Going on Ocean Princess 10 day southern Carib end of October.
We've been to all these islands before and have done most of the shopping and off the boat excursions . We'd like to take this cruise from a little more laid back perspective and do a nice beach on many of the islands. Suggestions on nice beaches with
basic facilities on Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua and St.Martin
anyone? We don't mind a modest cab fare but also don't want to spend valuable beach time in a taxi. Please share your experiences. I value these even more than the guide books.
Thanks in advance.
my wife and i were in antigua not too long ago, and spent the better part of the afternoon at the beach of the royal antiguan hotel.we had asked crewmembers where they would go for some quiet,peacefull fun in the sun, and this is what they recomended.
the beach itself is beautifull! directly in the center of a crescent shaped bay, the hotel is on one side, and hills are on the other.there were no jet ski's the day we were there, and chairs were $5 for an afternoon.best of all, we were not hassled or pressured by the local populous to buy anything.our time on this beach is one of those great vacation memories my wife and i share.
when you get a cab coming off the ship, ask the driver of he will wait for you at the hotel. our driver told us that with the abundance of cabs, most drivers are lucky to get one fare a day, so when they get it, they will wait for you, and give you interesting anecdotes about the island during your trip.
if you do go, post a message after you get back, and let me know if you passed the "club ribbit" on the way there.
Several of the islands offer excursions that sail (catamaran) to a beach for a few hours of swimming and snorkeling. The crew usually serves lunch aboard the catamaran while at anchor (except on Aruba, where the company that operates the excursion has a barbecue shack on a pier adjacent to a beach where they serve lunch) and beverages (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic). In my experience, these excursions usually go to splendid beaches and, if you're into snorkeling, use of snorkel gear is included. They also tend to be totally seamless since the catamaran meets you right at the cruise ship pier. In short, they are worth every penny.
Of the itineraries in this category, the "Champagne Catamaran Sailaway to St. John" that's offered from St. Thomas is a personal favorite. The "Five-Star Catamaran with Lunch" on Barbados and "Catamaran Sail, Snorkel, Barbecue, and Beach" on Aruba also are excellent.
This is going to be a vague set of directions, but I haven't got exact street names....so here it goes....
In Barbados there is a local beach about 1 mile from the cruise terminal. We've always walked to it as we enjoy the exercise. Get off the ship and go past where all the taxis sit. Make a left hand turn and just walk down the main street and after about a mile you come to a beach (on your left side). You'll be walking through some residential areas and some office and industrial area which may seem confusing, but you'lll be following along the ocean front and really can't get lost. Eventually you'll come to the beach. We've swam there on 2 different trips and both times met local folks. There was absolutely no cruise ship people there which was amazing considering the close proximity! There is a local beach bar that for about 20$ US you can rent a couple of folding chairs, an umbrella and get 2 great rum drinks! Also, as you walk to the beach you will go past a rum factory that gives free tours and tastings!
One down side......It's been about 3 years since we were last there. They guy at the local beach bar said certain cruise ships were starting to negotiate with them about organized ship excursions to the beach. So it may be possible this great little local beach could now be a big ship tourist hang out!
Am booking a 10 night Ocean Princess for the end of November (have not yet decided between the two itineraries but Barbados, St Thomas and Princess Cays are in both.
Would appreciate knowing how you get on with finding local beaches which don't invovle large taxi fares etc. and what you thought of the islands.
Enjot your holiday,
When you go to St. Thomas ask the cab driver to take you to the "airport" beach. It is a cheap 5 minute cab ride and it's where all the locals go. When I was there the ship dining room staff was there playing volleyball etc. I guess it was their afternoon off. They let us join in!