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The Exuberant Amber Cove Cruise Port, Dominican Republic

The Exuberant Amber Cove Cruise Port, Dominican Republic

Explore the captivating Amber Cove cruise port, a popular destination for numerous cruise lines. Developed by the Carnival Corporation, including Holland America, Princess, and Carnival, this vibrant port offers a wealth of volunteerism opportunities under the Fathom brand line. Recently, I had the incredible pleasure of visiting Amber Cove with Fathom and Holland America. Allow me to share my firsthand experience and reveal the exciting activities that await you at this remarkable cruise port in the Dominican Republic.


Fun Fact: Amber Cove, located on the Bay of Maimon, is on the DR’s “Amber Coast”.

Exceptional Sunbathing and Swimming

Welcome to the cruise port at Amber Cove, where you’ll find a delightful resort-style pool area known as the Aqua Zone. Take a dip in the pool, bask under the sun, or simply unwind with a good book while lounging on one of the many free lounge chairs, exclusively for cruise passengers.


Prepare yourself for an amazing time! Get ready to experience the excitement of water slides, a lazy river, and a swim-up bar, all waiting for you at the Aqua Zone. Embrace the convenience of sun loungers in the pool’s shallow area, allowing you to relax and soak up the warm rays.

For families with little ones, there’s a special treat too! Discover a children’s pool filled with fountains, a splash pad, slides, and plenty of fun toys to keep the young ones entertained for hours.

And here’s a pro tip for you: bring beach towels from your stateroom, making your visit to the Aqua Zone even more hassle-free.


Cabana Rentals

If you’re looking to enhance your experience, indulge yourself in a coveted cabanas. You can choose from various locations, whether it’s nestled on the hillside, oceanfront to enjoy stunning views, or poolside for easy access to the Aqua Zone.

What’s included, you ask? Bottled water, thirst-quenching sodas, snacks, zip line tickets, and exclusive cabana-specific items. Be sure to note that the luxurious overwater cabanas rent for upwards of $1000, for those seeking the ultimate indulgence.


Sports Rentals

Feeling adventurous? Head over to the water sports rental area, where you can rent kayaks, paddle boards, and even solar catamarans. Take your time and explore the picturesque surroundings at your own pace.

Prices may vary, and you have the flexibility to rent these items for either 30 minutes or an hour, allowing you to make the most of your time.

In addition to all the amazing offerings, there are basketball and volleyball courts for those looking to engage in some friendly competition. Or, if you simply want to relax and soak in the serene ambiance, there are hammocks and swings nearby.


Go Ziplining

Experience the excitement of ziplining at the cruise port of Amber Cove! Glide along the 650 ft. twin zips that stretch across the breathtaking Aqua Zone, offering stunning views of the ocean. For a small fee of $20, indulge in a day pass that grants you unlimited rides, ensuring you capture plenty of killer photos along the way.


Shop at Amber Cove

Discover an array of quality shops carefully curated by Carnival at the Amber Cove cruise port. Immerse yourself in the vibrant Caribbean shopping scene, where you’ll find everything from exquisite diamonds and emeralds to unique local arts and crafts.

Take home souvenirs, stylish beach fashions, charming Christmas ornaments, and more. Don’t miss out on Indigo, my personal favorite store, where you can snag adorable tops and jewelry at unbeatable prices. Popular souvenirs are often coffee, amber, and rum.


Explore the Restaurant and Bar Scene

Indulge in the local flavors. At Amber Cove, in the Dominican Republic, treat yourself to a delectable bite or refreshing drink at Coco Caña Restaurant. With two convenient locations by the pool area and across the property, you can savor mouthwatering Chicken Fajitas, irresistible Nachos, and more.

And the best part? These delightful dishes are reasonably priced, allowing you to truly indulge without breaking the bank.


Quench your thirst with their enticing drink specials, whether you prefer a tempting cocktail or a delightful coffee concoction like the delicious cortadito I enjoyed. The staff at Coco Caña is warm, friendly, and attentive, ensuring your dining experience is nothing short of superb.

And with free Wi-Fi available for paying customers, you can stay connected while relishing in the culinary treats. This place is a must for my family every time we visit.

Things to Know About Amber Cove

Amber Cove is an exceptionally clean cruise port that is easily accessible to everyone, regardless of your physical capabilities. This highly maintained destination has some attractive spots where you can admire impressive scenery and capture memorable selfies. Don’t miss posing at the magnificent waterfall, the iconic Amber Cove sign, and the giant Carnival masks scattered throughout the grounds.

And here’s a special treat – complimentary pedicab transportation is available to take you to and from the ship in Amber Cove. Remember, they work for tips, so show your appreciation!

Lastly, make sure you don’t miss the talented musicians and performers that will entertain you in the vibrant transportation hub of the cruise port.


