Antigua, Aruba, Barbados, Bonaire, Caribbean, Curacao, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Maarten

Cruising the Southern Caribbean

Check out this excerpt from our 14-day Caribbean cruise. 

Good morning Grenada! What a beautiful sight. Another lush, hilly island with colorful buildings. I could get used to this.

St. George’s, Grenada looks amazing from the ship. Only 21 miles long and 12 miles at its widest point, Grenada’s 133 square miles include a variety of terrain: lush green jungle-covered mountains, crop-covered hills, rushing rivers and streams, cascading waterfalls, placid lakes, and 45 of the most picture-perfect white sand beaches anywhere on the planet. Most buildings are made of brick or lava rock because of the several disastrous fires in the island’s early history. Wood is a forbidden building material here.

Known as the “spice island,” Grenada produces vast quantities of cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and more. Like many of its neighbor islands, Grenada is volcanic in origin. It is said to have been “discovered” by Christopher Columbus. Of all the Caribbean islands he visited, Grenada probably best met Columbus’ original goal -- to open a source of spices to Europe by sailing west instead of east.

If Columbus and his crew didn’t take all of the spices off the island, the Globetrotters are certainly planning to get our hands on some. On our way to the elevator to disembark for our day in St. George’s, a woman approached us and said, “Hey, you’re the two who were late getting to the ship yesterday!” No, she didn’t! I was flabbergasted.

“We got a kick out of watching you run towards the ship. Glad you made it in time,” she said. How embarrassed could I have been at that moment? Oh well, at least we gave some of our friendly shipboard travelers a laugh yesterday.

As we exit the pier, I notice a fort at the top of a nearby hill and I immediately know I want to go there. I like exploring forts and museums and other historical landmarks. But to get there we have to pass through a small shopping mall, so we do a little “window shopping,” then onto the fort we go. We climb several stairs, then up a steep incline to the top where we pay $2 pp US to enter Fort George. Once inside, I'm impressed by the size of the courtyard. It's small. I'm expecting something larger, like the Castillo San Marcos we visited when in St. Augustine, Florida.

A young man greets us at the top of the fort and shares some of the history of the place. Sadly, he shares the story of a terrible tragedy in 1983 when Grenada’s Prime Minister and a female cabinet member, who was nearly nine months pregnant at the time, were executed by firing squad in the courtyard area.

After our history lesson and a bird’s eye view of St. George’s, we venture down the hill and into town to explore more. We happen upon Carenage Harbor, a small fishing area with shops and restaurants. It’s a place where both locals and visitors hang out. We meet a few women selling spices and two little boys who are finishing up their day of fishing.

The people here are very nice. They all try to guess where we're from. I'm amazed that they don’t immediately guess that we're American.

“You have an accent, but I can’t tell where you’re from,” some  say. It’s so odd to have someone tell you that you have an accent because you never hear your own accent. They guess that we are Grenadian, Bajan (from Barbados), and a few other island nationalities, but no one guesses American.

We head back towards the ship and happen upon a large marketplace in the center of town. It covers a city block and has dozens of tiny stalls with women (mostly) selling spices, fruits, underwear, toys, shoes, and lots of other wares. Michael loves these kinds of markets, so I figure we'll spend some time here. I think these markets remind him of the French Market in the French Quarter of his hometown New Orleans. Of course, we buy some spices from a few of the vendors, then return to the ship.

As we relax on deck with a few slices of pizza -- mind you, this is only three hours before dinner, but we really need a little snack after climbing to the fort and all that walking around -- a British gentleman joins us at our table for a chat.

“I saw you two running to meet the ship yesterday,” he says. Oh no! How many people saw us?

“It was pretty funny. But you must know that you weren’t the last to board,” he tells us. Whew! Actually, that makes me feel much better.

After that good news, we freshen up and enjoy dinner with our table mates. On the way to the banquet room, we pass Captain Peppas, the ship’s captain.

“I didn’t forget,” he said. “Room 3022, right.” My goodness! How did he know our stateroom number?

“Right!” Michael says.

“What was that about?” I ask. Michael explains that the captain invited us to join a prearranged tour of the bridge the next day. What?

“How did you arrange that?” I ask. Michael just smiles and keeps walking.

After dinner, we go down to the Cinema and watch the movie “The Social Network.” I hardly ever go to the movies back home, so when I saw that the ship was showing a different movie each day, I decided that we should see a few during this trip.

 

 

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