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wiz54

samana dominican republic

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Our first port of call is Samana. Has anyone been there,do you know how far it is from where the ship anchors (NCL Dawn) to the La Romana flea market. Thanks for all the help! Liz PS I have learned SO much from this site:D

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I had checked on the actual port board here on cruise critic and didn't find much for this place. BUT I did find whale watching - hump backs! I think that would be a lot of fun and it is offered LAte Jan through March. If you are going then maybe it would be an option. Other than that I heard you can take a water taxi or an excursion through the ship to Caye L..... which is suppose to be a very pretty beach... I learned the most looking at the shore excursions through NCL and then googling the places. It seems many people have not gone to this port yet. I'd love to hear what you think of the Dawn as we go late Jan. Debbie

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Went to Samana in 1980 - Samana itself was a very poor country with lots of vendors. They even followed our bus to our shore excursion. We went to Cayo Levantado - one of the most beautiful beaches I had ever seen. We had a wonderful day there. Of course things have probably changed a lot since then.

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Be warned that when you get to the Dominican Republic ports of call, there is very little there unless you do a search for Samana. Then several posts will come up. I don't know why it is that way. Seems to me that all the posts should automatically come up. :confused:

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Thanks so much for the responses! I will just keep looking and doing my favorite thing "googling" I will have LOTS of info for the board when I get back! Liz

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Our first port of call is Samana. Has anyone been there,do you know how far it is from where the ship anchors (NCL Dawn) to the La Romana flea market. Thanks for all the help! Liz PS I have learned SO much from this site:D

The walk to the flea market is about a mile at most. Maybe closer to 1/2 mile. It takes about 5 to 10 minutes and is VERY HOT. We did not buy a thing. To be honest, Samana was one of our least favorite ports after 20 plus cruises. I would get off the ship, maybe do the flea market, see if you find something that really turns you on and head back to the ship. If you want to see the area I would book a ship excursion. I do not always recommed Ship excursions, but this time I would.

 

Nita

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after hours of searching, i finally found a dive operator near the ship in samana. i wanted to dive there but could not find anything close and didn't trust a long cab ride to get me back to the ship on time. the person i found has opened a shop near the ship and they will even pick you up if possible. they are working on a webpage and i will post when they get it up, but for now, you can email jadri the contact person at bahiachiquita@yahoo.it for more information. hope this helps some of you.

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Theschwanz,

 

I made the mistake of diving Samana's Cayo Lavantado two years ago. In a previous life, I had to dive in dirty, trash filled water, and I promised myself I would never have to dive again. So go figure, I do a ship's one tank dive off the island, and find out through the divemaster about locals fishing with explosives, and see for myself the mess they make of the reefs. The only thing down there was trash, sea urchins, starfish, and did I mention, more trash. Save your money;)

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Taxial,

 

I've been cruising with a two year old, and I've been to Samana, Cayo Laventado. If you think your little one would like to experience a lovely beach, then the beach escape excursion to the island, (Cayo Laventado) might be something you and the little one might enjoy. I would check the tender availability before booking just to make there is service back to the ship on a regular schedule in case the heat, or sun are an issue.;)

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We have some very nice beaches besides the beach of Cayo Levantado island ...

 

Some of those great beaches we have close to the Port of Samana :

1) La Playita

2) Playa El Valle

3) Playa Rincon

4) Playa Anadel ( Cayenas del Mar Beach Club )

 

There are a few Professional Taxi drivers starting to promote themselves on the Internet. One is called " 5 Stars " and the other one " Optima ".

 

These guys are very reliable and courteous to go exploring the Samana Peninsula and go to the Beach of your choice. Also they do speak ENGLISH.

 

These are a great alternative to booking from a traditional tour operator,

as you could make your own custom made tour.

 

You can Google : Samana Taxi to Beach

and find them easily.

