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Seona/Catalonia Islands DO NOT GO

Enfield
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174 posts
16 reviews
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Seona/Catalonia Islands DO NOT GO

I have just come back from Dominican Republic for the 2nd time. The only excursion we done this year was an excursion to Seona Island. What a waste of a 13hr day and US$85! This was the only excursion we wanted to do, as we read reviews on here and it sounded lovely. From 7.30 in the morning a 1.5hr coach journey to the dock to get a catamaran - then a catamaran journey to the island. Only coke or rum on board. Approaching the island it looked lovely - postcard picture. When we got there it was a let down. A lot of the Sun beds were dirty broken, lots of washed up concha shells on the beach which were OK to look at at first, and lots of other broken washed up rocks/coral and shells, but the water was not clear because of the number of speed boats that come to shore all day and the fuel that comes off them. People were cutting their feet trying to get into the sea because they couldn't see what they were treading on. It was all broken shells, coral etc. Beach sellers hit on you as soon as you sit on a sun bed. I got bitten badly by mossies. The lunch was terrible and again, only rum or coke. Don't let them fool you into thinking you'll be getting a lobster lunch at Seona Island. This is only for combined with Catelina Island (this is worse apparently).

Going back by speed boat the only good part of the day rather than catamaran. We stopped for a short while (supposedly on a sand bank - not!) to snorkell and look at star fish. I didn't see any star fish and as for snorkelling, I saw no reefs, just patches of weeds they stopped at for us. I saw some star fish, but as we were on our journey back. And, during the coach journey there and back, the coach stops at a shop in the middle of nowhere for people to go and buy gifts - strange! (but some sort of arrangement). Enticed us in with a free coffee - a thimble size taster - I am not joking. Eventually we got back to our hotel at 8pm at night. A very long day and I would not recommend this to anyone, let alone anyone with children.

We can see more pretty fish in the sea at our hotel beach.

Winnipeg, Canada
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13,881 posts
23 reviews
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1. Re: Seona/Catalonia Islands DO NOT GO

I'm sorry that Saona Island wasn't to your liking. I've been there and I can't say that I disagree with you although the lunch we had was really good and our tour guide gave a great history lesson en route which I really enjoyed. If you pretend you're asleep on the beach the vendors won't bother you, that was the only thing that worked for us...LOL.

You might want to submit your review to TA about Saona Island, they do have a section for reviews on excursions: tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g790204-Isla_Saona_D…

Enfield
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174 posts
16 reviews
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2. Re: Seona/Catalonia Islands DO NOT GO

Thanks for letting me know about that. I will post something on there.

Karen

Basingstoke
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1,130 posts
4 reviews
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3. Re: Seona/Catalonia Islands DO NOT GO

Sorry to hear you didnt enjoy the Saona Excursion...

but there is the Deluxe one which is the one that nclude the lobster meal..

the regular one which you did has a BBQ..

I've done it and there are many point that I agree with...

I guess it is not for everyone and it is indeed a long day..but many enjoy it..

Mossies, Shells, sometimes murqui water, lots of flies and sort of weathered chairs, vendors.. all true..but there are better spots then others on the island...

but if the conditions are right.. dry for a few days, calm seas then u really get to see lots of fishies etc and mossies are better behaved

I also enjoy the catamaran ride and the boat ride.. to me these were the best part of the trip...

but the journey by bus is not so nice...

the island was pretty much as you discribed..

I did enjoy that they stop at the gift shops.. which are way way outside of the hotel complexes and so I got really good prices on Ambar and Larimar and everything else Dominican over all Much Much better quality than anything else I've been to in the punta cana area with moderate prices.. truely unique pieces and not so much like the clones you get on shops around the resort..

and it was an opportunity to stretch my legs and toilet break .. very clean etc and that was nice because I'm not sure anyone would want to use the little toilet in the back of the bus after it sits on the schorching caribbean heat for the whole day...

I ask the driver and indeed I was told that ther is some sort of arrangment with the tour operatiors buses/ or driver to which Shopping plaze to go etc ... dunno what kind of commision reaward they get but hey... business is business like everything else...

say this website..it adversites certain travel operators on the ads etc.. it takes us constumers via electrocic links to the partenrship sites .. so

hey T.A must be getting something out of it.. its just as much an arrangement as the one the bus tour has with the shops...

