Updated: Oct 5, 2021
Are they coming or not? We disembarked the ship at Amber Cove, looked around silently wondering – should we wait?….. how long should we wait?….. It was suddenly apparent that we were once again, going to wait for Morgan and Greg… We had solid plans, a meeting place and we had promptly arrived, but Greg and Morgan were not there yet. I know we were all thinking “are they going to stand us up like they did on Monday?”…. but then logic kicks in to say – that Monday problem was solved, Morgan had obtained her credentials for getting on and off the ship and we know that…. They said that they really wanted to come along, we made a specific time and place to meet….. We all knew that we just had to wait.
We were really excited about visiting the Dominican Republic! It was the one destination on this Itinerary where we had not yet been. Carnival Corp., plc had just completed spent $85 million on pier development that will enable ships to come, and we had been tuned in and listening to updates on it for at least the past year!
Any time we are visiting a new destination we always do our research! It is an important component to having a good experience in a new place. This time Rob and I were really busy doing “work” so that we could clear our schedule for the time off – so we decided to delegate the task. Our daughter Suzee was bringing her friend Will, and Will’s best friend was from the Dominican Republic. Since Will had a special interest in the destination we suggested that he plan our day there! You know these kids and how much they love the internet…. we just knew they would come up with something AMAZING! And they also couldn’t complain either…..
The ship always has a tent right near the Gangplank equipped with a sofa and some chairs, as well as cold water and moist towels for returning guests. We thought about sitting down… but we were all kind of fidgity – so we decided to take some pics of one another and pace around instead!
The kids had planned a trip to Damajaqua Falls – just a short drive from Amber Cove. We knew it would take all of the time we had – omg, where are Greg and Morgan??? Just as we were going to go back on to the ship to try to round them up – poof! they appeared!
Does that look like a troop on a mission or what???
Suddenly we were off – headed to the terminal building – and then to find transportation to the Damajaqua Falls!
The Amber Cove Port is brand new! We went through the building, and out into “Disneyland” (Will’s term for the shopping area that is inside the secure port area, meaning it’s totally fake, you know cute but fake). I tell you what – they are really getting good at confining you to their shopping area – we could hardly find the exit – it was at the farthest point from the pier. We even had to stop and ask someone for help finding it!
Ahhhh Haaa! This looks promising!
The Amber Cove Transportation Center
Now all we had to do is cut a deal for a ride to the Falls! It was apparent that the port was well organized. Everyone appeared to be in new uniforms and to be driving new vans! I suppose they factored all of that into the price of the port development. Smart move Carnival Corp. it really looks GREAT! We made a deal for the price of our ride with one of the “Salesman” in English, who then summoned a van and gave direction to the driver in Spanish. There were six of us and I think we figured out that if we split the fare we would each pay $20. Everyone agreed and in less than 5 minutes we were on the road!
Suzee and Will picked this adventure – and we never for a moment wondered if it was too strenuous for older people…. And that to me is the single most important reason why I eat the way I do, and why I do the exercise I do, and why I take all the vitamins and supplements I do, and why I supplement and balance my hormones, and why I feel as young as I feel. WOW! how awesome is that? We are well into our fifties and don’t have to think twice about hanging with the 20s and 30s! They don’t have to wait for us – they don’t have to hang back because of us! It’s a GREAT feeling and worth every penny that it costs us! If you are pondering how to get started on your own anti aging and wellness plan we just want to say please, don’t wait another moment – you will never regret it! Do your own research, study what you find and choose something that you think makes sense for you! Because it’s never too late to be younger! The very first place I started learning was by reading a book by Suzanne Sommers called Ageless! Now she has a BLOG and of course you can buy her book there….. but – I assume there is much to learn by just enjoying the FREE Content! It was maybe a decade ago that I woke up one day and said – ENOUGH.. I can change this!….. and you can too!
When we arrived at the falls, our driver escorted us to the place where we bought our tickets for the guided experience. Funny – as we bought our tickets they asked if everyone had “water shoes” because they require them for safety…. and of course they rent them for an extra $2 to those that didn’t bring them – So Will, Suzee, Greg and Morgan got some after all 🙂 Tickets were $8 per person to do seven of the waterfalls (all we had time for). You have to literally climb up the waterfall in order to then slide or jump down! They issued us helmets and life vests – and then two guides accompanied us through the woods……
If you really want to see the adventure and how crazy we all were – – watch the fun video Suz put together!!
