Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Punta Cana Paraglading and Snorkeling By Power Adventure

Power Adventure is definitely an excursion to remember

Well, the adage partying in the DR lived up to its name without a doubt. I am going to share a recent experience on a party boat called POWER ADVENTURE. It all began when I spoke to a friend and inquired about fun things to do in the DR. His response was, “without a doubt, the best thing to do in the DR is clearly the Party Boat”! A little skeptical, I turned to my Google search engine for the top excursions one can do in the DR while on vacation. Of course, I started with the free things to do in Punta Cana. Quickly eliminating those two-three free things, I was stuck with the advice my friend gave me as my default.

It all began on a sunny Saturday morning. I arrived about fifteen minutes early and surprisingly registration was efficient and painless. I am thinking, so far not bad.

My excursion was finally about to begin on the Power Adventure Party Boat. When the team leader – Norbert said, let's all gather around for a few safety points, I was thinking to myself oh... this will be boring. To my surprise, it was not the usual blah blah blah. Norbert took time to introduce himself and his team while interjecting that good ole Dominican comedy into the presentation. At the same time, this was where everybody was able to meet each other and get to know who they would be “PARTYING” with for the day. It's safe to say, the initial safety talk was well received. The crew was multilingual and the safety instructions were given in three languages: English, French and of course Spanish.

Fast forward, and we're all on the boat and I'm thinking to myself, yes, this was worth the wait; I am going to have some fun. Well deserved I might add! Of course, once on board there were house keeping rules and time for the proverbial question and answer time. Norbert, our lead guide didn't let us down with his great sense of humor; we were laughing throughout the whole presentation.

The Q&A ended with the music being turned up and the partying began. A line dance broke out led by one of the crew and the rest was history. The dancing and partying lasted until we reached our first destination of scuba and snorkeling. Due to the large group, we were broken into two groups. Those who wanted to snorkel and the ones who just wanted to Scuba. Well, being a certified diver, one did not have to guess which one I wanted to do first! Unfortunately, I opened my big mouth and told Norbert I was a diver and I was sent directly to the snorkel line... LOL. Never figured that one out until later on in the trip. Come to find out, they just wanted to even out the groups. ( Snorkel vs. Scuba) Then, after enjoying the snorkeling, it was my turn; yes my turn to go deep down into that beautiful crystal clear Dominican water. Not that the snorkeling wasn't great, but did I mention I was a certified diver? And as I began to put on my weight belts, the feeling of finally after all this time came over me landing a smile on my face the size of Texas. One of the vacationers said, while are you smiling so much? I replied, we are about to experience a piece of paradise on earth. His reply, “yeah indeed we are”.

The water was so clear and full of Marine Life. Although, we were only in 15-20 feet of water, the scenery was fantastic. We saw a plethora of species of fish, a coral reef, and turtles. Since we were not very deep, everything was very colorful. Unfortunately, our dive time was only about 15-20 minutes. When you have four groups, that pretty much uses all your time for that excursion. All in all, we spent about one (1) hour diving and snorkeling. After our water entertainment, we were offered some tasty snacks: fresh pineapples, cantaloupes and coconuts. What a wonderful way to wine down after some excellent aquatic time. 

