It's not unusual for people who take cruises in the Caribbean to consider the ship the destination.
Most stops down that way are only mildly interesting, Nassau certainly being one of them. San Juan holds some interest, but once you've seen it. . .
Experienced cruisers who take Caribbean runs often stay on the ship at many stops, or just head for the beach. They are there for the weather, the relaxation and the company of like-minded people.
I suspect that all cruise lines regularly stick pins in their Fidel Castro voodoo dolls, waiting impatiently for a regime change and the day they can pull up in Cuba, which will certainly revitalize these standard cruises with an interesting new stop or two.
Just visited the very saqme islands and i suggest that you either stay on the ship at the dominican or take one of the cattamaran trips that are offered. We did the sail snorkel trip. We loved the sailing part and would have paid the money just for that. Stay on the boat for the snorkeling. all you will see is juvenile fish and lots of garbage. St. Thomas is beautiful. We took a taxi to cocki beach, loved the locals and loved the snorkeling.
Don't do the rain forest in San juan, most of the time is spent on the bus in urban sprawl. We counted 9 kentucy fried chickens on the way. We had very little time in the rain forest. Cable beach in nassau was nice. Enjoy the ship and go to the islands if so inclined.
Have a blast.
I was thinking of Rainforest tour in San Juan, scratch that idea! I guess we'll just walk around Old San Juan again...
I think Cable Beach sounds good - I went to Atlantis last time in Nassau, didn't enjoy it.
Looking forward to St. Thomas, that will be Thanksgiving day for us. I've arranged a private tour of the island for my group, about a dozen of us, including Magen's Bay and the MountainTop for a banana daiquiri (or two)....I've done Coki Beach previously, really nice....
I think we'll hang out aboard ship in Dominican....
I wish Celebrity had a private island in the Bahamas, like everyone else....
I agree the Millenium's Eastern Caribbean itin is not the greatest, but after just being on the Summit, I had to go on the Millenium and I got a great price for Jan '05. Sometimes I book a cruise because of the ship and the price and I don't care about the itinerary.
I invited my sister in law and her husband to join us, since their first and only cruise was on the Horizon and they loved it....wait till they see the Millenium.
I remember my first cruise to the Eastern Caribbean I wanted to see and do everything, well after I have cruised the Caribbean many times now I just love staying on the ship.
When I go on the Millenium in Jan and probably will just stay on the ship when it arrives at Dominica.
St. Thomas...now there's where I get off....shopping and the beaches are nice.
If the Millenium is anything like the Summit, I would be quite content staying on the ship when everyone else if off and enjoy the spa pool.
With the ships being so great, sometimes it's hard to get off.
I'm going on Millenium in Jan for my honeymoon, and have seen lots of comments about just staying on the ship at Casa de Campo, but my fiance wants to get off "just to say we've been there." Is there a beach or anything to visit briefly?
As a veteran cruiser I always recommen getting off once at every port, but after once many are not worth the second look. Casa De Campo I have heard has nothing, San Juan do the Barcadi tour and Nassau just walk around. At least that's what I would do. The rain forest is one of the biggest waste of time anyone can imagine. Still cruising isn't about just itinerary though that's important. Sometimes it's fun to stay on ship or just get off for an hour or so, then get back on. Enjoy the pool with no crowds, have lunch in the uncrowded restaurant of your choice or just sit in any lounge enjoying your favorite refreshment and read a good book.
Casa De Campo is a premier golf destination & Celebrity definitely offers a golf trip to the Pete Dye "Teeth Of The Dog" golf course, which is expensive, but one of the top 100 golf courses in the world which has numerous holes playing around & over the ocean. It's a "must" for golfers. john
I had the attitude as your fiance, so we got off the ship and went into the little town. There was really nothing there a couple of shops and restaurants, most were closed as we were there on Sunday. I am not sorry that we got off the views were gorgeous and the island is very lush. Some people did go to the beach on their own it was about a half hour cab ride but they said it was beautiful and the beach break through the ship I also heard was great but a bit pricey. Have a wonderful time!!
They offer a tour in Nassua that takes you around the Island to see two Forts, Queens Staircase, and then over the see Atlantis Resort. Its pretty cheap, $22 a person. We just got back from Century and did this tour. Something all your group would enjoy.
I was surprised with Nassua, was alot nicer than I thought it would be.
We thought Casa de Campo would be a nice beach day similar to a day on a cruise line's private island....boy were we wrong...........
Not being golfers we had no idea why they chose that port.....at least now we know there was a good reason for it......we were wondering what the cruise line was thinking!
We thought San Juan offered very little. Nassau not much more. Sometimes it can be nice to stay on the ship, fewer crowds, like having a resort to yourself - almost. But, if you think you might regret not at least seeing those stops once, try them, the ship is never farther than a short walk or cab ride.
