Royal Caribbean Day 4: Antigua

Day 4: St. John’s, Antigua

Date: 24 April 2018
Port: St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda
Time on Island: 8am-4:30pm
Distance between St. Kitts and Antigua: 104.17 km or 56.25 nautical miles (64.73 miles)

Antigua was our only port that we didn’t prebook any tours and neither of us were mad at that fact. We were ready for a relaxing, anything can happen sort of day and the more time we spent talking with people on our cruise the more we realized how easy it was going to be to see the island without a tour. Thankfully, Karen and Richard didn’t prebook anything either so, of course, we decided to spend the entire day together.

We started our morning with the usual buffet breakfast and coffee before heading to the lower deck to disembark. Like the other two ports, Antigua greeted us with the traditional sounds of steel pans! I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of steel pan or Soca music so I welcomed the beautiful music as we walked along the platform to the port shops. 

We weren’t totally sure what we wanted to do in Antigua but none of us really cared. We were all ready for a relaxed day with just our little family of 4. 

One of the things that I love about the Caribbean is the ease of hiring a full day taxi for a good price so that is exactly what we did. We decided it was probably going to be the easiest way to see a lot of the island for a decent price.

Our tour guide for the day was a cute elder gentleman, who did a great job explaining to us the current state of their sister island, Barbuda, which, at this point, was STILL uninhabitable. Yes, 8 months post hurricane, and the tiny islands 2500 residents where still living on Antigua following Irma. Antigua, itself, was out of the direct path of Irma, but still received wind and rain. 

After we left the port, our taxi drive started our tour by driving us through the beautiful island to a National Park and Marina with a quick stop at a beautiful overlook. We took family photos 🙂

Once we arrived at the marina, we wandered for a little, soaked up the beauty, and drank some Caribbean rum drinks. I actually had a small sample of straight rum from the local bar; needed to compare with Cruzan and Bacardi. It was called Skullduggery Rum, distilled and bottled in Antigua and it was delicious!

Once we finished our rum, our taxi driver took us to an amazing overlook of the marina before continuing our drive to other AMAZING overlook of beautiful beaches. The water I’m not even kidding, was the bluest water I’ve ever seen. These overlooks were what I was hoping for when I decided to take the cruise. I wanted to see how similar and how vastly different the beaches, the water, and the cultures were on the tiny islands. 

In addition to the overlooks, our driver made several pitstops to tell us about the pineapples that are grown on the island. It’s a big industry here with many government ran pineapple plants. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen a pineapple growing in real life and it’s so fascinating how they grow from the bottom up.

We ended our mini tour of Antigua with an hour and a beer at a beautiful local beach called Darkwood Beach. Karen, Richard, Darren and myself spent likely an hour taking boomerangs, photos, and videos of us being our silly, goofy selves on the white sandy beach in the Caribbean Blue waters. It was a perfect end to our time in Antigua.

Once we were back at the port, we didn’t dillydally too much. We basically just returned to the ship and did the usually routine: returned to our cabin, we showered, I got ready, and then we exited our cabin. Since we did get back on board fairly early, Darren and I had some extra time so we were able to enjoy a pre-dinner beer and walk around the lower deck as the ship was pulling away from Antigua and it was glorious!

Our night was basically identical to the past few nights and I wasn’t mad about it. Dinner per usual with loads and loads of laughter and special water followed by the game show, loads of laughter, and more special water!

I must say though, one of the things I love about being gone from the cabin in the evening is that we never know what towel creature we are going to have sitting on our bed. Our cabin crew, Randy from Jamaica, makes them each night and it just showed a little extra step in the turn down. It would always put a smile on my face to end each night. He likely will never see this, but thank you Randy for always ending our days with such a delight and smile!!!

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