As I mentioned in my previous post, I do love the relaxation of sea days. However, we have two new port stops on this cruise and I am pretty excited about them!
First up, Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic. Amber Cove is a port built by and for Carnival Cruise Lines. It opened in 2015 and has made this part of the DR a pretty cool stop!
The port area is 25 acres, with a 4 acre waterpark that is free to use. In addition, there are shops, restaurants, a zip line, and a really cool 360 degree hill top bar that came about when Carnival found a giant piece of granite right where they wanted to build…with a twisty water slide way to get down!!
One major thing that I think Carnival did right was to play up the untouched, amazing landscape, so amazing in fact, it was used for scenery in the original Jurassic Park movie. It is easy to imagine this place as a habitat for dinos!!
And of course plenty of references to the port’s namesake, Amber.
There is the usual shopping available, and also a nod to the Dominican culture and a little office that will stamp your passport!
I thought this was a really neat little port, it has some room to grow, and when it does, it will probably lose some of its charm. Until then, enjoy the charm!
My second new port is Grand Turk Island, Turks and Caicos. This port was also built to be a cruise ship destination and it is a bit more established than Amber Cove, but still similar.
Here there is a Margaritaville, well established beaches, a huge pool complex, several restaurants and bars along the beach, and a Flow Rider surf simulator!!
Grand Turk also has the most amazing clear water, and plenty of it near the dock. Unlike Amber Cove, there is plenty of beach real estate for swimming, water sports, beach massage, and of course tanning!
A quick (okay, not quick) walk down the beach takes you to Jack’s Shack Grand Turk. A local institution and absolute must see! If your not tempted by the beach fare (try the Jerk Chicken!), or the icy cold cocktails (who doesn’t need a Reef Recker at 9am?) then swing by and say hi to Topher, the most amazing beach dog you will ever meet!! Oh! Did I mention they will give you a free shot of local rum just for showing up?? Just sign in and print the coupon before you leave!
Another GT legend is the Splashdown Park. The story is that astronaut John Glenn splashed down his space capsule off Grand Turk’s shoreline in 1962. There is a tribute to that right at the port, and its kinda fun!
And of course there is Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville. And actually having been to several different ones, in several different ports, this on is my favorite so far. I had lunch here and a couple of local beers…both pretty good!
Add to that, the swim up bar and this is pretty much a great beach day!
Back on board for one more sea day…and I’ve signed up for the Alchemy Bar Mixology Class…Stay tuned!!!