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hammybee

Casa de Campo

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I had this fantasy about being able to use the resort facilities for a fee, of course, shopping their shops and dining in their restaurants. Yet I cannot locate anything that lives up to this fantasy. Has anyone had a good time at this port?

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and no one has anything good to say about this port.......Well I am making it my goal to find the god in this port and will report back, after our cruise.

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I know that awhile back I saw someone saying that the Countryside tour that Celebrity runs is a good one. Our friends want to go to Catalina Island while we're there though. That used to be either Celebrity or Norwegian's private island, not sure which, but I know we were there before. I liked it back then, but was hoping we would do something a little more fun. If we leave the beach thing for Nassau, we could have colder weather, so its hard to say. We were in Casa de Campo 17 years ago. It was nice, Altos de Chavon is interesting enough. It depends how many cruises you have been on, and which islands you've been to. DR is a very poor island. (we were also there 32 years ago, and I remember thinking that it looked like people lived in chicken coops) If its the first time you are seeing this, its quite shocking. You get used to it after awhile, and there's nothing like seeing people living under a sheet stretched between trees like you do in Haiti. So, have fun, and I hope we will too.

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In Praise of Catalina Island - Dominican Republic

We were pleasantly surprised by our choice of tour at the port of Casa de Campo after the mainly negative comments I had read here. We chose to go to Catalina Island, a nature reserve, rather than the other options offered. The ferry left ride rightfrom the Constellation's dock gave great views of our ship. There were no pop bottles or other garbage floating in the harbour as described by others - and we were seeing it close up. The ferry ride itself was about 40 mins. of relaxation with not-too-loud music and drinks for purchase. The craft was a flat topped, twin hulled catamaran with internal deisel engines (according to my shipbuilding husband) Seating was plentiful and a washroom was provided. The ride was smooth.

As we aproached the Island we were greeted by colourfully dressed dancers and an island band who seperated as they greeted us on our way to a welcoming rum punch or pina colada. The beach was about one mile long of soft white sand with lots of shade available. Lounge chairs were complimentary the whole length of the beach. Beach bar service was plentiful and I'd say was persistent rather than pushy. Prices were $3.50 for Presidente beer and $4.50 for rum punch. All along the beach ran a wide concrete path for easy progress. At each end there were washrooms. Snorkeling was good all the way to the left, past the ferry dock, by the rocky promentary.

On the land side of the path (still sandy) there were at least a dozen vendors set up with colourful wares, paintings, clothing, food, rum, souvenirs, etc., but at no time did they come onto the beach area. They accepted credit cards. (I had understood that the Celebrity crew would have set up a barbeque and drinks stand on the beach, but I was wrong. I had therefore taken only my ship ID and credit card. But on the beach cash was king. Our daughter advised us to use cash only at all times for safety's sake. Since she was the only one with real money we readily agreed!) Also available were free dance lessons at a dance area beyond the path and many took in this opportunity to learn a few new moves. We relaxed, read, swam, snorkeled and soaked up the Carribean sun as our winter weary Canadian bodies slowly thawed out of the deep freeze. All in all this was a perfect beginning to our Constellation cruise.

 

I have posted photos of Catalina Island at this website

 

http://community.webshots.com/user/catrionakerr

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the description of the catalina beach excursion states that local rum drinks and fruit punch were provided. Does this mean just the welcome drink that you received? Also, what drinks were offered for purchase on the ferry boat to and from the island? Thanks for your review, it is very informative.

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One welcoming drink was provided free. The rest you could chose to buy. We took our own bottles of water from the ship. (The water in the cabin is drinkable though they will try to sell you water as you leave the ship. We used our mini fridge to cool off our water bottles) We also purchased drinks to "nurse" on the beach as a means of fending off the eager bar attendants. On the ferry you could purchase beer, pop and water.

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Sorry, I don't know the prices on the ferry, but would think they would be the same as on Catalina Island. No one lives on the island. There was an identical ferry there before we arrived which left after we did. We assumed this was for all of the dancers and other workers, to get off the island. Before we left, the majority of the beach had been cleared and freshly raked, the path had been hosed down, everything ready for the next day's visitors. We saw smoke rising from the Island as we sailed back to the ship. We thought that would be the incineration of all of the trash we had created. Perhaps the ferry operators have a monopoly?

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thanks once again for the prompt response! Did you happen to notice if there were passengers from other cruise ships taking the ferry or were all passengers from the celebrity ship or ships?

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Constellation passengers only were on our ferry. The dock is not very large. Only one ship was in port and I doubt if more than one could dock at a time. However there were on the island some family members of staff including children enjoying the facilities. They were not on our ferry, but presumably travelled with the workers on the other ferry.

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Did anyone ever answer the question about going over to the hotel to see it while in port?

 

Would you need a pass or can you just go and walk around and take a look?

Thanks,

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Polliwog, Thank you so much for the review. Your pics are great and really helped us now decide to do this. Looks like you had fun!!

 

 

MamaQuack

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to polliwog thanks for the info what time did you leave the connie and what time did you leave from the island??? can you leave earlier if you like??

