Day 18 - Wednesday 26 December - St Kitts

3:30 wakeup. Hurrah. Broken sleep til about 6am. Then it was watching us arrive in St Kitts.

St Kitts from Queen Mary 2
St Kitts from Queen Mary 2

St Kitts from Queen Mary 2
St Kitts from Queen Mary 2

Queen Mary 2 flying flags, including St Kitts flag
Queen Mary 2 flying flags, including St Kitts flag

We weren't meant to go to St Kitts. We were meant to go to Antigua. In fact we were orginally meant to go to St Thomas (USVI) but it got bumped to the end so we could get a parking space. But last time (and apparently the first time) they came to Antigua they cancelled due to "bad weather" making the tender process unsafe. So they decided to preempt it a week ago and cancel Antigua and go to St Kitts instead. So we'd done no research whatsover. They gave us the tour options and we decided to do "Best of St Kitts".

So just breakfast in Kings Court.

At around 8:30 we headed down to the Royal Court Theatre to wait for our group to gather, then we headed to a tender.

We'd never done a tender landing before so that was a bit novel. It was pretty cramped and quite steamy which wasn't much fun. The trip to shore was relatively quick, although we did have to wait for ages to disembark.

Boarding tender 12
Boarding tender 12

Tender loading area
Tender loading area

Side of the Queen Mary 2 from the tender
Side of the Queen Mary 2 from the tender

Queen Mary 2 in Basseterre Bay from the tender
Queen Mary 2 in Basseterre Bay from the tender

Welcome to St Kitts
Welcome to St Kitts

Then it was straight onto a minibus for our day's tour.

We drove along the southwest coast watching other cruise ships arrive - the Norwegian Gem, and the Carnival Sunshine.

Carib Brewery
Carib Brewery

Looking north west to Brimstone Hill
Looking north west to Brimstone Hill

Our first stop was a batik "factory" (just a tourist attraction) that had some quite nice gardens, and some pretty batik stuff (didn't buy anything). They gave us about half an hour there which suited it.

Wingfield Estate sugar refinery
Wingfield Estate sugar refinery

Romney Manor grounds
Romney Manor grounds

View of the Caribbean from Romney Manor grounds
View of the Caribbean from Romney Manor grounds

Tree in Romney Manor grounds
Tree in Romney Manor grounds

Caribelle Batik worker showing people the creation of batik
Caribelle Batik worker showing people the creation of batik

Caribelle Batik piece
Caribelle Batik piece

Wax and ink pots at Caribelle Batik
Wax and ink pots at Caribelle Batik

Caribelle Batik showing the different stages of the batik creation process
Caribelle Batik showing the different stages of the batik creation process

The second stop was at the Brimstone Hill Fortress. This place was pretty cool, built by the British to defend the commerce going on on the island. Problem is they only gave us three quarters of an hour there, and we could easily have done with *at least* double that.

Walking up to the top of Brimstone Hill Fortress
Walking up to the top of Brimstone Hill Fortress

Fort George at Brimstone Hill Fortress
Fort George at Brimstone Hill Fortress

Looking down to the lower parts of Brimstone Hill Fortress
Looking down to the lower parts of Brimstone Hill Fortress

Prince of Wales Bastion
Prince of Wales Bastion

Magazine bastion
Magazine bastion

View northwest from Brimstone Hill Fortress to Sandy Point Town and St Eustatius Island
View northwest from Brimstone Hill Fortress to Sandy Point Town and St Eustatius Island

Stu and canons and view northwest from Brimstone Hill Fortress to Sandy Point Town and St Eustatius Island
Stu and canons and view northwest from Brimstone Hill Fortress to Sandy Point Town and St Eustatius Island

The Citadel at Brimstone Hill Fortress
The Citadel at Brimstone Hill Fortress

Canons at Fort George
Canons at Fort George

Canons at Fort George
Canons at Fort George

Bake house in the Citadel at Brimstone Hill Fortress
Bake house in the Citadel at Brimstone Hill Fortress

Room in the Citadel at Brimstone Hill Fortress
Room in the Citadel at Brimstone Hill Fortress

Reconstructed room at the Citadel at Brimstone Hill Fortress
Reconstructed room at the Citadel at Brimstone Hill Fortress

Artillery Officers Quarters at Brimstone Hill Fortress
Artillery Officers Quarters at Brimstone Hill Fortress

Brimstone Hill Fortress
Brimstone Hill Fortress

Then we just headed back to the port.

Back at the port it was *very* loud - they had music playing very loudly for their Boxing Day celebrations that had been going on all morning. I didn't want to just go straight back to the ship (it was only 12:30). So went for a bit of a wander.

First we headed up to Independence Square. Then to the Anglican church. Then back to the port. People were still out in the streets and there was plenty of street food but the sweetie was still feeling pretty crap so we didn't brave it. Instead we headed back into the tourist shopping street, and there was a bar, in the shade, with beer, for only $5 USD for two beers. So we had some. And a rum punch. hehe. Left the sweetie with another beer and looked in a couple of the shops. Got a polo shirt, and a couple of bottles of booze, because, quarter of the price of anything on board (including Henkell for $10USD - basically same price as Australia, and $10USD for a Yellowtail Pinot Grigio, probably double the price in Australia hehe).

National Museum of St Kitts
National Museum of St Kitts

Fountain in Independence Square
Fountain in Independence Square

Immaculate Conception Catholic Cathedral
Immaculate Conception Catholic Cathedral

St George with St Barnabas Anglican Church
St George with St Barnabas Anglican Church

Interior of St George with St Barnabas Anglican Church
Interior of St George with St Barnabas Anglican Church

Treasury Chambers building
Treasury Chambers building

Berkeley Memorial
Berkeley Memorial

Stu with a rum punch at a bar near the cruise terminal
Stu with a rum punch at a bar near the cruise terminal

Port Zante Cruise Terminal
Port Zante Cruise Terminal

Norwegian Gem and Carnival Sunshine at St Kitts
Norwegian Gem and Carnival Sunshine at St Kitts

Headed down to the tenders, and got one back, and even got to sit up top which was very nice!

Stu and Kaz on the tender going back to the ship
Stu and Kaz on the tender going back to the ship

Queen Mary 2 in Basseterre Bay from the tender
Queen Mary 2 in Basseterre Bay from the tender

This was our room (highlighted red)
This was our room (highlighted red)

St Kitts from Queen Mary 2
St Kitts from Queen Mary 2

St Kitts from Queen Mary 2
St Kitts from Queen Mary 2

Back on the ship we got some (very late) lunch. There was even roast pork! The lunch I should have had yesterday haha.

Then we had a shower and a snooze for an hour (I set an alarm so I wouldn't miss the departure).

Watched the world go by for quite a while (Nevis!! - my old team would understand that :) ), then we got ready and went and got a beer in the pub. Went to Kings Court for dinner because the sweetie wasn't feeling up to being sociable, and they had pork belly with crackling!! Soooo good. I went back for seconds. It was the Christmas dinner I wanted last night, and ten times better than the stuff I got in Princess Grill last night.

Nevis from Queen Mary 2
Nevis from Queen Mary 2

In bed by around 8pm.