Thursday, January 06, 2005


From San Juan, destinations are St. Maartin, Antigua, Barbados, and St. Lucia in the southern chain of islands. The ship itself is among the most magnificent -- part of RCL's Radiance class (Serenade of the Seas) .. just big enough to offer every ammenity and service, yet less crowded than the super-size voyager class, which carries about 800 more.

We devoted our time on St. Maartin entirely to scoping out the art tour for a future (Jan 29) group cruise we manage. With our guide Pamela, we visited the hilltop studio of Antoinne Chapon (a view to die for), lunch at Boo Boo Jams on the famous Orient Beach, Donnas' Gallery of French style oils, Ruby's nature island art and yummi candies, another spacious roadside gallery of island scenics, and a potter. Thisis really a fine tour for only $40 ... and not only offerse some of the most acclaimed artists, but takes us inside their cribs for an intimate visit.

On Antigua, the big attraction are the beaches .. over 360 of them, white sandy beaches and clean blue waters. We spent the day on just one, where the photography was heavenly. Weather was a big cloudy, and stayed that way as we landed on Barbados for snorkle diving, and an awesome tour of Harrison's Cave. Our night-vision infra-red Sony camera lit up the caverns and their calcium pinnacles in brilliant detail (pictures to be linked here later). And just as beautiful were the flowers in bloom at nearby Andromeda Botanical Gardens. And the final day at St. Lucy was spent on the warmth of the beach ... a sunny day with a light wind ... what more could you want in a Caribbean vacation. Back tomorrow for a day at sea, and a few more sumptuous meals, as we depart with the sounds of the steel drum band in the background of our minds. SEE OUR PICTURES AT: