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Amber Cove Port and Poolside Cabana pix, video, and info/review

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During the end of September 2016 I visited Amber Cove, Dominican Republic on a Carnival Cruise aboard the Carnival Conquest. Upon planning for this destination, I noticed there were a lot of questions and confusion since this is a new port that recently opened in 2015. So I'm posting this to give some general information and answer some questions that people have asked on this forum. I'm also including a few pictures and a link to a youtube video I made with more pictures and video clips of the Amber Cove port, pool, and cabanas.

 

Since our other stops on our cruise were beach stops, we decided to rent a poolside cabana for the six of us in Amber Cove. There are only 4 Poolside Cabanas, so they must be booked well in advance to be sure to get one. There are also Cabanas on the hillside and in the ocean, but we wanted to be near the pool which is why we chose to book those. The cost was $295.00 which we split among the 6 of us. I believe you can have up to 6 people in the cabana. More about the cabana in a bit.

 

Upon arriving you can see that the port is surrounded by rocks. There really aren't any beaches surrounding the area. You can see that there are some apartment looking buildings with a small sandy beach nearby, but it's very small and there were security guards nearby, so I'm not sure if it was public or not, but it didn't look very nice. The rest of the area around the pier and around the port was a lot of rocks as you can see in my pictures and video.

 

Once off the ship, to your left there's the usual shopping square with a variety of souvenier shops and jewelry shops and a small flea market type area with a few different vendors selling carvings, chocolates, and some other souveniers. There's a restaurant called cococana (which is basically the same restaurant near the pool with the same menu) and there's a small coffee shop. There are menu pictures of each on my youtube video. There's also a large sculpture spelling out Amber Cove that is a perfect photo opportunity.

 

Off to the right is where the pool with swim up bar and the other Cococana restaurant is located. It's also where the waterslides and pool zipline and cabanas are accessed. If you've reserved any of these, there is a small hut to the left of the pool that has a sign with prices for activities. I've included a picture of the sign with activity prices on here. You pay at this hut for your activities. If you've rented a cabana, this is where you go to get the keys to your cabana. Each person in the cabana gets a wrist band so that they know you belong there. You pay a $5.00 refundable deposit for the keys to the cabana and safe inside the cabana at this hut and each person in the cabana will get their own wifi password. An attendant will then take you to your cabana and show you everything.

 

The pool is very large and it's not really that deep. Maybe 3-4 feet in some parts and shallower in other parts. There's a large area surrounding the swim up bar and then the pool is somewhat like a lazy river that goes around an island area and then circles back around to the bar, but unlike a lazy river, there's no motion in the water to push you around. The pool is quite big and there's plenty of loungers surrounding the pool for guests to lay on or put their belongings. During our stay, there were plenty of empty loungers throughout the day and the pool was never really that packed with people. There's a children's water play area as well, but forgive me, I didn't pay much attention to it since I don't have children. The poolside bar has several stools surrounding it so you can sit in the water and the bar and drink. There's music playing most of the time and occasionally there are dancers that come out and dance. There's a large pavillion/restaurant area and there's also a covered area above the bar where you can eat. You can pay with cash or credit card, but cannot pay with your sign and sail card like you can at Half Moon Cay.

 

There are 2 water slides in a seperate area that do not empty out in the pool. One is an open waterslide and the other is like a tunnel and is very dark during the whole slide. There are also 2 ziplines that go over the pool area. People that rent a cabana get unlimited free zipline rides while other people must purchase a wristband. One problem I noticed in doing the waterslides/zipline is that you must climb several steps up to the slide and ziplines and these steps are also to where there is a skybar (sorry I didn't go up there so I don't really know much about it) and access to the mountain side cabanas. The problem with the steps are that if you are going down the waterslide, generally, you do that barefoot. Well these steps are wooden with these dark pebble rocks in between steps and in the blazing sun, they are EXTREMELY hot on your feet. They obviously tried to remedy this problem by putting sprinklers every few steps to try to water down the steps and make them cooler, but you will still burn your feet every 2-3 steps and you're also stepping on these little pebbles that hurt and stick to your feet and end up all over the waterslides. Needless to say, after 2 times on the slide, it wasn't worth burning my feet to go try it any more.

 

If you want to do the zipline, you climb a little past the waterslides and theres an area where they hook you up with the harness and helmets and you zip on down over the pool to the end of the zipline. If you want to do it again, you can wear the harness and walk back up or you can remove the harness and return it to a little hut right there at the end. There are 2 ziplines next to each other, so 2 people can go at the same time.

