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Grammar Goddess

Anybody been to Cayo Levantado?

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Did anyone else notice how trashy the island was? I mean you can tell they hire a lot of people to clean up but in the far left (facing water) there were old bottles and other plastic bottles washed up. Also a few plastic bottles floating in the water. I was just surprised by that.

 

The day we went it rained off and on then POURED. We tendered back right away when it started pouring but while we were on the island my youngest son loved the water. (waves pounding), oldest son loved the sand, (to me the sand was more like fill sand /dirt all around the lounge chairs, i guess we just likes bermuda's sand better) my family liked the shops and got some art work. I picked up a painting and drank a coco loco. It was nice to lounge under a tree. We ate hot dogs and my husband got a hamburger and wouldn't suggest it. (Dry like the other poster said)

 

It didn't seem like there was much to do in the town of Samana, but after getting back on board, it seems that those who just tendered into town had way more fun. They got to eat yummy rice and beans and have covering during the rain.

 

Maybe if we didn't get rained out we would have had a better experiance. I'd try it again. :)

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Okay I'm convinced on the shore excursion to Cayo Levantado. I still don't know whether to do the BBQ or not. It's $19 more per person so I don't know whether it will be worth it or not.

 

HAS ANYONE DONE THE BBQ AND IF SO, OPINION????????????????

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If I had to do it all over again, I would stay on the ship. $29 to be shuttled over to an island which was crowded, had dirty water and a dirty beach, and no snorkeling is no bargain. I don't know where the waves are that one poster talked about, but it was flat as a pancake when I was there.

 

I would sum it up in two words, "tourist trap." It was the only port that I didn't like. I loved Tortola and St. Thomas. Wish NCL would skip this one and go back to it's old itinerary.

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If I had to do it all over again, I would stay on the ship. $29 to be shuttled over to an island which was crowded, had dirty water and a dirty beach, and no snorkeling is no bargain. I don't know where the waves are that one poster talked about, but it was flat as a pancake when I was there.

 

I would sum it up in two words, "tourist trap." It was the only port that I didn't like. I loved Tortola and St. Thomas. Wish NCL would skip this one and go back to it's old itinerary.

 

Hi Surfgirl:

 

When you say the water and beach were dirty, was this the Cayo Levantado Beach or the island of Samana? Our excursion will cost us $15.00 to go to Cayo Levantado beach and if we want the BBQ, then it would be an additional $19.

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Hello All! We went on the Dawn cruise to Samana at the end of March. At most ports I plan our excursion and save quite a bit, as there are many of us. We even to the local buses on St. Maartin and St. Thomas. It was great even though we are pigmently challenged as the locals told us. They thought my youngest with white hair and big blue eyes was very interesting.

Saman was the only port I booked an excursion. I do so because I was told it was underdeveloped and they are just starting to build as a port. We took the Caves, Mangroves, and rainforest through NCL. It was about $99 an adult, kids were a bit cheaper. This included being dropped at Cayo Levantado at the end of the tour. It was fantastic. It was a beautiful boat ride over to the National Park. It was quite fair, so getting there on your own might be difficult. They showed us all kinds of things. They took the boat into a cave, where a bat pooped on my shoe. They took us into the mangrove forest which was beautiful. They stopped and passed out rum and coke, and soft drinks for the kids. Then we docked the boat and got to see the caves. There were pictographs that were from the Natives. It was amazing to see. They showed you with a flashlight on the walls. When I was a small child I got to see the Caves of Altamira in Spain which are now closed to the public. I wanted to show this to my children before it too is closed due to breathing and photography damaging the artwork on the walls. We even went to another cave location where we got to meet the rangers who live on the island and protect the caves and drawings. The guys worked very hard. It was incredible to see. My children loved it. They dropped us off at Caya, which was a nice beach, with an open air market. People were trying to sell you things but only in the market area. The down side was that it was raining off and on, but we had a very enjoyable time there. I got some interesting wood carvings, art work. The music by the beach was nice. I was very happy with my decision. We saw something that you will never forgot. I thought the beach was no more crowded than the beaches we went to on the other three ports. People were just as friendly, actually I thought they were much nicer than some ports. I spoke my limited Spanish and they respected that. You have to go into thinking you are going to have a great time, but more than likely it will be different than at home. Nothing bugs me more than when you go somewhere different and you hear people say "Where's the McDonald's" Why travel then. We had the food, it was just okay. I think they are trying to make American food. I would rather have tried a local dish. We drank drinks with ice and also had the beer, we are all still hear to talk about it. Did not go into Samana, but did hear it wasn't as nice. Hope this helps someone.

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

 

Those are great pictures of Cayo Levantado. Anyone interested in that excursion should definitely check them out!!

