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Russ Lomas

Activities to do in Samana?

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From what I have read, Samana appears to be a relatively new port that only a few cruise ships visit. We will be visiting Samana in the D.R. in March on the Norwegian Spirit. I have found a little information about a falls that is nearby (but a tough hike to get to it) and a beautiful looking beach (I forget its name) that you can get access to on a nearby island (although I have heard mixed reviews about the hotel operator on that beach).

 

Could anyone who has been there please tell me what you did and what you thought of it?

 

Thanks in advance.

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I wonder about Samana too. I am eyeing an NCL cruise in December 2007 that calls in Semana. I have heard a lot of negative things about the tour operators there. Is the port itself worth getting off the ship for? None of the guidebooks seem to even mention Samana. Either it is the world's best secret or NCL's idea of a practical joke on naive cruisers.

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I sailed on the old Carnivale in 1980 and we visited Samana. The town itself was so poor - Dollar Dollar was what everyone said there, begging for money. We took the Cayo Levantado (sp) tour and I thought is was one of the most beautiful places I had ever seen. I was recently divorced at the time and vowed to bring any new husband back there. Well, that never happened as new ports and cruises came up. Would still like to go back there though.

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We were in Samana only a couple of weeks ago. The town itself is very poor and has nothing to offer.

 

Instead we took a boat for $10p.p. return to a beautiful island, about 10 minutes away. We spent the day swimming and enjoying the lovely white sand and the beautiful clear water.

 

A resort is being built there at the moment but I don't think that will affect the beach that we were on. The hotel beach is in a different area of the island. There were places to eat if you were hungry including freshly cooked lobsters.

 

Jennie

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Can you tell us more? Is this Bacardi Island? (Same place the cruise ship excursions go to?)

 

Where did you find these taxi boats? How long were you at the beach? Did they wait for you, or come back to pick you up?

 

Were there chairs to sit/rent? Bathrooms?

 

This sounds like what we are looking for.....HELP!

 

Thanks,

Ira

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Bacardi Island is also known as Cayo Levantado, the place we went to on our cruise in 1980. I still think it was one of the most beautiful places I had seen. Back then there was 1 Hotel, owned by TWA that was not available to cruisers. I don't remember there being any chairs but everybody just put their towels on that beautiful sand. The water was the clearest I had seen and very warm. I am almost 60 now and the senior brain is setting in but I can still remember how beautiful it was.

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Thanks....

 

What I was really asking was do we need to take NCL's excursion, or could we do the exact same thing on our own...and for 1/3 of the price.

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That I don't know - we did the ships tour back then. I would imagine, like all the other ports, there would be an independant tour guide that will take you there. Makes me want to take my new DH there. It was so beautiful.

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Sorry I didn't get back to you yesterday but my computer died and I am at the local library now.

 

The island we went to is Caya Levantando and as Morriscats says it is one of the most beautiful islands we have been to. We hired chairs for $2US each. Well worth it.

 

The ships excursions do not go there (not in HAL's case anyhow). The boat ride was painless and the chap who organized the boat stayed on the island with us the whole time, which was like an insurance for us that we would get a ride back.

 

The people who had the boats were at the end of the dock that we were tendered to. Quite a few of the staff on the ship went to the island as well.

It was such an easy trip and to think we ended up with this most beautiful island.

 

It was the icing on the cake for us as it was our last port after 34 wonderful days, having been through the Panama Canal and up the Amazon as far as Manaus plus with plus not a cloud in the sky since we had left Vancouver weeks before. An absolutely fabulours holiday.

 

Jennie

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I wonder about Samana too. I am eyeing an NCL cruise in December 2007 that calls in Semana. I have heard a lot of negative things about the tour operators there. Is the port itself worth getting off the ship for? None of the guidebooks seem to even mention Samana. Either it is the world's best secret or NCL's idea of a practical joke on naive cruisers.

 

Samana is great, there are many activities that would be fun. If you want to go far and have enough time the most beautiful beach on the island is 50km miles from the pier, Playa Rincon. If you want to stay close, you can go out to Bacardi Island, which is still beautiful. I live in the Dominican republic, I was just in Samana last weekend, it was beautiful. Do not be afraid of this port. I actually booked an excursion through Casa Dorando ( http://www.casadoradodr.com ) with my parents who are coming in next month on a cruise. The excursion is to Playa Rincon. Email me if you have any specific questions.

