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Someone please tell me about Samana

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We are going on the Explorer in February and one of the stops is Samana. I've been to all the other ports before except this. Is it a private area like Labadee? If you don't take their shore excursion to Cayo Levantado, is there some other beach you can go to on your own when you get to the pier? (I know you tender in.)

 

Thanks for your advice.

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It is not like Labadee. It's a port that we don't even go ashore anymore. We've been to Cayo Levantado and it was "okay". Everyone I've met who goes ashore in Samana does an excursion and even those aren't all good. We're still trying to figure out WHY RCI goes there. DR has several nice areas, but Samana is very poor and not a resort area at all.

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We were there in June and we enjoyed our excursion to Cayo Levantado, it was a very nice beach area. Had some good margaritas there also:D.

Some of the people in our roll call did private excursions by Terry, I think they enjoyed them. You can get more info by going to the ports board of CC.

 

I agree with the above poster, there is nothing to do on your own in Samana. You need to either book a private excursion or one through the ship or stay on board. There is nothing to do in Samana.

Sherri:)

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We were here just a few weeks ago and really enjoyed our time here. Yes the DR is not like other commercialized caribbean islands but that doesn't mean there isn't anything to do. You do have to arrange a tour if you want to enjoy your time on the island. You can't just walk around like you would on other islands as there isn't much to see right at the marina.

 

With that said, we used Terry's Tours and had a wonderful time!!! We did his beach excursion to La Playita which in my opinion is a nicer beach that Cayo Levantado (based on pics I've seen there). He was a very informative guide, corresponded well to all my email prior to the trip, we had a great lunch that was included in the price, etc. I'd have no problem recommending him to anyone. It's a shame if people don't try to explore this island as there is much to be seen there. :) I can't say that I am familiar with the ships excursions they offer to here as I am the type to arrange my own private tours. ;) If you go over to the Dominican Republic board you'll see Terry comes highly recommended.

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Samana is a port that takes more work to have a good time.

 

That being said, we had what was probably our favorite excursion there when we went to Playa Rincon. It seemed like a whole other world. You can also arrange to see the whales if you are there in winter. We used Casa Dorada for our trip to Plya Rincon. It was run/owned by a former NYC principal and she was great to work with.

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Samana is a port that takes more work to have a good time.

 

That being said, we had what was probably our favorite excursion there when we went to Playa Rincon. It seemed like a whole other world. You can also arrange to see the whales if you are there in winter. We used Casa Dorada for our trip to Plya Rincon. quote]

 

We did the same private excursion as described above using Casa Dorado (just google for the email address to contact them). Playa Rincon is an amazingly beautiful beach and we had a great time there! I attached one of my favorite photos taken there.

 

playarinconavatar.jpg

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We arrive the first part of March (for the first time).

We have a whale watching excursion booked with RC.

Looking forward to it.

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After a lot of research I determined that this isn't the place to explore on your own. So I have the ATV "Terry tour" booked for our cruise next month.

-Heather

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Samana is a port that takes more work to have a good time.

 

That being said, we had what was probably our favorite excursion there when we went to Playa Rincon. It seemed like a whole other world. You can also arrange to see the whales if you are there in winter. We used Casa Dorada for our trip to Plya Rincon. quote]

 

We did the same private excursion as described above using Casa Dorado (just google for the email address to contact them). Playa Rincon is an amazingly beautiful beach and we had a great time there! I attached one of my favorite photos taken there.

 

playarinconavatar.jpg

 

I'd do it again in a heartbeat, which is unusual for me.

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We are going on the Explorer in February and one of the stops is Samana. I've been to all the other ports before except this. Is it a private area like Labadee? If you don't take their shore excursion to Cayo Levantado, is there some other beach you can go to on your own when you get to the pier? (I know you tender in.)

 

Thanks for your advice.

 

We also went to Playa Rincon. We booked through this site: http://www.casadoradodr.com/excursions.php CondaNast rates this beach as one of the top ten in the world. It is very scenic & private, they have beach chairs,umbrellas & 2 beach bars/restaurants. We had a group of 24 & we were the only ones on the beach that day.

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We were in Samana nearly 2 years ago on the NCL Jewel. Things could have changed drastically since then, although not very likely. I enjoy any stop, and am always up for an adventure if things aren't of the 'normal' port fare.

 

We did not have an excursion booked, and ended up walking around to check things out. This didn't work too well for us, particularly because my father had troubles walking so far as well as we had a baby in a stroller. The sidewalks are rough and it took some time to get anywhere, which really turned out to be nowhere in particular. We eventually hired a rickety old van which turned out to be lots of fun and very educational. My Dad likes to hear about the history and 'real' life on the island. Our guide drove us by some terrible poverty that was sobering for all of us, especially my kids to see. We stopped by the main beach which seemed okay. It wasn't a very memorable stop, and I'm sure they are working hard to make things more up to cruise 'standard.' Either way there is always something to be seen and experienced!

