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We did an excursion from the cruise ship to Champagne Reef for a "snorkeling safari". Champagne reef was definitely worth the visit. Champagne reef gets its name from geothermal springs releasing bubbles that are supposedly like swimming through a glass of champagne. I don't know if it was all that but we did see some interesting fish. The guides were fabulous. They went out of their way to make sure everybody got to participate. They even pulled one older man around with a life preserver when he got too tired to swim.
You definitely need to bring water shoes or other good traction shoes as the wooden walkway to the snorkeling area that keeps you from walking through the protected beach area is extremely slippery.
The outcropping in the background of the main photo was used as Skull Island in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie.
Written Mar 29, 2009
This is a time walk through Dominica's social and cultural history.
The Old Market is right next door to the museum.
Updated Jan 1, 2005
There is a ferry that runs on a regular basis between several of the adjacent islands like Martinique, St.Lucia and Guadeloupe. You can find them at the waterfront area in Roseau. They also have the ticket office in downtown Roseau, you can ask anybody.
The pic shows Roseau as we pulled away from the dock on our way to St.Lucia.
Written Sep 27, 2002
Generally the roads in Dominica are very poor, very narrow and some are downright dangerous, so be careful and keep your eyes on the road instead of the scenery.
The picture shows the main road out of Roseau going south.
Written Sep 27, 2002
Narakiel’s Inn is one of these places that are not going to let you go indifferent. The precursor to future troubles was the contact over the Internet with the sales lady who insisted on prepaid reservation which was declined due to the adventurous nature of the Caribbean transport system. This was not good enough and she went on and on advertising the virtues of prepayment; so far so good but upon arrival there was more formidable obstacle to face. The local manager, whose name is exactly like the name of the local supermarket, (apparently the family business has expanded) did not even bother to meet his guests at the front door (the rooms are on the third floor of an apartment building) but started shouting instructions from his balcony how to proceed through the doors and stairs. Later on, he was particularly insistent on going “by the book” and collecting a deposit against possible loss of the room key. At the same time he was unable to produce the change resulting from the transaction most likely because this was nitty-gritty stuff not worthy of being in “the book”. The following day he was nowhere to be seen and at the end of the second day when confronted about the change he still did not have American money so he produced local currency (East Caribbean dollars were never mentioned as means of business transaction anywhere). The key continued to be a source of friction and anxiety since it was to be presented before departure and after the room was inspected for “damages” of who knows what sort. This was difficult to arrange since the manager was not available at any time but only when he thought he was supposed to be available. In the context of taxi-waiting for a transfer to the airport this attitude was sheer insolence. On top of that he dared to give lectures on Caribbean lasser-passer, easy-going way of life that reigns supreme in the Dominica and that this was the time to leave the rat race of North America, to relax and soak it up. If I had not heard the same lecture the previous morning at eight o’clock given to a fellow traveller it would have passed for a “good” advice. Otherwise, the place had all the necessary amenities albeit in rooms too tiny for a greater comfort but the price was reflecting this state of affairs. Most annoying was the fact that nobody seemed to know where this place was, including seasoned taxi drivers of certain age.
Updated Apr 2, 2013
Our P&O cruise ship, then known as Arcadia (now Ocean Village), moored one mile out of Roseau at Woodridge Bay.
Once off the ship we were hassled by rude, ill-mannered, persistent individuals who wanted to take us to various places in their taxis.
After getting through to these characters that we were quite happy to walk, we proceeded along the road to Roseau. Along this road were cars & other vehicles in less than roadworthy condition, driven by people who were either drunk, or on drugs doing suicidal overtaking manoeuvres & going inappropriately fast.
There was a particularly dodgy residential area just inside the built-up area of Roseau where a group of young men were clearly checking us out & talking about us in a "what are these people doing in our area?" kind of way.
Roseau is the main town on the island, but it's no bigger than a large village in the UK & the built-up area only goes for about a half-mile radius of the centre. However, most of it is run-down & parts of it are downright rough.
Interestingly, there was a Princess cruise-ship berthed in Roseau town centre. Princess and P&O are owned by the same US company, Carnival. The difference is Princess have a lot of American passengers, but P&O passengers are almost entirely British.
I suspect Carnival booked the Princess in the town-centre berth, because they wouldn't dare put the Americans where they berthed the P&O ship.
Princess are slightly downmarket of P&O in the Carnival brand hierarchy, so it's not a "best ship, best mooring" situation.
Updated Feb 14, 2007