I’m going to try to be kind .. Antigua was disappointing. There were 2 excursions this cruise was based on, both involving Volcanoes in one aspect or another. From Antigua, we were SUPPOSED to fly via helicopter to .. Monserrat to venture to the STILL ACTIVE Soufriere Hills Volcano (last eruption in 2012). At that time it devastated the capital city of Plymouth, burying the entire city in ash and forcing the population to re-establish themselves and their government to the other end of the island.
We were SUPPOSED to fly around the devastated and still restricted area, as well as over into the calderra .. but no sense in crying over spilled milk (as my mother used to point out).
Arriving into the port of ANTIGUA was sorta like taking a train into a city .. through the industrial area, only this was oil tank facilities on the port side and beautiful homes and secluded beaches on the starboard.
Once onshore, the small and congested shopping plaza was filled with panhandlers of every type. Speaking of every type .. if you wanted jewellery, there was every store available (luckily, we had made our purchases a few ports back in St Thomas). If you wanted souvenirs (or t-shirts) you were pretty much out of luck. I think this was one of the few times we actually spent more time in the shade (and air conditioning) of one of the local bars to avoid the onslaught on taxi drivers wanting to take us “anywhere for an hour for $45”!!!
I’m sure the people who headed to one of the many beach excursions had a good time … (a few people so good in fact that they missed the boat) … but Antigua just wasn’t doing it for me. It just didn’t have that friendly feel that other ports did/do and have.
“All Aboard” means .. ALL ABOARD
Obviously, when the captain announces a SPECIFIC TIME to be back on-board … you are EXPECTED to be back on board at that time. The cruise is NOT your personal vessel, so you need to be a little respectful to the thousands of other passengers on board.
If going ashore, ALWAYS BRING YOUR PASSPORT .. for instances where you should need more than just photo ID to find another way off the island AND catch up to the boat at the next port.
SHOULD you miss the ship … YOU are responsible for finding a way to the next port which is usually by air (with very limited flights) – and also means, unless you want to sit in the airport all night, that’s a night in a hotel you have to pay for. ALL this means you need to have cash or credit with you.
NEVER GO ASHORE WITH JUST YOUR SEA-PASS. You never know what may happen.