|Date:||Port:||Flag:||Tour escort:||Comment:||16/02/2012||Bridgetown, Barbados||Brighton Beach|
|17/02/2012||Bridgetown, Barbados||Hunte's Garden||Magical|
|18/02/2012||St. George's, Grenada||Clear Bottom Kayaking||Sun burnt legs!|
|20/02/2012||Willemstad, Curacao||Discover Curacao Island||Museum, Caves & Distillery|
|22/02/2012||Road Town, BVI||Island Secrets Discovered||Again!|
|23/02/2012||Philipsburg, St. Maarten||Rendezvous Beach Tour||Ribs Lunch on Nudist Beach!|
|24/02/2012||Basseterre, St. Kitts||Scenic Railway||Pina Colada heaven|
|25/02/2012||St. John's, Antigua||Jeep Safari||Hills & Turner's Beach|
|26/02/2012||Roseau, Dominica||Dominica's Favourites||Waterfalls & Pools|
|28/02/2012||Scarborough, Tobago||Rain Forest Hike||Muddy!|
|29/02/2012||Castries, St. Lucia||North of the Island||Again!|
|01/03/2012||Bridgetown, Barbados||City & Cigar Factory|
This was my last chance to cruise the Caribbean on the Braemar, since it wouldn't be going back there for another winter season. Next spring the fly-cruises will be to Tenerife only. The cost of chartering the transatlantic aircraft is just too great!
This cruise had been chartered by a large Northern Soul party. They took over the Coral Club from 10:15 pm until 4:30 am every night. This meant one less venue for us to dance in! They also held discos on the aft decks. I had only heard the odd reference to Northern Soul on Coronation Street. It turns out that it has a large club scene particularly in Manchester, Wigan & Stoke. It grew out of the Scooterboy Mods and Tamla MoTown music of the Sixties. We had never seen Northern Soul dancing before. It is danced solo and incorporates spins, flips, karate kicks and backdrops!
The first full day in Bridgetown, Barbados saw me escort the tour to Anthony Hunte's beautiful garden set in a limestone swallow hole. The rum punches were delicious! The tour continued via both the Atlantic and Caribbean coasts back to the ship.
The next day in St. George's, Grenada I was on the Clear Bottom Kayak tour. I was in the lead kayak with the guide. The coral reefs were good but the underwater statues were rather contrived. I hadn't appreciated that my legs would be so exposed and I got rather sun burnt! A fortnight later and the skin on my legs started peeling.
In Willemstad, Curacao I got my first choice "Discover the Island" tour. We started out at the museum and then went to some caves, neither of which I had seen before. We ended up, as usual, at the Curacao distillery where I sampled the orange, brown and black, but not blue, liqueurs.
The next sea day included the Oceans cocktail party, a jive class and a tea dance so bang went my siesta!
The next port was Road Town, Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Here I escorted the "Island Secrets Discovered" tour yet again.
In Philipsburg on St. Martin I did the Rendezvous Beach tour for the first time. The beach was lovely but it is on the French Atlantic side of the island and so the breakers made swimming difficult. I walked along to the nudist section but kept covered up myself! The rib lunch was delicious.
At Basseterre, St. Kitts I did the scenic railway for the first time - one of my first choices that I was thankfully given. The on board pina coladas were glorious! I sat outside the KFC restaurant to use the free wi-fi.
In St. John's, Antigua I went on the jeep safari again which ends at Turner's beach, this time on the calm Caribbean side of an island. My favourite quayside bar was closed but thankfully the free wi-fi was still working.
At Roseau, Dominica I did the favourites tour yet again, going to see the lovely waterfalls but declining to swim in the cold Emerald Pool.
Back at Scarborough, Tobago I did the very muddy rain forest hike for the first time.
At Castries, St. Lucia I went on the north of the island tour yet again.
On turnaround day back in Bridgetown, Barbados I went into the city in the morning and toured the cigar factory in the afternoon. It was another uneventful flight back to Gatwick through the night. I took the train home via Clapham Junction where the new lifts were now in service.