If you decide you really want to do this you will only need a couple of things…. 1. A way to communicate with a Taxi Driver that you want to visit Damajaqua Falls. Someone with good enough Spanish or simply an index card with the name written down. 2. Enough money for the fare. Our van was $120. There were six of us. The van would have held 10. As always you will want to agree on the fare before getting in! If you want to talk with someone who had done it just give us a call – we will be glad to help you figure it out. You can not buy this experience from the Cruise Line – They do not offer it yet!
After we completed the falls we walked the same path back to the complex… We were all high on life – almost in a state of disbelief for what we had just done! I mean we climbed up seven waterfalls and then slid back down on our butts on the rock! We couldn’t wait to get back to the ship and tell all about it…. We checked our shoes, helmets and life vests back, said goodbye to our guides and wandered back toward the van. We noticed a nice restaurant that was full of people enjoying a lunch but we were committed to one of the restaurants we had seen along the road… so we took a pass. It looked like a perfectly good place to enjoy some authentic Dominican Republic cuisine, so please feel free to give it a try and let us know about it in a comment! On the way out we visited the gift shop where Will bought some Dominican Republic Rum for his friend back home. As soon as we were all done looking around we hopped back in the van and headed toward the Amber Cove Port.
When we came to the cluster of restaurants – we reminded our driver that we wanted to stop and allowed him to pick the place! He pulled in and parked – when he reached this place. I wish I had recorded the name of it…. We can see it on a Google map – but it isn’t identified so we can’t share the name with you here. It is right on the road called “Carr. Navarrete Puerto Plata” just a few minutes out from Amber Cove.
It was clean and the people were friendly and attentive. We ordered our drinks first – while trying to figure out what else to eat.
There was a deli counter where you could see many of the different salad type side dishes – including many seafoods, like shrimp and lobster. It seemed like everything was served “family style” We ordered and assortment of stuff to share around the whole table. I found this next pic when writing the post – what do Americans do while waiting for their food? Why, play with their phones of course! We noticed that we had a whoppin four generations of the iphone… lol – omg, who cares???
Our food arrived really fast… and it was ALL Delish!
There was ONLY una problema…… The menu didn’t have ANY prices on it… We didn’t really think much about it, until the bill came. We had not considered that our remaining cash may not be enough, or that the place would not take a credit card! We really had to scrounge to come up with almost $100 for lunch for six people….
The food was Delicious! The service was impeccable! The establishment was Clean! The company was AWESOME! Too bad we don’t know the name of it – so we could recommend it to you!
That’s OK – because we’ll be back to Amber Cove in a few short weeks….. We’ll try to find out and update the post then! Rob and I were just approved to do back to back Fathom Educational Journey’s to Cuba and the Dominican Republic with Fathom – the newest Cruise Line! Absolutely Can’t WAIT!!
When we got back to the Amber Cove secure port area it looked like a ghost town! Where had everyone gone? We got a little nervous about the time but found that we had almost an hour, plenty of time to make a purchase at the duty free store and even visit the coffee shop for a few minutes of FREE Wifi to get our fix! We all said “Hi” to Amy (our married daughter that didn’t come) and even received a couple pictures of our first Grandson Ethan in a text message! When it was almost time to sail away we returned to the ship…
Sailing Away from Amber Cove
It’s always fun to watch Sail Away from each destination…. After that it is our tradition to shower, dress for dinner and of course the Piano Bar! Every night on The Greg Gallello Fan Club Cruise ends in the Piano Bar – and as the week goes on things really heat up in there! After our full day adventure in the Dominican Republic – we really needed excitement to stay till close…. There is so much talent on that ship!! Thank you Katie and Chase for the private close up performance!
For those of you that missed it ENJOY!!
Rob and Lynn Belles are seasoned travelers and Cruises Inc. Travel Agents
Gathering up the best experiences on Earth to share with you
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