The area in which the cruise ship docked at the San Juan Cruise Port had a mixture of restaurants nearby, excited tourists, and friendly residents. Tables and chairs were set up outside the restaurant, and there was an open space/dance floor where people grabbed a partner and did the salsa, merengue, and freestyle dancing. For the fun of it, I also danced until my feet got tired. Eventually, I stood on the side and happily watched the others who were laughing and dancing at the same time. San Juan, Puerto Rico was full of life and the atmosphere added to my excitement as I was about to embark on a one week Eastern Caribbean Cruise!
The first stop was the beautiful island of St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands. I spent my day off the ship and basked in the sun at the enchanting Lindbergh Bay Beach. This atmosphere was peaceful and relaxing. The sounds of the ocean waves were therapeutic. The waves gently glided on the sand, and the sun shone brilliantly above. The weather was perfect for the beach. Eventually, I swam in the crystal clear aqua blue ocean. The water was refreshing. The best part was that I saw a school of tiny fish, a bright pink conch shell and a starfish that laid at the bottom of the sand. At the end of my day, I went in a taxi and headed back to the cruise ship.
The cruise ship sailed overnight. By the time it was the morning, I looked out of my cabin window and saw that ship was docking at Castries, St. Lucia. From the view of the balcony, there were lush green trees that adorned the mountainous landscape. There were a lot of tour guides who were standing around marketing their tours to disembarking cruise ship passengers. However, I opted to go on a self-guided tour of Castries, the capital of St. Lucia.
On the self-guided walking tour of Castries, I saw government and municipal offices, small supermarkets, a mall and a few duty-free stores. There were landmarks such as the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and Derek Walcott Square where I bought tamarind stew from a local vendor who was selling pastries on the side of the street. The restaurants offered a wide array of dishes ranging from Chinese and Thai to curry chicken roti that filled the air with its tantalizing aroma. Since I was not hungry, I ordered a tasty coconut smoothie made with fresh coconut juice. It was delicious! Eventually, I went back to the ship, and my next stop was St. Kitts and Nevis.
The Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park was the center of my curiosity when I arrived at St. Kitts and Nevis. I went on a self-guided tour of The Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park! The beautiful panoramic views were breathtaking! I could see cultivated fields, the Sandy Point Town, surrounding mountains decorated with trees and the silhouette of the French, English and Dutch islands on the horizon of the Caribbean Sea. As I continued my tour, I visited the Magazine Bastion, Orillion Bastion, the Prince of Wales Bastion, and the water catch with stone wall emplacements. The walls of the fortress lined with canons. Additionally, I saw the soldier’s quarters, chief meeting offices and a few empty rooms used for training. At the conclusion of this fabulous tour, I went back to the ship.
As my Eastern Caribbean Cruise continued, my next stop was St. Maarten. While I was there, I had the fun opportunity of going horseback riding on the beach! With the tour guide riding in front, we rode through a variety of nature trails with fabulous scenic views of green vegetation and rocky hillsides with the ocean as a backdrop. When I arrived on the beach, I was thrilled. My horse galloped alongside the edge of the waves splashing the water as we propelled forward. Eventually, the tour guide slowed down so that I can take pictures. Afterwards, we picked up speed, and she led us back to Lucky Stables. I felt like an island cowgirl! Eventually, I returned to the ship, and it sailed to Barbados.
Touring the Four Square Rum Distillery was not only fun but very informative. The distillery located on the southern slopes of the St. George Valley, St. Phillip, Barbados, West Indies. That is where the Tommy Bahama Rum is produced. Dawn, the Tour Guide walked the group of visitors through the small distillery, while cheerfully reciting the history of rum making. The tour of the facilities was an excellent experience. I explored the process of fermentation and the CO2 Plant. I also learned about how the distillery handles waste management. However, the best part was at the end of the tour in which there were several rum tastings. They were all delicious and unique in taste. When my trip was over, I returned to the ship and boarded for the last time.
The ocean was calm as the cruise ship drew near to the dock in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I stood there watching from the balcony while reminiscing about the lovely time that I had on the Eastern Caribbean Cruise. In the distance, the sounds of the Latin music filled the air. Jovial people were dancing to the tunes of salsa and merengue. The anchors on the cruise ship buried deep in the ocean and my cruise came to an official end.
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