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MillbrookMom

Casa De Campo Excursions for 1st timers

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SunnyAZ: Did you book the Country Safari tour with RCCL? Did you book any other tours...we still haven't done it.

Iris - I just went ahead and booked it. I also went to book the tour we wanted in San Juan and it was gone!:( So I booked our second choice. I'm not sure if it's sold out or if there was another problem. If it shows up again I'll switch - or check on the ship.

 

Hi Ginny, Thanks for looking! Yes, the Santo Domingo Tour (#CT28) is available both under the RCCL and Celebrity excursion lists for Casa De Campo (under the same excursion#, too).

 

Roger

Roger - it is not available on our cruise. It's probably because we don't have a full day in port. We don't arrive until 11:00. I saw it listed in the general descriptions also & was interested in that one, too. However, those general port excursions do not apply to all sailings. You have to check under your own reservation once your excursions are available for your sailing. I hope yours' will have it!:)

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SunnyAZ: I think we will book that Safari tour not sure about any others. You can always use the OBC for tips. Take care.

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Sunny AZ girl: I think I will now book the Country Safari too. Which did you book in PR and which was not available?

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Roger - it is not available on our cruise. It's probably because we don't have a full day in port. We don't arrive until 11:00. I saw it listed in the general descriptions also & was interested in that one, too. However, those general port excursions do not apply to all sailings. You have to check under your own reservation once your excursions are available for your sailing. I hope yours' will have it!:)
Thanks for checking, Ginny! --

 

Yes, it's under our reservation #, within the excursions for the sailing (with the "Reserve Now" button). I suppose it's available for us because we get into port at 7am and have 10 hours during the day. Our approximate schedule is as follows:

 

----Arrives Casa De Campo: -7:00 AM

----7-hour Tour starts: ----7:30 AM (approx)

----Time in Santo Domingo: -3 hours (?)

----Returns to ship: -------2:30 PM (?)

----Departs Casa De Campo: -5:00 PM

 

Sorry it wasn't an option for your sailing!

 

Initially, I also checked with one of the CC-most-recommended tour operators -- and even with our schedule, he couldn't recommend going with his company because it would be cutting it too close without the protection of the ship's "no one left behind" policy ;) (well for those under the ship's excursions, anyway).

 

Roger

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Sunny AZ girl: Just booked the Country Safari...they gave us the 1:30 PM tour...which one are you on?

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I took this excursion while on the Explorer of the Seas cruise out of New York in January 2008. The cost was US$72 each.

The trip from the ship through the resort to the kayaks took about 20 minutes. We were outfitted with life jackets and given the choice of single or double kayaks. There were 29 of us in total. We paddled upstream against the wind. 12 kayakers found the wind to be too strong and gave up. The remainder of us continued paddling for about 50 minutes and then were told to stop on the shore. The support boat with our day packs arrived with bottles of water, pop and the 12 remaining kayakers. We stayed there about 15 minutes and then had the choice of paddling back or taking the boat. It was a lot easier paddling back and the journey only took about 10 minutes.

 

This was far from being a scenic excursion and Royal Caribbean's description of "being surrounded by natural beauty" is not exactly accurate. Despite the description, safety helmets were not provided although they were not really needed.

 

This excursion was not up to the usual high standards that I have experienced on other Royal Caribbean cruises.

 

Hi tocanada~

 

Thanks for your candid review. The kayak tour was of interest to us-- esp. my youngest son who enjoys summer kayaking at a lake just north of us.

 

It sounds like the wind was taking away from the enjoyment a bit--and w/ nothing particularly scenic, I don't think I'd care for this excursion much.

 

Thanks again for sharing your opinion.

 

 

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Thanks for checking, Ginny! --

 

Yes, it's under our reservation #, within the excursions for the sailing (with the "Reserve Now" button). I suppose it's available for us because we get into port at 7am and have 10 hours during the day. Our approximate schedule is as follows:

 

----Arrives Casa De Campo: -7:00 AM

----7-hour Tour starts: ----7:30 AM (approx)

----Time in Santo Domingo: -3 hours (?)

