Day 60, Thursday, April 24, Rousseau, Dominica

The Crystal Symphony is in Shanghai, China. The Crystal Serenity is in Gibralter.

It was another cloudy morning which ended up giving way to a sunny day. The sun “rose” on my morning walk, but only a through a pinhole sized opening in the clouds. As we approached Dominica, the mountains were silhouettes through a light mist or fog. This is my first visit to Dominica, and we pulled up to a dock which did not appear to be in much of a protected harbor.

I had a very basic tour today, a “train” tour of the city. As we were leaving the pier and getting into the town our guide explained that Dominica is 16 miles long, 9 wide, and 305 square miles with a population of 69,000. On our way out we passed monuments to independence and heroes of the world wars. We made a stop at the botanical garden where we saw huge bamboo groves, fishtail palms, and a few parrots, and were given drinks (fruit juice or rum punch). On our way out of the Botanical Gardens we got a look at nature’s destruction, passing a school bus absolutely crushed by a tree falling in a hurricane.

We crossed the Roseau river which our guide claimed was very clean and clear and had fresh water shellfish, and made a visit to the cathedral, apparently a temporary one as the primary one is undergoing restoration. All of this was within about a half mile of the ship and we returned around 10AM.

I took a couple of walks around the city. While it is small and compact it is not great for walking, with lots of parking on what should be sidewalks, and hazardous drainage channels everywhere. At one time I crossed a crosswalk which ended with a 2 foot drop to the sidewalk. It was very much a matter of watching where we walk. The main sights on the walk were the Anglican and Methodist churches and the Cathedral within about a block of each other. The main find was the Roseau library which had wifi. I found the sign quite confusing as it said free but listed prices.

I went back after lunch and found the wifi free and very high quality. After much confusion I think the prices on the sign were for using the library’s computers and the wifi actually was free. My final return to the ship was about 3PM.

Sailaway was set for 5PM but at that time the gangway was still in place. A short time later an ambulance pulled up and one passenger was taken away. A very sad ending to somebody’s cruise. Our lines all came in at 5:15 and we were just making our way out of the harbor as my 5:30 dinner time came.

There was an entertainment double bill this evening. The Amsterdam singers put on a show at 7. They have had only one regular show this cruise but have done a couple of sessions in bars. In these sessions (and most of tonight’s show) they had solos one by one, but tonight there were also several songs where they interacted as a group. Tonight’s show, and especially those numbers were superb. The other show was the Casablanca Steel Orchestra. Between shows I went briefly back to my room and got a peek at Friday’s “On Location”. The show then is one of my favorite entertainers and I decided that unless Casablanca was great I would catch up on other things. I stayed for about 2 plus numbers and they were ok but not really my cup of tea.

As today’s parting shot the reports are fairly sketchy but it looks like this year’s Boston Marathon was a huge success. Congratulations to Meb Keflezighi and to the organizers of the event. Boston, after last year you deserve a success and it looks like it was a great one.


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