On to Santo Domingo!

Santo Domingo Travel Blog

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The Quality Hotel in Santo Domingo is a nice place for an overnight stay. Located near the airport, it is a fenced and gated facility, and very reasonably priced.

The airport in Santo Domingo is very busy.  Our daughter brushed up on her Spanish from high school and served as our intrepreter.  This alone was so helpful as little English is spoken.  She was able to help us gather our luggage, and arrange for a taxi.  Segundo was our driver.  He had a mini van (because we had so much luggage and five people) which was very nice and air conditioned.  He spoke no English, so our daughter, Lesley, and her Spanish came in very handy. 

The fare to the Quality Inn hotel near the airport was very reasonable - about $40 USD for all of us.  During the ride, Lesley arranged for Segundo to pick us up at the hotel and take us to the pier the next day.

The Quality Hotel in Santo Domingo
  The price was negotiated at $50.  We found the Quality Inn to be very safe and secure.  The property was fenced and gated, and very well manicured.  The desk personnel spoke English which made for easy check in.  Our room on the third floor was spacious with room for all the luggage, a roll away bed, and still had area to move around.  There was a outside pool with nice patio area, a very nice restaurant and bar, a three computer business center, and a nicely appointed work out room.  We chose to stay on the grounds as there really wasn't tourist attractions in the area. 

The next morning after a complimentary breakfast bar, we walked across the road via overhead walkway to the coastline.  No beaches here!  Only rock formations, but very beautiful!  Segundo had arrived early at the hotel.

Relax on the patio around the pool!
  We were ready to go, so he offered us a short tour of the city.  During the tour, we saw the navy compound, Christopher Columbus lighthouse and statue, and sights in the old part of the city.  The lighthouse is the final resting place for Christopher Columbus and his wife.  This building was built by his son, Diego, as a rememberance of his father and his accomplishments.  The $3 USD per person fee is well worth the price of the self guided tour.  There are locals who will escort you, but we were short on time.  It is just amazing the history behind the discovery and the influence of Columbus in the area.  This is a must see!  The old city is very historic and colorful.  The people of Santo Domingo are quite proud of their heritage.
The coastline across from the Quality Hotel
 

Segundo then delivered us at the port.  He asked $80 USD for the tour which was well worth it.  The Royal Caribbean staff greeted us.  Just before leaving home, it was discovered that Royal Caribbean had upgraded our cabin to a balcony room on the seventh floor!  This was our second free upgrade in seven cruise vacations all with RCI!  Normally we like to book balcony cabins, but wishing to stay with the other family members, we opted for deck 3.  The others also received the upgrade, so we were all happy campers with wonderful balconies!  For whatever reason, we are gratefully thankful for the upgrade!

Checking in at the pier is an experience.  When you complete 5 cruises with Royal Caribbean, you become platinum status in their Crown and Anchor Loyalty program.

The Christopher Columbus Lighthouse where Columbus is laid to rest.
  One of the "perks" is priority check in at the pier.  This moved us ahead of the long lines and expedited the process by approximately 30 minutes.  Once you receive your sea pass (your cabin key, passport info, lunch ticket, and credit card all in one), it is time for a picture!  This picture, always by the ships photographers, shows happy people just yearning to board the ship for a great vacation!  Of course, copies will be for sale in the photo shop during the cruise. 

Boarding the Legend of the Seas was simple and easy - just walk on!  We boarded on deck 1, and it was up the steps to deck 7 to locate our cabin.  There really was a balcony!  You always spend a couple hours exploring and learning where everything is located.

The pier in Santo Domingo. It is located in the old part of the city.
  As our luggage arrived, we settled in and took in the view from all sides of the ship.  Before setting sail, passengers participate in the mandatory muster drill.  This acquaints you with emergency procedures just in case.  Once completed, it is time to set sail!  In Santo Domingo, a tugboat pulled us away from shore, and it was off and sailing! 

Time for dinner on day 1.  Our group chose a large table at the first seating.  Meeting our fellow dinner guest is always a treat!  We were joined by three couples from the United Kingdom - one of which was traveling with their son.  The varied interests of the whole group made for interesting conversations each evening.

Hi, Neighbor!
  Our waiter and assistant were OK, and served us selections from the menu which varied each evening.  Dress also varied from casual (5 nights) to formal (2 nights).  The food on cruise vacations is beautifully prepared and offers diners a good variety.  One can always find something good to eat!

The evening entertainment has something for everyone.  We chose the show in the main theatre which was an introduction to the Royal Caribbean singers and dancers and a magician and was hosted by the cruise director - Rico.  The singers and dancers on the Legend were, by far, the best of all time!  Each show lasts around an hour, and then it is off to something else.  My husband and I like to stroll outside in the tropical breezes before turning in for the night.  At some point during the day, we met our cabin attendant, the person who cleans up after us in the cabin.  Upon returning to the cabin, our bed covers are always turned back with the coveted Royal Caribbean chocolate on the pillow.  What a great first day! 

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The Quality Hotel in Santo Domingo…
The Quality Hotel in Santo Doming…
The Quality Hotel in Santo Domingo
The Quality Hotel in Santo Domingo
Relax on the patio around the pool!
Relax on the patio around the pool!
The coastline across from the Qual…
The coastline across from the Qua…
The Christopher Columbus Lighthous…
The Christopher Columbus Lighthou…
The pier in Santo Domingo.  It is …
The pier in Santo Domingo. It is…
Hi, Neighbor!
Hi, Neighbor!
De-icing planes before leaving the…
De-icing planes before leaving th…
The wonderful breakfast buffet inc…
The wonderful breakfast buffet in…
An inviting lobby awaits guests
An inviting lobby awaits guests
No beaches here!
No beaches here!
My husband and daughter get a clos…
My husband and daughter get a clo…
Lesley and Dan posing pretty in th…
Lesley and Dan posing pretty in t…
A very interesting site.
A very interesting site.
An admission fee of $3 USD is well…
An admission fee of $3 USD is wel…
You can do a self tour of the muse…
You can do a self tour of the mus…
Diego Columbus memorial to his fa…
Diego Columbus' memorial to his f…
One of the oldest cathedrals in th…
One of the oldest cathedrals in t…
Dancing gett ready for the upcomin…
Dancing gett ready for the upcomi…
Lesley is ready to board!
Lesley is ready to board!
I highly reccommend Segundo and hi…
I highly reccommend Segundo and h…
A band entertains during the check…
A band entertains during the chec…
The tugboat pulling our ship away …
The tugboat pulling our ship away…
The lighthouse in Santo Domingo
The lighthouse in Santo Domingo
Santo Domingo
photo by: drsbabyface01