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“Saona from La Romana Dreams - forced frivolity” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Isla Saona

Isla Saona
Isla Saona, Republica Dominicana, Parque Nacional del Este, Dominican Republic
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Catamaran Cruise to Saona Island from Punta Cana
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Iroquois, Canada
Level Contributor
105 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Saona from La Romana Dreams - forced frivolity”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2014

We booked our tour from the Dreams La Romana resort tour booking office where we were staying. We were looking for a quick trip to and quick trip from Saona that maximized our time to explore the island. We clearly explained that as we do not drink rum and coke (diabetics) that the "party boat" scenario was not a good fit. The agent promised bottled water and wine, neither of which were available, on a speed boat. Indeed the boat going to the island was the much dreaded party boat catamaran. Prior to departure the organizer broke us into groups by language but in the end the anglophones were divided between the francophone boat and the Spanish boat. Although our guide tried valiantly to speak English (and his grammar was pretty good but the accent was too strong to comprehend the words) we found that the Spanish speakers received a lot more information and narrative content than we did. Our first stop, over two hours after departure, that included loud Spanish music and much "forced frivolity" from the crew and passengers found us at a beach location for lunch. The beach was dirty and the lunch was just okay. They served beer and water with bowls of ice. Using the filthy washrooms available as my guide we declined both water and ice and beer was not a possibility. During lunch we experienced a down pour of rain but there was no "plan B" for rain so we hunkered down under towels and made the best of it. The catamaran was then replaced by a faster boat, not a speed boat but faster if we all sat at one end.The next stop was a nice beach - probably not the most beautiful I have ever seen, as promoted by the tour agent, and accompanied by an unfortunate lagoon odor. The next stop was a "turtle museum" which was a hut in a DR village with some posters and lots of stuff for sale.We toured this site and I felt awkward walking through abject poverty with a tour guide. it was both unnecessary and not really very helpful. The final stop was indeed the only great piece of the tour. We stopped at the natural pool and actually saw star fish. It seemed a little silly that the boat set up a bar in the middle of this piece of paradise. The tour was scheduled to depart at 8:30 am and we arrived home at 7:30 pm. It was along day and even the most enthusiastic participants were eager to get off the boat. We paid $100 each which is not unreasonable if we had gotten what was promised in a language we could understand. My advice to Trip Advisor readers is to get firm assurance that the trip will deliver what is promised in a language of your choice.If you are a non smoker you might also want to see if there is such a thing as a non smoking boat. The second hand smoke was pretty objectionable even on the open sea. This was a disaster and we are experienced travelers.

Visited April 2014
7 Thank Brenda K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,039 reviews from our community

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Le Goulet
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2014

One of the best beaches and trips I've had !! Went by catamaran and came back by speedboat it was a great time! There was dancing on the catamaran and we swam with the starfishes .Booked through sunwing

Visited March 2014
1 Thank Gilzz30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Juiz de Fora, MG
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2014 via mobile

This island is very beautiful. The way by Catamarã is funny and beautiful. The colors of the Caribbean Sea are amazing. The food is simple, but good. We went to Palmilla Island and the Natural Pool to see the seastars. Palmilla Island is more beautiful and wilder than Saona.

Visited February 2014
1 Thank CarolinaCargas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Bergen, New Jersey
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“"Just like Paradise"”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2014

Saona Island is such a beautiful place. Turquoise water, white sandy beaches and the warmth of the Dominican people made this trip one to be remembered. After riding on a bus for about two hours we arrived at this little "port". From there a speed boat took us first to this natural salt water "pool" (piscina natural the guy called it) where starfish were abundant. Spent there about 45 minutes taking pictures, picking up the starfish, sipping a couple of cocktails, then we continued to Saona. Once on the island lunch was served on a buffet fashion. Drinks and dancing complemented an already great journey. A catamaran was used to bring us back to"the main land". More dancing and cocktails took place on board. It was a total party atmosphere with beautiful views of the ocean and the shoreline. I highly recommend this trip.

Visited March 2013
3 Thank Felix B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2014

We have booked a trip from Punta Cana BAVARO beach and visited on 10/02/14. Trip costs 60$ pp but prices are different. It´s much cheaper to find a guy on the beach arranging some trips than via hotel. We left our hotel at 7am and were travelling by bus to the port app. 2 hours. We had a great time on catamaran. Drinks are included in price, you can dance, drink and enjoying amazing view. We arrived to Saona and had buffet lunch (some rice, veggies, fruits, fish and some sauces) which was really tasty and drinks on the bar are included in price as well. I have never seen such an amazing beach!!! After some time at Saone we travelled by speed boat to the natural swimming pool which was really nice. You can take some photos of starfish, enjoying drinks and swimming in warm water which is crystal clear. I would definitelly recommend this trip, well spend money:) can´t wait to go back!

Visited February 2014
2 Thank MartinaM2309
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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