St. Vincent – is newly opening to tourism
St Vincent and the Grenadines
The Atlantic Ocean that surrounds St. Vincent is crystal clear. The water sparkles with vibrant shades of greens and blue. Its obvious why the movie producers picked this island for the filming of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie.
St Vincent offers mountain peaks, waterfalls and rainforests. The tourist roadmap that the locals handed us when we arrived on the island shows that the islands main road only goes around 80% of the island – its therefore impossible to drive all the way around.
The population on this island is approx 110,000. Kingston, where the Summit docked is the Capital.
Kingston has a population of 20,000. Its a busy, lively town. As we strolled down the Main Street we noticed arches, cobbled streets, historic churches and historic stone buildings. There were many “Back in Time” retail shops that cater to the locals. The largest retail shops are grocery stores. With so many cruise passengers on the street there is a feeling of security but I don’t think anyone ventured too far.
The first Monday of the month brings islanders to Kingston as its pay your bills day. The vegetable and fish markets were in full swing as the vendors knew this would be a busy day.
This is not a prosperous island. Unemployment is 18% so there are many locals “hanging around” but the cruise ships are starting to arrive more often (4 this week) so this influx of money will hopefully help the community.
Retail wise there is little that tourists are going to want to buy on this island but eventually the vendors will catch on with what products will make tourists open their wallets. Hopefully their government is savvy enough to start training the locals vendors that are after the tourist dollars.
Celebrity cruises welcomes families of their workers onboard their ships. Today a family from St Vincent boarded so they could see where their daughter works. I could see the excitement in their eyes as they boarded the ship. How wonderful.
Its dress up night again. On Celebrity this isn’t a required dress code – more of a “suggestion” so you will see passengers wearing everything from tux’s to t-shirts and ball caps….. but the majority of the passengers do dress up. I hear from many passengers that they wish Celebrity would go back to when they had a dress code on dress up nights, with an option for those that don’t wish to dress up to dine at the lido buffet. Most agree that seeing passengers wearing ball caps in the dining room shouldn’t be allowed at any time.
Weather remains perfect – we couldn’t ask for anything better – temps in the low 80’s with sunny skies. Glad to hear that those at home are enjoying a bit of relief from the recent cold winter blast.