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ChrissyBTX

looking for local tours in La Romana

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Just got home today from the Miracle 10/18 cruise. I ended up doing the Bayahibe Beach Break through Carnival. I took several photos of the beach and will post them to this thread no later than this weekend. A few other people that went there said they liked it. I did not like it at all.

 

I also heard that a man on our cruise walked into town from the ship, wearing a gold necklace. A few locals walked up to him, yanked his gold chain off of his neck and pulled everything from both of his pockets, including his money.

 

We stayed at a hotel on Hollywood Beach (pre-cruise) and one of the bartenders at our hotel used to live in La Romana (for two years). He returned to the states last year. He did tell us not to wander into town. He was robbed when he was there and said you need to be aware of everything that is going on around you. He said a man tried to befriend him while he was at a bar or restaurant and kept hanging around him. When he reached for his wallet to pay the bill, this guy tried to snatch it. He said he knew it was coming and held onto his wallet tightly when he pulled it out. He punched the guy in the face and he ran off.

 

A few of the other people on our cruise ended up going to Dreams La Romana and they said it was fabulous and said the beach was beautiful. They contacted Dreams in advance and arranged for a "hotel" taxi to pick them up at the port. They had no problems at all. It was $60 for a day pass and they split the taxi fare which was around $6.00 per person I think?? I wish I had gone with them.

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well, the more research I do, the LESS happy I am with this port.

 

Quickly, we booked the AI Bayihibe resort thru Carnival at just under 65 bucks a person..it didn't matter whether or not you were a drinker for this excursion, there was no price difference for minors. So, we choked on the $270 price tag for 2 adults and 2 teenagers, 13 and 16. Food was not included, and I'm not so sure the 'restaurant' was even open in order for you to buy any?

 

It is a 25 minute ride to the resort, which itself is LOVELY. Very large, well maintained. The pools are lovely, the beach, tho a bit turbid, is also very rocky and not marked 'caution' at all..there is a large coral bed along the shore line at about knee depth that you need to walk over to get to smoother sands..the problem is, you can't SEE where it is rocky..the less than sure footed would have a difficult time with it, and could easily injure themselves trying to maneuver over the formations...depth is very deceiving. And yes, there were a couple topless sunbathers.

 

Ok, so what was WRONG? ONE bar..ONE bartender... alcohol? Um... not really. Less than a pinky width of alcohol in each 10 oz cup. Swim up bar was not attended until almost noon. There WERE other bars, but not centrally located to where you wanted to be, unless you were in the pool..then it was just the one. I know it's VERY rude to say this, but the bartender really wasn't versed in English at all, which made it difficult to order anything other than 'rum punch'...but where the heck was the rum? They added a second bartender around noon.. like that helped..Carnival cruisers were leaving at 1:30.

 

Shopping at the resort? Boy, did we get 'screwed'... Some guy in a cigar/rum shop tried to sell us a $50 bottle of rum... COHIBA, 8 yrs old, 'carribbeans finest', yada yada, yada...we wallked away, and he came running.. we settled on $25 for the bottle. I just checked it out online.. less than $20 :mad: Obviously I'm not a connoisseur of liquor,but ya.. I'm pretty angry. I get the 'caveat emptor' idea tho...so consider my mistake your chance to learn from it.

 

The ONLY shopping at the dock is the duty free shop.. mostly alcohol, some cheap touristy type crap. We spent some time talking with one of the crew following the day at La Romana, and the general consensus was that it may be a short lived port of call for Carnival, even they were treated like tourists.......

 

 

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this was just a big empty area..would have been nice to have some trinket shopping here...

Edited by Crazy4Koko

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well, the more research I do, the LESS happy I am with this port.

 

Quickly, we booked the AI Bayihibe resort thru Carnival at just under 65 bucks a person..it didn't matter whether or not you were a drinker for this excursion, there was no price difference for minors. So, we choked on the $270 price tag for 2 adults and 2 teenagers, 13 and 16. Food was not included, and I'm not so sure the 'restaurant' was even open in order for you to buy any?

 

It is a 25 minute ride to the resort, which itself is LOVELY. Very large, well maintained. The pools are lovely, the beach, tho a bit turbid, is also very rocky and not marked 'caution' at all..there is a large coral bed along the shore line at about knee depth that you need to walk over to get to smoother sands..the problem is, you can't SEE where it is rocky..the less than sure footed would have a difficult time with it, and could easily injure themselves trying to maneuver over the formations...depth is very deceiving. And yes, there were a couple topless sunbathers.

