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tobytovar December 18th, 2011 06:00 PM

Miracle cruise

Got back from a great cruise on Miracle Dec. 6th. Have never been to Aruba, Grand Turk, Curacao, Or La Romona. I loved the first three. Hated, hated, hated La Romana, Dominican Republic. We went on the cave excursion and that was good. Then they dropped us off downtown in a flea market in a park for thirty minutes of FUN shopping. Everyone was back waiting on the bus within two minutes. Terrible in your face merchants. I cannot believe Carnival allows this stop. Grand Turk Cruise center was fantastic. The ship docks 200 yards from the beach and the beach and water are beautiful. Then 50 yards farther inshore is a beautiful pool with great poolside waiters. AND of course there is a two story Margaritaville right there. If you like conch chowder the Grand Turk Margaritaville's is exclusive to them and has large pieces of conch, squash, and a touch of curry. GREAT.
Did the pirate ship in Aruba and the snorkeling over the shipwreck was beautiful. Curacao is beautiful with all the brightly colored buildings.
The Miracle is a nice ship although the buffet is somewhat confusing. The two best entertainment features as far as we were comcerned was Stan in the Atrium bar for sing-a-long and the four piece showband, "MUSIC UNLIMITED BAND" in Frankie & Johnnie's. Incredible music.
Did I mention Sam and Angelo at the Atrium Bar? Well worth a ten or twenty dollar tip on the side. ( I know that's a dirty word for some of you but it's worth it.)
The Miracle will be going into dry dock Jan. 17th and moving to New York in April but will be going out of Port Everglades during Feb. Oh yeah... skip Peter in the Piano Bar, not worth it.

showcat December 19th, 2011 03:04 AM

Thanks for the heads up I'm sailing her soon! I've been to La Romania before. Dominican Republic is very 3rd world the poor people seemed desperate for money and I'm sure they could use it badly. We had some people trying to sell beads to our tour bus and were sort of scary. I am heading to Santo Domingo this time around to see the history there, oldest cathedral in the Western Hemisphere and Columbus light house. I went to Altos De Chavon artist village last time and loved it, no one hounded us to buy there, and I regret not purchasing some oil paintings they were lovely.I'm also going to snorkel the ship wreck in Aruba, and doing a unique private Jeep ecco tour in Curacao. In Grand Turk I'm heading to a small resort for the day nothing fancy but I hope to escape the crowds enjoy the beach maybe snorkel and take a taxi to see the Space Capsule, and Lighthouse first.

Paul Motter December 19th, 2011 11:36 AM

Yes, it is true that he Dominican Republic is one of the poorest nations in the Caribbean. My wife and I went to Santo Domingo, capital of the island, however, and we enjoyed getting a factory tour of a Larimar mine - a semi-precious stone found only in the D.R.

We bought a nice piece and my wife has a beautiful bracelet made from it.

We also found the local church to be very interesting since it was one of the first cities in the new world. Many people who probably kmew Columbus personally are buried in there.

I think you are referring to La Semana. That is an entirely different place, known as a resort area it is very isolated peninsula on the island and very poor. I agree, we got off there and had abosolutely nothing to see or do onshore. We couldn't wait to get back to the ship.

I suspect there must be something there worthwhile for people to see, but I do not know what it may be. Let me do some research.

showcat December 19th, 2011 01:17 PM

Altos De Chavon is the artists village it's a replica of a 17th Century Mediterranean village. Well worth going to see, and photograph. The name means Above The Chavon River which is the river where some of Apocalypse Now was filmed. There is an open air stadium and shops that sell lovely art work, etc. Not to many people venture into Santo Domingo because it's a long ride from the ship and I think they are afraid of the city. I like to experience the culture of a place so I'm gonna make the trek. Columbus himself was buried at the church but they late moved his remains I read. Your tour sounds interesting Paul. I wonder why Carnival does not offer Whale watching tours in Dominican Republic? Since it will be Whale migration season when we are there that would have been my first pick!

Paul Motter December 19th, 2011 01:23 PM

La Romana - Samana Peninsula Tours - from a web site of the peninsula’s attractions can be accessed via organized tours and day trips. Tour operators operate from established storefront locations throughout the major tourist areas and some have branch operations in many of the larger hotels and resorts. In the smaller hotels you will usually find tour information posted in the reception area with help readily available from the receptionist.The more popular tours include whale watching, Cayo Levantado, the waterfall at el Limon, jeep and 4WD Quad safaris and horseback excursions along the beaches or into the mountains. See the Attractions section of our menu for more information about these activities. Organized tours are a good way for larger groups to experience much of what Samana has to offer.

showcat December 19th, 2011 11:51 PM

But we are docked in La Romania not Samana thanks though.

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