We toured with Royston on December 26, 2017. I feel I need to contribute a head's up that our experience was a bit different than others have had. Ya know how when you read TripAdvisor reviews and there's the one really detailed bad one amid all the upbeat ones, and you think that poster must just be cranky? I wish I had paid a bit more attention to the one poster.
We had booked ahead of time for our party of three, and agreed to pay a nominal fee for 3 other seats so we could have a private tour. We like to get really in depth in our touring, asking tons of questions and pausing at interesting parts, and we didn't want to bore another party who might have ended up riding with us. Royston met us right on time and started driving us around the island. So far so good.
The van is really in bad shape. The windshield is cracked, the sliding door doesn't latch well, there were holes in the floor. It was fine, and certainly added character to the tour, but not particularly comfortable. There were several quick hard rainstorms through the day that made the lack of windows a bit unpleasant. If we hadn't brought raincoats, we would have been soaked through for the rest of the trip. The island is beautiful.
We got plenty of time to look at things, because Royston would pull up to a ledge and pause for long moments, lost in reverie. I assume he was giving us more than enough time to take pictures, but it was also kind of weird. There were occasional monologues about colors only he could see. In fact, we were treated to a few repeated themes of monologue as we went along. One about the students at the vet school being drunks and unChristian. Another about St. Kitts avoiding the recent hurricanes because it is a Christian island, while St. Martin deserved its damage because they have casinos and don't pray. And then the colors. Lots about the special colors only Royston could see.
There was a cooler in the van with a variety of drinks, which we appreciated. When I asked about lunch, around 11ish, trying to plan ahead, Royston replied that he would have to see what he could do. To be fair, this was Boxing Day and a lot of places were closed. But surely that was not a surprise? Doesn't it happen every year? Nonetheless, we toured for several more hours, with no food in sight, when finally we ended up at the Fort, which has a junky little tourist grill. By this time, it was around 2 and everyone's blood sugar was low. When I asked if there was a plan for lunch, Royston replied that he had hoped to see people grilling in the picnic area but there weren't any. So we got really bad sandwiches from the grill and made do. Royston did pay for these, as lunch was advertised as included, but as he did he commented that he didn't need food anymore, so he forgot other people did. A far cry from roti prepared on the beach!
We continued our tour. We saw wonderful things. St. Kitts is so beautiful. Also, kind of big for a day tour. We began to encourage Royston to wrap it up, so we could get back on time. He did not have watch or a phone to keep track of time. At this point, we were still having fun, although glad we had not laid out a ton of money. We figured it was weird but basically good. Some of the drop-offs made me a little nervous, as the van edged right along them, but all part of the adventure, right?
And then, the last 45 minutes: we were quzzed about our own religious beliefs, specifcally what our beliefs required of us in order to get into heaven. Once we had answered, I guess correctly, Royston felt safe to launch into his own spiritual journey, including exactly what it feels like when God comes to talk to him, what Jesus really looks like, why he was kicked out of his own church after he confronted them about using the wrong calendar since Rome and the Pagans conspired to destroy the real calendar system in the beginning (??), and who exactly the antiChrist is, and Royston's proof of this. Also, how helpful YouTube has been in interpreting all the numbers God has confided to Royston in dreams, so that he is in the process of calculating when precicely the world will end. Spoiler alert: he's narrowed it down to 2040 but still iffy on the exact day. This might sound quirky and funny, but delivered in a rundown van on the edge of a cliff, from someone who clearly wasn't joking, it bordered on scary. Like he might save us all the trouble of waiting until 2040 and just take us over the cliff now. At the very least, it was not a pleasant way to end a tour.
Fortunately, we did arrive back in town without the world ending. It was a funny story to tell our friends at dinner. But I wouldn't want to repeat the day. We decided that both the great reviews and the few completely negative ones are accurrate. I think Royston must take medication for whatever mental condition he has, and this allows him to focus and function the majority of the time. Unfortunately, he must have literally gone "off his meds" for the holidays, and we got the unfiltered version. My husband kept asking me, "and everyone on cruise critic loves this guy????" So I felt obligated to comment. In fact, I would have started a new thread, with a title along the lines of "Warning!" but I read the posting rules and that would seem a violation.
If anyone tours with him in the next couple of months, I hope you'll come back and comment. I'd love to hear that he's settled down because I'm not so sure how sustainable the current level of nuts will be. (On the other hand, I suppose he really could be hearing from above, and come 2040 I'll wish I'd paid more attention.)