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drkorcs55

First time traveling to Amber Cove, advice warranted!

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Hey y'all,

 

Hope your day is going great! Recently, we booked a cruise on the Carnival Glory on March 17 to the Caribbean!

 

We cannot wait, as we are going to all new ports (to us). Grand Turk, San Juan, Amber Cove, and St. Thomas. We have been on many cruises in the past, and would like some input on what excursions or what things to see would be?

 

We are a 30 year old couple, no physical restraints, the only restriction would be that it would have to be through Carnival, I'm kind of scared and/or "sketched out" to book a seperate, independent excursion. We enjoy sightseeing, we love the beach, we just don't want to drink the ENTIRE time on the cruise, that being said - if you've been to a winery, distillery, or brewery in any of these areas, feel free to share.

 

 

Any advice on what to do/where to go would be great!

 

Steve

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We like Grand Turk for a beach day. We just head left down the beach from the ship to Jack's Shack. Topher the dog is always fun to watch, they have good jerk chicken and drinks. The beach there is not rocky like the beach next to the ship. I want to say it is about a 10 minute walk on the sand, well past Margaritaville. You'll know you're there when you see Topher the goldendoodle playing on the beach.

 

In San Juan, we've taken a ship's tour of the fort, but you can also go on your own. We've done a carriage ride tour and walked around town to have lunch and a drink.

 

We usually snorkel in St. Thomas through the ship.

 

We haven't been to Amber Cove yet (will go in May), but from what I've read, it's not the prettiest water/beach due to the side of the island it is on. We haven't made a decision as to what we will do there, but will likely do a ship excursion of some sort. The waterfall excursion might be fun if you like something challenging.

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We like Grand Turk for a beach day. We just head left down the beach from the ship to Jack's Shack. Topher the dog is always fun to watch, they have good jerk chicken and drinks. The beach there is not rocky like the beach next to the ship. I want to say it is about a 10 minute walk on the sand, well past Margaritaville. You'll know you're there when you see Topher the goldendoodle playing on the beach.

 

In San Juan, we've taken a ship's tour of the fort, but you can also go on your own. We've done a carriage ride tour and walked around town to have lunch and a drink.

 

We usually snorkel in St. Thomas through the ship.

 

We haven't been to Amber Cove yet (will go in May), but from what I've read, it's not the prettiest water/beach due to the side of the island it is on. We haven't made a decision as to what we will do there, but will likely do a ship excursion of some sort. The waterfall excursion might be fun if you like something challenging.

 

 

 

Puerto Plata is the “old” side of the Dominican Republic. The port at Amber Cove was built by Carnival Corp for Fathom. Fathom is now defunct and Princess has taken the route that Fathom used to run for volun-tourism, but both Carnival and Princess use the port.

 

Damajuagua is a lot of fun. Less adventurous folks may enjoy the city tours or getting their hands dirty at one of the old Fathom excursions. And if you just want to relax, there’s a couple of all-inclusives to choose from.

 

 

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I am headed there in may, researching like a crazy person-seems there is a city tour with a stop at a rum factory, something about 10 different samples.:p

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if by chance you change your mind= st thomas look at Godfrey tours

you get to do it all- shopping island tour plus the beach

-- or

go through the cruise lines and go to st johns

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if by chance you change your mind= st thomas look at Godfrey tours

you get to do it all- shopping island tour plus the beach

-- or

go through the cruise lines and go to st johns

 

 

I will add another recommendation for Godfrey. Scenic ride, time for shopping in Charlotte Amalie (Whatever may be back open) and beach time at Magens Bay.

 

At Amber Cove you can just get a lounger and hang out by the huge pool. There is no beach as part of the cruise port development. There will be excursions to a beach, to waterfalls and other typical stuff (ATV, sightseeing, etc) There is a zipline at the port and if you get a cabana use is included for up to 8 people, wristbands for the zipline are also available separately.

