The last stop on our all-luxury Explora Journeys cruise was Castries, St. Lucia and we finally found our rhythm.
My travel agency earned a complimentary cruise with Explora Journeys but we have also purchased several more tickets because we love the product. This trip report traces that journey taken in late November 2023.
Trip Report Table Of Contents
- Miami: Kimpton Epic
- Explora Journeys
- Key West, Florida
- Sea Days
- Spanish Town, British Virgin Islands (Virgin Gorda)
- St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda
- Deshaies, Guadeloupe
- Gustavia, St Barthélemy
- Basseterre, St. Kitt’s and Nevis
- Castries, St. Lucia
- Bridgetown, Barbados
To Thy Self Be True
At the later stages of the cruise, we have formed our preferences, and rather than attempt to uphold someone else’s idea of a perfect excursion, we eschewed those notions and did what we wanted. That entailed a late departure from the ship, a short taxi to a nearby beach, and making it back to the ship before the gelateria closed for the day.
There was some guilt from missing Deshaies, but that was self-inflicted. We were finally in a mode and doing what we wanted for our own reasons. If others in our party wanted to stay on board or do something different than we did, we didn’t feel compelled to join them nor did we expect them to join us on our experience.
This was one of the happiest stops of our trip because we were true to ourselves.
A Simple Beach
Just a 10-minute ($20 cab ride) from the port was Vigie Beach. After bending around the long runway of a small municipal airport, we were dropped by our driver at a pair of loungers underneath the shade of trees and near Jackie’s Exquisite Bar which seemed cheap and cheerful.
Most of the afternoon we spent lounging in the shade, taking intermittent naps to the lapping waves.
A gentleman was single-handedly commanding the ocean in front of us for about 30 minutes but appeared to be the happiest person at the beach, though his control of the waves lacked efficacy.
My family didn’t feel like getting into the water, the waves were rather intimidating, but I wanted to get in the water. For the next 30-45 minutes, I floated around in the water. Many of our readers know that I run a couple of businesses in addition to writing this blog and generally live on my computer and phone. But floating in the water, with no one to talk to and nothing to pay attention to besides the waves rising toward me before falling away near the beach, I got to just be in a moment. I didn’t think about work, or frankly, any of you. I was just out in the water, living from one wave to the next with nothing at all on my mind. Maybe this is what Explora means by an “ocean state of mind.”
It was bliss.
That’s not to say I wouldn’t have rathered my family joined me, but they were happy on the shore that day and like me, they were just busy being. It was a perfect day punctuated with salted caramel gelato and sushi onboard with friends.
St. Lucia was a lovely island, but it was really the fact that we let go of expectations and did what we wanted to cleared the way to an incredible day. It would be our last night onboard Explora I, and there couldn’t have been a better place, day, or manner by which to conclude our journey.
What do you think?