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Grammar Goddess

Anybody been to Cayo Levantado?

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We're on the December 21 NCL Jewel, which visits Samana. One of the ship's shore excursions goes to Cayo Levantado. We were wondering whether or not anyone's been there, and if so, what we might expect. NCL offers the excursion with and without a "barbecue," which is $40 additional pp. Is there anywhere to eat there on our own? Any information will be appreciated. Thanks for your help. :)

 

GG

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Hi GG

 

What were your thoughts on Samana? Did you go to Cayo Levantado? We will be on Oceana's Regatta docking at Samana in Mid-March and are wondering whether to book the trip to Cayo L. Seems awfully over-priced for what it offers and I wonder if we wouldn't be able to get a "water-taxi" or something like that to get there on our own.

 

Any thoughts would be much appreciated!

 

Molly

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Hi Molly,

 

Like you, I'm just seeking information, having never been there. Just wondering what we should do about shore excursions. Maybe someone out there can help us both!! :)

 

GG

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I haven't been to Samana, DR yet, but will be going there in May on the RCI Grandeur of the Seas. RCI just listed their shore excursions for the DR. From looking on the web it appears from that they are sponsored by a group called Cruise Samana. It doesn't look like they offer the tours directly, but just coordinate them with the cruise lines. Their web site is:

http://www.cruisesamana.com

 

They have pictures of a bunch of the tours, although fairly small. Their video page has a number of very good slide shows of pictures of the Samana area:

http://www.cruisesamana.com/video.htm

 

The "Jeep Safari Adventure" picture on that web site reveals that the "Jeep" looks more like a truck with up to 16 passengers in the back with a tarp roof over them:

http://www.cruisesamana.com/images/jeepsaf1g.jpg

 

The "Jeep Safari - Self Driven" on the other hand looks like real Jeeps going offroad and through rivers:

http://www.cruisesamana.com/images/selfdriven1g.jpg

 

Pictures of the facilities being constructed at the Cayo Levantado beach can be seen at:

http://www.cruisesamana.com/fotosconstruccion.htm

 

It appears from this site that there has been a concerted effort to rebuild Samana. One of their projects even says that they did a project to upgrade signage and facilities at El Limon Waterfall area.

 

Do let us know what you find when you go there.

 

Chris

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Hi GG & Chris,

 

My mistake GG, I thought you had already been to Samana. I'm going to check out the website that Chris found. Most likely we will end up booking through Oceania tho I really hate to do that. Sounds awfully expensive for what you get.

 

We're not leaving home until March 11 and be back the end of March . I will definitely let everyone know what we find.

 

Molly

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Went to Samana in 1980 and took the tour to Cayo Levantado. I thought it was the most beautiful place on earth. The white sand beach and the beautiful clear water was great. I promised myself I would go back there sometime - have not made it yet but will. I am sure things have changed a lot since then but the beauty must still be there.

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Thanks for the info. Guess we will definitely take the excursion there. Wish I could find a better (less expensive) way to spend the day there but it sounds like it's a must see/do.

 

Molly

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Thanks for the info. Guess we will definitely take the excursion there. Wish I could find a better (less expensive) way to spend the day there but it sounds like it's a must see/do.

 

Molly

 

Hi Molly and Chris,

 

I'll wait to hear from both of you after you've been on your cruise since we won't be there until December 23. It does sound as this is definitely the place to go. Like you, we'd rather go on our own and avoid the ship's crowds and cost. Thanks for letting us know after you've been. :)

 

Connie

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Hi Connie,

 

I'm going to book the excursion to Cayo L. today. Don't really see anything else interesting. According to other posts the stop at Samana isn't worth getting off the ship unless you are on an excursion.

 

I'll post again late March and let you know what we found.

 

Molly

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Hi Connie,

 

I'm going to book the excursion to Cayo L. today. Don't really see anything else interesting. According to other posts the stop at Samana isn't worth getting off the ship unless you are on an excursion.

 

I'll post again late March and let you know what we found.

 

Molly

 

Hi Molly,

 

Guess you'll have to be the pioneer! :) I'm in such a quandary; it will be great hearing from you after your cruise. Maybe you'll even have photos?? Since we'll not pass this way again, I think you're wise to go ahead and book the ship's excursion to ensure that you see what sounds like such a gorgeous place. Hey, a month from now, you won't even remember what it cost, but you'll remember what you saw and did!! And it will be so great to know that you'll be able to help fellow travelers. ;)

 

Can't wait to hear from you in six weeks or so . . .

 

Enjoy your cruise!

 

Connie

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I am booked for the Beach Escape - opted to get our own food. From the many sites I visited there are places to eat.

http://www.threebestbeaches.com/centralamcarib/dominicanrepublic/2006/05/cayo-levantado-samana-dominican.html :D

 

Thank you so much! What a beautiful site you sent! How gorgeous is that beach!! Can't wait to see it. Really appreciate your tip about the places to eat. Why would we want to pay the ship $40 apiece?? Please post a full report when you return from your cruise. When do you leave? Assume you're on NCL, too. Our cruise is next December, so we have some time to plan.

 

Have a great cruise! Thanks again. :)

 

Connie

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we will be on this island with the msc ship at the end of february. does anyone know if there is any hotels that do day passes? If not, Besides the local vendors are there any resturants where we can eat?

 

cheryl

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we will be on this island with the msc ship at the end of february. does anyone know if there is any hotels that do day passes? If not, Besides the local vendors are there any resturants where we can eat?

