Port and Shore Excursions
Used Princess Excursion 'Stingray, Snorkel, Swim & Scenic Country Drive' It was a nice time, but this stingray experience is not quite as good as Grand Cayman. The staff is helpful and friendly. The Eco kayaking excursion is better.
Back in port, we visited the Harborview Cafe and sampled Wadadli, the local beer.
No Princess excursions available, so we rented a car from Turbe' Car Rental. By booking online and submitting a credit card for payment, we received a 10% discount on the cost of the rental. Email communication from Turbe' was excellent and very prompt. The agent met us at the Gustavia dock as we came off of the tender from the ship, and brought us to the car, which was parked in a public lot right there. St Barts is an easy place to get around, as it is a small island, but the roads do twist and turn quite a bit and the hills are steep. Parking is also limited. If that turns you off, hire a taxi tour.
We drove from one end of the island to the other, saw many beautiful views from the side of the road. Visited the Grand Saline Beach and swam in the surf. Had a delicious lunch of paninis at JoJo's Burgers, a nice little place across the street from a cemetery.
All rental cars have to be returned to the airport at the center of the island. The gas tanks must be refilled (you won't use much - we spent $12) and the gas station is closed from 1pm to 3pm, so keep that in mind as you decide how long to keep the car. The agent drives you back to meet the tender in Gustavia.
St Bart's is beautiful, and not often a port on a cruise itinerary. I am thrilled to say I have visited, but not sure I will have the opportunity again. If I have the chance, I'm going back!
Used the Princess Excursion ' Cruise to Nevis, Pinney's Beach, Snorkel & Lunch' This 6 hour excursion is a great value, as it is all inclusive for food and beverage. The snorkeling was good, lunch was tasty and the catamaran actually was under full sail to Nevis (no engines used during that portion of the trip). Pinney's Beach was nice, unfortunately it rained while we were there. The sun came out for our return to St Kitts, and we all danced on the deck and had a great time. The crew of the catamaran were friendly, helpful and made it a great day. Their rum punch is the best in the Caribbean!
Celebrity Reflection was also in port that day. The view from the catamaran of the Pacific Princess next to the Reflection looked exactly like the Princess 'small ships cruising' logo!
Back in port, we sampled the local St Kitts beers, Stag and Stud.
Used the Princess excursion 'Snorkel & Scenic Coastal Cruise'. This was the best snorkeling of the trip. We sailed on the Carnival 3 catamaran. We met the boat right off the bow of the ship, which was very convenient. The captain and staff were quite helpful, and we learned a lot about the history of St Lucia as we cruised. We had a brief swing into Marigot Bay on the way back from snorkeling so we could catch a glimpse of the very beautiful and popular location.
One problem: Pacific Princess was docked across the bay from the main shopping area for for cruise passengers. Walking to this location would not have been a good idea. There was a water taxi that would have taken us across to the shopping and back, but Princess did not publicize that very well, so we never got there. Maybe the reason for this is that normally the larger Princess ships dock right at that shopping center??
We went into the small cruise shopping area next to the Pacific Princess and sampled Piton Beer, brewed in St Lucia. I also purchased the local hot sauce to bring home, on the excursion captain's recommendation.
Used the Princess Excursion to the Baths at Virgin Gorda. This was recommended by everyone that I told I would be visiting Tortola, and they were correct. It's a beautiful place to visit, unlike anything I have seen at a beach before. We crawled through the caves and swam at Devil's beach. Before leaving to to the boat back to the ship, we stopped for a beer at 'Top of the Baths' restaurant.
Back in port, we visited Village Cay Marina for a snack.