It’s has again been another successful summer vacation to the Dominican Republic.
It started out with an uneventful flight from CVG to PUJ. Both couples (Wykle’s and Nolting’s) have traveled multiple times to the same resort complex (Grand Palladium) in Punta Cana and knew the routine by heart. The shuttle from the airport to the resort was about 30 to 45 minutes which included a few other drop offs before arriving at our destination. At check-in we were processed by a very nice gentleman named Jose. He was quick and efficient and we both received “upgrades” to better rooms.
Both couples separated and proceeded to unpack and planned to meet prior to dinner. Once reconvening it was apparent that the upgrades were not the same. We had both booked to stay in the Palace. Shelley and I received a loft suite in the Palace, but the Nolting’s were moved to the Royal Suites. The Royal Suites the “all adult” section on the Palladium resort. It has more amenities and has a dedicated pool that only allows people 18 and older. After this revelation, Shelley and I proceeded back to the front desk to now have a nice discussion about our ability to move with our friends to the Suites.
After 45 minutes of friendly (yet persistent) discussions and pointing out several times that we are repeat customers (3 times) to the Palladium resort, Jose agreed to meet us in the middle. Due to considerable price difference (and our unwillingness to pay said difference) between the Palace and the Suites, he was unable to give us a “complementary upgrade”. He was able to relocate our room to an ocean view in the Palace. In addition to the room move, we finagled the coveted “gold” bracelet that allowed us unfettered access to all the Royal Suites benefits. We were able to eat in the Royal Gourmet restaurant and hang at the Suites “adults only” pool. This was a nice compromise (upgrade) and did make the entire vacation even more enjoyable. Thanks Jose! Here are a picture from both our room and pool side.
The first week seemed to move at a nice pace; relaxed and casual. Andy and I had the opportunity to impress the Europeans with our awesome football passing skills while the girls logged many hours of sun worship, reading, and swimming. Each afternoon (~4PM) the pool would typically liven up as people migrated from the beach and landed at the pool for pre-dinner drinks. We befriended a number of people from Germany, UK, Canada, and US.
The full album is located here.