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Cruise Day #3 — Dominica

Like most days, I awoke a good bit earlier than Libby. So, I spent my early morning hours up on deck sipping coffee and organizing pictures from our earlier vacations (which I’m hoping to finally get posted).

Once Libby awoke, we went down to the coffee bar for our lattes and then watched our arrival in Dominica from our balcony. We docked at the pier right in downtown around 9:00 am.

We departed the ship around 10:00 and walked uphill, stopping for a visit at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Fair Heaven, to the 40 acre Botanical Gardens. Unfortunately, the gardens were under construction with an irrigation system installation. It also started raining… heavily. But, we met Jeff, who was in the middle of a tour with some fellow cruisers, which we joined (@ $15/pp.) for a ride through the rain forrest.

Visiting the rainforest is clearly THE thing to do in Dominica. We drove on steep, narrow roads through the mountains and valleys. We were utterly surrounded by the lush tropical foliage, including bread fruit trees, bananas, ginger lilies, and bamboo. Being of volcanic origin, Dominica remains populated with boiling sulphur springs. We visited the bubbling and steaming springs at Wotten Waven to enjoy the smell of rotten eggs in the midst of a tropical rain downpour. :-)

Our guide suggested you really need a week in Dominica to fully explore the island. I believe him–we merely had a glimpse of what the island offers. We returned to Roseau around 1PM. Since we’d already seen the town (not too much to offer tourists), we returned to the ship for lunch.

We opted for a sit down meal in the Coral Dining Room (we still haven’t tried the buffet–a staple of our last cruise). Libby had fried calamari and parmesan chicken (both very good). I had a gazpacho soup (very good) and gnocchi in a gorgonzola cream sauce (good but the gnocchi were a little too dense). Service, as seemingly typical on this ship, was excellent.

We spent the remainder of the afternoon relaxing: reading and napping.

Dinner tonight was in the Island Dining Room. Service started a little less well than what we’ve been used to, but the staff quickly got back on stride by the time our appetizers were finished. The food again ranged from pretty good to very good–that’s a not unimpressive string for food aboard a cruise ship. Highlights included Libby’s Caesar salad, our chicken fajitas (tonight’s “homestyle” menu option–which we think is another nice touch, as you sometimes get tired of eating “fancy” food), and Libby’s fudge cookie a la mode.

After dinner, we saw our first production stage show aboard Princess: “Piano Man.” What to say? Weak vocalists, poor male dancers, and a campy staging. Think: Mel Brooks meets Christopher Guest. Admittedly, we’re Broadway/West End devotees, but I think this was nonetheless a poor showing even by cruise ship standards.

Today’s box score: +1 country (Dominica)

Here’s a photo of downtown Roseau and the mountains beyond:


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