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La Altagracia, Dominican Republic

Updated: March 22, 2023 10:43 PM
Day 2 I got sick with diarrhea. I took Imodium to stop it so I could leave room. However, without taking it I am sick. I threw up 1 day. I have diarrhea, severe stomach pain, nausea, dizziness, terrible gas, chills and overall feel miserable 9 days... See More now. I am home and trying to treat it. Does anyone know the exact bacteria or organism causing this? What meds have worked to kill it? I need it to go away permanently.

My husband and 5 year old also have it. I am also nursing my baby who is ok. | Symptoms: Nausea, Diarrhea, Vomiting, Dizziness, Chills, Stomach Pain, Gas
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someone on a google review said they were in hospital with a diagnosed parasite. but most people mention possible food poisoning or Norovirus
Reply 22 hours ago
Beware of the recent positive reviews as they are fake. Hotel management are manipulating them. Pay attention to the 1/5 reviews. They are very very accurate.
We are not picky people and we have... See More realistic expectations. Were just looking forward to simple fun in the sun. Evern if the food wasn’t amazing we would have made the best of it and loved it. Unfortunately, this trip was a complete nightmare. From the moment we got there, our room was dirty and run down. But in reality this was the least of our worries. The night we got there we needed linens for the sofa bed so the kids could sleep, and it took almost 2 hours to get them. But again, this was minor in comparison to the huge issue with guests getting sick. Almost as soon as we got there we heard chit chat about how travellers were getting sick with somekind of stomach issue. Seeing as how we had a heads up, we tried to be extra safe. At the buffet we noticed that the “clean” plates and cutlery were dirty, like obviously dirty and all piled up wet in the buffet. We tried to pick and choose our plates to ensure we had a clean plate. We got there Tuesday evening and by Thursday evening my husband was feeling off- at 1am he started with diarrhea and began to vomit. It was obviously after he had had the chicken for dinner. I got really scared and at 4am I called the front desk to ask for medicine (immodium) and was told the pharmacy is closed and the doctor was $285USD- they were well aware of what was going on in the resort but offered very little help. We waited until 8am when the pharmacy opened. On my way I tried to tell the front desk my husband was sick and inform them of the absolute lack of proper cleaning and sanitization in the buffet area. She laughed when I told her they must not be using property soap to clean. What a joke. No help at all…..they literally shrugged their heads and blamed it on a virus from Canada, which is ridiculous. On Friday my husband continued with Diarrhea and also had a fever and he could not get out of bed. When chatting with other guest, we learned EVERYONE WAS SICK- LIKE EVERYONE. IT WAS SCARY. Even covid didn’t spread that quickly when it hit. You would be talking to one person and another overhears and says they and their family are sick as well. On Saturday night I asked the concierge to help bring us some bottled water as we had none left and they said they would bring it, smiled, and wrote down our room number and no water came that night. Unfortunately, I began to get sick myself on Saturday night. I was seemingly fine but we ate at the a la carte restaurant that night (we cancelled the first due to my husband being sick) I don’t’ know by but I ate a few small shrimps- after smelling them I thought it may be ok, the cup was cold smelled ok- BIG Mistake- 4 hours later I had diarrhea. I thought I got it all out and tried to sleep but then continued the next morning along with vomiting. Still no water from the night before. I called the front desk to ask for water at like 7am and no one brought water. (after vomiting- no water for hours). At this point we were even more scared for our well being and more importantly the health and well being of our kids. It’s a special kind of scary when things “look nice at the surface” and then you question every single thing you touch or eat. That morning I tried to shower and clean myself up and meet my family and just sit with them by the pool near the waterpark. There is supposed to be a shuttle service from the front of the hotel to the waterpark and it’s a joke, it never runs and when we did see the cart the driver was usually talking to his friends. So I decided to walk (still feeling generally unwell but ok enough to try and make the best of things), On my walk that day around 12:20pm to the waterpark area I had to walk by the kids club. As I was walking by, two small children were knocking on the door trying to get my attention. I stopped and paused for a min confused; I went to try to see the kids, they were crying and scared and knocking on the door from the inside. I quickly realized the door was locked and no one was there with them. THEY WERE LOCKED INSIDE THE KIDS CLUB ON THEIR OWN!! These kids were small, 4 and 5 years old! I started screaming at an employee to open the door for them. I got on my knees to try to calm them down and ensure I would be there to help them. The employee eventually came back… she went to get lunch. These kids were locked inside, for at least 40 mins or so. A group of others tried to help and locate the parents. This just shouldn’t have happened in the first place…they could have been ill, or chocked. Thank God they were ok. There is no excuse for this.
At some point during the week one of our two room keys weren’t working, and so I went to the front desk to ask if they could fix it or set up another key and they just couldn’t do it….so we now only had 1 key with us for the remainder of the week. No use in asking them to fix it, just easier for us to “deal with it” and work together as it was the least of our problems. It was obviously a lack of cleanliness in the buffet area and lack of properly sanitizing/washing dishes/cutlery and cups that made so many other people sick. A LOT of the food was left out all day without proper storage temperatures. The staff had huge attitudes the entire time( which I could have honestly dealt with if it wasn’t so horribly dirty and we didn’t get sick). I saw many times, tongs or forks fall on the floor and the staff just pick it up, and puts it back. Tables were not cleaned with a sanitizer inbetween guests sitting down to eat. I saw a staff member clean one time in the buffet- she did a semi circle with a dirty wet cloth inbetween two platters on the buffet. That was it. We feel absolutely ripped off & traumatized. We will not be returning to the DR at all because of this resort. The hotel management were useless…..they just played the blame game. It’s food poisoning at it’s finest. Many families sick- went to the hospital to get IV’s. DO NOT GO HERE.  | Symptoms: Nausea, Diarrhea, Vomiting, Something else, Fever
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The purpose of this message is to capture the details of our visit to the Dominic Republic. Specifically, we visited Punta Cana and stayed at the Grand Sirenis Punta Cana hotel. It's my hope that it will help you reconsider a visit to this particular hotel and... See More that it ultimately helps preserve your health and your hard-earned money.

