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crash3x

St Kitt suggestions for excursions

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For those who took Royston's tour: How safe is the open air safari type van when touring something... I would guess nothing can be left in the van? Like for instance when we are touring Brimestone Fortress I would like to leave our towels and beach stuff(snorkeling gear) in his van...but it is open. Pls explain your experience with this.

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I would suggest _not_ doing the Mount Liamuiga volcano hike.

 

The Princess Cruise excursion book for the Antigua kayak and bird island exploration carries the caveat that “This most active excursion is suitable only for passengers in excellent physical condition.” The Mount Liamuiga hike carries a similar warning, “This most active excursion is a strenuous hike suitable only for experienced hikers or passengers in excellent physical condition.”

 

Yet we had two different experiences. We had never kayaked before, and yet found the Antiguan tour easy and enjoyable. By contrast, the Saint Kitts tour was not.

 

Both my wife and I have done the moderate-to-strenuous Skyline-Cliff Trail loop at Chimney Rock State Park, North Carolina, a 1.5 mile round trip, comparable in distance to the almost 4,000-foot ascent on Mount Liamuiga and subsequent 4,000-foot descent. And we understand that things in the United States are different than elsewhere. However:

 

The excursion was more akin to mountain climbing, at times necessitating the scaling of rocks by hand (to reach the last lookout, one had to grab onto a rope and hoist oneself onto a rock ledge.) Or, one had to circumvent large tree trunks by climbing onto and then off of them. We had to do neither at Chimney Rock;

 

The “narrow trails” described in the excursion booklet were not marked, and consisted of little more than a space between two trees, or two rocks. The trails were also muddy, and what is telling is that the tour ticket calls for participants to wear closed-toe shoes. Our guide, who was wearing Reebok sneakers similar to what any passenger would wear, slipped more times than we did. In the end, we had to wash our clothes twice to get the mud off of us back on board ship, and a week later, one pair of shorts still can't be cleaned. And again, we didn’t have any trouble with slipping or falling at Chimney Rock;

 

In conjunction with the above, it rained by the time we got back to Port Zante. Had it done so while we were on the mountain, it could have been disastrous, with no shelters as they have at Chimney Rock; and

 

There is no mention that there are no bathrooms for the duration of the hike. Seven hours, from the time of leaving the ship to coming back, is a long time to go without the use of facilities.

 

I know there are people who have gone and done this hike. However, it is a lot, lot more rugged than the tour book would have you believe. One guide book calls the hike "St. Kitts toughest." Had we known what we do now, we would not have done this excursion.

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My understanding of the Mount Liamuiga volcano hike is that it has a aproximate 2000 ft elevation gain, since you start at 1000ft above sea level and they take you to the lower peak. not saying this isn't strenuous, for many it is! but I doubt many hikers would have time to do a 4000ft elevation gain and return (net 8000ft) in the time alotted by a cruise ship!!!

 

FYI - hiking in north america is a whole different ballgame and chimney rock is stairs and well groomed trail. much easier hiking! becasue you don't have to worry about footing.

 

 

 

***I am an avid hiker and just want to see the fact posted. many who look to do strenuous hikes would love this excursion. but as the PP said you need to know what you are getting in to, and what you are capable of.

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Excellent comments about doing the volcano hike. I did it years ago & it was not a walk in the woods nor was it purported to be one, but I enjoyed it very much.

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I was wondering about the hike. We will be on the Equinox next week and we signed up for this excursion. We normally like active excursions, mountain biking, zip lining, hiking thru juggles. etc. However, this one it seems could be more than what I want to do. It is the ships excursion, so one would think it would not treacherous. The excursion last 6 hours 45 minutes. Also, it was written to wear closed toe shoes and long pants. Now I'm wondering if I need to make another selection for St. Kitts

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Built into the excursion time - which was full-time in port for us as well - is the travel to and from Mt. Liamuiga. Since the hike, I always joke that climbing up and down the volcano wasn't the most dangerous thing - it was getting back to port.

 

We were the last to join our group, and left about 15.00. The ship left St. Kitts at 16.30. We made it with half an hour to spare. The speed limit was 20 - whether that was kph or mph didn't matter - and we headed back at some ridiculous speed to make it back in an hour, along roads that barely held two lanes of traffic (one each way), every once in a while blasting the horn, which played "La Cucaracha". It was a surreal experience, particularly since as soon as we got to Port Zante it started to rain heavily.

