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Home > Member Reviews > saharaga's Port Reviews of Nassau, La Romana (Casa de Campo), San Juan

saharaga's Port Reviews of Nassau, La Romana (Casa de Campo), San Juan
Carnival Valor cruise in December 2012
Member Name: saharaga
Cruise Date: December 2012
Embarkation: Miami
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Member Review: saharaga's Carnival Valor Review
Port Rating: 2.0 out of 5+
We just don't care for Nassau at all and planned for this to be a sea day. But, the in-laws were getting off so we decided to tag along. We walked around for a while and then ended up at the Straw Market. The Straw Market is probably the most disorganized, ineffective way to sell that I've ever seen. Way too many vendors squeezed into one area and they're all selling pretty much the same thing. The merchandise is way overpriced and I am not one for bargaining. We got tired of getting accosted every time we turned the corner so went outside to stand on the stairs to wait for our in-laws to come out. For the second time, I left Nassau wondering why cruise ships even stop here.

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La Romana (Casa de Campo)
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
We did not have an excursion planned for La Romana but had already decided to take a cab to Playa Caleta to avoid the crowds at the other beaches. The taxi stand is very disorganized and the throng of people who did not have an excursion planned made it worse. We heard people asking the cab drivers how much it would cost to go to Santo Domingo. Santo Domingo is over an hour away so of course, the cab fare is going to be high. We finally made it to the front of the line and the English-speaking cab driver that was negotiating for all the other drivers ignored my request and instead offered to take us to a more popular beach where we could stay for an hour and then the cab driver would come back to get us.

After a few minutes of this, I told him that I'm paying for it so he doesn't get to dictate to us where we're going to go and how long we're going to be there. He found a cab driver that was willing to take us to Playa Caleta and a few minutes later we were on our way. Playa Caleta is not that far from the port but I definitely would not suggest walking. It's in an area where the locals are and some parts of the route looked questionable from a safety perspective. The neighborhoods are poor and there were people everywhere selling things.

We arrived at Playa Caleta and the cab driver agreed to come back and pick us up at the time we specified. Playa Caleta is very similar to the little beach side stands we found in Cozumel. This stand had no running water (keep this in mind if you need to use the bathroom) and they also did not make change for US dollars. We were able to negotiate a fried fish plate, 2 drinks, and a beer for $25.

The beach was beautiful but rocky along the shore line so we kept our beach shoes on. There were plenty of people out snorkeling and walking along the beach. Our driver came back at the appointed time and we had a great day at the beach.

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San Juan
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
San Juan was our shortest and rainiest port day. We got off the ship and took a short walk out to Old San Juan and then hopped on the free hop-on hop-off trolley that takes you on a tour of the area. We made it to the Fort before we got caught in the rain again and took shelter behind a building. Once the rain let up, we got a lot of great pictures of the fort and the cemetery next door and then took the trolley back down to the dock area. We had a great lunch at a cafeteria style restaurant - roast pork, beans and rice, plantain, and some beers. We shopped a little at some of the shops and then headed back to the ship. There is so much to do here and we really hated that we did not have better weather and more time to explore San Juan.

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