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If I had to do it all over again, I would stay on the ship. $29 to be shuttled over to an island which was crowded, had dirty water and a dirty beach, and no snorkeling is no bargain. I don't know where the waves are that one poster talked about, but it was flat as a pancake when I was there.

 

I would sum it up in two words, "tourist trap." It was the only port that I didn't like. I loved Tortola and St. Thomas. Wish NCL would skip this one and go back to it's old itinerary.

 

 

WOW, surfgirl, finally i can relate to your post.

 

ive been to samana 3 times, twice on a whale watching expedition, and third on NCL DAWN just last month. island as a whole is a total waste, and if you read spanish and pick up a local paper, you will quickly realize that its a disease stricken island. much of it is spread by stray diseased dogs running around, and totally sub-par conditions people live in.

 

Cayo levantago: nice place on a VERY QUIET day, otherwise, its overcrowded and dirty. you might not see how dirty the area is, due to the fact that it is so crowded. if seas are calm, water is pleasant, but cant swim throughout the entire island span, because bottom is dirty/rocky, full of debri, and not maintained. I too would stay on the ship i f were to cruise again with samana as scheduled stop

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The NCL website says $33 bucks for a free drink and a chair- no food. For a family of four that's alot of money. I'd rather pay a local kid to take us over on the other side of the island. We did that with Princess to Grenada and it worked out great. I guess we'll just wait and see what the next few months of cruise critic reports have to say :)

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Cayo levantago: nice place on a VERY QUIET day, otherwise, its overcrowded and dirty. you might not see how dirty the area is, due to the fact that it is so crowded. if seas are calm, water is pleasant, but cant swim throughout the entire island span, because bottom is dirty/rocky, full of debri, and not maintained. I too would stay on the ship i f were to cruise again with samana as scheduled stop

 

 

P1000726.jpg

 

 

When we were in Samana last year in October, we were the only ship in port. We took a motor boat over to Cayo Levantado for $10p.p. and spent the day on this lovely island. We had a perfect day with pristine sand and clear as clear water. A great finale to a fantastic cruise of 34 days.

 

Jennie

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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

 

What a relief to know I'm not the only one with this problem, I mean husband:p . I just booked it, I'll let him know that morning...

 

BTW, we're on the Pearl (NCL) and was noticing here that $40 additional for food was offered meaning 2 different tours, 1-w/food, 1-without. I only saw one offered thru NCL for $33pp with no mention of food. Am I confusing this with another cruiseline? This is the Cayo Leventado Beach Escape.

 

Thanks for your help and

 

HAPPY SAILING!!!!

Romy

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What a relief to know I'm not the only one with this problem, I mean husband:p . I just booked it, I'll let him know that morning...

 

BTW, we're on the Pearl (NCL) and was noticing here that $40 additional for food was offered meaning 2 different tours, 1-w/food, 1-without. I only saw one offered thru NCL for $33pp with no mention of food. Am I confusing this with another cruiseline? This is the Cayo Leventado Beach Escape.

 

Thanks for your help and

 

HAPPY SAILING!!!!

Romy

 

We were on RCI's Grandeur of the Seas in May and did this ship excursion ($15 without food, $34 with food). We did the food and it was horrible.

 

The ship was anchored out and the first time in Samana. This was a nightmare since there had been some right hand not knowing what the left-hand was doing. I won't go into all that now since it would take a couple of pages -- lol.

 

Once we got to Cayo L it was a beautiful island for swimming or relaxing. What I didn't like was that everytime you turned around, there was a local wanting to sell you something. This started from the time you stepped off the tender. If that doesn't bother you, then the island is fine to walk around.

 

Everyone who did this escursion had the same problems and wished they had stayed on the ship. Don't know if things have gotten better since our visit, but I probably would stay on the ship the next time, only because of our experiences.

 

Good luck to all who go there and hope you fare better than us. Think it was an RCI fiasco.

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We enjoyed our excursion to Cayo Levantado, especially after hearing from those we went into Samana. I've posted a link to my photos of Cayo Levantado below to give you an idea of what it looks like. Hope this helps!

 

http://www.familytravelfun.com/cayo-levantado-photos.html

 

Thanks lovetocruise, those are beautiful pictures! We've booked the Beach Escape thru NCL (only one we've booked so far thru cruiseline). After seeing these pics, I'm really glad we did! I like the paintings too!

 

Thanks again!!!;)

 

Romy

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Thanks lovetocruise, those are beautiful pictures! We've booked the Beach Escape thru NCL (only one we've booked so far thru cruiseline). After seeing these pics, I'm really glad we did! I like the paintings too!

 

Thanks again!!!;)

 

Romy

 

You're welcome. The only thing I might warn you about is the delicious drinks they serve in a coconut shell. They taste wonderful going down but my daughter (who had a non-alcoholic one) and I both became ill the next day. It could have been coincidence though I do have to wonder about the ice they used at the little island bar. Sometimes I tend to forget about the ice situation!

