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  #1  
Old February 24th, 2012, 12:20 AM
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Default Independent Excursions - St Lucia & St. Kitts

Going on the Victory in Sept. Anyone have any good suggestions? Maybe beach & sightseeing?

Thanks in advance!
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Old February 24th, 2012, 12:48 AM
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St. Lucia can be tricky. Several options, but mixed reviews on all of them. Their prices will be higher than St. Kitts.

St. Kitts is one of my favorite ports! We used Rose & Jim's taxi & tour service. They do require you to have a party of 4 to book. If you don't have enough, try to find more through your roll call. (For St. Lucia, we had to gather parties of around 10). We loved the tour they did. They took us all over the island, seeing some great sights, including time to explore around a fort. And we went out to Cockleshell Beach, which was very beautiful! {Request Rose to be your guide; she's more talkative & will give you more info during the tour. We loved her.} We paid only $41pp plus tips for the whole tour!!! It's certainly worth way more than that. We were a party of 3, and we thought about saying we had 4, have the tour be all ours, while paying for 4. But, we were able to get another couple from our roll call to join us. In fact, through the roll call, we had 2 groups: our group of 5, and another group of about 9, that went with Jim. I'm sure there are other wonderful tour operators on this island as well. Some islands, such as Roatan & St. Kitts, really know how to do things the right way (giving you amazing tours for a low price). I definitely highly recommend Rose & Jim.
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Old February 24th, 2012, 01:37 AM
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St Lucia----Cosol does an amazing job! http://cosol-tours.com/tours.html

St Kitts--- Thenford Grey you can google his website
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Old February 24th, 2012, 07:32 AM
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Default St. Lucia and St. Kitts

Quote:
Originally Posted by kelzbelz77 View Post
Going on the Victory in Sept. Anyone have any good suggestions? Maybe beach & sightseeing?

Thanks in advance!

St. Lucia: If you think you might like to do a day pass to a land resort, we got half-day passes to Rendezvous Resort in 2010 and loved it. They had a beautiful property, several different bars, and a really nice buffet-style lunch. The beach was quiet but nice. It was a very relaxing afternoon, and we would do it again if ever back on St. Lucia. You can google it to get contact information. We e-mailed them ahead of time but just paid cash on arrival. I think it was $50 pp back in 2010.

St. Kitts: We used a service called Empress Coaches. The driver was owner/operator Raphael. We have actually used him twice, once in 2008 and once in 2010. St. Kitts has some of the most spectacular views I've ever seen. He will customize your tour for you. We are beach people, so he took us to the beach with photo ops along the way and came back for us.

I know this info is a couple of years old, but hopefully it will be of some help. Good luck and have a great trip!
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Old February 24th, 2012, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernCaribbean44 View Post
St Lucia----Cosol does an amazing job! http://cosol-tours.com/tours.html

St Kitts--- Thenford Grey you can google his website
Can't say enough about COSOL TOURS. His is the best tour we have had to date, hands down.
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Old February 24th, 2012, 11:32 AM
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Thanks for your replies. There will be 6 of us going so we should be good. I have heard of Cosol in a previous review, so I will definately check him out.

Thanks again!
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Old February 24th, 2012, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CruzCrazy View Post
St. Lucia: If you think you might like to do a day pass to a land resort, we got half-day passes to Rendezvous Resort in 2010 and loved it. They had a beautiful property, several different bars, and a really nice buffet-style lunch. The beach was quiet but nice. It was a very relaxing afternoon, and we would do it again if ever back on St. Lucia. You can google it to get contact information. We e-mailed them ahead of time but just paid cash on arrival. I think it was $50 pp back in 2010.

St. Kitts: We used a service called Empress Coaches. The driver was owner/operator Raphael. We have actually used him twice, once in 2008 and once in 2010. St. Kitts has some of the most spectacular views I've ever seen. He will customize your tour for you. We are beach people, so he took us to the beach with photo ops along the way and came back for us.