Then, the time had come; those who had signed up for Parasailing were taxied from the Catamaran to the next adventure. A speed boat pulled up and nine (9) of us jumped in and headed out to start our excursion. Words can not describe the amount of fun we had Parasailing. The boat was “top of the line”, fast, sleek, new and the envy of the bay. The staff was extremely knowledgeable and answered all our questions and quenched any fear one may have felt. Then..... it was my turn to soar like an eagle. The view was simply picturesque. One was able to view the coast and all the mega yachts in the bay. I was flying with a birds eye view. I hadn't seen the earth from this position since Ft. Knox, Kentucky during repelling training.
After feeling like a soaring eagle, it was time to return to the party boat. The ride back in that sleek cigar boat reminded me of the Miami Vice TV series with Crockett and Tubs. When we finally rendezvoused with the other half of the group, they had moved over to a natural pool and were in the water partying like rock-stars. The only thing that kept me from being envious of our other half was the fantastic time we had flying like a bird.
Quickly jumping in the water to mingle with our group, we were in paradise on earth once again. Finally, the chance to wine down and enjoy the beautiful water. Those who drank did not waste time taking advantage of the “all you can drink” option. The ambiance was something out of a Miami Vice episode; music, water sports, chasing fish, mingling with other Yacht owners that had anchored, great conversation and just your own piece of tranquility.
Then “it” happened, the call to board the boat and head back. It was the same sad feeling when you're a kid and the STREET LIGHTS come on. We all remember that feeling. It meant the fun was over; whatever the entertainment was at that time, it was over. However, being a sailor, I came to enjoy this part. This is where our captain-Oscar called for the crew to hoist the sails. Hearing him bark out the order, I immediately jumped to the windward side ready to pull the halyard like never before. Then a crew member said, “we can't allow you to pull because you are our guest”. I felt a little despondent, but got over it quickly once I sat down and enjoyed a nice cold fruit punch and some pineapples.
Upon returning, we had the chance to purchase photos taken during the trip. Everyone enjoyed laughing at our different candid shots of the group. Let's just say, what goes on in the DR and the party boat stays in the DR! With that said, I can't think of a better ending ! The crew, the scenery, the WHOLE excursion was unbelievable. The only draw back for me being a sailor was the limited time under sail. But, I definitely was in the minority on this subject. I don't think the other guests were in any condition to even notice we were sailing!
In the end, I give the party boat a solid A rating. If you plan on heading to the DR, make sure you visit the party boat. When looking for things to do in the DR, definitely look for Power Adventure.
Of all the top things to do in the DR, this is definitely one of the best excursions. Hats off to the crew of the boat and all my new friends who joined me and helped create the fun. Travel safe and Travel often.....
Hassan A. Malik
Staff Writer @ Punta Cana Best Excursions Blog and Website

Monday, September 5, 2016

Punta Cana Boogie Excursion By Adventure Boogies


( Adventure Boogies )

From the very beginning, my experience with Adventure Boogies was nothing but FUN! In this version of our blog, our objective is to give potential vacationers a full view of the “Boogie”experience from the beginning to the end at Adventure Boogies.

My trip began mid-morning on a sunny Wednesday. Adventure Boogies sends transportation to pick up their guest from all the major hotels, and I was among the last group. As they say, “The trip is half the journey”. We had a beautiful view of the countryside as we traveled Northwest of Bavaro-Punta Cana. After a short 25 minute ride, we arrived at the ranch where the fun began.

It's been my experience with excursions that the arrival portion can be a nightmare. People moving to and fro, looking for someone to answer their questions etc., None of that happened at Adventure Boogies. The minute we arrived and disembarked the vehicle, representatives were right there to greet and direct us to our designated areas. Once we were seated in the orientation meeting, our guides promptly saluted us and the introductions began.

I have to give Adventure Boogies high marks on their orientation process. They quickly made everyone feel comfortable. The presenters were multi-lingual ( English, French, Spanish) and made a concerted effort to ensure everybody understood them. Questions were answered in all three languages as well.

The one thing that impressed me the most about Adventure Boogies was their commitment to SAFETY. During the orientation, the presenters stressed Adventure Boogies ZERO TOLERANCE for those who break their safety rules and endanger themselves and or other guests.

After a few housekeeping rules, we were lead to the Boogies. Here we received a quick overview of the mechanics of the vehicles which are very simple to operate. There were different types of Boogies: family Boogies that seated 4 or more, two seaters, I even saw four(4) wheelers available. Each guest was pre-assigned based on the number in their party.

Then...we were off. Experiencing the breeze in our face, the roaring of engines and feeling the horsepower in our Boogies. I couldn't help but pretend I was Dale Earnhardt Jr or Jeff Gordon as we tore down the long dirt road to begin our tour. Well.... okay, maybe it wasn't all that fast, but hey..... it was fun pretending..... Isn't that what this was about, Fun, Excitement, and Fantasy!

As we drove through the beautiful countryside, one couldn't help but be in awe of all the greenery and beautiful fruit trees. We saw cows, horses, sheep and other farm animals grazing throughout the whole trip.

