Charlotte Amalie, Virgin Islands US
***NEWSFLASH*** The U.S. Virgin Islands are officially beautiful! I asked Leslie if she would like to retire there. She did not say no, but she did not say yes either. Maybe there is a chance!
Sitting on the ship before we got off for the day’s adventure we saw numerous yachts in the marina, mega yachts. We saw the Phoenix2, a 286 foot yacht built in 2010; the Nirvana, a 290 foot yacht built in 2012; and the $103 million Vibrant Curiosity, a 280 foot yacht built in 2009. They were all amazing vessels. Photographs of them on-line confirm they are amazing inside too.
Our first destination was Blackbeard’s Castle. It is not really a castle, in fact the brochure even indicates “…it’s unlikely that Blackbeard himself…” was there. Regardless, it was a fun spot.
After we purchased our tickets, we listened to a brief presentation about Blackbeard and some of his antics. Then we were led into their small rum distillery. We listened to another brief presentation on their rum making methods. When that was done we were led into the gift shop. We each sampled three different types of rum. We tried Blackbeard’s Castle Aged Rum, Bones Rum (complete with a skull and crossbones), and Virgin Islands Blend with peach flavoring. I suspect the last time I had rum at 09:00 I was probably in college!
On this tour, once again, we were lucky. We were deposited at the front door which was at the top of the hill. There are three other entry points; however, they were all at the bottom of the hill. That meant our self-guided tour was all downhill.
Shortly after exiting the rum distillery and museum we met a live “pirate” near one of the swimming pools. We took some fun photos with him.
We continued to the World Caribbean Amber Museum. They have hundreds, if not thousands of pieces of amber on display. I was struck with how light weight even the largest pieces are. The other very unique item was the two-story high amber waterfall.
Continuing downhill we next found ourselves at the Hotel 1829. The old kitchen is now the hotel bar. We took a break from our walking about and had a beer or two. Our two choices of local beer were the Blackbeard Ale and the Virgin Islands Summer Ale. They were both tasty, although I liked the Blackbeard Ale the best. The Island Summer Ale was a little too sweet for my taste.
During our beer tasting, Tyler and I discovered a backgammon table inside. He and I played a game while we drank our beer.
Next on our list were the “99 Steps”. There are actually 103. It seems the U.S. added a few after purchasing the islands from the Dutch in the early 1900’s. I am not sure exactly why that was done. Regardless, the stairs are still an attraction.
Once we made it down the stairs we hailed a taxi to take us back to the cruise ship area. When we were dropped off we made our way to the Butterfly Farm. It is at the south end of the port. It was a little pricey at $12 per head, but it was a unique experience.
Tomorrow, sea day and behind the scenes ship tour!