We were on a 10 day Eastern Caribbean Cruise from Nov. 30th, 2010 on Emerald Princes. As it was in the beginning of Dec. weather was great, temp. around 80. No rain at all. There were only 32 children on board!. Emerald is a great ship. Good entertainment. Good food eventhough they have cut down on many areas, I have no complaint.
We visited St.Kitts, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Thomas, Bahamas.
In Skitts, I took the Island tour with Thenford Grey. A great guy. Beautiful Island. Island tour included all the key places and 2 hours in a beautiful beach. There were enough police presence along the way to Fortress. It appears that they have taken the robbery in Nov. seriously and I could see that even the taxi drivers were cashing anyone trying to contact the tourist.
I felt safe. It is safe to go there now.
In Barbados, we took a Taxi to Runnway/ Accra beach, a beautiful beach with powder sand. If you take the local taxi, it is $5.00 per person and Govt. shuttle is $7.50 pp. You can also take a bus to the Accara. You can find a taxi back easily, as there are plenty available near the Accra beach hotel.
In St. Lucia, we took COSOL tour. This was the best tour. We took the island tour to Piteon. Cosol is a good man. He was concerned about St. Lucia’s economy, people, education system etc. I was very impressed when he made a pitch about spending least $10.00 by a tourist as it can stimulate the whole economy. He gave us hot bread, local beer and water. I would avoid Sulphur Spring volcano, as it is smelly, and not worth extra $8.00 pp entrance fee.
In Antigua, we went to Runnaway beach, which is a $3.00 shuttle. By mid day, waves were getting stronger and couple of older foxes got injured. So be careful. In St. Thomas, we went to Magens Bay beach. Beach is very good, but you pay $9.00 per person for the drive one way and $8.00 pp for the entrance. Half mile to the town is $4.00 per person. They are taking advance of the tourist and I hope they stop such practices.
I did not shop much except for some souvenirs. In St. Thomas, I did not have time to go back to the town to shop.
I got most of these information from website sites, and I picked these places or tour based on time, convenience and money.
Finally, in all these Islands that I visited, you can do private tours if you do the home work. After taking to cruise passengers, I see that Ship tours are more expensive, crowded, and are not flexible.