It’s day 7 of Antigua Holiday. I had been driving quite a lot this vacation and wanted to chill out and enjoy the Halcyon Cove experience. Fenton the resorts activity manager was around now and it was good/funny to see him around entertaining the guests with aqua aerobics, beach cricket and volleyball. He went and found us the volleyball and at request put up the net across the pool and we had a fun game before lunchtime with some Canadian folks. Yes aqua aerobics had not been skipped either so we were burning calories too. Today was to be a mega burning day. Aqua aerobics does that great thing getting the oxygen back into the body after the alcohol of the night before seems to drain it all away. Alcohol has no good effects apart from the reason why we do it. We were all enjoying very early cocktails I like my rum runners but hadn’t had any lately and couldn’t recall why I think the last may have been in key largo. It was a Saturday, my most recent one. Today was going to be about enjoying the sun as well and my shuffle and reading a bit too. With that mix of morning activity lunchtime came and it was over to the outdoors lunch area.
I have been on a couple of Sunset Cruises in my time and of course the actual style of cruise can vary greatly depending on the target customer. This particular cruise couldn’t be labelled a booze cruise though the all inclusive bar exists there is a clientele of respect mostly because it’s Antigua and not Mallorca. So you will be safe booking this tour at any age as it did attract a wide range. If you are looking for a booze cruise then you may well struggle in Antigua.
Private sunset Cruise Antigua ?
This is not a private sunset cruise please note for that check out this private sunset cruise by miramar. Getting to the cruise from Dickenson Bay couldn’t be easier – it actually departs the sandy shores – you will wade out as the waves go out (if you’re smart) to keep your crotch dry ! The ladder descends the catamaran to the beach and it easy to get on and of course the staff are there and helpful. I think this cruise appeals for people especially from Sandals and the Halcyon Cove and the other Dickenson Bay Accommodation options. It leaves from just in front of Sneaky Pete’s at 4:30 pm I believe but check at time of booking. You will have time to settle on the cat and get your boat brief in the calm waters. At no point was this tour or this cruise rough. There was a slight normal light bobbing but it didn’t seem to make anyone feel sea sick. We got a boat briefing and set off around past the north west corner. You could hang out on the webbing area at the front but you mustn’t jump into it. Strangely some people must be doing that in the past £$^%& ???
A life on the ocean wave – or a sunset cruise.
For me I had been brought down to earth (in a good way) by Sanchia. You see I have been used to going on quite a few boats in the Caribbean but for her it was a first and she was really looking forward to this I saw in her eyes the way I used to look at the Caribbean (I guess my only cure will be abstinence), and she really enjoyed it so much it made me feel so good too. Because sometimes you forget. We actually had some really quality talk in part aided by the freedom the ocean gives the mind I believe. We did tuck into a couple of rum punches a speciality on Antigua you should really try them. Part of the joys of a tour is people watching – where are they from ? What are they doing? did they get married in Antigua ? One such couple looked to have been married a while but the key thing that struck me was that his hat appeared glued to his head. There was the trade wind blowing its normal amount and you might make a grab for the hat blowing into the bushes but here how dare he allow his hat to blow into the sea. I think for a moment I was more bothered than he ! It did the dirty deed but he was lucky and it blew in my direction so I was able to trap it for him. After that I turned my attention to his go pro selfie stick I made some small talk but got the impression they weren’t that kind of people (the extroverted talker kind). At some point during my daydream Sanchia had stopped chatting and I asked her if she wanted another drink. I was on a bit of a mission this trip to make me so sick of the rum punch that I could last until the next trip…
Hoisting the Mainsel
Green flash ?
Beer ma Deer
Set Sail Antigua
Leaving the fun tour – sad face 🙁
Sanchia and Calvin
The departing cruise ships
Antigua Sunset Cruise
The Sunset Cruise Antigua Photos
Bruno Mars serving drinks
Typical Antigua Sunset
I estimate that the initial line out we were a couple of hundred meters out from the shore and we cruised up towards Blue Waters resort we turned at some point there and headed back down the length of Dickenson Bay. It was a lovely evening in terms of the temperature too one could really enjoy the sounds of the twin hulls slicing through the water and the birds from the shore. Antigua is a green and verdant island. When the conditions allowed the sails did come down as right they should. The crew were all happy and good fun and they all got into the whole getting the sail up. Beyond Dickenson Bay is Runaway Bay and then Fort James beach. All are worth of further exploration if you are staying longer. After Fort James that was there to protect one half of the entrance to St Johns. It was a magical time everyone was enjoying the ride and view. St Johns had some cruise ships still in dock they were readying to leave. Onwards we sailed closer again to the shore where there were some funny out crops of rock and resorts and beaches. Oh yes the crew brought us out some food which was very nice finger food and well appreciated by all. A good variety of fruit cooked meats etc…but no johnny cakes 🙁 I love that Antiguan speciality) It was getting to what we thought would be the best part of the cruise, the sun set. The boat steadied and set us up for the green flash… Yet again no green flash for me or at least not convincing – I think some people convince themselves. But still a great sunset.
