Wednesday, 23 January 2019

St. John's, Antigua - January 11

For the first, and last, time of the cruise I slept in...until 7:30!  With this exception I was awake between 4:30 and 6:30 every morning, which made for quiet mornings and early nights.  I think the latest I stayed up was nearly 11 p.m., which didn't affect my early rising.

By the time I woke, we were already docked in Antigua.  I stepped on my balcony to check the weather and was greeted by this sight.  Not the prettiest vista!

But when I turned and looked towards the city of St. John's the view was much improved.

These are the spires of St. John's Cathedral - a beautiful Anglican church re-built for the third time in 1845 after earthquakes in 1643 and 1745 destroyed the previous buildings. - Wikipedia.  On my last visit to Antigua I had toured the church.

In Antigua, like St. Maarten before it, I had no real plan of what I might do.  I did know I would walk up towards the church again, and then would wander for a bit.  And that's what I did.

I started my walk in the shopping area right off the pier, but immediately stopped to use Diamond International's wifi.  

Then I was off, leaving the tourist area, where I was offered tours and taxis by numerous drivers.  No, thanks! I'd rather walk.

I continued up the street a few blocks, and then turned to my left.  It was probably about a 1/2 mile walk to the church, not far but uphill and definitely warm!  I've learned to carry a bottle of water with me everywhere.  It's definitely needed on the islands.

There was damage to the church in the last couple of years, and the work continues to repair it.  I took a few photos and started my walk back down towards the pier.  

Our ship on the right, and the Carnival ship's fishtail were visible from the where I was standing.  

I came across the museum as I was walking, and stopped to wander the grounds.  I wasn't in a museum mood, so didn't go indoors.  

The plantings were lovely!

 My next stop was the local market, but there was nothing of real interest to me there, so back to the tourist shops I went.  The plaza was two story, and the upper was shaded so being the savvy, and overheated tourist I was, I headed upstairs.  In one of the shops I found a t-shirt for Eli, a photo album and a magnet for myself.  The latter reads "if you're not barefoot, you're overdressed!"  My family would tell you, that I put on socks in November and remove them in April...and if the weather isn't too cool you'll find me without them during that period as well.

At this point I was ready for a sit down, and some wifi.  I headed to a corner cafe called Cheers, where I paid $4US for a can of coke (eek!) for the privilege of using the wifi.  The table I sat at was a picnic table, and across from me was a lady named Barb, also on the Anthem.  In our chat, we discovered we both we're cat lovers so had quite the conversation.  I messaged with D for a bit, checked both FB and e-mail, while I finished my drink, then it was to wander a bit more.

I ventured beyond the shopping area, and market crossing a parking lot to reach the marina area.

Had I known there was a boardwalk, I could have had a nicer walk!

By this time I was ready to get back on board, so off I went, where I went to my cabin, changed into my bathing suit and headed for the hot tub. (I know that sounds odd, but I needed to give my feet a bit of a massage in the jets).

After a lunch break in 2-70 I went to the excursion to book something in St. Kitts, our last port, for a few days later.  

All aboard was 4:30 that afternoon, with sail away at 5, but were delayed by a few passengers and one crew member.  The former ran the pier, while the latter strolled.  I have photos but won't share.  Normally the ship would have left without them, schedules are generally strictly adhered to, so I have to assume that the ship was aware of their delay and the reasons for it.

As we sailed away, I got another photo from my balcony, this time with both the industrial pier and the church! 

Another great day in Antigua!  Next post - St. Lucia.

To answer a question John asked about the shops on the cruise ship, I had to do a bit of research as I didn't know.  According to an article I found, the shops on 90 plus cruise lines are owned by one company, Starboard Cruise Services. The employees of the shops are not cruise ship employees, they work for the SCS.  A few reviews suggest that when the shops are open, the employees may work up to 14 hour shifts!  However, when the cruise ships are in port, the shops on board are closed so employees are able to leave the ship and enjoy their time off.  I would say it is a young person's job, they get to travel, work with people from around the world during their contracts (generally 6 months).  It's can be very hard work, long hours, for not much pay, and dealing with demanding passengers must be at times, difficult.  However, I understand too, that the company covers their health costs, rent, food, and airline tickets.  Another reviewer said it becomes a lifestyle and since I know of passengers who virtually live on cruise ships, I can see how that could be.

D & Eli were delayed this morning as she was waiting for a package to arrive.  In the meantime I got a bit more housework done including scrubbing down the bathrooms.  I sure wish my cabin steward was here to do that for me.

Have a great day everyone!


  1. My favourite photo is the second, of the spires in the distance. What a view!

    I'd wondered what that red "thing" was in one of the photos -- then read it was the fishtail of the other cruise liner.

    I think you definitely need to be a certain personality type (uh, extroverted!) to work on a ship like that. And definitely young, preferably without attachments. But I bet cruise companies have a slew of applicants for any and all open positions!

  2. That makes sense about the shops being owned by a single company. And the employees are probably like the junior members of the ships' crews, joining up for the adventure of going places, sort of working to pay for your holiday while you are on it. Thanks for checking that out.

    Though the photos of the nicer parts of the town were good, I also like the one that included the barge, with the cathedral in the background. I wouldn't have it on a travel-brochure, but it gives a good impression of a working town.


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