Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

spammers

Tour Samana with Terry?

Recommended Posts

We just got back from the Pearl. We had a wonderful time with Casa Dorado. email: casadorado@gmail.com Roberto took use Snorkling and to Playa Rincon. It was perfect and cheap 38.00 pp and that included the taxi to the beach but you must have 10 people which is easy to do if you post on the poll call board that you are setting up a tour. Roberto takes personal time with each person and shows you cool things I would have missed. He found a puffer fish and bobbed him to each person as well as lots of other fish and shells. It was great!! Highly recommend them. Playa Rincon was beautiful and calm. We walked 1/4 mile and saw no other people. Perfect!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi IFXATVS2,

 

Thanks for the info. on your Samana excursion.

 

Can you give us a few more details, please?

  • What time did you leave and return?
  • Did they meet you at the pier by boat or van/car? Can you give us a more detailed schedule for the day.
  • Did you snorkel first somewhere else or go straight to Playa Rincon?
  • Did they provide any drinks or food?
  • Did you feel pretty safe the entire time?
  • Did you have any trouble communicating with the tour guide?
  • You said you spent $38.00 per person. What was the exact cost of the tour guide and the taxi?

Thanks for any help you can provide.

 

M & C

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey everybody,

Just got off the NCL Pearl Oct. 17th cruise that stopped in Samana. We booked with Terry about a week in advance for the Horseback ride to El Limon waterfall and it was the highlight of our trip.

 

Terry was not there but we were shown around by Elisa who was a very nice girl (26ish) from Canada.

 

Terry's restaurant is about a mile from the port. It's a three minute ride and there were 10 of us on the tour. We got a van to take us over there for $28, though in retrospect we could have walked if we knew where we were going.

 

Elisa and one other local guy named Lovitsky (or something like that) were excellent. All of us fit into a big van. We went directly to the horseback riding location. Beer/water in the van. From what we understood it is a small operation owned by a family with some local helpers who work for tips. We were each assigned a horse and a horse guide who walked with us. My guy was excellent but didn't speak much English. It was about a 20 minute horseback ride up and down a steep mountain to the waterfall. The waterfall itself was excellent because it was so unspoiled. You got to swim in a natural coolwater pool on a hot day. When we got there there were 50+ people from our boat who had taken the walking tour through NCL but they left after about 15 minutes and we had the whole waterfall to ourselves for about 30 minutes. The guides all swam and dove off the walls and had a great time. Took the horses back to the van. My horse-walker guy carried my bag most of the way there and back and I tipped him $20. He was very very happy. I think most people tipped their people $10-$12.

 

When we got back to the van the lady who runs the horses had made us a homemade lunch with some of the best beef I had ever eaten. We had a nice communal lunch (reminded me of a reward meal on survivor).

 

Got back in the van and went to the coral church, Terry's property, and got a general tour of the area.

 

For $65 (plus tips) it was a steal in my opinion. I would highly recommend booking with Terry for this tour when possible because you will see things that the tour through the cruse ship just won't see.

 

If you have any questions about the tour let me know... (or just email Terry, he was very good at getting back to me).

 

Thanks for this great review, cardtarget!:) We have planned this excursion with Terry for the November 14 Pearl cruise. We will be in Samana on Nov. 16. Anyone else want to join our group?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you did the waterfall trip, how tough is the horseback ride? DH and I are not experienced riders. Did anyone have trouble getting on/off the horse or navigating the steep slopes with the horses?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you did the waterfall trip, how tough is the horseback ride? DH and I are not experienced riders. Did anyone have trouble getting on/off the horse or navigating the steep slopes with the horses?

 

All the reviews I've seen indicate that there is someone who is in charge of each person and their horse. We haven't been riding in quite a while, and are really looking forward to the excursion. Terry has been doing this for a while and can take a group as large as ten, so feel free to join us!!:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're sailing on NCL Pearl in mid January. I've been in touch with Terry and am trying to decide which tour to book. We're torn between the ATV and horseback ride to the waterfalls.

 

I'm leaning towards the ATV as it would be something different for us. We're experienced horseback riders and I'm assuming that this ride is very slow, just a walking pace correct?

 

I read the great review of the horseback ride above, but am wondering if anyone who has done the ATV excursion can elaborate. How long was the ride? What else did you see except the waterfalls? Was there an option to have lunch? An option to end up at a beach?

 

Thanks for any info you can give.

