We were with other Cruise Critic members on this tour. We got to choose a start time from the ship to the downtown "shopping" area where we were on our own. Then Godfrey picked us up at noon for the island tour that ended up at Magen Bay Beach. We chose the 9 am pick up and shopped and then visited the local synagogue there. Godfrey had a cold and apologized but he was still very good even though his voice was giving out a little. Beautiful island and beach. Most of the other people chose Cokie Beach (sp) for snorkeling but we heard that was only ok, whereas we really enjoyed Magen Bay Beach. It was very quiet and a slow ship day. I think there were only 2 ships in port that day but sometimes there are 10 or more. Godfrey supplied water, but you were on your own for food. I would recommend taking a box of Cheerios or other cereal from the ship to hold you over or you can buy food but it was late by the time we could have bought food. Also take note of the time. There was a lot of construction and we barely made it back by 4:30 for a 5 pm departure. He was great about finding a short cut to get us back on time as he was very mindful but the road was very winding and we were a little rushed so it was an adventure. We do recommend him.
This is a tour we piggy backed onto from a fellow Cruise Critic member. His website is not easy to follow and we really didn't know what to expect but we knew it was an island tour that did not include Harrison's Cave. Some of the scenery was really lovely but the streets/homes were a little shoddy. There is a very expensive area on the west side but it is a gated environment. We were glad to see the island but couldn't imagine going back either for a cruise stop or actual destination. Drinks were supplied; we brought our own Cheerios and fruit. We arrived back at the port about an hour later than I thought which was ok but it keeps happening for all of the trips, so keep that in mind.
This was our favorite stop. We actually were supposed to go to St Lucia in 2008 but the ship had a problem and couldn't make it. We went on a tour through COSOL (which is the same tour we wanted to do in 2008). We toured the island and stopped at a banana plantation (and were given bananas). We also stopped at a local market and were regaled with a spread of local foods which were mostly delicious. Water, soft drinks, Piton beer and rum punch were also provided. Next we took a water taxi to a beach where you could snorkel. The beach was nice and you could see nice cushioned chairs used by a resort. We were not allowed on those but we had regular beach chairs that were in need of repair or replacement but doable for the hour we were there. Then to Soufriere to see a volcano, waterfalls and the Piton mountains. Very nice scenery and great picture opportunities. We ended up at this local bakery where our driver did "carry out" and gave us warm break that looked like a turkey leg and cheddar cheese. This was delicious and obvious a local favorite because our driver brought home bread for his family too. It was supposed to be a 5-6 hr excursion but we got back about an hour later so keep this in mind. No need to take any food with you as it is provided. Highly recommend this tour and company.
We had been to St Kitts once before and took a taxi around the island. It was ok but we had no need to see it again. It was a great opportunity for us to have an extra sea day and do more things on the ship. We heard others had a great time in St Kitts though.
We had been to St. Maarten once before and went to a beach on the Dutch side and did a little shopping. This time we wanted to explore the island more on both the French and Dutch sides so we toured with Bernard Tours (again with several Cruise Critic members). Glad to have seen these multiple stops. It's a pretty island with ease in getting to both the French and Dutch sides. We had several scenic photo opportunities with some interesting trees (cactus as well as lush trees). We stopped at Orient Beach for a couple of hours which was really nice. You have to pay $10 for 2 chairs and an umbrella but they are nice cushion chairs. The beach was nice but we didn't like that the vendors came right up to us to push their wares (there were so many of them that it was annoying but we were polite to say no thank you.) Again, we brought Cheerios and fruit with us but we also stopped at Serafina's bakery to buy an apple tart (very good). Our driver provided water, soft drinks and beer. Then we continued the tour to Maho beach where the planes land so close overhead (also good pics). The beach is nice and small -- you don't need more than 20 min. so the timing is good. We stopped at a quick souvenir shop before getting back to the port -- also about an hour later than we thought we would return to the ship. This was the only excursion we could pay via credit card. All the rest required cash.