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Aunu

Samana Dominican Republic

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Posted (edited)

Looks like one of our stops with Celebrity has been changed to Samana.  Havent been able to find much info. I was hoping people that have been there could give me some pointers? 

Apparently we tender there.  Has anyone been yet? Things to do?  How did you find tour guides? 

Edited by Aunu

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Samana Bay is an incredible place for whale-watching, though I must warn you it can be pretty rough on the water.

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Samana is a small private island on the north side of Samana Bay.  You will tender to the island.  The island itself is tame and Disney-style; the town of Samana on the mainland is real.  Attractions in the area are mostly nature-based, i.e. whale watching, horseback riding, etc.  There is a national park about a 45-minute boat ride on the south side of the bay.

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Posted (edited)

https://pbase.com/roothy123/caribbean_cruise__jan_2010&page=all shows my pictures from there.  You'll need to look about 2/3rds of way down. There are also some pictures here, scattered about: https://pbase.com/roothy123/caribbean__more&page=all  

 

We were there in winter 2010, and things may have changed since then.  However, there wasn't a whole lot to do there other than walk to a park, some stores, and visit the street vendors.  I was told you could also take a cab to a beach, but I didn't pursue that.  I just took an excursion offered by the ship, then walked around Samana a little bit.  The excursion was one in which cruisers were put on donkeys, and the donkeys went up to where you could see a beautiful view of palm trees (many, many palm trees) and a tall waterfall.  It was a bit scary because it was raining, there were somewhat slippery streams to cross on the donkey, and I don't think it was all that safe.  I would not do it again - and I'm a reasonably adventurous person!  But perhaps IF there's no rain, and it hasn't rained for days, it may be possible to do it and enjoy it.  On the way back I think we visited a store where cigars were being rolled/sold, and some crafts were for sale. 

 

Honestly, some people just stayed on the ship that day. I was glad I went out, because that view of the palm trees that greeted me when we turned a corner is etched in my mind.  But I was a little annoyed because when I opened up the jewel box of the CD I bought, there was no CD inside, so no pictures.  I also toasted my point and shoot camera that day, trying to take a picture in the rain.  So all in all, it was a very interesting day....but not one of the best of the cruise!  I would say just don't expect a whole lot (the DR is poor, and this part of the DR is the real deal, not some sanitized resort area!), be careful, and consider taking a ship's excursion, even if you normally don't do that. I don't remember anything else available there, other than a few cabs, which may or may not have worked well for an excursion of your own!  But that was 2010 and perhaps things have changed a bit.  Also, note that we were in the town of Samana, so perhaps the island mentioned above might afford more opportunities. Also, as mentioned above, whale watching is great, although it is only for a few months - maybe around Feburary?  So check when the season might be. 

Edited by roothy123

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I was there in 2013, and booked with Terry: https://www.toursamanawithterry.com/

 

I have to say that he was one of the best guides we have ever had. He is an American that relocated to Samana to be with his wife's family, and he gears his tours to an American audience. We had the greatest time doing a zipline tour, hearing about local culture, trying new food, and walking around supporting locals away from the port area where prices were good and the workers were not pushy. I would absolutely book with him again!

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