We got a ride on Dion's water taxi (though D & D car rental) over to The Baths on Virgin Gorda. We were able to beat most of the crowds, which is a huge benefit in getting through the caves without hassle. I have read a lot of reviews about the baths being difficult, but we thought they were pretty easy. I wore water shoes, but the rest of my group had plenty of traction barefoot (just watch where you are stepping). About an hour after we got settled, the RCCL excursion came through and the small beach filled up--it made me glad we got there early! There is a nice little restaurant up on the hill above the beach. It has terrific views, a freshwater swimming pool, and good food.
Every time we have gone to St. Maarten, we have rented a car and driven around the island. We have always stopped at a small restaurant for crepes, Orient beach for a quick stroll, and then Maho Beach to watch the planes come in. This time we actually stopped and stayed at Orient, completely missing out on Maho. I have to say it was sad to skip Maho Beach, but Orient was well worth it. The restaurants have chair/drink deals for about $7 per person and the water is incredible! We had a great time in St. Maarten!
We took an independent excursion through Royston's Tours and it was wonderful! Royston was extremely knowledgable, friendly, and accommodating. We instantly fell in love with this beautiful island! He took us around the whole island, being sure to stop at the best vista points and historical spots. We ended the tour with lunch and some beach time. What a perfect day!
We took a ship excursion to Sainte Anne and we had a great time. I would definitely recommend going through the ship--at least for now--as it is a primarily European destination and not as easy as most islands to get around on your own. Our excursion, "St. Anne On Your Own" was ideal with the exception of time. We were only there for about 2.75 hours by the time we were dropped off and we would have happily stayed all day if we could have!
While at St. Anne Beach, we relaxed at an outdoor bar where we enjoyed beers, ti'punch, and nice conversation with the neighboring dive shop proprietor, Paco. We were able to buy some passion fruit yum (which was great mixed in with some Orangina) and some spices from a vendor named Katherine (pronounced Katrine).
I would definitely go back to St. Anne Beach again!
We booked a catamaran sail with Calabaza. This was such an amazing trip for us! The cat has a maximum of 12 passengers and it is in great condition. The crew is really friendly and accommodating. We were never left with an empty glass, our (delicious) lunch was carried out and taken back to the kitchen for us, and they even took several pictures during the day and sent the link to us afterward. The snorkeling is amazing in crystal clear water. The first stop is with the turtles and the second stop is at a small shipwreck. These are very common snorkeling spots, but they managed to keep us separated from the mobs of snorkelers from (much, much, much) more crowded boats. I would honestly come back to Barbados just to sail with Calabaza again!!