Caribbean Ports of Call
CRUISING THE CARIBBEAN
The Caribbean Has A Warm Spot for You
Updated - Feb 99
2. Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao
7. About Bermuda Shorts
8. British Virgin Islands - BVI
9. Cayman Islands
11. Dominica Republic
17. Puerto Rico
18. St. Barthelemy
19. St. Kitts / Nevis
20. St. Lucia
21. St. Martin / Sint Maarten
22. St. Vincent and The Genadines
23. Trinidad and Tobago
24. Turks and Caicos Islands
25. United States Virgin Islands - USVI
26. Caribbean Shopping Scheme
JAMAICA - Jamaica, third-largest of the West Indies islands, is located approximately 90 miles south of Cuba and 100 miles west of Haiti and remains virtually unspoiled. It clearly deserves its standing at the top of the list for physical beauty. Jamaica's lush vegetation is endowed with brilliant color and surrounded by the magnificent Blue Mountains.
Ocho Rios, a cruise port of call, midway between Montego Bay and Kingston, is the home of Shaw Park Gardens and Dunn's River Ralls, a dramatic 600-foot waterfall lined with slippery boulders that cruise passengers climb like salmon on their way to spawn.
The drive from Montego Bay to Port Antonio on the north coast, is one of the most delightful in the Caribbean. Also big is river rafting. A romantic interlude can be booked on the Martha Brae in Ocho Rios or the Rio Grande River in Port Antonio, once the haunt of movie star Errol Flynn. TOP
MARTINIQUE - Fort-de-France, the Little Paris of the New World, and the Capital of Martinique, is proud that Josephine, one of its daughters became the wife of Napoleon and the Empress of France. The country is also proud of its distinctly French feeling, endearing West Indian warmth, music, dance, and local dishes.
Fishing villages resemble the St. Tropez of 30 years ago. Carbet, where Columbus landed and where Gauguin once lived and painted, adds to the sparkle.
A spectacular 30-mile shore excursion drive, is along the coast to the ruins of St. Pierre, destroyed when Mount Pelee erupted in 1902. Along the way see wild orchids, exotic blooms and a lush rain forest where the purple-throated Carib hummingbirds flit about. Among the best sunsets in the Caribbean is at St. Pierre, on the coast near the Gauguin Museum, where the colors made Gauguin smile. TOP
PUERTO RICO - Puerto Rico, a booming center for Caribbean cruises, is the only place in the world where the dollar speaks Spanish.
The 16th-century historic district in Old San Juan is a colonial gem, brimming with shops, art galleries, fine restaurants, elegant old churches, and streets decorated with blue paving tiles laid by the Spaniards and just wide enough for a carriage.
Always great fun, San Juan features Spanish architecture, American atmosphere, and Puerto Rican culture. The large grass lawn bordering El Morro Castle, one of the best preserved fortresses in the Caribbean, was used by the Spaniards to graze their horses, by the Americans to play golf and now the Puerto Rican to fly kites and picnic.
On the northwest corner of the island is the Rio Camuy Cave Park. A tram carries cruisers to the nine-mile-long cavern system, rated among the most spectacular on earth.
Not to be upstaged, El Yunque, the only tropical rain forest in the United States National Park System, is noted for its large ferns, orchids and towering trees. TOP
ST. BARTHELEMY - St. Barts, a tiny island of just 9.6 square miles, and the only island in the Caribbean with some strains of the Swedes in the blood of its people, is stylish and chic.
The capital, Gustavia, with street names in both Swedish and French, houses many fine restaurants and shops. Island tours in comfortable minibuses stop in Corossol northwest of town where women in clothing reminiscent of Brittany, offer handcrafted straw products for sale. TOP
ST. KITTS / NEVIS - Because the two island nations changed hands several times between the French and British, the mighty Brimstone Hill Fortress known as the Gibralter of the West Indies was built on St. Kitts. It's been peaceful ever since, even though the birds were so confused they didn't know which language to chirp in. The restored fortress is ranked among the best 17-century military architecture in the Caribbean.
For the hardy, it's possible to climb down into the 2,600 foot, Mt. Liamuiga crater, clinging to vines and roots and praying for the best.
Daily, a government-owned passenger ferry takes the 45-minute trip, crossing St. Kitts to Nevis. Day trips on a hydrofoil to St. Martin also are available.
Cloud-capped Nevis is another Caribbean Island noted for its postage stamps. In Charlestown the Hamilton House museum is dedicated to Alexander Hamilton, who was born in Nevis and was the first United States Secretary of the Treasury. TOP
ST. LUCIA - Featuring the only "drive-through" volcano in the world, exotic rain forests, banana plantations, and gorgeous bays, St. Lucia was chosen by Hollywood for the filming of Doctor Doolittle.
The 27-mile-long, 14-mile-wide island offers golf, horseback riding and most water sports. The estate of Paix Bouche, open to visitors, is where it is believed Empress Josephine was born. The spectacular, sometimes elusive view, that most travelers search for in destinations, is atop the Hill of Good Luck, in Nevis. TOP
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