 

Let me describe the poolside cabana. My youtube video shows you a great video clip showing everything inside. First of all, you climb a wooden staircase and there's an outdoor shower next to the door of the cabana where you can rinse off. The cabana door has a lock, so you can lock your possessions inside. The windows have shutters that you can open and close. Inside there's an air conditioning unit that keeps the cabana cool, as well as a ceiling fan. There's an L shaped couch and a chair to sit on and a small table with a variety of snacks. The snacks are local, there's a few bags of chips and some lollipops and a peanut brittle type candy. There were also 2 types of crackers. One type tastes a lot like garlic melba toast and the other tasted like animal crackers. There's a mini fridge stocked with several bottles of water and a variety of sodas. These are all included in the price of that cabana rental. There's a safe inside that you can also use to lock your valueables. The wifi worked pretty well from our cabana and there's a television with several channels to choose from, although we didn't even use the tv. You can open or close the 2 doors that walk out onto the deck that overlooks the pool. On the deck there were two lounge chairs and two pool floating mats and 4 pool noodles for your use. There's also a water control valve where you can turn on the water misters to cool off. Underneath the deck is an large hammock with a reserved sign for cabana users only, although several times people ignored the reserved sign and tried to use the hammock. Our waitress chased them off though. Your waitress will give you your menus and you can run a cabana tab so you don't have to keep paying for everything individually. Prices weren't too bad, I included menu pictures in my youtube video if you're interested. We ordered some quesadillas, french fries, chicken fingers, and a chicharoon sampler which consisted of these fatty pieces of pork and fried plaintains. The food was average, I wasn't really that impressed. I also ordered a few margaritas that come in cup with a test tube shot of tequila. The only type of beer they serve is Presidente and Presidente light which is their local beer. It tasted much like bud light to me and I believe it was $20 for 5 12oz cans. Our waitress was very friendly and was always around to take our orders. We felt that the cabana was worth the money, especially divided by the 6 of us. We knew our things were safe and we did the ziplines and used the free wifi and pool floats which would have cost extra had we not rented the cabana. It was nice to be able to sit inside and eat our food in the air conditioning and it did rain for about 15 minutes which was nice to be able to go inside and keep our towels and valueables dry. There are bathrooms located near the waterslides which aren't too far from the cabanas. There were several stalls and were pretty clean bathrooms.

 

All in all, it was a relaxing day at the pool for us which was really nice because our day at Amber Cove was sandwiched in between beach days for us. None of us ventured outside of the port, so I can't really say what is beyond. I hope this helps answer any questions that any of you may have.

 

[YOUTUBE]eM6N10jTRYc[/YOUTUBE]

 

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Thanks for the great information. We're visiting Amber Cove for our first time next June, so any reports are appreciated!

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No problem. Hope you enjoy Amber Cove. I did notice in my original post that I said the activity rental hut is to the left of the pool when I meant to say it's to the right of the pool as you approach the pool. Hope that helps, I can't seem to figure out how to edit my post.

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Yes, it goes above the pool. You can see it in the video I have posted. It goes from a hill above the pool down past the other side. It's not huge, but it's still fun to do.

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Yes, it goes above the pool. You can see it in the video I have posted. It goes from a hill above the pool down past the other side. It's not huge, but it's still fun to do.

 

 

Where is your video?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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Wow I just saw that video. Pretty impressive! Will they let a 5-year old on it?

 

I believe the restrictions are that you must be at least 80 lbs and no more than 265 lbs to ride, but don't hold me to that. I can't remember for sure.

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Thank you very much for your review! We have a poolside cabana reserved for our February cruise, and see that they are already sold out.

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Thank you very much for your review! We have a poolside cabana reserved for our February cruise, and see that they are already sold out.

 

Yes, we booked our cabana about 9 months in advance. When I checked the website 4 months before our cruise, the others were already sold out as well. They seem to be pretty popular. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

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Yes, we booked our cabana about 9 months in advance. When I checked the website 4 months before our cruise, the others were already sold out as well. They seem to be pretty popular. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

 

How do you book a cabana????

Thanks

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How do you book a cabana????

 

Thanks

 

 

On Princess the cabanas are booked under the excursion section for Amber Cove. Read the description carefully as there are three types of cabanas that can be booked: pool, hillside and ocean.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Edited by sunsetbeachgal

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We were on a Carnival Cruise and I booked the excursion in advance through Carnival. Yes we walked to the pool/cabana. It's only a few minute walk from the pier where the ship docks. It's pretty much the first thing you come to when you get off the ship.

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Thanks for sharing...looks GREAT!!! Will be there in Oct. haven't been here yet.:cool:

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GREAT info and video. We will be going to Amber Cove for the first time in October, and have rented a poolside cabana, :cool:

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Great video. I have looked at a couple of cruises that included Amber Cove and this gives me a good idea.

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