Our final port of call on our wonderful cruise was St. Kitts and Nevis, two islands, one country, birthplace of Alexander Hamilton, former British colonial influence. This was our earliest morning yet, compounded by the fact the ship changed the timing to leave even earlier. We noticed this happened to us a few times, and never in the favor of those who don’t enjoy morning activities. However, we decided not to cancel because we wanted to make the most of our final shore day. We did a quick and light room service breakfast, and then headed to the Silhouette theater for a 745AM meet up point and an 8AM tour departure. Completely circumventing the busier Basseterre, St. Kitts, the capital of the islands, we headed instead to the sleepy younger sister island, Nevis. The journey took about an hour on an open-air ferry, which fortunately was much more pleasant than our St. Bart’s indoor ferry. The water was also quite calm, and we got a great view of the long expanse of the undulating St. Kitts shoreline and hills. The ferry operators were very nice and tried to provide narration, but we couldn’t hear much over the noise of the….
We docked in Roseau, Dominica at 8AM, did rooms service breakfast, and were in the Silhouette Theater at 915AM to catch our 930AM tour. Debarking the ship, we were vectored to the end of the pier and on to the welcome area where a nice steel drum band was performing. We were divided into smaller groups, and were paired with a tour guide named Kamini, who we believe was part Kalinago (the original tribe on the island prior to the colonists). Pretty soon we were on our way around Dominica (pronounced DOM-in-eek-a). This was a bit of an adventure tour, with two main stops – first up was Titou Gorge, an icy waterfall flowing through a gorge that you must swim up to in order to witness; the second stop was a natural hot spring. The stops were just OK, but we really enjoyed driving around Dominica because of the natural beauty and emphasis on ecotourism. The infrastructure was still rough (bad roads, accommodations not yet catering to more upscale needs of hipsters etc.) however the natural beauty and the government investment in natural parks and trail systems in second to none in the Caribbean, making Dominica an island on….
Sunday was a great day for a sail/beach day since nothing was open in Barbados. We docked in Bridgetown, Barbados at 8AM, but there was an issue that Celebrity didn’t disclose, and we were only allowed out at 830AM. This was making it a little tight for us to meet our outside tour operator, Tiami, at 845AM, especially because there was an unanticipated 15 minute walk from the ship to the cruise port. Upon getting to the terminal, we saw no one waiting there for us. We started to ask around about Tiami, and where we might find them. Other tour operators were very helpful, but nobody was sure where we should go. We ran in to someone who previously worked for Tiami, and he went out of his way to call the Tiami office, where they said to look for a person named Kayann. We looked, to no avail. 845AM came and went, and pretty soon we decided to latch on to a recommendation to try walking all the way to the entry of the Bridgetown, Barbados cruise port where there was a security check point for vehicles, another 5 minutes away. Once on the other side of that….
We had a leisurely morning since we didn’t have any planned tours or a schedule to adhere to on this Saturday in St. George’s, Grenada, and a late departure time of 6PM. We hit the breakfast buffet and were in town by 11AM. Starting out, we went to the local market which runs Friday and Saturday until noon weekly. They sold fruit, food, and clothing more oriented to locals than to tourists, although it didn’t stop the vendors from trying! After the market, we wanted to get to a high vantage point in the city to take some pictures of the architecture and waterfront. Fort George seemed to be at a good position to accomplish this goal and was also a tourist attraction from colonial times. We hoofed it up some serpentine roads and ultimately were redirected by a local guy who told us we had to enter through a different way, even though the signs pointed towards the way we went. Rerouted and back on track, we met a taxi driver named Kevin who tried to get us to hire him for the day to go nowhere we wanted to. He tried on the way in (twice) and on….
Our third port of call, Castries, St. Lucia would be a day of driving around the island through a proper guided tour that we organized outside of the cruise. After a quick room-service breakfast (which we finally caught on to write in water and ketchup, but forgot to write in coffee mugs for our coffee), we disembarked to meet our guide, who had a sign waiting for us in the area one would expect. St. Lucia was our first stop where we organized our own tour outside of the ship – the itinerary however was identical to the shore excursion itinerary called “Island Delights”. It was basically a 5 hour drive around the island, with a number of stops along the way for pictures and instruction. We loved the tour company and would highly recommend them – and we worked with a guide named Stan. There were two other couples and a solo traveler with us in our group, and it was a good size. Nobody was too slow. Our first stop in St. Lucia was an overlook where we got some views from the interior mountains to the harbor, including some great Celebrity Silhouette shots. We also were starting….