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Anybody been to Cayo Levantado?

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Just back and Cayo Levantado is a stop not to be missed. Of all our stops this one was our fav by far. We took the tender from our ship directly to the island. Arrived at 10:30 am and had till 5:00pm (last tender back) Cayo Levantado is well cared for and all the facilities were spotless. We enjoyed a wonderful Dominican Buffet for Lunch $15 Fish and or Chicken or $20 Lobster. included variety of salads, veggies, rice, dessert soft drinks or beer! It was delicious. Burgers and Hotdog platters with fries were also available for the kids for $5 It is served in a thatched tiki area with picnic bench seating. Very quaint. This was part of the island's "restaurant" There were also other huts where you could buy food, these are independently owned. Upon arriving we were given a notice which had various pricing for the facilities and water equipment. They advised everyone to eat in "Their Restaurant" as they could not be held accountable for the quality or hygiene of the huts. Take that for what its worth..... a purely personal choice as those who ate at these huts seemed quite pleased with lunch. The island offers a tiki hut bar with reasonably priced drinks. I personally liked the Coco Loco.... Rum, coconut milk & coco water served with ice in a real coconut. They give you a spoon to scape out the coco....Yum! $5.00 They will also sell a non alcoholic version for the kids ...also $5.00 TIP: I asked the bartender to put my son's rum in a plastic cup since it was the same price and I just poured it into my Drink why pay same price and not get the same rum:D . This worked for me since I speak Spanish fluently :cool: On the island there were lovely little stone paths where one could walk and browse the wares of the locals...it was just a nice long day at one of the most beautiful beaches. If you would like, click on the link below and view some of my pictures of Cayo Levantado. Sorry but you will have to scroll through some boring family pics to find them but there are captions advising you which are Cayo Levantado.

 

I will have time to post a full review of our Cruise on the Spirit later however, I wanted to let those who are concerned about the excursions in Samana know that Cayo Levantado was FANTASTIC! From what I heard onboard that evening most all of the passengers who took an excursion in Samana, be that whale watching, Catamaran, Cayo Levantado Escape, etc.......it sounded as if they all had a terrific time. However, those who chose to just tender into Samana and walk about on there own seemsedto be quite disappointed....some quite irate. Therefore, my advice to anyone crusing with a stop in Samana ...take an excursion and I'm almost positive you will have a lovely time.

 

And please remember you will not be in the United States therefore, please don't assume that the locals should speak english....I heard several people say they enjoyed it but were disappointed that no one spoke english.....I just don't understand that mindset

 

Hope those who will be cruising to Samana have as good a time as we did.

 

Louise

 

http://pictures.aol.com/galleries/lpjere/

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Smileymom,

 

Thanks very much for the great post on Cayo Levantando. I'm really glad we booked this excusion, sounds like we made a great choice.

 

The photos were great. :)

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Hi. I have been to Cayo Levantado. It is gorgeous with crystalline water and

soft white sand. There are 2 sides to it. One public, where you can find something to eat-for a lot less than $40. The other side was occupied by a hotel but you can still walk on the beach there. It is also beautiful.

I have some images of Cayo Levantado on my website at http://www.geraceimages.com.

I know you will enjoy it if you decide to go there.:)

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Hi. I have been to Cayo Levantado. It is gorgeous with crystalline water and

soft white sand. There are 2 sides to it. One public, where you can find something to eat-for a lot less than $40. The other side was occupied by a hotel but you can still walk on the beach there. It is also beautiful.

I have some images of Cayo Levantado on my website at http://www.geraceimages.com.

I know you will enjoy it if you decide to go there.:)

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Went to Cayo Levantado in April 2003 via NCL excursion. Was a very beautiful island. We didn't purchase the meal with our trip and since we were able to catch a boat back to the ship anytime we wanted, we just returned to the ship for lunch. However, I noticed vendors selling food and drinks.

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I don't understand why this thread keeps falling off the DR board. I'd still like to hear what people think about the island.

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I don't want to simply repeat what others have said about this beautiful island, but it too was the hi-light of our trip on the Norwegian Spirit last week. I hate paying the higher prices to do ship sponsored excursion, but I am so glad I did so this time. A beautiful island, very safe with children, very clean, a HUGE beach with thousands (or it seemed like it) of free beach chairs, shade and sun areas, great drinks (the Coco Loco is amazing and the Pina Coladas were very close - each served using 151 rum in a coconut or a pineapple). You cannot go wrong taking the ship excursion through NCL to this piece of paradise (pray for nice weather however).

 

Also to note....

