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  1. #1
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    Default Why would anyone want to go to Punta Cana?

    This piece is based purely on my own observations and is only an opinion based on them.

    My company has asked me to go down to Punta Cana to cover the absence of a couple of my colleagues who are away on courses. I am an aircraft engineer and our company provides maintenance support for all of the European airlines into the DR.

    I’ve lived and worked at POP for the last thirteen years and I find it so sad to see the decline of the European tourism market on the North Coast. I only have to go back two years ago, when we had six flights a week from Germany alone. By Oct this year we will be down to only one flight a week. The Brits, French, Dutch, Scandinavian, Spanish, have all gone from POP. But the flights continue in PUJ.

    But why PUJ? I’ve been working here for a week now, and I can honestly say I hate it here. The locals are horrible! They are so miserable and grumpy. Go to a supermarket. You won’t be greeted with a ‘How are you, do you need any help?” You certainly won’t get a smile, even if you smile at them first. Everyone here acts like robots. They keep their head down, do their work and that’s it.

    I see the army of airport workers. No one is smiling, laughing or making a joke. I’m used to hearing the aircraft cleaners singing in the cabin as they do their job. They tell stories and mess around like the way many Dominican do in a group, but they get the job done efficiently. Not at PUJ. Everyone has a straight face. They are covered with sweat because an airport ramp is an extremely hot place to work. You won’t hear them complaining. You will hear the supervisor barking at them to work faster, and then the supervisor’s radio will blare out from their supervisor, telling them to get the job done quicker. If any of them are caught snacking on any leftover food left behind by a passenger, they will be swiftly reprimanded. These cleaners are predominately women in their thirties. They work six days a week and a typical shift is 12 to 14 hours a day. They earn around 10,000 pesos a month. Most of them come from Higuey, so a large chunk of their time and income is consumed with their daily commute.

    A dispatcher is someone who probably has a university degree. They will work out the load distribution of the passengers and cargo and tell the pilot where his center of gravity is. Quite an important job. He might make 15,000 pesos a month and probably covers five or six flights a day.

    Today I needed to park my car at the airport. I was told by a security staff that I needed a sticker to be able to enter the staff car park. I found out that to get one of these stickers, it will cost 4000 pesos a month. The airport owners don’t want their workers to come by car.

    And that is the main point of Punta Cana. Most of it is owned by Grupo Punta Cana. A conglomerate of extremely wealthy and powerful people. Their security staff in the khaki uniforms actually appear to have more authority than the local police. And everyone is terrified by anyone of the rank above them. A genuine fear culture.

    No wonder everyone is grumpy!

    As a customer, you get to your resort. The beaches are full of brown smelly seaweed. It’s just mile upon mile of unshaded beach, with resort after resort full of tourists filling their faces with all-inclusive food and drinks. Walk outside of your resort and you will see groups of Haitians on every street corner, just hanging around, doing apparently nothing. Give it long enough as a single white male walking along the street and a motoconcho will approach you asking you if you want drugs or a prostitute.

    You want to change money on street or even at the airport. You might be lucky if you get 30 pesos to the dollar! Taxis are stupid prices. Restaurants are expensive. The whole area is designed to extract every dime out of every unsuspecting tourist.

    You know what? I don’t get it. Give me Puerto Plata any time! The people are happier and more genuine and the beaches have trees and no seaweed!

    I would happily start a campaign to smear Punta Cana in favour of Puerto Plata

  2. Dislikes 1greasy, mido disliked this post
  3. #2
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    Looks like you just did.
    30 pesos on the dollar. That's when you lost credibility

  4. Likes DRDreamer72 liked this post
  5. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by chico bill View Post
    Looks like you just did.
    30 pesos on the dollar. That's when you lost credibility
    Not really. Ask near any airport about changing money. You'll get some phony price like that.
    Come on home beeza. We are waiting for you at home in POP!
    Derfish

  6. #4
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    I went there once and never understood the attraction.

  7. Likes Fulano2, beachcomber liked this post
  8. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowqueen View Post
    I went there once and never understood the attraction.
    Well, it looks more exotic than Omaha or Winnipeg...

    Folks that live in other areas of the DR understand the difference.
    Cabin Attendant,
    Augusto Pinochet Helicopter Tours

  9. Likes TheViking liked this post
  10. #6
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    It's more modern, safer, and has nicer beaches.

  11. #7
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    Looks like FLA - to me... a poor cousin
    weak imitation...just me sayin'

    I disliked it

  12. Likes chico bill liked this post
  13. #8
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    I love PC. All you have to do is live anywhere else in the DR and you will understand.

    The Sargassum, well, not so much.
    Last edited by ljmesg; 08-14-2019 at 08:28 PM.

  14. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by healimonster View Post
    It's more modern, safer, and has nicer beaches.
    whiter sand, nicer beaches than where? Playa Fronton or Moron are far superior.

  15. Likes Auryn liked this post
  16. #10
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    It’s the scale of a Punta Cana that bothers me. Massive condo developments combined with copycat resorts. No DR cultural variety compared the variety you find from Costambar to POP to Cabarete. No social scenes like the POP Malecon on the weekend.

  17. Likes Riva_31, dot, TheViking liked this post
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