Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Thinking of a Carnival cruise to the Dominican Republic? Why not start with what’s big in the Caribbean: Santo Domingo. That’s right, this world city is more than just the capital of the Dominican Republic and the oldest city today in the Americas, but the most populated city in all of the Caribbean. And a cruise to Santo Domingo is a great way to experience it! Bragging rights abound for all three-plus million capitaleños, as they call themselves, because their home city is home to vibrant culture, neighbor to incredible beaches, and bearer of so many parks and gardens. The original capitaleño was Bartholomew Columbus (Christopher’s little brother), who got this city started way back in the 1490s. Santo Domingo may not have been much of a destination back in the 15th century — aside from the weather, which has always been awesome — but it soon became home to the first paved road in all of the Americas. When you cruise to Santo Domingo today, you can still stroll Calle las Damas (“the ladies’ street”), one highlight of the lively, European-flavored Zona Colonial. Plus, as with any Carnival cruise to the Dominican Republic, the island nation’s lush countryside interior is just a short hop away.
- Pilgrimate to the first cathedral in the Americas… and built out of coral rock, no less.
- Get your caves and lake exploration fix in one go — go to Los Tres Ojos National Park.
- Stand before the vast sea, with city views just over your shoulder, all along the Malecon.