T.A like any business wouldn't just provide links to these sites just out of the goodness of their heart..

so I guess the same scenario goes for the tour bosses.. no shame on that...

as far the little timbles of coffee..

well yes they are tiny . but they are Supposed to be that way :)

you see traditional Dominican Coffee, just as cuban coffee and Italian espresso are drunk in small amounts tiny little cups like expresso cups because unlike filter coffee, this type of coffee is extra strong.

I loved it .. I went like 5 times for my free refills while I was shopping for my superdeals on Larimar and Amber..

also on these shopping plazas besides having more competitive prices and better quality stones than the ones near the hotel... i would say that they carry more true dominican souveniers...

really nice coffee, real nice mamajuana, real nice cocoa poweder and real nice artisans dolls and other things in terra cota etc... much much better then the gimmicks I've come across on the shops near he hotel and best of all enclosed and no harassing vendors...

so yes I do agree long day.. probably wont do it again ...there are far other excursions that I closer, cheaper and less draining than the saona excursion and definitely not for the elder or children.

but I did like finding these little Gems of mine and I did enjoy the fast boat and drinking and dancing on the cataman to then relax on the floating mess of the deck...

Lincs, England
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181 posts
14 reviews
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4. Re: Seona/Catalonia Islands DO NOT GO

It is a great shame you didn't enjoy your excursion, we went to Saona in March this year and found starfish on the sandbank, lovely lunch, clear blue water, beer & water available as well as rum & coke, no weeds, clean sunbeds and no mosquitos!

I agree it was a long day but worth it

winnipeg
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5. Re: Seona/Catalonia Islands DO NOT GO

yes,i agree that the saona island trip is way overated.When you really ask yourself what is there,here the answer.It is an island,just like dominican and cuba and all the others is an island but a smaller version.It has some cabanas on it with a entertainment area and a beach that can be walked in 15 minutes and just like the rest of the country,covered with garbage.I think all tourists should stop going to these countrys that have no respect for nature until they clean up and make it respectable looking.During our tours it doesnt matter where you go its the same and its not like everybody is so busy.With the exception of the resort workers and other workers there is enough lazy people just sitting around doing nothing.Our governments who continually give these countrys money should educate them as to cleanliness and respect for nature thus the environment which most countrys take as one of our biggest concerns.There is absolutely no reason for piles of unsightly garbage in towns where people are living.It is also dangerous to children with barefeet and these piles are full of broken bottles etc.With the amount of tourist dollars going into some of these countries there is no excuse for it.

Montreal, Canada
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511 posts
5 reviews
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6. Re: Seona/Catalonia Islands DO NOT GO

wow daniel, harsh words. However... I can't say I disagree. Then again, other culture, isn't it.

p.

Belpre, Ohio
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135 posts
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7. Re: Seona/Catalonia Islands DO NOT GO

beachbaby2, i have taken the soana island tour 2 times and loved it. We had beer and a great lunch. I addmitt the beach wasnt as nice as i thought it would be but its suposed to be a natural beach not dredged so thats why its not perfect. I had a wonderful guide named Tony he gave a wonderful history lesson every place we went so it was very interesting.We absolutley loved sailing on the catameran!!!!The ocean is soo blue and beatufil . We booked through Apple Vacations so maybe the tour is different for those who book with different companies.

Punta Cana...
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13,031 posts
25 reviews
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8. Re: Seona/Catalonia Islands DO NOT GO

DANIELMAN....

In the perfect world we could all be in a place of pristine beauty and sterility, such as most of North America.

But the reality is, that much of the world is not to that standard. Why? Lack of funds....plain and simple. All the things we buy come from places where labour is cheap...for the most part. With that comes a society that is not greatly funded for education and social development....thus....garbage is not a big issue.

Secondly...all the recycling programs we have in North America....are not cheap. Ask any city planner...they will tell you. These countries do not have the dollars to implement the service. There are talks in progress to develop a recycling program, but again...it all comes down to dollars.

You may then say...well what about all the dollars tourism brings in? Well, in reality...of the dollar spent...about 20% makes it to the country...the rest absorbed in profits and taxes outside the country.

Trash is never a nice thing to look at and there are efforts underway to clean up, but change is slow in the islands...but progress is being made.

Cheers

PCMike

9. Re: Seona/Catalonia Islands DO NOT GO

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