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I'm just wondering why NCL is charging $33.00 basically for a boat ride to the island and a chair! I'm still considering getting over there on my own or exploring other beaches. It's alot of money for four of us....

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You're welcome. The only thing I might warn you about is the delicious drinks they serve in a coconut shell. They taste wonderful going down but my daughter (who had a non-alcoholic one) and I both became ill the next day. It could have been coincidence though I do have to wonder about the ice they used at the little island bar. Sometimes I tend to forget about the ice situation!

 

Noted. I'll take a something in a can please:p . Good advice Lovetocruise. Thanks again!

 

Romy

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I'm just wondering why NCL is charging $33.00 basically for a boat ride to the island and a chair! I'm still considering getting over there on my own or exploring other beaches. It's alot of money for four of us....

 

Hi 2boyz, ordinarily, we would take a cab, etc. independently but after reading quite a few comments regarding the drivers (apparently very few speak english) it poses a risk of getting back to the ship on time. We just don't want to take that chance. We'll save our pesos;) where it is less risky. Besides, we are landlocked and will happily pay $66 for all day at a beautiful beach!:D

 

Just my 2 cents.

 

Happy Sailing!!!

Romy

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Hi 2boyz, ordinarily, we would take a cab, etc. independently but after reading quite a few comments regarding the drivers (apparently very few speak english) it poses a risk of getting back to the ship on time. We just don't want to take that chance. We'll save our pesos;) where it is less risky. Besides, we are landlocked and will happily pay $66 for all day at a beautiful beach!:D

 

Just my 2 cents.

 

Happy Sailing!!!

Romy

 

Most likely we will too- but I'm looking forward to seeing what the NCL crowd does when they start their reviews in the fall/winter. I just don't like the feeling of being "ripped off' :(

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Most likely we will too- but I'm looking forward to seeing what the NCL crowd does when they start their reviews in the fall/winter. I just don't like the feeling of being "ripped off' :(

 

Amen to that Sister;) !

 

Good idea about upcoming reviews. She's been in Alaska for so long, it will be great to get some ideas about our itinerary!!!

 

Happy Sailing!!

Romy

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Hi 2boyz, ordinarily, we would take a cab, etc. independently but after reading quite a few comments regarding the drivers (apparently very few speak english) it poses a risk of getting back to the ship on time. We just don't want to take that chance. We'll save our pesos;) where it is less risky. Besides, we are landlocked and will happily pay $66 for all day at a beautiful beach!:D

 

Just my 2 cents.

 

Happy Sailing!!!

Romy

 

Cayo Levantado is a small island and I'm not sure you can get there any other way than through the ship excursion. I may be wrong though. The ship's tenders will take you directly to the island from the ship and back. To me it was well worth the money. As a rule we never book excursions through the ship, we always book privately. In Samana I would go with a ship excursion.

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Cayo Levantado is a small island and I'm not sure you can get there any other way than through the ship excursion. I may be wrong though. The ship's tenders will take you directly to the island from the ship and back. To me it was well worth the money. As a rule we never book excursions through the ship, we always book privately. In Samana I would go with a ship excursion.

 

I mentioned earlier that the "taxi" drivers don't speak english, silly me: even if they did, they couldn't drive you to Cayo Levantado as it is an island.:D What I meant was if you were going to tour Samana....

 

I've also read that if you find a guide to take you by boat to Cayo Levantado the only boats apparently offered are small and rickety metal boats.:eek:

 

Just needed to correct myself.;)

 

Happy Sailing!!

Romy

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I've also read that if you find a guide to take you by boat to Cayo Levantado the only boats apparently offered are small and rickety metal boats.:eek:

 

Just needed to correct myself.;)

 

Happy Sailing!!

Romy

 

Oh my gosh...there is no way on earth I would cross that water in a small rickety boat. On the way back to NCL's ship by tender from Cayo Levantado the water was so rough that we couldn't get close enough to the ship for the guys to tie us up. They kept trying then gave up and took us to the Samana dock and made us get off and wait for another boat with apparently more experienced tender drivers to take us back to the ship. The comedian onboard was even making fun of the tender drivers because it was such a crazy ride!

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Hello. I do not recommend that you try to reach Cayo Levantado with small independent operators that are around town as these are not permitted to access the island plus they are unsafe and unreliable. Also there are many cases where these operators take visitors to Cayo Levantado, charge you the round trip and leave you stranded on the island.

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Just wanted to say thanks to all who posted about Samana, I couldn't find much information about this port. We (Myself, 3 kids, and grandma) are going next June on NCL and now will definetly go on a paid excursion (rainforest) and go to the island after. Can you get snorkeling equipment at the beach, will the ship have some for us to borrow, or do we need our own? (Also, we haven't snorkled before, can we figure it out on our own?) Thank from someone who hasn't cruised yet!!:)

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