 

As stated above, Ignore the sea of lounge chairs and the pool at Margaritaville (Even though I am a Parrothead and hope Jimmy will forgive me) and walk down the beach to Jack's Shack. Jack and Nancy will take care of you, the drinks are cold and generously poured, the Jerk Chicken, Cracked Conch and lobster if in season is awesome! The beach is pristine and the bottom of the water sandy. You can play with Topher, watch the dive and snorkel boats come and go and have a great time.

 

You will be limited in San Juan due to the hurricane devastation to the Island. No reason to pay for an excursion there. Walk straight up the hill from the pier area to the Castillo de San Christobol, then walk along the ridge to visit San Felipe del Morro Fortress, truly amazing structures built by the Spanish for the defense of San Juan. Then walk through Old San Juan on you way back to the ship. If you are hungry get a La Trippleta sandwich at one of the food trucks near Darsenas Square, just to the West of where the ship piers start.

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We like Grand Turk for a beach day. We just head left down the beach from the ship to Jack's Shack. Topher the dog is always fun to watch. You'll know you're there when you see Topher the goldendoodle playing on the beach

 

I’m now super excited for this stop (not until November :(). I love all dogs. I get like a toddler, big eyed going ‘puppy!’

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We are avid cruisers & have been to all of the ports you're heading too at least once. You'll love them (& CCL Glory)!

 

No offense to anyone that enjoy cruise line tours but we prefer smaller private tours with highly rated tour companies found through Tripadvisor, Cruise Critic or ShoreExcursioneer. We've had fabulous experiences with:

 

St Thomas: Sonny Liston Tours

 

Amber Cove: Marysol Tours

 

Grand Turk: Zoom Zoom ATVs (may have changed their name) & LOVE Jack's Shack beach day.

 

San Juan: Old San Juan tours incl fort via taxi tour or free OSJ trolley

 

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We are avid cruisers & have been to all of the ports you're heading too at least once. You'll love them (& CCL Glory)!

 

No offense to anyone that enjoy cruise line tours but we prefer smaller private tours with highly rated tour companies found through Tripadvisor, Cruise Critic or ShoreExcursioneer. We've had fabulous experiences with:

 

St Thomas: Sonny Liston Tours

 

Amber Cove: Marysol Tours

 

Grand Turk: Zoom Zoom ATVs (may have changed their name) & LOVE Jack's Shack beach day.

 

San Juan: Old San Juan tours incl fort via taxi tour or free OSJ trolley

 

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The tour through Marysol Tours on Amber Cove, did you have to prepay for that or pay a deposit? I was hoping to book but was wanting to pay cash for it when we arrived.

 

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For Amber Cove, I definitely recommend the waterfalls tour. We used Marysol Tours and did the 12 Waterfalls. Carnival only does 7 for the same price or more.

 

I don’t recall if we paid ahead of time or when we arrived. Just checkout their website and I am sure it will give payment options.

 

Just as an FYI, we almost always use non-ship excursions and have never had an issue. They are usually cheaper, offer smaller groups and give you more time than the ship excursions. Just do some research, find those with good reviews and use them and you will be fine. Their income depends on tourism, so not getting someone back on time would quickly be reported on various travel websites and they would soon be out of business.

 

 

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I know you've already been, but in case someone else is wondering about St Thomas, we've used Godfrey a couple of times & would definitely do it again. :)

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I have a cruise visiting all of these exact ports upcoming. Thank you so much to everyone here for your suggestions.

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I am also doing this same cruise in Sept and wanted to thank everyone for this information.

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Thank you for all this information! The only port I am still indecisive on is Amber Cove. We don't go until late December, so I have time, but keep looking. There is my husband and I and two boys, 20 and 15. The boys want ziplining and my husband and I want to watch them zipline, but really want the beach. I have the impression that the ziplining at the port wouldn't be enough for them, and would like something more stimulating. If I am wrong, please let me know! I usually do private tours, and we have never had a problem. I will look into Marysol Tours.

