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Dive Review of Dive Dominica/Fort Young Hotel in

March, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by David Bader, NC, USA
Contributor   (17 reports)
Report Number 4663
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, rainy  
calm, no currents  
Water Temp
79   to    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
75   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
100 ft - first dive, 50 ft - second dive, max 60 minutes for computer
divers, 45 minutes for table divers.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
5 stars   
4 stars    
We flew US Air from CLT to San Juan where we changed to LIAT airways for
the trip to Dominica.  We didn't know LIAT stopped in Antigua where we had
to deplane, get new boarding passes, and go through security for a third
time.  LIAT max bag limit is one 50 lb bag and one 15 lb carry-on. 
Although we saw numerous people boarding with multiple carry-on bags.  Once
in DOM, it's an hour plus ride to Roseau.  There is diving in the North and
South of DOM.  If you want to dive the Northern sites, you need to stay in
Portsmouth.  If you want the Southern sites, you stay in Roseau.  Fort
Young Hotel sits right in front of the cruise ship dock.  The towns markets
are unfortunately geared towards the cruise ship economy.  Once a ship
leaves, many stores close.  If several ships are in at the same time, it
can be difficult getting any variety of food at restaurants.  We went most
of the week not being able to buy any diet drinks so we drank water. 
Service can also be an issue.  We went to "The Garage" cafe in
town and sat at two tables of four.  One table received their food after
about a 45 minute wait.  The other table complained after an hour and was
told that some of their order was not available so they had to reorder
their meals.  After another half hour, they asked about their meals and
were told the cook was just starting to cook their food.  At that point the
four unserved people asked for their bill and left to go elsewhere.  We
could not ride the arial tram because no cruise ships were in port the only
day we were not diving.  The tram is only open if a cruise ship is in port
and divers are not allowed to ride the tram on a day on which they dove. 
Fort Young rooms were spacious and had good air and A/C.  We had a couple
of mechanical issues but they were fixed in quick order.  The rooms do not
have windows which can be an issue with noise.  The hotel hosts several
buffets during the week with load/load music.  Also when the Carnival ship
was in port, they rudely blasted their music all day long.  Most other
cruise ships were quiet while docked.  Divers are picked up daily at 0830
for a two tank dive.  We had 12-15 divers on board a boat that could easily
handle 20 or more so it was fairly roomy.  I can't speak highly enough of
our divemaster Brad and the captain Francis.  They were very friendly and
went out of their way to make sure everyone was happy.  Entry and exits
from the boat were easy.  The dives went smooth with current encountered on
only one day. The reef is not the most colorful I've seen but their was
always things to see.  Turtles, seahorses, frogfish, cudas, and eels.  The
southern sites are said to be better than the north but no shore diving at
the Fort Young Hotel.  Lots of topside activities for non-divers.  Hiking,
spas, waterfalls, rainforest, whale watching, and a native village.  We
used a private tour guide, Helen Alcendor, who I would highly recommend if
you want to see the island.  I do not recommend trying renting a car.  It's
left side driving and the roads can be very narrow with sharp turns. 
Better to use a tour service.  Helen took five of us out all day for $200
($40 each) and we saw much more that the hotel tour service offered for
twice the price.  Trafalger falls and Carib Village should not be missed. 
Double any posted hiking times unless you are truly fit.  All in all, it
was a very good trip.  One of the most beautiful islands I've visited.  I
really enjoyed myself.  If I were to go back, I'd opt for one of the hotels
near Dive Dominica to allow for some shore diving and less noise.

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All Dominica Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Dominica
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