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Love2CruiseTampa

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  1. Definitely, that is where they picked us up. Private tours have to be accessed outside the port though past the guard shack. It is not hard to find at all, but it is a bit of a walk. I think it took about 15 minutes from the ship.
  2. Yes, I do. This is from his email to me: "You will have transportation, a tour guide, entrance fees to all the places that are going to visit and drinks on the bus (water bottles, rum and coke) The tour lasts approximately 5 hours. The all inclusive price is 59 us dollars per each adult also the 11 years old child. The 8 and 6 years old will paid 40 us dollars each. The total amount to be paid is 257 us dollars. It will be a Private Tour, only with you." Gratuity was additional but was warranted and they NEVER mentioned or asked f
  3. We were there for most of the day at the beginning of February and did not hear any whistles or observe anything like that. Have fun!
  4. Hello, SquireJosh Actually, that beach is free and is a quick, easy walk from the ship. The green umbrellas with loungers are free to use, but they fill up fast so get there early if you want a chance to have one. There are also pay chairs and loungers here too. The further you walk down the beach there are a few restaurants, like Jacks Shack, which have chairs as well and food/ drinks.
  5. There are renderings of the project at the following link: https://www.cruisemapper.com/ports/puerto-plata-port-14370 The project is not a RCCI one but it is privately financed and managed. unlike Costa Maya though, it is in the heart of the town so should be better situated for anybody looking to leave for a more "authentic" experience.
  6. The area is very safe, I wouldn't think twice about it. I can't comment on taxi prices specifically as we did a private tour with RV Tours which included the cable car, all the sights in town, plus shops for amber/ larimar and also chocolate and rum factories (maybe not of interest to you, but we wanted to go and also purchase souvenirs). His prices were very reasonable. http://www.rvtours.info/ is his website. I'd highly recommend them. Since you mention photography, there are great shots at the top of the cable car in the gardens and the view too.
  7. While we were on the Conquest in early Feb, the steam room and sauna were not hot enough for my taste. I don't want it stifling, but honestly, if i walk outside in summer in Florida, it's hotter in my driveway.
  8. I can second Punta de Vista. However, they are first come, first served, so I would suggest getting there a bit early. Last month when we were in San Juan, the wait was 2.5 hours so we had to go elsewhere. The view is really nice and the food good, especially the mofongo. For a tasty treat, try Mallorca on Calle San Francisco. The signature there is the Mallorca sandwich- toasted bread with butter or toppings like cheese and powdered sugar. sooo good. A nice breakfast treat and the coffee is good too.
  9. You may want to contact Rene Robles with RV Tours. We used them for a city tour, cable car, and a few stops around town. They were really great with a driver and guide who both spoke English, plus they had rum and drinks in the large, comfortable van. Rene Robles / R.V. Private Tours roblesrene@hotmail.com Great tour, hardest part was the walk out of Amber Cove to the area that the tours and taxis wait for passengers who are not buying ship sponsored tours. But it was definitely worth it.
  10. Another reason to consider is hurricanes. we live in Florida, so are familiar with them. Summer is prime time. of course, odds are everything would be fine, but they do happen.
  11. My sentiments as well, regarding Sapphire. Even though the ships excursion doesn't sound like a bad price, it still doesn't leave much time at the beach. With a port day from 8-4, as you indicated, I'd take a taxi and spend as long as you want there. Taxi's return from Sapphire are easy to catch and take about 30 minutes or so, depending on traffic. The roads are winding and hilly so distances are deceiving.
  12. I agree with doing it on your own to maximize time. We were in St Thomas a few weeks ago and docked at 7AM. We were able to be off the ship and at Sapphire Beach by 9AM, enjoyed the whole morning, had lunch at the beach bar, and were still back at the ship by 1:30PM with time to spare before all aboard at 2:30PM
  13. I'd agree- it will be totally safe. There is a taxi stand right outside arrivals where you can catch a regulated cab without any problems.
  14. It really isn't very far, maybe 750 feet or something? I'm not positive on the exact distance. However, there are pedicabs right at the gangway that can take passengers to the pool area, making the walking distance basically zero. They work on tips only, probably $5 for two people is very fair.
  15. Yes, the pool and slides are free. The slides do have height requirements, but I apologize I do not recall what they were. The pedicabs are totally free. They take you from the gangway to wherever you want in the area up to the shops. While not really required for the length of the walk, it was fun to do. I tipped him $10 for the 5 of us, but if it were just the two of you, I'd do $5.
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