Amber Cove Port vs Taino Bay Port in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic, famous for its vibrant culture, stunning beaches, and rich history, has become a sought-after cruise destination in the Caribbean. Two ports in particular, Amber Cove and Taino Bay in Puerto Plata, stand out as key gateways for cruise ship tourists. Let’s dive into the differences between these two ports, the ships that frequent them, and the amenities each offers.

Amber Cove Port

Background and Location:
Located on the Bay of Maimón, Amber Cove is a relatively new port, having opened in 2015. It was developed by Carnival Corporation and serves primarily Carnival-owned cruise lines. This modern port is designed to provide cruise passengers with a wealth of amenities and activities right off the ship. See the page on Amber Cove amenities for a full list of free and paid things to do.

Pier view from a drone
The Amber Cove Pier

Ships That Dock Here:
Being owned by Carnival Corporation, Amber Cove mainly caters to Carnival-owned lines such as Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, and Fathom, among others.

Amenities and Features:
– A massive pool area with water slides, swim-up bars, and cabanas.
– Zip lining over Amber Cove’s Aqua Zone.
– Retail shops featuring local handicrafts and internationally recognized brands.
– Rental options for water sports equipment.
– A transportation hub for taxis and excursions, facilitating easy access to nearby attractions like Ocean World, Fort San Felipe, and the Amber Museum.

Views of the docked ship
View of Amber Cove from the Sky Bar.

Taino Bay Port

Background and Location:
Taino Bay, located closer to the heart of Puerto Plata, is a collaborative project aimed to rejuvenate the city’s tourism potential. Like Amber Cove, it’s a state-of-the-art facility, but it places a heavier emphasis on promoting the culture and heritage of the Dominican Republic.

Taino Bay Port
View of Taino Bay Dahao pool, with a MSC ship docked beyond.

Ships That Dock Here:
Taino Bay, Not being exclusive to a single cruise line conglomerate, has welcomed ships from lines like MSC Cruises, Virgin Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, and many others. This port was opened in December 2021, making it the youngest in the island, and cost $80 million to finish.

Amenities and Features:
– A themed village showcasing Dominican history and Taino culture, giving tourists an immersive experience.
– An artisanal market where local craftsmen and artists display and sell their work.
– Green spaces, playgrounds, and a boardwalk along the coast.
– Close proximity to the city center of Puerto Plata, providing easier access to local restaurants, attractions, and nightlife.
– Opportunities to engage in water-based activities and excursions.

Taino Bay Blue Parrot Bar
Tourists walking past the Blue Parrot Bar, at Taino Bay.

Amber Cove Port vs Taino Bay should be an easy decision to make, as both cruise ports are a great gateway to the best of Puerto Plata. Both Amber Cove and Taino Bay have their unique appeals. See the Taino Bay port amenities page for the complete list of things to do in that port.

While Amber Cove is a luxurious retreat that feels like an extension of the cruise experience, Taino Bay provides a more culturally immersive experience, enabling tourists to connect with the Dominican Republic’s heritage. Depending on what you’re looking for – relaxation or exploration – either port can offer a memorable stopover in the enchanting realm of Puerto Plata. 

puerto plata catamaran