ST. LUCIA on MY BIRTHDAY!! Fabulous. Love St. Lucia. We went on an excursion organized by one of our Cruise Critic buddies with a company called HARROD's which I would highly recommend. For one thing, they waited on us even though we were like two hours late. Here's why: we had to tender, and it was just awful. Chaos, evil, bad feelings, despair. We got up early (our tour was supposed to begin as soon as we could get there after docking, we thought about 8:30), got our tender tickets the moment we could, then proceeded to wait. And wait. AND wait. For whatever reason, there were only two or three boats running back and forth, and the sea was ROUGH, and the boats were SLOW, the commute LONG, and people were going out of turn, and life just felt nasty, brutish, and short. I don't know what the problem is, but I have a feeling NCL isn't happy, since I notice they are dropping St. Lucia in many of next year's itineraries. But I can't help but feel like NCL could have done a little better that day: everyone was just MISERABLE. We had to stand in line about an hour to get back to the ship at the end of the day, too [THIS, BY THE WAY, IS MY ONLY SUBSTANTIAL CRITICISM OF NCL'S PERFORMANCE ON THIS CRUISE]. Anyway, we were more like 10:30 getting there, and the poor Harrod's guys just sat and waited, and just reorganized our tour a little we did have to miss the waterfall, but it was a very fun day. We saw the volcano, ate at a very nice restaurant, and went to the coolest grocery store (CHEAP RUM and CHEAP BANANA KETCHUP! And by the way I really like the banana ketchup. Truly. I've tried it now on dumplings and it's very nice a little vinegary, not too banana-y. Think sweet and sour sauce, not ketchup). Then we finished up at the prettiest beach I think I've ever seen, right between the two Piton peaks. Perfect. The Harrod's guys were professional and excellent, the van uncrowded, the company pleasant, everything very organized and under control. I would highly recommend them if you are headed to St. Lucia and fancy a tour. They take you back to the port by boat, and it's a nice ride.