I know this info is a couple of years old, but hopefully it will be of some help. Good luck and have a great trip!
Thank you! We sure will. Any cruise is a great cruise in my eyes!
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Old February 24th, 2012, 12:33 PM
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Another vote for COSOL. One of the best in the Caribbean. Top 3 in my book.
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Old February 24th, 2012, 12:38 PM
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Make that top 2. And DW and I have been to almost every island in the Carib. The other was the tour in Dominica, such a beautiful island.
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Old February 25th, 2012, 09:26 AM
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Default st lucia independently

I was wondering has anyone have any experience on taking one of the local buses in the morning from Castries to Soufrire, I believe the day we arrive in St Lucia, ours is the ship. We are a family of six so I trying to get the most out of the $. But I don,t want to have a sterile experience. I was hoping to get a water taxi back to Castries, but hoping to make it more like a tour, I am worried about leaving things to chance and spoiling an opportunity to see a wonderful place by doing it this way.
On a completely different note, has anyone heard of Island Adventures, they do an open jeep tour to Soufrire with a Catarmaran back to Castries. Price seems to be at the going rate?
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Old February 25th, 2012, 12:25 PM
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I would definitely not recommend trying to take a local bus to Soufriere and then trying to find a water taxi back. Buses in St. Lucia do not run on any set schedule - they only go when they are full. You would have to walk into Castries and get to the Castries - Soufriere bus stand, wait for a bus that has space for all 6 of you and then take the trip down. This is a very infrequent run - especially in the mornings as it is the reverse of the commute, I can only imagine how long you would have to wait - probably at least somewhere around an hour or so.
Once in Soufriere, there is little in the town itself - to get to the volcano, you would need another bus on the Soufriere to Vieux Fort route and for the Botanical gardens/Diamond falls, you would probably be best to walk to it, and that is about a 25-30 minute walk from the middle of town. You could go to the beach right in Soufreire, lovely beachfront, a few restaurants, but if you wanted to go to Jalousie or Anse Chastenet, you would need a land taxi or water taxi. Can't walk to them from town.
After that, you could hire a water taxi from the Soufriere waterfront/pier area - it would cost you around $150US to take it back to Castries.
So basically - you have definitely not saved any money and you are playing with fire as far as times go as there are no guarantess on bus times or finding a water taxi back up in time.
I would highly recommend either booking a tour in advance or hiring a taxi at the pier to take your group around. For around $150-$200US for the day, the taxi driver will be your tour guide, point out sites, take you to local stops, recommend local eats, take you to any of the sights you want to see, beaches, etc and wait for you at each of them. Not a bad bargain all in all. With 6 people, you would be in a van very similar to what the public bus would be, only with more space for each of you. There is nothing sterile about the local tours - you see the real side of St. Lucia - it is impossible not to on an island this size!
You are certainly welcome to try the public bus approach, but I highly, highly do NOT recommend it - you are on a limited schedule.
Good luck and enjoy your visit.
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Old February 25th, 2012, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reedprincess View Post
I would definitely not recommend trying to take a local bus to Soufriere and then trying to find a water taxi back. Buses in St. Lucia do not run on any set schedule - they only go when they are full. You would have to walk into Castries and get to the Castries - Soufriere bus stand, wait for a bus that has space for all 6 of you and then take the trip down. This is a very infrequent run - especially in the mornings as it is the reverse of the commute, I can only imagine how long you would have to wait - probably at least somewhere around an hour or so.
Once in Soufriere, there is little in the town itself - to get to the volcano, you would need another bus on the Soufriere to Vieux Fort route and for the Botanical gardens/Diamond falls, you would probably be best to walk to it, and that is about a 25-30 minute walk from the middle of town. You could go to the beach right in Soufreire, lovely beachfront, a few restaurants, but if you wanted to go to Jalousie or Anse Chastenet, you would need a land taxi or water taxi. Can't walk to them from town.
After that, you could hire a water taxi from the Soufriere waterfront/pier area - it would cost you around $150US to take it back to Castries.
So basically - you have definitely not saved any money and you are playing with fire as far as times go as there are no guarantess on bus times or finding a water taxi back up in time.
