Port and Shore Excursions
We loved St. John's Antigua!!!!!!
Here wee took Eli's Eco Tour with Adventure Antigua. If you Google Eli's Eco Tour in Antigua, you will find it. Highly rated on Trip Advisor and WELL worth every penny!! We got a great island tour on a catamaran, a stop at Hell's Gate where we had the option to climb, swim, snorkel or stay on the boat, a trip to a private beach with a nature walk to the top of a hill with an incredible view, a delicious lunch back on the boat (chicken, salad, pasta salad, drinks, banana bread), and then even had time for snorkeling. Would definitely do this trip again!
Because we were on the boat tour, we didn't get to see the inner parts of the island, but from the coast - wow! What a view!
In Barbados we weren't sure what we were going to do. It was Good Friday and almost everything was closed. We spoke with one of the Managers at the port shopping and she recommended The Boatyard. It's at Carlisle Bay, just a short taxi ride from the port. For $12 US per person, you get beach chairs, umbrellas, a free drink, water activities (trampoline, ice berg, rope swing, dive platforms) and a shuttle back to the port!!!! There is a bar/restaurant (prices on the menu are in Barbados dollars). And just 3 minutes down the beach is an area where you can swim out to snorkel with the turtles (for free!)!!
It was the most beautiful crystal clear water I've ever swam in. Not amazing snorkeling, but my family did get to see sea turtles, which was very exciting.
In St. Croix - we walked over to Rainbow Beach. It was about a 30 minute walk along the beach. Not recommended for everyone though - there were several areas where we had to climb over sharp rocks. For us, it added to the adventure!
We got there early so we could get beach chairs and umbrellas ($4 each). We got a great spot up front! There is a bar & restaurant and they have killer rum punch - HOLY SMOKES!! We took a taxi back to port and did some brief shopping at the street vendors. It was nice to not be pressured to get my hair braided like what happens in some other ports!
Just as a side note, you can take a taxi to Rainbow beach for $6 per person round trip, if you do not want to take the adventure down the beach.
Again, we LOVED LOVED St. Lucia!!!!
Here we did the island tour with Cosol (private company very highly recommended on Trip Advisor and Cruise Critic). If you are not interested in snorkeling and want to really see St. Lucia, DO THIS!!!!! It's an all day excursion - literally. You will be very well fed throughout the day. You will see beaches, mountains, rain forests, banana plantations, villages, waterfalls, volcanoes...you'll even get to snorkel at the base of the Pitons! The guys at Cosol are great, the tours are wonderfully executed and the experience is unforgettable!
In St. Maarten we took the Loterie Tree Farm Adventure with the ship. It was lots of fun with zip lining and adventure courses. If you haven't zipped before or are afraid of heights, this is not for you (in my opinion). It was a fairly short excursion that ended before lunch. We were in port long enough to complete the Loterie excursion, go up to the Windjammer for lunch, and get some shopping time in on Front St. There is also a very beautiful beach located between along Front St. and the ship. I wish we had been able to experience more of the island. This is definitely one port I would love to return to!