Now for the question that everyone has on their mind…international drinking. After my first time visiting Mexico, when I came home, I was questioned a lot by friends and family if I felt safe and if I got sick from the alcoholic drinks. The answer, was very simple. I never felt an ounce of insecurity and I never got sick from any of the drinks I had. Let’s be honest here really quick, when on vacation and especially to an all-inclusive resort, the drinks are constantly flowing and you are having a good time – we all have been there. Whether it was myself going up to the pool bar and getting drinks or going up with my boyfriend, I felt safe with what was handed to me – and not to mention, while at the pool bar, you watch the bartenders make your drink right in front of you. Just one thing…stay away from the water and drink the water bottles provided only! But that is a known fact.
I have a story I can compare to drinking in Mexico though, which is an unsafe feeling. In November of 2017, I visited Punta Cana/Dominican Republic with my sister, mom, step-dad and a handful of their friends – so overall there was around 14 of us. Again, visiting another international destination, I keep the respect that we are entering a country, not ours, and one that we are not familiar with whatsoever. Of course I heard stories and was warned of a few things but honestly, my sister and I felt safe overall. However, the first full day, which always seems to be the one that bedtime comes early…ha-ha, it definitely changed for me.
All of us were enjoying the sunshine and 80 degree weather since us Michiganders just flew in from snow and negative temperatures. The drinks were being poured, we were playing pool-games with the staff and the music was loud. Like Mexico, the drinks at the pool-bar are made right in front of you – but if you end up not paying attention, I see how you might miss something. Before I go any further, I want to share that this is my opinion and my own personal story. I hope I do not offend anybody, especially those from that country because overall, our vacation was wonderful, even though out of the 7 days, we had one day of sunshine, but again, our fault for booking during hurricane season! With that, I will not mention the name of the resort. Because of my personal incident, I do not want this to reflect on the resort itself and other staff because honestly, everyone was welcoming and friendly – it was our home away from home for a week, with just one minor upset. From the moment we checked in, we immediately felt a fun atmosphere from the staff – we honestly went back every morning just to say hi. The housekeepers, we never saw, but they did a great job of cleaning your room, organizing, restocking the fridge and liquor cabinet and of course was creative with their towel animals. The staff at the buffet new us by names by the second day and had tables reserved and mimosas flowing for us at breakfast every single morning. The activity staff were hilarious and again, came to know us by our names, which was good and also bad since we were signed up for basically every activity, every single day. My not so happy story all starts at the pool bar…
Let me dive into this…back to the first full day in the sun, soaking up the sunshine, lounging in the pool and trying every tropical and fruity drink that they offer. Like I said, the entire group of us were in the pool that was connected to the pool-bar, of course where else would you find our rambunctious group!! So as soon as that bar opened up, 10a, we were trying drink after drink and we would take turns of going up to the bar and ordering a round for everyone. Well, this is when I believe it turned bad. I went up a few times to order drinks and I am overall a very friendly person and can strike up a conversation with anybody, so the bartenders were of course loving two young girls (me and my sister) out of a group of moms’ and dad’s – let’s just say, the bartenders loved the American girls ha-ha. So it was my turn again to go up to order drinks, I brought them to the table and handed one to my step-dad and the other to a family friend. This is where it went downhill because I was the first to be put to bed, our family friend was second and my step-dad was third…
I remember getting out of the pool and was basically sideways, my mom and sister literally had to walk with me, hand-in-hand to the buffet so I could eat. But I knew something was wrong because I did not feel drunk, I felt weird…that is the only word to describe this. After sitting down, juicy burger and carbs on my plate, I could not eat, I looked at it, looked at my mom and sister and said, I think it is time you take me to the room. So they get me to my mom’s room, I lay down on the bed, water bottle in hand. An hour or two later, I wake up, perfectly fine, no hang-over and I head back to the pool. But when I arrive to the pool, who is down next, our family friend. Again, the same thing happened, he got to his room with the help of his wife, took a nap and woke up ready to go – no hangover feeling whatsoever. And the same thing happened to my step-dad.
The conclusion of this is we believe, the bartenders thought I was getting these drinks for me and my sister and something was slipped into the drinks. I know what a hangover is and I feel like the queen of them if I push my limits; however, and like I shared, this was not a hangover feeling. If it were, my butt would still be in bed and you would not find me sitting back by the pool two hours later.
So this is my story comparison of how one place, I feel completely safe and the other…not so much.
Again, this is my story and I do not want to offend anybody, including those from and living in Dominican Republic. It was an incident that happened, thankfully only once during our 7-day stay and thank goodness I was with family who we were around the entire time. Other than this one day, nothing else happened. Of course we were extra cautious at ordering drinks and watched extra carefully of who the bartender was each day, we never experienced another feeling of ‘weirdness’ again. This vacation was beautiful, even though the sun was not out much, we enjoyed every moment of it and we appreciate and thank all of the staff that we encountered. We truly felt welcomed.
If you are traveling internationally, please be cautious of your surroundings and be careful when you are drinking – just be careful.
Love you Muchly,