If you’re planning a cruise to the Dominican Republic, chances are you’ll stop at Amber Cove. Amber Cove is the cruise terminal just outside Puerto Plata, on the north side of the Dominican Republic. Amber Cove is Carnival’s Cruise Port on Dominican Republic. The Amber Cove port is the newest port in the Dominican Republic as it opened in 2015 and is exclusive to Carnival Corporation cruise lines. Amber Cove has shopping, a giant swimming pool, restaurants, bars and more!
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About Amber Cove Cruise Port
Amber Cove is only open to cruise guests on the Carnival Corporation cruise ships, including Carnival, Princess, Holland America, P&O Cruises, and Fathom. Only 2 ships can dock at Amber Cove at once, meaning it won’t get too crowded. When you walk off the cruise ship in Amber Cove, you’ll be greeted with dancers and music. You’ll walk through a large duty free area before entering the shopping and information center. If you have a excursion planned or you can book a last minute cruise shore excursion in Amber Cove here. If you don’t want to venture out of Amber Cove cruise port, you have everything you need right there. To the right, you’ll find the the pool area called “Aquapark”, along with a swim-up bar that is connected to Coco-cana the main restaurant and bar. To the left are shops, jewelry stores, and markets.
Things to do in Amber Cove
Rent a cabana
If you just want to hang out by the water, rent a cabana for some peace and quiet. Starting at $295.00 and you can choose from a waterfront or hillside cabana. Cabanas can be rented for up to 20 people, with the comfort of AC, Wifi and a TV, you don’t need anything else.
If you love shopping, you don’t even have to leave the cruise port. The shops at Amber Cover are open when cruise ships are in town. There is a Diamonds International, duty-free shopping, souvenir shops and more. There is also an artisan market, with local products like jewelry, chocolate and more.
Not quite as impressive as the Puerto Plata shore excursions, but if you’re not wanting to leave Amber Cove cruise port, the zip line is a good option. The zipline only cost $20, and that includes unlimited number of rides.
Amber Cove Aqua Zone is frequently the highlight of the port for most cruisers. Pool use, swim-up bar, lounge chairs, and the water slide are free for all cruisers. The restaurant, bar, water sports, and zip-line are an additional cost. The pool winds around, with a lazy river type feel, making it feel very spacious. The pool, swim-up bar and waterslides can make you feel like your at a resort.
Along with two Coco Cana bars/restaurants, Amber Cove also has a sky bar, at the top of the hill, with a great view. The Sky bar is perched high above the port, with a sweeping 360 degree view of Puerto Plata.
Things to do outside of Amber Cove Dominican Republic
As easy as it is to stay in Amber Cove cruise port, we always recommend getting away from the cruise port and exploring more of the country. The Dominican Republic has great scenery, culture, and history. Right outside of the crusie port, they have a bunch of taxis there for you to hire. For a one-way taxi hire to Puerto Plata is $35 USD for 1-5 people.
After having two other super relaxing beach days during our cruise, we knew we wanted to be a bit more active instead of just hanging out at Amber Cove port. We didn’t have any shore excursion booked, but we knew we wanted to explore Puerto Plata a little, so we hired a taxi for 6 people to take us to a couple places in the city and back, for only $80 USD. He drove us around to the Macorix House of Rum for a distillery tour and rum tasting, the Fortress of San Felipe, and to shop and walk around in the city center. It was nice to make our own little tour, and we still had plenty of time to relax at the pool at the cruise port.
Here are some things to do in the Dominican Republic if you’re wanting to explore outside of Amber Cove:
Fortaleza San Felipe
One of the most important colonial military structures in the Caribbean, the fort was built by the Spaniards in the 16th century to defend Dominican Republic from the British and the Dutch. The fort is now a museum that is accessible right along the coast.
The malecon is the main strip in Puerto Plata, full of restaurants, bars, and shops. The malecon is a one mile boardwalk right along the water. Walk along the malecon to enjoy the beaches and the scenery.
While Amber Cove doesn’t have a beach, there are some great beaches not far from the cruise port. Playa Dorado and Cayo Arena are great options for cruisers to Dominican Republic.
The snorkeling on the north coast of the Dominican Republic may not be as good as the south coast, but there is still some good snorkeling right in Puerto Plata. Playa Dorado and Cofresi are top beaches for snorkeling near Puerto Plata.
Don’t forget to bring your own snorkel mask
Teleferico Cable Car
The only complete cable car in the Caribbean, the cable car takes 10 minutes to go 2625 feet above the city. At the top, you can see the statue of “Christ the Redemer” and beautiful views of the ocean and city. Combine the city tour with the cable car for an eventful day.
For $4/person you can take a tour of the rum distillery and get 8 tasting of different rums, including 4 flavored rums. Hearing about the history of Macorix and how its evolved was very interesting. We enjoyed the rum so much, we brought some to take home.
The Dominican Republic is well known for its chocolate production. Making and exporting the raw cacao is a large part of the economy. The Del Oro Chocolate Factory is free to enter. Check out the making and processing of the chocolate factory, and even bring some home!
Rent a Car or Take a taxi
The Amber Cove cruise port makes it really easy to rent a car or take a taxi, if you want to explore Puerto Plata. To rent a car in the cruise port, you’ll go to the left when you get of the cruise ship. You’ll find a bunch of taxis lined up ready to go to the city, right outside of the cruise port as well. The taxis have set prices depending on where you are going and how many people there are.
Here are some general taxi prices from Amber Cove:
– To Puerto Plata: $35/one way for 1-5 people
– To Playa Dorada: $40/one way for 1-5 people
– To Teleferico cable car: $30/one way for 1-5 people
Amber Cove Excursions
There are lots of things to do besides hang around at Amber Cove cruise port. If you’re wanting to get away from the pool, bars, and shopping, here are some of the most popular Amber Cove shore excursions.
27 waterfalls of Damajagua
This is one of the favorite excursions in Dominican Republic. Explore 12 of the 27 waterfalls, by jumping, swimming, and sliding down the waterfalls.
ATV Quad Excursion
A full day guided ATV tour that includes a cigar rolling factory, secluded beach, and a Dominican lunch.
Take a sail on a luxury catamaran along the beautiful North Coast, with snorkeling available
Puerto Plata History and Cable Car
See what makes Puerto Plata so historic, and enjoy scenic views from the Teleferico cable car
Playa Dorada Beach and Puerto Plata
Mix some sightseeing and beach time. Enjoy Playa Dorado with a rum punch and a beach lounger.
When to visit Amber Cove
The warmest months in the Dominican Republic are June to October. But be aware, hurricanes CAN happen between May to October. December to May has a higher chance of rain, but since its the Caribbean, usually the rain isn’t enough to worry about.
Amber Cove cruise port has a good mix of everything. If you want to do an excursion, you can. If you want to rent a car, you can. Or if you just want to hang at the pool and drink, you can. In fact, you can even mix and match. We did a little shopping and hanging in Amber Cove cruise port, and then we really enjoyed seeing more of Puerto Plata, since it’s so close to the cruise port.
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The Amber Cove cruise port is a nice relaxing port with a side of adventure if you’re up for it! If you have visited Amber Cove on a cruise, what did you enjoy most about the cruise port?
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