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Dive Review of Dive Dominica/Fort Young Hotel in
Dominica

Dive Dominica/Fort Young Hotel, Jan, 2007,

by Jeanne Sleeper, CA, US (Reviewer Reviewer 5 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 3157.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving US, Caribbean, Pacific, Australia, Far East
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy Seas calm, noCurrents
Water Temp 80 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 70 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Maximum time and depth that were appropriate for the site with different guidelines for computer and non-computer equipped divers. Once they say your in water ability there was more freedom to buddy dive independently.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments Dive Dominica boats do not have camera shelves and may or may not have fresh water containers (if you are willing to have your camera float around with other cameras). Crew is good about carefully handling photo gear - loading boat or handing to divers in the water. On shore, photo gear goes directly back to your hotel room.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments American Eagle is a reliable (but not infallible)way to get from Puerto Rico to Dominica. Due to current airport strip length, luggage weight is limited to 2 total checked bags with combined weight of 70lbs and 1 carry on that must fit in the small under seat space. No option to pay for more baggage count or weight. Airport runway extension is under construction, so by end of 2008 things may change. Melville Hall airport is on one side of the island and the hotel is on the opposite side in Roseau with a mountain in between. Allow 1.5 hours for the hotel-provided van or bus ride on a "not quite 2 lanes wide" road through the magnificant rain forest reserve. When arriving, tell the bus driver you want to stop at "Shorty's house" on the way and try his spiced rums..or a soda if rum and winding mountian roads don't suit you.

Electricity is 240 - bring converters and adapters.

Fort Young Hotel has wonderful, new, large, ocean-front rooms with balconies. Nicely appointed. Their original rooms are smaller, but comfortable and less expensive. Lunches in the bar are US $10-15 and the main restaurant offers "dining" with dinner taking 2 hours and costing US $35 - $50. Not much to do in the evening, so a leisurely dinner is ok once you shift onto island time. Hotel wireless Internet workes fine and Cingular GSM phones work on the island. Verizon phones are dead. Hotel staff are unfailingly courteous and welcoming.

Ken in the Diver Center takes great care of diving logistics & Dive Dominica boats pick you up at the Fort Young pier. The tour desk has afternoon activites such as rainforest hikes to Titu Gorge and a swim upstream to the source waterfall pouring out of the ground. Not often I am willing to do 2 AM dives and then shift to land afternoon activiites. Here it is fun. Hikes (easy or advanced), kayaking, island tours, local culture, market day shopping, sperm whale watching trips - plenty to keep you busy for a week. Martin, the tour guide, is a walking encyclopedia from history to latin plant species names. This island is a botanical paradise from roadside wild orchids, ginger and antheriums to coffee and cashew trees.

Diving the reefs and vertical walls loaded with barrel sponges, crinoids, cruising turtles, seahorses, frog fish, puffers, indigo hamlets, trumpets, damsels, angels, trunk fish, soldier fish, grunts, eels, hinds and nudibranchs was wide angle to macro photo fun. Most sites are less than 20 minutes from the Fort Young (yes it really used to be a British fort).

For all the local beauty, this island needs T shirt assistance. As a 35 year dive t-shirt collector, I could not find a single shirt to buy that I would ever wear. They need dive apparel art and production CPR.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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