Our cruise ship was docked in the St. Kitts port. Peering outside the window, I saw a speedboat jetting across the turquoise water, leaving a white foamy trail behind. The lush, green island hills were the backdrop for the tropical greeting beckoning us passengers. Like the other port days, passengers toting oversized beach bags and wearing wide-brimmed hats, smelling of coconut scented sunscreen, were anxiously waiting in buffet lines in a hurry to get their food and eat before heading to scheduled excursions. But this day was going to be different than any other port day — at least for my family. My husband, three children and I had reservations at St. Kitts Marriott Resort.
Depending upon what time of year you cruise you may or may not find the experience relaxing. The more often you set sail aboard the monstrous floating cities the more educated you become regarding your preferences, avoidances, or delights that trigger a “let’s go back” after arriving home. For my husband and I, that “thing” is an escape to a scenic setting. Like most families, when we booked our cruise vacation earlier this year, we were limited to traveling during summers or school holidays which pretty much means cruise ships, or anywhere travel, were crazy packed with other vacationing families.
I had heard whispers from other cruisers that disappearing to an island resort was the best way to spend a port day because the experience allows the luxury of enjoying all of the amenities of the resort (towels, beach chairs, food and drink service, activities) and skipping battling the massive crowds of a cruise port epicenter. For example, when we were in Grand Turk there was no place to sit at Margaritaville when we wanted to relax in the shade. St. Martin’s beaches were lovely but there weren’t any restrooms or places to change clothes at the beach we found. St. Kitts Marriott Resort was our saving grace and, as my husband put it, the most relaxing day of our trip or, better yet, one of the best days of his life.
We caught a taxi van immediate after debarking (under $20). During our 10-15 minute ride the friendly driver told us interesting things about the island that the kids still remember, like St. Kitt’s nickname is Sugar City because of its sugarcane history. He also raved about the Marriott: “It’s the best island resort in the Caribbean!”
One we arrived we were instantly impressed with the immaculate building, friendly staff, and gorgeous view.
A day pass is an affordable $35 at St. Kitts Marriott Resort.
The day pass includes complimentary beach palapas and lounge chairs.
The resort has snorkeling equipment for guests to check out and that was pretty much how my family spent the day. In fact, it was the first time snorkeling for Maddie and Jeb and it was the perfect location to introduce the kids to the underwater world. They still ask when we’re going back to stay for a week.
Maisie and I spent a lot of time hanging out in the shade and playing in the sand.
Servers walk the beach constantly delivering warm food and cold drinks. The fried fish sandwiches tasted freshly caught. If only I could convince the chef to reveal his breading recipe. The tropical mango smoothies offered a refreshing treat best experienced with toes in the sand.
Despite the madness onboard our ship, the St. Kitts Marriott didn’t appear to be over crowded and the pools are enticing. We couldn’t get our son to leave. He was in paradise – we all were.
What we didn’t get to experience was the Royal Beach Casino that is located directly off the St. Kitts Marriott Resort lobby or the Emerald Mist Spa, although we did get a sneak peek. This 15,000 square feet spa has it all: nine treatment rooms for face and body therapies, aroma steam rooms, saunas and healing water areas with hot whirlpools and cold plunge pools, Vichy shower rooms, couple’s suites and a complete full service hair and nail salon. When you go, I suggest booking a treatment. I’m not sure a cruise port day could get more relaxing than that.
- Access to the three pools, use of the pool lounges and umbrellas
- Access to the beach and use of beach chairs and palapas for shade
- 10% discount off food at the Bohemia Restaurant, Pizza Shack, Café Calypso and Calypso Restaurant
- 10% discount at Pronto Store located in the lobby
- 15% discount off spa treatments at the Emerald Mist Spa, appointments subject to availability