The Crystal Symphony is in Shanghai, China. The Crystal Serenity is in Lisbon, Portugal.
It was quite a cloudy morning as we approached St. Lucia but on my walk I was treated to a lovely profile of the Pitons, 2 prominent volcano cones on the South end of St. Lucia in the day’s first light. There was not a real sunrise, but the obscured sun produced some lovely colors by the Piton summit as it bounced between the clouds. Captain Mercer seems to favor docking with the bow pointed in the direction of departure. We did not do that today and simply pulled up to the dock facing the dead end of the harbor.
This was my third visit to St. Lucia, all within the last 18 months. I was here on the Celebrity Summit in December 2012, and on the Prinsendam this past December. I hadn’t realized it but St. Lucia experienced severe floods soon after my last visit (Christmas Eve) with about 170 inches (4 meters) of rain in one day. Several were killed and there was a lot of damage.
My tours here have all been South of Castries, and today I picked a basic 3-hour tour, Island Splendor Drive. We spent most of our time along roads I traveled last time, this time looking more intensely at areas I passed through last time on my way to the Pitons.
We passed through the town of Castries, with a huge 400-year-old tree gracing the town square. Soon after leaving town we stopped at St. Marks, an old colonial home, where the family still resides on the upper levels. We toured the ground floor rooms and were given a drink and snack on the porch. The home had a great view of the harbor and we could see that one of the starboard tenders was in the water, likely the reason for our docking position.
About 20 minutes later we stopped at Eudovic’s Art Studio, where several artisans explained their techniques and the woods they used for carving, and then spent a few minutes in the gallery. I don’t think anyone bought anything, likely a reflection on people considering the impending journey home.
The one stop that was a repeat from my previous visit was Marigot Bay, at a bluff overlooking a lovely cove and seaside village. On the way to the southern end of our journey we pulled to the side of the road at a banana plantation where we saw large bunches of bananas in blue bags in the final stages of ripening. Each bag had a color coded streamer at the bottom, with the streamers replaced with different colors on a regular basis to keep track of the curing time on the vine.
I passed quickly through Anse La Raye, a small fishing village last year and this was our southernmost stop. There were small colorful houses and a pier going a bit into the harbor. There were a few shops and snack bars along the quiet shoreside and streets. On the way back we had only a brief photo stop at an overlook where a lovely arch dropped to the water.
Returning to the ship about 11:30 there was time for a walk into town. There are 2 cruise terminals in Castries. The one most used (I’ve been there all 3 times) is a bit isolated but has a large complex of shops. The second is near the center of town but is rarely used. Our dock is about .4 miles from town but it’s twice that walking around the harbor. The town has some nice sights but unfortunately I forgot to bring along my camera.
I returned to the ship about 3. The port has quite good wifi, with a $5 charge for the day, and I spent about an hour on line. All aboard was 4:30, but everyone was ready a little early. By our sailaway time of 5PM we had swivelled perpendicular to the pier on our way out. At sailaway there was a steel drum seranade on the aft lido deck.
There were 5 of us present for dinner, and Marty Henne had a second show, “Songs you Know written by people you don’t”.
Today’s parting shot comes from the raconteur side of Marty Henne. He was talking about one liners, and unexpected sources of humor. Before Nixon’s visit to China, Henry Kissinger went there to make preparations. He and China’s premier hit it off, both history buffs, and they would try scenarios about “what if” something had been different. Asked “What if Kruschev had been shot instead of Kennedy, what would happened”. Kissinger’s reply: “Well I know one thing, Onassis would not have married Madame Kruschev”