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Aruba, Curacao, Grand Turk, La Romana

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I will be doing this itenerary in March on the Valor. After months of research, I have figured out our excursions. I am travelling with my best friend and we are both in our early 40's.

 

Grand Turk- We have rented a golf cart with Nathan. We will see the sites on our own cart and end up at Jack's Shack.

 

La Romana, DR- Using Seavistours (voted #1 by tripadvisor in Bayahibe) for the Saona special.

 

Curacao- Getting a personalized tour from a friend of my best friend that lives on the island.

 

Aruba- Beginner's windsurfing lesson booked through Shoretrips.

 

I am very excited about all! I will give a full review when I get back!

 

Happy Cruising to you All :)

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OK have to ask as this is a concern for our family. It is listed that the beaches near La Romana are European and clothing is optional. We are thinking of doing a beach day but have our daughters with us and we dont want to be around people exposing themselves around our family....lol. If we do Dreams or another beach: How big of a concern is this or not??? Thanks, M&M1329

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We have booked the Seavis tour and its perfect for cruise passangers a little bit of everything!

 

And if its no good its your fault.... ;-) just kidding. Boxermom took control and we have 12 people signed up already. The price is right and sounds like a great day.

 

Sent from my Kindle Fire

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For those of you who are going on itinerary on Miracle after Jan 27, can you also please report back about what you did and the temps in the areas. We leave 3/1 and I'm trying to plan what to do where and what to pack to wear.

 

Also if you're on Miracle can you let me know how the ship is after dry dock and who is playing in the piano bar???

 

Thanks!

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I will be doing this itenerary in March on the Valor. After months of research, I have figured out our excursions. I am travelling with my best friend and we are both in our early 40's.

 

Grand Turk- We have rented a golf cart with Nathan. We will see the sites on our own cart and end up at Jack's Shack.

 

La Romana, DR- Using Seavistours (voted #1 by tripadvisor in Bayahibe) for the Saona special.

 

Curacao- Getting a personalized tour from a friend of my best friend that lives on the island.

 

Aruba- Beginner's windsurfing lesson booked through Shoretrips.

 

I am very excited about all! I will give a full review when I get back!

 

Happy Cruising to you All :)

can you give me info about renting golf carts in Grand turk? Thanks !

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And if its no good its your fault.... ;-) just kidding. Boxermom took control and we have 12 people signed up already. The price is right and sounds like a great day.

 

Sent from my Kindle Fire

:eek: lol i know it will be a great day!

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I, too, am thinking of this itinerary for the a trip on the Breeze in 2013. I have not been to DR or Grand Turk but our itinerary for a 2010 sailing on the RCL Adventure of the Seas took us to Aruba & Curaco.In Aruba we went on the Jeep tour of the island. When we stopped at the north side shore of Aruba, I feel instantly in love. The way the waves crashed the land was breath taking. I LOVED Aruba. She may not be as tropical as some other Caribbean Islands but her beauty makes up for it :)

In Curaco we visited the aquarium and the Curaco Distillery. Can you say free shots of Curaco liquor in various flavors? LOL! The stunning pastel colors of the buildings in Curaco were just gorgeous. We didn't get a chance to explore any of the "downtown" but they sure were pretty :) Attached are some photos from Aruba (#1-3) and Curaco (#4 &5).

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24050_307350972284_517502284_3547484_139008_n.jpg.2319c3a7c5be816eb32786ee6509dd08.jpg

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I will be on this itinerary starting Feb. 14!!! I am looking forward to the "freshening up" of the Miracle. It is my favorite ship, so I am sure I will be happy no matter what!

 

Here are the port plans:

Grand Turk - Margaritaville

Catalina Island - Carnival sponsored catamaran/snorkel sail

Aruba - shopping followed by Carnival sponsored Sunset Sail

Curacao - private tour with Solimare Gout

 

Can't wait!! I will report back after the cruise to paradise!

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I enjoyed this cruise last Feb. I have to say one of my favorite excurisions was the ship excursion in from La Romana!!! Take the Speed Boat to Saona Island!!!

It was OUTSTANDING!! Pristine water and white sand with a stop on the way back at a sand bar in the ocean. It was spectacular. The speed boat was fun but the Island was out of this world. Untouched and Unspoiled!!!

When I returned to the ship it sounded like few enjoyed La Romana. Everyone on the Speed boat to Saona Island had a blast!

