Barbados Tropical Waters

Barbados Tropical Waters
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Monday, 7 October 2013

A Smoking Sensation!



I don't want to sound ungrateful for having had the opportunity of being in a very beautiful country but I have to share this.  I told you about the pollution and lack of care for the environment that I witnessed in the Dominican Republic and so felt it natural to close the subject with this blogg.
Having spent a fantastic time at the Grand Bahia Principe in Dominica Republic I was surprised and disappointed by the amount of smokers there, especially as it was a family resort. Coming from the UK with such strict laws about smoking, to the Dominican Republic where smoking laws are very relaxed, I found it quite a challenge as a non-smoker.
 
In many parts of the resort, there were smoking restrictions, but as it only applied to certain areas it meant that the common areas such as in the open air bars and lounges, you would find a mixture of smokers and non-smokers. This meant you would often be forced to succumb to the effects of smoke.

In truth the attempts to separate the areas were quite poor as the divisions were often separated only by an isle or a couple of tables. The effect of this approach meant that the breeze was like a blessing and a curse!  

In the busy periods especially, it was impossible to find areas to sit down where cigarette fumes could not get to you. So in effect the warm Caribbean breeze would blow through, cooling and fanning, but also wafting the cigarette smoke through the non-smoking areas….so no real escape for non- smokers!

The above could be explained by the fact that the Dominican Republic attracts lots of South American tourists, where smoking laws are much more relaxed and smoking cigars is customary. I was very surprised on one occasion when a man stood in the middle of the children’s swimming pool with his children and cigarette in hand. I had to ask him to put it out, which surprisingly he did without hesitation.

For me smoking at the Grand Bahia Resort was the only displeasure of my holiday there. Whenever I was out, even on the beach, I had to make an effort to avoid sitting in areas in close proximity to smokers. I have been to other Caribbean island resorts where smoking policies are much more effective and results in a better experience for a non-smoker and children.