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Old May 17th, 2007, 10:48 AM
nmnita nmnita is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 2,617

Originally Posted by beenie weenie
Jackie, Samana is in the Dominican Republic.

You may also want to check out Gran Bahia Resort (Occidental) to see if they offer a day pass or anything for cruisers. D/H and I went there for our honeymoon several years ago. Years prior to that, it was actually featured on "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous". It makes me sad to see people talk about how awful Samana is now. It was of course a very poor country and you could see some squalor, the same could be said of most popular cruise ports, but the people were wonderful, we never felt unsafe, and when you walked down the street, the doors to people's homes were open and we saw shiny clean ceramic tile floors. We went into town one day as the school children were being dismissed for the day. The girls were so pretty with their starched white blouses and navy blue skirts. Either it has changed a lot since then, or they didn't see what we saw, or go where we went. Cayo Levantado was beautiful back then too and the Gran Bahia is right across the water from the island. There used to be a shuttle boat that would take you back and forth between the island and the resort. I hope you get to see the side of Samana we got to see. I hope it still exists. Back then the only way to get there was to fly into Puerta Plata and take a 3 or 4 hour jeep ride through the Mountains to the other side of the islands. Now that was an adventure. Now there seems to be a lot more access to it, I wonder if thats what has happened there?
Everyone has his/her own opinion and yes, you are right, with the exception of about 6 or 7 ports (I think we have been to every port in the Caribbean or 95%) poverty exists. Our experience and that of some of the others on the Sun last spring was a little different from yours. I don't know if we felt upsafe, but as for the people being friendly? Absolutely the opposite for us. Roatan is a very poor island, probably just as poor or more so than Dominican Republic but the people are so friendly and the island so filled with natural beauty I could stop there on every cruise.

I hope you always have so much enthusiam for Samana. that is the way I feel about a few other islands.
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