Southern Caribbean: Basseterre, Saint Kitts & Nevis

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Today is the last port day for us – Basseterre, Saint Kitts & Nevis (7:00 – 2:30). It’s another beautiful morning and another beautiful rainbow!

We docked promptly at 7:00. Our room service breakfast came soon after. At 8:00, the cruise director announced that the government was allowing HAL sponsored tours or government-approved independent tours. However, if guests want to wander around, they must stay at the port. There are more shops at this port than Dominica so it might be a place that could occupy some time.

The only other time we have been to St. Kitts we took an island tour which was very interesting. Today, we scheduled a snorkeling tour – “St. Kitts Snorkeling Adventure.” The HAL description of this excursion –

Enchanting, impressive and breathtaking — that’s a snorkel safari along the pristine Southeast Peninsula of St Kitts, where green vervet monkeys far outnumber human beings.

At Port Zante Marina, you will board a snorkel boat. Your snorkel stops will be at Shitten’s Bay and Ballast Bay — both teeming with tropical fish and coral life — turtles, eagle rays, stingrays, schools of salt-water chub, snapper, angel, parrot fish, squirrel fish and sand sharks may be seen.

Take time to explore the many virgin reefs, and the extensive soft corals, fans and sponges that make up the reef life.


Non-alcoholic drinks and water will be provided. Wear your swimsuit; bring a towel, sunscreen and a hat. Guests with heart problems, epilepsy, diabetes or asthma are not allowed to participate. Waiver must be signed and medical conditions disclosed. Wildlife sightings are likely but are not guaranteed. All snorkel gear is provided. Life vests must be worn. Maximum weight is 300 lbs.

I worked on Chuck’s snorkel mask again with Sea Gold and rinsed it twice with a solution of baby shampoo. I hoped that the extra treatment would help keep his mask from fogging again today.

At 9:00, we met the tour guide at the pier and we were able to walk to the dock. Yay! No death-defying van ride today.

Today’s boat was a double-decker speed boat named “The Game Changer.” Captain Ricky was at the helm. We sat on the top covered deck and enjoyed the breeze. Took us about an hour to reach the first bay.

Ricky kept us entertained with information about St. Kitts. He told us that there are several U.S. real estate developers looking at St. Kitts and Nevis for some golf communities. I hope they show some restraint and not ruin the island.

Unlike yesterday, the water was very calm, and we were able to drift around over the coral with very little effort. However, I thought the water was much colder than yesterday. Maybe it was because I wasn’t swimming as hard. We stayed there about 45 minutes.

Another 15-minute ride and we were at the second bay. The unique aspect of this bay was all the star fish on the ocean floor. They were very colorful.

We had a fun ride back. We tried to get Ricky to let us go down the slide on his boat but he said “uh, it’s not part of your approved package.” I guess HAL thought we might break a hip on the slide.

But, he did crank up the music. More rum punch and lots of dance music – “Sweet Caroline!” And I only had one rum punch this time. Not letting them sneak up on me today.

Once we got back to the dock, there was a line of Celebrity cruisers getting ready for their excursion. They saw us singing and dancing and looked very envious. They should have been. We had a great time. And Chuck’s mask did fine today.

We had lunch at the New York Deli and Pizza place outside on the Panorama deck. I had a meatball sub and Chuck had the Reuben. Very good sandwiches.

Spent the rest of the afternoon poolside. Water still too cool for me but the hot tub was great.

For dinner, we sat at a shared table for six. Two couples that were traveling together but they did ensure that we were part of the conversation. That inclusion doesn’t always happen. I had the Rock Fish. It was light and flaky. Chuck had the NY Strip.

The show on the main stage tonight was “Origin” which was a presentation about the history of the Holland America Line. The cruise director did a live narration. I thought the movie was informative and touching. I think it should be shown on every ship at least once.

After some slot play, we called it a night.

Tonight’s towel animal – Penguin

Tomorrow – A Sea Day

Travel Trivia*

Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis

In 1493, Christopher Columbus was allegedly so smitten with this volcanic island that he named it after St. Christopher, the patron saint of travelers.

St. Kitts (shortened from St. Cristopher by British sailors) and sister isle Nevis were part of the British Empire until 1967, earning semi-independent status when they were named associated states of Great Britain.

In 1983, the 68-square-mile St. Kitts and Nevis became an independent, two-island nation with a parliamentary government headed by a prime minister.

The Green Vervet monkeys, found all over the island, originally arrived is St Kitts when the French occupied the island sporadically in the time frames of 1665 to 1690. They brought them as pets. Eventually the French were deported, and the monkeys were not allowed to enter the boats, so they were abandoned on the island. Today, there are 1.25 monkeys for every human on the island.

A Google photo

*Trivia provided by Wikipedia and literature from Holland America

Author: mmmtravelmemories

A retired college administrator who loves to travel. I write to remember the experiences and, I hope, to inspire others to make their own travel memories.

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