If a visit to St. Thomas, USVI, conjures up the idea of awesome shopping at ridiculously low prices, those days are over. St. Maarten has taken the lead at the best prices in the Caribbean. Nevertheless, downtown St. Thomas is a fun shopping area with its narrow cobblestone streets, shops with old doorways of heavy wood and iron and tucked-away cafes. The currency is the US dollar and people shop til they drop.
With a safe harbor and easy access to town, St. Thomas attracts an amazing amount of luxurious private yachts. In the harbor today was the Rising Sun, Larry Ellison’s ship. Equipped with a silver-colored funnel, I wouldn’t call this a yacht; it was a ship. We docked next to Havensight Mall, rows of cinder block buildings housing dozens of shops and a few restaurants. A quick walk from the ship and you are in the mall area. If you don’t want to venture into downtown, you can find many of the same shops here, on a smaller scale. If you do want to go into downtown to shop, eat and browse, Havensight mall is a decent walking distance. If you are not so inclined, there is a shuttle van that goes back and forth into downtown every few minutes.
Activities onboard were plentiful, but again I didn’t find my way to participate. Some of this afternoon’s activities included a Beatles music challenge, Wii Games, table tennis and bocci ball tournaments, line dance class and many more. The cruise director is Gary Walker, a high-energy Brit whose love of what he does really shines. The entertainment tonight was Lindsay Hamilton, a former West End theater performer and singer. Among her repertoire of songs were mostly big Andrew Lloyd Weber hits and a couple of religious melodies.
Another night in the buffet to get caught up on this blog. More vegetable curry, beef stew and rice, with a salad. Funny, there was not a bit of cheese, sliced, crumbled or cubed, at the salad bar. When I politely asked the server for more blue cheese salad dressing I was curtly told, “No, I’m trying to close down the salad bar.” Okay…someone was having a bad day and it wasn’t me. No problem, I went with the vinagrette.
St. Kitts is our next stop on this ten night cruise. One of the most beautiful of the Caribbean islands, it reminds me of Hawaii, I plan to make it a beach day. My shore excursion ticket simply says, “Beach Tour” so it will be interesting to see where we end up for our tour.