During my Carnival Sunrise cruise in February, 2020, I made my first visit to Amber Cove, Dominican Republic. There I found a nearly perfect port of call for any handicapped travelers, or those with virtually any disability. This is my handicap guide to Amber Cove.
We docked mid-morning, next to the Carnival Elation.
Amber Cove is an $85 million port in the Dominican Republic developed for Carnival Corporation cruises. When Amber Cove opened in 2015, it was the first time since the 1980s that a cruise ship stopped at what is known as the Amber Coast, so called for its abundance of the translucent, burnt-orange stone. Located along the Bay of Maimon on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic.
From the dock, it is about a five minute walk, or in my case Scootaround ride to the information center and the heart of Amber Cove. This is the heart to my handicap guide to Amber Cove. The dock and path through Amber Cove is flat, brick paved and easy to ride. For those with mobility issues you can take a free ride with the guys that drive carts and will be happily take you around to almost all the areas of Amber Cove.
Welcome to Amber Cove
Should you be going on an excursion, or in need of a taxi, Punta Cana has taxi service for those who have physical disabilities and want to travel to nearby locales. Dominican Limousine offers a comfortable wheelchair bus with accessible hydraulic ramp, specially designed to help travelers with physical disabilities. There is no beach at Amber Cove. The closest one is roughly 15 minutes away and requires a taxi.
As you walk towards Amber Cove you will go through an extensive duty free area, after which you will find the information center kiosk offering Puerto Plata Tours and lots of interesting information about the island. You can choose from an amazing selection of excursions and tours in Puerto Plata, Sosua, Cabarete or throughout the Dominican Republic.
It is a great place to walk or ride around and enjoy tropical palm trees, a man made waterfall, as well as the exhibition of Dominican carnival masks surrounding the fountain near the exit point of the transportation hub.
Dancers and Dominican music greet every guest that arrives and make them feel welcome for the moment they step foot at Amber Cove.
I made my way to CocoCana Lounge and several lovely Pina Coladas. By the way the mahi mahi sandwich was awesome. The staff, my waiter plus several others, treated me like I was some sort of regular, teasing, laughing and joking. I loved it.
Immediately adjacent to CocoCana Lounge, is the Amber Cove swimming pool which has a handicap chair for disabled access into the pool.
Overhead is the 650 feet zip line that runs from the top of the property. You can buy unlimited passes to the zipline that crosses over the pool area — $20 for an adult and $10 for a child. Be sure to wear closed-toe shoes and pull back any hair and secure loose items. Obviously, the zipline is not recommended for those of us with disabilities and should not be included as part of my handicap guide to Amber Cove.
To get a bird’s-eye view of all there is to do at Amber Cove, head to the Sky Bar. You want to look out for this place, which is located high up, even higher than the zip line on top of the hill and allowing a 360 view of the nearby region of Puerto Plata and the port area.
It is definitely worth a visit to take breathtaking scenic pictures, grab a cocktail or coffee here and let the warm wind submerge you into this day dreaming state of mind Dominicans are known for.
If shopping is your thing, and it is not for me other than to grab a T-shirt that shows where I have been, there is plenty to check before heading back to your ship.
Diamond International, like at most ports in the Caribbean, is present with a variety of local shops and craftsmen. These artisans offer things like wooden crafts, clothing, coffee, chocolate and many other unique gifts.
There is a small coffee shop where you can smell the mix of delicious brews of locally grown and roasted coffee from far away. The highlight here is, that you are allowed to grind and pack your own beans, to take them home, as a great souvenir. The coffee shop offers free Wi-Fi for paying customers.
You will also find a well stocked rum shop offering duty free rums from all over the Caribbean and special rum tasting for those who want to taste the rich Dominican flavors a bit more.
At the kiosk of the information center, a replica of the famous Gazebo in Puerto Plata, you can get your passport stamped with an unofficial Puerto Plata stamp if you want to.
Another great place to visit is the Aurora Cigar shop, where you can overlook every step on the creation of local cigars and lean more about their fame as one of the best in the Caribbean.
I could find virtually nothing to complain about looking at the overall accessibility for handicapped or disabled travelers. Therefore, I give Amber Cove an A+ and look forward to my next visit.
For more information on the Carnival Sunrise, GO HERE.