Google it for more pictures and info.

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I enjoyed this cruise last Feb. I have to say one of my favorite excurisions was the ship excursion in from La Romana!!! Take the Speed Boat to Saona Island!!!

It was OUTSTANDING!! Pristine water and white sand with a stop on the way back at a sand bar in the ocean. It was spectacular. The speed boat was fun but the Island was out of this world. Untouched and Unspoiled!!!

When I returned to the ship it sounded like few enjoyed La Romana. Everyone on the Speed boat to Saona Island had a blast!

Google it for more pictures and info.

 

 

Is this excursion a private one or ship sponsored? I looked at a map because I read someone else say the island was wonderful.

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Additional information:

 

Grand Turk- Nathan Smith's golf carts.

-Here's his info: nathanandlinda@tciway.tc Nathan Smith (cell) 1-649-231-4856 and (home) 1-649-946-1869

-There are also several cruise critic threads about Nathan and his carts

 

La Romana, DR- Carnival does a cruise sponsored Saona Island speed boat excursion for $99 and includes lots of people. Seavistours does the same excursion for $65 + $15 transfer from port to Bayahibe ($80 total). Unlike Carnival's, Seavistours includes lunch AND is limited to minimum of 12 people and maximum of 26.

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Is this excursion a private one or ship sponsored? I looked at a map because I read someone else say the island was wonderful.

 

Hi Melinda, I went on the Ship sponserd Speed boat excursion to Saona. I think there are some independent companys that offer it also. But our excursion was well worth it! Have a great time!!:D

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Has anyone that docked in la Romana taken a tour or visited SPDM? A lot of great major league baseball players come from that town, and I wondered if it was worth going to visit that town and if there was any thing to see there.

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Doing this same cruise in June. Grand Turk we are going to just do a beach day and shopping; Curacao they have an island tour; Aruba the Jeep Safari; LaRomana, I haven't heard many good things about this port and not too thirilled about some of the excursions offered, we are thinking of just staying on the ship for this one.

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I was considering the tour through Seavis but am a little uncomfortable with the return time for the tour. We will be in La Romana from 9a m to 5 pm (Valor 6/9-6/17/12). The website for Seavis says you get back to Bayahibe at 3:15 pm and the taxi ride is approximately 25 minutes. Is that enough time to spare? I am assuming we will need to be back on the ship by 4 pm. Please advise regarding any experiences with this tour.

 

Thanks!

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I took the Carnival ship sponsored Speed Boat to Ilsa Saona so I can't comment on the independent tours. Our speed boat was docked at the same dock as our ship. We arrived back about an hour before the ship sailed. I have heard that some independent tours in La Romana did cut close return times. I would just make sure that your tour and ship time were on the same time and give yourself some cushion time to get back since your tour may not start at the same dock as the ship.

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I was considering the tour through Seavis but am a little uncomfortable with the return time for the tour. We will be in La Romana from 9a m to 5 pm (Valor 6/9-6/17/12). The website for Seavis says you get back to Bayahibe at 3:15 pm and the taxi ride is approximately 25 minutes. Is that enough time to spare? I am assuming we will need to be back on the ship by 4 pm. Please advise regarding any experiences with this tour.

 

Thanks!

 

We're doing this tour in May. I believe it should be plenty of time to return to the ship. I plan on reviewing Seavis upon our return, will try to post again in this thread.

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I was considering the tour through Seavis but am a little uncomfortable with the return time for the tour. We will be in La Romana from 9a m to 5 pm (Valor 6/9-6/17/12). The website for Seavis says you get back to Bayahibe at 3:15 pm and the taxi ride is approximately 25 minutes. Is that enough time to spare? I am assuming we will need to be back on the ship by 4 pm. Please advise regarding any experiences with this tour.

 

Thanks!

Look up Seavis tour on tripadvisor.com , Many ppl have taken this tour and reviwed it. The tour is customized for the passangers of cruise ships so I think you should be fine!

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I was considering the tour through Seavis but am a little uncomfortable with the return time for the tour. We will be in La Romana from 9a m to 5 pm (Valor 6/9-6/17/12). The website for Seavis says you get back to Bayahibe at 3:15 pm and the taxi ride is approximately 25 minutes. Is that enough time to spare? I am assuming we will need to be back on the ship by 4 pm. Please advise regarding any experiences with this tour.

 

Thanks!

