Caribbean Cruise Ship Port of Call Profile
The islands of the Caribbean are located in a region southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and Northern America, east of Central America, and to the north of South America.
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Need to know
About the Culture
With an almost 80% Roman Catholic population, conservative traditional values are strong. Family holds an important place in Dominican society. Passengers need to consider local laws regarding appropriate public behavior.
In March 2012, two California men were arrested after they were seen and susequently photographed (Dominican.net Facebook Page) having sex on the balcony of a Celebrity cruise ship while docked in Roseau. Under the sodomy law, sex between homosexual couples is criminalized and persons found guilty could face up to ten years in prison. The men were subsequently fined and ordered out of the country.
The Roseau Police Chief has a reminder for all passengers, " People coming to our island must be in conformity with our laws and if these laws are violated they must be prepared to suffer the consequences."
The major hospital is Princess Margaret Hospital, telephone (767) 448-2231/5720.
Princess Margaret is the major trauma facility in Dominica. There are approximately 15 house and resident doctors, as well as 12 specialists. Minor to major surgeries are performed at the facility. Response accident and emergency times vary depending upon the severity of the case and the availability of personnel.
In addition, there is one other hospital in Dominica and several clinics. There is no operational hyperbaric chamber; divers requiring treatment for decompression illness must be evacuated to Martinique.
The Ambulance service is operated by the Fire Department. There are approximately 6 ambulances and the crews are advanced trained Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and are allowed to perform CPR and other minor life support functions. Ambulance response time is relatively quick because the ambulance service is decentralized at district polyclinics Telephone: (767) 448-2231/5720.
There is one private hospital - the Fadete Hospital
Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost thousands of dollars. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.
Emergency Contact Numbers
Fire, Police and Ambulance: (767) 448-2222/999
Crisis Hotline: 33
Vehicles are driven on the left in Dominica. Seatbelt laws are not strictly enforced. Roads are narrow with steep inclines throughout the island. There are few guardrails in areas that have precipitous drop-offs from the road. Road signs are limited outside of the major towns. Drivers should be alert for minibus (taxi) drivers, who often make sudden stops or pull out into traffic without warning or signaling.
There is no major highway on the island. Before the road was built between Portsmouth and Roseau, people had to take boats which took several hours from one way to the other. When the crew for the movie Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest came for filming, the film crew built many paved roads.
Taxis have the letters "HA," "HB" or "H" on their license plates, indicating they are for hire. Taxi fares are set by the government and from the cruise terminal to various island destinations there are standard rates, which are posted. Island taxi tours are available in addition to standard taxi service.
Private minibuses with the letters "HA," "HB" or "H" on their license plates, indicating they are for hire provide public transportation services between Roseau and the rest of the island. They depart from the Old Market Plaza in Roseau, between the West and East Bridge. Fares range from EC$1.50 to EC$10.25. Make sure to negotiate your fare before you leave.
Dominica Carnival Jump Up
Annual February/March event.
Dominica Dive Fest
Annual event Jun - Jul at the Anchorage Hotel & Dive Centre, Roseau. Scuba diving, snorkeling and other water-based activities form the basis of Dive Fest. Dive Fest gives absolute beginners the chance to try scuba diving or snorkeling for the first time – often completely free of charge. For experienced divers, events include an underwater treasure hunt and underwater photography competitions, with equipment provided by event sponsors.
The World Creole Music Festival
Taking place during the Independence Celebrations, the World Creole Music Festival plays the Windsor Park Stadium until dawn, with live music acts from the Caribbean and beyond drawing in the crowds.
Annual event, 24th October – 3rd November. Dominica celebrates its independence from Britain (gained in 1978) with an array of cultural events and parties.
ports > destinations > Roseau
Dominica is located in the Eastern Caribbean Sea, only a few miles north of Martinique and south of Guadeloupe.
Dominica was the last of the Caribbean islands to be colonized by Europeans due chiefly to the fierce resistance of the native Caribs. France ceded possession to Great Britain in 1763, which made the island a colony in 1805. Almost all Dominicans are descendants of enslaved Africans brought in by colonial planters in the 18th century. Some 3,000 Carib Indians still living on Dominica are the only pre-Columbian population remaining in the eastern Caribbean. The population growth rate is very low, due primarily to emigration to more prosperous Caribbean Islands, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada.
