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Punta Cana as a Cruise Port?

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I was just doing some cruise browsing and I noticed that the August 27, 2017 sailing of the Celebrity Equinox has port calls in San Juan, St.Maarten, St.Thomas, Punta Cana and Nassau. The Punta Cana call is on a Friday from 8AM-5PM. I never knew Punta Cana had a place to dock ships, and even took cruise ships. Does anyone know anything about this?

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I was just doing some cruise browsing and I noticed that the August 27, 2017 sailing of the Celebrity Equinox has port calls in San Juan, St.Maarten, St.Thomas, Punta Cana and Nassau. The Punta Cana call is on a Friday from 8AM-5PM. I never knew Punta Cana had a place to dock ships, and even took cruise ships. Does anyone know anything about this?

 

Last week on an Oceania cruise, we were the first cruiseship ever to go to Punta Cana! We took a tender to Scape Park and the people there were so welcoming to us. Our excursion in Scape Park, an eco-theme park with phenomenal natural attractions that include cliffs, caverns, lagoons and the blue lagoon, where many people swam. Afterwards we went the beautiful secluded Juanillo Beach. Very enjoyable port!

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Last week on an Oceania cruise, we were the first cruiseship ever to go to Punta Cana! We took a tender to Scape Park and the people there were so welcoming to us. Our excursion in Scape Park, an eco-theme park with phenomenal natural attractions that include cliffs, caverns, lagoons and the blue lagoon, where many people swam. Afterwards we went the beautiful secluded Juanillo Beach. Very enjoyable port!

 

 

 

Was this a ship excursion or was this a private tour? We leave in a month and Punta Cana is one of our ports. I've had a difficult time finding anything other than a ship excursion. I was under the impression the ship tenders to Cap Cana Marina.

 

 

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Was this a ship excursion or was this a private tour? We leave in a month and Punta Cana is one of our ports. I've had a difficult time finding anything other than a ship excursion. I was under the impression the ship tenders to Cap Cana Marina.

 

 

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Yes, it was a ship excursion.

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Cruze4Ever, thanks for your posts. I am glad a ship has been able to tender to Cap Cana. What alternative activities were there for passengers who did not take ship excursions? Is Juanillo beach easily reachable from the marina? Any info you can supply would be appreciated.

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Cruze4Ever, thanks for your posts. I am glad a ship has been able to tender to Cap Cana. What alternative activities were there for passengers who did not take ship excursions? Is Juanillo beach easily reachable from the marina? Any info you can supply would be appreciated.

 

When we booked the cruise we were given shipboard credit. We used the money to book a few excursions, so we didn't inquire about alternate activities. The couple sitting next to us at the beach said that they were not on an excursion, but didn't say how they got to the beach.

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Thanks. You're right. This looks like it might be a good port to use some on board credit for a shore excursion.

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Thanks. You're right. This looks like it might be a good port to use some on board credit for a shore excursion.

 

We booked excursions with the onboard credit. It worked out great and really liked all of the excursions and tour guides a lot. The ones that we chose were in vans or open sided buses none were the big tourist buses.

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We were due to spend the day at Punta Cana today but despite our captain's best efforts, trying two anchorages, there was too much swell for the tenders. We are currently on a two week cruise on Silver Wind. We will have to put up with another sea day

 

 

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We were due to spend the day at Punta Cana today but despite our captain's best efforts, trying two anchorages, there was too much swell for the tenders. We are currently on a two week cruise on Silver Wind. We will have to put up with another sea day

 

 

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I was on this cruise too and, whilst I am fine with another sea day, I suspect this might happen quite often in the future and pax may not be thrilled. Punta Cana is on the exposed eastern tip of the DR and with predominantly north eastern trade winds, it won't take much swell to make tendering a problem. The only possible place to tender in is to Cap Cana marina (have a good look at Google earth, the water is very shallow around there and there is no dock anywhere) so that's just the way it is.

 

IMO, the cruise lines are trying out Cap Cana this year because Samana and Romana are not very satisfactory ports and they need somewhere to break up the long haul from Florida to San Juan and beyond - that's why Carnival built Grand Turk port but that comes with a narrow (dredged) deep water channel and docking is not always possible there if the wind is too strong. Nassau is a bit played out and the reports of armed robberies have caused concern; Freeport doesn't seem to be popular either, and it's still a bit of a way from the Bahamas (including private islands like Princess Cays) down to the Eastern Caribbean. I shall be very interested to see if Punta Cana remains on itineraries after this season's experience.

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I was on this cruise too and, whilst I am fine with another sea day, I suspect this might happen quite often in the future and pax may not be thrilled. Punta Cana is on the exposed eastern tip of the DR and with predominantly north eastern trade winds, it won't take much swell to make tendering a problem. The only possible place to tender in is to Cap Cana marina (have a good look at Google earth, the water is very shallow around there and there is no dock anywhere) so that's just the way it is.

 

IMO, the cruise lines are trying out Cap Cana this year because Samana and Romana are not very satisfactory ports and they need somewhere to break up the long haul from Florida to San Juan and beyond - that's why Carnival built Grand Turk port but that comes with a narrow (dredged) deep water channel and docking is not always possible there if the wind is too strong. Nassau is a bit played out and the reports of armed robberies have caused concern; Freeport doesn't seem to be popular either, and it's still a bit of a way from the Bahamas (including private islands like Princess Cays) down to the Eastern Caribbean. I shall be very interested to see if Punta Cana remains on itineraries after this season's experience.