----Returns to ship: -------2:30 PM (?)

----Departs Casa De Campo: -5:00 PM

 

Sorry it wasn't an option for your sailing!

 

Initially, I also checked with one of the CC-most-recommended tour operators -- and even with our schedule, he couldn't recommend going with his company because it would be cutting it too close without the protection of the ship's "no one left behind" policy ;) (well for those under the ship's excursions, anyway).

 

Roger

Yes, I agree that a ship's tour is the only way to go with an excursion that long and at that distance. I hope you have a great time. Maybe I'd be able to pick it up on our next time there.:)

 

Sunny AZ girl: Just booked the Country Safari...they gave us the 1:30 PM tour...which one are you on?

We will be with you.:) I believe that 1:30 will be the only only option as we don't get into port until 11:00. Since there isn't suppose to be anything to do near the ship we'll probably just hang out on board and have lunch before the tour. DH will probably like that as we aren't exactly morning people and we have early port days both the day before and after with early tours scheduled!:cool:

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Yes, I agree that a ship's tour is the only way to go with an excursion that long and at that distance. I hope you have a great time. Maybe I'd be able to pick it up on our next time there.:)
Thanks Ginny, You have a fantastic cruise and a fun time on your excursion(s), too.

 

Roger

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.

Thought some of you'd get a kick out of the current news (as of yesterday) from La Romana / Casa De Campo:

 

http://dr1.com/

 

Daily News - Thursday, 21 February 2008

 

Bush sighting in La Romana

Former United States President George H. Bush, his wife Barbara and several family members are vacationing at the residence of Gustavo Cisneros in the luxurious Casa de Campo vacation complex in the eastern Dominican Republic. The Bush family has frequented the DR in years as a favorite vacationing spot. Reports indicate that George Bush divides his time between enjoying the country's natural beauty and playing his favorite sport, golf.

.

 

 

This may have been mentioned elsewhere in this thread (I forget if I saw the website mentioned here or on another thread), but the above website -- DR1.com -- is in English and has all kinds of helpful information such as a travel forum:

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We got back yesterday and had a great time. The weather was perfect and the sea was nice and calm, even coming back. There was a day or two when you would think that you were walking sideways but nothing major. The weather was about in the high 70's the day we were in the DR. The village is about 15-20 minutes away from the ship and the scenery was beautiful. A couple at our table did the snorkeling trip and they saw some terrible areas but we rode through a resort area. Our bus parked in the lot which was a little distance to walk into the village and the cobblestones were a bit raised so you did have to watch your step. Our guide took us around to various places and then gave us about half an hour to walk around ourselves. There are various shops and a museum. Now, the most important part, he said that he is not doing the 300 steps down anymore. They must have had some problems. We got back on the bus and drove to the Marina where we boarded the boat and it was a very relaxing ride down the river and back to the Marina. We saw the steps and they start to go up from the shore and then seem to disappear. No way would we have wanted to go down them. It was a relaxing trip, nothing fantastic, but just enough. Other people we met from CC did a resort, which they booked ahead and enjoyed. You can check it out on the 2/15 Explorer Roll call.

 

Hope this helps.

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Hmmmmm....we booked the Country Safari Tour already, but the main reason I did not go for the tour you went on was the 300 steps. Now I am in a quandry!:confused: I'll be waiting for more feedback on this one!

 

I've only read one review so far on the Safai tour & it wasn't great. I'm hoping to hear some more about it from someone else, too!:)

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Hmmmmm....we booked the Country Safari Tour already, but the main reason I did not go for the tour you went on was the 300 steps. Now I am in a quandry!:confused: I'll be waiting for more feedback on this one!:)

I heard a rumor that your 'favorite' "Son" and daughter-in-law were doing the Altos de Chavon and Riverboat Tour....:D

 

And NO STEPS to boot! How nice of them....:p

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I heard a rumor that your 'favorite' "Son" and daughter-in-law were doing the Altos de Chavon and Riverboat Tour....:D

 

And NO STEPS to boot! How nice of them....:p

 

A little birdie told me that, too. However, I want to be absolutely sure there aren't any 300 steps to contend with! :D

 

"Dad" wants to do the Safari though and see the "real" DR. We'll see...:p

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just got back...

in my opinion...

