There was a variety of activities on offer in the sunshine of St Kitts yesterday.
Some passengers mingled with those from the Carnival Victory and got no further than the duty free shops and jewellery stores of the cruise terminal.
Some walked a little further, to explore the town of Basseterre, which is described in Ventura’s pocket guide as “one of the best remaining examples of a traditional West Indian town.
The four main streets – Liverpool Row, Bay Road, Forst Street and Bank Street – all converge on The Circus, with it’s cast iron Georgian clock tower. A short walk away is Independence Square, now an attractive park, but once the scene of a slave market.
Other passengers set out on tours of the island, but not all went according to plan.
One of the most popular excursions was to the St Kitts railway, which was originally built between 1912 and 1926 to deliver sugar cane to Basseterre,.
The first sign of problems came with an announcement that the afternoon departures would be delayed because of problems on the morning’s trips.
And in the evening, at about the time we should have been letting go our lines and heading out to sea, Commodore Steve Burgoine announced to the ship that our departure would be slightly delayed while we waited for the arrival of the last tour, which had been held up be a mechanical breakdown on the railway.
Everything else has been running like clockwork, although there’s no accounting for the Caribbean weather.
After yesterday’s sun, there has been almost unremitting rain in St Lucia today, not only for us, but for passengers from the Sea Princess and Regatta, the other two cruise ships in port.
The cloud and mist unfortunately obscured the famous twin peaks of the Pitons as I joined an excursion to what is billed as the Caribbean’s only drive-through volcano.
The bubbling mud pools of the sulphur springs were spectacular and pungent, and I was promised I would feel years younger after a dip in a hot natural mineral. I only hope it had the same effect on Mrs Greybeard.
There was no let-up in the rain, or liquid sunshine as they call it here. Unfortunately it has caused the postponement of the Caribbean Carnival sailaway party on the Laguna and Sun decks and also, according to Cruise Director Leon de St Croix, the ever-popular over-80’s nudist trampolining contest.
Ah well, there’s always tomorrow, in St Maarten.