 

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Thank you for all this information! The only port I am still indecisive on is Amber Cove. We don't go until late December, so I have time, but keep looking. There is my husband and I and two boys, 20 and 15. The boys want ziplining and my husband and I want to watch them zipline, but really want the beach. I have the impression that the ziplining at the port wouldn't be enough for them, and would like something more stimulating. If I am wrong, please let me know! I usually do private tours, and we have never had a problem. I will look into Marysol Tours.

 

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If they have ziplined before, they will probably get bored quickly with the line at the port. It’s not bad, but can get monotonous doing the same one every time.

 

The 27 Waterfalls Tour would probably be more exciting for them. The whole family can go on the tour, if everyone is reasonably active and can swim a little (you wear life jackets). It’s a lot of fun and something unique you won’t find many other places, if any.

 

 

 

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I thought about it, but I am too scared. I couldn't do it.

 

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So I realized how horrible that sounded! Actually I have some health reasons that I shouldn't do it. I have an asthma issue that they haven't been able to control, and when I am in really humid situations is when it acts up. Between that and a rotator cuff tear that I refuse to get surgery on, and am just babying with exercises and cortisone shot.

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Thanks for posting all of this info! We are doing this itinerary in February and I am having such a hard time deciding! It is Myself and DH (47 & 49) and our kids DS 10 and DD 8. I have cruised before many times to St Thomas and San Juan but the other two ports are totally new. So much to choose from! :)

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The tour through Marysol Tours on Amber Cove, did you have to prepay for that or pay a deposit? I was hoping to book but was wanting to pay cash for it when we arrived.

 

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We paid a small deposit via PayPal of US$5 per person for group tour and no more than $US10pp for private tour (with 6 ladies in our group). Can pay remainder in cash when arrive.

 

We did standard city tour incl cable car listed for group tour. We changed the itinerary for private tour to drop off undesired stops and include beach time/shopping/outdoor masaages near ocean at gorgeous Blue Jacktar Resort as well as eating meal at local restaurant. Amazing time and excellent customer service!

 

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Hello! First time cruiser here! In 3 weeks we will be traveling to Amber Cove, St Thomas, Grand Turk and Puerto Rico! We are very excited!

 

One thing that makes me nervous is we do not have passports. Traveling is my husband and I and our two teenage children. I was reading and there’s a part on the Carnivals website that says they do not take any responsibility if you do not have required travel documents to get back on the boat if you get off at these ports and you should contact each government to see what is needed to get back on the ship at each port. We have IDs and birth certificates of course... anything else needed on these ports? I can’t find any information.

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52 minutes ago, Mrsashleynmajors said:

Hello! First time cruiser here! In 3 weeks we will be traveling to Amber Cove, St Thomas, Grand Turk and Puerto Rico! We are very excited!

 

One thing that makes me nervous is we do not have passports. Traveling is my husband and I and our two teenage children. I was reading and there’s a part on the Carnivals website that says they do not take any responsibility if you do not have required travel documents to get back on the boat if you get off at these ports and you should contact each government to see what is needed to get back on the ship at each port. We have IDs and birth certificates of course... anything else needed on these ports? I can’t find any information.

 

I do not recall being asked for anything to get back into a port or on the ship other than the card the ship gives you when you check in. At most you would probably be asked for a photo ID.

 

The main concern I would have traveling without a Passport would be if you had to return to the US via  plane before the end of your cruise. This is rare, but can happen due to illness, injury, emergency at home or even a breakdown of the cruise ship (very rare). You generally need a Passport to travel to the US via plane. The US Embassy can get you what you need to travel, but it may delay your return home.

Edited by JT1962

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If you're looking for an excursion in Amber Cove try Power Snorkeling thru Carnival. It was beautiful. They bus you to the "pretty " side of the island and take you out snorkeling with a little jet pack that pulls you thru the water. 

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We will be going to Amber Cover for the first time in June.  Our kids are a tad younger (10 & 13) so we are doing the dolphin swim at Ocean World through Carnival. 

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