 

Casa Decampo (or as i refer to it as- Casa DeCompost, for good reason) needs to be taken OFF the itineraries! and FAST!

 

i ran back to the ship.

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We just got back, too. However, I had a completely different experience. We went on the COUNTRYSIDE SAFARI excursion through the ship and really enjoyed it. I would highly recommend it for anyone with a few exceptions - those who have a bad back, those who are pregnant, and during a very HOT time of year you may not enjoy it as much as the trucks are open air.

 

We were driven on country roads through vast fieds of sugar cane where we saw sights that I did not know existed in this part of the world anymore. There were oxen pulling carts and Haitian people (the Dominicans won't do this type of labor for the most part, according to our guide) harvesting the sugar cane using sickles. Afterwards we went through a wooded area and then ended up at a nursery where orchids were being grown for export. Then on to a place where workers were hand rolling cigars and we learned a bit about the tobacco industry. We had a shopping stop in La Ramona (which is a typical, poor Caribbean town) and then saw some beautiful homes where many of the area's wealthy live. The wealthy compromise 10 percent of the population (millionaires), 80% are very poor and the remaining 10% are in between.

 

We had an excellent guide. As I stated before, our truck was open air on the sides but was covered on the top for shade. It was a very warm day, but we were comfortable in the moving truck. I have a bad knee and hip and am fluffy, but had no trouble getting into the truck. The ride was bumpy at times, but not jarring. There were a total of 6 trucks, but they did not not all follow the same route so we felt as if most of our stops we were the only ones there. I believe we had about 16 people in each truck.

 

After getting a sunburn in Labadee the day before this tour was a welcome change. Everyone I spoke to on this tour enjoyed it. I heard some not-so-great comments on the amphibeous boat tour and on the tour to the churches. Friends of ours enjoyed the Altos De Chavon and Mississippi Boat Tour. I don't remember hearing too much from the people who went to the beaches, so maybe some of them will comment here as well.

 

I had not read many reviews on this tour before, so I thought I would post for those looking for what to do in Casa de Campo. I will post some pictures as soon as I get a chance.:)

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We also really enjoyed our day in the Dominican Republic. We went to the Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus and had a fantastic time. We also enjoyed seeing the scenery on the ride there. Here is my review- http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?p=14361437#post14361437 .

 

Our tablemates took a trip over to Altos de Chavon and they said that was great too.

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We also really enjoyed our day in the Dominican Republic. We went to the Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus and had a fantastic time. We also enjoyed seeing the scenery on the ride there. Here is my review- http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?p=14361437#post14361437 .

 

Our tablemates took a trip over to Altos de Chavon and they said that was great too.

 

i think its awesome that people can find fun in areas where others wouldnt step foot. thats great!

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i think its awesome that people can find fun in areas where others wouldnt step foot. thats great!
What amazes me is that you never got further than the shuttle station, turned around, and went back to the ship! Is it really fair to judge a POC, or an entire country since you never experienced it!?? :confused:

 

If you had done a tad more research, you would have been aware that for a dollar or two more, you could have taken a taxi to either of your desired destinations in Casa de Campo, and there was absolutely NO line... Lady was standing there, off to the left, offering to direct anyone interested to the cab area.... :) If only the cruise line would be more helpful in letting everyone know that THAT service was available, there would have been fewer naysayers...:p :rolleyes: I blame RCI for that...