 

Steve

Tour Guide :rolleyes:

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Personally, it was least favourite port that I've visited so far, we couldn't get back on the ship quick enough. The worst for begging and vendors I've encountered yet. I think probably an organised shore excursion would have been better for us there, as I believe there are some beautiful parts of the area. we should have done that.

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Not everyone will enjoy walking around Samana the town, some will but it takes the kind of person who is looking for the rustic Caribbean experience of 40 years ago. It is not your typical "Disney World port" prepared by the cruise ships, yet anyway.

 

If you plan ahead and take a tour and go outside of Samana in any direction for 5 min you will find unmatched beauty and tons of awesome adventure.

 

One thing for sure, In Samana, you are safe. Much safer than most ports.

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We booked the ship's excursion to Cayo Laventado. It is a beautiful island and nice beach. They have ample chairs and plenty of shade trees. We did not stay for lunch.

 

They day started out very suny. It rained (serious thunderstorms) by mid day. The tender was an open boat and we all looked like the huddled masses by the time we returned to the ship. If you are taking children there watch the weather and line up to leave if it starts to rain,

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Sorry for bumping this old thread, but it was relevant to what I was searching for.

 

Has anyone been to any of the north side beaches, and have any comments on them? I'm sure it's a "you can't go wrong" scenario on the beaches, so what about the taxi ride?

 

Are there taxi's big enough that will carry a group of 8 in one shot? Are they reliable for the return trip?

 

This is a potential port of call on a cruise we are looking at, so I'm doing some digging. The actual town seems like it's of little interest - not interested in artisan markets, kitch, or wandering - we'd like to get to a beach and relax - nearby beverages at low cost, a bonus. ;)

 

Thanks

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Sorry for bumping this old thread, but it was relevant to what I was searching for.

 

Has anyone been to any of the north side beaches, and have any comments on them? I'm sure it's a "you can't go wrong" scenario on the beaches, so what about the taxi ride?

 

Are there taxi's big enough that will carry a group of 8 in one shot? Are they reliable for the return trip?

 

This is a potential port of call on a cruise we are looking at, so I'm doing some digging. The actual town seems like it's of little interest - not interested in artisan markets, kitch, or wandering - we'd like to get to a beach and relax - nearby beverages at low cost, a bonus. ;)

 

Thanks

 

 

The thing about Samana is that you had better come with plans made in advance. There are taxis available and tour guides but it's very disorganized and many people don't like the setup. You have about a 50-50 chance for a good day. If you make advance plans you have 99% chance that Samana will be your favorite port of all time. We have such rustic beauty and so many cool things to do and awesome beaches to see. On the North Coast there is El Valle although you can't swim there and taxis won't make it. You also have the beaches of Las Terrenas that go on and on and on, very beautiful, taxi accessible. There is Playa Moro'n which is very secluded but taxis won't make it.

 

Some tours to beaches can be booked in advance and some tour operators even include drinks in the prices.

 

Do some research and get out and see the area around us. Town isn't developed like at some other ports. You may not like just seeing town. There isn't really a beach nearby to town either.

 

Hope this helps!!

 

Tour Samana With Terry

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We just got back from a RCL cruise, which included a stop at Samana. We booked a culture tour through Tours with Terry before leaving home, since there really isn't much to do on your own at this port. Samana ended up being our favorite port on the entire itinerary. Terry runs a fabulous operation. There were eight people booked for the culture. We rode around in a safari taxi, with Tom our tour guide narrating through a microphone. He's American so there was no problem understanding him (a complaint we heard from another cruiser who did a culture tour with another company). You really get a feel for the Dominican culture and you meet people who are genuinely happy, even though we would call them impoverished. We went off road, even driving across a stream to get to El Valle, a beautiful secluded beach where we were served a traditional meal (meal and drinks included in the price of the tour, btw). My husband is a cigar aficionado, and he loved seeing how cigars are hand rolled and was even treated to a free cigar sample. He liked it so much, he bought a box to take home.

