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mistereks

Skip the St. Kitt's "Scenic" Railway Tour

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Usually this tour can only be booked through the cruise ships. When the ships are not in you can book seperately.

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:confused: A lot of posts about the railway tour, but has anyone taken any other excursion in St. Kitts? My hubby was talking about renting a car and driving around the island.

 

I recently took the ship's excursion to Brimstone Hill Fortress, which also stopped at Caribelle Batik and the petroglyphs. Brimstone Hill was awesome, the petroglyphs were small but worth seeing, and Caribelle Batik was pretty but entirely too crowded. If you don't do the railway -- which would be my absolute #1 recommendation -- I'd suggest Brimstone Hill. I really don't know how well renting a car would work; never tried it at St. Kitts.

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Judy-does the railway tour pass by the Brimstone Hill Fortress? Are there any other "big" things that you can see from the train ride? Thanks, Shelly:)

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Shelly,

 

No; you won’t see Brimstone Hill from the railway, although you will probably get a glimpse of it on the way to or back from the railway, on the other part of the island. No other “big” things that I can remember seeing from the railway, but many little villages, friendly people, an old church whose name I can’t recall at the moment, peanut fields, remains of sugar plantations, fields and forests, and some absolutely fabulous views of the ocean and cliffs.

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Hi Judy-thanks for the answer. Can't wait to tour St. Kitt's on the railway. Once you're dropped off again(I assume at the port),are there shops nearby to pick up souvenirs,etc.?

Thanks again for helping out! Shelly:)

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Hi Judy-thanks for the answer. Can't wait to tour St. Kitt's on the railway. Once you're dropped off again(I assume at the port),are there shops nearby to pick up souvenirs,etc.?

Thanks again for helping out! Shelly:)

 

Yes, Shelly. You'll be dropped off by the pier. You'll be at the edge of town, where there are restaurants, the clock tower, shops. I think there were a few shops in the building at the edge of the pier, but I may be thinking of some other port, and they weren't much, anyway. There is a little place in that building that calls itself the "National Museum." It's quite limited and IMHO hardly qualifies as a museum, but does have some island crafts and such for sale.

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I just booked this tour for our January cruise. My Dh loves trains so he is thrilled. We tried to book it about 3-4 years ago but it was down for repair, he was so disappointed. Wouldn't be my first choice, but it will be fun to see how much he enjoys it, I'm sure I will too!

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I just booked this tour for our January cruise. My Dh loves trains so he is thrilled. We tried to book it about 3-4 years ago but it was down for repair, he was so disappointed. Wouldn't be my first choice, but it will be fun to see how much he enjoys it, I'm sure I will too!

 

 

DH & I took this tour 2 years ago and loved every minute of it.

 

We sailed with 3 other couples from our hometown this past January and recommended the tour to them. They all took the tour and agreed it was among the best tours they have ever taken and thanked us for the recommendation.

 

Yes, the train may seem rickety by some people's standards but that is part of the feel of the excursion.

 

The trip will take you not only along the coast line of St. Kitts but through the back country of the island so that you can get a good feel of how the islanders really live.

 

You will be amazed at the number of children as well as adults who come out of their homes (and even schools) to wave to you as the train passes. Reminded DH & I of times here in the States when trains passed by small towns and villages and attracted viewers waving at passengers.

 

Trip takes you through the sugar cane fields that are now wild fields of cane since the island no longer produces sugar from the cane fields. Trip is narrated by local residents who explain the journey with much knowledge about the history of the island.

 

I believe most trips also include a visit to each train car by a group of local singers who entertain you with local songs. Trip DH & I were on 2 years ago and our friends were on this past January also included free local drinks, alcoholic drinks as well as non-alcoholic drinks.

 

Train ride truly is a great glimpse into the lives of the people who live there and can't say enough about the friendly atmosphere on the train.

 

Dianne

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I agree with everything that Dianne said. All I would add is that they also gave us sugar cakes -- they looked like cookies but were very sugary and sweet. And we were given a DVD of the ride -- generic, not our specific ride, but very nicely done and a good representation of our ride; it was informative, and not touristy hype.

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Judy, would recommend this tour for a family with a 4 yr old child?

 

Thanks for your help

 

I've never had a 4 year old child, so I couldn't say for sure. But I suspect that such a young child might get bored, unless just being on a train might be entertainment enough. Maybe someone who has taken the ride and is more familiar with young children might be able to give you a better answer. I wouldn't want you to miss such a great trip because I gave you a bad opinion. You would have the option of sitting either in the top, open part of the train, or in the bottom, enclosed and air conditioned part.

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Judy, would recommend this tour for a family with a 4 yr old child?

 

Thanks for your help

The excursion includes a bus ride that was, as I recall, 30-45 minutes. The train itself was maybe an hour or 1:15.

 

We spent the entire time on the train on the upper deck. There is a lower one and I believe that it is air conditioned. The bus was air conditioned.

 

Here's a pic of the train:

 

1315578267_c623da6f4e.jpg

 

If you do decide to go I would strongly suggest that you take the morning excursion. We did and it was blazing hot by the time we got through. I felt sorry for the afternoon riders.

 

Charlie

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Here is a dumb question but one I have a valid reason for asking. We are sailing on the Carnival Miracle 2/09 and were thinking about this excursion thru Carnival.

 

Are the buses clearly marked to return you to the pier? A member of our group is petrified of having to make thier way back to the ship independently or getting lost.

 

Thanks

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The buses are well marked. You will not miss your ride. The buses are owned by the operators of the train.

