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.
If you own or manage Isla Saona, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.