I want to be clear that our expectations for this visit were fair; we’ve visited Punta Cana before, and we understand the typical wear-and-tear that a property experiences. We fully expected outdated and worn decor, bleached-out outdoor furniture and slides, etc. All of that is fair and to be expected; but, what happened to us is not (and many, many others - read the reviews).

Day 1 (March 14, 2023)
At first, we noticed (relatively minor) lack of cleanliness and orderliness in our room. The bathroom wasn’t cleaned very well, our main bed was missing sheets (a single thin sheet covered the mattress), and there were no sheets at all for the pull-out sofa. We asked for sheets multiple times, and it took over an hour to arrive (and three repeat requests). Each time they apologized profusely, and eventually when the sheets arrived we dressed the sofa ourselves (so that our kids could finally get to bed). We knew we were tired and we understood that there were many people to accommodate.

Day 2 (March 15, 2023)
At various meals, we began noticing that there seemed to be a cleanliness issue across the resort. Whether at the beach or at the buffet, it was becoming a frequent occurrence to run into soiled cutlery and soiled dishes, even though they were in the “clean” pile. The first time it was easy to chalk it up to “high volume washing” - dirty dishes can happen to anyone, and they’ve certainly happened to me at home - a typical person just re-washes the item. But after the second and third time, we began to suspect there was a larger problem. We pointed it out to the staff and they apologized blandly and replaced the items. This day was also our first visit to the water park. Earlier we overheard others saying that one of the slides was closed because someone was hurt. Our kids are young (7 and 8) so we were careful to see for ourselves. One of the slides had been closed, but the others seemed to be open. We rode some of the slides with our kids and received some skin abrasions - our kids got light scratches on their backs and extremities, and my wife and I experienced two slightly more serious abrasions (bleeding) - it seemed the slide surfaces were actually quite rough. I looked around and noticed that everyone seemed to be experiencing the same, so we chalked this up to typical bumps and bruises from a waterpark. One of my sons had the courage to ride the Cyclone and he hit his head really hard, enough to scare him away from the ride. Multiple adults reported the same. Everyone seemed to try and laugh it off - I think everyone was trying to make the best of it. We decided we would stick to the slides that we were comfortable with and ride those moving forward.