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IMHO you would really have to try to miss the bus associated with this tour.

 

The tours don't want any problems any more than you do. If you have a problem, you're going to go straight to the cruise line which could jeopardize the tour company's contract with the line.

 

Charlie

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Here is a dumb question but one I have a valid reason for asking. We are sailing on the Carnival Miracle 2/09 and were thinking about this excursion thru Carnival.

 

Are the buses clearly marked to return you to the pier? A member of our group is petrified of having to make thier way back to the ship independently or getting lost.

 

Thanks

 

You return to the ship in the same vehicle that took you to the train; very easy to find.

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Judy, would recommend this tour for a family with a 4 yr old child?

 

Thanks for your help

 

We took the train tour in July with our 4 yr old DS. He loved it. There is open air seating up top, or fully enclosed seating down stairs. They served water/soft drinks/cookies to all guests, and over 21 had the option of adult beverages.

 

Some of the most beautiful scenery pics of our cruise came from the train ride. We saw one green monkey.

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We took the train tour in July with our 4 yr old DS. He loved it. There is open air seating up top, or fully enclosed seating down stairs. They served water/soft drinks/cookies to all guests, and over 21 had the option of adult beverages.

 

Some of the most beautiful scenery pics of our cruise came from the train ride. We saw one green monkey.

 

Thanks for your reply. I see you were on the Destiny; we are on the

Victory (taking over for the Destiny) in March 09. Can you recommend

any other of the island tours for the 4yr? We are just now planning the

excursions. Lots of ports!!

 

Joyce

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Thanks for your reply. I see you were on the Destiny; we are on the

Victory (taking over for the Destiny) in March 09. Can you recommend

any other of the island tours for the 4yr? We are just now planning the

excursions. Lots of ports!!

 

Joyce

 

We mostly did beach days on our So. Caribbean cruise. I've heard Megan's Bay in St. Thomas is good, but we opted for a cab to Sapphire Beach. Not crowded at all. We also did an independent tour with Cosol in St. Lucia. While it's more of an adult tour, they were great with our kids. They were the only 2 children on the tour, and were treated very special. There was time for swimming during the tour.

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I just did the train ride a few days ago. I really enjoyed it.

We boarded right at the end of the pier in a little square. Many elderly, some with canes, some with powerchairs, wheel chairs were accomodated.

 

The buses were AC and they gave us cute St. Kitts Train bottled water bottles as soon as we got on the bus for our 45 minute ride to the train. (The other 1/2 took the train 1st then the longer bus ride to return).

 

From the bus to boarding the train was probably 5 steps. They gave you the number of the train car and the number of the bus so no one would get lost (highly impossible). On the return it was about 3 steps from the train to the bus door. Very nice for those with walking problems.

 

I thought it was highly organized. Once onboard we were offered water and other drinks again, and many times during the ride. Many times!! Each train car had a restroom below where the AC room was on each car. I visited the restroom and it was quite clean (no one in our group was in the AC part---we were all upstairs.) Yes, it was a hot day but the movement of the train made a delightful trip. The seats were padded and you could stand to take pictures, etc. Sitting sideways on the padded benches allowed for easy viewing on either side and picture taking.

 

They even had live singing a couple times during the ride--4 singers that went from car to car to entertain. They sang some Xmas carols also. Just a nice touch I thought. Yes, sugar cookies were served and more drinks if you wished.

 

I thought HAL's $109. was expensive, but it was a nice excursion. I had never been to St. Kitts and it gave a good overview of the island. I won't have to take it again though!

 

St. Kitts has not recovered from hurricane Ike. But even with the mess there was some beautiful scenery. They are proud of their island and hospitals, vet hospitals. etc. I enjoyed meeting the people who made our visit enjoyable! Deb C.

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on our recent cruise. It was well organised, fun & a joy to see a good portion of the island from the train.

 

Yes, you do go through a couple poor areas, but so what? These people were happy to see us waved etc. Some of the poorest area were gifted with the nicest views!!

 

Would we go on this tour again? Probably not, but not as we didn't like it, more just "been there done that". It wasn't such a big draw to use to want to do it over again every time we are in port. But it is worth your time to go on it at least once. I doubt if you will be disappointed.

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I'll be there in May on the Victory as well. Just booked the cruise and since I have one in a couple of weeks, I'm going to wait to do my "serious" research on excursions until after the holidays.

 

But I did read through what Carnival has to offer and thought the train sounded interesting. I prefer to do independent excursions these days, but if something is only offered through the cruiseline, well, then one doesn't have so many choices.

 

Since the ports will all be "new-to-me" other than San Juan and St Thomas, I generally like to do some sort of island tour rather than go off just to swim or snorkel. And with an all-port itinerary, too many "activity" type excursions would mean I'd be exhausted by day 3!

 

Thanks for the reviews, folks. Hope to get some more comments soon.

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Five of us are booked on the train the week of January 18. We are excited. My DH and I tried to go several years ago but there was a problem with the tracks so they cancelled the excursions. We booked through Carnival and it was $79 - last time we booked, but couldn't go, it was $99. I'm sure it will be worth the money.

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Five of us are booked on the train the week of January 18. We are excited. My DH and I tried to go several years ago but there was a problem with the tracks so they cancelled the excursions. We booked through Carnival and it was $79 - last time we booked, but couldn't go, it was $99. I'm sure it will be worth the money.

 

Enjoy evey minute of it an keep your eyes open right and left while you are riding. You never know what great sights you are going to see.

 

In 24 cruises, it's still the best excursion we ever took.

 

Dianne

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