Another day in paradise over awaiting the fun of the Antigua night and the rest of the cruise. At this point we were quite merry and happy to film our own evidence of such fun. We started back from our holding point towards St Johns again and the return. Well that could have been it the end of a vey enjoyable tour indeed but it was far from over. This is something Antigua does to you with alarming frequency – it gives you an out of the blue experience you didn’t expect and that you enjoy. It started as the cruise ships started to depart were we going to make it in front of them the race began….in the distance we could make out cruise ships that had already passed by like aeroplanes waiting to land in the distance these cruise ships held the sky’s orange to the sea, leaving the ones come right in front of us. We all took pictures of the magnificent beast and we could hear the cheering too of the passengers on the ship and see their flashes going off on their cameras as they took pictures of the cute catamaran below… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Ariog0RrKA You can book this exact same sunset cruise here it is called a lovers rock cruise but it is the same one. Click on the link below to be taken to the expedia website and direct to this sunset cruise.
Did you notice the very weird speedboat water craft at the end of the video? [editors note: This is the glass bottom boat in Antigua] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGJg2ncgtVY
Booze Cruise Antigua ?
The crew cranked the music up a notch, as we were ALL in a much more animated state it’s still not a booze cruise trust me 🙂 I don’t know maybe that’s what they go by now the music was party style and some dancing begun down below – a conga ? You must simply try one of these cruises and if your in Antigua I recommend this one. Details after the article. If you want to check out a video for an Antigua Booze Cruise then this is a good one, it was slightly different to ours this one was the wadadli cats booze cruise. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3U4cZg98fM
I had 72 hours to reconcile the fact that I was heading to Antigua, with my partner, on Sunday morning. Sure, we had discussed this being a possibility as he needed to return to the island and nurture relationships for his evolving website, which was launched 2.5 years before while he was living there.
We had a bottle of sparkling wine ‘Antigua champagne’ given to us you see I had had a big bitch about the resort! – I keep coming back so they do a lot right but still I was very annoyed they had not got the phone fixed in the room and I bitched when we needed the phone most. I had to leave Sanchia at her worst when she was ill to go get a doctor because they had let the phone sit..on top was the non existing wifi and leaving the room door open all day prior after cleaning! I was so happy to find we hadn’t lost anything or at least we didn’t find anything was missing. So we had the Champagne and I had the following vision to be realised… We didn’t do valentines day 2016 because I am THIS romantic normally !
In short the morning was going to be one on my favourite beach Darkwood Beach. We set off on the 30 -40 minute drive through St Johns. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8eFlNQuTS0 I decided to stop at Dennis beach bar and restaurant first to get a bathroom stop and show San FFryes beach. I also got interest from Dennis himself for doing some aerial filming another visit. Ffryes was quite rough and also quite busy.
The above shot was taken with the Sony HX60V again we can see here how well the zoom works. This is the best sub 200 USD camera for all round ease and purpose out there IMO. A rare good shot of the author – well done Sanchia !
A morning at Darkwood Beach
We finally arrived to find Darkwood quite busy but still very much spacious. All went well and Marlon negotiated loungers and umbrella this is from the ideal restaurant at the far end coming from JH direction. There was an asian family arrived shortly after from a cruise ship. This is way nicer than turners (which seems too contrived for cruise shippers) and I also prefer this beach to Ffryes and Valley Church beach. I wanted to get the champagne shot early but pressing is that horrid job first world problematic sunscreen application. It’s a bit easier for me these days since San is around. As a young man I have approached the nearest pretty girl but can spare this cheesy cumbersome tactic these days. I will allow you a moment to cringe. We both couldn’t resist the water and I don’t think to this stage I had yet been fully into the sea. My back was being cooperative and all in all the day was set up nicely. After a quick dip in the exciting surf – yes El Nino was providing much fun in the waves. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCtNold1qOc I got the shot I came for it felt a bit embarrassing setting it up but in the end it was way worth it and even had someone else come by to take their own photo of the bottle and glasses ! Would love to find that -its probably lost buried in social media somewhere. My version is the photo at the top of the page. We also tried a couple of selfies..then it was onto plain enjoyment and what a great morning it was too. Families were certainly enjoying the sea and both of us wished we could have had ours there. 5 kids at full price airfares is pretty limiting 🙁
The Asian americans were having an especially good time. The kids loved the waves but I am sorry to report that one of them lost their sunglasses as the surf smashed her over…I write this as a warning to you if you get fortunate. We had some time to enjoy reading too and catching up with self. I eagerly confess that I spent most of the time in the sea it was such fun. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejAI9xb6bpM Such a good morning that it was I regret somewhat that we had to leave in order to be good for the sunset cruise that we had booked. All good things must come to an end…
Antigua Sunset Cruise
See the fun we had in the Sunset Cruise post (under construction) – here is a teaser image
What an epic day we had ! I guess just having 7 days makes you cram it all in. Be careful to make sure you don’t do too much of that !
