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Patsy Rosie

St. Kitts- not up to expectations

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We have a 12-7 stop here in March and I have looked at this board on and off for over a year now and I just have never found myself really excited about this port. The beaches are subpar compared to St. Maarten, Antigua and Barbados which are ports on this cruise as well. The waterfalls and scenery doesn't seem as interesting as Samana and Dominica which are other ports we will be visiting as well. The fort will interest my DH but this is our last stop and and final spring break for our whole family before our eldest is away at school so I was hoping to plan the perfect day.The talk of crime and the news about how many murders this little island has had this year has really not added to my excitement about visiting St. Kitts. We were able to have the perfect day in Ocho Rios last March. Our day there included Dunn's River, the cool blue whole and river tubing. If you have any ideas on activities such as these that can be done on a Sunday from 12-7 could you please share. Thanks for any help that you can provide.:)

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I hear the hiking is excellent! I wanted to do a 1/2 rainforest hike with Brimstone in the afternoon, but communication got garbled, so the hike didn't happen. Looking forward to doing it next year. A friend did the all day hike, and she loved it, and it does get good reviews.

 

We did make a short stop in the rainforest on our island tour, and the small portion we saw looked good to me - bubbling brooks of clear, cool water.

 

There were quite a few people with monkeys - at the port, at the popular stops (the rainforest), and at Cockleshell Beach. The locals who run the Lion Bar at Cockleshell Beach are very upset that so many people are using the monkeys. I didn't see that any were aggressive, but I didn't like the stories about the abuse the monkeys sometimes face as they get older.

 

The fort is amazing! Everybody will enjoy it. The views are breathtaking, and the attention to historical detail is second to no other fort I've seen in the Caribbean.

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As I posted on another thread, the older adults in our group went to Brimstone Fortress - an amazing place with outstanding views - and Romney Manor. The kids - age 25 down to 14 - hiked up the volcano - took them 5 hours! and they loved it! They hiked through the rainforest to get there. We did this with Thenford Grey, who dropped the hikers off first and then spent the rest of the day with us. Never saw any crime, or murders. Felt very safe indeed. For those of you who are too afraid to get off the ship, why don't you e-mail the tour guides and get their opinion and advice on the murders and mayhem on St. Kitts.

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As I posted on another thread, the older adults in our group went to Brimstone Fortress - an amazing place with outstanding views - and Romney Manor. The kids - age 25 down to 14 - hiked up the volcano - took them 5 hours! and they loved it! They hiked through the rainforest to get there. We did this with Thenford Grey, who dropped the hikers off first and then spent the rest of the day with us. Never saw any crime, or murders. Felt very safe indeed. For those of you who are too afraid to get off the ship, why don't you e-mail the tour guides and get their opinion and advice on the murders and mayhem on St. Kitts.

 

The tour guides would be the last people that I would ask about the "murder and mayhem on St. Kitts" to be honest. I plan on getting off the ship at this port, once I find something that interests me.

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Do not listen to this post at all! St. Kitts is a beautiful island and the natives were friendly and welcoming. We did the Capital and Beach Splash tour with Thenford Grey this past April and it was a lot of fun! Thenford took us on an island tour (the south peninsula is stunningly beautiful!) and then brought us to Reggae Beach Bar at Cockleshell Beach for an afternoon of sun and fun. The beach was great, the food and drink were out of this world and Thenford waited for us and brought us back to the port when we were ready to go back. We had time to explore Basseterre for a bit before we had to get back to the ship- we were on the Sea Princess. I thought St. Kitts was a great port of call and would welcome the chance to go back. The natives were certainly not "frightening" as this poster would have you believe. I guess some people just need to get out more...

 

You need to get out more. We don't know what beach the OP was at, and I can tell you, the island has some crappy, rundown parts with people hanging about. We rented scooters and did a full circle of the island and then cut down to the south to Friar's Bay. As soon as we headed south we both felt like this was more our style. The Southern Peninsula is MUCH nicer than the northern part. So don't be so quick to judge, you haven't seen much of the island yourself.

 

I feel for the OP and think they deserved more than 20% off. Of course you expect the cruise excursion to be to a nice beach with clean accomodations.

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We just came back from the Carnival Victory and this was our favorite stop of the week. The St Kitts Highlights with Brimstone Hill Fortress was amazing. We are doing this cruise again next fall.

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we just returned from St Kitts this week, and it was the worst port of the cruise. when you get off the ship there are tons of vendors.

 

they are nice to the people from what we saw, but aggressive and yelling at each other. there was also a local running around swearing at people, obviously drunk. he was quite scary. the locals were laughing at him like this was a common sight. there was also a store that we were going to check out, but a panhandler went in there harassing the store owners.

