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What to do in La Romana!?

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Totally at a loss for what to do in La Romana. All of the Carnival excursions get so-so reviews. Monkeyland sold out. The most decent non Carnival excursion seems to be the Seavis boat trip to the island, but we don't want an excursion that includes food. We have read the Dominican Republic thread on the port board and have not found a lot of answers. Any "safe" way to just go to a beach for a couple of hours?

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We are stopping here next year also and I was having a difficult time finding something. The excursions are expensive and our port time is only about 7 hours so really limiting. Normally we just like to hop a bus or taxi to a beach for a couple hours or take an overview tour with beach time but this doesn't seem to be on offer at this port. I read that the taxi to the closest beach was about $90 RT for a 20 minute drive each way. That is pure highway robbery and greed. I also don't think this area sounds very safe. We decided to just stay on the ship.

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Casa De Campo!!

 

Bus ride is 20 min for 7$ p.p.

Small villages and lots of great restaurants and shopping. Has the largest/oldest amphitheater

Beautiful villas. Its a must see and a nice day to salvage a port for cheap

Google it. Or youtube. You'll love it

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It can be difficult finding detailed info that is also accurate in this forum as many folks do little research and then re-post inaccurate info from previous day visitors who did little research. This port requires a little more research up-front, but it's definitely worth the effort. In fact we enjoyed this area so much that we cancelled a planned trip to Mexico and instead returned to Bayahibe for a two week vacation.

 

If you just want a beach taxi one of the public beaches in Bayahibe or Dominicus. I don't think the price is that much and you can find folks on your roll call looking at sharing a taxi I'm sure. We've only taxied to Bayahibe from the port once and it was not that expensive per person with 6 ppl in a minivan. There are some older posts with more info on that. Very safe areas with nice beaches, and you can experience the towns while lunching or shopping. There is a $1 bus between the two towns.

 

As mentioned Casa De Campo is an option if you want to see a nice gated community, and there may be an option to go to the beach on Catalina Island but we didn't check into that. Eautiful beach there with all amenities.

 

And the Seavis Saona Island excursion with powerboats and the Pro Excursions power cat option are both excellent days with a gorgeous beach. You can choose not to have lunch, but that was the best lunch we've ever had on an excursion. And these are top-notch outfits and monitor the Carnival port times closely because they do change. No need to be concerned about getting back to the ship on time with these operators.

 

Staying on the ship would be a shame with all of the natural beauty there...

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We have been there three times and done the same thing every time. We book a day pass for the Dreams Resort. A.I. It is first class in every sense of the word. Beautiful beach, several nice pools, one of which is huge with a swim up bar Several nice restaurants and a fantastic international buffet. Can't remember the price but it was very reasonable. Wonderful Friendly Staff

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We stayed at Dreams and it is a nice family resort. The beach area in front of the resort can get crowded because it's not that big, but there are nice palapas if day visitors have access to them. The problem is the best spots are usually taken early by the "Towel People". And there were always a lot of kids at the swim-up bar because their parents weren't interested in controlling them so we enjoyed the main pool to get away from the noise.

It's also a short walk along the beach from Dreams into Bayahibe, a small fishing village with good restaurants and stores.

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Look into Sevis we used them twice and had a great time. Carnival has a similar excursion but much larger group.

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"Eautiful beach there with all amenities."

Obviously that should be "Beautiful beach there with all amenities", and to clarify, that is in reference to Catalina Island and not Casa De Campo...

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good info thanx! WE will be there next summer and just starting to look at what to do at the ports we have never been to and this is one of them

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Altos de Charon is an option for folks not interested in experiencing the natural beauty of the area. But there are just so many more beautiful and natural areas to spend your limited time on a port call. Just depends on what you are looking for, and a bit of research goes a long way with having a great versus so so experience in this port.

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It can be difficult finding detailed info that is also accurate in this forum as many folks do little research and then re-post inaccurate info from previous day visitors who did little research. This port requires a little more research up-front, but it's definitely worth the effort. In fact we enjoyed this area so much that we cancelled a planned trip to Mexico and instead returned to Bayahibe for a two week vacation.

