The last time I was in the Dominican Republic was the summer of 1977 when I was fifteen years old and getting ready to enter the 11th grade of high school. It still boggles my mind to think that was forty(!) years ago. How can that be? I don’t even feel forty years old!
That summer of 1977, my parents took us four kids on a cruise aboard NCL’s MS Skyward. It was our first (and only) cruise as a family, and it was my first time out of the country.
I was curious to see if I would remember any of Puerto Plata, and Bruce had never been there before. Not knowing what to spend our Vacations to Go shipboard credit on, we decided to take a Fathom excursion, “Best of Puerto Plata,” on our free afternoon in the DR.
The great thing about historical sites is they don’t change. I was sure to recognize Fort San Felipe since it was built 1564-1577! I did (sort of) remember it. Here is what it looked like from the eyes of a fifty-five-year-old:
We also visited the Brugal Rum Factory. Unfortunately, the factory was closed for the day, so we didn’t get to see it in action.
Here are more scenes from Puerto Plata:
Back at the port, Amber Cove was bustling when Carnival or Holland America shared the pier with Fathom’s Adonia and increased the tourist population by thousands. A well-designed port with a variety of recreational activities covering 25 acres, Carnival Cruises sunk $90 million dollars into the facility and opened it for their ten cruises lines’ ships in 2015.
Amber Cove features a gorgeous meandering pool that is free to use, and other activities for a charge, including: zipline, kayak and other watersport rentals, and cabana rentals. There is also a restaurant, bars, and a shopping village.
I had my eye on the pool, so I spent one late afternoon swimming while Bruce kicked back on a lounger.
Shopping options included a mercado with local handicrafts, so I picked up this purse made from coconut palms for Melody back in Vero Beach. For me, I added to my chocolate label collection by picking up a couple of chocolate bars produced by one of Chocal’s competitors. Shhh!
We were impressed with Amber Cove. It was a beautiful place to relax and enjoy during our free time in Puerto Plata!
Next up: It’s a Wrap: Fathom’s Impact on the Dominican Republic