 

we also booked with Beulah's Welcome tours, and did not have a good experience:

 

We just returned from our cruise. After reading the reviews on Beulah, we decided to go with her, thinking it would be great.

 

It was quite disappointing, to say the least. We emailed in advance, and were quoted 30.00 a person.

 

When we arrived, we were told the tour would start at 930. However, she was so busy trying to get other sales to fill the van that we were rushed away and told to go looking in the stores(but not to buy anything yet b/c prices get better in the afternoon, which they did not). She said to give her 20 minutes to try to fill the van, and she was quite pushy and rude toward our elderly driver, in order to get more sales. We ended up waiting nearly an hour for the tour to start, and then she came to get money, and left again. She did not come with us on the tour, as expected.

 

Finally, we were sent off with the taxi driver, and he went to pick up our cheap drinks, which we had to pay for(all other tours on other islands include drinks in the van). Then he remembered that he forgot to leave a drink for Beulah, and had to drive it back to her. We thought we could now start the tour, and then he got a call from Beulah that she had more people to go in our van. We had to go back yet again, and pick those people up. So nearly 1.5 hours of time wasted there.

 

We then drove very slowly around in a hot van, and stopped at the batik store(all drivers have to stay there a min of 30 mins). We were then taken back to the other side of the island and got some photos with a nice view...probably the highlight of the tour. We were offered to go to the beach at Frigate Bay or back to the ship. We opted for the beach as we hadn't seen much yet, and were directed toward a restaurant on the beach, a friend of Beulah's. The food was not good, flies everywhere such that we couldn't finish the food, even if we had wanted to. The water was dark, and the bottom full of rocks.

 

It was not the tour we had hoped for, but we did not have the heart to tell the elderly man this, b/c he had endured so much harassment at the port. And now I am reading that others paid only 10.00 for the same tour, while we paid 30.00 each.

 

I would advise you to book with one of the many people at the port ready to go, for cheap. Do not book with Beulah, and do not book anything in advance....there were so many nice people there offering tours. We regret waiting so long for nothing, and overpaying.

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Do not listen to this post at all! St. Kitts is a beautiful island and the natives were friendly and welcoming. We did the Capital and Beach Splash tour with Thenford Grey this past April and it was a lot of fun! Thenford took us on an island tour (the south peninsula is stunningly beautiful!) and then brought us to Reggae Beach Bar at Cockleshell Beach for an afternoon of sun and fun. The beach was great, the food and drink were out of this world and Thenford waited for us and brought us back to the port when we were ready to go back. We had time to explore Basseterre for a bit before we had to get back to the ship- we were on the Sea Princess. I thought St. Kitts was a great port of call and would welcome the chance to go back. The natives were certainly not "frightening" as this poster would have you believe. I guess some people just need to get out more...

 

I have been looking into booking with Thenford Grey also. I noticed earlier on this thread someone mentioned tours for approx. $13.00 per person. As you know Thenford is a bit more than that. Did you feel that your tour with Thenford was worth the cost? Do you have any comparison with those other tours?

 

This is our first time at St. Kitts and the first time we have had a new island on our itinerary in awhile. I'm trying to get my act together for this stop.

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I toured with Thenford a couple of weeks ago. It is well worth the $48 (includes $8 admission to Brimstone) St. Kitts was my favorite port. We were greeted by him as soon as we exited security so did not experience any aggressive people. I thought the port was the most organized, had a proper place for the buses (St. Lucia was crazy). Thenford has a fairly new van with AC and windows that open for better picture opportunities. My only regret was waiting 1.5hrs for a plate of so-so nachos at the Shipwreck bar when I could have been snorkeling instead! Out of all our stops, south Friars Bay had the most and largest variety of fish. I can't wait to go back to St. Kitts one day. I thought the beach was beautiful, it had darker sand but the clear water, amazing scenery and plentiful fish were worth it!

 

DSCN1076.jpg

Edited by Sunseeker11

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I have been looking into booking with Thenford Grey also. I noticed earlier on this thread someone mentioned tours for approx. $13.00 per person. As you know Thenford is a bit more than that. Did you feel that your tour with Thenford was worth the cost? Do you have any comparison with those other tours?

 

This is our first time at St. Kitts and the first time we have had a new island on our itinerary in awhile. I'm trying to get my act together for this stop.

