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We had a great time on both portions of this tour. Our party of 4 was the only group booked for the excursion, so we had the van and guide to ourselves for the drive to La Romana marina and to Altos De Chavon. For the excursion to Catalina we were part of a larger group on a boat managed by Passion Paradise Tours who, by the way, were fantastic - I would definitely book activities directly with them in the future. The snorkeling was a blast, the beach time and lunch were great, and the staff running the tour made it really fun. After returning to the marina, we drove to Altos De Chavon which was beautiful. I only wish we could have spent more time there we had about an hour, which wasn't nearly enough time to visit the restaurants or shops or to explore the museum.
Dropping the review from 5 to 4 stars due to poor communication. Upon booking, I received notification that I would get another confirmation which would advise me of the pick-up time from our hotel. I never received anything, so ended up having to ask our hotel concierge to call the local tour operator to obtain that info. And then when our driver picked us up, he explained nothing to us. After driving 20-30 minutes and making 1-2 stops, we finally end up parked on the side of the highway still with no explanation from our driver. Five minutes pass, and a large van pulls up alongside us - at this point I'm honestly concerned that I have booked my friends and me for a kidnapping instead of a day tour. But then our guide Johnny hops into the front seat and off we go. It was bizarre and awkward. Either the guide should have been with the driver when they came to get us at the hotel, or the driver should have been willing/able to explain the plan to us.
But back to the positives: our guide was friendly and helpful, and we truly enjoyed our day with him. And in the afternoon when we returned from Catalina, we had a different driver who was terrific. Nelson was chatty and fun, and that really made up for our uncomfortable morning experience. We ended the day on a high note and were glad we had booked this tour!
Transportation was fine. During the boat ride, picture after picture was taken. We get to the island and each person has to jump in so a picture can be taken. There were at least 30 people some only swimming. We were given masks and snorkels. The fins were provided on request, but they were too large. There is no instruction on snorkeling. In the water, more pictures are taken. We snorkel about 30 minutes. Then we go to the other side of the island on the beach where even more pictures are taken and then you get to haggle over the cost of the pictures. For the 152 pictures that were taken they asked for 100. Not relaxing at all. Finally, we have a lovely, delicious meal and relaxation on the beach. No towels provided but there are lounge chairs. Next, we go to Altos de Chavon which is lovely but we really dont get a tour and we are rushed through in about 30 minutes. And when I checked my cd, there were pictures that werent even of our family.
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