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Cruise Day #5 — Antigua

We awoke to mostly cloudy skies and rain showers en route to Antigua. Like the prior morning, we opted for a liquid breakfast (two mochas, please), which we consumed while feeding E out on the balcony. We arrived in Antigua as scheduled around 8:30am.

Following E’s morning nap, we departed the ship with the family around 9:45am. We made it off the pier and to Radcliffe Quay before the rain began again. Turned out to be rather fortuitous as we likely wouldn’t have otherwise met Prince Charles (no, not the English one with big ears) while seeking shelter. After chatting with him for a while, I negotiated an island tour: 2 hours, private van, $60 US for all of us. That’s about 25% of the group tour cost of a shore excursion w/ the cruise line. We loaded up the van and headed off to the opposite side of the island to see Falmouth Bay and Nelson’s Dockyard.

Antigua’s interesting. Locals live closest to the main roads, while wealthier ex-pats and part-time residents live higher up hillsides and in more secluded spots (better views and more privacy, but much higher costs associated with real estate and running utilities). And, like we’ve seen in Greece, Albania, and Egypt, locals often build their houses a little at a time as funds are available (hence a fair number of two story houses with only a single floor finished). The island wasn’t especially glitzy or breathtakingly beautiful, but it felt very comfortable and seemed to lack (at least in the parts we saw) the sort of shantytown feel of abject poverty that one might experience elsewhere. Instead, it felt sort of oddly “Caribbean working-to-middle-class.” One other interesting tidbit: Blackberries are the most common smart phone (though rare and expensive at nearly $1,000 per device)–iPhones are even less popular (and more expensive!).

Prince Charles delivered us safely and happily back to the ship around noon. We proceeded to feed E (as well as ourselves) aboard ship, and then L and I headed into town for a little (window) shopping. Antigua isn’t really a shopping mecca — only a few streets with the usual suspects of cruise ship port jewelry shops, liquor stores, and tacky tourist paraphernalia. We did have some really good Australian ice cream (tasted like gelato, but w/ Caribbean flavors).

Last night, we had dinner at Cagney’s. Overall, it was very good to excellent (both in taste and service). Standout dishes included the colossal shrimp cocktail, lump crab cakes, Cagney’s fries (steak frites with truffle oil and parma cheese), and the cheese duet (gorgonzola and triple cream) w/ honey and fig compote. Of course, the steaks were good too!

Country count: 32

2 Responses to “Cruise Day #5 — Antigua”

  1. Dick says:

    Great photographs, (finally worked out that bug, eh?). And… thanks as always for the food updates.

  2. Paul says:

    Sort of. The photo bug is still there… the WordPress app for the iPhone/iPad is just really buggy. I’m just trying to work around it. :-)

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