Day 3 (March 16, 2023)
We spent this day at the beach and pool area. We began noticing that multiple families were talking about stomach issues. Again, we know this can easily happen to any of us. It’s different water, different cuisine, different local bacteria, and it's easy to be surprised by it. But this wasn’t our first trip to the Caribbean (we’ve been many times) - we used bottled water for everything, even to rinse the toothbrushes etc (all the typical tricks). We didn’t want our children getting sick. But the more we looked around, we met additional families that were reporting illness (diarrhea, vomiting, fever) with multiple family members. We began to hear rumours that there was a mysterious Canadian “virus” that some Canadian families had apparently brought with them to the resort. But we had noticed that other families (multiple American families and some European families) were suffering the same symptoms. This evening I began to experience my first symptoms. At first it was diarrhea, and in the middle of the night it became violent vomiting. I was experiencing a severe case of food poisoning and I almost lost consciousness. Thankfully my body ejected what it could, and the pain subsided. Also, I (father of the family) was the only one experiencing symptoms, so we assumed I had eaten some bad food. My wife immediately called the front desk (it’s the middle of the night) to ask for help. The attendant explained that they were aware of what was happening on the resort but the pharmacy was closed at this hour. But good news! For the meagre sum of $285 US dollars, the attendant would be able to obtain the necessary medication. Can you believe this??? First, they give you food poisoning, and then they apply the money squeeze - not a bad business! Thankfully, my wife had enough presence of mind to realize that I was better after vomiting and I felt well enough to sleep and visit the pharmacy in the morning. We were able to avoid this awful and deliberate extortion, but we found out later that many other families were not. Although the dollar amount differed, multiple families explained that they had been extorted for medication that in actuality only cost $15 US.

Day 4 (March 17, 2023)
In the morning my wife called the desk again to inquire about the pharmacy hours. She reported the blatant exploitation that we experienced, and the day attendant was horrified and apologized; apparently the medicine should only have been $220 US dollars. I guess it’s the morning discount? Is this some sort of joke? Oh and by the way, one of my room keys stopped working - can you fix it? No. Simply put, no. It’s broken, and I can’t fix it (re-program it). So we spent the rest of the time with one room key.

My wife bought me some pedialyte at the pharmacy (which was now open) and she and my kids went to the waterpark and allowed me to stay back for a deep shower. I avoided food entirely aside from some crackers; although no longer vomiting I was experiencing repeated and extended occurrences of diarrhea. My kids returned early because my son had stepped on a bee and was stung. I thought this was an odd way to be stung, and I noticed later that there were big groups of bees in the grass - when the employees collect cups, they dump the drinks in the grass right next to your chairs, attracting bees. Why would you do that? Why can’t you dump the sugary drinks in the drain? Can’t you see what you’re doing? As the trip went on I saved at least three people from stepping on similar groups of bees in the grass - this resort doesn’t seem to care.

Later my son was beginning to complain of some mild stomach pain. By this point we were all afraid of the food - we started eating very selectively, only things that hadn’t troubled us, and we were extra careful with dishes and cutlery - it often took 5 or 6 attempts to find a plate that wasn’t soiled. The more we reported this to the front desk the more it stayed the same. Whenever we met people, both families would sheepishly ask if the other was sick - and sure enough they were. And during each conversation, passer-by’s would overhear and ask if we were sick too - it was FRIGHTENING. We were supposed to go to our first a la carte meal this night, but I couldn’t stomach it, so we skipped it. This day we met a lady from the US that told us about her husband. He had been rushed to hospital with severely inflamed intestines and was unable to travel. This woman had already spent thousands of dollars and was desperately trying to just get everyone home. She cried when my wife offered her money - we didn’t know what else to do. If she happens to be reading this please know that our prayers are with you and we hope you made it home safely.

Day 5 (March 18, 2023)
I was finally starting to hold down some select food (packaged carbs). I was feeling better (despite the ongoing diarrhea) and we didn’t want to spoil the entire trip for the kids, so we decided to book a dolphin excursion. We stuck with Sunwing because we booked our package through them and we wanted the security of a trusted vendor. The local Sunwing representative (Luis) seemed nice - he told us of a promotion they had, and he extended us a further 10% discount on the total price (4 admission tickets). We explained that we were worried we might get sick and we inquired about the refund policy. Luis said they were aware of the sickness that was all over the resort and that they would issue a refund without any sort of requirement for a doctor’s note. He warned us “Don’t eat anything on the beach”. When it came time to pay, Luis insisted that we pay in Dominican currency on the VISA card. Later on I checked the conversion rate and I realized that Luis has charged us the full rate (no discount). I was upset that he misled us, but my wife urged me to accept it and focus on having a good time with the kids, so we left it alone. We decided to try our first a la carte restaurant this night (the French restaurant) because we hoped the food might be better prepared (not buffet style). My wife ate two shrimps (the only exclusive thing she ate that no one else had). This night she experienced her own diarrhea and violent vomiting. She also felt better after the vomiting, and slept almost immediately. We spent hours asking for additional water bottles from the front desk, to no avail. “Yes, yes, we’ll bring it right away” but they never materialized. It didn’t matter that my wife was now also sick, the bottles just wouldn’t show up. We waited for them until morning when the cleaning staff arrived and thankfully there were additional water bottles on her cart.

