While I loved the adventures I had escaping the tourist traps of Punta Cana, I was prepared to plunge right back into the westernized portion of the Dominican for the day before and day of the wedding of one of my best childhood friends. The beautiful and uninhabited beaches of Playa Limon turned into the packed beaches of Playa Bavaro.
As much as I appreciate getting off the beaten path, I can also appreciate the all-inclusive style of things as well. All in all, I got a great mixture of both during this trip.
The day before the wedding we set sail on a “booze cruise” of sorts. The cruise involved free beer (and vodka and rum drinks), a brief visit to an area for some snorkeling, and then of course a little cruise around the coast.
I had great snorkeling experiences in asia, where a local Thai man would take our lone long-tail to a spot he knew of and we would be free to jump from the boat and explore coral not yet quite discovered by large tourist boats. I saw such amazing coral and fish and it was such a freeing experience.
but when I learned that everyone that wanted to snorkel had to stay in specific spots and had to wear bright yellow floaties around their waists I was immediately turned off. When you’ve experienced it the exact opposite way it’s hard to go back. My friend and I declined the snorkeling portion of trip and stayed on boat.
The good part of not snorkeling was that we could start enjoying the alcohol beverages before most everyone else could (people who intended on snorkeling naturally were not allowed to drink prior to getting into the water).
After snorkeling the boat whisked us off to what appeared to be the party meeting place for every cruise boat in the DR. Here we were encouraged to get off the boat and frolic in the chest high turquoise blue water.
Club music blared from speakers off boats, cruise staff got right into the water with us carrying trays of freshly poured rum and cokes and ice cold caribbean beer, and for about an hour we conversed, drank, and threw around a football in what seemed more like a giant adult pool rather than the Caribbean Ocean.