 

CG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gram-we are doing the same cruise in jan... I did 'check in' on the roll call thread. We did ATV's in Cozumel and they were a blast. I know not same location but I am sure they are close to the same-hop on and ride. There's my 2cents but we had a great time so i would highly recommend. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone have any information about getting to Cayo Levantado in Samana without going through the ship's excursion? I have heard that there are small boats that can be hired, but I just wanted to see if anyone had any experience or info about that. Thank you! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Does anyone have any information about getting to Cayo Levantado in Samana without going through the ship's excursion? I have heard that there are small boats that can be hired, but I just wanted to see if anyone had any experience or info about that. Thank you! :)

 

The only way to get there is by the cruise ship's excursion or if you are a guest staying there on a land-based vacation. Even locals are not allowed there. They were up until six years ago or so. That's when Gran Bahia Principe Caya Levantado took over ownership.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We're sailing on NCL Pearl in mid January. I've been in touch with Terry and am trying to decide which tour to book. We're torn between the ATV and horseback ride to the waterfalls.

 

I'm leaning towards the ATV as it would be something different for us. We're experienced horseback riders and I'm assuming that this ride is very slow, just a walking pace correct?

 

I read the great review of the horseback ride above, but am wondering if anyone who has done the ATV excursion can elaborate. How long was the ride? What else did you see except the waterfalls? Was there an option to have lunch? An option to end up at a beach?

 

Thanks for any info you can give.

 

CG

Gram, We did an ATV tour thru Terry in Oct and we went to a beach where they had lunch prepared for us and then we swam for about 45 minutes. We then rode to an area where we parked and walked a short distance to a small waterfall and swam there-very nice (see my profile picture). I think we might have gone to the larger falls if time had permitted but our group had school supplies we wanted to deliver so our itinerary was adjusted for that.

One note of preparation-bring $1.00 bills. There are kids everywhere helping you or putting a handmade bracelet on you and you'll probably feel terrible if you can't give them something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having never thought I'd ever go to the Dominican Republic (or would want to), I'm so glad I researched Samana when we booked our recent cruise to St. Thomas, Tortola, and Great Stirrup Cay. The day there definitely was a highlight of our trip, and I feel badly for those who chose to stay onboard the ship while in port.

 

Thanks to Cruise Critic and Trip Advisor, I found Catherine and Roberto (http://www.casadorado.com) and was impressed with the promptness of her responses to my emails. Posting on Roll Call to get a group of 10 so the cost would be cheaper per person, I was pleased that it all worked out. We had a great group!

 

We had planned to go to Playa Rincon and Playa Fronton, but swells forced us to cancel the latter beach. Had we done both, the cost would have been $300, plus an additional $100 for the taxi (round trip from the dock to Las Galeras). So taking off $100 for Playa Fronton, our total cost was $300--$30 per person. Quite a bargain!

 

Our taxi driver spoke little English but was very nice and was, thankfully, quite a good driver. The 18-mile trip to Las Galeras where we got on the boat to Playa Rincon was to have taken approximately 35 minutes but ended up taking 55 minutes. That's because Kevin, the driver, carefully maneuvered the infinite number of potholes, plus we stopped at the elementary school to deliver school supplies and also were slowed down by a long funeral procession. Catherine called while we were en route because she was concerned about our whereabouts. Despite the delay, we had plenty of time at the beach and thoroughly enjoyed experiencing the beauty of Playa Rincon.

 

 

The boat ride to the beach was quite an adventure! I had no idea we'd be "surfing" the waves, up and down between the swells and troughs. Not a very daring person (don't even like roller coasters!), I was proud to have survived the trip and even looked forward to the return ride.

 

Roberto, Catherine's husband, was at the beach to greet us. Be sure to ask him about how he became a fan of the New York Yankees. Talking to him was fun.

 

We spent most of our time way down the beach (to the right as you come in on the boat), taking picture after picture of the gorgeous views. Lots of photo ops on Playa Rincon! Thankfully, we found a tree which provided much-appreciated shade.

 

When we headed back to where most of the people were (and the restaurants and restroom), we walked up a path between the restaurants and found more of Playa Rincon which was even more spectacular than where we'd been. Our cameras worked overtime as we snapped shots of the rocky ledge in the sand, crashing waves against a small cliff, and more towering palms. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!

