Thursday, January 31, 2013

January of Traveling, Pt 2: Cruising (First Port: Antigua)

           Last night, we hung a thing out on the door so they would bring us breakfast this morning, so we got up at 8:30am when our guy, Danilo, knocked on our door with the food. We took it and ate while we finished the last hour of “Batman Begins.” We bought an "excursion" that started at noon, and it was a kayaking/snorkeling/hiking thing, purchased through the ship. We ate another, bigger breakfast right before we left, to tide us over til we got back.
When we got off the boat, it was raining and a little chilly. We wandered around some shops for awhile at first, which was SUPER lame because they were all expensive duty free shops, so basically airport shopping. Then we met our group and took a van ride across the island to the place where we needed to meet up with the tour guys. The van ride was actually pretty awesome. It was long, maybe 20-30 minutes, and we saw a lot of Antiguans just living life. (It's ‘ann-TEE-guh’ - not 'gwuh.') I felt like I was looking at missionary pictures or something. Here's a video from the ride back to the ship:

When we arrived, first, we went kayaking. We paddled around and our tour guide, Nicholas, showed us sea cucumbers and upside-down jellyfish and sea stars. He also told us about the mangrove trees that surrounded the water – it was interesting because those trees filter the salt and take just the freshwater for nourishment. They also act as a buffer from hurricanes and their roots make good fish nests. It was pretty interesting. Right at the end of the kayaking, the sun came out! That was great.
We took speedboats to another area, where the tour guides gave us masks and snorkels, had us clip on flotation belts, and we got in the water to snorkel. At first it was boring because we got dropped off a little ways away from the coral, so for awhile there was nothing to see. It was weird; they didn’t tell us we weren’t there yet. I kept swimming around and the current kept pushing us back, but finally we found the coral. Jonny kept getting saltwater in his mouth, which kind of turned him off to the whole thing. But I think we both saw some cool stuff. I realized while I was down there, though, that the only snorkeling I have done is at Discovery Cove in Florida ... a stocked pond. I was a little disappointed when there weren't schools and schools of every color of fish right in front of me until I remembered that actual snorkeling is maybe not always like that? Either way, it was fun :) Then we finished up and went to a little beach, where they had rum punch and regular, non-alcoholic fruit punch (which was great for getting the salty taste out of your mouth), and some banana bread for us. Nicholas took us up a little hill to show us a super-great view of all the island and ocean and everything (that was the 'hiking').

Then we took the (jarringly bumpy) speedboat ride back to the mainland, where they had more drinks and also monkeys and tropical birds (one of whom spoke to us, as you'll see in the last video), and then we took the vans back to the cruise ship. It was really fun. We’re not sure if it was quite worth what we paid, but it was good to do once. (All our pictures of kayaking and snorkeling are on our disposable underwater camera - yes, 17-year-old Target employee, those still exist, you do sell them, and I am going to buy one.)

Dinner was one of the best meals I’ve had yet – short ribs, which were braised and soooooooo tender. Jon had roast beef. We had pretty good desserts, too. Then we got a couple more tiny desserts from the International Cafe and headed back to the room, where we read our books for the next couple hours and went to bed.


  1. How did I only just find your blog? haha! My husband served a chunk of his mission in Antigua and it's a long-held dream that we'll one day visit there. Also, I second your thoughts to the Target employee about the disposable camera.

    1. What? that's so cool! I admit it's a little ridiculous but when we saw missionaries on St Lucia, part of me really wanted to go tracting with them or something. I figure they would have a better inside scoop on these places. What exactly was your husband's mission? (and, re: the camera, YEAH.)