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Review: Soufriere By Spanish Galleon Excursion

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We were in St Lucia earlier this month. Decided to do the Soufriere by Spanish Galleon excursion via Royal Caribbean. We enjoyed it a lot! Here are the details:

The excursion is run by Seaspray cruises. The galleon is Black Magic.

It is a long excursion. However, we arrived back at the port at 3 pm (ship's all aboard was 6 pm) so there was more than enough time to peek into the stores or pick up any souvenirs. The galleon had a crew of on board as well as a couple of guides who accompanied us every place we visited. There are two bathrooms on board. Very clean and comfortable, just don't flush while the boat is anchored and people are swimming near the boat:D;). Seating on the galleon is quite "adventurous". There are wooden bench and block/podium type seats high up at the front and back. We sat in the front. Enjoyed the views and fresh air. The aft people were also enjoying themselves. The center of the galleon has lot of shade, same kind of benches. There is one indoor area where the bar and bathrooms are located. This area does not get sun (except through the sides of some windows) and is a bit dark. If you cannot take the sun, this is where you would want to sit. There are plastic chairs in this area. The crew had some games for the couple of kids that were on board. I was expecting more kids but I think we only had two.

When we sailed from the harbor the guides pointed out some places of interest.....hotels, landmarks, etc. They served us fruit juices, water and soda en route to Soufriere. Saw the majestic Pitons. After a great leisurely sail for an hour and 15 minutes we docked at Soufriere. The cruise to Soufriere was very smooth and not like the speed boat one from hell we had taken a couple years ago. Here we were assigned to taxi vans, 10 to a van to go to the mud baths and volcano. It was a very short drive via some "thrilling" roads and bends. LOL! The van was not air conditioned, but the windows were down and it was comfortable. I was expecting a spring or screw to pop out from the dash board every time we hit a small bump. But that did not happen!

We had about 45 mts to an hour at the mud baths. I was anticipating a long line, but that was not the case. There were people from other tours as well but it was not crazy packed. There are open showers and private changing rooms there, which people seemed to be using with ease and there were no long lines to use them. Majority mentioned that they were going to wash off the mud at their next stop, the waterfall, but since we were not doing the waterfall, we cleaned up there. For those who are not into the mud bath kind of thing, there are some other things to do: shop/walk around the vendors' stalls, walk up a bit to see the steam vents from the volcano or indulge in a massage at the "spa". Massages were $1 for 1 minute and the poor masseuse looked so wretched that I think he was in dire need of a massage and some good nutrition himself! I looked at everyone closely before and after they plunged into the mud bath.....no one came out 10 years younger as professed! LOL!:D

Next stop was Mourne Coubaril Estate. By now people were hungry for lunch and it was time. Our tour group was seated on a terrace. Buffets were laid out on two sides. Food was excellent....bread, slaw salad with home made lemon dressing, fried fish with their local hot sauces, sauteed local veggies, carnival rice, Caribbean chicken curry. Drinks were not included, but not very expensive. Quite well managed. We had some time to shop for souveniers......many people were buying the hot sauces that were made on the estate. After this we all rode back to the dock to board the galleon.

We sailed out to see the Pitons (from a distance...did not go all the way there) then past Anse Chastanet, where the guide pointed out the famous Green Mountain Resort of the Bachelor fame. Next stop was swimming at a cove around Anse Cochon. This is where the St Lucia Dive Boats were bringing their divers. Swim stop was about 45 minutes. One can jump off the galleon or use the ladder kind of steps that most dive boats have. The crew provided noodles if you needed them. The depth was about 40 feet and snorkeling was quite nice, although they said "snorkel at your own risk". A vendor pulled up aside the galleon to sell small souvenir stuff and coconut water.

Next was Marigot Bay. We did not stop here, just sailed in and out of the bay while the guide pointed out things of interest. After this we set sail for the port and reached at 3 pm.

We really enjoyed this excursion. The galleon was a lot of fun and every boat that passed bye took our pictures. A drone followed us in Anse Chastanet area. I highly recommend this one.

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I had considered booking this for our port stop in St. Lucia last December and hunted high and low for reviews without finding anything, and then the whole excursion simply disappeared off our cruise planner anyway, so we did a different excursion.

Based on what you say, I would definitely consider doing it if we ever get the chance to go back to St. Lucia, so thank you very much for sharing. :)

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[quote name='FionaMG']I had considered booking this for our port stop in St. Lucia last December and hunted high and low for reviews without finding anything, and then the whole excursion simply disappeared off our cruise planner anyway, so we did a different excursion.

Based on what you say, I would definitely consider doing it if we ever get the chance to go back to St. Lucia, so thank you very much for sharing. :)[/quote]
You are very welcome. I also looked for a review but I found only one. We decided to do the excursion anyways, since we have done everything there is to do in St Lucia. I was surprised to see so many people booked it. I had a plan B in case they cancelled for " not enough bookings".

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We chartered a catamaran from Seaspray, a couple of weeks ago, and they were fantastic. Really easy to make arrangements with, and a great crew. I would definitely recommend them

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Thanks for taking the time to do a Great Review, I will also add to the thread when I get back,Just booked thru RC..... so again Thanks:D

Mike

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This sounds like a great excursion!

Generally I take a backpack with bottled water, phone/camera, towel, etc. What do I do with my backpack when I'm in the mud baths? Is there a place to store it? Will the guide watch it?

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Does anyone know how long the drive is to the volcano once you get off the ship, and how scary and cliffy the road is?

10 minutes, give or take. And it's not a scary cliffy road, it's a well traveled road through town, then up the hillside and into the volcano.. Decent wide road..

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Hi,

Just completed this Cruise, Was wonderful and I totally recommend this tour!!

 

Mike

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Thank you! I was also wondering if you get a great view of The Pitons on this excursion?

Umm, yes. You sail down to Soufriere where the Pitons are located, so have wonderful sea views of them, then drive inland to volcano and Morne Coubaril, giving some great land views...

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Can't wait to get back to St Lucia again. I love it! It is one of my favorite islands.

Glad that the pirate ship excursion review was of help. I am looking at Ti Kaye next.

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