First things first: its pronounced Daw-mo-nee-kuh not to be confused with the Dominican Republic. Another new stop for us!
Dominica is a stop that few ships make. It’s very natural and, unlike most of the other islands, has no real port area specifically designed for cruisers. There is no Diamonds International. Charming and beautiful but also a bit concerning as tourism is the island’s primary income. Again, through my cruise critic roll call I was able to organize a private tour for 9 with Pepper of Sweet Dominica. Pepper, like most of the guides, is a super nice guy. Yes, they’re paid to be nice to you but I usually genuinely like them. Usually they’re married, they have kids and they’re just trying to scratch out a living as best they can.
Besides its general beauty and beautiful rain forest, Dominica doesn’t have a lot of specific must sees. There are the falls: Emerald, Trafalgar and Titou Gorge, the botanical garden and the sulphur springs. I was really happy that we toured with Pepper and he’d impressed upon us to get off the ship early. Our van was full and pulling out of the port area before most of our fellow cruisers were making their way to disembark. That means that we were the very first ones up the hill to the Emerald Pool. Gorgeous.
After that we stopped by a black sand beach for a bit of swimming and a bite to eat. G is almost always up for some beach time. What’s funny is that each morning as we were getting ready for our day she’d tell us that she didn’t want to go to the beach that day. We’d just say ok then move on. But as soon as we’d get off the ship, she’d start asking when we were going to the beach. Once there she plays, laughs and screams her little head off. Goofball. I’ve discovered I’m not a fan of the black sand beach. That black stuff gets into your bathing suit and never seems to come out.
Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, only the ship excursions can visit Trafalgar in the morning. All private tours can only enter in the afternoon (after 2pm). Pepper had us up there about 1:45. Definitely unfortunately we had one member of our group—remember that annoying couple from Antigua??? – who had some mobility issues. Sigh. This really slowed us down getting up to the falls so even though we were early by the time we got up there it was crowded. Bummer. It’s a double fall though and still very pretty.
We then made a stop at the botanical garden. For future reference it’s someplace I’d only visit if I was on a land vacation. The garden is large and going through there at a leisurely pace would take a full afternoon. One couple in our group wanted to go to Screw Spa. It’s a sulphur spring. Bobby and I didn’t think it would appeal to G and neither of us like the idea of soaking in community pools so that was a pass.
We never made it to Titou Gorge. I’d like to return to Dominica some time. I nicknamed it “the bumpy island” due to the poor quality of the roads. Next time Titou Gorge will be first on my list of places to go.
Bobby and G take a refreshing dip in the Emerald Pools. G said she didn't want to go in at first. Then once she saw Bobby near the waterfall she changed her mind.
At Trafalgar Falls
The sulphur springs were pretty smelly... G can't stand any sort of smell at all. She has a very sensitive schnoz