Dinner outside to a steel drum band
We simply don’t have much of a market for air con in the UK. There are various signals that remind me I am in a happy place I dare say that exists for you too. Audio signals for example in the form of things that I don’t hear at home. Just open the door of your resort and listen to the cacophony of animal life – the specific sounds of the Caribbean immediately put me in a better place. Strangely similar the hum of air conditioning units also do the same thing. There is a historic importance as I always chose warm destinations backpacking many times earlier in my lucky life AND crucially these sounds DO NOT exist back home. We simply don’t have much of a market for air con in the UK. The other sound is that of a good Steel Band unit. I am not sure if I have heard a bad one yet ? It’s an immediate de – stressor and indicator that you are in a place of bliss and relaxation. It’s family friendly and easy to dance to. Strangely I didn’t dance that evening but many of course did it was sweet to see older couples enjoying life. That’s something many young people fail to be able to do. It was always easy to forget that we were going home in a couple of days and the contract we accept is to do just that. Thankfully as I said you forget quite quickly as there is life happening right now and you simply don’t want to miss it. In it’s arrogance and indifference to the rest of the world it may simply be laziness the twin island country of Antigua and Barbuda has kept hold of a charm that I have seen only glimpses of in other islands. Westernisation has changed Barbados to the degree that it feels very different to Antigua. I think I was saying I enjoyed the steel band. It was time though to scratch the fear of missing out (FMO) and head up the beach for some nightlife. It was Friday night after all.
Down the beach nightlife at the Coconut Grove
It’s always nice to walk by Sandals, I really don’t think that I would want to stay in the cheaper rooms there they are set well back and high up in the main block (I assume they are the cheaper ones). There are a controlled amount of beach vendors but the best thing about walking up Dickinson Bay at Sandals is that they always have something cool on show I don’t mean like a show inside the grounds, but flames and small designer tents or something for the romantics to hang out by the beach and be waited on; it must be great I will give them that one. On days where the beach ‘has wind’ there are these shielded loungers that allow you to be on the beach shot blast free. Though from my position on my towel on the sand I am imagining the best exfoliation I ever had in years is taking place for free. If its innovation and related to the beach or the first world beach problems in general I imagine there is some guy working for them somewhere designing a fix. If you want to take a look at Sandals Antigua in more depth take a look here. Such places exude the very best conversation I also find its simply inspiring walking down a beach with light clothing on. It’s no wonder the Antiguan’s live long and wrinkle free. I am told black don’t crack ! Well Ana’s has failed to hit home – there were people having a nice dinner in the ibiza-esque style decor and so we didn’t even stop for a beer. If there is an art form practised very well in Antigua then it is that of the barman and no better is the example than the resident barman Jermain at Coconut Grove. Jermain and I had a couple of topics of interest that of dancehall music and quads aka drones. Coconut Grove is frequented by some regulars too and the restaurant is recommended by many. We had a fun change of scenery and I introduced Sanchia to Guinness again just in case she forgot from the nights before at Putters bar. Of course we tried the rum punch never two the same on the island ! It was a fun time of course and in parting J gifted us a couple of beers. Of note there was this older guy who really needed to sleep or eat and was being chatted up by a woman whom I did not see as her back was to me but I just was thinking oh my you may end up being disappointed but then again what do I know ! As we were leaving a big bowl of pasta arrived.
I found this nice somewhat amusing graphic online and thought that I would share it as it will no doubt resonate with many of you who subscribe to us. Thats what the site is there for. So sit back and enjoy a spot of easy reading by simply clicking on THIS LINK. Please dont forget to share this with your social firends on facebook and twitter etc. but the best way is to subscribe here as we dont always post to the social circles as we need to make more time for drinking rum punch.
You never ever paid a parking ticket. If you visit outside of Antigua the first place you look to find food is the KFC. More than this you prove that Antigua has the best KFC in the world. You add ‘No Wah’ to end of something to say how good or bad it is e.g. She is beautiful no wah. When fighting start you ‘run come’ but come the rain you run away. You know that east and west have nothing to do with a map. Current is electricity, you have candles and matches for when ‘current off’. Potholes are a way of life. You know Rush can be very dry but don’t care and go anyway. Everywhere is ‘down dah road’. You have a can of SUZY HOT SAUCE just in case. You accept ‘Antigua Time’ as an actual time zone. Some more..