Day 6 (March 19, 2023)
In the morning my wife spoke with our travel agent and secured a flight change to get us home a day early. I have no idea whether or not we’ll be compensated, but we were so horrified with this entire experience that we just wanted to get out of here.

My sons and I tried to give my wife some rest so we went to the water park on our own. By this point, half the slides were closed. We heard rumours that more people had been hurt. One father explained that his younger son was almost ejected from the side of the tube (came right to the edge). I asked my sons to only ride the two slides that were open and where people weren’t getting hurt (the ones we had already been on). My sons explained that they saw the workers allowing some people to ride the closed slides. When new arrivals to the resort would ask if they could go, the employee would place their finger over their lips (signalling silence) and then wave the person onto the slide (under the rope that was across the slide entrance). Thankfully my sons had enough presence of mind not to follow suit. My wife had enough strength to get out of bed and visit the Sunwing rep for our refund. She explained she was also sick and wanted to refund the excursion. the Sunwing rep began to explain that a refund would require extended paper work and would take 21 days to be approved. My wife got really upset and asked why this wasn’t explained to us yesterday - we wouldn’t have booked if we knew there was a "21-day refund approval period". Further, the Sunwing rep forced her to sign a declaration that she would release the tour company, etc. etc. My wife attempted to strike it out, and the Sunwing rep got extremely upset with her, yelling at her. He forced her to sign a fresh copy by withholding the refund paper work until she had signed. What does any of this have to do with my refund? How can you take my funds, promise me a refund due to sickness, and then append whatever terms you want when I get sick? These tour operators are scam artists, and I regret that we got involved with them. I have no idea if our refund will ever materialize, and I sincerely hope that Sunwing back at home is capable of resolving this. I hope Sunwing sees how their representatives (in orange Sunwing shirts, not a local company) are treating customers.

After this debacle with the Sunwing representative, my wife tried to join us at the water park. On the walk over she passed in front of the kids club. As she walked by, two small children (approximately 4 and 5 years old) frantically pounded on the door. They were crying and extremely upset. My wife tried to open the door but it was locked. The kids were locked in the room. Alone. The supervising employee had locked them in there and LEFT (at least 40 minutes). My wife did her best (through the door) to calm the children down, and other people helped as well. Eventually the employee returned and unlocked the door. She apologized profusely to my wife. My wife stayed with them and confirmed the children recognized the employee (the children confirmed they had stayed with her before). My wife and I tried for a couple of hours to locate the parents but they weren’t in their room. I asked whoever I could in the water park but to no avail. Eventually the children calmed down and returned to playing. Can you believe this? What if a child had hit their head, or swallowed something and choked? This place is absolutely terrifying, and it’s a travesty that they are still operating. We tried to contact the parents room but couldn’t reach them. If you are their parent we sincerely hope you reached them and that you’re all safe.

Later my son experienced some diarrhea and we were worried it was going to turn to vomiting, but thankfully it didn’t go that far.

Day 7 (March 20, 2023)
This was our last day. We stayed away from all of the food, dishes, cutlery, door handles, and tried to avoid any trouble. We disinfected what we could. My wife was feeling a little better and my sons diarrhea hadn’t worsened. We managed to pack and went home in the morning (following day).

I want to be clear that many of the employees were very kind and helpful. I am reviewing what happened to my own family. There are many other stories that you can see in other reviews - please do your research and make an informed choice. I also notice that as the negative reviews are popping up, there are other glowing reviews being written. Every person we talked to - LITERALLY EVERY FAMILY, at least 40 - had a similar food poisoning experience. I also note that those positive reviews have many glaring spelling and grammar mistakes, not unlike the local Dominican ads. I can’t say for sure, but draw your own conclusions. It’s my sincere hope that this effort to record our experience has helped you avoid a similar situation.  | Symptoms: Nausea, Diarrhea, Vomiting, Fever, Stomach Pain
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This tesort has potetial. The pools'watrrpark and beach are great, but the food is meh AND our entire group (8 of us) has been sick for days. Diarrhea is constant and uncontrollable and we have stomach pains, nausea and body weakness with low grade fever. Half of... See More us have lost days in bed. The good parts of the resort are lost on how awful we feel. Will not book all-inclusive ever again based on this experience. | Symptoms: Nausea, Diarrhea, Fever, Weakness, Stomach Pain See Less