Our first stop.... an Organic co-op farm run by Adventure Boogies and local farmers. During the stop, we received several presentations in all three languages about the farm. It appears that all of the produce are grown by the local farmers and a portion of the proceeds from the farm and Adventure Boogies are reinvested into the local community infrastructure. ( Schools, roads, housing, medical clinic ) What a fantastic idea and gesture. It made this trip so much more rewarding knowing I was helping the local economy. During the trip, you will see and taste some of the best Coco, Coffee, Coconut oil, tobacco, chocolate and tea on the island. You get to sample EVERYTHING! And, I highly suggest you take advantage of the samples.

Then.... it was time to visit the “CAVE”..... yep, the cave. One of the most exciting parts of the tour was our time spent at the Indian Cave. The indigenous people of the Dominican Republic (DR) were called “Taino”. This cave was absolutely incredible. Let me share with you the coolest part of the cave; inside was a crystal natural spring that was so inviting, everybody had to jump in for a swim. Being ninety(90) degrees Fahrenheit helped convince all of us.... The water was so rejuvenating. I must warn you, it was cold. Very cold, but the heat of the day balanced out the cold. Some people finished swimming early and wandered around the property. It was beautiful, to say the least. The plants, trees, and oh yes, a refreshment stand right at the exit of the cave... Perfect location. They say location is everything !!!!

Then after about a fifteen minute swim in the beautiful cave, we headed back to Boogies. It reminded me of the times I used to watch the Indianapolis 500 as a kid and the drivers used to run to their cars and the announcer would say.... Gentlemen, start your engines..... We all were safe and secure in our vehicles and we “tore”off down the country dirt road once again... Okay, okay, maybe we didn't really burn rubber like Mario Andretti, but we were moving at quite a good pace. Enough for the guys to feel like they were Jeff Gordon and the girls, Danika Patrick. Then, we came around the curve and WOW ! there it was..... the most beautiful beach in the country, MACAO!

By this time we were ready for the water. We all ran to the ocean and jumped in to cool down. Then, I thought to myself, look around..... this is absolutely GORGEOUS.... the scenery was unbelievable. The beach was clean, the ocean was clear as crystal, it was like looking in a glass of water. Kids were surfing, swimming and playing all over the place. Vendors presented their exotic jewelry and ohhhh yessss, the Coconut Man finally arrived. Nothing seems to quench your thirst on a hot day like Coconut water. For just a few Pesos, you are in Coconut heaven..... I have to say, I was very impressed with the vendors. Not only did they have very nice products, they were very polite, not pushy and seemed to really enjoy getting to know you and what country you were from. Unlike some experiences, I have had with vendors on beaches in other countries.

Then, “THAT” time came... the time nobody wanted to see or hear... the whistle blew and we had to prepare to leave the water and return home. Well, we dried off, moped back to the Boogies like school kids on their first day of school after summer break. After the security check and seat belts fastened, the guides led us back down that long country dirt road to the ranch. It was a sad but happy feeling. Sad because we were going home, but feeling fulfilled because we had such a great time. The excursion was well planned, extremely safe, organized and staffed by some very energetic and helpful people.

In closing, I have to give this excursion an A-. From the timely pick up at the hotel, all the way to the drop off at the end of the day; the staff was attentive, alert and always one step ahead of you when you had a question. It was like they were mind readers.

If I were asked what would I like to see changed or different about the excursion, it would be the return from the excursion. While we were directed to our specific vehicles, it was not until after everyone had run to the restrooms, looked at what pictures they wanted to buy etc.. There were about 15 minutes of downtime before the team came to direct us to our specific vehicles. This could be by design, but after a long hot fun day, I would like to know exactly where I am going and precisely what time. Who knows, that could just be the North American in me and our insistence on time management..... Besides my little issue, this was a fantastic and energetic trip for the whole family to enjoy. I highly recommend this trip. If you plan on visiting Bavaro-Punta Cana, plan on ADVENTURE BOOGIES and have a BLAST !

See you next time on our blog and we welcome feedback, comments or request for information. Travel safe, travel often...

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