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Just returned from cruise, spent a day in Les Saintes

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  • Just returned from cruise, spent a day in Les Saintes

    We were just at Il de Saintes (Les Saintes). We rented a scooter and saw all the beaches and traveled every road. This adventure is not for everyone, but we loved it.
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  • #2
    Re: Just returned from cruise, spent a day in Les Saintes

    Wow, what beautiful pictures! I'd love to hear more details about your trip if you're up to posting them.
    "I haven't been everywhere yet, but it's on my list." -- Susan Sontag

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    • #3
      Re: Just returned from cruise, spent a day in Les Saintes

      This was part of a Silversea cruise. Here are some excerpts:

      Ports & Sights

      Old San Juan – we have been here more than once. I like to just walk around and look at the architecture, shop, see the restaurant offerings, etc. It was interesting to run into the street fair. You can also see the fort. If you have enough time, you can always check out more of Puerto Rico and visit the rain forest or spend time at one of the hotels or beaches. We chose this time to just enjoy the Sheraton so we could walk across the street to the ship terminal area.

      Monserrat – This was not a port, but we got to spend a few hours seeing it in the day and at night, and some guests even did the helicopter over it (on a separate day). Only about 1/3 of this island is now inhabited. We saw a lot of ash. At night, Todd was fascinated to watch the tiny eruptions and splashes of red.

      Sailing on Sea Day – we saw St. Kitts and most of the Virgin Islands one by one as we sailed along. This is the time that it is nice to have a balcony so that you see the postcard before you. Of course, the picture windows are nice, too.

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      • #4
        Re: Just returned from cruise, spent a day in Les Saintes

        Il de Saintes, Guadaloupe (Les Saintes) - Well, some of my fears about Les Saintes were true. We went to the breakfast buffet and had some hot items and fruits and then ventured on the tender over to Les Saintes. There was one scooter shop that ignored us when they heard the American accent and rented to all the Europeans behind us until they ran out. Next we went to another place, and the woman was cooking in her kitchen and told us she didn't speak English. Finally we found a place that rented us one scooter for 38 Euros for the day. You need your driver's license, and that is it. We shared one scooter. You cannot rent by the hour, only by the day or week. We were told to go to "the garage". This was no small feat since we didn't know and all along the way did not like Americans.

        Well, we did get on our way and made our way up and down every travelable road on the island!! We had such a blast and saw every beach accessible. If you are adventurous, this is a DON'T MISS!!!!!!!!!! One of these had a number of topless women, and when we looked it up later, we read it can be a nudist beach. We also traveled up to the fort for great views of the ship.. The beaches were free, and some were pretty secluded. At any of them, you could easily bring a romantic picnic and not be bothered by anyone else. If you did not want to do all of this, you could set out on foot until getting tired and see the fort or the closest beaches. Be aware, some of the island siestas from noon to 2:30. Plan accordingly.

        Barbados/Sandy Lane: We only saw the west side of the island because we planned to spend much of our day at Sandy Lane in Barbados. I wrote golf@sandylane.com and spa@sandylane.com after viewing their website.

        We went out to the terminal in Barbados and asked for a cab to Sandy Lane hotel. We paid $20 US plus tip. The spa and hotel are on one side of the road, and the 45 holes of golf are on the other side and down the road.

        I was brought curbside to the spa. For a hotel with 112 rooms, I was not expecting it to be so large. I'd seen pics of certain things but not the whole overall picture.

        Todd played the country club course alone. He brought his own shoes and rented clubs. They have mandatory caddies, and he had a cart, etc. He shot a 78. The course is very scenic, and he saw monkeys. He finished in under 3 hours. During that time, I had a 90 minute facial and then toured the hotel.

        I was impressed with the spa at Sandy Lane. I wish I had booked like a half day there. Normally, I like to spread my spa treatments throughout a trip, but I loved the facial so much that I would have loved to have more done here.

