Amber Cove Dominican Republic

Amber Cove Dominican Republic sign

Where is Amber Cove, Dominican Republic?

Amber Cove is a beautiful cruise ship stop in the Southern Caribbean. Located in the Dominican Republic on the Island of Hispaniola it is in the Bay of Maimón.  The Island of Hispaniola is part the Greater Antilles archipelago that also includes Cuba, Jamaica and Puerto Rico. The Island of Hispaniola is two separate countries. About two thirds  of the island is the country of the Dominican Republic while the other third of the island is the country of Haiti.

Amber Cove is located just a few miles north of Puerto Plata, a popular tourism area in the Dominican Republic. You will find many of the large all inclusive resorts here. Amber Cove is owned by Carnival Cruise Lines and is a well designed and constructed marketplace and adventure area on 30 acres. Amber Cove is the mooring terminal for all their cruise line brands including Princess Cruises and Holland America Line.

Our ship was the Adonia Fathom on-loan from Carnival’s British P&O Line. It is a beautiful ship that carries only 270 passengers. The interior of the ship is beautifully appointed with rich woods, crystal and brass. The ship docked while we were sleeping and we woke to a splendid view of the cove. We spent four exceptional days at Amber Cove participating in Carnival’s Impact Activities with the people of the Dominican Republic.

Things to Do in Amber Cove, Dominican Republic

Amber Cove Market Place

Amber Cove has two areas. The marketplace area has a variety of clean and well maintained shops run by local entrepreneurs. The shop owners sell chocolate made from their own cacao beans; rolled Dominican Republic cigars; extract of vanilla that is grown on the island; and coffee from the cool mountain region on the island.  There are all kinds of jewelry made from; recycled island paper, island amber that is both honey coloured and the more rare blue amber, and Larimar Stone a rare gemstone only found in a small area in the mountains of the Dominican Republic.

Amber Cove Dominican Republic bricked courtyard
The courtyard of the marketplace is bricked and filled with interesting plantings and statues. Here you will find the Duty Free shop that sells the local Bruiga rum. The lowest priced rum is $8 and a 8 year old reserve Añejo rum is $12 a bottle. The Bruiga Reserve is so smooth that you can drink it like sugar water. And, the great thing is that you are allowed to bring it back to your cabin and consume it on board which is very unusual for a cruise ship. I did not buy another drink on the ship after finding that out.
Amber Cove Dominican Republic lush grass in courtyard
Amber Cove Dominican Republic colourful carved mask statue
Colourful masks surround the plaza
Amber Cove Dominican Republic leisure pool
The other half of Amber Cove is the high energy adventure park complete with a river, a children’s pool with slides and an adult pool. Overhead is a zip line so you can soar over the pools . Above the park on a knoll is a view bar lounge that overlooks Amber Cove and the Bay of Maimón.
Amber Cove Dominican Republic adult bar pool

The adult pools has a swim up bar with stools in the water. Located all around the pool areas are sturdy sun loungers. At no time was the pool area crowded even though three ships were in at Amber Cove. There was a Carnival ship, a Holland America ship and ours. We stayed the longest time. One of the ships left the next day and the other left the day after that. Then two more ships arrived the following day. 

Amber Cove Dominican Republic view from shop window
Amber Cove is one of the top places to visit in the world

These colourful cabins are rented by the day. The cabin and deck are right on the water where you can swim in the crystal clear water or lounge on your private deck and cabin. The rental price includes food and beverage service. What a idyllic way to spend the day enjoying the ocean.

Amber Cove Dominican Republic playing dominos at table
Playing Dominican dominos at the Impact Center

The Impact Activities at Amber Cove were designed to allow volunteer passengers  to help local residents in a variety of ways and have a positive impact upon their lives. The activities had us working side by side with local people to help with reforestation, building local homes, working in the cacao factory, creating recycled paper beads and teaching English. 

We met each day at the Impact Activities Center where we were sorted into groups and taken by bus to our activities. We also spent time at the activities center meeting other people from all over the United States and playing the very fast Dominican dominos. Loie was told by one of the other players when she hesitated on her play, “Honey, it’s not chess”.

Puerto Plata street corner
The outskirts of Puerta Plata on our way to our activity
Carnival Impact group from Amber Cove Dominican Republic
Our English as a Second Language group

The Impact Activity I selected was teaching English. We were put into groups of three and each group of volunteers were invited into a local home. We worked one-on-one with our students helping them to learn English. The activity and resources were supplied by the cruise line. It was rewarding working with these lovely people. 

The Impact Cruise was designed by Carnival to appeal to church groups and service organizations. Unfortunately, the company did not have the uptake that they expected. They could not fill the ships with the intended target group so they opened up the bookings to anyone and dropped the price by 80%. We only paid $500 each for the 7-day cruise. The food on the cruise was exceptional and a much higher standard than what we have had on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, and Princess. Lobster and filet mignon was on the menu every night.

Unfortunately, because of the poor uptake, Carnival shut down the program after six months. We really enjoyed our time at Amber Cove, Dominican Republic. I am glad that we found this excellent cruise at such a the low price. If you are booking a Western or Southern cruise with one of the Carnival cruise lines; Princess, Holland America, Seaborn or P & O cruise lines you will enjoy your stop at Amber Cove on the Dominican Republic.

Tours by Locals

Tours by Locals has 15 tours to waterfalls, Paradise Island, snorkelling, food adventures, cable car ride, and city tour of Puerto Plata. Click here to see available tours: Tours by Locals