 

doing this with BoxerMom73 in March ... it will be fine!

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Go online to Jack Shack's Grand Turk website and sign up for your free shot of rum before you set sail. Also check out his pic's on Facebook...looks like we are going to have a fabulous day!

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Just back from this itinerary and had a great cruise but wish they would dump La Romana.

 

On its own not a very good stop. However to fit it in we had to leave GT at 2 pm and we arrived at Curacao at 2 pm leaving little daylight for sightseeing (not to mention it poured just after arrival).

 

Would be a much better itinerary without La Romana.

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Just back from this itinerary and had a great cruise but wish they would dump La Romana.

 

On its own not a very good stop. However to fit it in we had to leave GT at 2 pm and we arrived at Curacao at 2 pm leaving little daylight for sightseeing (not to mention it poured just after arrival).

 

Would be a much better itinerary without La Romana.

 

Did you talk to anyone that did the excursion to Catalina Island? Was their experience any better?

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Hello,

 

I'm doing this same route on the Freedom 3/10/12 sailing. Lots of really good info on here.

 

I've been to La Romana before back in 2008- walked from the port into town, to the artist park area & then took a cab to Campo de.. whatever the name is. It's a nice shopping/marina area. Not much to see or do there.

 

I'm considering Dreams, Seavis tour or a Carnival tour to Sanoa . Just can't decide. :(

 

Sue

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Just back from this itinerary and had a great cruise but wish they would dump La Romana.

 

On its own not a very good stop. However to fit it in we had to leave GT at 2 pm and we arrived at Curacao at 2 pm leaving little daylight for sightseeing (not to mention it poured just after arrival).

 

Would be a much better itinerary without La Romana.

 

Were you on Valor? Are you going to do a review? Do tell......I have this iten coming very soon :D

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Were you on Valor? Are you going to do a review? Do tell......I have this iten coming very soon :D

 

Pretty sure this will be our 2013 cruise. The Valor looks good and I like this itinerary.

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Just read all five pages of this thread! Thanks so much as planning excursions for Freedom cruise in July. Looking for Aruba and Curacao recommendations and how those who have gone will come back and share with photos!

 

Especially curious about Curacao excursions for that weird time frame of 2 pm to 11... :confused:

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Did you talk to anyone that did the excursion to Catalina Island? Was their experience any better?

 

We did Catalina Island excursion. Our cruise was originally supposed to go to Catalina and that was changed to La Romana so we decided to go anyway! If I remember right, our whole itinerary was backwards due to a hurricane.

 

Anyway, it's the only Carnival excursion we've done in the past 20 cruises and it's a beautiful place. We loved the island and it's just a short boat ride through crystal clear waters to get there and back. You can snorkel from shore but I doubt there's much to see....very sandy. It would have been like Half Moon Cay if the ship had been able to stop there.....all facilities on the island and they set up the food. One thing I remember is we took some our BV booze in our beach bags and just ordered the mixers. Drinks were really high on the island. Like, even worse than the ship but you've got to pay for paradise!

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Hello,

 

Ok..so i'm interested in this Carnival Shore Excursion. On Carnival's website it says that complimentary drinks are included... any idea what those drinks are?

 

Also, can you tell me the difference between Catalina Island vs Saona Island?

 

Thanks in advance!

Sue

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Just back from this itinerary and had a great cruise but wish they would dump La Romana.

 

On its own not a very good stop. However to fit it in we had to leave GT at 2 pm and we arrived at Curacao at 2 pm leaving little daylight for sightseeing (not to mention it poured just after arrival).

 

Would be a much better itinerary without La Romana.

 

Would love to read a review, if your doing one ;) What ship were you on, Valor? I heard some not so good things about La Romana as well, we are just going to stay on the ship for that stop. Hope you had a great cruise otherwise :D

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We did Catalina Island excursion. Our cruise was originally supposed to go to Catalina and that was changed to La Romana so we decided to go anyway! If I remember right, our whole itinerary was backwards due to a hurricane.

 

Anyway, it's the only Carnival excursion we've done in the past 20 cruises and it's a beautiful place. We loved the island and it's just a short boat ride through crystal clear waters to get there and back. You can snorkel from shore but I doubt there's much to see....very sandy. It would have been like Half Moon Cay if the ship had been able to stop there.....all facilities on the island and they set up the food. One thing I remember is we took some our BV booze in our beach bags and just ordered the mixers. Drinks were really high on the island. Like, even worse than the ship but you've got to pay for paradise!