 

So--if your cruise ship is stopping at Samana and you're planning to stay onboard because you think there's nothing to see or do, DON'T! Get in touch with Catherine and Roberto and be prepared for an awesome day relishing in the delights of this unspoiled paradise. We're so glad we booked with them instead of taking one of the ship's shore excursions because we heard lots of not-so-good things about fellow passengers' experiences with the cruise line tours.

 

JBLWright

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Having never thought I'd ever go to the Dominican Republic (or would want to), I'm so glad I researched Samana when we booked our recent cruise to St. Thomas, Tortola, and Great Stirrup Cay. The day there definitely was a highlight of our trip, and I feel badly for those who chose to stay onboard the ship while in port.

 

Thanks to Cruise Critic and Trip Advisor, I found Catherine and Roberto (www.casadorado.com) and was impressed with the promptness of her responses to my emails. Posting on Roll Call to get a group of 10 so the cost would be cheaper per person, I was pleased that it all worked out. We had a great group!

 

We had planned to go to Playa Rincon and Playa Fronton, but swells forced us to cancel the latter beach. Had we done both, the cost would have been $300, plus an additional $100 for the taxi (round trip from the dock to Las Galeras). So taking off $100 for Playa Fronton, our total cost was $300--$30 per person. Quite a bargain!

 

Our taxi driver spoke little English but was very nice and was, thankfully, quite a good driver. The 18-mile trip to Las Galeras where we got on the boat to Playa Rincon was to have taken approximately 35 minutes but ended up taking 55 minutes. That's because Kevin, the driver, carefully maneuvered the infinite number of potholes, plus we stopped at the elementary school to deliver school supplies and also were slowed down by a long funeral procession. Catherine called while we were en route because she was concerned about our whereabouts. Despite the delay, we had plenty of time at the beach and thoroughly enjoyed experiencing the beauty of Playa Rincon.

 

 

The boat ride to the beach was quite an adventure! I had no idea we'd be "surfing" the waves, up and down between the swells and troughs. Not a very daring person (don't even like roller coasters!), I was proud to have survived the trip and even looked forward to the return ride.

 

Roberto, Catherine's husband, was at the beach to greet us. Be sure to ask him about how he became a fan of the New York Yankees. Talking to him was fun.

 

We spent most of our time way down the beach (to the right as you come in on the boat), taking picture after picture of the gorgeous views. Lots of photo ops on Playa Rincon! Thankfully, we found a tree which provided much-appreciated shade.

 

When we headed back to where most of the people were (and the restaurants and restroom), we walked up a path between the restaurants and found more of Playa Rincon which was even more spectacular than where we'd been. Our cameras worked overtime as we snapped shots of the rocky ledge in the sand, crashing waves against a small cliff, and more towering palms. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!

 

So--if your cruise ship is stopping at Samana and you're planning to stay onboard because you think there's nothing to see or do, DON'T! Get in touch with Catherine and Roberto and be prepared for an awesome day relishing in the delights of this unspoiled paradise. We're so glad we booked with them instead of taking one of the ship's shore excursions because we heard lots of not-so-good things about fellow passengers' experiences with the cruise line tours.

 

JBLWright

 

Thanks for this great review! I have booked with Catherine for Thanksgiving week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We also went to Playa Rincon while in Samana on the Jewel 10/30/09 Repo cruise. It was everything JLBWright has written. Just beautiful!

 

This was the first I'd read about "surfing the waves" and I have to say, it was a rather daunting experience. I was fine with it. Our travel companions were not so thrilled. We had VERY rough seas, the ride over took about 15 minutes and the return took closer to 20-25. Catherine told us they hadn't seen seas that rough in years. We surfed waves that had to be about 8 feet high. One gave us a real scare (I thought it was going to break on the boat) but our boat driver was excellent and only one wave got anyone wet.......me of course lol.

 

There was a couple with 2 small children who were supposed to be in our group of 10 but didn't make it at the last minute. I have to say I would not have been comfortable with small children in that open boat with seas that rough. Something you may want to consider if you're thinking of Playa Rincon.

 

Catherine and Roberto were wonderful. Catherine was prompt with her replies and Roberto was right there on the beach with us the entire time for any assistance required.

 

As long as you're okay with the "surfing the waves" this is an excursion I would highly recommend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since this is our first cruise to the Islands we decided to hire a guide for Samana. We'll be touring with another couple (Terry can seat 4 persons in his vehicle).

