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Virgin Islands 2011



Virgin Islands 2011 Itinerary

Saturday, April 30 - San Juan, Puerto Rico (depart 8:30 pm)
Sunday, May 01 - Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas (US Virgin Isl.)
Monday, May 02 - St. Croix (US Virgin Islands)
Tuesday, May 03 - St. Johns, Antigua
Wednesday, May 04 - Castries, St. Lucia
Thursday, May 05 - St. George's, Granada
Friday, May 06 - day at sea
Saturday, May 07 - return to San Juan, Puerto Rico (6 am)

The 19th SSQQ Cruise will take place in the Eastern and Southern Caribbean Sea aboard the Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas.

This part of the Caribbean is known as an island-hopping paradise.  As you can see from the map, there is an entire chain of tropical islands stretching from Puerto Rico all the way down to the northern shores of South America.

Unless you have vacationed there, most Americans know very little about this region of the world.  There are the Leeward Islands and the Windward Islands, the West Indies and the Virgin Islands, as well as the Greater Antilles, the Lesser Antilles, and the Grenadines.  So much of this trip is about "Discovery" as we visit 6 of the most popular Caribbean islands.

Once you review the pictures, you will see the Virgin Islands and the West Indies are unusually similar in makeup to the Hawaiian Islands. That is no surprise since volcanoes helped create these islands.

The Virgin Islands trip is special for two important reasons. Unlike our Western Caribbean trips which visit just 3 places, this particular trip hits six different beautiful islands in six days! This trip is a sightseer's dream voyage, especially if you are a fan of tropical islands.

Although you do have to factor in plane fare to Puerto Rico (about $300 from Houston), the price of the cruise fare is actually priced less than our Western Caribbean trips out of Galveston.

The first half of our trip takes us to the Eastern Caribbean. In addition to two stops in the Virgin Islands - St. Thomas and St. Croix - we also visit Antigua.

The second half of our trip takes us to the Southern Caribbean, commonly known as the West Indies. Here we visit St. Lucia and Grenada.

 Inside Cabin, Category N $559
 Oceanview Cabin, Category H $729
 Balcony Cabin, Category E1 $929
 Prices are per person, double occupancy

1 San Juan, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is one of the largest islands in the Eastern Caribbean. Puerto Rico's landscape encompasses mountains, underground caves, coral reefs, white-sand beaches and an incredibly massive rain forest that supplies fresh water to most of the island. At the same time San Juan, the capital of the commonwealth, is a big city with a bustling business district, glitzy resorts and casinos, as well as one of the most stunning examples of colonial life in the Western world.

San Juan is known as "La Ciudad Amurallada" (the walled city). San Juan was founded in 1521. In 1508 Juan Ponce de León founded the original settlement, Caparra, now known as Pueblo Viejo, behind the almost land-locked harbor just to the west of the present metropolitan area.

A year later, the settlement was abandoned and moved to the site of what is now called Old San Juan. San Juan is one of the biggest and best natural harbors in the Caribbean and is the second oldest European-founded city in the Americas

San Juan is a major port and tourist resort of the West Indies and is the oldest city under the U.S flag. The metropolitan area known as San Juan has 3 distinct areas: Old San Juan, the Beach & Resort area, and other outlying communities, the most important: Río Piedras, Hato Rey, Puerta de Tierra, and Santurce.

Many believe San Juan is a small Spanish colonial town with but a few bustling avenues. However this impression does not aptly describe the breath and depth of this fine old-world city. Modern-day San Juan encompasses a vast metropolis that covers seven unique and distinct districts. This makes for an eclectic combination of sights and sounds that is essential to the wonder and joy of visiting San Juan.

Old San Juan/Puerta de Tierra

This is a 465-year-old neighborhood originally conceived as a military stronghold. Its 7-square-block area has evolved into a charming residential and commercial district. The streets here are paved with cobbles of adoquine, a blue stone cast from furnace slag; they were brought over a ballast on Spanish ships and time and moisture have lent them their characteristic color. The city includes more than 400 carefully restored 16th- and 17th-century Spanish colonial buildings. The Old San Juan attracts many tourists, who also enjoy the gambling casinos, fine beaches, and tropical climate. More tourists visit San Juan each year than any other spot in the Caribbean. A leisurely foot tour is advisable for those who really want to experience this bit of the Old World, especially given the narrow, steep streets and frequently heavy traffic. To really do justice to these wonderful old sites, you'll need two mornings or a full day.

Old San Juan has several plazas: Plaza de San José is a favorite meeting place for young and old alike. At its center stands the bronze statue of Ponce de León, made from a British cannons captured in during Sir Ralph Abercromby's attack 1797. The plaza is skirted by a number of historic buildings.

Abutting Plaza San José is the Plaza del Quinto Centenario (Quincentennial Square), opened in October 12, 1992. This plaza is the cornerstone of Puerto Rico's commemoration of the 500th anniversary of Columbus' discovery of the New World, has a sculpture that rises 40 feet. The monumental totemic sculpture in black granite and ceramics symbolizes the earthen and clay roots of American history and is the work of Jaime Suarez, one of Puerto Rico's foremost artists.

Plaza de Armas (arms square) is Old San Juan's main square, on San José Street. Features four statues representing the four seasons; all are over 100 years old. It was carefully planned as the main city square and has served as a social meeting place for generations.

Plaza de Colón (Columbus square) was originally called St. James Square was renamed in 1893 to honor Christopher Columbus on the 400th anniversary of his discovery of Puerto Rico; bronze tablets at the pedestal of the Columbus statue record important episodes in the explorer's life.

Plazuela de la Rogativa (plaza of the procession) was built in 1971, features a modern sculpture depicting a procession of religious women commemorates an event that took place on the site in 1797. During the spring of that year, a fleet of British ships led by under Sir Ralph Ambercrombie sailed into San Juan Bay, meaning to launch an assault on the city and take control of the colony. When the attack was foiled, they undertook a naval blockade of San Juan, hoping to starve the residents into submission. As the towns people began to despair of any help from soldiers garrisoned in the inland towns, the governor ordered a rogativa, or divine entreaty, to ask the saints for assistance. The women of the town formed a procession through the streets, carrying torches and ringing bells. The British, hearing the commotion and seeing the moving lights, decided that reinforcements had arrived and quickly sailed off.

The Plaza de Hostos is located near La Casita, features artisan displays, snack stands, and traditional piragüeros, who sell shaved ice topped with tropical fruit syrup.

Paseo de la Princesa

Paseo de la Princesa skirts the curved walls of the old city, greeting tourists with shops, cafes and a delicate fountain along its shoreline path. One of the most pleasant San Juan attractions, the street is a nice way to take in the Caribbean sun on an afternoon stroll. Lined with flowers, statues, palm trees and all sorts of things you'd expect on a stylish little street, Paseo de La Princesa connects the port to the city gate.

From the path laid out by Paseo de la Princesa, Old San Juan shines. The promenade is home to a large number of cultural events, and a wealth of people enjoying the midday ritual of a glass of Piragua, a tasty mix of ice and tropical fruit syrups. You definitely won't be the only person drinking one.

Paseo de la Princesa Old San Juan offers views of nearby Isla de Cabras that is home to an old Spanish prison. A fountain marks the street's end. The prison is now home to Puerto Rico's tourism headquarters. But the imposing fortress walls that line the street seem unchanged since the day they were constructed. Much like the nearby El Morro and the most popular San Juan attractions, this street is steeped in the city's colonial history, with its 1600s architecture fully preserved.

Another of the San Juan attractions found on Paseo de la Princesa is the Racies/Roots Fountain. Full of bronze statues celebrating the city's rich cultural heritage, it's often the stopping point for couples and/or partiers, (depending on the time of night). The terraced decks nearby are perfect to take in the ever-changing San Juan scene, and are often the site of musical performances throughout the week. Another attraction along the pathway is one of the original six gated passageways, known as the Puerta de San Juan - of the six, it's the only one remaining.

The Paseo de la Princesa has become such a staple of tourism in San Juan that the promenade has been further developed in the past ten years, offering wondrous looks of El Morro and panoramic views of the port, rocky cliffs and the rest of the city. But it's the original half of the pathway tracing the old city walls that brings in the majority of tourists. Of all the attractions in the Old San Juan, this is one of the most visited spots because what you see changes with the time of the day. Whether it's the sunset performances, sun-drenched views or midnight strolls that you would like to see, the Paseo de la Princesa is a great place to get acquainted with the city of San Juan.


El Morro, the word itself sounds powerful and this six-level fortress certainly is. Begun in 1540 and completed in 1589. San Felipe del Morro was named in honor of King Phillip II. Most of the walls in the fort today were added later, in a period of tremendous construction from the 1760's-1780's. Rising 140 feet above the sea, its 18-foot-thick wall proved a formidable defense. It fell only once, in 1598, to a land assault by the Earl of Cumberland's forces. The fort is a maze of tunnels, dungeons, barracks, outposts and ramps. El Morro is studded with small, circular sentry boxes called "garitas" that have become a national symbol.

The views of San Juan Bay from El Morro are spectacular. The area was designated a National Historic Site in February of 1949 with 74 total acres. It has the distinction of being the largest fortification in the Caribbean. In 1992, the fortress was restored to its original historical form in honor of the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' discovery of Puerto Rico. El Morro Fortress is a National Historic Site administered by the National Park Service. The fort is open to the public daily from 9am to 5pm

Castillo de San Cristóbal (San Cristóbal Fort) is El Morro's partner in the city's defense. Built in 1634 (completed in 1771), was considered the Gibraltar of the West Indies. San Cristóbal was supported by a massive system of outworks that provided defense in depth and is one of the largest defenses ever built in the Americas. It rose 150 feet, covering 27 acres of land. As if its size and height weren't sufficient to intimidate enemies, its intricate modular design was sure to foil them. A strategic masterpiece, it features five independent units, each connected by moat and tunnel; each fully self-sufficient should the others fall. Open daily from 9am to 6pm

The Fuerte San Gerónimo (San Gerónimo Fort) was built on the opposite end of San Juan to strengthen the city's defenses. The fort is located behind the Caribe Hilton Hotel, with small military museum in Puerta de Tierra.

The Santa Elena Battery building with a long chimney-topped bunker was the formal army storage area.


The Parque de las Palomas (pigeon park) is located at the top of the city wall, this park overlooks the restored La Princesa Jail, now a government office with an attractive art gallery. The park is the perfect spot from which to enjoy a magnificent view of the harbor, city and mountains.

The Muñoz Rivera Park is an spacious ocean side park with large trees, landscape gardens and wide walks, located on Jesús T. Piñero Avenue. The park is open Tues-Sun 9:00am - 5:00pm.
Other parks include: Martí Coll Linera Park, and Central Park (with facilities for jogging, baseball, calisthenics and tennis).

El Yunque Rain Forest

When you're in San Juan, don't miss the opportunity to witness the pinnacle of natural beauty by exploring Puerto Rico's El Yunque Rain Forest. It features more than 240 species of trees, hundreds of miniature orchids, and what was once believed to be the Fountain of Youth.

El Yunque Rainforest is located 25 miles southeast of San Juan. It hosts a number of unique plant and animal species such as the endangered Puerto Rican Parrot and the tiny coquis (indigenous tree frogs) that serenade the evening hours. It is a very gentle forest. In fact, there are no poisonous snakes! The El Yunque Rain Forest is a cool, mountainous, sub tropical rainforest located on the Eastern side of the Luquillo Mountains. The actual rainforest is at the top; you must drive to the top of the road and hike up to see the cloud or dwarf forest.

The intrigue of visiting the El Yunque rain forest is only partly in the observation of the varieties of plants that have managed to grow and adapt to the copious amounts of year round rainfall and winds near the top. The magic of El Yunque is in the pristine beauty, the sounds, the quietness and the serenity

Condado Beach

El Condado, as the locals say, is the island's most glamorous district, featuring boutiques, a variety of restaurants, and some of the finest hotels on the island. Contrary to popular belief, many nationals do reside here in the exquisite turn-of-the-century mansions. You'll notice the populace on any given day to be a good balance between tourists and locals. If you are an avid jogger, you'll love the expanse of open area.

Isla Verde

Isla Verde is home to high-rise apartment buildings, huge clubs and luxurious hotels. This area is actually part of the municipality of Carolina, connected to San Juan via several highways and streets. It spans from the Punta Las Marías area (adjacent to Ocean Park) to the land just beyond the International Airport. Its nightlife is exciting, and the enormous balneario, or public beach, is where locals and guests come to sunbathe and get their fill of people-watching.

Hato Rey

Hato Rey is several miles from Old San Juan but is easily accessible. It is the island's central commercial district, where the local wheelers and dealers conduct their business. Thus, its restaurant scene caters to more business people than anywhere else on the island. Roosevelt, the district's residential area, can be found just off Highway 52. It is one of the most famous venues for nightlife in San Juan, and the Plaza Las Americas, the Caribbean's largest mall, is also located here.


Both the Santurce and Miramar districts are located just off Condado and Old San Juan, but north of Hato Rey. Santurce was originally an upper-class neighborhood and entertainment. Today, there are office buildings and abandoned structures with a small but very good marketplace (Plaza del Mercado). A major campaign is under way by City Hall to restore the sector's vitality.

Río Piedras

This district is known as University City because it houses the University of Puerto Rico. Visiting Río Piedras is enlightening for those who want to explore the real Puerto Rico first-hand. The district has a traditional Plaza del Mercado and a very hometown atmosphere.

Old San Juan/Puerta de Tierra

Paseo de la Princesa

El Morro Fortress

El Bano Grande

El Yunque Rain Forest

El Yunque Rain Forest

El Yunque Rain Forest

Hato Rey


2 Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
   in the US Virgin Islands

St Thomas is the most developed and most cosmopolitan of the US Virgin Islands.  Though it’s only 32 square miles in size, St. Thomas has a million miles worth of things to do.

Go shopping and sailing, snorkeling and sightseeing, or diving and dining. Enjoy the island’s world-renowned golf course, picture-perfect beaches and spectacular nightlife. Take the Skyride 700 feet above the city or climb the famous 99 Steps of Charlotte Amalie for an incomparable view of the Caribbean.

If you’re interested in culture and history, don’t miss seeing the second-oldest synagogue in the Western Hemisphere, the 1680-built Fort Christian or the childhood home of Camille Pissarro, one of the best-known French Impressionists.  St. Thomas's history and culture alone are worth a visit to the island. Fort Christian, a U.S. National Landmark, is the oldest standing structure in the Virgin Islands and home to the Virgin Islands Museum, where early island memorabilia and old maps trace the islands' history. Market Square, a bustling produce marketplace, was once one of the West Indies' busiest 18th-century slave markets.
Historic buildings found throughout downtown Charlotte Amalie take visitors back to the Danish era when the town was a bustling port of trade; while modern additions of taxis, shops, souvenir vendors and cruise ships in the harbour remind that it is tourism that currently drives the economy.
Also of interest is the Synagogue of Beracha Veshalom Vegmiluth Hasidim, the oldest synagogue in continuous use in the United States. On nearby Government Hill, looming over Charlotte Amalie, stands Blackbeard's Castle. Known during colonial times as Skytsborg, this 17th-century fortified tower also serves as a popular restaurant and hotel.
Located in the hills not far from the heart of Charlotte Amalie, Government House has been the center of government in St. Thomas since the mid-1860s. Visitors interested in seeing St. Thomas's political life may tour the building's first two floors. The 99 Steps, made by bricks that were once used as ballast on Danish and British ships, were built into the hillside to keep the orderly grid of the city intact.

St. Thomas is largely mountainous. Many roads around the island offer terrific panoramic views of the island and ocean. Amongst the hills on St. Thomas and along the beaches you will find an assortment of accommodations; resorts, historic inns, guest homes, vacation homes, villas and condos,
St. Thomas is a water lover’s paradise. If you prefer, relax on the beach, snorkel, and scuba dive, windsurf, and kite board, sail, fish, kayak or parasail.   The underwater world in the Virgin Islands is stunning and truly amazing! Explore corals and gorgonian forest of sea fans and sea whips. Dive around caves, explore sunken boat wrecks or take a night dive and explore the fantastic world of nocturnal marine life! Swim among turtles, bright parrotfish, blue tangs, schools of fry and so much more.

On land you can play a round of golf, take an island tour, check out some attractions, take in the historical sites downtown, explore a colonial church or do some shopping.

Due to the Virgin Island’s unique history and picturesque setting, you will find an experience unlike anything else in the Caribbean.

The population in the US VI is largely made up of Caribbean people whose ancestors were Africans and Europeans. You will find people from all across the Caribbean living in the Virgin Islands as well as Americans from the mainland, Europeans and Hispanics.
English is the main language in the US VI and the majority of the population speak, write and read English only. Some residents speak quickly and with an accent making it difficult to understand. Emigrants from other islands have brought other languages to the Virgin Islands therefore it is not uncommon to hear Spanish, French-Patois and Creole.
Music in the Virgin Islands is definitely Caribbean. You can hear reggae, steel pan, calypso and soca. Many other music venues can be enjoyed from Latin and blues to jazz and classical.
Virgin Islanders are religious people. Popular religions include Baptist and Catholic.

Superstitions and storytelling are very common. There are often stories about jumbies (spirits) that walk around in homes, on the street and anywhere the person telling the story wants them to be. Jumbie stories are a Caribbean tradition and are often used as cautionary tales for children. Bru Nansi, a spidery-man who prevails in the most adverse circumstance, is a popular story character.
In the Virgin Islands saying Good Morning, Good Afternoon and Good Night are not the same thing as saying Hello or Hi; the former is a warmer greeting and is the norm for friends and strangers.
While visiting the islands take your time to appreciate the local arts, events and music. Definitely try some local food, deserts and drinks, you will enjoy them. Make your vacation a true Caribbean experience by enjoying the local culture!

The Virgin Islands were named by an explorer familiar to all of us in the Americas--Christopher Columbus. After seeing the large number of islands in 1493, he named the group Las Once Mil Virgenes in honor of St. Ursula's 11,000 martyred maidens of Christian belief.

Although the islands have seen many flags, the chain is currently split between the United States and Great Britain. The U.S. purchased its share of the Virgin Islands paradise from Denmark in 1916 for $25 million. This was considered a huge sum to pay for island real estate at the time. However, the U.S. government was on the eve of World War and was concerned that Germany might take over the islands from the Danes and use them as a base to prey on shipping going through the Panama Canal
Our ship will visit the harbor of Charlotte Amalie, capital of St. Thomas, than any other port in the West Indies. The beautiful beaches and lots of opportunities for shopping draw the ships to the 12-mile long island. Vacationers discovered St. Thomas right after World War II, and it currently has one of the highest standards of living in the Caribbean.
You can walk into Charlotte Amalie and shop and see the city. For getting around outside the city, the island has a bus service and taxis are plentiful. The taxis are unmetered, so be sure that you agree on a price before setting off with one. Many taxi drivers will also serve as tour guides, and sometimes you can hire one for the day. Again, agree on a price up-front.

The cruise ship will also offer island tours as one of their shore excursions. Traveling up into the mountains and looking down at the city, harbor, and cruise ships below is quite a sight, and Magen’s Bay is one of the prettiest bays in the Caribbean.

Fort Christian

Scuba and Snorkeling Paradise

Charlotte Amalie at Sunset

Blackbeard's Castle


3 St. Croix, US Virgin Islands

St Croix is the largest of the United States Virgin Islands, 84 square miles in area. The beautiful island of St. Croix is the largest of the 3 inhabited US Virgins Islands (St. Thomas and St. John are the other two). In fact, it is about three times the size of St. Thomas, however, it only has a population of about 60,000 residents, about the same as St. Thomas. This gives visitors to the island a lot more breathing room!

St. Croix lies approximately 40 miles south of St. Thomas and St. John, and is separated from them by a deep oceanic trench...the deepest in the Atlantic basin! St. Croix has beautiful white sand beaches with warm, crystal clear waters. All beaches on the island are open to the public.

St. Croix, US VI, offers everything you would expect from a Virgin Island...lush green hills, warm aquamarine water, sugar white sand beaches, fabulous weather, great dining and duty free shopping, incredible SCUBA diving, three golf courses.

St. Croix is a paradise for water and sports enthusiasts, offering every activity from sailing and motor yachting, snorkeling including Buck Island snorkeling tours, swimming, and SCUBA diving to riding wave runners, Jet Ski, water skiing, kayaking, parasailing, windsurfing, sailing, sport fishing, horseback riding, tennis, golf and bicycle riding.

Whether you are an avid athlete or just someone that wants to enjoy a fun day in the sun and water, you will find that land and water activities on St. Croix are plentiful. St Croix has awesome water temperatures that average 80 degrees year round, making a day in the water even more enjoyable!

Many Loyalties

Saint Croix has flown seven different flags. Spain, Great Britain, the Netherlands, France, the Knights of Malta, Denmark, and the United States have all taken turns colonizing the island.

The Cruzan Rum factory (see picture) is based on St. Croix and Diageo, the world's leading spirits, wine and Beer Company, is constructing a high capacity distillery on the island. The new facility will produce bulk rum beginning in 2011. Beginning in 2012, the distillery will supply all bulk rum used to make Captain Morgan branded products for the United States.


There are two distinct towns to visit: Christiansted and Frederiksted. Each has its own distinctive style; together that is the Twin Cities, a must-see. The architectural quality and historic interest of the one-time Danish West Indies capital has made part of Christiansted (founded in 1734) a National Historic Site.

Christiansted is on the north shore of the island, just a little east of center, and is filled with historic buildings displaying the greatest example of Danish architecture outside of Denmark! The picturesque harbor town of Christiansted attained its present state by the late 1700s, when St. Croix was a crown colony of Denmark and the city was one of the Caribbean's major ports.

The U.S. National Park Service maintains the neoclassical-style buildings as they appeared in the 1830s through the 1850s, the period following the peak of prosperity for the island's sugar, cotton, rum and slave trades. Many street signs are still in Danish. In Christiansted, you can shop the day away through quaint shops filled with French perfumes, china, crystal, batik clothing and jewelry. A boardwalk follows the harbor's edge that offers many great places to eat and drink as well as several small hotels. A great place to watch the seaplane takeoff and land on it's way to and from St. Thomas.


Frederiksted has its share of shops and shopping. It also has a tropical Rain Forest and Whim Greathouse, a plantation restored to the way it was in the 1700s. Frederiksted has charming "gingerbread" Victorian architecture and is experiencing a renaissance of sorts, since cruise ships began calling on the port again in 2008. Fort Fredrik dates back to 1700 and is the site where Governor General Peter Van Scholten read the proclamation abolishing slavery on the island in 1848. Today the fort houses a museum.

The area right in front of the Frederiksted fort and waterfront has been made into a beautiful town park. Frederiksted has a beautiful waterfront that draws cruise ships and visitors from around the globe.

Salt River

Moving west along the North Shore, visit the west side of Salt River where Columbus' crew landed in November of 1493. Christopher Columbus is credited as the first European to discover the island in 1493, landing at Salt River on the central north coast, in search of fresh water. He didn't find any as Salt River, as it is now known, was just an inlet from the sea that resembled the mouth of a river.

Rain Forest

There can be small running streams/rivers in the rainforest, depending on how much rain there has been, but nothing navigable. The far eastern part of the island is more arid and you will even find cactus plants growing up to 15 feet high on the hills. Even though the island is only 27 miles long, east to west, the western half is lush with beautiful green hills including a small rainforest, while the East end is much more arid. There are wonderful white sandy beaches all around the island.

Historic plantations from the days when slavery and agriculture drove the economy are scattered throughout the island. Estate Whim Plantation, located on the west end of the island, is a great example of one these plantation & "great houses". With large areas of rolling green hills and expanses of fertile flat land on the south central area of the island, St. Croix's plantations also grew many other crops that are still prominent in Caribbean cuisine.

When the slaves used by the plantation owners were freed, the sugar industry rapidly declined and tourism became the most important part of the economy on the remains that way today. The ruins of dozens of sugar mills are scattered all over the island, a vivid reminder of the island's past.

Buck Island National Wildlife Refuge

St Croix also has great duty free shopping areas and a variety of activities and water sports, enough to keep visitors very entertained. Among it's natural attributes are natural reserves for plant and animal life including Buck Island Reef National Monument, with an underwater snorkeling trail, Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge, a rainforest, and botanical gardens. Created among the ruins of an 18th century sugar plantation the Botanical Gardens are a wonderful place to visit.

The gardens are planted on 16 acres containing over 1000 species of local and exotic tress and shrubs. An interesting blend of history and flora and fauna awaits you at St. George's Gardens. A rich history surrounds the location of the gardens as they are built upon a pre-Columbus Indian settlement and the ruins of a sugar plantation. A cactus garden, rain forest trail and beautiful mahogany trees surround acres of tropical garden.

Buck Island Reef National Monument was established to preserve "one of the finest marine gardens in the Caribbean Sea." The park is one of a few fully marine protected areas in the National Park System. The 176-acre island and surrounding coral reef ecosystem support a large variety of native flora and fauna, including the hawksbill turtle and brown pelican. Visitors to Buck Island can enjoy a leisurely swim in the crystal clear waters, snorkeling or SCUBA diving through the fantastic reef to witness tropical marine life.

At the eastern most point of the reef is the famous underwater trail; both novice and expert snorkelers will enjoy the passages through the reef. Those not wishing to get wet may chose to hike over the island enjoying native flora and fauna while getting a birds-eye view of the reef and sea below.

The lure of St. Croix's sun-drenched beaches is virtually impossible to resist; they have been ranked among the most beautiful in the world. Picture crescent moons of sugar-white sand rimming secluded coves, lush tropical scenery and the sun reflecting diamond sparks on crystal-clear aquamarine waters that about sums up what you'll find on this island paradise.

Cruzan Rum Factory

Buck Island Waterfall


4 St. Johns, Antigua

The magnificently evocative white baroque towers of St. John's Cathedral dominate the skyline of St. John's, the capital and largest city of Antigua and Barbuda. Built in 1845, the church is now in its third incarnation, as earthquakes in 1683 and in 1745 destroyed the previous structures. The towers are the first sight of Antigua for about half of the island's visitors each year, many of who arrive by boat. With its recently completed cruise ship dock and several hotels; St. John's is a lively hub for shopping and dining.

Antigua, the largest of the English-speaking Leeward Islands, is about 14 miles long and 11 miles wide, encompassing 108 square miles. Its highest point is Boggy Peak (1319 ft.), located in the southwestern corner of the island. Antigua is almost completely surrounded by well-preserved coral reefs, walls, and shipwrecks. The southern and eastern coasts are surrounded by shelf's, providing excellent conditions for spectacular shallow diving and snorkeling. There is little or no current in most places, and the water temperature averages about 80 F (25 C). Underwater visibility ranges from 50 to 140 feet, and tropical marine plants and animals are diverse and plentiful.

Snorkeling is possible at many of both islands' most beautiful beaches: one of Antigua's best-known offshore sites, Cades Reef, is now partly contained in a designated underwater park. Another popular destination is the wreck of the Andes, a three-misted merchant ship that sank in 1905 and now rests in less than thirty feet of water in (ironically enough) Deep Bay. Antigua's dive facilities are far superior to those available on smaller Barbuda, and so most of the sites that have been established as dive destinations are Antiguan. The southern and eastern coasts are considered to offer the most consistent diving; for more advanced divers, the ledge of Sunken Rock on the south coast is a popular site. Dive depths generally range from 25 to 80 feet and can reach 180 feet; distances from shore to site are in some cases no more than five minutes and at most 40 minutes away.

There are various tourist attractions in St John's. Some of the important sightseeing attractions of St John's are the following:

St John's Cathedral: It is the most dominating structure that you can see in St John's. This large cathedral with its white baroque towers got its present form in the year 1845 after it was twice destroyed in the years 1683 and 1745. On the southern side of the church, you would find iron gates flanked by pillars. On the pillars, you would get the engraved figures of St John the Divine and St John the Baptist. The Cathedral is dominated by twin towers at the west end and provides a distinct baroque flavor. They are 70 ft high and the cupolas that crown the towers are aluminum in color. At the time of erection, the edifice was criticized by ecclesiastical architects as being like "a pagan temple with two dumpy pepper pot towers", however in modern times the edifice has been cited as "the most imposing of all the Cathedrals of the West Indian Province".

Museum of Antigua and Barbuda: You would find this in the Court House that was constructed in 1747. At first, there was a city market housed here and it is oldest building still functioning in the city. In the museum, you would find artifacts from the times of the Arawak till the colonial rule. There are various archaeological remains here. Here you would also find models of sugar plantations, replica of a typical Arawak house and the cricket bat of Vivian Richards, the famous cricketer from Antigua.

Government House is another important tourist attraction of St John's. It is the official residence of the Governor General of Antigua. You would find it located on the eastern edge of St John's. You cannot but help appreciate the architecture of the building and the beautiful garden surrounding the building. However, it is not always open for public viewing and tours should be programmed only after fixing an appointment.

Fort James: A must visit site, which was built in the year 1706 to guard St John's harbor. It was one of the forts built by the British in the 18th century. It overlooks the town and you can see a powder magazine, several cannons and the remaining of the fort wall on your visit. From here you can also have a beautiful view of the surrounding harbor.

The other sites of St John's include the farmer's market, which is located on the southern edge of the city. The Antigua Rum Distillery, which is located at the citadel and the St John's Cricket Ground are also worth visiting.

The major places of shopping in the city of St John's are the Cruise Ship Dock, where several ships dock every week and you will get to shop some of the fresh items right from the ships. Heritage Quay is the place to be when visiting Antigua's capital city of St John's. The largest and modern of two Quays in St John's, Heritage Quay is a shopper's paradise, offering two floors of a wide array of duty and tax free merchandise, for travelers looking to cash in on amazing value and savings from retail prices of the Europe and USA. Electronics, local music, cigars, liquors, fine crystals & china, designer clothing & footwear, swimwear, sporting equipment, fragrances, skin care cosmetics, fine jewelry, high end watches and other souvenir items are just a sample of the goods available.

There is also a wide selection of sports bars & specialty restaurants around to grab a tropical drink after a day of shopping fun. Duty-Free shopping in Antigua and Barbuda is easy, unlike other Caribbean islands there are no restrictions on shoppers, just provide a proof of your status as a traveler e.g. Seapass and some form of personal identification and make your purchase - it's that simple. Heritage Quay also offers visitors a breathtaking view of St John's Harbor, which comes alive with local and steel pan music, when cruise ships are docked at the finger piers of the harbor. The complex also houses two hotels and a photo-centre.

The Heritage Quay Shopping Centre is branded for offering luxurious items at duty free prices. The Vendor's Mall houses items of local craftsmen.

The Redcliffe Quay apart from offering several shopping options also offers restaurants. Redcliffe Quay overlooks the harbor on one side, and is one of the oldest parts of St. John's. The restored Georgian buildings are painted in a myriad of bright and vibrant colors. There is a yacht marina there now, but this was the main trading place for slaves, rum, sugar and coffee between Antigua, Europe and Africa. The quayside has a variety of old dockside warehouses converted into shops selling gifts, pottery, paintings, and other locally made gifts, as well as clothes, shoes and accessories.

At the northeastern point of Antigua there is a remote wild area known as Indian Town Point. The area was legally constituted as a National Park in the 1950's. Within the park there is a remarkable example of seawater erosion. Geological, Devil's Bridge is a natural arch carved by the sea from soft and hard limestone ledges of the Antigua formation, a geological division of the flat northeastern part of Antigua. A bridge was created when a soft part of the limestone eroded away by action of Atlantic breakers over countless centuries.

Sammy Smith, a 104 year- old Antiguan patriot had the answer. Here is a quote from his memoirs "To shoot Hard Labor". "On the east coast of the island is the famous Devil's Bridge. Devil's Bridge was called so because a lot of slaves from the neighboring estates use to go there and throw themselves overboard. That was an area of mass suicide, so people use to say the Devil had to be there. The waters around Devil's Bridge are always rough and anyone who has fallen over the bridge has never come out alive".

If you're seeking a pretty stretch of sand in a secluded setting, head to Half Moon Bay.  Half Moon Bay is on Antigua's southeastern coast. It stretches for almost a mile and is known as one of the island's most beautiful beaches. The area is a national park and is located along the Atlantic Ocean where seas can be rough. Fortunately, a large reef calms the waters and protects the shore. Although Antigua has beaches that are more secluded than Half Moon Bay the mix of natural beauty, personality and atmosphere available at this location might be just what the doctor ordered. The beaches found throughout Antigua are often quiet beaches, however, Half Moon Bay offers something unique. If you decide to check out this beach, you will enjoy escaping the buzz of city life.



5 Castries, St. Lucia

Saint Lucia is the perfect port stop, whether you're after romance, rejuvenation or adventure. The natural landscape of gorgeous palm-fringed beaches, miles of unspoiled rainforest and the majestic Piton Mountains is sure to indulge every taste.

Some people say that St. Lucia is the Hawaii of the Caribbean. With many natural waterfalls, mountains, gorgeous beaches and breath-taking views, it is pretty easy to see why the comparison to Hawaii makes sense.

Water Water Water

Water sports are a way of life on this island, where natural harbors and bays frequently interrupt a coastline of rain-forested mountains. The island boasts some of the best underwater dive sites in the Caribbean. Imagine the crystal clear, warm waters. Picture the fine white sand beaches, lined with gently swaying palms. Where better to go windsurfing, sailing, parasailing or water-skiing than Saint Lucia?

Saint Lucia is a diving paradise. The island is at the tip of an underwater volcano where both beginner and experienced divers alike will enjoy the stunning variety of coral, sponge and marine life. Artificial reefs have developed around a number of sunken ships that have become home to huge gorgonians, black coral trees, gigantic barrel sponges, purple vase sponges and black lace corals. Exciting Caribbean diving trips will reveal turtles, nurse sharks, seahorses, angel fish, and golden spotted eels, to name but a few, among the dazzling cross section of Caribbean marine life. Divers from all over the world know the exotic beauty and warm crystal waters of Saint Lucia. A great deal of care has been exercised to ensure that the island, as well as the surrounding water remains as pristine as it was a generation ago when it first began attracting divers in search of a paradise less traveled.

As mountainous below sea level as it is above, Saint Lucia offers incomparable sightseeing for divers who are drawn to the tremendous variety that nature has to offer: huge gorgonians, black coral trees, gigantic barrel sponges, purple vase sponges and lace coral. Angelfish, black beauties, golden spotted eels, seahorses, Stingrays, nurse sharks, turtles and many varieties of schooling fish are as plentiful as they are colorful and varied. A few submerged shipwrecks and a mysterious serpentine creature of mythical proportions known as "the thing" add to the excitement of diving in the waters of Saint Lucia.

Not interested in lazing on the beach all day long day after day? There are a number of nature trails that offer a wide array of hikes. Some are more strenuous than others. In the mountainous rainforests of Saint Lucia there are approximately 30 species of birds. You may be lucky to spot the rare and beautiful parrot, Jacquot. Exploring the beauty of Saint Lucia's majestic rain forest is a great way to relax and appreciate the island. A variety of natural trails lead hikers through the rain forest, to the top of Saint Lucia's mountains, through old plantation grounds, along beaches, to Cactus Valley, to Pigeon Island and more. You will see spectacular rain forest waterfalls, flora and local birds like the Saint Lucia Parrot, the Saint Lucia Oriole and the Saint Lucia Black Finch. Comfortable shoes are a must.

Deep in Saint Lucia's mountainous, tropical islands interior almost 1,800 feet above sea level, lay 19,000 acres of rainforest and the 29 miles of trails that run through it. The rainforest is respected as a habitat for rare birds and plants, a world where lushness is overpowering, where elusive parrots squawk overhead, orchids scent the air, hummingbird buzz near brilliant heliconia and climbing palms encircle tall trees like lovers in a parting embrace. It has taken centuries for Saint Lucia's tropical island rainforest to become its current well-developed refuge. Nonetheless, two thousand years ago, Arawak tribes associated the dark woods with evil spirits and for centuries the forest remained untouched and the spirits the Amerindians feared evolved into island folklore.

Biking has also become popular way to enjoy the island, and there are some excellent biking tours for beginners and the more experienced off road riders. There' is a lot to see on 2 wheels in Saint Lucia. For the adventurer, head into Soufrière for an ocean-side trail ride at Anse Chastanet. With a beautiful view of the world-famous Gros Piton and Petit Piton mountains, this is one ride you can't find anywhere but Saint Lucia.

The ambiance of Saint Lucia can be captured through a number of horseback riding excursions. The International Riding Stables offers an assortment of trail rides, including a ride winding through the countryside along the beach, with time for swimming and a beach picnic at Cas en Bas. Trim's Riding Stables offer a variety of treks including a carriage tour to Pigeon Point and Fort Rodney. Trek the lush trails of Saint Lucia, canter along almost deserted beaches on horseback and revel in pure serenity. Cantering a horse along a stretch of beach on the Atlantic coastline with the tropical wind whipping your face and eager mount springing forth uncoaxed. Touring Saint Lucia on horseback will enable you to truly take in the sights and feel part of the surrounding giving you a chance to take in more of the interesting aspects of the country.

Saint Lucia is recognized as one of the leading whale watching sites in the area. Over 20 species are regularly spotted throughout the year, including humpbacks, pilot whales, sperm whales and spinning and spotted dolphins.

Turtles are another fascinating thrill for nature-lovers. The abundance of these majestic reptiles on Saint Lucia is due to the protection provided by local environmental activists, who have ensured there is a permanent suspension on turtle hunting.

With the sparkling Caribbean Sea on one side and the mysterious depths of the Atlantic Ocean on the other, sailors and fishermen will fall in love with Saint Lucia. Saint Lucia offers opportunities for some of the best deep-sea fishing in the world. Described as "an angler's dream come true", it is home to several species of big game fish.

Castries is the capital city of St. Lucia. It has grown up around its harbor, which occupies the crater of an extinct volcano. Castries may be architecturally dull, but its public market is one of the most fascinating in the West Indies, and our favorite people-watching site on the island.

If you are after shopping, the best duty-free shopping in this port is near the harbor in Castries at the Spanish-style complex of Pointe Seraphine. Fine china, crystal, perfume and leather goods can be found there. Designer jewelry and watch brands are available at great savings, including Caribbean Hook, Honora, John Atencio, John Hardy, Kabana, Roberto Coin, Starnight, Alfex, Cartier, Concord, Gucci, Maurice LaCroix, Michele, Movado, Wenger and more. The outdoor market on Jeremie Street offers a wide array of straw goods. The best-known products are the hand-silk-screened and hand-printed fabrics and fashions created by local craftsmen.

One of the highlights of Castries is Derek Walcott Square, a dignified and verdant rectangle that's bordered with, among others, the public library and the island's most visible Catholic church, the Cathedral. Derek Walcott, born in St. Lucia in 1930, won a Nobel Prize for literature. Plaques within the park honor Walcott with a verse from his epic poem, Ste. Lucie: "Moi c'est gens Ste. Lucie: C'est la moi sortie, is there that I born." A few steps away is a plaque commemorating another island-born luminary, Sir William Arthur Lewis (1915-79), winner of a Nobel Prize for economics, whose face appears on some of the nation's EC$100 bills. Both of the commemorative plaques are virtually within the shadow of a 500-year-old "Simontree," (a local name for a local species), which anyone in the park will happily point out as proof of the fertility of the island's soil and climate.

One of the most important French-built religious buildings in the West Indies is the Cathedral, immediately to the edge of the park. Built during the 19th century of wrought iron, cast iron, and stone under the supervision of several generations of hard-working, long-suffering priests, it's covered with an almost surreal mélange of French Catholic and West Indian iconography. Notice on one wall the frescoes commemorating the "Martyrs of Uganda" who were slaughtered by the forces of dictator Idi Amin.

To the south of Castries looms Morne Fortune, the inappropriately named "Hill of Good Luck." In the 18th century, some of the most savage Caribbean battles between the French and the British took place here. You can visit the military cemetery, a small museum, the old powder magazine, and the Four Apostles Battery (a quartet of grim muzzle-loading cannons).

Government House, now the official residence of the governor-general of St. Lucia, is one of the few examples of Victorian architecture that escaped destruction by fire. The private gardens are beautifully planted, aflame with scarlet and purple bougainvillea. Morne Fortune also offers what many consider the most scenic lookout perch in the Caribbean. The view of the harbor of Castries is panoramic: You can see north to Pigeon Island or south to the Pitons; on a clear day, you may even spot Martinique. To reach Morne Fortune, head east on Bridge Street.

Pigeon Island National Historic Park is St. Lucia's first national park. It is joined to the mainland by a causeway. On its west coast are two white-sand beaches. There's also a restaurant, Jambe de Bois, named after a wooden-legged pirate who once used the island as a hideout.

Pigeon Island offers an Interpretation Centre, equipped with artifacts and a multimedia display on local history, ranging from the Amerindian occupation of A.D. 1000 to the Battle of the Saints, when Admiral Rodney's fleet set out from Pigeon Island and defeated Admiral De Grasse in 1782. The Captain's Cellar Olde English Pub lies under the center and is evocative of an 18th-century English bar.

Pigeon Island, only 18 hectares (44 acres), got its name from the redneck pigeon, or ramier, that once colonized this island in huge numbers. Now the site of a Sandals Hotel and interconnected to the St. Lucian "mainland" with a causeway, the island offers pleasant panoramas but no longer the sense of isolated privacy that reigned here prior to its development. Parts of it, those far from the hotel on the premises, seem appropriate for nature walks

Soufrière, a small fishing port, is St. Lucia's second-largest settlement. It is dominated by two pointed hills called Petit Piton and Gros Piton. The Pitons, two volcanic cones rise to 2421 ft. and 2283 ft. They have become the very symbol of St. Lucia. Formed of lava and rock, and once actively volcanic, they are now covered in green vegetation. Their sheer rise from the sea makes them a landmark visible for miles around, and waves crash at their bases. Near Soufrière lies the famous "drive-in" volcano, Mount Soufrière, a rocky lunar landscape of bubbling mud and craters seething with sulfur.

You literally drive your car along a winding, forested road into a millions-of-years-old crater. From the parking lot, you'll walk uphill, along a closely monitored trail peppered with park rangers and, from observation platforms, get a view in the near distance of bubbling sulfur springs and pools of hissing steam. The most visible of these is Gabriel's Pool, which was named in honor of a 1960s-era St. Lucian tour guide, Gabriel, whose weight collapsed the chalky surface of the congealed mud close to the hot springs. Ever since then, one of the pools has borne his name, and ever since, visitors are strictly prohibited from getting too close to the steamy depths.

Diamond Waterfall

Nearby are the Diamond Mineral Baths in the Diamond Botanical Gardens. Deep in the lush tropical gardens is the Diamond Waterfall, one of the geological attractions of the island. Created from water bubbling up from sulfur springs, the waterfall changes colors (from yellow to black to green to gray) several times a day. The baths were constructed in 1784 on the orders of Louis XVI, whose doctors told him these waters were similar in mineral content to the waters at Aix-les-Bains. They were intended to provide recuperative effects for French soldiers fighting in the West Indies. The baths have an average temperature of 106°F.

Piton Mountains

Palapas Umbrellas on the Beach

Piton Mountains

Diamond Waterfall



6 St. George's, Grenada

From the moment you set your eyes on St. George's, you'll see why it's considered one of the most picturesque ports in the Caribbean. Lush vegetation, mountainous terrain and colorful colonial architecture make up the landscape. And if the sights don't wow your senses, the aroma will. Grenada is also filled with spice trees and is a leading source of many different spices, including nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cinnamon and cocoa.

Everybody who visits Grenada goes home with a basket of spices, better than any you are likely to find in your local supermarket. Wherever you go, spice vendors will besiege you. These hand-woven panniers of palm leaf or straw are full of items grown on the island, including the inevitable nutmeg, as well as mace, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf, vanilla, and ginger. Grenada is no grand merchandise mart of the Caribbean like St. Thomas and St. Maarten, but you may locate some local handcrafts, gifts, and even art. If you like to attend Caribbean markets, head for Market Square at the foot of Young Street.

The best buys in Grenada are batik and screen printed textiles, locally made handicraft, leather craft, and woodcarvings. Spice Island Jewelry sells attractive jewelry. Spices, locally made jams, jellies, and syrups, especially nutmeg, local fresh fruits and vegetables are other good buys. Grenada also offers fine duty-free bargains.

St. Georges with its horseshoe-shaped harbor is a colonial-era town that spills down a hillside. St Georges is the capital of Grenada. It received the full brunt of Hurricane Ivan's high winds, and the bevy of new terracotta-colored roofs stand in testament to the power of the wind. Ivan, however, was not the first disaster to strike this picturesque town, dominated by British colonial architecture but with a distinctly Mediterranean feel.


Grenada's lushness and beauty make it one of the best Caribbean islands for hiking. For sheer scenic beauty, the number-one choice on the island is the Lake Circle Trail, which makes a 30-minute circuit along Grand Etang Lake, the crater of an extinct volcano amidst a forest preserve and bird sanctuary. You are likely to see the yellow-billed cuckoo and the emerald-throated hummingbird. The park is also a playground for Mona monkeys. The Morne LeBaye Trail is another easy hike, beginning at the park's forest center and offering a view of Mount Sinai and the east coast.

Levera Park

Levera National Park, a 450-acre park has several white-sand beaches for swimming and snorkeling. The park is also a hiker's paradise. Levera Park contains a mangrove swamp, a lake, and a bird sanctuary, where you might see a rare tropical parrot. Offshore are coral reefs and sea grass beds. You will also find a beach here. Levera Beach is located at the northeastern tip of the island. It is one of the most beautiful beaches on Grenada, and visitors should make this a priority stop. It is a good place to enjoy some terrific views. The sea at this beach are not recommended for swimming because of its rough waters, but the more adventurous visitor can try their hand at surfing or boarding.

Grand Etang Forest Preserve

The most popular area in Grenada for hiking and trekking is undoubtedly the rainforest around the Grand Etang Forest Reserve, high up in the mountains of the island's interior. Grand Etang's varied elevations and terrains maintain several different ecological subsystems, culminating in the elfin woodlands high up the slopes of the reserve's central mountains. The focal point of the forest reserve is Grand Etang Lake, which fills the crater of one of the island's extinct volcanoes. The rainforest around the lake holds a stupendously rich diversity of flora and fauna. Colorful tropical birds, tiny frogs and lizards, and rare orchids punctuate the dense rainforest vegetation, and the trails meander around the area's stunning waterfalls as well as the azure waters of Grand Etang Lake.

Grand Etang's flora includes towering mahogany and giant gommier trees as well as a multitude of ferns, tropical flowers, and other indigenous plants. The lush vegetation provides shelter for a wide variety of animals, particularly for the island's many species of birds. The broad-winged hawk (known here as the gree-gree), Lesser Antillean swift, Antillean euphonia, purple-throated carib, Antillean crested hummingbird (known as the little doctor bird), and the Lesser Antillean tanager (known as the soursop) are all common sights. In addition, plenty of frogs and lizards, as well as playing host to opossums, armadillos, mongooses, and the mona monkey populate the Grand Etang. Hikes at Grand Etang range from easy 15-minute jaunts to rigorous expeditions of several hours.

La Sagesse Nature Center

La Sagesse Nature Center would be another scenic stop. It is a quiet mangrove estuary along the southwestern coast with one of the best bird-watching locales on Grenada. In addition to the estuary, La Sagesse includes three fine beaches edged with palm trees, a very good coral reef for snorkeling, a pristine example of dry thorn scrub and cactus woodland, and a salt pond. Of course, a good salt pond is the avian equivalent to a stunning beach, and this is one very inviting salt pond. It attracts an abundance of different species, including the brown-crested flycatcher, Caribbean coot, green-backed and little blue heron, and the northern jacuna. La Sagesse also maintains a restaurant that serves very tasty lunch fare.

Grand Anse Beach and Bathway Beach

Grand Anse Beach is the granddaddy of the best of the 45 beaches on Grenada. It offers almost 3 miles of sugar-white sand fronting a sheltered bay. This beach is really beautiful and many of the major resort hotels are situated here. Many visitors never leave this part of the island. Protected from strong winds and currents, the waters here are relatively safe, making Grand Anse a family favourite. The clear, gentle waters are populated with schools of rainbow-hued fish, and palms and sea-grape trees offer shade to visitors. Water sports on offer include water-skiing, parasailing, windsurfing, and scuba diving. There is a multitude of vendors in this area, peddling coral jewelry, local crafts, and the inevitable T-shirts. For the hungry, there are numerous food and drink stands, or you can enjoy lunch at one of the nearby resorts.

If you're looking for a pretty beach in a natural setting, you may fall in love with Bathway Beach. Bathway Beach is on the Atlantic coastline of Grenada, and the water gets fairly choppy at this undeveloped beach of speckled coral sands. Although some of the beaches in Grenada are more secluded than Bathway Beach the combination of natural setting, personality and atmosphere provided by this beach could be just right for you. The beaches found throughout Grenada are usually fairly quiet, however, Bathway Beach offers something unique. One of the main attractions at Bathway Beach is the sheltered area where non-swimmers can bathe in relative safety, because the waters of this Atlantic-facing beach can get pretty rough. This beach is located on Grenada's southern coast, 1.2 miles from Levera National Park. Bathway Beach is near Morne Fendue, so a trip into town is a definite option.

Dive Sites

There are also great opportunities for snorkeling along Grenada’s fabulous coastline. A particular favorite is to the Underwater Sculpture Park at Moliniere Bay. The brainchild of Jason Taylor, a sculptor from England, it contains a series of underwater installations on the theme of Grenada’s history and folklore.  As you snorkel or dive your way around Moliniere Bay, shapes and bodies appear to you from the depths.  The sculptures were transported, submerged and assembled by the Dive Grenada team. It is quite possible to free-dive the five meters to the deepest installation, where you will be greeted by such sights as the Ring of Children, 26 boys and girls slowly turning into coral, as well as the Lost Correspondent or perhaps a few divers meandering through the coral networks.


If you are interested in history, a trip to Fort George or Fort Frederick is a must.

Fort George is situated on an elevated peninsula that commands the harbor entrance, a position that has given the fort enormous strategic importance since the French constructed it in the first decade of the 18th century. Although it continues to serve as the police headquarters, Fort George is most appreciated today for the views that it offers to sightseers. Much of its elaborate colonial structure remains intact, and part of the pleasure of a visit is rambling around among the passages and stairs of the ancient stone fortifications. Fort George still maintains a battery of old cannons, which are used on special occasions to fire off a resounding salute. In the 1980s, Fort George once again played a prominent role in Grenadian history as the site of the assassination of Maurice Bishop, along with several members of his cabinet. In 1983, the fort was bombed by American troops.

Fort Frederick was started by the French to secure their position after they had so easily captured the island from the British in 1779. There isn't a whole lot to do or see on Fort Frederick itself. But there are many things to see from Fort Frederick. Perched atop Richmond Hill at the center of St. George's, Fort Frederick is a smaller and more recent complement to the imposing Fort George. Built by the British, it was completed in 1791, during the French Revolution.

About Royal Caribbean's
Serenade of the Seas

This ship is a member of the Radiance-class. It is a mid-sized ship, 90,000 tons with a 2100 passenger capacity. It's most interesting distinction is the nearly three acres of exterior glass employed in its design - including glass elevators with ocean views - that incorporate the outdoors quite beautifully onboard.

The effect is simply dazzling - and there are remarkable views from nearly every public room. The decorating scheme itself emphasizes elegance, grace, and beauty, and creates quite a harmonious environment. The ship is overflowing with glass and natural light, and the center of it all is a ten-story all-glass atrium, that features live music and dancing every evening.

In addition to the beauty, the ship has a Rock Climbing Wall, Both Basketball and Volleyball Courts, Golf Simulator, Day Spa and Fitness Center, Indoor Solarium along with two Specialty Restaurants.

We sailed on the Serenade's sister ship, The Radiance on our
2005 Alaskan voyage. Check out our pictures!

Group Hotel Accommodations in San Juan

In addition to the cruise, I will be offering both pre and post group hotel packages in San Juan, Puerto Rico. More info to follow shortly on our website.


If you are interested in joining the adventure, please complete the registration form ASAP. A $100 first deposit will hold your space until December, when the full deposit of $250 will be due. Final payment is due by February 14, 2011.

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