Cruise from Puerto Rico down the Lesser Antilles
April 2015
Part VII - St. Croix

The next Caribbean island we visited was St. Croix. We arrived early in the morning in Frederiksted. Again: We always tried to get from the ship as early as possible to have most of the day for the land excursion. We were usually ready for breakfast at 7:30 at the latest in order to be ready to get from board at 8:00 a.m. I ate proactively enough to last for the whole day, even if it was not my time for a heavy breakfast. Having lunch on the island means less time for sight-seeing and it saves money.

As soon as we did get from the ship we were looking for a taxi. There were many drivers offering trips to any place on the island or an island roundtrip. I have to mention again: The advantage is that you can determine yourself where you want to go and where you want to stop and for how long. I had read about the best places to visit in my guide book just before we arrive. By the way, all the taxi drivers also acted as a guide by explaining the sights and answering all our questions.

And the costs are less than if you would have booked an excursion package on the ship. They offered land excursions lasting up to 3.5 hours for 79.75 USD per person. With a taxi you were able to see more and you also were always ahead of the slowly crowd. However the ship offered more than just a land excursion: About 12 more activities you can choose from like diving, snorkeling, sailing, kayaking, bicycling or just swimming at a beach with prices ranging up to 149.00 USD.

We made a deal with the taxi driver Frank for 25 USD each for a trip through the island all day. It was so cheap because two more couples joined us. After leaving Frederiksted we hit a typical road through the rain forest.

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This is our driver Frank driving us on a road like this
Following stop-over was a must for beer drinkers: At the Mount Pellier Hut Domino Club where you can see the beer drinking pigs. Visitors pay 1.00 USD to watch the pigs and 2.00 USD for each beer. I was not here for the beer but Heino couldn't resist to watch his peer. If you want to see it yourself then just search for Mount Pellier Hut Domino Club in youtube.
First we visited the most funny animal the beer can opening and drinking pig
Then our still sober Frank drove up north to the coast and then to the east along the waterfront until we reached the Cane Bay Beach. It's a popular hang-out for locals and visitors alike but it's also rated one of the top dive locations in the Caribbean. Especially the famous “Wall”, where the ocean floor turns into a steep cliff that drops more than 2 miles deep along the Puerto Rico Trench.
Then driving through hills and then along the coast
Then we reached the Cane Bay Beach which looked a little bit deserted
But there are some divers in the water because the famous "Wall" is very close
The other side of the beach is not deserted On the way: An official building of the United States
Then we finally arrived in Christiansted with historical buildings from the Danes
Christiansted is not the capital. It's still Charlotte Amalie of Saint Thomas for all of the Virgin Islands of the United States. It's a nice town with an interesting fort. Just take a look at following self-explanatory pictures.
Strolling down the street Looking at an old church
Looking at old houses
More interesting is this place The fort Christians-voern
The court in the fort Cannons for the defensive
The dungeon for the prisoner
The view from the fort to a wonderful beach and a hotel farther away
The view down to town and around the corner: The Kings Wharf
Lined with many restaurants on the board walk
A kiosk selling all kinds of stuff A shop selling all kinds of knives
You can join a sailboat cruise from here or rent a scooter or motor bike
From Christiansted we crossed the island to the west and reached the famous Cruzan Rum Distillery It was founded in 1760 and claims to be "the most honored rum distillery in the world".
Passing-by the shut down Hovensa refinery Reaching now a still operating distillery
It's the Cruzan Rum Distillery producing many gallons every day
And filling up many barrels every day And filling up many bottles every day
Back at the pier in Frederiksted But before I did get on board I looked around
The Fort Frederik beside the pier with cannons sticking out
At the left side of the fort: The public beach At the right side of the fort: The Customs House
An antique rope winder A modern clothes vendor
Nice shot: One cannon with two guys and two ships Plenty of time but I get on board for a swim
Don't embark on the wrong ship Look first for the name: "Summit"
That's it. Not much but all what you can do in a day between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Again: We always try to leave our arrival city right away in order to see the countryside first to be on the safe side to reach our ship before the scheduled departure. It get's very expensive if you miss the ship. One white lady told us that it once happened to her. She even was jailed and mistreated, because she didn't have the right documents, whatsoever, with her. Eventually she was able to fly out (I don't remember that she named the island).

Here at last are some information about the status of Saint Croix as derived from Wikipedia, which is actually the same as for Saint Thomas.

Saint Croix together with Saint Thomas, Saint John and some other surrounding islands, belongs to the U.S. Virgin Islands. It was sold to the United States by Denmark in the Treaty of the Danish West Indies of 1916. They are classified by the UN as a Non-Self-Governing Territory, and are currently an organized, unincorporated United States territory. Even though they are U.S. citizens, U.S. Virgin Islands residents cannot vote in presidential elections.

In 2010 the population was 106,405. Of these are 15.6% whites and 76.0% Afro-Caribbean. The official language is English. Virgin Islands Creole, an English-based creole locally known as "dialect", is spoken in informal situations.

All of the previous information are very brief, just to give you an idea of what kind of island St.Coix is. If you want to know more about the places we have visited and more about politics, economy, etc. then look up any guidebook and the internet.

Created November 2015

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