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Thread: First timer - July 5 - Merian Coral, Costa Dorada

  1. #1
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    Default First timer - July 5 - Merian Coral, Costa Dorada

    All,

    Really excited about going on this 2 week holiday with my partner. We're a young couple and have been to plenty of countries around Europe, but until now we have never ventured outside of it!

    I've just got a few question's and if any of you don't mind, I would like some feedback!

    The Hotel has some good write up's which is good to see, with the only (very slight) down point seems to be the beach. Ive just got one question about tipping...

    Q1.
    Here in the UK we tip like most e.g. taxi drivers, waiting staff in restaurants, Hair salon...etc, but I've heard to bring a lot of dollar bills to tip everyone with. Who should I tip in the resort and how much? The maids for example typically would I tip them everyday? Bar staff??


    We Plan to go to Ocean World as this seems to be the best place to swim with Dolphin's, I read a few post about this and was pleased with the responses. My mum swam with Dolphin's in Antiqa a few months again and said it was amazing!!

    Q2a.
    How long do you get to swim with the dolphin's?

    Q2b.
    Does anyone know who much the photo's cost they take?


    Also we have been recommended Paradise Beach in Sosua - Have heard it is meant to be the most amazing beach in the World (you tell me!!!). He also said you can hire 'Secretaries" at Sosua..

    Q3.
    Has anyone used Secretaries to look after them at the beach and if so how much to hire them? Are they honest?

    Q4.
    What is the beach like? Will I be able to hire a lounger? How Much?

    I was also wondering if there were any impressive casino's close to where we are staying in Costa Dorada (Merian Coral, Hitlon).

    Q5.
    Has anyone got some names of Casino's near where we're staying and what are their names??


    Also finally (sorry!!), I would love to go out on a boat trip for some fishing.

    Q6.
    Where can I go for a day's fishing and approx how much does it cost?

    Really sorry about all the question's - just want to do a little bit of homework so we can make the most of our stay and dont end up missing out! Holidays/vacation's go by so quick!!

    Thanks everyone in advance. Reading other post's you are all very helpful!



    Last edited by londoner; 06-21-2004 at 12:23 PM.

  2. #2
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    Tipping is up to you. Tip as you would normally. I don't think anyone would be offended.

    See http://dr1.com/directories/tourism/oceanworld.shtml
    The swim with the dolphins, I would say is about an hour in all. Actual swim is about half an hour. The photos are costly for Dominicans, but they will be normal prices for you, maybe even bargain prices since you have UK currency. Prior to coming here, cash your UK currency into US dollars for better rates.

    Up to you to hire a "secretary." See no need for it. The beach is fine, bring a towel and you will not need a lounge chair. Or, the lounge chairs cost very little, your choice.

    When you mention Paradise beach you must be referring to Cayo Arena sandbar off Punta Rucia. This is about a two hour trip from Costa Dorada. Two hours to get there, and two hours back. A beach doesn't get any better. Be sure to take the snorkeling portion.

    Check out the casinos in Playa Dorada, which is walking distance, actually the beach complex next door.

    Check out the excursions offered at your hotel. Will make life easier for you, as they will pick you up and bring you back.

    For more on your hotel, see
    http://dr1.com/directories/hotels/coral_marien.shtml

  3. #3
    Rest in peace Amigo!
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    Default Hi londoner,

    Greetings from Atlantic Canada.

    For fishing contact Pablo [email protected] of Aqua Adventures www.aqua-adventures.net/

    Also for more info see www.debbiesdominicantravel.com and in particular www.debbiesdominicantravel.com/coralmarien.html

    Enjoy and please do get out of the resort.

    Gregg

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    Quote Originally Posted by londoner
    Q3.
    Has anyone used Secretaries to look after them at the beach and if so how much to hire them? Are they honest?
    What is a secretary that looks after one on the beach? Never heard of such a thing ever before

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris
    What is a secretary that looks after one on the beach? Never heard of such a thing ever before
    I love Brits. I have never heard of a secretary at the beach, what what a great concept. I want one too!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris
    What is a secretary that looks after one on the beach? Never heard of such a thing ever before
    Christa, How does that HP advertising saying go?? "Daddy, You just have to get OUT more"!!! A secretary on Sosua beach (plus some other beaches that are NOT monitored by hotel guards!!) is like a 'Shoe-shine' boy. He gets you your bed, calls past periodically to check if you need more drinks & basically "Runs & Carries" for you all the time you are on the beach. He probably has 5 or 6 groups "on the go" at the same time. At the end of the time on the beach, you pay him what you think his time/effort has been worth to you!!

    So, a bit of time on the beach for you & Richard I think!!

