We booked a dive privatelythrough Grand Turk dive gtdive.com. They were very responsive and the diving was phenomenal. We did 2 dives over the wall right in front of their little resort hotel area. We dive a lot and this diving was nice; near unlimited visibilty and very health coral and fish stocks. Their dive boat is just a little 24' skiff, but the dive master is excellent and the underwater terrain is unbelievable. This is a nice quite area just 5-10 minutes by taxi from the port and we were the only people on the most beautiful beach; very few ammenities in this area; just some low rise motel catering to divers and a small pub.
This port is only fair. D.R. is a fairly poor country and there is not much to do without a tour. The Altos de Chavon in the Casa de Campos development was worth a couple of hours max. It is a recreated village; well done and looks old over looking the Chavon river with lots of photo ops. The shoping and dining were pretty expensive, but there are a couple of places worth seeing and the small market at the far end has some good stuff and beer for only $2-3. Get there early because quite a lof of tours pass through quickly. It is very serene when they first open, but gets busy later. We got a bus right outside the cruise terminal for around $20 each. The ship price was higher $49/39, but may have included a second stop. The drive in through the resort is also very pretty and it looked like they had other intersting options as well.
Grabed tour bus outside of the port for $20 each. Air conditioned tour of town, over the big bridge, couple stops Curacao distillery, shopping, optional beach drop off near Sea Aquarium beach area or down town. Great walking in the old town; reminds you of Europe. Kind of pricy, but safe and fun with lots of photo ops. The floating market and floating bridge areas are nice. Lots of cafe style eateries along the water. Easy return to ship walking across bridge and following waterfront back through fort and resort. Very nice and ship stays into the evening if you want to play late. Stores close by 6; so shop early. Did not dive here, but friends who did say it was very nice and well worth doing. The ship does not offer diving because they get in early afternoon, but local charters are available.
Took cab to Palm Beach resort area. This area has a nice public beach in front of the various high rise resorts. Lots to do here for fun. We walked up and got a 2 tank dive last minute, but I would recommend reserving becase they do fill up. The operator was right on the beach, we geared and then loaded a boat right off the beach. The diving was OK and for people who do not dive much it would be very good. Not as good as Grand Turk which was excellent. They dive the Antila wreck which would be nice except there are sometimes half a dozen or more other boaths there at the same time so a bit chaotic and not the best visibility. The wreck itself is interesting and encrusted with lots of sponges and life, just wish for lots less people. Second dive was patch reef off Arashi beach area; more scerene and got to see some turtles; visibilty again was fair.