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Oct172013

Tour/Activity

Catalina Island Snorkel Excursion from Punta Cana

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

My Rating
2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better

My Review

We did this tour on our honeymoon and did not care for it. They picked us up at 7:30 am and we did not get on the boat until 10:00 am, eat a big meal beforehand, they only make one stop and the food is over priced. There was a guided scuba tour and an unguided snorkel tour going on at the same time, the scuba group said they enjoyed their dive but I felt like the snorkel tour was lacking (we weren't even warned about the jelly fish in the water). We snorkeled for about an hour then waited for the scuba group before heading to the island. Once on the island we were immediately hounded by locals to buy souvenirs and massages (not relaxing at all, even if you said no they would come back 10 mins later and ask again). The snorkeling right off of the island was neat, since the water was shallow you got really close to the fish and coral (again, not warned about the prickly coral, had to learn the hard way when I reached down to stabilize myself against the waves). The photographer on the tour was very nice but pretty pushy about the private photo shoot (which we now refer to as the most awkward shoot ever because of the weird poses he placed us in) he originally wanted $120+ for the cd but we counter offered him $50 and he accepted, the photos are okay, we mostly get a good laugh looking back at how awkward they are. Lunch was tasty, but bring bug spray, the mosquito's are horrible out there (seriously, we had to borrow some spray just to be able to eat our meal). Over all the tour was okay, I wouldn't recommend it for honeymooners or families with young children. The crew was nice but tried way to hard to maintain a party atmosphere (doing multiple choreographed dances and pulling people up to dance, it was a bit much).

Oct162013

Tour/Activity

Marinarium Shark and Ray Experience

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

We did this during our honeymoon and it was our favorite tour. It wasn't too long or too short, we had great weather so we were able to snorkel and swim for a long time. We also were lucky enough to get paired with a fantastic tour guide - while everyone else lined up to hold a sting ray we stayed back and got to pet the sharks and rays with the guide. He took charge of our underwater camera and got a ton of great photos for us too! After the crowd started heading back to the boat he let us feed the fish and extend our snorkeling time. The entire staff was friendly and kept the drinks flowing, but the personal attention we received from him truly made this tour great. We also got our first taste of coco loco on this tour. I would highly recommend this trip for anyone looking to have a unique snorkeling experience and likes to have a good time, probably not the best excursion for children since it is a party atmosphere. I would also recommend making friends with your guide, you'll get a much better experience if you do! Oh, we also purchased their picture cd and it so-so, but we got better photos on our own camera thanks to the guide. We did not purchase the sting ray picture - it was $15 for ONE photo - didn't seem worth it to us. (disclaimer - the tour company does not encourage or condone what our guide let us do and our experience is not typical... however, if you are an experienced swimmer and befriend your guide you might get the little extra... don't forget to tip generously, guides can get in trouble for those sort of things!!!)

Oct152013

Tour/Activity

Punta Cana Zipline Canopy Adventure

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

Great tour, we did this on our honeymoon. There is about an hour drive each way with 20 minutes of rough terrain. Our driver "Salomi" did a great job getting us there and back safely. Our tour guide "Mama - Juana" made the trip fun, we got to try locally made chocolate and the actual drink Mama Juana (we were even able to purchase some for $25 a bottle which made a great gift). Be sure to wear proper clothing, some of the other ladies who wore shorts complained about being uncomfortable in the harness, I wore pants and had no problems. There is a bit of uphill hiking, you will definitely get a workout on this tour! The lines were great, such amazing views, only wish they would have lasted longer. Overall, even though the actual zip lining went by quickly, we enjoyed this trip and would definitely recommend it. Oh, we also purchased the picture cd for $35 and it was so-so, not as many pictures as we would have liked BUT they don't allow personal cameras so we felt it was worth the money.

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