I wasn't crazy about Casa De Campo either. I am an avid golfer, however, we were told right up front by the pro on the ship who organized the trip that we would not have enough time to complete more than 13 to 14 holes if we were to return to the ship in time to sail. I had no intentions of paying $135.00 plus shoe rental and golf balls to play two thirds of a great course.
As for the beach that we tendered to there was not much there. If you are familiar with RCCL Coco Cay, then you will be disappointed by this destination.
What about the artsy Altos de Chavon in DR? Also, There must be something good in Nassau--do not go to Apidastra gardens (awful IMHO) & the snnorkeing in Nasssau was fun & a great catamaran ride but rough water...Next trip we'll shop & gamble at Atlantis or go to the pirate restaurant....In San Juan isn't there a rum factory?--we took a tour that featured El Morro but saw alot & our driver got through the congestion easily...
We have been to several cruise line owned islands and always enjoy a relaxing day at the beach.......but Casa de Campo was just a mass of people crowded on lounge chairs and reminded us of Coney Island or the Jersey Shore in July.........there were people there waiting to carry your lounge chair to a spot you picked out on the beach (for a tip of course, which is OK because you are getting a service and certainly don't want to lug those chairs anywhere yourself) but they just want to plop you as close as possible to hurry back to earn more.......so everyone winds up crowded.........the cruise line staff tell you to insist on making them carry the chair further, but it's not worth the hassle. In our opinion the beach was too crowded and not very attractive, or maybe we are spoiled by all the nicer stops we've made over the years.......I guess I just expected better from Celebrity and after many sailings this was the first time they disappointed me......I forgive them as they are my favorite cruise line......If I did that sailing again I would stay on the ship.......I guess the golfers have to have their port stop too....... can't deny them that.......
This is disappointing--on our trip a few yrs back the DR stop was at Catalina Island just off the DR coast ,whihc we did not at all enjoy--islanders were very aggressive & pushy & we did not feel very secure leaving our stuff to go in the water. The snorkeling was not good--near big rocks & after the lunch BBQ we went back to the ship...I had hoped the new stop would be better. Don't they offer anything other than the golf there? Guess we will try to do Millie on another itin in the future---
One of the above posters mentioned about the beach day which is in fact Catalina Island and is completely seperate from Casa deCampo. I have been to both Catalina and Casa on different cruises. Another poster mentioned Altos deChavon which is a recreated Medieval village on the property of Casa deCampo which is a huge resort. If you have never been there it is worthwhile to go there once as the village does have shows and is interesting. Please remember it is recreated and is mostly shops which are expensive. There is however at that location beautiful views of the Altos de Chavon river and great picture taking possibilites. This is the location where the movie Apocolypse now was filmed. This area is seperate from the Marina at Casa which to me was a waste. Celebrity runs free shuttle bus service to the various areas of Casa de Campo. IMHO, if it was the first time to DR, go the Altos, it is excellent for a visit of a couple of hours once.
I think we'll take in a leisurely stroll around Altos de Chavon. What else is there to do???
I am intrigued that Apocolypse Now was filmed there...Coincidentally, the more I read about the Dominican Republic ports of call, the more I recall Marlin Brando's words, "The Horror..... The Horror"......
Hey Celebrity, can't we make a right turn and stop at St. Maarten instead?????
If I don't care for a port, I just stay onboard. I love just being on the ship when everyone else is off.
2008 Liberty OTS (Caribbean)
2007 Summit (Alaska)
2006 Century, Infinity (Panama Canal), Summit (Hawaii)
2005 Millenium, Voyager of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas B2B
2004 Explorer of the Seas, Constellation (Canada/New England)
2003 Horizon (Bermuda), Summit
2002 Explorer of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas (Caribbean)
I guess I'm one of the only ones who actually enjoyed the rainforest excursion in San Juan. Yes, it's a long drive, but if you love nature it's worth seeing. They take you on a short nature walk, stop at an observation tower, and a waterfall. We enjoyed it so much we did it both times we were in San Juan.
Folks in my group are already talking about staying aboard shiip in Casa de Campo, Nassau, even San Juan...
Are these stops fun or should we stay on board?????
I was quite favorably impressed by the port of La Romana ("Casa de Campo" in Celebrity's literature) on a recent cruise aborad GTS Constellation. By way of background, "Casa de Campo" (literally, "Country House") is a fairly exclusive resort in La Romana, Dominican Replublic. The roads and landscaping between tne pier and the resort was one of the best-maintained areas that I have ever seen around a cruise port. There are also several worthwhile excursions in this port. The boat trips leave from, and are operated by, the resort, which also had a lot of shops that appeared to be a cut above what one normally finds in Caribbean ports of call..
If you have never taken a tour of San Juan before, the tour of "Old San Juan" is a "must." The old city has a lot of historical attractoins as well as some unique shops. I also would like to take the tour of the Bacardi Rum Factory on a future port of call.