Celebrity lists this excursion as:
- Your tour will begin with a short bus ride to a beach area, where you will board the 29-passenger speedboats that will take you to your first destination. There, just next to Palmilla, at the entrance of Catuano channel, you will board replicas of wooden native boats to enter the mangroves, a restricted area which is home to many local bird species. Inside the mangroves, you can use wooden rows to move forward where you'll have the chance to see and photograph the local fauna, which are primarily the famous red-breasted (males) frigate birds. The crystal clear water also allows appreciating a unique species of jellyfish inhabiting the shallow grounds of the sea.
Just after an hour, you will exit the mangroves and board a 50 ft. Cary motorboat that will take you to the natural swimming pool. Your guides then will dive into the sea to collect starfishes from the ground. You will also have the chance to swim in warm shallow water (about five foot deep). Meanwhile, the guides will offer a variety of refreshing drinks (water, soft drinks, beer and rum), which are complimentary. Those who would rather stay on-board, may appreciate the rhythm of the Dominican Merengue.”

Costa lists this excursion as:
- Departing from Casa de Campo International Tourist Pier you will board an air-conditioned coach for a scenic ride . Then sail along the coast of the National Park to reach the entrance of the Catuano channel located between the east point of the country and Saona Island. Here you will board replicas of wooden native boats to enter the mangroves. Paddling through this restricted area, you will have the chance to see and photograph the local fauna, possibly spotting some of the local seagulls, pelicans and their breeding places. Exiting the mangroves you will have a short boat-ride to reach a famous natural pool where you will have time for a refreshing swim. After the swim it is back to the International Pier.”

The questions I have are:
· Does anyone know the vendor/supplier of this excursion? I’m guessing it’s the same one for both cruise lines.
· How is the bus ride?
· How much time is spent “moving” people from bus to boat to boat to boat to bus?
· How many people were on the tour with you? Was there room for everyone?
· How long is the swimming stop?
· What wildlife did you see?
· How are the tour guides?

I can’t wait to hear your stories and adventures!


I went to www.cruisecal.com and put in Casa de Campo, Domincan Republic as the port.
I put in 10/23/2006 thru 03/30/2007 as the dates.

What came up were the following cruise lines:
Celebrity (Millenium)
Costa (Magica & Mediterranea)

It looks like the first in port this winter season is Costa Magica on 11/30.
And the second is Celebrity Millenium on 12/12.

So my idea is to gain the wisdom and experience of those of you who are stopping early in the season to this magnificent island. And it’s people, beauty, culture, and environment. If you have anything to share (the good, the bad, the ugly) those of us coming after would greatly appreciate it! Or if you already have visited, we’d love to hear your stories too!