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lbt,

 

Can you offer more information about Bacardi Island? (How to get there, what's around, etc.) Or other activities that are near the ship port since you've been there so recently? There's very little information on Samana, so anything you can offer would be very helpful!

 

Thanks!

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What was the cost of the excursion to go to Playa Rincon? We were thinking of doing the same in January but going independently in a public taxi to Las Galleras and then just hiring a boat to get to Playa Rincon. Is it doable?

Thank you.

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lbt,

 

Can you offer more information about Bacardi Island? (How to get there, what's around, etc.) Or other activities that are near the ship port since you've been there so recently? There's very little information on Samana, so anything you can offer would be very helpful!

 

Thanks!

 

Find the ferry and get a ticket and head out. 15 mins from samana pier on the ferry. Bacardi island is just a beautiful island off the coast of samana.

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What was the cost of the excursion to go to Playa Rincon? We were thinking of doing the same in January but going independently in a public taxi to Las Galleras and then just hiring a boat to get to Playa Rincon. Is it doable?

Thank you.

 

Most likely doable, but the taxi will not be able to take you to rincon, the road was washed away by Noel. You will have to take a boat. If the sea is too rough, you will be out of luck and 2 hours or more will be wasted if you take a taxi. The excursion through Casa Dorado is 15pp for the boat and 40 dollars flat (might be more during high season) for a ride there and back. If you happen to not be able to go to Rincon, I am sure they will find something else for you to do or you can get your money back, I would assume.

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Find the ferry and get a ticket and head out. 15 mins from samana pier on the ferry. Bacardi island is just a beautiful island off the coast of samana.

 

 

We are interested in going to the island for half day. We would like to do it at our leisure, not with a ship excursion. Can it be done OUR way? Are the boats that take us over to the island always available going and coming...and the cost? Thanks

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Find the ferry and get a ticket and head out. 15 mins from samana pier on the ferry. Bacardi island is just a beautiful island off the coast of samana.

 

Ohhhhhh. Bacardi Island is Cayo Levantado. Sorry, I didn't know it had two different names! :eek:

 

Most posters on this forum make it sound like only cruise ship ferries can make stops at that island [or that there are no ferries at all, only individuals offering/attempting rides on small boats]. Have you found that to be true? Would you recommend cruise ship passengers go on their own using the local transportation or scheduling an excersion thru the cruise ship?

 

Thanks again for your insight.

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Samana is great, there are many activities that would be fun. If you want to go far and have enough time the most beautiful beach on the island is 50km miles from the pier, Playa Rincon. If you want to stay close, you can go out to Bacardi Island, which is still beautiful. I live in the Dominican republic, I was just in Samana last weekend, it was beautiful. Do not be afraid of this port. I actually booked an excursion through Casa Dorando ( www.casadoradodr.com ) with my parents who are coming in next month on a cruise. The excursion is to Playa Rincon. Email me if you have any specific questions.

 

How much is that excursion to Playa Rincon for cruise passangers and do you think it is worth the hassle vs. going to Bacardi Island (Cayon Levantado)? I've hear Playa Rincon is beautiful!

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I e-mailed the web-site and they are offering round-trip taxi to Las Galeras for $40 plus $100 to have the 22 ft boat for the day, they would take you to several area beaches. I am not sure whether having more people on the boat would bring the cost down.

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We plan on doing Samana on our own too, later in November, and are wondering if there is a local beach to visit, without doing the ship tour. Any info would be great!

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Hmm, was that $140pp or $40pp plus $100 for the group?
$40 for the round trip taxi from Samana to Las Galeras regardless of the number of people in a cab and $ 100 for the boat to go to Playa Rincon and surrounding beaches for the day.

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$40 for the round trip taxi from Samana to Las Galeras regardless of the number of people in a cab and $ 100 for the boat to go to Playa Rincon and surrounding beaches for the day.

 

 

 

i thought the same i thought it was 140... if you can find out how much exactly we would be interested in splitting with you... (same boat...) we are two no kids..

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surkos,

Are you on the same ship as us? It was confirmed to me that it is $100 for up to 8 people, plus $40 for the cab. I am trying to find out how many people can fit in the cab. Once I know this, I will let you know.

Linda

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