 

If you just want a beach taxi one of the public beaches in Bayahibe or Dominicus. I don't think the price is that much and you can find folks on your roll call looking at sharing a taxi I'm sure. We've only taxied to Bayahibe from the port once and it was not that expensive per person with 6 ppl in a minivan. There are some older posts with more info on that. Very safe areas with nice beaches, and you can experience the towns while lunching or shopping. There is a $1 bus between the two towns.

 

As mentioned Casa De Campo is an option if you want to see a nice gated community, and there may be an option to go to the beach on Catalina Island but we didn't check into that. Eautiful beach there with all amenities.

 

And the Seavis Saona Island excursion with powerboats and the Pro Excursions power cat option are both excellent days with a gorgeous beach. You can choose not to have lunch, but that was the best lunch we've ever had on an excursion. And these are top-notch outfits and monitor the Carnival port times closely because they do change. No need to be concerned about getting back to the ship on time with these operators.

 

Staying on the ship would be a shame with all of the natural beauty there...

 

THANKS for this great info, just what I've been searching these Boards for. We sail Vista March 10, 2018 our first visit to any of these ports. I am not as wild and crazy as I was in my pre-retirement years and I take safety more seriously these days! One of the joys of being "older"! Anyway we've been watching You Tube videos but many are not current.

 

Our Roll Call has a group doing the Seavis Tour to Saona Island which looks great but I was a little apprehensive but your posting helps a lot with going with Seavis!

 

Now onto research Aruba and Curacao for what to do...we love spending our time on the beach, we are not shoppers, that's what the internet is for!

 

Thanks again.

Susan

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THANKS for this great info, just what I've been searching these Boards for. We sail Vista March 10, 2018 our first visit to any of these ports. I am not as wild and crazy as I was in my pre-retirement years and I take safety more seriously these days! One of the joys of being "older"! Anyway we've been watching You Tube videos but many are not current.

 

Our Roll Call has a group doing the Seavis Tour to Saona Island which looks great but I was a little apprehensive but your posting helps a lot with going with Seavis!

 

Now onto research Aruba and Curacao for what to do...we love spending our time on the beach, we are not shoppers, that's what the internet is for!

 

Thanks again.

Susan

 

Thanks Susan! Yes Seavis is a great outfit with an excellent and caring staff, and the Saona Island excursion with the natural pool is a great day. We are in our early 60’s and like you are more safety-conscious than when we were younger and this is a safe but enjoyable excursion. It’s also a better experience than the option through the ship.

There are longer full-day excursions that we were able to enjoy while staying in Bayahibe, and you may decide to return for a land vacation like we did. But this Seavis option is a great one for a cruise stop.

 

Aruba and Curacao are all about the beach - in Aruba we like having a bite at Bugaloe beach bar and enjoying the music nd beach there but there are so many choices...

http://www.bugaloe.com/

 

Enjoy your cruise!

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Great additional Info Blue_water I will check the link out.

 

Since we live in Florida so close to the ports we have cruise eastern and western more times than I can count so we pretty much have those ports down as to what we do when visiting there. We sail on Magic Eastern on 1/27 and in St Thomas our new favorite "go to" is Secret Harbor....quiet, away from the crowds, great food, awesome snorkeling and easy to get to from the port. We've done St. John and all the others now we just enjoy Secret Harbor and it will be interesting to see the island's recovery from the storm.

 

Interesting that you say that the Seavis Tour is much more than the Carnival tour. The one thing I noticed is the Carnival tour appears to leave right from the ship whereas the Seavis tour requires additional $15pp roundtrip taxi fare to get to the tour departure. Not a big deal for us. Hoping that we can pick up 8 other people to join us from our Roll Call as 12 are required.

 

It also appears from my research that there are several beaches on Saona Island that each tour company visits, so maybe that helps keep the crowds under control.

 

Thanks again!

 

Susan

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Yes STT and the BVI were devastated and are still recovering. Many beaches on St Thomas were just opened after being declared bacteria free from the runoff. We too enjoy Secret Harbor, but we love staying on Sapphire Beach when staying on St Thomas. Sapphire is our favorite for the island views, sand, and water colors but both are nice and both are open!

 

I don't know the cost comparison between the ship and Seavis, I just prefer the taxi to Bayahibe versus the boat ride from the ship, and I know the people taking the ship excursion had less time on Saona than we did. And we thought the taxi fare was reasonable for the distance.

