Ahhhh. You’ve finally arrived. As with the airport, the check-in lines are determined by the time of day, the day of the week and how many planes landed with yours. Please be patient. I know that most of you had gotten up at an indecent time this morning to catch your plane and you’re tired, you’re hungry, you’re hot (who knew it was actually this warm in January??), the kids are driving you nuts and all you can think about is that icy cold beverage that is going to calm your frazzled nerves. Look around.
There may be a table with an offering of drinks if there isn’t anyone passing them out already. There was one resort that I went to and while I was fanning myself with my hand (like that really works), a gentleman came over with a tray and on it was a cool, wet facecloth and a iced glass of punch. Unfortunately, that is not the norm at check-in.
This is the point where we start to measure things by American standards and not Dominican standards. You’ll be thinking that you wouldn’t be waiting this long if you were checking into the Hilton, the Plaza or even the Comfort Inn. While the lines may be long; there certainly isn’t anyone behind the desk just standing there with their hands in their pockets. Unfortunately, there are only one or two persons checking in dozens of guests, so it will take a while. You will find though that once you reach the front of the line; they’ll have everything ready for you and they actually do know what they’re doing.
WARNING!! This is when you will need extreme patience and need to remember that you are on vacation. When you finally reach the front of the line; they may tell you that your room is not ready!!??!! How can this be??!! Normally, in the Dominican Republic, if you are checking in before 4:00 pm; your room will not be ready. I don’t know why. It baffles me as well, but that’s that way it is. They will put on your hotel bracelet, keep an eye on your luggage and leave you to decide what to do. Your choices will be:
#1. Grab your swimsuit from your suitcase (if you didn’t pack it in your carry-on as experience has taught me) and go for a swim in the pool or the ocean.
#2 Find the nearest bar and order a couple of drinks.
#3 Find some food and enjoy a meal.
#4 Go and explore the resort from the map that you’ll get.
#5 Find a comfy seat in the lobby and take a nap.
#6 Whine, complain, become outraged and bitch at anyone who will listen.
Answer: Any combination of #1 through #5, but absolutely not nor ever #6.
They will tell you that your room will be ready in an hour or so, but that’s an hour or so in “Island Time”. Go enjoy yourself. You’re on vacation. You don’t need to be in your room to start it. Go back to the desk about 5:30 or so. They’ll bring you and your luggage to your room and you’ll have plenty of time to unpack, take a shower, change your clothes if you choose and then go to dinner.