We made a 25 minute walk from the port to the botanical gardens rather than going on to the organised trip. There for $4 each a guide took us around the grounds pointing out plants of special interest. We also met the St. Vincent parrots, an endangered species and now the national emblem. A tip though was expected from the keeper of the birds towards their upkeep.
On the way back we stopped off to visit a RC Church that we'd spotted, which was quite attractive. However we were pestered for money by homeless men who were using the food shelter adjacent to the church. The staff in the kitchen were also insisting that we view the kitchens and hear about their work, while at the same time plugging their need for sponsors from people like us. So just be aware of this,
A good shopping mall by the port facilities, with free Internet to be had in some of the shops and bars.
We took a Thomson Tour around the island visiting the fishing village of Anse La Raye, a rum distillery tour, Caribelle Batik and St Mark's House. All were interesting, while the route itself provided some magnificent views of Castries.
The Scenic Railway, though an expensive trip, was most enjoyable. A train with double decker coaches takes a winding and often bumpy track across the island before dropping its passengers off in what seems to be the middle of nowhere. A coach then returns the passengers back to the ship.
En route there are good views of the interior of the island and the coast while a guide gives information on what is to be seen. Refreshments such as rum punch were amply supplied. A choir is also included, moving from coach to coach giving a rendition of local songs.
A bustling and vibrant port with plenty of shops to explore, plus numerous bars and restaurants along the board walk skirting the beach. Some of these had live music, while others had quiet seating areas overlooking the sea. Many of the bars were providing free wifi to customers.
Main Street needs visiting with a camera, having some attractive and colourful buildings. The old post office, presently housing an exhibition about island life, is worthy of a visit also.
We also went on the open sided bus tour around the island finishing at Pusser's Landing. Here there was an opportunity to explore the boat moorings and visit the fine but expensive bar and sample the famous 'Pain Killer' drink.
Hotels near the entrance to the port facilities advertise free wifi while the local market offers ample opportunities to buy a souvenir. Once you've manage to get past the hordes of taxi drivers trying to tempt potential punters there is a small, busy town with many bars.
A picturesque looking church noticeable from the ship stands out above the town and we were tempted to walk up the hill to it. However when we got there it was derelict, fenced off and could not be approached up close. Be satisfied with viewing it from afar.
We took the 4x4 Off road experience while here, booked through the cruise company and had a thoroughly enjoyable time. An entertaining guide took us across country on dirt tracks, showing fruits and crops grown on the island, while giving us the opportunity of tasting some of them
The tour included a stop at a reservoir and nature reserve before going on to one of the magnificent beaches the island has at Turner's Beach. Here we had time for a swim before being returned to the ship.