Castries, St. Lucia
Date: 25 April 2018
Port: Pointe Seraphine, Castries, St. Lucia
Time on Island: 9am-5:30pm
Distance between Antigua to St. Lucia: 363.65 km or 196.36 nautical miles (225.96 miles)
The morning started just like every other morning on Royal Caribbean. We got up, showered, got ready, and then headed to the buffet for breakfast. Following breakfast, Darren and I headed to the deck and take in the beautiful scene of the island of St. Lucia.
Standing on the deck every morning was one of my favorite things to do on the ship. That first glance of this island and the others is something I’m never going to forget. We would do it every morning, but St. Lucia was my all time favorite.
Similarly to St. Marteen and St. Kitts, Darren and I pre-booked an island tour. I’ve found people either love tours or dislike them, but me personally, I don’t do well just sitting on beaches all day, especially since I was living on a Caribbean island. Going to the beach was a semi-daily thing. So, what I really wanted to do was go explore the islands.
In St. Lucia, I was able to find an amazing tour for a really good price and booked directly with the company. We did the Shared Cruise Expo tour with Real St. Lucia Tours, which was a 5-6 hour island tour (yes, all inclusive with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages) and it turned out really great. We ended up being on the same tour as a family of 4 that was actually with us on our Monday St. Maarten tour!
We continued our way to Morne Fortune, which is an old military headquarters built in 1784. It bounced back between the French and the British and remained under British control until 1979. These military fortifications still stand overlooking Castries and are simply beautiful. Our tour guide told us that some of the building standing were jail cells. Look how tiny they were and would hold more people than you’d guess.
Roseau Banana Plantation
Once we left Morne Fortune, we headed north towards another lookout before continuing to a pit stop at Roseau Banana plantation. At this lookout was where we had our first taste of Piton, a local lager that was delicious and we continued drinking these beers throughout our tour.
We finally arrived at the Roseau Banana plantation and I can check that off my list of firsts. Did you know that St. Lucia is known for their banana production and actually export their bananas to England? Because of the banana production, quite a bit of St. Lucia products involve bananas; banana liquor, banana ketchup, banana seasoning, and the list goes on and on. Don’t worry, we did get to taste some of these later in our tour.
After our banana plantation photoshoot, our tour continued as we drove through several fishing villages on our way to Soufriére. Soufriére is St. Lucia’s second largest city and sits on the edge of the Piton Mountains and Oh. My. GOSH. The view. Just breathtaking. I honestly can’t even put the view into words. It was here that Darren and I ran into Richard and Karen and continued to laugh hysterically as we took in the amazing view of the Pitons and Soufriére.
Sulphur Springs Black Water Pool
Next on the tour was the part Darren and I were looking forward too the most, the Sulphur Springs Park, the Caribbean’s only drive-in volcano. The Sulphur Springs Black Water Pool is a mud bath and hot spring. You begin by lathering yourself from head to toe (I skipped the face) with volcanic mud, letting it dry and then sitting in the natural hot spring to remove the mud. There were two different kinds of mud, white and black, so as we lathered ourselves up, we were adding random designs like dots, handprints, and smiley faces.
This place was extremely busy so we didn’t stay long. We finished rinsing off, dried off and headed back to the van. It was at this point that our amazing tour guide gave us the awaited Rum Punch. It’s a very Caribbean drink and I was eager to taste the difference and in fact, this rum punch was hand made by our tour guide. It also had a bit of a different taste and I found out it was because he added cinnamon and nutmeg, which is another export from St. Lucia. It was a good different and if you every make it to St. Lucia, I highly recommend drinking their rum punch!
Toraille Waterfall was next up on our tour de St. Lucia. I mean…doesn’t everyone cool down from a hot spring with a freezing cold waterfall? This waterfall isn’t far from the hot springs nor is it a far walk from the main road. Easily accessible to all, however it did require some steps to actually get into the pool at the bottom of the waterfall.
Standing under a waterfall is one of the most incredible feelings ever, second to the pain of the water pellets nailing on the skin. This waterfall particularly was extremely painful but you can tell by the smile on my face, I loved every minute of it. Plus Darren, myself and our tour mates couldn’t stop laughing. We might have had several glasses of rum punch at this point but whose counting.
Beaches and Rum Tasting
Thankfully, our tour wasn’t over yet. After we left the waterfall, we headed back towards Castries with one final stop at a rum shack. Before we arrived at the rum shack, our driver made a quick pit stop and a beautiful beach. This beach was a unique one because instead of the normal white sand, it had black sand.
Our driver mentioned to us that it was because of the volcanic soil that surrounded the island. It was also a prefect view of one of the Piton peaks. Plus, there were local fishing boats in the water. It was one of my favorite views on this cruise.
Following the black sandy beach, we continued our way to the rum tasting. We were suppose to do this on the way up the mountain but as we drove past, there were several cars, so we made a unanimous decision to wait, and I’m glad we did. We were the only ones there and got a private rum tasting. Granted it was more like a 10 rum tasting but none of us were complaining.
We started our tasting with a banana liquor and coconut liquor, moving on towards some silver rum, then to gold rum, then to spiced rum, and finally ended with banana mustard and banana ketchup. The RUM was DELICIOUS and it was a great way to end our tour on St. Lucia, as our time on St. Lucia was coming to a close. But not before one last beer as Darren and I finally found internet at a port bar. 🙂
Back on Board
Once back on board the ship, Darren and I immediately went to the hot tub and grabbed a drink. We haven’t spent much time in the pools/hot tubs since we boarded the boat back in Puerto Rico, which is kind of sad but there has just been too much to do and since we had some time tonight, we decided it was the best time! we didn’t stay at the hot tub very long asweI needed to get ready for dinner, but it was still extremely relaxing.
After dinner, it was the usual routine. Drinks, game show, then bed! No complaints about our usual routine, its paired with nonstop belly laughing and amazing conversations.