Dominica – A day of champagne snorkeling & black sand beach

Dominica – Champagne snorkeling & Mero Beach

Dominica the land of many cruise ships.  We have found that if you go on a cruise in the Caribbean chances are good that you will end up stopping at Dominica. While it is a gorgeous island with a lush tropical rain forest it is not a great island for beaches and beach bars, which happens to be our favorite thing to do on every island, so we have always been a little disappointed.  While we have tried and visited just about everything the guide book will tell you to do from hiking in the rain forest to see the waterfalls, to kayaking down the river, to swimming in the Emerald Pools, to taking a tour of the island, over the past several years we have decided to use our stop at Dominica as a day to stay on the ship, lay by the pool, drink a few buckets of beer and enjoy the empty cruise ship.

Dominica 2009 – Enjoying drinks by the pool

Well this year we decided it was time to get back on the island for some adventure.  So as we set out to discover more of Dominica part of our group went on a Champagne Snorkeling adventure and another group went in search of a beach & beach bar.

Champagne Snorkeling Excursion – Champagne Reef
After a cab ride to the bar/restaurant/dive shop we were issued our snorkel gear and took the boardwalk to the end of the rocky shoreline. At this point we realized we weren’t all as graceful walking in fins as we are on our feet, but we all managed to make it through the rocks and into the water with minimal falling.

So what led us to Champagne Reef? It might have been the snorkeling or it might have been the hope that maybe, just maybe there was a magical place where you can snorkel in actual champagne!  Well after a quick taste test Team Cocktail unanimously decided that the reef gets its name from the bubbles that the volcanic activity below the earth creates and not from being actual champagne.  We took one for the team on this one, you’re welcome!

Seriously though, if you love to snorkel then this is a must hit spot on Dominica. You will see some great fan & barrel coral, lobsters, crabs, squids, eels, and a lot of fish. There are many options when booking Champagne Reef.  You can go through the cruise ship, book through a local company, or just take a cab.  We booked through Shore Trips, but no matter how you book you will have a great time.

Also, since there is a bar right there you can have all the Kubuli (Dominican beer – 6 pack for $10) you want. They also make a mean rum punch! We’re Team Cocktail right? Did you really expect us just to snorkel!

Mero Beach & Connie’s Beach Bar
Determined to find a beach on Dominica a few of us jumped in a taxi, and asked the driver to take us to the best beach on the island.  Well about 20 minutes later we arrived at Connie’s Beach Bar at Mero Beach. We were reassured by some of our fellow passengers that the Black Sand Beach was amazing and they have visited several times.  Now when we were told it was a black sand beach we were a little skeptical but after seeing it for ourselves we were shocked by how beautiful and interesting the black sand was.  It looked as though it had tiny slivers of diamonds scattered throughout it.  Truly amazing and worth seeing at least once in your life.

Mero Black Sand Beach

Now with that said, we didn’t really care for the bar.  Maybe we had had too many drinks the night before, but we just couldn’t get in to the layout of the bar, the service or the people.  Unlike so many other beach bars we have visited in the Caribbean, the locals just weren’t as friendly and actually seemed annoyed with us.    And by us I mean everyone at the beach, not just our small group.  You have probably gathered from our previous posts, Team Cocktail loves to meet locals and drink the local beverages, so as you can imagine we were a little disappointed in the experience.

Would we give Connie’s another shot? Possibly.  We did notice as we walked down the beach that there were several other beach bars that we could have chosen.  We all decided that next time we’ll have the cab driver drop us off at one of those bars as they seemed less crowded and from the looks of the people that were there they were having a great time!  Guess we should have joined their party!

One thing is for sure.  There are very few islands that are as beautiful & scenic to sail away from as Dominica.  You are almost guaranteed to see a rainbow every time.  So grab a cocktail and enjoy sail away, our favorite time of day!

A rainbow on Dominica

View of Dominica from the ship

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By Lyndsey
We Take Fun Very Seriously!