Thursday 20 April 2023

Caribe Deluxe Princess, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

I spent the last week at Caribe Deluxe Princess, a resort on the beach in Punta Cana. There are two resorts on the property, the other being the Tropical Deluxe Princess

I chose Caribe because Tropical was next to the kids' pool (and I don't have kids) and the Caribe's rooms had recently been renovated. Here was my room ...

My "key"
My bed was comfy!
The mini fridge was restocked every day

My room was in building "A" on the ground floor. Across from me was a pond with lots of birds. I liked to start my day on my terrace watching the birds.

The lobby was about a half km away. 

The walk there and back and fun because there were so many critters along the way to see.

If you didn't want to walk to the lobby, there was a "train" that looped every ten minutes or so 24 hours a day.

The beach was nice, though the water was strong and wavy. It was hard to get a lounger so I only spent a morning there.


There were three pools ... I was near pool #1, which had a swim-up bar, and was the action was (foam pool parties, etc.).

Pool #2 was near the Beach House, where they served food from noon until 5pm.

The rooftop bar at the Beach House was nice in the evenings
... cool breeze and a lovely view

Pool #3 was closest to Tropical and was more for kids.

My thoughts ...
  • The property is gorgeous! Staff were always cleaning and painting, etc. It was a nice walk to the lobby and back because there were so many cool creatures to encounter ... birds, iguanas, peacocks, turtles, etc. And having the "train" loop around every ten minutes or so was handy at night (it runs every 10 minutes or so 24 hours a day). 
  • I love the beach but only spent a morning there because I couldn't get a lounger. Like most resorts, people get up early and put towels on loungers to "reserve" them and then go back to bed, do an excursion, etc. and not use the lounger until they were ready. When I was in Cuba last year, you couldn't just get a lounger on the beach ... if you wanted one, a fella would get you one and put it in place for you. This was a much fairer way. 
  • The pools were nice. I spent more of my time at #1 (the one with the swim-up bar) because that's where activities happened (foam pool party, Mr. and Ms. Caribe, etc.). Plus it was closest to my room. Again, it was hard to get a lounger at times because people were "reserving" them. 
  • I gave up on the big buffet after two visits because it was CHAOS! It was hard to find a table and when I did, it was hard to get utensils, napkins, a glass of water, etc. The line-ups to get fresh food were crazy. I found the food had usually been sitting around for a while so was cold. I'm assuming there is a lack of staff there.
  • Instead I had pastries for breakfast at the coffee shop and lunch at the Beach House. The buffet selection at the Beach House was small but better than the big buffet. Everyday I had beans and rice, pork chops, nachos/cheese and fried chicken (the fried chicken is very popular!). For most suppers, I ate in the sports bar. I had a hamburger there, which a really strange taste (it didn't taste like a beef burger) plus I found a small wire in it. The wings and chicken tenders were good, though. 
  • I ate at two of the a la cartes (Brazilian and Italian) and would recommend them. Their reservation process could be improved ... they go quickly. You can try and reserve using their app or just speak directly to the people next to the reception desk (this is what I recommend). As a head's up, you can only reserve three days in advance. The best I could do was an 8:30pm and a 9:30pm sitting. 
  • Communication is definitely lacking. Most resorts have entertainment boards posted in the lobby and/or near the buffet. Not here. They already have an app ... how hard would it be for attach a pdf of the weekly events and nightly entertainment to it? I doubt things change from week to week. The only way you know something is going on is to ask or just happen to be in the right place at the right time. I was at the foam pool party on Friday only because I happened to be at the pool. I knew about the Wednesday foam pool party because I heard a staff member tell a couple of guests that it would be that afternoon! I asked someone at the reception desk one day about a beach party and was told it was happening that night at 9pm. Someone else was told 9:30pm. It apparently started around 8:30pm! 
  • Other things they could add to app could be an info section. For example about the free shuttles for shopping, to the disco and casino. I only learned about them when speaking with other guests ... the receptionists didn't mention it when I checked in.
  • I had my "do not disturb" sign on my door in the evenings but regardless the maids would walk in to exchange my towels. One night it happened twice within a half hour. When I mentioned it to another guest the next day, she told me you can push the "lock" button under the doorknob and no one can get in. Why isn't this info someplace ... like on the app? 
  • There is no nightlife. They have shows but have erratic start times. The band on Wednesday night was good ... they played cover rock/pop songs. The rooftop bar at the Beach House is a lovely spot ... it's breezy and quiet and there's a lovely view of the beach. The small bar, La Terraza, was fun and seemed to be a bit of a party bar with the guests choosing the music. But it closed at 11pm. 
  • I found the basic WIFI spotty at times but okay. 

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