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Dominica (Roseau)

dominica-disabled-access1The island of Dominica (not to be confused with the Dominican Republic) presents disabled visitors with steep hills, rough pathways, and poor sidewalk accessibility.  Neverthless, Dominica disabled access is good enough that you can see many of the nature wonders that this island offers.

To reach Dominica, you either need to fly through Antigua or St. Lucia, or you need to arrive by cruise ship.  Consequently, you won’t see too many crowds when visiting the various waterfalls, scenic overlooks from mountain tops, and other sights.

I gave Dominica disabled access a 3 Star Sage Accessibility Rating because there is step-free access to leave the cruise port and no cruise tenders.  Wheelchair visitors who can transfer out of their wheelchair into a vehicle will be able to travel between the various sites.  Dominica did not get a higher accessibility rating because there are no wheelchair accessible vans on Dominica.


View Dominica Wheelchair Accessible Shore Excursions


Best Aspects of Dominica Disabled Access

Step-free exit to pier and port – Cruise ships arrive at the the pier in the main town of Rousea.  Wheelchair access to Dominica is possible by walking/rolling over the wooden boards on the pier and going down the ramp shown below on the right.

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No cruise tenders – Only three or four cruise ships visit Dominica each week, and there is room at the dock for two cruise ships.  Consequently, no cruise ships need to use tenders to get ashore.  Wheelchair users like me won’t get disappointed like when I tried to go ashore at Princess Cays (the Princess staff was NOT sympathetic, accommodating, or friendly).

Scenery is easy to view from inside the vehicle – The main attractions in Dominica are the rainforest, rivers, and waterfalls.  Many of them can be viewed from inside the comfort of a vehicle.

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Worst Aspects of Dominica Disabled Access

Small town with little to do – The main town of Rouseau is singificantly smaller with less to do than other Eastern Caribbean towns like St George’s, Orangestad, Kralendijk, San Juan, Philipsburg, and Charlotte Amalie.  It has limited shopping options, limited dining options, and limited sightseeing options.  You’ll need transportation to experience the main attractions in Dominica

One of the least wheelchair-friendly towns I’ve encountered in the Caribbean – Roseau presents a variety of wheelchair accessibility challenges.  Few sidewalk ramps exist and wheelchair visitors will need assistance getting up the curbs or need to stay on the street (curb shown in the photo on the left).  Rather than have underground drainage, many streets have deep trenches running between the street and the sidewalk (shown in the photo on the right).

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Cobblestones near shopping – Many of the shopping tents are located on top of large, uneven cobblestones behind the tourist information office (shown in the photo on the left).  Some other shopping options that require going up a curb are shown in the photo on the right.

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Inaccessible taxis – Like the island of St. Thomas, Dominica taxis consist of rows of benches welded onto the back of pickup trucks.  The seats are quite high above the ground and are difficult for disabled visitors.  Additionally, there are no Dominica wheelchair accessible public transportation options.



Mountainous island – Like many Eastern Caribbean destinations, Dominica is a mountainous island with steep streets and stairs located at many attractions.  Disabled visitors will benefit by booking a Dominica accessible shore excursion with tour guides who can assist with steps, steep hills, and rough terrain.

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Rustic wheelchair access improvements – Many of the nature sites have rustic wheelchair access improvements rather than concrete ramps and handrails.  Disabled visitors can visit some of these sites with assistance.

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View Dominica Wheelchair Accessible Shore Excursions