Things to See and Do?

Posted By: denverd0n

Things to See and Do? - 01/31/2019 04:03 PM

Wife and I are going to be take a cruise through the Windward Islands. Stops in Grenada, St. Vincent, Bequia, St. Lucia, and Martinique. Any suggestions for "must see," "must do" types of things? We generally like to do our own thing, rather than just taking the shore excursions organized by the cruise line.

Posted By: TravelHat

Re: Things to See and Do? - 02/01/2019 01:02 AM

Not sure but Sunset Sammie’s trip reports are great
Posted By: Sunset_Sammy

Re: Things to See and Do? - 02/03/2019 01:21 PM

Thanks Travelhat, I'm humbled by your comment.

Denverdon my suggestions for a first-time visit would be:

Grenada: Grand Anse Beach is the best beach on your itinerary, water taxis are readily available at the cruise port. When you get off at the beach turn right and head for the palm tree, ask for Marley to rent chairs, in the vendors market Janice (stall #8) has cold beers, Esters (#6) for the best mojitos on the island, and the Fish Pot (#5) for a nice local lunch.
Alternatively, you could visit the market in St. Georges and pick up fresh spices then take a taxi tour covering Annandale Falls, Grand E’Tang park and a hike up to Seven Sisters Falls.

Bequia: Take a taxi tour of the island; we use Ben he is an older gentleman with thick glasses, he doesn’t park at the taxi stand by the dock but from the dock turn right and follow the roadway, he usually parks his blueish van next to the marine supply store, rates are $20 US an hour. Stop at Fort Hamilton for great photos of the harbor, the Turtle Sanctuary, high peaks, then have him drop you at the Bequia Beach Hotel on Friendship Bay for a nice lunch and drinks in a really great setting. The bay is good for swimming, there are some small breakers at the shoreline but they are easily managed. Get the drivers number or pre-arrange a pickup time.
Alternatively, you could return to Port Elizabeth after your taxi tour and take the walkway over to Princess Margaret Beach for lunch and drinks at Jacks, the water can be rough if the northern swells are running.
Bequia is one of the better places to go diving from if you are a diver, arrange in advance with Dive Bequia.

St. Vincent: The island isn’t set up for tourism, there is a nice botanical garden in town worth a hour and a half visit. Kingstown itself is a working city. Lots of bars and restaurants and the best market in the Windwards, lots of hustle and bustle and it can be a little daunting at first.
You could arrange a taxi tour up to Dark View Falls at the far north of the island and stop along the way as per the driver’s recommendations. If you stop in Cumberland Bay mention Skyelark in any of the beach bars. I would skip the Pirates of the Caribbean set, it is well past it’s prime.

St. Lucia:
Arrange a full day taxi in advance, should run $200 a day, Spencer Ambrose and PHV tours come highly recommended. Head to the Soufriere area as soon as you can and stop at the Tet Du Paul (sp) trail, it’s an easy 45-minute walk with stunning views of the Pitons. Go over to the mud baths and sulpher springs, it will be crowed with a ship in port. Afterwards stop for lunch in Soufriere and go to Hummingbird Beach for nice snorkeling right from shore.
Alternatively take a taxi to Pigeon Point, nice local restaurants and bars outside the park, you can also rent beach chairs there. It has become popular with cruise ships so it can get busy but is still better than Reduit Beach. Ask for Trendy, one of the beach vendors and tell him I said hello.
Vigie Beach is near the cruise port behind the small airport, they’ve recently built a lot of small bars and restaurants there.

Martinique: Can’t help much there, I’ve only made a couple overnight stops but get out of Fort De France and maybe head for St. Pierre enjoy the day at the little cafes and bars along the waterfront.

Posted By: denverd0n

Re: Things to See and Do? - 02/04/2019 03:25 PM

Thanks for the info! Perhaps I should have mentioned that we are not going to be on one of the multi-thousand passenger cruise ships. We are sailing with Starclippers. The ship only carries about 200 passengers, so unless there's another ship on the island at the same time, "cruise ship crowds" won't really be an issue.
Posted By: Sunset_Sammy

Re: Things to See and Do? - 02/11/2019 02:59 PM

I figured you were on a smaller ship when you mentioned Bequia, the big ones can't get in there. The Sea Cloud stopped in Carriacou yesterday, the first cruise ship to ever stop on the island, they're due to make 5 more stops this season.
On St. Lucia you'll probably be anchored off Pigeon Point rather than the harbor in Castries. Some of the ships, especially the smaller ones, offer disembarkation in the north and pickup in Soufriere; if yours does that would be a way to save time by not having to drive back up north if you decide to check out the nature sites.
Grenada is picking up with cruise traffic, last week the chairs were 4-5 rows deep at the spice market, I've never seen anything like that in 10 years of visiting. We're considering skipping Grenada all together in the future and just heading straight for Carriacou, and Grenada has always been our favorite island. St. Lucia is a very popular cruise stop and it's not unusual to see 2 or even 3 ships in port.
You can find the schedules for both islands online which might help you decide what to do.
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