This was our first visit to Tortola and being a Jimmy Buffett fan, I wanted to checkout Stanley's at Cane Garden Bay. We took a shared van (about 15 people) over to the beach and just hung out there for the day. The taxi fare was about $16 per person, round trip. CGB is a beautiful beach and Stanley's cheeseburger was very good.
My wife and I had been to St. Maartin before but we wanted everyone to experience the island. We hired a taxi to carry us to Orient Beach for the morning and then to Maho for the airplanes in the afternoon. Orient is a nice beach but the peddlers were constantly trying to sell stuff. Maho is an amazing experience. I can't recall the taxi fare for that day but I think it was around $20 per person.
Our stop at St. Kitts was the only stop we had pre-planned. We reserved scooters from Ride St. Kitts. RSK gave us a map and pointed out several stops we should make. We went all the way around the island and only got lost a couple times. When you would vary from the typical path, a local would always flag you down and give you directions back to the main road. Driving on the left side of the road wasn't too bad but it is definitely living life on the edge.
One additional thought about St. Kitts, when you get off the ship in the morning, be ready for a barrage of taxi drivers, tour operators, scam artists, and guys trying to put monkeys on your shoulder. I had a pretty good idea of where the RSK office was located but moving our group through all the peddlers reminded me of war movies where you see troops moving through a city with me constantly yelling "stay together" and "keep moving". Don't let the aggressiveness at the port deter you from exploring the island. We found people to be very friendly and willing to help without even asking for money.
This was everyone's first visit to Guadeloupe. No one in our group spoke French and several of the staff members on board warned us of trying to venture away from the port, so we decided to do some shopping near the port then enjoy the remainder of the day on the ship. There were around ten vendors who were setup within the secure area of the port selling clothes and handcrafts made in Guadeloupe. Outside the gates, there were a few vendors setup but they mainly sold more american looking clothes. There was a pretty significant police presence around the port, we never felt threatened but there really wasn't much to see. To get back in the port, you have to show your sea pass card to a guard who pushes back all the people standing around and waves you through the gate.
The island looks very pretty with large mountains to the west and low flatlands to the east. If RCI is going to continue to stop at this port they really need to work with the local government to provide more options to cruise passengers.
This was mine and my wife's second time in Barbados. On our previous trip we spent the whole day at Payne's Bay but we had a great time. It was raining when we got off the ship so we decided to tour Mt. Gay Rum factory and then head over to Payne's for the rest of the day. Again at the advice of our waiter, we arranged a taxi for the full day at a fixed price. For $25 per person ($150 for the group), Blackie Blackmon agreed to drive us around basically wherever we wanted to go for the day. I'm not sure about how the taxis work in Barbados but it appeared that Blackie didn't work with the group that was operating under the taxi shed so maybe he had more room to negotiate. The rum tour was ok. It was $10 per person and the highlight was definitely tasting the different types of rem and getting the cocktail of the day. We then went to Payne's Bay to swim with the turtles and lounge on the beach. Chairs (2 chairs and a umbrella) were $20 and we paid $20 per person for a boat ride out to the shipwreck and turtles. Blackie then took us on a scenic ride back to the boat, even stopping by a grocery store for us to buy molasses.
If we had it to do over again, we would probably go to see the turtles first and then go on the rum tour. Later in the afternoon the turtles are getting full so they don't respond as well to the food being thrown in by the tour operators. Also, it was amazingly hot in the afternoon so the air conditioning on the tour would have been a nice relief.