Saturday, January 19, 2013

Anniversary Cruise! Dominica

It was a beautiful, sunny day. We got up at our leisure, as we weren't quite docked yet. We had a light breakfast at the buffet, and off the ship we went to explore.

Black Sand Beach, Dominica
Photo by Chris.
All rights reserved.
Roseau looked so close that we decided to walk. Those rascals at Carnival Cruises got the primo docking place right downtown, just like in Charlotte Amalie, and we were off on the far side of the black sand beach. This turned out to be a happy thing, as we decided to walk on the beach a bit on our way to town. The black sand is so pretty, glistening as though it has little diamonds in it here and there. And there were some small pieces of sea glass – an added bonus!

Tattooz. Fun with a local.
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
There was nobody on the beach but us, but we walked by lots of locals on the streets. All were especially friendly and relaxed. My husband particularly enjoyed meeting the owner of a tattoo parlor we walked past that was closed. My husband wanted me to take his picture as though he was about to get a tattoo, as a lark, and here came the owner of the place on a motorcycle. He gave my husband a gentle ribbing, offering to give him an “extra special” tat. All in good fun.

Quaint cottage.
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
The homes and buildings were colorful, and there was lots of what we would call poverty. But there seemed to be a strong faith-community presence, all different denominations. The Catholic cemetery was relatively well-traveled, serving as a kind of thoroughfare and shortcut. Folks we met along the way were very friendly and gracious and happy to have tourist dollars on the island.

We were joined by a couple of shipmates for part of our walk in the downtown area. There's a sort of natural camaraderie between virtual strangers on the ship that is, I think, an interesting phenomenon. It makes meeting people and being friendly very easy and comfortable. These particular people are Dutch and are doing a “back-to-back” (one right after another) cruise. Wouldn't that be nice?

We were treated so well here!
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
The weather was extremely hot and muggy. I had water with me and was drinking it, but nothing was working to cool me off. I thought I was going to faint and was starting to see stars. I told my husband I was overheating, and so we made our way directly to the very elegant Fort Young Hotel. We had hoped for air conditioning but settled very well for the lovely shade of the terrace patio. And...our shipmates were already there and invited us to join them. My physical distress must have been readily apparent, as the bartender/waitress brought over some cold facecloths for us. I thought this was especially kind and hospitable, especially since we weren't guests at the hotel. I don't imagine unconscious heatstroke victims are very good for business, though.

Cooling off.
Photo by one of the two shipmates,
but all rights are reserved anyway.
We decided against an adult beverage, opting instead for the most delicious and refreshing juice. I'm not even sure what kind it was, but it was like some kind of elixir. Yum. The conversation was political, yet friendly. It really is possible to discuss fiery topics in a civilized manner.

After an hour or so, everyone had cooled off sufficiently to feel able to saunter on. I have gained a new appreciation for sauntering, especially in tropical climates. Now I understand.

Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
We walked around a bit in “downtown” Roseau and intended to return to the ship on foot. But when a cabbie stopped and offered to drive us there for $2 each, we took him up on it. We didn't see any big hotels other than the floating ones at the docks. The cabbie said the island is still unspoiled. If “unspoiled” means undeveloped, that's a fact. But it won't be for long. The scenery is gorgeous. There's a beautiful bay with sailboats and misty mountains. Very pretty and inviting, and, again, the people were super.

We could totally remodel this place!
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
Back at the ship, we had a snack at the buffet. A snack is pretty much available at the buffet at any time of day that decent people might want one. Then, my husband took a nap while I went hot tubbing at the Sanctuary again. Ahhh...

Note to Bob: Folks in the hot tub who dive and snorkel were unanimous in choosing Bonaire as the place to go diving/snorkeling.

The young couple from Puerto Rico didn't come to the dining room tonight, but our other table mates were there with bells on. We also saw them later at the comedy show (comedian Carl Strong), and they appeared to be having a great time. We decided to catch part of the Fernandez hypnotist show again, since it was so enjoyable before. And it was a blast again.

What I had for dinner: A shrimp and scallop cocktail appetizer, the mango/pear soup, Caesar salad, cioppino, a fruit and cheese plate, and pineapple crème brulee. There's only one thing to do after a meal like that. We took a walk on the Promenade Deck, where my husband pointed out that air conditioning was blowing down on us. No wonder it was so pleasant and cool!

Along the waterfront in Roseau.
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
Raul, our cabin attendant, is very attentive and eager to please. I think he might be relatively new on the job, and he's doing very well indeed. Our waiter, Robert, automatically brings our beverages of choice when he sees us coming. He and his assistant, Angel, are helping to make our meals memorable.

Tomorrow, we have booked an excursion in Grenada. Since we must be off the ship at 8:50 in the morning, we've ordered room service and will be breakfasting on the balcony. Are we having a wonderful time? Yes, we are.

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