TRAVEL THERE: ROCKING WITH A TROPICAL RHYTHM
When they raise the traffic gate and welcome you into Club Med Punta Cana, you enter another world. It took me a few hours to slither out of the daily grind and figure that out, but I did. I was still in a bit of a rush as I hobbled back to our room and then headed out again for dinner, but by
dessert, I was on island time.
Dressing for Dinner
Sandra Rubio, my travel agent at CTC Travel, warned me they had themes each night at Club Med. It wasn’t a have-to thing, but something to add to the fun. She’d mentioned a pirate night, but if they have one of those at Punta Cana, it didn’t happen while we were there. Our first night was White Night. I wore a mostly white top and some white jeans, but if you are into themes, be warned, don’t take any shortcuts, especially on White Night. Your fellow members have spent a lot of money on gorgeous white sundresses, white linen suits and all things white.
Saturday was Denim & White, Sunday Red & White, Monday Flowers, Tuesday 45 & Fluorescent – then we went home. The 45 thing requires an explanation, but it can wait.
Meet You at Cielo
Cielo Bar is a large, circular, open air, (wait for it) palm-frond-roofed bar/cafe/coffee shop/living room sort of place that takes central stage in the entertainment section of Club Med Punta Cana. We were wandering in and out of it all the time.
During the day they had salsa lessons and various games. The bar was always open for coffee or drinks. A serve-yourself soda fountain sat at one end of the U-shaped bar. A very convenient restroom was around the back. Though we never quite figured out a schedule, there were often snacks available – pastries in the early hours, chips, salsa and guacamole during the day and at night hors d’oeuvres. Comfortable sofas and lounge chairs hugged the outer edges.
Most of our evenings began on the white sofas of Cielo. A live band would entertain the crowd. We’d try to make conversation with some of our fellow GM’s (Guest Members), but most of them were French. We grew to absolutely love the French Connection. We also discovered we weren’t particularly proud to be associated with the other Americans on the property.
We didn’t usually bother with evening hors d’oeuvres, because the fabulous buffet meals kept our hunger at bay, but we would have a drink. The first night I tried a rum & coke, which was fine, but I’m really a white wine girl and that became my regular. Bill would get a beer with a tequila shot chaser. He really was on vacation.
Many of our French friends would arrive at Cielo in family groups, but unlike the usual situation with American families, the children were not the center of attention and they didn’t sit staring into a tablet or phone. French children of all ages were expected to sit quietly in their seat, enjoying their hors d’oeuvres and sodas, while the adults chatted with one another. We were very impressed by this. Temper tantrums and meltdowns just didn’t happen. Americans are doing something wrong.
Eventually, we’d leave Cielo and head over to Samana, the dinner buffet. Dinner officially began at 6:30, but the Cielo experience began at 7, so Cielo is where we began our evenings. Then we’d wander across to Samana. I’ll tell you about that next week.