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Giantfan13

Not the best experience

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We were in Dominica last week. We decided we didn't want to do a tour and from info on here, walk to the Botanical gardens.

When you disembark the ship there is a sort of warehouse that has many vendors selling 'local???' goods. Almost everyone has the same products, so how local it is, is anyone's guess. As you leave the area, there are many, and I mean many taxi drivers looking to give you a 2 hour tour for $20 PP. We decided we wanted to walk instead. We walked a bit and then you leave the cruise ship area, there are another group of very pestering taxi drivers wanting you to do the same $20. OO tour. Again, we refused and started walking. I guess we walked over a mile and sort of got to the beginning of the town, but the Botanical Gardens was still about a mile away. We were hot and tired (we are both seniors), but a taxi came by, offered us the same deal and we took it.

Maybe because our driver was not the most cheerful person around, we did our 2 hour tour, but was never really impressed by the island itself. We were taken to 'view' the waterfall, to 'view' the volcano but we never got close to them (seems all these taxi tours do the same). We were taken to a nice spot to sample some island fruits and things, and driven thru the rain forest. We ended by the Botanical gardens where we were terribly disappointed. it was nothing more than a park with basically no flowers. Their parrot cage featured about 5 old parrots huddling in corners, basically looking sickly.

 

Overall, this wasn't our favorite island. I would advice a private tour to get you closer to the real island. It is a very under developed island, really not ready for prime time cruise ships.

 

Cheers

 

Len

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I generally agree with your assessment of the island but it does have some incredibly beautiful sights. A private tour is best to get a real feel for the island. It is very important to go with a reputable guide who has been vetted on this site as well as others. On our first visit we were impressed with the island's beauty and diversity but came to understand that there is no tourist infrastructure found on other islands and the locals do whatever they can to get as many visitors on their tours with promises that they can't or won't keep. In addition, in late 2015, the island was hit by a horrible hurricane that devastated the island and what little infrastructure it had. When we returned for another visit last January we spent the day with a lovely local couple who conducted a cooking school and lunch at their mountaintop home. It was a delightful and delicious way to spend the port day and changed my thoughts completely. Until Dominica, as poor as it is, finds the capital to improve its tourism infrastructure, regulates its guides and transportation system, it will be incumbent on us, as visitors to this naturally diverse and beautiful island, to do the research and vetting. Even so, I wouldn't write it off as a potentially wonderful destination for a port day stop or longer.

 

 

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When we returned for another visit last January we spent the day with a lovely local couple who conducted a cooking school and lunch at their mountaintop home. It was a delightful and delicious way to spend the port day and changed my thoughts completely.

Can you provide contact info for the cooking school?

Thanks in advance!

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I like Dominica because it's not geared toward catering entirely to tourists. There are some spectacular sights to be found. A little research would have told you that the Botanical Gardens are among them.

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We just got back and the consensus from my family was that Dominica was our favorite island. We snorkeled at Champagne Reef, swam through Titou Gorge and walked to Trafalagar Falls. I will definitely come back to this beautiful island band because there are many other areas that we did not see.

 

 

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We loved Dominica and found the folks there to be very open and dedicated to their island. The hurricane devastated their island and our tour guide lost many friends. It was heartbreaking to hear his story.

 

Dominica is a beautiful island with warm and loving people. I'm sorry you weren't happy with your choice of activity that day but there are so many wonderful things about the island and the people that live there you should give it another chance.

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We decided we didn't want to do a tour and from info on here, walk to the Botanical gardens. Overall, this wasn't our favorite island. I would advice a private tour to get you closer to the real island. It is a very under developed island, really not ready for prime time cruise ships. Cheers. Len

 

MrSchwump: I like Dominica because it's not geared toward catering entirely to tourists. There are some spectacular sights to be found. A little research would have told you that the Botanical Gardens are among them.

 

Appreciate so much Len's post' date=' observations[/b'] and comments. Plus, the other thoughtful follow-ups, including the one immediately quoted above.

 

We had much better "luck" during our first visit to Dominica. Why? We did a river-tubing experience along a rocky, exciting and wooded waterway that was so much fun! That was through the cruise ship. Worked well and gave a good sample of this island that is not wealthy, over-built and/or too touristy. In the afternoon, we went to the main downtown that is also "under-developed" and I mean that in a good way. Dominica does not get the massive number of big, big cruise ship flooding their town and the overall island. Yes, they are somewhat limited with the more narrow tourism infrastructure. We were in that industrial/warehouse shed building that offered various sales items. OK, but not a super highlight.

 

Our best love was being in Dominica when the local "folks" were having their Carnival parade, music and "action". Great fun!! This was not a tourist "show", but THEIR festival as a part of the way that they celebrate this annual activity. I got lots of pictures and video segments. Below are a couple of examples from this visit here. We were extremely happy with our luck and results.

 

Yes, Dominica is different and that is why you need to think, in advance, as to what you want to see, do and enjoy here on this very green and scenic island.

 

For “Dominica Love: Our Experience, Pictures”, check out this fairly short posting:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2253384

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

From our Jan. 25-Feb. 20, 2015, Amazon River-Caribbean combo sailing over 26 days that started in Barbados, here is the link below to that live/blog. Lots of great visuals from this amazing Brazil river and these various Caribbean Islands (Dutch ABC's, St. Barts, Dominica, Grenada, etc.) that we experienced. Check it out at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2157696

Now at 47,049 views for these postings.

 

 

From Dominica, here are a sampling of pictures from Feb. 2015 that were posted on my live/blog. First, are two examples of a rocky river and other sights as we did a "tubing" adventure in Dominica along one of their scenic locations.:

 

Aug2015PixsA6_zps9fni6vqa.jpg

 

Aug2015PixsA5_zpsienvffbf.jpg

 

 

The main town/capital of Dominica is Roseau. Here is one of my visuals from this main part of town. This give you a sampling of its "infrastructure" and the wide variety of buildings there. We loved its "character and style", but clearly their wiring and other aspects there are not all "modern, strong and 21st Century". That has made fixing and re-building there to be so much harder. The Commonwealth of Dominica had a total population of 72,301 from their 2014 Census:

 

Aug2015PixsA4_zpsl4sg8cbp.jpg

 

 

Here are two of my photo samples from Dominica's wonderful Carnival parade and celebration during our February 2, 15 visit. One of the super big pluses was having it done and twisting in and around their old, historic area of their downtown. So much unique history to bring back there from the "old days" feel that was a part of this island's past.:

 

DominicaA1_zpsatkds60b.jpg

 

 

DominicaA6_zpsxnpqp9fy.jpg

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I too thank you for your comments but like others we disagree with your "not ready for prime time" view.

 

The main appeal to us is that it's NOT overly developed and it's rustic with beautiful views and charming people. I think you'll admit that not finding a good tour guide ahead of time was the main reason for the disappointment. The island has one of the nicest landscapes - we did the Titou Gorge too and some hot baths - and found the island and people to be incredible and authentic.

 

I will say that in general if we have not researched an island and just decide to "wing-it" we are usually disappointed.

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So happy to read all your comments. We based our cruise choice on which ships go to Dominica. We've been wanting to go for years and are finally doing it, March 2018!! We will make sure to take a tour that will hopefully include the town as well as the rural beauty

 

 

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We just got back and the consensus from my family was that Dominica was our favorite island. We snorkeled at Champagne Reef, swam through Titou Gorge and walked to Trafalagar Falls. I will definitely come back to this beautiful island band because there are many other areas that we did not see.

 

 

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Can you tell me how you went to these 3 locations? Taxi? Tour? Cost? etc. It seems those 3 sites would make for a good day in port. Thanks.

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