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We did the Saona Island independently through Seavis. I think it was about $70pp a few years back. They picked us up at the port, we paid cash when we arrived at the marina. We took a speedboat to the island, snorkeled, had lunch, then stopped at a sandbar on the way back where they showed us the starfish & had rum cake & rum punch. Then, back to the marina and the port.

 

We vacationed last May at Dreams La Romana. Nice resort, food was okay, staff was wonderful.

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SEAVISTOURS all the way! We went in December 2017 while docking in La Romana on the Vista. It was in all honesty the highlight of our cruise.

 

The taxi pickup seems like chaos but everyone got to the Seavis office and back to the port - with time to spare. The staff was great! Friendly and ORGANIZED (which was something we were worried about).

 

The speedboat was thrilling and we had more beach time than we expected. Food was great and drinks were too! Then to top off the day we saw some giant starfish and had rumcake to celebrate the awesome day!

 

In 2016 we went to Dreams Resort and had a good time. But nothing compared to the Seavis Saona tour. If you're on the fence about what you want to do in La Romana, go with Seavis - you can't go wrong!

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Yes you book Seavis directly, they are an independent tour operator and are not affiliated with Carnival.

 

We also stayed at Dreams for a couple weeks after visiting La Romana/Bayahibe on the cruise. We actually changed our vacation plans from Mexico to Bayahibe after experiencing the natural beauty there with Seavis.

 

Speaking of Dreams La Romana, for anyone considering returning to stay there after visiting on a cruise, that is a nice resort, just too small a footprint for the number of rooms so it gets very busy when near full capacity. And being a family resort, too many "parents" let their kids run wild around the adult swim-up bar unsupervised making a mess for other adults. We had the same experience at Dreams Puerto Vallarta, we actually saved a toddler from drowning at the swim-up bar while the parents were off somewhere else. We now go to the adults-only Secrets resorts which are great resorts with the same super staff but better cuisine and drinks.

 

But yes Seavis and Pro Excursions are both top-notch outfits when looking at any excursions at this port.

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We did the Saona Island independently through Seavis. I think it was about $70pp a few years back. They picked us up at the port, we paid cash when we arrived at the marina. We took a speedboat to the island, snorkeled, had lunch, then stopped at a sandbar on the way back where they showed us the starfish & had rum cake & rum punch. Then, back to the marina and the port.

 

We vacationed last May at Dreams La Romana. Nice resort, food was okay, staff was wonderful.

 

Which one did you prefer??

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duncmelsmom, I tend to prefer cruises, just so I have more variety. By the end of the week at the resort, we were ready to leave. They had entertainment there, but evening entertainment didn't start until 9 or so. We were usually exhausted by then from being out in the sun all day, so we never went. We went snorkeling & diving with Scuba Caribe, which is there at the edge of the resort and thoroughly enjoyed it. The guys had a manatee join them for about 20 minutes on their dive. I was snorkeling, so I missed it. Again, the food was not as good as what we get on a cruise. Seems like the seafood restaurant food was gritty - like they didn't get sand rinsed off it. The buffet was good and a couple of the restaurants were good. I think they had 7 of them. The one thing I did not like about the resort was that you could pay extra and be upgraded to get an additional pool and reserved sections of the beach. It also upgraded what beers they put in your fridge and what liquors you could get. To me, all inclusive should be all inclusive - period. My neighbor says lots of resorts are this way. This just happened to be our first time experiencing that.

 

Going to Saona Island through Seavis was a lot of fun. The lunch was good, but not outstanding. My favorite parts of that excursion were the fast boat ride to the island and the starfish garden. And the rum cake & rum punch.

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Which one did you prefer??

 

Definitely the Seavis excursion, great day as we mentioned earlier.. Spending a day at Dreams is fine if you just want an AI experience, se posts and other threads for more on both options. But it's a crowded beach, we'd head for the public beach in Dominicus if looking for a beach day.

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We're going to be in La Romana on the vista in July and definitely booking with Seavis. Great reviews and the only other thing in this port is the Dreams resort. I've read on here that it's not recommended to go into the city on foot.

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There are several great water and land excursion options with independent operators. We just recommend Seavis and Pro Excursions because we've used them both while cruising and while staying in Bayahibe. The Saona Island excursion is a great day, especially when in port for one day...

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