 

Thanks so much for the CI review! I was fortunate in that my situation is the opposite of yours. We were originally supposed to go to La Romana, but our itinerary was later changed to Catalina Island. Just a little over two weeks to go until we set sail, and your review has me even more excited about it!

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I took the Carnival ship sponsored Speed Boat to Ilsa Saona so I can't comment on the independent tours. Our speed boat was docked at the same dock as our ship. We arrived back about an hour before the ship sailed. I have heard that some independent tours in La Romana did cut close return times. I would just make sure that your tour and ship time were on the same time and give yourself some cushion time to get back since your tour may not start at the same dock as the ship.

 

Hello,

 

I'm interested in this Carnival Shore Excursion to Saona Island. It's $99.95 per person. It says that there is complimentary drinks? Can you tell me what is offered? Also, is there a place to purchase drinks and/or food on the island? Also, are there restrooms? There is such limited information & hardly any reviews...

 

Any help would be appreciated. I sail 3/10/12....

 

Sue

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Did you talk to anyone that did the excursion to Catalina Island? Was their experience any better?

 

There was another ship there so we did not have that option.

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Would love to read a review, if your doing one ;) What ship were you on, Valor? I heard some not so good things about La Romana as well, we are just going to stay on the ship for that stop. Hope you had a great cruise otherwise :D

 

Was a very good cruise on Valor and would recommend it to you. Just thought it would have been better by giving us another sea day so we could stay longer at GT and Curacao.

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We just returned off the Valor 1/21/12 sailing and absolutely fell in love with LaRomana. It is stunningly beautiful and unspoiled. Our group of 15 did the Saona Special with Seavis tours and it was the best day of our cruise. Here's how it went and I'll try to attach some pics: The cost was $59a/$29c plus $15pp for RT taxi. Seavis arranged the taxis so you pay Alex @ Seavis when you get there and he pays the taxi. Upon arriving we exited the port and walked straight out to the small duty free/shopping building on the left. There was a lady from the taxi company standing there with a sign and she had a list with all of our names on it. Once everyone who booked the Seavis tour showed up, she escorted us to the taxis. They were fairly new 12 passenger vans. Clean and the ac worked fine. It was approx. a 25 min. ride from port to Bayahibe. Once there we paid Alex, got wrist bands, and were fitted with snorkel gear. We then met with Carlos (guide) and he explained the tour and showed us the route on the map. We then walked to the speedboat. It was partially covered and I believe there was 25 passengers and 5 crew onboard. We stopped at a few spots along the way to Saona and Carlos gave us a history of the area with several beautiful spots for picture taking. We ventured into the protected mangroves. They passed around a catalog to help us identify birds and fish in the area. We went to a bird sanctuary and viewed hundreds of frigate birds. They were beautiful...some with 4ft wing span and Carlos provided a lot of info about them. After that we continued on to Saona Island. It was so beautiful! White sand beach, tons of palm trees, and great snorkeling. There were beach chairs and floating mats free of charge. The tour included a lunch of steak, chicken, potatoes, fresh pineapple, rice and beans, bread, and some type of pasta salad. I did not try the pasta because it looked to be made with mayo and I didn't know how long it had been out and it was very hot so I skipped. The rest of the lunch was very good. Also included pop and rum or beer. There was no choice of type of rum or beer. There was also some vendors set up from the island selling souvenirs and clothing, art, etc. There was a lady offering massages on the beach for $20. One of the guys in our group tried it and said it was very nice. On the way back, we stopped at the natural pool which is knee deep water and hunted for starfish. It was so beautiful! At this time they provided more fresh pineapple, shots of rum, and some sort of yummy cake. After we returned to Bayahibe we were able to hold Boa Constrictors and tarantulas if you dare! Alex had the taxi vans waiting for us upon our return. It was an amazing day and I would highly recommend to all! Here are some pics:

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Ok first Thank You for this review! I have talked a lot of people into going on this tour and Im glad you loved it! However I am deathly afraid. Of spiders it's so bad that I don't watch them on Tv or look at pictures! So needless to say I'm very concerned about the last part of the review! :eek:Is this something that can be avoided or do they like bring them on to the van? I would like to avoid seeing them if possible!! In fact I haven't looked at your pic's for fear that you were one of the brave ones!!! Lol

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