 

cheryl

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we will be on this island with the msc ship at the end of february. does anyone know if there is any hotels that do day passes? If not, Besides the local vendors are there any resturants where we can eat?

 

cheryl

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we will be on this island with the msc ship at the end of february. does anyone know if there is any hotels that do day passes? If not, Besides the local vendors are there any resturants where we can eat?

 

cheryl

 

There is only one hotel on the island. But they have a only very small part of the beach. The public beach is bigger and there are some vendors and restaurants.

 

Bye,

Sandra

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Don't know why this thread fell off the DR listing? Hoping to hear back from cruisers as they go to Cayo Levantado.

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Just back yesterday from our cruise on the Spirit. We did the Whale watch/beach escape @ $99 pp, through NCL.

We spent about 3 1/2 hrs on the boat whale watching & saw lots of whales. From there we were dropped off at the pier at Cayo Levantano beach. What a pleasant surprise. The beach is gorgeous.!!!

Imagine a stop at any cruise ship's private islands, only better.

From the pier, if you look directly ahead you will see the new resort (can't remember the name). There is a main trail that will take you to a map of the whole island. If you stay left, you hit the main beach. Huge, clean, white powdery sand. Lots of beach chairs are available. Our group found 12 chairs & placed them near a palm tree for some shade. No one asked us for any $ for them. The water is calm & without rocks. There are numerous restrooms nearby, bars & a big oudoor restaurant. The restroom was clean, but they ran out of toilet paper so bring some tissues with you! Near the restaurant, we saw a buffet area set up for cruise ship passengers, so I suppose they paid ahead for their lunch. We ordered on our own at the restuarant area.

We were fortunate to have someone in our group who spoke Spanish (most workers at the beach spoke or understood very little English) and paid for our lunch in Peso which saved us a few bucks each. Some of us had fresh snapper platters @ $10, some lobster or lobster with prawns @ $16. Most said they should have had 2 lobster instead of 1 with prawns as the lobster was fantastic. All were grilled. Came with rice & beans, plantains & coleslaw. Our Yellow Bird drinks were $5, large bottles of Presidente (?sp) beers were $3. There's a large market for those who want to shop. I didn't stop here so I don't know the prices. I did hear some passengers talk about custom made tee shirts that were nice. I purchased a hand made palm leaf hat as soon as I hit the island. Lots of vendors will attack you to purchase one at $20. When I said no, he immediately changed it to $10. On the way OFF the island, passengers were paying $3-$5 for them.

I'm glad that we booked the combo excursion to see the whales but on the other hand, I wish we had more time at the beach.

The tenders were very slow getting back to the ship. We took the last one around 4:30. We waited around 20 minutes at the dock for one to return for us. I'm sure it's because they haven't gotten into a routine yet and will get better at it in time.

 

2 of our friends just took the beach excursion, which is the r/t boat ride over to the beach @ $24 or $29 pp.

 

If you are adventurous, we also had a couple in our group that went over to Samana & then took a small boat to Cayo Leventano. I don't remember how much they paid, but it was just a few dollars each.

 

There were 2 ships in that day & both were anchored using tenders. Cayo Levantano was a very short tender ride for both.

 

If you have any other questions, I'll be happy to answer them.

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Thanks Maja, this is helpful. We've also booked the C.L. Beach Escape through NCL.

 

My sister-in-law will be happy to hear about the seafood menu, but do you remember if the restaurant offered anything else besides seafood? I'm not really a seafood lover. Also, is there anything that would appeal to picky kids? My son is not a fan of rice, salad, etc. so if there's nothing to suit him, I'll bring a sandwich or something from the ship.

 

Thanks. :)

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Thanks, Maja! I think DH and I will just take the ship's tender over there and treat the excursion as a private cruiseline island, except for having to pay for lunch! No sense in paying NCL $40 pp for the beach buffet. Sounds like a wonderful place from your detailed description. Very much appreciate your report! :)

 

Connie

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There was a platter with grilled chicken, @ $10 peso. Other than that, the man that took care of us didn't mention anything about hotdogs, hamburgers, etc.

I wish I could give you a better answer. Maybe some others that just returned will have some answers.

You might want to try & find out if the new resort on Cayo Leventano has a restaurant you can use. I did a search & found out it's the Bahia Principe. It won't be cheap from the looks of the place.

Here's their link:

http://www.bahia-principe.com/bp/hoteles/galeria_hoteles.jsp

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Thanks for the info Maja, most of the posts I've seen so far have been negative about Samana. You mentioned another couple took the tenders to Samana and found local transportation to Cayo Leventano. Would you do that if you were there again? We are interested in going to the beach but for $30pp through the cruise line I would really prefer to do it myself and save the money for other things. But I also don't want to add any of the not so hard to get pictures of the cruise ship sailing away if you know what I mean...

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Thanks for the info Maja, most of the posts I've seen so far have been negative about Samana. You mentioned another couple took the tenders to Samana and found local transportation to Cayo Leventano. Would you do that if you were there again? We are interested in going to the beach but for $30pp through the cruise line I would really prefer to do it myself and save the money for other things. But I also don't want to add any of the not so hard to get pictures of the cruise ship sailing away if you know what I mean...

 

The other couple were in a small aluminum type boat with a motor. They left the beach at 4:30 and were back on the ship before our group using tenders from the ship! If you don't mind the type of boat & if you allow lots of extra time,you should be fine. The couple that went on their own spoke Spanish. You might have a problem finding someone understanding what you need.

If I ever go back, I would spend the extra $ and play it safe with the ship's tenders.

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