Published: February 25th 2011February 16th 2011
The next day we were at La Croix – pron. La Croy to Americans who do after all call main courses entrees!. Arriving in to the wharf at Frederiksted at the West end of the long/thin island. It was formerly a Danish territory and they sold it to the US for $50M. in gold in about 1918 I think. I did a 4 hr tour there for $70 which was definitely not worth it. We drove for about 25 mins and hauled up at some well known golf course designer course – for 20 mins?? A gift shop? (I think it was actually a “pro shop” so no use to ‘normal’ people). And we hardly needed a toilet stop quite yet! Asked for comments at the end I piped up that they should reduce the time there – and others said lose it altogether – we are not golfing retirees from New Yoik!. Continued on for some general views of the coast – La Croix is pretty flat – at least compared to Tortola, so at least there is flat land to grow stuff. Finally to Christiansted which was the main centre with a fort and stuff. And a reasonable old
town and buildings worth poking around and taking snaps of. However only an hour there, due to golf course thing! Would have been better off getting a taxi directly there myself one way for $20 or so in retrospect rather than paying for a tour – which however did include wonderful views of the 9th largest oil refinery in the world (built by the Chinese) – a very important local fact and employer no doubt.
Ship board life generally – my cabinmate Tim got somewhat sidetracked by liquid refreshments and new friends and only made it to 2 of the ticketed shows – the very first one with John Prine. And virtually the final one called Loud and Rich – Loudon Wainwright and Richard Thompson. Both have a rather dry sense of humour so are well suited. Loudon gangles around a bit like a mad fool and did most of the singing with Mr RT played some stunning guitar on songs he did not write. Which is one way to tell how good he is – play something that we are not familiar with. This was recorded for National Public Radio so must check that out in 6 weeks
an official 1773 Danish bldg of some sort
time or so. Tim was very taken by it as he did not previously know RT at all. I managed to get into the last RT show at 10pm on the Sat. 19th by going to the end of the Scott Miller show before it. He was my major discovery of the many new artists I did not know. He has been in a couple of bands (currently group called the Commonwealth) but here he was solo which really allowed his songwriting bent to show. He seems really into songs based on historical events such as the Civil War and was from West Virginia. He was for me the New Bob Dylan in the same way John Prine was called that in 1973 or whenever. Obviously the phrase got overused and hackneyed so tends not to be used these days. The same dense wordy lyrics – but not impenetrable and obscure like Bob’s can be.
Dining/eating options were pretty good too. The easiest for a quick grab yourself and eat was the Garden Café – a very varied buffet. Which had everything from quite spicy curries – at least they were not blanded out – a lot of Asian
etc staff on the ship – to mix your own salads and cold meats and dessert bar – and even an icecream bar. This would do most people – but I went a few times to the Summer Palace – the formal sit down restaurant (the biggest at over 500 seats). On a “normal” cruise would likely be full all the time – but here only 25% at most as people were dashing off to music, so staff were plentiful – although also a bit slack at times I thought – no pressure. It was also just a floor down from our cabin which helped. The food was pretty decent really – and I definitely did not do dessert here really – did cheese once.
In the interests of concluding this will simply add snaps of the artists edited so far – it is gone way past concert reviews for this!
After this we spent our last day and a bit steaming to final day off Great Stirrup Cay – the NCL “private island” – like wow! (not). As Tim said, NCL’s last attempt to empty your pockets with charges for water sports like parasailing and deck chair
rental etc. It is basically a relatively not great looking scrubby coral kay with a beach on it – probably imported sand and all. Could not even be bothered going over to it to see in person – thru the binoculars was enough!
There are more photos below