 

Ok, so what was WRONG? ONE bar..ONE bartender... alcohol? Um... not really. Less than a pinky width of alcohol in each 10 oz cup. Swim up bar was not attended until almost noon. There WERE other bars, but not centrally located to where you wanted to be, unless you were in the pool..then it was just the one. I know it's VERY rude to say this, but the bartender really wasn't versed in English at all, which made it difficult to order anything other than 'rum punch'...but where the heck was the rum? They added a second bartender around noon.. like that helped..Carnival cruisers were leaving at 1:30.

 

Shopping at the resort? Boy, did we get 'screwed'... Some guy in a cigar/rum shop tried to sell us a $50 bottle of rum... COHIBA, 8 yrs old, 'carribbeans finest', yada yada, yada...we wallked away, and he came running.. we settled on $25 for the bottle. I just checked it out online.. less than $20 :mad: Obviously I'm not a connoisseur of liquor,but ya.. I'm pretty angry. I get the 'caveat emptor' idea tho...so consider my mistake your chance to learn from it.

 

The ONLY shopping at the dock is the duty free shop.. mostly alcohol, some cheap touristy type crap. We spent some time talking with one of the crew following the day at La Romana, and the general consensus was that it may be a short lived port of call for Carnival, even they were treated like tourists.......

 

 

 

 

What she said x 10 ~ CCL needs to drop this stop like a hot potato and either get the Bayhabibe thingee to give some customer service or drop that tour; not at all like similar AI's we've done! Had it not been for the fun peeps who went with us, we would have really been PO'd!

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We are on this same cruise in December and these reviews are so disappointing. I have not read one positive thing about LaRomana or the Dominican Republic. I do not know why Carnival is taking us to such a wasteland of crime, malaria, poverty and disease. Maybe their port fees are so cheap they do not care about the negative effects on the passengers. Maybe we should all write to Carnival and future cruisers will not face these same circumstances. I would just as soon skip this port all together. We are going to attempt to hire a cab to take us to the Bayihibe beach instead of paying Carnival even more money for an excursion. Do you know anyone on your cruise or hired a taxi to the resort and if so are you allowed there without buying a pass for the day? Thank you for your reviews.

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If anyone took the shuttle or just went to Altos de Chavon please post. I am now thinking I don't want to pay Carnival $47/pp for this tour!

 

I hate the idea of not getting off the ship in a country I have never visited but maybe this would be a good time to try the stay on the ship when it's in port thing. Have never done that before. :(

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Spent the day at Dreams and had a wonderful time. I just posted this on another thread on the main board so I'll copy and paste it here :

 

Dominican Republic~ there was a TA in our group that researched Dreams Resort and arranged a driver to take us and pick us up. When we left the ship we headed out of the port to meet the driver. We had no problems walking out of the port and were not stopped or questioned. The ride to Dreams was less than 30 minutes. We were greeted at Dreams with a glass of champagne while paying for our day passes. A day pass is $60 and was payable at check in. This included unlimited drinks, use of the resorts towels, facilities and all non-motor activities as well as food. It was a gorgeous resort and we enjoyed our time there. They offered various activities on the beach which some of the group took part in. I was so happy we were able to experience this. The rates for taxis in this port were quite varied from the people I had spoken to after returning on board. Our cost for the driver was $20 each which was negiotated from a much higher rate. Many people reported that they had spent $35 per person and hourly rates on top of that. We also spoke to a couple on the elevator that hired a taxi driver for $35 each for the entire day for a private tour.

 

For those considering staying on the ship do yourself a favor and contact Dreams to inquire about the day passes and a driver recommendation. It's well worth it and something I'd do again in a heartbeat. Service was top notch at this all inclusive~!

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We also did the Bayahibe Beach Break through Carnival and were not happy with it. It was a pretty resort, nothing SUPER special. Not gorgeous... just okay. Lis... did the drinks have ANY alcohol in them? I didn't think so. :confused: I was disappointed that the swim up bar was not open. We just hung out in the pool all day because we didn't like the beach there. I agree with all of the above about this excursion. I would not do this excursion again. I would prefer to skip the DR all together. Docking at Catalina Island would be much better. Or.. an extra day in Aruba?! LOVED ARUBA! ;) PS - if you are going to Aruba... the sunset cruise with Pelican Tours was great! We did the sunset cruise combined with dinner .... a sting ray came up to the dock as we were eating... it was so cool!

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Thanks to those posting!!! I so appreciate being able to read all of your experiences, both positive and negative.

 

Regards,

SmudgeCat :p :p

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I am confused, did you not stop at Catalina Island? We are on the Jan. 6th cruise to these ports. It looks like we have some different time schedules.

Aruba 8:00 a.m, depart 4:p.m. I think you were there longer.

Do you recommend the Jolly Roger there

Thanks for any information you can share.

