Jason Daniel Shaw
Best Excursions to do on a Carnival Cruise to Dominica
Roseau – Dominica
Dominica is an exciting place to visit because the island is mostly covered by rainforest. It offers a change to the beach excursions that many of the other islands highlight. Waterfalls are also in abundance on this lush, green Caribbean island. Needless to say, the rainforest and waterfalls were a big factor in selecting our excursion on Dominica.
Arriving in Dominica
Arriving in Dominica, it is hard to miss the beautifully rugged landscape of the mountains behind the capital city of Roseau. The town itself is not very big but has an amazing character with its brightly colored buildings. As you exit the ship, you are dropped right in the middle of town and greeted by a group of performers putting on a little music and dance performance. Our boat arrived at the port at 10:00am which meant that we had time in the morning to sleep a little later and have a nice breakfast before meeting our excursion group.
Excursion in Dominica
We chose the Dominicas Favorites excursion that was offered through Carnival for $60 per person. One of the main reasons the we chose this excursion was that it visited both Trafalgar Falls and Emerald Pool, both of which were high on our list of sites to see in Dominica. It started at 10:30am and returned at 3:30pm, allowing us a couple hours in the afternoon to explore the city and pick up my souvenir magnet (I will explain more about my souvenir magnet obsession in another blog) since our departure was at 5:30pm.
We met the Dominicas Favorites tour group onboard the ship and proceeded to the mini buses less than a block away. There were around 25 people on the tour but we were lucky enough to get the front seat on the bus which allowed us to get some great views and photo opportunities as we drove from site to site. The bus was nice and air conditioned so that was a big plus as it was very hot and humid.
As we departed, our tour guide gave us some history of the town and of the island, pointing out different locations of significance. We drove through the botanical gardens, which weren’t much to speak of, before continuing on to our first stop – an overlook of Roseau. It offered a perfect view of our ship as well as an aerial view of the city and coastline. There were also several local vendors selling souvenirs.
We continued on into the mountains and you could tell that the scenery was transforming into a more lush, tropical feel as we moved deeper into the rainforest. The views through the valleys were spectacular and then we finally rounded a corner and you could see the twin waterfalls amid the green. It was a preview of what was to come.
Arriving at the parking lot, we were given our entrance pass and told that we had approximately 45 minutes to explore. It was around a 10 minute hike to the waterfalls over uneven terrain. While the hike wasn’t tough, we were drenched in sweat due to the heat and humidity. At the waterfalls, there is a gazebo atop an overlook that has beautiful views of the falls. The path continues on a few more feet before diving into the river. We made our way down and spent some time taking photos before making the trek back. You can hike around the rocks and get as close as you want to the waterfalls but beware, the rocks are slick and you don’t have a whole lot of time.
Back at the trailhead, we stopped at the souvenir stands to pick up some sugarcane slices and a drink. We tried to cool down in the shade before boarding the bus and heading to our next stop.
The only problem with the interior of Dominica is that it is very mountainous and dense with rainforest. That meant that we had about a 45 minute to 1 hour drive from Trafalgar Falls to Emerald Pool. It was broken up by a quick stop at what looked like someone’s house in the mountains for a complementary drink (alcohol optional). From there, we loaded back onto the bus and continued on to the parking lot of Emerald Pool.
Emerald Pool is another hike that takes approximately 10-15 minutes but has a much bigger elevation change than Trafalgar Falls but still very manageable. When you first arrive at the pool, it is beautiful, with a waterfall dumping into it and, if you are lucky, nobody else there. Do try and keep up your pace on the hike and beat everyone else so you can get it empty. We immediately stripped down and took a swim. We had heard stories about how cold the water is but it was not bad at all. I am not even sure if it is as cold as the springs in Florida. Either way, it felt so refreshing after a long, hot day in the heat. We took quite a few photos and were the last to exit the pool – maximizing our time in the water. After hiking back to the top, we boarded the buses one final time for the 45 minute ride back to the ship.
When we arrived back in town, we immediately set out to explore the waterfront. I got the drone and flew south along the coast to capture the beauty of the island. We did a little shopping and even had time to sit and relax at the Tourist Bureau. They are located directly across from the dock and have a patio on the second floor which is the perfect spot to sit and enjoy the views while using their free wifi. It was then time to board the ship and depart for our next destination – Barbados.
Our Carnival Cruise
We were on the 7-day Southern Caribbean cruise aboard the Carnival Fascination (September 2, 2018 – September 9, 2018) out of San Juan visiting St. Thomas, Dominica, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Maarten and finally returning back to San Juan. Click on any of the links above to find out more about what we did in each of our ports of call or visit my Instagram.