Q & A:
Q: Can I drink the water in Punta Cana?
A: The hotels filter their water, so you can safely brush your teeth with it and shower. This water may still have a high concentration of minerals and calcium deposits that will upset your stomach if you drink it. If you'd like a drink of water, drink bottled. The hotel offers bottled water in the mini bar in your room, and at all of their restaurants and bars.
Q: Where can I go to shop for souvenirs?
A: There is a little market a short walk down the beach from the resort. However, if you go, be prepared to barter! It's recommended that you start with 1/3 of the price... My mom is a supreme barterer, so maybe you can take her with you. If you want to avoid that kind of excitement, the hotel shop offers a wide range of souvenirs at low prices.
Q: Do I need to wear sunscreen?
A: Yes! The sun is much hotter in the DR than at home. I suggest using a higher number SPF than what you normally wear until you get used to the sun.
Q: Can I bring my kids?
A: Yes, please do! We'd love to have children at our wedding. The resort is also very kid-friendly. There is even a kid's club and babysitting services (for an additional fee).
Q: What language is spoken in the DR?
A: The main language is Spanish, but most of the resort workers also speak English. You won't have any problem communicating.
Q: What should I wear?
A: The weather is typically warm and sunny with slightly cooler nights. I usually end up wearing my bathing suit and cover-up all day and a sundress with a light sweater at night. For men, long pants (not jeans) are required in the a la carte restaurants. Men will definitely need long pants for our wedding reception.
Q: Where can I eat?
A: Depending on the time of day, you can eat at a buffet, beach grill, or in a restaurant. The a la carte restaurants require reservations. There is also an amazing ice cream stand by the beach.
Q: What kind of food will be at the resort?
A: The resort caters to a wide range of visitors from around the world, and they try to provide a little something to make everyone happy. I've seen everything from prosciutto and cheeses to hamburgers and pizza for lunch. There is always fresh fruit and vegetables, chicken, fish, a salad bar, etc. Dave and I thought that the food was delicious!
Q: What's a fun drink in the DR?
A: All of the bartenders make Coco Loco's (a creamy drink with coconut milk, milk, rum, and sugar), Pina Colada's, Mai Tai's, etc. The resort also stocks a local beer called Brahma. I'm sure you'll find something you like. Tip: the bartenders will use rail liquor unless you specify.
Q: Do I need to tip?
A: Tipping is not required, but the workers do appreciate it! Dave and I tip a dollar or so at meals, at the bar, and we also left small tips for our maid and the person who stocked the mini bar.
Q: What's up with all of those foreigners?
A: You'll surely come into contact with people from Canada, England, France, Spain, Germany, Russia, etc. With different cultures comes cultural differences: we saw a lot of smoking around the resort, and there is also topless sunbathing on the beach.
Q: What else can I do in the DR?
A: There is a group of employees at the resort that dress in bright yellow and blue outfits. They are called "Star Friends", and they are responsible for keeping the party going! Every day, a list of activities will be posted. You can also leave the resort for excursions such as zip-lining, swimming with dolphins, visiting a sugar cane plantation and cigar factory, etc. Dave and I recommend that you book your excursion through a tour operator for safety's sake.
The following websites have more information about Punta Cana: