For the final two stops on our cruise, we hit the islands of St. Kitts and St. Croix. Here is our experience with each...
Robbie and I had originally planned on going sea kayaking and snorkeling while we were on St. Kitts. Unfortunately the day trip was cancelled because of low attendance. Once we found out, we didn't rush to make new plans, instead we decided to play it by ear. We ended up taking a bus to the southern most tip of the island and spent time relaxing in the warm sun.
One of the highlights of the day came on our way to the beach. Our driver explained that the island has the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other. This was pretty common with the other islands (i.e. Barbados and Dominica), but he took us through a valley where we were able to view both bodies of water simultaneously. It was cool to see the difference in each side and to see where two bodies of water merged.
Our trip to the beach came with two chairs right along the shore. Naturally, Robbie and I choose the two set strategically beside an umbrella in order to avoid the risk of any major sunburns. Once we settled in, a beach attendant came by and threw a rusty nail into the post so that the umbrella would stay open and provide shade to lounge under. We initially accepted, but soon discovered it cost $10 just to use it for the short time we were there. Being the scrooge I am, I said no. I wasn't going to pay 10 whole dollars for a rusty nail and the umbrella it held up! However, once the attendant walked away and the fear of sunburn settled on our minds, we were happy to pay up.
I really enjoyed our beach day because I was able to relax, read my book, and swim in warm water. It was a perfect day to enjoy my surroundings and enjoy my time with Robbie.
St. Croix is in the Virgin Islands, which is a U.S. territory. There was a bittersweet excitement when docking in St. Croix. We were excited for our snorkel trip, but sad that it was our last day of vacation. Realizing we would be on a plane the next morning, we made the most of the day we had left.
As soon as we found out we would be docking in St. Croix, we knew we wanted to snorkel Buck Island. Buck Island is a National Monument and wildlife preserve with a surrounding barrier reef. It takes about 30 minutes to get there by boat and there has been an underwater trail set-up throughout the reef. Snorkeling at Buck Island was one of the coolest snorkel experiences I have ever had. I saw coral I had never seen before (specifically Elk Horn coral), as well as loads of different fish species. Our guide even said there were Barracuda sightings, but we weren't fortunate enough to see them ourselves. Our guides did a great job of showing us around the reef, and helping individuals who were feeling uneasy in the water. I stayed in the water until the last possible moment so that I could enjoy warm water before heading back to a cold winter.
Once back at the ship, Robbie and I ate some lunch and decided to take the rest of the day easy. He ended up taking a nap for a couple of hours, I was able to finish up a large portion of my book, and we took in one final sunset as we sailed away.
What are your favorite ways to relax on vacation?
(Buck Island snorkel photo: www.GoToCroix.com)