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It was nice. The trip was pretty long. The stopping to pick up other guests from their hotels is what makes the trip really long actually. The guide was nice though on the way to the place where we boarded the speed boat to the island. The first stop we made in the boat was to the natural pool. In my opinion, that area was more beautiful than the actual island. The water was the gorgeous. They gave us rum and coke which was cool. The crew was really nice and they took plenty pictures. When we finally got to the island, of course they had vendors on shore that hound you to buy things. But that's pretty much every tourist area in the DR. There was a buffet and the food was great but we didn't have a lot of time to eat. Maybe about 20 minutes. I'm a slow eater so that was kinda meh... They had vendors for alcohol there so that was nice. The boat ride back was on catamaran. More free alcohol and loud music. I wish it was a non-smoking boat though. There were guests that absolutely did not care about smoking around other people not smoking. Overall it was a nice activity. Good food, nice crew, very long trip, free drinks... My only suggestion for the crew is not to allow smoking on the boat, especially when their are kids on board. I'd recommend the trip for anyone who hasn't been to Saona Island but its something I only needed to do once in my life.
Pretty good for the most part. Our 3 hrs at the island was only 2 hrs part of which time we were having our lunch. The driver was over 30 minutes late picking us up from our resort. We then were taken to a modern gas station where we were transferred to another bus. We were told that we would leave in 10 mins/5 mins but that turned into over 35 mins as the driver and the guide stood around talking to another group of locals. Everyone was sitting on the bus ready wondering what was taking so long. Very unprofessional. Would have liked to have heard more about the sugarcane on the drive how often it's harvested/how long before it grows back/how much sugar comes from a cane, etc. Once there the catamaran went slower than normal for some reason people who had been on the excursion before said it took way longer than usual. Staff was friendly, they served drinks and danced. At the island the food was actually quite tasty and enjoyable not very hot but that's expected. Only a few people trying to sell jewelry. The beach was very nice our resort beach was full of seaweed which is the main reason we went but again was only 2 hrs instead of 3 hrs. TIP: when walking into the ocean as you are standing on the beach enter on the far left side as it is the only place where there are no rocks/coral. As we were leaving we had to walk across the coral to board the boat and it was very painful. Take water shoes. The natural swimming pool was gorgeous and the area was huge-- not crowded at all. Actually saw 3 living starfish the kids on the tour were delighted.
We will ALWAYS book this excursion when we visit the DR. This was by far the best time we had during our week vacation in PC. Chino was the most AMAZING tour host. The speedboat to the island was fun. We stopped in the middle of the Caribbean in shallow waters to swim and drink rum and cokes. Afterward, we continued on speedboat to Saona. The island is absolutely stunning--pristine, warm water, white sand, tropical drinks, and a very delicious buffet lunch. After spending the day on the island, we took a catamaran back to where we first boarded. It was a party the entire way back. Great music, great drinks, great people! The entire Caribbean Route crew was amazing, welcoming, fun, and energetic. Chino--we will be back!!!
Awesome trip!! If you choose one trip to do in PC, this is it. Christian was a great tour guide who kept our full day upbeat.The natural swimming pool was stunning(spot where POTC and Blue Lagoon were filmed!)and the beach on Saona island was beautiful.The only issue was not getting a reconfirmation
This tour was an UNSAFE, HOT MESS. Save yourself the time and money and do something else.
Our tour started with our hotel pickup at 7:30. For the next 3 hours, we drove and picked up other groups, stopped at a truck-stop like place to use the bathroom and buy snacks/souvenirs. We had a full bus of 26 customers and 4 tour guides. The tour guides had to stand as there were no seats left. This was probably the most relaxing part of the trip.
Once we arrived in La Romana, we boarded a speed boat. This is not a state of the art speed boat as described. It is a small boat with hard, short, plastic seats. The seats are smaller than a coach airline seat and extremely uncomfortable. There are no seatbelts, but you do get a life jacket.
The ride to the natural pool was about 45 minutes of pure terror. The crew deliberately tries to make the ride rougher than it should be. I really hope you don't like your back because it will be broken by the time you arrive. I am not exaggerating, we own a speedboat and I am telling you that it should not be that painful when you hit every single wave.
The natural pool is the only positive about this trip. Do not expect to see any starfish. There are a ton of other boats in the area, so the water is not as clear as you would expect. There are many loud groups here, so it is not as relaxing as you would think. At this point, the rum is brought out. There is no ice, so the drinks are warm.
Another 20 minutes on the death boat will bring you to the beach.
Do not be fooled, you can't go for a walk, lay in a hammock or even relax at the beach. You can only go into the water about waist deep due to many boats coming in and out. You have a little over 2 hours here. The local vendors will hound you to buy coconut oil, get a massage, or pay for a pina colada. The beach chairs are hard plastic, it is more comfortable to lay on the sand. I tried to take a nap, but the local vendors kept tapping my legs and shoulders when I ignored them.
The drinks at the beach are rum, coke, sprite, or water. Again, there is no ice so you had better drink fast. The food was awful. The choices were: minute rice, bone-dry bread, weird chicken part things, shredded lettuce, or watermelon. I ate only watermelon.
CAUTION: do not leave young women unattended, we had one young, intoxicated girl who may have been taken advantage of in the woods.
After the beach, you get back on the speed boat to the catamaran. Good luck getting on the catamaran after a few drinks, we had a few people almost fall into the water.
We thought at this point we would be able to relax, but we were wrong. Now more warm rum and cokes are served as they blare Dominican music so loud that the floor shakes. Some of the drunk people had fun dancing, and I was just waiting for 1 of them to fall off. The tour guide tried earlier to cut off the drunks, but he decided to take a nap at this point, so they just kept drinking.
Finally we reached the starting point and had to get back on the speed boat once again to get to shore. At this point, we thought we were safe, but we could not be more wrong.
We hurried back to the shuttle to get a good seat. Unfortunately one of the over served had to vomit. Another intoxicated passenger decided she wanted to try to buy a drugs from the locals. We sat for awhile before the sick passenger returned with some plastic bags and the other returned with bloody legs - not sure what happened. Now we thought we could leave, but then the tour guides started yelling at each other outside until a policeman came. After another 15 minutes, we finally started back to the hotels.
During the return, the lady who had purchased drugs from the locals and another girl hot-head started yelling profanities at each other. It got heated enough that hot-head lunged for the lady, so it was a good thing they were next to the driver - I thought we were headed for an accident for sure. One of the tour guides stood in between them. But that did not help, so we ended up pulling over so hot-head could switch seats with someone in back. Even separated, they continued to yell at each other for 2 hours. We dropped hot-head off first, and on her way out she hit the other lady's husband with her shoes and again started yelling profanities. I think the tour guide gave up at that point.
After 12 hours, we finally returned with heavy hearts and the sadness that we had wasted the last day of our vacation on a trip to hell and back.