 

I was going to joke with St. Kitts immigration (since I hoped to get my passport stamped) that I loved the country so much I was bringing half of it home with me, since I was soaking wet and my shorts and shoes were muddy. Alas, they said the guy who does the stamping "just stepped out" and I never had a chance to use the line.

 

Anyway, here's another pic of my wife trying to get down from the top. You have to swing yourself up on a rope to get there.

Picture.jpg.4c9a92a7cfbec303f2611f7c1c90a80d.jpg

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For those who took Royston's tour: How safe is the open air safari type van when touring something... I would guess nothing can be left in the van? Like for instance when we are touring Brimestone Fortress I would like to leave our towels and beach stuff(snorkeling gear) in his van...but it is open. Pls explain your experience with this.

 

 

Hahaha, I just toured with Royston last week. There is totally nothing "unsafe" about his van. And, to clarify, the windows are open but he can close them if you feel uncomfortable. You do not need AC because of the weather. Well, we did not. It's so much better because you can lean out and take pictures. No window tint to worry about. He'll even pull over, let you snap tons of pics, and start driving only after you are done.

 

I'm not sure why the open air feature scares folks.

 

I had no issue with worrying about stealing stuff. One person on my tour brought it up once when we got out of his van to take some pics, and he gladly volunteered to "stand guard" of the van while we snapped pics.

 

Sure some places aren't thieves, but tourism is a major income provider in St. Kitts. They want you to feel safe, share good reviews, and return.

 

The van style of Royston's vehicle makes the tour more fun. I woudl go with him again in a heartbeat.

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Hahaha, I just toured with Royston last week. There is totally nothing "unsafe" about his van. And, to clarify, the windows are open but he can close them if you feel uncomfortable. You do not need AC because of the weather. Well, we did not. It's so much better because you can lean out and take pictures. No window tint to worry about. He'll even pull over, let you snap tons of pics, and start driving only after you are done.

 

I'm not sure why the open air feature scares folks.

 

I had no issue with worrying about stealing stuff. One person on my tour brought it up once when we got out of his van to take some pics, and he gladly volunteered to "stand guard" of the van while we snapped pics.

 

Sure some places aren't thieves, but tourism is a major income provider in St. Kitts. They want you to feel safe, share good reviews, and return.

 

The van style of Royston's vehicle makes the tour more fun. I woudl go with him again in a heartbeat.

 

Good to hear, we have him booked for our upcoming Solstice cruise.

 

Kirk

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We did the Spectrum ATV Tours (www.spectrumatv.com) and really had a great experience. I know there is a bigger company that does the ATV tours on St. Kitts, but they get booked quickly and are more expensive. This ATV tour can be booked directly or through the 'Tour Store' in the square right as you come off the ship. From what I heard from other people in our ATV group the cost is the same for the customer- $75 per person for a 2.5 hours (incl. travel time) tour.

Afterwards we didn't go to a beach , but did spend time browsing the touristy stores.

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We did the Spectrum ATV Tours (www.spectrumatv.com) and really had a great experience. I know there is a bigger company that does the ATV tours on St. Kitts, but they get booked quickly and are more expensive. This ATV tour can be booked directly or through the 'Tour Store' in the square right as you come off the ship. From what I heard from other people in our ATV group the cost is the same for the customer- $75 per person for a 2.5 hours (incl. travel time) tour.

Afterwards we didn't go to a beach , but did spend time browsing the touristy stores.

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St Kitts - the best way to go is local guide Javin. He lives in a village just outside a serene rainforest and knows it well. He also knows the people wandering around very well so there is no chance of being robbed by a stranger. We were on his rainforest hike and catered island tour and it was amazing.

 

Reasonably priced and terribly exciting with many peaceful moments along the way.

 

Who wants to drive around in a van for hours like chickens to slaughter and how can you really see the islands interior in a automobile if you can't get there by driving.

 

 

Did anyone in these posts see the Black Rocks???

 

Gregg

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Did anyone in these posts see the Black Rocks???

 

Gregg

 

i've been there twice. the first time was better...less people. now it is pretty popular and even has vendors setting up. but, if you get there between vans and climb out a ways, it is a very impressive and peaceful way of spending an hour or so.

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For those who took Royston's tour: How safe is the open air safari type van when touring something... I would guess nothing can be left in the van? Like for instance when we are touring Brimestone Fortress I would like to leave our towels and beach stuff(snorkeling gear) in his van...but it is open. Pls explain your experience with this.

 

When we did Brimstone Hill - Royston stayed with the van but he can also pop the windows back in and lockup. Our stuff was fine in the van.

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