Thursday, March 26, 2009

General Personal Safety

Will you and your family be safe during your stay at Club Med Punta Cana? My vote is "yes." This post is based on observations made within the resort; we did not go on any of the excurisions outside the resort during either of our stays.

Anything can happen anywhere, anytime, of course - plenty of headlines at home remind us of this every day. However, I felt very comfortable during both of our stays, and I'm the type of person who looks for lights to park under in mall parking lots if it will be dark when I come out. From a personal safety standpoint, I would feel very comfortable traveling back to Club Med Punta Cana with just my child if schedules didn't work out to travel as a family.

Would I be careful with my personal belongings? Yes. Did I feel as though the people on the beach with me were going through my bag containing a phone and camera while I was in the water? No. We brought a camera, memory cards, laptop, and cell phones on our 2008 and 2009 trips, and we returned home with those and all of our other belongings both times.

Your children

  • Children are "checked-in" and "checked-out" of their respective programs each day. Each receive a bracelet indicating they are program participants as part of the process. Even though you will most likely only be there a week, the G.O.s (staff) are very good about quickly learning which parent goes with which child as well.
  • Children are effectively cared for in the public eye. You will encounter groups of children -- including your own -- going on walks, playing games, eating lunch, and singing songs throughout the grounds all day.
  • Check that you personally feel comfortable dropping your kids off for the day. Our experience was that the G.O.s are very attentive, but make sure that you feel comfortable with the idea of having Club Med G.O.s (employees) looking after your children during their participation in the Baby/Petit/Mini Club - otherwise, this type of vacation may not be for you, no matter how caring and engaging the staff are.

Your stuff (use common sense)

  • Label ALL your kids' stuff, including baby wipes container, hat, swimsuit, clothes, favorite toy/blankie, sunscreen, etc. Our only "losses" at Club Med Punta Cana were our child's favorite stuffed animal/lovey (2008) and hat (2009). Both items showed up in the Mini Club Lost & Found (Objets retrouvĂ©s).
  • Don't bring your wallet and electronics (camera, phone, iPod, Kindle) around the resort with you unless you plan to use and be around them.
  • You won't need to wear valuable jewelry, so leave it at home - this is a beach resort.
  • Store passports, etc. in the room safe.

The resort

  • The resort is sort of an "island." As with many Punta Cana resorts, you are not really visiting the true Dominican Republic - you're visiting a vacation destination purposely designed for foreign visitors. It's very much in the resort's express interest to make your vacation pleasant and safe to maintain its reputation so others will visit after you.
  • Club Med employs security guards who make continous rounds of the grounds. (I'm not sure what they find, to be honest, but they are there if there appears to be a problem.)
  • Vehicle access to the coastal resort area and to the resort itself is controlled. The 10-minute route to the resort area from the airport has a vehicle control checkpoint. The resort also itself has a entry checkpoint for vehicles arriving to identify their purpose. These are not high-security checkpoints (didn't see any armed guards, for example), but they are general deterrents.

Learn more about the overall safety environment (particularly outside the resort) prior to your trip

Planning your family's stay at Club Med Punta Cana? More info here:

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