We found Quetzal through another website and from the start, their customer service and responsiveness to questions was top-notch!
We have booked trips to Saona many times before, but always the "regular" (cheaper) trips and while they were all nice, it was always a nuisance to be on the boats and island with so many other people. So this time, we wanted to do something more exclusive and with a lot less people on the boat. When we found this excursion, it was clear that this was it!
The trip was the most amazing trip we have taken to Saona, not only because the Quetzal crew has gone out of their ways to make us feel welcome and comfortable, but also because we were not going to the same places that the other, regular tours are going to. The catamaran has been built by the captain himself - Bernard - who was as lovely and amazing as the rest of his crew. We were very lucky because due to the low season there were only 8 guests on board, while normally, he only does the trip with a minimum of 10 people. That alone was wonderful, because having his beautiful catamaran to ourselves was exactly what we wished for :)
We got picked up on June 15th at 8:30am at our hotel in Dominicus and were on board of the catamaran 30 minutes later. The first stop was at the old pier at Catuano where we were able to snorkel and see beautiful fish. Apart from our catamaran, only one small boat was there with a handful of people. It seems as if most other tours get there much later, so we had all the locations to ourselves!
The second stop was at a beautiful beach on Saona, and we were the very first group - again - to get there. We also had our own large table where we had a delicious lunch together. Again - the food was way different and more upscale than any other lunches we had on Saona with other - regular - tours. We didn't want to eat fish so we had mentioned that during the reservation and they prepared the most delicious beef filet for us that was cooked medium/rare to the point! We truly were delighted and the crew did an amazing job catering to us.
After a couple of hours at that beach we continued to the natural swimming pools, which are somewhere along the coast line on the way back to Bayahibe. The cruise there was stunning with colors so bright and beautiful, it was almost surreal (check out my photos). Again - we stopped at a spot where no other boats were, so we had it to ourselves again. The waters there were beautiful and shallow, and you could also get their snorkel gear.
The rest of the cruise was very relaxing and we were served coffee and delicious fruits - again - not the "regular" fare but everything prepared so much nicer and way more upscale. One could really feel that everything they do for you, they do with passion. On this catamaran you don't feel like just another tourist but as a special guest!
We highly recommend this trip to everyone who wants to spend a fabulous day on a beautiful, custom-built boat with an awesome crew. Going to Saona with Quetzal is the only way for us, and the next time we'll be back to the DR, we will book their Saona trip again for sure! They also offer private charters, so maybe next time we'll try it out :)
Thanks to Captain Bernard and the whole crew (sorry I only remember Florence's name) - you are amazing!!! We had such a great time and we'll be back soon!