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First timer with a baby

Poole, United...
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First timer with a baby
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Hi all,

Posted this in the DR forum but no response so trying here.

All the usual caveats about this being subject to Covid-19.

My partner (30) and I (31) are planning a 10 night holiday to the DR in late March 2022. We are expecting our first baby in late October, so will be travelling with a ~5 month old. This is a trial run ahead of our honeymoon - which is a longer flight - next September 2022.

Firstly, any helpful tips on travelling to the DR with a baby? What to bring/not bring? Things to consider? Things to avoid? Things to do/not do?

It's our intention to dine all inclusive. We are debating between 2 hotels in the Punta Cana region (Dreams Macao and Dreams Onyx) and 1 hotel in La Romana (Casa de Campo). The La Romana hotel is much more expensive but I'm willing to pay if the food, in particular, and other hotel attributes are higher 'quality'.

I'm conscious of the transportation after a long flight too, so La Romana would also be, from what I gather, circa 20 minutes longer with a private transfer.

If anyone has had experience of these hotels, do you have any advice on which is best placed for us and our baby?

We won't be doing much on the holiday. After 2 years since our last trip in Thailand, some relaxation, sun and maybe a trip or two would more than suffice.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

SB

17 replies to this topic
New York City, New...
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1. Re: First timer with a baby
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Congrats on being able to get away with the baby... Out of the three, I personally would pick Casa de Campo. I mean, A+ List celebrities and presidents have vacationed there. I think that alone tells you about the quality of that property.

Punta Cana...
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I guess it all comes down to what you are looking for. As for the "A" list vacationing there, they stay in private residences...not the hotel itself. Big difference. You are definitely going to pay a premium at CdC. Something in between the resorts you have mentioned might be the answer. A place like Hyatt in Cap Cana will improve the food and service quality over the Dreams product. It is also a much more convenient drive from the airport (approx 15 minutes once through the gates and such. You should also consider with your newborn, that the need may arise for diapers and other such items. There is a major supermarket approx 10 minutes drive from the Hyatt, as well as a well stocked pharmacy (Carol).

Cheers,

PuntaCana Mike

Alberta, Canada
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3. Re: First timer with a baby
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Bring everything you think you might need for the baby. Things in the DR are imported so much more expensive than at home. And you may not get the same brands that baby’s tender skin is used to.

Our grandson was unable to wear a certain brand of diapers, without getting a horrible rash, and some wipes were even worse for his tender skin.

Poole, United...
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4. Re: First timer with a baby
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Thanks for the comments. Gosh, we would end up needing a suitcase full of diapers/Nappies.

PC Mike - I was under the impression that the Hyatt was adults only? Similar with Secrets Cap Cana. Both would have been perfect.

Providence, Rhode...
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5. Re: First timer with a baby
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There are two Hyatt resort, Ziva is for family and the adult only is Zilara which is right next door. When we traveled with my 5 month old internationally we used Amazon. I linked below Amazon's international site and the how to buy from Amazon for DR below (I looked into this just in case I need to buy something for my daughter who will be 2 at the time of our travel to PC but we have not tested this to see how much shipping cost yet.) I would also check with the resorts you plan on staying to see what baby amenities they have on site. Most have cribs but some like the Finest Punta Cana (opening later this fall) has the full range of baby amenities like crib, baby monitors, high chairs, tubs and also include extras like home made baby food made on site. They are also currently including RT transport with their stays for over 3 days too.

My travel tips are to bring a baby carrier or sling with you since your baby will be small enough to carry this way while still being hands free. Use a Paci or breast feed for take off and landing to prevent ear popping (they also sell baby ear plugs) . We stored away extra diapers and wipes in the undercarriage of her stroller which we gate checked for free (we bought a stroller bag to protect it too). If you are a member of a particular airline, first check bags are free too ( i.e Delta Sky Mile). And congrats momma on your baby!

https://www.howitravel.co/amazon-dominican-republic/

https://www.amazon.com/International-Shipping-Direct/b/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&node=230659011&linkCode=sl2&tag=amazonshipabroad-20&linkId=f02c52b05d26bae91a9614f1a438c2b7&language=en_US

https://www.finestresorts.com/punta-cana/finest-punta-cana/finest-for-kids/#BabyCare

Edited: August 24, 2021, 2:09 pm
Castleton, United...
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6. Re: First timer with a baby
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If you can budget for CdC then you may be wiser to look at one of the Anglophone islands such as Barbados for a variety of reasons including obtaining baby requisites of trusted makes , medical standards and safe drinking water.

You should also be aware of the effect of the time difference (GMT - 4 hours) on your baby's body clock.

Edited: August 24, 2021, 2:52 pm
New York City, New...
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7. Re: First timer with a baby
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SouthernBoy,

As Moni said, the two Hyatts are right next to each other. The difference is that Secrets Cap Cana is a true standalone adult only resort. With the Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana, there are shared amenities/facilities between the two resorts, so you don't get a true adult only experience.

I went to the Hyatt Zilara/Ziva CC earlier in Feb. It is a very nice property, but honestly, I felt it was overpriced and underwhelming for what you pay for. But this is coming from an adult-only standpoint as I stayed on the Zilara side (but I visited the Ziva side frequently). The Ziva is very family friendly, so it would be worth looking into that property.

I do think that Hyatt is a better choice than the Dreams properties that you mentioned and the beach in Cap Cana is absolutely fantastic and stunning. It's my favorite beach in all of Punta Cana.

Cap Cana is about 15 min from PUJ, so it's a quick ride.

Montreal, Canada
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8. Re: First timer with a baby
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What about baby car seats? Ive been told not to bring it since the bus to the resort probably won't be able to take it anyway. It's ok to have your baby on your lap for the commute ?

Edited: August 24, 2021, 9:11 pm
Punta Cana...
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9. Re: First timer with a baby
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Gone are the days where you had to look for an internationally branded product. Nacional is choked full of brand names recognized around the world. Personally, I find the prices here more or less in line with what you would pay in Canada for the same product. We travel back and forth often (up until the past 18 months...lol).

Just to be clear, I am simply saying that from a convenience point of view Hyatt has a major supermarket a few minutes drive away as well as an all-important well-stocked pharmacy across from the supermarket. These are "just in case" perks that the other resorts mentioned do not have within a short distance.

Many of today's strollers have a detachable seat that doubles as a car seat. Having gone through the process 2 times with our infant daughters, the big stroller was a major PITA. On the second trip, we brought very simple lightweight strollers. Your infant will be in your lap on the flight and for the short ride (Hyatt) to the resort. No real need for a car seat, although companies like "E" Transfers have them available upon request. https://etransferspuntacana.com/

Cheers,

PCMike

Poole, United...
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471 posts
126 reviews
74 helpful votes
10. Re: First timer with a baby
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Thanks for the comments. I didn't realise that about Hyatt Ziva - I'll take a good look at that hotel. Mind you, it is actually a similar price to Casa de Campo - in fact, CdC is marginally cheaper! Finest PC looks like a good option too, although it's always risky with a brand new hotel. It's actually about 40% cheaper than the other two so that does decrease any risk around teething issues with the hotel. I think it'll be between CdC and HZ. I'd opt for the former but the limiting factors are the longer transfer and access to shops for baby products, if they're needed.

Thanks for all the really useful baby tips. I've made several notes so will come back to those.

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