Marie:)

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I am confused, did you not stop at Catalina Island? We are on the Jan. 6th cruise to these ports. It looks like we have some different time schedules.

Aruba 8:00 a.m, depart 4:p.m. I think you were there longer.

Do you recommend the Jolly Roger there

Thanks for any information you can share.

Marie:)

You can purchase an excursion from La Romana to Catalina Island for part of a day and will be taken there by boat. This is the excursion I wish we would have done. We were in Aruba from noon until 10pm.

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I see our itinerary is different from the Oct. 18th. Our summary says we will be docked in Catalina Island, and, that the excursions offered by CCL will take you by boat in a 45 minute ride to La Romana. We have been there at least twice (to the DR) and have seen a lot of the attractions. If anyone is unsure of their safety, I would consider spending the extra $ to go with C excursions. Safety in numbers. Some of the sights are quite nice. The caves we saw a few years ago were wonderful, but, many stairs nearly killed me, so, be warned it you have health issues.

Marie:)

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Im so dissapointed...I cant believe that in all my researching about this port I barely have found 1 positive review of anything this one has to offer. :(

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:confused:

Boy it seems there is absolutly no independent tour guides in La Romana. I do not plan to stay on the ship in a port I have never been to before. I see there is a great guide in samana. Is it possible to use him or are the ports too far apart?

We have a 7 year old with us and none of Carnival's excusions will work for us. (I also prefere to use independent tours) I realize this is a stop that you need to have an excursion planned.

Any info would be GREATLY appreciated.

I also read somewhere that the Miracle is using Catalina Island as their port and using it as a private island. Is this the way it is changing (our cruise is a year away) or will the Miracle use both as their ports?

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Im so dissapointed...I cant believe that in all my researching about this port I barely have found 1 positive review of anything this one has to offer. :(

 

We are disappointed with you....we feel the same. It's a new port and not built up yet I guess. We are taking a ship tour into Santo Domingo, which is a rarity for us. Have been looking for some feedback on this tour, but have received none so far.

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I need sosme HELP...I am going on Carnival on Jan 22 and one of the stops is tp Catalina, DR. My question is,how do I get to the main land so I can go to the art village? Once I get to the mainland is it easy to get a shuttle there...OR is it better to just get the excursion from Carnival...Thanks for the help..

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There were two shuttles at the cruise port, one to LaRomana for $5.00 and one to Altos de Chavón for $7.00. I do not know how to get from the tenders at Catalina Island we ported in La Romana and that is where the shuttles pick you up.

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Those of you who took the Carnival Bayihibe Beach Break tour, what AI di you go to? Did you see the name of the resort when you got there? Just very curious! Thanks!

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Those of you who took the Carnival Bayihibe Beach Break tour, what AI di you go to? Did you see the name of the resort when you got there? Just very curious! Thanks!
We were on the Bayahibe Beach Break through Carnival last October and were taken to Oasis Canoa Resort. http://www.belivecanoa.com/

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I was born in New York and both of my parents are from the Dominican Republic. When you are a tourist people can tell and you have to be careful because sadly you cannot go around wearing real gold jewelry or things of that nature because some will rob you. Never talk to strangers and stuff.

 

I don't personally have to go through this since I have family over there and while people can tell that I don't live over there when I visit, since I hang out with my family members from the island I am protected.

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I was born in New York and both of my parents are from the Dominican Republic. When you are a tourist people can tell and you have to be careful because sadly you cannot go around wearing real gold jewelry or things of that nature because some will rob you. Never talk to strangers and stuff.

 

 

Boy thats comforting! :(

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I was thinking of doing the beach break on our March 11 cruise, but after reading some of these reviews , and doing some thinking of my own, I think we'll just skip it and stay on the ship. Our kids are 9 & 12 and I think they'd have just as much fun using the pool and waterslide on the boat, plus maybe going to the youth activities as well. Plus, saving ourselves $200 approx. as well!!!!!

When we were on our first cruise back in 2005, one of the stops was Belize, and our kids were just 3.5 years and 6 years old. A lot of people advised us to stay on the ship, as it wasn't really the place to go with young kids. I was glad to, as we just enjoyed a quiet ship and the kids had lots of pool time, etc.

 

I'm thinking if we just do a day on the boat, that will give us four quiet days and three port days, sounds just right to me!!!! Is it March 11th yet????

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Sounds like the excusion to do is to go to Catalina Island. Does anyone have pictures from there?

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The Catalina island tour or the Bayahibe beach....which one is the best if we are not doing Dreams?

There are 5 of us and I am afraid the transportation cost will be quite a bit for all of us to go to Dreams for the day.

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