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Two questions:

 

Can you book the tour to Playa Rincon when you get off the ship or do you need to get a group together prior to disembarkation?

 

Are the chairs complimentary at Playa Rincon and do they include umbrellas?

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I just stumbled on this post - we are stopping at Cayo Levantado for a day and are booked for an excursion called "Discover Samana" - from what I have read on the posts above, there isn't much to "discover". Anyone have any recommendations for shops, cafés etc?

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Two questions:

 

Can you book the tour to Playa Rincon when you get off the ship or do you need to get a group together prior to disembarkation?

 

Are the chairs complimentary at Playa Rincon and do they include umbrellas?

 

You can definitely get a taxi to take you on the 35 minute ride to Las Galeras. To get to Playa Rincon you will need a boat ride of about 15 minutes. This should be arranged before, but we did it on the spur of the moment once. We used http://www.casadoradodr.com/index.php

The chairs can be rented, but there are no umbrellas. To stay out of the sun for awhile, try the 2 resturants.

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we had an unexpected stop in Samana couple of weeks ago on the SUN and we did a ship tour called Discover Samana--was nice enough specially when we stopped at a beach (name escapes me) which is about 1 hr or so away from the pier...the beach was really nice and clear--one of the better we had been to in the caribbean and the water was so warm--wish we would have had our swimsuits on...was just fun walking on the beach--the sand was wonderful-no broken shells etc in it!

even tho alot of people complain about this port we enjoyed our visit!

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It is not like Labadee. It's a port that we don't even go ashore anymore. We've been to Cayo Levantado and it was "okay". Everyone I've met who goes ashore in Samana does an excursion and even those aren't all good. We're still trying to figure out WHY RCI goes there. DR has several nice areas, but Samana is very poor and not a resort area at all.

 

Yeah, God forbid it isn't a resort area! All places are scum that aren't resort areas!!

 

Samana is awesome. I lived a few hours from there when I lived in Cabarete, D.R in 2007. I strongly suggest Playa Rincon. Check out the pictures I have on the link below and Ignore ignorant opinions that it's bad because it doesn't look like a fake resort.

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Samana is beautiful and was our favorite stop on our first cruise. It does take research and booking an excursion to see the true beauty of this place. It is not a built up tourist area with fancy shops, Diamonds International and cafe's (honestly it's refreshing to visit a place that is still raw and not a tourist trap). It does have a few shops in town and a straw market. We did the ATV tour offered through NCL and it was one of the best excursions we have taken. The people are wonderful and the land is stunning. Samana is a poor area but meeting the people was the greatest experience. I have heard great things about Terry if you don't want to book through the cruise line. Happy sailing!

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We will be in Samana in June and have sent correspondence via e-mail with Terry of Tours with Terry. He responds quite quickly. We chose the ATV tour for the 5 of us, and are looking forward to it. Many great reviews on CC and a lot of different excursions to choose from if you do a search on CC. Here is his e-mail if you have questions: toursamanawithterry@hotmail.com

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We will be in Samana in June and have sent correspondence via e-mail with Terry of Tours with Terry. He responds quite quickly. We chose the ATV tour for the 5 of us, and are looking forward to it. Many great reviews on CC and a lot of different excursions to choose from if you do a search on CC. Here is his e-mail if you have questions: toursamanawithterry@hotmail.com

 

I too have the ATV tour w/Terry booked. Mine is this month :D

I will stop back by and let you know how it goes. If the tour is as good as his communication then I'm sure we will be satisfied.

-Heather

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I'll ditto -- Samana is not a cruise ship port-- it is a fishing village. That said, the Dominicans are the midwesterners of the Carribean. If you speak functional Spanish you can have a very interesting day. if not, contact Terry and he will see to it that you get a glimpse of this wonderful country. We have stayed at the Gran Bahia (the large hotel that overlooks the bay) and just returned from the Mercury, which stopped there on 12/24.

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Heather - thank you so much for your response - I would love, love, love, to know how your ATV tour goes. Please post on CC or PM me. I e-mailed him yesterday just to check in and throw a quick question at him which you might of help also. DS15 and I have never driven an ATV and I asked if there is a brief update beforehand and how difficult it is to drive if we wanted to go solo. Let me know how you like it! Thanks again! Carol

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We are planning on a tour with Terry, based on many favorable comments found on the boards, and feel this will be the highlight of the trip.

Terry has a new website that may prove helpful to those like you wondering how to spend time on the island. The link is here:

 

http://www.toursamanawithterry.com/

 

Hope this helps some of you in making your choice.

Jim

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