St. Johns, Antigua
All Aboard: 5:30pm
Our plan was to simply go to the beach. We made this decision fairly easily. This was after I found out the photography tour of Antigua was sold out.
The weather today was partly cloudy with some rain and around 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Since we docked around 10am, we tried to take our time in the morning. We grabbed breakfast and ate outside. Kai loved looking outside and watching all of the little boats go by.
The Journey to the Beach
My 78-year old dad, my mom, my 1.5 year old, and I made our way out of the ship around 10:30am, right after it docked and everything was cleared. Upon arriving at the taxi/tourist information desk, we were directed to wait for more people who were also heading to the beach.
Initially, the taxi driver was going to take us to Valley Church Beach. Then, this family asked to go to Darkwood Beach. The taxi driver we had ended up taking us all to Darkwood Beach. But, we had a mini argument because the other family was told we were heading to Valley Church, while the driver brought us to Darkwood.
We didn’t really care which beach we were going to, so long as everyone agreed on a time to come back on board the cruise ship. At that point, it was around 11:15am.
The family going to Darkwood Beach wanted to leave at 4pm. That was definitely too late for us. We decided to go with the other family and head to Valley Church Beach and agreed to leave the beach between 2pm-2:30pm.
It took less than 10 minutes to get to the beach. And, this one was closer to the cruise port.
When we got to Valley Church, we were directed to a man who gave us a bracelet indicating which driver we had to take us back, along with the pickup time. He also brought us two lounge chairs and an umbrella for shade. The chair rental was $5 each and the umbrella was $10.
The first thing I noticed was how many seashells there were! So many. Also, the sand here was a lot more course than when we were at Cocoshell Bay in St. Kitts. We weren’t in a bay, so the water was a little more rough but not bad. The water was very clear, and it was beautiful!
The first thing Kai did was start playing in the sand.
The first thing my dad did was lay down on the chair.
The first thing my mom did was pay the gentleman.
Hold my hand
While on the beach, I took out all of Kai’s beach toys. We were there for a while, and Kai had so much fun playing. Then, a little girl, named Francesca (2.5 years old) from Argentina immediately came over to Kai when her family came to the beach.
She didn’t want to leave his side. Kai would try and “escape” by going towards the water or trying to play with other kids, but all she wanted to do was be with him.
It was so cute.
I stood and played with them most of the time. Her grandfather then came over and played with her while Kai and I were swimming. Then, he had them hold hands!
He tried to let her hand go, but she was very persistent.
Then her mom came over and gave her some snacks. A croissant and some cereal. Her mom tried to get her to take pictures with her family, but she wouldn’t leave Kai’s side. So, I took out some fresh berries and grapes we got from the ship. They shared and she fed him! Kai loved being fed.
The family finally got a few family pictures with the little girl.
After she left, we just played a little longer and swam in the water. Kai is getting to be quite the kicker!
Then it was almost time to leave. My dad and Kai had collected some seashells before we left. I also grabbed some sand and put it in a large ziplock bag. I am planning on making some crafts when we return home.
The ride back to the ship was good. It was a fun beach day! I’m glad we went to this beach because Kai found a little playmate. Although if we ever go back to Antigua, I would like to head to Dickenson Bay. That’s where this Russian family we spoke to on the ship went to. The water was calm and the sand fine.
Let’s Sum Up!
Transportation method: Taxi (a group van) – as a group, we had to all agree on a time to go back to the port. There were complications with the driver taking us to one beach when he said it would be another. And, one family wanted to leave really late. In the end, it all worked out:)
Transportation Cost: $8 per person / each way ($16 round trip/person) – Kai was free (under 2)
Location: Valley Church beach
Distance: 20 minutes from port (where our cruise ship docked)
Cost for umbrella rental and lounge chair rental: $5 for umbrella and $10/chair
Total Cost for the 3 adults for the beach day: $48 (transportation) + $20 (rentals – umbrella and 2 lounge chairs) = $68
Cruise excursion for afternoon beach day = $59/person = $177 (for 3 adults) for 3.5 hours (with umbrella and lounge chair rental)
We saved: $109 by going on our own and not with the cruise ship. The cruise ship only offered an afternoon beach outing. That would have interfered with Kai’s nap time. So, we were happy we went on our own.
Interested in reading more about our cruise? Here is our cruise prep, shore excursion plan, days at sea, and our commute from our hotel to the cruise terminal in Manhattan, along with our NYC adventure.