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victoriaandneil 01-12-2008 10:04 AM

Hi - we are soon embarking on our first cruise and are wondering if anyone can give us some advise - we are both sun worshipers (dont forget we live in `sunny` UK!) and want to visit some safe beaches when we dock in our ports.
Can anyone advise where to go - we had heard from friends that they paid day rates in 4* hotels - this appeals - but does anyone have any suggestions? Victoria and Neil

Edited to add ports: Victoria and Neil are going to Tortola, St Kitts, St Lucia, St Thomas, and Barbados.

Dave 01-12-2008 11:22 AM

Hi Neil,

I had to add their list of ports to the original message. The forum software doesn't allow us to move single messages from another thread to a different thread.

TrvlPro 01-12-2008 11:55 AM

In Barbados, Accra / Rockley Beach and Bottom Bay are both popular destinations although there are many many beaches. If you're looking for more than the beach options my sister and her grown children did a Snuba tour there with RCCL and said it was a blast.

In St. Thomas Megans Bay is by far the most popular although I wasn't as impressed with it as some here have been. Shopping is the other main attraction there, at least it is for my wife and any of the ladies who like jewelry.

St. Lucia was among the most beautiful islands I've ever visited. Much like Jamaica, which is also a beautiful island the people there are very aggressive. To the point of making travelers uncomfortable. If you do venture out the volcano is pretty cool. You can get up close to the sulpher oozing and bubbling out. It stinks but is fascinating. Don't bother with the falls, it's a trickle. Also rain forest options that are great. Didn't do beaches there so can't help with that. If they'll allow you to ask for a cab drive by name ask for Linus cab #TX911. He's great, personable, knowledgable and I kept his name and cab # in case I go back. I'd track him down if you can. You can negotiate the rates at the Tourist info center if you're not doing a planned excursion through the ship. The negotiation is not a fun process but worth it.

I'll cut this off and let others comment on St. Kitts and Tortola. Never been to St. Kitts and it's been a long time since Tortola.

Cheers, Neil

Scott Taylor 01-12-2008 01:06 PM

On St. Thomas, skip Magens Bay, very over rated. Lots of people go there but it's gone downhill I think and is certainly NOT the prettiest beach. Coki Beach or Sapphire Beaches are better options, very beautiful. I'd take an excurion to St. John, visit Trunk Bay for one of the prettiest beaches anywhere in the Carribean. I've been to St. Thomas 6 times so I've done a few beaches and excursions here. One of our favorite excursions offered in St. Thomas is the Five Star Champagne Catarmaran Sail & Snorkel to St. John. This excursion sails through the Pillsbury Sound to St. John, awesome views, and stops at Honeymoon Beach on St. John for snorkeling. Did this twice and each time the snorkeing has been wonderful. You are in relatively shallow water, and you can swim up to the beach, just beautiful.

To get you in the Caribbean state of mind...***Steel Drum Music - Click Here ***I'm providing a link to some great steel drum music...

In Barbados, be sure NOT to go to a beach at Malibu Rum Factory. One of the ugliest beaches we've seen.. Did a tour of two plantation homes there and it was great. The tour also stopped at an Orchid Garden great tour! The two plantations were Francia and Sunbury.

On St. Lucia I didn't care for the volcano. It smelled horrible and it wasn't like you'd think a volcano would be, very dissapointing. Did a nice Land and Sea tour thier offered through our ship (Princess) and it was a full day tour that stopped not only at the volcano but also a sugar cane plantation where they showed you how they made sugar and fed us a nice lunch. I preferred the Sea part of the tour. They sailed through Marigot Bay where they filmed the Dr. Doolittle movie. It also sailed by the Pitons which was awesome and also stopped at a beach for swimming and snorkeling. Here's a link to a web page that I did of our visit to St. Lucia on this particular tour I've mentioned...

In Tortolla, there's not much to do here except beaches and related water activities. There are some tours of the island of course if you don't feel like beaching it. This is probably one of the islands that you probably should beach it, beacause this area has some of the best beaches in the Caribbean, the kind you think about in your Caribbean day dreams! Cane Garden Bay is beautiful if you want to stay on the island. There are boat/sail excursions also that visit some of the other islands close by. Most ships offer a tour to neighboring Virgin Gorda, BVI to visit The Baths. Amazing boulders laying on the beach. While visiting the BVI this past August, we did a Catarmaran Tour to Jost Van Dyke, BVI which was really fun and extreemly beautiful. The boat visited two famous beach bars, Foxy's and the Soggy Dollar. Breathtaking beach and views from the Soggy Dollar Bar on White Bay there. Here's a photo I took looking out from the beach there, you can see Tortolla in the distance...
I enjoyed sampling thier famous Pain Killer rum drink while swaying in the palm tree shaded hammocks looking out over the most beautiful water and views I've seen. The picture here doesn't quite capture the whole view and state of mind, but it'll help.

It sounds like you're hitting some great islands. I've never been to St. Kitts, maybe you'll see some other posts about it. Have fun and take lots of pictures and post them here when you get back!

TrvlPro 01-12-2008 02:41 PM

I almost forgot one of my favorite things at the southern carib islands. They almost all have their own brand of beer. In St. Lucia it's Piton beer, named after the mountain formations. It was my favorite so far. They also have their own in Barbados, Antigua, St. Maarten and I may have left some out. They were all different and I enjoyed each one. Gonna have to find an importer for the Piton brand, would like a few bottles of it in my frige.

In St. Maarten I didn't have change, only big bills and the vendor gave me a bottle and said "If you get some change come back, if not don't worry about it. Welcome to our island!" I was beyond shocked and get some change to pay him. I ended up sitting with him at his little table under his oversized umbrella while my wife shopped. Had a great visit and when I go back I'm going looking for my island beer man again. I'd rather hang out with a cold beer and swap jokes and stories than shop any day!

Cheers, Neil

Dave 01-12-2008 02:58 PM

Belikin beer from Belize is good too.

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