One of the cruises we are looking at includes Dominica & isle Margarita as part of the itinerary. I would like to hear of other peoples thoughts on these 2 ports and possible excursions.Other stops include Curacao, Barbados, St, Thomas and Princess Cays. The other itinerary is Anitigua, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Princess Cays. My wife and I are having a difficult time making a desicion so any thought are most welcome
I did do a stop in Isle Margarita and we should of went on an excersion, but just got off the ship by the pier and sat around the beach there, very small, very very shallow water, kind of nice, but nothing else there. Had heard from people that went on excersions that they were good, but thats all I know, have no reason to go back until they have more to offer closer to the pier. Hope this was some help, haven't been to Dominica.
Somebody in Dominica got smart 5or 6 years ago and built a cruise port. Prior to that this was a very poor very backward island. Virtually no beaches , lots of bananas and a rain forest. Over the years the port side has built up some,but there still isn't much. The "big" sites are Emerald Pool and Trafalger Falls.
Both involve fairly long van rides up and down some pretty hairy roads. Both also involve a bit of a hike (not for children or elderly) and both are relativelly crowded and somewhat disapointing. On the otherhand you do get to see a bit more of
the nontourist side of the Caribean. There is also a tour to the site of the last carib indian village. No fierce natives will come out to kill you however.They will sell you souvenirs .
My preference for your two intineraries is the other. Doing it
Oct 31 on Ocean Princess. All of these islands I have been to at least once before and there is still much to see and do we have not done before.
Thank you both for your replies. Looks like we will be booking Ocean Princess leaving Feb 18/2002 for the itinerary that didn't include thse 2 ports. This will also be our first time with a cabin that has a patio. 5 months 13 days to go :0)
Maybe we can compare notes when you get back. I will be stepping of Ocean Princess when you get on! We are doing the alternate itinerary which includes Curacao and Isla Margarita. I plan on SCUBA diving in Curacao. Don't know what to do in Marg. yet. We'll be on during Valentines Day.
Isla de Margarita does offer some very nice tours. I was quite impressed by the tour to "Historic Margarita and Porlamar" -- which visits several interesting architectural and historical sites. Here's the list of tours that Princess offered last year.
PMV-A "Historic Margarita and Porlamar"
PMV-B "Tacuantar Village & Tropical Gardens"
PMV-C "Eco-Cruise to La Restiga Lagoon"
PMV-K "Macanao Peninsula Four-Wheel-Drive Safari"
PMV-L "Margarita Four-Wheel-Drive Safari"
PMV-S "Coche Island Cruise"
Dominica is said to be the Caribbean island that's closest to its native state, and many tour books say that it's the only island that Columbus still would recognize. It's also the only island with a Caribe Indian reservation inhabited by a recognized tribe. Princess offers an impressive selection of unique tours on this island, too. Again, here's the list from last year.
My husband and I went to Dominica with Carnival last winter and thought the following. The scenery is BEAUTIFUL (but we both love looking at waterfalls) and the tourguides were wonderful. But the island is very poor, and at the end of the cruise ship dock there was a mob of people trying to sell you stuff and get you to take tours with them. Both of the couples we were sitting with for dinner had been scammed (or attempted to be) when they tried to shop in Roseu. Stupid stuff like short changing them and then trying to distract them so they wouldn't notice, ect.
It is very pretty when you get out of the main city, but it was the most pronouced example of how poor some of the islands we visited were.
Loved Dominica. It is a very poor island but very proud people. Don't buy the packaged tour from the cruise line. When you exit the ship look for a green umbrella (private tour operator) on the right. He charged $20 per person for the same tour the ship charged $79. If you have a group of 6 to 12 people (we had 9) we negotated for a group tour in a smaller vehicle with just our group. Driver named "shy guy". He became our guide for the day and took us everywhere. We were ready to return to the ship before he was. He was proud of his island and did a lot of extra things for us. (picking peeling and serving us fresh grapefruit from road side tree, picking coffee beans and taking us to the top to the island for pictures. He was in no hurry. We tipped him $5 buck each and had better tour than the ship for a total of $25 each.