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hulagirl57

Chocal - Chocolate Cooperative

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I am interested in the excursion to Chocal in the Dominican Republic offered by Princess Cruises. Has anyone gone on this excursion? If so, would you recommend it? Any other advise? Thanks!

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I volunteered at Chocal as an impact activity with Fathom. It was a fun place to visit ... and chocolate! Not sure how the activities might differ with Princess, but this is what we did:

 

1) Sorted roasted cacao nibs (pulling out the bad ones)

2) Remove shells from piles of crushed nibs (this was surprisingly challenging)

3) Watched a demonstration of pouring the chocolate into moulds, then each person got to try doing this.

4) Helped with packaging. My group put labels on bags. The other group boxed individual bars into boxes.

 

We were on the 'shorter' version of the activity (1/2 port day), so we did not do the other activity which is included in the longer version ... planting seeds.

 

They also served us hot chocolate, and there was plenty of time to purchase chocolate and wine. Drive there was roughly 1/2 hour, so you get to see the countryside too.

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Carnival is also offering tours to the Chocal cooperative. We booked the tour, pre-departure, from the Carnival Sunshine last week, (Dec 2017) only to be advised the night before that the tour was cancelled due to not enough sign ups. We were very disappointed and were left without time to research an attractive alternative.

 

So it may be prudent to check out alternatives just in case your tour suffers the same fate!

 

I don't see a great cost in offering this Tour and I recall similar under-subscribed tour situation where the Tour Operator laid on a taxi (rather than minibus) and still ran the Tour. That was Customer Service! (which I offer as a lesson for Carnival)

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I really hope to be able to do this experience on our cruise with our kids (will be 8 & 9) in 2019. I would hate for it to be cancelled, it sounds like a wonderful experience + educational + a chance to help the local community. Plus, who doesn't love chocolate?!

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If you go to youtube you can see a video of the Chocal factory via an Impact Activity through the Fantom Adonia line

 

 

Fathom, not Fantom. :):)

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