Organized Excursions and Tours

Amber Cove and the Dominican Republic present a myriad of exciting opportunities for you to explore during your cruise. A few that caught my eye are:

  • Thrilling helicopter tours
  • Bamboo river raft adventures
  • Blissful beach day
  • Hop on an off-road expedition
  • Beach horseback riding
  • ATV rides
  • A Taste of the Dominican Republic bus tour

Puerto Plata

One one of my cruises, I chose the Best of Puerto Plata excursion to explore this historic gem. Prepare to be mesmerized by the picturesque landscapes of lush mountains and rolling hills that embrace Puerto Plata, while the sparkling blue waters gracefully caress its coastline.

Did you know that this captivating country occupies two-thirds of the island, while the remaining one-third belongs to Haiti?


Our first stop was to the vibrant Malecon, where well immersed ourselves in the local culture. We had some down time to explore the nearby retail shops and grab an ice cream or coffee.

We also popped into Cathedral San Felipe, an architectural marvel that is sure to leave a lasting impression. For those looking to bring back a piece of Puerto Plata’s artistic charm, you’ll have the opportunity to discover unique local artwork as one-of-a-kind souvenirs. I stumbled upon a truly spectacular piece on the Malecon, priced at an incredible $60. It looks great now hanging in my extra bedroom.


Amber Museum and Fort San Felipe

Our tour also included a visit to the Dominican Republic’s Amber Museum, where we unraveled the mysteries of this precious gemstone. The museum is small, but most interesting. From there, we headed straight for the Fortress of San Felipe, a former military fort that has been transformed into a captivating museum.

And to top it all off, we’ll even get a glimpse of the famous beaches that have ignited wanderlust in the hearts of many.


Brugal Rum Factory

On another memorable trip to the Dominican Republic, I ventured into the Spanish colonial town with a group of friends. We hired a friendly taxi driver who took us on an extended adventure, allowing us to explore at our own pace. For just $25 per person, we acquired four blissful hours of freedom.

And as an exciting add-on, we couldn’t resist experiencing a tour and tasting at the renowned Brugal Rum Factory. Trust me, it’s an opportunity you won’t want to miss!

The Waterfalls

Another thrilling opportunity in this area is to ride the rapids at Damajagua Falls, where the beauty of nature will leave you speechless. With 27 magnificent falls to slide, climb, and jump from, this will undoubtedly be a day filled with unforgettable memories. Even if you’re new to chasing waterfalls, worry not, as our experienced guides will ensure your adventure is nothing short of amazing.

Volunteer Excursions

Once upon a time, Carnival Corporation presented remarkable volunteer opportunities in the Dominican Republic under their Fathom Cruise Lines brand. I was privileged to sail on that cruise and experience this heartwarming experience.

Offerings included pouring concrete floors, making paper, working at a chocolate factory, and teaching English were a few of the things passengers could engage in, along with the locals, as a part of volunteerism.


I had the pleasure of teaching English to local families, planting cacao seeds, and participating in the production and packaging of delectable chocolates. Each volunteer opportunity was immensely rewarding and provided a chance to contribute to a community and country in need.

The locals were incredibly appreciative and working alongside them was an absolute breeze. My husband and I still maintain a heartfelt connection with the family we met during our English lessons.


Amber Cove: A Port Worth Visiting

Whether you seek to explore a historically charming downtown city with a vibrant arts scene, engage in meaningful volunteer work, snorkel in pristine waters, indulge in duty-free shopping, or simply bask under the sun, Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic has it all.

This port offers an incredible array of experiences that guarantee maximum enjoyment without breaking the bank. Prepare to be enthralled!


I was hosted by both Fathom Cruises and Holland America on my Amber Cove visits. As always, opinions and reviews are 100% mine and unbiased.

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Monday 15th of August 2016

Great shots! You were on the party boat. :) I loved our sailing too, but I agree there are some changes I would recommend as well around communicating, where what some activities are the first day - an itinerary to be given out with your room key or something - quite a few people missed out on the cohort meetings and didn't know what was expected. I hope this does well, love the concept and the cruise was wonderful!


Monday 22nd of August 2016

Yes, I think the cohorts part was the most confusing. Definitely, a worthwhile concept.


Tuesday 9th of August 2016

Thank you for such a thorough post and being honest about your dining experience. ...I didn't realize that cruises offered volunteering programs. That's very admirable.


Wednesday 10th of August 2016

Just this one so far, or at least in terms of big ocean liners. :) Thanks Theresa, I appreciate that.

Carol Colborn

Monday 8th of August 2016

That is neat! How about the impact activities...did you have lots of fun?


Wednesday 10th of August 2016

It was great fun. Hot, but very worthwhile and heartwarming. ;)

Donna Janke

Monday 8th of August 2016

This is a great comprehensive write-up about the Fathom cruise experience. Makes me want to go back! It was great to meet you on the trip.


Wednesday 10th of August 2016

You, too Donna! It was a great group to be part of. ;)


Monday 8th of August 2016

Oh I have heard so much about the Fathom cruise already and I might be heading to Dominican next year so who knows, I might hop on one :) Really want to visit Cuba and Jamaica as well. Fingers crossed.


Wednesday 10th of August 2016

I hope it works out for you! I think I may want to go to Cuba, too, but it hasn't really sunk in yet. ;)

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