Summary

Unfortunately, our holidays are over, we visted two new countries, namely: Jamaica and Dominican Republic and we stayed in Miami again.

The moment we disembarked in Montego Bay and left the airport we fell in love with poor and neglected Jamaica. What enchanted us was the ocean, the beach, the food, coffee, reagge and Jamaican easy-going way of life. 


We really adored the small hotels of Negril, each with its own style, well-maintained garden, incredible plants and access to a beautiful beach and warm, crystal clear ocean.
We practiced paddle boarding a lot, spotted some really huge fish swimming below us. We reacharged our batteries, found peace and quiet and inhaled a lot of weed smoke which was omnipresent. 
Leaving Jamaica made us feel sad as Jamaica is a perfect place for people like us, people who don’t like the crowds and everything what is artificially created for the tourism industry. What is more, „positively different” tourists travel to Jamaica and it was a pleasure to meet and chat with them. 
Of course Jamaica is not perfect. It is normal that you will get bored with saying no to all weed vendors every day. You will be pissed off while talking to guys who want to sell you another catamaran cruise, snorkelling trip or a parasailing ride.
Sooner or later you will realize that Jamaicans are lazy and they don’t care about their beautiful nature. Their greed will put you off many times but their smile and greeting with „respect sign” will let you forgive them and yes, you would die to go there again.
The Dominican Republic … hmm, not bad after all, but we think that one visit to Hispañola is enough. We have no plans to come back there but who knows, maybe one day we will go to other parts of the Dominican Republic like Samana. 


We had read so many positive comments about the Dominican Republic before our holidays there but unfortunately, they were exaggerated. We did not find the mouth-watering food, pristine beaches and the amazing ocean. We made a mistake staying in an all-inclusive hotel full of naive idiots. 
Yes, the island is green, tropical and georgeous, the weather is always guaranteed but the beach and the ocean did not convince us. I know that we saw only two parts of the country: the north east and the south but the water was opaque and there were a lot of seaweeds. Moreover, in June the ocean was too rough for paddle boarding and although it was not high season there were too many tourists. 
The hotel food was always cold and tastless, the way the food was presented was messy and unpleasant to the eye but the Dominican coffee was perfect.

It is incredible but the hotel staff in the Dominican Republic was lazier than in Jamaica, the beach and pools were cleaned while the people were relaxing, the waiters and waitresses did not feel like serving the guests, the cooks were hiding and the only people who worked were the vendors. 
Finally, a stay in a Spanish speaking Miami. We feel like at home there and we love to come back there. This time we stayed in Miami Beach instead of Downtown which was a perfect decision. We lived in a Historic Art Deco District in a lovely hotel called Franklin Hotel. 


The hotel service was perfect, the young girl who checked us in was more than helpful. We were allowed to use our room earlier than the standard check in time, the girl from reception helped us with the safe in our room, offered a parking place, the beach towels and the beach umbrella and was willing to assist and help us in everything we needed. 
Miami is a city which is always busy and noisy though the mornings are much quieter than the afternoons or evenings. There are lots of people and cars and one can feel that the city never sleeps. 


Miami Beach is perfect for walking, relaxing, dining, shopping and nightlife. Everyone will find something for themselves there. 
The beach and the ocean in Miami are really nice. The beach park is great for strolling, public transport is awesome, easy to use and tourists friendly. It is a must-see place. 

Miami Beach area

Miami Beach, lots of people, great weather and warm ocean.

Beach park with the long sidewalk adjucent to the beach. 

Empty Miami Beach on Monday morning. Pusta plaża w poniedziałek rano. 

Punta Cana airport

A surprising fact is that Punta Cana International Airport does not belong to the state but is a private port. Actually, it was the first private international airport in the world. 


It is a big, clean and tourists friendly port. The place offers free access to the Internet.

Punta Cana to pierwszy, międzynarodowy, prywatny port lotniczy na świecie. 

Lotnisko jest duże, czyste i przyjazne dla turystów. Kontrola paszportowa jest krótka i bezproblemowa. 

The people

Unfortunatelly, I don’t have a positive opinion about Jamaicans as well as the people of the Dominican Republic. Of course when it comes to openness and friendliness Jamaicans are at the top but the overall opinion about these two nations is negative.

First of all, the hotel staff in both countries is extremally lazy. They keep hiding in the corners and they aren’t willing to help. They have the jobs but they don’t appreciate that having a job is a privillage. 

The worst are maids in the Dominican Republic. I have never seen them tidying, sweeping or cleaning something but I have seen them strolling and talking. 


The restaurant staff is better than the maids but still you wiat ages for the service. 

The reception personnel is helpless. Whatever you ask them for, the anawer is „no, it is not possible”. 