 

His contact information is:

Terry Lee Bandi

Tour Samana With Terry

Rinconcito View Restaurant

toursamanawithterry@hotmail.com

Check tour sites here: http://www.tripadvisor.com/members-photos/toursamanawithterry

 

We plan on touring around in his vehicle, seeing waterfalls, taking in the views of bay, for a bit of local flavor we'll have lunch at his families restaurant and see what ever else we want to see.

 

Since we have seen whales close up in Hawaii and Alaska we decided not to get out in a small boat this time. We will probably get a chance to see the whales from the shore. Spending 4 hours in a boat when we could see other things on shore was not so appealing to us this time around.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Since this is our first cruise to the Islands we decided to hire a guide for Samana. We'll be touring with another couple (Terry can seat 4 persons in his vehicle).

 

His contact information is:

Terry Lee Bandi

Tour Samana With Terry

Rinconcito View Restaurant

toursamanawithterry@hotmail.com

Check tour sites here: http://www.tripadvisor.com/members-photos/toursamanawithterry

 

We plan on touring around in his vehicle, seeing waterfalls, taking in the views of bay, for a bit of local flavor we'll have lunch at his families restaurant and see what ever else we want to see.

 

Since we have seen whales close up in Hawaii and Alaska we decided not to get out in a small boat this time. We will probably get a chance to see the whales from the shore. Spending 4 hours in a boat when we could see other things on shore was not so appealing to us this time around.

 

We just did this excursion with Terry--it was completely fantastic. We had a group of 11 and everyone absolutely loved it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We visited Samana on the NCL Dawn, two weeks ago and used Terry for our group of 20. He has an open air truck that we used and it was perfectly comfortable and I felt safe. The driver did an excellent job of maneuvering the truck on the roads. Actually, I expected the roads to be much worse.

 

We had a lovely day taking pictures, seeing coffee beans on the tree, eating grapefruit fresh picked from the tree, visiting an old church, watching cigars be rolled and going to the waterfall and beautiful beach. We had a really nice lunch at Terry's restaurant, which was included in the price ($50pp) and I was very glad that we left the ship and spent our day seeing the sights in the Samana area.

 

Note: the walk to the waterfall is uneven and you must cross some streams on sandbags. When your vehicle stops at the entrance to the falls, some locals will come and take your hands. These are your "guides" and they will help you navigate the path, over and back. Please be prepared to tip these nice young people. We were very glad to have their help, but I wish I had known when we stopped that I was going to have a "new best friend". I just wasn't sure what was going on when this young girl ran up and took my hand.

 

We were very, very happy with our Samana experience and with Terry's service. I would highly recommend him and will use him again, if we ever go back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We visited Samana on the NCL Dawn, two weeks ago and used Terry for our group of 20. He has an open air truck that we used and it was perfectly comfortable and I felt safe. The driver did an excellent job of maneuvering the truck on the roads. Actually, I expected the roads to be much worse.

 

We had a lovely day taking pictures, seeing coffee beans on the tree, eating grapefruit fresh picked from the tree, visiting an old church, watching cigars be rolled and going to the waterfall and beautiful beach. We had a really nice lunch at Terry's restaurant, which was included in the price ($50pp) and I was very glad that we left the ship and spent our day seeing the sights in the Samana area.

 

Note: the walk to the waterfall is uneven and you must cross some streams on sandbags. When your vehicle stops at the entrance to the falls, some locals will come and take your hands. These are your "guides" and they will help you navigate the path, over and back. Please be prepared to tip these nice young people. We were very glad to have their help, but I wish I had known when we stopped that I was going to have a "new best friend". I just wasn't sure what was going on when this young girl ran up and took my hand.

 

We were very, very happy with our Samana experience and with Terry's service. I would highly recommend him and will use him again, if we ever go back.

 

Does anyone know how I can get in touch with this terry guy to take his tour?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Does anyone know how I can get in touch with this terry guy to take his tour?

 

 

His contact information is in two posts just above the one you replied to.

HTH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
His contact information is in two posts just above the one you replied to.

HTH

 

Thanks. I contacted him to take his tour on May 25, 2010 and he e-mailed me back and he's already booked that day :( Now I really dont know what to do while in Samana :eek:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's the address he's been replying to me with. I'm using a Yahoo account to communicate with him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks. I contacted him to take his tour on May 25, 2010 and he e-mailed me back and he's already booked that day :( Now I really dont know what to do while in Samana :eek:

 

Check out post #61. Catherine and Roberto (http://www.casadorado.com) are great! Don't miss Playa Rincon.

 

JBLWright

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...