 

 

Well it doesn't look like it lasted long. I noticed a few days ago that trips on the 24th March on the scheduled stop on Silver Wind had been greyed out and non bookable.

 

Got an email from SS a couple of hours ago to say they had changed the Itinerary and we were going to Samana instead.

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Yep, I just got an email saying Punta Cana has been cancelled with Samana as the replacement for my Silver Muse cruise next December.

 

 

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Yep, I just got an email saying Punta Cana has been cancelled with Samana as the replacement for my Silver Muse cruise next December.

 

Dominican Republic and Grand Turk are the only 2 places Ive not pre-booked something for.

 

looking at Samana, there doesnt seem much to appeal. Shame my last dive was in 2012 - or I would have taken a 2 tank dive (shown on a different SS port excursion in Samara)

 

Problem is .... they are our last 2 ports.... so would have been nice to have sorted something instead of graze the beach and shops.

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We also did a ship excursion to Scape Park but we opted for just the Juanillo Beach Escape. That gave us 5 hours to enjoy the beautiful beach and amenities of Juanillo Beach.

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We also went on the Juanillo Beach Escape, a ship excursion, when at Punta Cana on the Riviera last week. The beach facility, which is operated by Scape Park, includes a small restaurant, rest rooms, and a large number of well-spaced sun beds, some with awnings for shade. We had five hours on the beach. Attentive waiters provided food and beverage service on the beach; food was good, but not included in the excursion price. The beach is beautiful, long and wide. The water was calm and clear on the day of our visit.

Apparently the tendering problems referred to in earlier posts might be discouraging the cruise lines from using this port. I did not see it listed in Oceania's 2017-18 brochures, and the online port calendars show only a few stops per month by other lines next winter.

I am not sure what independent options there might be in this port. We did not go to Scape Park itself, but that might be a choice for those seeking something more active.

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Where in the marina do the tenders drop off passengers? The area looks like a lot of condos. I can't imagine the residents are pleased with a few thousand cruise passengers and their buses and taxis descending on the area.

 

We're on Koningsdam next winter and the ship's tour options are pretty slim. I'd prefer Samana. At least we saw whales as we sailed into the bay a few years ago. We aren't fans of beach tours, so this may be a spa/relaxing day on board for us.

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Hi Oceans of travel

We too are booked on the Equinox tendering into Punta Cana on Sept. 1.

 

Scape Park looks of interest to me but is not offered by Celebrity as an excursion. I chatted with a couple folks on D.R. excursion websites. They suggested taking a taxi to Scape Park -- a 15-20 minute ride. Was told it would take about 4-5 hours at the park to zipline and swim in the cenote.

 

May be adventurous and try it.

Karen.

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Our December Celebrity Equinox cruise itinerary just changed - No St. Maarten, Punta Cana instead. I googled it because I was wondering about how/where they ported. We went to a resort Punta Cana in August but didn't do any off resort excursions. I have a feeling our itinerary may still change since the planned ports are St. Kitts and Puerto Rico, along with the Punta Cana stop.

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Our Oct 28 Nieuw Amsterdam cruise stop at San Juan has been moved to Punta Cana. That should be interesting. The one time I was there on a land trip, there wasn't much to do other than enjoy the beach at the resort.

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Our Oct 28 Nieuw Amsterdam cruise stop at San Juan has been moved to Punta Cana. That should be interesting. The one time I was there on a land trip, there wasn't much to do other than enjoy the beach at the resort.

 

 

Our cruise on the MS Koningsdam has also been moved to here from San Juan. They haven't offered any shore excursions as of yet. And I can't seem to find anything here either. We're also going to Amber Cove. I have been on a land trip to Puerto Plate. Was excited to see Punta Cana side. But losing that excitement fast not finding anything.:(

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So now our December cruise that changed porting in St. Maarten to porting in Punta Cana has now changed from Punta Cana to St. Croix.

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Our cruise on the MS Koningsdam has also been moved to here from San Juan. They haven't offered any shore excursions as of yet. And I can't seem to find anything here either. We're also going to Amber Cove. I have been on a land trip to Puerto Plate. Was excited to see Punta Cana side. But losing that excitement fast not finding anything.:(

 

We are on the same cruise. Scape Park looks interesting and seems to have a lot of options, but worried about navigating that on our own since I can't find a whole lot of information on how to get there from the port and taking a taxi seems intimidating. Hoping HAL offers something soon for this port.

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Our November 4th cruise on HAL Rotterdam was changed from Saint Maarten to Cap Cana, and yes, there are no excursions listed yet. I am sure it takes time, and there will be offerings on board, if not sooner.

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Would be interested in hearing from cruisers who stop at this port. We are going mid-Nov. and from what I've read, I'm nervous about how safe a port this is. I read that there are police with rifles is a common site (correct if this is wrong please), and it's not the safest place to wander around. I've never been to Dominican R (except Amber Cove), and friends that have vacationed there say they don't go off the property for safety reasons. As there isn't a beach nearby, I'm not sure I'd want to take a taxi to a beach.

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