The last group of people are the GREEDY and MORALLY SPOILT guides. Every beginning of the trip is connected with begging for tips. You enter the bus, sit down and you hear about tipping. The tipping requests are repeated several times. That is outrageous. 

Below our greedy guide Nacho. I could not stand his strange sense of humor.

The trips

I suppose that the sun here in the Dominican Republic does some substancial damage to the tourists’ brains or the all inclusive hotels are simply full of idiots. 

Why do I think so?

I observe the resort guests, watch what they buy, where they go, what they do and I am horrified. 

First of all, tourists buy whatever there is to be bought. A photo with a monkey – „for you AMINGO is just 10$”. So bring your smartphone, drag your kid, pay 10 bucks and take a photo with a monkey sitting on the arm of your child. 

What about some „cool” Chinese jewellery? Well, the beach vendors will find you and will offer you lots of shitty bracelets and necklaces.

Still not fully satisfied? Want to experience Dominican life? Then go to artificially created parks with gift shops and food courts. Private parks are top places and they will rip you of your hard-earned cash.

Below are leaflets of the most popular tourists attractions near Punta Cana resorts: a zip line park, a dolphin prison and a fake Dominican ranch and house called La Hacienda.


Feel like visiting one of these places? If yes, be prepared to pay at least 100$ per person plus some tips for the greedy guides and drivers.

I know I am a boring person and I can’t have fun so let’s turn a blind eye and say that the adventure parks are OK but I will never understand people who visit places with captured dolphins and make their lives much more miserable.

Here, the people responsible for the marketing of dolphins prisons did something what would never come to my head. They divided dolphins according to their size.

 Want a royal dolphin experience with the mammals measuring 120 cm? No problem, pay 200 bucks and the prison staff will let you and other 9 guys hug and kiss two dolphins for 50 minutes. What an adventure! Kissing and hugging is so natural for dolphins.

 Are you short of cash? Don’t panic! There is a solution. You can join a group of 11 people and one poor dolphin of 90 cm will accompany you for 30 minutes. Gross!

That’s 21st century tourism. 

Melia Hotel -average, so look for a better place

I will make it short.

The pros:

1. wide beach with free deckchairs

2. easy access to the bars and restrooms from the beach

3. beach vendors aren’t very pushy

4. the hotel is rather clean
 and safe

5. the hotel has got beautifullly maintained gardens 

6. the place is huge so one can stroll a lot but if you don’t like walking there are free little trains and golf carts which transport the tourists.



FOOD

1. Delicious coffee

2. Tasty fruits, especially mango

3. Acceptable alcohol quality


The drawbacks:

BEACH

1. The beach is full of seeweeds every morning and the staff starts cleaning the beach very late.

2. The people who expect some service at the beach should forget about it. There is JUST self-service.

FOOD

1.It is worse than in poor Cuba. The choice of food is limited. They serve the same food every day. The food is always cold.

2. The a la carte restaurants just improvise. Their Pad Thai has no eggs, no nuts, no spices, no taste.


THE SERVICE

1. Our room is not cleaned at all. Nobody empties the bins, nobody provides us with toiletries and drinks.
 When we left 2$ for the maid, the money was taken and we just got clean towels.

 
2. In the so called Intenational Market Bar you wait ages for coffee or tea and you have to beg for a refill.

3. Want an omlette or pasta prepared by the cook? First you have to play hide and seek as the cooks hide themselves instead of serving the guests.

 
4. Forget that the food would look apetizing. I suppose a 5-year-old child makes a better omlette than a chef in Melia.

THE HOTEL

1. It is not dirty but it is hard to see somebody cleaning something.

2. Many things are outdated, old, worn out. I mean the furniture has seen better days.

How can they show something like this? We walk next to it every day. It is in the hall of our building.


All in all, I don’t recommend Melia Hotel and I really don’t understand the people who rate the it well.

Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo is a city which bears a close resemblance to San Juan, Puerto Rico and Panama Vieja, Panama.


The buildings in old part of Santo Domingo are in the colonial style, they aren’t high, they usually comprise of groundfloor and the first floor. The streets are narrow, there are lovely squares, many small cafes and shops selling handcrafted gifts.

Rainy but charming.


I am really glad that I visited Santo Domingo – the first town of the New World, the place where Christopher Columbus arrived more than 500 years ago.

I visited the house of Diego Columbus – Christopher Columbus’ son.


I also saw the first court in the New World as well as the first cathedral. 


I dined in a restaurant in Santo Domingo’s old town. I am not sure if the food was typical of Dominicana but it was OK.


What do I think about Santo Domingo trip? 

The trip was worth the money. I paid 85$ for a trip which took almost 12 hours and had a guide who planned my day. The trip included lunch and mineral water, the bus was comfortable and everything was well organized.