Caribbean Cruise 2008:
Day 8 - St. Kitts


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Caribbean Cruise 2008: [Day 1 - Fajardo] [Day 2 - San Juan] [Day 3 - St. Thomas] [Day 4 - Dominica] [Day 5 - Barbados] [Day 6 - St. Lucia] [Day 7 - Antigua] [Day 8 - St. Kitts] [Day 9 - San Juan]

Saturday, August 2, 2008: Our final port was the country of St. Kitts and Nevis.

Basseterre is the capital city located on the larger of the two islands, St. Kitts.
Our shore excursion this day was a ride on the St. Kitts Scenic Railway. Each car had enough seating on both the top and lower level for each passenger so you could choose to ride in air-conditioned comfort or to have a better view on top.
We opted to start our journey in air-conditioned comfort. Tom got a waypoint on his GPS while we waited for the train to fill up with additional busloads of people.
Our trip had just started when Debbie made this stealth Maersk win. There's only one container company in the world that has to be painted over in this design when a container is taken out of commission.
The container ID on the back that started with "MAE" confirmed her find.
And we're off!
The train was developed for use on the old sugar train line. The car interiors are beautiful and each car had a restroom.
We passed a mining operation and our guide noted that the workers keep all old equipment for use as spare parts. However, the jungle will always reclaim its land as evidenced by these tractors getting slowly buried.
This is just one of many beautiful shots of St. Kitts you'll be enjoying on this page.
Homes ranged from shacks to beauties like these.
We visited the top level briefly where we saw our narrator for the entire train and the conductor. Shouldn't he be somewhere else driving the train?
We arrived up top just in time to see the train passed through an impossibly narrow bridge. That was enough sun and heat for our sunburned bodies so we headed back downstairs again.
You know we can't pass up a photo opportunity involving goats, ...
... or cows for that matter.
We crossed ravines on long bridges, not shown here because we were busy crossing one.
There you go -- this is the back of the train coming off of the bridge.
This mountain's summit was always in the clouds so we couldn't see how tall it was.
Here's a gorgeous beach, popular with the locals as a romantic getaway.
Here's Debbie with a banana smoothie. Mmmm, frozen tropical drinks are the best.
Here is more lovely scenery, ...
... a long railroad bridge, ...
... and a garden.
We passed several unused sugar mill buildings. Sugar is no longer a major crop on St. Kitts but sugar cane still grows to help prevent erosion of the hillsides.
This is a pretty unimpressive picture, ...
... unless you look closer and realize that the small dark figure in the middle is one of St. Kitts' green monkeys. You may just have to trust us on this one.
There's the back of the train again, ...
... and there's the front. The train crosses several roads and traffic stopped for us.
But more often, the train crossed bridges and didn't halt traffic.
As we passed, a herd of goats ran away from the big, scary train.
This church and cemetery have fantastic views of the ocean.
We spotted these pretty little plants all along our route.
This nice lady comes out to wave to the train every time it goes by, according to our guide.
Even pigs get to enjoy the tropical life on St. Kitts.
The mountain top was nearly clear of clouds by this time so we could enjoy all of its jaggedy splendour.
These youth get to play basketball with tropical beauty all around, ...
... including this island just offshore called St. Eustatius.
There it is again to put it into perspective.
Debbie went back up to the top level to shoot a few window-glare-free photos and hung on for dear life when she stood up for this photo of the train cutting through the sugar cane fields.
We were deep in the middle of farm land as we neared the end of our train trip.
But just before it ended, we got an elusive close up of the mysterious conical sugar mill buildings.
The train doesn't do a full circle. Instead, a series of buses delivers a second batch of passengers to the train turnaround, and picks up the first batch to take them back to Basseterre. We passed the Middle Island Anglican Church, where Thomas Jefferson's grandfather is buried.
We were starving after our tour, and we wanted to get our last taste of local food, so we walked into town instead of returning to the boat.
We had spotted the Circus Grill (so named because of its location on the Circus (or circle, to us Yanks) as we returned from our trip, so we knew it was just a few blocks from the pier.
We settled in to a table overlooking the street, while being serenaded by Lionel Richie's greatest hits.
Debbie had a nice view of the local museum.
When you go local, you've gotta commit -- absolutely nothing can be something you can get back home. We started with passionfruit juice and conch fritters ...
... and finished with lamb stew and a lobster salad sandwich. So delicious and so unattainable at home.
Here's the aforementioned Circus.
After lunch, we strolled through the shiny new shopping mall at the pier and picked up a few more souvenirs, including banana jam, whole nutmeg, a bead seahorse ornament, and a polo for Tom.
Back through security, ...
... and on to the pier to return to our ship, ...
... but not before checking out the waterfront and the water. There's always something fun to see, and today was no exception -- we found black crabs and limpets on the rocks.
This photo was taken right next to the pier. You can see the shapes of many fish just below the surface, but you can't see the turtle that surfaced here just a few seconds earlier. We waited and waited for him to come back, but he had more important places to be.
In the distance, you can see St. Kitts' sister island of Nevis.
We were sorry to bid adieu to our last port, so we took a photo to the right ...
... and to the left to help preserve the memories.
On sail out, we passed Brimstone Hill Fortress, perched high on the hill.

We hadn't had a working TV since Wednesday morning. We'll pause while you consider all that this means -- no in-room movies, no port talks, no onboard shows rebroadcast, no webcams, no broadcast TV, no CNN, nothing. This also meant that we had to attend the debarkation talk in person.

In person. All 45 perky-cruise-director minutes of it. Sigh.
But since we were forced to leave our cabin, we'll take you on a quick tour of the ship.
Bright paintings graced the landings at each staircase.
The handles on the staircases sported majestic brass lion heads.
The carpets outside each elevator and stairwell told you instantly what deck you were on.
The elevators were shiny and quick. The main elevator lobby near our room featured elevators that went all the way to the bottom deck (shown on the left here), but the fancy atrium elevators (on the right) went only to the second deck. When coming back from shore excursions with a mob of people, we quickly learned to take the stairs from Deck 0 to Deck 2, then take the fancy atrium elevators to our deck.
Here is the view from one of those fancy atrium elevators looking toward Deck 10, ...
... looking toward the bottom of the atrium, ...
... and looking straight up.
Here's a shot of the fancy atrium elevators. Instead of calling this photo blurry, let's consider this artsy, okay?
The hallway on the casino deck was always loud, smoky, and freezing, but it featured cool glass chandeliers ...
... and cool glass mosaic lights.
Here's Deck 7 (the Empress Deck) ...
... and here's the paper-thin door to our cabin. It is in this very hallway that drunk people roamed every single night, all night long, and we heard every single word they yelled. For this reason, we probably won't be cruising on Carnival again.

We packed our snorkel gear and our souvenirs to prepare for debarkation early the next day.

Day 9 >


Caribbean Cruise 2008: [Day 1 - Fajardo] [Day 2 - San Juan] [Day 3 - St. Thomas] [Day 4 - Dominica] [Day 5 - Barbados] [Day 6 - St. Lucia] [Day 7 - Antigua] [Day 8 - St. Kitts] [Day 9 - San Juan]

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