The water to the far left of the beach area (when looking out at the ocean) had VERY good snorkling. The water was mainly about 10 feet deep and never deeper than 20 feet and I went out so far that I was twice as far out as boats passing the island (watch out for them, they yell at you in Spanish). The area had no coral, but if you follow the weeds you will start to see lots of beautiful sea fans. There were many trumpet fish, hundreds of huge starfish everywhere, and a couple of small squid. I have never seen as many fish in my life as I saw that day. I have scuba dived in the Caymen Islands, Cozumel, and Grand Turk and never seen that many fish before. Look very closely in the sand and the weeds...I also saw a sand ray and a couple of eel, both a black one and a spotted moray eel (don't worry...they were at the bottom of the water about 10 feet down).

 

Book this trip and have a GREAT time!

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Did the tenders run often back to the ship? Or was it a set pick up time? I am doing just the beach ecursion next week on the Dawn adn we just had an itinerary change so I'm not all that familiar with this port.

 

Thanks

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Did the tenders run often back to the ship? Or was it a set pick up time? I am doing just the beach ecursion next week on the Dawn adn we just had an itinerary change so I'm not all that familiar with this port.

 

Thanks

 

If I'm not mistaken I think they told us the return tenders started at 1:30 and were going to run every half hour until the last one at 5:00. But I don't know if they ran on time or if they just went if they had a full boat. We walked over and they were putting people in & when it got filled we left..Didn't get the impression that it was very organized getting back but I didn't hear of any problems either.

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If I'm not mistaken I think they told us the return tenders started at 1:30 and were going to run every half hour until the last one at 5:00. But I don't know if they ran on time or if they just went if they had a full boat. We walked over and they were putting people in & when it got filled we left..Didn't get the impression that it was very organized getting back but I didn't hear of any problems either.

Thanks for the info:D

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We are doing the Cayo Levantando excursion next week and I was wondering if the restaurants/vendors accepted US currency or if you had to exchange your money ahead of time?

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I don't want to simply repeat what others have said about this beautiful island, but it too was the hi-light of our trip on the Norwegian Spirit last week. I hate paying the higher prices to do ship sponsored excursion, but I am so glad I did so this time. A beautiful island, very safe with children, very clean, a HUGE beach with thousands (or it seemed like it) of free beach chairs, shade and sun areas, great drinks (the Coco Loco is amazing and the Pina Coladas were very close - each served using 151 rum in a coconut or a pineapple). You cannot go wrong taking the ship excursion through NCL to this piece of paradise (pray for nice weather however).

 

Also to note....

The water to the far left of the beach area (when looking out at the ocean) had VERY good snorkling. The water was mainly about 10 feet deep and never deeper than 20 feet and I went out so far that I was twice as far out as boats passing the island (watch out for them, they yell at you in Spanish). The area had no coral, but if you follow the weeds you will start to see lots of beautiful sea fans. There were many trumpet fish, hundreds of huge starfish everywhere, and a couple of small squid. I have never seen as many fish in my life as I saw that day. I have scuba dived in the Caymen Islands, Cozumel, and Grand Turk and never seen that many fish before. Look very closely in the sand and the weeds...I also saw a sand ray and a couple of eel, both a black one and a spotted moray eel (don't worry...they were at the bottom of the water about 10 feet down).

 

Book this trip and have a GREAT time!

 

Thanks, and don't worry about repeating what others have said. I've been trying to convince my husband that this was not an island to do on your own. If it weren't for the repeats, I may not have convinced him. Thanks once again to cruisecritic!!! :D

Shelly

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We are doing the Cayo Levantando excursion next week and I was wondering if the restaurants/vendors accepted US currency or if you had to exchange your money ahead of time?

 

Yes they took US money. Actually didn't see them taking anything else but...

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:(

 

Got back from our Oceania cruise today so I'll post a quick note about our experience on Cayo L.

 

At Samana we were tendered to either Samana or to Cay L. Since we went to Cayo L. we weren't able to find out about transportation to the Cayo from town.

 

Our ship offered tender transportation only for $30 pp or transportation plus buffet lunch for $50 pp. We chose just the transportation and were glad we had as we didn't hear any good comments abou the food. We did purchase a burger. Burger (very small and very dry) or hot dog plus fries was $5. Being a bit concerned about the water (ice in the drinks) we opted for the local beer (Presidente) which at $4 seemed a bit high but it was very cold and very good.

 

Our ship's tender went over about 10:30 am and we had two pick-ups -- 3 pm or 4:15 pm.

 

The island does have a beautiful setting, wonderful white sand, lounge chairs. Local venders were not pesky, etc. Snorkeling, however, we thought was very, very disappointing. Too sandy -- great for swimming, lousy for snorkeling.

 

If you just want to lay on a beautiful white sandy beach then this is the place for us. Personally we were disappointed and wished we had stayed aboard the ship. This was our only disapointment on the entire cruise.

