Before we left on our trip, friends would ask where we were going on our cruise. My response? “Who cares?” The point is that if we stopped at some nice beaches and got a few good souvenirs along the way that would be lovely, but the main goal of the trip was to relax, and I wasn’t so picky about where that relaxing would take place.
The truth is, we have stopped at many ports that are new to us. I expected to love St. Barts after reading about how great it is, the
endless supply of celebrities vacationing there and the island as a backdrop for many of Jimmy Buffet’s songs. It is pretty. Right off the dock, where there are normally T-shirt shops and postcards to buy, there were shops like Chopard, Louis Vitton and Bvlgari. Since we were not in the market for expensive jewelry, or the giant all-leather hammock hanging in the window of Louis Vitton, we meandered around the town, nearly getting run down at every street corner.
We did make it to Shell Beach, which, as promised, is a really pretty beach covered in pink shells. Now that I have been there, next time I am on a cruise that stops in St. Barts I may just enjoy the day on the ship. Unless, of course, I need a new diamond ring.
Guadaloupe, on the other hand, was a charming little town with a seemingly endless supply of restaurants. We wandered around the town, made our way to one beach, and bought some souvenirs. A good time. We did try to go to a couple of other beaches, but that would have required a trek up a mountain, or a taxi. We stayed on foot and saved the mountain hike for St. John.
When we docked in St. Kitts we were at the outer pier, so we needed to take the shuttle bus into town. By “town” I mean duty free shops and T-shirt shops as far as the eye can see. A few blocks out was evidence that people live there. We bought some gifts and headed back to the ship for another exhausting day of sitting by the pool sipping rum punch.
By the time we reached St. John we had plenty time sitting by the pool and thought we may actually venture
out to the beach. Much of the island of St. John is a national park, and it is gorgeous. We headed up the Lind Point Trail, not knowing that there was an upper and lower trail, naturally we ended up on the not-so-flat, actual hike kind of trail. About twenty minutes later we were at Honeymoon Beach. We enjoyed the sugary soft sand and the crystal clear water largely on our own as we only saw four other people farther down the beach. On the way back, we took the lower trail, which is essentially flat. In addition to the pristine water and lush foliage along the trail, we saw evidence of the donkeys that live on St. John. We did not catch a glimpse of any of the donkeys, but it was hard to miss the fact that they exist. Watch your step.
I really enjoyed St. John and am already looking forward to a return trip.