 

So if you are on a cruise that is going to Samana, I'd definitely recommend checking out Tours with Terry. His tours were longer, better, and more affordable than tours through the ship.

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Has anyone done this tour with Terry or been to this beach? Last time in Samana we went to Playa Rincon. Absolutely stunning! Took a long time to get there. This one is a 35 minute trip as opposed to a 1;15 minute trip to Rincon.

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First, fair warning that I work for Cruise Critic. I'm just starting to post on the boards but I've been here for quite a few years. That said, my girlfriend (also an employee) and I just returned from Samana. We did not do the tour you're speaking of, but we did spend a substantial amount of time with Terry as he was our Samana guide. I'd expect the lunch to be excellent. The food was awesome on all tours we did. We didn't see La Playita. I'd suggest emailing Terry directly and asking him about the beach, and ask specific questions if you have any concerns (the locals, waves, etc). Ask him to compare the two beaches (you mentioned you loved Playa Rincon). After having just spent 3 days with Terry, I can tell you he'll be honest. Also of note, we did spend a day on Cayo Levatando. It was not a cruise ship day, however, so it was fairly empty. The beach there was nice. The water was calm. There was minor heckling for "Coco Loco, Pina Colada, massage." The female bathroom, I'm told, was atrocious. The buffet was delicious. That's the extent of beach knowledge I have. If you have any other questions about Samana I'm glad to help. 5 days there definitely helped me learn the area. We did a few tours as well. Good luck!

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I didn't have a chance to meet Kim, unfortunately. I do know that the whale excursions are very popular. We were told we should have been able to see them from our hotel, but I definitely did not see any whales. I did, however, wonder if every single whitecap was one. Alas, no whales. Don't quote me on this, but I believe we're at the very tail end of whale season. Someone please correct me if I'm mistaken. Good luck!

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First, fair warning that I work for Cruise Critic. I'm just starting to post on the boards but I've been here for quite a few years. That said, my girlfriend (also an employee) and I just returned from Samana. We did not do the tour you're speaking of, but we did spend a substantial amount of time with Terry as he was our Samana guide. I'd expect the lunch to be excellent. The food was awesome on all tours we did. We didn't see La Playita. I'd suggest emailing Terry directly and asking him about the beach, and ask specific questions if you have any concerns (the locals, waves, etc). Ask him to compare the two beaches (you mentioned you loved Playa Rincon). After having just spent 3 days with Terry, I can tell you he'll be honest. Also of note, we did spend a day on Cayo Levatando. It was not a cruise ship day, however, so it was fairly empty. The beach there was nice. The water was calm. There was minor heckling for "Coco Loco, Pina Colada, massage." The female bathroom, I'm told, was atrocious. The buffet was delicious. That's the extent of beach knowledge I have. If you have any other questions about Samana I'm glad to help. 5 days there definitely helped me learn the area. We did a few tours as well. Good luck!

 

Can you tell me if it is walkable from the port to the grocery store? I am aware of two grocery stores.....Supermarket Mimasa and Supermarket Popular. They both appear relatively close to the pier. Is it safe to walk to them, how long would it take to walk? I would be interested in the coffee. Is there any other item besides coffee that is interesting to buy in their supermarkets?

 

Also, is it safe to walk around Samana to see the sights in town? What about walking the Malecon Seaside Walking Promenade?

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We went to a grocery store (amongst several other local stores) that would be considered outside the normal tourist stuff - it was certainly within walking distance although outside of the tourist-area, if you want to call it that.

 

We never once felt unsafe walking through even the "real world" part of Samana once we left the obviously cleaned up tourist area. We actually walked for a few hours up and down the side streets, Etc. Yes, it got pretty gritty in some areas, but again, never unsafe IMHO - everyone was polite and seemed universally friendly.

 

We did pickup a "tour guide" (who would eventually would surely want to be paid for his "Services"), but we eventually politely told him that we didn't need help, thanks...and he got the message and moved on.

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