I would highly recommend either booking a tour in advance or hiring a taxi at the pier to take your group around. For around $150-$200US for the day, the taxi driver will be your tour guide, point out sites, take you to local stops, recommend local eats, take you to any of the sights you want to see, beaches, etc and wait for you at each of them. Not a bad bargain all in all. With 6 people, you would be in a van very similar to what the public bus would be, only with more space for each of you. There is nothing sterile about the local tours - you see the real side of St. Lucia - it is impossible not to on an island this size!
You are certainly welcome to try the public bus approach, but I highly, highly do NOT recommend it - you are on a limited schedule.
Good luck and enjoy your visit.
Thanks for the detailed reply, it is most helpful, I had read a lot of vague responses to the local bus question but I think you pretty much made it clear it's not a good idea, what I might save in money I would loose in time. A trade off that's probably not worth it. If I went with the local taxi route one way to soufrire, do I need to worry about getting a water taxi back from Soufrire back to Castries. Meaning are there plenty of them. And generally how long is the trip back by boat if the trip is not rushed.
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Old February 25th, 2012, 04:04 PM
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Water Taxi's are not super available for the trip back to Castries as they will have to return to Soufriere in the dark - and empty ( meaning no fare!) also, as I stated above, it will be at least as expensive as a land taxi would be for the whole day. You can check with Mystic Man, there are a boat operator out of the Soufriere waterfront - tgoogle their website - they can give you an accurate cost estimate. Also time estimate. An average time for returning to the port is about 45 minutes - if you want to be leisurely and pull into Marigot Bay or stop at the rock arch, etc. then allow at least an hour -1.5 hours.
I would definitely suggest you take a look at Spencer Ambrose's tours - he offers a land/sea combo that takes you down the west coast, stops by a banana plantation, for some fresh cassava bread at a local shop, in Anse La Raye, a small fishing village, photo stops along the way, the volcano and beach time between the Pitons with a water return to the ship. Includes drinks, snacks, lunch at a local place, entrance fees, etc. at only $85US pp I think. Not a bad deal when you consider all involved.
Otherwise, Good luck - I hope you are able to put together a trip that suits your needs.
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Old February 25th, 2012, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reedprincess View Post
Water Taxi's are not super available for the trip back to Castries as they will have to return to Soufriere in the dark - and empty ( meaning no fare!) also, as I stated above, it will be at least as expensive as a land taxi would be for the whole day. You can check with Mystic Man, there are a boat operator out of the Soufriere waterfront - tgoogle their website - they can give you an accurate cost estimate. Also time estimate. An average time for returning to the port is about 45 minutes - if you want to be leisurely and pull into Marigot Bay or stop at the rock arch, etc. then allow at least an hour -1.5 hours.
I would definitely suggest you take a look at Spencer Ambrose's tours - he offers a land/sea combo that takes you down the west coast, stops by a banana plantation, for some fresh cassava bread at a local shop, in Anse La Raye, a small fishing village, photo stops along the way, the volcano and beach time between the Pitons with a water return to the ship. Includes drinks, snacks, lunch at a local place, entrance fees, etc. at only $85US pp I think. Not a bad deal when you consider all involved.
Otherwise, Good luck - I hope you are able to put together a trip that suits your needs.
Again, thank you for the helpful advice and info, I will look into them both.
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Old February 26th, 2012, 01:21 AM
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Just got back from St Lucia. We decided to provide our own transportation, a mistake, go with the cruise ship OR book directly through the company and then they will come get you. We did the Treetop Canopy/Adventure Park in Dennery. My husband and I and our kids, 12,10,6,6 all went on the 12 line zipline adventure. It was the highlight of our entire trip. We have zipped in the states and this place does it right. two cables for safety and each line has an attendant there all the time with walkie talkies communicating when to send the next person and then any info the other person might need. One of my kids tended to have a hard time getting across so they fixed that problem very quickly but giving him and good start. You zip over little rivers, through trees, awesome. Would go again in a heartbeat. Just pay for your transportation ahead of time. You get a discount if you book online before hand. BEST tour from our recent week by far!!!!
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