Five glorious, sun-soaked, turquoise-sea-soothed, sandy-footed, happy hours, on beautiful St. Lucia. And my snacky-lunch onion rings were crazy good. Yes, you absolutely should have cruise-port-excursion envy!
I just love cruising. Love it! This past Spring my dearheart friend, Donna, and her cool sister, Bonnie, and I, eagerly boarded our first Royal Caribbean cruise. Southern Caribbean here we come! It took us all of about 5 minutes, once aboard The Serenade of the Seas, to break into full nothing-matters-we're-on-a-Caribbean-cruise mode. Oh yeah, baby!
But more about the cruise another time, 'cuz I just have to show and tell you, about my memorable few hours on beautiful St. Lucia.
Before anything else, when I wake up on a cruise ship, I head directly out to my little balcony to see what I can see. My first early morning glimpse of St. Lucia with it's famed Pitons (those dramatic, recognizably silhouetted, volcanic mountains), instantly filled me with child-like anticipation.
I just love standing on my lanai, so as not to miss anything, as we pull into each port. Good morning Castries, St. Lucia.
Before cruising, this time and every time, I like to figure out if I'm going to tour, make my own way, day pass it, or just hang out on a beach. This time around Donna and Bonnie were off on a Shore Excursion, so I was going solo. After reading about possible cooking classes, local tours, and Resort Day Passes, I pretty much decided it would suit my fancy to hang out at an oceanside resort. I checked online reviews, chose, and arranged, a Day Pass at Marigot Beach Club & Dive Resort, just for me.
Marigot Bay is a picturesque natural harbour, dotted with happy ferries, posh yachts, catamarans and dinghies, contentedly partaking of all manner of tropical water pleasures. As the taxi approached, my driver was only too cheerful, and boastfully proud of his island home, to stop for me to take photos. Nice. And with the view this pretty, I couldn't wait to get down to the water, myself. Oh goody, goody!
And then, after a quick and charmingly friendly check-in, for my day pass, I was there. It was happening. I lazed, I looky-looed, I bobbed in clear azure waters, I explored a wee bit and I enjoyed every moment.
Tropical quirkiness everywhere.
Bougainvillea always stops me in my tracks.
As I made my way back towards the bar and restaurant, Doolittle's, to refresh my icy, tropical concoction, I caught just a hint of a yummy aroma. Now I'm hungry. Not super hungry, but hungry enough.
Once that signal hit, before I knew it, I was happily sitting, menu in hand, enjoying the view and the decisions.
Sitting along the rail, of Doolittle's, also affords a downward view. Told you the water was crystalline.
But, back to the menu.....decisions, decisions.....Beach Pina Colada Shrimp or Creole Pasta with Catch of the Day or Curry or Jerk Chicken, or, or, or.... Hmmm. Definitely leaning more towards snack, than meal, so after far too much menu re-inspection, I ordered Onion Rings. Yup, kind of weird, but, oh Mama! am I ever glad I did!!
I'm pretty damn sure these are the best onions rings I've ever had. They were served with warm maple syrup to dunk. What? No, no, you silly Caribbean-ers. Ketchup, please. But then I thought, ah what the heck, and dunked. Oh my! No, seriously. Oh my!!! Who woulda' thunk?!
And because I was simply giddy with pleasure, of so many kinds, I had to take one more onion ring shot with a peek-a-boo of the view. I know.
I made a promise to myself to experiment, in my kitchen, to copy-cat these babies. Soon, I promise, I will post my Almost-Doolittle's Onion Rings.
After this fine little repast I popped into the ocean one last time, soaked up a few more rays, and then with silly smile stuck to my face, packed up to head back to the ship.
As the taxi passed tropical beauty of so many kinds, with brief views of rainforest canopies and glimpses of rushing waterfalls, I contentedly enjoyed watching Island life pass by. There were ramshackle villages, seaside mansions, playful bunches of school kids, colourful communities where storefronts oozed character, and characters, and many contentedly munching cows, roaming ever-so-green farmlands.
Hello Serenade of the Seas. Home Sweet Shippy Home.
And that was it. My day on St. Lucia, done. I'm so glad I decided upon that Marigot Beach & Dive Resort Day Pass. Still makes me smile.
Bye, bye, St. Lucia, thanks for everything!