 

did you do anything at DR after the beach break or go back to the ship??? were there mosquitos present?:)

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Not a whole lot to do here. We went to one of the two shopping areas (not the marina) and found it cool to look at but not much there. Our shuttle driver took us on a brief detour and we saw Sammy Sosa's house.

 

Later in the afternoon we took a sunset catamaran cruise that we booked through celebrity and it was great. The crew even taught Kathy how to Meringue (sp?).

 

Outside of the sunset cruise, we could have stayed on board. ;)

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Polliwog, thanks for those web shots. This is what they used to use as a private island. I guess this gives everyone the choice of touring the island or going to the beach. It was nicer though when you could tender back and forth to the ship, rather than everyone being stuck there for the entire excursion.

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We just got back from the Millennium 2/6-2/13 cruise which stopped in Csa de Campo. When you arrive in port, the hotel is no where to be seen. Celebrity provides free transportation to La Marina and Altos de Chevron, but there is nothing to do at these two places except look and perhaps eat at a restaurant. You could perhaps hire a taxi to take you to the resort part of Casa de Campo, but I don't think it would be worth it. There was an overwhelming response from the guests on our ship that you either go to Catalina Island through the shore excursion or just stay on the boat.

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I was there last November and I thought that it was a big waste. If so many people think that this is a poor port why don't the cruise lines dump it? Or at least offer special attractions so you want to stay on the ship?

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Polliwog,

 

Thanks for the pictures. I am curious about the ride back and forth from Catalina Island. I have read that the ride can make you sick. I know you said that it was smooth, but I am just wondering what these other reports are referring to. Weather may be a huge factor.

 

Did the ride seem real long?

 

Thanks!

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Does anybody know if it is possible to do both the Catalina Beach break and the romantic sunset cruise? I am not sure of the times as they are not listed in the brochure.

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Hi- I just read a post that said they were back on the ship from Catalina island at 5:45 pm. Don't know what time the sunset cruise would be but we were hoping to do the same.

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In Praise of Catalina Island - Dominican Republic

We were pleasantly surprised by our choice of tour at the port of Casa de Campo after the mainly negative comments I had read here. We chose to go to Catalina Island, a nature reserve, rather than the other options offered. The ferry left ride rightfrom the Constellation's dock gave great views of our ship. There were no pop bottles or other garbage floating in the harbour as described by others - and we were seeing it close up. The ferry ride itself was about 40 mins. of relaxation with not-too-loud music and drinks for purchase. The craft was a flat topped, twin hulled catamaran with internal deisel engines (according to my shipbuilding husband) Seating was plentiful and a washroom was provided. The ride was smooth.

As we aproached the Island we were greeted by colourfully dressed dancers and an island band who seperated as they greeted us on our way to a welcoming rum punch or pina colada. The beach was about one mile long of soft white sand with lots of shade available. Lounge chairs were complimentary the whole length of the beach. Beach bar service was plentiful and I'd say was persistent rather than pushy. Prices were $3.50 for Presidente beer and $4.50 for rum punch. All along the beach ran a wide concrete path for easy progress. At each end there were washrooms. Snorkeling was good all the way to the left, past the ferry dock, by the rocky promentary.

On the land side of the path (still sandy) there were at least a dozen vendors set up with colourful wares, paintings, clothing, food, rum, souvenirs, etc., but at no time did they come onto the beach area. They accepted credit cards. (I had understood that the Celebrity crew would have set up a barbeque and drinks stand on the beach, but I was wrong. I had therefore taken only my ship ID and credit card. But on the beach cash was king. Our daughter advised us to use cash only at all times for safety's sake. Since she was the only one with real money we readily agreed!) Also available were free dance lessons at a dance area beyond the path and many took in this opportunity to learn a few new moves. We relaxed, read, swam, snorkeled and soaked up the Carribean sun as our winter weary Canadian bodies slowly thawed out of the deep freeze. All in all this was a perfect beginning to our Constellation cruise.

 

I have posted photos of Catalina Island at this website

 

Thank you for such a positive and wonderful email. We have chose Catalina Island as a direct result of your critique. I hope we look as good in our photos!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks again.

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Hi- I just read a post that said they were back on the ship from Catalina island at 5:45 pm. Don't know what time the sunset cruise would be but we were hoping to do the same.

 

In looking on-line at celebrity.com, I found out how you can find the times to shore excursions. Just start the purchase process (it will ask for your reservation number and ship) and then it will show you the available excursions including departure time and length.

 

An interesting note is that some of these excursions are posted to leave before the ship docks. (getting organized and such, I imagine).

 

Catalina Island leaves at 12:30 and is slated for four hours. The sunset cruise leaves at 5pm. The recommended allowance between excursions (I have read) is one hour. That is cutting it close since a previous poster returned to the ship at 5:45pm.

 

I suppose I will have to discuss it with the celebrity staff once on board and get their opinion...

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Hi Berrybright- Thanks for the tip re. excursion times. :)

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