12 people in our group. We all have been sick either pooping, vomiting, or both. Only got to spend 2 Days with my family. This has been the most worst trip we have been on. When I saw watery diarrhea- raging waterfall. | Symptoms: Diarrhea, Vomiting See Less

We were sick there last Monday and still have symptoms. Resort has terrible hygiene practices and ignoring it. There are high cases at that resort this past week.
Reply 4 days ago
On the 3rd day I arrived at the Grand Sirenis Punta Cana Resort (March 16) I started having stomachaches. I said to myself, it's all right, it will pass. A few hours later, it got worse, I vomited a good ten times, I had diarrhea, which is... See More still the case now. My pulse was very low, I was really dehydrated, headache, cramps in my lower abdomen, severe nausea. I told myself that I would go see the doctor, already just leaving the consultation it's super expensive frankly... I was sent to the hospital from the ambulance. They took a blood test, hydrated me a little, and also gave me medication through the blood. I had parasites in my belly. 3200$ CAN for hospital and medication. An unreasonable price in my opinion for so little... How did I get the parasites? Surely in the hotel food, because I did not eat anywhere else, nor did I drink tap water. I cleaned my hands often with hand sanitizer. I can't tell what food I got the parasites from, but it sure came from hotel food. Not very safe food for tourists at this place... | Symptoms: Nausea, Diarrhea, Vomiting, Cramps, Dehydration, Headache, Stomach Pain See Less

What type of parasites were found? Did the treatment work? What was it? I have same problem.
Reply 1 day ago
Checked into Grand Sirenis on Sunday 3/12. By the following Tuesday I was stricken with fever, intense vomiting, diarrhea. Lasted about a day and a half. My 14 year old son then began same symptoms on Wednesday…After running into people at the pharmacy and hearing MANY other... See More complaints about the same, I decided to move to Hard Rock. Friday night/Saturday morning, my 8 year old son began the same. What an awful travel experience. Not sure if it all stems back Grand Sirenis or if he picked something up at Hard Rock. | Symptoms: Nausea, Diarrhea, Vomiting, Fever See Less

We were also a film of 4 sick ftom Sirenis and still sick now back home. They are downplaying it and have not down anything to change already poor hygiene practices.
Reply 4 days ago
3 day here now, started feeling nauseas all of a sudden and had to go throw up. Not sure why but also heard there are a lot of people feeling the same way. | Symptoms: Nausea, Diarrhea, Vomiting See Less

I'm home now and still sick 6 days later.
Reply 6 days ago
I got diarrhea day 2 of 7, nausea day 6. My whole family did as well. What is everyone doing to reset there bodies after the issues and taking Imodium
Reply 4 days ago
Rehydration, small amounts of bland foods graval and immodium. Still struggling to eat and our kids are fine. My husband and I have mostly slept a lot.
Reply 4 days ago
Got here on Sunday, had a great evening. Spent Monday at the beach, the pool and the water park. Tuesday morning the cramping, nausea and diarrhea started for me and my son. This went on most of the day so we laid low thinking it would pass.... See More Tuesday night I got a fever and also had nausea. I was so dehydrated, despite constantly chugging bottled water, that by Wednesday afternoon we went to see the doctor. She examined us and said we should get IV fluids and lab tests done at the hospital (after being on the phone with the insurance company to make sure they’d pay). Ended up getting checked into the hospital to get IV fluids and antibiotics. Not a good experience! We’re still not recovered.
I’m not sure if it’s the food, drinks, pool or water park, but there are A LOT of people here complaining of diarrhea and nausea/vomiting right now. We have only eaten and drank items from this resort once here. | Symptoms: Nausea, Diarrhea, Fever, Vomiting, Cramps, Dehydration
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My daughter has been suffering from intense stomach cramps, along with vomiting and loose stools for the past 2 days. She is trying to be strong and make light of it, but since I don't know the cause of her symptoms, I am legit a nervous wreck!!... See More I'm ready to hop on the plane to go & take care of her! Anyone else experiencing this?? My poor baby :( | Symptoms: Nausea, Diarrhea, Vomiting, Cramps See Less

Norovirus most likely
Reply 4 days ago
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