While visiting Punta Cana, Iberostar Grand, we had booked our flight and hotel thru Cheap Carribean and our tour rep was Jean from Olympus tours.
He was very patient with us in answering all questions and had some excellent suggestions.
Although in the Punta Cana area, there are not a wide variety of excursions, we booked 3 excursions and 1 extra shopping trip.
1) Fiesta - caterman ride / party boat to Catalina Island, included a trip to Catalina island, where the party started from the moment you got on the boat. The only downside, is the trip from Punta Cana to the area where you got on the boat on the south side of the island Carribbean side, the tour took you on a scenic route which took a very long time. The day at Catalina Island was eventful and the staff were very friendly, making a fun filled day. Lunch was okay, not exceptional but did not taste badly either with pork steak, fresh fruit, slaw, rice. The only downside, is after partying all day, riding a banana boat and snorkling and tubing, the tour took you to a place that has been made to look historic, art gallery on the Chevron river. Also, the tour stopped by 3 different shops to allow you to buy souveniors.
2) 2nd excursion - Deep sea fishing. We are avid fisherman, and asked so many questions of Jean. He took the extra step in calling the captain to ask about the year of the boat and equipment. Unfortunately, what he was told on the phone was not the truth, The boat was horrible out of Punta Cana, at least 30 year old boat, smoke and gas fumes. The boat was called Sugar. The captain and mate were nice; and seemed to know what they were doing; however that day we had 12 ft waves and it was not optimal conditions to be out in an old old boat. I don't know where the life jackets were, and we were rocking. In addition, the captain had to crawl in the engine compartment to turn it off. No snacks, minimal drinks. To get on the boat, a skiff had to take us from shore to where the boat was anchored. We had to wait on the boat. No marina here. Bad news.
3) Santo Domingo tour - loved our tour guides (Tours R Run) with Carlos and Leo. We couldn't have asked for better. I would suggest the vip tour where you had the opportunity to go to the Cave and eat lunch. However, the tour was a very long day mainly due to the drive from Punta Cana, we left Iberostar at 7:10 in the a.m. and return after 8:30 p.m. missing our restaurant reservation.
shopping trip - 1 hour NOT. i would not suggest going on the Museum shopping tour. What a rip off. It was our last day and we left the hotel at 10:00 and the trip was to be for just over an hour. We went to two shops, both owned by the same. The van certainly was in a hurry to pick you up at your hotel, ontime. They take you to the first shop and upon entering take you thru a cigar making tour. The last shop we waited for 1 hour and 45 minutes for a van ride back to our hotel. The management was rude and out of his mind. He also for liability sake would not let us take a cab. Pricing was not good, the 2nd shop better quality of gifts. In speaking to others waiting, it seems like all the tour companies / hotels offer this trip and make it sound so nice; however it is a rip off. Even though it is completely free minus the tips, it took up the majority of our last day.
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