For relaxation and a sense of being free from all your responsibilities, this is the ticket! What an all day excursion this is: a catamaran takes you snorkeling, followed by lunch and lounging on Catalina Island. After our last trip to Turks and Caicos where we did a half day catamaran trip, I was convinced that we needed to take the plunge and go for an all day experience.
Catamaran to Catalina Island from Dominican Republic
Getting from your resort to the marina for the catamaran does take quite a while. Our pickup time was 7:25 AM (zoinks!) and we were shuttled by van to an awaiting bus which then took us the rest of the way. So we traveled about 1 1/2 hours before we arrived at La Romana marina and laid eyes on our boat. But what a beauty it was!
Part of the tour features the area called Casa de Campo where many actors and baseball players own property. The adjacent river Chavon has been a popular site to film movies such as Rambo 2 and Apocalypse Now. The catamaran travels both in the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. And believe me, there is a difference! The Caribbean waters were much choppier. To get everyone in the spirit of things, they played music and had a mini dance party in the back of the boat.
Our snorkeling spot was home to many varieties of fish and bejeweled coral. This was one of my favorite moments of the day, leisurely snorkeling and exploring the beauty of the sea. Of course, I also love that when we are snorkeling, my son loves to hold my hand and point out everything he sees. Not much longer before he outgrows that 🙁 One of our guides caught a yellow tailed snapper fish using only a fishing line and bread (no reel)!
Our next stop was Catalina Island. It was surreal to see a huge Costa cruise ship moored off the island’s coastline–there was no port and yet the ship was anchored just offshore! But the cruise ship had a totally separate beach access, so the island was not even close to being crowded. We noshed on a beach buffet of pork ribs, roasted chicken, rice, vegetables, and the ever-present pineapple. Then it was leisure time. Our family opted to swim, lounge on the beach and have some family photos taken. Time simply flew by until it was time to climb back into motor boats to be ferried back to the catamaran.
As they hoisted the sails back up, another guide cautioned us that we may get some water splashing up through the netting since we were sitting in the front of the catamaran. Not 10 minutes later, Taylor got simply SOAKED as a huge wave of water poured over onto her. And then it did it AGAIN. She was such a great sport, laughing and at the same time scooting as far away from that spot as possible.
As billed, this turned out to be an all day adventure. We didn’t get back to our hotel until almost 6pm. But it is well worth the price: $ 300 for our family. Gievn how expensive the Dolphin Explorer experience was, Catalina Island seemed like a bargain!
I am so thankful we carved out an entire day for this excursion. For us, it hit all our desires: snorkeling, swimming, beach time and sailing. We chilled, we ate, we napped. Island life is good!
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