I was determined to see and do something different whilst on my recent 14 night cruise onboard Celebrity Eclipse and with that in mind, embarked on the St. Kitt’s “Island History and Rum Tasting” Alongside the interesting tour content, the length of the tour (2.5 hrs) also appealed to me as it meant that there was also time to indulge in a spot of retail therapy following. And let’s not forget the opportunity to partake of a little rum tasting in grandiose surroundings too. Sounds good – I’m in!
As always the ‘value for money factor’ rests on the shoulders of the guides and in our case we were lucky and certainly got our money’s worth. Both with our driver Nick and our on-site guide, Nakisha. This tour has a good rating on Trip Advisor and it must be noted that Nakisha’s name pops up in several complimentary posts.
Be warned, and just so you know, due to the fact that there are quite a few speed bumps to negotiate, the drive to and from the Fairview Great House could not really be described as being smooth…
I found the house and its contents to be quite fascinating and beautifully preserved but for some reason found myself momentarily transported back to the 1940’s and thinking about Wallis Simpson and Edward VIII.
Yes, I do realise I am waaaay off track here as they resided in the Bahamas – Nassau to be exact! But please bear with me.*’Their relationship with the country began during the war when a reluctant Duke of Windsor was dispatched to the islands by Winston Churchill to become Governor. He and the Duchess are well known to have considered that Nassau was their version of Napoleon’s Elba – imposed exile. The Duchess, nothing if not cosmopolitan, sometimes found life in the Bahamas somewhat parochial.
Still, one area of Nassau where the Duchess felt at home was Cable Bay. She and the Duke spent several weeks at Westbourne, the pink, two-storey home of tycoon Sir Harry Oakes overlooking the bay, while Government House was being refurbished’. (*Thank you kindly Hugo Vickers for that info!)
And that, Dear Reader, is how I came to find myself thinking about them whilst being shown around the Fairview Great House in St Kitts. All rather grand and yet not so grand compared to today’s modern luxuries. No air conditioning for one! And what of deodorant? The household only had one bath a week by all accounts. Though on the plus side there would have been plenty of opportunity to bury one’s nose into the sweet smelling foliage of the truly lovely botanical gardens. And thank goodness for those trade winds that flowed throughout the house offering at least some respite from the heat. There was also a mention of a concubine, which is probably what set me off on the Windsor tangent in the first place and who must have provided a handy distraction for the Master of the house if bath-time proved to be long over due! *Cue audible sigh of relief from the Lady of the house*
And onto the rum. Now let’s be clear here. This is not an ‘all-you-can-drink’ rum fest. If that’s what you are after then you have picked the wrong tour. This is a polite tasting of several different types of rum that takes place alongside a well thought out presentation explaining the rum making process – bootleg n’all!
So in closing, yes, I’d definitely recommend this Celebrity Shore Excursion. Especially if you are looking to do something a bit different and are hungry to learn more about the history and culture of St Kitt’s. You will not be disappointed. Not for the youngsters though as you have to be over 21 to partake.
It can get a little warm so ladies, bring a fan if you have one. I did and I was glad of it.
I hope you like my choice of photograph. It is the sunset from my veranda with the sun just disappearing behind the island of Nevis.
Suitably romantic for such a post – don’t you think?