Amber Cove has been a stop on two of my cruises, the Carnival Breeze in 2019 and the Carnival Sunrise in 2020. Amber Cove is a port built by Carnival and used by them and their other brands. Although there is no beach right at the port, there is plenty to do with a pool, shopping and more. If you are feeling adventurous, you can always try the zipline.
My First visit to Amber Cove was on the Breeze in August 2019 on a 7 Night Eastern Caribbean itinerary. We really did not have a plan when getting to Amber Cove so explored the port area for a bit before finally wondered over to the taxi area. After a conversation with one of the guys, we decided to take a tour in one of the taxis. First, you can feel pretty safe taking a taxi from port because these drivers are not going to take a chance on messing up their money opportunity.
It was a different view of culture riding to Puerta Plata, one of the major cities in the DR. There does not seem to be much concern for lanes when driving or really traffic laws for that matter so not a place I would recommend driving. I think one of the interesting sites we saw on the drive was a man driving his family on a motorcycle. His whole family, the father, mother, two kids and the mom holding an infant. You get around how ever you can.
Our first stop was supposed to be the Amber Museum. Don't get me wrong, it was an amber museum but not THE museum. The reason they take you here is for the store and the driver is probably friends with the owners. The exabit was cool but the store is a rip off. They did have several exabits with some pretty cool facts about mining of the amber but I later found out, this was not the official Amber Museum. But it is what it is, I am sure there is a kick back for taking guest there but that is pretty common almost anywhere touristy.
One of the really cool stops was the Macorix House of Rum. Here we got to see the process in making the rum. some of the equipment used and of course a pretty comprehensive tasting. They had a really nice store so I of course bought a bottle of the Coconut Rum and it was amazing.
Later we stopped in town where there is an umbrella street similar to the one in San Juan Puerto Rico. There we walked into this beautiful church and visited a candy shop where we tried some homemade chocolate. On the way back to the ship, we stopped at this beautiful beach that was pretty secluded where there was a restaurant. After walking on the beach, we found out the driver was having lunch with some friends so we had to wait for him to head back to the ship.
Overall, it was fun and and an adventure but I would highly recommend if you want to to do a tour, do one through the ship or at least a tour company. While the driver was really nice friendly and we never felt unsafe, it was a little odd and we did miss the REAL Amber Museum.
My second trip to Amber Cove was in January 2020 on Carnival Sunrise and was much different. I will say the DR is much prettier during the winter since the tres are greener and less brown.
For this trip, we did an excursion called La Casa En la Playa, an all inclusive beach house experience. Such a great excursion. You ride a motorcoach from the port to the beach house which was about 30 minutes I would say. But a word of warning, part of the trip is dirt road but the driver was great so not too bumpy but be ready in case. We did see a goat on the back of a motorcycle, I feel that needed to be noted.
When we arrived, the host Mama as they call her, gave the lay of the land and we were off. The house is open air with lots of rooms to change as well as restrooms. When you walk out the back of the house, you are on this fantastic beach. Lounge chairs, hammocks and kayaks to use. It was an overcast day so my pictures did not capture how nice it was.
We hung out on the beach with only about 20 other people so there was plenty of room. There were servers to bring included drinks and we even took out the kayaks for a little trip. Unfortunately, they would not let you go very far for some reason.
In the afternoon, they served a fantastic lunch with jerk chicken, lots of sides and of course more drinks. No pre made food here, the chicken was grilled right there at the beach.
The stay was about 3 hours and then we headed back to the port. We did a little shopping of course and then it was time to head back to the ship. I found a little coffee shop, Cafe El Cibao, there where you can buy some Dominican Coffee beans and they will even grind it for you.
Amber Cover is a fantastic cruise port and a destination you should try to put on your cruise list. With so much to do from adventure to just relaxing, you are bound to find something you will enjoy. If I could make a recommendation about Amber Cove, I would say to take an excursion rather than venturing out on your own. We never felt unsafe when we took the taxi out the first time, but being on an organized tour would have been a better experience.
You will find Amber Cover on several of the Carnival itineraries from 5 to 7 Nights to the Eastern Caribbean. Usually partnered with a stop in the beautiful Grand Turk. By cruise ship really is the only way to visit Amber Cove and really, if you are going to the DR, you are going to Punta Cana which hours away.
Macorix House of Rum
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