In St. Croix we visited the Fort located to the left of the pier, walked around the town square/park area and picked up a few souvenirs and then went back to the ship for lunch. In the afternoon we headed to the beach located to the left of the pier -- max a 10 minute walk from the ship. The water was great, but it was a little rocky getting in. This pier also offered free shuttles from the ship to the end of the pier area.
In St. Maarten we have a friend who lives on the island, so she took us on an island tour. We did some shopping in Philipsburg and walked along the beach. We headed over to Maho Beach for lunch and it was incredible. I have seen the videos of the planes landing/taking off on YouTube, but seeing it in person is totally different. We have some great pictures/video of the planes.
Antigua we joined up with a group we met on Cruise Critic and went on the Tight Budget Tour with Gordon. At first he didn't seem very organized -- we thought we were all going to be travelling together in a big bus (there were 15 of us), but instead he split the group into 2. We drove to Nelson's dockyard and did the interactive tour there, followed by a drive up to the look out and the block house. Absolutely incredible views. We then went to Valley Church beach. There is a restaurant on the beach (The Nest), where we had lunch. The sand and water were both very beautiful. There are a few vendors around, but they didn't bother us at all.
In St. Lucia we did a ship tour (Land and Sea to the Pitons). For the first 2 hours we drove down to Soufriere, making many stops at lookouts. At the beginning of the tour, we were told that the employment rate on the island is 24% and most people are self-employed -- meaning they sell souvenirs. At every stop there were tables set up with people offering different things. For the most part they weren't too pushy, but some were. We then had a tour of the Botenical Gardens and took pictures of Diamond Waterfall and had lunch at the Old Mill Estate. After lunch we headed for the catamaran. The view of the Pitons was amazing. We sailed to a small beach area where the locals paddled up to us on kayaks selling shells and coconuts. If we weren't with a large group I'm sure it would have been intimidating, but we were fine. The water is beautiful and we swam for about 45 minutes. The rest of the time we made a few short stops to look at different resorts on the island as we made our way back to the ship.
In Barbados we walked to Bridgetown and do some exploring and then walk to Carlisle Beach. It was pretty overcast, so we decided not to bring our towels. We went to the Pelican Art area and expected there to be a lot more than just a few stores offering local art. We looked around, but didn't buy anything. On the boardwalk there was a man who was painting (watercolour) and selling originals and prints. If you're walking into Bridgetown stay on the water/boardwalk side. We followed the road and ended up in a kinda sketchy area. Again, I didn't feel unsafe at any point, but there really isn't anything to see either. Once in Bridgetown we went to the government complex and the museum. It was a nice way to spend about an hour, but nothing too exciting. We then asked for directions to the beach and made our way to Lobster Alive. I really wanted to try flying fish, but Lobster Alive didn't offer it on their menu so we walked down to Harbour Lights. It's a nice mild fish and we both ordered the platter (2 fish fillets, fries and a bit of salad).