 

Hope this is a help for someone.

 

Molly

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Hi - my husband and I are sailing on the NCL Jewel on April 8th. I'm a little confused by the messages on this board. Do the tenders go directly to Caya Lavanto or to Semana? We don't like to book anything through the ship, but are simply in need of transport to the beach area.

 

Any advice would be appreciated.

 

Thank you!

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Hi propyou,

We are on the jewel April 8th also. We have a roll-call going, but it's not very active. Is it just the two of you? We're travelling with 3 kids and my BIL and SIL are travelling with 2 kids.

We are like you, we hate to book through the ship, but if you read this entire thread, I think in this case it's warranted. It sounds like the cruiselines are trying to make it very hard for the locals to do private trips to Cayo Leventado. Just my opinion, but we booked through the ship on this one! If you book only the trip its $29 with a buffet lunch it's $69. From what I've read, there's plenty of great food to be found for a lot less than $40.

See you in (less than) 2 weeks!:D

Shelly

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Hi - my husband and I are sailing on the NCL Jewel on April 8th. I'm a little confused by the messages on this board. Do the tenders go directly to Caya Lavanto or to Semana? We don't like to book anything through the ship, but are simply in need of transport to the beach area.

 

Any advice would be appreciated.

 

Thank you!

 

I think the ship either rents the island for the day or makes it seem like it. You can tender into Samana (for free) or you can take the excursion to Caya Levanto. It was $29 on the Spirit. The buffet lunch for us was $15 extra but you can wait and purchase it when you get there. You can TRY to get someone from Samana to take you over to Caya Lavanto but from what I've read it sounds like more hassle than I personally would care for while I'm on vacation..

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We went to Samana on the Sun last April - NCL canceled all the excursions to C.L. and some people from the ship found locals to tender them to C.L. From what I saw, the local tenders were little more than metal row boats with motors on them - not very stable-looking. We'll be sucking up the $29 and taking the ships tenders over.

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Thanks to everyone who responded. I did end up booking the $29 excursion to CL. It really does seem like the only way, unfortunately.

 

It does sound like there are a few good places to eat (lobster lunch for me) on the island so no love lost skipping the "buffet". We get enough of that on board! ;)

 

Shelly, what are your plans for San Juan? We booked a private rainforest tour with Countryside Tours to avoid the crowds. There is just so much to do there, we thought this was our best option. They are able to accomodate more than just the two of us with a little advanced notice for a very reasonable per person rate. How old are the kids you are travelling with? Are you an adventerous group?

 

Counting down the days...

 

Cindy

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To Propyou:

Suck up the $29 cost and relax. Go on NCL's excursion and have a great time. I too hate paying the overpriced ship excursion prices, but when I was on the Spirit 2 weeks ago, I would say it was some of the best spent money we did on the entire trip.

 

In regards to the issue of using "local" water in the ice cubes in the drinks they sell for $5. Four of us drank the drinks and had absolutely no problems after drinking them.... Whoever mentioned being worried about the ice cubes missed out on a great deal. Try the Coco Loco!!!

 

To Hula Dancer:

I am confused as to how you were disappointed by the snorkelling at C.L.

I have done snorkelling in Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Roatan, and Grand Turk and enjoyed this just as much...that says A LOT! It is very different however. Do not expect to see lots of coral, there is very little of it. There are amazing sea fans and more fish than I have ever seen (they are not all huge, but there are LOTS). When looking out at the water from the beach, go to the far left! Follow the weeds out until the sea fans start appearing. Keep following and the number of sea fans will become incredible. Look very closely and you will be surprised what you can find. Do not waste your time snorkeling on the right side of the beach. There was very little to see and much more garbage in the water over there.

 

To all who visit C.L:

Have a great trip. I am praying for good weather for all of you.

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Just got back Sunday. New pictures of Cayo Levantado beach are posted in my webshots under my signature.

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propyou,

 

Can you provide more details regarding countryside tours? We want to go to the rainforest also, but would prefer a more private tour. Thanks so much.

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Cindy,

Sorry, I haven't been on here much lately. I've been trying to get ready!:D Tell me more about the San Juan tour! The kids are 16, 16, 14, 10 and 10. We have no plans for San Juan yet, but at this point we may have to wing it when we get there! Sometimes that's more fun though. We would be interested in seeing the rainforest possibly. I'd say we're on the adventurous side. Waterfalls in Guatemala, Zip-line and cave-tubing in Belize. That kind of thing we love!! But, we also love a day where we get to lay in beach chairs all day while the kids play in the water! We're pretty easy to please when we're on vacation! We'll be leaving to drive over to Miami on Friday morning so I'll try to get back on from the hotel.

See ya'

Shelly

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