Good to Know
There are 3 major towns in Dominica: Roseau (the Capital), Marigot and Portsmouth.
Port of Entry
Roseau Cruise Ship Terminal or Cabrits (close to Fort Shirley)
AST (GMT/UTC - 4)
Water: 83º Summer - 79º Winter
Air: 85º Summer - 80º Winter
Link to TDN (Dominican.net) Radio 24/7 for music and local news
Things to do and see
Duty free shopping shopping for perfumes, jewelry, liquors, smokes, and china. For local wares, check out Carib baskets - a unique product of Dominica, as are many natural soaps, island spices, and herbal teas. Old Plaza Market - next to the Roseau Museum.
Rosalie Bay A Nature Resort
The 28-room boutique property is on a 22-acre plot along a black-sand beach that is a “prime nesting area” for endangered turtles, the hotel says. The resort also features what it says is the first utility-scale wind turbine in the eastern Caribbean. www.rosaliebay.com
The Trafalgar Falls
Twin waterfalls located about a 20 minute drive from Roseau. Hot springs and emerald pools.
Cathedral of Our Lady of Fair Haven of Roseau
Roseau's Catholic Church is an example of European creolisation influence in Dominica. Built in the Gothic Romanesque revival style, the Cathedral's consecration, in its present form, is dated to 1916. The cathedral is located in the southern part of the town of Roseau on the banks of the Roseau River.
A large 18th century British Garrison (built 1774-1776) that housed 600 soldiers. It was last used as a fort in 1854. Scenic views of Prince Rupert Bay from the Officer's Quarters.
Morne Trois Pitons National Park
A World Heritage Site since 1997. The National Park is named after its highest mountain, Morne Trois Pitons, meaning mountain of three peaks. The park is a significant area of volcanic activity.
Second in size to the Frying Pan lake of New Zealand, is 200ft wide. It is located five miles from the city at the core of the Morne Trois Pitons National Park. This steaming basin of earth is one of he most amazing geothermal features on earth.
Valley of Desolation
A region of boiling mud ponds and small geysers. Located just a few miles from the Boiling Lake.
Small waterfall and natural spring pool surrounded by volcanic cliffs, located on the northern edge of the Morne Trois Pitons National Park. Probably the most visited attraction in Dominica and very popular with cruise passengers. Located 14 miles from Roseau.
Cabrits National Park
Located on a scenic peninsula just north of Portsmouth, this national park is best known as the site of Fort Shirley. The park encompasses the peninsula, the surrounding coast and coral reefs, and the island's largest swamp.
Dominica is not a typical Caribbean destination of white sand beaches, however there are many beaches within coves along the island's west coast. The majority of Dominica's beaches are made up of dark gray or jet black volcanic sands, which are unusual but not uncommon throughout the region.
North Coast Beaches
Some of the northern beaches are part of Cabrits National Park, such as the beach at Douglas Bay, which is considered to be one of the island's best. Snorkeling is also available in the park.
South Coast Beaches
Rocky coastline good for snorkeling - located on the southern coast near Pointe Michel.
Rocky coastline good for snorkeling - located on the SW coast at Mero.
Soufriere Bay Beach
Rocky coastline good for snorkeling - located near Fort Cachocrou.
Snorkeling and Dive Spots
Dominica is known for its snorkeling and diving, and you will find several sites with beautiful underwater views just off the shores.
Rocky shoreline. Good for snorkeling.
A rarely visited site 1/2 mile from shore in the Atlantic (rated difficult).
The mooring sits in 10m/30ft on top of the wall (rated difficult).
Five Finger Rock
Located in Portsmouth - In the Cabrits Marine Park not far offshore from the Cabrits Peninsula (rated difficult).
Crater's Edge at Scott's Head
Volcanic ridge that leads out to Crater's Edge(rated difficult). Scotts Head is where the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea meet.
The Suburbs (Soufriere)
Rocky drop-offs (rated difficult).