so here is my experience with excusions... I just returned from my wedding in Punta Cana. ISLA SAONA I used http://caribbeandreamto.com/
to pre-book an excusion for my wedding guests to Isla Saona. Booking was easy and the company communicated well. the cost was $89/person When we arrive to the hotel and met with our Apple Vacations rep, she seemed concerned because she had never heard of the company and there was no way to know if their food would be held to American standards (Apple's excursion booker is AmStar, which is AWESOME). The excursion ended up being fine, but it is a very very long day. The bus ride alone to get to the marina to board the boats is 2-3 hours, then a 45 minute speed boat ride to a shallow part of the ocean to hang out in the water (this part was really cool), then another 20 minute speed boat ride to Saona, lunch on the island (was good but the "open bar" is basically rum and coke); 2 hours on the island, and then the 45 minute catamaran ride back to the dock, and another 2 hours on the bus... LONG DAY! That being said it was fun and beautiful, but given a second chance, I would have way rather done a different excusion. OUTBACK SAFARI DO THIS!!!!!! We booked this through our Apple Vacation rep, through AmStar. It was $90/person. We were picked up in a fun open sided bus/truck. Our guide was George and he ROCKED! Seriously he made the whole thing so awesome and fun! He served us rum and cokes, and told us the some history and interesting things about Punta Cana and the DOminican Republic. We saw a lot of the country side, the amazing mountians, visited a school, visited a home, tried Mamajuana (a special Dominican beverage), visited a and then went lunch in the mountains, watched how they make cigars, held reptiles, and then were driven to Macao beach (a non developed beach front, BEAUTIFUL!) for 45 minutes of swimming. Then we rode back to the hotel. The whole thing was awesome!! Best experience for the money! MONKEY WORLD This is a new excursion through AmStar, I didn't go but my family went and said it was awesome. You get to hangout with monkeys! Feed them, they crawl on you, and they are very friendly. My family loved this one. Bottom line. . . book through AmStar, all of their excursions are approved by American standards, all of them are insured, so if something happens you will be ok, and they are all fun! Skip Isla Saona, it is just too much time. Hope this helps!