Archive for » June, 2012 «

St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Barbados

I just spent a few minutes sending some recommendations for excursions for these ports to a guest, stirring up some wonderful memories, so I decided to share it with you as well.

Mountaintop View

St. Thomas:  I always recommend that first time cruisers really do the island.  Shopping in town, island tour, beach time.  You’ll get the works with Sunny Liston Tours.  He picks you up at the ship, takes you into town for shopping. You can leave your beach bags with towels in the truck while you shop. He picks you up for shopping, takes you on a tour of the island with a stop at Mountaintop View, where you’ll have great photo ops, but more importantly the world famous Banana Daiquiris.  From there, you stop at one  of the beaches. I recommend either Magen’s Bay or Sapphire Beach.  Coki Beach is another choice, but less nice than the other two.  You can leave your shopping bags in the truck while you’re
at the beach.  Picks you up to return you to the beach.  Just $40 per person.  Next visit, or this time if that doesn’t interest you, I’d suggest a private day on the water for six with Captain Bobby on the Rumbaba.  Best day we ever had in St. Thomas was with Captain Bobby, but there’s no time to do these other things plus his excursion.

Lord Sheffield

 St. Maarten:  St. Maarten is a half French, half Dutch island, where clothing is optional almost everywhere.  You’ll get great deals on shopping in St. Thomas, but you’ll find very exclusive shopping in St. Maarten for much higher prices.  Another one of the world’s most beautiful beaches is here, Orient Beach.  When the taxi driver dropped us off here, she said, turn right for the nude beach, and turn left for the clothing optional beach.  We turned left!  Lots of really great restaurants on this beach, where you can have a great meal, plus rent beach chairs and umbrellas for the day.  But, you’ll see topless tourists and totally nude locals walking on this beach, so it’s not necessarily family friendly.  (But, oh, such a beautiful beach!)  I couldn’t find any pics online without nude people in them, so here’s a pic we snapped on our only visit there.  We’ve been back several times since then, and we always spend the day on a boat in the water.  Twice we sailed with Lord Sheffield Tall Ship Adventures. The second time with them, our group chartered the boat to celebrate my 50th birthday in St. Maarten. The last time, we had a really large group, so we chartered two catamarans that sailed in tandem for the day.  Any of the catamaran excursions or Lord Sheffield would be a great day in St. Maarten.  In case that’s not what you’re interested in, Joyce Prince gives a wonderful tour of the island.  We’ve never toured with her, but I’ve recommended her to several clients who absolutely loved her personal tour.  Some people like to spend the day at a beach by the airport, where the planes fly really low over the beach.  Interesting to see, but not for me!

Barbados:  We’ve visited Barbados twice, and this is absolutely one of our favorite places in the Caribbean.  The first time we took an island tour, then had them drop us off at Boatyard Beach.  The island tour here was really boring, and we wished that we had gone straight to this  fabulous beach.  Our ship didn’t sail that day until really late, so we stayed on the beach until the sunset (be-U-tiful!).  During that time, we asked several locals where the best meal was on the beach, and they all pointed to a small place just up the beach called Lobster Alive.  This place had a water hose to wash your feet off as you entered, and a large tank of Caribbean lobsters ready to grill for your meal.  A wonderful meal right on the beach, and the best Rum Punches we’ve had anywhere.  My husband tried to replicate them after our visit there, but it was never as good.  On our next visit, we rented a taxi for the day to be taken to the Crane Resort on the other side of the island, to see the resort and the world famous  Crane Beach.  Breathtakingly beautiful!  But, it was a really long taxi ride there and back … like over an hour each way.  Worth it as a travel agent, but I’d recommend my guests just book a trip back to Barbados to stay there to see it!  We ended that day back on Boatyard Beach and at Lobster Alive.  When we walked back in Lobster Alive, we warmly greeted our server from our previous visit.  She warmly welcomed us back.  We were said, you don’t remember us!  She said, I sure do, let me show you why.  She went back in the kitchen and came back out with a computer printout from my online review from our previous visit.  I had included a picture of their menu and a fabulous review.  She said their owner attributed my review with increasing their business the next year.  Sure enough, she called him, and the owner came in to meet us.  When Roger told him about trying to replicate his rum punches, the owner gave him the recipe, plus the secret ingredient we had missed.  If you come visit us in downtown Little Rock sometime, Roger will whip you up some Lobster Alive Rum Punches. (The prices on this menu are in Bajan dollars, which are 50 cents to our dollar, so our US price is half these amounts!)


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