    Londoner (What part by the way??)
    Tipping of hotel staff should be done when you feel they have been very good to you. Tip at the end of a drinks session, rarely do I tip a taxi driver (maybe I'll Round-up to the nearest note I have) & waites normally get RD $80 - RD $100 if the service has been good. I suggest you tip the maid when you FIRST see her, with a bottle of perfume from England (High Wycombe market does a roaring trade at 2 a bottle), or maybe a couple of colouring books & crayons for her children. At the END of your holiday, you can leave her a couple of bits of clothing & if she has looked after you well, maybe throw in a couple hundred pesos too.

    Paradise beach at Sosua??? Never heard of that one!! you contact possibly means the main Sosua beach which is very pleasant but NOT the best in the DR let alone the world!! There is nothing wrong with the Playa Dorada beaches except that they have larger waves & consequently more undercurrent. Sosua beach is in a cove & therfor is LESS wavey!! There is also a 'living' coral just off Sosua beach that you can swim to & watch fish swimming around it (if that is your scene!).

    I don't know of any evening boating trips but there may well be some now-a-days. For this & Fishing trips go into the Plaza at Playa Dorada & check with the excursion sellers there. Fishing trips used to be US $75 for a morning session (leave hotel 07.00 return for 13.00 midday) & I believe there used to be afternoon sessions. ALL tackle required on these is supplied, so you don't need to bring anything for the organised trips out. You CAN go down to the Fort in Puerto Plata & throw your line off the front there (Free of charge) or you might find a local prepared to take you out on his private boat for a few U$D. There is also the cliffs at Sosua around the Waterfront restaurant, but what bait, line & type of rod would be adviseable I haven't the faintest idea.

    As others have said, get out & enjoy the experience that is the Dominican Republic. Ask, ask & then ask some more & you will receive all the help you may need - some of it dubious to be sure, but it will be well meant dubious advice!!

    As the questions on Casinos & Ocean World have already been answered, there is no need for me to respond to those as well. - Grahame.

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    Default tipping of marien hotel staff

    okay, i suspect a number of you may disagree with me on my tipping philosophy but here goes. we always tip the maid daily since i've found-as a rule-your room is extra clean and plenty of fresh towels and a few extra touches. however the other thing to be aware of is that it can backfire in a way as i've been in the shower or some other "don't bother us now" activity and had the maid come in with extra towels or something or the desk calling us because she couldn't get in! also be aware that if you are staying for 2 weeks, your regular maid will most likely have a day or two off during your stay thus that is why I don't like the tipping at the end or the beginning philosophy-you may miss the regular maid & tip the fill-in! it is not necessary to tip after each drink. the waite staff works in shifts and we usually tip the bartender/s after the first or second drink and if they're really good again before the shift ends. granted the marien is an all-inclusive, but my "american thinking" is if you want good service you tip and if you get really exceptional service you tip a little more. i'm sure you'll enjoy your stay at the marien. we and all our friends alays have. judi

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    Quote Originally Posted by hooptie2
    okay, i suspect a number of you may disagree with me on my tipping philosophy but here goes. we always tip the maid daily since i've found-as a rule-your room is extra clean and plenty of fresh towels and a few extra touches. however the other thing to be aware of is that it can backfire in a way as i've been in the shower or some other "don't bother us now" activity and had the maid come in with extra towels or something or the desk calling us because she couldn't get in! also be aware that if you are staying for 2 weeks, your regular maid will most likely have a day or two off during your stay thus that is why I don't like the tipping at the end or the beginning philosophy-you may miss the regular maid & tip the fill-in! it is not necessary to tip after each drink. the waite staff works in shifts and we usually tip the bartender/s after the first or second drink and if they're really good again before the shift ends. granted the marien is an all-inclusive, but my "american thinking" is if you want good service you tip and if you get really exceptional service you tip a little more. i'm sure you'll enjoy your stay at the marien. we and all our friends alays have. judi

    Is that you, Buffalo JUDI??
    John

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    Cheers everyone for your replies.

    In response to the 'secretaries' I was a bit miffed when I heard the name for them as well, but thanks Bush Baby I was sure I was using the right term - I should have expanded what I meant.
    USTELEPHONE, We don't all speak like the queen you know! As for loving us Brits, thanks for the compliment, you Yanks aren't so bad! :-)


    Anyways:
    Feedback has been really good, thanks everyone - has anyone else got some recommendations for trips, must-see's in the Playa Dorada/Porta Plato/Sosua resorts?
    Last edited by londoner; 06-22-2004 at 11:10 AM.

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    Default how did you guess???

    Quote Originally Posted by johnsr
    Is that you, Buffalo JUDI??
    John
    Of course it's me CT. John. Going back to the marien 7/17-7/24. You know, like you & Joanne, it's our "home"!!!!!!!!! judi

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