This is our 5th cruise, 1st on Princess. We think we'd like to just go to a different beach on each island. ( Barbados, St. Lucia. St Kitts, St Maarten & good ole
St. Tomas USVI) Or what shore excursions do y'all recommend?
Happy Sailing, Web.
In St. Maarten you may want to do the "America's Cup", but you must sign up early, its very popular and sounds like tons of fun. We were unable to do that on a previous cruise, because it was sold out. We just grabbed a cab and went to Orient beach, for another fun day at a beach, lots to do there and see. On our last cruise we went on Ocean and did the "wild thing" at St. Thomas and were fortunate enough to be taken to Trunk Bay in St. John. This really is an island you must see, its postcard beautiful and the snorkeling at least at Trunk Bay is well worth the effort getting there. You can do a tour that includes that, or you can get there by the Red Hook ferry and then a short cab ride to the beach.
When we were in St. Kitts, after walking around town, found some other folks that also wanted to share a cab to Turtle Beach, so we ended up there. On the road just before you get there, there are cows all over the streets, and once there, monkeys in the trees. You can buy peanuts to feed them, really cute guys and the beach was also nice, the ride there is super scenic. We set a time when everyone agreed that the driver should come back and pick us up and sure enough, he was there.
We really enjoy the Princess expierence, as I'm sure you will too. The service and the food was excellent, entertainment was good. Have a great time. On our Ocean cruise we did the different itinary, so haven't yet been to Barbados or St. Lucia, but hope to visit those islands in the future, enjoy, hear the beaches in Barbados are very nice.
Crane Beach on the east coast is probably the prettiest beach on Barbados, but it's a bit of a trip from Bridgetown. Closer to town, Treasure and Rockley beaches are also popular. The south and west coast beaches are best for swimming and calm waters. In the northeast, Bathsheba has dramatic cliffs and crashing waves, but it's definitely not a swimming beach.
On St. Lucia, I like Rodney Bay near Pigeon Island at the northern tip of the island. This beach is not far from Castries. Closer to Soufriere is the Anse Chastanet resort, which has a nice beach with wonderful snorkeling just offshore. Scuba St. Lucia runs excursions where they'll pick you up at your ship and take you to the resort for snorkeling or diving.
In St. Thomas, be sure to take the "Champagne Catamaran Sailaway to St. John." The catamaran sails to a pristine beach on St. John, where it anchors and lowers bow stairs into the water for those who wish to swim or snorkel. The crew provides a free snorkel lesson and directions to a nearby reef, or you can stay at the beach and swim or sun, or you can stay aboard and sun on deck. There's also complementary beverages (including unlimited champagne and rum punch -- neither of which ran out when I took this excursion last March). The crew of the catamaran also serves a cold buffet lunch while the vessel is anchored. The excursion returns to the ship around 3:00 PM, in time for either afternoon tea or a quick round of shopping in town before the ship departs.
I'm looking forward to taking this excursion again when I visit St. Thomas aboard MV Sun Princess on 08 November, after transiting the Panama Canal!
I should have mentioned that you might want a slight change of pace by the time you reach St. Kitts (though I'll bet that the sailaway to Nevis also is nice -- but I didn't get to try it because it was sold out). Anyway, the Island Tour on St. Kitts is unique. In particular, the fort has some fantastic views and the garden is magnificent.