 

DW and I did the Altos de Chavon & Mississippi Riverboat Tour, and tho' it wasn't the highlite of our cruise, I'd be more than willing to go back to the DR, and explore some more... 'Variety' is the 'spice of life'.. Get Out There! :D

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What amazes me is that you never got further than the shuttle station, turned around, and went back to the ship! Is it really fair to judge a POC, or an entire country since you never experienced it!?? :confused:

 

If you had done a tad more research, you would have been aware that for a dollar or two more, you could have taken a taxi to either of your desired destinations in Casa de Campo, and there was absolutely NO line... Lady was standing there, off to the left, offering to direct anyone interested to the cab area.... :) If only the cruise line would be more helpful in letting everyone know that THAT service was available, there would have been fewer naysayers...:p :rolleyes: I blame RCI for that...

 

DW and I did the Altos de Chavon & Mississippi Riverboat Tour, and tho' it wasn't the highlite of our cruise, I'd be more than willing to go back to the DR, and explore some more... 'Variety' is the 'spice of life'.. Get Out There! :D

 

 

well, as i said, i did do "research", and i new about what you are saying. I didnt find anything worth while for me. i SAID... that (4) of my party of (9) decided that THEY wanted to take the shuttle. i then, opted to join THEM in THEIR decision (since my first ever decision to stay on the boat at port was bothering me). it was about a half hour into joining THEM in THEIR decision, that i opted out. On my way back, there were boat loads (no pun intended) of folks that were disappointed in the cattle box style, slow moving lines. Also,many folks on the ship that were talking all day about how they didnt like the place. I wasn't about to go back and act like a barker at a fair telling everyone on what to do, instead, i handed over my shuttle ticket to someone behind me, and just left. I wasn't angry at all, i just opted out. The fact is (justified or not), there where many disappointed folks i saw on the way back and on the ship, thats all i was saying. Along with the fact that i personally didnt like the place. And btw- i have a friend who was born and raised there, and a brother and friend who vacation at the resorts there. So, im not completely ignorant, i just dont care for the place. no need to beat a dead horse about my experience though, please dont stop going on about how wonderful you feel it is, thats what this place is for! to share opinions!:O)

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I understand your concerns, and the way RCI has handled the 'shuttle' situation needs fine tuning and "a lot of work"! I watched the 'cattle call' from my balcony, and was hoping that our 'group' didn't have to go thru that line.. :eek: WHEW! Right off the ship, walk straight ahead, and board the bus...:)

 

What we saw of the DR is great at times, and 'trashy' at times... Guessing 10% middle class, 10% rich, and 80% at poverty level... The people appear to be trying, and looking forward to a bright future... I wish them the best! :p

 

Again, I would certainly book another cruise stopping in Casa De Campo or the other DR ports, as I'd like to see more of the country, but truthfully, it isn't "on the top of my list'.. ;) Labadee was real nice IMHO!

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The reason I booked a ship sponsored excursion was because of so little information on the port - and since it was a relatively new port I had the impression that the locals had not yet fine tuned independent excursions enough for my comfort level. I was really happy with my excursion and can certainly count it among one of my better 'ship' excursions!:)

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Better 'safe' than 'sorry' with a new port! We were happy with our ship sponsored tour as well! :)

 

The lines to get the RCI sponsored 'shuttles' was bad tho'... Taxi's were available for almost the same price, and there were many of them available, with NO line...:p Just a 'heads up'..:D

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We visited the Iberostar resort at Dominicus beach with another couple on 4/21 and it was excellent. The grounds are beautiful and decor gorgeous. Nicest pool I've ever seen. The food quality and selection was better then

Royal Caribbean.

Only glitch was the cab fare was higher then I anticipated. It's $14 pp round trip but only for 2 1/2 hrs. More waiting time costs more. definitely worthwhile, a great day,.

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Anyone do the Jeep 4x4 in DR. If yes do they stop for some photos while going to the stated places. Any other info is greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks

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My husband and I (both in our 50s) went on Carnival's Chavron River Kayaking shore excursion on 3/19/12. We were very disappointed. First of all, the river didn't have much to see on it, and the guides didn't tell us anything about the island (in fact, one of them didn't even speak English). The guides spent their time talking among themselves. We wished that we have gone with our kids on their excursion (Case De Campo Horseback Riding) - they loved it.

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