        The dressing rooms are very nice and well appointed. The treatment rooms are even nicer. My room had two lounge chairs, and my view was a beautiful fountain. The treatment started out with choice of water or tea in my lounger in my treatment room. Then the facial started, and Judy adjusted a bed that molds itself in all directions to your body shape.

        I had a rose anti-aging facial because it was 90 minutes and seemed different than anything I'd done. There were a number of phases, including some ice cold stones that were massaged on my face. The therapist was honest about any questions I asked, and she never tried to sell me a thing.

        I toured the facilities, and they have a nice gym, fitness center, etc, and a great water area back there. I was very impressed with the hotel. It opened in 1961, but they tore it down in 2001 and rebuilt, preserving most of the look. Added were modern things, such as a panel that controls everything in your room, even the drapes. I toured a dolphin luxury suite. It had 42 in. plasma in the bedroom and living room, a stereo system, a fax machine, desk, etc. The bathroom had a large tub in the middle, but it was not a jet tub. There was a kitchenette where the mini-bar is customized, as are the snacks.

        On the beach, beautiful loungers are set out for each guest daily, whether they show up or not. They have an assigned spot. The beach was nice, and a few waves came up. The beaches are public in Barbados, but it was pretty secluded.

        There are a number of pools running around the property, and there are many places to find serenity. The hotel has some meal plans, but they don't have an all-inclusive plan. They are 5 diamond AAA for 2007, no easy feat, and their Conde Naste rating was 91.6 in the last book, though the dining got 77.

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        • #5
          Re: Just returned from cruise, spent a day in Les Saintes

          Bequia: Here, you could take the Mustique tour with the ship or some other St. Vincent tours, etc. We chose just to see Bequia. We took the tender over and hired a cab driver for an island tour. He said $25 per hour. We were gone an hour and gave him $32. We saw some scenic points and went to the turtle sanctuary. He did not try to sell us anything extra or anything. It was very nice, and we were able to spend a lot of time on the ship and still got to see some breathtaking sites.

          Antigua: Here they offer nice sightseeing tours. Last trip, Todd had a great golf outing here. You can also get off the ship and go to King’s Casino right near the pier or look at the shops. We had day passes for Sandals. We took a cab - $13 going and $11 returning. We walked the beach, had ribs for lunch, sailed a hobie cat and laid in a garden pool on floaties and used the hot tub there. We also observed the Mediterannean Village that is set to open late this summer.

          Virgin Gorda: If you haven’t been here, don’t miss seeing the Baths. We did that last time. This time, they stopped the ship to tender some guests for that and then went on to North Sound and anchored there. We had some more spectacular views. They started tenders at 11. Lunch was from 12 to 2. They had a bar and service in the chairs for everything from water to whatever. You could stay total;y under cover, also. They had burgers, dogs, grilled steak and swordfish, along with a variety of salads, fruit carved onsite and cookies and cakes. They had a vocal group singing Caribbean and adult contemporary tunes. Todd joined the volleyball game. There was swimming and snorkeling if you had your own gear.

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          • #6
            Re: Just returned from cruise, spent a day in Les Saintes

            You can email me at debbieh103@aol.com if you want the rest of the pics or report. This was a great trip.

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            • #7
              Re: Just returned from cruise, spent a day in Les Saintes

              Sounds like a wonderful trip! I actually spent some time in Barbados and Bequia last year -- I'm impressed that you went to Sandy Lane. If I understood correctly it's the swankiest resort on the island. Sounds like it lives up to its reputation.

              We ended up doing the Mustique trip when we visited Bequia. The island was beautiful, very exclusive and quiet, though it took a long time (two hours each way) to get there by boat. It may have been a better use of our time to just stay on Bequia...but eh, hindsight is always 20/20.
              "I haven't been everywhere yet, but it's on my list." -- Susan Sontag

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              • #8
                Re: Just returned from cruise, spent a day in Les Saintes

                Debbie H,
                I was just scuba diving behind that big rock in your first photo! Great dive spot! We loved Isle de Saintes but my husband ran into some unfriendly folks while relentlessly taking photos! Apparently they don't like to be photographed! Lovely island, tho!!

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