Miami – Aruba – Bonaire – La Romana, Dominican Republic – Amber Cove, Dominican Republic – Miami. We departed Miami, FL on Apr 16, 2022. We were in stateroom 1355…a Deluxe Ocean View room. We normally get balcony rooms but didn’t really miss the balcony at all. And, we really liked having 2 bathrooms in the Deluxe Ocean View room. The 17th & 18th were a couple of great sea days.
The 19th we had our first port call in Oranjestad, Aruba. We rented a Jeep from Royal Car Rental, so we could drive around the entire island. Most car rental places have fine print that says you can only drive their 4×4 vehicles on the north shore, which is all bumpy, dusty, dirt roads. So, Jeeps, quads, and 4-wheelers are big rentals in Aruba, and most rental places sellout fast. I researched all local car rental places, and chose Royal. They were outstanding, and as late as we stayed in Aruba allowed you to keep the rental til 9:00pm for only $20 more than their regular rental price of $150. Aruba has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world with Eagle Beach and Palm Beach being the most popular and largest.
The 20th we hit our next port, Kralendijk, Bonaire. The entire island of Bonaire is coral. It is a leading scuba/snorkeling destination, and you can just walk off the beach to snorkel. Bonaire is also a huge sea salt exporter. We rented a golf cart from Bonaire Cruisers and did the southern loop of Bonaire.
The 21st we hit port in La Romana, Dominican Republic. Not a real safe area for Americans, so most people stayed on the ship or just visited the port. I really don’t understand why Carnival insists on going to this port. Anyway, no more beautiful clear turquoise water like we saw in Aruba and Bonaire. Just ugly, dirty-looking brown river water. Parts of the Dominican Republic are beautiful, like Punta Cana, just not this part. We visited the port, then came back on board and enjoyed the Serenity area bar for a while, to get away from all the kids on this cruise. Want to know where much of America’s Domino Sugar comes from? Right here in La Romana, Dominican Republic. The island of Hispaniola, where Christopher Columbus first planted sugarcane in the New World, is divided into two nations: the Dominican Republic to the east, and Haiti to the west. The company and plantation of Central Romana ships more than 200 million pounds of sugar to America each year. The Cuban billionaire brothers, Pepe and Alfonso Fanjul, who own the Central Romana Sugar Company own 166,000 acres of sugar cane fields…an area about the size of New York City. Don’t EVEN get me started on the slave-like conditions the cane workers live in. Most are Haitian refugees making as little as $3 a day for cutting a metric ton, or 2200 pounds, of sugar cane per day while living in squalor and basically owned by the company. From my research, it seems the two Fanjul brothers split their payoffs to American politicians, so no matter which Party is in power they will continue to receive tax breaks and giveaways. It’s a sad story of the enslavement of thousands to make one family super rich. And how American politicians are paid off to allow it to happen. It sickens me!!
The 22nd we were in Amber Cove, Dominican Republic. It was a very nice port, and we didn’t have any excursions planned…just enjoyed the port. I found out that this is the location where Jurassic Park was filmed. So, if our arrival in Amber Cove looks kind of familiar that is why.
The 23rd was another sea day, and we were back in Miami early on Apr 24th. Since we flew into Fort Lauderdale, we spent a couple of extra days there on our way home. For one thing, our return airfare was cut in half by staying until Tuesday, instead of returning on Sunday. We found a great eating place in Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlor and Restaurant. It was started in 1956 and still owned by the same family. One day we spent the entire day riding the water taxi around Fort Lauderdale and were blown away at the number of huge yachts and multi-million-dollar homes. That kind of wealth is just obscene to me.
NOTE: All photos and videos contained in this video were made from my iPhone XS. No special cameras or equipment. And this video was created using Microsoft Photos.