (PC let the boarders from Montego Bay off for a while, so customs obviously wasn’t an issue there). Weather: Was fabulous. Had 12 beautiful days (with a few sprinkles) out of 14. Dec 23 was heavy cloud coverage and started raining around 4:45pm and didn’t stop for hours. Dec 24 was wet, wet, wet. We went for breakfast and at around 11:00am and realized we were socked in so headed to the Lobby bar, we just made it before the Heavens opened and for the first time we experienced a horrendous thunder storm in PC. We literally stayed there until 3:30ish before the rain decided to ease off a little (it was only pouring now). Word of warning, if you get a main floor room, make sure the grass doesn’t slope towards your room as many were flooded (where we were originally placed). I don’t know if you know the layout of the suites in the PCP but you walk in the door and have the bathroom, sleeping area etc., go down 2 steps to the sitting area where the TV, coffee table etc., is. Well, the water came through their patio doors and was above the steps into the sleeping area. The guests in these rooms had to be moved for the next few days. This amount of rain at one time was unusual tho’ so probably not an issue most of the time. Departure: Had a 6:00am wake up call (the alarm kept going to flash mode so unreliable). We had a 7:25am check out, bus coming an hour later. Got to reception at 7:55 and the bus was actually a couple of minutes early. Off we went. Only one more pick up at the Bavaro Princess then we would be on our way. NOT. Something must have been going on because we sat on the bus outside this resort for nearly an hour, driver, rep disappeared, people were arguing outside (a girl with a couple of kids). When the rep got on the bus without whomever and there was no explanation to any of us about the delay but the girl did not board our bus. I saw her in the play area in the PC airport and they were on our flight. Still no idea what happened.
Arrival in Toronto: Oh boy. We arrived basically on schedule (or even early), got through customs no problem, waited for over an hour for the first bag to come down the carousel, so about 1.1/2 hours after clearing customs we were heading on our way out only to be met by security to see if we were cancelled or delayed, huh, we just arrived. We really didn’t realize the impact of the Detroit threat until that moment. Once we understood what they were trying to say we were on our way home.