We found ourselves on Saint Lucia on the last day of our cruise. We've always liked it here because of the lush landscape, the mountains, and the very friendly residents.
The Wind Surf booked a private area of Pigeon Island National Park for the day and it was a real treat for us passengers. This is a great location near Castries, Saint Lucia's capital city. There are two beaches at the park: one fairly large and one that's just a small patch of sand. If you want to snag a shady spot for your lounge chair, arrive early. (There are plenty of chairs, but limited shade.)
Since this is a national park with an entry fee, you won't encounter many locals here and there's no place to shop. If you want to do your own thing, just exit the park or visit the Sandals resort next door to grab a cab. (Windstar also offered three shore excursions on Saint Lucia: a catamaran to Soufriere's Volcano, an ATV trip, or 18 holes at the St. Lucia Golf & Country Club.)
On Saint Lucia, the Wind Surf crew threw a beach BBQ. Since we've been to Saint Lucia before, we decided to focus solely on enjoying the beach, the National Park, and the BBQ. It was a blast!
Be sure to take your camera to Pigeon Island because you'll have terrific views of the Atlantic Ocean (watch the waves crash on the rocks...it's really rough on that side of the island!). There's also a large park-like area with the ruins of several buildings from various periods dating back to when the British Commonwealth had a presence here in the early 1800s.
The park is also home to Fort Rodney (see photos). It's a bit of a hike to the top, but you can get some terrific photos of the entire area from the peak.
If you walk up the trail, there will be a few clearings from which to take photos. We made it halfway up the trail before we got too hot and retreated back to the beach below!
By the time we returned to the beach, the Wind Surf crew was already setting up the BBQ. The Marina staff had also brought out some kayaks and other watercraft for everyone to enjoy and the team from the spa was setting up a lovely area under some palm trees for outdoor massages.
Dining manager Abdul brought about 14 crewmen over to the island. They brought tables, grills, and all the provisions needed for the BBQ.
Throughout the afternoon, Wind Surf passengers could take a kayak out to investigate the nearby areas. One- and two-seat kayaks were available.
A local band played Reggae favorites throughout the afternoon. They were fantastic!
By early afternoon, the crew was grilling up a storm! Mouths were watering as they began cooking lobster tails, ribs, chicken, burgers, and hot dogs. And, of course, a full bar was provided. (Drinks charged to your shipboard account; water and ice tea were available free of charge.)
The line for lunch was long at times, but the food was certainly worth the wait! I couldn't resist the lobster tail and the ribs were so tender! The spread included a lot of nice cold salads as well (field greens, pasta salad, bean salad, potato salad, coleslaw, etc.).
The chefs did it again and carved a watermelon into a cute creature—a turtle this time. It accented the dessert table (an ice cream bar). At the end of the BBQ, they gifted the turtle to some children who were building a sand fort. Cute!
Everyone we spoke to had a wonderful time at Pigeon Island. We had to return to the ship far too soon so we could begin making our way back to Barbados. Despite being tired from a full day in the sun, almost everyone found a spot on one of the decks because we were set to sail past the twin peaks of the Pitons right before sunset. Located near Soufriere, these two volcanic mountains rise 2,400 feet. Because there is a deep water channel around the Pitons, the Wind Surf sailed very close to them! Breathtaking!
After the sail by, it was time for our last dinner aboard the Wind Surf. We dined at The Restaurant and enjoyed it until the seas got a bit rough! (The distance between Saint Lucia and Barbados is the roughest part of the itinerary. We had smooth sailing for all the other days.)
I think this all-day visit to Saint Lucia was the perfect way to end an amazing cruise. A good night's sleep and then it's time for passengers to to disembark on Barbados and head home.