 

The tour we went on was $25 pp- we had a tour of Basseterre and then took the drive down to Cockleshell Beach, stopping at a bunch of places along the way for pictures. The sights as you drive down the peninsula are stunning and definitely makes the tour a bargain at $25! As others have mentioned, the full tour with Thenford is $48 pp and includes Romney manor, Caribelle Batik, Brimstone Hill Fortress, etc. That's the one I'm probably going to take on my next trip to St. Kitts in 2013. I definitely think the tour we took was worth the cost. I loved it.

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The tour we went on was $25 pp- we had a tour of Basseterre and then took the drive down to Cockleshell Beach, stopping at a bunch of places along the way for pictures. The sights as you drive down the peninsula are stunning and definitely makes the tour a bargain at $25! As others have mentioned, the full tour with Thenford is $48 pp and includes Romney manor, Caribelle Batik, Brimstone Hill Fortress, etc. That's the one I'm probably going to take on my next trip to St. Kitts in 2013. I definitely think the tour we took was worth the cost. I loved it.

Ditto - that's what we did and loved it. Sure, it's 48 bucks, but you are, after all, on vacation. And really, for a 4 hour tour, that's only $12 an hour! That's the way I rationalize all my vacation spending, LOL!

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We've been on the island twice & both times spent the day with Royston.

He's a wonderful, kind, & honest young man & I'll never forget the beauty we saw with him as our guide. St. Kitts has so many senic spots to just stop and look out at, simply amazing island.

 

Loved snorkeling at South Friars w/Royston as well. He will show you so many cool things on land and in water. Open your mind & your heart to St. Kitts!

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I toured with Thenford a couple of weeks ago. It is well worth the $48 (includes $8 admission to Brimstone) St. Kitts was my favorite port. We were greeted by him as soon as we exited security so did not experience any aggressive people. I thought the port was the most organized, had a proper place for the buses (St. Lucia was crazy). Thenford has a fairly new van with AC and windows that open for better picture opportunities. My only regret was waiting 1.5hrs for a plate of so-so nachos at the Shipwreck bar when I could have been snorkeling instead! Out of all our stops, south Friars Bay had the most and largest variety of fish. I can't wait to go back to St. Kitts one day. I thought the beach was beautiful, it had darker sand but the clear water, amazing scenery and plentiful fish were worth it!

 

DSCN1076.jpg

We are planning on going with Thenford for his "capital & beach splash" tour. Do you know how much the snorkel equipment is at this beach for rental?

 

Thanks, :)

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Sorry I don't, we brought our own equipment. It is worth while bringing your own, I would be worried about how well they are sanitized. We usually leave our fins at home to save space and weight and borrow them if available, but you don't need them if you aren't swimming very far.

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We've been on the island twice & both times spent the day with Royston.

He's a wonderful, kind, & honest young man & I'll never forget the beauty we saw with him as our guide. St. Kitts has so many senic spots to just stop and look out at, simply amazing island.

 

Loved snorkeling at South Friars w/Royston as well. He will show you so many cool things on land and in water. Open your mind & your heart to St. Kitts!

Snorkel Dawg;

will keep a open mind and heart open will be with Royston this Jan 20th. Victory cruise 15 Jan. Will be thinking of you all:D

Paul

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We used the snorkeling equipment provided to us by Blue Water Safari. They washed them in soapy water in front of us.

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We toured the island in 2008 with Thenford Grey and loved it. He met us right at the port gates.

 

Thenford was also quite happy to stop the van anytime we wanted to get out and take photos.

 

We visited Caribelle Batik, Brimstone Hill Fortress and hit Reggae Beach (home to Wilbur the Pig). On that beach, I was asked if I wanted a massage. After politely declining a couple of times, I decided, what the heck... I paid $20 or so for a nice, long massage and felt great afterwards. Also, the lady let me take some photos of our kids holding her monkey (for free, seeing as how I just bought a massage).

 

For the most part, I never found the vendors to be any more aggressive or pushy than the people who phone me at home trying to sell me something... Keep in mind that these folks are just trying to feed their families, just like us...

 

Regardless of what I hear or read in the news, I would still book an excursion on this island - there is a lot to see...

 

The caribbean is a wonderful place - I would not miss out on any opportunity to see as much as you can while you're down there. For every "bad" experience I've had down there, I've had 50 good ones...

 

Cheers, P:)

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I'm betting the $13 'tour' was only a taxi to the beach. Mr. Thenford Grey is extremely knowledgeable and entertaining. We did "The Tour" with him. It was excellent. I believe his son also works for/with him.

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I'm betting the $13 'tour' was only a taxi to the beach. Mr. Thenford Grey is extremely knowledgeable and entertaining. We did "The Tour" with him. It was excellent. I believe his son also works for/with him.

 

We have decided to go with him. Being our first time to this island I want to see it.

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